Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sobriety T.V

Please visit our friends at Sobriety T.V

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Helping women heal emotional issues, addiction

The young woman had lied, cheated, manipulated and stolen when her addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine became so "crippling" she couldn't keep a job and her family took the advice of her sponsor and kicked her out.

Christina had hit rock bottom. She couldn't stop using on her own. The drug always won.

"My choices were Mater Dei or a life on the streets," Christina, 32, said Sunday at the charity's event, In Celebration of Women... a Journey from Darkness to Light.

"The realization that this is what it had come to... that I would have to eventually sell my body for drugs and be dead in no time was the moment that my life was saved. It was then that I saw just how out of control things had gotten, and I had to admit defeat. I surrendered."

Mater Dei (Latin for 'Mother of God'), recently renamed Carmelina's Home, is a central Etobicoke-based residential therapeutic program that supports women in the treatment and recovery of addictions or emotional issues. It is named after a late nun who counselled for 24 years from her Riverdale Hospital bed.

While Carmelina's Home is run by the (Catholic) Passionate Sisters of St. Paul of the Cross, it is not a religious program. Women of all denominations are welcome. Clients are 16 to 60.

Its symbol is a butterfly, representing transformation and new life.

Christina arrived 18 months ago at the front door of Carmelina's Home's mortgaged brick backsplit nestled on a quiet, leafy residential street. Unlike provincial government-funded programs that run 21 or 31 days, Carmelina's Home offers a two-year program, divided into four, six-month phases.

The unique, lengthy, abstinence-based program offers seven clients at once much-needed time for self-reflection and the excavation and healing of unresolved emotional issues necessary to control and conquer her addiction, said Martin Riley, president of Carmelina's Home's board of directors.

There, women learn effective life coping skills, and strengthen social and interpersonal skills.

For many, it's a last resort, said Riley. Other programs haven't worked. Some clients have taken 21-day programs five or six times. Their families have rejected them. The addiction returns because they don't change their environment upon release.

"Everybody has lived it differently, but at its core addiction is rooted in emotional issues that are hidden and never really exposed," Riley said. "Addiction is used to cover up that emotional hurt. The challenge of working through that is why the program is so long. It's a lifetime of issues you can't expect to get through in 30 to 60 days."

Participation is voluntary. The program is strict and disciplined. The women rise at 6:30 a.m. There's a schedule, including assigned chores. Daily therapy sessions and group therapy participation. Bed at 9:30 p.m.

Women sleep three to a bedroom. They eat together. They quilt, sew, use exercise equipment, garden.

The women confront one another on their behaviours, and gain insight into their own healing as a result.

"All that we do in the program is for us to gain insight into the truth of who we are," Christina said Sunday. "It has been the most crucial part of my growth and healing. We call it 'the mirror effect'. It is what we see in each other that shows us who we really are. What is truly in our hearts... We confront each other on our negative, harmful behaviours."

They pay $450 a month room and board. Some qualify for social assistance.

Carmelina's Home receives no government funding. It operates strictly on community funding and donations.

"People think about charities for children or donating to tsunami relief," Riley said of the challenge in finding donors. "People want to help with addiction. But people don't understand how real it is. It could be your mother or your sister."

The Rotary Club of Etobicoke recently donated funds to replace the home's roof.

Presently, officials are seeking a small corporation to become its sponsor. New board members and volunteers are also welcome.

An annual spring walk-a-thon will be held this Sunday in Centennial Park. It typically raises as much as $20,000. An annual gala in November raises as much as $50,000 per year.

While fund-raising is a challenge, the home's accepting, empathetic and loving environment is key to its success, say officials and clients.

"When I came here, I felt safe. I called it my 'cocoon,'" said Amelia, a mother of two daughters in their 30s, who became a client in November 2005 and stayed for 10 months.

Married at just 16, she'd had two children in short order. Her husband was often away on business. With little support, cycles of depression waxed and waned in her for years.

Amelia arrived at Carmelina's Home after reaching her breaking point with her physically and emotionally abusive husband.

Her husband enrolled in the men's program, the Caritas Project, run by Father Gianni Carparelli.

Today, the healed couple has reunited.

"I now have confidence and self-assurance. I'm totally healed. I'm no longer afraid," said Amelia, who now sits on Carmelina's Home's board of directors.

