By Cheryl Steinberg
I just celebrated two years of sobriety, being clean and sober from all mood and mind-altering substances, save for caffeine and nicotine (nicotine-free now for 6 months). In my addiction, I used and abused anything I could get my hands on: from alcohol to painkillers to benzos to even sleeping pills. I would say that my true DOC was opiates, painkillers and later, heroin.
My love affair began with a drug called Tramadol, also known as Ultram and Ultracet. It had been prescribed to me for a legitimate pain condition and, at the time, I was told it was a ‘safe’ drug, meaning that it had a low rate of physical dependence amongst those to whom it’s prescribed. I was told it was a “non-narcotic opioid,” not really knowing what that meant. I thought it sounded good, though and trusted my physician whole-heartedly.
What I found, however, from taking Tramadol, was that it made me feel good. You know, that certain euphoric high that illicit drugs and narcotic painkillers give you. I also noticed that, if I took more than was prescribed, I felt even better; higher.
Around this time, I had graduated from an institute of higher learning and was living in the college town. This wasn’t a very big town nor was there much to do, except hit the bars and pubs along Main Street. I honestly wasn’t that big of a boozer anymore; alcohol had stopped ‘working’ for me a while back, while I was still in college. It just didn’t sit well with me physically and I couldn’t drink enough to get drunk (why else do people drink, amirite?).
Then one evening, when I had plans to meet friends at a local pub, I took my Tramadol beforehand. I ordered a beer with the rest of them, not expecting to be able to finish it. This time was different, though. I could drink, and drink some more. The alcohol didn’t upset my stomach! And, as an added bonus, I was pleasantly high and drunk, due to the synergistic effect of the Tramadol and alcohol together. This was to be my new jam for a while.
But ‘a while’ soon passed and the drug combination stopped working. Even with the tramadol, I wasn’t able to drink alcohol anymore. But, you know what? I didn’t even matter. I had my new love: painkillers. And, in love I was!
The rest of my story doesn’t really matter for the purpose of this article. I just wanted to illustrate how my addiction to narcotic painkillers and heroin began. It’s been my experience that there are several other people like me out there, who thought they were being prescribed a relatively safe drug with no potential for addiction only later to find themselves hooked.
Others in recovery don’t seem to know what Tramadol is and that is worrisome to me. I want to get the word out that Tramadol is not something to be taken lightly – both literally and figuratively.
Always always always be a self-advocate when it comes to your health and when dealing with your healthcare providers. Let them know you are concerned about taking certain drugs, such as narcotic painkillers and benzos, if they want to prescribe a drug of these classes to you. There are alternatives to narcotic medications. In the case that your condition requires something more potent, say, you’ve undergone surgery, then don’t be a martyr. There are safe ways to take these drugs. Always follow the prescription instructions. Talk to your sober supports and sponsor. Have someone trustworthy hold your prescription for you. Whatever it takes.
So, is tramadol safe for people in recovery? It’s not necessarily a black-and-white issue with a clear-cut answer. Tramadol is an opioid – which just means that it is a man-made opiate (heroin). If you are struggling with prescription painkillers or any other substance, help is available. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. You are not alone.
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.
Roxy Addiction Treatment Delray Beach: What is Roxy?
Roxy is the nickname given for the drug Roxicet, or its generic form roxicodone. Roxicodone is really just another name for oxycodone – the main ingredient in Oxycontin. These are all very powerful narcotic painkillers with an extremely high potential for abuse. That being said, there are many people who have become dependent and addicted to roxy, usually after being prescribed it for a legitimate medical problem such as surgery or serious car accident. Because of the scores of people addicted to roxy, there is specialized roxy addiction treatment available.
Substance Abuse and Addiction Defined
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a substance in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others. Substance abuse is prevalent with an estimated 120 million users of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and other synthetic drugs. Roxy addiction treatment Delray Beach can help those struggling with substance abuse issues.
Addiction means that, along with physical dependence, you continue to use Roxy despite wanting to stop and despite negative social, financial, and legal consequences. People who are addicted to Roxy usually experience such problems as loss of a job, marriage, and other relationships. Also, people who are addicted often have financial and legal troubles such as fines and even jail time as a result of their addiction, both directly and indirectly. The staff at programs for Roxy addiction treatment Delray Beach can help those who struggle with Roxy addiction.
Roxy Addiction treatment Delray Beach: Detox
Physical dependence means that you have been using a substance long enough that your body and brain have become accustomed to the presence of these chemicals. You have built up a tolerance, meaning that you need to have more and more in order to achieve the same feeling that you used to get from smaller amounts, or lower doses. And when you try to stop, you experience physical and psychological symptoms, known as withdrawal syndrome.
