Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Danger of Abuse: A Mother's Story

(An article review by Chris Newcomb, M.Div.)

Part of our mission is to help educate the public about prescription pill abuse because we see it on a daily basis in our clinics all across the nation.  It is a tricky type of addiction because prescription pills are legitimate drugs created to be used for legitimate medical problems.  Unfortunately, kids all over the U.S. are taking prescription pills at alarming rates for pleasure even if they started taking them for a medical issue in the first place.

In our blog today, we want to focus on two things.  First, we would like to highlight a story told by the mother of a teenage boy who struggles with addiction to prescription pills.  Second, we'd like to draw your attention to an organization that is helping to fight this prescription pill abuse problem our nation is facing.  

Often times, parents feel all alone and don't know where to turn when they discover their child is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.  Trapped between the 'paralysis by analysis' that fear causes and their desire to save their children, they get stuck in a lonely and 'fear-filled' place!  

The reality is that fear is a human problem. However, with addiction and recovery, fear can be lethal.  It keeps people in chains and renders them helpless to take action towards health and wholeness.  We want to help reduce that fear and equip you and your loved ones to deal with this issue head on.  Thankfully, there are other institutions that are working toward the same goal.  The one I'd like to mention that I just became aware of today is called 'Mother's Against Prescription Drug Abuse), a.k.a., MAPDA. 

I am so thankful to learn of this organization because I know that a similar organization called 'Mother's Against Drunk Driving', a.k.a. M.A.D.D., has been successful in educating teens about the dangers of drinking and driving.  

If you or some you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, benzos, opiates, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  Our mission is to help you get clean and stay clean.  Help, hope, and healing starts here.  

You can read the article here
You can visit MAPDA's website here

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prescription Drugs: More Deadly than Guns, Car Accidents, and Suicide Combined!

   (An article review by Chris Newcomb, M.Div.)

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in detoxing people off of opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone and Suboxone.  With 9 offices around the country, there is no shortage of people who need our help.  We are grateful to help but sad to see the suffering. 

For example, we often see people who are addicted to prescription pills.  Many get hooked from a legitimate prescription given by a legitimate doctor.  It is becoming an epidemic.  Unfortunately, so too, there is an epidemic of overdoses from prescription pill addiction.  In fact, prescription pills are killing people at a higher rate than guns, car accidents, and suicide combined!  Today we offer this article from The Daily Beast about the prescription drug epidemic.  Please take a few moments to read it and pass it on to anyone you know who may benefit from it.  And, if you are in need of detox from any of the aforementioned substances, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869. 

You can read the article here!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Celebrate National Prevention Week: Our Lives, Our Health, Our Future!

(An article review by Chris Newcomb)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend early!  As we pause to reflect on the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed services these next few days, let us also remember the millions of Americans and those around the world who daily fight the problem of substance abuse.  It is epidemic however, we choose not to lose hope or to give up!  Sobriety and recovery are available to all who choose to walk the path! 

SAMSHA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Health Administration, is leading the charge to celebrate National Prevention Week May 18-24.  I'd like to draw your attention to an article from the SAMSHA website talking about a project called 'I Choose' for National Prevention Week. You can read the article by clicking on the link below.

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  We're here to help you get clean and stay clean! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Medication Generation": Elderly Opiate Abuse on the Rise!

(A Review by Chris Newcomb of the U.S.A. Today article featured on 5/21/14)

As you may know, our blog exists to educate and eradicate the scourge of addiction in the U.S. and around the world.  We try to bring you thought-provoking articles about addiction as a disease as well as content that encourages behavioral change for those who suffer or who knows someone who suffers.  

From time to time, we will feature an article that we think is especially helpful to our readership. Today is one of those days!  I'd like to draw your attention to an article that is featured in U.S.A. Today for Wednesday, May 21, 2014.  It discusses the growing epidemic of seniors becoming hooked on prescription drugs.  Consider this statistic mentioned in the article which states, "According to data collected from IMS Health, which tracks drug dispensing for the government, the 55 million opioid prescriptions written last year for people 65 and over marked a 20% increase over five years — nearly double the growth rate of the senior population. The number of benzodiazepine prescriptions climbed 12% over that period, to 28.4 million."  This is very alarming information.  Please take a moment to read the article.  It is entitled "Seniors and Prescription Drugs: As Misuse Rises, So Does The Toll".  Also, please feel free to forward this article to anyone you know that might benefit from it!

