Friday, April 25, 2014

Drug Rehab Prospective: Bath Salts destroying the Mental Health of our Youth

Bath Salts Addiction Treatment Centers Los Angeles, California

Bath Salt Addiction Treatment Article. This article also details
the affects of Bath Salts On Mental Health

Bath Salt Addiction Treatment

Bath Salt addiction can be very harmful to anyone's Mental Health. Yes, there has been numerous reports in the media of the reports of suicide and violence caused by an addict using Bath Salts for the first time. Forty one states have out right banned Baths Salts but in my home state of California it is still legal for the moment. Those that are manufacturing Baths Salts have changed their marketing tactics as well since they are illegal in some states and now instead are selling this harmful drug as glass cleaner in local head shops. It makes one wonder how can a drug that is produced out of the United States being allowed to be sold legally here. Well, friends the answers lyes with the FDA and other Federal Agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Bath Salts haven been a contributing factor
to many deaths and long term stays at
Mental Health Treatment Centers
Bath Salts: Where do they come from?

Most Bath Starts sold in the US start out with a natural plant called Khat which can be found in Asian countries and India. Khat alone is already in itself illegal to possess at this time. Khat is then synthesized down into one of one of three compounds that is then sold as Bath Salts. The main three compounds made from Khat and sold as Bath Salts are Mephedrone, Methylone and Methlenedioxypyrovalerone. The interesting thing about Bath Salts is if our government used the same methodology as they have been used in banning Crystal Meth by addressing the root substance that is then synthesized into the new illicit substance then this drug in all forms would already be banned in the United States. Most of the Bath Salts in the US is actually produced in Europe and most countries in the UK have already banned Bath Salt. Bath Salts can be purchased in my home state of California or on the inter net.

My personal observation of someone high on Bath Salts

One morning when I came in to work the day shift at a sober living I ran a few years back two young men were awake which was odd. I noticed that they were both chatting away and chain smoking. To most people this wouldn't seem unusual but to a sober living manager who knows his residents well this was very odd. These two young men could never get up early if their lives depended on it. I drug tested both of them but the urinalysis cup came up negative. I also noticed that both young men were walking around the house grabbing themselves in a place that was inappropriate. I racked my brain all morning trying to figure out what these two young men were high on. I brought both of them into my office one by one and of course one feeling guilty he confided in me that he himself and his roommate had in fact ingested Bath Salts purchased at a local head shop.I consider myself lucky as both young men did not get violent with me or display serious psychotic behavior during this episode. That is not to say that their behavior was not peculiar. I set up an intervention with one of the residents mother to determine if we should send him back to rehab and while in my office decided to put his hands down his pants and grab his genitalia while we were conversing with him. It was after this day I decided that would do everything I could to inform myself of all the new designers drugs that were being sold at local head shops.

Teenager high on Bath Salts being tazzed by local Police

Mental and Physical effects of Bath Salts

It is needless to say that Bath Salts can be very harmful to ones physical and mental health. Mental Health Clinicians across the United Stated are having a fit of a time when treating those who have habitually abused Bath Salts.  Mental negative side effects can include Hallucinations, Drug Induced Psychosis, Paranoia and extreme Panic Attacks. Users of Bath Salts have been know to mutilate themselves, attack others violently and in extreme cases commit suicide. Yes the effects are similar to Crystal Meth but it seems that the initial onset of these side effects come on very quickly sometimes with in an hour as compared to Crystal Meth which make take hours before these symptoms appear.

Complications in Detecting Baths Salt by Law Enforcement, Drug Rehabs and Sober Living Homes

I have been working in the urinalysis business for a while now. Today with designer drugs such as Bath Salts and Spice it is ill advised to just depend on the results from a Urinalysis cup. Test panels are not set up this time to detect Bath Salts and other designer drugs so in a sense it might be impossible to actually impossible for those in Law enforcement, and working at a drug rehab or sober living home to detect the presence of Bath Salts in urine unless the sample is sent out to a lab that can analyze the urine with a gas chromatography mass spectrometry unit and only a licensed lab with have one. Today you cannot just depend on instinct or be full of ego with today's new drugs science can help the Addiction Treatment community battle incoming tide of designer drugs. Lastly when dealing with clients who may court committed a urinalysis cup is not the legal standard and courts may ask specifically for toxicology results from a certified laboratory.

Suggestions on what to do if in the presence of someone high on Bath Salts

If you think someone you are in the presence of is high on Bath Salts the first thing I would recommend is leaving the vicinity immediately and call 911. You have to understand that when anyone high on this drug their are not rational and very delusional and your actions could be very easily taken as a threat by the one high on Bath Salts. The news media has published numerous stories of those under the influence of this drug committing suicide, violently attacking friends and family and in some cases mutilating themselves.I hope you have found this information useful as we all battle the war on addiction.

Recommended Drug Rehabs and Treatment Centers
Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment Article
Article on the effects of Crystal Meth on Mental Health

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Drug Rehab |Marijuana: Another Legal Addiction

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Marijuana Addiction and Drug Rehab: Yes it is legal but it is still addictive.

Marijuana addiction can be just as devastating as addiction to alcohol. It can destroy relationships and careers. California just many other states for all intent and purposes have legalized this natural drug. My introduction to marijuana started on the day I buried my grandfather who was the biggest positive influence in my life at that time. If anything held me back from using prior to this day it was him and the day he died that all changed. That particular day I wanted to relieve all the emotional pain I had inside of me and marijuana took it all away. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70's and 80's you could see influences that glorified the use of marijuana everyday. It seemed my role models changed the strong men in my life like grandfather and my dad to Cheech and Chong and the character Jeff Spicoli a character in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". The year 1982 was a turning point in my life. It was a time that I decided that Marijuana and Alcohol would become the solution to my problems. You see prior to this I was full of fear, anxiety and a school geek. Marijuana was the first drug I turned to let go of the pain and fear. Today our country finds itself in the midst of a legal drug epidemic involving prescription drugs. To prove my point even more in the late
Marijuana can contribute to brain
damage in young people.

School was school was never an issue from first to eighth grade but that all changed after smoking weed. My dreams of being an automotive designer for General Motors slipped a way in a cloud of marijuana smoke. It only took one year for my grades slipped from A' and B's to C's and D's and lowering the expectations on myself on life. It was getting harder to focus or pay attention for any given period of time. Things I use to enjoy like reading seemed to be put on the shelf and everything else I would just say to myself may be tomorrow. The relationship I had with my father deteriorated  to the point we hardly spoke to each other. Marijuana and parting with my friends became my priorities in life. I can honestly that smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol led to med using even harder drugs like Crystal Meth. I probably wouldn't taken that first line of Meth if was sober due to fear. When someone like me is OCD you can even get addicted on so called harmless drugs such as Marijuana. There are arguments that marijuana use is safe and I disagree. Today prove my point further it was said during the late 1970's that Cocaine was non habit forming so you get my point.

The marijuana being sold today at so called Medical Marijuana Clinics is not the same Marijuana sold on the streets during the 1970's. Currently Medical Marijuana has a THC content 10-50% higher than cannabis sold twenty years ago. Those savoy in the business have learned how to genetically alter cannabis to intensify THC concentration. During my relapse years ago I once again tried marijuana and didn't like it due catatonic and paranoid state that it left me in. Cannabis advocates say that those who smoke marijuana are non violent and I have to disagree. During the 1980's drive by shootings were at an all time high. It could be said that many of those performing these shootings were high on Marijuana at the time these violent acts were performed. Marijuana Clinics in Los Angeles have been robbed at gunpoint by those looking for free Marijuana. Also to end this post I would like to leave you with this. If Marijuana is so harmless then why do so many people in urban areas and Southern states get murdered ever year because of Marijuana.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment Resources

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Alcoholism Treatment|Alcohol: The door to my addiction

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Alcoholism Treatment Centers still battling the deadly disease of Alcoholism.

When I took my first drink at 13 years old I never thought much about the words Alcoholic or Alcoholism. During my pre-teen years I told my self I would not drink because 3 of my dads friends in the 70's died of untreated Alcoholism all from diseased livers. It also reminded of images of the guys hanging out at the liquor store near our house in Inglewood, CA at the time with their paper bags acting like fools for the whole world to see. I also saw the violence that would erupt or someone getting shot over the a petty argument and then gun shots ringing out later as that is how resentments in my neighborhood were resolved often fueled by alcohol. I often felt awkward at a young age and the only time I felt okay was when I would stay up at my grandfather's farm up in Shafter, CA during the summer free from the insanity of the city. I also said at a young age I would never use drugs as I didn't have to look far to see of the effects and damage it caused to those that did use in my area at that age. The funny thing about the word never is don't use it in my case because I would eventually do all the things I swore I would never do.
It was a bottle of Alcohol like this that led
me to Alcoholism and then eventually
Drug Addiction and thank god I went to

The first time I ever drank was at 13 years old right after my grandfathers funeral. I  had felt that day that I had lost the only person in my life who truly loved me unconditionally and always showed me, love , empathy, compassion and tolerance. My grandfather was very religious and would spend at least 3 days a week at his Baptist Church in Wasco, CA where he was a deacon in the church. I never really mined going to church but I always wondered why don't I feel so happy or over joyed like others did in the congregation. That day with my cousin of the same age I made a decision that affect me for the rest of my life. I stole some beers out of the cooler and went down to the walnut grove and drank and used for the first time. I noticed it did two things for me that day. It allowed be to forget the deep emotional pain of losing my grandfather and I didn't feel awkward anymore. When my older cousin discovered I was drunk I got scared for I feared what my father would say as I was the younger one that my family had high expectations for due to me being a nerd in school. Alcohol also allowed me in the future to forget about the abuse my mother would suffer when                                                                       she remarried to any anger alcoholic.

I have to say that by the age of 17 years old I was a full blown Alcoholic who liked to use Marijuana with my alcohol. It was after my grandfather died that school didn't matter anymore. I already suffered from low self esteem and low self worth. It was during these years a lot of movies were coming out that glorified using drugs and alcohol and made it look cool. I thought if I could be one of the stoners like the guys in the movies then I would be okay with myself because I would feel accepted by other stoners. Really most of my friends at the time were like me broken or abusive homes and looking to forget and have a good time.It was this time I also started to use Marijuana very heavily because that is what we did back then it only made things worse along with the abuse handed out by my step father at home. I do have to say I did have a way out as my real father wanted me to come live with him but by this point my resentments I had towards him were so deep that  I hated him for nothing more than not understanding that my real father worked really hard to provide for me. This is sad as when you are young and hated those who really love you. I simply couldn't see it that way and could only see the pain that I carried inside and used alcohol to hide it from the rest of the world. My the more I hated myself, what was going on at home, the more I drank. I would black out basically every weekend and be in some kind of trouble in the small town we moved up to my senior year in high school in Ilwaco , WA. The two things I did do right that last year of high school was graduate and join the Army to get out of town. The reason I joined the Army was to make my mom and dad proud of me and at that time I was definitely not a candidate for college as my mind was on drinking and the next party.

The Army and moving on to hard drugs:

It was only a miracle that I was never caught using drugs in the military. I had figured out a system where I knew how to get over on the drug test but it still didn't address my heavy drinking problem that would land me in the first sergeants office from time to time for extra duty for either fighting in a black out and almost once missing an alert formation. I can say I wasn't the worst soldier in the world but I could went a lot farther if I would have left alcohol alone. It was the 80's and drinking was your right of passage at that time. It was one night with my battle buddy in Germany while drink that I was introduced to Crystal Meth the drug that would almost end my life. I do have to say that alcohol was always the primer to use drugs that I would not normally use while sober. It was while in the military that I was sent to rehab for six weeks for the first time and introduced to a 12 step program in Berlin. Everything went well in rehab and some motivation from antibuse that kept me dry for a few months but I knew I would drink again. I was hanging out in local bar in Germany and I ordered a Coke and when my drink arrived it was instead a rum and coke and when I drank it I had realized that it had no effect on me so my downward spiral started all over again. I chilled on the drinking to get my first Sergeant off my back until I was given my honorable discharge and back to the USA. My first night home on my 21 birthday I went into a black out and beat up a local and spiral down only continued along with various geographics until I arrived back home in California. The best decision I ever made and possibly saved my life. To make along story short while drunk one night I tried Meth again. My mother died of untreated alcoholism in 92 and I went on my last run for nine months until my relapse 15 years later. I always tried to use various things to find that happy medium and for me that ways Meth and Alcohol.

Alcoholism, Relapse and Crystal Meth:

They say you start right were you left off at and today I can say without a doubt I believe that statement because I was one there. I was in bar with people I had no business hanging out with then I drank. You might say what happened. Well what always happens money and resentment with my current significant other were my excuses to drink and by the end of the night I had a plate full of powered Cocaine in my face. Now keep in mind from the outside I had come along ways in my life. I had success at various jobs in my area over the years sober I was able to do things I thought I was not capable of doing. It was the work in 12 step program and the love of friends, sponsor and my loving family that kept me going. My ego pride and fear of what my friends might think of me kept away from the one thing could save from the insanity of the way I was living. It was at this time I got my first felony at age 39 and the eventually prison. I kept violating probation due to me using Alcohol, Xanax and Crystal Meth. I thought if I could keep the right combination no one would know but everyone knew and was only fooling myself.

