Monday, June 30, 2014

New Study Reveals: Patient's Top Concern When Prescribed Opiates is Addiction

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

At The Coleman Institute, we help people detox off of prescription opiates every day.  Most come to us from a surgery or chronic pain issue that ballooned into a full-blown physical addiction to said opiate pills.  It is sad to see people struggle when they had every intention to just follow the doctor's orders and end up hooked on prescription pain pills.  

A new study from NPR and Truven Health Analytics reveals that, surprise surprise, the number one concern for patients who are prescribed opiate pills is addiction.  And for good reason!  Prescription pill abuse and addiction rates have skyrocketed over the last few years in the U.S. with little signs of slowing down!

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of opiates, alcohol, 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.  

Learn more from this new study here!  (scroll down to the second article listed)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Stressed Out Moms: Are They the New Prescription Pill Poppers?

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Prescription pill addiction is rising at alarming rates in the United States.  There are many different types of people who get addicted to these medications.  One particular group that is on the rise are moms.  To be sure, most moms don't set out to become addicted to prescription pills or any other drugs for that matter.  However, just because they are moms, does not mean they are invincible and not susceptible to addiction.  From the valium craze for mother's in the 1960's to the rising rates of other benzos now, it appears moms may be in for a rude awakening when it comes to prescription pill abuse.

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean and stay clean off of prescription pills.  Other substances that we also help people detox from include alcohol, benzos, opiates, Methadone, and Suboxone.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of any of the aforementioned substances, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869 today.  We're here for you!

Read more about the rise of addicted mother's here!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Who Inspires You?

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

The world of drugs and alcohol abuse by celebrities is often portrayed differently than the corresponding actual reality of said substances.  Most people think of celebrities as untouchables; human gods even, who have no problems and don't create any for themselves.  We can prove this wrong with two words:  Elton John.

Mr. John has been sober now for over 20 years.  In spite of that, John still has drug dreams at least twice a week.  A drug dream is any dream containing images of drugs or scenarios where the person dreaming is using drugs.  It leaves people who are otherwise sober in horror when they wake up only to find that, this time, it was all just a bad dream!

John has changed his ways after going through most of the 1980's in a drug fueled binge.  Not only is he sober but his actions prove it.  Instead of sitting on the sidelines like he did during the 1980's, his charity for the fight against AIDS has raised $275 million dollars for research and treatment of people living with the dreaded disease.  He could not do that when he was using.  Sobriety, it seems, is good for Mr. John and, it turns out, the rest of the world!

Elton John is just one of many celebrities who are breaking their silence with the general public about their struggles with addictions to drugs and/or alcohol.  You can read more using the link below.  It is really good news to see celebrities who have the power and the influence to spread the message of sobriety and recovery doing just that!

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.  We would love to help you get clean and stay clean.

Read more about other celebrities speaking out about their own struggles with addiction here!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Socking Soccer Sisters!

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

World Cup Fever has taken over the United States along with just about every other country across the globe as the world's biggest soccer tournament marches on.  Over the weekend, people reveled at the action and the outcomes.  Some outcomes, however, were a total suprise!

It looks like Hope Solo, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and soccer star for the U.S., was arrested over the weekend for assaulting her sister and nephew due to alcohol.  It is being reported that she was belligerent and refused to leave the residence where the party took place.  How the case will resolve itself remains to be seen.  

It's a great lesson to remember: self-control goes out the window for many people when they loose a grip on their faculties due to alcohol consumption.  Don't be fooled!  If it can happen to a two-time Olympic gold medalist, it could happen to you!  At The Coleman Institute, we exist to help people get clean and stay clean.  It is our privilege and honor to help those who struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol.  

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, drugs, benzos, Methadone or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  We are here for you!

You can read more of the article here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

I ran across a picture in my Facebook feed today that really left me in silence.  It is the one posted over this article of a young boy trying to pull his drunk, incoherent father up to his feet.  This boy must be all of about 5-7 years old and he lacks the size and the strength to help his father up.  We don't know what happened after this picture but we can guess what happened before. 

The father, obviously, had too much to drink.  Was it the first time?  Was it a one time slip?  Doubtful but possible.  Clearly, somewhere in his mind, the father thought that getting plowed would be an answer to his problems.  Of course, it only creates more.

