summit behavioral health

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Union, NJ

HIGHS, LOWS, INSOMNIA, and DRUGS: JUST PART OF BEING SUCCESSFUL

Michael: a case study on drug addiction, co-occurring disorders and addiction treatment.

May 18, 2016


(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // Union, NJ, USA // Admissions

Michael always had highs and lows, difficulty sleeping, and terrible fears of not being good enough or failing. In high school he just thought these feelings were part of the stress and pressure of being popular, a high school football star, and maintaining good grades. He was the star quarterback in high school, had good grades and was popular. Being up and down and not sleeping were just a part of the stress and pressure and being successful.  

Then it happened. During opening game of his senior year, he was sacked, and suffered a sports related injury. His throwing arm was injured. His coach and parents took him to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sport’s injuries who prescribed Percocet also known as oxycodone, a narcotic pain medication, to treat the pain in his shoulder and arm. Michael stated, “the oxy’s were a miracle.” They took the pain away and he could throw and perform at practice and in games. They also, “picked me up.” They didn’t make him sleepy they actually gave him a boost in energy and clarity. His highs and lows weren’t so bad when he first began taking the Percocet. He was sleeping less but he felt that sleep was always an issue for him anyway. He could play with the pain meds and get through the school day pain free as long as he had the oxycodone. When he ran out of out the pain pills his arm pain was worse than when he was first injured so he went back to the orthopedic surgeon who prescribed more.

As the season wore on and his need for the pain meds increased he became more moody. His grades began to fall, and his throwing capacity and ability to participate in football decreased. He couldn’t sleep. He became increasingly moody. His fears and paranoia increased. He became afraid to walk onto the football field or face anyone at school. So he took more pills to take the edge off. Eventually the doctor wouldn’t prescribe any more pain medication, so he had to get it on his own.

His parents, teachers and coach became concerned so they sent him to a therapist to help with his moodiness and inability to sleep. The therapist told him that he was suffering from depression, insomnia, agoraphobia and most likely Manic Depressive Disorder (MDD).  These were actual medical diagnoses and with proper prescription medications he could return to his normal functioning of going to school and playing football. He began further treatment with a psychiatrist who confirmed the diagnoses of depression, insomnia, Panic Disorder, MDD also known as bipolar and was placed on the appropriate prescription medications used to treat these disorders.

The meds helped some but by now he was addicted to the narcotic pain medication.

Although Michael continued to see the psychiatrist and take his meds he could not get off the oxys. His life continued to spiral downward. His grades slipped. He couldn’t play football. He was afraid to go to school. He didn’t want to leave the house.

Michael barely graduated from high school. He needed more and more oxys just to function. If he didn’t have the drugs he would get sick. He would have diarrhea, stomach pains and throw up. The insomnia was worse without them. His agitation and mood swings increased. He kept going back to the psychiatrist who increased his bipolar meds, and sleeping pills. This didn’t seem to work. His psychiatrist informed his parents the medications would never work because he was addicted to the narcotic pain medication and needed treatment for his drug addiction.

Michael’s parents checked him into Summit Behavioral Health to get help for his drug addiction and his co-occurring disorders. The medical team at Summit placed him on low dose Suboxone to help with the oxy addiction and his early recovery and continued his prescribed co-occurring disorder medication regime. He was off the Percocet and clean from the drugs, but his other symptoms weren’t improving. While off the drugs and in treatment the medical staff at Summit decided to use Pharmacogenetic testing to evaluate the efficacy of Michael’s necessary medication therapy for treatment off his Manic Depressive Disorder, insomnia, agoraphobia and Panic Disorder. The pharmacogenetic testing revealed his current psych meds weren’t working for him and never would be effective based on his genetic markers and brain chemistry.

The medical and treatment team at Summit were able to prescribe the right medication therapy to treat Michael’s MDD, Panic Disorder, insomnia, depression, and agoraphobia. With the appropriate medication regime, Suboxone, therapy and treatment Michael began to improve significantly. He began participating in group therapy and treatment more. His fears, anxiety, paranoia and depression decreased significantly. He was actually sleeping. He completed the inpatient addiction program and was transitioned to intensive outpatient addiction treatment. He got a part-time job for the first time in years, and joined a social group for young men in recovery. For the first time ever he felt he could cope with simple daily life and he actually felt good about himself. Michael stated, “I am so grateful to be clean and on the right medication therapy. I actually feel like I have a life today and a chance for a better life in the future.”

Summit Behavioral Health Detox Center is here to help you as you make the life-changing decision of recovery, call us now at 908-481-4250.

 

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Disclaimer:  Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.