Monthly Archives: July 2018

vivitrol rehab

Does Vivitrol Help With Drug Withdrawal?

Vivitrol is an opiate blocker. It’s used to help recovering alcohol and opiate abusers to remain clean. It will not help with drug withdrawal. In fact, it can only be administered after the detox process. This is because it can cause an active opiate addict to become very sick.

More About Vivitrol

Vivitrol is an extended release product. It’s given as an injection once a month. Its active ingredient is naltrexone. Naltrexone reverses the effects of opiates. It’s sometimes used as a rescue drug for overdose victims. Someone who has dangerously overdosed on opiates has saturated their opiate brain receptors to the point that they can no longer breathe. They will die within minutes without help. Opiate blockers like naltrexone and naloxone, known by its brand name, Narcan, reverse all opiate effects nearly immediately. They have saved many lives.

Opiates work by attaching to the brain’s opiate receptors. In therapeutic doses, that’s how they relieve pain. But opiates also can suppress the brain’s breathing center if too much is taken. Both naltrexone and naloxone have a high affinity for the brain’s opiate receptor sites. This means that both of them have a higher preference for the receptor sites in the brain than opiates do. They both enter the brain, and they push the opiate molecules off the receptor sites. The opiate blocker will occupy the site instead. Only one molecule can occupy a receptor site at a time. As long as the blocking molecule is on the receptor, the circulating opiate molecules can do nothing. The body will eventually break them down and eliminate them.

It’s also why Vivitrol is useless for drug withdrawal. It will only make it worse. The instant removal of opiate molecules from the brain’s receptor sites will throw an active opiate addict into instant, full-blown opiate withdrawal. They will become very, very sick. Sometimes this is necessary in order to save a person’s life, but it should never be part of a drug treatment program.

Opiate rescue drugs such as naltrexone and naloxone don’t always work as they should. They have their limitations. They may not be strong enough to overcome such very powerful drugs as carfentanil and acrylfentanyl. Both are analogues, or chemical cousins, of fentanyl. Fentanyl is about 30 times stronger than heroin. Carfentanil is about 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Carfentanil is used legally only as an anesthetic for huge animals like elephants and rhinos. It has no accepted medical use for humans. Unfortunately, carfentanil and other illegal, ultra-powerful fentanyl analogues are used to cut street heroin by dealers who don’t know how to do it safely.

Overdose from fentanyl-laced heroin is becoming more common every day. Because they are so powerful, these analogues may be resistant to both naltrexone and naloxone. This is a problem. In an overdose situation, every second counts. Any delay could mean death for the patient.

Vivitrol Helps Former Addicts to Stay Clean

Vivitrol, the brand name for a form of extended-release naltrexone, cannot be used to help addicts with withdrawal symptoms. However, it can and does help some people stay clean from both alcohol and opiates. Vivitrol can only be given after total detox from opiates or alcohol. The body must be free of all opiates for at least ten days before Vivitrol therapy can be started.

Vivitrol is given once a month by injection. Once in the body, it will seek out and occupy the brain’s opiate receptor sites on a continuous basis. If the former addict weakens and uses and opiate, it will have no effect. There will be no high. The addict will simply feel nothing. There is no incentive for an addict to use opiates while they are on Vivitrol. Of course, after a month or so, the medication will wear off. It’s up to the addict to show up for their next injection appointment. If they do not, they are once again able to feel an opiate’s effects. This leads to one of the main dangers of Vivitrol therapy, which is accidental opiate overdose.

Vivitrol Dangers

People who take opiates over a period of time will develop a physical dependence upon the drug. They will also develop what is called a tolerance. Tolerance means that the body needs more and more of the opiate in order for the user to feel any effects. Tolerance also means than the user can take higher doses of an opiate without overdosing. Tolerance to opiates, over time, can rise to amazing levels. Some users with very high tolerance levels can take doses of opiates that would kill someone with no tolerance at all.

However, tolerance isn’t permanent. A user’s tolerance level will fall rather rapidly if they abstain from opiate use. Someone who has been clean because of Vivitrol has been clean for at least a month. If they allow the medication to wear off, and then use opiates again, they may miscalculate their tolerance level and easily take too much. They don’t realize that their tolerance level has tumbled, and they can no longer safely take their former dose. It’s very easy to fatally overdose in this kind of situation.

Vivitrol Side Effects

Vivitrol can also produce the following side effects:

  • Liver damage
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Nausea

Except for liver damage, these symptoms are the same as those of opiate withdrawal. No one really knows what long-term occupation of the brain’s opiate receptor sites by naltrexone might do. The sites are intended to be occupied by natural brain chemicals known as endorphins. Endorphins relieve pain and cause feelings of well-being, pleasure and reward. What happens when endorphins are blocked from their receptor sites in the long-term?

On the other hand, illegal opiate use, especially of heroin, puts a user’s life at risk. There is no doubt that Vivitrol has helped many motivated former addicts to remain clean.

If you have decided that you would like to stop using drugs, we can help. We are here 24 hours a day. Just call us at 866-802-6848. It’s all confidential. We will help you find the best drug treatment options for you.

drug detox for couples

What Do Drug Detox Centers Recommend For Couples That Both Need Treatment?

Substance use and treatment are often seen as solitary pursuits. Even when both partners are using, recovery is often sought on an individual level. The decision to enter detox together can strengthen your relationship, but there may be some drawbacks. You might even have to be prepared for changed feelings after recovery, but the important part is becoming as healthy as possible so you can have healthy relationships.

What Kind of Couples Benefit From Couples Recovery?

This is not a viable option for casual partners who aren’t in a committed relationship. You needn’t have been together for years to benefit, but you should both be dedicated to working on your relationship and on getting clean. Married couples, especially if they have children together, and domestic partners normally have the best odds of success with a united approach to recovery.

