Category Archives: Addiction News

Do I Drink Too Much Alcohol-LGBTQI

Do I drink too much alcohol?

Perhaps you have found yourself wondering, do I drink too much alcohol? Chances are if you are questioning your drinking habits, there is a problem. Alcohol has ingrained itself in LGBTQ social culture as a mainstay at get-togethers, clubs, and functions. It is easy to develop a problem with alcohol without realizing it before it’s too late.

The Facts

According to a government publication focused on drug and alcohol consumption of members of the LGBTQ community, sexual minorities are more likely to participate in binge drinking consisting of up to and over 5 drinks at once. Studies show that the percentages range anywhere from 20% to 30% higher than in the heterosexual population.

Many factors contribute to these statistics including family and personal relationships and cultural norms. If you feel that you are developing an alcohol problem, know that you are not alone. Alcohol addiction affects a high number of people belonging to the LGBTQ community. Fortunately, there are programs that specialize in treating drug and alcohol addiction affecting people belonging to the LGBTQ community.

The Signs

What are some of the factors that have you asking, do I drink too much alcohol? Beware of some of the following signs of a developing alcohol problem:

  • Drinking Daily
  • Consuming more than 3 drinks at once regularly
  • A need to drink when with friends
  • Binge drinking (5 or more drinks)
  • Loss of memory after drinking

If you have noticed any of these behaviors, it may be time to seek help. Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can not only affect your health, but it can also create legal issues or even cause a wreck or other injury to you or someone else.

Seek Help

There is a professional facility that specializes in assisting in the recovery process for LGBTQ members. Inspire Recovery has highly trained, caring staff that is sensitive to the needs of our LGBTQ community members, and are committed to your well-being and recovery. Contact us today and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

West Virginia Opioid Crisis

West Virginia Opioid Crisis

Kermit is a dot on the map. It’s a town in West Virginia with a population of about 400 people. Over a two-year period, one pharmacy in Kermit was flooded with almost 9 million pills of addictive opioid painkillers from wholesale prescription drug distributors. Other small towns in West Virginia have also experienced receiving exorbitant amounts of powerful opioids from wholesale distributors. From 2006 to 2014, the Family Discount Pharmacy in Mount Gay-Shamrock received nearly 12.5 million doses of opioids and the town of Williamson, West Virginia received 10.5 million pills. So let’s take a look at this West Virginia Opioid Crisis.

Prescription Drug Distributing Companies Questioned about their Role in the West Virginia Opioid Crisis

In early May this year, 2018, wholesale drug distributing companies Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and others were called to testify before a House Energy and Commerce committee regarding inquiries into these companies’ involvement in West Virginia towns receiving the massive amounts of addictive opioids. The drug distribution companies expressed condolences about the impact of the West Virginia opioid crisis but skirted responsibility with an official statement from the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, an association that represents them, “we need to be realistic and acknowledge that this epidemic was not caused by distributors who neither prescribe, manufacture nor dispense medicines.” But the drug distribution companies failed to report the suspicious amounts of opioids going into several small West Virginia towns and continued shipping millions of pills to those locations for years.

West Virginia has the country’s highest rate of opioid overdose fatalities, about 900 people a year. The situation with the West Virginia opioid crisis is very grim. Overdoses are killing so many that the state can’t keep up with the cost for funerals and burials for indigents. There’s no denying the obvious correlation between the sheer volume of opioids sent to the state and the reality of the crisis there.

The question was posed at the committee meeting which the drug companies were summoned to if they believe the conduct of their companies has been a contributing factor in the opioid epidemic and the West Virginia opioid crisis. Four out of five of the executives of the companies summoned replied, “No.” Cardinal Health, one of the distributing companies questioned by the committee panel is involved in more than 300 lawsuits with local and state governments having to do with their involvement in irresponsibly distributing painkillers at this time.

suboxone maintenance

Medication-Assisted Treatment Debate

By Martel Bird

A relatively new paradigm in the treatment of addiction to opiates has come into vogue known as Medication-Assisted Treatment (M.A.T.). This form of treatment typically hinges on the prescription of a medication called Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination of the drugs buprenorphine, an opioid itself, and naloxone, a drug that, among other things, can block the euphoric high associated with opioids. This combination satisfies the physical craving for opiates, therefore deterring patients prescribed to it from taking street drugs to get high. M.A.T. is a subject of controversy among addiction treatment professionals.

Suboxone Maintenance

More often than not M.A.T. means long-term Suboxone maintenance, which is not dissimilar from methadone maintenance, a much older form of M.A.T. “Maintenance,” in this sense refers to a means of remaining abstinent from addictive opiates like heroin and prescription opioid painkillers by continually taking Suboxone. The main argument for long-term Suboxone maintenance is one of “harm reduction.” The stance is grounded in the idea that opiate addicts are generally unable to recover from their addiction. That being the case, keeping them on a prescribed Suboxone regiment will help them stay away from more dangerous drugs they’d be more likely to overdose on in the event of a relapse.

