Tag: heroin

Why You Shouldn’t Go To An Opiate Rehab in New Jersey.

Opiate Rehab New Jersey? No, its time for a change.

You used opiates in New Jersey, does that mean you can’t stay sober in New Jersey… No. I will tell you though that it is much, much easier to get and stay sober in a place your body and mind isn’t already associating with Opiates. Going to an opiate rehab in New Jersey and returning to New jersey after your treatment is a recipe for disaster. This is not because New Jersey is a bad place. It is because the opiate rehab is in New Jersey.

That you want to go to is also in the same state you got high in. This is going to cause so so so so so many problems for you body mind and soul.

Opiate Rehab in New Jersey Will Not Work.

Changing people, places and things is the first thing any opiate addict is told to do when entering an opiate rehab in New Jersey or heroin detox in New Jersey. So my question to these institution of recovery in New Jersey is, why do you take people from your home state? “Triggers, not drugs are shown to be longest lasting relapse risk” as told by Psychology Today. The places you used to cop heroin will make you want to shoot up. Seeing your old heroin using friends and dealers will make you want to use. The body and mind latch on to these familiar sights, sounds and smells of opiate addiction and use them against your recovery. Attending an opiate rehab in New Jersey is not going to yield a successful recovery. Going to an opiate rehab in Florida will.

Heroin Rehab in Florida Will Work

Heroin and opiate addicts from all over the country have being moving to Florida in droves of the last 10 years. Instead of checking in to an opiate rehab in New Jersey or a heroin detox in New Jersey, opiate addicts are finding new life in the sunshine state. Opiate rehab in Florida has proven to work for people coming from outside Florida because for many it is drastically different than their home state and Florida has more people in recovery from heroin and opiates than any other state in the country. Many of these addicts in Florida have already tried the opiate rehab in New Jersey and the heroin detox in New Jersey. The results did not come because no attention was paid to the external factors that doctors have been warning us about since the 1940’s.

Push the reset button on your addiction.

Can you back to New Jersey? Yes! You! Can! I just think and so do the doctors that starting your new life will be much easier in your forgo the opiate rehab in New Jersey and start fresh. Begin that life miles away from the old places and people that scientist say will be lodged in your brain for years. You can always go back home once you have some time under your belt. You can always visit, but you need to give your heart and your mind a break. Get to Florida, start over. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll be surprised to find that most of New Jersey’s former addicts are already there.

What’s The Best Heroin Rehab Near Me?

Is There A Good Heroin Rehab Near Me

It’s not something I thought I would ever have to type into the google search in my computer, but I did. What’s the best heroin rehab near me. I have been sober for over 6 years and never tried heroin. So how did a guy like me end up on the business end of a search for heroin rehab near me? I was hanging out with the wrong girl. Tiffany Powers was her name and no that’s not her real name. Anonymity people!

It Was Clear A Heroin Detox Was Needed As well.

Tiffany and I were buds, I wanted to date her, but that friend zone seemed to exist even though I just googled heroin rehab near me, for her. You’d think after an intimate search like that love would be in the air. We were hanging out and I knew something was up. She seemed to fall asleep very quickly and was always in the bathroom for long periods of time. When I finally confronted her she said, “I’m a heroin addict, I need you to find a heroin rehab near me.” I was scared. I knew I had to act quick based on another article I wrote about what to do if some one you know needs help with addiction. I typed in heroin rehab near me when I realized, detox must come first.

Going to a Heroin Rehab Near Me Effective Without Detox?

I knew from previous experience with friends that detox from heroin was horribly painful and that I needed to find a heroin rehab near me that had a medical detox program or a heroin rehab near me that partnered with a medical detox. Unfortunately, in Broome County, NY there were no medical heroin detox facilities at the time. Not having a rehab that offered heroin detox using medication was a huge problem because I knew that many heroin addicts will leave treatment and use heroin again if they don’t have a medical heroin detox.

Tiffany’s Heroin Recovery Would Happen In Florida

It turned out that there was no heroin rehab near me and no heroin detox available for my friend. So I reached out to the place that I knew would help, Light House Recovery Institute. They got Tiffany on a plane that same day and into a heroin detox and into their recovery for heroin program. So, it turned out there actually wasn’t a rehab near me, but the good news is that with just one phone call I got her the help she needed and today things are going just great. Heroin rehab near me is something I hope no one has to ever search for. But today with technology and transportation the whole world has opened up and the help that heroin addicts need can be accessed anytime from anywhere.

