BC Detox, Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Could Gene Therapy Erase Cocaine Addiction?

Posted by on Sep 19, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Could Gene Therapy Erase Cocaine Addiction?

Researchers at the University of Chicago have released a study that outlines how a new gene therapy has the potential to squash cravings and protect against overdoses in regards to cocaine use. There is an enzyme found in blood plasma that breaks up cocaine into harmless byproducts. However, the enzyme is not potent enough in its naturally occurring form to help those who have cocaine problems. The researches rewrote DNA in mouse skin stem cells to create an enhanced enzyme that is 4,400 times more potent than its natural state. These genetically engineered stem cells are called organoids. They are implanted under the skin where they then release the enzyme into the blood. The research team has done tests on mice who received the organoids. These mice survived overdoses of cocaine that killed other mice who had not received organoids. The test mice also no longer had an interest in cocaine. The enzyme effectively removes cocaine from the system so the animal no longer gets the high that attracted them in the first place, and also means they cannot overdose and die. The implications for humans are huge. Removing illicit and/or unsafe drugs from the body as soon as they are taken in could save untold lives. Lead researcher Ming Xu said lab studies suggest that similar organoids could be implanted in humans and release the special enzyme for 20 to 30 years. Rather than a short-term intervention, this gene therapy could be the long-lasting aid for those who struggle with cocaine. The research team is also tackling other substances with genetically-engineered cells. Alcohol, nicotine, and opioids are all being researched in a similar manner, hopefully, we will be able to provide updates on these soon. If you are looking for drug rehab or alcohol treatment in Canada contact our specialist for personalized help. References: Cure for Cocaine Addiction in Reach, say Scientists The post Could Gene Therapy Erase Cocaine Addiction? appeared first on Canada Drug...

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Public Addiction Treatment in Newfoundland and Labrador: Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Resources

Posted by on Sep 17, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Public Addiction Treatment in Newfoundland and Labrador: Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Resources

There are four provincial health authorities in Newfoundland and Labrador. In order to access addiction treatment in Newfoundland, you must determine if you are located in the Eastern Health, Central Health, Western Health, or Labrador-Grenfell Health region. The health authorities offer services for both substance use and process addictions like gambling, as well as services for those who are using and those who are affected by a loved one’s use. Newfoundland offers outpatient counseling, early intervention for youth, adult residential treatment, detox, opioid treatment, and crisis support. Outpatient Addiction Treatment in Newfoundland The province has 26 outpatient offices that offer counseling in individual, family, or group formats, as well as other outreach services. Most of these offices will not require a referral to attend, and once there you will be assessed so a treatment plan can be made. From there, the office may give you referrals to other clinics or specialists. Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment The Humberwood Treatment Centre is part of Western Health and is located in Corner Brook. It runs a three-week program for both men and women over 19 years of age. The program includes group and private counseling, education sessions, and leisure therapy. Upon completion of the treatment program, clients are able to access after-care through outpatient offices to help them stay on track. To attend this program you must be referred by an addictions counselor or another professional who can provide a treatment assessment. Youth Drug and Alcohol Treatment For youth aged 12 – 18, the Rowan Centre offers day treatment to help with both substance and process addictions. The Centre is in St. John’s and run by Eastern Health. Approximately ten youth are in the program at any one time and the programs run for three to four months. Following the program attendees will also have access to after-care services. Detox and Opioid Treatment Also in St. John’s is The Recovery Centre which is a public non-medical detox. Men and women over 16 can access the services there which include outpatient services. Unfortunately, if you require medically supervised detox you must go to a hospital. If you are looking for opioid specific treatment and want to be on a methadone maintenance treatment plan, the Opioid Treatment Centre is in St. John’s and is also provided by Eastern Health. Due to the small population size yet large land area, addiction treatment in Newfoundland is not at the same level as some of the other provinces. If you are struggling to find drug rehab and/or alcohol treatment programs in Newfoundland and Labrador, navigate your options contact our specialist for assistance. JMC, 2018.09.14 The post Public Addiction Treatment in Newfoundland and Labrador: Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Resources appeared first on Canada Drug...

