blank   Click to listen highlighted text! blank

Methadone Treatment Guidelines

Posted on :  June 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In Canada, there are thoughtful guidelines for methadone treatment plans. They are designed for the safety of the patient and to make the role of the physician and pharmacist clear and easy to follow. At Towards Recovery, we follow the guidelines that integrate all three parties with the patient’s needs coming before the needs of the physician and the pharmacist.

Working Together for Success

In order to move toward patient success, we work within our local community to help patients fight their opioid dependence. Each pharmacist that we work with follows the practices and policies that are determined by the various acts set forth by the Health Canada and the Drug and Pharmacies Regulations Act. Our physicians do the same, following the guidelines set forth about prescribing and dispensing methadone.

Our physicians and pharmacists work together to keep the methadone properly stored and dispensed so their patients are properly cared for. The pharmacists and physicians must keep the methadone safe until it has been given to the patient. The pharmacist must stay aware of any changes that occur in the prescription, too.

Treatment Options

There are several options for treatment that fall within the guidelines. The options are designed to help patients who are addicted to opioids. They include a structured opioid therapy, as well as a treatment program with either methadone or buprenorphine. There is also an option for abstinence treatment, too.

Methadone Options for Patients

Patients who choose the methadone option should have some indications. One of the first signs that methadone treatment should be used is that the patient failed in a structured opioid therapy. The patient injected, snorted, or took crushed tablets when they got high on opioids. Patients in treatment also manipulated the system to get opioids from several physicians or from sources on the street. The patients who benefit the most from methadone treatment have an addiction to opioids and other hard street drugs or alcohol.

When patients are using opioids to treat pain that was not caused by cancer, methadone can help them fight their addiction. When methadone is used as the treatment of choice, physicians and clinics will provide daily doses of methadone. The clinics will also provide daily urine screening and counseling to help patients relearn how to live without opioids in their lives. Prior to prescribing methadone, physicians need to consult with their provincial regulating body. The patient will keep lines of communication open between the clinic prescribing methadone and the patient’s primary care physician. The clinic and primary care doctor will work together to share diagnoses and other prescriptions.

Buprenorphine Treatments

Some patients are more successful with buprenorphine treatments instead of methadone. Some people are at risk of developing a toxicity to methadone, like the elderly, teen, and young adults. There are also some communities were methadone is not available for treatment therapies.

Buprenorphine can be used for patients who are addicted to opioids and to painkillers that are not prescribed for pain related to cancer. It is important that physicians are aware of the regulations in their communities before prescribing the treatment. Otherwise, the rules for buprenorphine are similar to those for methadone.

Structured Opioid Therapy

Some patients have success using a structured opioid therapy – also called SOT. This therapy includes using opioids that are not methadone or buprenorphine to treat addiction to painkillers. There are controls that physicians and clinics must use as well as written plans, patient education, and very closely monitored dispensing and monitoring.

If you have any questions about the guidelines for opioid treatments, please feel free to contact us at Towards Recovery. We can easily be reached via phone at 905-546-0050 or via email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Methadone Treatment Benefits

Posted on :  June 20th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Despite the fact that there are many benefits to methadone treatment therapy for opioid addiction, the drug is still highly misunderstood. If people knew more about how methadone can help, rather than hurt, people who are fighting the deadly addiction to heroin and other opioids, they would be more willing to accept the treatment rather than disregard it. While there are side effects to methadone treatment, the benefits outweigh any drawbacks.

And, there is one thing for certain: methadone maintenance therapy saves lives.

Methadone is the best medicine for fighting the highly addictive opioids like heroin and other prescription medication. Quitting opioids cold-turkey brings painful withdrawal symptoms and using methadone as a treatment therapy keeps the painful withdrawal symptoms away. It also keeps away the craving for other opioids. It just works, very well.

Methadone is one of the least expensive forms of therapy for dangerous opioid addiction. It does not require patients to stay overnight in expensive treatment centers. A dosage of methadone costs less than a dinner at a fast-food restaurant. It also costs significantly less than the pricey street drugs that opioid addicts enjoy taking.

