Tag Archives: detox for opioids

If Getting High on Suboxone During Treatment Is Too Tempting, What Other Medication Options Are There?

According to a study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 37 million individuals worldwide abuse prescription opioids. For those who may not be as familiar with them, opioids are Schedule II medications that work by binding to receptors in the brain to help block pain and promote a sense of wellbeing. And for this reason, they are among the most commonly prescribed medications for those struggling with chronic diseases that have a pain component, such as HIV, AIDS, fibromyalgia, and certain cancers.

However, in addition to blocking pain and promoting a sense of wellbeing, these same medications can trigger a euphoric high that causes many people to abuse and ultimately become addicted to them. It is important to note that many individuals also abuse street-level opioids, such as heroin, to cope with pain or to derive a euphoric high as well. Fortunately, more and more people have come to appreciate the toll that abusing these substances can have on their lives and have decided to seek help. However, many are woefully unprepared for the withdrawal symptoms associated with coming off of these drugs.

COMMON OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Depending on how long an individual has been using, opioid withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to intense. For those coming off of short-acting opioids, such as morphine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, or heroin, for example, withdrawal symptoms can start in as little as 6 to 12 hours once they have stopped using. In contrast, those coming off of long-acting opioids, like oxycodone controlled release, Morphine ER, or Duragesic, can expect withdrawal symptoms to start within 30 hours. That said, mild withdrawal symptoms can include the following:

  • Watery eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse sweating
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure

Intense withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid cessation can include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Depression
  • Severe drug cravings

HOW ARE OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS TREATED DURING REHAB?

Most rehab facilities in America will offer medically-assisted detox to help patients cope with the onslaught of severe withdrawal symptoms. Along with round-the-clock monitoring, medically-assisted detox also includes the use of Suboxone, Methadone, and Naltrexone, which have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), to help ease withdrawal symptoms. While these medications are effective, they are also highly addictive. For this reason, the FDA recently approved lofexidine, a new medication that many hope will soon become widely available in rehab facilities across America.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LOFEXIDINE

Approved by the FDA in May 2018, lofexidine, also known as Lucemyra, is a medication that was originally used to treat hypertension and anxiety. However, because of how it interacts with the nervous system, it can also provide many of the same benefits as Suboxone, Methadone, Naltrexone, and Clonidine in terms of offering pain relief and soothing feelings of anxiety. Of these 4 medications, lofexidine has a lot more in common with Clonidine, which is frequently paired with Naltrexone to help prevent relapse. However, unlike Clonidine, it does not cause a drop in blood pressure.

WHAT MAKES LOFEXIDINE A BETTER CHOICE FOR TREATING OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS?

The primary reason that lofexidine is a better choice for treating withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid cessation is that it is a non-opioid medication. Therefore, it doesn’t pose the same risk of addiction as other commonly prescribed drugs, which in addition to Suboxone, Methadone, Naltrexone, and Clonidine, include benzodiazepines, a class of medication commonly prescribed to treat the psychological symptoms associated with coming off of opioids. In short, lofexidine is an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist that works by reducing norepinephrine signaling in the brain, which disrupts the transmission of pain signals and promotes feelings of euphoria that can help combat depression and anxiety. It is important to note that because it is a non-opioid, lofexidine does not provide the same kind of relief from withdrawal symptoms as its opioid counterparts. Nonetheless, it is proving to be an excellent choice for individuals who would rather not get high while going through detox.

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re ready to end your relationship with opioids but have concerns about severe withdrawal symptoms while going through detox, lofexidine can help make the process that much easier. Furthermore, lofexidine is significantly safer than many of the medications that are commonly prescribed to combat severe withdrawal symptoms. To learn more about lofexidine or to find a rehab facility in your area, consider speaking with one of our addiction experts today at 800-737-0933.

Can I Find a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center in Florida That Can Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Substance abuse alone is difficult to deal with, but throw in a mental illness like bipolar disorder into the mix and you have a lethal combination that needs additional treatment options. Dual diagnosis has been one of the central focuses of attention for addiction researchers in recent years, as they’ve discovered a high occurrence of mental disorders alongside addiction disorders. As many as 50% of people with a mental illness also have a co-existing mental disorder.

Dual diagnosis is the clinical term applied to people who have both substance abuse and mental disorders. Bipolar disorder is one of the most severe forms of mental illness and is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Both substance abuse disorders and bipolar disorder are very serious conditions and need treatment alongside each other.

Treatment Centers and Dual Diagnosis

Today’s Florida treatment centers are highly trained in dual diagnosis. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed yet with a mental disorder, a substance abuse treatment center may be the first place that you learn about the existence of both disorders and finally get help for them. They can monitor bipolar disorder that’s already been diagnosed or evaluate for a case of suspected bipolar disorder.

When someone has bipolar disorder, they often have frequent mood swings and episodes alternating between “mania” and “depression.” During manic episodes, a patient tends to have a grandiose view of themselves and feel invisible, but this eventually swings back to periods of depression that includes loss of interest in activities or even friends. Bipolar patients tend to have chaotic lives because of the effects of their mood swings, risky behavior during manic episodes, and sometimes suicidal behavior during depressive episodes.

