Saturday, June 11, 2016

Opiate, Opioid, and Heroin are Devil's Drugs

The Devil's Drug

Richard M Knapp, Director
Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort
June 11, 2016    

It's a national epidemic. 

 The rise of opiate addiction in this country is startling. I've seen evidence of substance abuse treatment. This year so far, at my treatment center, Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort, we treat more patients with this addiction than we do those who suffer from alcoholism.  There are a lot of reasons this might be true. Many blame the rise in prescription pain killers over the last 5-7 years.  Once hooked, even innocent "little old ladies" will turn to heroin once their source of legal drugs has dried up.  And heroin is a lot cheaper, too, making the temptation all but irresistible, as if it weren't already.

There is a powerful physical addiction.

Unlike many other drugs, opiates (opioids and heroin) are physically addicting, meaning there is actual physical withdrawal symptoms, even sickness and pain, that are associated with cessation of use. Many clinics and treatment centers specialize in either methadone or Suboxone, the two drugs used to get you off the drugs.  At Sherwood Recovery, our doctors use a traditional Suboxone taper of 8mg, being gradually reduced each day, over a period of 12 days.  There is a component of Naloxone (2mg/8mg) too, an opioid antagonist, so that patients can't use it to get high. At the direction of a physician, Suboxone can be taken long-term at a low maintenance level to prevent cravings and possible relapse.

The physchological component is stronger too.

Because the addict spends so much of their time seeking the drug and obsessing over getting their fix to avoid the physical withdrawal, the psychological dependence is more significant too. In fact, as those who have been around heroin addicts can attest, there is little done besides seek the drug, get the drug, use the drug, and then start the cycle all over again. Once enslaved by this master of addictive cycles, it becomes extremely difficult to extricate oneself without help, either by force (being arrested) or by compulsion (intervention and treatment).

How to stop?  Never start.

Understand their plight but do not get sucked into their vortex.
Because the addict MUST have the drug, it follows that they will do ANYthing for it, including committing crimes, especially burglary.  Many who begin down this slippery slope of intense physical addiction will end up stealing to support their habit. This means watch your wallet.  If you have never been manipulated before, then you are in for a ride.  Emotional blackmail, ridiculous fabrications, and outlandish behavior are only some of the things used to get you to part with your hard earned money so that the addict might go another while without withdrawal.

Be firm about treatment.
Treatment centers offer both a medical and a clinical solution to opiate addiction.  One without the other make recovering from this devil of a drug very nearly impossible. As it is, with both, it's still difficult to remain clean.  In my position in admissions, I talk to people every day who have relapsed despite their otherwise good intentions. Today we offer what has been called by many, a recovery miracle, and is offered to our clients who qualify for the program.  Essentially, the miracle is 60  days of residential treatment combined with a measured dose of Naltrexone, either by way of injection (Vivitrol), or pills taken daily, or an implant under the skin.  The pills are less reliable for the obvious reason that someone teetering on relapse might "forget" to take it whereas the other two methods are long-lasting. The drug acts like a blocker and prevents the opiate receptors from being overrun.  Vivitrol even works for alcoholics in much the same way.  With the additional medication given at the end of a patient's stay in residential treatment for some length of time, the odds of more permanent change are greatly increased. No cravings mean that the patient can focus on getting long-term help to remain clean, sober, and free of the addiction.

Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort.

If you or someone you love is seeking help with opiate dependence, call us, or call someone now for help.  I can be reached directly at 888-663-1489.

For a video describing the treatment strategies used to conquer opiate addiction and
discover the reasons you drink or take drugs, then view this and other alike videos 
on our channel on YouTube.


    "Now is the time.  This is the place."

  Call 888-663-1489

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Addiction Recovery Work at Our Residential Treatment Center

TO THOSE with whom I work with at...

"A Tribute To The Truly Great Among Us."

         Richard M Knapp

       There are employees who work for me, and then there are some employees that work with me. The we do is what I now refer to as "the noble work."  When I came up with the idea that substance abuse treat moment is a noble work, I was only trying to reflect a certain non-religious but almost pious sentiment. Noble, according to Google, means royal or good. Well those that I work with teach me by their example how to be noble and good and how to better serve my fellow man.  There have been some brief moments in life where I have witnessed outstanding examples of goodness or service, but never so many as I now see come from those I work with.

Sure, some critics will say that this is what they get paid for, but we all need to eat and take care of our own families in some way.  And isn’t charity the business of almost everything including churches and other non-profits. It a necessary evil and no one need apologize for taking a salary, even as they help others in significant ways. 

So it is with treatment business, or the business of treatment, more money helps more people. And with that money the “noble work," as I call it, does go on. There are needs for everything, especially in the treatment business where large buildings and talented people are needed. Buildings and people are expensive investments but they are the building blocks of treatment center greatness. And greatness is worth investing in and working toward, especially when the dividends from those investments are human lives.

           In our case, we are fortunate to be endowed with both great people and a great building.  The location here on the 706 mountains acres you may have heard about, the former mini-resort hotel, Sherwood Hills, located a few miles up the canyon here in northern Utah. But the people, they are even more unique and extraordinary than then property.  Allow me to introduce them to you, in a way, and to show you the side of them only their "people" (our clients) know and give you an idea of how I see them.

