Our View on Addiction


"People with addiction are often blamed and led to believe that they are somehow  broken, and of lesser value than everyone else; made to feel ashamed as if they have purposely done something wrong for no other reason than by virtue of their addiction. It is now well recognized, however, that addiction is a chronic, persistent disease of the brain and is in fact NOT a moral failing of any kind. Truth of the matter is, no one is ever actually broken. In treating these individuals, it is important to remember that behind the mask of every addiction is the face of an actual person ... a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a father, a mother - each just needing help."


Opiate Addiction


The incidence of addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin continues to increase throughout the U.S. and the state of Louisiana is no exception. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 63,632 drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2016. This averages 174 deaths per day or one death every 8 minutes. Of those deaths, 66.4% (42,249) were due to opioid overdose; more deaths than those as a result of firearms, homicide, suicide, and motor vehicle crashes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “One in 15 people who take non-medical prescription pain relievers will try heroin within 10 years.” When acquiring pain pills through prescriptions and other means becomes too difficult or too expensive, often users will turn to the common street alternative, heroin.


The American Society of Addiction Medicine define addiction as: A chronic brain disease in which a person regularly finds and uses drugs, or regularly does something (such as gambling) despite the negative consequences of such activity. It is a brain disease because addiction can change how the brain works. Besides being a harm a person's health, addiction changes how someone thinks and feels. This may last for a prolonged period of time, lead to other harmful actions, and cause difficulty in relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances. Without treatment and recovery, addiction may continue to worsen over time (Modified from ASAM Definition of Addiction).


For those patients who require detox for prescription pain pill or heroin dependency, Pathways Addiction Recovery can assist you or your loved ones with our comprehensive outpatient, ambulatory detox program, from the comfort of your own home. Our comprehensive Addiction Recovery Program involves more than simply providing a prescription to assist you in the recovery process, but also includes addressing other co-existing medical conditions, obtaining lab work when indicated or necessary to screen for other common health issues, obtaining prior authorizations from your insurance provider for all needed medications, and as a proud provider of SMART Recovery, offer on-site relapse prevention meetings at no additional cost.


Because no two people are alike, we focus on providing individualized care for each and every client. Pathways Addiction Recovery can help you or a loved one take the first step toward freedom from opiate or alcohol addiction. Call us today to speak to someone who can help.


Alcohol Use Disorder


Like Opiate Addiction, Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. AUD can range from mild to severe, and recovery is possible regardless of severity. Alcohol Use Disorder affects people from all walks of life. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 80,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year in the United States. Misuse of alcohol continues to be one of the nation’s most preventable causes of death, second only to tobacco and a poor diet/sedentary lifestyle. In the United States, nearly 14 million adults, or every one in 13 adults, abuse alcohol or have an alcoholism problem. In addition, several million more partake in risky alcohol consumption that could potentially lead to abuse, and over three million American teenagers aged 14 to 17 have an alcohol problem. While the number of Americans aged 17 and younger involved in heavy alcohol consumption dropped by two-thirds between 1985 and 1997, underage consumption is still a problem.


Approximately 53 percent of Americans have one or more close relatives who have an alcohol dependency problem. In addition, 43 percent of American adults have been exposed to the problem of alcoholism in the family, either as something they grew up with or something they experienced with a spouse or a partner. Today, it is estimated that 6.6 million children under the age of 18 live with a parent who struggles with alcohol use disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, defines binge drinking as 5 or more alcoholic drinks for males or 4 or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past month. SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month.


Alcohol detox can be a dangerous process, which is why it’s typically best handled by a medical professional at a detox or rehab center. Alcohol detoxification involves withdrawal, and withdrawal involves physical symptoms. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be severe, and in many cases, very difficult to bear and even life threatening without medical assistance. Ultimately, the number and severity of symptoms depend on a number of factors, including age, gender and longevity of the addiction. Although detoxing from home may seem like the best route financially, it’s also a very risky route to take. Unsupervised, at home detox is definitely not right for everyone, and may not be right for you.


As a safeguard, prior to scheduling you or your loved one's first appointment for ambulatory alcohol treatment,  each client is required to discuss with one of our staff members a comprehensive pre-appointment screening tool, devised by our team of experienced providers. If you have questions about alcohol treatment or ambulatory outpatient  treatment of alcohol abuse, call us today to speak with someone who can help.



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