Methadone treatments help opioid addicts develop a healthy lifestyle. Being away from the damaging effects of opioids is the first step toward longevity. People who partake in methadone treatment to fight addiction end up being able to sleep, relax, exercise, eat, work, and participate in life in a healthier way. Men and women on a methadone treatment program are less likely to fall back on their unhealthy habits, like sharing needles, so they are less likely to catch unwanted diseases.

Methadone treatment helps people stay on the right side of the law. Usually, people who are buying illicit drugs have run-ins with law enforcement agencies. When people are being treated with methadone, they tend to stop breaking the law. They are able to maintain a job, because they are not getting high and doing risky things. They are not spending nights in jail or paying heavy fines. People do not get the urge to break the law to pay for their methadone doses.

Methadone helps people regain their lives. They are able to work on their educations or build a career. They are able to care for their family members and spend time with healthy friends. They are able to participate in the world outside of drugs.

Methadone also keeps addicts away from the unhealthy people who once ruled their lives. Instead, former addicts spend time with the health care workers in their methadone clinics. These people help the former addicts learn how to assimilate back into society. They help former addicts learn to make good decisions. Therapists help former addicts manage their emotions. These people are positive assets to a former addict’s life.

Methadone is safer for pregnant addicts than heroin. Pregnant women who are addicted to heroin can put their unborn babies at risk for addiction and painful withdrawal symptoms. When women choose methadone, their babies are more likely to have safer births and the women are more likely to seek out good prenatal care. If pregnant women quit their heroin addictions cold turkey, their babies are at risk for the painful withdrawal symptoms, too. Methadone makes the entire process much safer for the mother and the child.

Finally, opioid addicts who seek and participate in methadone treatment are more likely to live longer than if they remained on heroin. The longer mortality is based on the fact that once opioid addicts switch to methadone, they are less likely to do risky things to get more drugs. Since they know where the methadone is coming from and the methadone does not bring any strange effects like euphoria or a sense of intoxication, people are more likely to live longer.

If you have any questions or concerns about methadone treatment options for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Methadone Quotes: Keeping You Motivated Through Treatment

Posted on :  June 18th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

During difficult times, being able to relate to other people can help. Your counselor, physician, and pharmacist can provide some motivation, but not like the people who have struggled through the same difficulties as you have. One of the most useful ways to stay on track is to have helpful quotes nearby. Whether you put one on your favorite coffee mug or you keep one folded up in your wallet, pick a few favorite quotes and read them when you are in need of a little pick-me-up.

Quotes about Hope

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” – Anne Lamott

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.” – Orison Swett Marden

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

“From the withered tree, a flower blooms.” – Unknown

“Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.” – Benedict de Spinoza

Quotes about Recovery

“Our family is affected by addiction. I will accept it, find strength in God and my recovering community, and go forward.” – Libby Cataldi

“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.” – Ramona L. Anderson

“Relax. Breathe. It takes time, but there is great joy to be had in moments of every day. Just remember, you’re learning new steps, a new dance.” – Lisa Frederiksen

“Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest thing.” – Gary Oldman

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” – Dale Carnegie

Quotes about the Journey

“Every day men, women, and adolescents take their first steps on this journey. Dramatic changes do happen.” – Joe Herzanek

“Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you.” – Aldous Huxley

“When women sit in a circle a sacred space is created to work and create together, listen, learn and share with one another—to get support from one other.” – Shelley Richanbach

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

Don’t let the past steal your present.” – Terri Guillemets

Quotes about Addiction

“Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there’ can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.” – Jean Kilbourne

“You’ve recognised a fundamental feature of an addict’s life. Maintaining your habit is so important you’ve no real interest in anything else.” – Marian Keyes

“As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.” – Julius Caesar

“The truth is that almost two thirds of Americans have friends or family members who have struggled with addiction. – William Cope Moyers

Choosing a favorite quote for different situations can be a liberating moment. Many addicts feel like they are completely alone in their journey to sobriety. In many cases, family members are unable to provide the type of support that recovering addicts need. Finding a shared voice, like that of someone who has experienced methadone treatment, can make the journey more comfortable and successful.