Riley joined, then led, the board of directors after first consulting on a funding proposal five years ago.

He heard one client's testimonial at that year's gala and felt moved to help.

"It's just so amazing to see someone get their life back, the life they were destined to have," Riley said. "For some, it has been hell. They acknowledge it all. It's so amazing to see that recovery and healing take place."

Monday, May 26, 2008

First USA Use Of New Liver Cancer Technology At Saint Raphael

Scott Helton, M.D., chief of surgery at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, Connecticut, an internationally recognized liver surgeon, became the first in the USA to use the new Acculis microwave cancer-fighting technology to destroy liver tumours.

Saint Raphael's is one of six world leading cancer hospitals in the U.S.A. to introduce the new MTA microwave system, manufactured by the U.K. based company Acculis Limited. The six initial sites were chosen because they are also home to several of the nation's top liver surgeons.

During the May 15th procedure, Helton performed microwave tissue ablation (MTA) using the Acculis MTA high-powered microwave system to treat a non-resectable liver tumour. During the complex procedure, Helton performed multiple liver resections on the right side of the liver and then used microwave energy to destroy a remaining non-resectable tumour on the left side of the liver.

"The treatment today was groundbreaking. We were able to remove or destroy three liver tumours situated on both sides of the patient's liver during a single procedure," said Helton. "Previously this patient would not have been eligible for a single operation because we could not have removed or destroyed all the tumours in one setting. This system allows us to destroy tumours quickly and decisively using high power microwave energy through a carefully placed small probe. We expect that this new technology will allow us to treat previously inoperable tumours and open up new treatment options for patients with primary or metastatic liver tumours."

"While liver ablation is commonly done using radiofrequency, treatments that were impractical with previous technologies are now possible because of the speed, power and precision of microwave energy," Helton said. "The Acculis System is the first to successfully deliver high power microwave energy in this area of medicine."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the European Union's CE marking body SGS, have given approval for the Acculis MTA System to go into commercial distribution.

A cohort of 14 world leading cancer centres in the UK, USA and Australia are collaborating with AUGIS, the UK Liver Surgeons body, in the initial use of this new technology. "We are working with the very best surgeons around the world in introducing this revolutionary new system," said Stuart McIntyre, CEO of Acculis Limited. "This leading cohort of top cancer centres will evaluate the new treatment options the Acculis MTA System creates. Through centres such as Saint Raphael's, this technology will offer patients new hope."

Acculis is a specialist medical device company developing microwave energy ablation systems for oncology applications. Acculis is part of the Microsulis group of companies. Microsulis and Acculis are based in Hampshire, England. For more information about the Acculis MTA System, visit,, or contact Caroline Hall at +44 2392 240011.

The Hospital of Saint Raphael is a 511-bed community teaching hospital affiliated with Yale University School of Medicine. A leader in cardiac, cancer, orthopaedic, neuroscience and geriatric services, Saint Raphael's is the largest member of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System, which is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cannabis addiction almost destroyed me

For James Langton, drugs are about all or nothing. "You cross a line when you have your first joint in the morning," he explains. Growing up in a comfortable, supportive, middle-class, suburban home did not stop him developing a cannabis habit which lasted for 30 years. Neither depressed, lonely nor a thrill seeker, the young teenager smoked because he wanted to try something different. But his adolescent habit became an addiction.

Now, at 51, he wants to add his voice and experience to help others from falling into the same trap that left him unable to function in "normal" life.

At present there is no hard evidence to demonstrate that cannabis use causes severe mental health problems. According to Martin Barnes, chief executive of drug information and policy charity DrugScope, while the amount of people smoking cannabis has risen over the last 30 years, available evidence shows the number of incidences of schizophrenia have not increased.

But a spokesman for mental health charity Rethink says: "We think for those with a predisposition to mental illness, statistics show you're more likely to develop psychotic illness. We use the peanut allergy — some eat them every day and are fine, others have an allergic reaction.

"We don't think it's addictive, but we do think people can become dependent."

Whatever the argument, in a recent report for the Government, the drugs advisory panel concluded that cannabis did pose a "real threat to health " and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced her intention to reclassify cannabis from a Class C to a Class B drug.