Wake up call and a new way of life:
It was while during my short prison stay I had a moment while sitting in that cell 24 hours a day. I was looking at a small when that looked down to the mountains and open field and I thought to myself I could be at a meeting with decent people drinking coffee and enjoying life. it was then I decided that when I paroled that I would get clean again and never return to the hell I called prison at that time. Well today I can say that after a one night relapse when I paroled it was the motivator for me to return to the program and with the help of a 12 step program and a VA hospital the life is completely different than I could it imagine it could be. Today now I understand that Alcohol for me is the primer for my addiction.

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield

This story is dedicated to my loving mother who couldn't make it to the rooms Karen Etta House.
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Drug Rehab|Heroin the new king of the streets that is taking the lives of young Americans

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Heroin Addiction and Drug Rehab. If it doesn't have to be a revolving door.

  Heroin Addiction is killing young Caucasian Americans at a record rate here in the U.S. This will continue until Drug Rehabs, Detox facilities ,Treatment Centers and regulatory agencies come together to head off this tragic epidemic that could easily be lessened. Heroin not only kills young Americans here at home but also in Afghanistan as funding for the Taliban is provided by Drug Lords who tend the poppy fields and ship it across the middle east with some of this ending up on our East Coast in the form of Heroin. The same drug also has an affect on soldiers once they get back home as they are given prescription opiate pain killers to lessen the pain of war injuries.

Oxycontin to Heroin the downward spiral of an Opiate Addict:
It is no secret that a lot of heroin users today did not start off by shooting heroin. Oxycontin or Vicodin is usually the gateway to these drugs. These two prescription opiates can be found in many of the medicine cabinets of America today. Mom, dad or even grand ma might have prescription bottle of one of these two medications laying around the house which gives many young adults easy access. You can visit one of the many high schools located in Suffolk County, New York, West Los Angeles, CA and you won't have to look far before you find a student strung out on a prescription opiate. Young adults are usually introduced to these medications by one of their friends in their peer group. Heroin comes into play due to simple economics for a opiate addict. When doctor shopping doesn't work or financial support from their upper middle class family gets cut off then Heroin become a viable option for the addict. Heroin is not hard to find these days with know location to score like, Eight Mile in Detroit , Michigan, Downtown Los Angeles, CA and many spots in Suffolk County, New York. The high an opiate addict  might get from one 80mg Oxycontin at a cost of $80 a pill the same addict can get the same high from $10-$20 balloon of Heroin. The problem with street Heroin is that you never know what you are getting until the addict injects it like a game of Russian Roulette. It is this lack of knowledge of what the Heroin addict is getting is that can be fatal. Different dealers cut their Heroin differently to make go farther in hopes of higher profits. If a street dealer puts a weak cut on his heroin the result will be many bodies in the morgue due to overdose. This actually happened many times in the U.S. during the 1970's.
Black Tar Heroin is killing many young
people in West Los Angeles and
Hollywood areas of Los Angeles

This isn't the first Heroin epidemic:
I grew up in Los Angeles during the 70's and 80's. I remember images of Heroin addicts in Inglewood in the mid 70's before Cocaine became the number one narcotic to make money with on the streets. The difference between now and then is that it is young Caucasians who are abusing heroin more than any other racial group in the United States. It was during the 70's that the barrios and ghettos of America were full of heroin addicts and now times have changed. The children of police officers, stock brokers, doctors, lawyers who are the ones that are getting strung out on heroin. If you want a better view ask anyone living in Long Island or Suffolk County, New York and they will tell you they know of at least one young person addicted to Heroin.

Military Veterans, Terrorism and coming home addicted:

During the next few years we will start to see our second wave of military veterans who will become addicted to Heroin just years past with Vietnam. Veterans are returning home from our war on terror in the middle east addicted to addiction opiates. The opiate painkillers given to them by military doctors and the V.A. once they are discharged from active military duty. Eventually due to financial reasons these veterans will turn to heroin just like they did after Vietnam war. If history repeats itself again many veterans will eventually end up in V.A. Mental Health facilities or prison. This is a powerful lesson our country as a whole should have learned from injured veterans returning home Vietnam. The sad truth is that many of these veterans injuries in Afghanistan were inflicted upon them by some involved with the opium trade in Afghanistan. Taliban war lords charge a tax to opium growers to protect their poppy field and shipments smuggled out of Afghanistan to Europe and the United States. The proceeds from these shipments are used to buy everything from AK-47's and missile launchers which are used to kill and injure American soldiers.

Reality Check:

There is a dark sad truth to all this that many in the field of addiction have not learned yet or fail to look at. I know personally all I can do is make sure that I am not blinded by ambition or ego. This can be hard at times but at least I can go to sleep at night knowing that I did my best everyday to help those suffering from opiate addiction and not just for my own personal gain. Yes we all have bills to pay but the question should be. What is a life worth in 2013?

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield

Heroin Addiction Treatment Resources                         Prescription Opiate Overdose article
Suboxone Detox article
County of Los Angeles Homeless Heroin Detox Resources
Military Veteran Heroin Opiate Detox Resources

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Overdose deaths from Oxycontin and Vicodin reach epidemic levels

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Prescription Drug Deaths from Oxycodone and Vicodin

Deaths are still on the rise due to overdoses from Oxycontin aka Oxcodone and Vicodin according to the Center for Disease and Control. The first year this statistic was tracked was 2010 and passed car accidents as the number one reason for deaths in the United States. Preliminary reports from the year 2011 indicate that prescription opiates are still on the rise growing by 3 percent a year on the low end. This still does not take into account accidents attributed to someone being under the influence of a prescription opiate at the time a accident occurred and death being the result. The Federal government is also proposing sweeping changes in how  prescription pain killers Oxycontin and Vicodin are prescribed by doctors here in the United States. I don't think these changes will help. If an addict has the obsession to use they will find a way to get what ever they need to get high. Today's article will not focus on the pharmaceutical companies but instead take a look at other reasons why more and more Americans are overdosing on prescription opiates.                                                                      
Oxycontin Pills like this has been
attributed to a record number of deaths
and overdoses throughout
The United States
                                                                                                                 Pain Management Doctors the beginning of addiction:

One thing I have noticed in the Los Angeles area is the high number of Pain Management Doctors located in the Western area of Los Angeles. If you speak to some members of twelve programs who have relapsed and asked them one of the reasons why they relapsed Vicodin and Oxycontin are usually two drugs that are mentioned. The flip side of this being asking a person who was high functioning and considered normal how they got strung out on a prescription opiate they will give you the same answer. What does the recovering addict and this person who is newly addicted to prescription opiates have in common in my area? Well the answer friends is usually a Pain Management Doctor and a physical injury. If the recovering addict is not honest with their doctors about being an addict or with their twelve step support group it is easy to see how they relapse but what about the normal person who becomes addicted and how does this happen? If a Pain Management Doctor is not paying attention to patients who they prescribe opiates to for pain sooner or later they will eventually get the the call that one of their patients have overdosed and passed away. The good news in California is that the California State Medical Board are starting to track overdose deaths related to prescription opiates and which doctors prescribed opiates to those patients who overdosed and a fatality resulted from prescription opiates being prescribed. They have also set up a new hot line where people can report doctors who are over prescribing patients prescription opiates such as Oxycontin and Vicodin.

