Monthly Archives: November 2018

opioid side effects

The Drug Pandemic: What You Should Know About Opioid Side Effects

1 in 3 adults knows of someone who struggles with opioid addiction.

It starts with relief from pain and can turn into a life-threatening addiction. Increased opioid abuse has led to a nationwide crisis in America, where many adults, teens, and elderly are struggling without treatment.

Considering taking opioids to help with pain management? Or know of a loved one suffering from opioid withdrawal?

Here’s everything you should know about opioid side effects and how it can quickly turn into an addiction.

Prescribing Painkillers: What to Expect from Opioid Side Effects

Opioids often get prescribed to people recovering from surgery or a serious injury. They help to provide relief for those experiencing chronic pain — that which cannot get reduced with over-the-counter medicines alone.

Opioids work by blocking pain receptors in the brain. This results in a physical change in the body’s response to how it feels pain.

This narcotic gets derived from the poppy plant. Yet, many opioid substances on the market are also man-made.

Pain relief from opiates comes in many variations, with Percocet, Vicodin, and OxyContin being the most popular type of prescriptions.

The Side Effects: From Mild to Serious

The most common side effects are nausea, drowsiness, and mental confusion. Users also experience constipation, as the digestive system slows down.

Expect your mind to be in a state of fogginess when on the drug. This is why doctors recommend not to drive a car when under the influence of opioids.

Respiratory issues can also occur. The drug can cause breathing to slow down to dangerous levels. This can be fatal if the body does not get enough oxygen.

Heavy users may even experience brain sedation. They may find themselves slipping in and out of consciousness throughout the day.

Opioids also provide a feeling of euphoria and comfort. This is due to an increase in dopamine production.

This is one of the main risk factors for opioid abuse. People enjoy the feeling of being high and find themselves craving the drug.

Drugs like Percocet also contain acetaminophen. This can cause damage to the liver and weaken the immune system over time. This also brings about opioid-related disorders, like a risk for heart infection.

The most serious side effect of narcotic abuse is a possible overdose. This leaves opioids to be one of the top causes of death in America.

When It Turns to Addiction

Over 2 million Americans are struggling with addiction and abusing pain medications. The problem is that opioids should only be taken as a short-term solution for pain.

Yet, people are finding that their tolerance builds up with opioids. They grow a dependence on the drug to get through the day. This is one of the main causes of opioid addiction.

This turns into a problem when people begin taking a larger dose than prescribed, or they start to abuse the drug to get high. Many find that they can’t stop using the drug and become dependent upon it for normal functioning.

The psychological effects of opiates can cause changes in behavior. Symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and psychosis can occur as drug cravings set in. Opiate addiction can also increase the risk of developing depression.

The dangers of opioid addiction can also lead to heroin abuse. As many as 86% of heroin users first started with an addiction to opiates. This is because once the opiates are no longer available, the addict must get their fix, so they turn to the streets for heroin instead.

The Pandemic Continues…

Much of the population believes it’s easy to find opioids without a prescription. This becomes even scarier when one considers how easy it is for younger generations to get their hands on illegal opioids.

Death as the result of an opioid overdose is also increasing. Painkiller overdose is now responsible for 50,000 deaths a year. It’s become even more fatal than car accidents and gun violence.

It’s also becoming a risk for pregnant women. Those addicted during their pregnancy subject their babies to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. This causes newborns to have withdrawal symptoms after birth.

People who switch from opiates to heroin are also contributing to new health epidemics in America. An increase in sharing needles has bought about a higher risk of hepatitis C among heroin users.

Battling Opioid Addiction

Only 1 in 10 Americans who suffer from opioid addiction get the treatment they need. It’s crucial to learn and recognize the symptoms of opiate abuse. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, recovery is possible.

The government is currently working to cut down on opioid production. To help decrease addiction, it’s also important to focus on awareness and getting people proper treatment. Rather than punishing those who abuse opioids.

Local treatment facilities offer specialized counseling, detox programs, and therapy techniques. Support groups can also help those suffering from addiction.

The road to recovery will require a great deal of time, energy, and commitment. Here’s more on how to overcome anxiety during the treatment process.

Opioid-related withdrawal symptoms mimic the flu and can last up to a month. Yet, there are also medicines that can help lessen the symptoms of withdrawal. Naloxone is another medication that can save lives by reversing the effects that cause an overdose.

Therapy gets recommended afterward to help with any psychological symptoms of addiction. It’s also important to avoid any triggers that can cause a relapse, such as drinking. Find support and help from family, friends, and loved ones.

Finding the Right Treatment Center

Making the decision to get help is the first step towards recovery. From there, you’ll want to choose a location that provides sufficient support and the latest in treatment options.

Consider what type of environment and standards of practice you want to detox in. Some patients prefer a holistic approach to healing. They seek mental relaxation from gardens, waterfalls, and meditation pavilions on the property.

Think about what level of privacy you prefer. Some seek a calming and comfortable environment best for isolation. Others enjoy living areas for interacting and finding support from other patients.

Here’s more on what to expect in residential therapy during an opiate detox.

Breaking the Addiction and the Road Ahead

Opioid side effects may start mild. Yet, they are capable of wreaking havoc on an entire country and claiming lives. If taking opioids for pain management, it’s important to pay attention to your body and mind.

Always look out for signs of a growing tolerance or changes in your own behavior. Opioid addiction can strike in both physical and psychological ways.

Learn more about how a treatment facility can help break your addiction and get your life back on track.

alcohol vs drugs

Alcohol vs Drugs: How Does Drug and Alcohol Detox Differ?

A study in 2014 found that over 20 million people in the US struggled with addiction.

Since then, more and more cases have been reported every year, meaning that addiction is continuing to increase in prevalence.

Another major issue is that these statistics are likely only a low estimate. This is because many people who have an addiction may not be ready to admit that they do. And if they are using illegal substances, they may also lie if they are ever questioned in order to create these statistics.

