Common Questions on Methadone Treatment Results

Posted on :  July 10th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

There are a variety of methadone treatment success stories that you can find all around. However, did you know that there are many factors that go into establishing successful methadone treatment results? This is perhaps the reason why there are many questions surrounding this question. Let’s take a look at some of them.

What is Methadone?

In the streets, you may hear it go by the names meth or juice. This particular drug belongs to the opioid family and has been designed for use with various opioid addictions like those of oxycodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, and heroin.

Designed? Yes, because methadone is a synthetic opioid so it is made in the laboratory from chemicals. It was initially developed and used in World War II in Germany for pain relief. Its use in addiction treatment was first seen during the 1960s.

Canadian regulations on the prescription of methadone and its uses for treatment have remained widely restrictive. However, in the 1990s there was a need to address the harm of drugs so changes were made for those who wanted to avail of the methadone treatment.

It is vital to point out that it is not a cure, but a treatment. This means that opioid addicts require medical and social support to achieve stabilization in their lives. Staying in treatments longer is the only way to get sustainable and significant results.

Who are Methadone Users?

The majority of those classified as methadone users are those suffering from opioid addiction. Some of its users though are not addicts, but have issues with severe chronic pain or pain that is associated with terminal illnesses.

It is not impossible for methadone to be used in the form of street drugs, but most of the time it is for the prevention of withdrawal symptoms due to opioid dependency. For pregnant women, the use of methadone is often viewed as a protection of the fetus. This is because withdrawal from opioid is highly associated with increased miscarriage or even premature births. The combination of medical care and methadone maintenance will improve the chances of delivering a healthy baby without any known long-term effects.

The number of people receiving treatment in Ontario alone has risen from 6,000 to 38,000 from 2000 up until 2012.

How Long is its Effect?

On the average, an opioid dependent can expect at least 24 hours of being free from withdrawal symptoms using a single methadone dose. This is quite acceptable when you consider that using heroin or short-acting opioids to keep away the same withdrawal symptoms requires anywhere from 3 to 4 doses per day.

The daily treatments may go indefinitely, but, should a decision to stop the treatment be arrived at by the doctor and the user, gradual tapering down of doses will be done. This can extend anywhere from weeks to months until such time that the process of withdrawal has been eased.

It is essential to understand that abrupt stoppage of methadone treatment will have adverse effects with withdrawal symptoms being manifested in as short as a day.

Is it Dangerous and Addictive?

There are always accompanying dangers when taking drugs like methadone. However, if it is taken as it is prescribed, then it is considered safe and will not damage any internal organs or brain processes even with prolonged used. This is why the supervision of a medical professional is a must when administering the treatment. It is for this reason as well that careful monitoring and control is exercised during treatment.

As far as addiction goes, modern definition dictates that we look at several factors in the assessment. There is tolerance, need for increased amounts, physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, compulsive usage, and continued use despite negative consequences.

When you take these factors into account, methadone treatment does not meet the full definition of addiction. This is of course looking at the treatment as it is administered by a qualified professional or treatment center.

We also have to take notice that methadone treatment is offered as a form of medical treatment and only people who are opioid addicts are prescribed it. Methadone delivers a safe alternative to curb the dangerous and desperate routines of their addiction. With the goal of freeing them up from their compulsions and focusing on improved lives.

You can contact Towards Recovery Clinics to find out more about methadone treatment results and other holistic solutions to addiction.


Types of Group Activities Help Addiction Treatment

Posted on :  July 8th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Regardless whether you are undergoing treatment or in recovery for drug addiction, it is important to ensure that the possibilities of relapse are addressed. Would you simply accept the notion that relapse is a normal part of the road to recovery? For those who are truly serious in getting rid of their addiction, this is not the view to take. So how do you overcome this? One of the most effective ways is to engage in fun and meaningful addiction treatment group activities. These are designed to help keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay. What are the types of group of activities?

Motivational Therapy

This group activity helps addicts to gather motivational skills and techniques. It delivers motivational support that is needed by addicts to stay on the treatment or the road to recovery. The reality is that many addicts face difficulty in stopping their addiction because they are not motivated to commit to the change. This type of group activity changes this perception and way of thinking.