One of the keys to recovery is the ability to predict outcomes.  That is, knowing in advance or trying to predict in advance, what consequences might occur from certain actions or lack thereof.  For example, if you just get out of a 30 day inpatient facility and decide to room with an old friend back home who still parties but promises to keep it 'under control', do think that is a smart move?  Many alcoholics will say, "I think I'll just have a beer with dinner."  Then they end up drunk on the street getting help from their little boy because they are too incoherent to get up on their own. 

How are you at predicting outcomes of certain behaviors that will leave negative consequences in their wake?  To be certain, life is not 100% predictable or controllable.  However, where we DO have the option to think ahead and avoid threatening situations for sobriety sake, we should do just that.  If we aren't sure how to do that, we can ask someone further down the road of recovery to illuminate the right path for us so we can stay sober and safe!

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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tim McGraw: Sober and Fit Country Star

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Many people have a fixed idea in their head of what an 'addict' or 'alcoholic' looks like.  You know the stereotypes: unkempt, toothless, bad skin, bad hair, uneducated, poor, minority, etc. etc. etc.  Reality is much different than our preconceived notions!

For example, in the upcoming July/August issue of Men's Health Magazine, country superstar Tim McGraw is very open and honest about his life change involving sobriety from alcohol.  In fact, he is the exact opposite of most of the common stereotypes for an 'alcoholic' or 'drug addict'.  And he has every reason to stop drinking: a beautiful wife (Faith Hill), gobs of money, his own house on his own island in the Bahamas, 3 kids, 40 million albums sold with...count them...thirty-two #1 singles, 3 Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 12 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Music Awards, and much more.  

It just goes to show you that you can have it all and still think that chemicals will give you that one piece you are missing.  Tim realized that is not true.  Now he is dedicated to keep healthy and fit as he embraces sobriety.  Read more here.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Doesn't Kill You...

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Many people have grown up hearing the phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  In particular, many of us have heard this phrase, after we have complained about something that has hurt us, as a two-part piece of advice: one part semi-motivation to press on in spite of the pain and the other part semi-get-over-it-sarcasm! In many ways, the statement is very true.  That is, pain is a way of growing and building strength.  As the Marines often say, "pain is weakness leaving the body".  What happens, however, when something doesn't make you stronger and instead it just kills you?  Heroin is like that.  In fact, it specializes in it.  

Case in point.  Heroin deaths are on the rise in Pennsylvania.  In fact, the alarming increase in heroin-related deaths has caused one town to have public hearings to solve the problem.  The problem is getting that bad.  And, unlike the popular phrase, heroin will kill you.  It's a fact.  

If you or someone you love has a problem with opiates, maybe even heroin, we can help.  At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean and stay clean through our unique outpatient detox that allow people who are addicted to opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone or Suboxone to have a brand new life.  Please call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  

Please take a moment and read this article about the increase in heroin-related deaths in Pennsylvania.  We have to stop this epidemic.  Learn more here

Friday, June 13, 2014

Common Traits of a Drug Addict: You Might Be Surprised!

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Loser.  Low-life.  Underachiever.  Rebel.  Lazy.  Unmotivated.  Unhealthy.  Failure.  These are just a few of the words people often aim at those who struggle with addiction even if they sober now and in recovery.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

Do people do things that make them underachievers while they are on drugs?  Yes.  Do they rebel on drugs?  Yes.  Are they unmotivated, unhealthy and do they fail in life because of drugs?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  But, they are that way because they have unfortunately activated the disease of addiction in their brains and can't stop it unassisted. 

Today, I'd like to draw your attention to an article that discusses six of the most common traits found in drug abusers.  It's good to understand these traits so you can better understand addiction as well as understand why people struggle so much to stay clean in the long-term. 

If you or someone you love is in need of dexo from alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869.  We're here for you! 

Learn about the 6 common traits on a drug addict here!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Prescription Drug Abuse: It's STILL Drug Abuse!

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Did you know that  more than 2,000 teens begin abusing prescription drugs each day.1 We are on a mission to stop prescription drug abuse in this country!  We do this in several ways: education, prevention and treatment.  I would like to share an article with you that is packed with resources for families and communities struggling with this epidemic.  

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!

You can read the article from Purdue Pharma here.

