I’m in recovery, and have been given the opportunity to be the AD liaison at a nonprofit medical clinic in Dallas, Texas. It’s the Agape Clinic. www.theagapeclinic.org is the website. How I am connected to the founder isn’t important, but what is important is that our patients (mostly Latino or Hispanic) face lots of problems with substance abuse, physical, verbal, sexual, and emotional abuse. It’s very hard to carry the message when they don’t speak English, even when I have a translator. I see one major problem, and I would like it if you would address it. It’s opiate abuse. The middle of the road solution. Methadone clinics, Soboxone, etc. What is a solution that works if you really want it? Of course I’m also including living the 12 steps of whatever program if you need it. Great to make your acquaintance.
Thanks for the question. Thank you for doing this work as well.
As for the question, that is a great question. There are many variables when it comes to opiate addiction (dependence). Including in this case language and cultural barriers. One thing to know is that in most Latin American countries pharmaceutical opiates are not readily available. They utilize some morphine for pain but that is about it, post surgical is typically acetaminophen.
As for treatment there is quite a bit to consider. First the use of Soboxone is acceptable to lighten the withdrawal symptoms. However, some specialists consider long term use of Soboxone a treatment protocol. I disagree (as a recovery focused individual) with this option. For “harm reduction” possibly to keep an individual alive long enough to choose recovery a case can be made, especially when age is a factor, under 21 years of age they are typically sent by a family member for help, they are often clueless and resistant to change.
As for detox I recommend that it is completed at a treatment center where the individual will remain for 90 days of treatment. Soboxone detox varies up to 12 days. During the detox process psych/educational lectures should be offered but not a full recovery itinerary because they are semi-out of it during use of Soboxone. I suggest centers that are progressive and teach mutual support concepts as the basis for long term recovery and permanent abstinence.
I can speak on treatment protocol for hours however for example, the completion of a fifth step with a sponsor can be much more effective in the recovery process due to the “Reciprocity” factor. In other words when an individual shares their deep dark secrets with a sponsor, the sponsor shares back similar and often more graphic actions with the individual. For recovery this process allows the individual to feel a part of something special, it frees them of the bondage that ties them down. When they “Deal” with their “issues” with a licensed therapist there is no reciprocity, thus the potential for disbelief or a continuance of the belief they are alone and a “bad” person. Understand this is not a judgement, I am a therapist as well, the issue is treatment centers that teach mutual support and recovery principles are preferred.
Often cost is a factor, locating agencies that complete 90 days of treatment and are within an individuals fiscal ability (let alone free) are far and few between. Insurance rarely if ever accepts a 90 treatment program and if they do the agency does not get paid but a small percentage of their operating costs, it is a loss to the agency. The other factor that is helpful is locating an agency that is opiate specific is a good idea especially for young people, they have the tendency to minimize other drug use including alcohol. I have never heard an opiate addict not say that they like alcohol, they ALWAYS minimize alcohol use. When I get to the bottom of this statement it comes back to one thing, “I want to drink sometimes”. It is a huge contradiction, they say they hate it but want to use it! Marijuana although not as often is also in this category.
Thanks for the question and if I can be of further help let me know.
Go, Go, Go…
PS When this article was written the agencies listed I had no affiliation with, I have updated the article to include the centers that we operate. Too many sub par agencies exist today often based on a model that favors profit over programming and therapeutic effectiveness. Solutions and Inspirations were founded to address these serious issues.