NARCAN: What is it?

Globally, there is an estimated minimum of 190,000 – in most cases avoidable – premature deaths from drugs, the majority due to the use of opioids.

We often focus on the problem so let’s turn that around and look at a solution.  There is one intervention that has been saving lives when it comes to opioid addiction – Narcan.  This device has been saving people from dying from overdoses at a phenomenal rate.   

 

ABOUT NARCAN

This drug is referred to as an antagonist and what it does is reverse the effect of opiates on the brain. It takes someone who has flat lined really “dead” and brings them back to life!

CAN IT ENABLE USERS?

Studies report that Narcan does not encourage use and has actually been shown to decrease use.  This keeps people alive long enough to seek treatment for recovery.  If they died that wouldn’t happen. Data showed last year in the Central Florida and Tampa area, law enforcement alone saved at least 90 lives with it.  

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The way that it’s used is with the person lying down on the floor you place the device in one nostril and push it until the medicine sprays in.  (Similar to any simple nasal spray.)  If the person isn’t conscious after 1-3 minutes then you give another injection.  Each pack comes with two doses.  In the meantime, of course someone must call 911.  

When the person awakens from an overdose generally they’re not happy to be here but they need to be rushed to the hospital.  The medicine only works for a short […]

Halloween: Trick or Drink OR Trick or Treat?

Halloween: Trick or Drink… I mean treat!

If we search Halloween party ideas what do we find?  

  • “Drunk Party Ideas”
  • “Best Halloween Cocktails”
  • “Halloween Games with Rules to Get You Wasted”…

Here are some facts that don’t pop up:

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year over 43 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involved drunk driving on Halloween night.  
  • In 2013, 26 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver, according to NHTSA.
  • Halloween ranks as the third-deadliest day of the year for pedestrians, according to the NHTSA data, which examined 25 years of data to determine the most dangerous days.
  • Halloween is also in third place of the most dangerous day on the road for drivers (Christmas and New Years are first and second).

Several reasons explain why these tragedies may be occurring.   A law enforcement officer described in a recent interview how more pedestrians and impaired drivers are on the road.  Sadly, because of this there are more accidents and fatalities.  Children are amped up on sugar, parents may be under the influence not completely aware of what’s going on, and others drink and drive their children to different events.  

Instead of making risky decisions that place ourselves and others in jeopardy, there are many ways to take precautions that won’t end with serious consequences.

If we choose to drink during this […]

“What Causes Addiction?” | Orlando Addiction Therapy

Orlando Addiction Therapy | “What Causes Addiction?”

I think we ask ourselves this question because we want answers.  We want to get to the root cause of someone’s drinking. Maybe we are hopeful that if we can figure out why they started in the first place and solve that problem then it won’t be an issue all together.  Or maybe if we figure out why all these people are ….what I hear people say “choosing” to use opioids… (which is a whole different educational piece we will discuss later on), but if we know why all these people are getting addicted to the heroin then we can eradicate the issue.  Right??

This thing is that… this illness.. is not that simple.  In fact, it is very complex as to why someone might use excessively resulting in destroying their lives and those around them.

Orlando Addiction TherapyWhile I can’t directly answer this question what causes it …. I am going to explain to you things that happen from a young age that are likely to increase someone’s chance of turning to substances. These are behaviors, environments, parenting styles, experiences that people live with from a young age that have been supported by research to increase someone’s chance of becoming addicted. This thing called addiction can happen to ANYONE.  No one is immune and there is so much we can do to prevent it.

Dr. Earley, the president elect of ASAM recently reported that our genes account for 50% of someone’s chance of becoming addicted.  If someone is addicted in the family that means that we need to monitor for this even more.  Now, […]

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober??

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them.

When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped.

Progression of Addiction

The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

  • How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No!  | Orlando Anxiety Counseling How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No!  | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

    How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No! | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No! | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No!

Do you seem to be helping everyone else except yourself? Giving constantly but having nothing in return. Do you find yourself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and resentful? You ask yourself, “How did I end up here?” Everyone else labels you as the nice guy. You are the one who is always available and willing to help. Yet you find yourself never having your own time or needs met. But, you feel too guilty to say no.

This behavior on the outside seems so giving and beautiful, but it can easily be poisonous and deadly. Life is all about balance. If you continuously give with no return and no recharge, you eventually become drained and empty. You do not get the opportunity to value yourself. Here are 5 negative drawbacks of being a constant giver:

  • Taken advantage of by other people

  • Growing stressed and feeling overwhelmed

  • Bitterness and anger builds up

  • Becoming more absent with your friends and family

  • Life becomes dictated by other people’s needs

These consequences not only affect you personally but those closest to you. Your partner, children, friends are constantly being rescheduled or overlooked due to your duties or commitments. Loving others does not always mean giving everyone your complete time and energy. Loving yourself and valuing your needs will lead you feeling more refreshed, confident, and happier. In fact, loving yourself gives you the power to better help others. Here are a few tips to help you set healthy boundaries so you can feel more refreshed

  1. Self-care:

    Give yourself time once a week to fully engage in what you like, not what […]

Developing Compassion after Trauma, & Heartbreak | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Developing Compassion after Trauma & Heartbreak

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Individuals who have experienced tragic or traumatic events in their life often struggle with self-hatred or intense shame.  These core feelings prevent self-love and compassion, ultimately postponing healthy, desirable relationships.  Furthermore, if someone has experienced trauma and lacks healthy coping skills, they are more likely to use alcohol or other substances to self-medicate.

Over 80% of individuals with alcohol or other drug problems have experienced trauma or abuse in their past. Part of gaining long term recovery often means working through the effects of trauma or abuse.  This is a process effectively mastered in the counseling setting.  Bringing up any trauma or abuse can be re-traumatizing (if not done correctly); therefore, it is vital to do this with a professional. This is especially true for individuals trying to stay clean and sober, as it can be a major trigger for relapse.

One major component in healing from past trauma is learning how to develop compassion.  Most importantly compassion and love for yourself.  Once we learn how to love ourselves, and accept ourselves entirely, then we are capable of truly caring for others. We can’t fill anyone else’s cup if ours is empty.

Compassion is absolutely necessary in successful relationships.  Let’s say our partner has said something hurtful but genuinely apologized, and we just cannot find it in ourselves to forgive this behavior.  The hardest time to have compassion for another is usually when they have done something unkind.  Hurt people, hurt people; but when someone has hurt us it is helpful to remember they are not […]

New Beginnings in Sobriety | Orlando Addictions Therapy

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

The first step of getting sober is to admit that one has a problem.  Once someone develops the self-awareness of a drinking problem then they are on their way to a new way of life.  Many times, people struggle with the difference between what is alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse disorder, or chemical dependency.  They might wonder to themselves, am I really an alcoholic?  Misconceptions are portrayed frequently in the media and pre-conceived notions from others.   Often times someone might compare their drinking to someone who drinks every day or experiences withdrawals and say, “At least I’m not that bad.”  The curious drinker may wonder– am I really an alcoholic?

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

Here are some the red flags of a drinking problem:

  • Having consequences directly because of the drinking. (i.e. Repeatedly miss work, family engagements, or school, but continuing to drink).
  • Spending most of the week preparing for partying, drinking, or recovering from the affects.
  • Putting one’s life in dangerous or risky situations when drinking. (i.e. drinking and driving, getting injured)
  • Continuing to drink despite loss of memory aka blackouts

Not everyone who has a problem experiences everything listed above.  The primary concern to notice is drinking despite continued consequences.

Here are some steps to help achieve sobriety:

  • Hang out with other people that don’t drink
  • Call someone when you really want to drink
  • Attend 12 step meetings and do the work
  • Stay busy.. especially on the weekends

If you are ready, you do not have to drink again. You can choose to join the 23 million Americans are in recovery and stay sober, […]

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Over 10 million people have a mental health disorder and substance use disorder combined (2005).  Recognizing the link between addiction and co-occurring disorders is important for many reasons but when we acknowledge this link as a professional – whether it be a counselor, nurse, doctor, attorney etc. – it allows us to develop a cohesive system of care for this person.  It is not uncommon to have a mental health disorder in conjunction with addiction.  Symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD and more are seen often with substance abuse.  However, when we are talking about co-occurring disorders we are not just referring to mental health symptoms – we are also finding solutions for people who might be homeless, HIV positive, or those with a history of criminal charges.  When we think of the term co-occurring disorders we can think about treating the whole person and connecting them with multiple resources in the community.  This all enables the person to further achieve sobriety.

Why can’t we just help the person get sober?  Doesn’t that solve the issue in itself?  That is the FIRST major step.   Treatment programs that solely focus on the addiction aspect are missing a vital contributor to the person’s addiction.  For instance, let’s say a person struggles with depression from a very young age.  Then as an older adult they discover alcohol; it fills the void but gets out of control and eventually becomes a problem overtime.  Once, they stop drinking the deep empty feelings of depression return and intensify without something to numb it.  They are not sure how to cope with these uncomfortable feelings and they […]