Tag Archives: Heroin

Tag Archives: Heroin


Prescription Abuse, Pills, Painkillers, Narcotic Abuse, and Addiction Treatment

Your friend was messing around with his nephew’s skateboard. It wasn’t going to end well — you guys aren’t in your early 20s anymore, after all — and he predictably took a spill when he ran into a curb. He ended up breaking his wrist pretty badly. The doctor gave him a script for some Vicodin to help with the pain. When he filled the prescription, he got a bunch of pills, but only ended up using a couple. They made him nauseous, so he switched to extra-strength Advil. 

A couple of weeks later, you mentioned you were having trouble sleeping. Your friend offered you the rest of his Vicodin — he wasn’t using it, and he’d heard it could help with that kind of thing. So you took it. And you realized it did more than just help you sleep; it made you feel happier and less stressed out. You took two on a Saturday morning just for fun, and enjoyed the pleasant drowsiness while you watched your favorite movies all day. 

When you ran out of the Vicodin, you started getting headaches. Your insomnia came back, and it was worse than before. You asked your friend if he had any refills; then, when those ran out, you went to your own doctor and claimed you’d been having some serious back pain. Before you even realized it, you needed painkillers to get through the day, and you were willing to lie to your physician to get what you wanted. 

Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit “street” drugs. In many cases, they can be even more dangerous because they are more potent and — at first — are more easily accessible. Pain pill addiction — often called opioid addiction — isn’t the only type of addiction to prescription drugs, either. Anxiety medications and amphetamines for ADD/ADHD are addictive, too. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most commonly misused prescription drugs are: 

Opioids

  • Fentanyl (Duragesic®)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Lorcet®, Lortab®)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®, Percodan®)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
  • Meperidine (Demerol®)
  • Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)

Depressants

  • Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)

Stimulants

  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin®, Concerta®)
  • Amphetamines (Ritalin®) 

If you or someone close to you is prescribed any of these drugs, you need to be very careful to take them as directed. As soon as any signs of misuse appear, you should talk to a doctor; dependence on these drugs can arise very quickly, and withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous. It’s easy to become trapped in a cycle of addiction to prescription drugs, but professional treatment can help break the cycle and give you another chance at life.


Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin is extremely addictive and difficult to overcome, but recovery is possible. Cumberland Heights offers heroin addiction treatment methods for both physiological and psychological aspects of heroin addiction and withdrawal. While physical withdrawal symptoms may abate after about a week of discontinuing heroin use, psychological cravings aren’t as easy to conquer. That’s why it’s important to seek help through an accredited drug addiction treatment center.

To determine if you or a loved one needs heroin addiction treatment or has an opiate addiction problem, we encourage you to learn more below.


Overdose Awareness Day at Cumberland Heights

Friday August 31, 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Together we honor those we have lost and share hope for the future.

A Service of Remembrance of those lost this year, especially to addiction, helping us to move from grief toward hope and healing. A list of first names with last initial of those we are remembering will be read at the service. If you would like to add a name to the list, please submit that using the form below.

Original Article By: Stephanie Langston, WKRN News Channel 2, Nashville
Posted: Aug 02, 2018 05:55 PM CDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A family is sharing their story of heartache after losing their son to addiction. Now, they are doing what they can to raise awareness about the crisis.

It was a battle the Witthauer’s faced for years. They told News 2 despite numerous rehab facilities, the disease was too powerful for their son Greg. “I lost my brother to this disease, but losing my child was much worse,” Karen Witthauer said with tears in her eyes.

At the age of 13, her son Greg had his first taste of drugs. “They smoked marijuana on the beach and then it was head to the ground from there.”

His use increased, and after being dismissed from the soccer team for a drug offense he entered rehab at 15. But he soon relapsed. “He was trying to find something that he could control that would make him feel better. The whole progression, he went through cocaine and from opiates to pills to heroin,” Greg’s father Mark told News 2.

The struggle didn’t get any easier. Several rehabs later and some legal issues finally gave Greg some clean time, almost two years.

“He was working, and he was doing really really well. He bought a car and his job was stable and he was really proud of himself, you could tell,” said Karen. However, a back injury landed Greg a Lortab prescription and he was back using fulltime. “He only had 10. He gave him a prescription for 10 and that was all it took,” stated Karen.