Educational Therapy

The therapy includes educating addicts not only about the drugs, but also about treatment, withdrawal symptoms, and more importantly, the options that are available to them. This is why it should be an integral part of any drug addiction treatment. The truth is that many addicts are not even aware of what they have gotten themselves into, or even the options for treatment that they can benefit from. This therapy gives them a chance to ask questions.

Group Yoga

These classes help addicts to focus and is an excellent way to enhance commitment to the drug addiction treatment. Yoga has been linked to stress reduction, improved blood circulation, and reduction of withdrawal symptoms. All of these are something that can benefit addicts.

Nature Walks

Have you ever gone on a nature walk? Then you will know that it has a calming and relaxing effect. It is not only a form of exercise, but also a way to meditate. Hiking and nature walks are not standard in addiction treatment programs because of the location or setting of the rehabilitation center. However, it can be modified to compensate for these stumbling blocks.

Art Classes

Did you know that this is a recognized form of holistic therapy? Group art classes assist addicts in not only learning about themselves, but also expressing what they feel. By keeping the hands busy, addicts overcome their restlessness and fidgeting as a result of the calming effects that the the activity brings. It also allows addicts to deal with their innermost feelings.

Sharing activities

This can be quite difficult for some addicts. But, it will obviously help them to open up about their struggles. When incorporated  as one of the addiction treatment group activities, it helps addicts feel that they are not alone. This is an extremely powerful feeling to have, which is why it is included into almost all treatment programs.

Meditation and Relaxation

Is there any benefit in helping drug addicts meditate and relax? If you don’t know, these are proven activities that help people cope with stress and addiction. These are practiced around the world to help addicts achieve a better life. Part of this is the guided visualization wherein the addict is assisted in seeing their future where they are no longer dependent on drugs. Just because it is done in a group setting does not mean that it has to be social.

Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)

What is RPT? This is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that is designed to limit the possibility of relapse. It helps addicts to cope and anticipate circumstances that can lead to a relapse. By having a strategy on how to deal with these circumstances, the situations become less risky.

A relapse prevention plan can include addiction treatment group activities because it curbs some feelings that can function as triggers. Some of the group activities help addicts to be completely aware of their feelings so they are able to anticipate the resulting relapse and do corrective measures.

If you want to know more about addiction treatment group activities for various types of addictions, call Towards Recovery Clinics today.


The Best Practices for Treatment of Addiction

Posted on :  July 7th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Whether we accept it or not, addiction is here and it presents a pressing problem that cannot be neglected. How can we address the millions of people suffering from various forms of addiction around the world? Uncovering the proper treatment is truly a concern that must be taken seriously by every public health organization. Should we even be debating what method will work best, or should we look into how each method can help addicts individually?

Initially Concerns

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there were approximately 15.3 million people facing drug abuse problems in 2010. In the United States alone, as much as 10% of its citizens are dealing with at least one form of addiction. This is why addiction treatment is such a major concern for its public health department.

With so many recent advances in treatment technologies and the numerous studies that accompany it, there should be little difficulty in identifying what treatment works. How do we know which treatment would work based on the unique condition of the addict? There are a couple that are used today.

Evidenced-Based

These treatment practices are supported by evidences. These are typically the result of successful treatment outcomes with the one that has produced the most outstanding results in terms of treatment of addiction is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The evidences are the product of numerous research works that have focused on implementing the best treatment methods possible. High quality treatment centers have experts in ensuring that these treatments are applied correctly to get the desired results.

Individualized Treatment

The protocols and approaches for this type of treatment method have been proven successful. These tailor-fitted solutions to the individual needs of addicts are done in a way to reduce its cost by allowing addicts to receive standardized treatments based on a set schedule. This is seen as a way to give each addict an equal chance at recovery. It takes into account the unique family, psychological, work, and social conditions that each addict faces. How can the individual needs be identified? These are normally uncovered during the initial clinical consultation and simply adjusted accordingly as the personal treatment progresses. Rehabilitation centers that implement this type of treatment stretches it to ensure that it includes recovery maintenance.

One-on-One Psychotherapy

This type of treatment is seen to improve the chances of success of residential treatment methods. Trained clinicians rely on at least two psychotherapy sessions each week to get the desired results. As research works have shown the inclusion of psychotherapy in the treatment process allows for a supportive relationship that assists in working through the causes of the addiction. As a safe haven, the addict can reveal the original causes of the addiction including circumstances that have contributed to its continuation. The information can lead to a successful recovery by the addict.

The Stages of Change

The goal of this model is to understand and predict the potential changes in therapy. Developed by Dr. James Prochaska, it establishes that changes can occur in a predictable way and understanding the stages that it goes through will bring about an effective treatment. The process of the treatment will be based on the analysis and overcoming of obstacles to the change.

Integrated, Holistic Treatment

As you have already seen, there are many varied approaches on implementing addiction treatments. Divergent stages and methods including techniques can widely vary. The bottom line is that these treatments should be handle by competent staff, include caring for the needs of the addict, and individualizing the approaches of the treatment.

These addiction treatment best practices will result in an effective recovery and rehabilitation procedure. Combine these with research-based approaches and you will be able to understand the causes of the addiction that will pave the way to identifying the proper course of treatment.

Rehabilitation centers are therefore tasked to work as a team in identifying the underlying causes of addiction as well as collaborate in planning out the most effective treatment plan for the addict. Monitoring and adjustment of the plan should also be included in the treatment process to ensure high quality individualized care.

Towards Recovery Clinics can help with individualized addiction treatment to help in rebuilding the lives and careers of those affected. Get in touch with them today.


The Influences on Addiction

Posted on :  July 6th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Harm reduction is one of the foundations of addiction treatment. This applies not only to drug addiction but also alcoholism, compulsive gambling, and even eating disorders. The treatments should also take into account the influences on addiction like the biological, psychological, social, and even spiritual aspects. These are even discussed in the book Addiction Treatment a Strengths Perspective. Let us try to look at these influences.

Methods of Treatment

There have been many new methods of treatment for drug addiction that have surfaced in recent years. Unfortunately, the treatment centers do not fully go into the influencing factors that help develop the addiction. Even some of the treatments are considered as superficial.

There are basically two types of influences, biological and environmental. Both of these are found in the Biological-Psychological-Social-Spiritual (BPSS) addiction model. In recognizing these influences, like any other disease, it becomes easier to uncover the weak point where the addiction was able to penetrate a person’s life.

Why are there so many addiction models? These models help in understanding the causes of drug addiction as well as assist in the recovery process. In essence, this creates an effective treatment program. This is essential especially when we consider that there is a lack of certainty on what really causes addiction.

As experts continue to debate on the most effective approach to treatment and recovery, the BPPS model can offer some insights. The Biological aspect can answer the question why, the Psychological is the what, and the Social is the where that defines the cycle that every drug addict goes through. What about the spiritual? It is believed that every addict has to go through some form or spiritual healing or connection to a higher power to be able to withstand the challenges of addiction.

Multiple Causes

By adhering to the model described in the Addiction Treatment a Strengths Perspective, there is an acceptance that the addiction not only has multiple causes, but also multiple solutions. This holds true considering that every case of addiction can be considered unique to the person experiencing it.

Human diversity plays a huge role in the process of addiction, treatment, recovery, and sustainability. And every person will need to go through a personalized program as a sort of personal recipe that will lead to successful recovery.

The BPSS model therefore can be considered an incomplete solution. The importance of the model is that it will help experts to understand and figure out how the problems can be fixed. By reducing the addiction problem to model size, it becomes easier to understand its different stages. This helps to ensure that important details are not lost in dealing with issues of addiction and recovery.  In this aspect, it makes no sense to argue what addiction model is best, but only to make use of each to uncover how recovery can be implemented on every individual addict.