How Does a Methadone Treatment Work?

Posted on :  June 16th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Addicts who are battling the debilitating force of opioids can get serious help from methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). In this treatment program, methadone is prescribed for a significant amount of time to help curb the cravings for the addictive opioids. The program does not just include prescribed methadone, but plenty of medical and psychological counseling as well as thorough case management.

Before submitting to a methadone treatment program, it is a good idea to know exactly what methadone is and what it does. Methadone is actually an opioid, but instead of being a dangerous street drug like heroin, it is used to treat opioid dependence and to manage serious pain. Methadone maintenance treatments are not used to manage pain; it is only used to treat dependence on other opioids.

Methadone is so useful in the management for opioid dependence because it blocks the brain from other opioids. In the medical community, this is called cross-tolerance and it is created when substances use the same brain receptors. When people build up a tolerance to heroin, they will also build up a tolerance to morphine and other opioids.

People take methadone in liquid form with a flavored beverage like an orange drink. This way, it cannot be injected. In most cases, it is added to 100 ml of liquid, but it does take time to get the right dosage of methadone stabilized for each patient.

When the physician gets the dosage correct, methadone does good things. Opioid addicts will no longer feel the craving for opioids and they will not feel the painful withdrawal symptoms. These are two of the most difficult aspects of fighting an opioid addiction. Methadone does not cause any problems like euphoria, intoxication, or sedation like other opioids do. It also downplays the effects of heroin and other opioids.

Methadone maintenance treatment has several benefits. The biggest is the fact that it reduces the need for heroin or other harmful opioids. Since addicts build up tolerances to the opioids they take, the effects of the drugs wear off rather quickly. But, methadone can last between 24 and 36 hours – giving addicts a break from their need for more drugs. Physicians only need to give a dose of methadone one time per day, while addicts can take several doses of heroin each day, since the high only lasts between three and six hours.

One of the other benefits of methadone maintenance treatment is that the tolerance is very slow to build. Therefore, patients on MMT can take their doses for a very long time. As long as it is careful managed, methadone is safe for treating opioid addiction.

It is also a low-cost way to treat dependence. Addicts who partake in MMT are less likely to use other opioids. Their life spans increase and they are less likely to partake in risky behaviors. They are less likely to transmit and catch other diseases and they are less likely to be arrested. Because of the positives associated with MMT, it is a treatment that many physicians recommend.

Unfortunately, many addicts are not able to access treatment programs like MMT. There are barriers that keep them addicts. In many cases, the biggest barrier is lack of awareness with health care professionals. Since MMT is such a specialized treatment, it is not common knowledge in all fields of medicine.

When patients are involved in MMT, they will work with physicians and counselors at a clinic. It is important that lines of communication stay open between all of the health care workers like the pharmacists, nurses, and mental health professionals to keep a close eye on the patients who are involved in MMT.

If you have any questions or concerns about drug abuse or looking for methadone as a tool for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Why Does Heroin Cause Vomiting

Posted on :  June 9th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When people decide to take heroin for the very first time, they are unsure of the way it will affect the body. Usually, they expect that they will feel the euphoria that heroin supposedly gives to users. But, in many cases, users will vomit and not just once.

Drugs Changing the Way the Body Works

When heroin enters the body, it can seriously alter the way the body functions. So much so, that the only response the body can do is vomit. And vomit repeatedly. This happens because of the chemical structure of the drug. It is made in such a way that the drug actually attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. This completely changes the way the body sends and receives messages about pain and pleasure. When the body does not know what it is experiencing, it can attempt to rid the body of the unexpected substance. Vomiting is the natural way for the body to do this.

Altering the Brain

Heroin confuses the brain because the brain thinks it is getting a natural chemical. The brain cannot distinguish between heroin and what the body produces when managing pain and pleasure. The brain does not understand that heroin is addictive, but the concentrated potency of the drug can be overwhelming at first.

Many users report that they usually throw up each time they take heroin. But, the vomiting session is often described as being a good one because when it is over, the user feels better. Once they are finished vomiting, the effects of the drug kick in and the mind begins to experience the euphoria that makes the substance so addicting. Users enter their own world.