Suboxone,Harm Reduction and Addiction Doctors:

Drugs like Suboxone have been helpful in reducing craving and detox symptoms during the detox phase of treatment. The problems come in when Addiction Doctors start using drugs like Suboxone for what is called "Maintenance" Suboxone maintenance is basically giving an opiate addict a dose of Suboxone to block some of the effects of an opiate being abused and reduce physical cravings. The other problem is ethics and money. It is no secret that the maker of Suboxone gives doctors inducement such as free to trips to Las Vegas to make sure that Addiction Doctors keep writing prescriptions for Suboxone in the interest of Harm Reduction. Harm Reduction advocates hail themselves a success if an addict they are treating abuses less drugs and most of us working in the trenches of recovery know this is a flat out lie. The problem with Suboxone is that it is merely a band aid and does not address the mental twist the addict suffers from. If this goes unchecked Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers and Rehabs will see a decrease in the amount of admissions due to the fact that opiate addicts will have in their minds no real reason to want to go to rehab. This is dangerous as we all now addiction is a progressive disease where there are many underlying issues that need to be addressed in treatment. Eventually many stop taking their Suboxone and start abusing prescription opiates such as Oxycontin or Vicodin and just creates another piece of the vicious cycle that manner addicts suffer in for years. What most harm reduction advocated don't understand is that they only are only delaying the inevitable for an opiate addict; jails, institutions and yes even death.

Time Clean and Sober then relapsing can equal death:

One thing addicts caught up in the obsession to use don't realize is that the first time they go to use when they relapse can possibly be their last time as well. Most addicts when they relapse start  right where they left off before they got clean and are putting themselves at a very high risk of overdosing and dying as a result of that first use of a prescription opiate. When an addict stays clean and sober for 90 days or more their tolerance goes down for prescription opiates. If an addicts tolerance is lowered and an addict relapses overdose is usually the result and if they are lucky someone will find them and call 911. They are many that are not so lucky and die every year. Out here in the West Los Angeles area I have seen many young men and women get time clean and sober and die from a single relapse and overdose of prescription opiates or street Heroin.


I am not writing this article to change the whole world. This article was written to keep people informed about the sad truth of prescription opiate addiction and if it helped one person today then my job is done. The reality about this information is that until our Federal government, State Medical Boards and accreditation bodies such as CARF, JAHCO come together to stop this nothing will change and the number of deaths will rise.

Thank You,

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Other Opiate addiction articles
Suboxone detox article

If you have any questions about or Haven House Treatment Center please contact Kenneth Whitfield at 424-202-7424

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dual Diagnosis, Medication and Sobriety

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Dual Diagosis Treatment Centers,Prospective; The hard life of a patient who suffers from mental illness and addiction.

Dual Diagnosis is a commonly used term these days and Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers have their hands full when comes to treating these type of patients. Basically a person is considered dual diagnosed when they are chemically dependent on substances and also may have a primary mental health diagnosis such Bi-polar Disorder Schizophrenic or may have a Borderline Personality Disorder I can see why their hands are full from the standpoint of previously being a Sober Living Manager where some of my clients were Dual Diagnosed.  The young men in my the Sober Living Home I managed struggled the most trying to stay sober. If it wasn't the side effects from the medication they were taking causing them complications then being flipped the other way and being slapped by the symptoms of their mental illness. I myself am Dual Diagnosed. P.T.S.D and recovering from a Chrystal Meth habit can make life complicated at times. Today I feel I am lucky though because I have holistic ways of dealing with my P.T.S.D at the moment. There are millions of Americans who are not so lucky and it is because of them that I am writing you today.

During my time as a Sober Living Manager I noticed that all the clients coming in who were Dual Diagnosed pretty much always came in with the same medication. It was these medications at times that would make it difficult for the clients to perform simple daily functions. I will be more specific and say that Trazadone and Seroquel made it hard for my clients to even just get out of bed in the morning. The drowsy state these two medications left the clients in required myself and other staff to take extra care waking these clients up in the morning. I would literally have to take up to ten minutes to make sure the client was awake so they could attend morning groups at our Sober Living. The clients were often lethargic and sometimes had to be monitored to make sure they were not sleeping all day long. The day long sleeping habits were contributing to clients slipping into a depression and sometimes relapse would be the result. Then questions get raised if a client just completed treatment then why have they not leveled off yet. I can only come up with one answer. They are being over medicated. It is these issues that would sometimes lead to a client self medicating and stop taking their medication. Then here comes the symptoms of Bi-polar disorder,or even Schizophrenia then a relapse. I am not a Psychiatrist or a Doctor and don't claim to be one. Mental Health Clinicians really need to listen to their patients if they don't want them to relapse or harm themselves.

Proper Assessment for those who are Dual Diagnosed:

I would have to say that the best treatment centers are the ones that take the time to properly assess a patient. There is a common senses reason why I am bringing this up. If a treatment center is to going to properly treat a patient they should be treating the underlying issues and not just the symptoms. Addiction is usually the problem that is one the surface with many layers of trauma or a mental health issue underneath. It was once said on the Montel Williams show that if your doctor is not listening to you then you might need another doctor. One of the first things done by some but not all treatment centers in my area is the handing out of Trazadone and Seroquel to a patient. I understand from a detox standpoint this is good but many patients are still on these medication once they leave treatment. When a patient has been abusing substance like PCP, Chrystal Meth, Ecstasy or LSD it may take weeks to get a proper mental health assessment. The last time I entered treatment it took me nearly thirty days to come out of my Chrystal Meth Psychosis. Thank God that the staff at my VA hospital listened to me and was not quick to label me Schizophrenic, It was during this time in treatment with the help of therapy that it was discovered that I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and was given different options to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. I am glad that they listened and let me try yoga and some holistic options before just putting me on medication. This might not be the case for others and they might have to take medication to deal with chemical imbalances in their brains. During Intake and Assessment many slip through the cracks and patients may be suffering from emotional trauma that goes undetected. It can be said that some patients who were properly diagnosed at this stage and received therapy eventually got off their medication. This should be studied more by the mental health community. However for many this will not be the case. Common sense one more time during this process and asking the right question can go along  way in helping mental health clinicians in treating their patients.