         Our first character likes to be known as "The Ambassador," not of countries or cultures but an ambassador of people. With him there truly is no right and wrong, only that those who enter through the doors of the Center be accepted and loved regardless of their history or their crimes.  For the only crimes in his book are non-acceptance, rejection, and loathing.  Justice itself fears him and knows that it may be trumped by him at any time.  Instead, with the ambassador, mercy rules and his big teddy bear like arms encircle the intended recipient.  I'd call him an ambassador all right, an ambassador of love.

         The gift he brings is indispensable to the operations here.

         Working closely with the ambassador are two other characters worth mentioning, the C-brothers, TC and NC. TC will not abide misunderstanding in the least. At each opportunity he echoes what he hears and understands both clearly and succinctly as if to challenge those who would defy his own understanding.  It's made clear and repeated too, as often as necessary. If diplomacy is to fail, it will fail on its merits and not upon misunderstanding.  And the fact that he does it with such finesse and with such a genuine good nature speaks volumes as to character.

         NC is the convert I put on a pedestal. Now, as worthy as any of the rest of us ruffians, he champions the cause of addiction freedom and is the only man I know that enjoys his work more than I. Without knowing anything more about him than this, I know he’s one of the few by right.

           JM is the company man. He’s new to the pack, and yet absolutely and undeniably more loyal to the company than the founders themselves sometimes.  His attitudes of defiance to her foes and ability to be both stubborn and agile, or even both at the same time, gives him the right to rule over so many as protector of the faith, so to speak, and defender of the motherland.

           The one who's testimony is loudest is the one known as AR. Personally I've been brought to tears with tales of hers that speak of clients' conversions, those accepting the covenant of change.  You see, she would see them come right at first, and size them up, and then would see them leave, 30-60 days later, completely and so utterly different. After years of this, this skeptic became a believer, a most unlikely prediction.  And now, to hear these stories of people who have been transformed, wells up tears in my eyes as I can't help but to believe it possible too. In fact, it happened that I was not out of earshot that day she bore testimony of the miracles she'd seen here and thereby convinced me too to take this all most seriously. After all these are people.

         If people, then what kind of people? Are there kinds?  When I first met MB she declared herself, among other things, "one of them," a recovering addict she claimed and said it so boldly, so proudly, and so shamelessly, that time itself stood still as I contemplated the meaning of it all.  Feelings transcended in that instant, from surprise, to being then aghast, then to feelings of embarrassment, then to some anger, then to irritability, then of shame, and then finally to feelings of reverence, and admiration -- and admittedly a bit of adoration too.  In that same moment, I swore to myself that I too, a recovering addict myself, would declare my own heritage just as she, and without shame or pretense.  This would be the first, not the last, opportunity for me to learn at her feet.

      The next time I saw that greatness was in the way she first served "the people," in this case, "my people." First of all, I'd never seen that kind of caring -- along with an honest understanding -- of the afflicted, the addicted. In the same breath that she unwound the lies, she extended an arm of grace no one could refuse. The sound of that commanding yet forgiving "voice" drew me towards her, too, and I knew then that she had seeds of greatness within. With determination, I committed myself to see them develop.  Whatever her role, in the end, she'd be a part of this miracle for sure.

        And finally, in any discussion of service to the people are these good soldiers, MT and GG, he who has been tasked to look after the temporal needs of the people insofar as at least some of them cannot take care of themselves.  There are no heroic stories here. Supplanting heroism is soft-spoken ness, kindness, and naturally an abiding love for people, especially these people - a not so common ingredient in the altruistic pie.

         When it comes to MT, I'd heard stories of greatness but had not witnessed much till recently.  The way I see it, "Service is commendable."  But I might add, "service combined with self-denial or personal inconvenience is more rare." I'll share this next little story only as one example of the kind of heart this person has.

            It wasn't in the middle of the night, but it was at night, and it was on a Sunday, and it was in the middle of a snowstorm. Service like that is good and commendable, but doesn't qualify for greatness.  However, this does. There's was a moment that night when MT stopped doing her "JOB" and demonstrated her right to be number with the great ones in my book.  As I looked on there seemed to be a change in her in the middle of her routine. She, at once, became human and, showing her true nature, met "my person" personally and inquired and cared.  Now some might dismiss this, but in light of all else, I received my own spiritual confirmation that she belonged with the great ones. And since then have felt honored to have her as part of the team.

       There are some things in life that one “LEAVES” to chance or that one might dismiss “AS” chance, but not this. This combination of characters, or cadres in council, so conceived could not be merely circumstantial. In fact, had I scoured the globe in search of those suited for these roles, I would have likely (and I do believe this) found THESE people and no others.

         History demonstrates that there are crucial tipping points where the right people in the right place at the right time can often change the world in some significant way. And today that is the task before us, "to change the world," even if only one person at a time.  I think that all of us here are naive enough to think it’s not only possible but rather our purpose here on earth.  If it were not so, there have been plenty of reasons to have jumped ship already.  All those who thought that jumping-ship improved their chances for survival, or for success, have already gone and done just that, jumped-ship. Only ten of the most idealistic of us, and maybe the na├»ve-est of all, remain.

