Dr. Khaleghi Interview - Creative Care
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Dr. Khaleghi Interview

Interviewer: 790, KABC. While Dr. Kipper will answer your questions to the best of his ability, please remember that an on-air diagnosis is not intended to be recommended course of action. You should consult with your own physician before making any decisions about your health.

Dr. Khaleghi: Good. How are you?

Dr. Khaleghi: Well.

Interviewer: You guys look great. We’ve had some history together for a while now.

Dr. Khaleghi: Yeah.

Interviewer: And it always kills me when I see a big story in the news, and I forget that yet there’s another kind of way to get high that people should be aware about. An honor student, a girl fourteen years old, computer cleaner. Computer spray? Huffing, which I guess means spraying it into a towel or something, and then snorting the – is it the nitrous out of there? What are they getting high on? What is it in it, do you know? Or is it the alcohol? What is it in it that gets them high, correct?

Dr. Khaleghi: Chemicals.

Dr. Khaleghi: Whatever chemicals.

Interviewer: Chemicals. And it got them high because it deprives of oxygen, and the girl did it we think one time, or maybe not one time, and died, because it stopped her heart.

Dr. Khaleghi: Cardiac arrest. Yeah.

Interviewer: And I know what you guys are going to say as far as the huffing. How can parents know and what they should be alerted to. But the bigger issue is you’re going to say why. Because it’s not huffing. And parents, the thing that happens with parents with addictive kids especially, or family members with addictive family members, is they hear this and they go if I catch it, and I address that issue, it’s going to stop. Oh, I’ve got it. Let’s get rid of the cleaners and all of the aerosols, and let’s sit down and talk don’t do that anymore. That’s going to correct it. Isn’t that usually the trend of what happens? They specifically focus on that behavior.

Dr. Khaleghi: Correct.

Interviewer: And there’s a bigger issue. And I know Dr. Kipper wants to talk about it from a medical standpoint, about how doctors should even address this with patients. You know, what are you looking for at this point? Either of you. So the floor’s open on huffing. Today it’s huffing.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. Well, you know, you’re correct. What is the choice today that they’re ingesting? What are they huffing today? It was something different in the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s.

Interviewer: There was huffing that went back – I mean, there’s always ––

Dr. Khaleghi: Oh, yeah. I mean, before it was spray paint. It was adhesive glues. It was anything that they could find in the garage that they could mix together. So, that behavior has continued ––

Interviewer: Forever.

Dr. Khaleghi: Since whenever.

Interviewer: I also think it might be related to – I know this is going to sound obtuse, people that cut and are looking for an immediate sensation. I mean, a few inhale an aerosol no matter what’s in that aerosol.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right.

Interviewer: You’re going to get an immediate sort of rush.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. Right.

Interviewer: And I think there is a connection there of people that need to feel something. So if you’re looking at a demographic of who – because not everybody does this, of course.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right.

Interviewer: Although the statistics are amazing. It’s like over two million cases a year of huffing are reported.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right.

Interviewer: That that seems like a lot of people.

Interviewer: Well, I would think that’s easy. Because it’s easy. You don’t have to steal a drug. There’s stuff in your house right now you can find and you can huff it.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. You don’t have to go out and buy it.

Interviewer: So I guess that’s why the number is so huge.

Dr. Khaleghi: Correct. Correct.

Interviewer: Do you see it? Do you see the same people do this?

Dr. Khaleghi: I see it more in the schools. Maybe what we see in Creative Care, they may have done that at some point in their life.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. I haven’t seen any of that in ––

Dr. Khaleghi: As the presenting issue. Because who we deal with is eighteen and up, and so they might have been doing this at an earlier age. When I talk in schools to teachers, to students, which I really like getting together with a group of students and just shooting the breeze with them and finding out what’s going on, one of the things that I’ve been told by students at schools in the L.A. area is that they’re never surprised when it’s the honor student that does it. To them, it is something that makes sense.

