The New Criteria for Alcoholism

alcohol-use-disorderAlcoholism will now be diagnosed on a spectrum, including mild, moderate, and severe. Historically, doctors divided problematic drinking into two categories, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. The new criteria for alcoholism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), no longer includes abuse and dependence diagnoses, Science Daily reports. Now, there is a single alcohol use disorder diagnosis. Under the new criteria, new research suggests that a third of adults have an alcohol use disorder, and just 20 percent seek treatment for their disease. Having a single drink per day could put one at risk, depending on family history and behavior. Diagnosing an alcohol use disorder now involves an 11 item criteria list, according to the article. Mild alcohol use disorder requires having two or three criteria from the list, while a severe diagnosis requires six or more. Worldwide, alcohol use disorders affect more people than any other mental health condition. In the United States, researchers found an alcohol use disorder lifetime prevalence of 29.1 percent - but only 19.8 percent of adults were ever treated.
"Most importantly, this study highlighted the urgency of educating the public and policymakers about AUD [alcohol use disorder] and its treatments, destigmatizing the disorder and encouraging among those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment," the study concludes.
The research indicated that the 12-month prevalence of alcohol use disorder under the new DSM-5 criteria was 13.9 percent and the lifetime prevalence was 29.1 percent. The aforementioned percentages equate to approximately 32.6 million and 68.5 million adults. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Physicians Have Misconceptions About Opioids

doctorPhysicians who understand the nature of addiction are crucial in the fight against prescription opioid abuse. Unfortunately, a new survey indicates that many doctors have misconceptions about current opioids on the market and lack an understanding of opioid abuse, PsychCentral reports. The findings come from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 primary care physicians. The new survey, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, showed that almost half of internists, family physicians and general practitioners believe that abuse-deterrent pills are less addictive than traditional opioid medications. The researchers contend that this error in reasoning may be contributing to the prescription opioid epidemic plaguing the country. While abuse-deterrent formulations may make it more difficult for addicts to tamper with pills to be used in unintended ways, such drugs are in no way less addictive than their forerunners.
“Physicians and patients may mistakenly view these medicines as safe in one form and dangerous in another, but these products are addictive no matter how you take them,” study leader G. Caleb Alexander, MD, said in a news release. “If doctors and patients fail to understand this, they may believe opioids are safer than is actually the case and prescribe them more readily than they should.”
The research showed that one-third of the physicians thought that the majority of prescription drug abuse occurs by means of injecting or snorting the medications, rather than orally, according to the article. However, a number of studies show that most prescription drug abuse occurs via oral use.
“Doctors continue to overestimate the effectiveness of prescription pain medications and underestimate their risks, and that’s why we are facing such a public health crisis,” Alexander said.
The findings were published in the Clinical Journal of Pain.

Low-Level Drug Offenders Deported

deport In the past several years the President, as well as a number of government officials, have highlighted the need for the end of harsh punishments with regard to low-level drug offenders. Unfortunately, both illegal and legal immigrants do not seem to be covered under that umbrella. A new report has found that around 260,000 non-citizens convicted of drug offenses have been deported from the U.S., The Guardian reports. As many as 34,000 of these deportation cases were due to charges for marijuana possession. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, A Price Too High: US Families Torn Apart by Deportations for Low Level Offenses, found that between 2007-2012 over a quarter million people were deported regardless of the nature of their crimes, their length of time in the U.S., or family ties to this country. Those deported included both undocumented residents as well as permanent residents holding green cards, according to the article. Last November, President Barack Obama made a promise that deportation would only be reserved for the most serious criminals. However, the HRW report indicates the exact opposite of such a promise.
“Felons not families; criminals not children; gang members [and not] a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids,” said Obama.
Lawful permanent residents who are charged with simple possession are able to file for a cancellation of deportation, according to the report. While they may be able to win their case, deportation lawyers point out that such cases can take several months to years. In the interim, most people facing these charges are placed in mandatory detention while proceedings are pending. If deported from the United States for a drug crime, many lose their right to ever return to the country. Such acts, for crimes as benign as simple possession, only serve to tear families apart. Crimes associated with drug possession, and perhaps ultimately with addiction, affect not only the individual, but also the entire family. Addiction is a family disease. You can view the full HRW report, here.

PACE Recovery Center Receives CARF Accreditation

PACE Recovery Center Announces CARF Three Year Accreditation

PACE Recovery Center's CARF Accreditation On May 29, 2015, PACE Recovery Center was honored to receive notification from CARF's Brian J.  Boon, PhD, President/CEO that PACE Recovery Center has been accredited by CARF International for a period of three years.  This accreditation is for the following PACE programs: Dr. Boon offered the following congratulations:
This achievement is an indication of your organization's dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served. Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of practice excellence."

Learning more about CARF

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) was founded in 1966 and "is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services."

The importance of a three year accreditation

The PACE Recovery Center's treatment team brings decades of clinical expertise and personal experience dealing with addiction and co-occurring disorders. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows PACE's substantial conformance to the CARF standards. We recognize  that an organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. We have demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit our commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.
PACE Founder Lenny Segal
Lenny Segal, LMSW, MBA
PACE Executive Director and Founder, Lenny Segal, says it best:
We are excited to have PACE Recovery Center achieve a three year CARF International accreditation. We will continue to offer our Clients, Families and Referents the highest level of care."
  To learn more about our men's only extended care drug and alcohol treatment program and our intensive outpatient program you can contact us and be assured our PACE programs are built on the idea that by helping the client work on their underlying issues, they will be able to achieve long-term sobriety. Remember at PACE a Positive Attitude Changes Everything.

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