Is Making Narcan Over The Counter A Good Decision?

Selling Narcan Over the Counter Narcan OVer the Counter

Naloxone (Narcan) has recently been released in limited proportions for sale over the counter in select pharmacies and states. Selling Narcan over the counter is a bold move in what many are looking at as part of the war against drugs, specifically the war against the opioid epidemic sweeping across our country. Others see it as a cop-out for junkies – a get out of jail free card in the case of an overdose. As with anything, the lines are blurry, and the bottom line is that if lives can be saved and fatal overdoses can be prevented, it is probably a good thing.

What is Narcan?

Narcan (naloxone) is an opiate antidote. Opiates include drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone, and Vicodin. Taking too much or a combination of any of these drugs can cause an overdose, symptoms of which include the slowing or stopping of breathing, leading to loss of consciousness and even death. Once a person who is ODing is in this state, it is incredibly difficult to wake them up.

Narcan blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose in a patient that has taken too much of a drug. The opiates are essentially knocked out of receptors in the brain, even if the opiate was taken in addition to alcohol or another drug that can further suppress the immune system. After Narcan is administered, the overdosing person should begin to breathe more regularly, and they will be easier to wake. There are no known negative effects of Narcan, and nothing will happen to a person who is not ODing and accidentally takes the drug.

Narcan Over The Counter Is Controversial

Narcan over the counter LighthouseThere are many people who maintain that the only reason a person would get Narcan over the counter would be if they expected that they or someone they are close with will overdose. In their eyes, it’s a way of prepping for a big Friday night party, and as mentioned earlier in the article, a get out of jail free card.

In the eyes of supporters, Narcan is preventative. For the mothers and fathers who have an addict child, to the wives of an addict husband, and to the child of an addict mother – it is something to have around in the case of an overdose that can prevent death. It isn’t just for addicts – accidental overdose could happen to anyone who has prescription opiates on hand, so in a sense shouldn’t it be sold with every opiate prescription given out?

America’s Opiate Epidemic

It’s no secret that opiates are taking a huge toll on Americans. The U.S. is in the throes of an opiate epidemic and it is a long, sad, and messy road to get out of it. In 2014, 47,055 people died of a drug overdose, making it the number one leading cause of accidental death. It is a problem that is nationwide and is destroying lives regardless of age, race, class, and location. If Narcan can help reduce these numbers and save some lives, why wouldn’t we make it as available as possible?

I’m in Love with a Recovering Heroin Addict

I Fell In Love With a Recovering Heroin Addict Love Heroin Addict Lighthouse Recovery

We can’t choose who we fall in love with. Three years ago, I knew nothing about addiction, even though I was suffering from alcohol addiction myself, it just hadn’t been brought to light quite yet. I definitely knew nothing about heroin addiction, and would never think to associate myself with a heroin addict or anyone who was into hard drugs like that.

Him and I met through mutual friends in recovery, which is a large scene in South Florida. I remember seeing him on the beach one of the times our group got together and having an undeniable attraction to him. He apparently was in love with me the moment he first saw me – I had no idea.

We Met in Recovery in South Florida

A few months went by and we became closer, eventually going on our first date, which led to many dates, which led to us becoming a couple. His spirit matched my own and every time I looked into his eyes I felt a reflection of myself in a way I had never experienced before. We knew all about each other’s screwed up history – nothing was left in the dark between us.

Since coming to South Florida for addiction recovery, I had met my share of drug addicts, and seen relapses and ODs left and right – the first couple of times I was shocked and sad and tried to help each person, but after the 4th, 5th, 10th time – you are forced to turn a blind eye, tell the people close to you how much you love them, and hope for the best. It isn’t fun – it’s gut wrenching, heartbreaking, and my facebook feed turned into something more like an obituary of friends in recovery who lost their battle.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

He was different. The closeness we shared and still do was like nothing I had ever experienced before. So when he overdosed and nearly died, I was in shock, I was mad, I was terrified. I was lost. We had recently decided to move in together and ended up in a horrible flop house in Delray Beach. We were told by a “friend” that it was a solid halfway that we could live in as a couple while we looked for an apartment of our own.