The detox part of Roxy addiction treatment Delray Beach can help you stop using in a safe manner that will also keep you as comfortable as possible in the process. You will be assessed and then prescribed medication to take on a short term basis so that you can detox safely.
Roxy Addiction Treatment Delray Beach: Inpatient Rehab
The rehab stage can last up to 30 days, sometimes longer, and offers safe haven while you heal and recover from your drug use. During your Roxy addiction treatment Delray Beach, you will have all your needs provided for including nice, comfortable housing and well-balanced meals while you are given key, life-saving information about substance abuse and addiction. You will attend both individual and group therapy sessions where you will begin to heal your mind while healing your body and you will learn tools and coping methods in order to live a healthy lifestyle once you complete your Roxy treatment program.
The Benefits of a Roxy Addiction Treatment Delray Beach
The combination of detox and rehab that consist of Roxy drug rehab treatment is a good idea to complete because drug addiction is defined as a chronic, progressive, relapsing disorder. Therefore, the treatment received in detox alone is short-term and is not the most effective at successfully staying away from substances. Unfortunately, many people who only undergo detox end up relapsing, and usually immediately. For many people, Roxy addiction treatment Delray Beach that is long-term and that offers multiple interventions and regular monitoring is the best approach for recovery.
So, if you or a loved one is seeking Roxy addiction treatment Delray Beach for substance abuse or addiction please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 where you can speak with an Addiction Specialist around the clock. We’re here to field your questions and share resources with you. Remember, you are not alone. Addiction affects people of all ages, classes, ethnicities and genders; as many as one in three people are affected by the disease of addiction.
Alcoholism – and by extension, addiction – has been recognized as a chronic medical condition and a ‘brain disease’ for more than half a century and yet it remains a point of contention whether or not addiction is a disease or a choice.
Sure, you can argue that the decision to try a drink or a drug is a choice in the first place, and you would be right. But, what about all of those who started out ‘using’ for legitimate reasons, such as being prescribed a narcotic painkiller after major surgery or a bad car accident? What about all those kids who are diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and given powerful amphetamines as young as 5 years old, a substance that’s only a molecule away from being crystal meth?
There’s something to be said for why some people can be prescribed medications – with a known potential for abuse – and not abuse them, and why others become full-blown addicts. The same thing goes for people who spent their teen and college years “partying” – using weed, alcohol, cocaine, and club drugs – but then who seemingly are able to “just grow out of it.”
I am convinced that the brains of addicts are somehow different than the brains of non-addicts. Maybe we’re born with; maybe it’s Maybelline – or some other substance we were exposed to early on. Maybe it has to do with emotional trauma that actually altered our brain pathways when we were learning to cope in some way. Maybe we come from a long line of alcoholics and junkies; in fact, there is actual compelling evidence, as found with studies of identical twins, which points to a possible genetic predisposition to the development of addiction.
Now, perhaps the term disease isn’t quite the perfect term to describe addiction. Maybe ‘disorder’ or ‘medical condition’ is more fitting. I can see that. I personally don’t like using the word disease as it evokes the idea of illness. The other problem with calling addiction a “disease” is that by labelling it as such, we might be hindering the exploration of new theories or accepting new understandings of the nature of addiction.
For those of us in recovery, continuing to say that we have a disease sounds like we’re some sort of lepers to be kept away from society. And it sounds like there’s no hope for us when we say we’re sick with this ‘brain disease.’
Those who oppose the idea that addiction is a disease point out that it actuallyhas very little in common with so-called real diseases. It is not an illness in and of itself; rather, addiction is a group of behaviors. That is, addiction cannot be explained by any disease process.
This argument gains some weight when you compare addiction to other known diseases. So, for example, with addiction there is no infectious agent, such as with tuberculosis, nor is there a pathological biological process, such as with diabetes; furthermore, there is no biologically degenerative condition as there is with, say Alzheimer’s disease. Many in opposition to the brain disease model say that the only disease-like characteristic of addiction is this: if people do not deal with it, their lives tend to get worse. And that sort of description can be applied to many other things that aren’t diseases. Therefore, it doesn’t tell us anything about the nature of addiction.
Whether you believe that addiction in a disease or a choice, there is specialized treatment available to those who struggle with alcohol and other drugs.
It can be tricky figuring out if you just have a problem with drinking and using drugs or if you indeed struggle with the disease of addiction. Sometimes, people who abuse substances might incur negative consequences, such as loss of a job or jail time related to their substance abuse. The main difference, though, is that someone with drug or alcohol addiction simply cannot stop, even if they want to. The hard drinker or user might eventually stop because they don’t want to suffer any more consequences. If you or someone you love is struggling with substances, please call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 where there are Addiction Specialists available around the clock to answer your questions.