Heroin

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

Why Do Opiates Cause Constipation?

Constipation is having hard stools, excessive strains when passing bowels, infrequent stools, partial bowel evacuation, unsuccessful defecation, or spending too much time passing stool. Constipation has two common classifications:

  • Primary constipation, which results from natural anorectal function or colon defects
  • Secondary constipation that occurs because of pathologic changes, for instance, intestinal obstruction and medications such as opioids

 

Low fiber intake, inadequate body fluids, physical inactivity, spinal cord compression, high calcium levels, kidney problems, or diabetes can lead to bowel dysfunction too.

Constipation can arise because of pharmacologically-based reasons including taking opioids. Opioids are analgesics used for pain relief. Unfortunately, opioids cause hard stools. 81% of patients on opioids to reduce chronic pain end up having opioid-induced constipation (OIC) or opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD), says Salix Pharmaceuticals.

How Opiates Cause Constipation

Opiates include prescriptions medicines for pain, methadone or suboxone, morphine, illicit opiate heroin, which doctors say leads to an opioid epidemic in the United States. Opiates change the way the gastrointestinal tract functions. The pain relievers prolong the time the stool takes to move through the human gastric system.

A person on the pain reduction drugs will have increased non-propulsive contractions across the jejunum or the small intestines midpoint. Consequently, the longitudinal propulsive muscle contractions can slow down affecting how food travels through the intestines.

Food that does not normally move through the digestive tract causes partial stomach paralysis or gastroparesis. Food will remain within the digestive organ for far too long. Further, the opioids cause the reduction of digestive secretions making the patient not have the desire to defecate.

The side effects of illicit opiates abuse begin in the brain with the victim experiencing hallucinations and later digestive issues such as hard stools. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medication methylnaltrexone bromide -Relistor or naloxegol-Movantik can treat OIC. The two medicines reduce constipation arising from opioids without affecting the patient’s brain opioid receptors.

Other reliable IOC treatment methods include the use of stool softeners, usually the docusate sodium (Colace). Increasing fiber intake, eating more fruits, whole grains, and vegetables help a great deal. Also, request a doctor if you can use daily stool softeners or stimulant laxatives.

When the stool overstays in the intestines, the body will absorb all the water in it, making the stool too hard and unable to move.

We have helped thousands of people detox and recover from Opiate addiction.  Call us today to learn more 800-737-0933

 

Detox Program

How Do I Know I Will Be Cured After Going To Detox?

Whether you are researching detox for yourself or for your children, you are doing so to procure a certain outcome. You want to rid the body of this addiction and live a more fruitful existence. Therefore, you also likely want to know if you will be cured after going to detox.

In order to procure an answer to your question, you should understand a few important points about detox:

  • Detox is not a cure
  • Detox is part of a process
  • You matter
  • You’ll have support

Thinking about detox as a cure might stifle your progress. Going through detox is not a guarantee that you will live a life free from addiction. The amount of effort and dedication you put into the endeavor play a significant role. Also, detox is not the only part of your recovery plan.

At the beginning of recovery, you usually go through detox to eliminate your body of the current drugs in it and to begin to break the cycle of addiction. After that, however, entering into a rehab program is advisable so that you can build the tools necessary to stay away from the drug.

 

Your Role in Your Recovery

You play an important role in your recovery. One of the most important steps you can take is to choose proven detox. During the detoxification process, your body may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, and some of these symptoms can feel severe. You may develop a strong craving for the drug while you are in detox. Having medical supervision can help to ease some of the physical symptoms. Furthermore, you will have support around you. When you are supported by trained individuals during this process, you can significantly reduce the chances that you will take drugs.

Also, keep in mind that how much effort you put into the program after detox will play a strong role in whether or not you recover. Take advantage of the opportunities in the program even if they push you outside of your comfort zone. For example, group therapy can be tremendously helpful despite your fears about talking in public.

The answer is that you don’t know if you will be cured by going to detox and to rehab. However, you can increase your chances of recovery by taking certain steps and by calling us today at 800-737-0933 to begin your journey toward recovery.

How Accurate Are Drug Tests?

Drug tests are relatively common in the U.S. Most people have been tested at one time or another when applying for a job. Addiction treatment centers also administer drug tests to patients. But how accurate are these tests? Are they reliable?

The short answer: it depends. Some types of drug testing are highly accurate, while others are much more error-prone. There are five main types of drug test:

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests
  • Saliva tests
  • Sweat tests
  • Hair tests

Most of these testing methods are, on the whole, accurate. In general, hair tests and blood tests are the most accurate testing methods. However, they tend to be relatively expensive, so many employers and rehab facilities do not use them. Urine tests are more commonly administered, but they tend to be a little more error-prone.

One frequently asked question is whether it’s possible to “cheat” on a drug test. Again, the answer is that it depends. Some testing methods are easier to fool than others. Urine testing, in particular, is vulnerable to cheaters. It’s much harder – if not impossible – to cheat on a blood test or a hair test.

Keep reading to learn more about each type of drug testing and its accuracy.

 

More Information on the Different Types of Drug Tests

When most people hear the words “drug test,” they think of a urine test. Urine testing is the most common form of drug testing because it’s quick and inexpensive. It’s also accurate – most of the time. Some people have found ways to tamper with urine testing, such as drinking lots of water ahead of time, mixing their urine with other additives, or even using someone else’s urine.

Hair testing is less common than urine testing. It’s more expensive and it takes longer, because the sample of hair must be sent to a lab for analysis. However, a hair test is hard to fool, because drug metabolites get locked in the hair strands permanently. Certain shampoos claim to be able to get rid of the metabolites, but there’s no evidence they work.

Blood tests and saliva tests also tend to be accurate. In fact, blood testing is the most accurate form of testing available right now. However, these tests only work within a short window of time. Most of the time, these tests are only accurate if a person has used drugs within the last few days.

A sweat test involves wearing a patch on the skin. While these tests can pick up traces of drugs in a person’s sweat, they’re also prone to giving false positives. Dirt and other substances can render a sweat test inaccurate, so these tests aren’t commonly used.

Why Do I Need Rehab If My Drug Use Is Not Hurting Anyone Else?

A common thought shared by many “functional” addicts is that as long as their drug use affects only themselves, then it is not really a problem. Even a heavy user can show up for work everyday and not inconvenience coworkers; they can continue to financially support themselves and families. If the substance abuse in question appears not to be affecting their relationships, it can be difficult to believe treatment is necessary. Even more difficult is to convince a loved one of the harm their habit truly causes. Read through the thoughts outlined below for some reasons to seek rehab before a “harmless” habit becomes a raging and destructive one.

Four Considerations For “Harmless” Substance Abusers

  • Permanent physical harm to oneself is a huge consideration. Brain damage, liver damage and mental illness can all result from substance abuse. These are not always easily observable or measurable. Some permanent lasting harm, like liver damage for example, may not even show up on blood tests until the damage is significant and difficult to reverse.
  • Relationships may be damaged. Be honest, how much harm do we inflict on others but dismiss their concerns, complaints or objections? An addict may truly believe they are only harming themselves, but ignore the distress their habit causes friends and family. The worry and fear for a loved one with a substance abuse problem may appear harmless or trivial on the surface, but in fact be extremely painful. A substance abuser isn’t always in the best position to judge the harm they create around them.
  • Coworkers may be impacted. Just because someone shows up for work everyday doesn’t mean they are delivering their best. Small mistakes can happen and turn into huge issues. When in the midst of a drug habit, tempers become short. Colleagues may notice the circles under bloodshot eyes and be concerned but too afraid to say anything.
  • Why wait until the harm occurs? Once it does, it may be irreparable. Relationships can be destroyed and finances ruined due to a drug habit. The loss of promising employment opportunities can be difficult to recover from. Even worse than job loss are legal consequences for illegal behavior, which can be permanently on one’s record and easily discovered by a background check.

If you or someone you love is ready to move beyond substance abuse toward a better future, we are here to help. Please call us at 800-737-0933

Why Do People Start Using Drugs?

Drug use and awareness of it has become more prevalent in our society in the past few years. There’s a chance that you or someone you know has been affected directly or indirectly by some type of drug use. There is a reason that each individual addicted to drugs starts using at some point. That first step is a path towards addiction that is full of twists, turns, and unexpected obstacles.

  • Some people start using drugs because their friends are doing it. It might seem like everyone else is doing it, and choosing not to use is a choice that may make someone feel ostracized with their peers. Those who are using typically encourage others to join in on the fun, and from there use escalates in frequency and quantity.
  • Others choose to start using drugs because they are bored and the effects look like fun. Maybe it’s been a stressful day and someone wants to wind down. Sitting around and watching television or reading a book may not be nearly as appealing as having a drink with some friends or sitting in a circle smoking marijuana while socializing. After they’ve experienced the high the drugs offer, they are an appealing alternative to dealing with the everyday trials and tribulations in life.
  • Relaxation is yet another reason people give for trying drugs. Work, school, kids, family and everyday life are all common stressors in life that everyone tries to deal with in their own way. Some people exercise, others play video games and some choose to use drugs as a way to kickback and relax. The feeling can be similar to not caring, such as with marijuana, or a euphoric feeling which is experienced when someone uses opiates.
  • Curiosity and fitting in are strong reasons that addicts give for starting to try various drugs. People who feel bullied, like they don’t have a lot of friends or don’t have things in common with many people their age can have their curiosity sparked. If friends start using drugs, it may trigger a desire to try it out too in an attempt to keep a strong connection with their friends without being an outsider.

Watching a loved one, friend or family member go through drug addiction is a stressful time. There are options when an addict is ready to seek help. Give us a call at 800-737-0933 to start getting help now.