Start Fresh Recovery, a self-described “revolutionary” treatment program managed by addiction treatment corporation, BioCorRx, is administering Vivitrol, an injectable form of Naltrexone – the drug that reduces alcohol cravings and blocks the effects of opioids. Upon entering the Start Fresh program, the patient receives a surgical implant of two time-released tablets of Naltrexone – good for one year of “addiction-free” living. One doesn’t even need to miss a single day of work.

Dr. George Fallieras, Medical Director of Start Fresh Recovery, recognizes alcoholism (in his words) “as a complex, multifactorial disease of the brain.” He goes on to acknowledge that there are two components of this disease: physiological and psychosocial. And both components need to be treated. According to Fallieras, most rehabilitation facilities, through a multitude of treatment methods, “only recognize treating the psychosocial component.” This is what separates Start Fresh from the rest. This is why they are “revolutionary.”

The Fresh Start Recovery Program employs the tagline: Quick – Convenient – Confidential. If you suffer from alcoholism (a complex disease), you can make one office visit, have the surgical implant procedure done in approximately 15 minutes, and not have to return for about a year. No impatient stay. Not even an in-person outpatient treatment plan is necessary (they offer “life coaching” via the phone or Skype). Two tablets, inserted just under the skin, and your once complex brain disease is cured.

Sounds more like what a doctor might prescribe for a common cold or a fever. Take two of these (under your skin) and Skype me in the morning?   

Spending 15 minutes with someone suffering from alcoholism or opioid addiction and sending them on their way – on their own, with an implant of slowly dissolving Naltrexone, doesn’t equate to treating a complex disease.

Without proper treatment and medical supervision, patients shouldn’t be using Naltrexone at all.

According to the FDA, patients must not have any opioids in their system when they start taking Vivitrol (the injectable form of Naltrexone); otherwise, they may experience withdrawal symptoms from the opioids. Also, patients may be more sensitive to opioids while taking Vivitrol at the time their next scheduled dose is due. If they miss a dose or after treatment with Vivitrol has ended, patients can accidentally overdose if they restart opioid use.

Furthermore, side effects experienced by those using Vivitrol included nausea, tiredness, headache, dizziness, vomiting, decreased appetite, painful joints, and muscle cramps. Other serious side effects included reactions at the site of the injection, which can be severe and may require surgical intervention, liver damage, allergic reactions such as hives, rashes, swelling of the face, pneumonia, depressed mood, suicide, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behavior. Medical experts in Australia have warned about the dangers of using Naltrexone implants for years.

With appearances on Bloomberg and other business media outlets, BioCorRx CEO, Kent Emry openly expresses his desire to penetrate into the $23 Billion industry “by offering a program that, unlike most of its competitors, can effectively reduce or virtually eliminate the physical cravings associated with addiction in most people.” He is rather explicit about capitalizing on his quick – convenient – confidential cure.

Start Fresh even has a celebrity who testifies that the implants “changed his life forever.” Jeremy Miller, best known for his role as Ben Seaver on the TV show Growing Pains, appears regularly as an advocate for the program.

Undergoing a painless, quick surgical procedure to wipe away a complex disease such as alcoholism is an appealing solution for anyone struggling. If only other complex diseases, such as diabetes or cancer could so easily be fixed. The treatment goal is to remove the cancer, either through surgery and/or radiation. Once that is accomplished, the patient is taken off the medicine. What about patients who rely on Naltrexone? What happens when they no longer are receiving the drug? What’s worse, what happens when a patient drinks or uses with this implanted drug, releasing Naltrexone into their system? 
Without real clinical addiction treatment, a drug-only treatment plan such as Start Fresh may mean more growing pains on the horizon. And they might be fatal.  
Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat recognizes that there is a physiological component as well as psychosocial – it is not a revolutionary concept. The difference is, abstinence-based 12-Step Programs such as ours take the time to treat the whole disease, with medically-based detoxification and licensed clinical care so that our patients recover fully from substance abuse. We don’t aim to replace a dangerous dependency with another.

Take the First Step. Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website. Hemet Valley Recovery Center Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.

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Hemet Valley Recovery Center remains open and accepting patients, we will continue to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Click here for more information or call 866-273-0868.