Substance Abuse

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

How Bad is The Heroin Epidemic?

Opioids are the the most prevalent cause of drug overdose in the US, and overdose rates continue to increase. From the year 1999 to the year 2008, heroin overdose rates increased by 400%, and rates have quadrupled again since 2010. Heroin overdose rates increased by over 20% from 2014 to 2015 alone. We are in the midst of a crisis, and opioids are to blame

Many heroin addictions begin with prescription opioids. In fact, three out of four new users report abusing pills first. For years, doctors prescribed them more freely. In more recent years research on their addictive properties and overdose rates has caused doctors to reduce, and sometimes cut off, prescriptions. Addicts can buy opioid pills, but they are very expensive. Heroin is less expensive and much stronger, so addicts sometimes turn to it out of desperation.

It is estimated that around 70,000 people report using heroin each year, but the number is likely much higher. Many addicts do not seek treatment on their own and would not answer questions about heroin use honestly. Demographically, the average heroin user is white, male, low-income, has abused prescription drugs in the past, and between the ages of 18 and 25.

Do you suspect that someone you care about is abusing heroine? Learn the signs.

Signs of heroin use include:

  • tiny pupils
  • appearance of sleepiness
  • flushed skin
  • paraphernalia, such as burnt spoons, baggies of a white substance or syringes
  • runny nose
  • track marks, or always covering arms
  • lack of self care, such as eating and grooming
  • nausea or vomiting
  • scratching

Health risks of heroin use include damage to the lungs, heart and kidneys, as well as severe impairment of the ability to think.

Because the potency of heroin varies and addicts often use more to achieve a stronger effect, overdose rates are very high. Often times, the difference between the amount needed for the desired effect and the amount that could cause a fatal overdose is very small. Because of this, all heroin users are at risk of overdose.

Do you or someone you care about need help overcoming addiction? We at Genesis House are here for you. You can reach us, 24 hours a day, at 800-737-0933

What is Drunk Packing?

Drunk packing has gained popularity recently, after a college student died after his friends practiced the trend. Drunk packing involves rolling a drunk person onto their stomach and placing something heavy, like a backpack, on their pack. The goal is that this will prevent them from rolling over onto their back and choking on their own vomit.

Who practices drunk packing?

You may be wondering if someone you care about could fall prey to this trend. This new practice is common on college campuses, especially among those who are afraid to call for help when a friend has alcohol poisoning. Because of this, many who use this method are underage. The intention with drunk packing is good, but misguided. You may think that someone can only choke on their vomit if they are on their back, so they are protected and can sleep safely.

The Problems with Drunk Packing

  • You can choke in any position.
  • The weight of the backpack can do more harm than good.
  • Choking is not the only danger faced by someone with alcohol poisoning.

Because young people are the ones most effected by this trend, it is important that they are educated in the matter. Drunk packing is not safe. If you or a friend has practiced this, or you suspect that someone you love is drunk packing, there are a couple important facts of which you should be aware. First, most schools have amnesty policies. This means that you will not get in trouble for calling for help. If someone is drunk enough that you are worried for their safety, it is better to be safe than sorry and seek medical help. Second, drunk packing may become a punishable offense in itself, now that someone has died after being drunk packed. It is no longer a way to stay out of trouble, because the risks have been made public.

So, what should you do about this new trend? If you believe that you or someone you care about is in danger from drunk packing and alcoholism, we at Genesis House are here to help. You can reach us 24 hours a day on our toll free number: 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.

Why Do Most Rehabs Teach The 12 Steps?

In healthcare it is generally agreed that alcoholism and addiction are a disease. While there is no outright cure, the most effective treatment modalities involve a holistic approach that targets your physical, mental and emotional health. This often includes engagement with a twelve-step program. Nearly 75 percent of drug and alcohol treatment centers teach patients these programs. Why is this and are they effective?

Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs that engage the 12-step model are the only method that have been proven to work in promoting long-term mental health and relapse prevention. Inpatient care, medication and healthy lifestyle choices can improve your physical condition, but the twelve steps aim to provide you with the tools, community and support you need to make lasting change.

Most people have heard of such programs, but their practice is actually more complex than you might know. At first the process can seem confusing and daunting. Learning about the steps while in treatment provides a safe environment and individual attention to learn about the steps, the benefits of the program, and get you connected in the recovery community outside of treatment.

Benefits of the 12 Step Program

While the twelve steps are designed to treat alcoholism and addiction, they more broadly focus on improving your quality of life. Strong treatment programs will teach you about the twelve-step program to provide a foundation of skills and knowledge that are necessary for working the steps thoroughly, in treatment and afterwards. These are some of the benefits that come with working a twelve-step program.

  • Encourage self-esteem, self-help, and responsibility
  • Builds support network with other alcoholics and addicts
  • Simple, actionable steps reduce overwhelming problems into manageable actions
  • Promotes honest introspection and interactions with others
  • Assists in repairing relationships
  • Collective strength of shared experience, strength and hope

One of the major benefits of working a twelve-step program is the community provided by meetings. Since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, clinicians and alcoholic alike have stressed the importance of working with other alcoholics as an integral part of the recovery process.

Attending meetings and engaging with the community offers the opportunity to share experience, strength, and hope with others. Early in recovery, this means connecting with people who have been in your shoes, and understanding how the program has worked in their lives. Are you ready to see how it can work in yours? Call us now at 800-737-0933

Cocaine and Crack: What’s The Difference?

Crack cocaine received lots of media attention as it became more common in the 1980s. Politicians spoke about crack being the most dangerous drug in America, tearing apart communities, and causing violent crimes. Cocaine, although still considered a harmful drug, didn’t receive as much attention. What’s the real difference between crack and cocaine?

Crack and powder cocaine are both cocaine, but they’re different forms of the drug. Powder cocaine is made from HCL, or hydrochloride, a type of salt. Crack, which is usually in rock form, has been processed to remove the HCL, which makes it more rapidly absorbed into your system.

Cocaine is typically more expensive than crack, which explains why most people associate crack with lower-income communities. Crack also carries harsher prison sentences. There’s a minimum of five years in prison for possessing 28 grams of crack, while the minimum sentence for 500 grams of cocaine is also five years. The average prison term for crack possession is much longer than cocaine possession.

Crack and Cocaine Addiction

The effects of cocaine hit within five minutes, peak in 30 minutes, and usually last for an hour or two. However, the effects of crack hit in less than one minute, peak in five minutes, and last less than an hour. This is mostly due to a difference in administration, not a difference in how the drugs are created or processed. Powder cocaine is usually snorted, while crack is usually inhaled by smoking. Crack is also sometimes injected, which also brings about immediate and powerful effects. If powder cocaine is injected, it hits you as quickly as crack does.

Both drugs have similar short-term effects, but crack is typically more powerful because your body absorbs it so quickly. They also have similar long-term effects, including:

  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Seizures
  • Hyperpyrexia (high fever)

There is some debate on whether crack is more addictive than cocaine. Crack may be more psychologically addictive because of the immediate and powerful effects and because of the need to use it repeatedly to maintain the effects. However, both have very similar physiological effects on the body. Overall, there is no difference in physical addiction or dependence between crack and cocaine.

Although there are some differences between crack and cocaine, both are very harmful and addictive drugs. Addiction to either requires professional treatment for a successful recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call us at 800-737-0933 for help.

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

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.

If I Am Starting Over With Everything, What Happens After Rehab?

In your active addiction, life centered around drugs and alcohol. As a recovering addict who is ready to start life over finding a new focus is a complicated step. You may have questions about what happens after you leave rehab. When is it okay to start a relationship? Can I continue my old friendships with people that use? What types of activities can I do to pass the time? Early recovery is a time to breathe and take things slow. There is a saying among the sober, “recovery is a process.”

Aftercare should be your primary aim upon completing rehab. The daily routine of a rehab program cannot last forever. You will need to find a way to maintain your long-term sobriety. Spend the first year in recovery focusing on you. Now is not the time to begin a romantic relationship. Avoid old friends that continue to use as they may trigger a relapse. One of the biggest worries among addicts is boredom. Explore new hobbies and places that you do not associate with drug use. An essential aspect to your aftercare is support from others. Some people in recovery see a therapist while others attend group meetings. To be successful, you need help to lean on throughout your recovery.

Steps to a Successful Recovery

Early recovery is a critical time in your newfound sobriety. You may feel lonely and vulnerable. Below are suggestions to keep your recovery on the right path:

  • Meeting people with years of sobriety is an excellent way to build support. It will also help you establish a network of friends with whom you can enjoy sober activities.
  • Visit the doctor and assess your mental health. As an addict, you were too focused on drugs to care for yourself. Now is the time to take care of your physical and mental health.
  • Watch out for anything that may trigger a relapse. Many addicts become too comfortable in their recovery. They think that it is okay to have one drink or one pill. Vigilance is vital to your recovery.

Recovery is a process that will last your entire life. Take things slow and enjoy the possibilities. If you are ready to start your journey towards recovery, please feel free to contact us 24 hours a day at 800-737-0933

How Do I Use My Insurance for Drug Detox?

When you are the victim of addiction, one of the biggest challenges is getting the help you need in order to be successful. You’ve already tried to go it alone. You are still where you started. You are ready to move forward. You know that a drug detox is the springboard you need for a successful recovery. You know where you want to go. You finally have a plan of action that is going to help you to move forward. You’re only question now is how you are going to pay for your drug detox and rehabilitation services.

How Can Insurance Help You for Drug Detox?

Your health insurance policy is here for you to help you with your medical expenses. That includes drug detox and addiction recovery services. Before you enter a program, contact your insurance representative to find out:

  • What does my health insurance cover for drug detox?
  • What facilities are in my network?
  • If I go out of network, what will I be expected to pay?

Once you have answers about what services are covered, what type of co-pays you may have, and if you can afford any facilities that are out of network, you can begin your drug detox.

Begin Your Journey to Addiction Recovery with Drug Detox

Drug detox is that first critical step in the recovery process. You’ll be eliminating the presence of all toxins from your system, clearing your mind, and preparing to put your addiction behind you. The detox process takes anywhere from three to seven days. Once you no longer have any traces of drugs or alcohol in your system, you will be able to focus on staying strong. you can achieve your goals. Your drug detox plan will get you started.

Get the Drug Detox Help You Need Today

Now is the time to get started with your drug detox journey. Contact our helpful representatives at 800-737-0933 in order to plan your drug detox stay. Our caring professionals will assist you through this difficult phase of treatment. Once detox is behind you, you will have access to the resources you need to go all the way to recovery. A bright future is waiting for you. With drug detox as your kick start, you will be well on your way. We will help you to begin.