Many patients with undiagnosed bipolar disorder self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Eventually the self-medicating behavior leads to progressive addiction that grows worse over time. The bipolar disorder makes the substance abuse disorder more severe, and the substance abuse disorder exacerbates the mental illness and makes it more severe, leading to sometimes dangerous, risky, or even criminal behavior. Problems with friends, family, and even the legal system might become an issue.

Finding Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Finding a dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida is easier than ever before. Because of the prevalence of dual diagnosis in substance abuse cases, almost every rehabilitation center is trained to spot these co-existing disorders and treat them simultaneously. The result is a more well-rounded approach to treatment and more effective relapse prevention plans.

When you call a Florida rehab center to inquire about treatment programs, be sure to ask if they have a team that is qualified in dual diagnosis. In other words, if they need to administer bipolar medication to a patient, are they qualified to do so? Do they have a licensed psychiatrist on hand who can treat bipolar disorder as well as the substance abuse disorder the person is seeking treatment for? If so, you’ve found a dual diagnosis center and can trust that facility to help you.

There’s Help Now

Years ago, before people knew the link between mental illness and substance abuse, it could be difficult to decipher instances where both were existing at the same time. Someone with a substance abuse disorder might have been written off as mentally ill, or someone with a serious mental illness might have been written off as just someone with a substance abuse problem. Now professionals know that there is a higher likelihood of mental illnesses in people with substance abuse disorders, and they’re trained to spot the signs and treat both at once.

It’s natural for someone with a mental illness to want to get help from a dual diagnosis facility because you have to make sure that the facility can treat all of your medical issues, not just the substance abuse disorder. Thanks to a staff of licensed psychiatrists and highly qualified counselors and caring people, we’re able to provide dual diagnosis facilities in Florida. All of our staff can evaluate and treat for mental illnesses and addictions at the same time so that you don’t have to neglect one condition in order to treat the other. All of your needs are met right here with us in our safe, well-equipped facility in Florida. It’s a great place to get help and get well.

If you have or suspect you need dual diagnosis care, we’re the people to call. Just pick up the phone when you’re ready and call us at 800-737-0933.

Does Suboxone Work – How Does Suboxone Work? What Happens in the Body When You Use Suboxone to Treat Opiate Dependence

It is hard to turn on the news without hearing stories of lives damaged by opiate addiction or ended by overdose. Many people are looking for help with this chronic condition. In recent years, Suboxone has become an important tool in the treatment of narcotic addiction. This article will explore how Suboxone works and what happens in the body when it is used as a treatment for opiate dependence.

What is Suboxone

Suboxone is a prescription treatment for opiate addiction. This medicine is a combination of two compounds, Buprenorphine and Naloxone. It is normally taken daily, either as a pill which dissolves under the tongue or as a dissolving film.

The two substances that are combined in Suboxone play different roles. Buprenorphine, itself a milder opiate, is the main active ingredient. In the brain, it attaches to the same receptors as stronger opiates, reducing cravings for the patient.

Naloxone is a compound that blocks the effects of opiates. Its primary role in Suboxone is to prevent abuse. When taken orally as directed, the drug is effective. If someone tries to take Suboxone by injection, the Naloxone will prevent the opiate from providing a high.

What does Suboxone do to your body

Suboxone acts as a treatment to step down from stronger opiates. The symptoms of withdrawal are one of the major concerns for addicts trying to quit. If someone has become physically dependent on opiates, quitting can be both a painful and anxious time. Strong cravings for another dose become all-consuming. Because Suboxone mimics the action of stronger opiates, cravings are not as strong and withdrawal not as difficult.

Suboxone contains a milder opiate, and some patients report a slight high when first taking the drug. However, because the effects are milder, and the cravings reduced, you can live a much more normal life while undergoing Suboxone treatment. In conjunction with other behavioral therapies, Suboxone can help you establish new, positive habits and get your life back together.

Are there other effects of Suboxone?

The Buprenorphine in Suboxone is a milder opiate. As such, it does have side effects similar to other opioid substances. Some reported side effects of Suboxone are

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Insomnia

Another important concern with Suboxone is withdrawal. Suboxone is intended as a long-term treatment, a milder opiate taken intentionally to avoid stronger opiates, such as heroin. However, even though it is milder, there will still be a physical dependence on the drug. If you stop taking Suboxone suddenly, especially early on in the recovery process, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, it is important to take Suboxone only under medical supervision. Over time, as the dosage lowers, you will become less dependent on the drug, perhaps one day being free of opiates altogether.

Support on a Challenging Path

Ending an opiate dependence is a difficult journey. It will take time to get clean. It will take time for your brain to reset itself. Recovery will be a great challenge, but you do not need to do it alone. Treatments like Suboxone can be a big help in getting started and continuing on the path. If you are ready to take the first step, call us at 800-737-0933.

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