Addiction is a difficult disease. It can be isolating, lonely, and painful. Unlike many other diseases, addiction is often paired with secrets and lies. It is hard to picture a life without addiction when you don’t know what treatment solutions are out there.
Here are 2 addictions solutions that can turn your life around.
Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
About a month ago I met Scott, whose primary care physician had treated him for back pain for 15 years. During this time, Scott had carefully followed his doctor’s instructions. He was careful and followed the rules. He never came in for an appointment saying that he has lost his medication or had it stolen. And when he had a Urine Drug Screen, it always showed what should be there (and nothing extra). Then his doctor retired. As such an ideal patient, Scott didn’t anticipate any problems with transferring his care to a different doctor in the same medical practice. However, he was shocked to discover that none of the other physicians were willing to take on a ‘Pain Management’ patient like him, even with such a long-term track record of compliance.
Scott worked hard to find another prescriber. Although he had never run out of his medicine and experienced opiate withdrawal before, he totally comprehended how bad it could be from what he had read and seen on TV.
Can I Just Suddenly Stop Taking Opiates?
Scott found a single in-network Pain Management physician who was located 40 miles away. It wasn’t a great option, but it was better than nothing. Scott couldn’t believe it when he was told there was a 4-month waiting list for his first appointment with the new doctor. In desperation, while Googling alternatives, he came across Coleman Addiction Medicine. Stopping> his pain medication was not what Scott had initially tended to do…but it was something that he had talked about with his wife from time-to-time.
Besides wanting to avoid awful withdrawal symptoms, people who are physically dependent on pain medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, or tramadol are often afraid to stop because they remember the pain from their original, underlying condition that got them onto pain medicine to begin with.
What Non-Opioid Options Are There for Pain Management?
The Coleman Method has helped hundreds of patients safely get off their pain medications in relative comfort, and a lot of patients have found to their surprise that their pain level is now much lower, and for others very tolerable, especially with the use of non-opioid pain management alternatives.
Our Accelerated Opioid Detox off of pain medicine is usually a 4- to 5-day outpatient process. We also help patients transition their Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) from buprenorphine or methadone products onto the non-addictive opioid blocker Naltrexone. (These substances have a much longer half-life and so usually require an 8-day timeframe for their rapid detox.)
Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder
“The beautiful clarity of zero.” This is a fantastic mantra that I heard from a person in long term recovery from alcohol.
“I tried drinking ‘moderately’ in the past. I would plan out my week, deciding when and how much I would drive, and then try to execute my plan. Unfortunately, once I had my first drink, my plan would get ‘modified.’ I would change it up from having 2 drinks per day, to deciding to have 3 today and 1 tomorrow. But I didn’t usually stop at 3, and then I would wake up with a headache feeling sad and angry at myself. At the end of the day I decided it was way simpler to just embrace ‘The Beautiful Clarity of Zero.’”
Coleman Addiction Medicine provides a safe, outpatient detox option for people in the New York City / Tri-State area that want to stop drinking but who might put themselves at risk if they suddenly stop drinking on their own. At the end of our 3-day Outpatient Alcohol Detox, we provide a long-acting naltrexone implant, which reduces cravings and impulses to consume alcohol. As a patient once told me, “with naltrexone, it seems to me that the liquor store might as well be a shoe store”.
The Coleman Addiction Medicine Can Help You Find Freedom From Your Addiction
Every patient we help has his or her own story and reason for getting started on an addictive substance. The first step in changing the arc of a narrative and writing a fresh chapter is to safely get off these substances with the help of skilled addiction professionals. I am honored to be part of such a skilled and compassionate team that has been helping patients from across the US for over two decades.
If you or someone you care about is wrestling with physical dependence on opioid medication and/or alcohol, please call us at (877) 773-3869. (And—yes—a lot of people need a dual-detox since they are using several substances, so don’t let that deter you from calling us!)
In the meantime, please stay safe!
Joan R. Shepherd, FNP