1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-44, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4713. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pot Isn't Harmless

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

In 2014, pot seems to be the wave of the future.  Many voices are screaming out loud, "Legalize it!"  At least that's what many people think is the right thing to do.  But is it really?  Is pot really all that good for you?  

An article that came out last week by the New England Journal of Medicine claiming the opposite.  In fact, pot is harmful.  People do not want to face the truth because it would mean they can't smoke pot.  The truth is that it is not harmless and there are consequences.  

If you or someone 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.  We're hear for you to help you get clean and stay clean. 

Read more of the article here. You may reconsider your position on the legalization of pot. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Sting of Alcoholism

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

If you read our blog this past Wednesday, then you now know that the true cause of death for the lead singer of GWAR was an overdose of heroin.  I didn't think when I wrote that article that I would be writing this article just two days later but addiction makes no sense and plays by its own rules.  

The seminal heavy metal band The Scorpions were recently overseas in Dubai to play some concerts.  It seems that their drummer ran his mouth about Islam insulting and breaking the law over said subject and ended up being imprisoned.  He released a press statement acknowledging his wrongs and highlighting a sincere desire to get better. 

From his Facebook page, drummer James Kottak, "After years of drinking alcohol, on April 3rd, 2014 my addiction caught up with me during a five-hour flight from Ekaterinburg Russia to Bahrain via Dubai, during which I consumed 5 or 6 glasses of wine.  They called the police and reported that I was intoxicated (which I was) and that I made a lewd gesture.  When the police asked me to show my ID, I showed them the Rock and Roll Forever tattoo on my back instead of my actual ID which was in my back pack my friend was carrying for me.  Apparently, the police did not find this funny."  

Kottak continues, "This entire incident caused me to realize that it is time to stop drinking once and for all so that I can become the father, musician, and friend that I know I can be.  I am glad to put this unfortunate incident behind me and move onward and upward with my life."  His confession is a breath of fresh air.  There were no excuses.  He admits he messed up and that he wants to change.  We wish him well in his journey into recovery!

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 specialize in helping people get clean and stay clean.  We're here for you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Heroin Wins Again: GWAR Lead Singer Dead From Overdose

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Any music fan who has lived in the city of Richmond, VA since the early 80's knows of the band GWAR.  Their concerts are the stuff of legend.  It is only now in the wake of their singer Dave Brockie's death from an overdose of heroin that I regret never seeing them.  I am a KISS fan.  GWAR was like a local version of KISS.  While I can't comment on their music because, embarrassed to say, I haven't ever listened to it.  I am going to change that starting today.  

Let me be clear:  I am not trying to jump on the GWAR bandwagon just because of the recent news of lead singer Dave Brockie's demise at 50.  Rather, I am using this unfortunate news to highlight the epidemic of heroin overdoses taking place all over the country, and now, in the RVA (Richmond, VA  for those who don't live here).  When will it stop!?!

I am musician and a songwriter.  I love music.  However, I hate the myth that to be an artist or a creative person you must blow your brains out using illegal drugs.  It's just not true.  It is a lie.  And it makes me so angry when another artist dies because of drugs.  And who knows why Brockie used heroin.  He had his reasons and only he knew them.  In the end, it's sad that his life was stolen from him at such a young age. 

For those of  you who are reading this and  aren't familiar with the biology of addiction, I would like to share just a little bit about that.  At The Coleman Institute, we adhere to the 'disease model' in understanding addiction.  That is, addiction is a disease of the brain that is not the addict's fault for having.  No one asks for addiction.  The problem is when people start using drugs and alcohol, even for the first time, they can set off the dormant addiction in their head.  That's why it's dangerous to try alcohol and/or drugs even once.  

People often do bad things when they are under the influence.  They also do immoral things.  The reality is that they have lost control of their ability to make well-thought out decisions.  That does not excuse their behavior nor does it remove the possible consequences (see: Dave Brockie).  However, for too long, society has judged addicts and alcoholics as lazy, stupid, evil, immoral people when the reality is that addicts and alcoholics are sick people needing to get well.  

Unfortunately Dave Brockie's disease got the best of him.  Ironically, the average age of a rock star upon death is 52.  Brockie was only 50.  Was he hell-bent for destruction?  Who knows?  More importantly, who really cares.  What we must remember is that life is short and precious.  There are so many people suffering from addiction right now as I type this sentence in our city and around the world.  Be brave.  Reach out to someone in need and encourage them to get clean and stay clean.  Don't judge them.  Don't put them down.  See them as a sick friend who is in need of your help.  You'll be glad you did.  And check out GWAR.  They had Grammy nominations and a worldwide following.  Not bad for a little band that started at VCU in the 804.  

