Category Archives: News

Do We Really Need More New Drugs?

Do we need more drugsIf you spend much time on the Internet then you’ve probably seen some of the stories about new drugs that keep coming out. As if it wasn’t enough that we were in the midst of a heroin and prescription drug epidemic, it seems that companies keep cranking out new substances for people to get high on and ruin their lives with.

Take the case of Zohydro. Zohydro is a new drug that contains hydrocodone, by itself and in huge doses. The pill was designed to help people manage their pain when other opiate drugs aren’t effective. Sound familiar? It should because that was the same logic used in the marketing for OxyContin, another high dose opiate painkiller. OxyContin, also known as hillbilly heroin, quickly became one of the biggest, nightmare drug problems this county has ever faced.

While the logic of wanting to ease the pain of people in dire, health situations may be sound, you have to ask yourself this question: What could possibly go wrong with an easy to get pill that contains the purest form of one of the most dangerous, addictive substances known to man? The answer, (insert number of deaths due to OD in the last year).

Another drug that is gaining widespread popularity is Gravel. Gravel is a wicked mixture of bath salts (MDPV, APVP), meth and rat poison. As if the recent bath salts media storm/ moral panic weren’t enough now we have a new and improved version of the nightmarish drug only with more, abject paranoia and psychosis.

Also this week the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) may approve a new form of alcohol called “Palcohol”. Palcohol is a dehydrated, powdered alcohol that comes in packets you just mix with water to create an alcoholic beverage. There are so many ways that this could go wrong it is hard to list them. Primarily, it seems that alcohol just became an easy to hide, drug that can be snorted anywhere. While Palcohol hasn’t been approved yet it probably won’t be long before it is.

These are only a few of the new drugs that are getting media attention lately. Some of the drugs come from pharmaceutical companies and are intended to be used in clinical situations, by qualified medical professionals and some come from illicit sources intended to be used for recreation. Either way, these drugs quickly infuse themselves into the underground, black markets and start showing up on the streets, in schools and in emergency rooms everywhere.

At the moment, the best defense against these aspiring drug epidemics is education. When the media constantly glorifies and glamorizes the use of drugs and alcohol, it is especially important to recognize these substances for what they are – powerful, addictive drugs with the ability to destroy lives.

The Evolution of the Junkie

-Written by Mike Turner

Evolution of the JunkieAt present time, April of 2014, enough people are addicted to drugs in the US to constitute a full blown epidemic. The number of people addicted to prescription painkillers is growing exponentially and the availability of super strong heroin, at low prices is flooding emergency rooms across the country with overdoses and deaths.

It’s not just opiates that we are talking about here. Methamphetamine use is growing as well. New methods of production have the number of clandestine labs at an all time high. There are also many new designer drugs like Bath Salts, Gravel and Spice or synthetic marijuana that are making headlines every day. It’s not just the potency and availability that is increasing; it’s how dangerous and misunderstood these drugs really are.

One of the biggest problems is that most people just don’t know about these drugs or their affects until they are staring at them under the flickering red and blue lights of an emergency vehicle. As one Las Vegas man put it:

“I never really thought about it before. I mean, my son would never do something so stupid… I knew he was taking pain pills, after the car accident. There never was any problem to speak of. Now he’s just dead, from doing heroin (sobs, wipes tears away) with a needle. He’s dead and we never saw it coming.”

To put it succinctly, most people never see things like this coming. There is a common and dangerous misconception out there about drug addicts. Ask someone what a tweaker (meth addict) looks like and they’ll tell you something like this:

“Tweakers are scary looking, wretched, homeless people. They get that way because all they want to do is drop out, get high and steal other people’s stuff. They are wastes of life.”

While long term meth use does tend to create users that may fit that stereotype, the fact is that many types of people use the drug. Even successful members of society use meth for various reasons. Even over achieving straight A students might sometimes take the drug to boost performance. Some use it to study, some take it to feel good at a party. The end result, however, usually is the same with continued use.

“I just started taking (meth) to help me whenever I had a huge paper to write or a test to study for. I had some friends that did it and they never had a problem. It’s just that the drug made me feel so good that I wanted to feel like that all the time. That was three years ago when I started doing it. I never thought it would take away my home and my family.”

Stories like these and others can be found all over America today. No matter how you look at it the fact remains the same. People really don’t see it coming. Some don’t want to. It’s hard to imagine someone in your life falling prey to the allure of drugs. No one wants to lose someone like that. It is easier to just think of something else or to imagine it all away.

