Facts About MAT and Recovery

woman dressed as doctor talking facts on MAT
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Many people who get sober rely on Medication-Assisted Treatment as a tool to stay sober long-term. The FDA says that MAT is a “gold standard treatment” that can help people sustain their sobriety and get treatment. Yet there are still some people who view MAT with disdain or suspicion. Some of this is because they’re unfamiliar with it, and some come from beliefs that don’t mesh with the science, such as the idea that MAT is simply “trading one drug for another.”

5 Important Facts About MAT

What myths have you heard about addiction and MAT? Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusing information out there. Here are some of the essential facts to know.

  1. MAT is an FDA-approved treatment for opioid use disorder. It saves lives by preventing cravings that often lead to relapse and overdose.
  2. MAT is a superior treatment when it comes to preventing relapse and overdose. People who stay on MAT are less likely to relapse and more likely to complete long-term treatment programs.
  3. Doctors and other medical professionals decide what dosage of medication is appropriate for people with opioid use disorder. It is a medical decision between the patient and their doctor, not the treatment center or probation officer.
  4. People who use MAT as a tool for recovery use it alongside other tools. They often go to detox, then treatment, and continue to work on their recovery through peer support groups. Many of them come through the doors of our sober housing programs!
  5. MAT is a safe medication that has helped millions of people get – and stay – sober from opioids and other drugs. Most people taper off it within a year, but some chronic relapsers may remain on it for years. It does not cause any long-term harm, and dosages only go down, not up, after a patient is stable.

Understanding MAT and Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use disorder is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. These deaths are tragic and preventable. MAT is an essential tool that can stop people from relapsing and exposing themselves to street drugs laced with fentanyl, the top cause of drug overdose deaths.

MAT can help people stay sober from opioids for years. It can remove the intense cravings that the brain generates when deprived of opioids. Because of this, people can focus on repairing and healing their lives from the havoc caused by addiction. They learn new coping skills and start to live life on its terms.

Consider Sober Housing as a Tool

If you or somebody you love is looking for a living situation after getting sober, we can help! Our sober homes offer structure as well as independence, with a focus on recovery. Our homes provide community, recovery activities, and safety for newly sober people. Learn more about how we can help! Give us a call at 760-216-2077.

Recently, a new law was added to the California books that requires public schools to keep a steady supply of Narcan, also known as Naloxone, in their emergency supplies. The opioid overdose reversal drug has become a vital public health tool as the drug supply has been inundated with fentanyl. However, schools aren’t the only way that Narcan has saved lives. People who don’t use opioids but live in California have begun to take the harm-reducing measure into their own hands. Several community members spoke recently to the LA Times to describe how they have helped save lives by carrying it on them when they’re out in their communities.

What Is Naloxone, And How Can You Carry It?

Naloxone, known chiefly by its brand name, Narcan, is an opioid-overdose reversal tool approved by the FDA. People who want to carry Naloxone on hand or keep it in their homes face few barriers thanks to California legislation.

The Department of Health Services in your county will be able to distribute fentanyl to people who want to carry it. LA County has made it a mission to hand out 50,000 doses in a year, including people living in encampments uniquely positioned to save drug-using peers.

People who don’t use drugs are still often in a position to save lives. Family members often come across an unconscious relative and try to administer CPR. Naloxone is the only thing that can reverse the effects of an overdose. Many parents and spouses of addicted persons now keep Naloxone in their homes in case of emergency.

Fentanyl Is a Public Health Emergency

Fentanyl has caused an uptick in deaths for Californians in the past three years. It's been found as an additive in almost every type of street drug. In 2021, 625 people died of an overdose in San Francisco, an uptick of 41%. So many people in the community see carrying Narcan as a way to help others stay alive long enough to find recovery. EMTs, people in recovery from addiction, and other empathetic people have revived overdose victims and helped them stay alive.

Narcan is just one tool to help fight the fentanyl epidemic. However, it’s a powerful one – saving a life is a priceless task. Once a person has been revived, they still need medical attention. Most likely, they will be given drug treatment options when in the ER. Some of them will take the chance and decide to get sober. Others will take a little longer.

Treatment centers and sober living homes in California stock Narcan as a preventative measure.

When a person is still alive and breathing, the chance for recovery is always there.

Consider Sober Living

If you are looking for a safe and vibrant recovery housing option, look no further! We offer structured living and independence, helping people build a new life in recovery. Learn more about how our community and homes can help you continue your journey in life. Call us at 760-216-2077 to explore your options.

