Suboxone Assisted Treatment
      501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Corporation
        (
Subsidiary of Medical Assisted Treatment of America)
November

Greetings!  It's  difficult   to  believe  another   year has  come and
gone...almost.  I believe the best part of the year is just around the corner. I know a lot of you will disagree with me.  I know for some of you, especially if you are alone, it is not a time you are looking forward to.  

Thanksgiving is on its way and even though it has been a rough year for a lot of us, I am positive we can find something to be thankful for.  I know I certainly can think of a lot because I choose not to dwell on the negative but try and look at the positive in my life.  It may be more difficult for some of you than others. 

I can understand some of you really have the cards stacked against you.  I can hear you now, saying, I couldn't possibly understand but you are wrong.  I do very much understand  for some of you, life has dealt you a  hand you find almost impossible to overcome. The obstacles in your path are numerous and you can see no light at the end of the tunnel and don't you just hate to hear some one say they will pray for you? I can understand your feelings even though I am assuming you thought I couldn't. 

I am not going to tell you, "Everything is going to be all right." I can't possibly know it will be for you.  I can say I always pray for all of you and I think it is wrong to say those words if you have the ability to help the person and you don't. God usually works through people but I am sure He is having trouble finding people to work through these days. Don't you think so? I pray and I offer you all I can and I realize the Holidays can be a lonely time for many of us. I understand...

I want you to know I will be here for you Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We will have people available especially over the Holidays for you. If you find yourself alone, then just pick up your phone and call anytime.  If you are penniless, then try and send us an e-mail with your name, number and the best time to call you.  I will be checking the e-mails and will give all of you a call.

If you don't have a computer then try and find access to one and if you don't have a phone number then find a pay phone and send us the number for we understand.  I just want you to know, none of you are all alone and there are still people left in the world that cares for you.  You just must believe they are.  I know it is easy to say but believing has a lot to do with what you receive. 

      

       Welcome to the New Drug Scare of 2007

Meth, we hardly knew you; say howdy to methadone– the new demon drug according to the media, who – oops – helped turn it into a hazard

Looks like there’s a new demon drug on the block – the opioid painkiller methadone, which is also commonly used as a substitute therapy to treat people addicted to heroin or prescription painkillers. But as usual with drugs coverage, the press doesn’t recognize its own responsibility in the devil’s creation.

Recently, media ranging from the Birmingham News to ABC’s 20/20 have noted increased numbers of methadone overdose deaths.

But what they haven’t done is put the story in context.While the coverage is careful to say that most methadone on the street is not being diverted from the clinics that use it to treat addicts, it usually claims that, as the Birmingham News put it by citing a police source, “the drug is being prescribed more often to help people treat pain than to control addiction.
As the prescriptions have increased, so have instances of abuse.” However, these stories fail to note the reason why methadone prescriptions for pain treatment have increased.

 In the early 00’s, the media went into a feeding frenzy over a new deadly painkiller, OxyContin, which was supposedly addicting countless young people and causing record numbers of overdose deaths in rural areas. The drug became known as “hillbilly heroin,” and once there was a clever name for it, the hype express took off. 

Even though skeptics rapidly discovered that the death rates and new addiction rates had been exaggerated, and even though stories about people “accidentally addicted” by doctors turned out in the main to be stories of addicts scamming doctors to get drugs,OxyContin kept its bad name.

And as the DEA started a new initiative to fight prescription drug abuse focused on ending the “Oxy” menace, physicians became much more cautious about prescribing it. With the DEA looking closely at OxyContin prescriptions and with no decline in the number of pain patients, doctors began to look for alternatives. OxyContin had been a revolutionary drug because if it is used appropriately (not ground up and made into a short-acting drug as addicts do with it), it provides 12 hours of pain relief, compared to four to six hours for other drugs.

An older, cheaper drug also provides lasting relief, and yes, it’s called methadone. It has long been used as a “maintenance” treatment for addicts precisely because it is the opioid drug which has the greatest staying power (only a derivative, LAAM lasts longer).

Methadone’s effects persist for 24-48 hours. Contrary to popular belief, the longer a high lasts, the less addictive it is. This is part of why crack is more addictive than powder cocaine and why ground-up Oxycontin is more addictive than OxyContin taken as directed (and yes, it means, too, that crack is more addictive than methamphetamine, contrary to media claims that longer-acting drugs are more attractive to addicts).