For those who are trying to get better though, the detox process can be very difficult and sometimes feel insurmountable.

This is because the body becomes dependent upon the drug so that when it is no longer in the system, the body begins to react. First, it has to remove all traces of the substance from the body and then reestablish the internal systems to how they were before they were dependent.

What’s incredible is that everyone’s body is capable of doing this, but it requires a strong determination to get better and time to overcome the addiction.

But when it comes to alcohol vs drugs, is the detox process any different? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Is It a Case of Alcohol vs Drugs?

One point many people raise is that alcohol itself is a drug, so why do we separate the two when talking about addiction?

In short, it mainly does come down to semantics and cultural trends.

Alcohol has been legal for decades, is a fermented drink, and is sold in grocery stores and specialist shops. Most other drugs that lead to addiction, however, are illegally obtained or medically prescribed, and so are more often associated with crime and pharmacies.

The detox process is relatively similar between the two, but there actually are a few differences.

General Withdrawal Symptoms

Going through withdrawal is slightly different for each person.

It depends on a number of factors such as how much of the drug you took, how long you took it for, your other lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise, and also if you’ve suddenly “gone cold turkey” or have begun trying to phase out the drug slowly before quitting completely.

Just because you’ve mentally decided that you want to stop does not mean that your body will not continue to crave the drug. In the same way, the dependency took time to grow, it will take some time for it to go as well.

The most common withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Shaking/trembling
  • Nausea and possibly vomiting
  • Increased irritability
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety

If the dependency is very high, then fevers, hallucinations, and even seizures can be experienced by some people.

The Duration of a Detox

To be clear, the detox process is simply your body adjusting to not having the drug in its system any longer. It does not mean the addiction itself is gone.

As mentioned above, there are many factors which will determine the detox process, and this applies to its duration as well.

Because of this, a detox can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks with the longer durations often being the most severe cases.

Do You Need Medical Care?

Detoxing with medical care is most often needed for those withdrawing from drugs rather than alcohol.

Of course, if the addiction is severe, then it could be dangerous to attempt to detox without medical care.

With medical supervision, a person can receive a variety of professional help that will aid in their recovery. For example, in some cases, you may get counseling services to talk through any issues you are having or discomfort you are feeling.

Rather than becoming paranoid that something terrible might happen, you will have someone there to check on you and let you know you’re alright.

They may also prescribe pain relievers to help with the withdrawal symptoms and possibly other medications, too, which we will cover below.

Alcohol: Delerium Tremens

One side effect that is exclusive to alcohol withdrawal is known as ‘delirium tremens’ (DTs), a condition that will usually only occur after a person has been heavily abusing alcohol for over a month.

In this case, ‘heavy abuse’ equates to 6-8 pints of wine or beer, or up to a pint of liquor per day.

As you can imagine, when someone stops binging in this way, the body has a very extreme reaction.

DTs usually happen a few days after a person has stopped drinking, and the symptoms occur very rapidly.

They are described as an immediate feeling of confusion and disorientation with heavy sweating and a fast heart rate. It also is known to cause hallucinations and nightmares which makes the recovery process that much more challenging.

However, DTs only last a few days, and once they are over, you will not experience them again throughout your recovery.

With medical supervision, it’s also possible that benzodiazepines will be prescribed to help you and your body cope through your alcohol detox.

Drugs: Medication

A drug detox is slightly different because the chemical composition of illegal drugs like heroin and legal prescription drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin can be mirrored by synthetics and treated with other options.

A synthetic works by providing none of the high enjoyed by the addict but still giving the body similar chemicals to abate the withdrawal symptoms.

Again, medical supervision during detox is the safest way to do it since it provides the best care at the times a person needs it most.

Detox Programs

When it comes to alcohol vs drugs, there really is not that much of a difference. Regardless of the addiction, one of the best ways to ensure that recovery starts the right way is through a professional detox program.

This will give you the space to feel at your worst surrounded by those who fully understand what you’re going through and who are there to help.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, check out our facility and detox programs to find the exact service you need.

why is alcohol addictive

Why Is Alcohol Addictive? A Study of One of the Most Infamous Drugs

Shame is one of the most painful feelings you can experience.

Negative feelings are often a direct reflection of how we view ourselves in the world. Many alcoholics carry around shameful feelings about being unable to quit drinking on their own.

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, you’re not alone. Did you know that 18 million American adults suffer from some type of alcoholism? Alcohol abuse can range from mild to moderate and can eventually become severe.

Society falsely believes that you can stop drinking by just having the willpower to make healthy choices. However, the truth is that having an addiction centers around having a lack of choice.

Read on to find out the answer to the question, “Why is alcohol addictive?”

Why Is Alcohol Addictive?

There are different physical and psychological factors that contribute to alcohol addiction. Individuals who abuse alcohol for a long period of time will need to have a drink just to feel “normal” again.

If you’re considering having an intervention for a friend or family member, it helps to understand the different types of addictions. When someone is having trouble being happy without alcohol, they might have a psychological addiction.

The two types of addiction are:

  • Psychological
  • Physical

If someone is experiencing withdrawal symptoms after a short period of not drinking, they may have a physical addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms can present themselves in many different ways. Common withdrawal symptoms include being nauseous, having trouble digesting food, anxiety, and shakiness.

More severe withdrawal symptoms can also include problems with hallucinations and even seizures.

During the detox process, vitamins and supplements can help minimize some of the physical withdrawal symptoms.

Next, we’ll explore how alcohol interacts with your brain once it’s in your system.

Neurotransmitters

Why is alcohol addictive? Because your brain learns to need it.

Your body has an intricate system for sending messages. Our nerves are constantly communicating with each other to carry out bodily functions. The chemicals that help the nerves deliver their messages are called neurotransmitters.