James Langton is in no doubt that cannabis poses huge risks to young minds. The author of self-help book No Need For Weed explains how addiction to this so-called "soft drug" took over his life. "I did it in the park after school, in my room, wherever I thought I could get away with it," he admits.

After leaving school at 17, James says that his life began to revolve around cannabis. "When you start smoking as soon as you wake up, it takes on a different perspective in your life. I'd have around 12 joints a day on my own. I'd go for walks in the park or nip home at lunchtime. A lot of people do that."

James eventually kicked the habit aged 45, and set up , an organisation dedicated to helping those who want to leave the drug behind. After struggling to quit for five years, he doesn't agree that it's not addictive.

"Being stoned felt normal. If I couldn't get hold of cannabis, I'd feel a deep emptiness. When I realised I had a problem, I was too embarrassed to talk about it with friends, so I went to the doctor and was told that cannabis wasn't addictive, that I didn't have a drug problem."

Lacking support, James struggled to find a way to live his life without cannabis.

"It was just me and the drug. There wasn't a lot of balance in my life. All my friends smoked or were dealers. I ran a picture shop in London because I was quite entrepreneurial, but it was always a terrible struggle.

"If you're smoking that much then everything takes longer. Your decision making is not good and you settle for second best. I had difficulty managing the accounts, paying bills, being on time for appointments and finding ways to hide my addiction. I tried quitting, just smoking on weekends, leaving my cannabis with someone else so I wouldn't be tempted, and not buying any. But for five years the longest I went without was a few days. I couldn't do it alone."

From the outside, it can be difficult to understand how a drug which prompted James to feel acutely lonely and confused could come to control his life.

He explains: "At the start it felt really pleasurable. During the first five years, even before the addiction really took hold, it's unlikely that any amount of nagging would have stopped me.

"Cannabis has a subtle way of raising your senses, offering you a slightly altered perspective on life and the everyday nine to five routine. Music sounds better and colours are more vivid. You can see beauty in an ugly city; things which other people are immune to.

"That perspective becomes a big part of your identity. It's hard to give that up, and re-learn to live normally."

But James explains that the drug can also magnify other feelings. "Weed can reflect the personality or mood of the user. I was a shy child and became isolated and withdrawn. Those with a tendency toward anxiety might become paranoid and if you're fairly relaxed and easy going, it could make you less motivated."

Like other mood-altering substances such as alcohol or nicotine, regular use of cannabis can lead to emotional dependency.

"One of the big myths is that this is a hippy peace drug," James says. "All it does is dampen down feelings. If you start smoking at a young age you end up putting a lid on normal, human feelings like anger, fear and sadness That means you never work through them. People who stop smoking weed have to risk those feelings bubbling up which can be very uncomfortable."

Finally James reached breaking point.

Driving to Berlin, to deliver a van full of furniture, he made a potentially catastrophic error: "I was really in debt and needed to fulfil this contract. Having smuggled my weed with me I set off to drive the last leg from Hamburg to Berlin. But when I stopped at a petrol station, I accidentally filled up with unleaded instead of diesel petrol. That was the last straw for me.

"It was a stupid, stoned mistake which might have cost me my business. In the end, I was lucky and they sent someone out with a replacement vehicle. But I made a promise to myself then and there, that nothing like that would ever happen again."

Throwing away his cannabis, James looked for help. With the support of Marijuana Anonymous ( ) who organise meetings in London, he got his life back on track. But he was shocked to discover there wasn't more help available.

"We would get referrals from the drugs helpline Frank, from people all over the country, and it was frustrating because there was only a limited amount we could suggest."

Two years ago James started writing his self-help book, No Need for Weed. His book and website ( offer ways to deal with cannabis addiction. These include considering how each joint affects you and if you still get real pleasure from cannabis, visualising how you think your life could be better after not smoking for 12 months and distracting yourself with a new habit.

He advocates choosing a quitting day and sticking to it and finding the support of at least one person you trust to speak honestly about what you are doing and why. Then take it one day at a time, and acknowledge yourself for taking this positive step.
source: Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Government launches cocaine crackdown

The government is launching a new crackdown on cocaine, Drugs Minister Vernon Coaker announced today.

A £1 million FRANK campaign targeted at 15-18 year olds, a commitment to the Colombian government’s Shared Responsibility campaign and a new leaflet illustrating the dangers of the drug are being announced to enhance the drive to tackle cocaine use.

The FRANK campaign will make young people aware of the health and social harms of using cocaine and aims to deglamourise the drug’s celebrity image by revealing its ugly consequences. The campaign will use a range of media including online advertising to reach young people with the real facts about the drug.

Coaker will also lead a summit with the representatives of Colombian government, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Treatment Agency and the London Drug Policy Forum to explore how the efforts to cut cocaine use can be enhanced. He will also attend a special exhibition in Trafalgar square with the Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos and former Blur bassist Alex James that will demonstrate the environmental and social destruction caused by cocaine use.

Coaker said “We have taken tough action against cocaine use in recent years. More than 1,100 crack houses have been closed thanks to powers we introduced four years ago."

“Cocaine use has been stable in recent years but it is a very dangerous drug for users and has a devastating impact on the people that live in producing countries. Cocaine users need to realise that their drug use destroys more than their health; it destroys the lives of innocent people caught up in kidnapping, exploitation and armed violence” he continued.

“We will continue to tackle cocaine and other illegal drugs through tough enforcement, innovate prevention campaigns, effective education and, where necessary, tailored treatment.”

The FRANK drug awareness campaign, which plays a crucial role in empowering young people with knowledge of the effects of drug use, celebrate its fifth anniversary on 23 May.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heavy Marijuana Users Experience Withdrawal, Researcher Says

A study of heavy marijuana users found that about one-third reported resuming use of the drug to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms, according to researcher David Gorelick, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"Heavy pot users should be aware that they may experience a withdrawal syndrome that will make them uncomfortable when they try to quit," he said.

WebMD reported May 7 that Gorelick said at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that the study involving about 500 heavy, long-term marijuana users -- about a quarter of whom reported smoking marijuana more than 10,000 times during their lifetime -- found that 42.4 percent of those studied reported at least one symptom of withdrawal, such as cravings, irritability, boredom, anxiety, or sleep disturbances when they abstained from use.

Not all of these users, however, resumed marijuana use as a result.

Gorelick said he expects marijuana-withdrawal syndrome to be included as a psychiatric disorder in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due in 2012.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

10 tips to stop drinking Alcohol

1. Stay away from places and situations where you might be tempted to drink. Don't go to bars and stop hanging around "drinking buddies" who won't support your efforts to quit drinking.

2. Get rid of all the alcohol in the house. If you have a spouse or roommate who drinks, kindly ask them not to drink around you. If you're serious about quitting alcohol, this is a step you must take.

3. Take it one day at a time.

4. Tell friends and family that you want to stop drinking alcohol. Hang around people who will stand by your decision and support you and your goal.

5. Give yourself incentive not to drink. For every day (or even every hour!) that passes that you don't drink, give yourself a pat on the back! Give yourself the credit you deserve for having the strength to stop drinking and share those big victories with family and friends.

6. Picture yourself how you would look in the future when you're completely alcohol-free. Visualization is very powerful in helping you make the right decisions.

7. Set realistic goals for yourself. Maybe you can't quit cold turkey, so perhaps you could gradually cut down you alcohol intake day by day.

8. Deal with the psychological and emotional issues related to your drinking problem. Many people begin drinking alcohol to get away from problems or maybe alcoholism is something that runs in the family. Find someone you feel comfortable talking to about these problems.

9. Find positive and meaningful activities to engage in.

10. Never give up!

Maria Palma is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people with their San Diego DUI. Make sure to hire a professional and experienced DUI lawyer in San Diego.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sex Addiction a serious problem

Reckless sexual behaviour - commonly known as sexual addiction - is a growing and serious problem, a researcher has found.

In the latest issue of the Sexual and Relationship Therapy journal, Robyn Salisbury, the director of Sex Therapy New Zealand, says treatment of the condition has been neglected for too long.

In an article she suggests practical measures to address sexual addiction such as developing strong non-sexual relationships and directly addressing such individual behaviours as chronic masturbation.

Salisbury said sexual addiction was at the root of many social ills.

"Look in your own backyard - rapes, murders, incest," she said.

"There are so many big social problems caused by sexuality issues and they're not addressed well and I think it's important."

