Monthly Archives: October 2018

learning to start over in recovery

Will You Start Mental Health Treatment While in Your Medical Detox Program?

Addiction is extremely devastating when it infiltrates your life. Loss of employment, a lack of socialization, and feelings of anxiety and severe depression are all common issues you are likely to experience once you have developed an addiction to a substance. When you enroll in a medical detox program, it is important to seek out a center that provides mental health treatment throughout the process. With the right mental health treatment during your detox program, learn how to face your addiction and any obstacles or challenges you face head-on throughout your journey to sobriety.

The Importance of a Medically-Supervised Detox Program

Detox programs available in traditional rehabilitation facilities are extremely important if you have struggled with an addiction to substances that trigger physical withdrawal symptoms and reactions (such as heroin or addictive prescription medications). A medically-supervised detox program is beneficial as it provides you with medical professionals who are trained in the field of addiction and understand what the body requires while detoxing and eliminating a substance at an appropriate pace.

When you have an addiction to a substance that causes adverse physical reactions and withdrawal side effects, detoxing is vital to prevent seizures, strokes, and in severe cases, heart failure. Monitored detoxing ensures you are in the right hands and that your body is functioning normally while you slowly remove the substance(s) from your body and brain. Without a medically-supervised detox program, facing withdrawal symptoms can quickly become painful, unbearable, and even lead to death.

Types of Mental Health Treatment Provided in Detox Programs

Mental health treatment that is provided in a detox program often varies with each individual’s needs. When you first arrive in a detox program, an evaluation is necessary to learn more about underlying issues and causes of your addiction. A mental health evaluation also provides doctors and surrounding therapists with the necessary information to create an individualized treatment plan that is right for you.

Individualized therapy with a therapist who has a thorough understanding of addiction is helpful with the detox and recovery process while in treatment. Speaking one-on-one to a professional who understands addiction and how to overcome it is a way to feel a sense of relief without feeling bombarded with negative emotions such as shame and guilt. Learn to communicate openly and honestly with a therapist while you are in the detox process to discover the root cause of your addiction and how to prevent potential triggers in the future.

Group therapy is also often available for individuals who are going through a medical detoxing process, providing you with a safe space to express your feelings and challenges with others in similar situations. Attend group therapy sessions to make new connections while feeling less alone while you push through any unpleasant reactions or adverse effects that manifest while you are detoxing and cleansing your body.

Planned activities are common in detox programs and recovery facilities. Relearn how to find joy in activities and hobbies that were once pleasant to you. Learn how to delegate your time while filling your schedule with more activities to feel more fulfilled and productive each day. Scheduled hobbies and activities are also optimal when you want to prevent the temptation of turning to drugs or alcohol again while you are completing the detox program you are enrolled in.

Live with a routine and daily schedule again to keep yourself busy without feeling the urge to use alcohol or drugs while you are detoxing and living a sober life. With a steady sleep schedule, reduce insomnia, agitation, and the inability to focus. Begin eating a healthy diet while providing your body with enough calories to sustain you while fighting the adverse effects you may feel during the detox process. Eating healthy and getting a good night’s rest each day is imperative to ensure long-lasting results even after you have completed your medical detox and addiction recovery programs.

Benefits of Mental Health Treatment While in a Detox Program

Before choosing a medical detox program that is best for you, it is important to understand the benefits of obtaining mental health treatment simultaneously. When mental health treatment is available, it is much easier to face and overcome withdrawal symptoms and the temptation you may feel to return to using drugs or alcohol. Some of the biggest benefits of mental health treatment while you are in a detox program include:

  • Discover your self-worth and self-confidence again while battling both physical and mental withdrawal symptoms during your detox.
  • Medically-supervised detox monitoring to ensure the health and safety of your body and mind while eliminating substances.
  • Safe spaces to speak with individual therapists regarding your feelings of sobriety and addiction without judgment.
  • Zero-tolerance zones to prevent temptation and to keep you focused on rebuilding your life in a more positive and productive manner.
  • Group meetings and sessions to connect with other individuals who struggle with addiction and have situations similar to your own.
  • Spend more time indulging in healthy hobbies, activities, and habits that were once a source of joy in your life.
  • Implement a steady sleep and eating routine to provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it requires for a full and successful recovery.
  • Learn how to control your thoughts through breathing exercises and meditation. Avoid allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed or out of control regarding your future and the direction of your life. Meditation and breathing exercises are not only beneficial during the detox process, but also with any aftercare programs you are interested in completing.

Medical detox programs offer mental health treatment to individuals to prevent the worsening of anxiety, depression, and isolation. Having the right mental health treatment while detoxing and overcoming your addiction is a way to regain control of your mind and body to truly live a happy and fulfilling life again.

Ready to get started? Call us today at 866-802-6848 to discover a mental health treatment plan that is right for you.

do i have an addiction

Can You Reduce Your DUI Charges By Going to Rehab?

For many people, being charged with a DUI is a wake-up call about their substance use problem. Driving under the influence endangers not only the driver, but all other people on the road. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, and you know you’re guilty, it’s important that you get the help you need. DUI charges can be life-altering. Many people faced with themselves want to know: Can you reduce your DUI charges by going to rehab?

The exact consequences for a DUI will vary from case to case. Different states have different penalty laws. In addition, there will be different criminal charges depending on the circumstances. A person who caused an accident with injuries will face more severe consequences than a person who failed a sobriety test at a normal road stop. Going to rehab can have positive effects on your DUI charge, but you should always consult with an attorney to see exactly what your options are.

How Rehab Can Help a DUI Charge

DUI charges carry serious potential consequences. In most cases, you will lose your driving privileges immediately upon being charged. The length of time you’ll lose these privileges will vary. In some states, your license will be revoked entirely. This means that after the revocation period, you will need to take your driver’s test again to get a new license.

Another factor in DUI charges is the number of prior offenses you have. If you’ve gotten a DUI charge before, you’ll face increased penalties. In some states, three DUIs will result in permanent revocation of your license. No matter whether this is your first offense or third, the best thing you can do for yourself is enroll in a rehabilitation program. This illustrates that you understand that you have a problem, and that you’re committed to doing something to change it.

