Oxycodone addiction rates have been rising since the drug first hit the medical circuit.

Indeed, oxycodone is probably the best-known example of the shady side of pharmaceutical companies, as its history has shown.

This drug can prove addictive, fatal, and often leads the user down the path to using traditional hard drugs like opioids.

If you want to learn about the history and risks of this pharmaceutical preparation then you’re in the right place. Read on, and we’ll show you why oxycodone is one of the most dangerous drugs around and just how it got to be this way.

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid drug which is commonly used as a painkiller in medical settings.

Opioids are distinct from opiates, although the effects are quite similar. Opiates naturally occur in Papaver somniferum and include the compounds codeine, morphine, and thebaine.

Opioids, on the other hand, can be either fully synthetic or semi-synthetic. In the latter case, these drugs are modified forms of those which are naturally present in the opium poppy. Included in this class is hydrocodone, oxycodone, and heroin.

Oxycodone itself is derived from thebaine which is relatively benign in its natural form.

All of these drugs have two of the same qualities: they’re physically addictive and affect the dopamine system of the brain. Dopamine is one of the primary neurotransmitters responsible for mood and the reward system within the brain.

Oxycodone has garnered a harsh reputation and it’s well deserved. The truth of the matter is that oxycodone is only as dangerous as any other opioid when taken in equivalent doses, the demonization of the compound has more to do with the company who produced it than with the properties of oxycodone itself.

What Kind of Harm Does Oxycodone Do?

The main risk when someone is using oxycodone is physical dependence. The withdrawal symptoms from opioids are nasty.

Aching joints, nausea, diarrhea, sweating. If it’s included with the flu, then an addicted person is going to really go through it when they cease using the drug. Deaths can rarely occur due to dehydration, but for the most part, this process is just uncomfortable for the patient.

In addition to these physicals symptoms, there are mental symptoms as well. These can include anhedonia, depression, and anxiety.

That’s on top of the overpowering craving for the drug itself.

Physical addiction to a compound creates a feedback cycle. Even if someone wants to quit, it’s often easier to simply keep using in order to avoid being sick.

The main advantage for those who are using pharmaceutical preparations as their drug of choice is that they’re predictable in their effects. The dose is measured, there’s no cut, and the risks which plague heroin users like fentanyl-laced products aren’t a concern.

Unfortunately, they’re also seen as safer by many drug users.

The risks are high. Like all other opioids, oxycodone can cause lowered blood pressure, respiratory depression, and a slowed heart rate.

While single drug overdoses do occur with oxycodone, the vast majority of overdoses which occur come from mixing depressants. Other common recreational drugs, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, produce an exponential effect which can easily lead to the death of the user.

On top of that, no one really starts with heroin when they become an opioid user.

The rising black market prices of pharmaceuticals have created their own problems. Roughly 4% to 6% of those who abuse pain medications will end up switching to heroin since it is cheaper.

Of course, those painkillers could have been hydrocodone, codeine, or any other of the vast pharmacopeia of opiates and opioids used by doctors. There is a reason why oxycodone has garnered such a harsh reputation, however.

How is Oxycodone Taken?

There are two main formulations which contain oxycodone prescribed.

The first is an oxycodone/acetaminophen preparation which is sold under the brand name Percocet. These can contain up to 10mg of oxycodone each and don’t have any sort of time release.

While there’s some evidence that acetaminophen is synergistic with opioids, the main use seems to have been for anti-abuse purposes. The threshold for acetaminophen dosage is around 4 grams per day. Otherwise, liver damage can occur.

It also prevents being able to inject the drug once dissolved and makes snorting it more difficult as the active ingredients are “fluffed” with binders and acetaminophen to make a larger pill.

The other preparation is the one which gets most of the attention. Known under the brand name Oxycontin, these pills come in dosages of up to 80mg and release over the course of a day.

Oxycontin has changed preparation several times. The original form of the drug was relatively easy to clean for alternative methods of taking it. Injection, insufflation, and smoking were all common methods to use for those who were abusing oxycodone.

The current state of the continuous release preparations makes the drug much harder to abuse with alternative routes of administration but determined addicts have still found ways to work around the safeguards put in place.

More than that, it appears the safeguards haven’t done much to curb the death rate attributed to opioids as a whole. Instead, more users just switch to heroin as time goes on.

This often results in furthering addiction and all of the problems which come with it. At some point, most opioid addicts who seek treatment will end up in a residential treatment facility due to the extreme addiction potential of opioids.

Purdue’s Deadly Marketing

When oxycodone first reached the US marketplace it was aggressively marketed.

Purdue Pharmaceuticals ended up holding the US patent for the drug in the mid-1990s despite the fact that the drug was originally developed in 1916. Specifically, they held the patents for a continuous release version of the drug in doses up to 80mg.

A 160mg pill was also included in the line-up originally, but was discontinued shortly after release.

What followed was a textbook example of what can happen when drugs are being marketed.

Purdue produced misleading studies about the addictiveness of the drug. Like heroin before it, Oxycontin was marketed as a non-addictive, safer alternative to drugs like morphine.

It turned into a huge hit, producing over $35 billion for Purdue in a short period of time.

While not solely responsible for the opioid epidemic, Purdue’s marketing campaign was filled with misinformation even as evidence amounted that the studies they were using to promote the drug were erroneous.

The campaign to promote the drug has two major distinctions: it’s one of the most effective pharmaceutical marketing campaigns of all time and it had a major hand in the current opioid epidemic that is sweeping the US.

Their argument hinged on the fact that a time-released preparation would be less prone to abuse. There was no scientific evidence for this at the time the drug was being marketed.

Pill Mills and Doctor Shopping

Where there is demand for something, people will inevitably seek to supply it. While diversion of pills from prescribed users was a common method of acquiring them, there were also less scrupulous doctors who ran “pill mills.”

Pill mills are clinics that often operate under the guise of specializing in pain management. In most cases, they only accept cash payments and aren’t exactly discerning about who gets their pills.

Most of these clinics specialize in prescribing pain medications and in some cases even have an on-site pharmacy.

Basically, they’re doctors dealing drugs. While there has been some crackdown, there’s always someone else out to make a quick dollar and they haven’t been entirely stamped out just yet.

Pill mills became the gold standard of getting opioid preparations for both addicts and dealers. In some cases, people would go to multiple states, filling multiple prescriptions, in order to acquire a larger supply.

Pill mills are only prevalent in some parts of the country. Shifty doctors can be found anywhere, but dedicated facilities are only common in some parts of the country.

Instead, many addicts will seek out multiple doctors to get their prescriptions. This practice is known as doctor shopping and it is common in areas where pill mills aren’t available.

There was an abrupt shift towards opioid use for pain management in the late 1990s. This means a dedicated addict can generally find their prescription sooner or later by simply stating that they are in some sort of pain, because pain isn’t really quantifiable, so the doctors are likely to give in to their requests and supply them the pills.

Killing Users and Breaking Families

If you’re living in the United States, then you’re likely aware of the opioid epidemic.

Currently, overdose is the leading cause of death for those from 18 to 55. The primary culprits are polydrug abuse including pharmaceutical preparations and the practice of lacing heroin with fentanyl and other analogs.

Even for those who manage to not overdose, there are serious repercussions.

It’s been said that addiction is the only disease which affects the whole family. Quite often a person will display absolute recklessness and disregard for others while engaged in drug seeking behaviors.

Active addiction is a mess for everyone involved. Criminal activity, risky lifestyles, and erratic behavior don’t just hurt the addict but everyone close to them as well.

Often this leads to isolation of the addict as their behavior worsens until they’re not only contending with the physical withdrawal of the drug but also the consequences of their actions once they enter withdrawal.

It’s an endless cycle for the addict and one which many are desperate to escape.

Entering Treatment

There’s a common perception that rehab “fixes” addiction.

That’s not quite true. Instead, going through rehabilitation gives a person a fighting chance to stay clean from their drug of choice. It’s still up to the addict themselves to follow directions and keep away.

Treatment is a multi-stage process for the serious addict.

The first thing which needs to be done is to go through a detox program. A medically assisted detox will lighten withdrawal symptoms and keep a person in a safe environment during the first stage of getting clean.

Following this, a patient will often enroll in either an outpatient program or an inpatient rehabilitation process. Within these programs, a person will be given the tools to understand and fight their addiction.

