Suboxone Assisted Treatment
November 2008

Greetings! Can you believe it is time for Thanksgiving? Christmas is just around the corner. Time is passing much too quickly for me.  I need more hours added to the day because I just don't have the time to reach out to all of you the way I would like to.  There has been alot happening here and I am going to catch you up on all of it. I would like to stop and take a moment to share with all of you what I am thankful for.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to educate all of you about a medication, called Suboxone. It has truly turned out to be a miracle medication for many of you and I am thrilled to be part of the miracle in your life.  It has been a pleasure to help each of you. I have met many wonderful people and had the opportunity to see their lives change once they began taking Suboxone. It is truly rewarding to be able to work at what you really like. I have been given the opportunity and even though at times it is overwhelming, I wouldn't trade if for any other position. 

I want to thank all of you for making it possible.  I hope we have met your needs. I hope you have found the information you were looking for on Suboxone Assisted Treatment. I know we have tried to return every call and I don't believe we missed any of your requests, but if we did, please do take the time to let us know and I promise you we will take care of you. I know many of you were surprised when you dialed our number and it was answered. We could tell you didn't expect anyone to answer... but aren't surprises wonderful?

We would like to welcome all of you to our monthly radio broadcasts featured "live"  via the Internet at: (audio and video streaming) 
Studio Number  404.355.8699  (Call-In) 
You can hear this awesome and informative program on substance
abuse and key medical information on December 8, 2008 @6:45 PM - 7:45 PM.

If you are unable to listen to the live broadcast,we have made it possible for you to listen to the previously aired programs by clicking on then click on the audio button and select the program.  

September 18, 2008   @6:45PM - 7:45PM  Introduction
October 20, 2008        @6:45PM - 7:45PM  Define Addiction
November 10, 2008    @6:45PM - 7:45PM  Patient Will/Disease

We certainly would like to hear your comments and if there are any questions you would like answered, please send them to us. We are there for you and if you are interested in sharing your story with others, let us know?  We would love to have you.  Stories inspire others to change their lives. If you have one, let us hear from you by calling us at 770.428.0871.


Detox Drug May Help Young Addicts Quit: Study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Longer-term use of a drug that relieves withdrawal symptoms might help young people undergoing treatment for addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers like Oxycontin, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Young addicts who took Reckitt Benckiser's drug Suboxone for 12 weeks were less likely to abuse drugs during treatment and stayed in treatment longer than those who underwent short-term detox and counseling, they said.

Dr. George Woody of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia said many treatment programs in the United States and other countries favor shorter-term detoxification and counseling for young people addicted to the drugs called opioids, but said drug treatment might be a more effective option.

"There is a hesitation to use medication," said Woody, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The problem is that relapse rates in these programs are quite high, he said.

Suboxone, known generically as buprenorphine-naloxone, combines two drugs. Buprenorphine relieves withdrawal symptoms, while naloxone deters abuse by causing an opioid addict to experience rapid withdrawal symptoms if it is taken improperly, such as by injection.

The researchers studied 152 opioid addicts aged 15 to 21 for 12 weeks. Patients in the Suboxone group got the drug for nine weeks, and then started tapering off until they were on no drug by week 12.

The other group got a lower dose of the drug and were tapered off after two weeks. All got weekly individual and group counseling.

By week eight, 23 percent of people in the drug group had positive urine tests, compared with 54 percent who were off the drug.

"We found when they are on the drug as compared to when they were off, their opiate use was much less," Woody said in a telephone interview, noting that the study found no serious side effects in the group who stayed on the drug.

Reuters-a drug addict smokes heroin in Bilbao's red-light district known as "LaPalanca" in northern Spain.

They found the youths who continued to take Suboxone were less likely to use opioids, cocaine and marijuana, to inject drugs, or drop out of treatment than those who received short-term detoxification and counseling.

Opioids include heroin, morphine and prescription pain killers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin.

"These findings should reassure and encourage providers who have been hesitant to offer extended Suboxone treatment to this population," Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.

"They also highlight the need for longer-term studies to determine whether sustained treatment can improve outcomes."

Reference:  Julie Steenhuysen;  Reuters  5 November 2008 

Essay:  Addiction Doesn't Discriminate? Wrong

We’ve heard it before. “Drug abuse is an equal opportunity destroyer.” “Drug addiction is a bipartisan illness.” “Addiction does not discriminate; it doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, a man or woman, or even a child.”

The phrase “addiction doesn’t care” is not meant to remind us that addiction casts a long shadow — everyone knows that. Rather, it is supposed to suggest that any individual, no matter who, is vulnerable to the ravages of drugs and alcohol.

The same rhetoric has been applied to other problems, including child abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism — even suicide. Don’t stigmatize the afflicted, it cautions; you could be next. Be kind, don’t judge.

The democratization of addiction may be an appealing message, but it does not reflect reality. Teenagers with drug problems are not like those who never develop them. Adults whose problems persist for decades manifest different traits from those who get clean.

So while anyone can theoretically become an addict, it is more likely the fate of some, among them women sexually abused as children; truant and aggressive young men; children of addicts; people with diagnosed depression and bipolar illness; and groups including American Indians and poor people.

Attitudes, values and behaviors play a potent role as well.

Imagine two people trying cocaine, just to see what it is like. Both are 32-year-old men with jobs and families. One snorts a line, loves it and asks for more. The other also loves it but pushes it away, leaves the party and never touches it again. Different values? Different tolerance for risk? Many factors may distinguish the two cocaine lovers, but only one is at risk for a problem.

Asking for more drug is no guarantee of being seduced into routine use. But what if it happens? Jacob Sullum, a senior editor at Reason magazine, has interviewed many users who became aware that they were sliding down the path to addiction.

“It undermined their sense of themselves as individuals in control of their own destinies,? Mr. Sullum wrote in his 2003 book, “Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use.” “And so they stopped.”

I only read about these people. Patients who come to our methadone clinic are there, obviously, because they’re using. The typical patient is someone who has been off heroin for a while (maybe because life was good for while, maybe because there was no access to drugs, maybe because the boss did urine testing) and then resumed.

But the road to resumption was not unmarked. There were signs and exit ramps all along the way. Instead of heeding them, our patients made small, deliberate choices many times a day — to be with other users, to cop drugs for friends, to allow themselves to become bored — and soon there was no turning back.

Addiction does indeed discriminate. It “selects” for people who are bad at delaying gratification and gauging consequences, who are impulsive, who think they have little to lose, have few competing interests, or are willing to lie to a spouse.

Though the National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addiction as a “chronic and relapsing disease,” my patients, seeking help, are actually the exception. Addiction is not an equal opportunity destroyer even among addicts because, thankfully, most eventually extricate themselves from the worst of it.

 Gene Heyman, a lecturer and research psychologist at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, said in an interview that “between 60 and 80 percent of people who meet criteria for addiction in their teens and 20s are no longer heavy, problem users by their 30s.” His analysis of large national surveys revealed that those who kept using were almost twice as likely to have a concurrent psychiatric illness.

 None of this is to deny that brain physiology plays a meaningful role in becoming and staying addicted, but that is not the whole story.

 “The culture of drink endures because it offers so many rewards: confidence for the shy, clarity for the uncertain, solace to the wounded and lonely,” wrote Pete Hamill in his memoir, “A Drinking Life.” Heroin and speed helped the screenwriter Jerry Stahl, author of “Permanent Midnight,” attain the “the soothing hiss of oblivion.”

If addiction were a random event, there would be no logic to it, no desperate reason to keep going back to the bottle or needle, no reason to avoid treatment.

The idea that addiction doesn’t discriminate may be a useful story line for the public — if we are all under threat then we all should urge our politicians to support more research and treatment for addiction. There are good reasons to campaign for those things, but not on the basis of a comforting fiction.

Sally Satel is a psychiatrist and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

Reference: New York Times -  o4 September 2008
                     By Sally Satel

 Every thought seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind and to take root there, produces its own kind.  Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.

A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If  no useful seeds are put unto it, then an abundance of useless weeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce thier kind.

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free my weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong,  useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection
the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.

By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals within himself  the laws of thought, and understands with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and  destiny.    

Reference:  As A Man Thinketh   James Allen 

 Editor's Note:

I would like to ask each of you to take the time to read the above quote. It is important to me you understand what it is saying and I believe we all should incorporate it in our our "New Year's Resolutions."  I wll be sharing portions each month from "As A Man Thinketh" because I believe it is crucial for you to understand the importance of your thoughts on your behavior.  We need to keep the  "garden of  our mind" free of  wrong, useless and impure thoughts.  If any impure thought is allowed to grow... it could possibly trigger relapse for us.

I want you to start becoming more conscious of your thoughts. I want you to begin to see each thought as a seed and your mind as the garden they fall in. Once the seed falls in your garden as a thought, it then becomes your responsibility, if it is an impure thought to weed it out. Thoughts can come in all forms, such as the desire to use again, anger, unforgiveness, jealousy, frustration and envy to give you an example of some. We must begin to instantly resolve the issue before the seed falls and takes root into our garden and begins to grow. Why is this so important ? 

Let's take unforgiveness. If you have been hurt by another and you allow the seed to take root in the garden of your mind, it soon turns into, what? Anger! Anger begets what? Revenge. If the seed of revenge is allowed to grow then it will eventually take on action by the person.  Do you see?

I believe most of you can understand where the thought originated and because you didn't weed it out and deal with it, it took root. Soon it began to grow. You began to entertain thoughts   of  ways to hurt the other person. Right? Finally, one of the many thoughts began to take root and grow into a action. It's still not to late to weed the thought out before it turns into an action but as most of us know "revenge" feels good and we don't really want to let it go.   (I know I've been there and whether you choose to admit the truth, most all of us know how difficult it is to let go.)

