Suboxone Assisted Treatment
501 (c) (3) Non-profit
Corporation 

770-428-0871 (office)

770-527-9119 (Cellular)

You are not alone. We are available to assist you twenty-four hours every day of the year.  Please feel free to call us any time. If you can't afford to call, then please, send an e-mail to the address given  with your name, phone number and the best time to reach you. We will call you at our expense.  We are here just for you.  We have walked a mile in your shoes and we all understand.


We are not here to judge but to offer you assistance, compassion and support. We are very much aware of the stigma attached to addiction therefore we want you to know all is Confidential .  We are not free to release any information about you unless we receive authorized permission in writing.    

mailto: deborah_shrira@MedicalAssistedTreatment.org

September 2007

A warm welcome to all of you.

RECOVERY RALLY 2007
LIBERTY STATE PARK 
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15,2007 
Participate to win $500.00

New Jersey municipalities, treatment facilities and community groups  compete for $500 in the Battle of the Banners, reflecting the 2007 Recovery  Month theme:  Saving Lives, Saving Dollars.  

Other Activities:
Live Music* Spoken-Word Performance* Interactive Drumming* Free T-Shirts to the first 2007 attendees*  Battle of the Banners*

Addiction, it is often said, knows no boundaries. It follows then, that recovery, too, is borderless. That will be the case with the upcoming Rally for Recovery , slated for September 15, in Jersey City's Liberty State Park, which will not only reach across the Hudson River to New York but extend across the country.   The rally is anticipated to be the national hub of approximately 50 recovery celebrations taking place nationwide on the same day, with more than 200 scheduled  throughout September. The day long rally is the fruit of a partnership of organizations including Friends of Addiction Recovery-New Jersey, Faces and Voices of Recovery, and several New York groups, among others.  

The theme for the Rally is "Join the Voices of Recovery:  Saving Lives, Saving Dollars,"  which is the focus of September's  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminstration-sponsored Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. 

The expanded scope of the event is not only a matter of geography. The Rally will celebrate people in recovery, but it will also provide an advocacy platform to end the various forms of discrimination facing addicted and recovering individuals.  This year, advocacy will, among other things, focus on helping more people gain access to appropriate treatment for a drug or alcohol problem. 

Among the featured speakers will be actor Tommy Ford and David Wellstone, son of the late Senator Paul Wellstone.  The keynote will be given by Ford, an actor, playwright and director, best known for playing "Tommy" on the show "Martin" and for portraying Lieutenant Malcolm Barker on the drama, "New York Undercover."  

Wellstone, whose father is the namesake of federal health insurance party legislation, is the founder of Wellstone Action. The organization advocates for just treatment of addicted and mentally ill people, which has become the late senator's legislative legacy.   

Ford said he considers the shared experience of the "Rally to be of  paramount importance!  It celebrates healing; closure; and accomplishment. You'd be surprised how seldom people go through life without hearing the words, "You're doing an awesome job!" "I've got your back;" or "I'm so very proud of you!"

This rally represents those encouraging and comforting sentiments. The recovery process is often a cold, lonely and humbling transition.  It's a comfort to be in a room filled with people who share a common experience.  I believe this assembly is confirmation to every one in attendance that our efforts are worthwhile!"

Of his joining in the celebration at Liberty State Park, Wellstone said,"I'm proud to participate in Rally for Recovery  because Congress needs to act this year to pass the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, named after my father.  He believed and I believe that people must organize and speak out to end insurance discrimination."    The Rally will give individuals in recovery the opportunity to present a unified front on the issue of equity in health insurance coverage for addicted and mentally ill citizens, as well as other discriminatory practices confronting them.  

The  Rally will aim to  galvanize people in treatment and recovery,
making them aware of the laws that exist to prevent discrimination toward addiction. The American Disabilities and New Jersey's Law against discrimination both contain provisions protecting addicted and recovering individuals.  The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence -New Jersey recently issued a "Know Your Rights' primer on the ADA and the LAD that will be distributed at the Rally.  The push for civic engagement at the Rally will include voter registration.   

I would like to encourage all of you living in the area to take the time  and  join in the Rally.  Celebrate  Recovery!  

Reference: Perspectives August 2007 (Vol. 18 NO. 4 ) NCADD - New
                     Jersey

NCADD-NJ Issues Guide on Rights and Addiction

 The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence -New Jersey has released a guide outlining the rights of individuals who are in recovery from addiction. The document is designed to help people in recovery gain access to housing, employment,education and health care.  It reviews provisions regarding alcohol and drug use in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination.  The rights brochure was among the recommendations made by a state panel of legal and civil rights experts that NCADD-NJ convened to help overcome stigma  toward addicted and recovering citizens.

The brochure provides an overview of the rights, responsibilities and remedies for people in recovery from addiction and their loved ones.  It seeks to overcome the discrimination and stigma that confronts many residents who have had a problem with alcohol or drugs and in recovery after ending their alcohol or drug use find themselves denied opportunities for employment, housing, education, among other areas. The document can be viewed online at: http://www.ncaddnj.org/pdf/KnowRightsFINAL.pdf  hardcopies can be ordered by calling 609-477-7015.

