Author: Justin Mckibben
With the opioid epidemic in America there have been a lot of advances in the field of addiction treatment, as well as innovations in prevention and intervention. One of the most useful elements of preserving the lives of thousands of people across the country has been the development and implementation of the opioid overdose antidote Narcan. So many people are impacted by opioid abuse, and so many families and friends to addicts want to help in any way they can to give their loved ones an opportunity at surviving their struggles. A lot of people are still unsure how to obtain some of these life-saving resources, especially when it comes to the overdose antidote.
The truth is, basically anyone can get access to Naloxone or Narcan, with various expansion programs existing for the purpose of providing vital support to the communities afflicted. Also, anyone can be trained on how to use it. There are a few ways to obtain Narcan.
How Do You Get Narcan: What is Narcan/Naloxone
Just to verify, Narcan is the brand name of this life-saving medication. Naloxone is the generic name. Narcan (Naloxone) is used to counteract and reverse the deadly effects of an overdose of opiate drugs such as heroin, Oxycodone,Hydrocodone and others as well.
Naloxone hydrochloride, the scientific name, is a white to slightly off-white powder and is soluble in water. Naloxone Hydrochloride injection is available as a non-preserved sterile solution for intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous administration in 1 mg/mL concentration.
Narcan is also supplied as a nasal spray, which provides for a decreased risk factor and makes it easier to administer for many by eliminating needles. In these forms, Naloxone and Narcan expansion has become a very big part of combatting the opioid epidemic, and through many groups advocating for its use, Narcan has become available in many ways.
How Do You Get Narcan: CVS and Walgreens
One way is through pharmacy companies like CVS and Walgreens.
Back in late 2015, the pharmacy company CVS announced it would be selling the opioid overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription in 14 states. Then in early 2016 CVS announced they would be expanding the program to 20 states by the end of the year. Of course, pharmacy boards in each state can make the decisions about offering Naloxone or Narcan without a prescription, but CVS has worked to further grant access to people all over the nation. You can look online to see if it is available in your area.
Also in early 2016 the pharmacy organization Walgreens announced two programs to address key issues in the opioid crisis.
- Safe medical disposal kiosks for unused prescription drugs
- Narcan expansion
By the end of 2016 Walgreens had expanded naloxone access without the requirement of a prescription to 33 states and the District of Columbia. Walgreens also continues to express the intention to further expand these programs. A quick online search you let you know if it is currently available without a prescription at a Walgreens near you.
How Do You Get Narcan: Other Options
In truth there are a lot of different ways to get Narcan, depending on where you are. To name a few:
You can contact a family physician in order to gain access to a Naloxone or Narcan kit, and should even be able to get training on how to utilize it.
State or Local Health Department
Your state or local health department should be able to provide you with all the information about any Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs in your area that provide the resources and training for the overdose antidote.
Harm Reduction Organizations
There are clinics, community centers and other harm reduction organizations all over the country that work to provide extensive support, resources and information. The Harm Reduction Coalition is America’s national harm reduction network operating overdose prevention programs for years.
The Overdose Prevention Alliance (OPA)
The OPA is a home for information and debate on drug overdose worldwide. It operates with the goal of cutting overdose and mortality rates. The OPA aims to collect and document major issues in overdose worldwide, encourage overdose prevention initiatives. Finding this resource could also be a huge help.
How Do You Get Narcan: Making a Difference
In the end, there are so many avenues someone can take to obtain this crucial tool in the fight against opioid overdose. Some community leaders even organize local workshops where they invite the public to come and get training on how to use Naloxone or Narcan. Some colleges even provide Naloxone kits to students, and many of both kinds of programs are free of charge.
The goal with any program is to try and save lives. At the end of the day that is what it comes down to; saving lives. Every bit of these resources makes a difference.
Still, beyond being revived from an overdose; beyond having access to the opioid overdose antidote is the need for safe and effective treatment. Having a second chance means using it. Keeping someone alive after a nearly fatal overdose is a huge feat, but there has to be more to helping someone, and that is where holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs make the biggest difference.
If you or someone you love have survived an opioid overdose and don’t know what to do next, do not hesitate to get help. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Another crooked physician is making headlines this week, and it is bringing more light to the already prevalent painkiller problem. Daniel Chan is a 47 year old California doctor who has been accused of being an illegal supplier of mass amounts of prescription drugs, and with all the focus on the prescription painkiller problem and how it has fed into the dangerous and devastating heroin epidemic, it is probably safe to say this if convicted he will be facing
The trial against Chan will move forward after he put in his not guilty plea. Chan is being charged with writing thousands of illegal prescriptions for powerful painkillers, and then laundering the money he received. This last week Daniel Chan was arrested in his home in California after 31 counts were filed against him in regards to allegedly distributing illegal prescriptions.