The thing is we don’t have to live like that. There are solutions to the problem of drug addiction. There are successful drug education programs out there. One of them is Narconon Colorado – A Life Worth Saving. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, they work around the clock to get people off drugs. Narconon Colorado also has a dedicated staff that works to educate the public as to the dangers of addiction. One individual, John Veto gives regular drug education talks at different schools around the Northern Colorado area. Here’s what John had to say:

“Getting to the children at a young age and letting them know the effect of drugs and alcohol helps to give them reality on the situation. When they get older they can make a choice because they have a picture in their mind of what damage drugs really do. I can give them personal experience on the devastation of alcohol. I can talk about my background I can talk about my education and my lifelong struggle with alcohol addiction not only from my own personal experience, but growing up with a father who was an alcoholic. I try to help them understand that weather its legal or not, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily ok for the body or their lives. I try to show them the damage and destruction drugs can cause not only to the body but to the family as well.”

Education like that, not just for the kids but for the parents as well may be one of the greatest defenses we have when facing this rampant addiction epidemic. If the kids have a very clear picture of what drugs actually do, it may help them say no when faced with the decision to get high. Educating the parents on what is happening, what to look for and how to get help will also go a long way towards stemming the tide of addiction.

We have to get involved and keep educating ourselves. This means staying up to date on what the people in our lives are doing with theirs. We need to do away with old stereotypes and finally understand what drugs are out there, who is taking them and why.

Heroin Epidemic: What Can Be Done?

Heroin EpidemicRecent research published by the National Institute of Health has demonstrated that results for drug addiction treatment are greatly improved when treatment is of adequate length. According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse): “Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.”

Unfortunately, many people with traditional programs drop out of treatment which becomes the limited factor for success. NIDA states, “Because successful outcomes often depend on a person’s staying in treatment long enough to reap its full benefits, strategies for keeping people in treatment are critical. Whether a patient stays in treatment depends on factors associated with both the individual and the program. Individual factors related to engagement and retention typically include motivation to change drug-using behavior; degree of support from family and friends; and, frequently, pressure from the criminal justice system, child protection services, employers, or family.”

Glen Petcavage, Executive Director of Narconon Colorado states that in contradiction to NIDA and significant volumes of research about adequate length of treatment being 90 days or greater, third party payers, insurance companies are paying for shorter stays frequently less than 28 days of residential care. Thus we have public policy, the private insurance industry (which is unregulated in the area of addiction treatment) not paying for treatment which is indicated by the most compelling clinical evidence. NIDA states that, ”Unfortunately, managed care has resulted in shorter average stays, while a historical lack of or insufficient coverage for substance abuse treatment has curtailed the number of operational programs.”

While the policy of insurance companies paying for somewhat less than adequate treatment at least the solutions exist for those who can augment what their health insurance policies will cover. The real costs of addiction are much greater than the cost of treatment – emotional and physical pain, stress on the family, lost income, legal fees, cost of drugs and health care for the addict, etc. all add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for an addict’s habit that has not been rehabilitated. According to NIDA, the return on investment for treatment is a $4 to$7 return for every dollar spent on treatment.

Prescription Overdose

According to a study from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) which is a branch of the NIH (National Institute of Health) 50% of all heroin addiction begins as prescription drug abuse: “pain killers” like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percoset, Lortabs and Vicadin, to name just a few. Prescription Overdoses also eclipsed the Overdose deaths from Heroin and Cocaine combined. Thus, not only are direct deaths from prescription drug abuse massive but the second biggest source of drug overdose deaths, heroin, owes 50% of its addicts to prescription drugs. Thus it is clear that drug overdose deaths attributable to prescription drugs are clearly the vast majority of the 43,000 drug abuse overdose deaths that occurred last year here in the United States.

Glen Petcavage, the Executive Director of Narconon Colorado, a residential drug and alcohol rehab states that it is clear that admissions for heroin and prescription opiates are sky-rocketing due to the enormous rise in prescription drug abuse and its offspring, heroin. Sadly, for many, real help necessary for many is just not available as governments and insurers are still coming to grips with the enormity of the problem. Treatment for heroin addiction has escalated dramatically over the past five years.

To make matters worse the price of heroin has dropped from prices ranging around $70 gram (a gram being an average daily dose of heroin) to as low as $10 per gram. An addiction that used to cost perhaps $800 weekly now costs as low as $70 weekly. The combination of low heroin prices and availability and route of introduction via easy-to-take prescription painkillers has created a flood of new users.