Everyday functions like breathing, blinking, and swallowing would be impossible without neurotransmitters. There are two kinds of neurotransmitters in your body. One is to help you receive inhibitory messages, while the other expresses excitatory messages.

Inhibitory neurotransmitters work to help keep your brain calm. When you feel at peace, it’s because of the inhibitory messages your brain is receiving. However, when you feel alert, focused, and ready to learn, it’s a result of excitatory neurotransmitters stimulating your brain.

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in your body. When you drink alcohol, your body increases it’s GABA production. That means your brain will become intensely inhibited. Your body becomes so at ease that simple tasks like walking, talking, and making memories become difficult — if not impossible.

The increased levels of GABA work to sedate your brain. The more alcohol that’s consumed, the more severely your brain will become inhibited.

After abusing alcohol for a few months or years, the brain begins to adapt to this abnormal state. In an attempt to survive, your brain starts to view the increased inhibition levels as normal.

Because your brain thinks the abnormal state is normal, it ramps up activity with your excitatory neurotransmitters. As a result, you’ll begin to develop a tolerance to alcohol. Individuals will have to drink larger amounts to feel the same calming effects they used to achieve after only having one or two drinks.

Dopamine

Dopamine is the other neurotransmitter alcohol has an effect on. Whenever your brain wants to reward you with pleasure, it releases dopamine. Dopamine helps you with pleasurable activities like eating, sleeping, and sex.

When you consume alcohol, your brain will release more dopamine. That’s because your brain is happy with the effects of alcohol. It notices you are calmer and happier and wants to reward this peaceful state of being with dopamine.

After abusing alcohol for a long period of time, you’ll damage your dopamine transporter and receptor sites. Your brain will begin to produce less and less dopamine over time. As a result, you’ll feel the need to drink larger amounts to receive the same pleasurable results.

Endorphins

Whenever you experience pain, your body naturally releases endorphins. Your body’s central nervous system is responsible for creating the tiny pain-fighting molecules.

Endorphins are mainly intended to help counteract physical pain. However, endorphins also counteract psychological pain by creating a state of euphoria.

Have you ever felt amazing after a long, sweaty workout? Chances are that during the workout, you were pushing your body to new and sometimes painful limits. In response to your discomfort, your brain released endorphins to help you feel better.

Different parts of your brain release endorphins. The two areas of your brain alcohol will release endorphins into are the orbitofrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens.

Both of these areas in your brain affect decision-making and addictive behavior. When your body releases endorphins into the nucleus accumbens, you’ll experience a high level of pleasure. The alcohol is able to trick your brain into believing drinking is a healthy and pleasurable activity.

Your brain will become used to receiving a rush of pleasure accompanied by a feeling of being at ease. Once your brain gets used to feeling high levels of pleasure, it begins to crave the effects of alcohol.

Finding a Way to Recover from Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol cravings can be sudden and unexpected or drag on throughout the entire day. High levels of stress and previous substance abuse can intensify the urge to drink. Social aspects and genetics also play a role in answering the question, “Why is alcohol addictive?”

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse, you might wonder what you can do to help. Coastal Detox is happy to help answer all of your questions about how to recover from drug and alcohol addictions. We are Florida’s most comfortable drug and alcohol detox center.

Our goal is to provide you or your loved ones with soothing, holistic therapies in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. All of our treatments are medication-assisted to help eliminate the pain and discomfort of withdrawal.

You can learn about the immediate help we have to offer by using our contact us page. One of our compassionate team members will be happy to tell you about our different detox programs.

medication for drug addiction

Medication for Drug Addiction: Should Drugs Combat Drugs?

A staggering 20.2 million American adults struggle with a substance use disorder today. To put that figure into perspective, that’s 8% of the total population.

Drug addiction destroys the lives of both users and their families. It’s complicated, confusing, and devastating. And when left untreated, it can be fatal.

With that said, medication for drug addiction can be a part of the recovery process. Keep reading for more of what you need to know about medication for drug addiction.

How Does Medication for Drug Addiction Work?

Both drugs and alcohol can become physically and psychologically addictive. The chemicals in these substances contort how the brain perceives pleasure. Furthermore, once refraining from substance use, the individual can experience withdrawal symptoms.

These withdrawal symptoms can range from mild distress to extreme discomfort. Due to this unpleasant experience, many people strive to avoid withdrawal altogether, or they relapse in the process.

Medications can serve a variety of purposes including:

  • Alleviating withdrawal symptoms
  • Blocking cravings
  • Reversing overdose effects
  • Managing co-occurring mental disorders

Under medical supervision, these medications can provide a safe option for successfully entering a long-term recovery.

Opioid Addiction Medications

The heroin addiction has taken America by the proverbial storm over the past decade. We’re seeing high rates of overdose. We’re also seeing entire communities ravaged by these substances.

Stopping cold-turkey can work for some, but many people benefit from medication to ease withdrawal and manage cravings.

Naloxone

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. When administered appropriately, it can work to save someone’s life.

Naloxone is available in injectable forms (used by medical professionals). It’s often offered in auto-injectible forms so family members or caregivers can use it. Finally, sold under the name Narcan, it’s sold as a nasal spray.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors as an opioid antagonist. it essentially blocks the pleasurable or euphoric effects associated with opioids.

Naltrexone currently can be administered:

  • Intravenously by a physician
  • By being taken orally as a tablet
  • By being implanted under the skin

Serious side effects can occur. Potential naltrexone users should consult their physician about these effects.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone)

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid antagonist commonly known as Suboxone, or Subutex.

Suboxone contains both Buprenorphine and naloxone. It attaches to the receptors just like other opioids and can reduce their effects.

Therefore, Suboxone can essentially help satisfy the intense cravings for heroin. It doesn’t produce the same euphoric effects, which can help reduce the effects of dependence.

That said, as Suboxone is a narcotic, it can still be addictive when misused or abused. It should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.

