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Topic : 11/20 The Dr. Phil House: Heroin Twins, The Intervention

Number of Replies: 282
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Created on : Friday, November 17, 2006, 12:50:13 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Sarah and Tecoa are 25-year-old twin sisters who had a normal childhood until their mom and stepfather divorced, and their world changed forever. Sarah and Tecoa say to fill the void, they turned to drugs and sex. Now, Sarah lives minute to minute on the streets, consumed with her quest for heroin and crack cocaine, and selling her body to pay for her drugs. Tecoa is currently clean, but not by choice. She’s been in jail, unable to do anything but think about drugs. She’s also six months pregnant. Joani, a former Dr. Phil guest and recovering addict herself, found Sarah on the streets and documented her days and nights for a month. Dr. Phil shows video footage to the twins’ mother, Cindy. How did she let her daughters’ lives get so out of control? Dr. Phil gets the twins off the street and into The Dr. Phil House to detox, and to get their lives back. With surprise visits from their past, a terrifying look into their future, and Dr. Phil helping them through it all, will Sarah and Tecoa commit to rehab and stay clean? Talk about the show here.

Please note: The on-the-street footage in this series was filmed by a concerned outside party and sent to the Dr. Phil show.  Upon receipt of this compelling video, the Dr. Phil show began immediate efforts to plan and arrange necessary interventions and inspire these young adults to get out of harm’s way.

Find out what happened on the show.

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November 20, 2006, 12:16 am CST

Contact Dr. Phil

Quote From: eddiecolon

upset because your forcing then to get clean when they have not surrender with the disease of addiction. they have to do it on there own and for them i was clean for 7 years because i was sick and tired of the addiction so i surrender and and relaps3e because of complencey so please call me or invite to ur show cause i have some nowledge about the disease of addiction. hope to here from u Dr.Phil. i'll be waiting. they can't not get clean until they surrender from the disease of addiction  thnk you eddie 69 ed

. WRITE BACK PLEASE......................................................................................

Eddie if you want Dr. Phil to see your message it's better if you click on "CONTACT DR. PHIL" and just write directly to him from there.  Good Luck..
November 20, 2006, 1:09 am CST

Wow! how sad.

You just never know what is going on in the world until you see some of Dr Phil's shows. This show was sad and sickening at the same time. I mean I was so upset at the twin that introduce the drug to the other twin. And you know the shocking thing to me was that the one twin was shooting up a girl who said that she wanted to try it and let her do it while she was so high she could barely hold her head up. Oh my goodness! That was all I could take when I saw that. My stomach was turning all day. I feel sad and sorry for these girls but their mother single or not let them have too much freedom. She could have made sure that someone was there with them......a neighbor, a friend, sports, school activities there are so many things. There are mothers all over the world that do not use the excuse of being  a single parent for the reasons that she listed. Its hard, but someone has to be there for the kids.  How can you sleep at night knowing that your kids are not home? How can you even be at work when you know that your kids are experimenting with drugs and alcohol? Yeah it may be normal for them to experiment but to be full out on! When I heard the responses that the girls mother was giving I was like yelling at the t.v. HEY GET REAL AND TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY! How could Dr. Phil even contain himself.......oh my!
November 20, 2006, 4:34 am CST

11/20 The Dr. Phil House: Heroin Twins, The Intervention

April 2000
  PDF Version (151 KB)

Background Information

Methadone is a rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and efficacious for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence. For more than 30 years this synthetic narcotic has been used to treat opioid addiction. Heroin releases an excess of dopamine in the body and causes users to need an opiate continuously occupying the opioid receptor in the brain. Methadone occupies this receptor and is the stabilizing factor that permits addicts on methadone to change their behavior and to discontinue heroin use.
Taken orally once a day, methadone suppresses narcotic withdrawal for between 24 and 36 hours. Because methadone is effective in eliminating withdrawal symptoms, it is used in detoxifying opiate addicts. It is, however, only effective in cases of addiction to heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, and it is not an effective treatment for other drugs of abuse. Methadone reduces the cravings associated with heroin use and blocks the high from heroin, but it does not provide the euphoric rush. Consequently, methadone patients do not experience the extreme highs and lows that result from the waxing and waning of heroin in blood levels. Ultimately, the patient remains physically dependent on the opioid, but is freed from the uncontrolled, compulsive, and disruptive behavior seen in heroin addicts.

