Tag Archives: opioid addiction

Who Is At Risk of Abusing Opioid Medications?

America finds itself caught in an opioid addiction epidemic. Prescription painkillers, heroin and the ever-dangerous fentanyl are dominating the headlines for all the wrong reasons. If you are suffering from an addiction to any kind of opioid, you're facing some very serious long-term repercussions if you don't get help. We hope you realize that, which is why you are looking for information. With your need for information in mind, we want to encourage you to get help now. To help motivate you, we want to tell you about the treatment process. Hopefully, this will put your mind at ease and let you know what to expect. Much of our focus is going to be placed on the detox process and the use of detox medications. When you locate the right treatment facility based on your needs, you'll likely go through an intake interview. The facility's clinician is simply gathering information about your addiction profile. From this profile, they should be able to determine the proper course of treatment.

Tapering Detox Programs - The Risk of Abuse

While therapy and aftercare are important aspects of treatment, it's all predicated on the addiction sufferer successfully getting past withdrawal and their cravings. It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of a detox program, especially for someone with an addiction to opioids. Remember, the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction can be quite dangerous. We are talking about symptoms such as:
  • Respiratory and circulatory issues
  • Severe muscle spasms in the stomach and extremity regions
  • Psychological issues such as anxiety and depression
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Sleeping issues
The point of a detox program is to help clients get through these withdrawal symptoms with a minimum of discomfort. If the client does encounter discomfort, the detox facility's medical staff has the option to prescribe certain medications for relief. That brings us to a very serious discussion. There are times when a client enters rehab with a very significant addiction to an opioid substance. If the addiction is deep-rooted enough, a standard detox program might not suffice as far as keeping the client safe. That's when a tapering program becomes the best solution. In a tapering program, a doctor will prescribe medications like Suboxone or Methadone to help ease the client away from their addiction. The process could take weeks instead of months, but it's necessary for the welfare of the client. Unfortunately, tapering medications are derivatives of the substances being treated. That makes them addictive. That raises an important question: "Who Is At Risk of Abusing Opioid Medications?" The short answer is anyone who misuses the prescribed medications. Given the fact these drugs are addictive unto themselves, they must be taken as the doctor prescribes. The doctor's job is to monitor the client's progress to assure everything is going as the doctor planned. If the client takes larger doses or takes a tapering drug more often than prescribed, it's substance abuse. As you can imagine, substituting one addiction for another is not good. The client is obligated to follow the doctor's instructions or risk further problems. After going through a detox program, the client should be ready for the rest of the treatment process.

Addiction Therapy

Therapy is the meat and potatoes of addiction treatment. This is the opportunity for the client to identify the personal issues that are driving their desire to hide behind a harmful substance. To get to that point, the client has to be willing to speak openly and honestly with the therapist. With the therapist's direction, the real issues should become apparent. After identifying the issues at hand, the client has the opportunity to develop very specific coping skills they can use to combat their problems. With the right coping skills, relapses can be avoided.

Aftercare Programs

After the client has completed treatment, they have to leave rehab and begin living life on life's terms. The good news is they don't have to do that alone. The rehab facility should be able to offer them access to aftercare programs the client can use as support resources. The best support resources include outpatient counseling, sober living options and 12-Step meetings. If you have an addiction to opioids, you have to be cautious. Your overall well-being is at risk. We would like to recommend you let us help you arrest your addiction and reclaim your life. If you are ready to start treatment, please call us at 123-456-7890.

What Steps Should You Take to Use Opioid Medications Responsibly?

Opioid medications are commonly prescribed to manage pain caused by injuries and surgeries. These painkillers can be very effective, but they are also known for their addictive properties. It's important to take opioid medications responsibly to reduce the risk of dependency and addiction. Even with proper use, the potential for addiction is always present. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to use your prescription painkillers responsibly. Responsible use is important for staying healthy and successfully relieving pain. In this post, you'll discover the steps to take for proper use. Read on to learn more about safely using opioid medication.

Ask Your Doctor Or Pharmacist Questions About Your Medication

It's crucial to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medication prescribed to you. Opioid medications have many side effects, and they can impair physical activity. Consider writing a list of questions ahead of time. There are no silly questions, so make sure to address any concerns you have. Here are a few common questions you may ask:
  • Should I expect any negative side effects? If so, what are they?
  • Is it better to take my medication with or without food?
  • Can I take over-the-counter medications for pain relief, too?
It's crucial to get answers from medical professionals versus reading online or asking friends and family members. Your physician or pharmacist will give you accurate information that will help you use your medication responsibility.

