Author Archives: genesishouse

Why Does Heroin and Other Opiates Cause Constipation?

Opioids and opiates are drugs that depress your central nervous system. This means your breathing and other bodily systems slow down. But opioids are notorious for causing constipation. Why is this?

Your gastrointestinal system also slows down when you take opioids. Not only this, your GI tract has receptors for the opiates that you produce naturally. The opiates and opioids that you take then bind to these receptors. This causes the usual contractions in your large and small intestines to decrease. Opioids may also paralyze your stomach so that it cannot process food the way it usually does. Food not only stays in your stomach, but opioids interfere with the enzymes needed to break it down. Even if everything else was working, opiates even reduce the urge to move your bowels. When you do try to move your bowels:

  • The feces are hard, dry and painful. This is because the longer it takes for the stool to pass through your large intestine, or colon, the more water your body absorbs from them.
  • You have to strain at stool.
  • Even when you do have a bowel movement, it feels incomplete. There is actually a word for this: tenesmus.

The constipation that happens when you take opioids can occur at any time when you are taking the drug. It also doesn’t go away over time like other side effects, because you GI tract doesn’t adapt to the drug the way the rest of your body does. Indeed, the longer you take the drug, the worse your constipation gets. Moreover, the usual remedies that help normal constipation do not work well when you are constipated from opioid use.

Complications of Opiate Caused Constipation

The complications of constipation caused by opioid use is rarely life-threatening, but can be very uncomfortable, and degrade your quality of life. Common complications include:

  • Hemorrhoids, which occur when the veins in the rectum or anus dilate and fail due to straining.
  • Diverticulosis, which are tiny pouches in the wall of the large intestine. If these pouches become inflamed, it can lead to a condition called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be serious.
  • Fecal impaction, which happens when a large amount of hard stool simply cannot be passed. This is often accompanied by a watery discharge from the rectum, nausea and malaise.

Call Genesis House for Help

If you need detox for your opiate use and its complications, give us a call at Genesis House. Our number here is 800-737-0933

Christmas Break from Recovery?

For many people in recovery, this can be a particularly challenging time of year. Also, a time where it could be easy for one to relapse by putting their recovery on “Christmas Break.” But, did our using and drinking ever take a break? Awareness and preventative planning can always help if relapse is close by.

During the holidays we are around certain family members we only see this time of year that may drink or drug too much or they flat out drive us crazy! Maybe in previous years we were able to deal with this better since we were drunk or high ourselves. Certain people and behaviors could be a lot less tolerable now that we are in recovery. But this is nothing to get worked up about, and nothing we cannot get through clean especially with our recovery friends and plenty of clean holiday events. So, plan your holiday the same way you previously planned to get high or drunk for the holiday.

We should know it is okay to not go to certain family events where we will feel unsafe and if we need to, LEAVE EARLY! If it is possible, bringing a recovery friend may also help. Create an escape plan of why you may need to leave early, that way you would not feel that you have to explain yourself in depth or that you are offending anyone. Keep your sponsor and networks phone numbers close and do not be afraid to USE them! Find out where there are Holiday Marathon meetings, speaker jams, dances or a holiday alcathon -where meetings run round the clock and there are plenty of support of others in recovery.

And lastly, it is important to remember that we should all have an attitude of gratitude during the holiday. Let’s not forget why we got clean to begin with, and keep that gratitude. We are clean today with the ability to be at a holiday event we will actually remember!

In the first few holiday’s we may need to avoid or get away from certain aspects of family members or events. However, after step work and because of the experience we gain on this journey, we may develop a large amount of tolerance and empathy for those that once drove us bonkers! That is where we can see the growth in ourselves and benefits of working a recovery program. We are not responsible for how others act, we are responsible for our recovery and how WE react in these situations.

Happy Holidays!

What Happens During Heroin Detox?

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs, and the detox period can be tough. However, once you’re through the detox stage, you’ll be on the road to recovery. Although detox is slightly different for everyone, it can be helpful to have a general idea of what happens.