Fentanyl is a dangerous public health hazard across America, becoming ubiquitous as an additive to street drugs. People who use Molly, crystal meth, and even marijuana may encounter the drug accidentally. Illicit drug users are not always careful, especially those who use drugs they consider "light" or recreational. While fentanyl is everywhere, not everyone who uses illicit drugs knows about it. This means many unsuspecting users risk being killed by the drugs they consume. Sadly, it's happening across the age spectrum, from high school to the elderly.

Fentanyl Overdoses, COVID-19 as Parallel Crises

Since the pandemic's beginning in 2020, more than 165,000 people have died from opioid overdoses. Over a million people have died from COVID-19. Because of this, three years of life expectancy has been lost among Americans collectively.

Now more than ever, fentanyl is a problem. It's become a common additive to street drugs not generally associated with opioids. Many people think they are taking party drugs or even stimulants like cocaine or crystal meth, only to be exposed to a toxic dose of fentanyl. Some of them overdose. Others may become addicted. Fentanyl is a potent drug, 50-100 times stronger than morphine. But it has also become a favorite among opioid users in California, especially in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

With fentanyl use spiraling out of control, so are the opioid deaths among specific populations. Opioid overdoses among Black and BIPOC adults are increasing disproportionately in some parts of the country. In other parts of the country, such as California and Florida, a more significant proportion of people dying from overdoses are White. And the ages of the overdose victims tend to be younger adults, with almost 60% of OD deaths younger than 45 years old. However, no matter the demographics, it appears that fentanyl is at fault.

Counterfeit Drugs Also Driving Fentanyl OD Trends

Counterfeit pills have become such a problem that Los Angeles has created an entire campaign surrounding counterfeit pills. The slogan for the campaign is "Bad meds kill real people." The campaign aims to educate, prevent, and enforce the law regarding counterfeit pills that could be made from fentanyl.

"The manufacturers of these counterfeit medicines only care about making money at the expense of our most vulnerable communities and community members," Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference this week. "These medicines contain no active pharmaceutical ingredients." Instead, the medications often contain a deadly dose of fentanyl.

Streety drugs that have been found that contain fentanyl include marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth, Molly/MDMA, LSD, Adderall, and cocaine.

Preventing Fentanyl Overdoses Is a Community Effort

Harm reduction and making treatment available are essential components of keeping people safe in the community. For example, harm reduction programs can campaign for public spaces such as libraries, community centers, and schools to carry Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal drug.

Recovery is also an option for people who use substances. A treatment program, including Medication-Assisted Treatment, can also help people quit taking risks and get sober for the long term. Sobriety has many advantages for people with substance abuse disorder, including better health and peace of mind.

Sober Living In San Diego

San Diego has a thriving recovery community with many vibrant 12-step meetings. In addition, our sober homes offer community, structure, and a sober lifestyle as you continue your recovery journey. Learn more about our programs by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Saul Caro, a San Diego resident, convicted of selling fentanyl to a man who subsequently overdosed, pleaded guilty to providing the fentanyl on June 1, 2022. At his sentencing hearing, more details of the case were revealed, showing that he was worried about the potency of the fentanyl he had acquired. The jury gave him 15 years.

Caro Knew Fentanyl He Sold Was Deadly

When Caro pleaded guilty on June 1, 2022, he admitted that he sold the highly potent fentanyl to a man the court recorder identified only as MS. Two days later, M.S. was dead. The victim, investigators discovered, had been worried about the potency of the drugs he had previously acquired from Caro. Not only did he think the fentanyl was too potent, but he told Caro that he needed to warn people about it. Caro lied, telling the victim he was. “Yeah thanks otherwise would have been bad news for me lol” (sic) the victim replied.

In November of that same year, the victim again contacted Caro and told him he was worried that the drugs had been altered somehow. The side effect, according to the texts from M.S., said it made his heart “slam.” “Ugh why the hell did they have to put that sh-- in here and ruin it!” he texted Caro. “He told me to be careful cuz its strong,” Caro replied.

Caro continued to supply drugs to the victim and others for months before M.S.’s death. The text messages showed that other drugs could have been mixed into the fentanyl. MS, an experienced opioid user, was uncomfortable with the side effects. Yet the victim has an opioid use disorder and continued buying drugs. Caro continued to sell the drugs even though he likely knew they could be deadly.

“The defendant chose to disregard the significant risk associated with selling fentanyl and other drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “His choices had severe consequences for a family that lost a beloved son and brother. The driving factor for all of us in law enforcement is the human toll that fentanyl is taking. We see the grief and destruction in person every day. We will continue to seek justice for every victim.”