These models actually give us many explanations on the multiple causes of addiction. Each of these models also propose its own model of recovery that is based on the presumed cause that resulted in the addiction. As these models leave some aspects of recovery out of the picture, it is up to the addict to fill in the highly relevant details to create a complete recovery scenario. This means that the cooperation of the addict in the treatment process is extremely significant. It also gives the addict a free hand to choose what recovery treatment he feels would be most beneficial and relevant to him.

Causes of Addiction

Evidence-based practices have revealed many possible causes of addiction. Numerous research works have given supporting evidences on how treatment programs have been effective in curbing an addiction. There is no shortage of research that helps to establish the causes of addiction that can also lead to other types of addiction. For example, alcoholics can become, after some time, addicted to illegal or prescribed drugs as well.

The models try to present the bridge that links these addictions together. In this example, alcohol becomes the influence that triggers the drug addiction. So if you combine the addiction model with that for drug addiction, you will be able to successfully address all of its causes. This is why you do not have to choose the best or correct model. You simply need to select what applies to the personal condition of the addict.

Different people will obviously make different choices. These choices will be based on their circumstances and specific needs. Towards Recovery Clinics can help addicts make the right decision through its holistic treatment approach. Call them now!


Requirements in Seeking Methadone Treatment

Posted on :  May 29th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In Canada, there is a prevailing policy on how methadone maintenance treatment should be implemented by those participating in the program. The policy has been in place since 2014 with the introduction of the product that is indicated for use with opioid dependence treatment. Each province is responsible for implementing their respective guidelines for the treatment of opioid addiction using methadone. So what are the things that you should know?

Getting Treatment

It is common knowledge that methadone treatment in Canada is handled either by private practitioners or treatment centers. There are methadone treatment requirements that must be satisfied before an addict can become part of the program.

You need to present proof, like a notarized letter from a physician attesting to the fact that you are receiving methadone. The letter should be written either in English or in French. The name and address that will be used by the patient while seeking treatment in Canada should be specified in the letter. It should also include the travel dates, daily methadone dosage, and other important medical information about the patient.

Aside from this the patient must present a proof of identity like a passport as well as the name of the Canadian physician that will administer the treatment. What if you don’t have the name and address of the Canadian physician who will handle the treatment? It is highly recommended that you visit the SAM website to get consultation, referral, and other information about general practitioners and clinics that are involved in the methadone maintenance treatment program.

This self-help website is very useful because the information is in English and French. You may also browse the Internet for treatment services in Canada, which is a database maintained by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Why do you need the information of the administering physician? Because you will need to send a request for travel to Canada to him. Further arrangements should be handled directly by the foreign physician and the chosen Canadian methadone treatment practitioner.

Dispensing Requirements

Despite being widely regarded as a safe medication, the prescription, dispensing, and consumption of methadone should be done in accordance with existing guidelines. This is because inappropriate or unsupervised use can result in dangerous consequences.

What are some of the key requirements for dispensing methadone that you should know about?

  1. The pharmacy should notify the OCP when dispensing methadone. It is the responsibility of the pharmacist to ensure that the College is notified within 7 days that they are dispensing methadone.
  2. The treatment and dispensing policy of OCP should be followed strictly. This means that pharmacists/physicians will be responsible for ensuring that there is adequate collaboration or communication between the pharmacist and the physician. Health Canada will be informed by the physician to ensure that there is a current and valid exemption. The exemptions for methadone treatment and chronic pain treatment are separate.
  3. All staff member should be adequately trained based on existing requirements. Prevailing policy is that the DM should be adequately trained in the first 6 months of the methadone treatment practice. There should also be at least one pharmacist employed as a staff within one year. The trainings of the pharmacists should be updated every 5 years at the very least.

To be able to prescribe methadone the exemption of the physician should be in accordance with section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The College is mandated not only to oversee the program, but also ensure that its quality is improved and that methadone maintenance treatment remains accessible in Ontario.

The profile of the treatment program has been enhanced using outreach activities and through the recruitment of physicians qualified to prescribe methadone as an opioid dependence treatment drug.

Towards Recovery Clinics should be able to provide you with more information on methadone treatment requirements. Give them a call today.


