Dr. Phil Recommends Florida Detox And Dr Sponaugle For Addiction Treatment


StephanieDr. Phil Refers Stephanie to Florida Detox


On the outside, 36-year-old Stephanie looks perfectly normal. But this single mother of four has a secret. “I’ve been taking Vicodin 12 years now,” she says. “Nobody ever would realize that I’m addicted to painkillers. I lead a normal life. I get up, I go to work, I pay my bills, I do everything I have to do. I started taking the Vicodin for legitimate menstrual cramps, and that feeling was a little euphoric. And if I took two, then, OK, I got a little bit more laundry done. Then the Internet came. I could just take them and take them and have more shipped.

“I became completely addicted within the last year,” she explains. “I don’t feel anything from the painkillers anymore unless I don’t take them. A normal dosage would be five milligrams. I take about 30 10-milligram pills a day, the equivalent of almost 60 pills a day. On a typical day, I take four pills before I get out of bed. And then I get my son up, I get my coffee, I get him breakfast, I take three more. Then I get everybody off to school, myself to work, and that’s when the cycle of three pills pretty much every three hours begins. When I get home and things are stressful, I would take more.”

Since Stephanie started keeping track of how many pills she takes she has watched the number go up. “I’m spending about $500 a month on the painkillers. I do my job as a mother, and I do my job as an addict. I do them both very well.”

She starts to cry. “You know, ‘junkie’ is a horrible, dirty, disgusting word, and that’s how I feel. I want the painkillers to go away. I want Stephanie back. It’s been so long, I don’t even know who the real her is. I cry all the time. I’m just so tired of being ashamed. Sometimes I just lie on my bathroom floor and I just sob. I worry about dying. I know that I’m killing myself a little bit every day. Dr. Phil, my secret addiction to painkillers has taken over my life. Can you please help me before it’s too late?”

“There was a time you would get high from it,” observes Dr. Phil, “but now, you don’t even get that. They’re only significant to your experience in their absence.”

Stephanie agrees, explaining that she has tried to quit on her own and has even purposely arranged to run out of pills during the weekend, knowing she couldn’t get more until the following week. But she’d always wind up giving in to her addiction. “I got so sick … and I started to sweat. And I started to get horrible pains in my head and in my stomach, and I just got so ill that I had to go to the doctor. And because I do have some legitimate medical things, they wrote me a [prescription.]”

Pointing out that Stephanie takes four pills before she even gets out of bed, Dr. Phil says, “As you sit here right now, you’ve taken 10 of those pills … So, we’re not talking to you, we’re talking to the drug.”

“I suppose, yes. Absolutely,” she says.

“Tell me why you’re here today. Why here? Why now?” Dr. Phil asks.

“I don’t want to do it for my kids. I don’t want to do it for my health. I know that I’m killing myself literally every single day,” says Stephanie.

“Why have you given yourself permission up until now to do this?” Dr. Phil asks.

“There was a period in my life where really I couldn’t have cared whether I lived or died,” says Stephanie. “I was going through the end of a bad marriage. And you know, I was just I guess self-medicating just to make that part go away.”

“You have four children. You don’t have the right to not care whether you live or die. Do you understand that?” he asks. “You’re taking anywhere between seven, 10, 20, 25 of these pills, and then you’re getting in that minivan and driving on the street with your kids in the car. You don’t have the right to do that. And you know what else? My family’s out there on those streets! … Just because you decide you’ve got a crummy marriage doesn’t mean you can get in a 5000-pound missile under the influence and drive around the kids in the neighborhood.”

Dr. Phil continues: “What happens if you wake up, and one of your children is sick? I mean, really sick, and you’re jacked up on Vicodin? You think you’re going to be thinking well, making good decisions, responding well? Have you deluded yourself into thinking that you’re a high-functioning addict and so it’s no problem? What you are is a junkie.”

Stephanie agrees.

“The same as someone in an alley who’s taking pills that they steal from a store. You’re just smart enough to do it over the Internet. But there’s no difference in the effect that it has on you and there’s no difference in the fact that you are robbing your kids of their mother and you don’t have the right to do that,” says Dr. Phil.

