Opioids

3 Easy Questions To Remember When Your Doctor Prescribes You Pain Pills

Pain is part of life. Everyone will experience pain at some point, whether it’s minor or more severe. You may take a nasty spill, or perhaps you need surgery, or else, you’re injured in a car accident. Anyone could find themselves needing the assistance of prescription pain medications to control their pain until the body heals. Pain causes stress and isn’t conducive to the healing process. If you need short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain, your doctor will likely prescribe some type of narcotic medication to ease your pain.

More About Narcotic Therapy

Narcotics are prescribed for pain because they are very effective. However, they also carry the potential for addiction. Everyone has different brain chemistry and therefore will respond to narcotic pain medications differently. Some are even genetically pre-disposed to addiction and don’t discover this until after they have taken a narcotic and become addicted to it. However, this is very rare. If you have a painful condition and your doctor thinks that narcotics are warranted, you should listen. If you’ve actually had an addiction problem before, even with a different substance, such as alcohol, you should let your doctor know. He or she will decide from there the best course of action for you.

Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Be proactive in your medical care. Ask questions! It’s your right. Let your doctor know your concerns. It is his or her job to listen to you and take your concerns into consideration during your care. Keep these three questions in mind when your doctor thinks you need narcotic medication:

  • What are some possible side effects?

Be sure you understand the major possible side effects. Take your pain medication EXACTLY as prescribed on the bottle. If your doctor is unavailable for future questions, don’t hesitate to call the pharmacy and ask to speak with a pharmacist.

  • Is there an alternative?

Depending upon your pain level, it’s possible that a much weaker pain medication would work for you. There are also non-narcotic pain medicines, such as those similar to ibuprofen, that may work for some people. Keep in mind, though, that this class of drugs isn’t likely to control severe pain.

  • What about the risk of addiction?

Overall, this risk is low, but it does exist. Most of the time, the pain-relieving benefits of narcotics far outweigh any risk of possible addiction. Your doctor will probably tell you this. Still, if it’s a concern for you, say so.

We are always willing to help in any way we can. Call us 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

I Have Chronic Pain and Need Painkillers To Help Ease The Pain. How Do I Keep From Becoming Addicted?

The use of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain is very controversial. Possible addiction is one of the main reasons for this. Is the relief of chronic pain worth the potential for addiction? The consensus is yes. The fact is, most patients treated for chronic pain by a health professional qualified to do so will not become addicted to their opioid medications.

Addiction is Not the Same as Dependence

Anyone who takes opioid medication for any length of time, say, more than a few weeks, will become physically dependent upon their medication. This is a consequence of the actions of opioids on the body. They cause physical changes to take place in the brain which result in a physical dependence. This is not the same as addiction, which is generally defined as compulsive, uncontrollable use of a substance even when the negative consequences are obvious. Addicted patients often increase their use of medication without their physician’s knowledge or approval, which only makes their addiction even worse. They hide their drug use from friends, family, and employers. They become devious.

In contrast, those taking opioids as directed by their physicians rarely experience addiction. They are simply taking a drug, under medical supervision, that they need to control their chronic pain. There is no emotional dependence on the drug, no compulsion to use it beyond what is needed for pain control, and the patient remains in full compliance, taking the drug only as directed.

  • An addicted patient will often run out of medication early
  • An addicted patient will show signs of drug-seeking behavior, such as repeated requests for more pills and escalating doses when such is not medically indicated
  • Those addicted are likely to withdraw from friends and family as the drug takes over more and more of their lives

In contrast, a patient who is merely physically dependent, which is not their fault anyway, continues to live their lives normally. Their basic behavior doesn’t change and they feel no compulsion to take more and more medication. They just enjoy the relief and quality of life provided by responsible use of opioid medications.

For most people, the risk of true addiction to prescription opioids is low. In fact, the negative effects and stress of living in constant, untreated pain are more of a real concern than addiction.

