Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Nicole's Recovery Story

Nicole Z., one of our intensive female participants, shares her story with us; what her life was like and what it's like now that she's found a new way to live.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Meet Erin M., our new Director of Female Programs!!

Today we got a chance to hear a little bit about Erin's experience as a McShin resident and how the McShin Foundation has been instrumental in her ability to stay clean and serene! 

Monday, July 4, 2016

McShin in the News! ABC: Officers forced to change tactics as Fentanyl deaths soar

Officers forced to change tactics as Fentanyl deaths soar

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Deaths from the powerful painkiller Fentanyl are soaring in Virginia, and 8News has learned it’s changing the way law enforcement is responding to overdoses.
“I knew what Fentanyl was, I knew it was more potent, I knew it was the supposedly most potent opioid in the world and I started seeking that out specifically,” admits former addict Ryan Nichols.
When the high from heroin was no longer enough, the Richmonder turned to the potent painkiller. It’s the same drug that killed musical icon Prince back in April.
CBF8242F1CF041FFB81415BB36E072FD“I wasn’t afraid of harming myself or anyone around me,” Nichols added. “I was pretty selfish.”
Smuggled in from Mexico, Fentanyl, or heroin laced with fentanyl, is now showing up more and more on the streets of Richmond. Nichols even showed 8News a black market pharmacy selling it online.
“Opioids,ecstasy, you can see what company it is coming from,” he explained.
Drug enforcement agents say the drug is far more powerful and dangerous that the Fentanyl used to treat cancer patients.
“It’s somewhere between 40 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 20 to 40 times more potent than the heroin we see on the street,” said Greg Cherundolo, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for DEA Richmond District Office.
Fentanyl-related fatalities are on the rise in Virginia. In 2007 there were 48; that number doubled in 2013 to 102. Estimates for 2015 currently stand at 218 deaths.
In the Richmond region, there were just six Fentanyl fatalities in 2007, but a big increase in 2013 to 14. A year later in 2014 that number shot up to 35.
“A very minute amount of Fentanyl can be a deadly dose,” Cherundolo explained.
The drug even poses a fatal threat for law enforcement.
74CB5B3C12444C81A06D4D48287FFC4A“I felt like my body was shutting down,” explained one officer on a DEA videowarning law enforcement about the dangers of Fentanyl.

To protect agents from the fumes of Fentanyl, the DEA is changing up operations, urging all officers to stop testing the drugs in the field.
“If we believe it to be Fentanyl, we are packaging it up and sending it straight to the lab” Cherundolo said.
And just in case, DEA agents are now carrying the life-saving overdose drug naloxone. It’s not for the victims, but for themselves.
“We’re doing it mainly for our own officer safety,” Cherundolo said.
“It’s scary and it’s dangerous,” added David Rook, operations manager for the McShin Foundation, a recovery center in Richmond. He says they, too, are now treating more addicts hooked on fentanyl.
“As the media and law enforcement mentioned it, we have definitely seen a rise in it as well,” Rook said.
He also tells us Fentanyl doesn’t show up on instant drug tests, and they too are now having to send tests to an outside lab.
Now 75 days clean, Nichols said he has McShin to thank.
“You look up to staff members here,” he said. “People have come from the situation that you are in and now are on the other side, or seemingly on the other side. It creates hope when there was no hope.”
The  McShin Foundation can help those addicted. They have over 70 beds and no waiting list.
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Kelly's Testimonial

From jail to recovery from substance use disorder! Why McShin's recovery program "stuck"while her past experiences in treatment centers and rehabs failed to provide her with sustained recovery.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brian and Tom Talk Peer-Lead Recovery

What makes McShin Foundation's peer-to-peer recovery model more effective than the acute care treatment model? We caught up with two of our male peer leaders to discuss how the McShin program is working in their lives.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Shinholser: Step one in fighting opioid addiction is better public policy

Our President and Co-Founder John Shinholser was asked to be a guest columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch this past week.

Here's his first column!

Shinholser: Step one in fighting opioid addiction is better public policy

Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2016 10:30 pm
Perhaps one of several main challenges facing our community today with the opiate addiction crisis is that there is a large group of “desperately seeking a fix” addicts. This group of opiate addicts wants help in the form of buprenorphine 5-day step-down detox, thus eliminating the physical pain associated with withdrawal. There will be those that would want a longer detox using Suboxone or a simple medication replacement treatment of indefinite duration of Suboxone or methadone. For this column we focus on a five-day detox.
For more than 50 years, the leading addiction experts have agreed that the best time to help an addict is when they ask for help.
This very short window of opportunity closes within hours in most cases. This “contact” with the opiate addict — history and best practices demonstrate — is when chances for the most optimal long-term recovery outcomes are greatest.
Opiate addicts almost always are penniless, in debt, with no resources, having burnt every bridge, with no hope but from tax-funded agencies or charities specializing in addiction. If we don’t provide same-day access to medication-assisted withdrawal — buprenorphine — then the criminal justice system most likely will serve that same addict (same-day service) as a result of a “public safety” activity involvement: They will be arrested for a drug seeking crime. These would be avoidable arrests, if we have same-day detox available.
Our systems (and society) seem to have have no problem spending more than $7,000 (of taxpayers’ money) per opiate arrest. And add to that the daily rate for incarceration, then the cost of probation and parole upon release.
Yet our society will not execute a much less costly recovery system that cost $625 for a five-day step down buprenorphine detox.
To add insult to injury, the automatic incarceration system increases recidivism, whereas the detox system decrease recidivism, increasing public safety.
Yes, these are chronic cases for the most part, frequent fliers as they are called. It seems our policymakers are addicted to bad policies, just as the addict is to the drug.
It would be a great day in Virginia if we could get our policymakers in recovery from making bad decisions.
Perhaps we can instill a genuine desire in our policymakers’ hearts to really want to improve our opiate recovery systems.
For starters, any addict who has that one moment of clarity and musters up the strength to ask for help should get same-day appropriate help. Any addict that does not have $625 should be able to walk in a Community Service Board (CSB) or Behavioral Health Authority (BHA) and receive same-day, five-day Buprenorphine detox, complete with wrap-around peer supports. Ten percent of our Department of Corrections (DOC) budget would provide ample of funds for this approach.
The population of chronic addicts that this approach would serve in the community could save DOC 30 percent or more of its costs because of inmate reduction — which would save them more than the 10 percent used for detox.
This action and some dialing back of a few irresponsible drug laws would create a recidivism-reduction trend that could reach 50 percent in a decade or less. Think about it: We could cut the correction population in half ten years from now. Our prisons would actually be for bad criminals, not mentally ill addicts who are very salvageable with the proper service systems in our communities.
A large surge of recovering people in our communities adds tremendous value to our prevention and recovery efforts. To this day, one of the main principles in a recovering addict’s life is to help other addicts achieve recovery. This is done through public information, active-reality prevention services, and attraction to recovery in general. These activities add a much-needed dimension to our “help the addict to recovery” efforts. We will see a major decrease in the drug-seeking population.
Stigma prevents many from seeking recovery as much as the lack of appropriate available services.
A more humane approach to detox and an increase in our recovering communities will usher in a new age of much-needed pride in recovery.
Some people say one of the main sources of shame in addiction is not seeking help once you realize you need help, but a bigger shame is our community not providing appropriate help when the addict comes seeking help.
One last thing: Do not underestimate the ability of addiction to strike your family and loved ones. Trust me, addiction does not discriminate. Do the math: 56 million Americans are in recovery or need to be in recovery. This pretty much means we all have someone we love and or care deeply for who is an addict.
You do want the best system available, don’t you?