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Recent Reports State That 19 Million Americans Abuse Prescription Drugs; FDA and Novus Medical Detox Agree That Education is Needed

New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) August 11, 2014

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 46 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdose, which adds up to about 17,000 deaths annually. The reports also state that poisonings by drug overdose have tripled over the past 30 years. (1) Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, states that the reason behind the high number of fatalities lies in inadequate drug education.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carries this same belief, and has responded by implementing a new drug education program. The program seeks to educate doctors who prescribe these highly-addictive painkillers, as well as the patients who are taking them. The program’s mission is “to teach doctors about proper opiate prescribing for pain patients to minimize the risks of diversion and addiction.” (4)

The United Nation’s World Drug Report 2014 stated that in 2012, 6.1% (19 million) of Americans abused prescription opioids, including morphine, codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin. This figure categorizes the United States as a country that abuses prescription drugs more than any other country in the world. (2) In an effort to lower the number of people harmed by these drugs, Novus warns Americans to exercise caution when receiving a new prescription from a physician, and to ask questions related to its side effects.

“Intentionally or not, Americans may be underestimating the highly addictive nature of drugs such as opioids,” stated Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon. “It may start as nothing more than filling a prescription for legitimate pain, but overdose may result when a patient seeks to elicit a stronger high from these drugs.”

Novus recommends that the following steps be taken when being prescribed a new medication (3):

●    Be sure that the prescription comes from a trusted physician;

●    Only use the medication as prescribed;

●    Ask the physician about the medicine and its effects;

●    Conduct your own research about the drug’s effects; and

●    Be prepared—ask your doctor what to do if one becomes addicted.

All of these tips are important to heed before a patient starts to take a medication, because addiction may begin with the patient being unaware of a medication’s initial effects. This patient may begin to take pills more liberally than prescribed, and the dangers of addiction do not lie far behind.

Runyon maintains that comprehensive drug education, starting in grade school and continuing throughout adult life to physician visits, can help to significantly reduce the number of Americans addicted to such drugs.

While new preventative measures are being taken, Novus recommends looking out for the following symptoms or behaviors (but not limited to), if someone suspects that a loved one is abusing pain reliever prescription drugs (5):

●    Nausea, drowsiness;

●    Mood swings and anxiety;

●    Slowed reactions, movement and breathing;

●    Jittery or secretive; and/or

●    Neglect of work/school responsibilities.

Runyon advises those who are dependent upon any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television, and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.Hutchins, Sarah. “Drug Overdose: Prescription Painkillers Poison 46 Americans Every Day.” Liberty Voice, 20 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. guardianlv.com/2014/07/drug-overdose-prescription-painkillers-poison-46-americans-every-day/.

2.Blake, Matthew. “Extent of US Dependency on Prescription Drugs Revealed: UN Report Shows 6% of American Adults Hooked on Pills.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 July 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683318/Extent-US-dependency-prescription-drugs-revealed-UN-report-shows-6-American-adults-hooked-pills.html.

3.Winkel, Bethany. “Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse—Treatment Solutions.” Treatment Solutions. N.p., 11 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 July 2014. treatmentsolutions.com/avoiding-prescription-drug-abuse/.

4.Sack, David. “FDA Prescription Drug Abuse Plan Hits—and Misses—the Mark—Addiction Recovery.” Addiction Recovery with David Sack, M.D. Psych Central.com, 7 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2014/07/fda-prescription-drug-abuse-plan-hits-and-misses-the-mark/.

5.“Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.” Narconon International, n.d. Web. 22 July 2014. narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-pain-relievers.html.

$3 million center for treating veterans with PTSD and addiction opens in Upstate New York

Saranac Lake, NY (PRWEB) March 23, 2015

After over a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 300,000 veterans have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is often accompanied by depression and substance abuse. To begin to address this national imperative, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers has constructed the Col. C. David Merkel, MD Veterans Residence for the treatment of addiction and PTSD, one of just three such facilities in New York State.

St. Joseph’s established its 10,000-square-foot facility on their deeply forested 26-acre campus in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains with funding from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, (OASAS), and support from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

The $ 3 million facility has the capacity to treat 25 male veterans who will be in treatment for up to a year. OASAS also provides the larger portion of the facility’s $ 1 million annual operating budget.

“Even those we look to as our symbols of strength, our veterans, are not immune to this disease (addiction),” OASAS Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Byrne stated in his dedication address. “The Merkel Residence is breaking new ground in treating PTSD and addiction simultaneously while being aware of the triggers and vulnerabilities of military trauma survivors.”

St. Joseph’s veterans’ services include trauma-informed therapeutic approaches, recreation and sober socialization skills, physical health restoration and somatic therapies, reintegration with family and community, educational and vocational assistance training, and family therapy and support. There is also a strong emphasis on assisting in the renewal of the family unit.

The formal dedication of the facility occurred near the time of the program’s first graduate. John C. is now pursuing studies in political science at the State University of New York, Oswego and relates, “Before coming here, I completed a 28 day program elsewhere, but it just didn’t take. St. Joe’s program had all the components, not just the addiction part, but handling the PTSD, parenting, getting my VA benefits in order, spirituality, all of it. My life was like a puzzle with the pieces spread all over the floor. This program helped me to put it back together.”

Veterans from all states and with all categories of discharges are considered for acceptance.

The coming together as a cadre, forming a familiar culture, has been demonstrated to be of significant importance to veteran healing. As Bob Ross, St. Joseph’s President and CEO notes, “One of the outcomes we are particularly pleased with is, that in addition to meaningful positive behavioral change, the men have joined to support each other as a unit similar to when they were in service to their country.”

Ross also shares that, “All St. Joseph’s staff, from clinicians, to administrators, to support personnel, have received training in trauma-informed awareness.” At its core, a trauma-informed approach can be defined as how an agency thinks about and responds to those who have experienced, or may be at risk for experiencing trauma.

In addition to the veterans supporting each other, businesses in the surrounding communities of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid have generously donated new equipment and furnishings, including local vets providing the labor to install air conditioning throughout the facility.

Numerous dignitaries attended the facility’s opening, including Congressman Bill Owens, Representative for New York’s 21st Congressional District, and State Senator Betty Little (45th Senate District).

In her remarks, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, of New York’s 115th Assembly District, noted, “In the last five or six weeks I have received more phone calls from veterans and or their families than I have received in the last few years and I don’t know why, but I do know that I was able to say to them, ‘Hang on. Help is on the way,” referring to St. Joseph’s new program.

“The majority of our Residents served during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and the two Gulf Wars,” says Veterans Program Director, Zach Randolph, an Army veteran with an 11-year career of both active duty and Reserve components. “But we also have a small number of men who fought in Vietnam, a time when PTSD and related mental health disorders were less recognized.”

For over four decades, St. Joseph’s has served as a leader in addiction treatment with a highly favorable, supported by outcome studies, rate of sustained sobriety.

Among the agency’s keys to success include its emphasis on spirituality as a major component of recovery, and the core belief in the inherent dignity and worth of each individual.

St. Joseph’s established the first Family Program in the State, and most recently has invested a significant level of resources to treat young people seeking to recover from heroin and opioid addiction.

The agency was also one of the first health care organizations in New York to create an internal curriculum to help employees explore their potential and to prepare as future leaders for internal succession. St. Joseph’s program, the Leadership Academy, runs for 12 months, with an average of ten staff in each class.

St. Joseph’s received designation as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2015.

The Agency is located in Saranac Lake, NY, a village long associated with healing, having been the center for worldwide tuberculosis research and care from 1873 until the end of WWII. In addition, Lake Placid, the site of both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, is located within ten miles of St. Joseph’s main campus.

For additional information regarding St. Joseph’s new veterans’ addiction and PTSD treatment program, contact Jim Grant at (518) 891-3950 ext. 248, or visit http://www.stjoestreatment.org.

About St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers

Founded in 1971, St. Joseph’s, based in Saranac Lake, NY, is a leader in the addiction treatment field having provided substance abuse treatment for over 12,000 men, women, and their families. St. Joseph’s comprehensive continuum of care includes Inpatient, Outpatient, and Aftercare facilities, and the 4,000 members of the Fellowship – St. Joseph’s alumni/ae organization. St. Joseph’s received designation as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2015.

Contact Information

Jim Grant, Communications Director

St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers



(518) 891-3950 ext. 248