Once a user is tolerant to opioids, they produce no high and - with longer acting drugs - none of the “ups and downs” associated with addiction, thereby allowing people to function normally. Such users are not cognitively, emotionally or physically impaired and can drive safely on doses that would incapacitate the non-tolerant. The same is true for people who take these drugs for pain.

But long-acting drugs are a double-edged sword: if there are going to be adverse effects, they may not appear immediately. Because neither OxyContin nor methadone is intended to be given to patients who are not already tolerant to other opioids, they are
generally very safe when taken by such people as

Doctors unfamiliar with prescribing the drug can inadvertently lead patients to overdose as well; an investigation by a Charleston paper noted that the prescribing information packaged with the drug may mislead doctors about safe doses for those who are not tolerant to opioids.

So, by hyping the dangers of OxyContin, the media has actually driven doctors to use a more dangerous drug. And by hyping the dangers of methadone without putting them in context, it is failing to acknowledge the larger story and failing to give readers and viewers the accurate information they need to understand the complexities of pain treatment and addiction.

Maia Szalavitz
STATS at George Mason University

 

Justices Say Drugs In Home May Not Endanger Kids      

The Utah Supreme Court has ruled a child must have "reasonable" access to drugs in order for a parent to be charged under the child-endangerment statute. Prosecutors say the ruling narrows their ability to charge drug-dealing parents under the statute, but they have already worked on a remedy to amend the law during the next legislative session.

The ruling stems from two separate drug cases in which two women were arrested on drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges while children were in the homes. Both defendants were charged with child endangerment.

In one case, parole officers visited a home to conduct an inspection. During the inspection, officers noticed that four children were in the home, a 2-year-old asleep on a sofa and three in an upstairs bedroom, including an infant. Upon entering the adults' bedroom, they noticed an open purse sitting on top of a dresser with a plastic bag containing what appeared to be drugs. The parolee's girlfriend claimed that the bag belonged to her, and she was arrested along with her boyfriend. Further investigation turned up another bag with two rocks of cocaine.

In a second case, Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies searched a woman's home on a tip there was a meth lab. When deputies arrived, the woman appeared to be moving out of the home. One deputy testified that he "could smell the odor of a methamphetamine lab from the curb." In a detached garage officers found items indicating a meth lab. In the home's basement, officers found a glass pipe wrapped in tissue paper on a closet shelf. In another downstairs bedroom, methamphetamine was found. During the investigation, the woman's 13-year-old daughter was in the living room.

In both cases, the women were charged with possession of either drugs or drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Both then argued in court that the state failed to establish enough probable cause. The court, however, bound them over on the charges.

In Friday's ruling, the justices said that a case needs more than just the presence of drugs in a home in order for child endangerment to apply. The law "requires a real, physical risk of harm to a child; the child must have the reasonable capacity to access the substance or paraphernalia or to be subject to its harmful effects, such as by inhalation,"the justices wrote in a unanimous opinion.

However, in a footnote, the justices said that a child sleeping in a residence where a meth lab was operating "would be exposed under the terms of the statute because the child will experience harmful effects from the substance," similar to exposure to a "contagious disease."

Assistant Utah Attorney General Laura Dupaix said the ruling limits the ability of prosecutors to use the law against drug-dealing parents.

"I think the opinion does narrow the statute from what we believed the statute to cover; however, I believe the opinion still allows the state to prosecute parents who have their illegal substances, or meth labs, in a place where children can still access it," Dupaix said.

The Supreme Court has remanded both cases back to the district court to determine under the recent ruling if the women should be bound over for trial on the charges.

Dupaix said draft legislation is expected to be introduced during the next session of the Utah Legislature to amend the law, making the ruling moot.

Geoffrey Fattah
Deseret Morning News                                October 2007

                   Understanding Resilence To Stress 

Stress can play a major role in the development of several mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Researchers have long wondered why some people are resilient to stress while others aren't. A new mouse study may have brought them a step closer to the answer.