Take Your Prescription Medication As Directed

Taking your opioid medication exactly as directed is a crucial part of responsible use. In many cases, you will be instructed to take a dose of medication every four to six hours. Do not ever take your medication more frequently than prescribed. That's the easiest yet most important tip to keep in mind. Here are some more directions and tips to follow:
  • If you aren't in pain, you may skip a dose of painkillers.
  • Do not consume any alcohol while taking opioid medication.
  • Do not take any sedative medications unless okayed by a doctor.
  • Take your medication with meals or as otherwise directed.
Make sure you read the pamphlet that comes with your medication. If you cannot find it, call your doctor or pharmacist for a replacement. You should also let your doctor or pharmacist know if you take any other prescription or over-the-counter medications. This will help you avoid the risk of potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Use Non-Opioid Pain Management Whenever Possible

Opioids are not the only option you have for pain management. You can limit your opioid use by trying out different pain management methods. Here are some examples to consider:
  • heating pads and ice packs for hot/cold therapy
  • over-the-counter NSAIDs
  • massage therapy
  • meditation and relaxation techniques
The exact methods you use depend on your specific situation. These options are generally considered safe, but it's best to use caution. Make sure to consult with your physician to ensure you choose safe non-opioid alternatives.

Dispose Of Your Leftover Opioid Medication Responsibly

When your pain is better, you may have leftover opioid medication. Getting rid of your medication in a safe and responsible manner is important. Here are some options that may be available to you:
  • local law enforcement may offer a medication take-back service; they will dispose of your painkillers for you
  • permanent collection sites for taking back medication may be available at pharmacies and hospitals near you
  • remove and destroy the medication label that contains your personal information
  • crush and mix the unused medication with dirt, coffee grounds, or other substances
  • put the crushed medication mixture in a sealed plastic bag and throw it away
Following the steps above can help reduce the risk of opioid dependency. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to completely avoid drug abuse or drug addiction. The good news is that there is help available. You can receive honest, supportive assistance without any judgment. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 123-456-7890 to get the information you're looking for.

What Are the Similarities and Differences Between Different Opioid Drugs?

Opioid is the general term for a narcotic derived, ultimately, from the opium poppy. Opiates are natural opioids. Some of these drugs are prescribed to control pain while others, such as heroin, are illegal. All of them are similar in that they lock into receptors in the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. Opioids can be problematic because along with pain relief many of them cause an intense euphoria when they are taken. This can lead to dependence and addiction. People can overdose on opioids, though the symptoms can be reversed by taking an opioid antagonist called naloxone. Naloxone also locks into opioid receptors, but it doesn’t produce the euphoria associated with opioids such as heroin. Here are some opioids:

Heroin

Heroin or diamorphine is a synthetic opioid made from morphine, which is an opiate. Though it was created as a pain reliever by the same people who developed aspirin, heroin is now illegal. When it is pure, it is a white powder, though as a street drug it is rarely used in its pure form. It is snorted, smoked or injected. A type of heroin called black tar resembles asphalt and gets its color from the impurities that remain after it’s been processed. The drug can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier, a physiological system that usually protects the brain from toxins. Once there, the body converts heroin into morphine, which then binds to mu-opioid receptors. The person feels a rush that can be very intense and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. After the rush, the person grows drowsy and “nods off.” Other initial effects of heroin are: • Reduced mental function • Slowed heart rate • Slowed breathing • Constipation These symptoms appear because heroin, like all opioids, is a central nervous system depressant. A person who takes too much heroin can die if their breathing and heart rate are drastically slowed down by the drug.

Fentanyl

Unlike heroin, fentanyl is legal but strictly controlled. Like other opioids, it is prescribed for pain. It is also 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. An analog of fentanyl, carfentanil, is 100 times stronger than fentanyl. Both are used to ease the pain of end-stage cancer. Like heroin, dependency can develop with fentanyl, especially if the person takes it for a long time. Unlike heroin, it is not injected or snorted, but comes in the form of a tablet placed under the tongue, a film placed on the skin, a lozenge meant to dissolve slowly between the patient's gum and cheek or a lollipop. A patient who is taking fentanyl must be monitored by and work closely with their doctor. A person who is on fentanyl should not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit. This is true if the patient is using any type of opioid, because grapefruit has a chemical that stops the body from metabolizing opioids. This intensifies the effect of the drug and can lead to sudden death even if the fruit or the juice is taken hours after the person has taken their opioid drug.

