Tag Archives: Prescriptions

Tag Archives: Prescriptions


Opioid Overdose Response-Naloxone Administration TrainingDrug overdose is the leading cause of death in Americans under 50. In many cases lives could be saved if someone nearby had the education and ability to administer Naloxone. Naloxone is designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or even stopped due to the overuse of heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

Event Details:

WHAT: Opioid Overdose Response-Naloxone Administration Training
WHEN: Saturday May 4th 10:00AM – 11:00AM
WHERE: River Road Main Campus – Ishee Chapel

In 2018, over 1,500 Tenesseans were administered Narcan to reverse a potential drug overdose. Narcan can be a life saving medication for an addict in distress. The more public knowledge and accessibility the more lives can be saved.

Kaitlynn Jackson is a Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist with STARS. She will be facilitating an hour long training and providing free Narcan kits to attendees.
Kits include: 2 doses of Narcan, a pair of gloves, an instruction sheet, a card with a list of substance use treatment resources, and a reporting form for the state if the Narcan is used.

This event is FREE but RSVP is required to receive a Narcan kit. Please RSVP to Jaime Gibbons. Thank you, see you soon!.

Who should attend?

  • Employees of Heathcare or Mental Health facilities
  • Community members who come into contact with people at risk of overdose
  • Family & friends of people with Substance Use Disorder
  • Caregivers of the Elderly/Disabled
  • Anyone interested in saving a life

Below is the current Surgeon General’s Advisory regarding Naloxone and Opioid Overdose

“I, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. For patients currently taking high doses of opioids as prescribed for pain, individuals misusing prescription opioids, individuals using illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, health care practitioners, family and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder, and community members who come into contact with people at risk for opioid overdose, knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.”

Training Objectives:

  1. Understand administration of naloxone products, including “Good Samaritan” protection law
  2. Recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and identify its causes and risks
  3. Describe what NOT to do during an opioid overdose
  4. Know the steps to follow when encountering an opioid overdose
  5. Earn a certificate of completion of naloxone administration training

Original Article by: Brittany Weiner, WSMV NEWS CHANNEL 4
Originally Posted on: January 29, 2019

As our country fights an opioid crisis, prescriptions for another class of drugs are seeing a steep increase, and they too can be dangerous and addictive. A new study just published this month shows between 2003 and 2015 Benzodiazepine prescriptions have doubled, and about half of them are coming from primary care physicians. Women are twice as likely to be prescribed than men.

Benzodiazepines are used for anxiety and insomnia but they can also be prescribed for chronic pain, and those prescriptions are skyrocketing. “Benzodiazepines are a class of medication that have a significant addiction forming liability,” Chief Medical Officer for Cumberland Heights Foundation, Dr. Chapman Sledge said. “If opioid prescribing goes down there’s some concern that Benzodiazepine prescriptions will continue to go up.” Dr. Sledge says many times these drugs are actually prescribed with opioids. “What we usually see if Benzodiazepine dependence in conjunction with opioid dependence or alcohol dependence,” Dr. Sledge said. A combination that can be dangerous and deadly especially if used long-term.

“Benzodiazepines are not benign drugs,” Dr. Sledge said. “There’s good data that suggests the combination of Benzodiazepines and opioids prescribed together increases the risk of death by fourfold.” According to the study long-term use has also increased with continued prescriptions increasing by 50 percent.

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.


prescription drug abuseThe opioid epidemic has become a national concern as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports a four-fold increase in opioid-related deaths between the years of 2002 and 2017. When we talk about opioid abuse, it’s mostly centralized around prescription drugs and how friends and family members obtain these from loved ones. There are yet many cases of those who were prescribed these drugs but later developed dependence to them, but the air has been a bit murky as we’ve had trouble identifying direct links to addiction for these individuals. Of course, acute, chronic and emotional distress play a role in opioid dependence, but what exactly led up to that point? Sometimes the best way to find these answers is to speak directly with those who have experienced it.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment sought to explore these pathways that have led to opioid abuse or dependence by assessing and interviewing 283 adults with opioid dependence. Overall, 121 participants revealed more than one pathway that led them to where they are now.

Three major pathways were identified:

  • Inadequately controlled chronic pain
  • Exposure to opioids during acute pain episodes
  • Chronic pain amongst individuals with prior substance use disorders (SUDs)

This information provides us with a firm groundwork on what we can do to better support those with chronic pain; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that on the public level, we can educate our communities so that they may better protect themselves and their loved ones from opioid dependence. At the state level, drug monitoring programs have already been set in place to serve as interventions. Healthcare providers have also become more attuned to the needs of their clients, which is where more customized treatment becomes important.


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

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.


Cumberland Heights Family Education Program – “Help When You Need It”

The Coalition LogoDeaths 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.

WHAT: Cumberland Heights Family Education Program – “Help When You Need It”
WHEN: Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 12:00PM – 2:00PM
WHERE: Cumberland Heights Sumner County ORC 1531 Hunt Club Blvd, Suite 300, Gallatin, TN 37066

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.

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.





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