First Offenses

When the charge is your first DUI offense, enrollment in a rehab program can help you avoid being sentenced to jail time. You’ll probably spend the night in jail on the night of your arrest, with an arraignment the following day. Your arraignment is when you’ll hear the formal charges against you. Your attorney should be present so they can help you understand the charges you’re facing, along with the best ways to combat them.

Sentencing for a DUI charge will typically involve some kind of counseling or rehabilitation program. The most minor offenses will usually have mandated outpatient counseling sessions at a state-approved treatment center. But enrolling in a rehabilitation program prior to sentencing can help in the following ways:

  • It can reduce your potential for spending time in jail
  • It can reduce the amount of time you lose your driving privileges or allow special driving privileges
  • It can reduce fines or other damages you need to pay

Going to rehab shows that you recognize there’s a problem and that you’re willing to fix it. This illustrates to the court that you’re unlikely to be a repeat offender and that you’re taking responsibility for your actions. If a judge believes you’ve taken responsibility for your choices and taken steps to better yourself, they’re much more likely to be lenient with your consequences.

Some DUI offenders can receive special driving privileges, in which they’re allowed to drive to and from work or school. Others can have their driving privileges back as long as their vehicle has an interlock system installed, which measures their breath’s alcohol content before allowing the vehicle to start. Both of these potential options are more likely to be granted if the offender is enrolled in a rehab program.

Multiple Offenses

If you have previous DUI convictions, you have a much greater chance of spending time in jail or losing your license permanently. Multiple DUI convictions illustrate to the court that you’re at a high risk for offending again in the future. Since judges are concerned with the safety of other people on the road, they’re more likely to level serious consequences against you.

When this is the case, enrolling in an inpatient treatment program is often the best thing you can do, especially if you haven’t had inpatient treatment before. Inpatient rehab programs provide safe, controlled environments where you can address your addiction. Enrollment shows the judge that you’re doing everything you can to prevent a potential relapse in the future.

Voluntarily enrolling in outpatient programs might also help, but inpatient treatment is highly recommended for people with multiple DUI offenses. Multiple DUI offenses are a sign of a serious problem that requires comprehensive intervention. If you’ve tried outpatient treatment and relapsed several times, this may be a sign that environmental factors are preventing you from overcoming your addiction. The controlled environment of an inpatient rehab center will help with that.

What Type of Rehab Program to Enroll In

The best type of program for any addict, regardless of their substance of choice and number of offenses, is an inpatient rehabilitation program. These programs generally last several weeks or months. They have the highest rate of success and are the best option to reduce your relapse potential.

If you can’t take time off work, comprehensive outpatient services are also helpful. An intensive outpatient program is a good option. These programs involve therapeutic services for several hours a day. They usually involve taking time off work, but they’re also significantly less expensive than inpatient treatment.

Outpatient services are ideal for first offenders with mild addictions. These services might include counseling, meeting with psychiatrists, and taking medications to stop physical substance cravings. Most DUI convictions will involve mandatory outpatient services.

Make sure any treatment center or facility you enroll in has certified employees and programs. You can talk to your lawyer about the resources available to treat your addiction. They’ll have advice about the best options to help your current case.

If you want to talk to someone about your rehab options, we have trained counselors available 24/7. Call 866-802-6848 for confidential, helpful information.

outpatient detox

Things to Expect When You Receive Suboxone Detox Services

A detox program is the first stage of treatment for addiction. During this phase, people go through withdrawal as their bodies rid themselves of the substance. Potential withdrawal symptoms vary widely depending on the drug. Suboxone is a medication often administered to help people through the withdrawal process. These are some of the main things to expect when you receive Suboxone detox services.

Suboxone is used in cases of opioid dependence. In some cases, it’s prescribed only for the detox process; in others, it’s recommended for long-term use. That said, there are some risks to Suboxone use. It can be addictive, and it can also have a withdrawal process of its own. Knowing what to expect can help mitigate the risk factors.

The Most Important Things to Know About Suboxone Detox Services

Suboxone is most commonly prescribed for heroin addicts, but it can also be used for other opioid dependence issues. The goal is to assist with withdrawal and recovery. Suboxone was originally developed to provide heroin addicts with an accessible recovery regimen that could be more easily adhered to than other treatment methods.

Suboxone reduces heroin cravings and blocks the “high” of heroin use. When Suboxone users do take heroin, they don’t experience the addictive and euphoric effects they would otherwise.

The Effects of Suboxone

The medication will initially be administered underneath your tongue. It tends to come in the form of either a sublingual film or tablet. If you take Suboxone for long-term maintenance, you might receive it as a buccal film that would be applied to the interior of your cheek.

Suboxone combines two drugs typically used in heroin treatment: naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an opioid that can mimic the effects of heroin and satisfy cravings, while naloxone blocks the receptors for heroin use in the body.

This combination means that Suboxone helps satisfy cravings for heroin. It doesn’t produce the same euphoria and “high” as heroin, so the chances of mental dependence are lower. Rather than being a full opioid agonist, it combines opioid agonist and opioid antagonist properties, meaning that it’s less habit-forming than methadone or heroin. The risk of overdose tends to be low.

Who Detoxes With Suboxone?

Suboxone is most effective when prescribed to moderate and heavy heroin users. It can be used in abstinence maintenance when taken in decreasing doses over a period of time. Studies show that Suboxone has maximum benefits when taken alongside therapy and counseling.

With that said, Suboxone treatment isn’t the best option for everybody.

People can benefit from Suboxone when:

  • They cannot do an inpatient detox, and so they need to give themselves a detox treatment at home
  • They are worried about the potential of abusing other medications
  • They have a history of heroin relapse
  • They are addressing their mental health and addiction through counseling
  • They have prescriptions that have potentially adverse reactions to other medications

Suboxone may not be the right treatment for people who:

  • Have an allergy to naloxone or buprenorphine
  • Take medications that might react with Suboxone
  • Have breathing, lung, liver, or kidney problems
  • Might drink alcohol while taking Suboxone
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant

When you receive your detox services, you’ll need to talk to your doctors about any concerns you may have. They can decide whether Suboxone is the best medication for you.