Daniel Chan’s Dirty Deeds
The courts case against Chan states that he wrote over 42,000 prescriptions, and has been doing so since 2010. The primary medications he was writing prescriptions for included:
Chan was apparently on the clock for the majority of his time, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. on weekends he had written thousands of the prescriptions. The San Gabriel doctor reportedly post-dated the prescriptions he was distributing when writing them out to create the illusion that they had been written during the regular work week.
The arrest reports also describe how Chan was willing to provide some of these dangerous medications to people who were in no way in any shape receive them. One of the undercover officers involved in the investigation even told Chan he was “high and drunk”, but that did not even slop Chan down, let alone stop him from writing the prescriptions for the officer.
Another undercover officer was given a prescription even after showing Chan written documentation of his driver’s license being suspended for a DUI. Obviously, the doctor was not at all concerned with the health or safety of others. Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said in a statement,
“Unscrupulous doctors who prescribe controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose are simply fueling a black market of narcotics. These doctors are the same as street dealers who face lengthy sentences in federal prison.”
Chan will likely post the $140,000 bail in order to avoid time in prison for the moment, but will be confined to his home for detention and absolutely forbidden from practicing medicine during that time of the trial. Hopefully it will be a quick one, but either way he won’t be getting anymore illegal stashes of painkillers to his ‘patients’ for some time.
Doctors Play with Deadly Prescriptions
Doctors who have gotten involved with the trafficking and playing around with these dangerous prescriptions have also become prone to abusing the very medications they are illegally dispensing, which ultimately results in those same doctors going to extreme measures to obtain them.
Another similar case involved a former Las Vegas physician Dr. Kent Swaine. This doctor was actually arrested last August and brought up on charges of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances, which he did by posing as a dead patient for two years to score drugs!
Dr. Swaine had been writing prescriptions under the name of Alexander Hyt, a patient who died of cancer in August 2011 and posing as him at pharmacies in order to take home the drugs, and Swaine’s license had already been revoked due to his drug use. This is just one other case of a very wide spread problem with substance abuse and addiction becoming a commonality among physicians, and the state of California, along with the rest of the country, is trying to curb this growing trend before more and more addicts seek out even more deadly opiates.
While the war on drugs rages with its battles against prescription painkillers and the doctors running the pill mill empires, there are thousands of addicts and alcoholics seeking help and finding a way out through holistic healing, innovative therapy, revolutionary health care, and actively working a program of recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Drug abuse and addiction is pretty well known as a deadly issue that stands on its own, and it may seem more obvious that mixing different dangerous narcotics can be a serious mistake, but one thing that may not seem so obvious is how mixing some powerful substances that are not as commonly considered to be as dangerous can be the difference between life and death. Here we will discuss two substances that sometimes fly under the radar, and how taking them in combination can be fatal.
Alcohol is a Drug
First we will get it out of the way and say what needs to be said and recognized. Alcohol is a drug. Many do not acknowledge it as such because it is legal and very publicly accepted. Although people are made aware of the dangers of excessive drinking, or drunk driving, they may not understand the severity of how destructive alcohol can be. Addiction to alcohol, or alcoholism, is a disease that plagues so many people around the world, and still the substance is viewed in society as a social lubricant and a way to take the edge of with a quick buzz, but let us not forget how this substance kills so many people all on its own.
Painkillers have quickly gained some notoriety for being addictive and deadly, and with recent reforms and regulations regarding prescription and distribution of these narcotic medications, we have seen entire drug empires topple like the infamous ‘pill mills’ and we have been exposed to the effects that drugs like OxyContin, OxyCodone and other opiates have on addicts. So there is no mystery as to the disastrous potential of prescription painkillers which also includes the medications:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by some kind of opioid painkillers. Drug overdose rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990, showing a horrifying 300% increase in sales of these prescription painkillers.
Non-medical use of prescription painkillers has developed into what some have labeled an epidemic, and no matter how you look at it, it is happening far too frequently in today’s society at large. Prescription drugs are safe when taken as directed, but all drugs can trigger side effects. Drugs like OxyCodone come with a minute margin for error. OxyCodone is a central nervous system depressant and when taken with alcohol can slow a person’s breathing to the point that it stops, which can quickly turn into an untimely death.
