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Dr. Fred Hesse interviewed on the Heroin Epidemic

Dr. Fred Hesse, MD here at Arms Acres, posted an interview regarding the heroin epidemic. You can read his segment below, or read the entire article at . The article is authored by Michael Turton.


Addiction and treatment

Dr. Frederick Hesse, medical director at Arms Acres, a rehabilitation facility in Carmel, explained the nature of heroin addiction in an email to The Paper. “When someone uses opiate pain medications or heroin, receptors in the brain are over-stimulated, and the brain makes Fix Pokemon Go GPS Signal Not Found more receptors that will need more of the opiate with repeated use,” Hesse said. “Once tolerance (to opiates) builds up, any sudden drop in the dose will cause intense symptoms of pain, aches, sweats, cramps and diarrhea.”

By then brain chemistry has changed and an addict no longer seeks drugs to get high, but to avoid being sick. The need for the drug becomes a survival instinct. “Patients feel a drive for opiates similar to the intensity of hunger and thirst,”
Approaching Arms Acres in Carmel (photo courtesy Arms Acres)

Approaching Arms Acres in Carmel (photo courtesy Arms Acres)

Treatment for opiate addiction includes detoxification — eliminating the addictive drug and using safer medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. Counseling and support through outpatient programs, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, are also critical. Hesse said a recent development includes the use of non-addictive drugs to prevent relapse.

Hesse said that lives can be saved in an overdose situation by having an emergency kit on hand. “An emergency treatment of naloxone can be injected, similar to an insulin or flu shot,” he said. The New York State Department of Health distributes emergency kits including the drug, instructions, and training. Family physicians can also prescribe naloxone.

Next week, the final article in this series will include information on who drug users, their families, friends and communities can turn to for help in dealing with drug addiction.


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