Evidence In Fentanyl Overdose Case

The prosecution had much tangible evidence, enough that Caro pleaded guilty on June 1, 2022. He agreed that he sold powdered fentanyl, which led to the death of one of his customers. When they arrested Caro, he had a bag of powder with a greenish tint in his pants, which tested positive for fentanyl. In addition, when they searched his house, they found several guns, ammunition, other drugs, and drug paraphernalia.

Many cases like this have been going forward across the country, and the U.S. continues to battle the opioid epidemic. Opioids have been a leading cause of death in the United States in recent years. Over 100,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses last year, with most of the deaths involving fentanyl.

By The Sea Recovery In San Diego

If you or somebody you love wants to live in a structured, safe community after they've finished treatment, we're here to help. By the Sea Recovery has helped set high standards for sober living in California. We are an insured and certified sober living residence by the Sober Living Network and CCAPP (California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals).

Learn more about our programs by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular type of therapy that most recovery centers and rehabs incorporate into their treatment programs. CBT helps people change their thoughts and behaviors to become healthier and happier in recovery.

People with substance use disorder and other mental health disorders can benefit from CBT. So many actions and reactions come from our thoughts and emotions. By becoming more aware of how beliefs influence their feelings, behaviors, and reactions, a person can also begin the process of trying new things to cope with them. CBT can also help people understand how their thoughts and feelings keep them in a cycle of addiction.

Why Change Your Thoughts With CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you recognize negative thought processes that may hold you back from change. Usually, these thoughts are centered on certain beliefs you have about yourself. They may even go back to childhood or something somebody once said about you. By examining these thoughts, you learn that you can challenge them.

CBT can help you address problematic thoughts and feelings to overcome addiction. Many people have triggers to use, such as feeling angry or anxious. In recovery, people learn how to cope with these feelings and override the desire to get high or drunk. They replace those thoughts and behaviors with something more positive.

Addiction treatment programs are known for helping people change their perspective, attitude, and behavior to start a new way of life. But CBT helps people without addictions, too. People with PTSD, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and other mental health disorders can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. Some people go to therapy to help them with specific behaviors or get through life changes like a divorce.

Anyone that needs help changing their life for the better can benefit from CBT.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

As human beings, our behavior is connected with our beliefs about ourselves and the world we inhabit. CBT helps people examine how their thoughts are related to their behavior. People addicted to drugs act differently when in the throes of addiction. Thought processes were centered on using drugs. After using, a person may have felt guilty or inadequate.

Therapists can help people examine how their thoughts and feelings contributed to their addictive behavior. Many people have self-defeating thoughts that lead to behavior they later regret.

By using CBT, addicted people learn how to identify and counter their negative thoughts with more positive outcomes. With time and practice, people learn to overcome obstacles and stay sober, making better decisions in their daily lives.

Considering Sober Living?

Are you looking for a safe, structured community with other people in recovery? Many people go to a sober living home while they continue their recovery journey. Learn more about our programs by calling at 760-216-2077.

 

 

Sober living homes often help provide continuing care after a shorter-term addiction treatment program. Recovering housing and sober living programs are meant to help people in recovery transition to their new life. This means helping them stay sober while working on specific goals. Everyone in the home is also living a life centered on recovery. Because it is a community, everyone will have some responsibility within the residence. With structure and support, people in sober homes are able to focus on their recovery.

Life After Treatment: Accountability and Responsibility

Become responsible happens a day at a time. Many people in recovery housing begin working, return to school, or take a career training program. This is to help them begin to establish responsible foundations for their next stop in life. You may have wrecked your finances or lost a promising career due to addiction. Cleaning up the pieces may take time. Everyone needs to be self-sufficient, so you will likely need to get work to pay your slice of the rent. If you are not disabled or receiving retirement income, you will be responsible for finding an income.

Many of your goals won’t be accomplished overnight. You may want to save for a car or a deposit for an apartment. Working on these goals is important, but you can’t put them before your recovery. Living in harmony and balance is also a challenge you may have to face. In sober living, you don’t have to face your challenges alone. Other people are rooting for you.

Learning to balance your lifestyle is essential. Sober living can help you juggle your responsibilities and learn more about staying sober while living a full life. You’ll also participate in a community as part of a household, paying rent, attending house meetings, and doing chores. House rules may include curfews, regular drug tests, or completed / continuance of outpatient therapy. But you may have fewer rules depending on the program.