Some physicians and treatment professionals advocate for a short-term Suboxone treatment model. In this model, Suboxone is used to stabilize addicts in early recovery by avoiding the harsh withdrawal effects associated with opiates. After a short period of time, they can be tapered off Suboxone until they are opiate free. Others believe long-term treatment with Suboxone is more effective.

Statistically, people who remain on Suboxone for longer periods of time are less likely to relapse on heroin or prescription opioids. The trump card in the case for long-term Suboxone maintenance is that the number of deaths from overdoses can be cut nearly in half with recovering addicts who participate in Medication Assisted Treatment. This means a lot in the atmosphere of the nationwide deadly opioid addiction epidemic.

Exactly how long is “long-term?” How long is long enough? How long is too long? It’s difficult to make a blanket statement and the answers to those questions most likely depend on individual case considerations, but it’s disconcerting that some people remain on Suboxone for periods of time longer than ten years in this practice of treating opiate addiction with another opiate.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Suboxone can, in fact, be abused. It can be used to get high if injected, snorted or used in such a way that buprenorphine can be separated from the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone. Also, Suboxone is often used as a way to simply stave off withdrawal symptoms before addicts can return to using their drug of choice. For people who are not addicted or accustomed to taking opiates, using Suboxone results in an intense high (and it can be a risk for fatal overdose). For these reasons, Suboxone has begun to be trafficked illegally on the street.

The emergence of Cash-Only Suboxone Clinics raises red flags because of the close similarity to the problem of the so-called “pill mill” pain clinics, where opioid pain medications became exceedingly over-prescribed, contributing in a big way to the now nationwide addiction epidemic. Combatants of Suboxone maintenance are wary that Suboxone is being over-prescribed in the same way. By and by, Suboxone is still an addictive substance and there are fortunes of wealth to be made for providers and manufacturers in peddling an addictive drug.

After long-term use, if someone decides they want to come off of Suboxone, the withdrawal period is longer and a markedly worse experience than it is with other opiates. It can last for months. Furthermore, research studies on potential negative health consequences related to long-term Suboxone maintenance are non-existent. There’s no certainty what the long-term effects could be.

Many believe that Suboxone maintenance doesn’t effectively treat the true nature of addiction, which is largely psychological. Regularly taking Suboxone can temporarily alleviate emotional pain, depression and anxiety, but the root causes of those afflictions are left untouched. In this way, Suboxone maintenance is like keeping a band-aid on an infected wound. Further harm may be kept at bay, but the real problem is left to fester just underneath the surface.    

LGBTQI Focused Addiction Rehab

Why Are LGBTQIA Focused Addiction Rehabs Vital to Recovery?

My war with addiction began when I was 12 years old. After moving to Florida and hitting puberty I was faced with an onslaught of feelings and ailments I didn’t know had a name, let alone how to cope with them in daily life. I now know I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what is known as Gender Dysphoria. I started taking Xanax to medicate myself and coast through life and didn’t look back for 8 years.

My first experience in an institution, I was 15 years old. I was not living as my authentic self at that time and drifted in and out of the mental health care system and substance abuse programs for years. I felt like a ghost in a shell  and wasn’t able to properly heal myself, not knowing who I was. When I was 21 I entered a treatment facility for the first time identifying as female. After an exasperated quarrel with both the facility and my insurance company they agreed to put me in a private room in the senior facility. The treatment center felt as though staying with my peers would be too high risk for me. I find that notion completely ridiculous. As if staying with a bunch of detoxing baby boomers in an isolated chamber would be a productive safety net? This unfortunately was the only half-assed measure taken to accommodate me as a transgender client. My time in treatment was not actually spent tackling my issues with addiction. I spent so much time explaining myself and who I was in the context of being Trans that I had no energy left and certainly didn’t have the trust needed to divulge any part of my wounded self in therapy. A facilitator even made a sidebar comment on how I could make more of an effort and put on makeup if I wanted to be addressed properly. I was in the midst of detoxing from opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines and alcohol. My insides and outsides were falling out and off. Make up wasn’t exactly a priority.

I developed an almost impenetrable set of defense mechanisms to tolerate constantly being pigeon holed and dehumanized. It came as no surprise that I relapsed shortly after being discharged and continued to downward spiral. Luckily I made it back and discovered Inspire Recovery, where I cultivated my longest period of sobriety. An LBGTQI focused environment allowed me to get the breathing space I desperately needed to get my shit together. The sense of community and acceptance was essential in healing. I could actually carry out conversations with people without a raised eyebrow or calling my entire being into question. It was truly a breath of fresh air and a blessing. I came to truly appreciate my experience there a year later after a brief relapse and stint in another facility.

And now, here’s what it was like at another facility. The residency there was enforced by a religious zealot who would lock me out of the bathroom and find other creative ways to degrade and silence me. I became unhinged and reactive. I smashed a dresser in my room. I subsequently was removed and committed to a lock-down psych unit where i was administered haldol without my consent and was taken off my hormone regiment. Thankfully due to the dedication of my family and sober supports I was rescued and sent to another LBGTQI oriented treatment center that could actually help me. This dark period really taught me not to take things for granted, especially my time at Inspire. The importance of education in gender studies and an all inclusive environment is completely vital to treating a case like me and I hope for a future where the marginalized of the marginalized can be less, well marginalized.

non-binary drug alcohol rehab

Is there a drug and alcohol rehab for people who identify as non-binary?