A Halfway House Gone Bad

Love and recovery Lighthouse

The first few days were fine, but by the end of the first weekend there were fights in the middle of the night, an overdose, and we realized the houses next door to us were all huge drug dealers. We lived with a padlock on our bedroom door, and there were nights I was so scared about what was going on beyond our door that I didn’t sleep for more than a few minutes.

I knew seeing the drugs and being close to all of that was tough for him. I always knew I would be ok but my worry for him was all consuming. We moved out of that house as soon as we could, and to a friend’s house while we apartment hunted and finally found the perfect place for us and signed the lease.


The Heroin Overdose I didn’t Expect

I thought we were in the clear. I thought things were looking up. So when I was calling him one afternoon and didn’t hear anything from him for over an hour, I was slightly concerned because it was unusual but I wasn’t freaking out – I went back into work and figured I would hear back from him soon. I walked out of a meeting and checked my phone and had missed calls from a mutual friend, and a text that simply said, “Did you know what happened? If not call me ASAP.”

He had taken a huge dose of heroin and was found unresponsive, dead for all intents and purposes. The next hour or so was a blur, I felt every emotion in the book. I confirmed that he was breathing and alive when the ambulance took him away, but that’s all I knew. I drove to three separate hospitals looking for him, calling my best friends and screaming because I wanted to scream at him but I couldn’t reach him.

The only place I stopped was Walgreens to get cigarettes because my mind was a mess, I broke down crying and shaking to the lady at the counter who tried to get me to stay and not drive because I was such a wreck but I had to find him.

I found him at a hospital in Boca Raton. He survived. It wasn’t his time to go. I brought him home and held him all night, and he doesn’t remember a thing from that day. All he could say for himself was that it all got to be too much, seeing everyone using at the halfway, knowing I was unhappy with all the moving around we were doing, and some personal things he had going on. It was going to be his last “hoorah” before we moved into the apt the following weekend. That last hoorah almost killed him.

Living With and Loving A Recovering Heroin Addict love heroin addiction lighthouse

We moved into our apartment. Things are great, we’re both so happy. I’d love to say my fear of another overdose is gone, but it’s still very prevalent. My heart jumps into my throat every time I get a call from a number I don’t recognize, or if I don’t hear from him for an unusually long time. I have him on a short leash, and I don’t care if anyone else thinks I’m being needy or annoying, all I want is for him to live because he’s the most amazing soul I’ve ever met. I only want good things for him. 

Living with and loving a recovering heroin addict is not easy. As I said in the beginning of this article, we can’t choose the ones we love. I will not leave him, I won’t give up on him, and he’s doing well. I am grateful for every single positive moment we have together, and look forward to all the rest that we have in front of us.


Drug Addiction Can Affect Anyone

Ex-NBA Player Talks About His Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction LighthouseEx-Boston Celtics player Chris Herren recently spoke to an audience at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland about his personal struggle with drug addiction and his recovery. He brought to light the fact that anyone can fall victim to addiction, even the most prominent and promising young athletes who seem to have it all together.

Herren was, at one point, his town’s biggest basketball star, who dreamed of going to the NBA – a goal he did achieve. However, like so many addicts, while he was rising in stardom, he was also dropping to rock bottom personally. Ultimately, he ended up driving his basketball career into the ground by becoming addicted to a variety of drugs including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and painkillers.

Drug Addiction and Success Coexists, Temporarily

To an outsider, it might seem difficult to understand how a professional athlete can be the same person who crashes into a utility pole after overdosing on heroin and being legally dead for almost a minute. To people in and around addiction, the story is way too familiar. As a matter of fact, addicts are often over-achieving people who seem to get success with ease and love to climb their way to the top. Some argue that the passion and overzealous tendencies are what drive them to become such hardcore drug addicts.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

To the addict and their family, this intensity is crushing. Things can be going great and to everyone looking in seem at ease and successful. The addict uses this positivity as another reason to get high because it is a vicious cycle where the addict starts believing they won’t have the same level of success if they are sober.

Drug Addiction Encompasses Everyonedrug addiction lighthouse recovery

It is so important for parents and families to know about addiction because the truth is that everyone is at risk. Even the most prominent and promising students can fall victim, and it definitely doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with parenting skills, etc. Also – it is important not to immediately blame a children’s friends but instead to find out why your child is seeking drugs or alcohol in the first place.

It is also very important to talk to kids especially as they reach their high school years so that they know the dangers and know how devastating addiction could be to their entire future. Using stories like Herran’s is helpful because it shows a real-life example of someone that kids look up to falling to his knees.

There is Hope for Recovery

The positive message in Herran’s story is that recovery can be accomplished. He is currently going on eight years clean, and while he admits it is a daily struggle, there is nothing more rewarding to him. On sobriety and missing basketball, he says “The way I look at it, every single day I have to play in the biggest game of my life, and the reality is, I can’t lose this game. If I love one game, I might never come back.


Searching for a Way Out of America’s Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Use is RampantAmericas Opioid Epidemic

Opioid abuse has become an all-American epidemic, unique to our country and widespread enough to be called a public health outbreak. Abuse covers all ages, races, classes, and genders, however, the most typical victim is a non-Hispanic Caucasian male in his mid-30s.

In emergency rooms, nurses are not surprised when new overdose patients are rolled in on stretchers. Overdose is becoming so widely common that many doctors no longer need to run lab tests to determine which drug caused it. Observations such as dilated pupils mean cocaine, amphetamines, and hallucinogens. Constricted pupils almost always point to an opiate.

Opiate abuse also causes the characteristic “nodding out”, scratching, cold and clammy skin. In the wrong amounts, overdose is always just a few breaths away – and when that breath begins to sound like a rattle – the person is officially in the midst of an overdose that all too frequently leads to death.

The thought of a loved one – anyone – dying like this is terrifying, and reality is that every 19 minutes, one person in this country dies of opioid overdose. Hydrocodone, OxyContin, and Percocet are three examples of this medication, the only one known to man that is routinely prescribed and kills patients so frequently.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

How Did The Opioid Epidemic Get So Bad?

The United States is embarrassingly leading the charge in opioid abuse. 75% of the world’s opioid prescription drugs are prescribed here, and it is the number one cause of preventable death. We can’t point our fingers in one direction to place blame, however, certain pharmaceutical companies and doctors certainly had a heavy hand in leading to these statistics.

The FDA was misled for years about the true nature of opioid dependence so that big pharmaceutical companies could sell more drugs and make more money. Doctors often turn a blind eye to the reality of these drugs, accepting lame scientific data and continue writing out prescriptions, ignoring the obvious red flags.

Some staggering facts include:

  • 259 million opioid prescriptions are written yearly – enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills
  • 91% of people who survived an overdose are able to get a new prescription, often from the same doctor
  • 80% of heroin users started off using pain pills
  • As many as 4.2 million Americans have reported using heroin at least once
  • 94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were more expensive and difficult to obtain.
  • Heroin overdose deaths in women have tripled in the past few years.


Opioid AbusePutting an End to Prescription Abuse

The opioid industry has gotten so huge that it will take a long time to shift practices and make a positive change. As policy makers start to learn about the epidemic – and it can’t be ignored for much longer – they will begin to modify regulations. Small changes can already be seen, pills coming with safeguards to make them more difficult to abuse, the Centers for Disease Control recommending doctors not to prescribe opioids for chronic pain, monitoring of controlled substances, but much of the responsibility lies with each doctor.

Doctors need to discuss options and the realities of addiction with their patients and be more vigilant in what and how they are prescribing medications. Expectations must be set, and follow up is necessary. Knowing more about a patient’s history is key – for example, if a patient has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, they should never be prescribed addictive drugs. Opioids should always be considered an end-of-the-line resource instead of the first thing handed out.

Those of us in recovery are tired of hearing about friends and loved ones overdosing. We are sick of the same familiar and sad story. It isn’t too late to make a change, but in order for the severity of this to end, doctors need to step up and tighten up their prescription policies.