The severity of the withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on how dependent the brain is on the substance. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomting

Heroin greatly increases dopamine levels in the brain. After prolonged or repeated use, the brain becomes unable to produce sufficient amounts of dopamine on its own and has to readjust to functioning without the drug. Therefore, many people also experience psychological withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, agitation, and paranoia.

Timeline of Heroin Detox

Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually start between six and 12 hours of the last dose. The symptoms usually peak around the second day. By the third or fourth day, the symptoms typically subside a little, but the discomfort isn’t completely gone. It’s important to eat properly during this time to help your immune system. Many people experience shivers and abdominal cramping during the third, fourth, and fifth days.

Withdrawal symptoms often end after about seven days. For those who were severely addicted, the symptoms may last for 10 days, but they rarely last for longer. However, some symptoms, like trouble sleeping and loss of appetite, may persist for a few more days.

Although the acute withdrawal stage typically ends in under 10 days, the entire detox process can last for several months because the brain changes caused by heroin take a long time to reverse. This is known as PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal symptoms.

If you begin a supervised detox program, the process will typically begin with an intake and evaluation, which will let your healthcare providers determine an appropriate treatment plan. You’ll probably have a physical exam and be asked questions about mental health symptoms. Then, your medical professionals will come up with a plan for your immediate detox and long-term treatment.

Even though the effects of detox and withdrawal are rarely fatal, it’s very important to go through detox under medical supervision. This reduces the risk of relapse and provides medical care in case there are complications. If you or a loved one is struggling with a heroin addiction, call us at 800-737-0933 for the care you need.

How Bad is The Heroin Epidemic?

Opioids are the the most prevalent cause of drug overdose in the US, and overdose rates continue to increase. From the year 1999 to the year 2008, heroin overdose rates increased by 400%, and rates have quadrupled again since 2010. Heroin overdose rates increased by over 20% from 2014 to 2015 alone. We are in the midst of a crisis, and opioids are to blame

Many heroin addictions begin with prescription opioids. In fact, three out of four new users report abusing pills first. For years, doctors prescribed them more freely. In more recent years research on their addictive properties and overdose rates has caused doctors to reduce, and sometimes cut off, prescriptions. Addicts can buy opioid pills, but they are very expensive. Heroin is less expensive and much stronger, so addicts sometimes turn to it out of desperation.

It is estimated that around 70,000 people report using heroin each year, but the number is likely much higher. Many addicts do not seek treatment on their own and would not answer questions about heroin use honestly. Demographically, the average heroin user is white, male, low-income, has abused prescription drugs in the past, and between the ages of 18 and 25.

Do you suspect that someone you care about is abusing heroine? Learn the signs.

Signs of heroin use include:

  • tiny pupils
  • appearance of sleepiness
  • flushed skin
  • paraphernalia, such as burnt spoons, baggies of a white substance or syringes
  • runny nose
  • track marks, or always covering arms
  • lack of self care, such as eating and grooming
  • nausea or vomiting
  • scratching

Health risks of heroin use include damage to the lungs, heart and kidneys, as well as severe impairment of the ability to think.

Because the potency of heroin varies and addicts often use more to achieve a stronger effect, overdose rates are very high. Often times, the difference between the amount needed for the desired effect and the amount that could cause a fatal overdose is very small. Because of this, all heroin users are at risk of overdose.

Do you or someone you care about need help overcoming addiction? We at Genesis House are here for you. You can reach us, 24 hours a day, at 800-737-0933

What is Drunk Packing?

Drunk packing has gained popularity recently, after a college student died after his friends practiced the trend. Drunk packing involves rolling a drunk person onto their stomach and placing something heavy, like a backpack, on their pack. The goal is that this will prevent them from rolling over onto their back and choking on their own vomit.

Who practices drunk packing?

You may be wondering if someone you care about could fall prey to this trend. This new practice is common on college campuses, especially among those who are afraid to call for help when a friend has alcohol poisoning. Because of this, many who use this method are underage. The intention with drunk packing is good, but misguided. You may think that someone can only choke on their vomit if they are on their back, so they are protected and can sleep safely.

The Problems with Drunk Packing

  • You can choke in any position.
  • The weight of the backpack can do more harm than good.
  • Choking is not the only danger faced by someone with alcohol poisoning.

