Heroin

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

What Is Fentanyl and How Does it Compare To Heroin?

News reports about fentanyl abuse have spiked in recent months, particularly after the drug was implicated in the death of music legend Prince. Many media outlets report that fentanyl is stronger and more deadly than heroin, itself the source of an American epidemic. Both these opioids are highly addictive and extremely powerful.

In contrast to heroin, which is not indicated for medical use, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid designed for use in a surgical setting. The drug can be administered in patch, film, pill, and even lollipop form. Experts estimate it is 1,000 times more potent than morphine. Because of its legitimate medical use, those who become addicted to fentanyl are often those who work in a hospital or who are prescribed the drug and become dependent.

Because fentanyl is so strong, overdoses are more common than with any other type of opioid. This is especially dangerous because of its high tolerance level; users may find they need more of the drug to produce the same high in as little as a week, putting them at risk for a lethal dose. Those dose of fentanyl required to produce an overdose death is estimated at about the 10th of the size of a lethal dose of heroin.

In addition to pure fentanyl, street heroin laced with fentanyl is responsible for many cases of fatal overdose. The two drugs look identical, so there’s no way for a heroin user to determine whether his or her batch includes fentanyl or not. While many states use Narcan to combat the effects of opioid overdose–often saving lives–fentanyl is not as responsive to this antidote as heroin and requires a much higher dosage when it is effective.

 

Identifying Signs of Fentanyl Abuse

If your loved one is abusing fentanyl, heroin, or another type of opioid, you might notice:

  • Confusion, hallucinations, or slurred speech
  • Mood changes or depression
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty walking, muscle stiffness, or trouble breathing
  • Itching and scratching
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Excessive sleepiness

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, counselors at the Genesis House are ready to help. Call us anytime at 800-737-0933

Is My Doctor Responsible For My Opiate Addiction?

The US has the highest prescription of opioid drugs in the world. According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of 5 patients with non-cancer pain gets opioids prescription. The drug is a pain reliever, rehabilitation medication and used during surgery.

Aggressive Prescription Without Educating Patients

The Opioids craze began in the 1990s when pharmaceuticals marketed the drugs and aggressively highlighted the advantages but made no mention of the risks; ever since opioids have become a necessity in pain treatment. Doctors often prioritize patients’ recovery and may overlook any aftermath. Equally, doctors can identify an opiate addict just by observation.

Physicians’ contribution to the opiate addiction menace that has claimed many lives is subject to debates. Most proponents of opioids argue that there is no other alternative for pain treatment.

Nevertheless, the overarching issue is where to draw the line with opioid prescriptions. The federal and state government have tried to regulate the prescription of opioids. The state of Massachusetts adopted the law that limits the drugs prescription to a seven-day supply. Also, before prescribing the drugs practitioners have to check a database to ensure that it is not a repeat prescription. The physicians must screen the patient for addiction.

The Addiction Phase

The body naturally produces opioids that can heal normal pain. Prescription opioids, on the other hand, are more efficient in dealing with major pain. Unlike the natural neurotransmitters, prescribed opioids produce dopamine that regulates cognition, motivation, feeling of pleasure, movement, and emotion. It then overstimulates the system and trains your body to rely on opioids to function normally. In an attempt to imitate normal brain chemicals, the drugs generate abnormal messages in the brain. The drugs block pain receptors. When you stop using the drug, even a minor ache can feel extremely painful.

Dependency on opioids to function leads to addiction. As you continue to use the drugs, body functioning slows. Your body begins to react to prolonged use and avoid withdrawal symptoms. Some of the signs of withdrawal include;

  • Anxiety; – the hippocampus, the section of the brain that controls emotions overrides causing anxiety
  • Sweating; – hypothalamus can no longer properly regulate the body temperature hence you will sweat nonstop regardless of the body temperature
  • Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea; – the body tries to remove wastes through diarrhea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heartbeat rates

The choice to permanently deal with the opioid problem is entirely personal. Addiction is a choice and is treatable. You can reach out to the Genesis through 800-737-0933 to begin treatment in a serene environment that offers personalized quality care.

Does Vivitrol Really Work for Opioid Dependency?

Vivitrol, a form of naltrexone, is an opiate/opioid antagonist. This means that it works on opioid brain receptors in a manner opposite that of opioids. In other words, when a person takes an opioid medication, the molecules of that medication “fit” into receptor sites in the brain, very similar to the way a key fits into a lock. This causes the opioid effects such as pain relief and euphoria. Opioids can also cause unpleasant effects like nausea, and if enough is taken, can even cause life-threatening suppression of the brain’s breathing center. Opioid antagonists like naltrexone work to reverse these effects and/or prevent them from occurring.

Is Vivitrol Safe? Is it Effective?

Vivitrol is safe as long as you are not allergic to it. It must be used with counseling, and the patient cannot be actively dependent upon opioids when they begin therapy. Vivitrol is given only once a month. It’s a long-acting injection. As long as the patient stays compliant and keeps their injection appointment, Vivitrol is extremely effective. This is because the antagonistic effects of naltrexone in the brain totally prevent any “high” from opioids. Even if the patient weakens and takes them, they will feel nothing because the brain’s opioid receptors are blocked. Only one molecule can occupy a receptor at a time, and naltrexone has a higher affinity, or priority, for the brain’s opioid receptors.

 

Benefits of Vivitrol Therapy:

It’s Not Addictive

Vivitrol works by blocking opioid receptors, not by stimulating them. There is no danger of addiction to Vivitrol.

Helps Patients Break Their Addiction

Recovering addicts can focus on rebuilding their lives, knowing that “giving in to temptation” won’t have the desired effect. They know they can’t get high so they think about other things.

Steady, Automatic Dosing

Because Vivitrol is an extended-release injection, there is no need to take a pill or go to a clinic every day. It provides 24-hour blockage and therefore protection against any opioid-induced “high” for a full month.

Some Possible Disadvantages

Like any other medical therapy, Vivitrol isn’t perfect. For example, if the patient actually needed pain relief, say, due to an accident, because their receptors are blocked, they would not experience the pain relief normally provided by opioids. Also the success of Vivitrol depends upon the patient continuing to show up for their injections on time.

Looking for opiate addiction treatment? Call Genesis House today 800-737-0933

Why Do They Still Prescribe Opiates If They Cause Addiction?

The United States is currently facing an opiate addiction epidemic, with opiate-related deaths quadrupling since 1999. There were approximately 19,000 deaths linked to opiates in 2014 alone, and it is estimated that up to 36 million people abuse these substances worldwide. Despite these numbers and all the problems that opiate addiction can cause, many of them are still being prescribed by doctors across the country. Some would argue that prescriptions for medications such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin should be taken off the market, while others believe that these drugs are helpful as long as they aren’t abused.

Opiates are often prescribed to help patients deal with pain after suffering an injury or while they recover from a major surgical procedure. They have also proven useful for those living with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, endrometriosis, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. These are all painful chronic conditions, and many people who live with them need some kind of medication just to maintain a good quality of life. Should they be expected to go without medicine that they arguably need because so many people abuse their prescriptions?

The Dangers of Opiates

The thing that makes opiates so dangerous is that they produce an intense high that makes them very addictive. The short-term effects of these drugs include pain relief and a feeling of euphoria. The relief from pain is attractive to anybody living with chronic pain or even acute pain from an injury, while euphoria is a common desired effect of many drugs. Abuse of opiates can also cause people to become addicted in as little as three days. Some of the side effects of opiate abuse include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • A depressed respiratory system

Long-term opiate use can cause problems such as chronic constipation, liver damage, and brain damage resulting from a depressed respiratory system.

With as dangerous and readily available as opiates are, should doctors stop prescribing them? Many people say yes, and the government has even encouraged doctors to avoid prescribing them. On the other hand, they do have their uses as long as they are taken as prescribed. Short-term opiate use can help people recover from injury and illness, but doctors need to make it clear that these drugs should only be used in the short-term.

If you believe that you are developing a dependence on opiates or you have struggled with substance abuse, there is help available. Contact us today to learn how you can recover from opiate addiction. Call Now 800-737-0933

Why and How Is Fentanyl Getting Into So Many Drugs?

America is in the midst of the worst drug epidemic in its history. Opiate addiction is ripping apart families nationwide, and addiction to harder narcotics like heroin is on the rise. If your family is one of those affected by opiate addiction, you may have heard of the dangers of a new, more powerful opiate called fentanyl. Unfortunately, overdoses on fentanyl have risen drastically over the past few years. So why and how is fentanyl spreading? In order to answer that question, you must understand what fentanyl is and does.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an opioid, similar to drugs like oxycontin and morphine. In fact, all opiates are products of the poppy family of plants. Of course, this makes all of these drugs powerful pain killers. Fentanyl is roughly 10,000 times as strong as morphine, and used only in the most extreme and controlled cases for pain management. Unfortunately, as much as a quarter of a teaspoon of fentanyl is easily enough to kill a person, especially one with low or no tolerance to opioids.

 

How is Fentanyl getting into so many drugs?

As drug and law enforcement agents have become more educated on the dangers and ubiquity of opioids, they have cracked down on doctors over prescribing opiates like hydrocodone and oxycontin. Unfortunately, opioid addiction can begin as early as 2 weeks into a pain management treatment schedule, so even those with small doses of prescribed medication can become addicted. As control over prescription pills has tightened, addicts typically turn to the cheaper and more readily available heroin.

Unfortunately, drug dealers have begun cutting their supplies of heroin with small amounts of fentanyl. Fentanyl provides a stronger high for a much smaller dose, so dealers can make more money off of a smaller supply of heroin.

Why is Fentanyl put into so many drugs?

While drug and law enforcement agents have aggressively pursued the manufacturers and suppliers of street opiates like heroin, they have created another problem. Fentanyl is easier and cheaper to create than heroin, and offers a much stronger high for a much smaller amount. As addicts have a much higher tolerance to opiates than non-addicted patients, many of them will seek out the strongest drug possible: fentanyl. In order to stop fentanyl from destroying your community, it is imperative to stop opiate addiction from spreading in the first place with a visit to a rehab center.  Call Genesis House today 800-737-0933

Which States Has The Biggest Heroin Problems

The number of individuals in the United States who have a problem with heroin has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. Unlike other drug usage, heroin does not discriminate. According to the CDC, the use of heroin has increased equally amongst genders, ethnic groups, and all ages. In fact, many demographic groups that had previously escaped the heroin epidemic are now finding themselves in the midst of this addiction. Privately insured individuals and high-earners are now more commonly using heroin and other drugs, such as cocaine and prescription opioids.

Despite the unanimous issue of heroin abuse between all 50 states, some states are more prone to a population that utilizes this illicit drug. This is partly due to limited access to substance abuse clinics and programs, a lack of prevention services, and local jurisdictions whose practices are ineffective in communities where drug abuse is common. Educational foundations and occupational opportunities also often go hand-in-hand with levels of drug abuse.

States With the Biggest Increases in Heroin Usage

In 2002 alone hospitals in the state of Kentucky admitted 65 patients as a result of heroin overdoses. The number increased by an alarming 1,872% over the course of 10 years. The year 2012 presented Kentucky hospitals with a whopping 1,282 heroin overdoses.

Not far behind Kentucky lies Alaska, which has seen a 1,690% increase in rehab admissions for heroin. From 11 patients in 2002 to 197 patients in 2012 these statistics show that this drug reaches from one side of America to the other. In fact, heroin overdoses are so common in this state that the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services provides information on places where Narcan (the drug that reverses the effects of an overdoes) can be attained.

Seeking Help for a Heroin Addiction

Finding a treatment center that provides a professional environment with staff that are well-trained in heroin detox can be difficult to find. You and your loved ones deserve the best treatment available. Since 1992 The One and Only Genesis House has been providing this type of care in a residential addiction treatment facility. If you or your loved one needs help dealing with addiction, give them a call at 800-737-0933. They help individuals from near and far overcome their drug addiction. Don’t become another one of these statistics.

Call Genesis House today 800-737-0933