Salisbury said sexual addiction was a similar problem to alcoholism or drug addiction. "Some of those people who act on the outside like they are highly appropriate, conservative people are actually seething with this kind of problem inside them and just need to get the appropriate help to deal with it."

There was a mountain of theoretical research into the problem but few practical solutions, she said.

Conservative attitudes to sex were partly to blame for this.

Salisbury said a recent case involving a teacher spotted looking at child pornography was an example of sexual addiction.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gambling, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism - Path to Hell

What Is Gambling?

Any betting or wagering for self or others whether for money or not and where the outcome is uncertain or depends on chance or probability constitutes gambling. Gambling comes in many forms. Most of them are for money.

Compulsive Gambling and Addiction

There is something called as compulsive gambling. It starts at the age of 20’s for most men and at the late 30’s for women as an entertaining, stress relieving and fun activity which eventually progresses to become a habitual gambling. However most people progressively become addict gamblers usually after a big win. After this the desire to win back all the money intensifies more rapidly. It is a disorder which causes inconvenience to both the gambler and his/her family. There is no cure for habitual gambling. Despite disruptions in family and professional life, the gambling goes on.

Compulsive gambling has three phases which include ecstasy when winning, severe tension and depression when loosing and extreme anxiety in between these two phases. Being a gambling addict not only causes trouble to the individual but also to the people around the individual. As the time passes, lying becomes a characteristic feature of the gambler and the family persons learns not to trust the individual. Then the relationship between the family and children becomes hatred and they eventually break up. The psychological agony and social turbulence can result in marital breakdown, financial ruin and irreparable personal life profile. Gambling is always associated with physical symptoms like anxiety, headaches, and depression leading to smoking and alcohol consumption.

As it progresses, the individual losses the job and the savings might be lost which may induce the individual to venture in criminal activities like stealing money from colleagues to obtain more funds for gambling. They also borrow large amount of money which is usually never be paid. They tend to ignore rents and other family expenses also.
Heavy gambling is done because of the easy access and availability of casinos. Individuals from the middle class family are more prone to gambling because of the unemployment.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is probably known as the imbalance state of a person resulting in improper functioning of both his physique and mind. Drug addiction is not similar in drug dependence and its tolerance.

Do you know the drugs which are used for addiction?

Here some of the fundamental addict causing drugs is mentioned.

Stimulant Which Includes

Amphetamine and Methamphetamine
nicotine etc.,

Sedatives and Hypnotics Which Includes

clonazepam, temazepam
Methaqualone and the related quinazolinone

Opiate and Opioid Analgesics Which Consists of

Morphine and Codeine
Semi-synthetic opiates such as Heroin
(Diacetylmorphine), Oxycodone, and Hydromorphone


What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a type of drug. It is a mixture of various parts (leaves, stems, seeds and flowers) of a plant called the hemp plant. The scientific name of hemp plant is Cannabis sativa. Marijuana has about 400 different types of chemical in it and some of them can cause cancer, but the main and active ingredient is called as tetrahydrocannabinol which is better known as THC. Ganja, chronic, pot, grass, boom and reefer are some of the common names but there are about 200 different names which refer to marijuana.

How and for what marijuana is used?

Marijuana is used in different ways. Some of users mix it with food, some brew it as tea but most of them smoke. Marijuana has tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which affects the brain and triggers it to release dopamine which gives high pleasure to the user for a short time.

Do you know the meaning of drug injection?

In olden days people prefer to take tobacco, alcohol, heroine etc., as a drug to nourish them. But nowadays it is casual to nourish them by using certain drug injections which is an instant process and also more effective. Though there are lots of alternatives it seems to be the time saving approach.


What do you mean by the term alcoholism?

Alcoholism is the term reveals the meaning of simultaneous consumption of certain alcohol beverages. People are saying many reasons for the intake of this slow poison, despite of the health problems and negative social sequences made by it. Some people say that the sudden stop of certain alcoholic beverages will lead to a great problem in health. They argue that it will induce them to make a suicide attempt so it is always advisable to stop it.

What are the modern diagnoses taken against drug addiction?

Nowadays there are many modern diagnoses taken against the drug addiction through using modern technologies. It is possible to diagnose a person by knowing the intake of that particular drug. The recovery of the person depends on him. He should refuse to accept the intake of those drugs by himself.