Because young people are the ones most effected by this trend, it is important that they are educated in the matter. Drunk packing is not safe. If you or a friend has practiced this, or you suspect that someone you love is drunk packing, there are a couple important facts of which you should be aware. First, most schools have amnesty policies. This means that you will not get in trouble for calling for help. If someone is drunk enough that you are worried for their safety, it is better to be safe than sorry and seek medical help. Second, drunk packing may become a punishable offense in itself, now that someone has died after being drunk packed. It is no longer a way to stay out of trouble, because the risks have been made public.

So, what should you do about this new trend? If you believe that you or someone you care about is in danger from drunk packing and alcoholism, we at Genesis House are here to help. You can reach us 24 hours a day on our toll free number: 800-737-0933

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go To a Local Detox Center To Get Clean

Choosing to get into recovery from addiction is a courageous decision that is typically not easy to make. Once you make that decision, several factors must be considered to assure your optimal success such as:

  • Cost
  • How to pay for treatment
  • In-network or out-of-network providers
  • Type of treatment center such as general population, women-only, men-only, LGBT-specific, Christian, etc.
  • Location.

While each factor plays a significant role in the equation of achieving lifelong recovery, location is one of the most significant factors.

Addiction is both a physiological and psychological disease. The physiological component of the disease is always addressed first because of the detox process. The detox process consists of going through withdrawal under the supervision of medical personnel and cleansing the system of drugs and alcohol. It is imperative for you to go through detox under the supervision of medical personnel to assure safe, comfortable withdrawal. Depending on your addiction, especially alcoholism, the withdrawal symptoms may be fatal. Examples of common withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Body aches
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartrate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Regardless of the detox center you choose, choosing a distant detox center, as opposed to a local detox center, will be more beneficial for your long-term success.

Three Reasons Why You Should Choose a Distant Detox Center

Despite health insurance, financial, and convenience challenges, you should make every effort to go to a detox center that is distant from your home. Numerous studies have shown that those who travel a distance from their home to go to detox and treatment have higher long-term success rates. There are several reasons why this is the case:

  • Being away from Relapse-Triggers

People, places, neighborhoods, and culture in the environment where you were active in your addiction are some examples of relapse triggers. It would be very hard to focus on your recovery and maintain sobriety when the neighborhood where you used to always go to seek drugs is merely a few miles away and the people who you have used drugs with are right outside the door of the detox facility. If you choose a local detox facility, it will be even more of a struggle to start your new life in recovery when your old life is literally right outside the door of the facility. Many recovering individuals attest to being tempted to use when they are in the same scenery where they were active in their addiction.

  • Being Distant from Distractions that May Derail Your Recovery

During the detox process, it is very common for recovering individuals to second-guess themselves. Knowing that your friends, family, and home are just a walk or ride away makes it much more easier for you to give into the temptation of giving up on the recovery process. If you were in another state and/or a plane-ride away from your friends, family, and home, it would be much more difficult for you to simply give up on the recovery process because it would be much more challenging to get to them.

Though friends and family want the best for you and may be beneficial later on in the recovery process, they tend to be more of a detriment than a benefit in the early recovery process. Being in proximity to them makes it easier for you to be entangled in their lives and issues, which would be a major distraction when you need to strictly focus on your recovery.

  • Higher-Quality Treatment is Often Found Elsewhere

Unfortunately, high-quality treatment does not exist in every area. As you may already know, Florida is the hub for high-quality addiction treatment. California and Utah are also areas renowned for high-quality addiction treatment. If you do not live in any of those areas, your local detox and rehab centers may not be as experienced as the ones in Florida, California, or Utah. The educational and experience requirements may be lower for counselors and staff, and state-funded rehab centers may have less amenities. Florida, California, and Utah are ideal healing environments because of the beautiful scenery, which does not exist in every state.

Genesis House is located in South Lake Worth, Florida. They have been providing superior detox and residential treatment for over 25 years. If you or your loved one is interested in detox and/or treatment or simply has general questions, call them today at 800-737-0933 

How Long Should I Be On Suboxone To Get Completely Clean?