In its discussion of the legal protections afforded people in recovery, the document notes that New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination offers the first, and in many cases the best, recourse. In recognizing addiction as a disability, it covers discrimination in employment, housing, public accomodations and some business transactions.  The guide also covers the conditions and restrictions that pertain to the protection for citizens addicted to alcohol or drugs. 

 Reference:  Perspectives  Perspectives August 2007 (Vol. 18 NO. 4 )                        NCADD-New Jersey

Why is it always so complicated? Attention
Maryland Residents!!! Check out what is happening with Suboxone?

A DRUG-WAR SETBACK

Red Tape, Doctors Say, Cuts Buprenorphine Prescriptions

Faced with Medicaid's low payments and bureaucratic red tape, some Maryland doctors are reluctant to prescribe buprenorphine for heroin addicts, even though the drug has been promoted as a potential magic bullet in the war against addiction, according to a survey set for release today.

The survey, commissioned by the Center for a Healthy Maryland Incorporated, found that doctors were not always sufficiently reimbursed for their time and services and that there were other "hassles," including medication preauthorization, a process that in some cases can take 48 hours, and varying and confusing protocols among Medicaid providers.

The report comes as state officials are deciding how to spend an extra $3 million earmarked for buprenorphine treatment in the budget year that starts July 1.

Medicaid is a state-run program that uses federal and state money to pay medical bills for the poor and disabled. In Maryland, the program is run through seven managed-care organizations that contract with a network of health care providers.

Buprenorphine advocates want Medicaid officials to quickly fix the red tape and payment problems so the $3 million can be used to help uninsured addicts and others who want treatment but do not qualify for Medicaid.

"One of the biggest barriers to prescribing buprenorphine is dealing with the insurance companies," said Dr. Christopher Welsh, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Welsh uses the drug to treat patients at the university's hospital. Some come from hundreds of miles away to get a prescription, only to have their treatment thwarted by red tape.

"A few hours later, you'll get a call, and the patient will tell you that the pharmacy said the prescription wasn't authorized," said Welsh, who participated in the survey.

He added that a physician who intervenes to help the patient is often "passed from voice mail to voice mail" by the health care provider, and the experience "can be very time - and labor -intensive."

Of the seventeen doctors from across the state who participated in the survey, some said they have been so frustrated by the system that they have paid for the drug themselves.

Only 25 percent of those surveyed said they were willing to prescribe buprenorphine for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons given for not prescribing the drug included negative attitudes about drug addiction and a lack of experience regarding care of addicted patients. Some managed-care organizations don't view drug addiction as a long-term disease, according to doctors.

"It is a disorganized and chaotic system according to physicians," said Dr. Robert Schwartz, director of drug addiction treatment programs at the Open Society Institute - Baltimore, which provided grant money to pay for the survey.

As a result of the study, doctors and representatives of managed-care organizations have agreed to work together to improve addiction treatment opportunities for residents, including those in rural parts of the state where few doctors have the necessary certification to prescribe buprenorphine. State officials, who only recently received the survey, have also said they will cooperate.

"We have a real chance here to work together to deal with the concerns doctors have and the barriers they have told us about," said Dr. Meena R. Abraham, executive director of the Center for a Healthy Maryland, an affiliate of the Maryland State Medical Society.

Susan Tucker, executive director of the Office of Health Services for the Maryland Medicaid Program, said she plans to discuss the survey's findings tonight at a forum scheduled by the medical society. She said some doctors are hampered by federal rules regulating the use of buprenorphine and a lack of education about drug treatment.

"It is clear that it is more than insurance," said Tucker. "Some doctors don't feel comfortable providing counseling for patients; some don't feel they have the background."

The pill form of buprenorphine was approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in the treatment of opioid addictions in 2002. Before that, it was used in a liquid form in the operating room to help with pain. Doctors must go through a certification program to prescribe the drug and initially are allowed to give it to only 30 patients. After a year, they can treat up to 100 patients.

Recently, Baltimore health officials have advocated the use of buprenorphine, which helps relieve withdrawal symptoms, as an alternative to methadone, a synthetic opiate that is addictive and requires close supervision.

Doctors must take a short class to receive a certificate to prescribe buprenorphine, and the city has launched a program recently to help cover the costs of such coursework. Ninety-one doctors have signed up for the training, and nearly 50 have completed it, according to Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the city health commissioner.

Sharfstein said that he has not heard complaints from doctors who work with the city to treat drug addicts, in large part because the city runs interference between physicians and managed-care organizations. Sharfstein said it also helps that most buprenorphine patients start off in buprenorphine-oriented treatment programs. By the time they phase out to care with a private doctor, their treatment has been approved by Medicaid providers.

