Addiction

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

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

How Long Does It Take To Get Into a Detox Center in Florida?

Recovery is a process that takes place in several stages. The most challenging stages are at the beginning of the process, and each stages becomes easier. Detox is the first stage in the process, and it is the most challenging stage.

Withdrawal refers to the physical pain and sickness you will feel as your body is acclimating itself to function without drugs and/or alcohol for the first time in a while.  You should always go through withdrawal, especially alcohol withdrawal, under the supervision of medical professionals because of the risks that are associated with it. Going through withdrawal under the supervision of medical professionals and other addiction counselors is typically done in a detox center.

There are several different types of detox programs.

  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Three-Day Programs
  • Five-Day Programs
  • Seven-Day Programs

Many Americans who have recovered from addiction have gone to Florida because of the state’s ideal healing environment. If you plan on going to Florida to start your recovery, your first stop will most likely be a detox center. The detox center may in the same facility as your rehabilitation facility or it may be a separate facility.

The Length of Time it Takes to Be Admitted to a Detox Center in Florida

If you are willing to be admitted to a detox center in Florida, you have overcome the first hurdle in the recovery processes. At this point, it is important for you be admitted into a detox center as soon as possible to avoid second guessing yourself or any other complications that may prevent you from going to detox. Because Florida is the recovery capital of the country, it is well-experienced in helping individuals achieve successful addiction recovery; therefore, the detox centers and rehab centers understand the importance of you getting into a detox center as soon as possible.

Most detox centers can admit you the same day as you call. It is almost definite that you will admitted the same day if you are under certain circumstances such as

  • Having had an Overdose
  • Experiencing Psychiatric Issues
  • Experiencing Some other Medical Emergency Related to Drug Use
  • Have a Prolonged History of a Severe Addiction
  • Your Family is Concerned that You Will Change Your Mind if You are Forced to Wait Several days.

If same-day admittance is not possible by the detox center you have reached out to, it is most likely due to that center not having a bed for you. Since detox center programs are typically no longer than a week, you should be able to get into the detox center within several days. However, you should call around to several detox centers because there is bound to be a center that can admit you the same day. If you are waiting to get into a rehab center that has a detox program within in their center, you may have to wait up to three weeks. Community drug treatment programs have the longest waits because you have to wait for social services to confirm a place for you and approve the funding for your stay. The longer wait times of rehab centers and community drug programs are why individual detox centers are strongly recommended. Though recovery is a challenging journey, it possesses rich rewards for all who travel it. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, call our detox center today to start your journey on the road to recovery. Call 800-737-0933

If I Have HIV, Can I Still Get Into Drug Rehab?

Almost everybody who struggles with substance abuse has other underlying issues that need to be addressed. Sometimes these are emotional problems that drive people to experiment with drugs and alcohol, and in other situations there are physical issues at play. Any successful drug treatment program needs to address all of the issues that affect a person’s health, and that includes HIV and AIDS.

Even though HIV is often thought of as a sexually transmitted infection, it often goes hand-in-hand with drug abuse. This is why it is not uncommon for someone with a substance abuse problem to be HIV-positive. It can also make treatment more complicated for a number of reasons. First of all, HIV and AIDS obviously compromises a person’s health and immune system, which can make any kind of medical treatment that much more difficult. Many people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are also much less likely to remain compliant with other medications that they need to take to be healthy. For someone living with HIV or AIDS, that can be deadly.

Of course, there’s also the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. It’s not nearly as severe as it once was when the AIDS epidemic was at its worst, but it’s still there, and it can make one hesitant to seek treatment for their substance abuse problems. While it’s totally understandable why you would keep quiet about being HIV-positive, you can still seek treatment at a drug rehab center. It’s still an important step that you need to take to be healthy and reclaim your life, but you shouuld seek out a program that is geared toward those who are living with HIV or AIDS. Fortunately, programs such as these are more common than you might think; all you need to do is seek them out.

If you live with both HIV and drug addiction, there is always help available to you. We at Genesis House have safe and nurturing drug rehabilitation programs available for anybody who wants to be free of their addictions. Visit us online to learn more about our many treatment programs and how they can help you. If you need immediate help for yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-737-0933. No matter who you are, always remember that there is help available to you, even when things seem hopeless.

Uniformed Services

Why Do Police Officers and Firefighters Face Addiction Issues So Often?

Addiction does not discriminate. Anyone can become afflicted with the disease of addiction regardless of his or her income, education level, race, religion, etc. People’s professions dot not make them immune from addiction, even if their profession is a police officer or a firefighter.

You may consider it ironic for a police officer or a firefighter to face addiction issues. However, as the addiction rates of the general population have surged in recent years, the addiction rates among police officers and firefighters have surged in proportion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 806,400 law enforcement workers suffer from addiction. A study done in 2012 showed that 56 percent of firefighters were binge-drinkers. There are a variety of factors behind the prevalence of addiction in police officers and firefighters.

  • Stress

Police officers and firefighters have very high-stress jobs. The shifts are long, and the work is physically taxing and mentally taxing. The hours are not limited to nine to five on weekdays. Police officers and firefighters have to work late night shifts, overnight shifts, weekend shifts, and holiday shifts, so they are given little time for family, recreation, and decompression.

  • Traumatic Experiences on the Job

Police officers and firefighters are bombarded with violence on a constant basis. Their genuine feelings regarding these traumatic experiences often go unexpressed. Family and friends often do not want to listen to a police officer and firefighter talk about the details of his or her job. Police officers and firefighters do not get the opportunity to support their fellow workers due to confidentiality policies prohibiting them from discussing cases. Often, police officers and firefighters detach from all emotions as a survival mechanism, and using substances are a method to make that possible.

  • Mental Health Disorders

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression tend to be prevalent among police officers and firefighters. These mental health disorders tend to go untreated among police officers and firefighters due to the stigma surrounding mental health disorders in the United States and the profession. Using alcohol or drugs is a way for them to self-medicate these undiagnosed and untreated disorders.

There is Hope for Police Officers and Firefighters

Police officers and firefighters are often hesitant to seek help for their addictions for several reasons.

  • Stigma surrounding substance abuse in their profession
  • Denial, thinking “I am not like those people I arrest” “I’m a police officer or a firefighter, so this cannot happen to me”
  • Stigma from their community because of their substance abuse and profession
  • Losing their Job

While they have legitimate reasons to be concerned, they should not make their concerns a barrier to getting into recovery. If their addiction goes untreated, it will only worsen and may lead to incarcerations, institutionalizations, or death. The benefit of recovery outweighs the stigma and potential losses. There are many resources police officers and firefighters can turn to for help.

  • Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) and Narcotic’s Anonymous (NA)
  • Intensive-Outpatient (IOP)
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Psychologist or a Psychiatrist
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Inpatient Detox
  • Family and/or Friend Support

If you or someone you know is a police officer or firefighter who is suffering from addiction, seek help or encourage him or her to seek the help he or she needs. It will be beneficial in the long-term. Call Genesis House today 800-737-0933