Effective public policy still lags far behind the problem. Recent legalization of marijuana, another gateway drug for heroin, belies the lack of legislative understanding of today’s drug addiction epidemic. Likewise, government funding and support of effective treatment also lags. Meanwhile, most of the heroin is brought in from foreign countries. Afghanistan produces 70% of the poppies which are the raw ingredient used in manufacturing heroin. Besides Afghanistan, smaller quantities of opium are produced in Pakistan, the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia (particularly Burma), Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. Ironically, under the Taliban regime Afghanistan’s opium production had dropped by an amazing 94% in the year 2000. One year after American and British troops invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban government heroin production leapt back to its original levels. Again, another clear indication that U.S. drug policy and U.S. foreign policy are not coordinated. What happened in Afghanistan is a stinging example of the United States’ inept handling of drug policy.

Dual Diagnosis

The Science of Addiction – Dual Diagnosis

The terms Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorder are used to describe situations where people have both a substance abuse problem and a mental disorder. While the relationship between the two can be complex, they are often considered in the following ways:

  • Self-Medication – People with underlying mental disorders (e.g. bipolar, panic attack, depression, etc.) will often seek to minimize the pain or discomfort they feel by self-administering drugs or medications. While this may offer some, temporary relief, it is usually the case that the symptoms return after the drug effect has worn off. This leads to re-administering with increasing frequency.
  • Drugs and alcohol can worsen the mental illness. This can happen both when the person is taking the drug and during withdrawal. Chemical changes brought on by the drug may exacerbate existing problems.
  • Drugs and alcohol may bring on or create new symptoms. Chemicals like these cause changes in neurochemistry and can bring on symptoms of mental disorder (e.g. paranoia, depression, panic attack, etc.) in people with far lesser mental disorders. They can also create these symptoms in people not normally suffering a mental disorder.

It is important to note that both substance abuse and mental disorders have their own set of symptoms and effects. One may mask or exacerbate the other. Also, when one gets worse so will the other. While there may be an underlying mental issue, the abuse of drugs and alcohol will only complicate the matter.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published the following figures:

  • Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.
  • 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.
  • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either drugs or alcohol.

It is also important to understand that long term drug abuse brings with it many symptoms of mental disorder. These can even be seen as actual underlying mental problems if a person does not disclose their drug use when seeking treatment from a physician.

Take the case of a long term methamphetamine user who, at the request of their family, saw a psychiatrist for help with their apparent depression. They patient does not tell the doctor about their meth use and is mistakenly diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on powerful medications. These combined with the meth and other drugs make for a dangerous, neurochemical cocktail. Thus, the symptoms are compounded and the addiction goes untreated.

The Narconon Colorado Program is designed to address the whole spectrum of causes and effects of addiction. We offer and award winning drug free withdrawal program at the beginning of treatment followed by our proven sauna detox. This combined with our multi-step approach to learning life skills and building a happy, drug free life is why we have the most successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation program available.

“I have spent most of my life in and out of a deep, dark depression so I guess that I am sort of an expert on the subject. I have tried to get relief from this Hell many different ways including therapy, psych meds, drugs, drugs and more drugs. I am here today to tell you that I am now happier and more alive than I’ve ever been. I can’t even imagine taking a poisonous substance again. I am so happy with the way my life is going and I can finally enjoy every day.”
-Mike T

Suboxone – A Treatment For addiction

If you watch TV at all you have seen the ads for the myriad new medications that are constantly being marketed by the pharmaceutical industry. You may have also seen these ads in some form or another on the Internet or in your email inbox. For whatever ailments people have there is always a new drug that is being advertised as the “be all, end all” cure.

No matter what the drug is it seems that there is always a rather long, laundry list of unpleasant side effects. Nausea, dizziness, headache, rash, fever, bloating, muscle spasms, bleeding, memory loss, seizure and coma are but a few of the unexpected effects one may suffer from.

It is important to note that not all medicines are advertised on TV. When is the last time you saw an ad for Methadone? With that in mind try and guess what medication is outselling Viagra. It’s a drug called Suboxone. Suboxone is actually two drugs – the partial opiate agonist Buprenorphine and the opiate blocker Naloxone. Suboxone is commonly prescribed to opiate addicted individuals, along with a weaning down process. It used to be that if you had a severe heroin addiction and wanted to get clean the addict was prescribed Methadone. One trades the addiction to and illegal drug (heroin or opiates) for a legally prescribed highly-addictive medication. A medication that is not without significant side-effects.

Suboxone was designed to replace or to stand beside Methadone as a drug replacement medication. If taken as prescribed, an opiate addicted person can rid themselves of their addiction to heroin very quickly. There is no question that Methadone and Suboxone are also very addictive and they also have significant health consequences.

Here is one addict’s story:

“I remember one Christmas when my wife’s mother asked me to hang some lights on the edge of the roof of her two-story house in Vegas. I lugged a massive ladder out of their garage and proceeded to hang the lights. Once I finished I started climbing down and missed a rung only to plummet onto the driveway. I was taken to a hospital and a few hours later I was being discharged with a prescription for Oxycodone.