Painkillers and alcohol together are perhaps the worst to mix of drugs, because both slow breathing by different mechanisms and inhibit the coughing reflex, creating a collaborative effect that can kill by stopping breathing completely. Drinking alcohol drastically increases the depressive and inhibitory effects that opiates and other narcotic painkillers have on the central nervous system, and their effects can be synergistic, which means that their combined effects can be greater than the sum of their individual effects would suggest. The chemical interactions between ethanol in alcohol and both long and short-acting opioids are dangerously unpredictable. The more common health risks include:
- Respiratory failure
- Severe headache/migraine
- Organ malfunction
- Cardiac arrest
- Memory loss
In addition to the immediate physical dangers, the mixture of alcohol and opiates can also critically affect judgment and motor skills and cause cognitive impairment. Many fail to realize the perils that are associated with simultaneous ingestion of painkillers and alcohol. The extensive explosion of prescription painkiller abuse in combination with the nation-wide struggle for those suffering with alcoholism has made the combination of opiates and drinking one of the fastest-growing addiction problems in the country, with massive amounts of overdose related deaths.
Once people get hooked on prescription painkillers, it is fairly easy for them to stay addicted. Additionally, drinking can dramatically increase the general urge for opioids, making the possibility of addiction even more prevalent. Opiate medications in particular, are increasingly popular and extremely addictive when abused. Because of this, the likelihood of an addict to mix alcohol with a painkiller becomes more and more significant, and the dangers are only magnified.
The blend of prescription painkillers and alcohol is beyond hazardous, but it tends to happen more often than one would think, and typically people do not understand the risks they are taking to relax and unwind. When addiction is present, and the long-term effects of either drug are taken into consideration, the outcome can be shattering. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Dr. Gregory Gooden, center,Lisa Michelle Gilbertsen, (R), and Dennis Wayne Holt (L). (Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office)
By Cheryl Steinberg
Dr. Gregory Gooden, 61, of Winter Haven was recently arrested at his home for allegedly trading prescriptions for meth.
Since August of 1987, Gooden has been registered in Florida as a doctor specializing in cardiology, agents said.
“Upon his arrest, Gooden told detectives he is no longer practicing,” the Sheriff’s Office stated in a report.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation that began back in June, which revealed that the doctor had written prescriptions for narcotic painkillers in exchange for meth and cash.
The other players in the scheme are Dennis Wayne Holt, 22, and Lisa Michelle Gilbertsen, 33, two so-called patients of the doctor.
Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff, said in a statement, “[Gooden] also smoked marijuana with one of his ‘patients,’ whom he later had arrested for stealing his car. You just can’t make this stuff up.”
And, on top of that, it’s quite ironic that a doctor of cardiology – which is a medical specialty that deals with disorders of the heart – was shooting meth of all things. Methamphetamine has a significant and damaging effect on the heart, on a cellular level. It causes inadequate circulation of blood to the heart which is needed for it to function effectively, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
Undercover narcotics detectives launched the investigation after learning that Gooden allegedly wrote prescriptions for hydrocodone to Holt, who exchanged “meth and/or money for the controlled substance,” according to a report.
Holt said that he’s witnessed Gooden inject himself with meth and as well as witnessing the doctor writing prescriptions for other so-called patients.
Agents confirmed the prescriptions written in Holt’s name by checking the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide database that was launched more than two years ago in order to deter Florida’s pill mill epidemic.
Also according to the report, “The prescriptions were for either 60 or 90 pills. Gooden did not conduct a medical history, a physical, or any other type of exam for treatment prior to writing the prescriptions for the controlled substance.”
Florida Doctor Allegedly Exchanged Prescriptions for Meth
Detectives then interviewed Gilbertsen, suspected car thief, who said she had met the doctor through mutual friends, one of whom told her that Gooden would write her prescriptions, no questions asked.
Another review of the statewide database confirmed that Gooden wrote three hydrocodone prescriptions: one for 20 pills, a second for 60 of the pain pills and a third for 90, for Gilbertsen.
Gilbertson paid $70 for the first prescription but didn’t give Gooden any money for the others, according to a report said. It’s possible that she compensated the doctor with meth or other ‘services’ but, that is not known for sure at this time.
Gilbertson told detectives that she and the doctor smoked marijuana and drank alcohol together at his home.
On one occasion, Gooden fell asleep only to awake and find that both Gilbertsen and his car were missing. The doctor reported his car stolen on August 4th, and gave Gilbertsen’s name as a suspect but also referred to her as a friend.
Gilbertsen was arrested for vehicle theft two days later. On August 19th, while she was in the Polk County Jail, detectives interviewed her about the doctor.
