Opioids

Is Is Opiate Detox Dangerous if You Don’t Get Medical Supervision?

Opiate drugs that are commonly abused include heroin and prescription painkillers including Oxycontin, Morphine, and Fentanyl. Withdrawal and detox from opioids can create symptoms of withdrawal within hours after the last dose taken. The symptoms can last for several days up to a week or longer. Withdrawal from opioids without medical supervision may not be fatal, but it may lead to the use of opioids again in order to relieve the withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of withdrawal from opiates may be mild to severe and depend on individual factors. Individual factors include how much of a substance an individual has been using and how long they have been using the substance. Further, the type of opioid that has been taken, the way in which the drug was taken (i.e., intravenously, orally, smoked, nasal inhalation), any underlying health or mental conditions, or any co-morbid mental health issues. Previous trauma, family history of addiction, biological factors, environmental factors, and stressful surroundings may also affect the way in which withdrawal symptoms emerge and appear.

Withdrawal symptoms from opioid substances include:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings to use opiates
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Nausea

Options for Detox

There are a number of methods for treatment and detox for the removal of opiates from the body. Some treatment methods are more in-depth and comprehensive than others. Medical detox includes both psychological and pharmacological treatment methods while under the supervision of a team of medical and mental health professionals within a safe and secure setting. Standard detox is able to take place on an outpatient basis (i.e., outside the hospital setting). The withdrawal symptoms related to opiate detoxification are very uncomfortable and medical detox may provide the most comfortable and secure setting for treatment.

Within a medical detox, vital signs (e.g., blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and respiration levels) are able to be monitored closely) Further, medical professionals are able to prescribe and administer medications that may make the detox process more comfortable and allow for the regulation of the body and brain functioning. Mental health professionals will also be available to provide evaluations and assess levels of stabilization during detox. There is no specific timeline for detox from opioids, but it typically lasts between five and seven days.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opiate addiction or seeking to begin detox from opiates, please contact us at 800-737-0933. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day and are able to provide you with information specific to your case and needs.

Does Suboxone Cause or Affect Mood Swings?

Suboxone is a medication that is prescribed to treat opiate addiction. Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a medication containing opioids and naloxone is a substance that blocks the effects of opioid medication (e.g., pain relief and feelings of well-being) that often lead individuals to seek out opioids after recovery. Suboxone has several side effects and may cause issues with mental health and mood swings.

Suboxone as a TreatmentThis medication is prescribed in several different types of situations. Doctors may prescribe Suboxone in order to aid the process of withdrawal and detoxification. Doctors also prescribe Suboxone as a long term maintenance medication for opiate addiction. Individuals who meet certain criteria may be able to continue to take Suboxone for an extended period of time in order to control cravings and allow their brain to heal and begin to block the cravings for opioid use. Suboxone has also been prescribed to individuals who suffer from chronic pain as an alternative to traditional narcotic pain relievers.

There are several pros and cons related to Suboxone use. It helps control cravings, has anti-depressant qualities, and blocks the effects of narcotic opioids. As for the cons of Suboxone, it is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid, it may cause constipation, there is a period of withdrawal after quitting Suboxone, and it may induce depression and other issues related to mental health. Suboxone also has a high risk of abuse.

Side Effects of Suboxone UseSuboxone works in such a way that it binds to the opioid receptors located in the brain, which causes changes in the user's mental state and behaviors. Changes in behavior related to Suboxone use can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Cravings
  • Distress
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Mood Swings
  • Impaired memory

Suboxone also causes physical side effects. Physical side effects of Suboxone use may include:

  • Headaches
  • Changes in appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Dependency
  • Issues with coordination
  • Insomnia
  • Cramps
  • Muscle Aches
  • Reduced breathing
  • Liver damage
  • Withdrawal symptoms (e.g., joint pain and excessive sweating)

Does Suboxone Cause or Affect Mood Swings? Due to the fact that Suboxone is an extremely powerful mind-altering drug, it may cause mood swings, depression, agitation, and may make people taking it to act out of character and engage in violent behavior. Suboxone alters the brain chemistry of its users and may affect their behavior, specifically if they quit taking the medication abruptly. As stated before, the side effects of Suboxone can include depression, anxiety, mood swings, and insomnia.

Long-term use of Suboxone can cause many issues. Long-term Suboxone users have reported that quitting Suboxone is more difficult than quitting heroin or Oxycontin. This is due to the long-half life Suboxone. It is able to stay in the user's system for approximately eight to nine days. This makes the detoxification process from Suboxone last for weeks to months. This long detoxification process includes uncomfortable side effects that are both physical and mental in nature. This includes mood swings and depression.

If you or a loved one is having difficulty with Suboxone use, please contact us today at 800-737-0933. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day and are ready to assist you and consult with you regarding your specific needs.

Should Suboxone Be Taken Forever or Just During Detox?

Given its effectiveness, Suboxone is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for those looking to overcome an opiate addiction. It's easy to understand why in light of the medication's capacity to ease withdrawal symptoms while also producing a less intense "high." Suboxone is comprised of two separate medications, Naloxone and Buprenorphine, which offer unique benefits when it comes to helping individuals break free of their addiction. As such, it is not surprising to find that many people want to continue using the Suboxone long-term. In this article, we will take a look at the consequences of long-term use and why it should be avoided.

WHAT IS SUBOXONE?

Although we touched in this briefly in the preface of the article, contains Naloxone, which is highly effective in easing the excruciating pain symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. The medication can also be used to reverse an opioid overdose. Basically, the drug acts as an antagonist by binding to opioid receptors and blocking the transmission of opioids to the brain. Also, it prevents agonist, the chemical compound that elicits a physiological response when combined with brain receptors.

Now that we have a general understanding of the role of Naloxone, let's focus our attention on Buprenorphine. Unlike naloxone, buprenorphine works by attaching to opioid receptors and stimulating them, which makes it possible to soothe withdrawal symptoms without eliciting the same feelings of euphoria and sedation typical of other opioids.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM SUBOXONE USE?

In short, long-term Suboxone usage increases the likelihood of addiction; in fact, according to a report published by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), the misuse of Suboxone resulted in 3,000 emergency room visits in 2005 and exceeded 30,000 in 2010. Although the inclusion of Naloxone as a deterrent to abuse is effective, some individuals have found ways of bypassing this safeguard.

That said, some people have been known to vacillate between Suboxone and their primary drug of choice. Needless to say, such actions can quickly result in relapse. So why are so many people interested in long-term use even after they have undergone detox? Most likely it is for the high that is derived from the medication and to resolve any residual symptoms they may be experiencing, physical or psychological.

HOW TO TAKE SUBOXONE PROPERLY

Suboxone can be taken in a variety of ways; however, patients who undergo treatment are usually prescribed sublingual tablets, which can be dissolved under the tongue before being absorbed by the body. In addition, the medication is also available as a sublingual film; in this case, the film is placed against the interior cheek wall where it will dissolve before being absorbed by the body. That said, both variations work by releasing small doses of Suboxone over a 10-minute time frame.

Although the medication can be administered in a variety of ways, the pill form of Suboxone is a preferred choice when it comes to short-term treatment. As far as dosage is concerned, most patients will be started on a very low dose of Suboxone, usually 6 to 8 mg. This low dose allows physicians to gauge the effectiveness of the medication as well as patient tolerance. That aside, if patients abuse or abruptly stop taking Suboxone, they are usually presented with the following symptoms:

  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety

Obviously, this is not an entire list of symptoms; however, it is a list of the ones commonly reported by current and former patients.

CONCLUSION

In summation, opioid addiction is one of the most challenging addictions for anyone to overcome. After all, the substances are highly addictive, easily accessible, and provides a feeling of euphoria that some find insatiable. While Suboxone can be helpful during the detox, long-term use should be avoided in light of the possibility of abuse, addiction, and relapse.

A more plausible alternative would be to combine short-term Suboxone use with counseling, which can include learning to cope with stress and avoiding triggers that can lead to relapse, for example. Also, it worth noting that many find the support of friends and family invaluable while they are their journey towards breaking their addiction. Call one of our counselors today at 800-737-0933.

Will Opiate Detox Centers Give You Medication to Help Withdrawal Pains?

Opiates are highly addictive drugs and it's rare to be able to use this type of drug without becoming addictive. Even so, it's difficult to recognize that you're developing a dependency on the drug until the addiction becomes severe. When this happens, successfully quitting without medical help is extremely challenging. In addition to experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, people are often confronted by intense cravings for the drug.

While withdrawal symptoms from opiates aren't usually life-threatening, they do make a relapse much more likely. For this reason, people struggling with opiate addiction are urged to seek the help of a detox and addiction recovery facility. In these treatment centers, a medically supervised detox program offers the best chance of a sustainable recovery.

What Withdrawal Symptoms Accompany Opiate Addiction Detox?

Depending on the type of opiate the individual has been using, it won't take long after the last dose for withdrawal symptoms to start. The severity of the symptoms will also depend on how long the individual has been using the drug and how many doses he or she takes per day. Pre-existing mental health issues, physical conditions, and the general state of health of the individual may also influence the development of withdrawal symptoms.

Early withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as six hours after your last opiate use and typically include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Fever, which is often accompanied by sweats, runny nose, and a rapid heart rate

Within 72 hours, more severe withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest. These symptoms can last a week or more, depending on the nature of the addiction. These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Nausea with vomiting
  • Stomach cramps leading to diarrhea
  • Drug cravings

Is Medical Detox Necessary for Treating Opiate Addiction?

With some drugs, a medical detox is necessary, because quitting abruptly can cause a life-threatening shock to the system. While this isn't the case in quitting opiate use abruptly, the withdrawal symptoms and cravings become intense as the body tries to adjust to the absence of the drug. This often causes many people to give in to their cravings and begin using again.

However, a medical detox involves using controlled doses of prescription drugs, which are administered by trained addiction recovery caregivers. The doses are gradually decreased, allowing the individual to experience milder withdrawal symptoms. In addition to controlling the detox with regulated drugs, treatment facilities begin to treat underlying mental health issues and physical disabilities that may have contributed to the drug use. Although the withdrawal symptoms may last longer, the detox process is usually completed within five to seven days.

Will You Continue to Receive Medication After Detox?

Although you may have completed detox, this is only the first step in the recovery process. The administering of prescription drugs to control your withdrawal symptoms will have served its purpose by the time you leave detox. At this point, the drugs will be out of your system, which makes you eligible for a rehab therapy, and you no longer require the controlled doses of medication.

However, if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you will continue receiving treatment for that condition throughout the rehab program. Caregivers try to treat mental illnesses with psychotherapy and coping mechanisms, but some conditions may be too severe to treat without medication. In these cases, the individual will receive controlled doses of the drugs they need to alleviate the symptoms of their mental illness. They may also participate in educational courses and classes on coping with stress, so they will be better prepared to take prescribed drugs without abusing them.

Getting Clean with the Right Help

If you are struggling with opiate use, this may be the right time to seek out help. Getting help at a licensed detox facility is especially wise if you have previously tried to quit and failed. A medically supervised detox will help you get clean and significantly decrease the chances that you'll give in to drug cravings and relapse.

To begin your road to recovery, contact our addiction treatment facility today. Our counselors can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-737-0933. While speaking with our addiction treatment counselors, you can find out more about the treatment process and get answers to your questions or concerns. This call can lead you on a more successful road to recovery, preparing you for a new life without drugs.

Why Can Heroin Relapse Be More Dangerous Than Other Types of Drug Relapse?

Addiction to opioids, in particular, heroin, has reached epic proportions in the United States. In 2017 alone, more than 15,000 deaths from heroin overdose are estimated to have occurred. It is common knowledge that heroin is a dangerous and addictive drug, but many people do not realize that many of these overdose deaths occur during a relapse. In order to understand why heroin relapse is more dangerous than other types of drug relapse, it is important to understand the body’s physical dependence on heroin.

Heroin’s Effect on the Brain

When someone injects or snorts heroin, it travels to the brain and binds to opiate receptors. This causes neurons in the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a “feel good” chemical that induces an overall sense of euphoria and well-being. In addition to feelings of euphoria and pain relief, the respiratory system, in particular, the instinct to breathe, is impaired. When too much heroin is taken at once, the person can become unconscious and stop breathing. This is called an overdose.

An overdose of heroin can happen quickly. People around the user may think they simply fell asleep, but when breathing stops, the brain can not get the oxygen it needs to sustain life. If the effects of the heroin are not reversed quickly, permanent brain damage and death can occur.

How Heroin Addiction Occurs

When heroin is used repeatedly over time, the brain builds up a tolerance to the drug. Users then need to use more heroin in order to feel the same effects. Once tolerance occurs, the brain starts to become dependent on heroin in order to function normally. Without the presence of heroin, withdrawal occurs.

Withdrawal from heroin can range from discomfort to agonizing. A person experiencing withdrawal will seek out more heroin in order to stop the negative effects of withdrawal. This is how addiction to heroin occurs.

When a person decides to stop using heroin and enter treatment for their disease they will experience withdrawal. During treatment at a facility, there are support people available to help manage the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the length and severity of the addiction.

Why is Heroin Relapse so Dangerous?

As the body becomes accustomed to functioning normally without heroin, its tolerance for the drug also lessens. While a person is in the throes of addiction, they may have needed to use large amounts of heroin in order to function because of high tolerances. When a person is no longer physically addicted to heroin, their tolerance level is lowered. When a person relapses and begins using heroin again, they often overestimate the amount they will need to feel high. This lowered tolerance also increases the risk of overdose and death during relapses.

In order to prevent a relapse from heroin addiction, a long-term treatment program should be used. After withdrawal symptoms cease, therapy and support must be implemented for a greater chance of recovery. Recovery from heroin addiction can be a lifelong struggle for some people and the right treatment program can greatly increase the odds of staying clean and preventing relapse.

Triggers and Warning Signs of Heroin Relapse

It is important to recognize the triggers and warning signs of relapse. Many recovering heroin addicts will need to completely rebuild their life and find new friends and social activities to engage in, which can be a daunting task. Some triggers for heroin relapse include:

  • Feelings of stress, fear, depression, anxiety, guilt and loneliness
  • Seeing drug use on television or movies
  • Spending time with friends or family members associated with heroin use
  • An urge to have more fun during social events
  • Using alcohol or other drugs
  • Big life changes such as a death of a loved one, divorce, or unemployment
  • Boredom

It can also be important for loved ones to recognize the warning signs of relapse so that an increase in therapy or reentry into a treatment program can occur before relapse. Some of these warning signs include:

  • Attitude changes
  • Attending social events with friends associated with past drug use
  • A decline in appearance due to lack of hygiene, sleep, or appetite
  • Dishonestly
  • An increase in irresponsible behavior like skipping therapy, not attending school, or skipping work

If you or someone you love are struggling with heroin addiction or concerned about relapse reach out to us at 800-737-0933. Our counselors are available twenty-four hours a day to answer any questions you may have.

Are Treatments for Drug Addicts and Alcoholics Different?

People are often curious if treatments for drug addicts and alcoholics are different or if they're the same. The answer isn't quite as straightforward as you might think. There are ways in which they're the same and there are ways in which they're not. Drug addictions are characterized by a person's obsession with a certain type of drug or group of drugs. Addicts typically will spend a lot of money to get the drug from a dealer and sometimes will steal from others to get the money to access the object of their addiction. Addicts will use a drug for the specific effects they get from it. For example, someone who is a heroin addict is drawn to the feeling of euphoria it gives some people. To get rid of an addiction, the person must pass through a cleansing stage of ridding their system of that drug.

Alcohol addiction is much like drug addiction, except the object of their obsession is, of course, alcohol and not a specific drug. Alcohol provides some of the same effects a drug addict seeks. It offers a person brief relief from the pain they're experiencing, whether it be physical or mental. It gives them moments of happiness where they feel they lack it in their sober state. With treatment, it's important that the person goes through a detox, of sorts, to get it out of their system so that counseling and therapy can work their magic to help them get through the addiction.

Treatments for Drug Addicts and Alcoholics

Each type of addiction offers pretty much the same kind of treatment. However, each one will have varying parts based on an individual's needs. With both types of addiction, you'll find the following programs:

  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Detox Program

The treatment facility will evaluate your situation and choosing the right treatment for your needs. They will determine what needs you have to beat your addiction, and what services best suit your situation. They will even consider whether you need to work while you go through treatment or if you have a family to support.

Inpatient Treatment for Drug Addicts and Alcoholics

For those with severe addictions, an inpatient program is best. It offers around the clock care to observe your physical and mental health while you go through the detox stage. Medical staff monitors the detox drug use, if needed, to be sure an individual isn't abusing the treatments.

Inpatient services allow an individual to stay at a residential facility, 24-hours a day for a length of time. During their stay, they will receive counseling and therapy to help them beat their addiction mentally and will have medical services for withdrawal symptoms that ultimately surface during detox

Outpatient Treatment for Drug Addicts and Alcoholics

Outpatient treatment is generally for those who have been through detox and need the long-term care of support services. Sometimes, you may have an intensive outpatient treatment program that enables you to get monitored closely, but still gives you time to go to work and time to spend with your family.

The outpatient part means you go to the center after work, or before, depending on your work schedule. Once you've spent your predetermined amount of time there, you go home to sleep in your own bed. Then return on the next scheduled treatment day.

Detox for Drug Addicts and Alcoholics

The treatment used for drug detox and alcohol detox differ due to the differences each one has. Both need intensive monitoring, though, to ensure everything goes well. Once the drug or the alcohol is out of your system, you're taught coping skills to take with you when you go home and try to live your life free of addiction.

Detox for drugs will also differ with the type of drug that one has an addiction for. Also, it depends on the severity of the addiction as well. Sometimes one will need medication-assistance to get over the addiction and other times, counselors may suggest you do it without medication. Each situation is different in how it's handled. Counselors determine the best course of action when they evaluate your situation.

So, treatments for drug and alcohol addiction are alike in many ways, but how each type is handled is somewhat different. It's more about the severity of the addiction and what's needed to beat it more than it is about the addiction someone suffers from. If you would like more information about drug or alcohol addiction treatments, call us at 800-737-0933.

How Going To Rehab Now Can Help You Avoid Long Term Effects of Opiate Addiction

Research continues to show us the science behind highly-addictive drugs like opiates. This research has allowed us to better understand the relationship between addiction and the human brain. Addiction is a disease of the brain, working both chronically and progressively. It is caused by an alteration of brain functioning, which can be due to a variety of factors, such as genetics, chemical imbalance, or injury and trauma. When this alteration in functioning occurs, a person often engages in impulsive, compulsive, and destructive behaviors. When opiates get involved, it is particularly dangerous and more difficult to kick the habit. Opiate addiction is one the most challenging to overcome, and the United States is currently experiencing an epidemic of opiate abuse.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are a particularly dangerous breed of drug due to the fact that they molecularly mimic the natural painkillers produced in the brain. Opium is derived from the poppy plant and can then be modified into many different forms, from patches and pills to powder and injectable fluid. Many opiates are legal, as they are used in medicine to treat pain. Morphine is one such example, as are many prescription painkillers.

Prescription painkillers work by bonding with the opiate receptors present in the brain, triggering pain-relieving effects within the nervous system. In small doses and when used only as necessary, they are not bad for the body. However, when opiates are taken in high doses, a different, euphoric effect is produced. The brain is triggered to release large amounts of neurochemicals, like dopamine and serotonin, flooding the brain and body with a pleasure response. When individuals take high doses for prolonged periods of time, the body becomes chemically reliant on the substance and people become dependent on the effect. The sensation caused by this flooding of neurochemicals is much more more intense than the effect produced by small doses of painkillers, which are meant to relieve pain but not overwhelm the senses. The intensity is so strong that the brain is tricked into believing that these outside substances are superior to the naturally-occurring painkillers, which in turn reinforces the drug-seeking behavior and, eventually, addiction.

Long-Term Effects of Opiate Addiction

Long-term abuse of opiates has profoundly negative effects on both the body and the brain. They fundamentally alter the internal structure and functioning of neurons and other components of the brain and change a person's ability to cope with stress and pain. Extended opiate use inhibits the body's ability to tolerate pain and discomfort, reducing its ability to fight pain naturally. This explains why many people, who begin by taking prescription painkillers after an illness or surgery, become dependent upon the pills and need them more and more. When a person stops taking the medicine after the body has become dependent on it, they can experience pain more intensely. Furthermore, when someone is given a normal dose after becoming accustomed to higher doses, the medicine can fail to be effective, as there are not enough chemicals to attach to all of the brain's available receptors In addition to causing a sick person to feel pain again, the lack of available neurochemicals can play a nasty role in mood and emotional function, causing the person to feel sad, hopeless, and powerless without the higher levels of opiates.

Unfortunately, these negative effects are long-lasting and can remain even after a person has begun the process of recovery. The psychological effects in particular can last for many years after addiction treatment, and each day is another battle in the struggle. This reason, in particular, is why it is best to seek medically-assisted treatment when deciding to try to get clean and begin recovery.

How Going to Rehab Can Help

Choosing to enter rehabilitation is the first step in the long process of recovery. At an opiate addiction treatment facility, individuals are given medical attention and assistance with detox and withdrawal and throughout recovery. The psychological components of opiate addiction are addressed through individual counseling and group therapy sessions. These are necessary elements for treating this disease. Just like a person suffering from a chronic illness needs support, so, too, do people struggling with opiate addiction. With the proper methodology and social and medical support systems, the cycle of opiate addiction can be broken, and the goal of achieving long-lasting recovery can be seen as attainable.

Don't let your life be destroyed by opiate dependence. Our counselors are ready and waiting to help you help yourself now. Call us today at 800-737-0933 to start your journey to recovery.

Why Opiate Addiction Treatment Requires A Medical Detox

The United States is in the grip of an opioids epidemic, with estimated 2.6 million Americans dealing with some form of opioid addiction. What makes opioid addiction particularly frightening is the prevalence of overdoses leading to more than 40,000 deaths per year. If you or someone you love is addicted to an opioid, it’s imperative that you get them treatment as soon as possible. In doing so, it’s important to know that proper opioid addiction treatment requires a medical detox as part of the process.

While it’s possible to stop taking opioids ‘cold turkey’, the process is intensely uncomfortable both from a physical and mental standpoint. When you combine that with the fact that opioid addictions are among the most powerful addictions out of any narcotic or addictive substance, the odds of recovering from an opioid addiction without a robust and supportive regimen including medical detox are low. Defeating an opioid addiction is one of the more difficult feats a person will undergo, and treating it with a medical detox is the most effective way known to get clear of opioids for good.

Why Opioid Addiction Requires Medical Detox

An opioid refers either to the street drug heroin or any of a number of pharmaceutical medications like OxyContin, Fentanyl, Percocet, Vicodin, Morphine, Codeine or several others. These drugs operate in a similar way in all cases, though their strength, release cycle and a few other attributes may be different. The bottom line I that the drug attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain cells, producing feelings of euphoria and blocking out the feeling of pain.

The body becomes dependent on regular infusions of the opioid of choice, and in the absence of any medical intervention will begin to manifest a number of negative physical, mental and emotional symptoms as withdrawal occurs.

Symptoms of Untreated Opioid Withdrawal

Depending on whether the opioid of abuse is a short-acting or a longer-acting one, symptoms of withdrawal will generally begin to manifest themselves anywhere from between 12 hours to 30 hours of the last dose. It should be stressed that the symptoms of opioid addiction aren’t generally life-threatening, in contrast with withdrawal from certain other substances like alcohol. However, they tend to be extremely unpleasant, and medical detox treatment can go a long way toward smoothing the transition off opioids into something the person can bear.

Symptoms of opioid addiction withdrawal include both physical and mental/emotional symptoms, and are as follows:

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF WITHDRAWAL

  • Alternating Chills and Sweats
  • Feelings of Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle Aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Tearing of the Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Restlessness

MENTAL/EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS OF WITHDRAWAL

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Irritability

Opioid withdrawal symptoms will usually begin to abate by around the week mark after the last dose, though certain opioids have longer half-lives and remain within the body for longer periods of time.

Ways to Medicate Opioid Addiction Treatment

A number of medical techniques exist to mitigate or ease the effects of opioid withdrawal. The first one, in certain cases, would be to taper the dosage of the specific opioid the person is taking. This is a more viable treatment option of certain opioids, and a far less viable one for something like heroin. The alternative would be to use another medication to substitute for the opioid of abuse. The most commonly used medication for this is Methadone, which is a long-acting opioid used especially to treat heroin addiction. It’s worth noting that Methadone being an opioid itself means that some risk of abuse and overdose remains.

Other medical options include Suboxone and Subutex, two more opioid-substitutes which are regarded as even less overdose-prone than methadone. Any of these options will cut down on the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal, and therapy and treatment can lead to the prescription of mood stabilizers to deal with some of the mental and emotional symptoms as well. A combination of medications can smooth the transition from extreme physical and mental dependency and dramatically reduce cravings.

There’s no shame or stigma in needing help to beat an opioid addiction, and a medical detox to treat opioid addiction is critical to producing a successful outcome. If you or someone you care about is suffering from an opioid addiction, don’t wait. We can help - call now 800-737-0933

Pointers For Staying Sober After Going Through An Opiate Detox Center

An addiction problem has been recognized. The addict has successfully undergone professional opiate detox, which is no easy feat. The drugs are now out of the addict’s system, and the addict and his/her loved ones are left to figure out how to accomplish holistic recovery and continue the prized sobriety. Here are some pointers for staying sober after going through an opiate detox center.

