Hello-My name is Isaac Alexis M.D. and I am a Cornell University Educated Physician and have been a Guest Expert on Opiod Crisis having been on CBS NEWS and Fox NEWS Discussing in depth what are our solutions as a society.
I’m Medical Director of an Addiction Medicine Treatment Center in the State that has the highest Opiate Addiction Rate and subsequent Death Rate in The Entire Nation-West Virginia.
I treat mainly Low Income Families and the homeless-And work on a comprehensive Model with each family-having treated over 200 families. I custom design Diets,Meal Plans That Target that part of the Human Brain That is responsible for cravings and withdrawals. What I do is so much more than just writing a script for their recovery-I also offer them a total comprehensive Lifestyle makeover and help them move out of their environments where drugs are actively sold.
I involve them with my church and I will oftentimes drive to their home take them to church and offer a meal that will ALL Decrease their cravings. I also read them a powerful verse from the book of Isaiah Chapter 41 verse 10-“ Fear Thou Not For I am with thee; be not dismayed for I am Thy God- I will strengthen thee, Yea I will help thee, Yea I will uphold thee with the Right Hand of My Righteousness.” I placed this on a laminated card and have my patients repeat this throughout the day and it helps them to realize that through their loneliness and despair Jesus cares. Many of my patients report this has actually decreased their cravings and desire to hang out with friends that they would ordinarily abuse drugs with.
We have 42/100,000 people die from Opiate overdoses. In West Virginia we have a person dying from Opiate Overdose every 8 hours. Nationally in America 100 people die each day or around every 12 minutes in the U.S.
In 2002 around 13,000 people died from Opiate overdoses and in 2015 that figure skyrocketed to 34,000 people -A 3 Fold Increase. There are 2 million people addicted to opiates nationally. Globally that number is between 25 to 34 million people.
There were 144,000 ER visits due to Opiate overdoses and that number has increased to 306,000 in 2008. From the year 2000 through 2015 over 500,000+ People died from Opiod overdose.
How did we get here? There are chronic pain syndromes like lower back pain , history of back surgeries and varied myofascial syndromes that resulted in approximately 70 to 100 million people being in chronic pain. In 1991 there were 76 million prescriptions written for Oxycontin and that number increased to 210 million by 2013.
A lot of Addicts crush and snort their pain pills to get a sudden explosive euphoric feeling. That is why we as clinicians prescribe the ER- Extended Release Formulations. ER Oxycodone is slowly released into the body thereby minimizing the Euphoric Rush that a person would ordinarily experience.
I treat close to one thousand Opiate Addicts each month 60% who would have died if they came in a week later. I treat Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandmom’s and everyone. I had a guy that had been used to take 600 milligrams of Morphine a day to get high and would use 300 mg just to prevent himself from going into withdrawals. I’ve had women that were kid napped from West Virginia by their boyfriends as the boyfriends were drug dealers who did not want their girlfriends in recovery because they felt a lost of control over her.
I’ve had women at my center that were raped at the age of 12 by their Father’s and to block out their pain they would “escape” via the abuse of opiates.
I feel this pain as my Aunt was raped and abused alcohol and smoked numerous cigarettes. She did this to distract herself from the emotional pain of being violated. Unfortunately she developed Lung Cancer and was placed in hospice before passing away.
So the fallacious mindset that drug addicts are morally weak goes totally out of the window.
In 2001 Portugal totally decriminalized all illicit drugs and as a result more people came forward for treatment and more lives were saved as a result -period.
There are structural changes that physically take place in the part of the human brain called the Nucleus Accumbens- that causes Drug Addiction. Opiod addiction is a chronic disease just like Hypertension and Diabetes.
These are real people in real time. I cry with my patients, I laugh with my patients and most of all I’m cheering for them as we take this daily walk towards their recovery and cross the finish line of Complete Restoration TOGETHER.
Feel free to check out my book- Life And Death Behind The Brick And Razor -Code Red Diamond on www.medicalwellness.blog