“And by the way, how much money do you make a year, just roughly?” he asks.

“About $22,000,” she says.

Dr. Phil turns to his previous guest, Susan, who works as prostitute and worries that she won’t be able to take care of her kids by having a normal job. “About $22,000 a year, and she’s raising four children. It can be done,” he tells her.

He turns back to Stephanie. “You’ve got yourself in a real pickle, but I am going to help you. And I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to offer you a plan of intervention beginning right now. Today. OK? And you can take it or leave it —”

“Take it,” Stephanie interjects.

“But I will not negotiate,” says Dr. Phil. “I have some representatives here from Florida Detox and they’re going to accompany you to the airport, and you ain’t going home. You’re going to Florida. You’re going to Florida Detox where there is an amazing program that can detoxify you from this drug in your body in about three hours.”

Stephanie cries. “Thank you,” she says.

Dr. Phil expands on what she can expect from the Florida Detox staff. “They’re going to do some psychological testing for you to make sure that you’re where you need to be. Then you’re going to go under a general anesthesia, and your body is going to get treated to detoxify you cellularly so you don’t go into all the reactions that you’ve been having. And then they’re going to monitor you for a day to make sure that your body is doing what it’s supposed to do to get these drugs out of your system.”

Dr. Phil reminds her that there is no easy fix. “This is a lifestyle. I am going to search your house. We are going to kill all of your Internet accounts. We’re going to make people know who you are so you cannot get these drugs, alright? Because it just absolutely cannot happen.” As for her kids, he informs her that Choice Care Nannies will provide a fully-screened nanny to assist her father in taking care of her children while she’s gone.

And finally, Dr. Phil introduces Stephanie to a surprise guest. It’s Dr. Ireland, a pastor from a church that she has visited.

“I know you,” she says as he joins her on stage with some final words of support.

“Stephanie, first, I want you to realize that secrecy and darkness is the basis for being trapped,” says Dr. Ireland. “And when you let the cat out of the bag of your addiction, it now frees you to get healing and walk through a process to wholeness. And our church family, we’re 5,000 people behind you. We’re going to help you.” He offers to help Stephanie with childcare, personal counseling and with her faith. “I just want you to know we’re there for you.”

“Thank you,” she says. “Thank you so much.”

Read more on the Dr. Phil Web Site

Dr. Phil Refers Another Inspired Wife and Mother to Florida Detox

On October 28, 2005, the Dr. Phil show featured a follow-up story of Stephanie’s successful treatment from Vicodin at Florida Detox and how another wife & mother was inspired by her story; and took action to help herself, and her family.

“My life is a living hell,” says Cara. “I am addicted to painkillers. I have been taking too much Vicodin since 2003. I have been suffering from chronic pain for over four years. When my husband went to Iraq as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the stress of that made the chronic pain more intense. I’ve been reduced to what feels like a junkie.”

“I currently buy all my medication online,” explains Cara. “It’s very easy to do. I think what I’m doing is probably illegal. I don’t want to think about it.” Cara knows that her addiction is taking away from her role as a mom. “The other day, I wouldn’t even go to lunch with my son because I was waiting on a delivery.”

But everything changed when Cara saw the previous guest, Stephanie, on the show. “I recorded the show. I just watched it over and over again. Stephanie inspired me because her story was mine. I had a light bulb moment when Dr. Phil told Stephanie about Florida Detox. I could see that there was a way to get help. I was ready.” As Cara packs her bags, she explains, “In a couple of days, I am leaving to go to Florida Detox. I’m sick and tired of the pills running my life. I fear that if I continue down the path that I’ve gone, I will lose my husband, my children, everything.

“Cara speaks with Dr. Phil after returning from Florida Detox. She has been clean for two weeks. “I am doing my best. I feel so much better. As Stephanie said, once the chain is lifted, you have the freedom to get well. And that’s where I am right now,” she says.