Withdrawal from methadone is much slower than that from heroin. As a result, it is possible to maintain an addict on methadone without harsh side effects. Many MMT patients require continuous treatment, sometimes over a period of years.

Methadone maintenance treatment provides the heroin addict with individualized health care and medically prescribed methadone to relieve withdrawal symptoms, reduces the opiate craving, and brings about a biochemical balance in the body. Important elements in heroin treatment include comprehensive social and rehabilitation services.

Availability of Treatment

About 20% of the estimated 810,000 heroin addicts in the United States receive MMT (American Methadone Treatment Association, 1999). At present, the operating practices of clinics and hospitals are bound by Federal regulations that restrict the use and availability of methadone. These regulations are explicitly stated in detailed protocols established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, most States have laws that control and closely monitor the distribution of this medication.

In July 1999 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the use of methadone. For the first time in more than 30 years, the NPRM proposes that this medication take its rightful place as a clinical tool in the treatment of the heroin addict. Instead of its use being mandated by regulations, programs will establish quality assurance guidelines and have to be accredited. The proposed new system will allow greater flexibility by the treating physician and ensure appropriate clinical management of the patient's needs. This proposed change in policy would eliminate most of the current regulations and allow greater clinical discretion for treatment by the physician. Accreditation establishes a clinical standard of care for the treatment of medical conditions. In the foreseeable future, clinic and hospital programs would be accredited by a national and/or State accrediting body. Responsibility for preventing the diversion of methadone to illicit use will remain with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Is It Safe?

Like any controlled substance, there is a risk of abuse. When used as prescribed and under a physician's care, research and clinical studies suggest that long-term MMT is medically safe (COMPA, 1997). When methadone is taken under medical supervision, long-term maintenance causes no adverse effects to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bones, blood, brain, or other vital body organs. Methadone produces no serious side effects, although some patients experience minor symptoms such as constipation, water retention, drowsiness, skin rash, excessive sweating, and changes in libido. Once methadone dosage is adjusted and stabilized or tolerance increases, these symptoms usually subside.

Methadone is a legal medication produced by licensed and approved pharmaceutical companies using quality control standards. Under a physician's supervision, it is administered orally on a daily basis with strict program conditions and guidelines. Methadone does not impair cognitive functions. It has no adverse effects on mental capability, intelligence, or employability. It is not sedating or intoxicating, nor does it interfere with ordinary activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Patients are able to feel pain and experience emotional reactions. Most importantly, methadone relieves the craving associated with opiate addiction. For methadone patients, typical street doses of heroin are ineffective at producing euphoria, making the use of heroin less desirable.


Evidence shows that continuous MMT is associated with several other benefits.

MMT costs about $13 per day and is considered a cost-effective alternative to incarceration (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1998a).

MMT has a benefit-cost ratio of 4:1, meaning $4 in economic benefit accrues for every $1 spent on MMT (COMPA, 1997).

MMT has a significant effect on the spread of HIV/AIDS infection, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases (COMPA, 1997). Heroin users are known to share needles and participate in at-risk sexual activity and prostitution, which are significant factors in the spread of many diseases. Research suggests that MMT significantly decreases the rate of HIV infection for those patients participating in MMT programs (Firshein, 1998).

MMT allows patients to be free of heroin addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that, among outpatients receiving MMT, weekly heroin use decreased by 69%. This decrease in use allows for the individual's health and productivity to improve (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1998a). Patients were no longer required to live a life of crime to support their habit, and criminal activity decreased by 52% among these patients. Full-time employment increased by 24%. In a 1994 study of drug treatment in California, researchers found that rates of illegal drug use, criminal activity, and hospitalization were lower for MMT patients than for addicts in any other type of drug treatment program.

The Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS) conducted an outpatient methadone treatment (OMT) evaluation examining the long-term effects of MMT (Hubbard et al., 1997). The pretreatment problems consisted of weekly heroin use, no full-time employment, and illegal activity. Results of the 1-year follow-up showed a decrease in the number of weekly heroin users and a reduction in illegal activity after OMT. There was no significant change in unemployment rates.