What Are the Potential Drawbacks of Suboxone?

When considering any medication and detox service, it’s important to weigh the benefits as well as the risks. Suboxone does have some potential drawbacks.

It is possible to become dependent on Suboxone, although the medication’s risk of dependency is lower than the risk of dependency on methadone. If you’re using the medication and intend to drive or operate other heavy machinery, you might experience problems.

Suboxone also poses potential risks to people under 16 years of age or elderly people. There are a number of possible side effects associated with the medication:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Problems with dizziness or coordination
  • Sleepiness
  • Liver problems
  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • A decrease in your blood pressure

Suboxone At Home vs. In a Medical Detox Facility

When you’re detoxing from heroin or another opioid substance, the safest option is always medically monitored detox. This is a type of inpatient treatment program where you’ll have 24/7 access to trained medical professionals who can help with the withdrawal symptoms. Such a program is good not only for relapse prevention, but also for making sure the withdrawal is safe. Detoxing at home can lead to relapse before the detox is over, along with an increased risk of potential overdose.

If you detox at a detox center and are prescribed Suboxone, the medical staff will take care to monitor the potential adverse reactions. They’ll help ensure that you don’t develop dependence on the drug. If you do become physically dependent, they’ll also help you wean yourself off the medication and deal with potential withdrawal symptoms.

If you absolutely must detox at home, you might receive a Suboxone prescription to help. When this is the case, it’s crucial that you be aware of the risks associated with taking it. You’re responsible for your own medical management, which means responsibly taking the medication and calling your doctor immediately if there are any problems.

Most people who detox at home also can’t afford to miss work. If you’re going to work during the detox process, you should be aware of Suboxone’s potential effects on your driving or operation of heavy machinery. You shouldn’t do either of these activities until you’ve become familiar with how the medication affects you.

Every day, people reach out for help with their addiction. If you’re ready to get help, we have trained counselors available 24 hours a day. Call 866-802-6848 now.

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How to Deescalate Tension During a Family Intervention for Alcoholic

Alcoholism is an addiction that adversely affects the lives of the victim and their loved ones. In spite of the negative perception about alcohol, contemporary research shows that people should begin viewing alcoholism as a medical condition that requires the appropriate treatment to help the individual recover. Addicts tend to be in denial about the extent of their addiction, and it is upon their loved ones to reveal the problem by conducting an intervention. If you are looking to do an intervention, then you need to employ certain tactics to deescalate tension during a family intervention for an alcoholic. This is how to go about it.

Choose Participants

It is quite difficult to do an intervention as an individual because the addict could easily shrug off your concerns. A group of people airing similar concerns, however, can prompt the addict to pay attention and heed to various suggestions. You could begin by assembling a team of about 4-6 people who have a good relationship with the addict. Consider people who may spark emotion and a sense of responsibility in the addict, including children and grandparents.

Ensure that your team has people who can control their emotions no matter the direction the intervention takes. Avoid selecting harsh people or anyone who may be in bad terms with the addict. You can seek assistance from a professional alcoholism interventionist who is adept at selecting a quality team and devising an effective plan. However, you ought to avoid including the professional at the actual intervention since the addict may not be comfortable in front of a stranger. However, if you have previously tried to hold a family intervention to no avail, then including the professional may not be an excellent idea. The professional’s opinion will demonstrate the medical seriousness of the matter.

Find an Ideal Location

It is imperative to choose a location that invokes a sense of comfort in the addicted person while at the same time instilling a sense of seriousness. Ideally, you want to choose a neutral location such as a private meeting room or an interventionist’s office. Avoid conducting an intervention in a loved one’s home since the environment may be overly familiar for such a meeting.

Extreme familiarity and comfort can reduce the addict’s attention to the matter and can also provide an opportunity to flee from the situation. Additionally, you should avoid public places such as restaurants as the addict will feel exposed to the world. A neutral location eliminates any chance of distraction from pets and young children who may derail the conversation.

Educate Yourselves

When planning to hold an intervention, you ought to learn about alcoholism in regards to the causes, effects, and treatment options. Having this handy information will help you express yourself adequately and address any objections from the addicted person. Liaise with an alcoholism treatment professional to find out all the necessary information. All participants should also gather the necessary information and peruse through it thoroughly to understand what the addict is going through. This knowledge will help you avoid deteriorating the intervention session into a blame-game session.

Practice Your Speech

The participants of the intervention should plan how to go about the session. You should decide who should start the session and the ideal order the rest should follow. The first speaker should preferably be someone who is cherished by the addict to grab his/her attention. The participants should practice their speeches in front of each other to take note of overly harsh language and to reduce fluff from the content of their speeches. Practicing also confers confidence and helps everyone adhere to the script during the session.

Give Treatment Options

During a typical intervention, you should start by airing individual concerns and state the effects of alcoholism on the addict’s personal life, work, and relationships. You should also offer the available treatment options that the addict can solicit including the approximate period of recovery, and the location of the treatment center in the case of an inpatient program.

Further, it is advisable to make treatment arrangements before the intervention to be prepared for immediate commencement of treatment when the addict agrees to the offer at hand. However, do not pay for any admission or treatment services until you have received a commitment from the addict.

Control Emotions

Alcohol interventions are emotional sessions where both parties express their heartfelt issues. In the face of flying tempers, the participants should strive to keep a level head. The addict can get defensive, angry, and embarrassed but the participants should offer reassuring words throughout the session. Ensure that your language does not appear accusatory or demeaning as this may reduce the chances of treatment acceptance by the addict. Approach the intervention with love instead of anger. Make it an eye-opening opportunity for the addict instead of a defense session.

This aspect reaffirms the need to practice severally for the intervention. Participants should practice their speeches with a professional interventionist to understand what to say and how to say it. This includes the use of reassuring body language that includes maintaining eye contact with the addict and avoiding drastic hand gestures.

Convey the Consequences

An intervention seeks to show an alcohol addict the negative effects of alcoholism and reveal the treatment options. The addict may refuse the offer or even try to convince the participants that they can manage the addiction on their own. You should all stand firm and present the consequences of rejecting treatment. The consequences should be enough impact to convince them to seek treatment.