I filled my scripts so many times I lost count, going deeper and deeper into a six-month opiate haze that I ultimately couldn’t seem to find my way out of. Finally I asked my regular doctor for help and he prescribed me Suboxone. That along with my doctor’s kind words of reassurance gave me hope of no more endless days of sickly, drooling agony.

I quickly decided that I could continue to get high if I crushed the Suboxone pills up and snorted them. Pow! I was off like a rocket for four months. I traded one addiction for another.

I did finally manage to get off of Suboxone by switching to Heroin. It was cheaper and easier to get. Why did I switch to Heroin? Well, the euphoric effects of the Suboxone wore off and I got tired of paying for doctor visits and scripts. That and after four months on one of the strongest opiate painkillers available (Oxycodone) I really wanted to be high again – what is called cravings.

Doctors don’t tell you about that. Remember that doctors are busy and have limited time with their patients. Some doctors even assume that their patients will just follow their orders and take stuff as prescribed. This is what I have discovered about Suboxone (Buprenorphine/ Naloxone):

Suboxone has been shown to be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate opiate addiction in certain people. I think Suboxone should be taken only as prescribed by your doctor in a weaning down process. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following effects:

1. The high wears off and you start seeking other, drugs.

2. People keep asking you for one of your pills.

3. You start trading your pills for heroin.

4. You begin crushing and snorting your pills.

5. Your wife/ husband leaves you

6. You are unable to pay your bills resulting in the power being turned off, etc.

6. You lose your job and you start selling drugs or other illegal activities to support your habit and life-style.

7. You get arrested / need of a bail bondsman.

8. Homelessness

It can cost you your life – then of course, it’s too late.

Looking back I can see that I started down that long, twisted road to Hell with prescriptions including pain killers and the “cure” Suboxone. It’s hard to believe that something small and innocuous looking could be leading nearly to my death. Kind of like finding a bullet in a drawer; pretty harmless until you load it into a gun and give it to to someone who does not appreciate that they have a deadly weapon in their hand.

The point of all of this is that I don’t believe there are any magic drugs. I guess that when new drugs are researched there are bound to be negative side effects. If the good effects out-weigh the bad ones then the drugs go on the market. It is really up to the doctors and the patients to decide what is best for a given situation. Unfortunately it sometimes takes years before it is discovered that some drugs have effects which are quite deadly, like Thalidamide in the 1960s and many other drugs that are in the headlines quite regularly these days.

For me, I finally did beat my addiction before it beat me. I speak to a lot of addicts and their families and they usually say that replacing one addictive drug with another (for treatment) doesn’t make sense. I would agree. I would say that it is really just substituting one addiction for another. I finally did beat my addiction completely. I am not hounded by my past. I got my family, my self respect, my sanity and my happiness all back. It took a lot of work but the experience of fighting for all of that gave me a lot more than just my sobriety, I also got my life back. I think any addict can but I don’t think you will find all of that in a pill. I found it in the Narconon Colorado – A Life Worth Saving program.

– Mike T. former opiate addict

Suboxone Abuse

Suboxone – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Suboxone is quickly becoming on of the most widely abused prescription drugs available. The drug has effects similar to heroin or other opiates and can result in the same, harsh withdrawal symptoms as well. We have a specialized rehab program that is garaunteed to get people off of this drug and back into a happy, healthy life.

Drug Information:

Suboxone is a combination of the partial opiate agonist Buprenorphine and the opiate blocker Naloxone. Subutex is Buprenorphine only. These drugs were developed and marketed as addiction drugs to help opiate dependent people get off of hard, opiate drugs and begin to manage their lives. Buprenorphine was thought to be a safer alternative to Methadone with less risk of abuse. The opiate blocker Naloxone is included with Suboxone as added protection against further opiate abuse while the patient receives treatment. Buprenorphine is normally proscribed by a specially licensed doctor who has been trained to administer the drug and its’ weaning down process.

Suboxone/ Subutex is available in 2, 4, 8 and 12 mg pills and sub lingual strips.
   

Buprenorphine has become very common in a short period of time. With the ever increasing number of opiate addicted people in the US, the drug is prescribed more and more frequently and has become the go-to drug for dealing with opiate dependent people. Many people have had great success getting off of other opiates, including Heroin, with Buprenorphine. There is a dark side, however.

Abuse

Buprenorphine has become a popular recreational drug as well as replacement for harder drugs such as Heroin or Methadone. An addict taking this medication is supposed to taper off of the drug over a period of time as instructed by a doctor. Once finished with the tapering regimen, the person should be free of their addiction with very mild to no withdrawal symptoms. The fact is that Buprenorphine does produce the opiate effects of euphoria, sedation, anti-anxiety, etc. It also causes tolerance and dependence and has crushing withdrawal symptoms as well.

Buprenorphine is seen as an easy alternative to a Heroin or prescription painkiller addiction. All a person has to do is go to a doctor and get a prescription. It is common to see people who have been on Buprenorphine for years, living in fear of the withdrawal if they stop.

Buprenorphine has also found its’ way onto the streets and has become just as easy to get as other painkillers like Oxycodone. Due to the long lasting effects (6 hours or more) many users prefer its’ high to other opiates.

Either way, prescribed or obtained illicitly, Buprenorphine has the same risks of addiction as other opiate drugs. Users quickly develop a tolerance and can become dependent on the drug. When they stop taking it they can experience harsh withdrawal symptoms that may force them to take other opiates.

What Can Be Done

Here at Narconon® Colorado, we are aware of Buprenorphine and its effects on the user. Our program has been proven to have great success with helping users get off the drug and learn to live healthy, drug free lives.

We have a 100% drug free withdrawal that gets users through withdrawal with relatively little to no pain.

Our sauna detox program is proven to rid the body of harmful toxins, restore nutrients and repair damages caused by drug taking and other environmental factors. Residues left behind from the drugs can cause the individual to experience drug cravings, anxiety and depression. A key point in successful drug rehabilitation is getting rid of these residues through supervised exercise and sweating in the sauna.

We have therapeutic life skills training to get people able to confront life and its’ problems without even thinking about using again. These include:

  • The Therapeutic TR Course
  • The Learning Improvement Course
  • The Communication and Perception Course
  • Objective Exercises
  • The Ups and Downs in Life Course
  • The Personal Values and Integrity Course
  • The Changing Conditions in Life Course
  • The Way to Happiness Course

“Before I came to this program I made some very bad choices. I am now learning why I choose to do that how to make things better. It’s going to take some time but by the end of the program I will learn how to live life again without drugs. I have to be strong for my daughter and give her the best possible life she can have.”
-Ashley H.

The Mechanics of Addiction

In depth information on addiction by Gary W. Smith

Whether a person is genetically or bio-chemically predisposed to addiction or alcoholism is a controversy that has been debated for years within the scientific, medical and chemical dependency communities. One school of thought advocates the “disease concept”, which embraces the notion that addiction is an inherited disease, and that the individual is permanently ill at a genetic level, even for those experiencing long periods of sobriety.

Another philosophy argues that addiction is a dual problem consisting of a physical and mental dependency on chemicals, compounded by a pre-existing mental disorder (i.e. clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or some other mental illness), and that the mental disorder needs to be treated first as the primary cause of the addiction. A third philosophy subscribes to the idea that chemical dependency leads to “chemical imbalances” in the neurological system.

The fact remains that there is scientific research to support all of these concepts, but that none of these theories are absolute. Based on national averages we have a 16% to 20% recovery rate. The message is clear that we have a lot more to learn if we are to bring the national recovery rate to a more desirable level.

There is a 4th school of thought, which has proven to be more accurate. It has to do with the life cycle of addiction. This data is universally applicable to addiction, no matter which hypothesis is used to explain the phenomenon of chemical dependency.

The life cycle of addiction begins with a problem, discomfort or some form of emotional or physical pain a person is experiencing. The person finds this very difficult to deal with.

Here is an individual who, like most people in our society, is basically good. He has encountered a problem or discomfort that he does not have the ability to resolve. This could include problems such as difficulty “fitting in” as a child or teenager, anxiety due to peer pressure, identity problems or divorce as an adult. It could also include physical discomfort, such as a broken arm or a bad back.

The person experiencing the discomfort has a real problem. He feels this problem is a major situation that persists and he can see no immediate resolution or relief from it.

We have all experienced this in our lives to a greater or lesser degree. The difference between which one of us becomes an addict and which one does not depends on whether or not, at the time of this traumatic experience, we are subjected to pro-drug or alcohol influences via some sort of significant peer pressure when the problem is manifesting itself. The painkilling effects of drugs or alcohol become a solution to the discomfort because the person experiences relief from the negative feeling associated with the problem.

As soon as the addict experiences relief from the discomfort, he inadvertently attaches value to the drug or drink, because it helped him feel better. Even though the relief is only temporary, it is adopted as a solution to the problem and this assigned value is the only reason the person ever uses drugs or drinks a second, third or more times. At this point, it is just a matter of time before the person becomes fully addicted and loses the ability to control their drug use.