Rehab Centers in Florida

Drug Rehab in Florida – Business is Booming

Rehab centers in Florida have been popping up left and right in recent years – it seems as if nowadays, there is a drug rehab on almost every corner, all throughout Southern Florida. Why the sudden increase in treatment facilities? The past decade has seen a major increase in opiate addiction cases, especially throughout the East Coast. As prescription painkillers gained rampant popularity, more and more individuals were exposed to the highly addictive opioid analgesics, and as demand for the drugs increased so did the accessibility and circulation. Pharmacies began filling more prescriptions than they had ever seen prior, and as men and women clamored to the nearest ‘pill mill’ or corrupt physician in order to get their fix, addiction rates skyrocketed. Government officials, first responders, and members of the general public who were losing their loved ones at the hands of a sudden and severe epidemic began to take notice of the widespread devastation, and preventative measures were soon widely implemented. Accessibility was decreased significantly as pill mills were shut down in droves, and those who had formed insatiable habits were forced to purchase their pills on the streets. As painkillers became harder and harder to get, their street value began to climb – soon, a single pill was around $30.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Rehab Centers in Florida and the Opiate Epidemic

For those individuals who had truly developed a physical and psychological dependency on opioid analgesic painkillers, simply ceasing use when their supply ran out was not a viable option. Thus heroin was introduced to the scene – a cheaper and far more readily available opiate alternative. Housewives, businessmen, and middle-class college students who had become reliant on initially prescribed painkillers such as OxyContin or Vicodin began turning to heroin – snorting the drug at first (a more socially acceptable form of consumption), then eventually turning to intravenous use when other methods of ingestion just stopped cutting it. Heroin rapidly took over the majority of the East Coast. Overdose-related death rates skyrocketed at disturbing rates, and drug poisoning overwhelmed automobile accidents as the leading cause of accidental death for the first time in recorded history. Southern Florida had already been somewhat of an ideal location for addiction treatment – the consistently warm weather and beautiful, sandy beaches lent themselves to an ideal environment in which to recover the mind, body, and soul. Those who were suffering at the hands of opiate addiction and seeking true recover began trickling down the East Coast into Florida. Soon, South Florida was deemed ‘The Recovery Capital of the World’.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute – Amongst the Best!

We at Lighthouse Recovery Institute have been working tirelessly since our founding to separate ourselves from the rest. We have since been named one of the best alcohol rehab centers in Florida, and are proud to offer some of the most comprehensive and personalized services available. For more information on our specific program of recovery, please do not hesitate to give one of our representatives a call. Heroin addiction has ravaged the country to an alarming and discouraging degree – however, recovery is always an option. Call today and reclaim your life.

FDA-Approved Implant Solution to Nationwide Opiate Addiction?

New Jersey-based company Braeburn Pharmaceuticals recently developed an implantable device called probuphine, intended to treat opiate addiction in the same way as Suboxone – without such an extreme potential for abuse. The device is composed of four metal rods, each which slowly seep buprenorphine (a semisynthetic opioid medication) and are no larger than a matchstick. The steady flow of buprenorphine into the bloodstream of the ‘recovering’ addict would ideally help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while potentially eliminating the risk of relapse (therefore diminishing the opiate-overdose related epidemic that has recently swept the nation). An advisory committee for The Food and Drug Administration voted 12 to 5 that the drug be medically approved for widespread use – and the medical community is typically prone to following such advice.

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals Formulates Drug to Help Drug Addicts Not Do Drugs

Opiate AddictionBecause Suboxone has been causing so much controversy throughout recovery communities based on its high potential for abuse, the conception of an implantable device that offers essentially the same exact solution seems kind of… well, stupid. Addicts are overdosing on the alleged ‘miracle’ drug, selling it and trading it for major profit or ‘the real deal’, and withdrawing from prolonged Suboxone abuse in droves. While the drug can play a major role in reducing potentially detrimental issues throughout the withdrawal stage of opiate recovery, it has seemingly become more of an issue than a Godsend.

So rather than prescribe recovering opiate addicts an opioid medication that (duh) they could potentially abuse, let’s stick an identically structured medication under their skin for six months so they cannot easily trade it for painkillers or take more than intended. Try and overdose on that, you sneaky little drug addicts, you!

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Here are the issues that this specific innovation presents:

  • The implant only lasts for six months.

