Medically assisted therapy for opiate addiction has many critics. Some value only specific counseling treatment programs for opiate addiction. Many will criticize medically assisted therapy as simply “substituting one drug for another”. The fact of the matter is, there is no one therapy that works for every patient. One must understand that the term “medically assisted” implies there is more than just the medication being used to help the patient in recovery.
On the medical side, some facilities will not differentiate between one opiate treatment modality and offer a number of different medications for the treatment of addiction. Unfortunately, the modality chosen is often done for monetary reasons and not the benefit of the patient. As one patient recently lamented: “When I started at the Methadone clinic, another patient told me ‘say goodbye to the next five years of your life’. That was 5 years ago.” The statement depicts the actions of some Opioid Treatment Centers keeping patients on medication for the sake of repeat visits and monetary gain without consideration for weaning the patient off or down from medication. This IS NOT the way we treat patients at our Opioid Treatment Center.
We have discussed the use of Suboxone (Buprenorphine) as a Methadone alternative in a previous blog. Methadone has a higher risk profile and usually requires more frequent visits. Many patients are prescribed Methadone and kept on it for long periods of time. This is done despite the alternative of Suboxone treatment being available. A Suboxone Treatment Center like our office can provide Suboxone treatment and appropriate referrals to counselors as part of a treatment plan to eventually have the patient completely “opiate free”. As a Subxone treatment doctor, I often tell my patients that: 80% of treating addiction is counseling the other 20% is monitoring and adjusting the medication dosage.
What often isn’t discussed is: How do patients get into treatment? I have described elsewhere how so few primary care doctors screen for or make referrals for opiate addiction. The more complex part of the problem is how quickly some doctors will prescribe opiates. For example: I once had a patient referred for pain management stating she had Rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. She stated that her primary care doctor told her he could no longer treat her pain and that she had to go to pain management. Strangely, she had no laboratory or X-ray studies done to confirm the Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. When X ray studies were performed they only revealed “mild osteoarthritis”. Lab studies were also negative for Rheumatoid arthritis but the patient had already developed addictive behavior! When doctors are cavalier with the prescribing of opiates and neglect to screen for opiate or other addiction, the results are not in the patient’s best interest.
So the question remains: “Can your doctor lead you to recovery from opiate addiction?” That question should not be confused with “Can a doctor lead you to recovery?” The difference of course is how YOUR doctor handles opiates and addiction. You can simply ask your doctor if they regularly refer patients for addiction treatment. If so, where to? Keep in mind that about one in ten patients in a given primary care waiting room uses opiates. Is YOUR doctor quick to prescribe opiates? Does YOUR doctor routinely refer patients for non opiate-based pain treatment like acupuncture, physical therapy or chiropractic? If not your doctor maybe leading patients toward addiction which is opposite to the road to recovery! In addition, does YOUR doctor advocate for insurance companies providing non opiate based coverage for pain management when it’s denied?
You can learn about your doctors referral habits by asking a few simple questions:
- • Where does he/she refer patient for Addiction Treatment in Georgia?
- • What methadone alternatives does your doctor recommend? Does he/she have a referral relationship with a local Suboxone Treatment Doctor?
- • Knowing your doctors referral habits can give you insight as to whether or not they can lead you or a loved one to recovery from opiate addiction.
“Why do you do this?“
In our office we provide Opioid Addiction Treatment Services, auto injury treatment, pain management, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and acupuncture. A question I am being asked more often is: “Why do you do this?”. The question is often asked in regard to acupuncture. The questions has never been asked of me in regard to prescribing medicines or addiction treatment. It’s odd when one considers that, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years before prescription medicines or treatment for addiction were present.
Why opiates with their higher side effect profile and complication rates are chosen over acupuncture is a marketing and monetary issue that benefits the pharmaceutical industry more so than the individual patient. As I often say; “Nobody has overdosed from acupuncture”.
My position is that, opiates should be used as a last resort not a primary or knee jerk reaction to get a patient out of the office or a quick fix for their pain. Acupuncture, physical therapy, and chiropractic ALL have the benefit of addressing the underlying issue without the risk of medication side effects (to include an overdose).
