Opioids

Why Does Heroin and Other Opiates Cause Constipation?

Opioids and opiates are drugs that depress your central nervous system. This means your breathing and other bodily systems slow down. But opioids are notorious for causing constipation. Why is this?

Your gastrointestinal system also slows down when you take opioids. Not only this, your GI tract has receptors for the opiates that you produce naturally. The opiates and opioids that you take then bind to these receptors. This causes the usual contractions in your large and small intestines to decrease. Opioids may also paralyze your stomach so that it cannot process food the way it usually does. Food not only stays in your stomach, but opioids interfere with the enzymes needed to break it down. Even if everything else was working, opiates even reduce the urge to move your bowels. When you do try to move your bowels:

  • The feces are hard, dry and painful. This is because the longer it takes for the stool to pass through your large intestine, or colon, the more water your body absorbs from them.
  • You have to strain at stool.
  • Even when you do have a bowel movement, it feels incomplete. There is actually a word for this: tenesmus.

The constipation that happens when you take opioids can occur at any time when you are taking the drug. It also doesn’t go away over time like other side effects, because you GI tract doesn’t adapt to the drug the way the rest of your body does. Indeed, the longer you take the drug, the worse your constipation gets. Moreover, the usual remedies that help normal constipation do not work well when you are constipated from opioid use.

Complications of Opiate Caused Constipation

The complications of constipation caused by opioid use is rarely life-threatening, but can be very uncomfortable, and degrade your quality of life. Common complications include:

  • Hemorrhoids, which occur when the veins in the rectum or anus dilate and fail due to straining.
  • Diverticulosis, which are tiny pouches in the wall of the large intestine. If these pouches become inflamed, it can lead to a condition called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be serious.
  • Fecal impaction, which happens when a large amount of hard stool simply cannot be passed. This is often accompanied by a watery discharge from the rectum, nausea and malaise.

Call Genesis House for Help

If you need detox for your opiate use and its complications, give us a call at Genesis House. Our number here is 800-737-0933

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go To a Local Detox Center To Get Clean

Choosing to get into recovery from addiction is a courageous decision that is typically not easy to make. Once you make that decision, several factors must be considered to assure your optimal success such as:

  • Cost
  • How to pay for treatment
  • In-network or out-of-network providers
  • Type of treatment center such as general population, women-only, men-only, LGBT-specific, Christian, etc.
  • Location.

While each factor plays a significant role in the equation of achieving lifelong recovery, location is one of the most significant factors.

Addiction is both a physiological and psychological disease. The physiological component of the disease is always addressed first because of the detox process. The detox process consists of going through withdrawal under the supervision of medical personnel and cleansing the system of drugs and alcohol. It is imperative for you to go through detox under the supervision of medical personnel to assure safe, comfortable withdrawal. Depending on your addiction, especially alcoholism, the withdrawal symptoms may be fatal. Examples of common withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Body aches
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartrate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Regardless of the detox center you choose, choosing a distant detox center, as opposed to a local detox center, will be more beneficial for your long-term success.

Three Reasons Why You Should Choose a Distant Detox Center

Despite health insurance, financial, and convenience challenges, you should make every effort to go to a detox center that is distant from your home. Numerous studies have shown that those who travel a distance from their home to go to detox and treatment have higher long-term success rates. There are several reasons why this is the case:

  • Being away from Relapse-Triggers

People, places, neighborhoods, and culture in the environment where you were active in your addiction are some examples of relapse triggers. It would be very hard to focus on your recovery and maintain sobriety when the neighborhood where you used to always go to seek drugs is merely a few miles away and the people who you have used drugs with are right outside the door of the detox facility. If you choose a local detox facility, it will be even more of a struggle to start your new life in recovery when your old life is literally right outside the door of the facility. Many recovering individuals attest to being tempted to use when they are in the same scenery where they were active in their addiction.

  • Being Distant from Distractions that May Derail Your Recovery

During the detox process, it is very common for recovering individuals to second-guess themselves. Knowing that your friends, family, and home are just a walk or ride away makes it much more easier for you to give into the temptation of giving up on the recovery process. If you were in another state and/or a plane-ride away from your friends, family, and home, it would be much more difficult for you to simply give up on the recovery process because it would be much more challenging to get to them.