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Drug Fact Sheet: Opioids and Opiates

Posted by on Sep 13, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Drug Fact Sheet: Opioids and Opiates

With the ongoing opioid crisis being felt in Toronto, Vancouver, and most towns and cities across North America, many could use a refresher on what opioids are and why they affect the human body so strongly. In the past, opioid referred only to synthetic opiates, drugs that were chemically created to mimic opium. Opiates referred only to drugs derived from opium that is naturally occurring in the poppy plant. However, most medical professionals and the media now use opioid as the general term. What is an Opioid? “An opioid is any agent that binds to opioid receptors (protein molecules located on the membranes of some nerve cells) found principally in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract and elicits a response.” Morphine, methadone, oxycodone, and heroin are examples of opioids you may be familiar with. There are four classes of opioids: Endogenous opioids. These naturally occur in the body as endorphins. Opium alkaloids. Examples are morphine and codeine. Semi-synthetic opioids, like heroin and oxycodone. Fully synthetic opioids. For example, methadone. How do Opioids Affect the Body? The human brain has opioid receptors, so when opioids are injested they attach to those receptors in the brain. The effects include dulling pain, slowed breathing, and a general calm feeling. Naturally occurring opioids like endorphins cannot cause a person to overdose. When opioids are injested they can give the user feelings of intense euphoria. A higher dose can depress the breathing to the point of overdose and death. Respiratory depression is the main cause of death in fatal opioid overdoses. This is especially concerning when opioids are taken in conjunction with other depressants like alcohol and two non-lethal doses combined can lead to a fatal overdose. What if I Have a Problem with Opioids? If it is hard for you to restrict your recreational use of opioids, or feel you are reliant on prescription opioids, there are lots of ways to get help. The federal government has made it easier across the provinces to access drugs like methadone and Suboxone. These drugs allow you to come off of opioids with minimal withdrawal sickness symptoms and come with a plan to eventually taper off of the maintenance medication too. To learn more about methadone and Suboxone read our article here. Our database of drug and alcohol rehabs in Canada makes note of the facilities that offer medical maintenance programs. If you need help navigating the site or have more questions, call or email our specialist here. References: Opiates/Opioids The post Drug Fact Sheet: Opioids and Opiates appeared first on Canada Drug...

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Suicide Prevention Week Sept 9 – 15

Posted by on Sep 10, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Suicide Prevention Week Sept 9 – 15

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th, National Suicide Prevention Week is September 9-15, and September is International Suicide Prevention Month. Many health organizations across the world observe this month and host awareness events to help prevent suicide. Suicide in Canada Every day approximately 10 Canadians die by suicide, 9 of them were known to be living with a mental health problem. Between the ages of 20 to 64 men account for approximately 75% of suicides and women account for just over half of the self-harm hospitalizations. For children aged 10 and up, and young adults aged 20 to 29 suicide is the second leading cause of death. For every suicide death, there are 5 self-harm hospitalizations and up to 30 previous suicide attempts. Increasing Suicide Rates in Women More men than women die by suicide in both Canada and the USA. However, between 2000 and 2016 in the USA the rate of women who died by suicide rose 50% compared to a 21% increase for men. In Canada, the change has been less stark, but between 2011 and 2015 there was a 15% increase in female suicide compared to a 12% increase in males. Experts agree it is hard to determine the underlying causes for this increase in suicide rates. Men are at risk for not receiving treatment due to perceived stigma and not wanting to admit to a mental health problem. Whereas the Canadian Women’s Foundation suggests stress and experiencing violence as possible reasons for women being more prone to suicide. Suicide Prevention It isn’t realistic to shoulder the burden of trying to prevent a loved one’s suicide, however, if you notice some of the following warning signs it could be an indication that they need help: increased substance use anxiety, agitation, insomnia feelings of being trapped, of having no reason to live, or hopelessness withdrawal from loved ones dramatic mood changes including anger, recklessness If you feel concerned take a look at the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention page for concerned loved ones here. If you are looking for a drug and alcohol rehab that focuses on mental health and feelings of depression or suicidal ideation contact our specialist for assistance. References: Suicide Rates Among Canadian Women are Rising Faster than Men. It’s Unclear Why. Suicide in Canada Know the Warning Signs of Suicide The post Suicide Prevention Week Sept 9 – 15 appeared first on Canada Drug...

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September is National Recovery Month

Posted by on Sep 3, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

September is National Recovery Month

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month to both celebrate those living in recovery, and to spread awareness and understanding of mental health issues and substance use disorders. Recovery Month started life as Treatment Works! Month back in 1989 which focused on the efforts of substance use treatment professionals. In 1998 it turned into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month when the campaign expanded to include those with substance use disorders in recovery. Finally, in 2011 the day was renamed to National Recovery Month to have a broader scope of all behavioural health. This year’s theme is Join the voices for recovery: invest in health, home, purpose, and community. While this theme may seem broad, it delivers on some of the key factors to a person’s successful recovery. Health and Home Substance use is often the symptom of a larger problem. For some struggling with opioids, it is because they have an unrelated health concern that has required opioid medication they are now dependent on. For others, it may be an undiagnosed mental or physical injury or ailment that they are now self-medicating for. SAMHSA advocates for integrated care so that the individual is receiving the best, most well-rounded care possible. Just as general good health aids recovery, so does a safe and secure living environment. Living on the streets can put people in many different kinds of unsafe situations, as well as additional mental stress and anxiety due to not having a regular place of residence. Working with local governments to ensure supported housing is available can greatly alleviate barriers to recovery. Purpose and Community Something most drug rehabs in Canada will touch on during treatment is finding a person’s purpose, their drive or motivation in life. When someone feels they are not needed, not wanted, it can be hard for them to be inspired to make healthy changes. A community can be the start of fostering a purpose in someone. Whether that means finding a local meeting or contacting our specialist to find an appropriate drug and alcohol treatment centre, finding a community can help pull people through the hard steps of recovery. References: Recovery Month   The post September is National Recovery Month appeared first on Canada Drug...

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International Overdose Awareness Day – Drug Overdose Statistics in Canada

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

International Overdose Awareness Day – Drug Overdose Statistics in Canada

Since its inception in 2001, August 31st has been International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). It began in Melbourne, Australia and since then has been adopted by both government and non-government organizations to hold events to raise awareness and commemorate the loss of life. The climbing accidental opioid-related death toll in Canada has made many Canadians well aware of the danger of overdose. This blog will look at what an overdose is, as well as the current state of opioid-related overdoses in Canada. What is an Overdose? An overdose is when your body cannot handle the amount or combination of drugs you have ingested, injected, or inhaled. Depressants are a class of drug that slow the body’s vitals, like breathing and heart rate. Opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol all slow the central nervous system. When too much of a depressant is taken into the body, a person can stop breathing or their heart can stop beating. Stimulants can cause overdoses too. Amphetamines, a class of stimulants, can cause heart attack, stroke, or seizure when taken in excessive doses. It is also important to remember that many overdoses do not result in death. They are still extremely dangerous as they can cause long-term mental and physical health problems. Overdoses in Canada The federal government reported 3987 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2017. 92% of these deaths were ruled as accidental. People can overdose on a large variety of substances, however, most data currently available is specific to opioids as they are the greatest threat right now. Across Canada, 78% of accidental opioid-related deaths happened to men, and while age varied across the country, the highest percentage (28%) was among 30 to 39 year olds. In 2016 just over half of opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, this increased to 72% in 2017. It is important to note that 71% of all accidental opioid-related deaths in 2017 involved one or more types of non-opioid substances. Mixing drugs is one of the leading causes of overdose and death. If you have any doubt about what the ingredients of your drugs are, do not take them. Contact our specialist if you are looking to reduce your drug consumption and need resources. References: International Overdose Awareness Day Apparent Opioid-Related Deaths   JMC – 2018.07.25 The post International Overdose Awareness Day – Drug Overdose Statistics in Canada appeared first on Canada Drug...

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New Alcohol Withdrawal Training for Doctors

Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

New Alcohol Withdrawal Training for Doctors

A new study out of Canada, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association has called for new training for emergency and family doctors to better help those with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The study urges the use of a questionnaire called the Prediction of Alcohol Withdrawal Severity Scale. In their research 530 studies involving 71, 000 patients were looked at, with St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver being the only hospital in Canada to use the questionnaire. Dr. Evan Wood is the lead author of the study as well as the executive director of the BC Centre on Substance Use. He believes the use of the questionnaire at St Paul’s has led to improved patient care and noticeable savings to the health care system. How the Questionnaire Works There are ten questions that include whether the patient has previously experienced alcohol withdrawal, if they’ve ever had a seizure or blackout, and if they have consumed alcohol in conjunction with another substance in the last 90 days. In combination with a blood test, these questions can help doctors give their patients more effective treatment. There are a few different prescription medications that can help patients reduce cravings and binge drinking and the BC Centre on Substance Use is planning to release guidelines later this year to assist doctors with the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also one of the treatments the Centre is advocating for. Why Effectively Managing Those Going Through Alcohol Withdrawal is Important People who consume a significant amount of alcohol can experience seizures, hallucinations, and become violently ill. Many of those trying to detox at home end up in emergency rooms due to the severity of their withdrawal symptoms. The Canadian Centre for Substance Use Research and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction have conducted research that concludes that alcohol use costs Canadian taxpayers an annual $14.6 billion in health care, lost time at work, and the criminal justice system. The goal of the study is to train both family doctors who are doing ongoing care, and emergency room doctors who are seeing patients in distress to alleviate patient’s symptoms while setting them up for better long-term care that results in fewer hospitalizations. If you or a loved one is trying to detox from alcohol contact our specialist for help. References: Improve Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment by Training Doctors: B.C. Study The post New Alcohol Withdrawal Training for Doctors appeared first on Canada Drug...

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PEI Mental Health and Addictions Plan (Prince Edward Island)

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

PEI Mental Health and Addictions Plan (Prince Edward Island)

The PEI mental health and addictions 10-year plan was developed only a few years ago and covers 2016 to 2026. The document, Moving Forward Together, Prince Edward Island’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy has five main pillars: mental health promotion for people of all ages; access to the right service, treatment, and support; an innovative and collaborative workforce; invest early – focus on children, young people and families, foster recovery and well-being for people of all ages. Mental Health Promotion for People of All Ages The priorities the committee has outlined to accomplish this pillar are relatively general. Mental health promotion and illness prevention activities and programs are to be implemented for people of all ages at multiple levels of government and community organizations. There are a few specifics like implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.  Although, there doesn’t seem to be any specifics about what kind of promotion and prevention activities will be implemented and how they will help accomplish the priority. Access to the Right Services, Treatment, and Support To address wait times and access to services the committee is proposing an evidence-based model that is used in other countries like the UK, Australia, and NZ. This “Tiered Model” helps with planning, and organization and delivery of treatment and services. As you can see in the below diagram, this tiered approach to care is designed to provide the most appropriate and least intrusive services for patients and only step up to the next level as required. The committee has noted however that in tiers 3, 4, and 5 crucial infrastructure and services are missing to make this Tiered Model a reality. Tier 3 still needs therapeutic group homes and mental health urgent care, tier 4 calls for adult day treatment that is not available, and tier 5 requires a secure care unit which PEI does not have. These are all critical pieces of care infrastructure that are necessary for a functioning mental health and addictions system and need to be addressed immediately if any of their other goals are to be achieved. However, PEI only has a population of 150 000 and it can be hard to invest in large structures when realistically they won’t be accommodating a huge amount of people. An Innovative and Collaborative Workforce PEI has a shortage of mental health workers at all levels ie. psychologists to social workers to carers in group homes. In this plan, they are hoping to not only recruit more workers but also train and educate workers in core clinical competencies and evidence-based care. Invest Early – Focus on Children, Young People, and Families The committee acknowledges that 70% of mental illnesses develop before the age of 25. Their priorities are to help young people manage their mental health include closing service gaps, build capacity in primary care, and encourage more community programs and services. Foster Recovery and Well-being for People of All Ages This plan supports the notion of the mental health and addiction system being recovery-oriented. This is an evidence-based method of getting patients both the acute and long-term care they need. Conclusion The committee acknowledges that much of its plans for the future are not based on new ideas, but rather they are evidence-based and reflect what was found...

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Pop-Up Overdose Prevention Site Snubs Ontario Government

Posted by on Aug 21, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Newly-elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been busy shaping the province since taking office in June of this year. One of his recent decrees has been to halt the establishment of any new supervised injection sites in Ontario. However, two Toronto activist groups have jointly opened an unsanctioned overdose prevention site in a west-end park in defiance. The Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance and the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society have partnered to offer overdose prevention services in the wake of Premier Ford’s decision. The Health Minister’s office ordered the freeze just three days prior to the scheduled opening of a previously approved site.  The groups opened their new site close to where this previously approved site was to open. Police warned of a recent uptick in overdose deaths in this area during the first two weeks of August and the groups felt the need to act was great. The overdose prevention site has clean drug paraphernalia, naloxone, oxygen, and a defibrillator. The Toronto Overdose Prevention Society is not new to offering unsanctioned services. Just last year they opened a tent in Moss Park and within a year of operation acquired federal approval and a permanent location. The Society said that out of over 9000 uses at the Moss Park site, 251 people overdosed and all were brought back, without the use of the defibrillator. Ontario as a whole saw over 1200 overdose deaths in 2017. Despite overwhelming scientific and anecdotal evidence that taking a public health approach to addictions saves both lives and government dollars, the Health Minister and Premier are looking at investing more in law enforcement to tackle the issues. Police did not dismantle the Moss Park site, so it remains to be seen if they will act on this new site. References: Activist Group Opens Unsanctioned Overdose-Prevention Site in Toronto, Despite Ford Government Freeze The post Pop-Up Overdose Prevention Site Snubs Ontario Government appeared first on Canada Drug...

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How to Access Drug Rehab, Alcohol Treatment, and Addiction Services in PEI (Prince Edward Island)

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

How to Access Drug Rehab, Alcohol Treatment, and Addiction Services in PEI (Prince Edward Island)

It can be overwhelming when you first start looking for drug rehab or alcohol treatment options. Especially if you live in a smaller province like PEI (Prince Edward Island) where there are limited services and resources. This blog will help you find the government-funded addiction services you need to begin your recovery in Prince Edward’s Island. Addiction Services for Adults: Drug Rehabilitation and Alcohol Treatment Programs in PEI Addiction Services is the PEI government’s central hub for all things addiction related. You can access community programs and mental health and addiction healthcare professionals. It is also closely linked with Mental Health Services to help those with concurrent disorders get the best care. To start, you can call Addiction Services toll free here to find out your options, or call our specialist here if you are looking for both public and privately funded options. PEI has an Opioid Replacement Therapy Program with clinics in Montague, Charlottetown, and Summerside. This is to help those coming off of opioids and it provides them with a prescription of Methadone or Suboxone as well as a treatment plan. PEI has one publicly funded detox. It is called the Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility and is located in Charlottetown. It is best to call in advance to ensure there is space, but wait lists don’t last usually longer than a few days. If the staff there believe you will be able to withdraw at home rather than onsite they will provide you with outpatient treatment. Following withdrawal, there are outpatient programs to help you remain sober. If you feel you would prefer to stay in a residential facility to help you set up a successful recovery there are four provincial residences available: Talbot House for men, Lacey House for women, St Eleanor’s House for men, and Deacon House overnight shelter for men. Addiction Services for Youth and Families: Drug Rehabilitation and Alcohol Treatment Programs in PEI There are services specifically for youth like the CAST Program and the Strength Program. Coping and Support Training (CAST) is administered in junior and senior high schools through youth addiction counselors who help young people struggling with substance use, mental health, or academic performance. The Strength Program is in the Youth Recovery Centre in Summerside and helps youth who require more intensive treatment. Community Reinforcement Approach Family Training (CRAFT) is an evidence-based program for families hoping to get their loved ones into treatment. There are also multiple education and support groups offered to families of people with substance use issues. There are Addiction Services locations in Charlottetown, Souris, Montague, Summerside, and Alberton. Contact our specialist if you require any assistance finding the appropriate drug rehab or alcohol treatment you require. JMC – 2018.07.25 The post How to Access Drug Rehab, Alcohol Treatment, and Addiction Services in PEI (Prince Edward Island) appeared first on Canada Drug...

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Where Addicts are Treated Like Human Beings