In this article about teen heroin use on SheKnows.com, Dr. Sack explains to parents that the ease and ability to get heroin is much higher than it has ever been before making it one of today’s “mainstream” drugs. Dr. Sack says this growing epidemic is something parents need to be aware of and education themselves about. When asked to talk about the ways teens end up using heroin, Dr. Sack says,”many people are getting their first exposure to opiates through prescription narcotic medications. They develop a sense of safety around these medications even though they are highly lethal and account for most of the increase in overdose deaths. Adding that of the steady increase in heroin addicts he has seen, in most cases the heroin addiction follows prescription drug addiction or abuse.”
Dr. Sack recently spoke on-air with Madeleine Brand of NPR’s KCRW-FM during the ‘Press Play’ program. The segment on “Personal Overdose Device” discussed the FDA’s recent approval of Evzio, the first hand-held auto-injector to reverse opioid overdose. Evzio is specifically designed to be given by family members or caregivers instead of medical professionals.
Dr. Sack explains that Naloxone, a drug that has been around for 25 years and blocks the effects of opiate drugs, previously had to be administered by someone with medical training. With Evzio, Naloxone can now be self-administrated, or can be quickly used by a non-professional, in time to save someone’s life during an overdose. Dr. Sack also talks about the symptoms of an overdose and some of the reasons behind the rise of overdoses over the past decades.
One of the biggest points of conversation was whether or not this new drug will “allow” or “encourage” people to do more drugs. Dr. Sack explains that the first part is breaking through denial. People are not choosing to use drugs based on “how safe the drugs are” and notes that we are in an overdose epidemic now.
Dr. Sack was featured on CBSNews.com in an article titled, “As heroin deaths spike, families deal with grief.” In the article, Dr. Sack said that deaths linked to heroin have increased in the last five years and are steadily going up. Dr. Sack explained that prescription opiates have become more expensive, putting pressure on addicts to look for other solutions like heroin, which is cheaper and more potent. Additionally, Dr. Sack is quoted saying that, “there is an epidemic of prescription drug abuse that involves medications that are opiates, and heroin is sort of the king of opiates.” Read the entire article on CBSNews.com.
Dr. Sack appeared in a segment on America Now News discussing the rise of prescription drug addiction among women. America Now News is a daily television magazine program hosted by Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic, featuring “news you can really use” on lifestyle topics such as health, diet, family and pets.
Dr. Sack explains how addiction to pain medications is an epidemic and the reason why women are more vulnerable to prescription medication abuse is because they have an higher incidence of depression and anxiety disorders. Dr. Sack talks about warning signs to look out for including sudden irresponsibility, excessive drowsiness, irritability, or losing pills and running out early. Dr. Sack recommends talking to their doctor directly and sharing what the problems are with the medications they are using.
In this piece on the New York Times Opinion Pages, Dr. Sack writes
Addiction has three main characteristics that cause it to be considered a disease. First, it has a lifelong course characterized by frequent relapses, cross addiction and a common set of behavioral changes. Second, like other chronic medical disorders, genetics plays an important role is determining who is at risk to become addicted. Finally, there are effective medications that treat drug addiction by blocking the rewarding effects of drugs and decreasing drug cravings.
CNN reached out to Promises Treatment Centers’ CEO Dr. David Sack recently to discuss opiate addiction and to shed light on the incidence of relapse among addicts who have completed treatment.
“Facilitators” who surround the highly affluent, those who travel in artistic circles, are the enemy of the addict, Dr. Sack told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” newscast. And in fact, many artists “view drugs as part of the creative process, part of the lifestyle,” he said.
In an article on thefix.com, Dr. Sack talks about protracted withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS is the name of the condition that leaves recovering addicts and alcoholics feeling the worse for wear. PAWS is a series of post-acute symptoms of recovery from dependence on drugs including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opiates. Dr. Sack is quoted saying, “the brain has tremendous capacity to heal, but it doesn’t heal quickly. In general, PAWS symptoms peak around four to eight weeks after quitting.” Read the entire article here.
In “The High Risk of Relapse Leading to Accidental Overdose” on thefix.com, Dr. Sack explains that, for addicts who relapse, overdose is an all too frequent occurrence. Dr. Sack says that it is this combination that proves fatal: “The greatest risk to a person who is in early treatment and who relapses is the threat of overdose because they have no tolerance but also they often have poor judgment in how much they should be using.” Read the entire article here.
The article highlights a number of true stories where individuals have consumed large quantities of alcohol and have made the mistake of shopping while under the influence. Dr. Sack explains that, “people who drink may be prone to other impulse-control problems because the part of the brain that’s involved—the reward center—is driven by both of those activities in slightly different ways. We see a fair number of people who, in addition to drinking excessively, go through spending sprees where they literally buy up the store and have tremendous remorse and regret because they may not even remember having done it.” Additionally, Dr. Sack notes that not everyone who has buyer’s remorse after an alcohol-fueled expenditure needs professional help, however, there are ways to protect yourself from this type of retail regret. Read the full article on Forbes.com.
In this HER Radio segment with Dr. Pamela Peeke, Dr. Sack explains that everyday activities that you may find to be therapeutic (like shopping, tanning, or exercising) have the potential to become just as addictive and destructive as drugs and alcohol. Dr. Sack then talks about how your gender, genes, family upbringing, and mental health issues all increase your risk of developing a dependency. He also shares how you can seek proper treatment. Listen to the entire show below:
A sought-after media expert, Dr. Sack has appeared on Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, The Early Show, E! News, The Doctors, and many other outlets. He blogs for Huffington Post, PsychCentral and Psychology Today and has also been interviewed and quoted by the major print media, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Time Magazine. View Media Reel >
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[tabs style="1"] [tab title="Got Teens?"] Don't forget to Lock the Cabinet! Dr. David Sack and Promises Treatment Centers ask you to commit to keeping addictive prescription drugs out of the hands of teens. Visit LocktheCabinet.com to learn more[/tab]
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