Rehab programs focus on providing both information and structure for their patients. Many addicts have gone so far down the rabbit hole that they rarely do anything other than getting high and seek drugs. Structure is the key to getting one’s life back.

If you or a loved one are entering treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that this is only the first step in a lifelong journey to staying clean. Many people will go through more than one program before they “get it” and manage to stay clean.

The important thing is to remember that there is hope. Every day people manage to get through treatment and stay sober.

Some people attempt to kick at home on their own, which isn’t the best way to do things. Someone who has been using oxycodone for years is going to go through intense withdrawals physically and mentally. The cravings can often overwhelm someone with an earnest desire to get clean in a non-medical setting.

Afterward, the focus shifts to the maintenance of sobriety and preventing relapse. This is where the addict’s real work begins.

Is It Time for Detox?

If you or a loved one are addicted to oxycodone, then perhaps it’s time to make a change. The life of an addict is hollow and hopeless, but with the right assistance, even the worst addiction can be changed.

The key is in the assistance. Detoxing in a medical facility will keep you comfortable and in a controlled environment, and rehabilitation programs can give you the insight and tools needed to keep you clean.

If you’re considering making a major change in your life or that of a loved one, contact us today and learn how our detox facility can help you.

Prescription drug abuse affects approximately 18 million people. That’s over 6% of those 12 years old and above.

While many of those struggling with addiction would love to just quit, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can make it feel impossible.

This is the reality for many people struggling with a clonazepam dependency. But while recovery from addiction may be difficult, it is possible if you take the right approach.

If you or a loved one are going through clonazepam withdrawal, keep reading to learn about what to expect and how to make the process as easy as possible.

What Is Clonazepam?

Clonazepam is a medication commonly known by the brand name Klonopin. It’s prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, and tremors.

Clonazepam belongs to a family of sedative drugs called benzodiazepines (“benzos”).  Other medications in this category include Xanax, Ativan, and Valium.

Benzos work by increasing the activity of GABA, a compound responsible for modulating communication in the brain. Higher GABA activity leads to CNS depression, resulting in slowed breathing, heart rate, and brain function.

Over time, your body can develop a tolerance to the drug, leading you to need higher doses to get the same effects. This potential for tolerance makes clonazepam and other benzos highly addictive.

Signs of Clonazepam Addiction

Many people who develop a clonazepam addiction begin with a legitimate prescription from their doctor. A dependency can sometimes develop even if the medication is taken according to dosage instructions. Others use the drug for purely recreational purposes.

Someone with a Klonopin dependency may try to fill their prescriptions through more than one doctor. They may also forge their own prescriptions or buy the pills from dealers.

Other signs of substance addiction include:

If you or a loved one are exhibiting these signs, it may be time to talk to a medical professional about your options for treatment.

Clonazepam Withdrawal Symptoms

Because of its significant effect on brain chemistry, clonazepam withdrawal has both physical and psychological symptoms. Some of these symptoms may pose a threat to your health and safety, so it’s important to detox under the care of a licensed physician.

Clonazepam withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to:

Some users will also experience more severe symptoms, such as:

Each individual’s withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on a variety of factors. Long-term use or comorbid abuse of other drugs or alcohol will likely result in more severe symptoms.

Clonazepam Withdrawal Duration

While everyone’s journey will be different, detoxing from Clonazepam is not an overnight process.

Severe withdrawal symptoms can begin hours after stopping the medication and tend to peak after about two weeks. However, milder symptoms may last anywhere from one week to a full month.

In some cases, especially after long-term use, certain withdrawal symptoms may persist over a period of months or years. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) are thought to be a result of changes in brain chemistry due to chronic substance abuse.

Regardless of how long your withdrawal symptoms persist, maintaining a support system throughout the entire detoxification process is essential to recovery.

Treating Clonazepam Addiction

Abuse of benzos like clonazepam comes with serious risks. As with any drug, there is always a risk of death due to overdose and accidents. However, clonazepam addiction can also have severe and permanent effects on physical and mental health.

Chronic benzo abuse can lead to heart and liver damage, increased anxiety and paranoia, memory loss, depression, psychosis, and overall cognitive decline. Early intervention and treatment is the best way to prevent serious damage.