What is the Cost of Methadone Treatment?

Posted on :  May 23rd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Are you aware that there are over 50,000 people on the methadone maintenance treatment in Ontario alone? This is according to a paper that appeared in the Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy medical journal. What is the cost of this treatment to the public payer in Canada? Let’s try and see.

Importance of Price Quotes

Why is it necessary to have methadone treatment quotes? The estimate of the cost of the methadone treatment in Canada or anywhere else for that matter will serve as a guide in crafting policies that will cover healthcare financing decisions.

The estimates are commonly compared to those of other countries but not necessarily applicable to Canada because of a variety of reasons. For example, the quotes from other countries may include expenses that are not applicable to the Canadian perspective. The application of the fees of pharmacies, laboratory services, and physicians may also vary including the prevailing guidelines and programs of the respective governments.

The treatment guidelines also have to be taken into account because obviously the allowed frequency of visits will have an impact on the overall cost of the treatment. For the Canadian perspective, it is best to look at the cost estimate for the treatment of the opiate dependent user from the public payer perspective.

Based on treatment figures, the average daily cost is around $15.48 per patient. If the patient opts to go with continuous treatment for at least a year, the estimated cost will be $5,651. These figures reveal that the delivery of methadone treatment in Ontario in particular is within the same levels as those of Australia and the United States.

Comparing Cost Estimates

There will definitely be a variance in the implementation of methadone treatment. Costing studies conducted in Europe revealed that in the United Kingdom, the approximate cost of treatment is $3 but rises to $12 daily in Norway. These figures however were based on an earlier study conducted in 2010.

During the same period, the cost of methadone maintenance treatment in Australia was around $11 a day. This costs Australian prisons an estimated $3,234 per year per patient. Based on a cost-effectiveness analysis conducted between methadone and buprenorphine, the methadone treatment was cheaper by about $6 per day per patient.

Even within the same country, a comparison of cost estimates will show that the methadone treatment quotes vary. In the United States for example, the Veteran’s Affairs estimates the cost of treatment at $5,250 per year, while other programs showed an annual cost of only $4,176. The cost per week of the treatment would range anywhere from $42 to as much as $139. In New York, the average annual cost is pegged from $4,750 to $6,068.

When we take into account the number of patients that have been stabilized in a period of at least a year, the estimated cost for the clinic-based methadone treatment comes out at $240 a week while the office-based methadone treatment cost is at $275 weekly.

All of these estimates can serve as a baseline reference. The manner of treatment for methadone will also have an impact on future estimates. For example, in Canada methadone is classified as a controlled substance so it requires a prescription from a physician. The physician who will write a prescription will also have to undergo a specialized training program aside from an exemption issued by Health Canada.

There is also the factor of licensing bodies in every province that are tasked with the regulation of the prescription of methadone. The guidelines from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is normally used as a standard. These guidelines outline the appropriate testing, prescribing, and dispensing of methadone including other factors that can affect the treatment.

If you want to get more accurate methadone treatment quotes, call the Towards Recovery Clinics now.


Frequently Asked Methadone Treatment Questions

Posted on :  May 18th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Despite being one of the most popular treatment methods for opioid dependence, there are still a couple of questions surrounding the use of methadone. It is understandable considering that not everyone agrees with the implementation of methadone treatment. To give you a better understanding, let’s take a look at some methadone treatment questions.

What is Methadone?

This is the most basic question that anyone should ask about the treatment. Basically, it is a type of drug used not only for the treatment of opiate addiction, but also for relieving pain. It is important to point out that methadone is strictly used for opioid related addiction and not applicable for other types like cocaine, marijuana, or alcohol among others.

What does it do?

Methadone works by blocking the receptors of the brain that is affected by the use of heroin and other opiates. This allows addicts to achieve gradual detoxification without the violent withdrawal symptoms. This means that methadone will occupy the receptors to block high opiates and achieve a more stable feeling. The addict will have reduced cravings and tempered withdrawal symptoms that lowers the risk of relapse. This is done by simulating the same sense of euphoria that opiates deliver but with longer lasting effects so that a single dose a day would be sufficient for most addicts.