Methadone

For decades, people have used Methadone to alleviate heroin and narcotic pain medication addiction. When taken as prescribed, it can be a safe harm reduction method. Methadone reduces painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

Methadone is offered in both pill and liquid forms. However, it can also be abused, as Methadone can become addictive.

When stopping Methadone, people will certainly experience withdrawal.

Alcohol Addiction Medications

The FDA has approved three medications for treating alcohol addiction.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone can also block the receptors associated with the rewarding feelings of alcohol use. This can reduce a relapse into heavy drinking.

Acamprosate (Campral)

This medication can reduce the distressing symptoms associated with long-lasting withdrawal. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and restlessness.

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

Antabuse interrupts alcohol’s breakdown. Therefore, if the individual chooses to drink, he or she faces unpleasant reactions like nausea, vomiting, and flushed skin. These negative effects can counteract the positive feelings people associate with alcohol intoxication.

Psychiatric Medications

Many people struggle with both substance use and mental health disorders. In fact, people with mood or anxiety disorders are twice as likely to struggle with drug addiction.

Early sobriety can increase feelings associated with depression or anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to manage mental health symptoms to avoid a relapse. Medication can be a part of that treatment.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants work by helping balance the chemicals in the brain that impact mood and emotions.

It can take several weeks for antidepressants to reach their full effect. The change may be subtle at first, but people do start feeling an increase in mood and energy within a few weeks.

Common antidepressant medications include:

  • Effexor
  • Cymbalta
  • Welbutrin
  • Paxil
  • Zoloft
  • Prozac
  • Lexapro

Each medication comes with its own set of side effects. Sometimes people need to try several different medications to find what works for them.

Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers help improve mood disturbances associated with depression and mania. It can be used for treating Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.

Mood stabilizers help individuals feel more even-keeled and calm in daily living. Common mood stabilizing medications include:

  • Lithium
  • Depakote
  • Topamax
  • Gabapentin
  • Clozapine
  • Risperidone

It should be noted that mood stabilizers also have their own set of side effects. It is imperative that patients discuss any swift changes in mood or personality with their doctor.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

Anti-anxiety drugs can range between antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines include medications like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

In the short-term, these can be very beneficial for managing symptoms of anxiety. However, they can also become habit-forming and problematic for individuals with a history of addiction.

Benzodiazepines slow down the nervous system, which helps people relax both physically and mentally. They work quickly (can bring relief within 20-30 minutes), but they can evoke a sense of physical addiction.

People may feel sleepy, agitated, or uncoordinated on lower doses, which can cause problems in daily functioning. While safe in small doses, they can be deadly when combined with other medications, prescription painkillers, or alcohol.

Final Thoughts

At Coastal Detox, we provide individualized, 24/7 medical detox for clients struggling with substance use disorders.

We employ a variety of holistic and medication for drug addiction options to provide optimal care for you or your loved ones.

Hope and relief are available. Contact us today for more information.

dealing with alcohol withdrawal

Dealing with Alcohol Withdrawal: What You Should Expect

Do you drink too much?

If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 15.1 million adults over the age of 18 suffer from an alcohol use disorder. In fact, alcohol kills about 88,000 people annually.

As the numbers show, this disease affects a large number of Americans and requires action. If you feel like alcohol negatively affects your life, you should quit drinking.

Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal does not make quitting easy. Dealing with alcohol withdrawal takes effort and strength. Remember why you decided to quit when the tough times hit.

Reasons to Quit Drinking Alcohol

Before getting into the ugly side of alcohol detox, let’s focus on the reasons you want to switch to a sober life. Alcohol abuse:

  • Increases your risk of causing a motor vehicle accident
  • May trigger violent behavior
  • Can lead to legal issues
  • Causes depression
  • Damages your heart and liver
  • Increases your risk for developing mouth, throat, esophageal, and stomach cancer, among other types

Do not lose sight of these very real effects of alcoholism on your journey to sobriety. Yes, withdrawal feels awful, but it passes, unlike these life-altering consequences of alcohol abuse.

Dealing With Alcohol Withdrawal

People experience an unpleasant alcohol withdrawal when trying to quit after drinking heavily for an extended period of time. Due to the severity of symptoms, many people choose to check into an alcohol detox program. Keep reading to learn what you can expect from alcohol withdrawal.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting typically accompany withdrawal from any substance. The body revolts to the sudden change and creates this unpleasant side effect in efforts to get the addict to use again.

To deal with this, eat a bland diet during withdrawal to avoid stomach irritation. Choose foods like saltine crackers, steamed rice, and bananas. Stay hydrated, too – even if fluids make you feel like vomiting. Dehydration makes nausea and vomiting worse.

You can try nausea medications and Pepto Bismol to ease the symptoms and keep down fluids. Some people swear by acupuncture to help them through as well.

If you cannot keep fluids in, seek medical attention. You may want to check out withdrawal clinics for a safer way to detox.

Anxiety

People detoxing often feel anxious. This happens due to the brain getting used to the depressant effect and then suddenly feeling stimulated when alcohol leaves the system.

The anxiety can intensify the other symptoms, while the other symptoms can exacerbate the anxiety. It becomes a vicious cycle. Prescription medications and detox centers can help.

Insomnia

Difficulty sleeping also results from the sudden stimulation to the central nervous system that is used to the depressant effects. Insomnia and anxiety often go hand in hand and feed off of one another.

You can try to combat insomnia with over the counter sleep aids or herbal teas containing lemongrass, lavender, chamomile, or valerian root. Prescription medications also help ease this symptom of alcohol withdrawal.

Profuse Sweating

During alcohol detox, people tend to sweat, a lot. Let’s discuss why.

Carbohydrates, or sugars, make up alcohol. When you drink heavily for a long time, your body gets used to higher glucose levels. To make up for it, your pancreas produces higher levels of insulin.

