Opioid vending machine opens in Vancouver

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
I read the article. Excellent policy, mature and humane.
I disagree. It is more like switching one addiction of an opioid for another. If this man is addicted to Fentanyl and is switching to Dilaudid, he is still addicted to an opioid. Maybe a less powerful opioid, but an opioid nonetheless.

Later in the article, another doctor stated that if a Heroin addict came to him for relief, he wouldn’t give him more Heroin, he would give him Methadone. Great thinking, switching your patient from one narcotic to another. Where do you draw the line?

If a doctor, an actual Addictionologist, treats an addict that’s addicted to an opioid, he will more than likely send him to a 28-day rehab and put him on Suboxone. Suboxone contains two drugs; Naloxone and Buprenorphine. The Naloxone is the same medicine that is in Narcon. They are both one in the same. Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid that is much easier to escape from by using a system of weaning off the drug. This is done by first by decreasing the amount of the drug, (it comes in different strengths), and then decreasing the dosage of the drug.

Most Addictionologists use the sublingual film that goes under the tongue to be dissolved. It takes affect anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on the patient’s size.

The program works very well for addicts that really want to quit using, but they really must be committed to quitting.
 
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Pepper

Senior Member
@oldman
I disagree. You wrote: "The program works very well for addicts that really want to quit using, but they really must be committed to quitting."
What about the rest of them? I subscribe to having a drug maintenance policy, used successfully in various countries, including one I lived in, Switzerland.
 

CarolfromTX

Member
Location
Central Texas
Wouldn't it be better to help the addict rather than enabling him/her? Lots of unanswered questions here. How many times can they use the machine? Is there a limit? Can people get as much as they want and sell the rest? How is this monitored? I just don't think this is a good solution to addiction. Articles like this always pick a person who is an otherwise model citizen as the poster child. The possibility for abuse is enormous, if you ask me.
 

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
@oldman
I disagree. You wrote: "The program works very well for addicts that really want to quit using, but they really must be committed to quitting."
What about the rest of them? I subscribe to having a drug maintenance policy, used successfully in various countries, including one I lived in, Switzerland.
Wouldn't it be better to help the addict rather than enabling him/her? Lots of unanswered questions here. How many times can they use the machine? Is there a limit? Can people get as much as they want and sell the rest? How is this monitored? I just don't think this is a good solution to addiction. Articles like this always pick a person who is an otherwise model citizen as the poster child. The possibility for abuse is enormous, if you ask me.
I think they get up to four doses per day, but they are still being dispensed opiates. How does that cure anything? Simple, it doesn't. It very simply replaces one opiate addiction for another. OK, now they aren't hooked on Heroin or Fentanyl, but they are hooked on Dilaudid. ALL are opiates. What this does it make it easier to get the opiates. The addict is never cured.
 

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
I say it does matter. By keeping the availability going, what’s the incentive to quit? And, just because the addict can get his hands on four doses per day, what prevents that person from still buying more on the street?

As everyone knows, over time, the body becomes tolerant to these opiates. This means that they have to take “more” to get the same desired effect. So, four doses a day is just a sampling of how many pills per day some addicts take until they reach that threshold where death occurs by stopping the addict’s breathing, which in turn stops the heart.

During my course of counseling addicts, I have known some addicts to take as many as 70 pills in a single day. I think I know what the point is that Vancouver is trying to accomplish. They want to give the addict a ‘safe’ pill to take instead of buying an unknown pill on the street. Like giving out needles or condoms, but now, we are going to be supplying drugs. Oh, Brother! Where do we draw the line?

I had one young lady that came to me and confessed to taking 70 pills just the day before. I asked her how much she paid and where the money came from. She told me that she paid just over $500.00 and she got the money by shoplifting and selling the items she sold. I told her that she probably should be dead. She agreed and then she told me that her friend died by taking 50-some pills in a 14-hour period. Believe me, that’s a lot of morphine or synthetic morphine. Nonetheless, all opiates have similar reactions to the brain.

From the beginning, it seemed to me that addicts who were addicted to opiates were all after one thing, getting high. It’s that euphoria that addicts are after. This occurs by the opiate blocking the brain’s pain receptors and allowing the endorphins to release dopamine. Yes, some people, like cancer patients, rely on opiates to control their pain and opiates do that. However, over time as the body becomes tolerant to the patient’s body, the doctor has to step up his game.

As an example; the doctor may start the patient out on a low volume opiate like Vicodin. After the body builds a tolerance to that drug, the doctor will go to a higher volume drug like, Percocet. After that, maybe OxyContin, then Fentanyl and so on. I sympathize with patients that really need these drugs to control their pain and it’s a shame that addicts on opiates have ruined it and made it tougher for them to get their medicine. There was a bill in the Pennsylvania house to allow “confirmed” patients with chronic pain to be able to get their drugs on an as needed basis. Unfortunately, the bill has stalled or maybe died. but I don’t know why. I think it will be resurrected, but when, I can’t say.