Part Two – The Barriers to Successful Recovery

Once an addict has been through treatment there are three main reasons for relapse: 1) mental and physical cravings; 2) depression; and 3) guilt associated with the moral degradation and dishonesty that becomes part of an addict’s life style. These manifestations can haunt someone for years after they have sobered up and more times than not, if left untreated, will trigger a relapse. These unresolved symptoms, whether physical or mental in origin, create an underlying, low-level type of stress, which cannot be completely ignored by the addict. The addict can “just say no” a thousand times, but it only takes him saying “yes” one time to start the cycle of addiction again.

The first barrier to successful recovery from substance abuse is overcoming the mental and physical cravings for the drug of choice. Drugs and alcohol are broken down and filtered in the liver. There is a byproduct from this detoxification process called a metabolite. These protein-based metabolites can and do find their way into the person’s body fat. Keep in mind that each time anyone has ever used a drug or alcohol, they have a complete recorded memory of that life experience. Whether good times or bad, happy or sad, all emotions, feelings and sensations that were present at the time the drug or alcohol was ingested is filed away in the person’s memory. Even if a person is in a blackout, the experience is still recorded in the mind. So each metabolite is connected to a memory of the life experience related in some way to the drugs or alcohol at the time they were consumed.

The body will metabolize and burn fat any time a person undergoes a life experience that causes the heart rate to speed up. Stress can do this, as can strenuous exercise or intense emotion. We all experience these things on a fairly regular basis.

When an addict experiences these life situations and their heart rate speeds up the body begins to mobilize and burn fat. The fat contains toxins or metabolites from past alcohol and drug use. As the fat cell burns, it releases the metabolite back into the person’s blood stream.

The metabolite is a byproduct of the drug. That metabolite is connected to the memory of the life experience in which the drug or alcohol was taken. The toxin finds its way back into the blood stream and acts as both a physical and mental reminder of the drug or alcohol consumption. It also acts as a reminder of the emotional effect the person experienced after consumption.

In short, the toxin re-enters the blood and triggers or stimulates a physical reminder of the drug or alcohol and the memory of feelings, thoughts, sensations and emotions connected to that experience. The person remembers feeling and thinking like they did in the past when they were under the influence and so are prone to relapse at these times.

The reactive compulsion to continue to use drugs or alcohol is, in part, caused by the drug’s interaction with the body’s natural chemistry. Some of the body’s natural chemicals act as a built-in reward system that encourages us to eat exercise and procreate. Other natural body chemicals act as natural painkillers that activate when we physically injure ourselves. In short the natural chemicals are directly related to our physical survival and or well-being.

As a person’s addiction develops the brain and body identify the drug as an aid that either enhance the release of or replace these natural chemicals. As the person starts to use chemicals on a regular basis, the body becomes depleted of key nutrients and amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for natural chemicals called neurotransmitters. These nutritional deficiencies prevent the body from receiving the nutritional energy necessary to produce the natural chemicals. The brain gets fooled as it has identified the drug or drink as an aid to releasing or replacing the natural chemicals. This is what causes the uncontrolled compulsion an addict feels to continue to use. This compulsion is so strong within the individual that the desire to use more drugs or drink overrides the negative and often times life-threatening consequences an addict is faced with on a day to day basis. The drug or alcohol gets misidentified as an aide to the production and release of the natural chemicals when in fact it is suppressing the body’s ability to manufacture neurotransmitters.

Part Three – The Barriers to Successful Recovery

Guilt is another component in the life cycle of addiction. Most addicts are basically good people before they become addicts and have some sense of right and wrong with no intention of hurting others. As they become dependent on the chemical, they begin experiencing situations where they are doing and saying things they know deep down aren’t right. They begin to lose their ability to control themselves. They become trapped in a vicious circle of using drugs, lying about it, stealing to support more drug use and at each turn the addict is accumulating memories of each these negative incidents.

The addict commits a negative action; he records a memory of that moment, which includes whoever he was involved with at the time. The addict knows these negative actions are wrong and so feels bad about them after the fact.

These memories of guilt can then get triggered in the present or future when he sees the people and places that were involved when the transgressions were committed in and they feel bad about it. In time these transgressions are committed more and more often and the people in the addict’s life where these transgressions have occurred become “triggers” of the dishonest act or deed. The people, family members, loved ones and friend’s appearance to the addict triggers the guilt. Family or friends don’t necessarily have to say a word to the addict; just the sight of them can trigger the guilt. To avoid these unpleasant guilt feelings, the addict will use more drugs to insulate himself from the guilt.

The addict will also begin to withdraw more and more from friends and family as the transgressions committed by the addict increase in number. They will eventually pull away from the family, seclude themselves and/or become antagonistic towards those they love.

Part Four – Overcoming the Barriers to Recovery

Cravings, depression and guilt make up the harness that keeps an addict in the downward spiral of drug addiction. In almost all cases these symptoms are generated after a long term of substance abuse.