The best option for treating a clonazepam addiction is to go through an accredited detox and rehabilitation program. A medical doctor will work with you to develop a plan for quitting or tapering off. Going through a residential detox program with medical staff on hand can also help you manage withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment doesn’t stop after the initial detox, though. For the best long-term results, patients should take advantage of resources like addiction counseling and support groups.

How to Support Your Loved One’s Recovery

If someone you love is struggling with a clonazepam addiction, here’s what you can do to help.

Recovering from any drug addiction isn’t something that many people can do alone. A healthy, encouraging support system can make or break their journey to freedom from substance abuse.

Detox Comfortably in Florida

If you or a loved one are struggling with clonazepam withdrawal, or are seeking treatment for other types of drug or alcohol abuse, Coastal Detox can help.

Coastal Detox is Florida’s most comfortable drug and alcohol detox center. We use a combination of holistic therapies and medication-assisted treatment to help you recover without the pain of withdrawal. If you want a treatment center that puts you and your comfort first, our state-of-the-art rehab facility may be just what the doctor ordered.

Don’t go through detox alone. Contact us today to find out how to start your journey toward freedom from addiction.

Living with addiction, whether our own or our loved ones, is a terrible burden. It is heart-wrenching for all persons involved. It can create permanent chasms in relationships. Recovery for all involved: the addict, the family, the friends, and all relationships requires finding the right addiction treatment and detox facility which meets the unique needs of the individual. 

With help from the best addiction treatment and detox programs along the Treasure Coast, the needs of the individual and his or her unique family circumstances can and will be met. Addiction treatment and detox centers are like a shining light in the darkest of days, offering a hand up to an addict and his/her family to heal the body and mind and assist in mending the broken bonds of family and friendships.

Learn what you should look for in these life-saving centers below.

1. Finding the Right Addiction Treatment and Detox Programs on the Treasure Coast

When you go into your recovery journey, you’ll either be detoxing or about to detox from your substance of choice, whether it is alcohol or drugs. The detox process is not pleasant. No, that’s an understatement. The detox stage can be the hardest part of initial recovery; however, that is why addiction treatment and detox programs exist. To help the pain of addiction treatment and detox by making it a more comfortable process by offering medical and therapeutic support.

Depending on the drug of choice, including alcohol, during the detox period, one could experience a number of mental, emotional, or physical symptoms. 

Mental and emotional symptoms may include:

Physical symptoms may include:

Assisting one through the detox process while decreasing the harmful side effects can increase the positive outcome of the rehab process. Finding a reputable, experienced, compassionate rehab facility that provides a detox component is vital to easing this painful first step to lifelong recovery.

There may be a variety of options provided by the addiction treatment and detox programs. Some may offer a detox component to admission or addiction treatment, and some may not. Depending upon one’s position in the path toward recovery, this is a definite consideration to make. If you or your loved one choose to enter into an addiction treatment program that doesn’t offer detox, then the person undergoing treatment will have to wade through these symptoms on their own. This makes a hard task even harder and may decrease the opportunity at success.

The most comprehensive kinds of addiction treatment centers offer treatment for withdrawal symptoms during detox. Addiction treatment should offer prescription medications, counseling support, behavior modification activities, and physical and mental activities to assist in positive change and growth in the individual undergoing detox and rehab. They may offer non-psychoactive medication to make the transition to sobriety more comfortable.

With withdrawal (detox) symptoms under control, the individual may focus on the addiction treatment program and increase their chances at success. Detoxing to full recovery takes hard work. But with adequate holistic treatment, the individual with the addiction problem can rest assured that he or she is not alone in the process.

2. Read the Reviews

It is essential to seek out the reviews of the addiction treatment or detox facilities that you or your loved ones are considering. Read the reviews carefully. Many of the reviews will be positive, but it will be important to verify if the positive and/or negative responses are for those things that you find essential. Occasionally, there will be reviews that are overall negative. Look for consistent themes when reviewing the responses. If the majority of responses are positive, consider that a plus.

Many times the person undergoing addiction treatment is experiencing a difficult time and may not always have a clear vision of the progress he or she has made. There may be reviews by persons who are not at that point where they are ready to accept the help provided to them. Some choose to fight assistance to sobriety every step of the way. Consider this while reading the reviews and look to the responses of family members as a guide to understanding the success of the individual addiction treatment programs. 