Changing the Chemicals in the Brain

The drugs keep endorphins from entering the neuron receptors so dopamine levels rise and so do the feelings of intense euphoria. The body cannot produce euphoria like the one created unnaturally by heroin. Humans cannot control endorphin release in any other way, except by taking an opioid. So, they continue to take it. The high is several times more intense than anything experienced during sex or by eating an exceptional meal.

Cravings Begin

Just like the body can crave chocolate or a glass of water, the brain begins to crave the feelings associated with heroin use. When regular opioid users stop taking the drug, the body begins to feel pain. Since all opioids fight pain, the tolerance to them builds up and people need more of the drug to feel substantial relief and extreme highs. Prescription pain medications can solve the problem, but pain pills like Percocet and Oxycontin get expensive. It is actually cheaper to take heroin instead.

Frightening Facts about Opioids

The fact that heroin and other opioids can cause the body to vomit is not the scariest problem with opioids. The addictive quality is frightening, but more so is the fact that the drug can slow the respiratory system. Despite the fact that the brain develops a tolerance to opioids, the rest of the body does not. The respiratory system and central nervous system can become so overwhelmed that they simply shut down if the opioid dose is too big. People can become sleepy and they can stop breathing. They can die from hypoxia and from high levels of carbon dioxide.

Get Help from Towards Recovery

Along with vomiting and respiratory issues, the addiction to the drug can cause extremely painful withdrawal. The fact that the brain becomes used to the opioids blocking the endorphins makes the body feel pain when people stop taking opioids of any type.

With patient-centered treatment, the pain can be managed and the addiction can be stopped. At Towards Recovery Treatment Centers, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Our methadone treatment can help fight and recover from addictions.

Contact us at our main office at 905-527-2042.


What are the Substance Abuse Disorders in the DSM

Posted on :  June 7th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In the world of psychology, the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the book that the experts in the field use on a daily basis. This book is loaded with all of the information that psychologists and psychiatrists need to diagnose issues ranging from depression and schizophrenia to disorders about substance abuse.

The DSM has several disorders related to substance abuse. They are all about the abuse of opioids, marijuana, stimulants, hallucinogens, as well as tobacco and alcohol. The disorders are ranked by severity from mild, moderate, and severe. This manual explains the criteria for each degree using different factors like impairments, recurrence, and risky behaviors. Pharmacology is also taken into consideration.

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids are an addicting substance because they block the receptors that tell the brain to experience pain. But, the substance can cause problems like nausea and constipation, confusion and euphoria, and drowsiness, too. If too much of the drug is taken, it can slow down respiration to dangerously low levels. Opioids can be found in prescription medications like oxycodone and it is also in heroin. Because opioid users need more of the drug to experience the same euphoria every time, they often inject the drug to speed up the reaction. This is why so many people experience overdoses and why so many people choose heroin instead of prescription options because the high is more intense.

According to research, more than 2 million people in 2014 were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder related to prescription drugs and/or heroin in the US alone. The symptoms that therapists look for include a craving for opioids and the reduction of a regular social and work like because of drug use. People with a disorder build up a tolerance and they work hard to get the drugs they crave. When they try to stop, they develop physical symptoms like pain from muscle aches, fevers, diarrhea, and negative mood issues.

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

A Hallucinogen Use Disorder is diagnosed when a therapist sees symptoms that are similar to those of a Opioid Use Disorder. The drug-of-choice for a Hallucinogen Use Disorder includes drugs like LSD, peyote, or mushrooms that cause hallucinations, personal detachment, and distortions in time and space. The symptoms include cravings for hallucinogens, inability to control the use of them, not taking care of responsibilities in lieu of drugs, and practicing risky behaviors, and developing tolerance to the drugs. There are significantly fewer people who are diagnosed with this disorder. The numbers are under 250,000 in the US.