Methadone

Methadone is also a legal opioid, but it is different from the others in that it is used to wean a patient from their dependency on another opioid. It can only be prescribed through an opioid treatment program, or OTP that is certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Methadone is also used to treat pain, including the pain of withdrawal from other opioids such as heroin. It is taken once a day as a pill, a liquid or a wafer under a doctor’s supervision and at a dosage that is tailored to the needs of the patient. Many patients need to go to a clinic to take their dose of methadone if they are using it to quit another opioid. When they are seen to be reliable and stable, they can take the drug home with them. Like other opioids, a person can become addicted to methadone, so it is crucial that they take it exactly as their doctor prescribed. This is especially true of patients who can take the drug home with them. There are many other types of opioids, including hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone and codeine. They are powerful, pain-killing drugs that have made the lives of many patients bearable, but the risk of abusing and even dying from these drugs is considerable if they are misused. If you feel you have a problem with opioids, don’t hesitate to call us today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us at 123-456-7890.

How Long Should I Be On Suboxone To Get Completely Clean?

Heroin is a dangerous drug derived from the opium poppy. It is illegal in the United States. Heroin is highly addictive. Drug rehab centers often use another drug, Suboxone, to help people break their heroin addictions. Read on for more information on Suboxone and its use in treating heroin addiction. When you abuse a drug like heroin, your body develops a tolerance for it. This means that you must take increasing dosages of heroin in order to get the same high. When you attempt to quit using heroin, you experience withdrawal symptoms, including the following:
  • Feeling jittery
  • Vomiting
  • Getting chills
  • Muscle aches and pains
Suboxone is a drug that contains buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is used to treat not only heroin addiction but other opioid addictions, too. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist to opioids, produces a mild form of the effects of opioids. It basically fools the brain into thinking your opioid craving has been met, though it does not produce the same high. However, because Buprenorphine and Suboxone do not create the same high as opioids, Suboxone and Buprenorphine are difficult to form an addiction to. Naloxone, another component of Suboxone, works as an antagonist to opioids.

Length of Use for Suboxone

Suboxone is a drug that must usually be taken for a long time to promote opioid recovery. Because Suboxone is a partial agonist, it still allows people to form some opioid dependence. When addicts attempt to stop taking Suboxone, they need to taper their dosage under the care of a medical professional. People who take Suboxone for a short period, such as a month, usually end up relapsing and returning to opioid abuse. Thus, Suboxone should be taken for an extended period. Taking it for six months to one year is the norm, and many people take it for even longer. However, every patient is different. A medical professional can monitor the patient's progress and advise on how long each patient should take Suboxone. Suboxone should be used only under the guidance provided in a professional treatment program or under the care of a healthcare professional. Rehab clinicians can administer the correct dosage, and Suboxone can also be prescribed by a doctor. By pairing Suboxone with other therapies, clinicians and physicians can help addicts fight their addictions. Call us today for help 800-737-0933
OxyContin

List of All Drugs That are Considered Opioids

Opioids fall into the category of narcotic pain medications. If not taken correctly, they can produce serious side effects, including addiction. The body has the ability to produce natural opioids, but when considerable pain relief is necessary, these medications may be prescribed. They work by attaching to pain receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract. These receptors are known as opioid receptors and are part of the system that controls behaviors related to pain, reward, and addiction. Prescription opioids mimic our bodies’ natural neurotransmitters and when attached to these receptors, flood the brain with dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for thinking, emotion, and feelings of pleasure. Because prescription opioids are present in such large quantities, they create overstimulation in the brain. This leads to the reward-seeking behavior exhibited by those who have developed a dependence on these substances. Opioid Drug List • Abstral, Actiq (fentanyl) • Avinza (morphine sulfate) • Demerol • Butrans • Dilaudid (hydromorphone) • Dolophine (methadone) • Duragesic (fentanyl) • Fentora (fentanyl) • Hysingla (hyrocodone) • Methadose (methadone) • Morphabond (morphine) • Nucynta ER (tapentadol) • Oxaydo (oxycodone) • Oramorph (morphine) • Onsolis (fentanyl) • Roxanol-T (morphine) • Sublimaze (fentanyl) • Xtampza ER (oxycodone) • Zohydro ER (hydrocodone) • Anexsia (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Co-Gesic (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Embeda (morphine/naltrexone) • Exalgo (hydromorphone hydrochloride) • Hycet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Hycodan (hydrocodone/homatropine) • Hydromet (hydrocodone/homatropine) • Ibudone (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) • Kadian (morphine sulfate) • Liquicet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Lorcet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Lortab (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Maxidone (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Norco (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride) • Oxycet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) • Palladone (hydromorphone hydrochloride) • Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen • Percodan (oxycodone/aspirin) • Reprexain (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) • Rezira (hydrocodone/pseudoephedrine) • Roxicet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) • Targiniq ER (oxycodone/naloxone) • TussiCaps and Tussionex (hydrocodone/chlorpheniramine) • Tylenol #3 and #4 (codeine/acetaminophen) • Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) • Vituz (hydrocodone/chlorpheniramine) • Xartemis XR ( oxycodone/acetaminophen) • Xodol (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Zolvit (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) • Zutripro (hydrocodone/chlorpheniramine/pseudoephedrine) • Zydone (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) If you or a loved one are experiencing opioid dependence on any of these substances, our understanding counselors can help. If you are ready to speak to someone, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don't hesitate to call us at 800-737-0933