So then what is the best approach to tear down these barriers to successful recovery? Remember cravings are the first barrier to recovery. These are caused by drug or alcohol residues that store primarily in body fat in the form of metabolites. And as mentioned in an earlier article, metabolites are the byproduct of the body trying to digest and breakdown the toxin once ingested into the system. These metabolites are connected to memories the addict has of the time and experience associated with ingestion of the chemical. These metabolites will activate at times when the addict’s metabolism increases. Once the metabolite activates, an uncontrollable urge to use more drugs overcomes the addict. The active metabolite triggers or reminds the addict at a physical and mental level of drug use.

There are a number of methods that are being used today to address the fat storage aspect of drugs. Some include intravenous ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) treatments another is fasting. More and more we are seeing the emphasis being shifted to holistic treatments as a significant component of substance abuse treatment planning. One of the most effective means of ridding the body of drug metabolites has proven to be the use of aerobic exercise combined with a nutritional program that utilizes Vitamin B3 (niacin) and extended periods of sweating in a dry sauna. This detoxification method was researched and developed by L. Ron Hubbard in 1978 and has helped increase the rate of recovery by eliminating the physical triggers that create drug cravings. It is this process called The New Life Detoxification Program that is utilized at the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

Depression is another one of the barriers to recovery. The depression an addict experiences is two fold. There is a chemical imbalance that drug and alcohol abuse creates in the body. Drug and alcohol abuse inhibits the production of natural body chemicals and in some cases replaces them. This impacts the natural reward system that encourages our physical well-being or eliminates pain after an injury. This biophysical aspect of the chemical imbalance present in drug abusers is driven by nutritional efficiencies that occur when someone uses drugs or alcohol on a regular basis. In most cases the emotional depression that an addict experiences follows after a person comes off drugs or alcohol not before. This is because of the declining quality of life an addict experiences and a decayed state of health. In most cases an addict has alienated themselves from family members and loved ones. There is often criminal behavior that comes about from the need for money to purchase drugs. Depending on the degree and type of drug abuse an addict frequently finds himself in trouble with the law. Addicts don’t want these situations to occur but cannot control the circumstances in their lives. As broken relationships or legal problems develop, the addict feels down or bad about these situations and will display characteristics of depression or lethargy.

Remember that all addicts are basically good people before the addiction begins. They start encountering problems brought on by their addiction. Then they get involved in the arduous task of trying to hide or cover up the deeds that led to these problems. At this point they begin to feel guilty. This guilt then causes the addict to withdraw from family, loved ones and friends or they will become antagonistic towards those close to them who do not abuse drugs or alcohol. This anti-social behavior is a direct result of his or her wrong doings and dishonest life style.

In order to remove these barriers to successfully recovery, addicts must experience a positive change in moral values. They must get honest-which is probably the toughest part of recovery. As a general rule people do not enjoy admitting their wrongs. This process is particularly difficult for the person who is addicted. However, the age-old basic premise of effective counseling still holds true – “confession is good for the soul.” This is certainly true in remedying drug or alcohol addiction. If an addicted person can confess honestly their sins and can make up the damage that was done by committing these sins, he will experience tremendous relief. They will not feel guilty any longer and will be able to better calculate how to improve their quality of life.

Part Five – Overcoming the Barriers to Recovery

There are different methods utilized in substance abuse counseling to bring about positive moral change in an addict. Probably one of the most commonly used is the 12 Step approach practiced by the Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous groups. In this method steps 4 and 5 and steps 8 and 9 deal with life inventory of the wrong deeds done and who was effected by them. In addition to this the addict then makes up the damage done as a result of these negative actions. This method is effective in recovery so long as the person’s addiction has not progressed to the point where the individual has lost his or her ability to confront and communicate or to identify and solve problems. If an addiction persists long enough, an addict will lose even the basic social skills needed to perform in group therapy and to admit their wrong doing. In cases where drug addiction began in the adolescent years, individuals have not had the opportunity to develop these life skills. As a result, they do not perform as well in a 12 step program or other traditional treatment settings. In these cases the addict needs to be educated or reeducated in these basic life skills before there can be any real hope of success in raising moral standards and permanent sobriety.

When conventional approaches are not working with a drug addicted person there are effective alternatives to pursue in recovery before one gives up. What has not proven effective is substitute drug treatment e.g. methadone, anti-depressants or other prescribed medications designed to mask the symptoms of addiction mentioned in this article. This in effect just trades one addiction for another. It does not aid the addicted person in developing the life skills necessary to raise their moral values or their quality of life. Nor does it provide them with the necessary tools to remain sober and so relapse becomes immanent.

