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Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Canada Can Now Prescribe Heroin as Treatment for Addiction

Canada has made a big change when it comes to treating severe cases of addiction. For the people who are more resistant to conventional approaches, physicians will now be able to prescribe heroin (as diacetylmorphine). The government says it’s important for doctors and other health care professionals to have more options in treating drug addiction. Long term users, such as patients who have been on opioids for decades, can respond well to this form of treatment.

The most immediate effect from the new regulations will likely involve two locations in Vancouver. Providence Crosstown Clinic, led by Dr. Scott MacDonald, is known for being the only spot in North America with a “heroin maintenance” program. About 50 addicts show up two to three times a day to get medical heroin, and a nurse watches over them as they take it. The other Vancouver location, Insite, is a controversial injection site. Addicts can show up to be monitored while they take their drugs. This can drastically cut overdose rates, which has become a crisis in Canada and the United States. Four community health centers in Ottawa are discussing the possibility of opening supervised injection sites.

Naturally, this is a controversial approach to addiction. But the results have been positive so far. Many patients are healthier, more productive members of society, who are less likely to become embroiled in illegal activities. The dropout rate is low and they’re less likely to buy street drugs, which can be laced with deadly substances. “Our policy is to take heroin out of the hands of addicts and not put it in their arms,” said one member of Parliament, who opposes the program. Dr. Scott MacDonald has argued that “severe opioid use disorder is a chronic disease that needs to be managed long term, like Type-2 diabetes or hypertension.” Eight other countries have heroin maintenance programs, and expansion may be critical to getting aid to those who need it.

Watch: The opioid painkiller addiction and heroin epidemic, explained

Health Trend Report: Most Americans Misuse Prescription Drugs

According to a new analysis by Quest Diagnostics, the majority of Americans are misusing their prescription drugs. Researchers went through test results and flagged inconsistencies. They found that many people took irregular doses (such as skipping doses or taking a larger dose than the patient was supposed to), took medicines they didn’t have prescriptions for, and/or combined medicines.

Although fewer people misused drugs overall, compared to past studies (54 percent in 2015 versus 63 percent in 2011), there were more people taking drugs together. Almost half (45 percent) of the tests indicating misuse showed that patients mixed medicines. Combining drugs is potentially dangerous because ingredients can interact with each other in deadly ways. Certain combinations can lead to coma and death. Mixing even tiny doses can lead to hazardous interactions, depending on what’s used.

Health Trend Report: Most Americans Misuse Prescription Drugs

The analysis did discover that prescription drug abuse has sharply dropped among children, especially those between the ages of 10 and 17. Stimulants were associated with the most inconsistent results, and in most cases, these were ADHD drugs. Quest Diagnostics believes the reduction in drug abuse may be due to more oversight by parents. For older patients, benzodiazepines and opiates showed the most inconsistencies. Patients with hepatitis C were the most likely to have taken additional nonprescription drugs (66 percent versus 51 percent), especially painkillers and heroin.

If you personally plan to use two or more types of prescription drugs in the same day, or even the same week, it’s important to talk to your doctor. There’s always a chance of unforeseen reactions, even among prescription drugs that may seem innocuous. Only a medical professional can verify that what you want to do is safe. If you might have an issue with drug abuse, a doctor may be able to refer you to an organization that wants to help.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation is set to open a recovery house for women in east London. Named Amy’s Place, the home has 12 self-contained apartments to help women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The house will be a joint effort between the foundation and Centra Care and Support. Centra is part of Circle Housing, one of London’s 15 largest housing associations. These associations say that together, they provide homes for 10 percent of Londoners.

Amy’s House will accommodate up to 16 women, focusing on those aged 18 to 30. Residents will reportedly come to the home after already going through a treatment program, arriving sober. After settling in, they will take part in a program spanning 3 months, and will be allowed to stay in the recovery home for up to 2 years. Some studies show that women have a greater chance to relapse without support established. The special project director of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Dominic Ruffy, lamented a lack of female-specific addiction centers. He said he spoke with women currently at recovery houses and addiction centers, finding that some had no desire to move to mixed sex centers. They feared that issues could arise related to codependency and abuse.