Though friends and family want the best for you and may be beneficial later on in the recovery process, they tend to be more of a detriment than a benefit in the early recovery process. Being in proximity to them makes it easier for you to be entangled in their lives and issues, which would be a major distraction when you need to strictly focus on your recovery.

  • Higher-Quality Treatment is Often Found Elsewhere

Unfortunately, high-quality treatment does not exist in every area. As you may already know, Florida is the hub for high-quality addiction treatment. California and Utah are also areas renowned for high-quality addiction treatment. If you do not live in any of those areas, your local detox and rehab centers may not be as experienced as the ones in Florida, California, or Utah. The educational and experience requirements may be lower for counselors and staff, and state-funded rehab centers may have less amenities. Florida, California, and Utah are ideal healing environments because of the beautiful scenery, which does not exist in every state.

Genesis House is located in South Lake Worth, Florida. They have been providing superior detox and residential treatment for over 25 years. If you or your loved one is interested in detox and/or treatment or simply has general questions, call them today at 800-737-0933 

How Long Should I Be On Suboxone To Get Completely Clean?

Heroin is a dangerous drug derived from the opium poppy. It is illegal in the United States. Heroin is highly addictive. Drug rehab centers often use another drug, Suboxone, to help people break their heroin addictions. Read on for more information on Suboxone and its use in treating heroin addiction.

When you abuse a drug like heroin, your body develops a tolerance for it. This means that you must take increasing dosages of heroin in order to get the same high. When you attempt to quit using heroin, you experience withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Feeling jittery
  • Vomiting
  • Getting chills
  • Muscle aches and pains

Suboxone is a drug that contains buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is used to treat not only heroin addiction but other opioid addictions, too. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist to opioids, produces a mild form of the effects of opioids. It basically fools the brain into thinking your opioid craving has been met, though it does not produce the same high. However, because Buprenorphine and Suboxone do not create the same high as opioids, Suboxone and Buprenorphine are difficult to form an addiction to. Naloxone, another component of Suboxone, works as an antagonist to opioids.

Length of Use for Suboxone

Suboxone is a drug that must usually be taken for a long time to promote opioid recovery. Because Suboxone is a partial agonist, it still allows people to form some opioid dependence. When addicts attempt to stop taking Suboxone, they need to taper their dosage under the care of a medical professional.

People who take Suboxone for a short period, such as a month, usually end up relapsing and returning to opioid abuse. Thus, Suboxone should be taken for an extended period. Taking it for six months to one year is the norm, and many people take it for even longer. However, every patient is different. A medical professional can monitor the patient’s progress and advise on how long each patient should take Suboxone.

Suboxone should be used only under the guidance provided in a professional treatment program or under the care of a healthcare professional. Rehab clinicians can administer the correct dosage, and Suboxone can also be prescribed by a doctor. By pairing Suboxone with other therapies, clinicians and physicians can help addicts fight their addictions. Call us today for help 800-737-0933

Opiate Dependence Versus Opiate Maintenance

Opiate dependence versus opiate maintenance, is there a difference? A lot of people wonder if it is possible to be addicted to a drug such as Oxycontin or Oxycodone form simply taking a drug as directed. The answer to this question is “yes”, however, the answer is much more complicated in reality.

Addiction is usually physical, mental and behavioral in nature. One symptom is being physically dependent on the drug and using more and more of it to get high — also known as building a tolerance. Regular use will cause this tolerance even if you don’t abuse it, so this isn’t the only factor. Opiate dependence means that a person is addicted – which means they’re using it to get high, and they are using it to function normally. For the sake of this article, opiate dependence and opiate addiction will be used interchangeably.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re worried about opiate addiction:

  • Are you using opiates to get “high”, rather than for pain? If you’re using opiates to get high, that’s abuse and you’re a candidate for addiction.
  • Do you need more and more of the drug to get the same “high”?
  • Have you tried doctor shopping or illicit means to get more of your pills so you don’t run out? Do you run out of your prescriptions early?
  • Have you avoided certain people, places or activities because you would rather be somewhere that you can be high without scrutiny?
  • Has your family or your doctor expressed worry about your pill use?

Addiction is a disease that is progressive in nature. A person with a substance abuse disorder will start to display drug seeking behaviors when they are running out of their drug and choice. As withdrawal — which is quite physically uncomfortable and sometimes painful — sets in, an addicted person may become desperate. They may feel the need to doctor shop, purchase drugs on the street or steal leftover pills from family members to get their “fix”.

Do You Have a Problem with Opiates?

Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life, even when there is no history in a family. There are many signs and symptoms of addiction that can and should raise red flags for addicted persons and their loved ones.

If you or somebody you love is suffering from the disease of addiction and needs rehab, there IS a way out. Recovery is not only possible, it’s amazing!

We can help you reclaim your life and put the pain of addiction behind you. All calls are 100% confidential, please call us today at 800-737-0933

What You Should Know About Pain Pill Addiction- It Is Not Uncommon as You May Think

Pain pills or painkillers refer to a wide variety of drugs; however, the ones that are highly abused are opioids, sedatives, and stimulants. Hydrocodone, oxycodone, xanax, valium, and dexedrine are among the highly abused prescription pills. The effectiveness of these drugs makes them addictive. These pain pills work on the opioid receptors of your brain to numb pain and create an addictive high.

One of the tell-tale signs that you have a pain pill addiction is when your mind is focused on when you will take your next dose and whether your supply is sufficient. Pre-occupation with your pain medication may later cause you to exceed the doctor’s recommended dose. Eventually, you begin going to more than one doctor for the same subscription or going to other sources to replenish your medication supply. Afterwards, you will realize that your pain, the reason you were on the prescription pills, subsided a long time ago but you are still on pain meds. Before you know it, you are having problems with your personal relationships and your daily routine activities.

 

How Pain Pill Addiction Can Affect Your Body

Pain killer abuse is likely to affect different parts of your body. Opiates suppress your body’s capacity to breathe and interrupt the normal functioning of your lungs. Medical research has determined that opiate abuse is likely to cause pneumonia.

Pain pill addiction is also associated with constipation. Abusing pain killers will mean that one may need to use laxatives to facilitate bowel movement and this is likely to damage the sphincter or anus.

Prescription drug abuse can also affect your liver. Every drug you take is broken down and processed by your liver. Therefore, the liver can store toxins after the breakdown process. The most notable cause of liver damage is acetaminophen, a component in many prescription formulas. Drugs such as Lortab, Vicodin, and Percocet have high levels of acetaminophen.

Another devastating effect of addiction to prescription pills is rhabdomyolysis and kidney failure. Rhabdomyolysis occurs when a person lies completely immobilized after abusing pain killers to the point of becoming comatose. The addict’s tissues start to disintegrate and the chemicals produced during this breakdown pour into their blood stream and begin damaging other organs. This is one of the main causes of kidney failure. Damage of the heart may also occur, including heart attack.

Many people manage chronic pain using prescription medication. A high percentage of these people unknowingly slide into pain pill addiction. If you experience any of the above tell-tale signs of addiction to prescription medication, you need to consult a doctor before your problem becomes a tragedy. If you are ready to put your addiction problem behind you, call Genesis House at 800-737-0933 and trust us to get your life back on track.

How Long Does It Take To Get Into a Detox Center in Florida?

Recovery is a process that takes place in several stages. The most challenging stages are at the beginning of the process, and each stages becomes easier. Detox is the first stage in the process, and it is the most challenging stage.

Withdrawal refers to the physical pain and sickness you will feel as your body is acclimating itself to function without drugs and/or alcohol for the first time in a while.  You should always go through withdrawal, especially alcohol withdrawal, under the supervision of medical professionals because of the risks that are associated with it. Going through withdrawal under the supervision of medical professionals and other addiction counselors is typically done in a detox center.

There are several different types of detox programs.

  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Three-Day Programs
  • Five-Day Programs
  • Seven-Day Programs

Many Americans who have recovered from addiction have gone to Florida because of the state’s ideal healing environment. If you plan on going to Florida to start your recovery, your first stop will most likely be a detox center. The detox center may in the same facility as your rehabilitation facility or it may be a separate facility.