And then what? No one knows. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process in most cases, so treating it for 6 month intervals raises some concern amongst medical professionals.

  • Adjustments are common, and will likely lead to Suboxone use anyways.

Many doctors who prescribe their patients Suboxone will end up adjusting the amount several times before settling on an adequate dosage. Once the probuphine is implanted, that’s it. So doctors assume that they will have to prescribe their implanted patients sublingual Suboxone anyways. So then… wait, sorry, what issue does this solve?

  • Experts are concerned that patients with the implant will neglect clinical check-ins.

‘Recovering’ addicts tend to keep on top of their clinical check-ins when taking Suboxone. Oh, how surprising. Doctors fear that if patients have no reason to hit up the office on a regular basis (to get their prescriptions filled), they will stop making an effort to attend regular counseling.

  • The nation is desperate, and desperation clouds judgment.

We want answers. Our friends are dying. Our family members our dying. We’re dying, and we want to get better. So, so desperately, sometimes, that we’re willing to listen to whomever tells us they’ve found a better way. Our judgment becomes cloudy with the urgency and the bitter anguish of active addiction. We reach for whatever promises to be fast-acting and efficient.

  • We are consistently covering a fatal and deep-rooted epidemic with a fucking Band-Aid.

The national opiate addiction epidemic is not one that can be easily solved with a little glue and some patience. It will take massive, massive amounts of serious, long-term treatment and even larger amounts of unrelenting altruism. And awareness, and preventative programs, and a cessation of the disturbing amounts of overprescribing taking place across the country.

Let’s Fight Fire With Fire, Guys, This Has Worked Historically

It seems somewhat insane to conclude that the overprescribing of opioid analgesic painkillers should be met with an increased prescribing of opioid analgesic painkillers. The number of prescriptions for painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone has skyrocketed from around 76 million in 1991 to nearly 207 million in 2013. The United States is by far the biggest global consumer, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone and 81 percent for oxycodone1. Overdose deaths due to prescription opioids have nearly quadrupled over the course of the past 20 years. An average of 46 American citizens dies EVERY DAY at the hands of prescription-related overdose. Is this because American backs are getting significantly weaker – drink your goddamn milk, everyone! Or because, perhaps, the pharmaceutical industry has so successfully perfected the art of gluttonous and coldblooded misapplication? “Oh no, you’re addicted to this drug? That’s horrible, we’re so sorry. Here, take this drug, this drug will help you not be addicted to that one.” Drugs on drugs on drugs on drugs – and where does it end?

If Something Is Helping You Not Die, Do It

If you were selling your sick little body for dope a month ago; if you were robbing old women at gunpoint and beating your wife and sticking needles deep into your veins on a daily basis – take the measures you need to take to not do those things. If buprenorphine helps you, take it. Take it for two weeks and then jump headfirst into the real shit. If you keep abusing Suboxone (because, you know, you’re a drug addict), and you feel like having some implanted into your skin will help you not abuse it so much, go for it. By all means. Do I have the right to judge any one individual’s program of recovery? Absolutely not. I’m not saying if this idea appeals to you, you are doing something wrong. All I’m attempting to do is to point out the fact that the American pharmaceutical industry is making an effort to solve the underlying issue of overprescribing with an intensification of national prescribing. It’s counterintuitive. Solving drug abuse by pumping addicts with more drugs is illogical and irresponsible. What government officials may want to seriously consider is the availability of adequate treatment. Those with no insurance and no financial means to attend inpatient drug rehab are at a complete loss. The national opiate epidemic has quickly turned into an appalling opportunity for those with an eye for avarice to profit interminably off of a cyclical and widely misunderstood affliction.

Opiate Addiction Recovery is a Highly Personal Journey

Drugs will never be purely good. Sometimes we need them – we need them to help us get better. Cancer patients need chemotherapy, but they don’t continue chemotherapy for the remainder of their lives in fear that one day the cancer will come back. They eat better and wear sunblock and quit smoking; whatever the case may be. They take care of their physical bodies to ward off the physical illness. As drug addicts, it is our responsibility to take whatever measures we personally need to take in order to thoroughly and authentically kick the habit. In many cases, this means undergoing a comprehensive psychic change. Working hard and helping others and learning to love ourselves pretty unconditionally. It’s difficult to do, but the results are pure and genuine and real and lasting.