Also, you should insist on getting an immediate commitment to treatment from the addict instead of giving them time to think about the offer. Giving the addict time to think will only make the addiction worse and give them an opportunity to escape.

Interventions often work, and addicts end up accepting offers to seek treatment. However, all participants are advised to exercise patience during the session because the addict could reject the offer if it appears like a mockery session. You need to conduct two or more interventions before the addict agrees to treatment. If the first session fails, then take it as an opportunity to regroup, identify your mistakes in the previous sessions, and devise a new method to approach the matter. Your efforts will eventually pay off, and your loved one will be well on their way to recovery.

Ready to get started, Call us today at 866-802-6848. We are always ready to help.

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5 Things About Opiate Detox Florida Newcomers Discover in Residential Treatment

Opioid addiction is approaching epidemic proportions in the U.S. and it shows no sign of abating; drug overdose causes more accidental deaths in the U.S. than any other factor. Newcomers to residential opiate detox in Florida may not realize that according to current estimates, costs related to drug, tobacco and alcohol addiction approach $100 billion annually. These costs include health care expense, lost productivity at work, and crime.

One reason for the increase in opioid addiction is the prevalence of the drug. Most people associate it with heroin, but opiates are present in many other drugs, including:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Methadone
  • Oxycontin
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol

Current estimates indicate that more than 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opiates, so using a prescription drug doesn’t mean that you won’t become addicted. Using less than you need can certainly help prevent addiction but it also defeats the purpose of using a painkiller.

How Do Opioids Work?

In response to pain, your body produces natural painkillers. Your body has opioid receptors that bind with the natural opioids in your body to alleviate your pain. These natural analgesics in your body interrupt the pain messages sent by your central nervous system so that your pain subsides but an influx of opioids, such as in addiction, can negate the beneficial effects of your body’s natural painkillers.

Do All Opioids Work The Same?

Different opioids work differently in the body, which partially contributes to the rise in opioid addiction in the U.S. Some painkillers are more potent, some are effective for longer, some are more effective for severe pain, others are better for mild pain. Pain is a necessary component of the body – without it, you could be severely damaged and be unaware of the fact. The pain from a small cut, however, is insignificant compared to the pain from a ruptured disk in your spine, hence the need for the different types of painkillers.

Man-made opioids are much stronger than those released by your body. When you take synthetic painkillers, your body’s natural opioids may not be released because your receptors are already flooded with the substance. Some types of opioids won’t provide additional pain relief if the dosage is increased, others will. The type of opioid used will depend on the degree and severity of the pain.

Do I Need Help With The Addiction Or The Recovery?

Although the addiction may generate physiological issues such as lethargy and constipation, it’s the symptoms of withdrawal that need to be addressed in a detox facility. Depending on the severity and duration of the addiction, withdrawal can be painful and occasionally lethal if not properly supervised and treated. Recovery will help you get over the addiction and it will supervise your withdrawal so that it’s safe and effective.

If you’re addicted to opioids, it’s crucial that you not attempt recovery on your own. The body can have serious reactions to the withdrawal process and you need professionals who are trained to recognize the harmful symptoms of withdrawal and who know how to treat them.

Why Do I Feel Ashamed Of My Addiction?

Addiction can occur to anyone, it’s not something to be ashamed of. You’re taking the first steps for treatment and that’s the most important factor. Untreated, addiction can wreck or end your life. Seeking treatment for your opioid addiction can prolong your life, help restore your relationships, and help you regain your self-esteem and self-confidence.

The prevalence of prescription painkillers have contributed to the rise of the current opioid addiction epidemic. Addiction can happen before you’re aware of anything but the desire to eliminate your pain. Unfortunately, opioids provide a pleasurable sensation in addition to eliminating your pain, so you can become addicted before you’re aware of it. Many who are addicted to opioids didn’t start with black-market substances so don’t castigate yourself if you are in need of a detox program.

How Do I Keep From Having A Relapse?

In our friendly and relaxed detox centers, you’ll meet many others who are experiencing the same issues that you are. You’ll find support groups and individuals that will help you alter your habits so that you’re less likely to relapse. There are alternatives to painkillers and you’ll learn new ways to help you cope with pain when you’ve had an accident, surgery, or experienced another event that precipitates physical pain.

Drug addiction has three facets. It is a:
-Chronic disease
-Primary disease
-Relapsing disease

In our residential detox program, you’ll learn how to cope with all three facets of this insidious disease that can destroy your health as well as your relationships and family life. We want to help you recover and life a long, healthy, and happy life.

If You’re Addicted To Opioids

Call our friendly and compassionate center  and let us help you get started on the road to recovery from your opioid addiction. We can help you regain your life and family and regain the self-confidence to find a job. Addiction can destroy your self-confidence and your self-esteem and we can help with that.

Each recovery program is unique to the individual because each addiction is unique to the individual. When you call us, we’ll ask you some brief questions and set an appointment time for you to come to our facility. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and provide you with the best treatment regimen we can. We have an excellent track record of helping individuals overcome their opiate addiction and get their life back, free of pharmaceutical interference. We can help you find the pleasure that comes from a life well lived rather than one dominated by opioid addiction.

If you’re ready to regain control of your life, we can help you. Call us now at 866-802-6848. We have counselors available to help you 24/7 so whenever you’re ready to call, we’re ready to help you.

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How Long Does My Husband Need to See a Suboxone Doctor During Addiction Treatment?

You may have heard of Suboxone but don’t really know much about it. You may know it’s used in the treatment of opioid addiction. This is true, although the narcotic component of Suboxone, buprenorphine, is also sometimes used purely in the treatment of pain. If you’re a spouse whose husband has developed an addiction to opioids, you may wonder how long your husband will need to see a Suboxone doctor during addiction treatment. Generally, Suboxone patients will need to see their doctors once a month. However, this may vary by the policies of the doctor and the state you live in.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination prescription drug composed of a synthetic opioid, buprenorphine, and naloxone, which is a drug used to reverse opioid overdose. The naloxone is commonly known as Narcan. It’s present in the Suboxone to discourage abuse. When taken by mouth as directed, the form and amount of naloxone will have little to no effect. However, if it’s injected, it will prevent any euphoria from occurring. It will also probably cause severe withdrawal symptoms as well.