The Length of Time it Takes to Be Admitted to a Detox Center in Florida

If you are willing to be admitted to a detox center in Florida, you have overcome the first hurdle in the recovery processes. At this point, it is important for you be admitted into a detox center as soon as possible to avoid second guessing yourself or any other complications that may prevent you from going to detox. Because Florida is the recovery capital of the country, it is well-experienced in helping individuals achieve successful addiction recovery; therefore, the detox centers and rehab centers understand the importance of you getting into a detox center as soon as possible.

Most detox centers can admit you the same day as you call. It is almost definite that you will admitted the same day if you are under certain circumstances such as

  • Having had an Overdose
  • Experiencing Psychiatric Issues
  • Experiencing Some other Medical Emergency Related to Drug Use
  • Have a Prolonged History of a Severe Addiction
  • Your Family is Concerned that You Will Change Your Mind if You are Forced to Wait Several days.

If same-day admittance is not possible by the detox center you have reached out to, it is most likely due to that center not having a bed for you. Since detox center programs are typically no longer than a week, you should be able to get into the detox center within several days. However, you should call around to several detox centers because there is bound to be a center that can admit you the same day. If you are waiting to get into a rehab center that has a detox program within in their center, you may have to wait up to three weeks. Community drug treatment programs have the longest waits because you have to wait for social services to confirm a place for you and approve the funding for your stay. The longer wait times of rehab centers and community drug programs are why individual detox centers are strongly recommended. Though recovery is a challenging journey, it possesses rich rewards for all who travel it. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, call our detox center today to start your journey on the road to recovery. Call 800-737-0933

Are There Any LGBT Specific Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Florida?

While the disease of addiction is equally devastating for all sufferers and their loved ones, seeking a specific type of addiction treatment may be more beneficial for you or your loved one. The common specific types of addiction treatment are gender-specific treatment, faith-specific treatment, and even LGBT-specific treatment. There are certain issues that are specific to certain groups of sufferers of addiction, and LGBT-specific treatment will address issues that are specific to you or your loved one as a LGBT individual.

Florida is the epitome of a recovery environment because of the warm climate and beach scenery, which makes it a desirable healing environment. It is the recovery capital of the United States because of its plethora of addiction treatment centers and massive recovery community. Since Florida has a plethora of treatment centers, there is a wide variety of treatment centers to choose from in Florida.

There are many inpatient and outpatient LGBT specific substance abuse treatment centers throughout Florida. The majority of them are in the central region and southern region of Florida.

There are also several in the northern region of Florida. In addition to substance abuse treatment centers, there are also community centers where the LGBT recovery community can congregate.

 

The Benefits of Choosing an LGBT Specific Substance Abuse Treatment Center

If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction and identifies as LGBT, there will be certain LGBT specific underlying issues that will need to be addressed in the recovery process such as bullying, family misunderstanding, intimacy issues, etc. It is most beneficial for you or your loved one to start the recovery process in an environment that is fully devoted to the LGBT community. Along with a focus on LGBT specific issues, there are also several benefits to choosing an LGBT specific substance abuse treatment center.Non-Biased Counselors and Staff

At an LGBT specific treatment center, you or your loved one will not have to worry about having to deal with counselors and staff who are biased against or do not understand LGBT people. All of the staff at an LGBT treatment center will be objectively focused on helping you or your loved one without LGBT being an issue.

Judgement-free Environment

All of the other clients at an LGBT treatment center will also be LGBT, so you or your loved one will not have to worry about dealing with judgement and mistreatment from other clients in the treatment center.

Connecting with Recovering Peers

Community is a significant part of recovery. People tend to connect best with those who relate to them. Being in an LGBT Treatment Center will provide you or your loved one with a strong sense of community because the others in the treatment center can easily relate to you or your loved one.

If you or your loved one identify as LGBT and are suffering from addiction, Genesis House is a treatment center in Lake Worth Florida is a great option. Call today at 800-737-0933 

Uniformed Services

Why Do Police Officers and Firefighters Face Addiction Issues So Often?

Addiction does not discriminate. Anyone can become afflicted with the disease of addiction regardless of his or her income, education level, race, religion, etc. People’s professions dot not make them immune from addiction, even if their profession is a police officer or a firefighter.

You may consider it ironic for a police officer or a firefighter to face addiction issues. However, as the addiction rates of the general population have surged in recent years, the addiction rates among police officers and firefighters have surged in proportion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 806,400 law enforcement workers suffer from addiction. A study done in 2012 showed that 56 percent of firefighters were binge-drinkers. There are a variety of factors behind the prevalence of addiction in police officers and firefighters.