So, “why do I do this?” Simply, to safely make patients “pain free without pillsTM”. How I got started is: the real question. After treating auto injury patients primarily with prescription medications along side chiropractors for a number of years, I noticed a few things. One, I was only masking pain during chiropractic treatment. Two, the medical profession as a whole isn’t set up to treat pain other than masking it with pills. Many times insurance companies will deny physical therapy and sometimes deny surgery to patients in need. There are also times when these interventions fail. Some times, patients are limited to the number of visits that an insurance company will pay for. After looking at the situation, I began looking for a way to contribute to bringing pain relief to patients in an effective and economical way.
I have been practicing Chinese martial arts since 2007. This led me to look at acupuncture as a modality to treat patients. After researching the additional training required, I decided to obtain the training and add acupuncture as a treatment modality in my office.
My staff and I are happy to introduce acupuncture to our personal injury addiction medicine, and pain management patients. It’s not always without obstacles. We have had attorneys and chiropractors ask us NOT to perform acupuncture. Yet, these same attorneys and chiropractors have never asked us NOT to prescribe opiates! As we have been providing Addiction Treatment And Recovery Services in Marietta, Georgia for a number of years we see then potential harm that opiates cause. The aforementioned attorneys and chiropractors have monetary interests, as they want “conventional treatment to add to the value of the case”. We favor putting the patients health as the primary concern. The medical community as a whole will prescribe opiates BEFORE acupuncture, physical therapy or chiropractic. Unfortunately, the number of physicians prescribing opiates far out numbers the referrals made for opiate addiction treatment. The result is our current opiate epidemic.
Our goal is to make patients “pain free without pillsTM”. Currently, we offer acupuncture as well as Low THC oil registration (for qualified patients) to receive pain and decrease opiate use. Our hope is that chiropractors, medical doctors, lawmakers and insurance companies will see the reasoning in our approach and make our services more accessible. In the mean time, we offer a number of reasonably priced cash pay packages for people whose insurance will not cover their treatment. Remember, our first acupuncture treatment and consultation is FREE! We also have veterans’ discounts!
From Opioid Treatment Centers to Pain Management Doctors there are many patients asking questions about Low THC oil and CBD oil. The first question is: What’s the difference between CBD oil and Low THC oil? CBD and THC are both Cannabinoids. THC is the more psychoactive (high producing) compound. There are many Cannabinoids each having different attributes.
Here is a short list summarized from a list available on www.georgiacannabis.org :THC- Psychoactive and pain relieving effects CBD- Has many medical benefits attributed to it and nonpyschoactive CBN-Non psychoactive with a sedative effect THCA– Anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects THCV– Believed to be an appetite suppressant helpful with metabolic disorders including diabetes. CBG-Shows promise in treating glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease and MRSA infections There are a large number of Cannaboids each having different properties. There are a number of people who have had benefits of using Low THC oil. The state of Georgia has recognized this and allows for patients with certain conditions to be certified by a registered physician and be issued a “Low THC oil card”. This card allows people to possess Low THC oil for certain medical conditions without fear of criminal prosecution or what I call a “don’t go to jail card”. It should be emphasized that this card is only valid for Low THC Oil and NOT marijuana in a leaf form obtained illegally or from other states.
Conditions that patients may be registered for include:-Cancer -ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) -Seizure Disorder -Crohn’s disease -Mitochondrial disease -Parkinson’s disease -Sickle Cell Disease -Tourette’s Syndrome -Autism -EpidermolysisBullosa -Alzheimer’s -AIDS -Peripheral Neuropathy -Patients in hospice care -Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -Intractable Pain In a recent Special NEWSWEEK Edition title: The Ultimate CBD Handbook. There were a number of quotes from people who have used CBD oil to treat a number of conditions. “Some people report results at 5mg and others need more like 250-1000mg. There are studies where the dosage was in the 6,000mg range with no ill effects, so we still have much to learn about how much is necessary to use. It has a long half-life, so repeated daily dosing will have a cumulative benefit.” – Katie Stearn “It was incredibly effective at dealing with everything I previously used Ibuprofen, coffee,Adderall or alcohol to deal with..” – Brad Bogus “ After about a month of ingesting a 10 mg dose of CBD tincture under my tongue twice a day, I gradually felt a sense of calm and relaxation. From there, I slowly weaned down off of my anxiety prescriptions.” – Randi Sether Laws are changing and vary from state to state. In Georgia, there are state residency requirements and stipulations about the relationship between the physicians and patient after a card is issued. For more information visit: http://www.dph.georgia.gov. CBD oil registration is just another addition to our modalities to get you” pain free without pills” Please feel free to call our office at 678-247-2115 for more information. Don’t forget our first acupuncture and injury visit is FREE and we provide addiction treatment and recovery services in addition to treating pain and injuries.