The Witthauer’s said he was never able to put together a long stretch of sobriety again. This time he spent three months in a Florida rehab. “and he was gone within two weeks,” said his mom.

Greg was found in his car near Percy Priest. He had overdosed on heroin likely laced with meth.

“We knew in our hearts that he had probably overdosed somewhere but even though you still get that phone call and it’s like the whole world just starts spinning around,” explained his father. Today Karen wears a bracelet that reads “always have heart,” the same tattoo her son had across his chest. “Even though he had the disease of addiction, I was very proud of my child, very proud of the man that he was, I was proud of his heart, of how he treated people.”

In his sober time, they said Greg wanted to help others struggling with addiction. Now they hope to carry on his mission.

The Witthauer’s started a fundraiser called always have a heart in their son’s honor that goes to support those in treatment.

On August 12, they are hosting a forum, Breaking the silence: Addressing Youth Substance Abuse. It will be at Our Savior Lutheran Church.

Original By: AMY ESKIND
Posted On: September 25, 2017

NPR: Combining Dangerous Drugs Pushes Tennessee Overdose Deaths To Record High
NPR: How Drug Combos Are Making Tennessee’s Opioid Problem Even More Deadly

The combining of powerful drugs — both purposeful and unintentional — is making Tennessee’s opioid epidemic even more deadly. The latest figures out this month show 2016 was another record year for overdoses in the state — more than 1,600 people died. And experts say risky drug cocktails are compounding the problem.

Emergency responders have answered hundreds of 9-1-1 calls from friends and family members of people who have overdosed. Last year Davidson County lost 261 people to overdose, almost all of them from opiates. On the street, heroin is a cheaper opiate than pills. Many users are looking for whatever will give them the highest high, says recovering addict Mary Barton Lea.

“When I was buying my heroin I said, ‘who’s got the heroin with the fentanyl?’” she says. “That’s the heroin I want.”

Fentanyl is a very strong opiate that magnifies the experience and lasts longer. Experts expect to see more of it coming into Middle Tennessee.

“It’s a sleep-like state, it’s a state that you feel secure,” Lea says. “I’ve read — and I tend to agree with this — it’s almost like kissing God, because it takes you to a place you’ve never been before.”

But that incredible high comes with a physical and mental addiction, Lea says.

“When you come down from that state, all your body says is I want to get back there…You get up there quick, but then there’s a crash and the crash is horrible. The crash is you will do anything within your power to get more.”

Serious addicts like Lea may be willing to flirt with death. Others are simply unaware, says Sam MacMaster. He’s the chief clinical officer at JourneyPure, an addiction treatment provider. He warns that no one can be sure what they’re buying in the illegal market.

How Drug Combos Are Making Tennessee's Opioid Problem Even More Deadly
Sadly, 2016 was another record year for overdoses in the state — more than 1,600 people died. And experts say risky drug cocktails are compounding the problem.

“You would not be able to tell [by] how it looks at all, and that’s the issue,” MacMaster says. “They believe that they’re purchasing typically heroin or sometimes even a pilled opiate but it’s been cut with fentanyl.”

Indeed, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning about counterfeit Vicodin and Oxycontin pills. As with heroin, unscrupulous dealers add fentanyl to give themselves a marketing edge — they’ve got the strong stuff.

But some users are buying the laced drugs unknowingly. They may erroneously think it’s stronger because it’s more pure. The next thing they know, they can’t breathe. Then their heart stops.

“If I believe I’m shooting x-amount of heroin, I may in fact be shooting something that is much more potent. And while I may have a sense of what my body can handle, I’ll have no idea what my body can handle in terms of the fentanyl,” MacMaster says.

Some dealers are even lacing their supplies with carfentanil, a veterinary opiate that can knock out a rhino.

But lethal combinations go beyond various opioids. Users have also been adding prescription anxiety medications, such as Xanax, Valium or Klonopin. Not only is that a doubling up on medications that depress the central nervous system, experts worn there can be a multiplier effect. And it’s hitting teens and young adults hard, especially since many of them already have anti-anxiety prescriptions. Others have painkillers, maybe prescribed for an injury.

“There’s actually prescription parties where kids will have a party and everybody raids the medicine cabinets they can get to, brings them to the party, and then you have whatever you have at that party for people to experiment with,” says Cinde Stewart Freeman, chief clinical officer at Cumberland Heights, an addiction treatment center.

