Drug to treat alcohol use disorder shows promise among drinkers with high stress

Thursday, September 29, 2016


NIH-funded multi-site clinical trial suggests that smokers may also benefit.


A new medication that targets part of the brain’s stress system may help reduce alcohol use in people with alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to a new study by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“We’re committed to developing new medications to provide effective therapy to a broader spectrum of people with AUDs.

George F. Koob, Ph.D., Director, NIAAA

“Medications have become an important tool for treating alcohol use disorders, but current medications are not effective for all people with AUDs,” noted NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D. “We’re committed to developing new medications to provide effective therapy to a broader spectrum of people with AUDs.”

As reported online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers led by Raye Litten, Ph.D., acting director of the NIAAA Division of Medications Development, conducted a randomized clinical trial of a new compound, called ABT-436, designed to block the effects of vasopressin, a neuropeptide produced in the hypothalamus of the brain. 

“Vasopressin helps to regulate the pituitary adrenal axis and other brain circuits involved in emotion,” explained Dr. Litten. “As such, it plays a role in regulating stress, anxiety, and their interaction with AUD.”

Dr. Litten, first author Megan Ryan and their NIAAA colleagues worked with NIAAA’s multi-center Clinical Investigations Group, to recruit 144 alcohol-dependent adult men and women for the 12-week study. During a 28-day baseline period, female participants consumed at least 28 drinks per week, while male participants consumed at least 35 drinks per week. Participants were then randomized to receive either placebo tablets or ones containing the ABT-436 compound. Researchers monitored participants’ alcohol consumption, as well as their mood changes and smoking habits, as these are known to co-vary with alcohol consumption.

Researchers found that participants receiving ABT-436 experienced more days of alcohol abstinence than those receiving the placebo. In particular, participants who reported high levels of stress appeared to respond better to ABT-436, in that both the frequency of their drinking and the number of heavy drinking days they experienced decreased.

“Our findings suggest that potential future studies with drugs targeting vasopressin blockade should focus on populations of people with AUD who also report high levels of stress,” said first author Ryan, a clinical project manager in the NIAAA Division of Medications Development.

Smokers may be another population that could benefit from ABT-436. In addition to its effects on alcohol consumption, study participants receiving the new compound   experienced a reduction in smoking. The researchers suspect that ABT-436 might be targeting the same areas in the brain that relate to withdrawal and stress, and, in the process, influencing both tobacco and alcohol use disorders. Additional research is needed to determine if that is the case.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the primary U.S. agency for conducting and supporting research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol use disorder, and alcohol problems. NIAAA also disseminates research findings to general, professional, and academic audiences. Additional alcohol research information and publications are available at www.niaaa.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.



  Summer Sky Drug Rehab

Summer Sky Annual Alumni Reunion

Summer Sky Alumni Reunion


Summer Sky Annual Alumni Reunion

31-Years of Addiction Treatment & Recovery

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

10 AM TO 2 PM

Texas Barbeque

Recovery Speakers

Special Guest:

The American Gypsy Band

Come out for live music and celebration of some great recovery  







Antidepressant drug pipeline: What to know | Managed Healthcare Executive


Antidepressant drug pipeline: What to know


Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, affecting approximately 6.7% of adults each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Depression also takes a heavy economic toll. In 2010, the estimated economic burden of depression, including workplace costs, direct costs, and suicide-related costs was $210.5 billion, according to a report published by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Of that $210.5 billion, only 38% of the total costs were due to major depressive disorder (MDD) itself as opposed to comorbid conditions.

“Depression is often a comorbidity with other chronic illnesses, such as heart conditions or cancer, and often is an impediment to managing other chronic illnesses,” says Cynthia Ambres, MD, a partner at KPMG Strategy and a member of the firm’s Global Healthcare Center of Excellence.

Current treatments

Antidepressants are a popular treatment choice. Although they may not cure depression, antidepressants can reduce symptoms, such as low mood, anxiety, and decreased energy.

According to Farrah Wong, PharmD, director of pipeline and drug surveillance at OptumRx, about one in every 10 Americans, aged 12 years and older, takes an antidepressant medication. Of those individuals, more than 60% have been taking it for longer than two years, and 14% take more than one antidepressant.