How Does Couples Drug Detox Differ From Individual Rehab?

The steps for recovery are the same whether you’re going through it alone or together. There will be a detox period, a longer therapeutic phase where you’ll identify and learn to cope with your issues, and an ongoing period of after care. Detox will be done individually as no two people have the same level of addiction or medical needs. This period can last from three days to a couple of weeks, depending on the type of substance and severity or duration of use.

The second phase of addiction treatment involves therapy, but it may vary by the facility. Some inpatient drug treatment centers allow couples to share quarters, while others require separate sleeping areas. The most common time-fame for this phase of treatment is 30 days, but some facilities offer 60, 90, or 120-day rehab. The length of your stay will depend on the results of your assessment during intake.

Although there hasn’t been much research in this area, experts believe that separate living quarters can bring couples closer together after treatment and offer better outcomes. During this part of rehab, you’ll undergo private counseling sessions and group therapy. A comprehensive approach that provides group, individual, and 2-on-1 sessions allows both partners to work on individual issues and address problems in their relationship. This is essential your future as a couple and your continued sobriety.

Aftercare is provided on an outpatient basis, and it can be there for as long as you need continued medical intervention or counseling. Couples will learn how to maintain sobriety in the face of problems that confront all committed partners while offering support to each other to stay clean. You’ll also explore how to put coping skills and tools you’ve learned in therapy to use in the real world.

What Should You Look for in a Treatment Center if You Want to Get Clean Together?

Once you’ve committed to drug or alcohol rehab, the second decision you’ll face is whether to go through inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment (IOP). The goal of rehab is to remove as many stressors from your life as possible so you can focus on recovery. If your drug or alcohol use is severe or long-term, or you need medically supervised detox, an inpatient program might work best during the initial stage. Work obligations or children might be a factor in your decision to elect inpatient or outpatient care.

Barriers to successful recovery can be compounded when you’re going through the process with someone you have an intimate relationship with. You may not be making progress at the same rate, there may be underlying mental health problems, or resentments may develop. It’s essential to have a safe space where you can feel free to talk about your issues without affecting your own or your partner’s recovery. Therefore, different group sessions should be available at the facility, and partners should be able to choose separate sponsors. The program you select should also have supportive counselors on staff who specialize in helping couples who are in treatment.

When Couples Treatment Isn’t An Option

Your main priority during rehab should be to recovery, whether together or individually. In order for treatment to work, both partners have to be committed to getting clean. There are dynamics that make entering treatment together an untenable idea.

History of physical or emotional abuse: Couples recovery includes counseling to work out your issues separately and as a unit. However, when physical abuse or aggressive behavior are added to the mix, it can inhibit progress toward recovery. Whether the abuse started before the addiction or as a result of the addiction, these issues should be addressed separately.

Normally, an individual with aggression issues would deal with this during the course of addiction treatment as part of the process. But, when it’s a component of the overall dynamic of a couple wanting to get clean together, a different approach is necessary. The best way to handle this is for the abusive partner to seek treatment for anger management or abusive behavior before considering reahb as a couple.

One partner isn’t committed to recovery: Overcoming addiction is a very personal decision. In order for couples rehab to work, both partners have to be equally committed to treatment. You can’t get clean in an environment where one person is still using or vulnerable to relapse because they weren’t ready or weren’t fully engaged in the process.

There is an unhealthy dynamic to the relationship: An uneven dynamic where one half of the partnership is too passive or too consumed by their partner and his or her recovery will not benefit either partner. In order for treatment to work, the initial concern must be with your own health and wellness. Only then can you approach long-term recovery as a unit.

The risk of relapse is slightly higher when both people in a relationship are dealing with addiction. Most therapists recommend undergoing individual treatment. However, finding the right facility for your situation can bring you closer together in sobriety.

When you’re ready to begin treatment, call 866-802-6848 to learn how. We’re there for you and your partner 24/7.

safe medical detox

Why A Medically Monitored Detox Could Save Your Life Instead Of Trying To Do It Yourself

When someone feels their drug abuse has gone too far, it’s seemingly an easy task to just stop using. Why it’s not such an easy task is because an addiction might be involved. Substance addiction involves the physical and psychological need for the user’s substance of choice. Any attempts to stop “cold turkey” could cause a laundry list of potential problems, some of which could be quite serious.

It would be easy to simply state that a medically-monitored detox program is a much better solution. However, there needs to be some context in order for people to understand why that’s true. If there’s one thing we know about drug addicts is they often take a bit of convincing. It’s not easy for many substance abusers to even admit they have a problem. Trying to convince them a certain course of treatment is a better idea had better include some facts.

Before a meaningful discussion can begin, there needs to be an understanding of just how serious withdrawal symptoms can be. With almost any kind of substance abuse, there is going to be certain withdrawal symptoms that could come to light once the addicts suddenly stops using their drug of choice. While the possible withdrawal symptoms will vary, depending on the substance(s) involved, some of the worst possible withdrawal symptoms would be:

  • Tremors, hallucinations and seizures
  • A full arsenal of mood related issues (depression, anxiety)
  • Heart and breathing problems
  • Blood pressure issues (too high, too low)
  • Sleepiness or sleeplessness
  • Severe muscle and stomach cramping issues
  • Digestive tract issues like constipation or diarrhea

Clearly, this list includes some rather serious issues. In some extreme cases, withdrawal symptoms can be lethal. For that reason alone, one should be hesitant to make a decision about not using their drug(s) of choice without at least consulting with a doctor. Most doctors will recommend the patient seek help from a professional treatment center. The question is why?

Why a Medically-Monitored Detox Instead of Do It Yourself Detox

We have established the primary concern that comes with the cessation of drug abuse. The possible withdrawal symptoms can create significant problems, including life-threatening issues. No one wants to encounter those kinds of problems.