Let's remember Dave Brockie in all his glory as his character on stage singing with his band

(Dave "Oderus Urungus" Brockie 1963-2014)

At The Coleman Institute, we are passionate about helping people get clean and stay clean from opiates, alcohol, and benzos.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  We're here for you. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chronic Pain and Prescription Drug Abuse

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.
Chronic pain is nothing to smile about.  It is often a crippling, debilitating, and frustrating experience that puts hope out of reach and makes comfort a distant memory of the past.  It is very real.  Too many people suffer every moment of every day with this issue!
Enter: prescription drugs.  While these modern medical marvels often do wonders for people's chronic pain, the important question to ask is: at what cost?  That is, for people requiring prescription medications to manage their chronic pain, is it worth it to risk getting addicted to those same medications?  This is a very important yet difficult question to answer because some people really do need to be on these medicines for pain relief.
The point of the practice of medicine is to cure disease and restore health.  The Hippocratic Oath that doctors uphold instructs each practitioner to, "abstain from doing harm."  In most cases, doctors who prescribe chronic pain medication are doing just that: abstaining from doing harm.  They sincerely want their patients to cease being in pain and they prescribe what they believe to be the right medicines accordingly.  However, many doctors do not understand prescription pill addiction and they write excessive refills that only keep a patient addicted.  
If that is not bad enough, chronic pain patients also deal with the stigma of being considered a 'drug addict' even though they never took the drugs to get high but rather for pain management.  Many try to wean themselves off their medication only to fail and have to go back on it because the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms are just too much.  Add in a sense of failure with their new budding addiction and you have a self-esteem disaster waiting to happen all because they started taking the medication as prescribed by their doctor!
There is no easy answer to this problem it would seem.  However, that is not the whole truth.  People can get off of prescription pain medication and often find that their pain is not what they remembered it to be before they started using addictively.
At The Coleman Institute, we believe that addiction is a 'no-fault' disease.  It is a biological problem that turns into a behavioral problem.  Addiction centers around two reasons for use: 'recreation' or  'chronic pain'.  We believe anyone can be free from addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.  If you or someone you love is in need 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.

Heroin Use and High School Students

By Peter R. Coleman, M.D.

In a recent study of high school students, 37% said they did NOT think trying heroin one time was a risky behavior.  Can you believe it?  We are facing an epidemic of opiate abuse in this country whether it is by prescription pills given by doctors or through heroin on the streets.  The biggest concern is the younger generation does not fear the power of opiate addiction.  I am passionate about helping solve this problem through my new educational initiative called IWINS (I Wish I Never Started) which we launched in early May of this year.  Allow me to take a few moments and share a little bit about it.

The goal of IWINS is to prevent teenagers, including my own children, from ever experiencing the challenge of opiate addiction. Although it is very important to prevent all drug use among teenagers, IWINS focuses on educating teenagers on the dangers of one drug in particular: opiates.  The reason is many believe that using opiates is as safe as smoking pot or drinking alcohol.  

Unfortunately, it is not. Opiates account for nearly three-out-of-four prescription drug overdoses. According to the Center of Disease Control, more than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010. That same year, a total of 16,651 people lost their lives from overdosing on opiates.

The IWINS initiative focuses on the stories of addiction patients that have recently detoxed at The Coleman Institute. By capturing these stories on video and sharing them through the IWINS website as well as social media, I hope my children, as well as teenagers across the U.S., will resist the temptation to try opiate drugs.

Since the accidental heroin overdose of acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, national attention has turned to the crisis of opiate addiction in the United States. IWINS is a non-profit initiative aimed at educating students, parents and their communities on the highly addictive nature of opiate drugs. In addition to sharing the stories of those in recovery, IWINS offers a variety of resources and information equipping the public with the knowledge they need to prevent opiate addiction in their communities. Finally, there is an invitation for students to take the pledge to never try opiates, even for the first time at the IWINS website.  For more information or to take the pledge, please visit:

Gene C. Wilson, IWINS Board Member,

(804)353-1230, ext. 312