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Drug Implant Could Save Australia’s Meth Addiction Crisis

Drug Implant Could Save Autrailia's Meth Addiction Crisis

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

Hundreds of addicts from Australia are turning to an unconventional and controversial treatment to try to cut their addiction to methamphetamines, or “ice”. The treatment has a 70 percent success rate but addictive medicine specialists are warning that it is not the answer.

The treatment involves surgery to have the drug naltrexone implanted in meth addicts to cut their craving. In Australia, meth is the most commonly used drugs next to marijuana. Each year, more than 300 people with drug problems consent to receive the naltrexone implant from the Fresh Start clinic in the city of Perth. The clinic is run by George O’Neil, one of the few doctors in the area who is willing to install the device. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that has been proven to reduce the reward associated with drug use.

“With amphetamine addicts, it just isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be,” on naltrexone. “And so the reward is reduced,” Dr. O’Neil said.

However, naltrexone treatments often run into problems. Drug users intentionally skip doses in order to get high or stop taking the treatment all together.  Essentially, the drug addict who desires to get high knows if they stop taking the drug, they can go back to using and feeling high again.

Now, with the implant, this will not be possible. The implant would be surgically placed into the patient’s abdomen which would remove the problem of compliance by slowly releasing naltrexone into the bloodstream maintaining an effective dose at all times.

Many believe the implant has not been proven effective. However Dr. O’Neil argues that is one of the more effective treatments. He argues that the implant has a bad reputation because other clinics provide inferior devices which dispense incorrect doses.

In 2012, three patients addicted to heroin passed away after getting naltrexone implants at a Sydney clinic. The danger of naltrexone is after it is used for a lengthy period of time, a user’s tolerance for opiates will be significantly reduced. When that happens, the chances of an overdose become much higher.

The Jury is Out

So far, The National Health and Medical Research Council’s position on the implants is that further research is needed before a statement on safety can be confidently made. A small study by West Australian addiction expert Gary Hulse is promising. Hulse studied 44 of Dr. O’Neill’s patients and found that 75 percent were not using methamphetamines after 12 to 14 weeks.  Hulse believes that the use of naltrexone for meth addicts is sound. However since there has not been any large scale studies, it is still uncertain how effective the implants could be.

Regardless, anything that could be effective in increasing the chance of recovery for addicts is worth examining further. According to a 2013 Nation Drug Strategy Survey, 7 % of the Australian population aged 14 years or older have reported using meth at least once in their lifetime.

Even in the states, meth has become a huge epidemic. People are creating meth in homemade labs. The meth crisis has resulted in many severe injuries, even death. The meth industry has become so huge all over the world that many are resorting to treatment facilities. A Thailand temple offers free treatment to addicts and its patients are most commonalty meth addicts.

Overall, the meth problem needs to be tackled. For many, it is a consuming addiction that takes over their life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism, please call toll-free 1-561-221-1125

 

Thailand’s “Vomit Temple” Offers Free Treatment for Drug Addicts

Thailand’s “Vomit Temple” Offers Free Treatment for Drug Addicts

Author: Shernide Delva

There’s a temple called Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand that operates as a no-cost drug rehabilitation center. The temple, run by Buddhist monks, has garnered the name “Vomit Temple” and it’s not for the faint of heat.

Every day, patients at the center are told to consume a “secret” cocktail made of 120 herbal ingredients which makes them vomit. They must continue the treatment for at least five days. The process is believed to cure addiction by purging out their demons. You only get one chance to get clean.

So what happens if you don’t? Well, you’ll be cursed for eternity, of course. Patients must vow to stay off a list of drugs and are threatened with a curse if they break those vows.

The Sacred Vow: Sajja

As soon as you arrive you must take a vow known as the “Sajja.” In Thai, the Sajja means you are making a commitment to yourself. The vows are told to you by a monk and you must say them out loud in front of the founders, the monk and the temple. It’s the ultimate commitment to get clean.

The belief in Thailand is that breaking the Sajja is really dangerous.  Breaking the promise means you’ll be back to your old path that this time will lead to your demise. It’s free to come here but you only get one shot. There are no second chances. If you decide to come here, you are making a commitment to give up drugs for the rest of your life.

Of course all treatment centers want you to commit to a lifestyle of sobriety however one has to wonder if the intense nature of the vows produces a stronger commitment and prevent relapses.  It definitely seems like an “ends-all- be-all” way of approaching treatment that could be successful.

History of the Temple Thamkrabok

The temple Thamkrabok started functioning as a rehab center back in 1959 and now attracts foreigners from across the world.  Recently the temple has gained media attention as a subject for a new documentary about Australians who are turning to Thamkrabok to treat their meth addiction.

Meth, known overseas as “ice,” has become a huge problem in Australia where over 70,000 people are estimated to be dependent on the drug.

The temple has been functioning as a rehab center since 1959, attracting numerous foreigners from across the world. It has gained media attention as the subject of a new documentary about Australians who are turning to Thamkrabok to treat their meth addiction. Meth, known overseas as “ice,” is a rising problem in Australia, where over 70,000 people are estimated to be dependent on the drug.

In the documentary, it discusses how Australia has failed to address the ice epidemic driving increasing numbers of addicts to a place like Thamkrabok for an alternative form of treatment.

The documentary claims that the country has failed to address the problem, driving increasing numbers of addicts to places like Thamkrabok seeking an alternative form of treatment. Once patients arrive, they are in for a grueling daily routine.

“The routine at the temple involves going out to the yard to help with daily tasks, meals and then, of course, there’s the vomiting,” says Steve, a patient from Perth featured in the documentary. “Vomiting is at 3pm every day. Foreigners must vomit for the first five days. The vomiting is intense.”

Last year, an estimated 1,300 foreigners traveled to Thailand to go to rehab for treatment from all sorts of addictions like drug and alcohol addiction to eating disorders and even depression. There are other rehab options available like the renowned Hope Rehab which is a high-end luxury rehab that attracts famous clientele from all around the world. At the center, patients pay $10,000 for beach views and activities like horseback riding. And unlike Thamkrabok, they are not forced to drink a vomit-inducing potion every day.

Still, for those desperate to seek treatment for their addiction who can’t quite afford other options, Thamkrabok is a more than ideal option. Since rehabs in the United States can run close to 30,000, the fact that the temple is free is a huge reason why the temple is so popular with westerners.

Since often insurances cover the expense of rehab, it would be best to check into that before taking a more extreme option like traveling across the globe. Insurance could be able to cover your expenses for months rather than just a few short days. Still, it’s encouraging that options like this exist for those who desperately need it.

If you are falling into the path of addiction, get help immediately. Time is of the essence. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment

Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment

In order to discuss crystal meth addiction treatment, it is important to understand what crystal meth is and how it affects the user. The term “meth” is short for methamphetamine, which is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well-being – also known as euphoria. Crystal meth is an altered form of meth that is stronger and even more addictive as it gives the user a quicker, more intense high. Street names for crystal meth include “speed,” “crank,” “glass,” “chalk,” “crystal,” “ice,” and many others.

Crystal meth addiction treatment: Use and Health risks

Crystal meth is used recreationally for the desired “high” it produces. Besides the euphoric rush, crystal meth users experience increased wakefulness and physical activity and decreased appetite. Methamphetamine causes cardiovascular problems, such as rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure. Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) and convulsions can occur from an overdose of crystal meth, and if not treated immediately, can result in death.

Crystal meth addiction treatment: Long-term effects of crystal meth use

One of the most detrimental long term effects of crystal meth use and abuse is addiction. Therefore, it is necessary for crystal meth addiction treatment. In addition, long term meth users experience psychosis (paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive motor activity), changes in brain structure and function, memory loss, aggressive or violent behavior, mood disturbances, severe dental problems, and weight loss.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which collects information on drug-related episodes from hospital emergency rooms throughout the nation, has reported a greater than 50% increase in the number of ER visits related to meth abuse between 1995 and 2002.

Crystal meth addiction treatment and abuse has also increased substantially. In 1992, there were approximately 21,000 treatment admissions in which crystal meth was identified as the primary drug of abuse, representing more than 1% of all treatment admissions. By 2004, the number of methamphetamine treatment admissions increased to more than 150,000, representing 8% of all admissions.

Crystal meth addiction treatment: Withdrawal

Crystal meth addiction treatment is crucial because the withdrawal can be uncomfortable at the least, and at the most, can lead to a potentially fatal situation. Once crystal meth addicts stop using, they experience fatigue, depression, increased appetite, excessive sleeping, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and suicidal ideation (obsessive thoughts of suicide).

Crystal meth addiction treatment: Detox and Rehab

Currently, the most effective crystal meth addiction treatment is a combination of therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management interventions. This is best done in a safe and comfortable setting known as inpatient rehab. A good crystal meth addiction treatment program will offer a medical detox as well as a 30 day inpatient stay during which the person who is addicted to crystal meth can begin the healing and recovery process.

Crystal meth addiction treatment: IOP

After rehab, it is advisable to continue treatment in what is called an intensive outpatient program (IOP). This is a program that will continue to offer comprehensive behavioral therapeutic support including behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, and 12-Step support, while the client can begin to enjoy more freedom and less structure.

Crystal meth addiction treatment: Sober Living

While attending the IOP, it is also advisable for the client to live in a sober halfway house or sober house where they will continue to receive support and be given a level of structure while beginning the process of reentering society. There is drug testing for accountability, peer support, and encouragement for clean and sober activities, and this has been shown to be effective in the crystal meth addiction treatment and abuse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, addiction or is seeking crystal meth addiction treatment, call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We can help and remember: You are not alone. 

 Crazy News Stories Of The Week      

                                                     Crazy News Stories Of The Week

Another dose of your Crazy News Stories of the Week. Enjoy!                                          

#1. Man Assaults Mom with Machete

A Daytona Beach man was arrested and jailed after he threatened his mother with a machete, allegedly. According to Daytona Beach cops, as reported in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Kevin Bolden was mad at his mom for giving his hospitalized grandmother too much sugar. So he decided to make a point by allegedly threatening her with a machete, and he certainly didn’t mince words.

At this time, there are no further details other than that Bolden is currently behind bars for the assault on his momma.

#2. Man Upset Over Not Receiving Any Mail

Police arrested Florida man who is accused of throwing broken furniture at a postal carrier because he didn’t have any mail for him. According to an Ocala Police Department report, Aaron Bernard Smith, 27, is facing charges of burglary, battery and criminal mischief.

The mailman told officers that Smith approached the driver’s side of his truck and, when he tried to explain to Smith that the reason he did not receive any mail was because there simply wasn’t any for him, Smith got angry and struck him with an open fist at least three times on the right arm. Smith then walked away from the vehicle, picked up a broken chair and threw it at the mail truck, striking the left rear panel. According to the report, when officers located Smith, he admitted to the incident.

Court records show Smith has been evaluated for mental illness the Baker Act twice, once in May, and once in January of 2013.

#3. Freaky Flasher Arrested

Identified as 34-year-old David Gouldner, aka “Ruby Red,” “Super Pimp” and “Carrot Top,” was detained by a deputy after a woman flagged down a cop saying that a man, wearing a polka-dot shirt and orange shorts, was “exposing himself and giving people the finger.”

The female victim was pulling into a parking lot when Gouldner pulled down his pants and grabbed his penis. “He began wiggling it in a circular manner then let go and started swinging it around,” an affidavit states. The victim yelled at the man and he started to approach her. She said she backed away and saw the deputy drive by and began waving her arms.

Gouldner was arrested on an exposure of sexual organs charge and passed out in the back seat of the deputy’s patrol car on the way to the station.

#4. Woman Paranoid About Her Meth Calls Cops

54-year-old Lynette Rae Sampson was arrested on felony drug charges after police said she called and said she thought her crystal meth was laced with something.

According to an affidavit, Sgt. Tim Doyle said that Sampson called him at the police department and told him she had meth in a tin container on her kitchen counter. He sent Deputy Barber to knock on her door. Sampson answered and told him, “I’m glad you came.” Barber asked if he could speak with her, Sampson said yes and let him into the house.

Sampson told the cop that she thought her “ice” was laced with something. Sampson then went into the living room, sat down, and appeared to be hearing things. She was also sweating profusely. Barber asked if she had used methamphetamine recently, and Sampson admitted to smoking meth a couple of hours prior. She also showed the deputy the tin containing a white, crystalline substance and a broken light bulb that appeared to have been used to smoke the drug, having a white residue on the inside surface.

Sampson was arraigned on a felony count of possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. For the felony charge, Sampson faces two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for the misdemeanor.

#5. Plastic Surgeon Fixes Cocaine Nose Job

In a lawsuit filed in a Chicago circuit court, Sabrina Kropp alleges that her plastic surgeon posted ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of her facial reconstruction surgery on his website without her consent. What’s worse, he had them labelled “cocaine nose.”

In the lawsuit, Kropp said that Dr. Robert Walton took the photographs of her face in 2004, under the guise that the images were for the sole use of being part of her medical records. But, according to the suit, when the Walton opened a new practice in 2013, Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC, the photos of her face were published on that practice’s website.

“Cocaine nose” is listed on Walton’s website as one of the conditions for which he offers and performs nasal reconstruction surgery. The site describes the condition as “perforations of the septum, infection, loss of supporting cartilage, scarring and eventual collapse of the nose” that chronic cocaine use can cause. Among other allegations, Kropp is suing Walton and Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC for breach of legal and ethical duty to protect confidentiality, and that his actions were in direct violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Kropp’s lawsuit seeks compensation for damages, stating that she “suffered great harm” as a result of the photos being published. Kropp also contends that Walton should have known that publishing the photos would cause her “to become distressed, shamed and embarrassed,” according to the lawsuit.

This blog is purely for entertainment value. However, we are also here to help. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist day or night. We’re here to answer your questions and offer resources.

In The News: Thousands Sign Petition Asking for Justin Bieber to be Deported

In The News: Thousands Sign Petition Asking for Justin Bieber to be Deported

image credit: MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS & REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT / HANDOUT/EPA

Born in London, Ontario and raised in nearby Stratford, Bieber has been quoted as saying that Canada is “the best country in the world.”

There is an online petition circulating that asks that Justin Bieber be deported. In light of Bieber’s law-breaking and erratic behaviors, that have resulted in a recent arrest, almost 50,000 Americans have signed a petition asking the White House for the pop star to be sent back to his native Canada.

The petitions states:

“We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture,” wrote the petition’s creator, Detroit resident J.M. “We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation’s youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”

In the span of a mere four days, J.M’s petition has garnered more than 45,000 supporters, which puts him on track for the threshold of 100,000 signatories in order to incite an official response from the Obama administration. There is another petition going around that requests that Bieber to be allowed to stay in the U.S. because “he is a human being [who] makes mistakes.” This rival petition has only collected 537 signatures thus far.

There has been no response from the Bieber camp, so far, in regards to the petition to have him booted from the States. The 19-year-old Bieber is currently residing in the United States under a temporary visa, a “0-1 Visa,” the conditions of which allow for “foreign nationals of extraordinary ability.” As such, someone with a 0-1 Visa is subject to deportation if convicted of an aggravated felony, a crime of “moral turpitude,” or any crime that carries a prison sentence of at least a year.

There are several ways in which Bieber can be deported: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could place a hold on him for his DUI charge in Florida, and take the teen pop star into custody even before he is convicted of any charges. If prosecuted and convicted of the felony charge in California for egging his neighbor’s home, ICE can initiate deportation proceedings (depending on the prison term), and possibly deport him to Canada.

Recap

Justin Bieber, upon leaving a strip club, was charged with resisting arrest and a DUI after illegally participating in drag racing. According to the police reports, Bieber had consumed alcohol and marijuana. All of which can bring about a jail term of up to 6 months. Prior to this latest run-in with the law, Bieber caused $20,000 worth of damage to a neighbor’s home, which constitutes a felony crime in California. His mansion was then raided by police. It is also alleged that Bieber assaulted a man in the Hamptons last year but was never convicted.

Why the Petition

There are groups calling for Bieber’s deportation who point out that people have been arrested, convicted and deported for far less serious infractions. Statistics show that at least 1,200 people – including lawful permanent residents – are deported from the United States on a daily basis and for far lesser charges.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

 

Sources:

http://www.racefiles.com/2014/01/23/how-justin-bieber-got-deported/

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jan/28/justin-bieber-american-petition-deported

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