A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Who Answers?

Medical-marijuana use can block chance at transplant

Timothy Garon’s face and arms are hauntingly skeletal, but the fluid building up in his abdomen makes the 56-year-old musician look eight months pregnant.

His liver, ravaged by hepatitis C, is failing. Without a new one, his doctors tell him, he will be dead in days.

But Garon has been refused a spot on the transplant list, largely because he has used marijuana, even though it was legally approved for medical reasons.

“I’m not angry, I’m not mad, I’m just confused,” said Garon, lying in his hospital bed a few minutes after a doctor told him the decision of the hospital’s transplant committee Thursday.

Because of the scarcity of donated organs, transplant committees such as the one at the University of Washington Medical Center use tough standards, including whether the candidate has other serious health problems or is likely to drink or do drugs.

And in cases such as Garon’s, they also have to consider — as a dozen states now have medical-marijuana laws — whether using dope with a doctor’s blessing should be held against a dying patient in need of a transplant.

Most transplant centers struggle with the how to deal with people who have used marijuana, said Dr. Robert Sade, director of the Institute of Human Values in Health Care at the Medical University of South Carolina.

“Marijuana, unlike alcohol, has no direct effect on the liver. It is, however, a concern … in that it’s a potential indicator of an addictive personality,” Sade said.

The Virginia-based United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees the nation’s transplant system, leaves it to each hospital to develop criteria for transplant candidates.

Dr. Brad Roter, the Seattle physician who authorized Garon’s pot use for nausea and abdominal pain and to stimulate his appetite, said he did not know it would be such a hurdle.

That’s typically the case, said Peggy Stewart, a clinical social worker on the liver-transplant team at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has researched the issue. “There needs to be some kind of national eligibility criteria,” she said.

The patients “are trusting their physician to do the right thing. The physician prescribes marijuana, they take the marijuana, and they are shocked that this is now the end result,” she said.

No one tracks how many patients are denied transplants over medical-marijuana use.

Pro-marijuana groups have cited a handful of cases, including at least two patient deaths since the mid-to-late 1990s, when states began adopting medical-marijuana laws.

Many doctors agree that using marijuana is out of the question post-transplant. The drugs patients take to help their bodies accept a new organ increase the risk of aspergillosis, a frequently fatal infection caused by a common mold found in marijuana and tobacco.

But there’s little information on whether using marijuana is a problem before the transplant, said Dr. Emily Blumberg, an infectious-disease specialist who works with transplant patients at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Dr. Jorge Reyes, a liver transplant surgeon at the UW Medical Center, said that while medical-marijuana use isn’t in itself a sign of substance abuse, it must be evaluated in the context of each patient.

“The concern is that patients who have been using it will not be able to stop,” he said.

Doctors worry that patients who used pot won’t be able to stop after their transplant.
________
source: The Columbus Dispatch

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Treatment Options for Military Personnel

military addiction treatment

Military Healthcare Once a person joins the military they will receive health and dental care for themselves and for their family. Military men and women who fight overseas undergo a multitude of stress which can lead to mental illnesses as well as drug and alcohol abuse. Prescription drug abuse and alcohol abuse have both increased….

Continue reading

Potential Drug Treatment for Alcoholism

A drug currently approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may play a role in the treatment of alcoholism. The drug is called aripiprazole (Abilify); researchers say more research is needed, but this first study found the drug helps lessen the euphoric effects of alcohol. Aripiprazole is a dopamine partial agonist, so it works differently….

Continue reading

A risky drug plan

Eight years ago, Californians approved Proposition 36, which was designed to send drug offenders into treatment instead of prison. Proposition 5, on the Nov. 4 ballot, would take this concept a step further. Many prosecutors and judges who deal with drug-related crime make a compelling case that this measure goes too far – and would….

Continue reading

Virtual world therapeautic for addicts: UH study shows

Patients in therapy to overcome addictions have a new arena to test their coping skills—the virtual world. A new study by University of Houston Associate Professor Patrick Bordnick found that a virtual reality (VR) environment can provide the climate necessary to spark an alcohol craving so that patients can practice how to say “no” in….

Continue reading

Prevent summertime underage drinking

Did you know that more young people try alcohol for the first time during the summer months than at any other time of the year? Keeping teens occupied and supervised helps to ensure they have a safe summer. By involving teens in a variety of alcohol free activities — such as sports, summer camps, and….

Continue reading

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMHSA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location.

The TreatmentCenters.com helpline is free, private, and confidential. There is no obligation to enter treatment. In some cases, TreatmentCenters.com could charge a small cost per call, to a licensed treatment center, a paid advertiser, this allows TreatmentCenters.com to offer free resources and information to those in need. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW 800-580-9104Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?