The story of Peter
The story of Peter. Peter had the unfortunate circumstance of being injured an automobile accident in Georgia. He was uninsured at the time of his accident. His lawyer was able to settle Peter’s case but after the lawyer took 40% of the gross personal injury settlement and negotiated lower fees for Peter’s doctors, the attorney had pocketed more money than Peter! Matters were made worse when, Peter continued to have chronic pain from his injuries. Peter was still uninsured and when he tried to obtain insurance, his monthly premium quotes were in the excess of $500a month. A cash visit to a Pain Management Doctor was less than $300 and would at least give him pain relief.
During his Pain Management Therapy, Peter wasn’t able to afford injections such as epidurals, he wasn’t offered acupuncture and he had already had chiropractic during his original treatment with his auto accident. He stated:“I want to try something else. The chiropractor helped but I am still in pain.”Peter had a several visits with a physical therapist but became discouraged and angry saying “all they do is charge me to teach me exercises that I can do at home!” He had no primary care doctor due to lack of insurance. The Pain Management Specialist only offered Peter opiate pain pills since Peter couldn’t afford interventional treatments and the pain doctor didn’t perform acupuncture.
Peter was able to continue to work construction and handyman jobs due to the relief provided by the pain pills. However, Peter became more physically dependent on the pain pills. After a while, Peter’s doctor became uncomfortable prescribing Peter higher doses of his medication. Peter then turned to marijuana and CBD oil to make up for the pain relief that the pills no longer provided. As a result, Peter tested positive for a urine drug screen and was discharged by his Pain Management Doctor.
Peter was still unable to get insurance due to the high premiums and out right denials caused by his “preexisting condition” from his auto accident. After being discharged from his pain doctor’s office, Peter tried to enter another pain clinic. He was told things like “it’s a 4- 6 week wait to get in after we review your records” and “we only accept new pain patients by referral from other doctors”. Peter was still having pain and needed to work. He started obtaining pills on the street. He experimented with other forms of opiates and even tried Heroin. Peter’s drug used became more than a dependence he had crossed over into the realm of addiction. He was missing work to seek out drugs, resorting to selling drugs, stealing and other activities he could engage in to get the money to fuel his habit. Eventually, Peter lost his job, was homeless and had alienated his family due to his addiction. He finally hit rock bottom and overdosed on Fentanyl which was manufactured on the street to look like the Oxycodone he had been used to taking.
While In the hospital, Peter was diagnosed with Hepatitis (apparently from his previous intravenous drug use). Upon discharge he was referred to Methadone treatment. Peter asked about Methadone alternatives but was told by his doctor there were none. Peter had heard about and occasionally used Suboxone during his time “on the streets”. Peter remembered Suboxone decreasing his cravings and making him feel“normal” without feeling groggy and short of breath like he did with methadone. Peter looked around and inquired about Opioid Treatment Centers and finally found a Suboxone Treatment Center where he could pay cash at a reasonable price. The Addiction Treatment in Georgia center was able to change Peter from methadone to Suboxone. Peter was also introduced to acupuncture to treat his chronic pain from the auto accident injuries. Peter was shocked at how much better he felt after a course of 10 acupuncture treatments. Peter said, “ I wish I had known about these needles before I took all those pills!”