In European countries they are struggling to bring down the people who were affected by drug addiction, but it is quite difficult there. On other hand in USA they have achieved.

What are the effects of marijuana and other drugs?

When the drug enters the brain, the THC present in it locates the neurons with specific receptors called cannabinoid receptors and binds to them. Then it influences the normal communication between the brain cells and causes lack of coordination. It is usually caused by smoking. High usage of the drug can cause anxiety and often panic attacks.
High concentrations of cannabinoid receptors are found in cerebellum, cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Centers of these parts of the brain are responsible for memory and certain types of learning. So when the THC binds to these parts it causes studying and memory problems like recalling the recent events becoming difficult. Cerebellum is associated with coordination. And another part of the brain called basal ganglia is also affected by THC. The basal ganglia control the movement of our body and hence our reflection becomes slow. So it is unwise to drive vehicles when marijuana is used or it may lead to accident.

Smoking Marijuana increases the chance of heart attacks. It may also lead to lung cancer even quickly than normal cigarette smoking because the Marijuana smoker tends to inhale more deeply and hold his breath longer than a cigarette smoker does.

What are the alternative therapies given for drug addiction?

Some of the medical experts say that acupuncture is one of the good alternative therapies for such addiction. Though there is some information about some alternative therapy, you can inquire to know which one is suitable to you.

What do you know about self medication?

Self medication termed as the treatment which is made for us and made by us without any medical supervision. If a buyer diagnoses himself using specific drug then it is fair to mention it as self medication.

It is not advisable to undertake self medication because you may use the drug on wrong ratio which leads to any other problems. So we should make sure about the nature and use of that drug.

Though many articles say about these drug addictions and its rehabilitation, it is not advisable to take certain drugs which leads to fatal results. It is better to conclude this essay by saying “prevention is better than cure”.

What is the cure?

Once addicted, it will be very difficult to come out. The user must have pure determination to get rid of these drugs.

Does Marijuana have medical values?

Marijuana has medical values. THC, the main and active ingredient can produce effects which can be potentially used for treating variety of medical conditions. It is also used in pills for stimulating appetite in AIDS patients. Scientific research is still going on about the medical values and the effects of the other chemicals present in marijuana.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Needing to Beat Addiction

Addiction is a horrible thing. It doesn't matter what exactly you're addicted to - drugs, alcohol, etc. When you're addicted you no longer have control of your life. You are living for the addiction. And that's no way to live. Needing to beat an addiction is obvious, but how to actually beat it too often seems impossible.

The worst part about any addiction is that the addict usually doesn't realize just how much they need help. They think they are in control. They think they can stop at anytime. In reality, they are in denial.

Other addicts know they need help but they just don't think they will get it. They may have failed at rehab. They may feel like they aren't strong enough to break the addiction. So they've stopped even trying to break free from the chains of the addiction.

Those who are in denial are the last people to get help. If a person doesn't believe they have a problem then they aren't likely to go for help. Usually people on the outside think the person is lying, that the person has to know they have a problem. But this isn't true. The addiction convinces the addict that he/she doesn't have a problem and that's what that person really believes.

There are two main reasons why people get to the point where they are needing to beat an addiction. They need to break the addiction so they don't hurt themselves anymore and/or so they don't hurt others anymore. People can permanently hurt themselves and permanently damage relationships because of their addiction.

Needing to beat an addiction is a tough position to be in. However, people need to admit they have a problem and then they need to believe they can get help. Those are the first two steps toward recovery. If a person can just go that far then there is a lot of hope that he/she can break free from the terrible chains of addiction.

For the secret how to beat an addiction... when nothing else has worked... visit:

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Treatment Options

Twelve Questions to Consider When Selecting Treatment Programs

If you or someone you care for is dependent on alcohol or drugs and needs treatment, it is important to know that no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals. Finding the right treatment program involves careful consideration of such things as the setting, length of care, philosophical approach and your or your loved one's needs.

Here are 12 questions to consider when selecting a treatment program:

* Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?
* Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed and/or trained professionals?
* Is the facility clean, organized and well-run?
* Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: including infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?
* Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender and culturally appropriate treatment services?
* Is long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided and maintained?
* Is there ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?
* Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?
* Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies to enhance the individual's ability to function in the family/community?
* Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen, if appropriate?
* Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to abstinence?
* Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addiction and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?