One effective alternative method to recovery is the life skills training and moral inventory used by the Narconon program. This program provides a specific course of treatment which includes training in communication, a full body detoxification process, counseling in problem identification and solving, as well as counseling in personal values and integrity. These programs help individuals to accomplish heightened moral standards and sobriety with an improved quality of life.

Over 30 years ago author and researcher L. Ron Hubbard identified the basic barriers to successful recovery which have been discussed throughout this series of articles on addiction. Through his research he developed a means of treating them successfully. When Narconon was founded in 1969 by William Benitez it was based on Mr. Hubbard’s research and developments in the field of drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Benitez developed a working relationship with Hubbard and together they established the first Narconon program in Arizona.

Narconon has been using this treatment method successfully for over 30 years. It has only been within the last 5 or 6 years that the scientific and medical research have caught up with these methods of treating addiction. It is now acknowledged by the medical community that drugs do store in the body in the form of metabolites and that the chemical imbalances created by drug addiction are nutritionally driven. Further nutritional program components have been added to just about every type of treatment method and is recognized as a valid form of therapy in chemical dependency treatment.

If you now someone in need of help, I recommend that you research all of your treatment options. Take the time to thoroughly inspect the treatment program available. Determine how these programs address the mechanics of addiction. Find out what their long term recovery rate is. Drug rehabilitation does not have to be a revolving door if you take the time and effort to pick the right recovery program.

© 2004 Narconon International. All Rights Reserved. Narconon and the Narconon logo are trademarks and service marks owned by the Association for Better Living and Education International and are used with its permission.

The Solution to Addiction

The Narconon Colorado success rate is so much higher than other programs simply because we use a time tested, unique 4-phase approach to fully rehabilitate the drug addiction and the desire to use drugs to escape in the first place:

Phase I: Our Sauna Based, Drug-Free Detox Program to rid the body of drug residuals.
Phase II: Special Educational Therapies designed to gently assist the addict to self-control.
Phase III: Additional Educational Therapies to rehab self-esteem and cure the need for drugs.
Phase IV: A Follow-Up Program to assist the former addict back into society.

The cornerstone of the Narconon Colorado approach is our Sauna Based Detox Program. Street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol and other drugs can remain in the body for years. These residues can trigger a variety of symptoms, including drug cravings and depression. An exact program of medically supervised exercise, dry sauna sweating and vitamins, rid fatty tissues of these residues. The result is the person no longer experiences the adverse effects of the drugs they have taken in the past.

Following the Detox Program, Narconon Colorado uses effective Educational Therapies to restore the former addict’s ability to focus on real life goals and to return a level of self-control to the individual. This greatly improves the former addicts’ ability to face the realities of life and reduce the need for drugs to escape the difficulties of life.

In order to further improve the life skills of the former addict, Narconon Colorado incorperates additional Educational Therapies to rehabilitate their self-esteem. Often, an addict commits harmful acts, both to themselves and their loved ones, that traps them into further drug use. After completing this phase of the program, the student has a restored sense of self-worth and finds it much easier to confront life problems.

Narconon Colorado’s final phase is a comprehensive long-term Discharge Program designed to assist the student through the first year of recovery. This is accomplished through regular contact with the student and family members. This creates the ideal situation that facilitates the effective re-introduction of the individual back into society and leading a new drug free life. Narconon Colorado not only teaches people how to stay away from drugs, but how to live happy and successful lives so that there is no longer any desire to use drugs. Many of Narconon Colorado’s Graduates experience a re-birth into a new life of renewed hope after completing the program.

Most drug rehabs are designed to last for a specified period of time, usually 30 days. This obviously means that those designing and running these programs believe that they can predict, with certainty, when an addict will be “cured”. Narconon Colorado understands that each case is different. No-one can predict, with certainty, precisely how long it will take to fully handle any individual addict’s problem. Therefore, the Narconon Colorado program is designed to take as long as it takes, at a flat rate charge. In fact, the average duration of the Narconon Colorado program is between 3 and 5 months. However, each individual is different from each other one, and the Narconon Colorado program takes as long as necessary to insure that the addict gets the full benefit of the program.

Obviously, a successful drug rehab program which “takes as long as it takes” and whose results are unconditionally guaranteed must cost a tremendous amount. But, again, Narconon Colorado is different from virtually all of the “for profit” rehab centers. Narconon Colorado is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public benefit organization. The cost of the Narconon Colorado program is extremely competitive. We offer our all-inclusive experience for one flat rate. This includes all in-facility living expenses, medical assistance costs, educational materials and drug detox expenses for whatever period of time is required for you or your loved one to fully complete our unique drug rehabilitation program. We can also bill insurance companies directly and offer easy financing options. Contact us for more details.