Aside from the possible health risks, there’s another reason why an inpatient detox program would be preferred over a do-it-yourself detox. When someone tries to stop on their own, they have little to no accountability. Their foe is an addiction they probably don’t understand. The addiction is usually more powerful than one’s will to stop using in earnest. Without accountability, it’s too easy for the addict to simply start using again when the bad withdrawal symptoms start to take hold. It’s not uncommon for the individual to realize their drug of choice is the solution to the pain and suffering that often comes with withdrawal symptoms.

A professional detox center offers accountability. There are people there who will make sure the patient stays on tract, even when doing so becomes uncomfortable. To further convince someone why a detox program is a better solution, we want to discuss the possible benefits of such a program.

Safety and Comfort

Based on the withdrawal symptoms listed above, it should be clear that the withdrawal process could get uncomfortable, if not downright painful. A medically-monitored detox program features medical staffers whose job it is to make sure detox patients are safe and as comfortable as possible. In many cases, the medical staff stands at the ready to offer certain medications to help relieve certain symptoms. Sleeping issues, tremors (convulsions) and cramping come to mind.

Addiction treatment is a process where detox is usually the first step. By keeping the patient comfortable, it increases the likelihood the patient will be able to stick with the entire treatment program. People are funny about pain. Once it starts, their first instinct is to flee. Fleeing for an addict usually means leaving rehab and starting to abuse substances again.

Preparation for Therapy

The overriding goal of detox is to prepare the patient for the rigors of therapy and counseling. It takes a lot of hard work and focus to talk to counselors about the personal issues that might have led to the initial substance abuse.

A healthy detox program allows the patient to clear their mind and body of cravings and residual substances that harm the body. Free from the chains that bind, a patient is more likely to have clarity of thought. This clarity allows them better communicate their feelings. It also gives them the ability to understand the importance of developing better coping skills. It’s these skills that hold the key to a recovering addict being able to avoid triggers and subsequent relapses.

Isolation From Environmental Influences

For most addicts, the home environment is where their addiction was given birth. It’s here that they can find their drug dealers, drug using friends and even enablers. An inpatient detox program offers the perfect opportunity to get away from temptations and triggers. Remember, detox is just the start of the recovery process. Any and all time spent in an inpatient facility is time the patient is isolated from interference from the home environment. Any attempts to even detox on their own will certainly fail if the old drug friends come a calling with drugs in hand.

The biggest reason why a detox program is better than a self-detox process is because it has a much higher success rate. Actually, very few people are able to get through even the detox process on their own without some help.

If you are ready to stop drinking or using drugs, we urge you to not try it on you own. The risks involved are too serious, including possible death. For a safe and comfortable detox and treatment process, we hope you will pick up the phone and call our facility at 866-802-6848. Our counselors are available for your call 24/7/365.

suboxone doctors

What Suboxone Doctors Don’t Know

Doctors prescribe Suboxone in hopes their patients will kick their opiate addiction and ease symptoms of withdrawal. It almost sounds great, doesn’t it? Detox with no symptoms or lessened symptoms? It isn’t. To start, you are only trading one addiction for another and never addressing the root cause of your drug dependence. Suboxone treatment also means that you will be dedicating at least a year of your life to another drug—longer for those who become addicted to it.

Suboxone is still a highly addictive controlled substance. While invented to help patients through withdrawal, more and more doctors are prescribing their patients it for longer terms, often throughout the patient’s life. Suboxone was not intended for this, but that is what it has become.

Your doctor must write a script or issue it in their office. Patients also should be highly monitored and actively in therapy, but most doctors writing the scripts do not know or they do not care. The rebound and abuse rates are higher in patients who have used Suboxone or generic versions versus alternative methods and traditional therapy. The latter works better because those therapies do more than ease you through detox; they offer you the tools to live a life free from drugs.

Suboxone Risks

Each pill contains a minor amount of opiates, buprenorphine, and naloxone that supposedly blocks the euphoric high. Usually the opiate amount is far less than you are used to taking.

One of the warning labels specifically says misuse can lead to abuse, addiction, and death. Unsurprising since patient’s bodies quickly become tolerant or they abuse it as a legal source of drugs.

Another interesting fact is that patients should not mix Suboxone with medications or herbal remedies used to treat depression or other mental illnesses, migraine headache, and a long list of everyday conditions most people face. Depression and anxiety sticks out the most, though, because it can be an issue for many addicts before, during, and after detox.

For women who are pregnant, your baby can be born addicted to it and subjected to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. This also applies to methadone and other drug replacement therapies.

Suboxone Abuse is Rising

Look at the state of Kentucky and their fly-by-night pop up Suboxone clinics. These shops are taking over neighborhoods in many states. Drug seekers can walk right in as long as they have cash. Pills-for-cash type clinics peddling Suboxone are not the only problem. Suboxone and generic equivalent prescriptions jumped to 113,713 from 69,640 in a single year in Kentucky alone. This data also supports that this drug is more addictive than patients, doctors, and other medical caregivers believe.

How many of these patients are closely monitored and enrolled in proper therapy? How many receive the option of an alternative, non-addictive therapy? It is doubtful since Suboxone addiction is still on the rise nationwide.

Doctors writing these prescriptions do not understand they are prescribing and enabling their patients with an alternative addiction. These doctors can claim they control the prescription. They can say it is harder to abuse, but the majority of drug addicts will abuse anything they can get their hands around that produces a high.

Methadone Addiction

Like Suboxone, Methadone abuse has been on the rise. Doctors often prescribe and give it out at clinics as an alternative for people with opiate addiction. Just as you see with Suboxone, it is still an addictive substance and the risk of developing a new addiction for addicts is always higher. There is also little to no monitoring involved, no additional counseling, or other therapies.

