If you know someone living with substance use disorder, the best thing you can do is love them unconditionally—and contact an interventionist. Scott Silverman is an interventionist and crisis coach, and he knows what it’s like to fall victim to addiction. After establishing his own recovery journey, the first thing he did was begin helping others start theirs.

His first mission was Second Chance, designed to help the homeless and the jobless get back on their feet. Next, he founded Confidential Recovery, an outpatient treatment center. He even found the time to write a few books, one detailing his story and the other designed to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic.

He encourages anyone suffering to reach out to him personally because he understands addiction, knows how to connect people with the right resources, and is constantly working to end the stigma surrounding addiction. We’ve talked about what loved ones can do to help end stigma, but even some interventionists still have a lot to learn.

These are a few things today’s interventionists need to remember to help today’s addicts:

1.   Many are functioning.

Just because someone has a job does not mean that they are okay. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 20% of alcoholics are high-functioning, according to a 2007 study.

2.   They are scared to tell the truth.

Scott has been very open about his recovery journey, and in a 2011 TEDx talk he recounted how he was so afraid to explain a 4-day blackout to colleagues that he nearly chose suicide. Healthline offers advice on communicating with addicts using respect, compassion, and patience.

3.   Addiction is a disease.

Addiction is not a moral failing. Recognize that addicts are typically impulsive and likely to relapse or move on to a different substance if they do not receive continued support. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, “Patients typically require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives.”

4.   Don’t assume someone with SUD wouldn’t appreciate a new opportunity.

Scott started Second Chance because the soup kitchen where he volunteered had so many repeat visitors. When Scott asked the other volunteers why the regulars didn’t have jobs, they responded, “They don’t want one.” However, when he asked a regular why he didn’t have a job, he said, “No one will give me one.”

The man wanted one. He just needed guidance. Scott provided it, and with this first person’s success, he saw an opportunity to scale, to become a “social entrepreneur.” Second Chance, and Scott’s life’s work, was born.

It never helps an interventionist to assume that they know a person who is struggling better than they know themselves. Take the time to communicate, to listen, and both of you will be better for it.

We talk a lot about substance use disorder and how to avoid relapse. We discuss the dangers of willingly using one drug, only to discover it’s laced with another. But what about when you don’t intend to ingest a drug at all?

The term “roofies” is derived from the drug Rohypnol, but date rape drugs include GHB, Ketamine, and even alcohol. We think of this most often as being a problem that affects women, but it’s important to note that, while approximately twice as many women as men have reported drugging, it’s a problem that affects all sexes.

When we hear about someone getting roofied, the setting is usually a bar or college party, but it can happen in any public environment around people you don’t know—and sometimes around people you do. It might make going out seem scary, but if you follow the advice below, you can still go out, have a good time, and stay safe.

5 Tips to Avoid Being Roofied:

1.   Pour or buy your own drinks.

If you’re at a party or any place with self-serve beverages, make sure you are the one pouring your drinks—even if it’s soda! Don’t trust the dashing stranger who offers to save you the time and effort of getting your drink. If you’re at a bar or restaurant, the same rules apply. Don’t let a stranger buy your drink, and when you buy one, monitor the bartender while they pour it.

2.   Take your drink everywhere—and we mean everywhere.

Is it gross to take your drink into the bathroom with you? Will people give you funny looks? It doesn’t matter; do it. One University of Montana student went to use the restroom, thinking her friends would watch her drink, but they had moved to the bar when she returned. She went back to the table to get her drink and passed out cold after just a few sips.

3.   Drink with friends.

While drinking with people you trust may not prevent you from getting roofied, strength in numbers can keep the situation from escalating. If you’re with a group of friends, chances are they’ll get you home before someone else can.

4.   Cover your drink.

While talking to someone at the bar or your table, keep a hand over your cup. If you’re standing and chatting, hold the cup from the top. Use a drink cover. Whatever method you choose, keep it covered at all times!

5.   Know the signs of being roofied.

Confusion, memory loss, and feeling more drunk than you should are common signs of ingesting a date rape drug. You may lose consciousness, have difficulty speaking or walking, and experience nausea, vomiting, and a hangover that lasts longer than normal. In more serious cases, this class of drug can cause seizures and trouble breathing.

Being roofied can happen to anyone, and because many cases go unreported, it’s hard to say exactly how often it occurs. But if you stay diligent, stay informed, and go out with a trusted friend or two, you’ll be able to have a good time without having to worry about this type of traumatizing experience.

"Marijuana isn’t addictive."

It’s a lie we’re told over and over again, but the truth is humans can get addicted to anything that makes them feel good. It’s why we have videogame, food, sex, and gambling addictions. Although some experts are hesitant to classify these as “addictions,” everyone seems to agree that people can form “all-consuming passions” for them, and many use them to cope with anxiety and depression.

Sound familiar?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a few thoughts on marijuana addiction. According to the institute, approximately 30% of those who use it will develop “marijuana use disorder.” This means they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms without it. They don’t classify it as an addiction until it affects the person’s daily life.

However, we all know that a functioning addict is still an addict. And as with any addiction, marijuana not only affects a person’s physical health; it also affects their mental health.

Here are four things to know about marijuana and mental health:

1.   It can induce schizophrenia and psychosis.

For those predisposed to mental health conditions, marijuana can act as a catalyst. Symptoms of cannabis-induced psychosis include obsession, depression, paranoia, and hallucinations.

2.   It can increase anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

In June 2021, The National Institutes of Health surveyed 280,000 people between the ages of 18 and 35. The results showed that even those who used the drug rarely had a higher rate of suicidal thoughts than those who did not use the drug at all.

3.   It can cause confusion and anxiety.

Most people smoke marijuana to relax. Sometimes, they feel so relaxed that they have a slower reaction time and feel confused. It may not bother them in the moment, but it’s not great for overall brain function.

Also, once that relaxation phase is over and the high wears off, marijuana users can actually experience increased anxiety. The solution? Smoke more marijuana. You can see how a person might form a dependence.

4.   While marijuana may not be a gateway drug, it is a gateway to relapse.

If someone is in recovery, they may try experimenting with the idea of “California sober” or “sober lite.” However, most recovery programs discount this approach because studies show addicts who continue experimenting with marijuana and alcohol are likely to relapse and turn to hard drugs again.

It’s worth mentioning that marijuana use can result in a user inadvertently taking a substance they don’t mean to. Illicit marijuana could be laced with LSD, coke, and heroin. Even “legal” marijuana may have more THC than you bargained for. The NIDA points out that marijuana tested in the 1990s typically had a THC level of less than 4%, while that number jumped to 15% in 2018.

Marijuana may be less lethal than other drugs, but it is still a drug, and its use has consequences—especially when considering the user’s mental health.

As the FOX23 website says, "Fox 23 talks to expert about substance abuse among teens."

Scott discussed the insidious nature of fentanyl's potency and how 80% of illegal drugs that are seized contain fentanyl.  He also discusses how frequently kids may go to parties and unwittingly take something that can end their lives.

He has this advice for parents, "Parents really need to be listening right now in a way they have not previously."

Scott's book, The Opioid Epidemic is also discussed.

Watch the entire segment here.

 

In a segment entitled, "How To Talk To Friends, Family And Children About Substance Abuse," Channel 8 news in Tampa Florida hosted Scott H. Silverman recently to discuss this sensitive topic.

Scott H Silverman, substance abuse expert and author of “The Opioid Epidemic,”  joins Gayle Guyardo, the host of the show Bloom, with tips for talking to your friend, family and children about alcohol and drugs.

Scott's book, The Opioid Epidemic is also discussed.

Watch the entire segment here.

Thanks to the widespread availability of fentanyl, the overdose rate more than doubled in 2020, and went up 20% again in the first half of 2021.

Scott H. Silverman appeared on KUSI to discuss this disturbing phenomenon. Watch the entire segment here: Fentanyl on KUSI.

jcaho san diego rehab smallerSan Diego, CA, April 12th, 2022 - Confidential Recovery, a recognized leader in the field of drug and alcohol treatment, announced today that its San Diego based treatment center has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its nationally recognized performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

“This is a major achievement for our facility because this is the nation’s highest accreditation and certification from the Joint Commission,” says Jay Wylie, Operations Manager of of Confidential Recovery. “It’s a symbol of quality that is a reflection of our commitment to providing safe and effective care.”

Confidential Recovery, founded in 2014 by Scott H. Silverman, underwent a rigorous onsite survey at its San Diego location.  During the review, compliance with behavioral health care standards were assessed, including:

Onsite observations and interviews also were conducted at the San Diego location.

"This level of accreditation is well above what is required for an outpatient level of treatment, but we pursued it as we are striving to be the premiere outpatient treatment program in the San Diego area, and a key partner in an integrated network of continuing care,"  says Jay Wylie, “We are proud to be recognized as one of the world’s premier addiction treatment facilities.”

Established in 1969, The Joint Commission’s Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program’s stamp-of-approval is provided to roughly only 19.2 percent of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs for a three-year period. Accredited organizations provide treatment and services within a variety of settings across the care continuum for individuals who have mental health, addiction, eating disorder, intellectual/developmental disability, and/or child-welfare related needs.

The Joint Commission’s behavioral health care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, quality improvement measurement experts, and individuals and their families. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

Read more on our site about our JCAHO Accredited San Diego rehab.

About Confidential Recovery:

Scott H. Silverman is also the author of The Opioid Epidemic and frequently makes appearances on television discussing the addiction trends that are impacting our lives. He created Confidential Recovery in 2014 to specialize in helping executives, veterans, and first responders recover from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The private and highly clinical outpatient treatment program for substance use disorders is located at 7071 Consolidated Way, San Diego, CA 92121, and can be reached at (619) 452–1200. Find out more at: https://www.confidentialrecovery.com/.

 

Many people don’t realize how bad the opioid crisis is until it affects them personally. Sadly, this was the case with Ken and Lisa Daniels, founders of the Jamie Daniels Foundation. Their son, Jamie, died of a synthetic opioid overdose in December 2016.

It started with Adderall.

Ken and Lisa believe an ADD misdiagnosis and Adderall prescription catalyzed Jamie’s drug addiction. Therapists continuously prescribed the medication, and during college, he began abusing prescription medication. They were shocked at how easy it was to obtain opioids on campus. Even after admitting his problem and seeking help, doctors still prescribed Adderall and sleeping pills. An in-patient treatment facility also failed to provide a long-term treatment plan. Unsurprisingly, he relapsed.

He entered recovery again, but after moving to a sober living home, he obtained and ingested heroin laced with fentanyl. The house manager did not administer Naloxone, and he died.

It’s frustrating to see how many times the recovery system failed Jamie, and unfortunately, the cause was more than just a series of unfortunate events. During their research, Ken and Lisa discovered the darker side of recovery. Jamie was a victim of something known as “patient brokering,” which, at its core, is insurance fraud.

Ken and Lisa created a silver lining: The Jamie Daniels Foundation.

In 2018, Jamie’s parents started the foundation to help battle stigma and provide vetted resources to those battling drug addiction. Their mission aligns with that of crisis coach Scott H. Silverman, and he had the privilege of speaking with them on his podcast last September.  

The Daniels believe it’s essential that families like theirs speak up to make it clear that the opioid epidemic can affect every family—even “normal” ones. After all, Jamie’s story isn’t one of a teen who got in with the wrong crowd; it’s the story of a teen who struggled with depression and anxiety and trusted medical professionals to have his best interest at heart.

Ken and Lisa decided to dedicate their lives to ensuring that what happened to their son doesn’t happen to anyone else.

These are a few of the ways The Jamie Daniels Foundation is working to help put an end to the opioid epidemic:

Jamie’s story is far from unique. He believed prescription medication wasn’t as harmful as street drugs, which is a common misconception, especially among young people. When a friend offered him a pill, he took it. Within five days, he was addicted. As Ken says during the podcast, “Addicts don’t wake up one day and say, ‘Let’s screw up the rest of my life.’”

Be the help that is out there. Consider making a gift to the Jamie Daniels Foundation. And don’t forget—if you or a loved one are dealing with substance use disorder, you can always call Scott at 619-993-2738.

(c) 2022 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.

There are several types of treatment available to those dealing with substance use disorder. It doesn’t always have to be the inpatient rehab you see on TV and in movies like 28 Days. In fact, a recent article by a local NBC network lists the most common types of drug treatment care in the United States.

Below you’ll find a summary of the different types of drug rehab from which you or a loved one can choose.

●     Inpatient treatment (hospital)

Six hundred fifty-eight facilities in the U.S. offer hospital inpatient treatment to drug addicts. This type of treatment requires you to stay in the hospital, under the care of a medical team, for a set number of days. It’s also the most expensive type of care for those with SUD.

●     Inpatient treatment (non-hospital)

Two thousand nine hundred seventy-two facilities offer long-term residential care, which means agreeing to 24/7 care for what could be several months. The longer you stay in a residential facility, the greater your chances of making a full recovery. However, it’s simply not possible for some people.

Short-term residential care offers the same services for a shorter period.

●     Detox care

Detox care can be performed in a few ways, including hospital, non-hospital, and outpatient. Hospital-assisted detox is offered at 784 facilities in the country. Again, it’s one of the more expensive routes to take, as detox overseen by hospital staff can cost up to $650 per day.

Detox in a non-hospital setting is often more realistic for those who don’t need intensive detox assistance. Non-hospital detox may occur in a separate facility or at home, but it’s still structured and overseen by medical professionals.

Outpatient detox care is the most common form of detox due to its flexibility and affordability.

●     Day treatment

More than 2,000 facilities offer day treatment programs for SUD. This type of treatment is structured and takes place in a hospital setting, but it doesn’t require 24/7 care.

●     Medication-assisted recovery

Methadone treatment is common for those recovering from opioid addiction. It helps with cravings as well as the shock to the system that can come with suddenly depriving your body of such a powerful substance. It is one of the most popular treatment options.

●     Outpatient care

Outpatient care remains the most popular type of rehab among those dealing with SUD. It is also the most readily available, with more than 7,000 facilities offering this therapy method across the country. Intensive outpatient care comes with more supervision, while basic outpatient care consists of counseling, meetings, and mindfulness practices.

Keep Your Recovery Confidential

Scott Silverman founded Confidential Recovery to help addicts and their loved ones navigate the road to recovery. Since each journey is unique, the facility provides several different kinds of outpatient care, including counseling, telecare, specialized care for veterans, group meetings, mindfulness practice, and more. If you feel inpatient care is the right choice for you, our trained counselors can help you find a resource that suits your needs.

As the name implies, all conversations and treatments take place in a nondescript building and are completely confidential.

Call Confidential Recovery at (619) 452–1200 or reach out to Scott personally by calling 619-993-2738.

(c) 2022 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice per year, and it is vitally important that anyone with old drugs uses this as an opportunity to dispose of old medication properly. As we discussed in our October Take Back Day blog, most misused prescription drugs can be traced back to friends and families.

The terrifying thing is that most of these friends and family members had no idea they were providing the substance. Think about it: If your leftover Vicodin from ten years ago suddenly goes missing from your medicine cabinet, will you realize it? For most people, the answer is no.

Teens are especially susceptible to prescription drug abuse.

SAMHSA reports that 5,700 teens and young people used prescription pain killers for the first time in 2014 without having a prescription for the substance. Some may believe that prescription drugs aren’t as harmful as illegal drugs because they are regulated. However, every drug comes with the risk of short-term and long-term side effects, and these risks increase astronomically when the substance is misused.

Stimulants can affect the brain in a way that’s similar to cocaine. Opioids react similarly to heroin, and depressants can create issues similar to alcohol. Dependence is always a risk, and when prescription drugs run out, users often turn to their street drug counterparts as an alternative.

SAMHSA’s advice to help prevent prescription drug abuse includes education, prescription drug monitoring, and proper medication storage and disposal.

Kids, teens, and even parents can benefit from education on the dangers of prescription drug use on developing brains. Prescription drug monitoring holds doctors and pharmacists accountable for overprescribing drugs and identifying cases of overprescribed drugs. Proper medication storage and disposal means keeping your drugs locked safely away and taking advantage of initiatives like National Take Back Day.

National Take Back Day focuses on prevention.

Twice per year, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration works with organizations nationwide to collect old prescription medications, no questions asked. To date, this initiative has succeeded in getting over 15.2 million pounds of prescription meds out of people’s homes.

In San Diego, you can find a drive-thru location and take any old medication, even vaping equipment (as long as the batteries are removed). Last October, there were 19 locations available in the county, and while we’re waiting for confirmation of sites this year, we know the event will run from 10 am-2 pm.

You cannot dispose of syringes or illegal drugs during this event.

National Take Back Day isn’t just about taking back prescription drugs.

It’s about taking back control of our nation’s health. One quick trip to a Take Back Day location near you could save a loved one from becoming another victim of the opioid epidemic.

To learn more about the opioid epidemic, read Scott H. Silverman’s latest book on the subject.

To find a Take Back Day location near you, visit the DEA website.

And remember: if you missed participating in the official Take Back Day, there are collection stations open year-round.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Contact your crisis coach, Scott Silverman, by dialing 619-993-2738.

(c) 2022 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.

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