Because they say, you know what? Gregg could never get out of his own head. He always had trouble you know, socially. He was really bright and he did really well in school, but he really had a hard time socially. He had a hard time disconnecting from the academics and being a real person. That’s out of the kids’ mouths.

Interviewer: Right. It’s an identity issue. They don’t want to be known as the brainiac. They want on some level to be integrated into the norm.

Interviewer: Or they don’t have the skill set to do both. It’s just like saying I excel in music, but I don’t excel in the other hemisphere in math. This kid excels in being a student, a professional student, but doesn’t know how to socialize.

Dr. Khaleghi: Suffering from social anxiety.

Interviewer: Right. Right.

Dr. Khaleghi: And in reality, we do. I mean one of the things that came out earlier on was that as this generation grows up, what we have started is what they refer to sometimes as popcorn brain. Where kids have been programmed to have very quick responses which gets back to your comment initially. They want a quick response to stimulation. And this generation of kids that’s grown up on learning computers and having an immediate response to inquiry, to research, to academics, and that has been part of who they were, and they have great and dedicated parents who have kept them in the latest classes with the latest computer software. You know, that has created this popcorn brain where they need quick response and stimulation. And what they don’t quite understand that we also need to teach them how to socialize. They don’t get how to socialize.

Interviewer: We also know that they’re not developmentally intact at this point.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right.

Interviewer: The prefrontal cortex isn’t developed. They don’t have the same judgment that they will ten years from that point.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. Right.

Interviewer: So that’s another problem.

Interviewer: But you’re just blowing my mind, because you’re not just talking about kids now. You’re talking about twenty-five to thirty-four-year-olds who grew up where you could download everything immediately. Used to be with us, you had to go to the library, you had to look up stuff.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right.

Interviewer: There’s delayed gratification. Not everything was an immediate hit.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right.

Interviewer: Now you’ve got a whole generation that’s about in their thirties which is total immediate gratification. So I want to get high quick. I want to find an answer quick. I need a solution solved quick. And here we’re talking about dual diagnosis where you guys, the opposite, it’s not a quick fix. It’s a peeling the onion away to find out.

Dr. Khaleghi: Exactly.

Interviewer: What the layer is that got you where you are.

Interviewer: I also think there’s a neurochemical component to this. I think people that have primarily a dopaminergic imbalance, those are risk-taking people. People that have serotonin issues don’t tend to do that. So I think there’s something. If you look at these kids from a neurochemical standpoint, I think you can almost label them. And so I think for parents or for teachers, for those of us in this area of specialty, I think we can identify some of these kids in advance and counseling, the stuff that you do at the schools, can help identify who’s at risk.

Dr. Khaleghi: Exactly. And that’s why when we talked – last time we were here, we spoke a little bit about why is early education important. Well really, education is important because you have another set of professional eyes on a young child. And what you begin to understand. I have four kids. They all have different learning styles. They all learn in a different way. Their minds all click at a different rate. And I can tell you that my oldest child has a very quick mind. And she has a hard time dialing back. She has a hard time turning it off and going into the next relaxed state. And as a kid, she had a hard time falling asleep at night. So she had that profile. But as parents, we were able to see that in her from a young age. When you have – and work with it, and help her to develop a style to deal with that part of her personality, and put her on a path of success rather than a path of destruction.

Interviewer: Alright, so since we have limited time, that leads me to another question. So when you’re dealing with people who have addiction issues, okay? And you do dual diagnosis, which is about you know, peeling the onion and finding it. When you get somebody in there who’s an addict, they’re on drugs, a family member drops them off, or they’re ready, how do you find out if it’s that fast kid? How do you find out what the true personality is so you know how to treat that person if they’re not coming in that way? That’s not who that person is. How do you find out?

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. You take your time. You do evaluations. You do observations. You take a history. And you know, within half a day, within a day, twenty-four hours, you ––

Interviewer: You’ll get a sense of it?

Dr. Khaleghi: Yeah. Pretty much. We’ve found out exactly what’s going on, and what motivates them. What their agenda is for treatment. Is it the same as the family’s agenda? Are they just coming in ––

Interviewer: Is there a disconnect between the patient’s agenda for treatment and the family’s agenda for treatment?