What are your thoughts on the new implantable version of buprenorphine? We’re interested to hear your stance on the issue, and to hear about any personal experience you may have with opiate addiction and recovery.


Why is Hepatitis C Spreading Across the US in Record Numbers?

Hepatitis C in America

hep c viral disease

What’s the worst disease you can think of?

Most people would probably say AIDS, cancer, or maybe the avian flu. Not many are going to say hepatitis C.

Guess what though? Hep C is currently spreading across the United States at far greater rates than any of the above.

It isn’t easy to admit, or pleasant to think about, but we’re in the midst of several wars. We’re fighting painkillers, heroin, synthetic drugs like spice and bath salts, and now – Hep C and liver disease.

Some sources are quick to point out that as IV heroin use has exploded, so have cases of Hep C. While the two have a close relationship, there still isn’t definitive proof one way of the other.

What we do know, and what affects people like you and me, is this – hepatitis C infection is up approximately 273% from 2009. Something very bad is going on here.

What is Hep C?

Although it’s often talked about, Hep C isn’t that well understood.

While explaining the ins and outs would take much more space than we have – not to mention, hepatitis C and various treatments are explored here – we’ll give you the basics.

Hep C, also known as HCV, is a viral infection that attacks the liver.


    • It can be symptomatic (showing signs) or asymptomatic (showing no signs)


    • It leads to fibrosis (scar tissue), cirrhosis (a build up of scar tissue on the liver causing major problems), and, in some cases, liver cancer


  • It can be acute (the first six months after becoming infected) or chronic (an HCV infection that last longer than six months. Most instances of HCV are chronic)

hep c liver
Hepatitis C is different from hepatitis A or B. Hep A is spread through contaminated food and water and has a vaccine. Hep B is spread through contact with infected body fluids and also has a vaccine.

HCV, on the other hand, is spread through blood-to-blood contact and has no vaccine. The primary route of infection is through IV drug users sharing needles.

Just How Quickly is Hep C Spreading?

That’s the real question, right? How bad is HCV in America? Find that information and more below:

    • Cases of acute Hep C grew 273% between 2009 and 2013


    • That breaks down to over 19,000 deaths due to HCV in 2013


    • This is up from 16,235 deaths in 2009


    • During early 2015, an average of 48,000 prescriptions were filled per month for Hep C fighting medications (Harvoni, Sovaldi, interferon, etc.)


  • Between 2007 and 2013, heroin use also exploded – rising close to 150%

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

All statistics taken from the Star Tribune.

Since injection drug use is the primary transmission route of HCV and, during the same time period, both Hep C and heroin use increased dramatically – it’s safe to say the two are related.

Officials can’t say whether increased heroin use is the only cause, or even the primary cause, for the drastic increase in Hep C infections. Still, it’s clear the two are linked and having some impact on each other.

What States are Being Hit the Hardest?

Based on the above numbers, it isn’t hyperbole to say we’re in the grip of a hepatitis C outbreak…but what does that look like from the ground? What does it look like in individual states and counties?

Well, again according to the Star Tribune, it looks something like this:

    • The national rate of HCV infection is around .7 per 100,000 people. In Washington County, Maine, the rate is around 6 per 100,000 people.


    • Madison County, in Indiana, had 70 cases of Hep C in 2013. This number increased to 130 in 2014. All of which is to say nothing about Indiana’s HIV outbreak.


    • HCV infection in Massachusetts has grown from 10 new cases in 2009 to 174 in 2013.


    • Kentucky has 5.1 cases of acute Hep C infection per 100,000 people. Remember, the national average is .7 cases per 100,000 people.

iv drug use can cause hcv

  • Hepatitis C is on the rise in Springfield, Missouri. Although exact figures aren’t available, heroin is being seized at around five times the rate it was in 2013. This suggests cases of Hep C will be around five times higher than normal.

What Can We Do?

It’s easy to sit back and say that hepatitis C is on the rise in America. What isn’t so easy, though, is figuring out just what to do to slow it down.