Dr. Phil reiterates to Cara and Stephanie the importance of meetings. “I have to say to both of you, sobriety is a lifestyle, it’s changing the way you think and feel, what you breathe into your life. It’s every aspect of being different, and those meetings are a critical, critical part of that. I don’t think you have a chance of success if you don’t start making that a lifestyle. If you have to get a babysitter, whatever you have to do, you have to take care of your children’s mother. And I do not believe you can do it without meetings.”

Dr. Phil informs Cara that Florida Detox is going to waive her fees. “That’s one less pressure you’ve got.”

“Thank you,” says Cara.

A Response To My Video Blog On The NFL Study – Dr. Daniel Amen


I have received a lot of very thoughtful and interesting responses to the video blog I posted about the recent study on NFL players and dementia. Here is one from Dr. Rick Sponaugle, Medical Director of Florida Detox and Wellness Institute, that I would like to share with you:

“I have utilized Dr. Amen’s brilliant research and SPECT brain imaging in my addiction practice since 2004. Since then, I have treated many NFL and college level football players who developed Oxycontin addiction from their football injuries.

I encourage all of my professional wrestlers and football players to undergo SPECT imaging at the Amen Clinics a month or so after drug detoxification. Every football player and professional wrestler I have treated for opiate addiction, if they played through college level, NFL or WWE, came back from the Amen Clinic with really ugly, traumatic brain scans.

Most of the players suffered severe temporal lobe damage and subsequently exhibited rage issues, often with spontaneous panic attacks, some with depression. Their wives insisted that they suffered more from their husband’s rage issues, while some of the players considered the rage an occupational advantage, eventually they all admitted it got them into trouble. The players also think that it is normal to experience “deja vu” once a week, not once a year. [Read about temporal lobe trauma in Dr. Amen’s Book, Healing Anxiety and Depression.]

With the tremendous advantage I have gained by intense study of Daniel Amen’s research, I have proven that these addicted football players and pro wrestlers, were in fact, using Oxycontin, more for the purpose of quiescing the mini-seizures in their damaged temporal lobes, than for treating their physical knee/back pain.

When treated effectively with high dose pharmaceutical grade GABA or anticonvulsant medication, the players/wrestlers no longer crave or “need” Oxycontin, nor do they abuse alcohol for its GABA A receptor effect.

Alcohol and Oxycontin “like” pain medication, eventually shut down pituitary gland function, creating multiple hormonal deficiencies that are causative for increased pain sensitivity, depression, chronic fatigue and disorders like “Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Hopefully after completing his NFL study, Dr. Amen will commence a study on professional wrestlers and soccer players.”  — Dr. Rick Sponaugle

Hear What Former NFL Players Are Saying About the Amen Clinics

In the wake of the recent NFL-commissioned study on brain injuries and the ensuing media storm, I thought you might be interested to hear what an actual NFL player has to say about our program here at the Amen Clinics. If you have been keeping up with my blog, then you probably know that we are currently conducting one of the largest brain-imaging studies on retired NFL football players.

Using sophisticated imaging techniques our goal is to visualize the brains of NFL players to characterize the damage incurred by playing professional football and to provide treatment strategies to improve the players’ brain function and improve their lives.

One of the retired players we scanned for the study is Harry Carson who played for the New York Giants from 1976-1988. Harry was diagnosed in 1990 with post-concussion syndrome and has been dealing with the effects of brain trauma ever since. He recently wrote a blog encouraging other former players to participate in the study:

“If any of you are wrestling with neurological issues that you are aware of or may have been brought to your attention by a loved one I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of the Amen Clinic’s free offer. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, please consider doing it for your families.”

To read the full text of Harry Carson’s blog on the Amen Clinics, click on one of the following links:

http://www.footballsummit.com/2009/09/harry-carson-on-the-amen-clinics/

http://davepear.com/blog/2009/09/harry-carson-on-the-amen-clinics/

To find out more about the NFL study and to see Dr. Amen’s video blog on it, click the following link: http://www.amenclinics.com/blog/1956/dr-amen-on-the-nfl-dementia-debate/