Is the Treatment Safe?

There are obvious concerns when it comes to the safety of the treatment. However, when methadone is used as it is prescribed, it can be safely taken even continuously over a number of years without experiencing dangerous side effects. Methadone has also gone through rigorous testing to ensure its safety and efficacy when applied as a treatment for narcotic dependence and withdrawal.

As a type of legal medication, its production is handled by licensed pharmaceutical companies subjected to strict monitoring and quality control standards. The administration is also supervised by a physician using strict guidelines. As far as mental impairment, intoxication, or feeling of sedation, none of these are associated with methadone so patients can continue to pursue normal and ordinary activities.

Is the Treatment Effective?

For over 30 years methadone has been used for the effective treatment of opioid dependence and addiction. To back up its claims of effectiveness, numerous scientific research works have been done. One such study was done in 1994 where a methadone maintenance treatment was linked to lower rates of criminality, illegal drug use, and hospitalization of addicts compared to other popularly used drug treatment programs.

Are there Side Effects?

What kind of side effects can you experience when going through the program if any? If we are to base on studies, there are no significant side effects that can be expected from the medically supervised implementation of the methadone treatment. Most common reports include water retention, skin rash, drowsiness, constipation, excessive sweating, and change in libido. The side effects disappear once that patient gets the proper individual dosage.

What are the Benefits?

Aside from what has already been stated, safe and effective, one desirable benefit of the methadone treatment program is that it is the most affordable choice for most opiate addicts. Other benefits are the relief from withdrawal symptoms, return of chemical balance, reduced cravings, and emotional balance. All of these benefits will result in the return of normal bodily functions, improved relationships, and overall stability of the patient.

Will it Show on Drug Tests?

If your concern is turning positive on drug tests, then you will be happy to know that methadone does not return a positive unlike heroin or morphine. Specific testing for methadone should be done to be able to detect its presence in your system. The good news is that this type of specific testing is not normally done. In the United States, supervised methadone maintenance programs fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act so it cannot be used as a basis for denying employment.

There are definitely more methadone treatment questions creeping in your mind. To get the right answers, contact Towards Recovery Clinics now.


Coordinated Addiction Treatment and Overdose

Posted on :  May 15th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

What is the relationship between coordinated addiction treatment and overdose? According to the chief medical officer of British Columbia in Vancouver, when drug addiction treatment relies in a series of coordinated efforts, the likelihood of an addict overdosing becomes reduced. Why is this and is this how the government is handling the problem of drug addiction?

Withdrawal Support

It is important to understand that the structure of drug addiction treatment is a complex one. It is not enough to have a treatment program in place in hospitals or clinics, proper support should also be on hand after a patient returns to the community.  For example, a patient that is going through a withdrawal process cannot be allowed to go back to the community without assuring that proper support is available or accessible. Why?

When there is lack of proper support, the likelihood of a patient going into overdose becomes heightened. In fact the potential for overdose can be as much as seven times higher when the patient goes into relapse. This happens because the body hast lost its tolerance for opioids faster resulting in increased risk for the patient.

Broken System

There is a sentiment that the drug addiction treatment process is a broken system. For some health professionals, this statement would be accurate if there was a system in place. This means that there is a clearly defined and identified interlinked parts that function in relation to each other to comprise a whole.

With the 922 deaths in British Columbia associated with opioid use in 2016, these health professionals believe that such a system does not exist. The total number of deaths is actually higher than the initial 914 fatal overdoses reported. What should be done to address such a broken system?

The problem of drug addiction should be viewed as an emergency or something critical. Hence, public awareness is of paramount importance in order to put a stop to the critically rising number of overdose deaths. There is also a need to ensure that the communication lines between the implementing agencies concerned with public health emergencies remain open.

Enhancing Coordination

Specialists in addiction medicine believe that in order to correct such a perceived broken system, better coordination has to be in place. The coordination needs to be done from the start of the process in helping patients go through each stage of the addiction rehabilitation process. This means using a long-term addiction treatment approach with enhanced coordination.

What does this mean? The patients undergoing rehabilitation should be guided on what will be done and what to expect on the next phase of the recovery process. Maintaining realistic expectations can help patients go through the transition with as little problems as possible.

Funding undoubtedly will play a critical role in the later stages of a long-term program in order to ensure that proper support remains accessible. Removing the stigma surrounding addiction will also be helpful especially when people, professionals, and policy makers begin to understand that addiction is a chronic illness. It is wrong to think that just because you put a person into an addiction treatment program he will come out clean and better. The journey to reaching “cleanliness” is not only extremely long, but also very challenging.

Overdose Rise

If we are to take the data of British Columbia, we can see that the number of fatal overdoses in on the rise. From roughly 200 overdoses a year from 2003 to 2011, the number of deaths started to rise. So far, 2016 has been recorded as the deadliest to date with a rollercoaster ride where a decline was recorded from March to November before skyrocketing in December when a record 142 deaths associated with overdose was recorded.

The surge was attributed by the chief medical officer to carfentanil, which is a synthetic type of opioid that is 100 time the power of fentanyl. There were 4 out of 5 people succumbing to opioid overdose related deaths in 2016.

If you want to get a comprehensive and holistic addiction treatment program, call Towards Recovery Clinics today.


Prescription Heroin for Addiction Treatment

Posted on :  May 12th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that the government of Canada has approved the prescription of pharmaceutical-grade heroin as a treatment for severe addiction? The new drug guidelines allows doctors to issue prescriptions for patients who have not responded well to conventional addiction treatment methods. Can this be really the solution for drug addiction?

The Implications

What does this new guidelines mean? This means that treatment clinics can expand specialized heroin maintenance programs to allow addicts to come in a maximum of 3 times daily to get their prescribed injections. The free heroin maintenance can be received without legal implications. This is a unique program that is enforced in the United States and Canada, which is similar in approach in 8 European countries.

This move is actually a reversal of government policies implemented in previous administrations and seen as a softening of stance in addressing the problems of drug abuse and addiction. The implementation comes after an announcement of plans to legalize marijuana sale next year. A task force has also been appointed to look into the regulation, selling, and taxing of marijuana.

As part of this initiative, a four-year extension of operation has been granted to a supervised injection site located in Vancouver. The implication of this is that addicts will be able to continue to shoot up in a controlled environment using drugs bought from the street.

Additional Tools

Another thing worth noting with this decision is that Health Canada can be applied by all physicians for diacetylmorphine using the special access program. However, the government pointed out that such a program is made available only for minority users who have not found relief from traditional, proven, and effective treatment options.

It seems that the motivations is to be able to provide healthcare services different tools in addressing the crisis of opioid addiction and overdose. Some treatment clinics are welcoming this decision of the federal government. These clinics which may be funded by the provincial government are involved in the delivery of diacetylmorphine to addicts using a special court order that gives them exemption privileges.

When the amount of supply increases, it is expected that the number of addicts that these clinics cater to will double at the very least. The court order remains in place despite a constitutional challenge trying to stop the distribution of drugs by the government. Conservative parliament however remain adamantly against this health policy being implemented by the government.

From their perspective, using prescription heroin to treat opioid addiction is not the right venue to take. These conservative parliamentarians believe that the heroin should be taken from the hands of addicts and not injected into them.

As for the government, it sees that there is a need to adjust conditions of long-term addicts that the standard methadone and detox treatment cannot address. It is not that these standard treatments are not adequate, but the reality is that there are circumstances wherein repeated attempts have resulted in treatment failure. This should not mean that delivering care to these exceptions should be abandoned.

Program Demand

If you are a conservative, you may be surprised to know that the demand for the program is quite high. Does this mean that addicts see it as a chance to continue with their addiction? Not necessarily so, because it can also mean that long-term users are ready to explore alternative methods that will help them resolve their addiction.

Keep in mind that in this program the patients are required to come to the clinic 2 to 3 times daily for their injections. Unfortunately, this method can be a bit disruptive for patients who are working. The indication though is that the dropout rate will remain insignificant with desired results of healthier patients achievable.