Usually if you go through with the act, it doesn't make you feel like you any better. You still have all the feelings inside and none of them really have been dealt with. Now, before you can move on with your life, you are going to have to forgive the person and most of all "forgive yourself."  I don't know about all of you but I have more trouble forgiving myself than others. Seriously, as corny as it may sound to some of you, this must happen before you can move on with your life and make any progress.   

Merry Christmas. I hope you will use the "Gift of Knowledge" I shared with you.   It is definitely a good start to a new beginning; one of the many building blocks to success. It is my gift to you.   Deborah Shrira, Editor
"I can't do it alone....but together we can make a difference!"


Meet Your New Moderators!

We Welcome Dolores Black and Barbara Byrd!

 We would like to welcome Dolores Black and Barbara Rue Byrd to our Staff at Suboxone Assisted Treatment. They are both wonderful people and are very familiar with Addiction and  guess what, both of them are taking Suboxone. I'm inviting all of you to stop by and "Welcome" them. 

I would like to invite all of you to visit our new " Suboxone:  The Light At The End Of The Tunnel" Forum. It is located on . Click on the button labeled Suboxone Forum and follow the instructions. MSN was closing at the beginning of February, therefore, we would have to make a change and due to to other circumstances, we felt it would be much better to make it before Christmas.  It is definitely different than MSN and we are all learning how to use it, so if you find yourself having any problems, please know you are not alone.    

You will find Barbara and Dolores there to answer your questions and to provide support and encouragement.  We are planning to schedule some live chats if any of you are interested. We are here to serve you and we would like as much input from you as possible.  I want you to know I am just as accessible to you as they are. It is important to me you know I am here for you but it is impossible for me to spend the amount of time as they do with you.  

I am the Creator of  and I have started constructing a new, more updated one on "Medication Assisted Treatment."
I spend most all of my time working to add information and to update the old ones. I always receive mail and I try to answer all of you, personally. I help my partner answer calls from time to time because we stay open twenty-fours every day and the phone is always ringing or we are returning calls.  I never have much time at all to myself but we had an incident happen last month which really shook me up.  

We had one of our employees resign last month. I am sure most all of you are aware she has left and she will be missed. I know she went out on a limb to help many of you and I know you will miss not having her around. Her name was Rita Ostrander.   Some of your reactions to her departure was less than acceptable. I don't want to blow her departure out of proportion no more than it has already been. It caused a split and I realize most of you sided with her because she was the one available to assist you and was there most of the time for you. I was the one you didn't know and therefore, I became the villain.    

I'm not here to berate her in any way. She did put in many hours and worked very hard but we never asked her to work over forty hours a week, infact, we urged her not to.  She became my friend, as well, as my employee, which I guess I should have drawn some lines. She did get paid for her work and we gave her the salary she asked for when we hired her. It was certainly over the rate most people on the World Wide Web make especially with the limited knowledge she possessed. 

She had absolutely no knowledge about websites and therefore I had to teach her how to do the small amount of work she did on Medical Assisted Treatment of America. Her knowledge was limited on Suboxone and Methadone Maintenace Treatment. I know many of you grew to love her and of course you took her side when you found out she was leaving.  Why, I can only surmise because you didn't know me and you did her and of course, you had no reason to doubt what she told you, even though it wasn't all the truth.

 I can understand and I do forgive you but since it happened, it made me see I do need to try and spend time  with you so you can establish a relationship with me, if you wish. I want to you give you the opportunity to know me if you like, therefore, you will be better able to judge the truth if any incident ever happens again. We all here wish Rita the very best in whatever she decides to do. She deserves the very best because she did give of herself and her time freely to others. We send her on with all of  our blessings and hope she obtains the goals she has set for herself. 


Sewage Study Yields Surprising Information About Drug Use !

Scientists analyzing the chemical composition of raw sewage in cities in the United States and Europe and have made some surprising discoveries about drug-use patterns, the Los Angeles Times reported on June 23rd. 

Likened to a city-wide drug test, the studies estimate drug use based on the chemicals excreted in feces and urine by community residents.  Researchers have found, for example, that Los Angeles has more cocaine in sewage than many European cities, and that London's heroin usage may be higher than in cities in Italy and Switzerland.  More methamphetamine apparently is used in Las Vegas than in Omaha, Nebraska or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the studies suggest. 

"Every sample has one illicit drug or another, regardless of location," said researcher Jennifer Field of Oregon State University. "You  may see the differences from place to place, but there's always something." 

The sewage testing is seen as an adjunct  to other types of drug-use assessments, such as surveys.  Sewage research has shown that cocaine use seems to peak on Saturdays, for example, while heroin and marijuana use appears to be steady  throughout the week. 

However, there are complications to measuring drug use with sewage: concentration of chemicals can vary based on sewage flow, time of day, and how long it takes the waste to flow through the pipes. "This has caught on only recently, and people are still trying to understand the uncertainities." said Field.  

Some communities are also resistant to the studies,  wary that results could put them in a bad light. San Diego, for example, has barred researchers fron studying the drug contents  of its sewage.

Researchers also have begun checking the environment for traces of illicit drugs.

Source:    Date: 24 June 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Deborah Shrira, Editor                     November 2008