Difficulties of staying sober and being Dual Diagnosed:

Members of twelve step programs and their opinions can cause problems for a dual diagnosed person. There are some member of twelve step programs who play doctor or psychiatrist and I have seen this behavior result in at least two suicides over the years. It does say in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the long form of the twelve traditions of AA to leave these opinions up to doctors and psychiatrist who are qualified to do so. When dealing with someone who is dual diagnosed I like to refer them to Double Trudger meetings in my local area where there is more empathy and compassion for them. Something else I would never suggest to anyone is telling them to stop taking their prescribed medication because I am not qualified to do so. Sponsors working with those who are sponsoring someone who is dual diagnosed should be open minded and informed before giving out advice in regards to a sponsee's mental health. One of the biggest assets a dual diagnosed member of a twelve step program can have is honesty. Practicing honesty with their sponsor and a mental health professional can mean the difference between life or death for someone who is dual diagnosed. I hope this post has been informative as we all trudge this road together we call life.

Thank You,

Kenneth Whitfield

Dual Diagnosis / Mental Health Treatment resources
Avalon Malibu Dual Diagnosis/ Mental Health Treatment Centers

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emotional Eating, PTSD and staying sober

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Post Traumatic Stress, Binge and Emotional Eating can be hazardous to your health

I can truly say that Emotional Eating and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects my life today a lot less than it use to due to the fact I sought treatment for my disorder. There are many forms of PTSD and reasons why it affects so many men and women. It can be from childhood abuse; sexual, emotional, physical and emotional trauma from experiences as an adult. I will address from my own personal experience how emotional eating has affected me as a result of childhood and adult emotional trauma. I will also discuss at the end of the article the solutions I use today to help me deal with my PTSD and emotional eating issues. This may be difficult for some mental health clincians to treat due to the fact that some that struggle with this vicious cycle may appear to be normal.

How it all began:

I would like to say that it all started when my parents divorced when I was five years old. My parents are awesome people and I truly love them and they did the best that they could with the parental skill set they had at that time. During the 1970's emotional, sexual or physical child abuse was not discussed among families and most parents stayed in denial during that time frame. Childcare providers were required to be licensed and have background checks like they do today. Things happened to me and another family member that should not happen to any one's children. My parents often wondered why I couldn't ever look them in the eye or sit still for more than five minutes. I was in constant fear that others would know my secret and hate me. During the ages of 5-13, I used food to deal with the feeling of guilt, shame and remorse. While attending elementary and middle school I was considered "Chunky" by todays standards. The problem was compounded by a very emotionally abusive boyfriend my mother had living with us at the time of my life. If was during these years that I attempted suicide for the first time at age ten and sent to a therapist. I would like to say that therapy helped me but it didn't due to that fact I was afraid to get honest with my therapist. The fear of being removed from my home and being placed in foster care, I just couldn't bear living that way and chose to suffer. My mom knew one thing back then that could make me feel better, good home cooking. It was at age 13 that I tried drugs and alcohol for the first time and that became my solution for ten years.

PTSD, Emotional Eating in Recovery:

It was in February 1993 that I truly wanted to get clean and sober in over ten years. I had no clue or idea what PTSD was and how it affected my life back then and even occasionally today. When I got serious about recovery they told me it was all about my perception of people, places and things and often wondered why my thoughts were constantly cloudy and dark.I worked on adrenaline all day in early recovery and when I got home from work left alone with all my negative and crazy thought I would binge on fast food. Crowds and loud noises are only just a small list of things that trigger my PTSD. Recognizing what is killing me isn't easy for people like me. It wasn't until the early 2000's that I realized I might have PTSD. Working in recovery and attending many CEU events about eating disorders and PTSD has helped me come to my own truth. Today I am grateful for this. Afro- Americans such as myself are very vulnerable to heart disease and Diabetes. My own family members have seen many of us buried due to these type of conditions. That is why emotional overeating can be life threatening. Afro-Americans also suffer from high cholesterol and mine runs at 400 naturally. Doctors say a safe level is under 200. I will have to take medication to keep my cholesterol at a safe level for the rest of my life. The monster today seems to rear its ugly head at night. After waking up from a PTSD nightmare about past emotional traumatic events I binge eat. If I am struggling over a period of time this may happen four to five times a night. Now age 43 this can life threatening for me. The next paragraph I will discuss my solutions to my disorders.

Solutions to my PTSD and Emotional eating:
The 12 step program of AA has helped me tremendously with my PTSD and my Emotional eating. It is in the    12 step recovery process that I have to work the steps. Honesty being one of the most important spiritual principles of the steps. The type of honesty I am talking about is being honest with myself that I am powerless and need to take a hard look at myself .This principle also makes me have to take a look at my harmful behaviors that have negatively affected me and those around me that love me today. Exercise is a great way of redirecting the negative energy that my PTSD and addictive mind produces and naturally helps me fight off depression.This activity also helps keep my anxiety at bay as well. This anxiety and depression triggers my late night eating binges. Prayer and meditation helps me practice refocusing my mind on more positive aspects of my life today. Focusing on something greater than myself helps me not stay focused on past emotionally damaging events. I also practice breathing exercises to calm myself down so I can recite either the serenity prayer or the NA third step prayer. It is the NA third step prayer that I would like to end this post with.

"God take the care of my will and my life,guide me in my recovery and show me how to stay clean"

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield

PTSD resources

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eating Disorders combined with Adderall can kill

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Eating Disorder Treatment Centers Prospective: The insane practice of Doctors  giving women suffering from Bulimia and Anorexia, Adderall.

Bulimia and Anorexia can be deadly eating disorders if treatment is not sought out with statistics showing that 25% of those suffering from these disorders will die. When you mix a powerful prescription stimulant like Adderall or Adderall XR into the mix, the stakes get raised even higher. I am writing this article to help raise awareness of eating disorders combined with substance abuse and the deadly results when combined. My own mother died at the age of 45 due to anorexia combined with alcohol abuse. This was due to untreated emotional trauma inflicted on her by my stepfather. The more he beat her the less she ate and the more she drank. When she passed away in May of 92 she only weighed 89 pounds. Women all across America are dying for the same reason that my own mother suffered and died from; untreated emotional trauma. Women are using eating disorders and abuse of Adderall to control one thing they feel they can control, their ownm bodies. It is a sad day when a woman has to abuse or disrespect herself to get a feeling of self-esteem or self-worth.