Cole Szabo, adolescent specialist at Cumberland Heights, says the days when kids stuck to beer and marijuana are gone.

“The benzos and opioids are the new gateway drug,” he says. And it’s in the schools. “You’re seeing Xanax, you’re seeing benzos, you’re seeing hydrocodones, oxycodones, Vicodin – you’re seeing that more. The problem with that is, you’re going to die quickly. It’s a quick death, you’re going down fast.”

If administered in time a nasal spray called Narcan that reverses the effects of opiates can save a life. Emergency responders in Nashville have used it on more than 500 people already this year.

But Narcan has no effect on other drugs like anti-anxiety pills, cocaine, or alcohol, so combination overdoses can still prove lethal. That was unfortunately the case for Max Barry, the son of Nashville’s mayor, who could not be revived with Narcan, and died over the summer in Colorado with much more than opiates in his system.


By: NATASHA SENJANOVIC
Date: SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

NPR: Combining Dangerous Drugs Pushes Tennessee Overdose Deaths To Record High

State Health Department officials say more Tennesseans died from drug overdoses last year than ever before in recorded history. The more than 1,600 deaths marked a 12 percent increase over the previous year.

The recent data show a rise in fatal overdoses from a combination of drugs. For example, deaths involving opioids and stimulants nearly doubled in that time period. And those involving the opioid pain killer fentanyl rose by nearly 75 percent.

Cinde Stewart Freeman is chief clinical officer at Cumberland Heights, a nonprofit drug and alcohol addiction recovery center in Nashville. She says people used to primarily mix opiates and alcohol.

But now, says Freeman, “We see people who mix alcohol with opiates of some sort and then the benzodiazepines on top of them. Unfortunately sometimes what people are getting is not what they think, so if it’s laced with fentanyl, which is a really high-powered opiate, it becomes even more deadly.”

Tennessee’s Substance Abuse Services Commissioner, Marie Williams, says the rise in overdose deaths proves the importance of additional funding allocated by Gov. Bill Haslam and the legislature this year.

Other officials say while fatalities are rising, it’s hard to determine what percentage of the spike is due to an increase in toxicology exams. The opioid epidemic has significantly increased awareness of the need to conduct more post-mortem drug tests.

By: MELANIE KILGORE-HILL
Published: September 14, 2017

Specialists Address Disturbing Trends, Skyrocketing Death Rates

The Opioid Crisis hits Nashville Tennessee - Cumberland Heights treats Addiction to Opioids and Heroin

More than 2.5 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder, which contributed to more than 33,000 overdose deaths in 2015, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, a growing number of treatment options are helping to break the addiction cycle and bring healing to families in Middle Tennessee and beyond.

The New Face of Addiction

“Once upon a time, opioid addiction was limited to healthcare professionals with access,” said Chapman Sledge, MD, FASAM, chief medical officer at Cumberland Heights.

 

An addiction specialist for more than 20 years, Sledge said programs like Cumberland’s primarily treated those suffering from alcoholism a decade ago. Fast-forward to 2017, and the 50-year-old program regularly sees housewives, teenagers and executives – all patients addicted to prescription opioids and, more recently, heroin.

 

“Eight years ago you rarely saw heroin in Nashville,” Sledge said. “When Tennessee became more aggressive with the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database Program, it cut down on multiple prescriptions from multiple prescribers, which tightened up the illegal supply and drove cost up.”

 

To help prevent abuse, pharmaceutical companies also made the drugs less dissolvable. That shift opened doors for mom-and-pop heroin dealers to set up shop, offering an alternative that’s cheaper, easier to get, and more potent than prescription opioids. Today, heroin is often the most popular opioid for first-time users, leading to more overdose-related deaths than ever.

 

Dr. Chapman Sledge, MD of Cumberland Heights Top Opioid Medical Doctor“The thing that’s a game-change is the rate at which people are dying and the desperation among families,” Sledge said. “It’s so incredibly dangerous because the potency has changed. With prescription opioids, we knew what to expect from a single dose … but with heroin, it’s difficult to judge potency.”