As Peter continued his Suboxone and Addiction Treatment in Georgia, he was eventually able to find work again. He started and continued counseling at a church nearby (as he couldn’t afford a professional counselor without insurance). Peter learned to cope with life’s ups and downs. He learned coping skills and how to avoid triggers. He even learned to tolerate the judgmental look he received from the pharmacist when he filled his Suboxone prescription. He found it odd and often chuckled to himself at the irony.Peter remembered it was the same look he received when he would get his Oxycodone prescription filled in the past.
Eventually, Peter was old enough to obtain Medicare. He had lost homes, jobs family and had permanent liver damage. When he had his first Medicare exam he was offered opiates for his chronic pain. Peter refused stating he would “pay out of pocket” for acupuncture (which isn’t covered by Medicare). Peter’s Medicare doctor was always surprised by Peter’s insistence that acupuncture was controlling his pain. Despite Peter stating his pain was well controlled, Peters’ doctor continued to offer opiates. One day Peter finally became annoyed and asked: “Pills? Is that all you have? You do know that I have liver damage?, Right? Why do you keep trying to get me to take pills? Don’t you realize that the acupuncture needles have saved me from so much pain? If I had known about those needles I would have probably never taken the pills that got me into so much trouble!! WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DON”T UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT!!!??
Peter’s doctor said,“well we don’t have studies or insurance approval stating that acupuncture really works.” Peter became more upset and said” DO YOU THINK I NEED A STUDY TO TELL ME THAT MY PAIN IS BETTER? ACUPUNCTURE HAS BEEN AROUND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND YOU ARE TALKING TO ME ABOUT STUDIES?? REALLY? REALLY? DO YOU EVEN KINOW ANYTHING ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE? Peter’s doctor then said, No I have not studied acupuncture. I am a medical doctor. Peter then said, acupuncture has got me “Pain Free without Pills”TM you doctors all have something to learn!
We prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone) for addiction treatment. Unlike Methadone, Suboxone doesn’t require the daily dosing of medication at a Suboxone Treatment Doctor office. Consequently, patients have more time for work family and other normal life activities.
Methadone also has a higher overdose rate and side effect profile. We feel Suboxone (Buprenorphine) is a better choice for patients needing treatment for opiate addiction. Quite simply, why spend the time visiting a clinic daily for Methadone when you can visit our office on a weekly or monthly basis? If you need help getting started with treatment or you want to switch from Methadone to a Buprenorphine product,
Our team at Acupuncture and Injury (Dr. Granger) has numerous practice areas. With more than 15 years of experience at our side, we have the specialized skills, knowledge, and resources to diagnose your issues and help you start on the road to recovery. Our Suboxone Treatment Center is conveniently located in Marietta, offers competitive and affordable pricing, and has relationships with other medical and legal providers that we can refer you to, if necessary. Call our office today. 678-247-2115
Dr. Granger wrote a short, 8 page eBook titled, “What to do after you have been in a car accident.” This eBook can save you time & money on your personal injury accident. Please click the image below for a FREE direct download.
If you are struggling with opioid addiction, you are not alone. Thanks to skyrocketing levels of opioid prescriptions, addiction to these powerful drugs has become a national epidemic. Fortunately, opiate Addiction Treatment In Georgia can help you reclaim your life and see a future after substance abuse. Watch this video to learn more.
Most people with Addiction have a similar path. They are prescribed an opioid painkiller to help them cope with the effects of surgery, an accident, or chronic pain, and then they become dependent on the substance. As their need for the medication grows, they can no longer get an adequate supply from their doctors. They then turn to buy drugs off the street or to use other, less expensive opiates to achieve the same effects, such as heroin. The only way to break the dangerous cycle is substance abuse treatment and an aftercare program to support long-term recovery.
To discuss Opioid Addiction, Please Call Dr. Granger at our Opioid Treatment Centers in Marietta Georgia. Schedule Your Appointment Today! (678) 247-2115.
- Addiction Treatment
- Auto Accident
- Auto Injury Care
- Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
- Brain Injuries
- Broken Fractured Ribs
- Facet Syndrome
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Personal Injury Care
- Out Patient Treatment
- Opioid Dependence
- Stem Cell/Regenerative Medicine
- Whiplash Treatment
- Work Place Injury