Methadone also has nasty side effects, some mimicking or worse than you will experience during your detox. The recommended length of use for methadone is at least one year. Most patients never come off it, and they have only successfully exchanged one addiction for another.

Alternative Drug Rehab Therapies for Detox

Detoxing is rough even for the toughest of patients. Your body and brain will fight you until the chemical and physical dependency is gone. That is how deeply ingrained drug addiction gets. It alters your brain chemistry and during detox, your brain is rapidly firing signals to your body to tell you it needs more drugs even when there is no medical need. There will be times where you might feel as if you’re about to die. However, the most extreme symptoms last no more than a week. Why would you want to trade a week of discomfort for a lifetime of addiction to another substance?

Alternatives to Drugs During Detox:

• Acupuncture
• Massage
• Chiropractic care
• Biosound Therapy
• Sauna
• Cold laser therapy
• Amino acid replenishment
• Other holistic methods

Alternative medicine and holistic healthcare are on the rise, and it is suitable for detox and addiction patients because many of the benefits center around techniques you can continue to use once you’re home again. Most of all? You are not risking a relapse. You’re not risking your mental health. For pregnant women, you’re not risking your baby’s health.

You don’t need to replace your addiction with another. What you need is a safe place and doctors who will understand you and will not treat you like another number. You need the tools to overcome your addiction, the resources to discover how you became an addict, and the ability to detox without worrying about becoming addicted to another drug.

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Ready to get started? Call 866-802-6848 and speak with us today.

addiction detox center

How Long Do I Have To Go To An Addiction Detox Center?

You’re not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point your drug use changed from something recreational and it turned into an addiction. It’s a problem that is too much to handle alone. Walking away isn’t an option. The source of your addiction keeps reeling you back in, temptation, negative influences, and the overwhelming cravings are too much to resist. It’s time to get help. Before the true work of addiction recovery can begin, you need to begin with phase one. Detox is the first step in breaking free from substance abuse. Your question is how long is it going to last?

An Addiction Detox Center is Needed in Anticipation of Witdrawal

An addiction detox center provides those who are suffering from substance abuse with a safe environment where they can receive care and medical supervision when first cut off from the source of their addiction. There is no access to drugs or alcohol. During this initial stage of treatment, withdrawal will set in, causing anxiety, intense cravings for alcohol or the drug of choice, and physical symptoms that make a person feel ill. The first signs of withdrawal vary. For alcohol addiction, withdrawal can begin within eight hours of the last drink. Heroin withdrawal may begin within twelve hours. Prescription pain medication withdrawal can hit in as early as eight hours. Cocaine withdrawal can strike within the shortest time frame, making a victim of addiction feel overcome by physical symptoms that are difficult to bear. Regardless of which type of drug you have been using or how long you have been using it, an addiction detox center will help you to ride out the storm that is about to overcome your body and mind.

What Contributes to the Impact of Withdrawal?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol result in actual changes to your brain and how it transmits messages through your body, affecting your moods. It creates a chemical dependency. When you are cut off from the source of your addiction, you need to retrain your brain. The source of your addiction builds up within your system and will continue to be present in your body for some time after substance abuse stops. Withdrawal is endured while the toxins are eliminated. How long withdrawal will last will depend on:

  • What you have been using
  • How long you have been turning to the source of your addiction
  • How much you have been taking
  • If you have any mental or physical health issues that contribute to your addiction
  • If your family has a history of addiction

If your drug or alcohol use has only lasted for a short amount of time, the process of withdrawal may not be as difficult. If you have been trapped in the cycle of addiction for a long period of time and have other factors that complicate your condition, withdrawal may take more time. Your stay in an addiction detox center will depend on your unique situation.

How Long Will Withdrawal Last?

An addiction detox center can assist you on finding your way to the road to recovery from substance abuse. Generally, the length of time in the detox center will be determined by how long withdrawal lasts. That time line will vary, depending on the type of drug use and any other factors that contribute to the severity of an addiction. Typical peak times for withdrawal are:

  • Peak withdrawal symptoms for alcohol addiction strike within 72 hours
  • Prescription painkiller withdrawal peaks within 48 hours
  • Cocaine withdrawal symptoms peak in the first few days
  • Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms peak in the first week or two once drug use stops

You will need to stay in an addiction detox center while you are enduring the worst of your withdrawal symptoms. You may only need a few days as toxins are gradually eliminated from your system. However, it could take you a few weeks. Highly trained professionals will assess your condition when you enter the detox facility and continue to monitor you closely to determine when you are ready to leave.

What’s the Next Step After Detox?

Some victims of addiction make the mistake of thinking that recovery from addiction is achieved after detox is completed. Detox is actually only the beginning. Once the source of your addition has been eliminated from your body, it’s time to begin addiction recovery treatment. Otherwise, you are likely to return to drug or alcohol use. You need to get the tools, resources, and support you need to overcome addiction.

What Treatment Options are Available for Addiction Recovery?

Addiction recovery is a personal journey. How you choose to overcome the source of your addiction is your decision. The most important thing you can do is seek professional help from medical experts who understand the process, the triggers, and what you can do to choose healthy alternatives in your life. You may choose an inpatient, residential program or an outpatient program. Your treatment program should meet your needs and be financially possible for you. Remember that the benefits of your program will far outweigh the cost. Your health insurance may bear the brunt of the costs and financing programs are available to assist you in reaching your goal.