Evolving Therapies

Enter medication-assisted therapy (MAT) including fast-acting opioid antagonist drugs, now a standard in pharmacies and emergency departments nationwide. In fact, certain antagonist therapies are available without a prescription in many states, including Tennessee.

 

Also growing is the number of in- and out-patient treatment options now available. At Cumberland Heights, patients undergo an evidence-based, 12-step recovery process that focuses on spiritual healing, as well as physical. In 2016 the program treated more than 2,000 men, women and adolescents through their two main campuses and 11 outpatient offices.

A Lifelong Journey

While inpatient treatment programs traditionally last 30-60 days, those with substance abuse disorders typically face a lifetime struggle with addiction. “We understand that this is a potentially lifelong disease, and we provide medications for that.”

 

Breaking the Cycle

Like Sledge and Lee, Russo-Appel said the stigma around addiction is changing. “Many believe addiction is found in the lower socioeconomic class or the homeless, but it’s startling to see the number of high functioning, well educated people battling this,” she said. That’s because addiction so often starts with a valid prescription for chronic pain. “PCPs and other providers are all coming into an understanding that this has gotten out of control,” she said. “We now have task forces and doctors signing pledges on how to prescribe opioids moving forward.”

 

Russo-Appel said stopping the addiction cycle begins with prevention efforts as early as grammar school. “We need more awareness programs and access to care,” she said. “The heart of our mission is access. How do we get treatment to as many people as we can?”


Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery for Adult Women

The Women’s Program at Cumberland Heights responds to the specific needs of women by keeping the patient’s relationship with herself and others at the heart of the program. We provide a safe, healing environment that is conducive to restoring these connections.

Cumberland Heights' Director of The Women's Program Melissa Hudgens discusses elements and actions women need to take in their recovery from drugs and alcohol WATCH VIDEO
Cumberland Heights’ Director of The Women’s Program Melissa Hudgens discusses elements and actions women need to take in their recovery from drugs and alcohol.

The Women’s Program addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women with addiction, empowering them to move from addiction to recovery.  Because women deal with issues specific to their gender and role in society, we address body image, healthy relationships and parenting.  The Women’s Program is up to 30 days in length and our primary program for women ages 18 and up. Studies have shown that women respond better to treatment in a gender specific setting, so at Cumberland Heights our Women’s Program offers an all-female staff and 12 Step based therapies tailored specifically to women’s issues.

Each patient receives an individual treatment plan with lifelong recovery as the primary objective. Our experienced staff implements comprehensive education on the disease of addiction and an understanding of the obstacles to recovery through group and individual therapy, 12 Step meetings, and family therapy.  In addition in 2017 we opened our very first Sober Living program for Women and Sober Living program for Men.   These offsite Sober Living facilities are structured, safe and substance-free living environments for individuals just beginning or returning to recovery.

With the high incidence of trauma among women, we provide trauma screening and trauma informed care, allowing a woman to begin to heal from painful situations, as well as old wounds worsened by addiction.  If symptoms of trauma surface, we offer education, assessments, coping skills and referral for appropriate therapy. We recognize the importance of addressing the shame often related to addiction as well as issues such as body image, parenting and a loss of spirit.

In this nurturing community, a woman can begin to love herself as she learns to trust others. The skills acquired during this process are essential to establishing and maintaining a healthy and happy life, free from alcohol and drugs.

In this nurturing community, a woman can begin to love herself as she learns to trust others
Because women deal with issues specific to their gender and role in society, we address body image, healthy relationships and parenting.

Women’s First Step Program

Many potential patients who need residential care have circumstances such as financial, vocational and/or familial responsibilities that may dictate a shorter length of stay. Cumberland Heights’ First Step Program offers a customized program that stabilizes, educates and prepares patients for the next level of care. This program has a variable length of stay and works with the patient’s health insurance provider in preparing the patient’s transition to an outpatient treatment program in their community.

Women’s Relapse Track

Cumberland Heights’ Relapse Track is for women who have suffered relapse after maintaining some period of recovery from addiction. It offers a specialized process guided by a trained counselor to allow discovery of what contributed to the relapse. Specific obstacles to an individual’s recovery are identified, as well as examination of the underlying issues contributing to the relapse process. These issues may include past or present dysfunction in the family, childhood abuse, abandonment or other trauma.

Additionally, this track helps women identify individual relapse warning signs and learn specific skills to aid in preventing additional relapses. If needed, time is spent understanding substitute behavioral addictions that contribute to post-treatment relapses.

Recovery Care Advocacy

Alcohol and drug addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. Studies have shown accountability with a continuing care plan, sober fellowship, family involvement and extended support serve as the cornerstone for long-term recovery. Recovery Care Advocacy at Cumberland Heights is a service provided to all our alumni through their first year of recovery after completing a treatment program at Cumberland Heights.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are honored to be of service to you and your loved one. We understand that this is a sensitive time and we congratulate you for taking the first step into recovery by reaching out for help. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions for your reference.




Alcohol & Drug Addiction – Adult Men’s Recovery Services

Cumberland Heights' Men's Program Clinical Coordinator Brandon Antoskow discusses elements and actions men need to take in their recovery from drugs and alcohol WATCH VIDEO
Cumberland Heights’ Men’s Program Clinical Coordinator Brandon Antoskow discusses elements and actions men need to take in their recovery from drugs and alcohol.

When Cumberland Heights opened its doors in 1966, our Men’s Program was among the first of its kind providing men a new and rewarding life in recovery from addiction. Each program is gender specific and follows the fundamental teachings of the 12 Steps of recovery.

Through our 50+ years treating patients, we’ve found men often struggle the most with societal pressures that make it difficult for them to express their feelings or make them feel pressured to obtain a specific level of success.  The Men’s Program is designed to assist men in moving from the pain and isolation of the active addiction to a connected recovery lifestyle.  In most cases,  the men’s program is up to 30 days in length and the primary program for men ages 18 and up. For those who require additional support, we also offer an Extended Care Program for men-only, up to 180 days in length, to assist those who desire a safe transitional program back into everyday life.  In addition in 2017 we opened our very first Sober Living program for Men and Sober Living program for Women. These offsite Sober Living facilities are structured, safe and substance-free living environments for individuals just beginning or returning to recovery.

We tailor an individual plan for each patient, with lifelong recovery as the primary objective. Our experienced staff implements a comprehensive education on the disease of addiction and an understanding of the obstacles to recovery through group and individual therapy, 12 Step meetings, and family therapy.

From a patient’s first assessment, through residential treatment, and all the way to their first aftercare group, newly recovering men are provided the necessary resources for a sober, productive and fulfilling life.  As part of the recovery community, men begin to break down the barriers addiction and stereotypes have built up.  As men learn intimately about the disease of addiction, they begin to normalize their feelings and experiences.

At Cumberland Heights, our goal is to help men turn the hard work of getting clean and sober into a lifetime of happiness and contentment.

Men’s First Step Program

The First Step Program is a combination of a residential stay for detoxification and stabilization as needed, followed by Intensive Outpatient treatment for three hours, four times/week to assist the patient in learning and establishing recovery skills. Length of stay in the residential and intensive outpatient components varies based upon clinical needs and outside support systems. The patient’s treatment team works to determine an individual recommendation for each patient. Family education groups are offered in both program components. Cumberland Heights contracts with a variety of insurance providers. Our staff can assist you and your family in estimating insurance benefits and out of pocket costs.

Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery for Adult Men
The Men’s Program is designed to assist men in moving from the pain and isolation of the active addiction to a connected recovery lifestyle.

Relapse Track

Cumberland Heights’ Relapse Track is for men who have suffered relapse after maintaining some period of recovery from addiction. It offers a specialized process guided by a trained counselor to allow discovery of what contributed to the relapse. Specific obstacles to an individual’s recovery are identified, as well as examination of the underlying issues contributing to the relapse process. These issues may include past or present dysfunction in the family, childhood abuse, abandonment or other trauma.

Additionally, this track helps men identify individual relapse warning signs and learn specific skills to aid in preventing additional relapses. If needed, time is spent understanding substitute behavioral addictions that contribute to post-treatment relapses.

Recovery Care Advocacy

Alcohol and drug addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. Studies have shown accountability with a continuing care plan, sober fellowship, family involvement and extended support serve as the cornerstone for long-term recovery. Recovery Care Advocacy at Cumberland Heights is a service provided to all our alumni through their first year of recovery after completing a treatment program at Cumberland Heights.