Heroin is a dangerous drug derived from the opium poppy. It is illegal in the United States. Heroin is highly addictive. Drug rehab centers often use another drug, Suboxone, to help people break their heroin addictions. Read on for more information on Suboxone and its use in treating heroin addiction.

When you abuse a drug like heroin, your body develops a tolerance for it. This means that you must take increasing dosages of heroin in order to get the same high. When you attempt to quit using heroin, you experience withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Feeling jittery
  • Vomiting
  • Getting chills
  • Muscle aches and pains

Suboxone is a drug that contains buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is used to treat not only heroin addiction but other opioid addictions, too. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist to opioids, produces a mild form of the effects of opioids. It basically fools the brain into thinking your opioid craving has been met, though it does not produce the same high. However, because Buprenorphine and Suboxone do not create the same high as opioids, Suboxone and Buprenorphine are difficult to form an addiction to. Naloxone, another component of Suboxone, works as an antagonist to opioids.

Length of Use for Suboxone

Suboxone is a drug that must usually be taken for a long time to promote opioid recovery. Because Suboxone is a partial agonist, it still allows people to form some opioid dependence. When addicts attempt to stop taking Suboxone, they need to taper their dosage under the care of a medical professional.

People who take Suboxone for a short period, such as a month, usually end up relapsing and returning to opioid abuse. Thus, Suboxone should be taken for an extended period. Taking it for six months to one year is the norm, and many people take it for even longer. However, every patient is different. A medical professional can monitor the patient’s progress and advise on how long each patient should take Suboxone.

Suboxone should be used only under the guidance provided in a professional treatment program or under the care of a healthcare professional. Rehab clinicians can administer the correct dosage, and Suboxone can also be prescribed by a doctor. By pairing Suboxone with other therapies, clinicians and physicians can help addicts fight their addictions. Call us today for help 800-737-0933

Opiate Dependence Versus Opiate Maintenance

Opiate dependence versus opiate maintenance, is there a difference? A lot of people wonder if it is possible to be addicted to a drug such as Oxycontin or Oxycodone form simply taking a drug as directed. The answer to this question is “yes”, however, the answer is much more complicated in reality.

Addiction is usually physical, mental and behavioral in nature. One symptom is being physically dependent on the drug and using more and more of it to get high — also known as building a tolerance. Regular use will cause this tolerance even if you don’t abuse it, so this isn’t the only factor. Opiate dependence means that a person is addicted – which means they’re using it to get high, and they are using it to function normally. For the sake of this article, opiate dependence and opiate addiction will be used interchangeably.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re worried about opiate addiction:

  • Are you using opiates to get “high”, rather than for pain? If you’re using opiates to get high, that’s abuse and you’re a candidate for addiction.
  • Do you need more and more of the drug to get the same “high”?
  • Have you tried doctor shopping or illicit means to get more of your pills so you don’t run out? Do you run out of your prescriptions early?
  • Have you avoided certain people, places or activities because you would rather be somewhere that you can be high without scrutiny?
  • Has your family or your doctor expressed worry about your pill use?

Addiction is a disease that is progressive in nature. A person with a substance abuse disorder will start to display drug seeking behaviors when they are running out of their drug and choice. As withdrawal — which is quite physically uncomfortable and sometimes painful — sets in, an addicted person may become desperate. They may feel the need to doctor shop, purchase drugs on the street or steal leftover pills from family members to get their “fix”.

Do You Have a Problem with Opiates?

Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life, even when there is no history in a family. There are many signs and symptoms of addiction that can and should raise red flags for addicted persons and their loved ones.

If you or somebody you love is suffering from the disease of addiction and needs rehab, there IS a way out. Recovery is not only possible, it’s amazing!

We can help you reclaim your life and put the pain of addiction behind you. All calls are 100% confidential, please call us today at 800-737-0933

What You Should Know About Pain Pill Addiction- It Is Not Uncommon as You May Think

Pain pills or painkillers refer to a wide variety of drugs; however, the ones that are highly abused are opioids, sedatives, and stimulants. Hydrocodone, oxycodone, xanax, valium, and dexedrine are among the highly abused prescription pills. The effectiveness of these drugs makes them addictive. These pain pills work on the opioid receptors of your brain to numb pain and create an addictive high.