I apologize for getting carried away. I just have real issues for any plan to reduce drug use by supplying drugs. And, even though Vancouver’s plan is not to reduce drug use, it still works out that way. If you keep the flow going, it will keep flowing.
 

Ronni

The motormouth ;)
Location
Nashville TN
My son is an addict. In recovery now for almost 6 years, but for the 15 before that, he was heavily addicted, lost everything, became homeless, and after countless tries has remained clean for his longest run ever.

An addict will ALWAYS be an addict. It's simply a question of whether they're in recovery, or actively using.

Dr Mark Ujjainwalla's contribution to the article is a ridiculous, simplistic, pollyanna approach to an multi-faceted, deeply layered and nuanced issue. I would guess that his aim is to make money, to drive people into his recovery center for which I would imagine they pay a hefty fee. Rehab Centers are never cheap.

He says "users of illegal drugs need treatment for their conditions rather than easier access to substances. He argues such schemes are in effect ushering users towards death, rather than treating curable conditions."

“If you were a patient addicted to fentanyl [and you came to me], I would say: ‘OK, I will put you in a treatment centre for one to three months, get you off the fentanyl, get you stable, get your life back together and then you’ll be fine.’ Why would I want to give you free heroin and tell you to go to a trailer and inject?"


An addict is never "cured." What utter bull@#$%.

It's EASY (comparatively) to get clean in a treatment center. Ask any addict. There is no access to drugs, their days are rigidly controlled, they're often given other substances to control their cravings, their lives while inside are completely regimented. The REAL work starts when they leave. "Then you'll be fine????" OMG. The guy has no clue.

An addict will get clean when THEY are ready to get clean, and not a moment before. No matter the treatment center, approach, manner in which they enter recovery, it will ONLY happen when they're dedicated to making it happen, and even then it's an incredibly tough row to hoe. After countless treatment/rehab centers, drug court, jail time, halfway houses, counseling etc., all of which kept him clean for days or weeks, my son relapsed. But you know when he finally and hopefully irrevocably embraced his recovery? When he was homeless, living out of his car, having lost everything in the world he'd ever valued...his home, his belongings, his friends, his family, his kids. If an addict does fully embrace their recovery while in a treatment center, then it was because the addict was READY to, and not because of the specific approach of that center. Rehab centers aren't miracle "cures" for addiction. They're just one more stop on the way, either to recovery or death. Because that's the ultimate outcome for an addict. Recovery or death.

Addicts will find their drugs wherever they can get them. And they're often corrupted substances. I can tell you, after having called the paramedics on my son more than once, having dealt with him having a seizure in my driveway while I administered CPR because his heart stopped and praying to a God I didn't believe in that the paramedics would get there in time...let me tell you that I would SO MUCH PREFER he had access to his DOC that I knew was clean and that was dosed in a manner that wouldn't result in an overdose. So many addicts die, not from overdosing on their actual drug of choice but from all the crap that it's cut with, or additions like fentanyl, that poison them.

Sorry....sorry for getting so vehement. But dammit I've LIVED this, for so many years, lived with the wretchedness that is addiction, attended countless group counseling sessions, educational seminars, NARCAN administration workshops, Naranon meetings, CPR classes and any other class or course or meeting that i hoped would help me help my son, and if I couldn't help him get clean then I could at least help him to not die.

And ultimately came to realize that the only person who could help my son was my son himself. And he did. And there isn't a day that i'm not deeply grateful for that, not a day goes by that I tell myself "today, just for today, my son is clean." And i breathe a sign of relief for another day.
 

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
Ronni——-Obviously, you have been exposed to an addict and experienced the issues connected with being such. Just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic and a scab is always a scab, so is an addict always going to be an addict.

I used to get a chuckle when I watched the TV commercial with the young fellow selling his rehab “Passages Malibu” and he would say, “I once was an addict and now I’m not.” What a joke. People that smoke or used to smoke also probably became addicted because Nicotine is a narcotic and is one the most addictive narcotics here in the U.S.

In reality, what rehabs do is to get the addict clean, educate them and then put them back on the street with maybe giving them a drug to control the cravings, like Suboxone.

I remember back in 2011 when I went through three back surgeries in 33 days. I was sent home with an Rx of Percocet. By taking that narcotic, I can truly understand how someone would become addicted to it. The drug gives the user a whole new outlook on life, not to mention the euphoric feeling that I got.

That’s when I decided to become accredited as a counselor at one of the rehab centers in my area. I wanted to help the addicts by listening to their issues and giving them guidance to find a rehab center. I also helped them to get outside help by suggesting with maybe becoming involved in an IOP program. Those programs are also just a band aid. I did recommend attending NA meetings.

There is no doubt that once a person has become addicted to a narcotic, it’s pure hell getting off and staying off. And that’s why we say, “Take it one day at a time.”
 
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CarolfromTX

Member
Location
Central Texas
I broke my elbow a decade ago, and was prescribed opiates. I took some for a couple days, and they made me sleepy. A friend of mine, who I talked to over the phone, said I sounded like I was on something, which I was, although I'm not sure exactly what she meant. I really didn't feel much different. I quit taking them after a couple days. The pain wasn't that bad, and I needed to drive to work. Makes me feel like I dodged a bullet.

Doctors have been reluctant to give me painkillers over the years, but, dang! Dave's been offered all kinds of stuff, for even minor complaints, which he mostly turned down. I think many doctors have been irresponsible in giving out meds, but I also think people don't want any discomfort at all, and whine until they get something. I'm so grateful I don't have a chronic pain issue. Knock wood.
 

Ronni

The motormouth ;)
Location
Nashville TN
Ronni——-Obviously, you have been exposed to an addict and experienced the issues connected with being such. Just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic and a scab is always a scab, so is an addict always going to be an addict.

I used to get a chuckle when I watched the TV commercial with the young fellow selling his rehab “Passages Malibu” and he would say, “I once was an addict and now I’m not.” What a joke. People that smoke or used to smoke also probably became addicted because Nicotine is a narcotic and is one the most addictive narc

In reality, what rehabs do is to get the addict clean, educate them and then put them back on the street with maybe giving them a drug to control the cravings, like Suboxone.

I remember back in 2011 when I went through three back surgeries in 33 days. I was sent home with an Rx of Percocet. By taking that narcotic, I can truly understand how someone would become addicted to it. The drug gives the user a whole new outlook on life, not to mention the euphoric feeling that I got.

That’s when I decided to become accredited as a counselor at one of the rehab centers in my area. I wanted to help the addicts by listening to their issues and giving them guidance to find a rehab center. I also helped them to get outside help by suggesting with maybe becoming involved in an IOP program. Those programs are also just a band aid. I did recommend attending NA meetings.

There is no doubt that once a person has become addicted to a narcotic, it’s pure hell getting off and staying off. And that’s why we say, “Take it one day at a time.”
@oldman THANK YOU!! You get it. :love:

I don't mean to be down on rehab centers. Every single time my son went into one, or a drug court, or any of the courses he took while he was incarcerated, he learned something. Every time he relapsed and then climbed back onto the wagon, he learned something. Every time he overdosed, he learned something. Every one of those lessons were the building blocks for what ultimately became his latest, longest recovery.

I just am disgusted with these institutions that claim a 'cure.' There is no curing addiction. The people who run these places pray on parents, spouses, siblings..the loved ones of the addicts, when they are at their most vulnerable. Their loved one is killing themselves, slowly and painfully with drugs, and so OF COURSE these people will grasp at anything that sells a cure, a cessation from the wretchedness that affects addict and loved one alike.

I admire you greatly for becoming a counselor. That work isn't for the faint hearted! 💔 Addicts helping addicts is a tried and true formula for addiction help and recovery. There's a story that makes its way around all the Naranon and NA groups that is profound in it simple message. Oldman, maybe you've seen it. There are many versions, some long and winding, some short and sweet. But the message is the same.

~~~~~~~~

AN ADDICT FELL IN A HOLE and couldn’t get out.

A businessman went by and the addict called out for help. The businessman threw him some money and told him to buy himself a ladder. But the addict could not buy a ladder in this hole he was in.

A doctor walked by. The addict said, “Help! I can’t get out!” The doctor gave him some drugs and said, “Take this. It will relieve the pain.” The addict said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole.

A well-known psychiatrist rode by and heard the addict’s cries for help. He stopped and asked, ” How did you get there? Were you born there? Did your parents put you there? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the addict talked with him for an hour, then the psychiatrist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week.

The addict thanked him, but he was still in the hole. A priest came by. The addict called for help. The priest gave him a Bible and said, “I’ll say a prayer for you.” He got down on his knees and prayed for the addict, then he left. The addict was very grateful, he read the Bible, but he was still stuck in the hole.

A recovering addict happened to be passing by. The addict cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!” Right away the recovering addict jumped down in the hole with him. The addict said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here!!” But the recovering addict said, “Calm down. It’s okay. I’ve been here before. I know how to get out.”
 

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
I used to request that my clients stay away from Narconon. This group was founded by L. Ron Hubbard and is nothing more that a predatory cult. All this organization is about is the money$$.

Rehabs do serve a purpose, but they are not thee cure. Only the addict can cure him or herself.

You certainly wouldn’t want to be on a plane with a pilot high on opiates of any kind.
 

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