Detox

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

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.

Cocaine and Crack: What’s The Difference?

Crack cocaine received lots of media attention as it became more common in the 1980s. Politicians spoke about crack being the most dangerous drug in America, tearing apart communities, and causing violent crimes. Cocaine, although still considered a harmful drug, didn’t receive as much attention. What’s the real difference between crack and cocaine?

Crack and powder cocaine are both cocaine, but they’re different forms of the drug. Powder cocaine is made from HCL, or hydrochloride, a type of salt. Crack, which is usually in rock form, has been processed to remove the HCL, which makes it more rapidly absorbed into your system.

Cocaine is typically more expensive than crack, which explains why most people associate crack with lower-income communities. Crack also carries harsher prison sentences. There’s a minimum of five years in prison for possessing 28 grams of crack, while the minimum sentence for 500 grams of cocaine is also five years. The average prison term for crack possession is much longer than cocaine possession.

Crack and Cocaine Addiction

The effects of cocaine hit within five minutes, peak in 30 minutes, and usually last for an hour or two. However, the effects of crack hit in less than one minute, peak in five minutes, and last less than an hour. This is mostly due to a difference in administration, not a difference in how the drugs are created or processed. Powder cocaine is usually snorted, while crack is usually inhaled by smoking. Crack is also sometimes injected, which also brings about immediate and powerful effects. If powder cocaine is injected, it hits you as quickly as crack does.

Both drugs have similar short-term effects, but crack is typically more powerful because your body absorbs it so quickly. They also have similar long-term effects, including:

  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Seizures
  • Hyperpyrexia (high fever)

There is some debate on whether crack is more addictive than cocaine. Crack may be more psychologically addictive because of the immediate and powerful effects and because of the need to use it repeatedly to maintain the effects. However, both have very similar physiological effects on the body. Overall, there is no difference in physical addiction or dependence between crack and cocaine.

Although there are some differences between crack and cocaine, both are very harmful and addictive drugs. Addiction to either requires professional treatment for a successful recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call us at 800-737-0933 for help.

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