Medication Assisted Treatment of AddictionFor a New Tomorrow and a New Life!
We really appreciate patients who use online forms before their appointments! Comprehensive care requires a thorough history!
We offer compassionate, non-judgmental treatment of this disease. We also set certain boundaries. The keys to success in our program are simple;
- Show up for your appointments on time. Let us know in advance if you are late or cannot make it and need to reschedule (we may be able to work somebody else in need into your slot if we know you’re not going to be able to make it on the day of your appointment—this helps others!).
- Show respect and behave accordingly. We try to show our patients the respect that they deserve and expect the same in return.
- Follow the suggestions made by our staff—we’re one of the few businesses that hope to get you better to the point that we lose you as a “customer”. (What kind of business model is that?!?!)
- Alcohol and drugs/behaviors of abuse on the patient questionnaires must not be used; this is simply a matter of your life or death! Cross-addiction kills!
- Please be thorough in completing ALL paperwork, every attempt will be made to have it available online so that it can be done prior to your appointments.
- We STRONGLY recommend the 12-Step programs (below) and daily meeting attendance (you know you devoted time to using on at least a daily basis, recovery demands no less) until a good sponsor suggests that you can back off on the meetings. The medicines do NOT “heal” you—the meetings do that. The only purpose for the medicines is to keep you comfortable so that you can pay attention, participate and absorb what happens in the meetings.
- You need to be totally & RIGOROUSLY HONEST with us. We’re your servants. We’re here to help you. If there’s something else going on, we need to know about it. None of us are clairvoyant! As much as we want to help, we’re NOT mind readers! Is there another mental illness manifesting that needs therapy? Tell us what’s going on in your head!
- Patients are helped with the process of detoxification. Visits are initially done on a weekly for six weeks, if they are working the program, have urine tests without inappropriate results, then transition to visits every 2 weeks for another six visits is an option. Once this is done there can transition to visits every four weeks.
- Patients are not “kicked out” of our practice if they have a urine test demonstrating that they’ve continued to abuse drugs.
- What to expect if you are unable to keep totally clean or follow all the keys to success above;
- The most important thing that you can do, is be RIGOROUSLY HONEST! If you’ve had a “slip”, tell us before we find out about it through your urine test result!!
- We do NOT follow “three strikes and you’re out!”. We’re in this together, with you, to support you. This is NOT a game! This disease has a nasty habit of killing people.
- If your urine results show unexpected results 3 times in a row, we’ll move you to the head of the ICU, the bed right in front of the nursing station. In practical terms, that tells us that you’re unable to go a full week without using. We’ll try seeing you twice a week to see if the more frequent reminders (office visits) that you have a terminal illness that will kill you works better for you. At this point you may want to get into an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in the area.
- If the 1st bed in the ICU isn’t enough and you continue giving us urine tests with undesirable results three times in a row, then perhaps you need some time off to re-assess whether you’re truly ready for and desire recovery. We give these patients “a month off” with no visits or meds to allow them to re-assess where they are mentally and emotionally. If you really DO think you’re ready for recovery and just can’t do it on an outpatient basis, then you need inpatient care, generally with a 28-day program.
- Methadone users are treated with a multiple medication protocol that minimizes the difficulties that go with that change; from Methadone to Buprenorphine. Typically, after a week, they’re ready to stop the Methadone permanently. It may be a bit uncomfortable, but won’t be anything like the misery of coming off high-dose Methadone without any other support!
- We encourage our patients to let us know of any difficulties they may be experiencing in the pursuit of their recovery. It’s not uncommon that other problems are uncovered early in the recovery process. Having an experienced team in place to help you through these difficulties may be just what you need for successful long-term recovery!
- Attendance at 12-step meetings such as NA and/or AA are also very highly recommended.
- Attendance at these meetings cause the same brain chemistry changes that are produced by the drugs. The big difference is that the meetings are healing as opposed to use of the drugs which furthers this progressive disease. Ideally, meetings are attended with other people in the same room. Some of these groups are not located locally enough to allow this however, online and phone meetings are available for these other groups.
- Addiction is a family disease as well. To increase chances of successful recovery, it’s very helpful for the family members, friends and close associates to become familiar with the disease of addiction and their possible role in furthering the disease within the addicted person. Attendance at these meetings* is also encouraged. Family members and other support persons are always welcome to join you for your appointment.
- Adult Children of Alcoholics (Asheville area Adult Children Meetings) http://www.adultchildren.org
- Al Anon, Al A teen (Asheville area Al-Anon Meetings) http://www.al-anon.alateen.org
- Co Dependents Anonymous (Asheville Area CODA Meetings) http://coda.org/
- Narc Anon (http://www.wncna.org/meetings/) http://www.nar-anon.org
Addiction is a disease with many characteristics
- “Self-will run riot” (lack of control and appropriate social boundaries)
- Dishonesty (either by committing-making false statements, or omitting-leaving out information)
- Relapse is pretty much one of the diagnostic criteria it’s such a common occurrence—especially early in recovery and with stress. We won’t “throw you under the bus” if you slip, but tell us in advance, before your lab results convict you. We don’t shoot the wounded!
At Blue Ridge Family Practice, we have protocols involving the use of medications to assist treatment (MAT) or recovery (MAR). Opiates are the easiest addiction to treat with the best results in terms of easing patient discomfort. We have protocols for other addictive substances as well. Additionally, we offer acupuncture in a protocol that has demonstrated a doubling of the rate of long-term sobriety/ “clean time” and recovery. The acupuncture protocol has an amazing ability to reduce stress, the most likely cause for relapse. It’s been described by patients as an “incredible sense of well-being washing over me, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, with drugs or anything else”. Currently the acupuncture treatment is being given as a free courtesy to those who request it for the initial three (3) treatments, after that it will be $10.00/treatment. Treatments can be given on days when patients do not have a formal appointment if they kindly call the office in advance and request a time that they can stop by for it. Our basic professional fee for treatment is $100 per week. A 25% discount is given for those who pay in advance, decreasing 4 weeks of treatment from $400 to $300. Additionally, patients who refer others to our practice will receive a free week of treatment for every patient referred.
Addiction is a complex disease involving numerous areas of the brain. It’s a progressive disease—worsening over time, regardless of the substance or behavior of choice. This is about having such a great life, having so much fun & so many friends, there’s no way you would want to screw it up. Addicts tend to be pretty bright folks. They have to be in order to survive despite the fact that they keep “shooting themselves in the foot” and still manage to go on. Isn’t it time that you removed the ball and chain of your addiction? Isn’t it past time that you unleashed the amazing person inside of you who has been shackled by a disease that can turn you into a monster that you never thought you would be? Together, let’s DO that! Once an addicted person starts to inappropriately use, i.e. abuse a substance, all substances and/or behaviors that alter mood are dangerous, whether they are legal or not. All these substances and behaviors must be stopped to stop the progression of this disease. Abruptly stopping some of these substances can lead to death. Medical supervision is required for the safe detoxification of those substances; alcohol, benzodiazepines (like Xanax) & barbiturates can lead to death. Opiate (“pain pills”, heroin) detoxification (“dancing with the cold turkey”) may make one wish they were dead, but won’t kill. What this means, is that addicted folks looking for recovery need to stop using all mind-altering substances; pot, benzodiazepines, alcohol are all dangerous and must be stopped. Typically, a very slow detoxification is done with benzodiazepines, cutting the dose by half a tablet or so every few weeks.