A Review

MMT is one of the most monitored and regulated medical treatments in the United States. Despite the longstanding efficacy of MMT, only 20% of heroin addicts in the United States are currently in treatment. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Effective Medical Treatment of Heroin Addiction concluded that heroin addiction is a medical disorder that can be effectively treated in MMT programs. The Consensus panel recommended expanding access to MMT by increasing funding and minimizing Federal and State regulations. Further research must be conducted on factors leading to heroin use and the differences among various users and their ability to end opiate addiction before the demand for heroin addiction treatment can be effectively met by increased MMT availability.


American Methadone Treatment Association, News Report, pp.1–14, August, 1998.

American Methadone Treatment Association, 1998 Methadone Maintenance Program and Patient Census in the U.S., New York, NY, April 1999.

Boundy, Donna, "Profile: Methadone Maintenance: The 'Invisible' Success Story," Moyers on Addiction, New York, NY: Public Broadcasting Service, 1998.

COMPA, (New York State Committee of Methadone Program Administrators, Inc.) Regarding Methadone Treatment: A Review, New York, NY, pp. 6, 9, and 10, 1997.

COMPA, "Behavior Before and After Entry Into Methadone Maintenance Treatment," adapted from McGlothlin, W.H., and M.D. Anglin, "Long-term Followup of Clients of High- and Low-Dose Methadone Programs," Archives of General Psychiatry, 38(9), pp. 1055–1063, 1981.

Firshein, Janet, "The Politics of Methadone," Moyers on Addiction, New York, NY: Public Broadcasting Service, 1998.

Greenhouse, Cheryl M., "Study Finds Methadone Treatment Practices Vary Widely in Effectiveness," NIDA NOTES, Washington, DC: National Institute on Drug Abuse, July/August 1992.

Hubbard, R.L., S.G. Craddock, P.M. Flynn, J. Anderson, and R.M. Etheridge, "Overview of 1-year Follow-up Outcomes in Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS), Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 11(4), pp. 261–278, 1997.

Mathias, Robert, "NIH Panel Calls for Expanded Methadone Treatment for Heroin Addiction," NIDA NOTES, 12(6), Washington, DC: National Institute on Drug Abuse, November/December 1997.

OASAS (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services), Methadone Maintenance: Effective Treatment for Heroin Addiction, Albany, NY: New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 1998.

Office of National Drug Control Policy, "Consultation Document on Methadone/LAAM," Washington, DC, p. 5, September 29, 1998a.

Office of National Drug Control Policy, "We Need More Methadone, Not Less," New York Daily News, p. 29, July 29, 1998b.

Office of National Drug Control Policy, What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, p. 8, Fall 1997.

Recer, Paul, "Experts Call for Less Regulation of Heroin Addiction Treatment," Athens Daily News, p. 10a, August 21, 1998.


 This fact sheet was prepared by Erin Steiner Broekhuysen at the ONDCP Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse. The data presented are as accurate as the sources from which they were drawn. Responsibility for data selection and presentation rests with the Clearinghouse staff. The Clearinghouse is funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to support drug control policy research. The Clearinghouse is a component of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. For further information about the contents or sources used for the production of this fact sheet or about other drug policy issues, call


Write the Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse,
P.O. Box 6000,
Rockville, MD 20849–6000,

or visit the World Wide Web site at:




November 20, 2006, 5:16 am CST

this artical scares the hell out of me, read this i did,


Heroin is a highly addictive drug and is the most widely abused and most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plantsPure heroin, which is a white powder with a bitter taste, is rarely sold on the streets. Most illicit heroin is a powder varying in color from white to dark brown. The differences in color are due to impurities left from the manufacturing process or the presence of additives. Another form of heroin, "black tar" heroin, is primarily available in the western and southwestern U.S. This heroin, which is produced in Mexico, may be sticky like roofing tar or hard like coal, with its color varying from dark brown to blackHeroin can be injected, smoked, or sniffed/snorted. Injection is the most efficient way to administer low-purity heroin. The availability of high-purity heroin, however, and the fear of infection by sharing needles has made snorting and smoking the drug more common. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers have confirmed that all forms of heroin administration are addictive                      Extent of Use

According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 3.5 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying heroin at least once during their lifetimes, representing 1.5% of the population aged 12 or older. Approximately 379,000 (0.2%) reported past year heroin use and 136,000 (0.1%) reported past month heroin use
The 2005 NSDUH results also indicate that there were 108,000 persons aged 12 or older who had used heroin for the first time within the past 12 months. This is a reduction from 118,000 past year heroin initiates in 2004Among students surveyed as part of the 2005 Monitoring the Future study, 1.5% of eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders reported lifetime use of heroin                          Percent of Students Reporting Heroin Use, 2005

   8th Grade  10th Grade  12th Grade 
Past month use  0.5% 0.5%  0.5% 
Past year use  0.8  0.9  0.8 
Lifetime use  1.5  1.5  1.5 

Approximately 61.4% of eighth graders, 72.4% of tenth graders, and 60.5% of twelfth graders surveyed in 2005 reported that using heroin once or twice without a needle was a "great risk.
Percent of Students Reporting Risk of Using Heroin, 2005

Percent Saying "Great Risk"  8th Grade  10th Grade  12th Grade 
Try once/twice w/o needle  61.4%  72.4%  60.5% 
Use occasionally w/o needle  76.8  85.2  73.3 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also conducts a survey of high school students throughout the United States called the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). Among students surveyed for the 2005 YRBSS, 2.4% reported using heroin at least one time during their lifetimes
Percent of Students Reporting Lifetime Heroin Use, 2001-2005

   2001  2003  2005 
9th grade  3.2%  3.5%  2.8% 
10th grade  3.3  2.9  2.5 
11th grade  2.8  3.0  1.8 
12th grade  3.0  2.9  2.0 
Total  3.1  3.3  2.4 

Approximately 0.5% of college students and 1.7% of young adults (ages 19-28) surveyed in 2005 reported lifetime use of heroin
Percent of College Students/Young Adults Reporting Heroin Use, 2004–2005

   College Students  Young Adults 
2004  2005  2004  2005 
Past month  0.1%  0.1%  0.1%  0.1% 
Past year  0.4  0.3  0.3  0.4
Lifetime  0.9  0.5  1.9  1.7

According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 23.4% of State prisoners and 17.9% of Federal prisoners surveyed in 2004 indicated that they used heroin/opiate at some point in their lives
Percent of Prisoners Reporting Heroin/Opiate Use, 1997 and 2004

   State Prisoners  Federal Prisoners 
1997  2004  1997  2004 
At time of offense  5.6%  4.4% 3.0  3.2 
In month before offense  9.2  8.2  5.4  5.8 
Regularly*  15.0  13.1  8.9  9.2
Ever in lifetime  24.5  23.4  16.1  17.9 
* Used drugs at least once a week for at least a month.

Arrests & Sentencing

Between October 1, 2004 and January 11, 2005, there were 391 Federal offenders sentenced for heroin-related charges in U.S. Courts. Approximately 97.4% of the cases involved trafficking. Between January 12, 2005 and September 30, 2005, there were 1,279 Federal offenders sentenced for heroin-related charges in U.S. Courts. Approximately 97.8% of the cases involved trafficking
Production & Trafficking

The U.S. heroin market is supplied entirely from foreign sources of opium. Heroin available in the U.S. is produced in four distinct geographical areas: South America (Colombia), Southeast Asia (primarily Burma), Mexico, and Southwest Asia (principally Afghanistan).23

In 2004, worldwide potential illicit opium production increased to 5,361 metric tons. This is up from 3,549 metric tons during 2003. The potential production in Southwest Asia in 2004 accounted for 5,020 metric tons and production in Southeast Asia accounted for 341 metric tons.24

During FY 2003, Federal agencies seized 5,643 pounds of heroin under the Federal-wide Drug Seizure System (FDSS). FDSS contains information about drug seizures made within the jurisdiction of the United States by the DEA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Border Patrol, and U.S. Coast Guard

Heroin was first synthesized from morphine in 1874 and became widely used in medicine in the early 1900s. At that time, physicians were unaware of heroin's potential for addiction. The first comprehensive control of heroin in the U.S. occurred with the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914. Heroin currently falls into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act based on its potential for abuse and its lack of accepted medical use
Street Terms27

Common Terms Associated with Heroin

Term  Definition  Term  Definition 
A-bomb  Marijuana mixed w/heroin  Hell dust  Heroin 
Big H  Heroin  Nose drops  Liquefied heroin 
Dragon rock  Heroin mixed w/cocaine  Smack  Heroin 
This fact sheet provides information about “Cheese” or “starter heroin.” "Cheese" is a street term that refers to the combination of heroin and ground up cold medicine (Tylenol PM) containing acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. The mixture is a tan powder that is snorted.

Proceedings from the Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Demand Reduction Forum
On July 28, 2006 ONDCP convened a forum to bring together law enforcement and public health officials, prevention specialists, and treatment providers from Federal, State, and local governments to discuss the public health threat and response techniques arising from the recent deaths related to fentanyl-laced heroin

November 20, 2006, 5:26 am CST

this show is goin to hit home with alot of impact dr phil

its not just the twins with a herion problem, and there are many differnt reacons kids will try drugs such as heroin as early as 12 years of age,what this show will do is bring the tip of the iceburg in view, and im very glad the twins decided to come to you and share there story with the country,just goin to you was a very big steap in the wright direction for them, i do pray every thing comes out good for them, but they will have to wait and see what time yealds to them as we all know drugs are a gamble and the stakes are as high as they can be,the bet it [ your life ]
November 20, 2006, 7:05 am CST


Quote From: jansydsmom

Eddie if you want Dr. Phil to see your message it's better if you click on "CONTACT DR. PHIL" and just write directly to him from there.  Good Luck..

Not all people with addiction can get to the

help on thier own.  Some are so bad if someone

does not get envolved and force a start, they could

end up dead.  These girls, especially the worst

one is in a midst of someone force help on her

or she ends up dead.

November 20, 2006, 7:06 am CST

dr phil i know i cant do this but just watching what heroin is doing to the twins makes me relly want to pop a cap in every drug dealer i see!<>

any type of drug dealer dosent give a damn about nothing but money, thear for in my book thear not true americans, they are in fact the enimey,
November 20, 2006, 7:12 am CST


Quote From: milehidawn

i'm not quite sure you have ever dealt with too many people that are seriously addicted, because if you had you would know that you can not force an addict to be "made clean".  i just watched my son go back into court yesterday, fail yet another u.a., and go off once again in handcuffs.  this judge says "go to rehab".  he's been to rehab on three other occasions.  will this time work?  probably not.  why?  because he is not ready.  i know this because he has been using and in the court system and in jails for now 8 years.  he's almost 21.  i agree with you that all drugs should be destroyed, but that is not the answer either.  most of what is in the drugs my son is using are household items.  this is not intended to make you angry at me for what i have to say, but i know quite alot about this epidemic.  courts ordering  people into rehabs is a complete waste of time, all it is doing is generating revenue to those rehabs.  you have to want to quit.  right now, like so many, he is not ready.  he may never be ready.  i have resigned myself to the possibility that i may have to bury my son. 
again, this is not intended to upset anyone, but you cannot make a person clean.

BUT: there is times that when someone gets envolved it

does help.  The girls did say often they did not want to

keep living that way?  Not helping at this point means

a sure death soon? 

     I am very sorry about your Son, I don't think you said

anything anyone should be angry about.  There is a time to

stand up and take action over those hurting themself.

If it's kicking them out, stop listening to excuses or

calling the police on them, which is worse?

Forcing something or doing nothing?  One can end up with

death other a chance no matter how slim it is?

November 20, 2006, 7:50 am CST

I haven't watched the show yet.

Dr. Phil,


I haven't watched the show yet myself.  My friend that lives in England just called me at work to tell me a little about the show.  And what she told me made me very angry (if it's true), she said that you were questioning why the parents of any children could abandon their children and made it sound as if it was their fault their children were addicts.  It's often necessary to have the "tough love" approach, for the health of the whole family!!  I have been working in the addiction field for that last fourteen years, I have a brother that's 52 and has been in recovery for almost fours years now and I am married to a recovering alcoholic.  At some point you get to the point that enough is enough, even with your children.


As I said in the first line, I haven't watched the show yet.  I will reserve any further comments until then.



November 20, 2006, 8:03 am CST

Who's the blame?

I am amazed! This is such a sad sad story, but the real place to put the blame for these girls is on the mother. She said she did'nt know that her girls were doing the drugs, or that she thought she knew that they had tried pot and alcohol. At 12 & 13 years old, when she came home from work and her daughters were not home. How do you come home when your children are 12 years old and they are not home!!?? Yes these girls are now 25 and are responsible for their own lives, they are adults...but their mother made them adults. We as parents are not raising children, we are raising adults!! I do hope these girls can get their lives back, but the mother needs just as much help as her girls. I am sure Dr. Phil is the one to do that.

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