The main medications used to treat depression include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, bupropion, mirtazapine, and adjunctive therapies such as atypical antipsychotics.

“Despite a large armamentarium of pharmacotherapy used to treat depression, only 60% to 70% of patients with depression respond to antidepressant therapy,” says Wong. “Of those who do not respond, 10% to 30% exhibit treatment-resistant symptoms coupled with difficulties in social and occupational function, decline of physical health, suicidal thoughts, and increased healthcare utilization.”

via managedhealthcareexecutive.modernmedicine.com

For Treatment with alcohol or drugs visit www.summersky.us


Drug treatment texas rehabs

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and Summer Sky Treatment Center wants to encourage others to be conscious of the devastating effects of Mental Illness. More people need treatment for mental illnesses. The first step to seeking help is acknowledging that a problem exists and then getting enough courage up to ask someone for help.

So where do you seek help for mental health related problems? One of the best places to begin is to contact a local therapist to set up an appointment to discuss what is going on with you. Therapists are trained to do assessments to help you figure out what the problem is you're suffering from that has made you desire to seek help.

If you don't think, you can wait to call a therapist because you're having thoughts of harming yourself or your experiencing and intense desire to commit suicide then lets up the level of help needed by calling a residential psychiatric facility. If none of these types of services are in your area, then the next place is a local emergency room. 

If you have an alcohol or drug problem with a combination of mental illness, then call a drug or alcohol treatment program direct. Today most alcohol or drug addiction facilities are equipped to deal with substance use disorders and dual diagnosis issues at the same time. 

The main thing is to do something positive and seek help. Below is a list of websites that can help you find some help.    

To get help or learn more about mental health symptoms and risks visit mentalhealthTX.org. For Alcohol or drug treatment contact Summer Sky Treatment Center.


Do you have an alcohol or drug treatment problem?

If so contact Summer Sky at 1-888-857-8857

Summer Sky-90-Day Program-Addiction-Animated


Summer Sky Treatment Center Announces Spring Into Treatment & Recover

Summer Sky Treatment Center Announces Spring Into Treatment & Recover

Special Rehab Treatment Rates


Stephenville, TX - April 1, 2016 – Texas-based alcohol and drug treatment center, Summer Sky Treatment Center—Announces “Spring into Treatment & Recover” Special Rehab Rates.

With over 31-years of providing addiction treatment to over 18,000 families and patients Summer Sky is—taking a new approach to combating the current substance use epidemic. With soaring opiate use disorders and rates of admission to emergency rooms at an all-time high, we are adjusting our treatment rates for those looking for alcohol and drug treatment.

Mr. Scott Kelley President of Summer Sky Treatment Center says this about the adjusted rates “We looked at the current marketplace and noticed that many people were using price as a reason to not go to treatment, so we aim to change this problem by offering an affordable price break for treatment. Our goal is to help more people to access treatment.”  With a clinical team that is already, providing cutting edge treatment this price break will add value to a client's treatment.

Summer Sky views it as a privilege to serve customers in Texas and surrounding states. Summer Sky is always striving to improve the lives of those affected by addiction.

Summer Sky Treatment Center is a nationally recognized alcohol and drug treatment that is accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed by the State of Texas. Summer Sky offers a 30-Day treatment and 90-day treatment for adult males and females.   

Contact: Dennis Barkway Admissions Director for more information at 1-888-857-8857 or email him at dbarkway@summersky.us 

HHS Releases Guidance for Syringe Services Programs

By: Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., Acting Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Cross-posted from the AIDS.gov Blog

The United States is experiencing a growing opioid epidemic, which has made many communities vulnerable to outbreaks of HIV and viral hepatitis among people who inject drugs (PWID). To address this issue, Members of Congress worked together late last year on a broad, bipartisan basis to revise a longstanding ban on the use of federal funds for Syringe Services Programs (SSPs). President Obama signed the bipartisan budget agreement into law, which makes it possible for grantees to use federal funds to support operational components of SSPs under certain circumstances.

To support an implementation of this change in law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released new guidance [PDF 960 KB] for state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments that will allow them to request permission to use federal funds to support SSPs.