Amy Winehouse passed away in late July 2011 from alcohol poisoning. Her family set up the foundation later that year, on what would’ve been her twenty-eighth birthday. Despite increased knowledge about substance abuse, and increased efforts to fight it, drug use has not decreased as expected. A growing body of research has led to more recovery homes, part of the effort to decrease relapse rates. Drug-free housing in low crime neighborhoods is thought to be a big step toward supporting recovery and risking avoidance. Amy’s House will open in late August.

When most people think of celebrating a special event or occasion, they usually do it with a glass of champagne. Just think of New Year, for example. And we see that as a normal thing to do. However, more and more people are suffering from alcohol addiction which leads researchers to try to find out more about how they can help these people.

The most recent study done around this was led by Texas A&M University researchers when they were trying to find out the brain reactions when someone drinks alcohol. According to the researchers, we have specific neurons in our brain that alert you to stop drinking.

Study: Researchers Find Neurons Control Drinking Habits

This same researchers team had already conducted a study where they demonstrated that when you drink alcohol you can change not only your physical structure as you can also change some specific neurons functions – the medium spiny neurons. Along with the same study, it was also shown that the activation of the D1 neuron can establish if just one drink can lead to more drinks.

You can see neurons as trees with many different branches and small protrusions that allow these brain cells to connect to each other.

How Neurons Control Drinking Habits

Each neuron, according to the researchers findings, has two dopamine receptors: D1 and D2.

The D2 neurons are the ones that, when they are activated, they tell you to stop drinking, to do nothing. They are the ones that help prevent alcohol addiction since they stop drinking behavior. Besides, it’s already known that when the dopamine level rises, the body usually rejects certain types of beverages and even food.

While the D2 neurons are seen most times as “no-go” pathway, the D1 neurons are seen as a “go” pathway in the brain.

However, when you drink alcohol, you are not only increasing the D1 neurons (the “go” pathway), as well as you are ceasing the d2 neurons (the “no-go” pathway). This means that when you’re drinking, your body won’t have the ability to respond and to alert you to stop drinking, even if you’re not an alcohol addict.

When researchers observed this, they decided to test it on animals to see what they could come up with. So, they performed a study on mice, by altering the D2 activities. The result was that the alcohol consumption was reduced and that the most D2 neurons were activated the better the effects.

Despite there hasn’t been any study conducted on humans, researchers hope they can find ways to treat alcoholism.

Humans of New York Shines Light on Growing Prison Population

The United States has the world’s largest prison population, in both total population and relative to the nation’s population. In fact, the U.S. prison population dwarfs the rest of the world. The U.S. currently has about 2.2 million individuals in prison. Compare that to 2nd place, China, a country that has 3 times as many citizens, and only has 1.5 million incarcerated individuals. Almost 50% of the yearly sentenced prisoners in the U.S. are there due to drug offenses.


This month, the immensely popular Humans of New York Facebook page did a spotlight on some individuals who are currently incarcerated in the U.S. prison system. Some of them were due to drug offenses. Many of the stories are similar. They were caught selling illegal substances on the street and were given multiple life sentences for their crimes. In particular, one of the people interviewed was a crack dealer now serving 5 life sentences. He explains that “crack changed everything.” He goes on to say that he sees young drug dealers and addicts go in and out of the facility multiple times. Nothing ever changes. They leave after serving their time and return a few months later after repeating their crime. This really shows a lack of rehabilitation the U.S. prison system provides to drug offenders.