We Can Help You to Find Freedom from Addiction

Addiction is overwhelming. Finding a way out can be even more challenging. We’re here to help you to explore your options. Contact our representatives at 866-802-6848. Counselors are here for you every day, 24 hours a day, to help you when you need it most. We know you’re tired. We know you want to put addiction behind you. We offer addiction recovery programs that can lead you to sober living. It’s time to reach out and take that first step toward a future that is bright with possibilities. Let us help you to put addiction in your past. Call us today.

detox from alcohol

Detoxing Off Alcohol And Understanding The Process

Alcohol abuse kills over 80,000 people per year in the United States. Fortunately, it is one of the nation’s most preventable causes of death. Alcohol abuse affects your entire body including the immune system, liver, brain, mouth, pancreas, and heart. More than 75% of people who die from alcohol poisoning daily are adults. Teen alcohol use kills 5,000 people each year, and over 30% of all driving fatalities are caused by alcohol impairment. Alcohol addiction can not only ruin the user’s life, but it affects their family members and loved ones. Many continue to abuse the substance to avoid symptoms of withdrawal. Detoxing from alcohol can be an extremely uncomfortable experience depending on the level of addiction. In severe instances, it can be deadly when attempted at home without a doctor’s supervision. However, detoxing is the first critical step to recovery and ridding the body of this harmful toxin.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When one is physically addicted to alcohol, their body will experience withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol is removed from the body. During the detox process, the body removes toxins making the experience psychologically and physically uncomfortable. This is why many with severe drinking problems will continue to drink to avoid the negative consequences. Excessive alcohol abuse disrupts the neurotransmitters that send signals to the central nervous system. The main neurotransmitter that creates feelings of relaxation called gamma-aminobutyric acid becomes imbalanced when alcohol is abused. This creates the “hangover” effect as well as other physical and mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures

Excessive alcohol use also affects the another neurotransmitter called dopamine that is responsible for regulating mood, energy, and enjoyment. When a heavy drink quits alcohol completely the production of dopamine stops suddenly causing their own withdrawal symptoms including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

The severity of the withdrawal symptoms are dependent on how long the person has been abusing alcohol, how frequently they drink, and the amount they consume at a time. Their addiction to other drugs, gender, weight, age, and family addiction history can also come into play. You should contact a medical professional if you are experiencing any dangerous withdrawal symptoms while detoxing. For some, the withdrawal process can last days or months. Just one serving of alcohol can take an hour for the body to absorb it into the bloodstream. However, the liver can only metabolize minimal amounts of it per hour. That is why detox programs can last for over a week. Withdrawal symptoms can occur anywhere from four to 12 hours after their last drink. Usually, they are the mild side effects which are sweating, vomiting, and confusion. Heavy drinkers may experience severe withdrawal symptoms within 48-72 hours after their last drink including delirium tremens, or seizures. In serious instances, delirium tremens are potentially fatal and are responsible for up to 15% of alcoholic related deaths per year. Some symptoms of delirium tremens are:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Extreme tremors

The Alcohol Detox Process

Every time you consume alcohol, the body will naturally begin to detoxify. The liver works hard to metabolize ethanol to try and quickly remove it from your system. Heavy or frequent drinkers cannot successfully detoxify from the ethanol because they are continually adding it to their system. The alcohol abuser can either quit cold turkey or wean themselves off of the alcohol. Stopping all at once can be dangerous when done on your own. Detoxing through a professional medical facility is the safest option if you are ready to quit drinking. Nurses and physicians will be able to monitor you 24/7 to help manage your pain. During the detox process, the two main risks are delirium tremens and dehydration. Those who are severely dehydrated can increase their risk of life-threatening seizures. Delirium tremens can cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

A successful detox period can decrease the chance of relapse. During the process, there are three crucial steps. First, the subject will be fully evaluated to determine the right treatment plan. Blood tests, mental and physical screenings, and risk assessments are performed. You will then be stabilized to help you cope through withdrawal. Your physician may administer certain medications, prescribe a proper diet, and educate you on what to expect during the recovery process. The final step is to prepare you for entering a substance abuse treatment program and aftercare. Several detox facilities include managed drug treatment as well as holistic and alternative programs that may include:

  • Meditation and yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Creative arts therapies

Your treatment specialist will be able to help you find the right detox program that will best suit your needs. Rapid detox helps the addict speed through the process and requires anesthesia-assisted detoxification. This is ideal for those who want a painless way to detox and essentially sleep through withdrawal. Addicts have been known to detox within hours instead of weeks completely. Rapid detox is becoming popular especially among working professionals as they can finish the process during the weekend and return to work. Once you have completely detoxed from alcohol, you will notice several health benefits that may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Clear skin
  • Increased mental focus
  • Reduce risk of disease
  • Better sleep
  • Better digestion

Following detox, the patient will begin to take on the long road to recovery. There are inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers that can continue to address the psychological sides of the disease. Ongoing and family therapy during treatment is highly recommended.

Are you ready to get started?  Call us today 866-802-6848

detox center in fl

So What Happens After I Complete My Detox Center in FL?

When your rehabilitation is complete, you need to make sure you stay sober. Once you leave the facility, the support system that you had will be disbanded. It will be up to you to keep your sobriety and remain on the right path. There are several steps that you can take to protect yourself against relapsing. You need to stay active in your quest to have a better life and keep your sobriety.

You need to find a system of friends that are sober and do not use drugs or drink. Being around people with the same goal is detrimental when you first get out of rehab. You can go out to lunch and dinner with sober friends and have someone to talk to about temptations to use. The people you spend time with will make a substantial difference when it comes to handling your new life.

If you are moving back to the neighborhood where you were abusing drugs or alcohol, you may want to relocate. You do not want to put yourself in a dangerous situation and be surrounded by drug dealers. The same goes for bars, restaurants or parks that you used to hang out in the past. Returning to the place where you used to be not a clever idea. When you move to a new neighborhood, you will be around new people and an unfamiliar environment.

Make sure you keep all your follow up appointments with the treatment program and join a support group. A follow-up plan will help you deal with life and manage your triggers. It can also assist you with your plans and gain patience with people at work. You should also participate in activities that assist with maintaining your mental health. It is important to keep your anxiety and cravings under control during this time.

Many people become involved in meditation and yoga to help manage their cravings for drugs and alcohol. You need to take out time each day and dedicate it to your practice, so you can reap the benefits. You can also get involved in sports to help manage your emotions and stay in shape. Keeping your body healthy can make you feel better about yourself and assist with your sobriety too.

A support group can assist you with remaining sober and allow you to meet other people in the same situation. There are many types of groups available, and you can find one in your neighborhood. You can also help other people that are dealing with sobriety issues by mentoring and sharing your experience. You must remain aware of the signs of relapse and stay on top of your condition.

How do you maintain sobriety?

Since you want to avoid relapsing once you leave the treatment facility, you need to develop a regime. You should take precautions to not drink or use drugs and guard your sobriety. You can begin by making some simple changes in your life such as avoiding friends you used to drink with and spending time with our family. There are many strategies for you to employ that can assist you with remaining sober, including these:

• Learn how to handle your anger and analyze what is causing you to become upset and stay away for toxic people.

• If you are not working, you should find a job or begin volunteering to spend time around others and feel productive.

•Take measures to balance out your life by incorporating exercise or joining a support group to help others.

•Meet new sober friends and avoid hanging around people who use drugs or drink alcoholic beverages.

How can you help a family member stay sober?

If you have a family member dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, you can help them out tremendously. It is important for you to know that they need you, and you can provide plenty of support. Those dealing with addiction usually feel judged by their family and friends and not sure where to turn. Just spending time with them and listening to your loved one’s problems can help them stay sober. Here are a few ways to help:

• When your family member comes to visit you, make sure the environment is free from drugs and alcohol and provide a safe environment for them.

• Spend time participating in outdoor activities and promote a healthy lifestyle for your recovering family member.

• Keep them in the loop and do not let them disappear out of your life. If they do not call you for a few days, make sure you call them.

• Give them space and do not be overprotective about their decisions. You should allow them to make choices about the direction for their life.

What should you do about cravings?

Cravings are a part of dealing with addiction, and you need to know how to handle them. Since you went to rehab and got sober, chances are you do not want to relapse. There are many ways to help you cope with triggers and cravings. Here are a few methods to help you when cravings arise:

• Develop a reliable support group of people that you can always call or meet up with to talk you through the craving.

• Become physically active and develop a spiritual practice to distract you when you are feeling triggered to use.

• When you are feeling tempted, think about the consequences of taking a drink or using drugs and what can happen because of giving in.

• You should not be hard on yourself and realize having cravings is a part of becoming sober. Take time to do special things for yourself and maintain your sobriety.

Once you leave the detox center in FL, does not mean you need to be alone. There is plenty of ways to assist you with your journey and staying sober. You can spend time with your friends and family or join a support group where you meet new people. This is your chance to become healthier and get involved with sports and physical activity. If you need help with staying sober, we can help, call now 866-802-6848

suboxone for heroin addiction

Is Suboxone Safe For Heroin Addiction?

Suboxone is a combination medication used to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are painful and highly distressing. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and anorexia
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Restless leg syndrome and insomnia
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Extreme anxiety and weakness
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Feeling hot and then cold
  • Diarrhea

The acute phase can last for up to ten days to two weeks. Other symptoms, such as insomnia and weakness, can persist for as long as several months. Opioid withdrawal is very difficult to endure. It’s no wonder people who are addicted to opioids continue to use their drug of choice just to avoid it. Others, who would like to quit, aren’t willing to do so without some sort of medical assistance.

What Is Suboxone

Suboxone contains two medications. One is buprenorphine, which is a synthetic opioid. It helps to curb withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings by partially activating the same opioid receptors in the brain that heroin and other opioids do. It’s not a full opioid agonist, however. This means that its ability to activate opioid receptors is only partial. It has a ceiling effect. A ceiling effect means that buprenorphine will not work to ease withdrawal symptoms beyond a certain dose. Suboxone daily doses are generally around 16 milligrams. Some people feel fine on less. Doses beyond 32 milligrams are not recommended.

Suboxone also contains naloxone, a drug used to treat opioid overdose. It’s widely known by its brand name, Narcan. It’s included at doses equal to one-quarter of the buprenorphine content. If you’re taking a 4 milligram dose of buprenorphine, then you’re getting 1 milligram of naloxone. The naloxone is included to discourage abuse of the buprenorphine if it’s injected. When taken orally as directed, the amount of naloxone won’t have much effect, if any. However, if it’s injected, it will block any euphoric effects from the buprenorphine. People tolerant to opioids, as heroin addicts are, rarely experience any euphoria from oral doses of Suboxone.

Suboxone Safety

Suboxone is generally safe for most people. It’s certainly safer than using heroin, particularly if it’s injected. Intravenous injection of heroin can lead to endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves than can easily kill. If the damage to the heart valves is severe enough, the person will die without open-heart surgery to replace them. This type of surgery, even if successful, often leaves the patient with permanent, disabling health problems, such as weakness and shortness of breath.

People using heroin, even if it’s not injected, are still at a high risk of overdose. This is because the heroin scene has changed in recent years. Much of the heroin sold is now cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid about 50 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl has analogues, or chemical cousins, even stronger than that. These are sometimes used as cutting agents, too. It’s not hard to see how an unwitting heroin user could easily overdose and die from heroin cut with fentanyl.

The Suboxone Controversy

The use of Suboxone for the treatment of heroin addiction is controversial. It’s a synthetic drug. It’s not derived from opium like heroin is. Suboxone has only been in use as a treatment for opioid addiction since about 2002. Heroin has been around since at least the 1890’s. Much more is known about heroin than Suboxone. Suboxone has some peculiar side effects not generally seen with natural and semi-synthetic opioids:

  • Numbness in mouth
  • Red tongue
  • Redness inside of mouth
  • Insomnia

There is no way to be sure what these peculiar side effects might mean for long-term Suboxone users.

