Suboxone Assisted Treatment
We Support Our Troops.
May -Updates 2008

"Your Focus Determines Your Reality."

Greetings!!!  It is our goal at Suboxone Assisted Treatment to reach out to all of you needing help with substance abuse. We want you to know you are not alone. I seriously don't believe any of us would choose to be alone unless there were obstacles holding us back. We need people in our lives  to grow and mature  emotionally.  I realize from my own personal experience you tend to withdraw from your family and even your close friends. You begin to break ties with anyone critical of your drug use.  Why is it?  

I am sure many of you  have withdrawn from your families and friends because you feel they can't understand. It is true for many of you. Which one of you likes to be met at the door with   their disapproving demeanor.  Most of us desire our parent's approval and will go to extreme lenghts to obtain it. We can't handle rejection very well. 

We judge ourselves much more critically than those around us do.  We need  to know they can accept us just as we are. We need to know they will be there for us even if we fail.  Every child needs this foundation to build on from the day they are born.  

Many parents are trying to live their lives through thier children. They failed to obtain their dreams and now they are trying to live them through us. We are eager to please them because we acqaint pleasing them with loving us.  Some of us need our parent's approval to the extent we make their dreams ours only to end up disappointed years later.    

Many of us tried to fulfill the expectations our parents had, only to find we could not handle the stress.  We continued on trying to obtain their approval only to find ourselves caught up in the web of addiction. We are not our parents and their dreams are not our dreams.  We should follow our own hearts.  "To thine ownself be true." (Shakespeare)   

Many people still believe it is a moral issue even though it has been proved otherwise.  Most of us using have low self-esteem and we certainly choose not to be around people even more critical of our actions.  I believe most of you will agree with me on this point.  

Many people do not understand the biological basis of drug addiction.  When people become addicted to drugs, it changes the way their brains function.  Drug addicts are not simply weak-willed indivduals. Treatment should not focus solely on strenghtening willpower; it needs to return the brain to a normal state. 

Most people are unaware of how effective  Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone)  can be in reestablishing the neuronal activity in the brain.  Instead they focus on how patients can become dependent on Suboxone, equating this dependence with addiction.

Counselors and patients should be aware of the biological basis of heroin addiction and view Suboxone as a medicine for treating an illness.  With this approach, the patient is more likely to receive the proper dose of Suboxone (i.e.medicine) and is less likely to stop treatment prematurely.  

There is a well-founded science-base for understanding addiction as a chronic, and for many, recurring disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use. An abundance of research has consistently shown that chronic drug use affects the brain in fundamental ways often remaining long after the drug using behavior has stopped.

Research science has also increased our understanding about  the  very  nature  of  drug  addiction,  which has created   new  inroads  for  dramatic  improvement  in treatment approaches. Using  brain -imaging  technologies, science can  demonstrate the biological basis for addiction and has has provided the basis for a biopsychosocial perspective of chemical dependency.

From this knowledge we are now able to accept that for some addicted persons, medications are critical to treat drug-induced brain deficits in order to help sustain a symptoms-free lifestyle.

In much the same way that research provided for medications development used for other chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma, addiction medicine is following the same course.  

"Sometimes, the best way to begin correcting a problem is to step back and examine why that problem exists in the first place. Whether the person struggling with opioid dependence is you or someone you care about, understanding this disease --what causes it, what contributes to it,and why it persists --is a key to being part of the solution."

If you are ready to start educating yourself then I'll make it easy for you by providing the link at:
http://www.SuboxoneAssistedTreatment.org/6.html

We are available to you on a twenty-four basis to talk, listen, assist and answer any questions you may have.  It is crucial if you are going to understand your loved one, you must understand the   physiology of addiction.  I suppose I've chosen today, since it is "Mother's Day" to reach out to  all of the Mothers. 

Your loved one's need your understanding, support and encouragement to overcome.  It can't be done alone.  Can you understand what I am saying to you?  I can hear all the excuses  and believe me, I do understand.  You may have  spent too much money trying to help. You see no change.  I have no doubt some of you have reached the point of no return.  You have given up because you have tried all you know and  failed. 

We are not here to condemn you because you have given up. We are to give you a helping hand.  If you are not careful they can pull your down with them.  I don't want you to beat yourself up because you have wiped your hands clean of your children. You must set boundaries. You must know where to draw the line. You can't be of any help to them if they pull you down, now can you?  

I am asking you to never give up on your child. Take the time you need to replenish your spirit. Seek out professional help if you can afford it and allow people to nurture you.  If you can't afford professional help - if you have a close friend then share with her what you are feeling. Two heads are always better than one. If not we are here for you.

It is easy to burn out when you are constantly giving and you are receiving nothing back in return.  You need to stop and rest and let others help  you. Nurture yourself and then you will be ready to fight another day.  We understand the phenomena. You can give and give and give until you have nothing left to give. You must stop and replenish your spirit. We are here to do just that for you at no cost to you.   

I can understand just how frustrating it is. It's very difficult to know where to draw the line. You don't want to be quilty of enabling them to continue using.  You feel totally helpless because everything you have tried failed. You can't bring yourself to kick them out because they have no where to go.  I can relate to all you are experiencing and it's difficult to know the right decision to make.  It varies with each individual. 

I know most of you work and if you are a single parent like I am, you may have to work two jobs to make ends meet.  It is becoming more difficult every day and I know it is heart-breaking if you have a son and/or daughter addicted.  It is very easy to get caught up in every day life trying to provide for your children.  I believe in doing this we have neglected their greatest need.  Time.

How many of you take the time to really communicate with your children?  How much time do you even spend with them?  If you do spend time with them---are you really  hearing what they are saying to you?   Do you brush their problems aside as being insignificant? Their problems may not seem important to you but to them it could be a matter of life and death.   They need you more than you will ever know. 

They need your time and most of all they need to know they are loved. Never assume they know you love them;you may be disappointed.  Most of all they need your approval.  Do you take the time to notice their accomplishments and praise them? Is it only their failures you  take the time to notice? Are you constantly criticizing them?   

Mothers are very special people.  We do not have all the answers. We make mistakes just like everyone else.  We were not given a book of instructions but I believe most all of us tried to do the best we could for our children. Even so, we failed at times. None of us are perfect. Hopefully, we did learn from our mistakes and passed it on to our children.

I want to take the time to wish "All Our Mothers" a very "Happy Mother's Day" with many more to come.  If you are a Mother with a substance-abuse problem yourself, we want to hear from you.   If you can't afford to call us then we will call you at our expense.  You are not alone but your children need you clean.  We are not here to condemn you, nor judge you -we just want to help you regain control of your life.      

If you are a Mother and have children with substance-abuse problems, then it is time for you to act.  You are not alone and we will be there with you every step of the way.  You first must be willing to educate yourself.  Addiction can be treated.  You must take the time to understand what your daughter/son is dealing with.  How can you fight against a disease you know nothing about?  It is not easy but it can be done.  It is "Our Gift" to you on "Mother's Day." 

We can be reached at 770.428.0871 (office), 770.527-9119 (cellular)and 770.428.8769 (Emergency). If you can't afford to call us then all we ask is to send  an e-mail to the address below with your name, phone number and the best time to reach you.  I promise you we will call you. We will help you in any way we can to gain control of your life. " Happy Mother's Day!"

 Mail to: ChangeYourLife@SuboxoneAssistedTreatment.org

You may find some of the information on our News-Updates  monthly to help you understand more about what's happening with your adolescent's physiology. I would highly recommend to set aside some of your time and start reading at the beginning of Suboxone Assisted Treatment.  If you have any trouble understanding any of the material send us an e-mail with your number if you would like to discuss it and/or if you prefer then just send your questions via e-mail and we will answer.

Adolescent Brain Development

1.  The brain's "front end" (the part above the eyes) exists to slow us down or stop our impulsive behaviors.  It considers the risks  and benefits of our actions, and it helps us hit the brakes when we consider doing things too risky.

2.  The front part of the brain is still developing connections to the rest of the brain until we are in out twenties, so adolescents' brains lack some of the wiring that carries "brake" or "stop" messages to the rest of the brain.  

3.  Drugs and alcohol are often available to adolescents.  These drugs make them feel good but they can be very harmful. Lacking some of the wiring for the "stop" message, adolescents' brains may not fully weigh the risks of drug use.  

4.  The two drugs that cause the most deaths are also the most available:  tobacco and alcohol.  Late adolescence, before the brain is fully matured, is the peak time for developing dependence on these and other drugs. 

5.  Heavy drug use during times of critical brain development may cause permanent changes in the way brain works and responds to rewards and consequences.  Therefore, it is important to address a developing subtance abuse problem as early as possible.  

Reference:  Why can't They Just Stop? (p. 88)
Editors:  John Hoffman and Susan Froemke 

         Five Things To Do About Craving

1 Try to view craving in a matter-of-fact way. Having a craving does not mean that you are unmotivated - or that you are doomed to relapse.

2.  Learning about your craving triggers, and how to manage them, will be an important part of your recovery in addiction. 

3.  Try anti-craving behavioral strategies, such as the 5-minute contract (making a contract with yourself not to act on the desire for the next five minutes, and then engaging in a distracting activity in the meantime.)  Many urges are short-lived you will find they are weaker if you can "surf through"  the first few minutes.   

4.  Call upon the guidance of a trained treatment professional  may be needed for successfully implementing any of a number of well-described behavioral techinques that can be helpful in managing cravings. Treatment manuals detail these strategies.

5.  Consider an anti-craving medication. Craving can erupt quickly and feel overwhelming, making it difficult to put to use behavioral
anti-craving strategies, even well-learned ones.

An anti-craving medication may give you a better chance to use the tools you have learned. Some FDA-approved medications for alcohol and heroin addiction may have a beneficial effect on cue-triggered craving; medications for cue-induced cigarette craving and cue-induced cocaine/methamphetamine craving are the focus of many ongoing research studies.

Several medications are already under study or in the research phase which may work for more than one type of craving, offering "one-stop-shopping."  Ann Rose Childress, Ph.D. is a research associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennslyvania School of Medicine.

 She directs the Brain-Behavioral Vulnerabilities at the Center for the Study of Addictions, where she has conducted federally- funded research projects for more than two decades. Dr. Childress tests potential new medications with potential impact on both substance and non-susbstance addictions.

Her addiction research has focused on the motivation for drug use/relapse, with an emphasis on understanding and treating the profound craving states elicited by heroin, cocaine and nicotine drug cues. Her early work characterized the subjective and physiological responses to drug cues, developing behavioral anticraving drug strategies.  

Reference:  Anna Rose Childress, Ph.D
Source:  http://www.hbo.com/addiction/print/13_craving.html

Thought For Today

There are two ways of meeting difficulties:  you alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them.  -Phyllis Bottome

Deborah Shrira, Editor                      May 2008 Copyright

Suboxone Assisted Treatment of America
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Kennesaw, Georgia 30152-4445