When you suddenly stop drinking, you do not need as much insulin. Your sugar levels can drop significantly. Low sugar causes sweats.

You may need to change your clothing frequently to stay comfortable. During the night, layer the bed with towels to avoid needing to get up and change the sheets.

Alcohol Shakes

During withdrawal, many people experience tremors in the hands and sometimes in other parts of the body. This happens due to alcohol’s depressant action on the brain.

When you quit depressing the part of the brain that deals with muscle control, the sudden overstimulation can make the body go haywire. Treatment programs provide medications that counteract this symptom.

Alcohol Seizures

Rarely, the impact on the brain that causes the shakes can affect the body so severely that the person experiences a seizure. Alcoholic seizure research suggests that heavy drinking puts a person at greater risk for developing epilepsy as well.

These seizures can cause harm and even kill a person. The risk for this side effect makes it a wise decision to go through withdrawal in a detox facility.

Delerium Tremens

This is the most serious form of alcohol withdrawal. It can start 2-10 days after your last drink.

The symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Extreme sensitivity to light, noise, and touch
  • Extreme bodily tremors
  • Agitation
  • Mild disorientation to severe confusion
  • A deep sleep that persists for a full day or more
  • Seizures

This condition can lead to chronic memory impairment and loss as it can turn into the condition Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. If you notice signs of this in yourself or a loved one during detox, then seek immediate medical care.

When Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Start?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as the alcohol leaves the body. Sometimes though, your body takes a bit to freak out from the detox.

Typically, you will experience shakes during the first day. Your symptoms will peak between 24 and 48 hours. Though, some symptoms, as with Delerium Tremens, can take up to 10 days to develop.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol?

The length of withdrawal symptoms depends on many personal factors, including how much you drank and for how long. Usually, people can expect the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal to begin subsiding in about 5-7 days if they do not develop the more serious form of it.

Though most people find that the worst symptoms dissipate in about a week, less severe symptoms of withdrawal can last for weeks. More alcohol-dependent people can typically expect more severe symptoms and a longer detox time.

Can I Quit Cold Turkey?

Though it sounds great to simply stop drinking to avoid all of the adverse effects of drinking alcohol, you do not want to quit cold turkey. Stopping drinking abruptly can lead to more serious withdrawal side effects.

Making it a gradual process can make quitting drinking more manageable. You should consider contacting a detox clinic for help. They ensure that you detox safely while easing your symptoms.

Quit Drinking for a Better Life

Alcoholism ruins lives. It impacts people physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially.

Though detoxing comes with painful side effects, they are not as bad as the consequences of continuing to abuse alcohol. Dealing with alcohol withdrawal can feel overwhelming. Check out our detox facility to see how we can help you achieve sobriety.

drug detox

Medical Detox: Do Drug Detox Programs Actually Work?

Every year, over 20 million people in the United States struggle with addiction. But only about ten percent of them (2.5 million people) actually seek and receive treatment at a specialty facility.

If you’re dealing with an addiction and need help getting clean, it’s imperative to seek help as soon as possible.

There are many different types of treatment facilities you can visit to get the help you’re looking for, including drug detox programs.

If you’ve never heard of a drug detox program before, or if you just want more information to decide if this kind of program is good for you, keep reading. All of the basics about these programs will be explained below.

What are Drug Detox Programs?

Many people assume that the only way to overcome a drug addiction is to give up your drug of choice cold turkey and suffer through the withdrawal symptoms.

This method does work for some people. But, for others, it can be ineffective, dangerous, and even life-threatening.

When you’re habitually using a strong drug like heroin, for example, the withdrawal symptoms you experience when you suddenly stop using the drug can be so painful that some people actually die.

Drug detox programs offer an alternative to traditional detox programs. They utilize prescription medications like the drug Suboxone to minimize withdrawal symptoms and help an individual wean themselves off their drug of choice.

How Do Drug Detox Programs Work?

Many drug detox programs are inpatient programs. This means that you will actually stay at a special facility overnight for a specific period of time.

These kinds of programs allow the addict to detox in a safe environment under the supervision of qualified medical professionals.

When you first arrive at the facility, a special detox plan will be created for you, and you may be prescribed medication. This medication will be distributed to you on a regular basis by a medical professional to aid you in the detox process.

How Long Does the Program Last?

There’s no set duration for drug detox programs. But, they typically take place in an inpatient setting, and the initial detox usually lasts between 24 hours and ten days.

The detox period is often part of a more comprehensive addiction treatment program. Drug detox programs may involve other treatments to help you cope with the detoxification process and learn how to cope with triggers appropriately to avoid relapse.

When you stay in a drug detox facility, you’ll likely have access to group and individual therapy. You’ll also have opportunities to spend time outdoors and enjoy healthy meals that can aid in the detox process as well.

Medications Used During Drug Detox Programs

There are many different medications that physicians will prescribe to help addicts get through the detox process safely.

The following are some of the most common drugs used in these programs:

  • Suboxone: This drug reduces heroin cravings and blocks the effects of heroin use on the brain.
  • Methadone: This is a less potent opioid painkiller that helps reduce cravings for heroin and other opiates.
  • Buprenorphine: These days, this is often used in place of methadone because it’s easier to transition off of.
  • Antabuse: This drug interferes with the body’s ability to absorb alcohol.
  • Naltrexone: This drug reduces the effects of alcohol, as well as alcohol cravings

People who are abusing benzodiazepines often receive less potent versions of these same drugs. These versions allow them to wean themselves off of the drugs to which they are currently addicted.

Who Should Use a Drug Detox Program?