A few things about Adderall:

Adderall is a prescription drug with a high potential for abuse. It is in the amphetamine family which makes it a stimulant.  Adderall is usually prescribed to those suffering from ADHD. The DEA classifies Adderall as a schedule II drug. Adderall is so highly addictive that Canada rescheduled Adderall from a schedule III to a schedule I meaning that it has no real medical or mental health value treatment what so ever. I can say from my own personal experience with Adderall from a relapse years ago is that it is as potent as street level Chrystal Meth. When ingested the mesolimbic reward pathway kicks into high gear like a dragster on nitrous oxide running through the quarter mile. What makes Adderall so popular is the fact it does not have the stigma associated with it like Cocaine or Chrystal Meth because it is legal and prescribed by a doctor. To obtain a prescription of Adderall all you have to do is pay and unethical Psychiatrist or Weight Doctor the right amount of money for a Doctors visit and you will get two things. The first a diagnosis for ADHD and yes that nice bottle of Adderall. That first pill gives you a rush of euphoria so strong you feel invincible and nothing can touch you or hurt you. This is the same feeling Meth heads and Crack smokers chase. So you may ask yourself what does Adderall have to do with eating disorders and those who suffer from theses disorders high rate of suicide. Well, I will explain in the upcoming paragraph.

                                                                          Women suffering from Anorexia or                                                                                                                                                        Bulimia  who also abuse Adderall may                                                                          think that  this body shape is normal
                                                                              due to Body Dysmorphia issues                                                                                                

The deadly cocktail of eating disorders and Adderall:

Those suffering from Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa have a complex set of untreated emotional issues. Women may have even had a few stays at various Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers before ever being diagnosed with a eating disorder. Cities like Los Angeles and New York City you won't have to look far to find a woman suffering from a eating disorder. The society we live in today teaches us to look good on the outside so we can feel better on the inside. I have personally seen women in recovery not accept the fact they have a eating disorder and it is making their lives unmanageable well into double digit sobriety. Addiction is a cunning and insidious disease that has a cunning way of changing faces. It all comes down to how honest a person is wiling to be with oneself and are willing to walk through the pain so they can recovery. The reality is that it takes time to develop this level of honesty in regards to this issue for women in recovery or a woman that may be considered a Normie by recovery standards. Those that are Anorexic or Bulimic are perfectionist and suffer from very distorted view themselves physically. This is where Adderall comes in. Anorexics and Bulimics can use Adderall to suppress appetite and restrict their eating habits. This stimulant also allows them to burn calories at a ridiculous rate. Since it gives an intense rush of euphoria when ingested it also help those eating disorders feel invincible and forget about the guilt, shame or remorse associated with emotional trauma. The reasons most people abuse drugs and alcohol. The intense feeling of forgetting about the past and feeling good today. Ethical issues can also be raised about the prescribing of Adderall. Why prescribe a highly addictive stimulant to someone who has untreated emotional issues. There has been cases here in Los Angeles where doctors have prescribed Adderall to women who have an eating disorder and a previous history of stimulant abuse. Yes I know this seems to defy logic and this practice still goes on in the Los Angeles area still today. Adderall also has two ugly faces when abused; Psychosis and severe Depression. Some women may even act out in a sexually inappropriate manner or develop other destructive behaviors such as cutting. The psychosis that may develop can make women aggressive or even suicidal due to delusional thoughts. This is something the eating disorder community might want to look into. The other ugly face is severe depression one make experience coming down from a Adderall high and is also common to those who abuse Chrystal Meth . When you combine all of this with feeling of low self-esteem, low self-worth, guilt, shame and remorse from emotional trauma it is simply a recipe for disaster. This disaster is often fatal and leaves many questions of how and why did this happen to my loved one. If family members, friends,or a treating mental health clinician is paying attention, the warning sign are usually pretty obvious.

Adderall pills like this have contributed
to the demise of women suffering from
eating disorders bulimia and anorexia.

Solutions to helping someone with an Eating Disorder and may be addicted to Adderall

I would like to say that if I am willing to talk about the problem then I better be willing to talk about the solution. There is hope for women who may be suffering from a eating disorder and abusing stimulants. Family members and loved ones need to pay attention if they suspect their love one may have a eating disorder and abusing stimulants. Pay attention to what doctors are prescribing to the suspected person and if they are having massive mood swings that go along with stimulant abuse. The main thing is to ask for help. Today the good news is there is more awareness now of eating disorders than there has ever been. Today there are treatment centers around the country that can help women suffering from addiction and eating disorders. It is my hope that one day women young and old won't have to suffer or may be even die from both of these deadly disorders. Family members get out of denial and ask for help.

Eating Disorder Treatment update 2014

It has been about a year since I originally wrote this article. I can say that many people are starting to realize how deadly this combination of eating disorders and substance abuse can be. Sadly though to my dismay some facilities are just cashing in and not really treating eating disorders. A real treatment center that treats eating disorders will  put a lot of hard work into help patients deal with underlying trauma. Some in my field have been innovators in using evidence based treatment along with doing numerous assessments of their patient while residing at their treatment center. Today's the treatment world has numerous facilities that are trying to duplicate these innovations while cutting corners to maximize profits at the expense of the patients welfare and well being. It is recommended that a family checks with the treatment center and see if any of their Therapist are affiliated with IAEDP or have a JAHCO accreditation as this is the highest accreditation a treatment center can receive and have to adhere to standards that most medical hospitals have to. It is easy for a facility to say they offer Equine Therapy and specialize in dealing with emotional trauma. Also you might want to make that trip with your loved one to the treatment center to check out the surroundings of the treatment center. If there are lots of distractions present this can hamper the recovery process. Lastly a good eating disorder treatment center will have an extensive after care program where they work with sober living homes that work with clients that suffer from an eating disorder and also addiction. They will have recommendations for Intensive Outpatient or a local therapist that specializes in treating eating disorders and helping the patient make a smooth transition back into day to day life.

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield

Visit Haven House Disordered Eating Treatment Center website                    Stimulant abuse Treatment Center Links

Crystal Meth and its effects article

Avalon Malibu Eating Disorder Treatment Center Video

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sober Living Prospective: Why young adults relapse in Sober Living Homes right after completing a treatment program

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Sober Living Homes can be great but the Addict or Alcoholic has to be willing to surrender.

  I used to be  Sober Living Manager who worked at a Sober Living Home/Sober House  in West Los Angeles area of California. Sometimes we just don't know why someone relapses or overdoses and only the addict or alcoholic themselves can only answer these questions. I can only provide you with 1 and a half years experience from what I observed while working in a Sober Living Home. The decisions made by family members and mental health clinicians seemed to defy logic or reason. It is this reason that I write to you today. A Sober Living Environment can provide addicts and alcoholics a great experience to build a solid foundation in recovery after completing a program at a Drug Rehab or Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. The point of view for the point of view this article is from a Sober Living manager's prospective.