Identifying non-binary, may make the struggle with chemical dependency that much more difficult due to starting life in the social construct of a binary world. It can seem impossible to find non-binary drug & alcohol rehab to suit your needs. Fortunately, there is a rehab center that has a space for all genders, both non-binary and binary.

Added Pressures

Being part of the LGBTQ community imposes a lot of pressures from outside social establishments. It is perfectly common to have a difficult time having your identity constantly questioned because you don’t identify by the strict two binary genders of male or female.   It is common to not find members of the medical profession who really understand the situation you have been in your whole life. Often, going into a treatment facility that claims to help with your recovery ends up being in an environment where they try to enforce hetero-normative and cis-gender ideologies on you, which can hinder your recovery.

An Inclusive Culture

When you search for a non-binary drug & alcohol rehab center, you are also searching for a culture who understands you. Much of the world sees things from its own perspective, that of a majority view that you may not fit into. Instead of enforcing conformity, the right kind of treatment center focuses on helping you work with who you are and what you really want out of life. This is not a fairytale world, as this culture actually exists in an LGBTQIA inclusive and culturally aware rehabilitation center, Inspire Recovery in South Florida. In fact, this is the mainstream culture at Inspire. It’s so mainstream that stepping outside of Inspire, the binary world becomes hard to comprehend that it is the majority reality.

Professionals Who Understand

There was a time not so long ago when medical professionals considered natural differences from the social contructs to be mental illness. There is still a stigma in much of society that can permeate even the minds of professional counselors and psychologists. Fortunately, there are professionals in the at Inspire who specialize in non-binary drug & alcohol rehab because this is desperately needed in the community. Help is available, and a better life can start by picking up the phone and calling 561-899-6088..

Treating the Underlying Problems

One of the most common reasons anyone uses alcohol or drugs is because it is an escape. For a time, you can forget about the world you live in. But there is another way and you can treat the underlying problems you have been running from, so you no longer have to use. Feeling better in the real way is both possible and available. Even if you have given up hope of finding a non-binary drug & alcohol rehab, it is here waiting for you to get help.

Recovering Addicts Lead the Way

Recovering Addicts Lead the Way

CDC-Rx-Leads-to-Heroin-AddictionNearly everywhere in the nation, overdoses from opioid painkillers and opiate street drugs, like heroin, continue to devastate communities. Deaths related to substance overdoses have risen in number to rival fatalities from automobile accidents. The statistics are nothing less than disturbing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that opioids kill around 90 Americans everyday.

There’s no question that the country is experiencing a widespread addiction epidemic. Recovering addicts who have survived addiction and are now living their lives drug free are in a unique position to offer insight and advice about how to get clean to the still suffering addict. In communities across the United States recovering addicts lead the way in the fight against the addiction epidemic.

Recovering Addicts with a Grassroots Approach to Saving Lives

In Guilford County, North Carolina, a task force has been formed to provide free access to the life-saving drug, Naloxone. Naloxone is a medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Chase Holleman, who has been in recovery for four years, founded the group and hopes to spread awareness about addiction.

Holleman’s group, known as the Guilford Naloxone Task Force, has long-term goals to create programs that will help in allowing easier access to treatment for recovering addicts. Holleman has shared that Naloxone has saved his life multiple times while he was still suffering in the grips of his addiction. He has expressed that his path in recovery has led him to take the initiative to get involved in social work and fight the opioid crisis on the frontlines.

Naloxone-Kit-Inspire-Recover-NewsAnother member of the group, recovering addict, Alex Smith, has expressed his opinion that, “you can’t help someone if they’re dead,” while advocating for the value of Naloxone. “The first step is, how do we keep someone alive long enough so that they could find the recovery support services,” Smith explained to Guilford’s local FOX News station.

Elsewhere, the Fuck Heroin Foundation, out of Delray Beach, Florida, organizes rallies, distributes informative materials and merchandise and helps addicts without the financial means to seek aid get into detoxes and treatment centers in Delray, which is sometimes called, “the recovery capital of the world.” The founders, themselves, are recovering addicts. Frankie P. and his mother Lena, a professional interventionist, have dedicated their lives to helping still sick and suffering addicts get the help they need to get back on their feet. These two are another example of people who have been directly affected by this epidemic, giving back toward the effort to end the turmoil. Find more information about the Fuck Heroin Foundation at their website.

Narcotics-Anonymous-Inspire-RecoveryFolks in recovery who are members of 12-Step programs like Narcotics Anonymous lead by example everywhere. People who have beat addiction and are now living clean and sober offer inspiration and are a glimmer of hope that a better life is possible. The addiction epidemic is a growing problem, but the recovery community is also growing and recovering addicts are leading the way to end this crisis.

If you, or someone you love, is struggling with an addiction to either prescription pain killers or street drugs such as heroin, help is available. For a national hotline you can contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This service can provide you with referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Visit the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) World Services site to find out where you can catch a meeting near you!