Helpful resources

The following information from the federal governent agency Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a lot of relevant and good information for professionals and patients alike." It's long so you may want to go to the sections that have the information you are looking for first".
Link is below.
https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma18-5063fulldoc.pdf 

Below are links to websites that we endorse and/or recommend, although I cannot say that each and every piece of advice or discussion is something I can endorse or recommend. Read with caution, but there is some good advice on all of this".

General discussion board and information about Opioid Abuse Disorder. This site is run by and moderated by Board Certified Addiction Medicine Psychiatrists. A great source for general information.

www.suboxonetalkzone.com

Help and Recovery Information with Methamphetamine Use   
www.crystalmeth.org

Help and Recovery Information with Cocaine Use   
https://ca.org   

Help and Recovery Information for people struggling with Narcotic Use. We can help as well and is our specialty. Also host meetings. 
https://na.org 


A resource for inexpensive medical advice and help.
https://www.simplemedicalbenefits.com/peace/telemedicine/   


Feeling blue? Like, way way down? Have feelings of hopelessness and possibly distraught over your current situation? Feelings of wanting to harm yourself, others, or know someone who does?
Then please click on the link below, there IS help available, and remember, it is always the darkest before the dawn. Things can and will get better. Just click on the link, and/or call the number.  
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org  or 1-800-273-8255


For instant online counseling visit: 

https://www.betterhelp.com

anxiety corner

Some apps may help with anxiety, you may research these apps at your leisure, try one out and see if 
it works, many are free. Some that are available are Breethe and Calm. You may find others that suit 
you better, but a lot of people get help from these apps.

Vergence Therapy

This is a very interesting technique for reducing anxiety in 3 minutes!  It works about 80% of the time, the worse the anxiety the better it works, and it is a reflex reaction, meaning it doesn’t require you to concentrate or do much at all.  It’s as much a reflex as when the doctor taps your knee and the knee goes out, you don’t have to think about it at all. 

There is a link at the bottom for those who want to know more about this technique, however the technique is very simple, and described below.  I have actually seen this reduce anxiety in a guy in full blown heroin withdrawal from a 10 out of 10 to a 5 out of 10 in 3 minutes. 

The technique is this:

Hold a pen in front of your face at a comfortable to look at distance.

Look at the pen for about 4 seconds (not necessary but having a clock that “ticks” beside you can help you keep count, but you don’t really have to do that.  Just look at the pen for 3-5 seconds.

Then look at a ceiling or a wall at least 10-15 feet away, the further this wall is away the better (I think).

Repeat the above process for 3 minutes.

It is IMPORTANT to set a timer or look at a clock, because time becomes distorted when one is doing this. 

Some people like to do this at bedtime but you can do it at anytime during the day.  It will not put you to sleep necessarily.  Most people (especially those who start out at a 7-8/10) feel a tremendous reduction in their anxiety right away.  It works by turning on your “parasympathetic” system, which is your “chill, rest, relax” system.  Try it, you have nothing to lose, but follow the instructions as above.  For more detailed information, click the link. (Don’t try this while driving or doing any activity that requires concentration though.)

Meditation

Meditation has clinical studies including functional MRI studies that indicates that it “calms” the brain.  It works differently than hypnosis, and is not hypnosis, as it affects different parts of the brain than hypnosis.  Being one of those who tried meditation several times never having it “work” for me, the following method works pretty well, and is pretty easy.  The following article has a short version, and a long more detailed, explained, version.  Try it.  You may like it.  And of course, do not do this while driving!  

“Touch and Return” method

(Short version)

20min 1-2 x a day

Focus on the breath

Use diaphragmatic breathing if possible (see below for better explanation of this)

When you find your mind wandering, making lists of things to do for the day, or other thoughts, just “notice” these thoughts,  and then go back to the breath

Remember “all thoughts are not to be trusted”

Add/Set a soft chime/gong to end your 20 min

“Touch and Return” method

(Long version)

Focusing on the breath, there are many things about the breath that I can tell you and you may notice other things about it on your own.  Feel the air as it comes in through your nose, down your throat, into the upper parts of the lungs then the lower parts.  You may notice that the air is a little cooler going in and a little warmer coming out.  Notice your abdominal muscles (see diaphragmatic breathing below) going in and out, easily, gently. 

Diaphragmatic breathing.  Often referred to as yoga breathing or prana breathing.  This type of breathing uses the diaphragm to pull in the air instead of the chest muscles.  It may help activate the parasympathetic system (chill/rest/relax system) rather than the sympathetic system (freeze/flight/fight system).  To try this put a hand on your abdomen, and when you breath in you should push out with your abdomen against your hand and your chest muscles should stay fairly still.  For some this comes easily, others it is harder, but that’s the simplest easiest way to achieve this.  If you don’t get it at first just keep trying.  This is part of focusing on the breath.

Thoughts.  “All thoughts are not to be trusted”.  This simply means that thoughts may occur to us and in this meditation technique we have no judgment on thoughts, we just “notice” them and then go back to the breath.  We all have unwanted thoughts and these are simply under this category of “not to be trusted”. 

Thoughts don’t have to intrude on your focusing on your breath.  It’s just that if they do, you “notice” them, leave them alone, and come back to focusing on the breath.  You may find that sometimes you have longer periods of time where you are simply focusing on the breath for longer and longer periods with no effort.

Studies do indicate that a high percentage of people who regularly meditate, experience some level of anxiety and/or unwanted thoughts at some point in time, while meditating.  Just remember, you can stop at any time you like, or you can just “notice” those thoughts and dismiss them, going back to focusing on the breath.  Remember, “all thoughts are not to be trusted”.  

Constipation

Constipation is a big problem for a lot of patients. A bowel movement daily is generally the least 
recommended number. A lot of information is available and it's different for everyone. From Peak 
Colon supplement nightly to Miralax to other remedies, something may work for you that doesnt work 
for others. Search out "Constipation" on the following link, and they have a lot of reputable advice on 
other issues as well.