Alcohol and Tobacco Use Disorders

Out of all of the substance abuse disorders, Alcohol Use Disorder and Tobacco Use Disorder are the most common. They cause a significant number of deaths, despite all of the warnings about lung cancer and driving drunk. When it comes to alcohol use, over half of everyone 12 and older claim to be alcohol drinkers, but about percent of those who drink alcohol are considered abusers. The DSM has three levels of ranking drinkers: Moderate, Binge, and Heavy. Moderate drinkers have one to two drinks per day. Binge drinkers have five or more drinks per event at least once per month. Heavy drinkers consume more than five drinks in a sitting at least once per week.

Tobacco Use Disorder can affect people as young as 12 and approximately 25% of American that age and older use tobacco products. This is the one disorder that does not involve changing the mental state of the users, like opioids, alcohol, and hallucinogens do. So, the biggest problem with this drug is the damage it does to the physical body. The disorder is diagnosed when people smoke so much that they are diagnosed with physical issues like heart disease, respiratory disorders, and cancer caused by smoking and they continue to smoke.


Towards Recovery: Drug Treatment Center in Ontario

Posted on :  June 4th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When you are looking for drug treatment centers in Ontario, look no farther than Towards Recovery Clinics. Our clinics are staffed with professionals who are highly trained to work with addicts and their families to steer addicts toward a successful recovery. Our name says it all.

Treating the Whole Person

When people come to us with the desire to become well, we look at the whole person. Our comprehensive approach to treatment takes into consideration more than just addiction. We look at the individual and the needs of that person. We know that drugs can take over lives, so we work with our patients to help them regain control so they can get back to what is really important to them.

We begin by completing a comprehensive assessment before starting any treatment. We individualize the treatment plan by considering all options that include lifestyle intervention, psychological treatments, and pharmacological choices. We look at data to see what works best in each situation, whether our patients are struggling with prescription drugs or hard street drugs.

On the Path to Recovery

We also work closely with the patient before we choose a path to recovery. With our team of

expert physicians, counselors, nurses, and pharmacists, our services are second to none. We also work closely with other drug treatment centers in Ontario to help each patient get the exact treatment that works for him or her. We take pride in helping the people of Ontario who are struggling with opioid disorders get back to healthy lifestyle. Our community involvement keeps us up-to-date on the struggles that the people of Ontario are facing in regards to drug addiction.

Treating Opioid Addiction

Our drug treatment centers in Ontario specialize in helping people who are dealing with opioid disorders. It is common for us to help people who are struggling with the debilitating problems that come with abusing prescription medications like Codeine, Percocet, Demerol, Oxycontin, and Dilaudid, along with other commonly abused medications. We also help people who are struggling with the addictive qualities of heroin and other street narcotics.

Our Four-Pillared Mission

As a fully function collection of drug treatment centers in Ontario, we strongly believe in a four-pillared mission. We strive to be completely patient centers. We understand that for patients to successfully fight their addictions, they need to feel that they are not being judged by those who are caring for them. We provide that safe and non-judgmental environment that helps patients succeed.

Secondly, we work hard to follow the latest research. Our patients deserve the best treatment possible, so we are constantly striving to deliver modern case-by-case treatment. Our patients come first and our staff is always looking for the best practices to treat their addictions.

Our third pillar involves staying innovative, while providing a value to our patients. We understand that treatment can be difficult for patients to maintain, so we ensure that patients have access to the support systems they need. Those support systems can be family members, treatment centers, community support, medical support, and more. These programs are necessary to treat the whole person.

Finally, we work hard to help each patient get back into society. At Towards Recovery, we know that a full recovery involves patients being able to fill a successful role at home, at work, and in social situations. We work with community organizations that understand the recovering addict and we learn from our patients’ experiences so we can continue providing personalized treatment. We work with community organization to help them meet their goals, too. Accountability works two ways – with our patients coming in for help and with them reinserting themselves into the community as they progress through their treatment programs.

If you have any questions or concerns about substance abuse treatment options for recovery, or if you are worried about an addiction, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Wise Words of Inspiration: Addiction Recovery Quotes

Posted on :  June 2nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

At Towards Recovery Treatment Center, we understand that there will be times when the craving become too much. We know that patients often feel alone. We understand the struggles. It can be truly difficult for any person fighting an addiction to remain strong 100% of the time.

When the going gets tough, it is helpful to have some inspiration to help get through those challenging moments. It is important for recovering addicts to understand that they are not alone. Numerous people all over the world have struggled with drug addiction and other painful circumstances. Fortunately, those people have left words of wisdom for people who are struggling.

Here are a few inspirational quotes that are important to consider when the going really gets tough:

1. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

This quote can help recovering addicts understand that it is the small things that matter. Each moment of sobriety is one more moment of sobriety. Even though that seems like an obvious statement, it is each moment that matters.

2. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Falling into the pattern of addiction is an easy thing for anyone battling drug abuse. Instead of falling into those patterns, recovering addicts need to think differently. They need to look at the positivity of staying away from drugs and the danger that drugs bring to life. Fighting addiction is not a problem, it is a success.

3. “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Fighting addiction is a risky business. Of course it will be scary, especially when recovering addicts know that it can be physically painful. It can also be frightening because it is a life-changing experience. There might be moments when the fight becomes too difficult, but it is important to understand that the fight is worth the risk. It is vital to recognize the fear and overcome it. Without facing fear, you cannot make gains and build a healthy lifestyle.

4. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Henry Ford changed the world with his inventions and creativity. If he did not do what he did, the world would be a completely different place. While you do not need to change the world, you do need to change your world. It is best to stay on track and convince yourself that you can succeed. It is much better than convincing yourself that you are going to fail.

5. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese proverb

The best time to start is now. The next best time is now. Get the idea. Even if there are struggles through the recovery process, there is still time to keep going. Think of the baby learning to walk, if the baby gave up after the first time he fell, he would never learn to walk. You have to keep the same tenacity with your recovery. Anything worth fighting for is going to involve some fight.

6. “The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

You cannot overcome the problem if you do not face it. Without working through it, you will never recover. If you have taken the time to enter the room of recovery, you have to take the time to get through the door to maintain the fight.

If you want even more suggestions, the experts at Towards Recovery have plenty of other inspirational and motivational quotes to share.

Contact us at our main office at 905-527-2042.


Assessing Addiction: Commonly Used Addiction Assessment Tools

Posted on :  May 31st, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In the world of assessing addiction, it is not realistic for a treatment center to just label people as addicted or not. Before choosing a treatment option, patients need to be properly assessed to see exactly what trouble they have and what the best course to successful recovery will be.

One of the best tools for assessing any type of psychological disorder, including addiction is the DSM-5. There are five tools that the American Psychological Association uses along with the DSM-5 before making decisions about treatment.

One is the Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures that help therapists see where to begin assessing, because so many disorders have common symptoms.

Another helpful tool is the Severity Measures tool which looks at disorders at closer level. There is a World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule that therapists can use to see how effective a patient is at getting through daily activities and managing healthy behaviors.

The DSM-5 also includes the Personality Inventories that looks at personality traits that can show things like psychoticism, detachment, and disinhibition. Since many people with addictive disorders have more than one psychological issue, these assessment tools are helpful for therapists to meet all of their patients’ needs.

Another useful tool for therapists who are looking for a diagnosis of substance abuse, the SBIRT from the SAMHSA is accurate and helpful. SBIRT is the acronym used for the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment tool.  This screening tool is used by many healthcare professionals and it can be used in treatment centers, hospitals, and private practices or any other health care center that works with addiction treatment and recovery. The tool does require health care providers to talk to the patient prior to performing the assessment tool, so an intervention is required. When patients do show that they have a need for help, the health care provider does need to give a referral to that patient; this is the professional responsibility of the health care professional.

The DAST is another useful tool to screen whether or not a patient has an addiction to substances and requires treatment. The acronym DAST stands for Drug Abuse Screening Test. This is a quick little assessment tool that can be used for patients who do not believe they have a drug abuse problem. It comes in three options. There are 20-question and 10-question assessments and there is one designed for use with adolescents. The DAST does not screen for alcohol abuse. It has proven to be nearly 90% accurate in diagnosing substance abuse disorders.

Another useful tool is the DAI or Drug Attitude Inventory. This tool does not require the assessor to have any special training and it looks at the way the patient feels about medication. It might not be the best tool to see if patients are addicted to drugs, but it can assess their responses to prescription medications, especially those that are used to treat disorders. It can help healthcare professionals see if a pharmacological treatment will be the best options for patients. The assessment only takes about 10 minutes to complete.

One more useful tool is the DUSI-R. This looks at ten different areas of drug abuse. The tool is very effective and includes a reliability lie scale to determine the truthfulness of the patient. It looks at the severity of a drug abuse disorder that ranges from 0 to 100 percent. Healthcare professionals can then look at what needs to be done to effectively treat the disorder and to monitor the changes that are occurring during treatment. Patients can take the test on paper, in an interview, or on a computer. The tool does require that the patient know how to read at a fifth-grade level and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions or concerns about drug abuse or looking for methadone as a tool for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Drug Abuse: Treatment Approaches

Posted on :  May 1st, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug abuse is serious business. It is a chronic disease that can destroy individual people, families, and communities. Drugs abuse is so harmful because of the way different drugs affect the brain and the body. It is a difficult disease to treat and an easy disease to relapse into.

Several Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are several treatment procedures for drug abuse and addiction. But, the treatments are not easy. In some cases, the addiction needs to be treated for long lengths of time, even entire lifetimes. Treatment in all situations requires addicts to stop using drugs so they can be completely free of drugs and get back to being a productive member of society.

There are several considerations when determining the best treatment option for an addict. First, health care professionals need to emphasize that the treatment works on the brain and behavior. They should also make sure the addict understands that not every treatment works the same way for every addict. In order to make treatments work, addicts need to have access to the treatment and that treatment needs to fits the patient’s physical and psychological needs.

Treatment Considerations

Once the treatment is established, there are more considerations. Addicts need to be in treatment long enough to determine its efficacy. The addict also needs to have ample time to work with a counselor on behavioral therapies. Many addicts will have treatments that involve cognitive therapy and pharmacological treatments, because they work together well. Mental disorders should be considered during behavioral therapies. Then, the treatments need to be reassessed after the patient has spent time in it.

Detoxification Needs

For all addicts, the first step is to detoxify under the care of a medical professional. Despite the belief that addicts need to be willing to detox, addicts can be treated even if they have not voluntarily agreed to it. The treatment program does need to be continuously watched by trained medical professionals. Addicts should be check for infectious diseases while they are being treated – this lets healthcare professionals help the addicts learn how to live with diseases if they do have them.

Fighting Withdrawal

One of the issues that happen with detox is withdrawal. There are medications that can help lower the discomfort that comes from withdrawal from an addictive substance. It is important for addicts to remember than the detox step is not treatment, but it is necessary to have before actual treatment can occur.

Preventing Relapse

Medication can also be used to prevent relapse. The brain can suffer from cravings so medication helps dull the cravings to recovering addicts can get back to a regular way of life. There are medications that help fight the craving from opioids, nicotine, and alcohol.

Along with the help from medication, behavioral therapies also decrease the chances for relapse. These therapies help addicts change their behaviors so they can learn how to live without drugs in a healthy way.

Behavioral treatment can come in the form of outpatient treatment where the patient attends sessions at an office. There are also inpatient programs where addicts live in a center and receive a variety of treatments. They learn how to live without drugs under the watchful eyes of medical professionals.

Issues in the Criminal Justice System

Addicts who are involved in the criminal justice system have slightly different treatment. Although the actual treatment tends to be similar in concept, the execution of it is not as successful as the general population’s treatment is. Criminal offenders usually have poor quality treatment, so they often return to drugs when they return to the regular world.

Those in the criminal justice system need to be treated with the same regard as those who are not in the criminal justice system. But, they need a little bit more. Their cognitive behaviors need to address their lives of crime and how they get involved in it. They also need to look at how they can see the consequences of their actions before they decide to live that life again. Treatment decisions should revolve behavioral therapies, medication therapies, and correctional therapies, too. The courts will have to be involved, so the courts need to agree on what decisions the medical professionals make.

If you have any questions or concerns about drug abuse or looking for methadone as a tool for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.




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.
Click to listen highlighted text!