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Suboxone Treatment | The Future of Addiction

What to expect in this episode:

  1. The immediate future of addiction is going to be dealing with the fallout of our current harm-reduction approach to the opiate crisis
  2. Suboxone or Subutex is currently subscribed widely to save lives but we don’t know what years of use will do
  3. It is widely known that suboxone is much harder to detox from than heroin, so what happens when all these people need or want to stop taking it?

 

The Immediate Future of Addiction | Suboxone and the Opiate Crisis

 

The most immediate thing I see on the horizon in terms of the near future of addiction is consequences of what we’re doing now with addiction.

 

The most immediate thing I see on the horizon in terms of the near future of addiction is consequences of what we're doing now with addiction. Click To Tweet

 

So, we have a gigantic opiate crisis in the United States, unprecedented really. One of the things that we’ve done to save people’s lives, understandably, is we’ve approached it from a governmental level and an Institutional level, and our approach has been harm reduction.

 

Which means finding medications that reduce the amount of harm caused by heroin and oxy and these drugs and so the consequence of that is we are going to have a generation of young people or some percentage of this next generation that is on some sort of opiate blocker or opiate substitute the most common is called Suboxone most common is called a Suboxone or Subutex and the first crisis we’re going to deal with in terms of the future of addiction as we’re going to have hundreds of thousands or even millions of people who have been on Suboxone or Subutex for 3, 4, 5,10 years and we don’t really understand on that scale the effects of those drugs long-term on the individual.

 

We don’t know how that affects people’s development over the long-term you know, what happens when you put it on 18-year-old on Suboxone how does it affect the development when they are 24. Maybe it’s hardly at all, maybe it’s a really big deal, we don’t really know. But my guess is it’s something we’re going to have to deal with.

 

As people start to have mental health problems years out of their development may be in relation to the Suboxone the questions going to be how do we get these people off of this drug? And, what I found in my own experience in treatment, is it’s actually harder to come off of suboxone than it is to come off of heroin – it’s actually well known. If you’ve been on Suboxone for a long time, you know, two, three, four, five years the detox is horrendous and often the depression is really heavy and lasts months if not years and so…

 

The immediate future of addiction looks like what are we going to do with this group of people who will put a bandaid on their situation that we had to do so they wouldn't die but they didn't completely heal Click To Tweet

 

The immediate future of addiction looks like what are we going to do with this group of people who will put a bandaid on their situation that we had to do so they wouldn’t die but they didn’t completely heal and they’re on this medication, maybe for life or maybe they want to get off and what do we do so that’s a new media crisis that we will be in the headlines in a couple of years.

 

 

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The Future of Addiction

What to expect in this episode:

 

  1. The drug and alcohol treatment industry tends to be very reactive
  2. How addiction works in relation to social phenomenon and social systems; increased anxiety and depression
  3. Prediction: Vaping, vaporizers & increasingly complex designer drugs.

 

The Future of Addiction

 

The question of what drug addiction looks like in the future is massively important. What I am experiencing working in drug and alcohol treatment is that we are very reactive. We’re in the midst of an opiate epidemic, methamphetamine use is also on the rise, and we’re so busy dealing with that we’re not looking at what’s coming down the pipeline, which I think is an important conversation to have.

 

I see addiction working in relation to social phenomenon and social systems, things that are happening in the world around us. I think the biggest thing that’s happening in the world around us, the biggest event of our time, is the rise of technology and the complexity of human urban life; and we don’t know how to deal with it. So we know how to engineer complex systems but we don’t know how to deal with our feelings. We’re not necessarily training our children to make their bed and do the laundry, even though they can be top scorer on Fortnite or whatever.

 

And so what I see is (this is already happening) I see massive growth in anxiety and depression which are internal disorders that come from coping with the difficulties of life. And so when I think about what’s happening in the future of addiction, I think of what’s happening in the future of mental health. My prediction is that there’s going to be more and more complex designer drugs.

 

Designer drugs are drugs where the molecular structure is modified usually from an existing drug for a specific application like Pharmaceuticals are designer drugs and what I see is a massive growth in designer drugs and their distribution online and so if you go online right now and you look up how many different kinds of drugs there are that list is growing more rapidly or drugs are coming out in the recipes are available and I think they’re going to be used for people to self medicate to treat feeling that they don’t know how to deal with a don’t know how to live into.

 

The other thing that’s happening is the way that drugs are being ingested is changing. There’s been maybe seven different routes of ingesting drugs for the last hundred years and when the vaporizer came on the scene I took notice. It was a new way to ingest a substance rapidly right that you can inhale and it’s also concealed you can flavor it however you want so the odor changes. We know that with marijuana THC and nicotine that you could… we have high schoolers that are running around vaping weed and nobody knows, nobody smells it so you can completely conceal it.

 

Now you can also Vape methamphetamine, you can also Vape dimethyltryptamine, in fact you can be anything that’s water soluble. So you can imagine the mix that you can see on the horizon as clever human beings all of these designer drugs all of these mental health problems and having a way to ingest them that’s hidden difficult for police officers and authorities to detect, parents, Etc.

 

So, I see a lot of complexity on the horizon and I see nobody talking about it. Interestingly I am not anti-drug. I think human beings have had relationships with two substances for all of history and it’s not a bad thing. The question is how we collectively deal with our relationship to drugs and alcohol, which is a really deep question.

 

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My Favorite Questions

What to expect in this episode:

 

  1. If you’re in a real situation that is making your life difficult I would say go inside of yourself and say, where are you stuck?
  2.  If there’s a favorite question, it’s those that the answers have a real impact on somebody’s life
  3. I’m trying to get off heroin, what do you think about Suboxone Maintenance? That’s a common question, but important question…

 

My Favorite Questions

If you’re in a real situation in real time in real life that is making your life difficult, whether that’s an act of addiction or you’re stuck in your sobriety or it’s somebody that you love and you’re stuck, I would say go inside of yourself and say, where are you stuck, what is it you don’t get, what is it you need at this moment, how would you frame that as a question?

 

So, if there’s a question, my favorite questions, are the questions that the answers have a real impact on somebody’s life.

 

It could be something technical, so it could be – I’m trying to get off heroin, what do you think about Suboxone Maintenance? Right. That’s a common question, but that’s an important question, right because that question is going to impact your life potentially for the next six months to the next year.

 

You know, so it could be a technical question around something like that or it could be a question about I keep letting my kid come back home and they keep relapsing. It’s been five times in two years, what should I do? Well, that’s a really deep question. Right. It’s easy to say, just lock them out and let them hit bottom.

 

It’s easy to say, just keep them and love them, you know what I mean? It’s hard to say you’re in a really difficult situation where any choice you make isn’t good – something bad could happen and that’s the first thing you have to acknowledge, that holding your kid in your house while they’re getting high, does not keep them safe and kicking them out doesn’t keep them safe.

 

So, my answer, for instance, to a question like that would be to tell your child that all you can support is their recovery right now and if they’re not being willing to engage in recovery than you can’t support them, because the only part of them you can support right now is recovery and that’s a hard thing to do, but at least it puts the ball in their court.

 

Where you’re saying “I’m not kicking you out, I’ll help you get somewhere, but I’m not just going to keep you here in your addiction either.”

 

And sometimes a little phrase, I know I had to say that.

 

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