Thankfully, there are a host of new medications that boast upwards of a 90% success rate in curing cases of Hep C. These, mentioned briefly above, are Harvoni, Sovaldi, and other direct protein inhibitors.

viral view of what hep c looks like

The downside to these new meds is their cost. They routinely cost upwards of $100,000 for a full course of therapy. This makes insurance companies wary of giving people the go ahead to take them.

The other major option we have is harm reduction. This is a form of substance abuse treatment aimed at helping addicts to, as the name suggests, reduce the potential harm of addiction.

It’s comprised of techniques like methadone maintenance, syringe exchanges, basic healthcare services, safe injection sites, and others.

Despite offering some major benefits – making sure addicts have access to clean syringes can almost entirely wipe out blood-borne disease like HCV – it’s also controversial and faces steep opposition from many politicians.

Regardless of where you stand on harm reduction, the fact that is can help to reduce the current spread of Hep C is pretty impressive. That’s something we can all agree on.

What do you think about the recent rise in Hep C infections? Let us know on social media.

Have Changing Marijuana Laws Led to an Increase in Heroin & Meth Smuggling?

The Unexpected Result of Relaxing Marijuana Laws

In a sentence I never expected to write – the US’s changing attitude towards marijuana has led to a decrease in Mexican pot smuggling and a large increase in heroin and meth smuggling.

As more and more states decriminalize marijuana, legalize it for medical use, and even legalize it for recreational use…Mexican drug cartels are losing vast amount of money. Their cheaply grown, low potency pot just can’t compete with its genetically engineered and meticulously grown US counterpart.

In fact, Raul Benitez-Manaut, a professor and researcher from the National Autonomous University in Mexico, had the following to say about this strange shift,

“Legalization of marijuana for recreational use has given U.S. consumers access to high-quality marijuana, with genetically improved strains, grown in greenhouses…That’s why the Mexican cartels are switching to heroin and meth” (The Washington Post).

Join us on an exploration of this new phenomenon and what it means for American anti-drug efforts.

Learn more about the increase in Mexican produced meth

A Drastic Increase in Heroin & Meth Seizures

What exactly is happening at our shared border with Mexico? Well, according to the Post, seizures of both heroin and meth are way up. Marijuana arrests, on the other hand, are way down:

    • Since 2011, there’s been a 37% decrease in the amount of marijuana intercepted by federal, state, and local border officers.


    • There were 2,181 kilograms of heroin seized along the border in 2014.


    • While the majority of this heroin was of the “black tar” variety, some was white. This is higher quality heroin which can be snorted or smoked instead of injected.


    • There were 15,803 kilograms of meth seized along the border in 2014. This is a huge increase from the 3,076 seized in 2009.


    • The DEA estimates that 90% of all US consumed meth is manufactured in Mexico.


    • There’s also been a sharp decrease in the amount of cocaine intercepted along the border. There were 11,917 kilograms seized in 2014, down from over 27,000 kilograms seized in 2011.


[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

This is all a long way of telling a short story – as drug cartels in Central and South America lose their marijuana business to US growers, they’ve started to double down on smuggling both heroin and meth.

With our country currently in the grips of a heroin epidemic, and meth ever increasing in popularity, this seems like a strategic move by the cartel. It also seems like it’s working to increase the their bottom line.

What Can We Do?

There’s no easy answer to this question. While, on the one hand, it’s certainly a good thing that the production and distribution of marijuana is being taken away from illegal drug gangs – it’s a very bad thing if they’re replacing lost profits by increasing heroin and methamphetamine production.

One answer may be to take some of the same ideas currently being used for marijuana and apply them to heroin and meth. Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think we should legalize either drug. Still, some government regulation would take the power away from the cartels.

marijuana laws have led to increased meth smuggling

While this is a dangerous road to walk, and one that’s no doubt unpopular among the majority of Americans, it is worth considering. Think about it like this – if the cartels are already hurting from lost marijuana profit, imagine how much they’d hurt if they lost heroin and meth money.

Money is the lifeblood of these criminal organizations. Take away the money and you take away much of their power. Seems like something worth exploring at the very least, right?

As for the here and now – as for today – we can only hope that most of the drugs being smuggled are also intercepted at the border.

Why are certain pharmaceutical companies trying to keep marijuana illegal?

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute