New Jersey Paramedics Can Now Offer Patients Suboxone After Overdose

New Jersey Paramedics Can Now Offer Patients Suboxone After Overdose   This is a first for the addiction treatment world. Last month, the New Jersey health commissioner authorized its paramedics to administer the drug buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone) to patients after their overdose had been reversed using the opioid antidote naloxone. This groundbreaking model has two specific goals. The first goal is treating opioid withdrawal symptoms caused by administration of naloxone. Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an “opioid antagonist” that reverses the life-threatening effects of opioids – specifically depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system. Simply put, naloxone helps to stimulate an overdose victim’s breathing and support improved blood pressure. While its life-saving results are celebrated in the moment, naloxone can [...]


Suboxone Saved My Life

Suboxone Saved My Life   I grew up believing the lies of addiction stigma. Addiction only happens to bad people. If someone gets hooked on drugs, they can just decide to stop whenever they want. People who come from stable homes don’t need to worry about addiction. Dangerous drugs are sold on the streets by scary-looking dealers. I didn’t have anything to worry about. After all, I wasn’t abused as a child or abandoned by my parents. I got good grades in school, graduated from college (twice), landed a great job, and had a wonderful group of friends. I wasn’t in danger of getting hooked on drugs. Looking back, I was embarrassingly naïve. A Common Path to Addiction My addiction story begins like so many [...]


You Can Transition From Methadone to Suboxone – I’m Living Proof

You Can Transition From Methadone to Suboxone – I’m Living Proof   Getting off methadone can be difficult. When done properly, however, switching from methadone to Suboxone can make for a smart transition plan. People have different reasons for making the switch from methadone to Suboxone. Some of the most common motivations include: A desire to avoid daily clinic visits and long wait times to dose Perceived stigma associated with methadone and/or methadone clinics A desire to break free of highly regulated methadone treatment programs Long distance travel required in order to attend the methadone clinic Resolving adverse cardiac effects developed while taking methadone Continued abuse of opiates while in a methadone program What to Expect in Transitioning From Methadone to Suboxone When it comes to switching from methadone to [...]


Addiction is a Chronic Disease, Not a Moral Weakness

Addiction is a Chronic Disease, Not a Moral Weakness   In 2016, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D. released the office’s historic, first-ever report titled Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. The report publicly confirmed what researchers have known for years: addiction is a chronic illness that is accompanied by significant changes in the brain. Murthy said, “We have to recognize (addiction) isn’t evidence of a character flaw or a moral failing. It’s a chronic disease of the brain that deserves the same compassion that any other chronic illness does.” He went on to recommend evidence-based early interventions for young people, expansion of treatment programs that are proven to work, and investment in substance use prevention and [...]


Myth vs. Fact: The Truth About Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Myth vs. Fact: The Truth About Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)   Every day, approximately 130 people in America die from opioid overdose. And for the first time in our nation’s history, people are now more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than a car crash. Medication assisted treatment (MAT) – a combination of counseling and an FDA-approved medication – is considered the gold standard treatment for opioid use disorder. Medications approved for use in treatment include: Methadone: An opiate agonist that binds to receptors in the brain, effectively blocking cravings and eliminating withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine (Suboxone): A partial opioid agonist that produces weaker euphoric effects and less respiratory depression. It has a “ceiling effect” that lowers the risk of misuse, dependency, and side [...]

Addiction Myths

7 Addiction Recovery Myths Debunked

7 Addiction Recovery Myths Debunked   Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care how much money you have in the bank or how many PTA meetings you’ve organized. It could care less if you’re on a fast-track for promotion at work or if your child made the honor roll again. It doesn’t matter what part of town you’re from or how much influence your family name carries. Addiction can happen to anyone – you, your family member, your best friend, or even your child. Many factors influence a person’s decision not to seek help, including myths and mistaken notions about the treatment process itself. With that in mind, let’s debunk seven common addiction myths that can – and do – prevent people from [...]

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