       Now you might think that this team of larger-than-life people who are the superheroes of my story would now be complete, but I don't think so. There are still a couple, or so, still missing. Once identified, it will be obvious why they were needed. For now, it is enough to say that we are in hot pursuit to fill these vacancies. These missing pieces will make a difference indeed.  And then the quality of the rank and file needs improving too, and it’s a must. Attracting and retaining superstars like those we have assembled on the board is now being emphasized. There must be purity of heart and mind there too.

        So the focus must now be on the gathering of the missing pieces. Finding those who, in no small way, want to make a difference and not just take home a paycheck.  But paychecks don't obscure the fact that there are employees that are ready, willing and able to "do the work" and those who merely "come to work."  From among those that DO, I want to choose those that SEE as well. For If they see the vision of this work, then they will not be stoppable.

       So the weather forecast looks good as the sun dawns on this new day and brings us hope that the storms are now behind us and that the biggest problems of the future will be of our own making.  To avoid these some advance planning is required. So those entrusted with these assignments may want to get busy before long, preparing for possibilities that will not be eventualities, rather only blips on the radar screen that can be circumnavigated.

       May God bless this underestimated group of believers that there efforts be rewarded with additional opportunities to rescue those with substance abuse issues and thereby "change the world," even one soul at a time.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Opiate / Opioid Epidemic

The Great Opiate/Opioid Epidemic

Richard M Knapp, Director
Infographic 5/28/16

Local News Story: Prescription Abuse in Utah

There is an opioid/opiate epidemic in this country. The use of prescription pain pills has skyrocketed over the last 7 years.  There are pain doctors and pain clinics, and there are more drugs to get people off of the drugs the got addicted to. And many of them resort to buying black tar heroin off the streets when they can get enough of their pills prescribed.  And, naturally, these users of heroin eventually end up in a program like ours at Sherwood Hills Recovery.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Marijuana and Education

The Adverse Effects of Marijuana on 

Richard M Knapp
Executive Director
Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort

If you or someone you know struggles with marijuana use or abuse,
call me now at 


Thursday, June 2, 2016

VIDEO -- Utah Addiction Treatment

"A Place of Healing"


Travis Christensen, clinical director at 
Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort
 moderates this video program and points out program particulars.

If you or someone you love is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, call
or visit

Richard M Knapp
Executive Director
Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Curing Addiction by Healing Relationships

Curing Addiction by…
   Healing Relationships

Richard M Knapp, Executive Director
Copyright 2016

The evidence shows that addiction is caused by both biological and environmental factors.

There are many underlying issues that both fuel the addictive process and hinder recovery, including but not limited to mental illness, family of origin, personality traits and traumas. We believe when these issues are addressed and worked through and processed with help from professionals like those here at Sherwood Hills Recovery, there can relief from the pains of addiction. And then only through abstinence, followed by a life of recovery, can one remain free from addiction.

One of our goals is to help our clients begin to heal from earlier attachment injuries and childhood trauma.

 These include abuse, neglect, abandonment, over indulging, enmeshment and any childhood that fell short of nurturing. More often than not, these negative experiences occurred without any malicious intent by parents. Unfortunately, if left untreated these earlier experiences can create significant unmanageability and relational problems in one’s life, making recovery from an addiction even more complex.

“Now is the time, this is the place.” 
A place where our clients will begin to feel safe and trust others.

Clients will have the opportunity to begin forming authentic relationships with self, staff members and other clients, and then implement those same strategies in the "outside world."

We believe that recovery is a difficult, if not an impossible, process without learning how to have healthy relationships.

"If you or someone you know struggles with addiction, then call now and speak with someone here who can help.  It may be life or death."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sherwood Recovery on TV (VIDEO)

VIDEO Congratulations! 
Sherwood Recovery,
 Nice Job.

Welcome to this blog.

My objective is to be informative and use my own experiences to share with you my ideas regarding the modern plague of addiction.  Rarely is this going  to be used for advertising purposes but the fact is that the treatment center I own and operate, Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort, is the best tool I know in helping people who are struggling with addiction.

to speak with me directly about getting into treatment.

Richard M Knapp
Executive Director

Addiction Has Roots in the Brain (VIDEO)

Addiction Has Roots in the Brain 


My "Addiction's Primitive Roots" video script has been produced, and it's not too bad.
See for yourself. - Richard M Knapp

Addiction's Primitive Roots

This is an awesome educational video 
explaining how the brain works in addiction.

Addicted? Get help.

CALL 888-663-1489
and ask
 for Richard.

Richard M. Knapp, JD/MBA

Richard is the Executive Director and co-founder of Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort, an upscale treatment center located in Wellsville, Utah. He has also recently authored the book A Noble Work, a staff resource guide for those working in the drug and substance abuse recovery industry. Richard’s vision for the resort was born from his own personal experiences with the pain that addiction can have on families. This vision has developed into a personal passion for helping people get treatment. His persistence and financial support of the center wile in infancy gave breath to the current program, making treatment available to hundreds more than ever imagined.