One of the tell-tale signs that you have a pain pill addiction is when your mind is focused on when you will take your next dose and whether your supply is sufficient. Pre-occupation with your pain medication may later cause you to exceed the doctor’s recommended dose. Eventually, you begin going to more than one doctor for the same subscription or going to other sources to replenish your medication supply. Afterwards, you will realize that your pain, the reason you were on the prescription pills, subsided a long time ago but you are still on pain meds. Before you know it, you are having problems with your personal relationships and your daily routine activities.

 

How Pain Pill Addiction Can Affect Your Body

Pain killer abuse is likely to affect different parts of your body. Opiates suppress your body’s capacity to breathe and interrupt the normal functioning of your lungs. Medical research has determined that opiate abuse is likely to cause pneumonia.

Pain pill addiction is also associated with constipation. Abusing pain killers will mean that one may need to use laxatives to facilitate bowel movement and this is likely to damage the sphincter or anus.

Prescription drug abuse can also affect your liver. Every drug you take is broken down and processed by your liver. Therefore, the liver can store toxins after the breakdown process. The most notable cause of liver damage is acetaminophen, a component in many prescription formulas. Drugs such as Lortab, Vicodin, and Percocet have high levels of acetaminophen.

Another devastating effect of addiction to prescription pills is rhabdomyolysis and kidney failure. Rhabdomyolysis occurs when a person lies completely immobilized after abusing pain killers to the point of becoming comatose. The addict’s tissues start to disintegrate and the chemicals produced during this breakdown pour into their blood stream and begin damaging other organs. This is one of the main causes of kidney failure. Damage of the heart may also occur, including heart attack.

Many people manage chronic pain using prescription medication. A high percentage of these people unknowingly slide into pain pill addiction. If you experience any of the above tell-tale signs of addiction to prescription medication, you need to consult a doctor before your problem becomes a tragedy. If you are ready to put your addiction problem behind you, call Genesis House at 800-737-0933 and trust us to get your life back on track.

Why Do Most Rehabs Teach The 12 Steps?

In healthcare it is generally agreed that alcoholism and addiction are a disease. While there is no outright cure, the most effective treatment modalities involve a holistic approach that targets your physical, mental and emotional health. This often includes engagement with a twelve-step program. Nearly 75 percent of drug and alcohol treatment centers teach patients these programs. Why is this and are they effective?

Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs that engage the 12-step model are the only method that have been proven to work in promoting long-term mental health and relapse prevention. Inpatient care, medication and healthy lifestyle choices can improve your physical condition, but the twelve steps aim to provide you with the tools, community and support you need to make lasting change.

Most people have heard of such programs, but their practice is actually more complex than you might know. At first the process can seem confusing and daunting. Learning about the steps while in treatment provides a safe environment and individual attention to learn about the steps, the benefits of the program, and get you connected in the recovery community outside of treatment.

Benefits of the 12 Step Program

While the twelve steps are designed to treat alcoholism and addiction, they more broadly focus on improving your quality of life. Strong treatment programs will teach you about the twelve-step program to provide a foundation of skills and knowledge that are necessary for working the steps thoroughly, in treatment and afterwards. These are some of the benefits that come with working a twelve-step program.

  • Encourage self-esteem, self-help, and responsibility
  • Builds support network with other alcoholics and addicts
  • Simple, actionable steps reduce overwhelming problems into manageable actions
  • Promotes honest introspection and interactions with others
  • Assists in repairing relationships
  • Collective strength of shared experience, strength and hope

One of the major benefits of working a twelve-step program is the community provided by meetings. Since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, clinicians and alcoholic alike have stressed the importance of working with other alcoholics as an integral part of the recovery process.

Attending meetings and engaging with the community offers the opportunity to share experience, strength, and hope with others. Early in recovery, this means connecting with people who have been in your shoes, and understanding how the program has worked in their lives. Are you ready to see how it can work in yours? Call us now at 800-737-0933