Many individuals who are incarcerated due to drug offenses shouldn’t be in prison; they need help. Help that can’t be provided by the prison system. Giving someone a timeout can’t help treat a disease. Prisoners who are struggling with substance abuse, need a caring and well thought out treatment plan, not a cell. This would lower the prison population, and save the country, and citizens billions of dollars a year, money that could be spent elsewhere. It could be spent on preventative measures like substance abuse education programs. Until then, we’re not going to see any changes in the amount of non-violent drug offenders entering and exiting the prison system.

Be sure to take a look at the posts we talked about on the Humans of New York Facebook page. They can really help put things into perspective.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, call us today at 1 (877) 968-6283 and the knowledgeable addiction specialists at will help you find an addiction recovery treatment center that works for you.

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Drug and Alcohol Treatment

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab

posted by Blog Team May 27, 2015 0 comments
9 States That Need to Go to Rehab for Substance Abuse9 States Need Rehab (1)

America is currently facing a major drug epidemic and the need for drug rehab couldn’t be more important. It’s the fastest growing threat to our nation and the bulk source of the drug problem can be specifically attributed to the rise of prescription painkillers and heroin. Here, we’ve put together a list of states that are having the most problems with heroin. In no particular order:

9 States That Need to Go to Drug Rehab

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab


Many Pennsylvania residents came to their opiate addiction through abuse of prescription drugs like Oxycodone and then graduate to a cheaper and more widely available option: heroin. Across the region, the number of drug-induced deaths has increased dramatically, with Fayette County taking the lead as the highest death rate in the country.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab


The opiate crisis has taken no prejudice and has affected everyone from the homeless to more affluent residents of Severna Park, Ellicott City, and Bethesda. Heroin abuse and deaths in Harford County continue at a rate greater than the county’s population ranking in the state at 6th place. Not surprisingly, Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug rehab admissions across the board in Maryland.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab

New York

New York City has long served as a distribution hub for the northeastern United States and will continue to do so. While the purity of heroin has been increasing the prices have been decreasing and since the drug accounts for more than half of overdoses across the state in 2014, heroin is currently the most pressing drug threat to New York.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab


Because of its geographic location and multifaceted transportation infrastructure, Chicago is a major hub for the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Heroin continues to be the major opiate abused in the Chicago region, and many heroin-use indicators are increasing or maintaining levels that have been elevated since the mid -1990’s. In Chicago, the largest increase in heroin overdoses has occurred in the suburban areas surrounding the city.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab

West Virginia

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the nation and West Virginia has been especially hit hard. With the highest rate of unemployment out of all 50 states at 7.3 percent, the Mountain State also has the highest drug-induced death rate in the U.S. Opiates, including prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab


One in five adult Iowans is classified as a binge drinker and underage drinking persists as a stubborn problem, remaining one category where prevalence in Iowa exceeds the national average. Another dangerous form of substance abuse by Iowans involves prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Easy to obtain, prescription drug abuse is getting increasingly common in Iowa communities, specifically with teenagers.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab


Prescription drugs and heroin are making headlines in Indiana consistently and they contribute to some of the state’s biggest drugs problems. Opana, a powerful prescription painkiller containing oxymorphone, became popular about five years ago when Oxycontin makers reformulated that drug to make it harder to abuse. Similar steps were taken by the makers of Opana, but people have continued to find ways to transform the potent drug into an injectable high. Once crushed and liquefied, Opana contains eight injections, making it optimal for sharing and is believed to be the cause of the HIV outbreak sweeping the state.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab


Substance abuse, particularly abuse of prescription drugs as well as heroin, is one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing Kentucky. Especially hit hard have been Northern Kentucky, Louisville and Lexington raising fears that a heroin scourge will soon encompass the entire Commonwealth. As it is in most states, a growing number of the young people who began abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and as easy to buy as alcohol.