Not everyone needs to participate in a drug detox program to overcome their addiction. The following people are most likely to benefit from this type of program:

  • Those who have a physical addiction to a specific drug (or drugs)
  • Those who would experience severe discomfort if they tried to go through withdrawal without assistance
  • Those who face serious health risks if they try to go through withdrawal without assistance

People who are addicted to the following substances most often utilize drug detox programs:

  • Heroin
  • Prescription painkillers (Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Benzodiazepines

People who abuse club drugs and inhalants may also require a drug detox program to get clean.

Benefits of Drug Detox Programs

There are lots of reasons to consider a drug detox program, including the following:

Consistent Structure

When you’re trying to overcome an addiction, structure is everything.

When you’re participating in an inpatient drug detox program, you don’t have a lot of free time. This stops you from finding ways to obtain your drug of choice or even thinking about it. This, in turn, minimizes your chances of relapse.

Consistent Support and Supervision

In addition to having a consistent structure, inpatient drug detox programs also provide you with 24-7 professional support. You’ll have access to counselors, doctors, and nurses who can help you through the most difficult aspects of the recovery process.

Many people who go through detox programs also experience severe mental withdrawal symptoms — depression, anxiety, etc.

It’s especially important to have access to mental health professionals during this time in order to stay safe and avoid slipping into unhealthy behaviors or patterns.

No Negative Influences

When you participate in an inpatient drug detox program, you’re also free from negative influences. You’ll be surrounded by other people who all have the same goal as you — to get clean and live a healthier, happier life.

Time to Focus on Yourself

An inpatient drug detox program gives you time to focus exclusively on yourself and your recovery. You don’t have to split your focus between your recovery and other everyday stressors like work or family problems. This can improve your chances of getting clean and staying clean.

Enroll in a Drug Detox Program Today

Now that you know more about what to expect from drug detox programs, do you think this is the right approach for you? There are a lot of benefits of drug detox programs, including access to 24-7 medical and mental health support.

If you think that a drug detox program is appropriate for you and your needs, contact us at Coastal Detox today.

At our facility, we use a combination of holistic therapies and medication-assisted treatments to promote a safe, healthy detox.

stimulant abuse

What to Know About Stimulant Abuse, and How You Can Fight Back

Every day, 100 people die from a prescription drug overdose in the United States. Learn more here about stimulant abuse (prescription and non-prescription) and how to fight it.

At least 7 in 10 Americans take prescription drugs every day. While not all stimulants are available by prescription, certain prescription drugs like Adderall often find their way into the hands of others without the prescription for them. This contributes to stimulant addiction.

Here’s what you need to know about stimulant abuse.

Stimulants 101

Here are some facts about stimulants:

Stimulants are a class of drug that is designed to keep users awake and alert. They also cause euphoria, increased sex drive, increased concentration, and decreased appetite. Stimulants also give you energy and make you much more talkative.

The effects of stimulants depend on which stimulant is used. However, stimulants generally produce an overabundance of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine controls feelings of reward and pleasure.

After prolonged stimulants abuse, the brain can’t produce dopamine by itself anymore.

This inability to produce dopamine leads to users taking more stimulants. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps on going. This is a major reason why stimulant abuse is often associated with depression.

Using stimulants can also cause psychosis, chest pain, panic attacks, stroke, kidney damage, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, overdose, and heart attacks.

Types of Stimulants

Stimulants are available both by prescription and without a prescription. Here are some examples of stimulants:

Adderall is a common stimulant you can get with a prescription, but nonprescription Adderall use is on the rise. Other stimulants available by prescription that are frequently abused include Dexedrine, Ritalin, Concerta, Desoxyn, and Ephedrine.

Note: You can still experience the negative side effects of stimulants (like psychosis or panic attacks, for instance) if you’re taking the prescribed amount.

Other stimulants are street drugs that aren’t prescribed to anyone. This includes cocaine, crack, ecstasy (also known as MDMA), and crystal meth. These drugs are notorious for doing a lot of damage in short periods of time.

Why People Use Stimulants

People use stimulants for a variety of reasons. Many people simply like the feeling of using stimulants, while others use them for weight loss.

Because stimulants promote wakefulness and concentration, people use them for studying. People also use stimulants because they make you less aware of how much alcohol you consume. But know that alcohol and stimulants can be a deadly combination.

Others use stimulants because they have emotional or mental problems they’re trying to escape through drug use.

Either way, all of these “reasons” for using stimulants still pave the path to drug addiction and abuse.

How People Use Stimulants

The ways people use stimulants make these drugs even more dangerous.

Prescribed stimulants come in pill form. People who abuse stimulants often break the capsule in half or empty the contents of time-released capsules to make them kick in faster. Tampering with stimulant pills is dangerous because it increases one’s likelihood of overdosing.

Individuals suffering from stimulant addiction also take stimulants via injection or by smoking them. Injection and smoking make the drugs kick in faster, but both of these methods are the most dangerous. Smoking crack significantly harms your lungs and can lead to serious infections.

Snorting or swallowing stimulants are slower at increasing blood levels, so they produce slower, less intense effects. However, you’re still at a serious risk for experiencing harmful side effects if you take stimulants in these ways.

Symptoms and Asking Questions

If you suspect you or a loved one are abusing stimulants, you need to ask certain questions. The answers must be completely honest.

Do you or your loved one experience the following symptoms? These symptoms include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Seizures
  • Aggression
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene

Once again, assessing symptoms requires honest answers.

How often do you or your loved one use stimulants? How often do doctors want this person to take stimulants, if at all?

Do you or your loved one break pills apart or inject, smoke, or snort stimulants? If so, this is stimulant abuse.

What are the reasons behind using stimulants? The only right answer is to treat a health condition with a doctor’s supervision. Using stimulants to treat self-diagnosed problems is still stimulant abuse.

Do you/your loved one take more stimulants than you should? Whether it’s exceeding the prescribed dose or taking an excess amount of stimulants, taking stimulants puts your health in jeopardy.

What To Do

Once someone admits to stimulant abuse, remain as calm and non-judgmental as possible while approaching them about the subject. Emphasize positive things such as personal abilities or a future without drug abuse whenever you can.