At the Coleman Institute, our desire is to help people get clean and stay clean from addiction to alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, and Suboxone.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.   

Monday, May 19, 2014

Detox Answers For Trauma And Addiction

Dr. Peter Coleman
Sometimes due to uncontrollable circumstances, trauma and addiction will go hand-in-hand in the lives of the people who experience severe accidents.  When someone goes through severe injuries after an accident they can be in unthinkable pain and to get them through the healing process they are given pain medications to relieve them of this pain.  Over a period of time some of these medications can be addictive.  The brain is a magnificent part of our bodies but there are parts of that are locked from our understanding, oddly enough, in many ways.  We are still searching for the right key to unlock its mysteries, particularly with regards to trauma to the body and addiction in the brain. 

There is a pain and addiction pattern that can be established after the body has been traumatized.  With some of the injuries that occur, there is no choice but to reduce the amount of pain involved so the patient can recover.  The more pain there is the more medication has to be used and the longer the involvement with these drugs will last.
The real problem lies in the type of drug involved and the time that the person is taking this pain medication.  Some pain medications can evoke an addiction easier than others but the bottom line is that many of these drugs can produce a tolerance and a need or desire for these drugs.

For the person recovering from a traumatic accident, this can be a double-edged sword.  The pain that can occur throughout a long-term physical recovery needs to be managed. The method of that management can be the cause of a new problem; an addiction to the very drugs that were supposed to be helping the patient recover.
There are alternative ways to manage pain but most physicians and surgeons rely on the time tested way of pain management; prescription drugs.  These drugs are very effective in what they are supposed to do but the risk for addition is great.  Alternative methods of pain management usually are not tried until it is too late and often do not reduce the pain to a manageable level.

There are different ways of helping a person fight addition to pain medications.  One drug that is commonly used for detox treatment is Methadone.  This is used to help "wean" a person from the other drugs that they have become addicted to.  This assists the person through the withdrawal symptoms that accompany this process of cleaning the system of the drug.
The problem with this system is that these drugs that help a person get through their addiction may become an addiction problem themselves.   Methadone and other drugs like Suboxone are used to help addicted people get through an opiate detox are even more addictive and they are much more painful to clean out of the system and brain.  Fortunately, this method described is not the only way to help a person clean their system of a drug that has been an addiction problem.  Another way is to put an addicted person through an accelerated program of detox off of the pain medicine, Suboxone, or Methadone so they can truly be drug-free. 

The system we use takes only three days as opposed to the five to ten days that occurs naturally.  We help the brain receptors rid themselves of the toxins while maintaining the comfort of the person throughout this process.  A Naltrexone implant under the skin is the last step of the process to keep all opiates from being received by the brain's receptors which aids in keeping the person drug free for many weeks.  This allows a pattern to be developed by the person to stay drug free.

The purpose of our detox is to help those who struggle with addiction due to trauma to get clean and stay clean in a less painful way than trying to detox on their own and experiencing awful withdrawal symptoms. The detox takes less time and helps to ensure each person the hope of a drug-free life.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  We are here to help you and yours get clean and stay clean!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jars of Pebbles

Joan Shepherd, FNP
Just got off the phone with a delightful patient who recently finished an eight-day Accelerated Opiate Detox here at The Coleman Institute where we also detox people off of benzos, alcohol, Methadone, and Suboxone.  I didn’t get to see him much; he worked a lot with Courtney and Dr. Coleman, but I saw him and his girlfriend enough to refer to them as ‘the beautiful couple’.

They got home late last night. Bill* couldn’t sleep so he drank a beer and took a Valium.  Oops.  That did not sit well with Beth*after all the time and money spent, and a rather ferocious row ensued.  He first felt overwhelmed with anger, stopping just short of kicking a hole in the wall, followed soon after by incredible guilt and shame.