"We are not expecting doctors to go out on their own," said Sharfstein, who added, however, that the system should work for every doctor, not just those dealing with patients in the public health sector. "It is not an either/or situation. It needs to work for everyone."

-- MAP Posted-by: Derek

Pubdate: Wednesday, 20 Jun 2007
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2007 The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper.
Contact: letters@baltsun.com

 

Interested in making some money?  Time is slowly running out on you. If you live in or near San Francisco this defintely applies to you.

Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study

Description
This is a drug treatment study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network. The purpose of this study is to determine whether treatment outcomes for persons dependent on prescription opioid analgesics can be improved by adding individual drug counseling to the prescription of buprenorphine/naloxone with standard medical management.

Study Design
This is a randomized two-phase, open-label, multi-center conducted in outpatient treatment settings.   The study treatment will include:  Phase 1, an initial four-week treatment with taper and Phase 11, a 12-week stabilization treatment for those who do not respond successfully to the initial treatment.

End Date 
1 January 2008

Principal Investigators 
Yong Song, PhD
Stephen Dominy, MD

Participant Requirements
The following are eligible to participate.

18 years old or older (male or female)
Physically dependent on opioids
Meet DSM-IV Criteria for opioid dependence

The following are NOT eligible to participate. 

Known allergy or sensitivity to buprenorphine or naloxone
Unstable or untreated psychiatric disorder
Pregnant or lactaing females
Liver function tests greater than 5 times the upper limit of normal range

Payment
Study treatments will be provided to eligible participants without charge.  Participants may receive up to $300 for participation in the forst four weeksof Phase 1of the study that includes initial assessments, interviews and counseling sessions. Participants may also receive up to $370 for participation in the 12 weeks of Phase 11 that will also include interview assessments and counseling sessions. 

Contact Information 

ucsf30@gmail.com
415-476-4047
Research Programs
California-Arizona Research-Node, Nida National Drug Abuse Treatment
Clinical Trials Network
         

Home Box Office Launches "Addiction" Project: Documentary To Air In March

In partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Home Box office will soon launch its "Addiction"project, an unprecedented multi-media campaign aimed at helping Americans understand Addiction as atreatable brain disease.The centerpiece of the campaign is a documentary called "Addiction"---which is eye-opening,hopeful and provides guidance in navigating the often confusing world of addiction treatment and recovery, according to a promotional announcement.

The 14-part documentary debuts Thursday, March 15,2007 (9:00-10:30pm ET/PT). The series will initially be offered during a free Home Box Office preview weekend  from Thursday, March 15 to Sunday, March 18 in participating cable TV systems.

For the first time, Home Box Office will use all of its digital platforms, including the HBO main service, multiplex channels, Home Box Office On Demand, podcasts, web streams, and DVD to support a campaign that includes a 14-part documentary series, a book published by Rodale Press, and a national community grassroots outreach campaign funded by the Robert Johnson Foundation. 

Source:  CADCA Forumblog and Join Together.org 22 January 2007  

Levin Amendment Expands Access to 'Miracle Drug' to Treat Heroin Addiction

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the President signed into law legislation authored by Senators Carl Levin, D-Mich. and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that more than triples the number of patients that qualified physicians are permitted to treat with buprenorphine, a medication that has proven successful in combating heroin addiction.

"The Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000 made a dramatic change in the way America fights heroin addiction.  Blocking the craving for heroin has now been accomplished for tens of thousands of patients who likely never would have sought treatment in highly restricted, centralized methadone programs," Levin said. "Due to the great success of buprenorphine treatment, however, many patients have not been able to begin treatment because of the current limit of 30 patients that each physician can treat.

With the signing of this bill, physicians will be permitted to treat up to 100 patients with buprenorphine, reducing the current waiting lists for treatment." DATA, which was also sponsored by Levin and Hatch, made it legal for physicians to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine in their private offices pending FDA approval, which came in 2002.

This law created an entirely new treatment modality for millions of Americans who suffer from dependence on opioids, which include heroin, morphine, and some prescription painkillers. Prior to passage of this law, medical treatment for opioid addiction and dependence was restricted to centralized clinics.

"Bup has been hailed as a 'miracle drug' by medical professionals and addicts alike, and it has been successful in helping thousands of addicts get off -- and stay off -- heroin," Levin continued. "This common-sense fix allows many more Americans to rehabilitate their lives with bup."

At a Senate symposium hosted by Levin and Hatch in August 2006, patients testified to the lifesaving potential of bup. A college student from Boston, who had been addicted to heroin and in and out of methadone treatment unsuccessfully ten times, said that bup helped her to feel "normal for the first time in three and a half years." A Korean War veteran testified that bup "changed my life like night and day."

Experts and patients at the symposium also described how the patient restrictions have limited access to buprenorphine. The Levin amendment increases the patient limit to 100, correcting that unintended restriction.

Contact: Press Office

Phone: 202.228.3685

SOURCE: The Office of Senator Carl Levin

Written/Published: Deborah Shrira   Updated: August 2007