Suboxone has other problems, too. It’s addictive. It generally produces a protracted, highly unpleasant withdrawal syndrome that lasts at least a month. This is because the drug has an extremely long half-life. A half-life is an expression of the time it takes for the body to metabolize, or break down, half of the dose of an ingested drug. Buprenorphine’s half-life is a whopping 24-42 hours. Because they stay in the body so much longer, long-acting drugs produce longer withdrawal timelines than short-acting ones.

Precipitated Withdrawal

Suboxone will cause a phenomenon known as precipitated withdrawal, or PW, if given too soon into the withdrawal process. It typically cannot safely be given any sooner than around 48 hours after the last dose of heroin without risking PW. Therefore, the heroin addict must be in full-blown withdrawal before they can obtain any relief. This is a definite drawback. Many heroin addicts simply aren’t going to suffer that long before getting relief. They are more likely to turn to methadone, which can be given at any time. At sufficient doses, methadone will stop withdrawal symptoms in their tracks within an hour or two at most. Methadone is also a synthetic opioid, but it’s full agonist, not a partial one.

The fact is, in contrast to methadone, Suboxone won’t work for everyone. People with very high opioid tolerance levels tend to be the ones not helped by buprenorphine. These people will need to use methadone to get relief. Both Suboxone and methadone can be used on either a temporary or permanent basis. Both can be used in decreasing doses over time to slowly detox from the heroin and then stop all drug use. Both can also be used as maintenance drugs. This means that a stable dose is taken daily to curb drug cravings and to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. This allows a motivated individual to work and attend to family responsibilities.

A Miracle Drug?

Suboxone has been hailed as a miracle drug by its proponents. That’s probably not completely true, but it has allowed countless people to stop heroin use and pursue normal lives. Anything, whether it’s Suboxone or methadone, or drug treatment or whatever, is better and safer than continuing to use heroin.

If you’re trying to get off of heroin or any other drug, we can help. We have trained counselors available 24 hours a day to speak to you and assist you in finding the help you need. Just call us anytime at 866-802-6848. We look forward to helping you change your life.

alcohol blackouts

What are Some Signs of Alcohol Blackouts?

Alcoholism is a serious condition, and it can affect anyone during any time of their lives. When someone drinks too much, it can devastate their lives and affect family members and friends. They can lose employment, and their health can begin to deteriorate. There are several signs of alcoholism that you can use to determine if you or someone else has a problem.

One of the most serious symptoms of alcoholism is called a blackout. When someone has a blackout from drinking alcohol, they put themselves in a vulnerable position. Their defenses are lowered, and they are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Some of the signs of a blackout are engaging in risky sexual behavior, losing the ability to drive and making poor decisions.

When you drink too much in a brief period, the chances of having a blackout increases. The more you consume alcohol in one sitting makes you more prone to drinking to excess and harming yourself. In some cases, people can harm some else as well. It is recommended to eat a full meal before you drink and remain hydrated when you are drinking alcohol.

During a blackout, your brain loses its ability to make decisions and maintain memories. This can be a dangerous situation because you are still able to walk and talk, but your mind is not coherent. Blackouts inhibit your brain’s ability to remember your behavior when you are out drinking heavily.  Sometimes people can recall events but only if someone reminds them.

The night after a blackout can be embarrassing when you have acted out and learned about your conduct. If you behaved poorly, you can feel humiliated the next day. This may cause you to have anxiety and become worried about your drinking. When you are unable to remember what you do when you are drinking, it can be distressing. You need to realize that you are putting yourself at risk and in an unsafe situation.

Some people wake up from blackouts in bed with a stranger partner. This can cause you concern about catching a venereal disease which in some cases can be life-threatening. In a blackout, the irresponsible sexual activity can lead to unwanted pregnancy and diseases such as HIV, Herpes, Chlamydia and many others. You put yourself at risk for being raped and partaking in life-threatening situations.

Drinking heavily and blacking out can make you susceptible to becoming involved in vandalism and getting into verbal and physical altercations. There is a considerable risk of you hurting yourself physically or injuring other people. Under the influence of alcohol, people are much more likely to commit suicide.

Since alcohol directly affects the brain, scientists have conducted studies and found that some people are more likely to black out than others. Women are more prone to blacking out than men and have a lower tolerance to alcohol. A man can drink more than a woman because of differences in metabolism, body size and weight.

Are Blackout Drinkers Alcoholics?

If you are drinking alcohol and blacking out, you may have a problem and need help. One of the signs of alcoholism does include blacking out on a regular basis and forgetting what happened when you are drinking. There are other signs of alcoholism such as lying about how much you drink and hiding it from others. Having the compulsion to drink and not being able to stop once you started is another sign. You may want to take the following signs into consideration if you are blacking out when drinking:

•Drinking alone and are unable to control the amount you drink

•Having alcohol cravings and feeling compelled to drink and getting angry when you are unable to drink

•Making drinking more important than work, family and friends responsibilities

•Drinking the first thing in the morning and losing interest in hobbies and activities

What is an alcoholic blackout?

When you drink yourself into a blackout, your brain is unable to create memories. This happens because the alcohol causes your hippocampus to stop receiving signals from neurons. The alcohol interferes with your brain activity and can create steroids that stop the brain from functioning normally. A blackout can cause people to make decisions that can be careless and put themselves and others in danger. The following is a list of consequences and what can happen due to a blackout:

•Participating in risky sexual behavior while drinking and waking up with strangers

•Getting into fights and arguments with people when drunk and acting out

•Drink to excess and waking up with injuries on your body without knowing how you got them

•Waking up the next day without any memories of what you did during the night you went drinking

What happens during a blackout?