He called me and said, “My emotions are through the roof…I’m an emotional wreck…my mood swings are going up and down all over the place…”

To which I reply, “And…?”

When a person has spent many years of their life on medications that dampen the emotional response to normal every day events, let alone important, life changing events—and then no longer have the drugs in their system, that doesn’t mean the emotions stop.

 Oh no.

 Your emotions will tail you wherever you go.  In fact, according to Dr. James Prochaska, the behavioral change guru, it’s one of the biggest reasons people relapse from any kind of behavioral change they are trying to make; you can change your environment to avoid certain triggers, but you can’t get your mind and emotions to move across the country or even around the block.

Between growing up in a family that was fraught with addiction issues and being an addict himself, Bill’s got himself a wonderful opportunity for a lifetime of learning how to ‘deal with’ his distorted thoughts, his disturbing emotions, and his painful memories. I told him if he weren’t having strong emotions right now I’d really think something was wrong with him.

Bill wondered if there was some kind of medication he might use to help him mediate his labile feelings.  Yes, medication may help; however, the longer answer—and in my opinion, the truer answer: it’s going to take a whole lot more than a pill to help Bill.  And the good news is--healing happens.

Fortunately for Bill, he is crystal clear about what he values.  He has an amazing partner who wants him well.  He has two beautiful children.  He is a devout Christian.  He is successful in his work and plans to open his own business in the future.

Being solidly grounded in what he values will allow Bill to move forward, taking at least one baby-step every day in committed action toward those values.

Becoming immersed in a strong recovery program will help him begin the process—and I emphasize process—of recognizing that although thoughts and emotions are sources of information for us, they are likely to be confusing, distorted, and false on a regular basis.  Action is real; action is measurable.

We talked about having a big glass jar. Maybe even a jar to represent each of his most important value areas: Family, Work and Faith.  Each time Bill does an action step—even a tiny one-- that supports what he values, he can drop a pebble in the jar.

A pebble for deep breathing instead of yelling when the kids are running late for school.
A pebble for remembering to look into Beth’s eyes and tell her 'Thank You for sticking with me'.
A pebble for bringing her a rose on the way home from work.
A pebble for getting up an hour early to go to an Al-Anon meeting.
A pebble for sitting down and looking at his kid’s math homework.
A pebble for opening a door for an employee.
A pebble for ‘dying to self’ when an overwhelming urge to use arises and letting God fill the space.

I wondered what it would be like for someone to start this tradition and continue it for years. I got an image of a funeral service-- a celebration of a life well-lived-- and on the altar or around the coffin or around the headstone were hundred of bottles full of pebbles.

Pretty cool, huh?

Because the thing is, if you are loving your family only in your head, and not supporting it with actions, how will they ever know it’s real?

First things first.  Figure out what you are living for.  Get off the drugs.  Find resources to help with thoughts and emotions.  Then, in the words of Nike, 'Just Do It'!  Take committed action toward your values.

  *(Not real names, of course…but you know who you are, and I told you I’d write a blog about this!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Wish I Never Started!

Dr. Peter R. Coleman
I am proud to announce that I am launching a non-profit initiative to educate people about how dangerous opiates really are.  It is called IWINS, which stands for, I Wish I Never StartedIWINS - is producing and distributing short videos of real people with real stories who have personally suffered from opiate abuse.  These people have volunteered to tell their stories so that others may choose not to make the same mistakes they did.  Each story is only about one minute....and they are very powerful. 

For more information, see the bottom of this email just below the video to learn how to participate in the cause!  We need your help to stop this epidemic!  Below is our first IWINS video given by Holly explaining just how opiates took over her life and why she wish she never started. 

Sign up to periodically receive new IWINS videos and share them with others.  

Have comments and/or feedback? I'd love to hear from you!


Thank you for your help!
Peter Coleman, MD

IWINS Founder

Medical Director, The Coleman Institute

Visit our new website!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Mystery of Your Reality

"The most courageous thing we will ever do is to bear humbly the mystery of our own reality".