Gooden has since been charged with five counts of obtaining a controlled substance via scheme and five counts conspiracy to traffic in hydrocodone.
Has your substance use escalated to substance abuse, or addiction? One way to tell is if you’ve resorted to committing crimes, no matter how petty, in order to support your habit. This is not the only indication of a problem, nor is it always the case. If you are worried that you may have developed a problem with drugs or alcohol, or if you suspect that someone you love is struggling, call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135. Our Addiction Specialists are available around the clock to give you answers. Remember, help is available and you are not alone.
Prescription painkillers have become a huge problem in America, being overprescribed and often abused by both recreational users and legitimate pain management patients. A pain pill detox center in Florida can help someone who has become dependent or addicted to pain medication.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are a class of narcotic drugs that are used in medicine for their pain killing properties and are known for their high potential for abuse. These opiates are prescribed in the form of pain pills, such as Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone – basically, any of your prescription painkillers.
People take and abuse pain pills simply because of they make them feel good: they take away any pain as well as produce a sedating effect along with a strong sense of euphoria, called a “rush” or “high.”
What is Opiate Withdrawal Syndrome?
If you abruptly stop taking pain pills and other opiates this will cause what is known as withdrawal syndrome: a set of symptoms that include: sweating, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, depression, excessive yawning, runny nose, muscles aches, and more.
This happens because your brain has developed a dependency on these powerful drugs, which alter both your brain chemistry and brain structure. Once you try to stop, your brain, and therefore your body, reacts to the sudden absence of the drug. The withdrawal from pain pills is very uncomfortable and many people find themselves going back to taking more pain pills because they can’t stand the pain and discomfort. This is why a pain pill detox center in Florida should be considered.
Why go to a Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida?
Plain and simple: a pain pill detox center is the best alternative to going cold turkey and stopping on your own. It is a safer and more comfortable environment than say your friend’s couch. Many people seek aa pain pill detox center in Florida because of its warm weather, sunshine, and beaches. Believe me, when you are detoxing from opiates like painkillers, you will want to be in this kind of environment. Comfort and safety are essential to the healing process.
What Does A Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida Do?
A pain pill detox center is a facility that provides a medical detoxification program to specifically help you get off opiates with diminished withdrawal symptoms. There is a trained medical staff at the pain pill detox center that can administer medication in order to ease your withdrawal symptoms and that will monitor you while you go through the process of detoxification from pain pills.
Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida: What to Expect
Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida: Admission
The first step is checking into a detox program for pain pill dependence. Assuming you have done research as to the pain pill detox center in Florida you will attend, you will follow their instructions for what to bring and when to come for check-in.
Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida: Evaluation
During evaluation at the pain pill detox center in Florida of your choosing, you will meet with a staff person who will take your social and medical history. This means that you will tell them about your drug use and health conditions, if any. You will also do a drug screen so that the medical staff can know exactly what drug or drugs you have been taking and the level or amount of those drugs that are in your system at the time of check-in.
This is not done for legal reasons and you will not get in any trouble. It is necessary to do a drug test so that you can be treated properly during your detox process. And you will want the staff to know what and how much you’ve been taking so that they can treat you accordingly and make the process as comfortable as possible.
Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida: Doctor Evaluation
You will meet with a medical doctor to have the necessary medications prescribed to you for your pain pill detox. You will also meet with a medical doctor to have any other medications prescribed to you if you have other health issues. As well, you will meet with a psychiatrist to be evaluated and prescribed any psych meds that you may need. Oftentimes, people who abuse drugs have a co-occurring diagnosis, also called dual diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety disorder, or bipolar disorder.
Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida: Stabilization
During the stabilization stage at the pain pill detox center in Florida, you will be given certain medications to ease the withdrawal systems that you will begin to experience. Stabilization means to regulate and maintain your condition. So that once you are on your meds, you will be kept at a certain level of medication and slowly tapered off so as to reduce the shock to your system of being without opiates.
Pain Pill Detox Center in Florida: Discharge
The program at the pain pill detox center in Florida can last from 4 to as many as 10 days, depending on the amount of opiates you had been taking and how you are feeling from day to day. You will meet with a therapist to evaluate your progress. The therapist may make recommendations as to continuing care such as rehabilitation so that you do not go back to using pain pills or other opiates.
Whether you were legitimately prescribed painkillers for a chronic pain condition or you started taking pain pills for recreational or self-medicating purposes, a pain pill detox center in Florida can help you get your life back in order. The good news is that it is possible to get off of painkillers with minimal discomfort and, if you have a pain condition, there are alternative treatments to relieving your pain symptoms that don’t require the use of narcotics. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.