If a person can’t stop using stimulants on their own, it’s important to get them professional help. Stimulant addiction is a legitimate medical and psychological problem that needs proper treatment.

Research different counselors and drug treatment programs in your area. Make sure these providers accept your insurance before signing in.

Talk with facility directors and see which program is best. Depending on the severity of the stimulant addiction, there are both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs to treat this addiction.

If your loved one is addicted to stimulants, encourage them to get as much help as possible. If possible, offer to take them to the treatment program. Be supportive of your loved one’s sobriety and recovery in whatever ways you can.

Recovery Is Possible

Police seized 15 kilograms of stimulants for every kilogram of heroin they seized in the last 5 years. This means stimulant abuse is increasing in the United States.

At least 2.7 million people started using stimulants in 2016 to get high. That number is climbing at a devastating rate. Treat stimulant addiction before it’s too late.

Make a healthy decision and learn more about stimulant addiction programs. It could help you save a life.

drug detox programs

What Are Drug Detox Programs, and How Do They Work?

The hardest part of recovery is arguably the detox and withdrawal process, which also happens to be the very first stage of overcoming addiction.

When an addict goes into the detox stage, there’s no telling what kind of symptoms they may feel. The intensity of their symptoms and the combination of them all depends on which drugs they’ve been using, and how often they’re been using.

Generally, though, the withdrawal stage is the most mentally challenging and physically demanding part of getting clean. This is why drug detox programs exist.

These are resources that addicts can use to get through the withdrawal stage with the support and attentive care of medical professionals. Such programs ensure that an addict doesn’t feel alone, and they do their best to keep an addict from falling back into their old ways.

The following is a closer look at how drug detox works and what special programs can do to support recovering addicts.

What Is a Drug Detox Program?

A drug detox program is a specially crafted medical treatment that aims to guide addicts through the necessary withdrawal process. Before such programs existed, addicts had to suffer through detoxing on their own, or admit themselves to a general hospital. But neither of these options can compare to the attentive, genuine care of a professional drug detox program.

Whether it’s an alcohol addiction that your loved one is dealing with, or they’re using things like opiates and painkillers, a drug detox program can help them overcome their dependency on the substance.

This type of program provides a space for an addict to go through the stages of withdrawal with emotional support and medical care. It helps addicts commit to their detox and complete their first step to recovery. Detoxing in such an environment lowers the likelihood of an addict falling back into drugs and increases their chances of reaching sobriety.

How Can Drug Detox Programs Help Addicts?

It only takes about a few days to get everything out of an addict’s system in drug detox. Withdrawals, on the other hand, can last anywhere from 5-10 days or even longer depending on the kind of drugs a person has been using.

Some symptoms are physical while others are emotional; the latter is what can affect a person long after the initial 10 days of withdrawal symptoms. With so much to deal with, the best thing an addict can do for themselves is to check into a professional drug detox program.

Below are all the benefits that choosing to go to rehab has to offer.

1. Fight the Temptation to Use

Imagine if you were sitting alone in your home dealing with everything from a headache and intense nausea to insomnia and vomiting. You’d probably be willing to do anything to make these things go away.

During a drug detox, this is the body’s way of telling an addict that it wants drugs. The body has gotten to a state that it can’t function without having drugs, and it’s begging for the addict to drink, shoot up, or otherwise give in to the temptation of using again.

Most addicts will give in because the intensity of these symptoms is just too much to bear. However, if they’re in a supervised, controlled environment instead of on their own, the option to use their drug of choice isn’t available. An addict has no choice but to finish what they started and complete the drug detox, leading to recovery.

2. Administer Medication for the Symptoms of Withdrawal

Being in a drug detox program doesn’t just help an addict focus on the goal they’re trying to accomplish; it also helps them reach this goal in a much easier manner than they’d be able to on their own.

Medical professionals are committed to the success of each addict’s detox. They’re available around the clock to administer medication that can ease the physical and mental effects of withdrawals. These medications are given in controlled doses and chosen carefully so as to help an addict detox, but not offset their progress toward sobriety.

3. Provide a Safe, Comfortable Place to Detox

Another huge benefit of detoxing in a controlled environment is that it’s made to be comfortable. Drug detox programs offer single rooms where addicts can relax and focus on getting better. It is a place where people can go to get away from distractions and negative influences that may get in the way of their detox.

This is especially beneficial if an addict lives with roommates who encourage bad behavior or who have decided not to support their journey to sobriety. The fewer distractions a person is influenced by or has access to, the better their chances of getting through the detox.

4. Offer Emotional Support

Sometimes, the biggest benefit of a drug detox program isn’t so much the medical attention as it is the genuine care. Addicts are often people who feel outcasted or alone in life. They don’t know who to lean on while experiencing withdrawals, or they may fear being rejected if they do reach out.

Thankfully, the professionals at a drug detox program are very understanding and compassionate. These people are willing to meet addicts where they are and walk with them on the journey to recovery – without any judgment, holding grudges, or negative comments.

5. Set Addicts Up for Success

The final way that a drug detox program helps an addict is that it sets him/her up for success on their journey to sobriety. If an addict decides to go through withdrawals on their own, they’re more likely to fall back into drug use after detoxing. This creates a cycle of relapse where they decide to get clean, use drugs again, and have to try all over again to get sober.

When a person uses a drug detox program to begin recovery, though, it’s easier to move onto the next steps. They can bypass the back and forth of dealing with withdrawals and jump into the real work of recovering instead.

What Comes Next?

Drug detox programs are only the beginning of every addict’s journey to recovery.

Once they’re in a good mental state and their body is clean of all the drugs they’ve been using, a person has to work on changing their ways for the better. They have to learn how to avoid future drug use, use better coping habits, and improve their life as a whole. That’s when the real transformation begins.