Dr. Eric J. Nestler of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center led a research team investigating the vulnerability of mice to stress after social defeat. When mice are put in cages with bigger, more aggressive mice, some still avoid social interactions with other mice even a month later — a sign that the stress has overwhelmed them. Some, however, adapt and continue to interact with others. The differences between these groups gave Nestler and his team the opportunity to examine the biology behind stress resilience. Their research was funded by NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Previous studies found that social defeat raised the activity of a protein called BDNF in 2 of the brain's "reward" areas, which create feelings of enjoyment or pleasure through the chemical messenger dopamine. These regions are known as the VTA (ventral tegmental area) and NAc (nucleus accumbens). In the new study, published online in Cell on October 18, 2007, the researchers found that vulnerable mice had a 90% elevation in BDNF levels in the NAc after social defeat, but resistant mice showed no change.

The researchers next analyzed the differences in gene activity between the 2 groups of mice. In stressful situations, many more genes went into action in the VTA than the NAc of adaptive mice. This wasn't true of vulnerable mice. Among the active VTA genes were 3 for ion channels that allow the mineral potassium to flow into nerve cells.

Potassium channels are known to dampen neuron firing rates, so the researchers decided to test the activity of neurons in the VTA. Vulnerable mice, they found, had a 36% increase in neuron firing rates after social defeat. Adaptive mice, in contrast, maintained normal rates of firing. Susceptibility to social defeat, then, seems to be caused by higher VTA neuron activity, which raises BDNF levels in the NAc. More resilient mice dampen their VTA neuron activity by making more potassium channels.

When the researchers raised the levels of a potassium channel in the VTA of vulnerable mice, their neuron firing rates decreased and the mice became resistant to social defeat. Interfering with potassium channels, in contrast, increased the neuron firing rates and made mice more vulnerable. In another set of experiments, the researchers showed that they could also make vulnerable mice resistant by giving them a variation of the BDNF gene that lowers the protein's production, further supporting their ideas.

To see if these findings might be relevant for humans, the researchers examined the brain tissue of deceased people with a history of depression. They found a 40% increase in levels of BDNF protein in the NAc of depressed people, offering a potential biological explanation of the link between stress and depression.

"The fact that we could increase these animals' ability to adapt to stress by blocking BDNF and its signals means that it may be possible to develop compounds that improve resilience," Nestler said. "The key will be to identify safe ways of enhancing this protective resilience machinery."

National Institutes of Health        Research Matters

http://www.nih.gov/news/research_matters/october2007/10222007stress.htm

Drug-Dispensing Tooth Could Be Controlled By Cell Phone

Researchers in Europe and Israel are working on a tooth that can dispense medicine
into a person's mouth, according to report.

The tiny device would be able to release a specific amount of medicine at certain intervals, ensuring that the patient gets the proper dosage at the right time.
It's attached to your existing teeth and could one day be controlled by using your cell phone, the report said.

Patients often forget or find it too inconvenient to take medicine, especially during night. But, a dentist told the Associated Press that the device would rectify the problem by automating the process.

The actual drug-dispensing system is called IntelliDrug and would be small enough to fit in a replacement tooth placed in the back of the mouth, like a molar.

Wolff's company, Saliwell Ltd., and German microelectronics institute HSG-IMIT are two of 15 organizations involved with the development of the device.

The report said the treatment of diabetes is one area where delivering drugs via a tooth can be advantageous. ¤

 Reference:  Heroin Times                       Dated:    July 2007

I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! I know all of you that decided to start taking Suboxone really have a lot to be thankful for Thanksgiving. I have heard from many of you how well it is working and I am thrilled to be a part of your miracle. I am happy I was there when you needed me and to supply the information for you. I hope you will pass your success with Suboxone to others in need of a miracle.


I want all of you to remember we are here for you over Thanksgiving. If you need us for any reason, please do not hesitate to call. We can be reached at 770-527-9119 day or night. We never close and you are never alone. Feel free to send us an e-mail with your name, number and the best time to reach you at Home if you need us to call you at our expense. Send all e-mails to:

ChangeYourLife@SuboxoneAssistedTreatment.org

I will leave you with this thought. Think on it over Thanksgiving. It is a key to Change in your life.  Change is never easy but is possible for all of us especially with friends and support. We are here to provide both if you will only allow us.  Don't give up on yourself because we haven't given up on you.  

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thoughts he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself.  He also fashions the tools  with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.  ---James Allen 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Written and Compiled:  Deborah Shrira 
Dated: 12 November 2007