A large number of scientific studies have found that SSPs reduce HIV risk. In 2011, the U.S. Surgeon General determined that SSPs are an effective way of reducing HIV transmission among PWID and that there is ample evidence that SSPs promote entry to, and retention in, drug treatment and medical services, without increasing illegal drug use. Many national and community-based organizations worked for years to draw attention to the scientific evidence and to build support for SSPs. The change in the law would not have occurred without their sustained effort.

Requesting Use of Federal Funds

The HHS guidance describes how health departments can request to use federal funds to start or expand SSPs to prevent new HIV and viral hepatitis infections. Federal funds can now be used to support a comprehensive set of services, but they cannot be used to purchase sterile needles or syringes for illegal drug injection.

The guidance states that state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments must consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provide evidence that their jurisdiction is (1) experiencing, or (2) at risk for significant increases in viral hepatitis infections or an HIV outbreak due to injection drug use.

After receiving a request for determination of need, CDC will have 30 days to notify the requestor whether the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate a need for SSPs. When CDC finds there is enough evidence, state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other eligible HHS grant recipients may then apply to their respective federal agencies to direct funds to support approved SSP activities. Each funding agency will be providing specific SSP guidance to its grantees regarding which specific programs may apply and the application process for each institution.

Lessons Learned

The recent outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among persons who were injecting drugs in rural Indiana, and the steep rise nationally in new HCV infections, are powerful reminders that the hard-won gains of the past can be lost if we do not remain vigilant. The opioid epidemic is affecting many communities across the country, and these areas are vulnerable to future outbreaks of HIV and the continued spread of viral hepatitis if we do not work to ensure that robust SSPs and other critical prevention and treatment services are in the place where they are needed. When the local opioid epidemic in Indiana fueled a dramatic increase in the number of new HIV cases, public health officials were able to halt the further spread of the virus by implementing a comprehensive response to identifying and prevent new infections that included SSPs as a key component.

Expanding the reach of SSPs and the services that these programs provide is part of a comprehensive approach to addressing HIV and viral hepatitis among PWID that supports the goals of the updatedNational HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan to reduce the number of new HIV and viral hepatitis infections. HHS is committed to supporting health departments and all of our partners in the field to conduct SSPs in a way that protects the lives and health of all those at risk for, and living with, HIV and viral hepatitis. In the weeks to come, HHS agencies will be offering additional information and technical assistance to federal grantees that may wish to use federal funds to support operational components of SSPs. Together, our actions will play an important role in preventing new infections among PWID.

View the SSP guidelines here [PDF 960 KB].

View The White House Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Announces Additional Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid Abuse and Heroin Epidemic here.

Summer Sky Announces Addiction Educational Video Series

Summer Sky Treatment Center has announced that it would begin the production of various educational videos to help promote awareness of addiction and the need for alcohol and drug treatment.  Substance use disorders are on the rise across the nation. With the soaring opiate epidemic and increased alcohol consumption and an increase in illegal usage of illicit drugs, there is no shortage of addiction treatment needs.

In the next 6-months, Summer Sky has plans to feature a complete blitz of educational, and promotional videos focused on education and offering addiction treatment help to as many people as possible. Summer Skys President Scott Kelley had this to say about the campaign. "We have served the nation as a leading provider of addiction treatment for 31-years, and it's time we joined forces with other organizations to bring awareness to the public that people do recover from drug addiction."

Summer Sky starts its campaign with " I am Addiction" followed with emotionally charged videos to make you think and seek help. Below is a sample of "I am Addiction." 


Slam Dunk On Addiction Treatment Tips

Slam Dunk On Addiction

Texas-based alcohol and drug rehab have launched an original campaign to increase the war on addiction. Addiction is currently taking the lives of to many people in the United States. Summer Sky, a leading provider of addiction treatment services has " Slam Dunked on Addiction" this campaign seeks to help as many people find addiction treatment as possible. What Summer Sky Treatment Center has done is lower the private pay treatment rate so more people can access drug and alcohol treatment at affordable prices. If you are in need of high-quality addiction treatment and want to save money while you seek help for substance use disorder treatment, then check this addiction program out.

 Five Treatment Tips:

1. Affordable treatment does not mean mortgaging the house to find addiction treatment. You should be able to discuss openly with, and addiction treatment program what affordable financial options are available to you, and they should guide you in the right direction to get the needed help you seek. So call and discuss treatment options with the treatment program.

2. Seek out programs that are in-network treatment providers. Most addiction treatment programs are conscious of your personal financial needs, and since the cost of addiction treatment can vary from program to program, in-network treatment centers should help ensure that you get a price break with your insurance company. When you find an in-network treatment provider, you inadvertently save yourself money out of your pocket.

3. No hidden fees when you use in-network treatment providers, this is more convenient than you can imagine. In-network programs can lower the bills that come in after treatment and. No surprises; addictions already produce enough surprises, why not circumvent this issue on the front end of seeking services and go to an in-network provider.

4. Treatment of substance use disorders is already expensive, seeking affordable options for treatment helps you and the individual seeking treatment.

5. While there are many good out of network treatment programs around, please be aware that there are advantages to in-network providers versus out-of-network treatment providers. Do your homework and look for accredited programs.



Summer Sky March Madness-Slam Dunk on Addiction-90-Day Addiction Treatment

Summer Sky Treatment Center is offering an amazing deal for those looking for a 90-Day treatment program. If you have never heard of Summer Sky, I want to encourage you to visit them at http://www.summersky.us and most importantly call them at 1-888-857-8857 and on of their admission specialist will help you with arranging an admission into their program. Substance Use Disorder Treatment-Texas-Summer Sky

National Recovery Month 2015

September is here! It's the official month of recovery. Every year in September we celebrate addiction recovery all across the United States. This year will you please help us all celebrate that recovery is an option and millions do recovery from addictions.

Addiction Treatment is available to those who want and need treatment. Below is the Presidents Proclamation for Recovery Month.



Presidential Proclamation -- National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, 2015


- - - - - - -



Every day, resilient Americans with substance use disorders summon extraordinary courage and strength and commit to living healthy and productive lives through recovery.  From big cities to small towns to Indian Country, substance use disorders affect the lives of millions of Americans.  This month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all those who are seeking or in need of treatment, and we recognize the key role families, friends, and health care providers play in supporting those on the path to a better tomorrow.

This year's theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!"  It encourages us all to do our part to eliminate negative public attitudes associated with substance use disorders and treatment.  People in recovery are part of our communities -- they are our family and friends, colleagues and neighbors -- and by supporting them and raising awareness of the challenges they face, we can help eradicate prejudice and discrimination associated with substance use disorders, as well as with co-occurring mental disorders.  Prevention and treatment work, and people recover -- and we must ensure all those seeking help feel empowered, encouraged, and confident in their ability to take control of their future.  Americans looking for help for themselves or their loved ones can call 1-800-662-HELP or use the "Treatment Locator" tool atwww.SAMHSA.gov.

My Administration remains dedicated to pursuing evidence-based strategies to address substance use disorders as part of our National Drug Control Strategy.  Seeking to widen pathways to recovery, our strategy supports the integration of substance use treatment into primary health care settings and the expansion of support services in places such as high schools, institutions of higher education, and throughout the criminal justice system.  In the wake of public health crises related to non-medical use of prescription drugs and heroin in communities across our Nation, my Administration has pledged considerable resources to help Federal, State, and local authorities boost prevention efforts, improve public health and safety, and increase access to treatment in communities across the country.  And the Affordable Care Act has extended substance use disorder and mental health benefits and Federal parity protections to millions of Americans.

Behavioral health is essential to overall health, and recovery is a process through which individuals are able to improve their wellness, live increasingly self-directed lives, and strive to fulfill their greatest potential.  During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, we reaffirm our belief that recovery and limitless opportunity are within reach of every single American battling substance use disorders, and we continue our work to achieve this reality.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2015 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.




Find Treatment Now




Summer Sky Treatment Center Alumni Reunion

Summer Sky Treatment Center located in Stephenville, Texas is hosting a 30-year recovery reunion. The treatment center was founded in 1985, and had been  providing addiction treatment services to thousands of families and individuals yearly. This years annual recovery reunion will be held October, 10th 2015.

Summer Sky will welcome its past alumni and families back for time of fellowship and fun, to celebrate that recovery is possible, and people do recover from the devastation of addictions. You can find out more about this event at www.summersky.us