If you or someone you love needs help along their journey to sobriety, you’ve come to the right place. Click here to discover everything we can do!

ending the addiction stigma

Ending the Addiction Stigma

Society often thinks of drug addiction in a very negative light. With more than 75% percent of people believing drug addiction to be a choice, there is a lot of misinformation circulating in communities at large.

The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V) categorizes drug abuse as substance use disorder, and carries a list of characteristics associated with addiction as a disease, meaning the element of “choice” changes over time as the addiction becomes a disease of the mind. Most of these characteristics apply fully to those afflicted with drug addiction and alcoholism.

Drug addiction is a disorder affecting the individual’s brain chemistry that stems from an obsessive-compulsive desire. It is not a matter of will power that allows drug addicts to keep abusing their mind and bodies. It is a disorder that is claiming lives by the thousands, and is now believed to be much more of a medical condition than in years past.

Drug Addiction Stigmas

In charming small towns and urban cities, Washington serves as the backdrop for a nasty preconceived notion–that drug addicts and alcoholics choose to be this way. While not everyone in the state is under this delusion, there is still a nasty stigma amongst the majority that addicts choose their addictions by some lack of moral reasoning.

Addicts are harshly judged and discarded in places of employment, schools, homes, and other community activities. This addiction stigma affects the behavior of drug addicts because it lowers their self-esteem and self-worth, making them want to use even more, and keeping them bound to the belief that they cannot get help.

This disease and this stigma both destroy families, friendships, and work relationships. Breaking the stigma of addiction is now more important than ever. And it starts with knowledge, understanding, and acceptance.

Education for the Public

Addicts and alcoholics live in a desolate cycle of destruction. They are filled with guilt, shame, and remorse. They know secretly that they shouldn’t be doing the terrible things they put themselves through, but most of them cannot stop.

This is not because of a lack of will power–it’s actually due to a change in their brain chemistry as a result of using drugs over time. The more people understand this, the more they can stop dealing out harsh judgements for addicts.

If coming from a place of compassion and acceptance, a collective healing will take place. Even children are overdosing, and many more adults are succumbing by the thousands to drug addiction.

If the general public does their best to understand the science behind this disorder, then we can truly help our fellow sufferers to get treatment. Knowing the resources available in your community and the right steps to take are all you need to know in order to help others overcome their addictions.

Treating the Stigma

Licensed treatment centers have done an excellent job of employing medical staff to assist in the education and ease of withdrawal symptoms. Families of addicts are healed when their loved ones get help. This healing is contagious, and often creates a ripple effect extending beyond the immediate household and into the community.

You can help others who are struggling with addiction to get better in just a few simple steps. It’s time we end the stigma. Learn more about what you can do for yourself or someone suffering from addiction. Contact us to get help today.

overcoming anxiety in treatment

Overcoming Anxiety in Treatment

In today’s world, benzodiazepine addiction is a rampant issue that we must learn how to face. As the prevalence of addiction and dual diagnosescontinues to rise, knowing what to do the get help is of utmost importance to society as a whole.

Anxiety disorders are usually treated with some sort of narcotic prescription, such as the commonly-prescribed Xanax. These narcotics fall into a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or benzos, for short.

The problem with anti-anxiety medications is that they are habit-forming and change the mental state of the person diagnosed with the anxiety disorder. Tolerance is built up quickly with these drugs, causing dependence and creating bigger issues than the user began with.

Even people who are not typical substance abusers can become addicted to benzodiazepines, due to the way they change the neurological function in the brain. The withdrawal from benzos is one of the most dangerous drug withdrawals to endure, and detoxing without medical supervision may be life-threatening.

In drug and alcohol addiction treatment, the emergence of anxiety disorders is quite prominent for the simple fact that anxiety is a common withdrawal symptom seen with illicit drug use. In the case of the individual who is a dual diagnosis patient, meaning they are in treatment for both an addiction and mental illness such as anxiety, the use of benzodiazepines is known to cause more harm than good. It is best to diagnose the problem in treatment, and then come up with a safe strategy for detox that does not involve more narcotics.

The Prevalence of Xanax Addiction

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines. It comes in different dosages and is commonly prescribed for different types of anxiety disorders. As the prevalence of anxiety disorder continues to rise, Xanax prescriptions also continue to increase, indicating the need for rehabilitation centers to take care of this messy aftermath.

When those diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder are prescribed Xanax, their chances of not becoming addicted are decreasing more and more. If a person is dually diagnosed with substance use disorder and panic disorder, a prescription for Xanax could be detrimental as it will allow them to continue feeding the addiction side of their diagnosis.

Learning about this powerful benzodiazepine and how it’s affecting Americans today is a key part of helping yourself or a loved one who is suffering from a dual diagnosis to get help.

Address the Underlying Issue

In the past, our scientific community had limited knowledge in terms of addiction as a disease. Alcoholics and drug addicts would check into rehab, be put on some form of a benzodiazepine to help them taper off, and then be released from rehab 28 days later, only to relapse.

Part of the reason for relapse in this instance is that the benzodiazepine acts on the pleasure center of the brain, causing cravings in people with substance use disorder later on.

It is suggested that complete abstinence from mood or mind-altering substances must be practiced in order to recover from a hopeless state of mind and body. This means that taking Xanax to overcome withdrawal symptoms could pose a serious threat to the overall well-being of an alcoholic or drug addict.

Get Help Today

A more effective way to treat withdrawal symptoms than using benzodiazepines, especially if the person is dually diagnosed, is by finding a licensed treatment center that specifically addresses these issues.

Dual diagnosis treatment uses different levels of care to treat the whole problem. It addresses both disorders and utilizes positive behavioral therapy to instill useful tools that help with relapse prevention.

Contact us today to learn more about taking your life back, or helping your loved one take their life back from a dual diagnosis issue. Help is available 24/7 through Costal Detox.