—Richard Rohr

By Joan Shepherd, FNP

I’m moved by this notion this morning as I think about the people who have come through our doors at The Coleman Institute over the last several weeks.

People who have suffered losses, be it the deaths of children or spouses, health, careers, marriages, homes, or perhaps worst of all, their own self-respect and integrity.  Each person who comes to us for an Accelerated Opiate or Accelerated Benzo or Alcohol detox is making the choice to ‘bear humbly the mystery’ of his or her own reality.

It can be a terrifying thing to anticipate.  Most of our clients fear the actual detox, but the truth is, it’s "Life After Detox" that takes the most courage.

For some people, not having a drug to lean on when sad or bitter memories threaten to overtake them, feels too overwhelming.  For others, facing the reality of the hurt they’ve inflicted on people in their lives seems impossible to bear without some mind and emotion-numbing substances.

Allowing the healing process to begin starts with stopping the drugs or alcohol for good.  It is a journey filled with many paradoxes: you alone must make the decision to change, but people will be along your path at every step to help.  You must enter with courage, but put down all defenses.  You admit your own part in the mess, but allow grace to flood your very being.

One of the things I hear most often at TCI is how compassionately and respectfully our clients are treated.  Call us if you’re ready to check in with the mystery of your reality.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Alcoholism - The Bitter Side of Alcohol

By Dr. Peter Coleman

Alcohol consumption is a part of almost every party and event across the globe.  Occasional consumption of alcohol in moderated quantities is generally considered to be safe for a physically fit person.  Alcoholism, on the other hand, may lead to several physical and mental illness, even death.  Alcoholism is another term for alcohol abuse and it broadly refers to a condition where a person is severely addicted to alcohol and his uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages detriments his health and affects his personal and social life as well as the lives of the greater community.

Alcohol abuse is a dual disease, in which, along with physical health problems, psychological effects are also observed.  A person’s social standing and personal relations can be drastically affected due to mental problems emerging from the continuous consumption of alcohol.  Diseases such as cirrhosis of liver, pancreatitis, cancer, sexual dysfunction, epilepsy, etc. are commonly observed in alcoholics.  In addition to the increased health risks, alcoholism can also prove fatal to individuals.  For example, the fact sheets of WHO for 2011 reported a total death toll of 2.5 million people due to alcohol.  The same fact sheets also report alcohol as the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden.

Alcohol consumption usually begins at an early age for most alcoholics.  The environment that a person lives in plays a huge role in determining a person’s drinking habits.   It is estimated by WHO that 320,000 people in the age group of 15 to 29 die from alcohol.  
People addicted to alcohol often show signs of aggression, depression, abusive behavior, anxiety, etc.  This, in turn, may affect the social behavior of a person and such an alcoholic can harm people around him through violent or traumatic behavior.  Alcohol is a common cause for marital problems and divorces as well.

While addiction to alcohol might be instantaneous or gradual, recovery is usually a long process.  Like other addictions, sudden withdrawal from alcohol can also lead to complications generally termed as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.  Hence, alcohol dependence needs to be treated with care and caution under medical supervision.  
Detoxification is the first step in the treatment of an alcoholic.  Certain medicines are used to avoid alcohol withdrawal due to an abrupt stop in alcohol consumption.  Such treatments should be conducted under expert guidance.  Support of family members is also of prime importance.  In certain cases, patients may be relocated to a rehabilitation center for a few days or weeks.  Follow-up treatments, typically referred to as 'aftercare', are usually required as detox alone does not offer a complete cure for alcoholism.

Alcoholics Anonymous is usually the recommended standard of aftercare treatment.  Patients attend meetings to learn about their alcoholism and how to stay sober for the long-term.  Group therapies and psychological sessions assist greatly in the treatment of alcoholism as well.  Since, there is always a potential danger of relapse; such therapies can aid a person in his/her endeavor to abstain from excessive liquor consumption.  The effects of alcoholism also vary with gender and so does the treatment.  Professional advice and aid can assist effective abstinence from alcohol.  
The Coleman Institute provides alcohol detox for people who seek help for recovery from alcoholism.  Our goal is to provide a safe, easy, and convenient method of detox so that our patients can get clean and stay clean for the rest of their lives.  If you or someone you love is in need of an alcohol detox, please visit our website at for more details.  We're here waiting to help you! Call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 if you need help detoxing off alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone or Suboxone. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