Suboxone works by attaching to the same receptors in the brain that other opioids do. However, it’s not a full narcotic. Its effect on the receptors is limited, although it binds strongly and prevents any other opioids from working while the buprenorphine is there. It’s very long-lasting. A single daily dose is plenty to relieve drug cravings and hold withdrawal symptoms at bay. Suboxone has been called a miracle drug. It has helped many people to regain their sobriety long-term. However, it’s hardly a miracle. In fact, it has some significant limitations:

  • It’s addictive
  • It can only be prescribed by specially licensed doctors
  • The patient must be in advanced withdrawal before the drug can be started
  • It won’t help everyone

Suboxone is an opioid and will produce the same withdrawal syndrome as any other opioid if suddenly stopped. These symptoms tend to last longer than those of short-acting opioids, such as oxycodone. Many people find that getting off of this drug is very, very difficult, even if the dose is tapered downward first. This isn’t a problem for a patient who desires to continue therapy, but anyone who would like to quit will face at least some degree of discomfort from withdrawal symptoms from buprenorphine. Patients who remain compliant with the terms of their treatment plan may stay on the drug as long as they like. However, sometimes people want to stop. Other times, it may be a financial issue, such as the loss of medical insurance. Before beginning therapy, it’s important for the patient to understand that this drug is addictive. It’s not necessarily a reason to decline Suboxone therapy, but rather a part of the informed consent process.

Suboxone, by state law, cannot be prescribed by a doctor unless he or she has completed a special training program and is licensed to prescribe the drug. There are a limited number of these doctors, and each doctor can only have a certain amount of Suboxone patients at a time. Depending upon where you live, there may or may not be a Suboxone doctor near you. They may or may not be accepting new patients. You can see how access to Suboxone therapy may be a problem in some cases. However, once you find a doctor and have a prescription, there are no limitations as to where you can fill it. You will usually get a month’s supply at a time. You may fill it at any pharmacy that has it.

Because of the different way that buprenorphine works on opioid brain receptors, the currently addicted patient must be in a state of significant withdrawal before the drug can be started. This means that the patient must first endure two to three days of misery before they can get relief. This is asking a lot. The first dose is given in the doctor’s office under supervision. This is called induction. This is how the doctor determines the correct dose for each patient. More buprenorphine is added until the patient is comfortable. This dose is highly variable. Everyone is different. Patients currently clean of opioids who are worried about an imminent relapse may begin Suboxone at any time. No waiting period is necessary.

Buprenorphine doesn’t help everyone who tries it. Like any drug, it won’t work for everyone. Some people just don’t respond well to it. Others have addictions that are too high-level for the drug to handle. If this happens, methadone is a good option. Methadone is a full narcotic that will relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms reliably.

Compliance with Suboxone Therapy

With the possible exception of the induction period, your husband will likely need to see his Suboxone doctor only once a month for his month’s supply of medication. If there are any problems, he may need to see the doctor more often. It’s critical that all patients follow the doctor’s instructions exactly. Expect urine testing. Some doctors may also require that the patient attend counseling. This will all be detailed in the medication contract between your husband and the doctor. Many Suboxone doctors have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of non-compliance. One dirty urine test, such as one for the presence of other opioids not known to the doctor, can be enough to be expelled from the program. It will not be so easy to find another doctor, either.

Suboxone therapy is serious business. If drug cravings occur, or if withdrawal symptoms are not relieved, your husband needs to tell the doctor immediately. The dose can be increased to as much as 32 milligrams per day in most states. If Suboxone therapy isn’t working, it’s best to just be honest with the doctor. There is always methadone therapy when Suboxone fails.

How to Get Help Finding Suboxone Therapy

If you’re trying to find a quality rehab facility for your husband, you can call us for help. We can also help you find Suboxone clinics. We are professional addiction counselors, and we know how to best help you find the right treatment for your spouse. Just call us at 866-802-6848. We are available 24 hours a day. We help people every day, and we can help you.

blackouts from alcohol

Is There Any Way Around Telling Boss About Need for Rehab?

You’ve taken the first step and admitted you need help for your addiction. Now, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the implications for your personal life. Your addiction has most likely affected every aspect of your life, including your job. You may want to keep your need for rehab private because of the stigma attached to addiction. You might even be worried that you’ll lose your job if you tell your boss. Is there any way to get around telling your boss about your need for rehab?

Studies show that people who seek help for a substance use disorder have a much better chance of keeping their job than people who don’t. They’re also more likely to receive promotions. But you may want to avoid letting your boss know about your problem. It is possible to avoid telling your boss about the need for rehab, but you should also be aware that there are federal protections in place to keep you from being fired.

Your Options for Talking to Your Boss

If you’re truly uncomfortable telling your boss that you need to go to rehab, you don’t have to. You can use any accrued vacation time or ask for a leave of absence. You won’t have to explain the reasoning behind it. If your worry is about your reputation, you might give your boss the information alone and then travel out of town for your treatment.

If you don’t have accrued vacation time, or your employer will fire you for a leave of absence, you’ll need to protect your job through FMLA eligibility. Unfortunately, this will involve telling your boss about the need for rehab. However, you’ll also be protected from being fired.

What Is FMLA?

FMLA is the Family Medical Leave Act, a federal act that provides protection for employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to a family or medical emergency. Addiction and the need for rehab qualifies under FMLA.

This means that you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within one calendar year to complete your rehab program. You qualify for FMLA benefits if:

  • You have been employed for at least 12 months with the company
  • Before the start of the leave, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months
  • Your employer must employ at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your worksite

FMLA covers a number of different circumstances. The relevant one is that it allows employees to take care of qualifying serious health conditions they have, and addiction is one of the qualifying conditions.

Telling Your Boss You Need FMLA Leave

You need to give your boss notice about your FMLA leave at least 30 days before you leave for rehab. You will be required to disclose the fact that you have an addiction and are going to rehab. If you don’t disclose the medical issue, your boss can choose to decline your request for coverage.

Your boss will have five business days to respond to the request. You legally cannot be fired for requesting FMLA leave. Your boss must make arrangements or allow you to make arrangements for your job to be done while you’re gone. If your boss fires you for disclosing that you have an addiction, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. It’s best to contact an employment lawyer in these cases.

Company Policies on Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Before you talk to your boss, you should review your company’s policies regarding alcohol and drug abuse. Some company policies will indicate that an employee can face disciplinary action if their alcohol or drug abuse interferes with their work. This can include firing.

It’s important to keep in mind that your boss may already know you have a substance use disorder, especially if it has impacted your work. If you need to take FMLA leave, you should be forthright when disclosing information to them. Explain that you’re going to rehab because you want to get control over your life and do the job as well as you can.

You might not want to mention if you’ve used drugs or alcohol while in the workplace, or been high during work, particularly if the company policies prohibit it.

Alternative Treatment Options

If you don’t have accrued vacation time, don’t qualify for FMLA leave, or really don’t want to tell your boss about your addiction, you could consider alternative treatment options where you wouldn’t have to take time off work. Inpatient rehab is the best option, but studies show that some treatment is always better than no treatment.

One option is an intensive outpatient program, or IOP. These can often be attended on the weekend to work around business hours. They usually involve six to eight hours of therapy each day, but you sleep in your own home.

Detox should also be a concern. If you can, it’s important to undergo a medical detox at a certified detox facility. The medical professionals can provide counseling and medication to help you through the withdrawal process. Most detox programs last 1 or 2 weeks, so you’re more likely to have accrued vacation or sick time to cover them.

If you truly can’t take any time off work, you may be able to detox at home. This isn’t recommended for people whose substance use disorders might present with dangerous withdrawal symptoms. When this is the case, you should at the very least make sure a trusted loved one is with you. Detox professionals can prescribe medications like Suboxone to help with opioid dependence from home. This is a more accessible method of detox for people who can’t take time off work.

You can also attend 12-step programs and support groups. These help by putting you in touch with other people in recovery and helping you develop healthy coping mechanisms.

For more information about your options, you can call one of our trained counselors at 866-802-6848.

asking for help for alcoholism

Is There a Difference Between Opiates, Opioids, and Narcotics?

The words narcotic, opiate, and opioid are often used interchangeably to describe addictive drugs that are or have been used as pain medications. While “narcotic” is often thought of as a synonym for “illegal drug,” it really describes a drug that induces narcosis or insensibility. The word narcotic is also a broader term than either opiate or opioid; while all opiates are narcotics, not all narcotics are opiates.

An opiate is a natural substance derived from opium, which is itself an extract from the opium poppy. Opium contains chemical compounds like codeine and morphine. These compounds are thus opiates. The word “opioid” originally described a synthetic or semi-synthetic substance. While it binds to the same receptors as an opiate and has the same effects, an opioid did not occur naturally. Wholly synthetic opioids like methadone and fentanyl are manufactured in a lab. Semi-synthetic opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone are opiates that have been chemically modified. The word “opioid” is now applied to natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic drugs derived from opium.

What are narcotics?

The Greek physician Galen (130 -210 AD) is believed to have coined the word narcotic, which comes from the Greek word “narkō,” which means “to numb.” He used the word to describe any drug that dulled pain or induced sleep. Galen classed poppy juice and mandrake root as narcotics. Today, narcotics used in medicine are considered a type of powerful analgesic.

Narcotics not only block pain, they also cause euphoria and other altered mental states. Such effects encourage people to abuse narcotics and make them addictive. Consequently, the UN implemented the Single Convention in 1961 to regulate the sale and use of narcotics. The UN used the word “narcotic” to describe drugs like cocaine or cannabis, as well as opioids. While these drugs are not derived from opium, they have many of the same effects. They can block pain sensations, alter mood and/or induce euphoria, and cause addiction. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), by contrast, considers only drugs derived from opium to be narcotics. It also treats the words “opioids” and “narcotics” as synonyms.

What are opioids?

Opioids are drugs derived from opium. While the word originally described only synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs, it now includes natural derivatives of opium. It is thus more or less synonymous with “narcotics.”

Opioids are also defined as anything that can bind to the opioid receptors found on some nerve cells. Once there, they send a message to the brain that slows breathing, blocks pain, and reduces stress and depression. The body can actually produce its own opioids; they are called endorphins. It cannot, however, produce enough endorphins to relieve chronic or severe pain.

Examples of opiates

Opiates are natural derivatives of opium. They are sometimes called “natural opioids” in contrast to the semi-synthetic or wholly synthetic opioids. Codeine and morphine are opiates. Morphine is considered one of the world’s most effective pain relievers. It could originally only be taken through injection, but can now be taken orally or as a suppository. In addition to blocking pain, it also slows respiration, heart rate, and blood flow, and it causes a feeling of euphoria. People can become dependent on morphine to feel pleasure, and that dependency can lead to addiction. It may take only a few doses to become psychologically dependent on morphine.

Examples of opioids

Opioids work the same way opiates do and have the same analgesic effects. Some weaker opioids can be used to treat severe diarrhea or to suppress coughs. Opioids can be taken in a variety of ways that include the following:

• By mouth
• Skin patch
• Implanted pump
• Injection into muscle, vein, or area surrounding the spinal cord
• Nasal spray
• Suppository
• Tablet dissolved between the cheek and gum or under the tongue

Opioids are used to treat severe pain caused by injury or surgery. Most doctors use them to treat acute pain that lasts only for a few days. Opioids vary widely in strength; some are effective for only three to four hours, while the effects of the stronger opioids can last for up to half a day.

Examples of synthetic and semi-synthetic opioids include the following:

• Oxymorphone
• Oxycodone
• Methadone
• Hydrocodone
• Fentanyl
• Heroin

Hydrocodone is the generic form of such medications as Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab. It is the most commonly prescribed opioid in the US, and it is also the most commonly abused opioid. Hydrocodone is generally used to treat moderate to severe pain, and it can also be used as a cough medicine.