Who Benefits From Sober Living?

Sober living homes are an exciting choice for newly sober people. While living a clean and simple lifestyle, there is also structured support. People often continue outpatient treatment, attend 12-step meetings, and go to therapy while living in a sober household.

People in sober living homes often make recovery friendships for life. Sober living is a great way to stay plugged into a recovery community. They’re a great place to spread your wings and build a strong recovery foundation.

Sober living helps people become more accountable to others as well as themselves. Being in a community requires following rules., People who have completed treatment programs and been sober for a while may want their next step in their journey to have stability and independence.

People new to recovery who has a solid foundation in recovery are typically welcome in sober homes. Sober living benefits people who need a bit of peer support and accountability in their recovery journey.

Learn More About Sober Living

Are you or somebody you love interested in learning more about sober living homes? Do you have questions about our programs? Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more.

Many people live in recovery-centered communities as a part of their recovery journey. Some people experience the community approach to recovery at inpatient drug treatment. Many people also choose a community approach to their recovery by living in sober housing. People who live in a sober living community are also part of a therapeutic community with a focus on community and healing. Sober living, based on the community model of treatment, is a great option for your recovery journey.

Why Community-Centered Treatment? How Does It Help?

The community treatment model works on helping people change in a communal setting. The environment in sober living homes focuses on recovery and positive change. Being around others with similar focus and goals can help people stay sober.

Community members are encouraged to practice honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. Participating in a recovery community means taking responsibility for yourself and your recovery. Sometimes this means hard work, but as you continue to grow in the program, you’re given more freedom and responsibility.

Recovery work, therapy, and MAT may be a part of your treatment. However, everyone in the community will have their own specific goals and issues to work on. You will learn to live in harmony with a sober lifestyle.

What Do People In A Sober Living Community Do With Their Time?

Most community members attend 12-step meetings, have group therapy, and go out together. Some people will take to the beach or road to surf or jog. There will usually be shared chores that are alternated weekly or monthly. Grocery shopping and cooking are often communal.

Therapy and 12-step groups will be a big part of sober living. After all, staying sober comes before everything else.

The goal for a person in sober living is to use the tools they’ve acquired to continue to stay sober, reclaim their lives, and take on more responsibilities. Some people start to resolve wreckage from the past, such as missed court appearances, old speeding tickets, or charged-off credit cards. Making amends and doing the right thing are important goals to work towards.

For some participants, this means getting a part-time job or a job training program. Moving towards independence and becoming ready to move forward is a part of recovery in this stage.

Becoming Stronger Together With A Community

For many people in sober living communities, having the support of peers is vital. Active participation in group activities helps people inspire each other and continue to move towards their recovery goals.

A recovery community emphasizes group learning and peer support. People come together to rally around community members who are struggling. They also offer support to each other regularly. People in sober living homes find a family-like community where they come together, no matter their flaws, to become better people. Everyone’s goal is

Being supportive is an essential part of growing in recovery. A recovery community is a great place to practice empathy, build coping skills, and learn how to have healthier relationships. Feeling at home in a recovery community helps keep people sober, helps them practice coping skills, and helps with relapse prevention.

Learn About Sober Living Options

If you or somebody you love is looking for a recovery community, our sober housing program may suit you. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more about our communities.

 

Addiction Is a treatable disease, and trust-building with loved ones is integral to the healing process. For some couples, it makes sense to seek couples therapy and strengthen their relationship. Couples therapy offers a space and time for romantic partners to work on their issues with a facilitator.

People who struggle with substance use disorder often have trouble in their relationships. After all, addiction is a disease of the brain. As a person becomes dependent on a substance, the way they act and think may change. The brain is focused on making its reward system happy rather than being a reasonable and responsible family member.

Why Couples Therapy?

Addiction is a disease that can leave much damage in its wake. It’s hard for partners and other loved ones to watch as somebody spirals out of control. They may try to help their partner only to be “shut out” or lied to.

Addiction is a family disease, and everyone in the addicted person’s life is affected by it. For some families, many false notions of stigma are still attached to the idea of addiction. People may be hurt or overwhelmed when their loved one admits there’s a problem.

Families, love, and emotions are complex. Addiction recovery helps the addicted person begin to rebuild their lives and stay sober. Therapy helps everyone adjust to the new changes and find ways to build trust together. A therapist can help facilitate difficult conversations about commitment, fears, sadness, anger, and past hurts that must be addressed.