Call us 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

 

OxyContin

List of All Drugs That are Considered Opioids

Opioids fall into the category of narcotic pain medications. If not taken correctly, they can produce serious side effects, including addiction. The body has the ability to produce natural opioids, but when considerable pain relief is necessary, these medications may be prescribed. They work by attaching to pain receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract. These receptors are known as opioid receptors and are part of the system that controls behaviors related to pain, reward, and addiction. Prescription opioids mimic our bodies’ natural neurotransmitters and when attached to these receptors, flood the brain with dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for thinking, emotion, and feelings of pleasure. Because prescription opioids are present in such large quantities, they create overstimulation in the brain. This leads to the reward-seeking behavior exhibited by those who have developed a dependence on these substances.

Opioid Drug List

• Abstral, Actiq (fentanyl)
• Avinza (morphine sulfate)
• Demerol
• Butrans
• Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
• Dolophine (methadone)
• Duragesic (fentanyl)
• Fentora (fentanyl)
• Hysingla (hyrocodone)
• Methadose (methadone)
• Morphabond (morphine)
• Nucynta ER (tapentadol)
• Oxaydo (oxycodone)
• Oramorph (morphine)
• Onsolis (fentanyl)
• Roxanol-T (morphine)
• Sublimaze (fentanyl)
• Xtampza ER (oxycodone)
• Zohydro ER (hydrocodone)
• Anexsia (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Co-Gesic (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Embeda (morphine/naltrexone)
• Exalgo (hydromorphone hydrochloride)
• Hycet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Hycodan (hydrocodone/homatropine)
• Hydromet (hydrocodone/homatropine)
• Ibudone (hydrocodone/ibuprofen)
• Kadian (morphine sulfate)
• Liquicet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Lorcet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Lortab (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Maxidone (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Norco (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride)
• Oxycet (oxycodone/acetaminophen)
• Palladone (hydromorphone hydrochloride)
• Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen
• Percodan (oxycodone/aspirin)
• Reprexain (hydrocodone/ibuprofen)
• Rezira (hydrocodone/pseudoephedrine)
• Roxicet (oxycodone/acetaminophen)
• Targiniq ER (oxycodone/naloxone)
• TussiCaps and Tussionex (hydrocodone/chlorpheniramine)
• Tylenol #3 and #4 (codeine/acetaminophen)
• Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen)
• Vituz (hydrocodone/chlorpheniramine)
• Xartemis XR ( oxycodone/acetaminophen)
• Xodol (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Zolvit (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
• Zutripro (hydrocodone/chlorpheniramine/pseudoephedrine)
• Zydone (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)

If you or a loved one are experiencing opioid dependence on any of these substances, our understanding counselors can help. If you are ready to speak to someone, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-737-0933

Why Do Some People Become Addicted to Drugs While Others Do Not?

There is not a simple answer to that question, unfortunately. Addiction is a life-long and multifaceted disease that can affect someone at any point in their life. Everyone’s brain is different and will respond differently when an addictive substance is introduced.

Furthermore, over time and continued use, the substance actually changes the brain’s chemistry and the cell structure, particularly in the regions that control learning, decision-making, stress, memory, and judgment and behavior. This is the reason someone with an addiction can’t just “give it up” like someone without. Their brain has actually changed. These changes can happen quickly and at any time, which is why someone can become addicted at any point in their lives, without even realizing it.

Having said that, there are certain factors that appear to be important to whether or not someone develops an addiction.

Factors of Addiction

  • Biology Many addictive predispositions, like gender or memory disorders are attributed to genetic components. Additionally, people with underlying psychiatric conditions are at greater risk of becoming addicted. Particularly people who are unaware of having a mental illness may begin using substances to self-medicate and alleviate their symptoms. While the offspring of people who have addiction often develop an addiction themselves, there is no one “addiction gene.”
  • Social Environment Often times, addiction may occur within family groups because they all exist within a similar social environment. This factor includes the environment at home, at school or work. It includes one’s family and friends, as well as socio-economic status and general quality of life.
  • Human Development Though people can become addicted at any age, younger people who use drugs or alcohol have a higher likelihood of developing an addiction. This is because the vulnerable parts of the brain are still developing, like those that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control.
  • Trauma Going through a traumatic experience, like abuse, neglect, or losing a loved one early in life can make one easily susceptible to addiction.

Addiction is a biological chemical reaction that a person cannot control. It is not a moral failing or a lack of desire or effort. Fortunately, addiction is absolutely treatable and can be managed with support and counseling. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, our counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you get treatment. Call 800-737-0933