The Men’s Extended Care Community

The Men’s Extended Care Community is based on a 60 – 120 day residential stay. This program, which mirrors primary treatment in the Traditional Men’s Program or other similar program, helps you identify and address core psychological issues that may sabotage ongoing recovery. It also allows you to practice a daily recovery program in a supportive setting that’s less restrictive than primary care. Men come to the main campus every day for treatment activities and share transitional housing located one mile from the main campus. Active attendance and participation in the local 12-Step community creates a bridge between treatment and recovery community environments.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are honored to be of service to you and your loved one. We understand that this is a sensitive time and we congratulate you for taking the first step into recovery by reaching out for help. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions for your reference.








NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A hard hit can do more than just knock the wind out of a player on the field. It can leave them with an injury requiring medical attention and possibly pain medication.
“Sports are probably the leading cause of injury in kids but I think it is important to understand that sports in general are protective,” Dr. Alex Diamond said. “We know kids who play sports compared to kids who don’t are typically less likely to be involved in risky behaviors.”

 
High school sports injuries can lead to addiction depending on treatmentDr. Diamond is an assistant professor of Orthopedics and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is also the team physician for Vanderbilt University, Nashville Predators and the Nashville sounds. He along with the other physicians at in his department treated 26,000 adult and children athletes in 2016.
“As physicians we need to be mindful when treating children with injuries what situation require pain medication and what situations can be handled without pain medication,” he said. “Most of them can be handled without pain medications.”

 
Pain medications like hydrocodone, oxycodone and other opioids can be very effective in treating chronic pain. But, they can also be addictive and lead to more illicit drugs like heroin.

 
At Cumberland Heights, a non-profit addiction treatment facility, the number of teens entering the facility’s Adolescent and Young Men’s Services department has grown so much in the past couple of months it is expanding to keep up with the need.

 
“We take kids from all over the country,” Director of Adolescent and Young Men’s Services Dean Porterfield said. “The primary diagnosis is substance abuse, but It is not uncommon though that the underlying issues once you take those substances away are anxiety, depression or trauma.”

 
According to Porter for the 18 year old to 25 year old age group that makes up the Young Men’s program a growing number are addicted to heroin.

 
“A notable factor with the young adult population that we serve is that several of them are athletes who have experienced high school or college sports injuries that have required surgery and have become addicted to painkillers.”

 
He continued, “When the painkillers run out or they become more expensive the more accessible affordable drug is the heroin. That replaces what used to be that passion for sports and athletics and now their primary goal is to drug seek.”

 
Porterfield said with heroin it is not uncommon for the treatment center to get a call from family or the patient themselves saying they are in route for immediate admission to the facility.

 
“They are also some of the most vulnerable patients and need a great deal of attention throughout the painful detox and early days of treatment to prevent them from leaving against medical advice,” he said. “One of the things Cumberland Heights clinicians have made a priority is educating these young men on the risks of relapse and the lethal dangers associated with resuming the volume of heroin use they came in handling with the assumption their tolerance level is the same.”

 
He continued, “This scenario increases the likely hood of a lethal overdose.”

 
At Cumberland Heights the process is based on the 12-Steps.

 
After detox the work begins to help the young men understand the underlying reasons they abused drugs. In many cases its tied to the emotion effect their injury had on them and their identities.

 
“Just being an adolescent adult in general is full of ups and downs,” Porterfield said. “When they realize this substance can help alleviate that, they get hooked pretty quick.”
The same progression from painkillers to heroin and stronger opioids is much the same in adult users.

 
According to the CDC Tennessee is one of the most overprescribed states for painkillers.

 
At one point doctor’s wrote more prescriptions for painkillers than there were people in the state.

 
“As physicians we need to be mindful when treating children with injuries about which situations require pain medication and what situations can be handled without pain medication,” he said.

 
“We have a lot of other options that don’t have the same complications and risk involved with addiction.”

 
Dr. Diamond said things like physical therapy, proper braces or casts and anti-inflammatory medications can be very effective.

 
“As a parent you need to be diligent on what pain medication your kids are getting,” he said. “For the most part the narcotic pain medication is not needed for what we are seeing in our children. It is very rare.”

 
Porterfield said parents should be involved in their teens lives take note if you start to notice missing money, missing prescription medication, if your child is hanging out with friends or in places you do not know, and if your child attends unsupervised parties.

 



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