Feeding the beast....

Addiction is a lifelong disease that may affect you or someone you know.  In recent years it has been brought into the limelight with media attention and has been stigmatized by government policies. However it is important to note that addiction has many faces.  It is commonly portrayed in movies as a person with a certain ‘look’ but the reality is that it affects people of every ethnic background, regardless of wealth or social status.  Its origins can not simply be explained by craving or biochemistry, rather it is the result of genetic and environmental factors and their effects on the brain. 

Each person has a susceptibility to addiction based on their genetics. For example, a family history of alcoholism increases your chance of alcoholism.  Race, age and parental support during childhood are among some of the environmental factors that play a role in the development of an addiction.  Just as addiction is not simply a lack of control, treatment is not as simple as stopping use of a drug.  There are several treatment options based on the severity of illness, these range from clinic visits in a physician’s office to inpatient hospital facilities with 24-hour monitored care.  The proper placement of each individual is paramount to lifelong success.   

What we do

Our facility offers personalized physician directed treatment.  We treat drug and alcohol addiction with a holistic approach realizing that effective treatment addresses multiple aspects of each individual, not just his or her drug abuse.  During the initial consultation, an evaluation and assessment is done to determine the person’s risk factors, potential for relapse and commitment to recovery.  After assessment, each person is matched to their best treatment option based on ASAM Placement Criteria to ensure the best outcome.  When a person is appropriate for monitored clinic visits, a unique treatment plan is created which includes behavioral modifications, counseling, and medication management. 

Opiate Addiction

We offer services for detoxification and maintenance of opiate addiction.  Detoxification is a period of time (average 1-2 weeks) that it takes for a drug to leave the body.  We offer detoxification from prescription and illicit opiates that allows for minimal withdrawal symptoms.  When completed, a person may either continue abstinence or choose to enter into a maintenance program.

Maintenance of opiate addiction is the period of time after detoxification that a person is taking a medication to help curb cravings and prevent relapse.  The maintenance period may vary but is usually 1-2 years in length and is dependent on each individual's goals, risk factors and progress in the treatment program.

We provide the following services and offer a variety of medications to fit your needs:

  • Probuphine Implants 
  • Vivitrol Injections 
  • Naltrexone 
  • Suboxone
  • Zubsolv
  • Bunavil

We are also a qualified Vivitrol injection site for local providers. 

Some common medications used in office-based treatment include the FDA-approved medications Suboxone and Vivitrol. Suboxone is a partial agonist at the opioid receptors that acts to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms without causing sedation or euphoria.  Vivitrol is an opioid free monthly injection that works by blocking opioid receptors and mediating the reward-circuit in the brain that causes cravings.  Vivitrol's active component, naltrexone is effective in both opioid and alcohol addiction.  Other medications and options are available based on individual goals and preferences.   Our medical providers will help in choosing the best option for you.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. 1 in 12 people are affected.  Long term heavy alcohol use can lead to many health complications including liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer and heart failure.  Alcohol detoxification takes 4 - 7 days and should be taken seriously as withdrawal seizures may develop.  The first step in getting help involves consultation with a doctor to determine the most appropriate setting for detoxification.  After detox a person may choose to continue abstinence or enter into a maintenance program which includes medication to help curb cravings and prevent relapse.

Some medications that are currently available to help treat alcohol addiction are:

  • ReVia (Naltrexone)- taken by mouth daily to reduce the rewarding effects of alcohol by blocking dopamine release and reduces cravings.
  • Vivitrol (Naltrexone)- once monthly injection form of naltrexone.
  • Antabuse (Disulfuram) - blocks breakdown of alcohol leading to nausea, vomiting and flushing if taken with alcohol.
  • Campral (Acamprosate) - normalizes brain activity leading to a reduction in withdrawal symptoms and craving.

We also offer the convenience of at-home detoxification for those who qualify.

IV Withdrawal Treatment

We offer non-narcotic, I.V. withdrawal treatment infusions to help the symptoms that occur with withdrawal from illicit substances.  Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug of choice with the most common symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate and dehydration.  Bluestar Medical offers a proprietary blend of concentrated vitamins and minerals in a saline solution to help reduce the intensity of withdrawal while boosting immunity and increasing hydration.  The benefits of a withdrawal treatment are  immediate and last days helping to ease the transition into clean living.

An in-depth look at Acute Withdrawal Syndrome  

As an addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Marsh is often asked to speak to other physicians about the current opiate epidemic. In September 2017, Dr. Marsh hosted a lecture for Broward Health Emergency Department physicians on Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.  During this lecture, Dr. Marsh addresses the recognition and treatment of such substances as: alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines.