Addiction Medicine



Dr. John Murphy, Board Certified Addictionologist
Dr. John Murphy, the medical director of the Recovery Center for Addiction at Lynx, has 18 years of experience in addictionology. In 2013, Vermont founded the original Hub and Spoke model for addiction which has later been adopted Nationwide. Dr. Murphy was pivotal in the planning and implementation process of the original Hub and Spoke model. From 2013 to 2016 Dr. Murphy was the medical director of the hub and spoke program in Vermont which serviced southern Vermont.  
Lynx Healthcare recruited Dr. Murphy in order to establish a modified Hub and Spoke model in our system.  Our program at Lynx Healthcare commenced on February 12, 2018 and we currently are serving over 100 new patient referrals per month for evaluation in addiction in the Tri-Cites and Spokane regions.  Currently, we are coordinating with our team ensuring excellent full service patient care delivery.  We work with several resource centers to provide coordinated care for medication assisted treatment.  Patients receive comprehensive care through utilization of excellent partners in our region.

"Currently Lynx has 5 addiction trained providers with 3 pending and with 2 more expected to start before the end of this year".

"We partner with 11 outreach programs to provide comprehensive care that extends beyond our in-house services."


At Lynx Healthcare, our addiction medicine clinics are focused on helping people heal from many types of addiction and substance dependence. We provide comprehensive medical care within the biopsychosocial framework for people suffering from substance abuse and addiction. This includes addiction medicine for individuals who demonstrate unhealthy substance use, as well as supportive care for family members who are affected by another’s substance use or addiction.

Addiction has a public face. Society often sees addicted individuals as weak or immoral. Addiction can often lead to behaviors such as lying and stealing to support the habit. Experienced opioid dependent patients no longer get high. They maintain a level of drug to avoid withdrawal which is severely unpleasant. Addiction is not your fault. Addiction should be viewed as a disease, no different than diabetes or high blood pressure. Addicted patients deserve the best treatment we can provide. We provide evidence based care with treatment of the entire patient. 

Our addiction medicine physicians perform in-depth health histories and physical exams to diagnose related health issues such as co-occurring psychiatric conditions. Our state-of-the-art lab for urine analysis and other appropriate testing is on site, allowing for accurate, quick results. 

If you have problems with any type of addictive substance, feel free to contact us for help or request an appointment online.


What Do Drugs Do To The Brain?

Dealing With Alcohol Addiction

How and Why People Become Addicted

There are many misconceptions about how people become addicted to drugs or alcohol, such as a lack of willpower or moral principles. However, for many people who become addicts, using drugs alters the way the brain functions. This causes the body to crave more drugs or alcohol for survival, like water or food.

Addiction tends to run in families, which may make you more susceptible. Stress from environmental factors such as sexual abuse, peer pressure, and childhood neglect also play a role in developing unhealthy coping mechanisms that lead to drug and alcohol use. 

There are three major causes that may trigger you to become dependent on drugs and alcohol. The cause tends to come from deeper, underlying medical or psychological issues, including:

  1. Heredity
  2. Events from the past that still need to be reconciled
  3. Current conditions you’re unable to cope with

If you are abusing drugs and alcohol, one or more of these four underlying causes will be present. At Lynx Healthcare, we specialize in treating all of them. 

We have found that addiction isn’t usually the primary problem. Our approach is to address each of these underlying causes through a variety of therapies and get to the root of the problem, which has consistently led to successful treatment outcomes and a sober life for numerous people.

What Is The Vision For The Program?

Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT is an integrated program designed to promote the process of recovering from opiate dependence. We start by doing a complete evaluation. If appropriate we would start suboxone with induction. In the first week we meet frequently to adjust your dose. Suboxone is an opioid agonist and affects the receptors in the brain. It's designed to reduce or eliminate withdrawal. In addition, suboxone helps with opioid cravings although cravings are often related to triggers. Concurrently, you will engage in counseling, usually an intensive outpatient programs. The goal is to learn about your addiction and learn tools to maintain abstinence because medication is only part of MAT. You'll need to engage in treatment.

I will screen for Adverse Childhood Events (ACE). Individuals with childhood trauma may require mental health treatment. Many addicted patients have unfortunately, experienced some sort of childhood trauma that has lead to PTSD.

As an osteopathic physician I believe in treatment of the whole patient. A part of yourself is opioid dependence. I reject terms like addict because it does not describe the entire person. As an individual you are also a brother or sister, son or daughter, a father or mother, a husband or wife, and many other aspects of your life. Labeling you and addict is unfair. Unless I treat the whole patient we are unlikely to succeed.


What To Expect In The Program

Withdrawal and induction:

-          Dependence on opioids leads to withdrawal when the drug is stopped. You will need to stop using short acting opiates like heroin,  oxycodone, or hydrocodone for 12 hours before induction on suboxone. If you start suboxone too early you will experience precipitous withdrawal. You will be induced on suboxone after this 12 hour period. Within 45 minutes your withdrawal will diminish. Over the next few days the goal is to eliminate withdrawal. You will no longer be a slave to drugs. You will no longer need to plan your days around acquiring and using drugs.


-          After a week or so your dose will be adequate to eliminate withdrawal and reduce cravings for opiates. We will re-evaluate weekly for:

o   Dose evaluation

o   Side effects of medication

o   Urine Drug Screens

Checking a Urine Drug Screen is important. We would not prescribe blood pressure medicine without checking blood pressure.

Success Rate:

-          50% of patients who start suboxone are still in the program after 6 months. The drop out rate often reflects readiness. Some patients simply are not ready for recovery. For the patients that stay in the program most remain abstinent. This includes drugs like opiates, marijuana, and alcohol. Alcohol and benzodiazepines interfere with suboxone and should not be used in the program

Although marijuana is legal in some states I do not consider this abstinence. The use of any drug to alter consciousness or mental status is not part of recovery. 10 to 20% if patients who smoke marijuana will become addicted. I have extensive experience with this topic and will be more than happy to educate and help. You will not be discharged because you are using marijuana initially at the time of your intake.

What If I Have Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is often treated with opiates. A number for those patients will become addicted. Addiction is the use of a substance despite harmful events on self or others. If you have taken more of your medication than prescribed or asked for early refills you may be addicted. I will work closely with your pain specialist to provide and design the best program for you. Your addiction will not be ignored nor will your pain. Because 40% of addiction is inherited you may have been born with a propensity for addiction. This is not your fault. Opiates can give you a feeling of elation and well being. It is no surprise that some patients become addicted.

How Long Do I Stay In The Program?

Many changes occur in recovery. It is a process that cannot be rushed. To pursue recovery you need to make changes in your beliefs and behavior. This can be hard work. You need to pursue normalcy, a safe home environment, close friends, and family. Your relationships actually help change your brain chemistry. If you can you need to return to things that bring you satisfaction like working, parenting, socializing, engaging in hobbies and activities that bring you pleasure.

You will engage in the treatment program for at least 6 to 12 months. You should be involved in alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous and you need to work in a 12 steps of recovery program. That will at least take a year or 2. You most likely will not be on suboxone for a life time. When you are ready you and your provider can agree on a taper that may take 3 to 6 months. When you taper off of suboxone recovery is not ended. You still need to engage in AA or NA and counseling. Self help groups can be found on the internet.

Will I Be Cured Of My Addiction?


In short, No. Addiction is a chronic disease requiring a lifetime of recovery. It gets easier but no one is cured. There are ads on television that claim there are cures, I believe these to be false. Studies are clear, just as there is no cure for diabetes, there is no cure for addiction. However, it can be managed to promote a long and healthy life. Congratulations on taking the first steps towards recovery. It takes courage and hard work. I look forward to answering your questions or perhaps working together. You are not alone. 

What Do Friends, Caregivers, And Family Need To Know?

Addiction is a disease associated with preoccupation with drugs. Finding and using the drug is done to avoid withdrawal. It is not the fault of the user. You are most helpful if you are supporting. Listen to the users troubles and needs. You can’t stop a user from using drugs but you can direct them to treatment. At the same time, don’t enable the user when they ask for money or even shelter. You cannot have a user in your home or enable them to use. When the individual seeks help earnestly you can then offer assistance, enabling a user only perpetuates drug use.

Recovery can take months to years. In the mean time you can look forward to getting your friend or family member back. The goal of treatment is normalcy. The patient will be required to develop sober relationships, seek help from counselors, attend NA or AA. All of these things are positive and deserve your encouragement.

Addiction & The Brain

There are three general parts of the brain (See Diagram Below)

The first is the Cerebrum, it is the thinking brain responsible for the 5 senses and making decisions

The second is the Cerebellum it is responsible for balance and coordination and higher functions like interpretation or creation of music.

The third is the Brain Stem which is the primitive function which includes breathing, eating, appetite, sex drive and other primitive functions. It also includes the limbic system which helps to interpret emotions and memory.

The feeling brain integrates emotion, memory, and sense of self.


There are trillions of connections, called synapses in the brain Neurotransmitters function to make those connections like dopamine, epinephrine, etcetera. Addiction involves positive reinforcement. Some drugs produce pleasure equal to or greater than that of sex. Addiction also involves negative reinforcement. Some people use drugs to forget or replace bad memories. Many patients that have addiction suffer from adverse childhood events or childhood trauma. Both positive and negative reinforcement lead to altered motivational hierarchy. The drug becomes more important than relationships and responsibilities. As the addiction progresses the lower feeling brain dictates behavior overriding the Cerebrum or thinking brain. This is why drug use continues despite harmful effects beyond reason. Dr. Kane promotes “The Theory of Two Pillars of Recovery”.

1.)    Keep your distance

a.       Stay away from people places or things that may trigger the use of drugs.

2.)    Ask for help

You can’t do this alone, you need a medical provider, group or individual drug counseling, mental health therapy, and self-help groups like NA and AA. You need to reach out to sober friends. 

  • Conditions Treated

    Conditions Treated

    We treat addictions to opioids, methamphetamines, alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco in addition to health concerns that are commonly associated with addiction.

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  • Treatments


    Our customized outpatient addiction treatment plans are designed to help you kick your addiction once and for all.

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