Dr. Khaleghi: By the time they come to us, they’ve had lots of other treatments, and there may have been a disconnect prior to us, but a lot of times when they come to us, it’s the last stop because they run through their programs and run through all the resistance and denials, and more often than not, they are on the same page.

Interviewer: The patient’s agenda is to have no treatment. That’s generally their agenda.

Dr. Khaleghi: Right. Exactly. And of course, you know, between the detox and the med seeking, and everything that goes on, we’re trying to bring them back on the same level as not only the parents, but the treatment. You came here to get our help, and so let’s see if we can work together to get you well.

Interviewer: Then how do you change – how much time do you spend with enablers to change their behavior? Because if you don’t change their behavior, it’s going to impact the patient that you’re treating.

Dr. Khaleghi: Well, the family education is huge. We get the family involved pretty early on, and we identify who the weak link is, who the enabler is. Who’s the tough lover? And who’s doing what to whom?

Interviewer: You know, it’s like when families get together. It doesn’t matter if you’re seventy years old and your parents are still alive, you’re still sitting at the children’s table at Thanksgiving. You still play the same roles. How do you break them out of those roles?

Dr. Khaleghi: Well, we paradox them a lot. Meaning we ask them, do you really want to get well? Why do you want to get well? And do you want this other person to get well, and why? So changing the pattern. Rocking the boat is never easy. Even though it’s been a dysfunctional sick pattern, it’s still hard to change.

Interviewer: You know when I see it the most? I see it – every year we have a story about the 600-pound guy who lives at home and his family, his mother or his wife who’s there, and you go about 200 pounds, or 320 pounds in, somebody should have said I’m stopping with the three chicken dinners and the French fries, and they never do. And I always thought it’s about keeping the little boy at home, and it’s controlling issues for the person who’s keeping them in bed. Because nobody gets to be 600 pounds and bedridden by themselves. Somebody gets them help. And then they always have to take them out with a forklift and always have to get the DEFCON 3. It seems to be the same paradigm here. That the enabling is that awesome. The same as you would with a person who’s 600 pounds and bedridden.

Dr. Khaleghi: Yes. And more often than not, there’s a history. There’s a background. There’s somebody that’s managed to do the same thing and never was addressed. So you know, we try to evaluate that, and try to get a family history as much as we can.

Dr. Khaleghi: And it’s never easy, because the parents, the family members, may be very well intentioned, and they want their loved ones back. I mean we ask, who do you want back? You know, and there’s always that person that they want back. They want back their child who used to sit on their lap, and used to look at them adoringly. Or they want their wife back who is you know, gone off the rails because of stress and anxiety, and family issues that came up when she became a mother. Or you know, so there’s always a reason.

Interviewer: It’s a complicated issue. Here’s the deal. Creative Care Malibu deals with this. We love having you guys in to talk about it.

Dr. Khaleghi: Thank you.

Interviewer: I hate that we always have a story like a huffing death that we have to start with, but I think it’s a good thing because somebody was just alerted out that’s listening now, that went in the bathroom and found a towel with stains all over it, and you go, what is this, and didn’t know about it. So if it saves one person, or it starts a conversation in your family, that’s great. Creative Care is 800-832-3280. So you can either call them or you can link on KABC.com. Go to Dr. Kipper’s picture with me, and link on there, and it’ll take you right to Creative Care and you can get a lot of questions answered. Because it is complex. It is co-created by people, and it’s not just the light switch goes off and let’s take care of this thing. It’s much more complicated. And it’s still on the rise. Every week that you come in, the numbers are still increasing as far as addiction. Because the tougher society is, where the more available stuff is the worse it is. So 800-832-3380 for Creative Care, or link on us, and we’ll link you to them, and we’ll have you back in again real soon.

Dr. Khaleghi: Thank you.

Dr. Khaleghi: Great.

Interviewer: Thank you for coming back. And we’ll take as many calls as we can for the remaining segment of the show. 800-222-5222.