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Christian Substance Abuse Treatment


Dealing with prescription drug dependence is one of the many specialties of Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. With all of the recent media coverage, regarding well-known celebrities who have entered treatment to deal with their prescription drug problems; this has brought to light, the fact we are dealing with a nation-wide epidemic.

The life of the one addicted to these medications is quite insidious. First of all, a doctor prescribed the medications, i.e.; Vicodin, Ativan, Percodan, Lortab, Oxycontin, Valium, Methadone, Ambien, or 100’s of other highly addictive medications. Most medications have a legitimate reason for being prescribed; however, when these medications start to control or take over a person’s life, that’s called addiction.

The two most common classes of medications that people become dependent on and start to abuse are painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs or tranquilizers. The scenarios usually go something like this: a legitimate pain issue, nervous disposition, or sleep disorder does or did, at least exist. The doctor being sympathetic and doing what he or she is trained to do, prescribes the appropriate medicine for the related symptom. Then for those with either a propensity or predisposition for addiction, tolerance develops.

Although the prescription reads take one pill every four hours as needed, one, no longer cuts the bill, but two tablets seems to work just fine. After awhile, then three are necessary, then four and so on. What usually happens next are early visits back to the doctor for more medications, phone calls stating the medication was either lost or fell into the toilet and a myriad of other stories all concocted to obtain more medications.

When the doctor’s office stops going along, a visit to other doctors, with no mention about the others, seems to work out quite fine. It’s usually necessary to start to use more than one pharmacy as well. When a pharmacist sees more than one doctor writing for the same medication, eyebrows are raised, you see, it’s not normal. Then again, being addicted is anything but normal. 

State of the Art Prescription Drug Detoxification and Stabilization

Our California drug rehab program employs a state-of-the-art detox and treatment protocol, which includes when appropriate, utilizing the following important medications – such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, and acamprosate – that can effectively treat addiction, especially when combined with Christian Drug Counseling, support and aftercare. Below is a brief overview of common medications used for the treatment of opiate addiction and alcoholism.

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Opiate Treatment

There are two types of medications Hope by the Sea uses that are designed to treat opiate addiction: antagonists, and partial agonists.

Opiate Antagonist: Opiate Antagonists also bind to receptors, but instead of activating the receptors an antagonist effectively blocks the receptors. Antagonists don't turn on the receptor, but they do prevent the receptor from being activated by an agonist compound. It is as if an antagonist is a key that fits in a lock but doesn't open it. Naltrexone (ReVia®) is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effect of heroin and other opioid. It does not have addictive or psychoactive properties, does not lead to tolerance and produce physical dependence. It has a long half-life and its therapeutic effects can last up to three days.

Opiate Partial Agonist: In some ways, partial agonists are very similar to full agonists. Partial agonists bind to and activate receptors, and at lower doses, the full agonists and partial agonists produce effects that are essentially indistinguishable. However, increasing the dose of a partial agonist does not produce as great an effect as does increasing the dose of a full agonist.

Buprenorphine's unique pharmacological profile and safety profile increase its appeal to opioid addicted persons as well as to the medical professionals treating them. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. At low doses, it behaves as an agonist, and at high doses, as either an agonist or antagonist, depending on the circumstances.   

There are two commercial buprenorphine medications on the market, Suboxone® and Subutex®. Subutex® contains only buprenorphine. Suboxone® contains naltrexone in addition to the buprenorphine. Naltrexone is added to Suboxone® to stop people from injecting ("shooting-up") Suboxone® tablets. If Suboxone® is injected, then the naloxone can give patients bad withdrawal symptoms. With buprenorphine medications, long waits for a methadone clinic slot and daily trips for treatment are no longer the only option for people seeking care because prescriptions increase the potential number of treatment slots and allow up to a month's supply of the medication to be prescribed at once.


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