9 States That Seriously Need Drug Rehab

New Hampshire

The alarming prevalence of heroin and opiate use in New Hampshire has caused a major public health crisis. Jails are jammed with no in-house rehabilitation, and state-funded beds for at treatment centers have wait lists of at least two months. As a result, an increasing number of addicts who can’t get the drug rehab treatment they need to recover, which leads to relapse and recidivism. Unintended consequences include overburdened police drug units and a staggering spike in death rates, 96 percent of them deemed “accidental.”

Is your state on this list? Maybe you know someone who lives in one of these places. Addiction is a disease that most everyone has a connection to and it’s about time we all started doing our part to help alleviate the problem. Share this post with your friends and family to spread awareness on the growing opioid epidemic.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the disease of addiction and would like to seek treatment in your state, the knowledgeable and compassionate addiction specialists at can help connect you to the treatment you need. We will never charge you for our services, so call today at (877) 968-6283 if you need help finding a drug abuse treatment center.

5 States That Are Hugely Affected by Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol consumption has been on the rise in the United States, and with that increased consumption comes higher rates of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Although alcoholism affects Americans of every demographic and geographic location, some states are hit harder than others.

5 States That Are Most Affected by Alcohol Addiction

The following states have the highest rates of alcohol dependence or abuse in the country:

5 States That Are Hugely Affected by Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction in Montana

The state of Montana tops the list with an alcohol dependence rate of 9.86 percent. Although alcoholism is a disease that doesn’t discriminate, studies show that some Montana residents are at a higher risk for alcohol dependence than others–high school students are particularly vulnerable due to their binge-drinking habits.

Alcohol Abuse in South Dakota

Alcohol Abuse in South Dakota

The second spot on the list belongs to the state of South Dakota, which has an alcohol dependence rate of 9.79 percent. While the state’s alcohol addiction problem spans all demographics, residents of its Native American reservations have been hit particularly hard. At the Pine Ridge reservation, an estimated 75 percent of its adult members struggle with alcoholism or alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism in Minnesota

Alcoholism in Minnesota

The rate of alcohol dependence in Minnesota hovers at about 9.21 percent. Although Minnesota has been aggressive about providing resources for treating alcoholism and making sure residents have access to alcohol rehab centers, the state’s alcoholism rate remains high. One factor that plays a role in Minnesota’s alcohol dependence problem is binge drinking: survey results show that one in five adults in the state reported binge drinking in the last month.

Drinking Problems in Colorado

Drinking Problems in Colorado

With an alcohol dependence rate of 9.03 percent, Colorado clearly has a significant population in need of alcohol addiction treatment. The isolation of Colorado’s “frontier” and mountain communities may make it difficult for residents to find alcohol addiction programs near them, but the state is working hard to make treatment more accessible to people in these areas.

Alcohol Addiction in New Mexico

Alcohol Addiction in New Mexico

Not only did New Mexico make the top five with an alcoholism rate of 8.68 percent, but it also leads the country in alcohol-related deaths. Not all of these fatalities are the result of driving while intoxicated–a large number of deaths can be attributed to liver disease and other physical consequences of alcohol abuse. The state’s rural communities have been especially affected by alcohol abuse and dependence; like South Dakota, the Native American population of New Mexico is one of the hardest-hit demographic groups.

Treating Alcoholism Across the US

It’s clear that alcohol addiction is a serious and widespread problem in the United States, but alcohol dependence is a treatable condition. A medically-supervised alcoholism detox program can help you safely break your physical dependence on alcohol, and the therapies offered during rehabilitation can put you on the right path toward alcohol addiction recovery. Not all rehab for substance abuse requires an inpatient setting– there are many ways to treat addiction, and some individuals may be good candidates for outpatient alcohol abuse treatment. With the right treatment and continued support, recovering from alcoholism is possible and a new life is within your reach.

Not all rehab for substance abuse requires an inpatient setting– there are many ways to treat addiction, and some individuals may be good candidates for outpatient alcohol abuse treatment. With the right treatment and continued support, recovering from alcoholism is possible and a new life is within your reach.