Addiction Education In Couple’s Therapy

It’s essential to seek out a therapist that understands and works with families who live with a person with substance use issues. Many treatment centers and sober living communities have access to therapy for couples to work together.

Educating family members is also a big part of family therapy. Understanding that addiction is a disease of the brain, but it’s treatable is essential. Families need education about addiction's physical, mental, and emotional effects. They also need to learn more about recovery in general.

Couples may have experienced financial issues, job loss, arrests, and other wreckage. Sorting through and acknowledging the hurt with a professional can help couples build a healthier relationships.

Consider A Sober Living Community Post-Treatment

For many people, even married couples, treatment is just the beginning of a long journey toward long-term sobriety. After treatment, a sober living home can offer the community and support structure to start living life in early recovery. Learn more about your housing options by contacting us at 760-216-2077.

Many people who decide to get sober use tools like Medication-Assisted Treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and help them focus on their recovery. Sublocade is a Medication-Assisted Treatment option many people prefer because it’s only administered once a month. It is prescribed and administered by medical professionals for people with opioid use disorder who want to stay sober.

What Is Sublocade?

Sublocade contains the drug buprenorphine and is administered monthly in a medical provider’s office. For many people, it’s a safe and responsible way to go about their lives while getting relief from withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings.

Sublocade works best when the person taking it also gets counseling via drug treatment or one-on-one therapy. This can help newly sober people gain insight into themselves and understand their addiction. Opioid use disorder is manageable, but Medication-Assisted treatment is only part of managing it. Getting therapy can also help somebody learn new coping skills and learn to live a more authentic, happy life drug-free.

How Often Is Sublocade Needed?

People prescribed Sublocade need to get the injection monthly in a healthcare provider’s office. Most treatment providers will start patients with a 300mg dosage and eventually will be weaned down to a lower dose, usually 100mg. Some people will stay on 300mg longer if their healthcare provider deems it necessary.

People can use Sublocade as MAT for as long as the doctor approves. Some people will get an injection for months, while others may need to stay on it for years.

Sublocade Injections Increase Sobriety Success Rates

According to the manufacturer, in one clinical study, people treated with Sublocade were fourteen times more likely to complete their treatment programs and stay sober. 28% of people who got therapy/treatment alongside their MAT stayed sober for at least 24 months.

In the study, the group that was given a placebo only had a 3% success rate over the same period. While some people did relapse in the more successful group, everyone who stayed sober for at least 80% of those 24 months did so with the help of Sublocade.

Consider Sober Living

If you or somebody you love needs a safe space to lay their head, sober living may be the healthiest choice. Living in an environment where people work toward positive change can be inspiring and help you stay focused on your goals. Learn more about our communities by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Contingency management, a type of behavioral therapy, is an unusual but highly effective treatment for people who live with substance use disorder. In programs that use contingency management, people who participate agree to stay sober. They receive positive reinforcement when they do so successfully and meet specific goals the program sets. Typically, this type of reinforcement is in the form of monetary compensation, gift cards, or even prizes. Sometimes these programs will also do the same for awarding privileges within a treatment facility. (Usually, all participants are regularly drug-tested to ensure compliance and honesty.)

Who Is Contingency Management For?

Contingency management is often a good fit for people who experience multiple challenges. Substance use disorder does not discriminate, and many people who live with dual diagnoses find motivation within programs using this model.

People addicted to multiple substances may find contingency management helps them become more committed to their treatment plans. Contingency management helps people stay sober and comply with treatment plans. In California, people addicted to methamphetamine successfully completed treatment programs that used contingency management.

Contingency management is also used in therapy for people with mental health disorders who want to work on their goals.

What Kinds Of Behavior Is Rewarded In Contingency Management?

People who participate in the therapy may be rewarded for taking specific actions which help them begin and maintain their recovery. People may earn rewards for good attendance, adhering to their medications, staying sober, attending 12-step meetings, and other aspects of their treatment.

For most people in outpatient treatment, many actions may need to be taken. People who are on probation, for example, may also be rewarded for working towards other goals such as applying for jobs or going back to school. They may need to balance going to therapy and twelve-step meetings as well as work.

The treatment helps people stick to a vital routine focused on recovery. Motivation and rewards can help people stay centered in recovery and feel good about themselves.

Sober Living and Housing

Sober living homes often combine both recovery and independence. People living in these homes share the same goals and can work toward being responsible and sober together. There are both community responsibilities as well as opportunities to bond and grow. Learn more about our peaceful, sober-focused communities by calling us at 760-216-2077.

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