Fentanyl is prescribed to people who suffer from severe chronic pain. It is the generic form of such medications as Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, and Fentora. In addition to being 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, fentanyl is made in illegal laboratories. Fentanyl causes an immediate feeling of euphoria, and its potency makes it extremely addictive. Fentanyl’s potency also means that even a small dose can kill.

Heroin is an illegal drug with no medical use. It is less expensive than many prescription drugs, so many people start using it instead of a costlier medication. The CDC found that 75 percent of the people who use heroin had started by abusing a prescription opioid, and nearly 50 percent of the people who use heroin are also addicted to another opioid. Heroin is notoriously addictive, and an overdose is often lethal.

What makes opioids so dangerous?

Opioids can be extremely addictive, and an overdose can kill. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, over 52,400 people died from drug overdoses in 2015, making drug overdose the most common cause of accidental death in 2015. Over 60 percent of those deaths were caused by opioids. Heroin alone caused 12,990 overdose deaths, while opioid prescription pain medications caused over 20,000 deaths. These deaths have been increasing since the turn of the century; four times as many people died from opioid overdose in 2008 as in 1999. Sales of prescription pain relievers showed a similar increase. In 2012, doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioids – enough to medicate every adult in the US.

“Getting clean” is difficult, for opioid withdrawal causes symptoms similar to those of a bad case flu. Anxiety and depression often accompany the physical symptoms. If you have an opioid addiction you will need to undergo a medical detox, and you will also need a doctor’s help and guidance.

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 866-802-6848 for more information.

amerihealth detox center

What Are the Steps in a Heroin Treatment Program?

If you or a loved one is addicted to heroin, you may feel like you don’t know where to turn. Many people become addicted to heroin to deal with chronic pain, or they’re trying to self-medicate a mental illness. No matter the reason for usage, heroin is a very dangerous and highly addictive substance. The idea of quitting might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. What are the steps to a heroin treatment program?

Heroin treatment will generally follow three main stages: detox, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. The duration of these stages and the steps involved will vary depending on your circumstances. This is an overview of the basics of what to expect.

How Heroin Treatment Works

To understand the stages of heroin addiction treatment, it’s important to understand how recovery from addiction works. To have a successful recovery, people must manage the following:

  • Getting the toxic substance out of their body
  • Treating the mental health aspect of addiction and dependence
  • Treating any co-occuring mental or physical disorders
  • Treating the physical dependence on the substance

You’ll generally address these criteria in three stages. The first is detox, which is when you’ll go through the detoxification and withdrawal process. A medically monitored detox can help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce pain. The next is inpatient treatment. Most heroin addicts need inpatient treatment for a successful recovery; that said, sometimes people can’t afford to do an inpatient program. In these cases, outpatient treatment would be the next step. Outpatient treatment is also the next step after a heroin addict completes an inpatient rehab program.

Addiction is a lifelong disease that will require consistent maintenance. However, both the physical and mental symptoms will subside the longer you go without relapsing.

1. Detox

Detox is the first step. You need to rid your body of the heroin, which means going through the withdrawal process. Heroin withdrawal can be very painful, but medical detox involves methods that can help.

Professional treatment centers are the best place to go through a heroin detox. Hospitals are capable of medical monitoring, but they may not provide the same mental health services a patient needs. Many detox centers are attached to rehabilitation facilities, so you can go from detoxing to inpatient care without needing to change addresses. That said, detox is handled differently from rehab.

Detox refers to the medical aspect of withdrawal. As such, detox programs tend to last for only a few days, while inpatient rehab often lasts for several months. The longest detox programs tend to be about two weeks long. They involve consistent medical monitoring of your withdrawal symptoms to ensure your withdrawal is as safe and painless as possible.

There are a number of medications that patients may be prescribed during a heroin detox. Some of the common ones include:

  • Buprenorphine – An opioid medication that can help with cravings and withdrawal along with chronic pain
  • Methadone – An opioid stronger than buprenorphine that works similarly; however, the use is controversial due to the risk of overdose
  • Naltrexone – A blocker for opioid receptors that reduces craving and prevents heroin from getting the user high
  • Suboxone – A combination of buprenorphine and naltrexone that inhibits heroin effects while relieving withdrawal pain

2. Inpatient Rehab

After you’ve detoxed from the heroin, you need to deal with the mental aspect of addiction. The best way to do this is in an inpatient rehab facility. Inpatient rehab programs provide stable, controlled environments with constant access to medical professionals and mental health services. These are the best places to explore and treat your mental health.

Rehab programs typically last at least 30 days, but many will last between 3 and 6 months. Residential programs may last even longer. The best program for you will vary depending on your environmental circumstances, the strength of your addiction, and the mental health treatment you need.

2.5. Intensive Outpatient Care

This is labeled as step 2.5 because it’s a potential alternative to inpatient care. Experts highly recommend inpatient care for heroin addiction, as it’s a serious substance use disorder that has a high chance of relapse. For people who can’t afford the cost of inpatient rehab, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) is an option. Intensive outpatient programs will often require you to take time off work, but if you can’t afford that, you may be able to tailor your program around your schedule.

An intensive outpatient program will address the same mental health factors that you’ll cover in an inpatient rehab program. You’ll receive counseling and therapy, explore healthier coping methods, and get to the root of your addiction. You may also have access to family therapy services for your loved ones. Unlike inpatient care, however, you’ll live and sleep at home. Most IOPs involve four to eight hours of therapy per day.

Intensive outpatient care tends to be much cheaper than inpatient rehab. There are some inherent risks, though. If environmental triggers are a big part of your addiction, you might have a higher likelihood of relapse while in treatment. Relapse potential is also higher since it’s easier to get illicit substances outside a rehabilitation facility.

3. Outpatient Services

After completing inpatient treatment, outpatient services are used to maintain the patient’s mental and physical health. Typically, these will involve individual addiction counseling, meetings with psychiatrists for mental health medication, and regular physician appointments for any physical health conditions. Ongoing family therapy is also highly recommended.