Go From Detox Straight Into A Rehab Program

Addiction programs vary greatly, but most include four broad key elements:

•Intake
•Detox
•Rehabilitation
•Recovery

Intake simply collects information, and it’s the point at which professionals will determine if and how you need to be detoxed. Once you’ve detoxed and your initial withdrawals from the opiates are manageable, it will be up to you, if voluntary, or the entity that’s ordered your placement in a facility, if involuntary, as to whether you continue forward to the rehabilitation phase.

It’s important to understand that physical detox is only the start of recovery. There’s a long road ahead of it still to be traversed. Some choose to try to rehab themselves. However, if available to you, a rehabilitation program can be an invaluable aspect of sobriety.

Rehabilitation treatment should be aimed at holistically addressing all areas of your life, not just your substance addiction. It will explore cognitive behavior therapies. Expect to explore areas such as:

•Mental state
•Personal history for the core of addiction behaviors
•Nutrition
•Physical health
•Family therapy
•Individual therapy
•Group therapy
•Necessary pharmaceutical treatment
•Developing long-term recovery strategies

Remember that there’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction. There’s a lot of inpatient and outpatient options available. Find a program that’s a good match for your needs and circumstances, and then be ready to commit however much time is deemed necessary to complete the program.

Take Advantage Of Follow Up Programs

Recovery can be short lived if you don’t have adequate support as you transition from the reclusiveness of rehab back to your daily life. Research aftercare and follow up programs to continue the help you need to traverse addiction.

Such programs may include a slow or plotted reintroduction to normal day-to-day life, such as through weekend reprieves at an addiction center or going from the rehab center into a sober living facility. Follow up programs have many other offerings including:

•Drug and alcohol testing
•Nicotine addiction support
•Group, individual, and family therapies
•Help forming new patterns and lifestyle choices
•Stress reduction and coping skills
•Strategies for family members to support their recovering loved ones
•Job and vocational training
•Anger management classes
•Group activities and outings with other dealing with addiction

Find Sober Friends

One of the biggest risks to a recovering addict’s sobriety is returning to socialize with those not sober. There’s tremendous self-inflicted pressure to be who you once were and do what you once did to fit in where you once fit in; there’s also a tremendous amount of peer pressure to be the “old you.” It’s painful, but the lifestyles and behaviors of others that no longer align with the sober you should be cut away. Removing this temptation from your life will make room for relationships that do support and enable you to progress along the path of recovery.

Tips for building new sober support:

•Work on reestablishing trust and honesty within healthy relationships
•Find a new circle of friends
•Join a social activity that excludes addictive substances

Abandon Old Stomping Grounds

It’s the same as with friends. You can’t hangout in the same places sober as you did not sober. Doing so brings forth memories and temptations that do nothing but eat away at your resolve, self-esteem, and goals to move forward.

Evaluate Your Total Environment

From where you live to where you work, carefully examine each facet of how you’re living to determine if it supports or detracts from your sobriety. Maybe you’re a waitress in Palm Beach serving alcohol. Maybe you live in South Florida area heavy with recreational drug users or have a roommate that throws frequent parties.

There will hopefully be a time when the actions of others and your environment plays a lesser role in your sobriety, but these changes are particularly important in the early timeframes of recovery. And, it’s okay if those changes need to be permanent. Prioritize yourself and your sobriety and work to remove anything unsupportive or not conducive.

For many, abandoning friends, lifestyles, hangouts, jobs, and/or homes all add up to questioning who they are as a person - an identity crisis. It will require focusing on the positive, not negative. A new environment gives you vast room to explore new possibilities without every single moment being something that triggers your cravings.

Focus On Mental Health

Stress, depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions can quickly and easily result in relapse. Meditation and a routine exercise program are useful tools for both your mental and physical health. These bathe your brain in feel good endorphins and chemicals and release tension held in muscles. As you see the results of routine exercise and meditation, you’ll also feel more self-confident and be refocused on your personal goals, not the history of your addition. Include a well-balanced diet that supports mental health; if you’re not participating in an after care program, then consult a nutritionist for a diet plan.

Always Be Self-Aware

Relapse most often has a personal trigger behind it. Know thy own self. Understand your vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and triggers. Capture these thoughts immediately verses letting them swirl around unaddressed until they become overwhelming. Talk with a sober friend or family member, counselor, or support group to determine the best way to address the issue.

Addicts often times have an undiagnosed co-occurring mental health issue, whether it be depression or OCD, that affects their long-term sobriety. Mental illness worsens substance abuse. Substance abuse then worsens mental illness. Worsening mental illness then increases substance abuse. It can be a vicious cycle if not addressed. Be honest in your intake and rehabilitation processes so that any mental health issues can be identified and addressed if they exist.

These seven pointers for staying sober after going through an opiate detox center can help you reach your long-term sobriety objective. Are you ready to start or continue on your road to recovery? Call us today 800-737-0933

How Doctors Are Contributing To Increased Admissions In Prescription Drug Rehab Centers

Prescription drugs are given to patients to help them with a medical condition and improve their health. However, when doctors prescribe medications for mental health conditions or pain people tend to abuse these drugs. These types of medications are highly addictive and can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when it comes time to stop.

Drug addiction does not discriminate, and people of all ages abuse prescription medications. They take these pills to feel good, experiment or to be accepted by others. Since physicians are prescribing these medications, patients believe they are safer than street drugs and legal. That is not true because people are overdosing and abusing these drugs every day. Here is some information about how doctors are contributing to increased admissions in prescription drug rehab centers.

What is prescription drug addiction?

When someone takes prescription drugs without following the physician’s instructions, that is called prescription drug abuse. If you have ever taken a higher dosage than prescribed or used your medication for another reason, you are abusing your medication. Crushing, snorting or injecting your medication is also considered prescription drug abuse.

Unfortunately, many doctors give strong pain relievers, tranquilizers and sedatives to people because they suffer from mental or medical conditions. Patients suffering from ADHD, anxiety, sleep disorders and depression need medications to help with their symptoms. But instead of using the drugs as prescribed patients are abusing them.

How to identify prescription drug addiction?

Since drugs stimulate the reward system in the brain, it is easy to become addicted. The introduction to drugs, even when prescribed by a doctor, can change the brains chemistry. This change can release the neurotransmitters in the brain that cause drug addiction.

When drugs are taken, they produce an intense euphoria that teaches the brain to seek them out regardless of the consequences. These are some of the signs of prescription drug addiction:

When drugs are taken they produce an intense euphoria that teaches the brain to seek them out regardless of the consequences. These are some of the signs of prescription drug addiction:

• You keep taking the drug longer than prescribed and make excuses to get it.
• Your tolerance is built up for the drug causing you to need more to get high.
• When you stop taking the medication, you become physically ill.
• You become obsessed with the drug and disregard your friends and family.
• When you take prescription drugs, you drink alcohol and other drugs.

The most common abused prescription drugs

Even though prescription drugs are given to patients by physicians, they one of the leading causes of drug abuse. They are abused more than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. More than 46 people die daily from prescription opioid overdoses. Here is a list of the most commonly abused prescription drugs:

Pain relievers

Oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone are opioid drugs that inhibit the brain’s capacity to process pain. They target the brain stem and affect your body’s ability to control breathing, sleeping and heart rate. These drugs are highly addictive and cause severe withdrawal symptoms when the user stops taking them.

Stimulants

Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine affect your attention span, energy and can make you more alert. Physicians prescribe them for people diagnosed with ADHD, narcolepsy and depression. They increase the levels of dopamine in your brain, raise blood pressure and elevate the heart rate. When taken other than prescribed, they can cause seizures and irregular heartbeats.

Tranquilizers and sedatives

Xanax, Valium and Librium are central nervous depressants that are prescribed for anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders. This medication is also known as barbiturates and benzodiazepines because they make the user sleepy and reduce anxiety. When abused these pills can cause your heart and breathing rate to slow down and lead to seizures.

Many substances abusers mix their prescription medications with alcohol, which can increase the risk of drug interactions. These interactions can include internal bleeding, heart problems and labored breathing. The elderly are becoming more susceptible to prescription drug abuse as well as young women, adolescents and teens.

Although your physician has prescribed medications to you, does not mean you will become addicted. If you take your medication as prescribed, you should not develop an addiction. When you are taking medication, keep your pills in a safe place. Do not share your pills with anyone, including your friends or family. Many people hide their problem with prescription medications, and if you have pills, they will steal them.

If you do find yourself or someone you know dealing with prescription drug addiction, please call us. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 800-737-0933