If you are with someone, experiencing a blackout they are totally unaware; however, there are signs that will let you know about their condition. Hopefully, you can get the help they need so they avoid harming themselves when they are in this condition. Here are some of the symptoms of someone in a blackout:

•When out drinking, they lose their train of thought and ramble off the topic of the conversation

•They are unable to concentrate and repeat what they are saying over and over during the conversation

•They do not care about the feelings of others and become disrespectful and rude

•They are getting into arguments with people and beginning to participate in risky behavior

A blackout is serious and a sign that you are drinking too much alcohol and putting your health at risk. You can become ill and hurt yourself or someone else during a blackout. Drinking alcohol to excess can cause brain damage and harm other organs in your body. If you or someone you know is drinking and blacking out, please do not wait to get help with a detox center in Florida. It is important for you to speak to someone about your situation. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Please call 866-802-6848. We are here to help.

heroin detox center

How We Eliminate Withdrawals At Our Heroin Detox Center

We know how tough heroin withdrawal is. We understand the pain and depression that occurs when you suddenly stop using your drug. We are here to help you through detox, which is the first stage on your road to recovery. We are experts at alleviating the worst of your withdrawal symptoms. Some clients may experience no symptoms at all. We don’t want you to suffer. We want you to succeed.

What is Heroin Withdrawal?

Heroin withdrawal symptoms will set in about 12-18 hours after your last dose. They include sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, joint, bone and muscle pain, diarrhea, anxiety, chills and extreme weakness. The whole thing is miserable to endure, and there is really no reason to do so. Medications are available to suppress these symptoms until your body adjusts to the absence of heroin.

Abuse of heroin causes changes to occur in the brain. Eventually these changes cause the brain to be unable to function normally unless heroin is present on the brain’s opioid receptors. The brain’s endorphin system has also become deranged. Endorphins are natural brain chemicals that suppress pain, relieve depression and cause feelings of pleasure and reward. When exogenous, or outside, opioids are taken for a period of time, the brain stops producing its own endorphins. It takes time for the body to begin to produce them again. The brain also grows extra opioid receptors. These extra receptors are abnormal. The presence of the extra receptors and the low levels of endorphins probably contribute to much of the misery of withdrawal. The body will fix itself. But it takes time.

Medications can help by treating your symptoms as they occur. Suboxone is one medication that we use a lot. It contains buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid. Buprenorphine attaches to the same brain receptors as heroin does, but it doesn’t activate them in the same way. Its effect is only partial. However, for many heroin addicts, it’s enough to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. You will not feel much, if any, euphoria while taking Suboxone. You will just feel relief. We will gradually reduce your buprenorphine dose, from high to low, over a period of time. We do it slowly. This gives your body time to adjust. This method of slowly reducing a drug’s dosage over time is known as tapering. It’s highly effective for most people.

If you still experience significant withdrawal symptoms after your Suboxone taper is finished, we can extend the time a bit. Our goal is to get you drug-free, but not everyone is the same. Some clients may need a little longer. That’s okay. It’s not a race to see how fast you can become drug-free.

Some clients may not get enough relief from Suboxone alone. Medications such as muscle relaxants, anti-depressants and benzodiazepines can help. We are careful with benzodiazepines because they are addictive, but we understand that some very anxious clients, or those with severe insomnia, may require a low-dose, short-term, course of these calming medications.

When Detox Doesn’t Work

The goal of detox is to get the client off of all addictive drugs completely. It’s the ideal outcome, but does it work for everyone? No. It doesn’t. Not all heroin addicts will be able to live drug-free for any length of time. Heroin causes profound changes to occur in the brain. Some of these changes may lead to persistent drug cravings in some individuals, even in the absence of withdrawal symptoms. Some people, especially those who abused heroin in high doses for long period of time, simply don’t feel normal without an opioid in their systems. Even high-quality residential drug treatment may not help these people. The problem is physical.

Drug cravings that won’t go away set a clean former addict up for almost certain failure. Living with powerful cravings will nearly always lead to eventual relapse. A person can only take it for so long before giving in. For these people, there is Suboxone and methadone maintenance.

Both Suboxone and methadone are used for detox purposes. Gradually decreasing doses are given over a certain period of time. This allows the body to adjust to the absence of an opioid. If done properly, it almost always greatly reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms. But Suboxone and methadone can also be given on a daily basis as maintenance medications. Both are highly preferable to heroin use.

However, both Suboxone and methadone are addictive. Both are long-acting and will produce withdrawal symptoms, if suddenly stopped, that are far worse than those of heroin. Symptoms drag on for at least a month for Suboxone and even longer for methadone. A person who has become dependent upon either one must either continue to take the drugs or face a highly unpleasant withdrawal syndrome. Both drugs can and should be tapered before stopping them, but they tend to still cause some uncomfortable degree of withdrawal to occur.

But then again, a person using heroin risks death every time they use it. It could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria and toxins. It’s probably been cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times the strength of heroin. In the United States, there is no such thing as pharmaceutical heroin. All heroin sold there is produced in illegal, makeshift labs with little regard for safety and purity. When you buy heroin, there is no way to be sure what you’re getting. Certainly maintenance on Suboxone or methadone is preferable to death.

The controversy rages on. Opponents of opioid drug maintenance say that it makes no sense to trade one addiction for another, but that’s not exactly true. At least Suboxone and methadone maintenance are medically supervised and safe. Proponents of Suboxone hail it as a life-saving medication. They are partly right, but then again, Suboxone is so new, there is no way to know what its long-term effects might be. It seems that there is no easy answer.

If you’re struggling with a substance abuse problem, we would love to help guide you to the right treatment option for you. We are here 24 hours a day at 866-802-6848. Just call us. A friendly, trained counselor will listen to you and then advise you as to the best options available to you.