4. Support Groups

Both secular and non-secular support groups are available in nearly every community. You can also find support groups online. Experts recommend that addicts attend support groups to connect with people going through the same issues. Peer support greatly reduces the chances of relapse.

If you’re ready to talk to someone about your addiction, we have trained counselors available 24/7. Call 866-802-6848 today.

alcohol detox treatment

What Strategies Do Detox Centers Use to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms?

Detox, or removing drugs or alcohol from the body, is a vulnerable time where persons addicted to these substances tend to give up due to discomforting withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the type of substance abused, some of the withdrawal symptoms can be severe both physically and emotionally.

Men and women who are ready to sober up sometimes hesitate due to fear of the withdrawal process. The fear may be driven by prior experience or the experience of others. To make withdrawal a lot more bearable, detox centers use various strategies to ease the symptoms.

The introduction of medically-assisted detox allows for the use of prescription drugs to help you gradually taper off drugs or alcohol. Besides being a safer and easier way to rid the body of addictive substances, this strategy significantly reduces the risk of relapse.

How Severe Are Withdrawal Symptoms?

The withdrawal process is a personal experience. Symptoms and results vary from person to person. Factors such as the type of substance abused, how much was used, and for how long will determine the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

People who tried to quit at home “cold turkey” know that some of the symptoms can be maddening, making them unable to complete the process. Because detox poses risks to physical and mental health, this process may be best done under the supervision of a health professional.

These are among the general withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be life-threatening:

• Overpowering cravings
• Shaking, chills, or cold sweats
• Irritability and fatigue
• Anxiety, panic attacks, or depression
• Confusion, hallucination, or paranoia
• High blood pressure
• Inability to sleep
• Heart palpitations
• Seizures
• Suicidal thoughts

Why Medically-Assisted Detox is Necessary

Medically-assisted detox is the first stage of addiction treatment and can be done at a residential or an outpatient detox clinic. The drug or alcohol is removed from your system during this process and the symptoms are managed to prevent relapse. Supervised detox is highly recommended for addiction to the following substances:

• Alcohol
• Opiates, e.g., heroin, cocaine, and meth,
• Prescription opioids, e.g., codeine, morphine, and oxycodone,
• Stimulants, e.g., Adderall and Ritalin
• Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, e.g., benzodiazepines and barbiturates

The more severe the addiction the more intense withdrawal symptoms are likely to be. Detox centers take a systematic approach to help you quit. From evaluation to psychotherapy, each stage is planned out to suit your circumstances. Their scientific approach has proven to be an effective method for drug or alcohol rehabilitation.

Evaluation: During intake and evaluation, a dual diagnosis will be performed by a health professional to determine the severity of the addiction. You will also be evaluated for any co-occurring mental health conditions, e.g., anxiety disorder. A treatment plan will be tailored, beginning with detox, before you transition into psychotherapy to address any mental health needs.

Stabilization: Withdrawal symptoms usually begin about 6 to 24 hours after the last dose of the substance. As symptoms become acute, you will be given medication to help reduce their effects. Some medications used have a two-fold effect. For example, suboxone works to taper the user off the addictive substance, e.g., heroin, as well as provide low doses of opioids to manage cravings.

Tapering off drugs or alcohol helps the body gradually adjust to the absence of the substance until it no long craves it. Stabilization is followed by the last stage of detox which is preparation for entry into addiction treatment.

Types of Medications Used For Medically-Assisted Detox

Detox can last for days, weeks, or months. Certain medications are approved by the FDA for short-term and long-term treatment of withdrawal symptoms. They are administered in low doses to prevent addiction.

Alcohol: Several drugs may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms. Carbamazepine helps prevent seizures, beta blockers treat rapid heart rate and high blood pressure, while benzodiazepines, e.g., Valium, can prevent serious withdrawal symptoms from developing. Acamprosate helps restore neurotransmitters in the brain while disulfiram may be administered to deter future alcohol use by making the substance taste unpleasant.

Opiates: Withdrawal symptoms related to addiction to opiates such as heroin can be treated with buprenorphine, clonidine, suboxone, or methadone. These are prescription opioid medications. They prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms by tricking the brain’s opioid receptors into thinking cravings are being satisfied.

Opioids: Symptoms related to abuse of prescription opioids such as oxycodone, codeine, or methadone may be treated with suboxone. Suboxone is an opioid blocker. It contains the ingredients naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine creates a mild feeling of euphoria and reduces or prevent symptoms such as pain. The effect of naloxone is beneficial during maintenance as it blocks the effects of opioids on the brain.

Stimulants: Benzodiazepine is a depressant that may be prescribed to help with irritability, depression, anxiety, and insomnia during withdrawal from stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin.

Depressants: Symptoms related to addiction to CNS drugs such as benzodiazepines can be alleviated using a benzodiazepine drug itself, e.g., diazepam.

Antidepressants to treat anxiety and sleep medication for insomnia can be given as needed while weaning off alcohol, opiates, or opioids.

Benefits of Medical Detox

If you or someone you know are considering treatment at a detox center, a quick consideration of these benefits can help you decide on medically-supervised withdrawal:

• You will be in a safe, structured environment surrounded by a medical staff

• Inpatient centers provide round-the-clock supervision and can manage medical emergencies that may arise

• In the absence of environmental triggers that lead to drug or alcohol abuse, you can focus mainly on recovering.

• Getting clean at a detox center significantly reduces the risk of relapse. Even if you experience cravings, medications may be used to manage them until cravings subside.

• Detox centers usually have mental health professionals to provide emotional support and therapy to manage psychological symptoms, e.g., depression, mood changes, or emotional overreaction.

• Once you are stabilized, you are prepped to transition to psychological therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and family therapy can help you understand why you choose drugs or alcohol to cope with life problems.

Medical detox is the first and crucial step to sobriety. It also paves the way for psychological therapy. Detox centers in South Florida may use one or more of these medical strategies for managing withdrawal symptoms and providing clinical comfort. The types of medication used will depend on the substance that was abused in addition to your personal recovery needs. A simple phone call to 866-802-6848 is all it takes to start the process of long-term recovery.