Pennsylvania to add Centers for Excellence to Treat Opioid Addiction

One of the issues facing opioid addicts and their families is the lack of follow-up services after an initial round of addiction treatment has been completed. Drug cravings can continue to be an issue for months after a person goes through detoxification (detox). Good quality support services are imperative if a person in recovery is going to be successful at maintaining their sobriety.

Centers Offer Assessment and Referrals to Treatment

Pennsylvania is seeking to address this issue by establishing 45 Centers of Excellence. These Centers, which will be separate operations located inside existing addiction, medical and mental health facilities, will be used to assess an addict’s needs and make appropriate referrals to treatment programs and other services. The Centers can make referrals to the following types of addiction treatment options: • Detoxification (detox) • Residential treatment • Outpatient treatment • 12-step programs • Halfway houses Once someone has been referred to treatment, they are treated by a team of specialists. The team will help the addict access treatment for medical and mental health concerns they are experiencing. The Center of Excellence staff’s goal is to help the addict stay in treatment long-term, as this strategy has been identified as one of the important factors for long-term sobriety success. These Centers can also help addicts with social services, such as housing and employment, which are essential to being able to rebuild a life that is free from drugs and alcohol.

Addiction Medication Available Through Centers

The Centers will also offer addiction medication to clients. These drugs, including Vivitrol and Suboxone, are used to help curb cravings for opioids. When the medication is made available to clients in recovery, along with addiction counseling and treatment, the odds of being able to remain clean and sober are greatly increased compared to simply trying to “tough it out” without these types of support. The state has committed $20.4 million in funding to the Centers for Excellence. The federal government will contribute an additional $5.4 million. The Centers are expected to see about 11,500 people during the first year. Most of them will be Medicaid users; however, the Centers will accept clients with private insurance as well.

Finding Treatment Options

Many people in Pennsylvania seeking help for a substance abuse problem prefer to leave the state to focus on their recovery. This is one of the reasons that they chose facilities like Genesis House in Florida. Genesis House provides a range of individualized treatment services and continues to help people take giant leaps toward their long-term recovery. Contact Genesis House now for more information and help.

FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Approval of Implanted Buprenorphine

FDALast week a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommended the approval of a new medication designed to treat opiate addiction, called probuphine. While the main ingredient of the drug, buprenorphine, isn't new, the controversial delivery method definitely is. The way the drug is administered is by implanting under the skin, where it then slowly releases lower doses of buprenorphine into the blood stream. Currently, buprenorphine is one of the most popular medications to help alleviate the extreme cravings that are associated with heroin and prescription painkillers as well as to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms if used in a tapering process. With the continuation of the opioid epidemic, many physicians and treatment specialists welcome new methods of addressing this deadly issue. Having an implanted device that controls the release of the drug allows for more precise administration as well as prevents skipping doses, thus theoretically reducing relapse. However, as critics pointed out, the information presented to the FDA wasn't thorough enough. "It is disappointing that the advisory committee set such a low bar for safety and effectiveness. Is probuphine effective? We still don't know because the study was poorly designed and missing data," said Tracy Rupp, a pharmacist and director of public health policy initiatives at the National Center for Health Research. “This is not the real world of opioid addiction," Rupp continued. "Many of these patients will require treatment for years. We need long-term safety data from diverse populations. Patients will require a new incision every 6 months, creating an ongoing risk of harm due to bleeding and infectious complications.” There is a strong argument for medical intervention when it comes to opioid abuse, however probuphine may not be the answer. It appears that the FDA may be willing to move forward with the implant, but only with addicts who have been on buprenorphine stably and would benefit from the new way of administering it.