Treatment

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

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

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.

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

How Does a Christian Drug Rehab Program in Florida Differ From a Traditional Treatment Center?

When you or someone you know abuses drugs or alcohol, it’s an attempt to relieve severe discomfort. The source may be unbearable pain, fear, guilt, or shame. At the root of addiction is trauma to the mind, emotions, and body.

Both traditional and faith-based rehab programs address the causes of addiction. However, Christian facilities empower recovery through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Such fellowship brings inner rest, replacing the need for drugs and alcohol to handle torment.

Christian Recovery Methods

Like traditional rehab facilities, Christian treatment centers ease the reliance on addictive substances through medical detoxification. Both models of recovery teach skills for managing challenges. However, Christian facilities are designed to help clients accept the grace and leadership of Jesus Christ. Included in the faith-based approach are:

  • Christian counseling
  • regular Bible study and prayer
  • church attendance
  • applying Christ’s teachings to everyday situations

In a Christian setting, you experience the restoring love of Jesus. You gain a positive self-image, realizing the beautiful virtues residing within you. Christ-centered teaching fosters a clearer understanding of yourself and how to stay serene when faced with stress. Many Christian programs utilize the “12 Step” recovery model, a series of actions that bring healing from trauma and addiction, with the help of a higher power.

Reflecting the person of Jesus, the atmosphere at a Christian facility is caring and nonjudgmental. You connect on a deep level with other believers, receiving their spiritual support. Just like traditional programs, you have the benefit of individual and group therapy. Family sessions are also available, by which to work through relationship problems. Christian counselors, doctors, and nurses assist your recovery.

Additionally, Christian treatment centers focus more on aftercare than traditional programs. Strengthened by biblical principles and leaning on Jesus, you’re less likely to relapse after Christian rehab. You have coping skills plus the Lord’s help to plow through temptations and overcome weakness.

Our staff is available round-the-clock to welcome you to our facility. You needn’t be a Florida resident or a Christian. Clients come to our program from across the country.  With the grace and wisdom of Jesus Christ, you can gain lasting freedom from addictive substances. Call us now at 800-737-0933. We understand dependence and have the resources to help you break the cycle. Start your healing process today.

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