  • Stress

Police officers and firefighters have very high-stress jobs. The shifts are long, and the work is physically taxing and mentally taxing. The hours are not limited to nine to five on weekdays. Police officers and firefighters have to work late night shifts, overnight shifts, weekend shifts, and holiday shifts, so they are given little time for family, recreation, and decompression.

  • Traumatic Experiences on the Job

Police officers and firefighters are bombarded with violence on a constant basis. Their genuine feelings regarding these traumatic experiences often go unexpressed. Family and friends often do not want to listen to a police officer and firefighter talk about the details of his or her job. Police officers and firefighters do not get the opportunity to support their fellow workers due to confidentiality policies prohibiting them from discussing cases. Often, police officers and firefighters detach from all emotions as a survival mechanism, and using substances are a method to make that possible.

  • Mental Health Disorders

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression tend to be prevalent among police officers and firefighters. These mental health disorders tend to go untreated among police officers and firefighters due to the stigma surrounding mental health disorders in the United States and the profession. Using alcohol or drugs is a way for them to self-medicate these undiagnosed and untreated disorders.

There is Hope for Police Officers and Firefighters

Police officers and firefighters are often hesitant to seek help for their addictions for several reasons.

  • Stigma surrounding substance abuse in their profession
  • Denial, thinking “I am not like those people I arrest” “I’m a police officer or a firefighter, so this cannot happen to me”
  • Stigma from their community because of their substance abuse and profession
  • Losing their Job

While they have legitimate reasons to be concerned, they should not make their concerns a barrier to getting into recovery. If their addiction goes untreated, it will only worsen and may lead to incarcerations, institutionalizations, or death. The benefit of recovery outweighs the stigma and potential losses. There are many resources police officers and firefighters can turn to for help.

  • Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) and Narcotic’s Anonymous (NA)
  • Intensive-Outpatient (IOP)
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Psychologist or a Psychiatrist
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Inpatient Detox
  • Family and/or Friend Support

If you or someone you know is a police officer or firefighter who is suffering from addiction, seek help or encourage him or her to seek the help he or she needs. It will be beneficial in the long-term. Call Genesis House today 800-737-0933

Detox during pregnancy

Is Detoxing While Pregnant Safe?

Continued use of drugs and alcohol puts your unborn baby at serious risk. Congenital disabilities, miscarriage, and stillbirth are all possibilities if your addiction continues untreated. Detoxing is the safest way to ensure the health of your baby. High-risk situations need a medical detox under the supervision of a doctor. Addiction to drugs and alcohol affects over five percent of all pregnant women. The first step is to speak with a doctor about the safest treatment for both you and your baby.

Different drugs have different withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them. Some drugs such as heroin create severe physical withdrawal. Others, such as methamphetamines can cause extreme psychological cravings. Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in death without doctor supervision. Due to these concerns, it is necessary that you do not stop “cold turkey.” Aside from your drug of choice other factors can affect the withdrawal process. These include your method of use such as smoking, snorting, or injecting. Length of use and environmental factors will also determine the severity of withdrawal. Make sure adequately trained professionals monitor your detox as withdrawal is harmful to the fetus.

 

Detoxing from Opiates while Pregnant

You may be wondering about detoxing from opiates while pregnant. The opioid epidemic has medical professionals rethinking what was once conventional wisdom. It was before thought that detoxing from opiates is too risky for pregnant women. Pregnant women now have some options:

  • Methadone is a safe choice for your fetus. You should be aware of its association with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Your baby could become addicted in the womb and experience withdrawal once born. You must visit a clinic once a day to receive your methadone dose.
  • Buprenorphine is weaker than methadone. It has less physical dependence and fewer withdrawal symptoms. Unlike methadone doctors prescribe buprenorphine for use at home.
  • Counseling is an essential part of your detox with medically assisted treatment (MAT). Once you have completed detox, you will need to explore the causes of your addiction.

Detoxing from drugs while pregnant is essential for your health and the health of your baby. You do not want to wait until your baby is born before asking for help. If you are ready to start your journey towards recovery, please feel free to contact us 24 hours a day at 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