The high demand for the program is projected to reduce the participation in criminal activities of addicts. In turn this will drastically cut the cost that addiction stresses on the criminal justice system. Despite the controversy of the approach, there seems to be an increase in the number of physicians becoming receptive to the program.

Towards Recovery Clinics can guide you with the proper addiction treatment for your individual needs. Call them today!


Study on Methadone Treatment Effectiveness

Posted on :  May 9th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As one of the most common forms of opioid substitute treatment today, it is not surprising that methadone treatment has become the subject of so many studies. This is why there is an abundance of evidence that would suggest that the treatment is capable of reducing drug-related deaths aside from improving the overall well-being and health of the addict. Let’s take a look at one of the studies that evaluated the methadone treatment in 2004.

Quantitative Study Method

In this aspect of the study, individuals that entered the methadone treatment program were monitored for a period of 18 months. A validated methadone treatment questionnaire was administered to 33 of the patients upon their entry into the treatment program. The same opiate treatment index was administered to 17 patients who remained in treatment after the 18-month period.

Self-reported data was collected based on the following domains:

  • Drug use;
  • HIV risk behaviors;
  • Social functioning;
  • Health status;
  • Criminality; and psychological adjustment.

Aside from social functioning, all other data collected referenced the behavior prior to the month of the interview. The social functioning data covered the period of 6 months before the interview. Every domain consisted of a number of questions with a number of choices for answers. Every answer in the option corresponded to a score. The lowest score indicated the lowest level of risk or the best experience.

Additional data was collected by the questionnaire to include the social situation and demographic of the patient. Based on collated answers, the study revealed the following:

  • There was an increase in the HIV-related risk behaviors instead of the drug-using behavior.
  • Substantial decrease in criminal behavior was observed with only one patient committing one of more crimes during the covered period.
  • Decreased social functioning scores were indications of improvements in the areas of employment, housing, and family relations.
  • Health status remained unchanged.
  • The scores for the psychological adjustment decreased, which translated to improved mental health.

It is vital to point out that the size of the sample was small and the mean score improvements were not statistically tested. However, this does not negate the positive outcomes that the study revealed in relation to the use of methadone maintenance therapy.

Qualitative Study Method

If methadone treatment questionnaire was used in the quantitative study method, in this method 3 focus groups were used to determine certain patient experiences in relation to treatment service providers.

Two groups received methadone maintenance treatment in a general practice setting. They were asked about the treatment along with continued risk behavior, impact of methadone on their lives, use of counseling, and their relationship with the service providers.

The other focus group was made up of the staff implementing the treatment program. The staff of the service providers were questioned on the positive and negative aspects of the treatments as they relate to the treatment outcomes and the pharmaceutical treatment options.

The following was determined from the focus groups:

  • Patients lauded the improvements in the treatment services after the methadone protocol was introduced. Specifically on the number of locations available, removal of financial charges, more services for less stable patients, and transfer to general practice setting of stable patients.
  • Transitioning between active drug use and the stabilization provided by the methadone treatment is the vulnerable time for addicts. The regular routine provided by the structured program gave patients the skills for potential future employment. Majority of the patients reported improvements in family relationships and decline in criminal activities.
  • The treatment is important for transitioning from active to no drug use. There were reservations on the long-term dependence on methadone and toleration of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification including potential relapse to heroin usage.
  • The high turnover rate of counsellors had a disruptive effect on the patients of the treatment centers, particularly in achieving stable lifestyles and coping with crises. Patients recognized the importance of monitoring of drug use why undergoing treatment.
  • Patients associated dental problems with the methadone treatment. Many of the patients had multiple dependence problems including prescribed drugs like hypnotics, tranquilizers, and benzodiazepines among others.

When you combine the results of both study methods, it would suggest that the methadone treatment program is successful in stabilizing heroin users and helping them achieve positive lifestyles.

Towards Recovery Clinics can help opiate dependents through a holistic approach to addressing their dependence. Call them!




Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.