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.
Cumberland Heights Family Education Program – “Help When You Need It”
Deaths from overdose are rising in all 50 states. Drugs are now the number one cause of accidental death. Narcotic addiction creates changes to the brain that merit the need for therapy. Almost all people suffering from addiction to drugs, of any kind, require assistance to get their lives back on track.
Cumberland Heights is proud to partner with the Sumner County Anti Drug Coalition to provide both prevention information and resources for treatment. Please join us to learn more about prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.
The addiction industry is changing at a rapid rate, especially with the national opioid crisis. For the second year in a row the centers for disease control lowered the average life expectancy for U.S. citizens, due in large part to the number of overdose deaths from opioids. Here are trending topics to be aware of in addiction treatment.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
MAT is the use of FDA- approved medications to provide treatment of substance use disorders in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. Two commonly used medications are buprenorphine and naltrexone. As an abstinence based recovery center, Cumberland Heights prefers the use of naltrexone for a set period of time – usually a year – and then to transition patients off.
Ethics in the Treatment Industry
Due to the national opioid crisis the treatment industry has become a lucrative market for many private investors. So much so practices surrounding the recruitment of patients online have become more than suspect. To combat this Google recently stopped showing all AdWords for search terms like “drug addiction” and “alcohol treatment.”
Cumberland Heights CEO Jay Crosson sits on the ethics committee formed by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) to draft ethics requirements for treatment providers. NAATP hopes the new ethics guidelines will help patients and their families make better decisions when assessing and choosing a treatment provider.
The Cumberland Heights board of directors recently adopted a Code of Ethics. You can read about our deep commitment to the ethical implementation of addiction treatment and the principles we follow below.
At Cumberland Heights we are members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, accredited by the Joint Commission and licensed by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
As a promise to the people we serve, Cumberland Heights implements the following ethical practices:
Our marketing efforts are based on awareness and engagement. We believe education is more valuable than fear. We use original content and never participate in predatory web practices. Our alumni have become our number one referral source because we provide quality care to our patients and continually cultivate relationships with them.
In an effort to provide the best care possible, our goal is to thoroughly assess patients and their families as soon as possible. We employ exclusionary criteria to ensure our treatment program will meet the needs of entering patients. If a need is outside our scope of clinical excellence, we will help patients be placed in a reputable program suitable for their situation. We do not purchase or sell patient referrals.
Relationships matter. We believe the entire family benefits from participation in the recovery process. There is no cost to our family program. We encourage all family members to get the education and support they need to begin recovery from addiction.
We are transparent with our financial arrangements. We do not employ hidden fees. Our pricing is posted on our website. Our financial advisors are available to discuss out of pocket costs and estimates based on length of stay. Our financial forms are explicit. We refund any overpayments back to those who paid them and do not assess any admission or non-refundable deposits. You get what you pay for.
Fiscal responsibility. To our donors we pledge to be good stewards with their gifts, applying them to their intended purposes. As a nonprofit, we are audited annually by outside certified public accountants and are subject to rigorous board oversight.
Safe and loving environment. We strive to provide a quiet serene environment for recovery to take root. Our food is excellent and the various campuses are clean and well maintained. We treat patients and families with dignity and respect.
The ultimate act of trust is when a clinician or referent asks us to provide care for their client. We will endeavor to collaborate with them to provide what is in the patient’s best interest throughout the continuum of treatment.
We seek to hire the best people who are committed to our mission of recovery. Our clinicians also adhere to professional codes of ethics. We are not perfect. We try to take care of each other in order to provide better care for the people we serve, but if patients or their families have concerns we employ a Quality Management team built to monitor and improve our services. They may be contacted by calling (615) 352-1757 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are committed to providing lifetime recovery opportunities to patients who complete our program. Patients are invited to a peer support aftercare group. We offer fellowship opportunities through our alumni services office. We have hundreds come back home to our annual staff and alumni picnic as well as monthly alumni activities.
We are committed to abstinence based recovery. Recovery Care Advocates meet with patients during treatment and follow-up with them during the first year after discharge to guide their journey of recovery.
Original By: AMY ESKIND
Posted On: September 25, 2017
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.”
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.
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Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.