Tag Archives: addiction

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.

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

Running Away From Addiction: Travel Out of State For Rehab

If you or a loved one are suffering from some type of addiction, you may be looking for options for treatment. Your focus is probably on treatment centers and programs close to home. While there are many good reasons to look for programs within your city, county or state, there are also some valid reasons to look beyond the borders to treatment facilities out of state.

You can easily find many programs around the country for the treatment of drug, alcohol or other addictions. Here ate a few reasons to look outside your home state for your treatment program:

  • A new setting gives you a new perspective.
  • You can get away from the negative influences in your life.
  • You may find programs with unique treatment options not offered in your area.

These are just a few of the benefits of attending a treatment center in another state. When you select this option, it can feel like a brand-new start.

 

How to Find an Out-of-State Rehab Program

If you’ve decided to try a rehab program in another state, you will want to do some research for the right one. You can do much of your work online. Many programs have their own websites, which will tell you about the services they offer and any special requirements.

You can also ask for a recommendation from a doctor or other professional. Their contacts often extend beyond local networks, and they can help you decide on the right program for your needs.

Look for reviews on the programs to find out from others what it’s really like. Testimonials provide a first-hand look at how it works and the pros and cons. While it should not serve as the sole basis for your decision, reviews can provide valuable information.

Contact the rehab center. Be prepared with a list of questions you may have about the facility and the programs offered. While you may not be able to tour the center in person, you should be able to talk to people and get answers to the questions you have.

Going away from home for addiction treatment can be a frightening concept. However, it can also give you a new start, which can be the incentive for you to keep going and win the battle against the addiction.

Call Genesis House Today:  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

Why Do People Start Using Drugs?

Drug use and awareness of it has become more prevalent in our society in the past few years. There’s a chance that you or someone you know has been affected directly or indirectly by some type of drug use. There is a reason that each individual addicted to drugs starts using at some point. That first step is a path towards addiction that is full of twists, turns, and unexpected obstacles.

  • Some people start using drugs because their friends are doing it. It might seem like everyone else is doing it, and choosing not to use is a choice that may make someone feel ostracized with their peers. Those who are using typically encourage others to join in on the fun, and from there use escalates in frequency and quantity.
  • Others choose to start using drugs because they are bored and the effects look like fun. Maybe it’s been a stressful day and someone wants to wind down. Sitting around and watching television or reading a book may not be nearly as appealing as having a drink with some friends or sitting in a circle smoking marijuana while socializing. After they’ve experienced the high the drugs offer, they are an appealing alternative to dealing with the everyday trials and tribulations in life.
  • Relaxation is yet another reason people give for trying drugs. Work, school, kids, family and everyday life are all common stressors in life that everyone tries to deal with in their own way. Some people exercise, others play video games and some choose to use drugs as a way to kickback and relax. The feeling can be similar to not caring, such as with marijuana, or a euphoric feeling which is experienced when someone uses opiates.
  • Curiosity and fitting in are strong reasons that addicts give for starting to try various drugs. People who feel bullied, like they don’t have a lot of friends or don’t have things in common with many people their age can have their curiosity sparked. If friends start using drugs, it may trigger a desire to try it out too in an attempt to keep a strong connection with their friends without being an outsider.

Watching a loved one, friend or family member go through drug addiction is a stressful time. There are options when an addict is ready to seek help. Give us a call at 800-737-0933 to start getting help now.

How do I Know if I Need an Outpatient or Inpatient Rehab Program?

Coming to the realization that you have a serious drug addiction problem can be absolutely daunting. At the same time, it is also an eye-opening experience and a positive step forward because you may also acknowledge that you need help. Once you decide enough is enough and that you’re ready to get help for your substance abuse disorder, you can find a drug rehabilitation facility to enter a treatment program.

Generally, there are two options available to you, outpatient and inpatient rehab programs. How do you know which is better for you? It’s worth learning about each of these treatment options and their similarities and differences to determine the answer.

With outpatient addiction treatment:

  • You are allowed to return home each night while attending your rehab program during the day
  • You are required to attend therapy sessions each week
  • You may be prescribed maintenance medication by a psychiatrist to manage your withdrawal symptoms

Outpatient treatment typically takes place in a setting that is less intensive than that of inpatient.

Overall, outpatient treatment is better suited for individuals who have more of a short-term or milder addiction. The typical client at an outpatient facility also has various responsibilities at home that they need to attend to, such as caring for their children or an elderly parent, as well as work. It works well for allowing you to take care of your everyday responsibilities while getting the help you need to overcome your substance abuse problem.

 

When You Should Choose Inpatient Treatment Over Outpatient

If you have a more severe drug addiction problem and have been battling it for years, inpatient addiction treatment is the better option for you. Inpatient rehab:

  • Is more comprehensive
  • Is situated in a hospital or residential facility that is outside of a hospital setting
  • Offers more access to medical services and clients receive around-the-clock supervision from healthcare professionals or staff personnel

With inpatient treatment, you can expect to be in a rehab program for anywhere from 28 to 90 days depending on the severity of your addiction, the drug to which you are dependent and other factors, such as if a dual diagnosis exists. Dual diagnosis is also known as a coexisting medical or psychiatric condition that may be present in addition to the addiction.

Inpatient treatment also involves detox, which involves removing all traces of drugs from the person’s system. While undergoing this period of your recovery, you will be carefully monitored while you go through the withdrawal process.

Therapy is a huge component of both outpatient and inpatient addiction treatment. Whichever type of rehab you ultimately choose, it’s important to take part in counseling sessions, whether you do individual, group or family therapy and to continue doing so well after your treatment ends. It will help to avoid a relapse and give you a better chance of retaining your sobriety.

Our counselors are available 24 hours per day. If you are ready to enter a treatment program for your substance abuse problem, contact us immediately at 800-737-0933

What I Wish I Knew Before Using Heroin The First Time

No matter how you started using heroin, it doesn’t take long for you to become hooked on the drug. But once you’ve experienced the high that comes with heroin use, you want more. You’ll get hooked before you know it if you try it once.

The High has its Problems

Heroin is associated with morphine and has a chemical structure similar to endorphins. Endorphins help the body feel happy and relieve stress and pain. When used, heroin changes an alteration in mood, consciousness, and perception. When heroin enters the brain, it is converted into morphine, which binds itself to opioid receptors and produces an intense feeling of pleasure. It’s a feeling you’ll want again and again. Before you know it, you’re hooked. Next, the withdrawal symptoms start if you don’t use heroin for several hours.

Withdrawal symptoms start very soon (eight hours) after heroin use and may include:

  • Drug cravings
  • Stomach cramps
  • Moodiness
  • A runny nose and perspiration
  • Moodiness
  • Restlessness
  • DT’s
  • Diarrhea
  • Spasms in muscles
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

As you continue to use heroin, your body’s ability to make endorphins stops. So the only way you can feel healthy and pain-free is by using heroin. Psychological issues also occur when you are no longer using heroin. These nasty issues can begin as early as 10 hours after your last use of the drug and may increase in intensity the longer you go without the drug. You didn’t know that your brain, your health, and your life would be permanently altered by heroin. You wish someone would have let you know what you were getting into before your first hit.

You may think it’s too late to do anything about your problems, but you are wrong. We have counselors ready and waiting to help you get off heroin safely. Detoxing alone may be hazardous to your health, and is unpleasant. But you can get off drugs with some professional help from the experts who have assisted others in getting drug-free. You can have your life, health, and sanity back.

Now that you realize that heroin destroys lives, it’s time to get off heroin and beat your addiction. We want to help you in getting off heroin for good. Contact us at 800-737-0933 for more information and start your new, drug-free life now.