10 Most Important Things Known About Addiction (Pt. 2)

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Yesterday, we opened the topic of the 10 most important things we know about addiction as presented by New Zealand professor of Psychiatry and Addiction Doug Sellman.  As I mentioned in yesterday's article, for many people, addiction is an enigma because it seems, at face value, to be a set of very stupid behaviors committed by very stupid people. What we're learning is that nothing could be further from the truth!  While people do make unwise choices because of their addiction, it is not because they are inherently stupid.  In reality, it is because they are addicted which renders them unable to see potential consequences before they happen.  

At The Coleman Institute, part of our mission is to help people better understand addiction.  In that spirit, today's blog points to part 2 of said article by Professor Sellman.  Please feel free to pass it on to anyone who might benefit from it!

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869. We are here to help you get clean and stay clean!  

You can read part 2 of Professor Sellman's article here

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

10 Most Important Things Known About Addiction (Pt. 1)

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

For many people, addiction is an enigma.  It seems, at face value, to be a set of very stupid behaviors committed by very stupid people. Nothing could be further from the truth!  While people do make unwise choices because of their addiction, it is not because they are inherently stupid.  In reality, it is because they are addicted which renders them unable to see potential consequences before they happen.  

At The Coleman Institute, part of our mission is to help people better understand addiction.  In that spirit, today's blog points to a fantastic article by Doug Sellman, a professor of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, in New Zealand.  

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869. We are here to help you get clean and stay clean!  

You can read part 1 of Professor Sellman's article here

Monday, May 5, 2014

Promises, Promises!

Joan Shepherd, FNP

A couple of weeks ago, we did an Accelerated Alcohol Detox on a lovely young man who is happily still among the living.  He was involved in a pretty bad motor vehicle accident and ended up in the hospital after blowing a breath alcohol level of 2.8.  Yikes!!!   Amazingly, he didn't get hurt too badly.

At The Coleman Institute, we steer people into the most appropriate level of aftercare which may also include therapy.  He didn't talk much during the detox because he's a pretty quiet guy.  After he completed his detox, he started going to his I.O.P. (Intensive Out-Patient) classes.  I think the experience was kind of like a drowning, thirsty guy getting water.  He realized for maybe the first time in his life that he was surrounded by people who KNEW him!

This not in any way discounting his very supportive family.  They talked about feelings and what happens when we don't know how to express them.  They discussed the A.A. 9th step promise: "We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness."

He said good things were already starting to happen.  He owed over $10,000 for his emergency room visit, and he has no health insurance.  He received a call a couple of hours before his follow up appointment with me from the patient advocate at the hospital: the entire debt has been dissolved!  He is looking for more good things to continue.  I have no doubt they will!

Friday, May 2, 2014

A 30-Year Old Ninja?!? (i.e. It's Your Choice!)

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

I love to read blogs.  Have you ever found a blog you like?  If so, you know what I mean!  If you haven't, never fear because a blog you might like is just a mouse click away.  Give it a try!

I follow a blog by a guy who calls himself the '30 year old ninja'.  You read it right!  Turns out he's a young adult from America who left his teaching job to move to Japan to become a real, live ninja.  It was his childhood dream and he decided to go after it.  Can you believe it?  Yeah, I couldn't either.  But, he's doing it.  And I respect that tremendously (I wanted to a be a ninja as a kid too)

Today I received an email from him as part of his blog newsletter group.  In this edition, there was a video he created that I want to share with you.  I will say that it is an intense video but not in a bad way.  It is intense in that it will get you to think and to look deeply into who you are and what you want in life.  All you need to do is be open to the questions it asks.  Some may apply to you.  Some may not.  Some may feel familiar and some may feel uncomfortable.  The process of recovery is about taking new chances in a positive direction.  Do you dare?

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  At The Coleman Institute, we're here to help you get clean and stay clean because we care!

Video link: