IV Drug Use

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.

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.

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.

Beginners Guide to Understanding Why You’re An Addict

Finding out about a loved one’s addiction can be challenging. Parent’s often ask themselves where they went wrong, why their child or children made the choices that led to their addiction, and why their child is addicted. Addiction is not solely the result of non-adaptive decisions. Instead, it is often the result of genetics, psychological problems, trauma, and one’s social environment.

Genetics & Social Environment

Addiction is partly genetic. There is no single gene associated with addiction. For example, many twin studies have demonstrated that children of alcoholics are at least four times more likely to develop alcohol addiction than their peers. There are multiple genes that can influence an individual’s likelihood to develop an addiction. Some genes influence impulse control or decrease the likelihood of individual’s disengaging in substance use. Other genes influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Although genes cannot be changed, families with histories of addictions can work proactively to educate their children, adolescents, and adult children about the genetic risks for developing addictive behaviors. This can include helping your loved one make positive social connections in their community.

Psychological Problems & Trauma

Addiction rarely presents as a single issue. Instead, many individuals who experience addiction also have depression, significant anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mood disorders. Addiction is often developed as a non-adaptive coping skills in order to manage the symptoms of psychological problems. This is why individual and group mental health counseling is often a key part of addiction treatment. Mental health counseling can be used during addiction treatment and in recovery to help individual’s learn adaptive coping skills so that they can manage anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders without drugs or alcohol.

Trauma

Trauma, especially childhood trauma, can significantly impact the brain’s development. Chronic stress and fear, which are related to childhood experiences of abuse and neglect,can result in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments. Two thirds of addicts have experienced physical or sexual trauma during childhood. You cannot always control your child’s experiences. However, knowledge about trauma can help inform addiction treatment. There are a variety of trauma-focused therapeutic approaches which can help your adult child address his or her traumatic experiences and learn alternative coping skills.

Genetics cannot be changed. However, addiction can be conquered by addressing your loved one’s social environment, underlying psychological issues, and past traumas.

We can help, call now 800-737-0933

Fentanyl Increases Heroin Overdose Rates

fentanylAmong the largest number of drug overdose fatalities in history is a subset of opioid users, typically heroin, who unknowingly ingest fentanyl. The drug, which is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, made headlines again when it was implicated in the death of Prince in Minnesota this year.

Fentanyl is so potent that it is typically prescribed to people with more severe chronic pain in the form of a transdermal patch that slowly releases the drug in small increments. It has been the source of multiple spikes in overdose deaths in recent years ranging from New Jersey to Michigan and Illinois to Massachusetts. Most recently, it has caused numerous deaths in New Jersey again as well as Delaware.

The Pacific Northwest has also had a long history with opiate addiction, and fentanyl has reared its even uglier head there as well. Just north of the border in Vancouver, British Columbia, officials have declared a public health emergency due to the overdoses in the area. According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control spokesperson Jane Buxton, “We did a study – it was a year ago now – where we asked people what they do – what drugs they’d used in the last three days and asked them to pee in a pot. And then we tested it. And we found 29 percent had fentanyl in their urine. But of those, 70 percent didn’t know they’d taken fentanyl.”

People addicted to opiates wind up taking fentanyl when the heroin they’re using is cut with the drug. It is a way for dealers to dilute the heroin itself at first with other powders and then increase the potency by adding a small amount of the drug. If this at all comes as a shock to you, please remember that they’re intentionally selling highly addictive and deadly drugs to begin with, so it’s not like they’re really concerned about the health or wellbeing of their buyers.

If you have a loved one with a substance abuse problem, contact us to find out more about Genesis House and successful recovery.

CDC Warns of Spread of Disease Through IV Drug Use

jaidscoverSubstance abuse can make people do things to themselves and others that they would never consider if they were sober. The grip of addiction is itself a harmful and deadly practice, and there are various aspects of it that make users more vulnerable to different kinds of health problems in addition to the damage from the drugs themselves.

One of the most devastating results is the spread of infectious diseases through the use of injecting drugs and sharing needles. While most people might assume that heroin is the only drug that is used intravenously, other drugs fit into this category as well, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a report about the 220 counties in the United States that are most at risk to an increase of HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks from needle-sharing drug users. The results of this report appear in the June edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Of the counties named, more than half of them are in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, where rural areas have been hit heavily by IV drug use of opioids.

“Our main goal was to prevent this from happening again, and this is one way we think we can help jurisdictions,” study author John Brooks, Senior Medical Advisor for the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, told the Wall Street Journal.

Officials in the areas most at risk are working to provide more prevention programs, testing centers and other forms of assistance. While these might help a little bit, the most beneficial help would be to provide more treatment beds for addicts so they stop using drugs altogether. Recovery is the best prevention of this form of outbreak.

If you have a loved one addiction to drugs, whether they are using them intravenously or not, contact us today to find out how we can help.