Ego and Entitlement:
I have observed many a young man enter our sober living who thought their parent's and the world owed the world owed them something. Majority of the time it meant since their parents gave birth to them that their parents should them with money and things the rest of their lives. I would hear think like" So what I relapsed I still deserve a new car" or "You should give me money because it is your fault I am this way" and I would shake my head and ask myself did I hear what I just heard? I am only scratching the surface of the insane things these young men would say to mental health professionals or their parents. This goes to the core of what an alcoholic or addict is selfish,self-centered, egotistical and full of entitlement. If this is not addressed by family and mental health professionals it continues and feeds on itself. If ego and entitlement are not smashed in early recovery it is no wonder that sooner or later little Johnny thinks he can pull one over on everyone and relapses

Distractions of the opposite sex and relationships:
Newly sober people put down drugs and alcohol and want to find the next best thing to give them relief from themselves sex or a relationship. It is funny how the disease of addiction can change faces but in the end it is the same old sad story relapse. I would tell the young guys time and time again leave the young ladies alone because they are just as "sick" as they are and focus on a personal program of recovery. The majority of  young men also in the house that relapsed got involved in a relationship or practiced aggressive sexual behavior having least than a year sober relapsed. Most newly sober alcoholics or addicts have mentality of a 13 year old and are just not emotionally developed to maintain a healthy relationship in sobriety. If a person doesn't know what is hurting them on the inside and decides to get in a relationship with out work with a therapist or doing a 12 step inventory and sexual inventory what do they really have to offer someone else? The answer is a person with a diseased mind doing what they did loaded just sober now. Feelings powerlessness,pain,shame ,guilt not being discussed with another sober member of a 12 step program or therapist leads to one thing relapse.

Dysfunctional/Codependent Families members:
One of the first things I would ask a family member supporting an alcoholic or addict staying in our sober living was "Are you currently attending Alanon or seeing a therapist?"The reason for this is because addiction is a family disease and most family member of addicts or alcoholics just don't get it. I would watch in horror as some parents spending over a million dollars in some cases at various treatment centers and sober living homes and just complain saying " Our family would be okay only if my son would get clean and sober". The reality of this is that this is not the case. Actually it is a sign of a co-dependent or dysfunctional family. Many parents would ignore my recommendations of making their sons go to school or get jobs to support their extra-curricular activities with their son's own money and not theirs. It boggles the mind to see young men 30-90 days newly sober being given keys to shiny new or barely used car with out the clients working for it. The case I am citing this example from died just last year at age 19 to drive the point home.What some parents don't know is that they themselves are the root of the insanity when it comes to boundaries or the lack of with their own children and they wonder why little Johnny relapses and blames it on the Sober Living Home

Lack of Responsibility and Accountability during treatment:
If there is one thing I can say about the V.A. hospital where I got clean and sober is that they held me accountable for my actions ans taught me to take responsibility for my life. The young men that came to me from various treatment centers in the area just were not taught this during treatment. Little Johnnie leave treatment and moves on to a sober living home wheres he is held accountable for his actions and the resentments and anger fly and if he is not willing to be held accountable he will disrupt his whole sober living environment and will eventually relapse. I get it when it comes to treatment centers and staff full of fear because they have to keep high census counts and please patients so they don't leave but this also means patients are not held accountable for their actions.This brings up a dilemma for sober living home managers having to do something that should have started during the initial treatment process. These are the young  men that refuse to clean up behind themselves or help with house chores. This also includes curfew violations and just basically being defiant. This defiance will surely lead Little Johnnie to a relapse or asked to leave his sober living home which by the way I have done to make sure that those who were serious about recovery lives where not turned upside down by someone who really didn't want to get clean and sober.

Little Johnnie is just not done using:
The reality for most young people coming into treatment or sober living homes is that they are not done using. Addicts and Alcoholics know what to do or say to get what they want which is the family trust back so they can con, scheme and manipulate so they can go back out and use again and one more time destroy the trust and hope built up with family members. It is a vicious cycle. Little Johnnie will say yes to rehab or sober living one more time and in reality he is just planning his next relapse. No one can make another person get clean and sober. Until family members stop pouring money down an empty hole the insanity of this vicious cycle will continue. When a person keeps enabling a sick or practicing alcoholic or addict you are keeping that person from hitting bottom. I don't know of any treatment center clinician or sober living owner willing to put their hands on a stack of bibles and swear they can keep a persons family member or loved one clean and sober. Only the alcoholic or addict themselves can determine when they are done and want to get clean and sober.

These are only a few of many reasons why young people relapse in a sober living home not long after completing a treatment program. There is no such thing as a pain fee program of recovery. Those who have done the work by doing inventory of those that they have harmed, made amends and give back daily are the examples in my life today as I stay sober myself and do the work daily because my life and freedom depends on it. Until the alcoholic or addict gets desperate enough to see this in their hearts and minds there is not much we can do put hope, pray and ask for help.

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield
If you would like information about Sage Transition or other Sober Living Homes to take a tour please contact Kenneth Whitfield at 424-202-7426 or follow this link Sober Living Home and Drug Rehab directory link

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Eating Disorders(Anorexia and Bulimia) that can kill you while being clean and sober

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Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa can kill an alcoholic or addict over time just as easily as drug and alcohol can. Statistics show that 25% of those who suffer from Bulimia or Anorexia will either die from a heart related illness or suicide. You may ask yourself what is the point? The point being that people do get clean and sober then when other disorders they suffer fromiso go left untreated like Bulimia Nervosa or Anorexia Nervosa can result in the recovering addicts or alcoholic's life becoming unmanageable or may even suffer the ultimate price loss of life.  It seems women in recovery that live in big urban areas such as Los Angeles, Miami, New York and cities surrounding areas have the highest population density of those suffering from these two eating disorders this includes women in recovery. The question may be asked why is this so? Well friends the answer lies due to the fact that culture and lifestyle combined with fashion magazines and media outlets that promote being ultra-thin as being the definition of what is beautiful or considered attractive. Those who have done some work on some of their underlying mental issues or trauma realize that it is what lies with in that makes them beautiful and attractive. Women in recovery who have not may be an easy target for either one of these disorders as many in recovery look for a band aide or fix to make them feel better instead of putting in the work by addressing underlying mental health issues or trauma and the reality of these two disorders their might be other issues such as love and sex addiction that compound thing even more.

A few things about Bulimia Nervosa:

Bulimia Nervosa as it is referred to in clinical terms could be referred to as a "Periodic" by standards  established in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The shortcomings being described as bouts of binge eating in a short period of time followed up by one  of three methods to expel what was eaten during the binge. These methods would include vomiting, or taking large amounts of laxatives or diuretics. Anyone of these methods can be harmful to the body if done repeatedly over a period of time. Vomiting brings up sulphuric-acid into the upper esophagus tract which can lead to erosion and possible cancer of the esophagus. The over use of laxatives can upset the flora in the stomach lining and later make it harder to digest food when eating habits return to normal as well and possible permanent damage to the intestinal tract.The thing about Bulimia is that it can hard to spot sometimes. Here are some warning signs that someone might be suffering from Bulimia, depression, low blood pressure, hypersensitive about body weight,obsessed with the amount calories consumed and irregular menstrual cycle. It should also be noted that one component that separates Bulimics from Anorexics and that is that most that suffer from Bulimia also have suffered some type of emotional trauma during their lifetime that has not been dealt with in therapy sessions. These trauma issues may have been caused by sexual abuse, childhood issues, Domestic Violence or other forms of Post Traumatic Stress.

A few things about Anorexia Nervosa:

Anorexia Nervosa many times gets lumped together with Bulimia but in actually behavior exhibited by anorexic is not actually the same as those displayed by one who is Bulimic. The sad thing about this disorder is who it effects the most. The usual onset of Anorexia usually begin during a female adolescent years between the ages of 13 to 17. The other thing about anorexia is that those who suffer from it usually have other complicated emotional issues that compounds the problem because it is these other issues that brought about the disorder in the first place and if not properly accessed during treatment they will sure to eventually relapse. This disorder can often be fatal due to the lack of nourishment. It is this lack of nourishment that can and will put ones body into a state of shock which leads to negative hormonal and metabolic changes that are devastating to ones physical health. They say that this disorder can often be referred to as a disease of perception due to the fact that most who are anorexic have extreme distorted body image issues. One seeing themself as extremely obese when in fact they are extremely malnourished and under weight. This may explain why most anorexics spend hours in the mirror gazing at themselves. Here of some warning signs of someone suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, restricting food intake, using drugs to restrict or suppress appetite, adderral ,chrystal meth or cocaine, obsessive about eating habits, swollen cheeks, body image issues, obsessed with calories and fat content in food. The above listed stimulants used to restrict cal also lead to paranoia and psychosis. This also combined with a lack of nourishment may explain the 25% death as a result of heart attacks, stroke and even suicide. The lack of nourishment can also lead to body organs shutting down one by one. Just like those who suffer from Bulimia Nervosa suffer from a underlying mental health diagnosis that has gone untreated.

Solutions and Recovery:
Their have been many women who have recovered from a eating disorder. Advances in antidepressant medication have helped some. The biggest advances have come from treatment centers like Sovereign Health Group using evidence based treatment such as CBT and DBT combined with support groups such as Over eaters Anonymous and have had great success with this model. I would like to close by saying if you are already clean and sober and are suffering from a eating disorder please ask for help because you are important to your local 12 step community. Also don't forget to the eating disorder video shown below.

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield

Eating Disorder treatment centers

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Suboxone Detox|: Opiate addicts savior or just another addiction?

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Suboxone can of great benefit to those trying to detox off of opiate based drugs in treatment such as heroine or Oxycontin. The questions get raised when doctors start pushing a maintenance program to the disgust of the patient who is trying to kick the habit for good. My personal experience with Suboxone began while I was working at a Sober Living Home in the West Los Angeles area in 2011. It was at that time some of the residents were taking Suboxone and I shook my head as all of them over time relapsed. The point of this article is not to discount the effectiveness of Suboxone in detox setting but to bring about awareness of Suboxone in a maintenance setting and the health risk that it poses. I have also personal experience of those trying this type of maintenance program and one day getting the call that the person has passed away due to another opiate overdose. These are just a few of the many things that will not be discussed with you by some who I refer to loosely as a "Addiction Doctor".

Things you should know about Suboxone:
British Pharmaceutical company Reckitt and Colman first marketed and sold Suboxone in Europe as a pain reliever for opiate addicts. They were given permission to sell Suboxone on the market in October of 2000 after being FDA approved here in the United States.. Since 2000 things have changed with Federal Drug laws and doctors after taking a few addiction treatment classes could now write prescriptions for drugs such as Suboxone and Methadone. This explains the explosion of the amount of prescriptions written for these two drugs over the last 12 years here in the United States. Dr. David McDowell founded the first clinic at Columbia University that handed out Suboxone and claimed a 88% such rate and anyone who has been an addict would question these numbers just like I do myself today. I have also question the findings reported on sited like where doctors just swear by Suboxone. When I look at blogs written by doctors who are addicts in recovery and have tried a Suboxone maintnenance program you get a more acccurate and balance view of what Suboxone does and doesn't do for opiate addicts. If you you want a visual display please feel free to go to you tube to view videos of those who are trying to finally detox off of Suboxone after in some cases up to seven years of struggling with opiate addiction.

Facts you might not get from some doctors about Suboxone.
The use of Suboxone can be fatal if taken with alcohol or benzodiazepines such as Xanax. This combination can cause respiratory failure and can lead to a overdose. It is not uncommon among opiate addicts to abuse alcohol and benzodiazepines and can in some cases explain someone has overdosed. Dr. Steven R. Scanian reports that not only does Suboxone block opiate receptors it also has a numbing effect of anxiety and other emotions. He also states that with a low dose of 2mg can block 80% of a persons feelings and that patient will become emotionally numb. This may be alarming since this is the feeling most addicts chase so they don't have to deal with everyday life on lifes terms and possibly eventually form a dependence for Suboxone. This would explain the fear opiate addicts at the Sober Living I worked would have if their prescriptions was not filled on time. So the question may be asked why a maintenance program instead of letting a patient detox off of Suboxone? Good question if you are paying attention and only the ones writing the prescriptions can answer that question. That is if you can an honest answer out of them.

Side effects you can come to expect from long term use of Suboxone:
I have personally done some research and these are a list of side effects normally not discussed with patients for continued long term use of Suboxone.

  • Allergic reactions such as( hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling of lips)
  • Liver problems ( Dark colored urine,decreased appetite for days,yellowing of skin and eyes,pain in lower stomach, possible cirrosis of the liver)
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Constant Headaches
  • Constant sweating

I would like to say my heart goes out to all those who have lost a family member or loved one to opiate addiction.My hope is that there can be a balance between modern science and orthodox twelve step programs so that one day not one more family, friend or loved one has to feel the pain of opiate addiction from a point of loss.

Thank You,
Kenneth Whitfield

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