Family members often can give a clearer picture of the progress the client has made. They can provide an insight into the accessibility and family-based addiction treatment provided to their loved one. They can give an unjaundiced view of the addiction treatment or detox facilities and activities provided. They also can assess how well the Healthcare team of addiction treatment or detox facility communicates with the family and works to repair the damaged bonds between the client and the loved ones.

Check to see if there are reports from accrediting agencies. 

Review the philosophies of addiction treatment or detox facilities. A holistic approach involves the healing of mind, body, and spirit. Do the reviews and philosophies display compassion and empathy for the client?

3. Ask Your Doctor for a Recommendation

If you’re the person orchestrating your addiction treatment and detox care, then good for you! The person suffering from addiction who puts himself into recovery is an extremely strong and capable person. You recognize your need for change, and have sought that change!

If you can admit your addiction to your doctors, then allow them to recommend rehab centers or addiction treatment and detox programs they think are right for you. Your doctor knows your history, your personal struggles, your family situation. He or she may have some experience with specific addiction treatment and detox facilities and their success rates. 

A lot of recoveries, and especially detox, happens on a continuum of care. Your doctor may need to consult with others on what detox treatments you should go through to best address your withdrawal symptoms. His or her connection to the medical community allows an understanding of a good fit for you.

If the doctor or healthcare professional is familiar with the addiction treatment and detox facility, then he or she will already have a professional relationship with the medical staff at that facility. That means you can expect smoother and faster care, personalized to your own needs.

If you’re talking to a doctor for a loved one, the same holds true. Try to find a healthcare professional (HCP) who has had a therapeutic relationship with the person struggling with addiction. The healthcare professional may not be able to share specific health information with you because of HIPAA rules but may be able to make viable suggestions.

Suggested conversation with your healthcare provider: “Hi, I’m the sister (brother; wife; daughter) of one of your patients, and I’m looking for recommendations for an addiction treatment and detox program. Do you have any that you would recommend”? Going about asking in this way means they don’t have to walk any HIPAA lines, and you get the information you need. Be specific regarding the family member’s needs. Physicians and healthcare providers are not mind readers!

4. Take a Tour of the Addiction Treatment and Detox Facility

Call and schedule a tour of the addiction treatment and detox facility that you feel will be a good fit. Almost every treatment facility has a tour offering. You must call and schedule, as they will not all, allow you to drop by unannounced. Make sure there is an opportunity to speak to an administrator during the tour so that you may have your questions answered. Bring a written list of questions, obtain contact numbers, verify how addiction treatment and detox will be reimbursed. Find out if there are out of pocket expenses. Determine the credentials and experience of the medical professionals who will be in charge of yours or your loved one’s care.

If taking a tour in person isn’t an option, see if they have a tour page on their website. Have them validate when the video was produced and if any changes had been made since that time. Make sure that if a personal tour is not doable that your questions are still adequately answered.

Showing a resistant loved one the quality of care they would receive can be a motivating factor in committing to addiction treatment.

5. Find a Location in the Treasure Coast  

When it comes to the location of addiction treatment or detox programs, there are two major concerns. One consideration is that if you keep your loved one close to home, they’ll benefit from their community. Also, when one seeks addiction treatment and detox close to home, it allows family members an opportunity to visit more readily, possibly providing greater stability to the family unit.

The other concern contradicts that, saying that a change of scenery might be just what the recovering client needs to make a full recovery without distractions. The Treasure Coast is a widely chosen area for addiction treatment and detox facilities because of its beautiful and peaceful setting.  

Persons in addiction treatment or detox programs often have family and friends who suffer from addiction problems as well. It may be in the best interests of the person in recovery to be separated by physical distance from those influences until he or she has had the benefit of fully embracing their detox and recovery.

We, at Coastal Detox, fully believe that our location is pretty special! Located on the Treasure Coast of Eastern Florida in beautiful, quiet Stuart, we’re just a short drive from major Florida cities – but far enough away to count as a new environment. 

6. Talk to a Professional

As a person suffering from an addiction or someone acting on behalf of one, you want to make sure the addiction treatment or detox facility is the right fit for you. Do yourself a favor and take the first step in changing your life, whether you are the one in need of addiction treatment services and detox programs or you have a loved one who does. You can ask them any questions that you have and use that conversation to determine if Coastal Detox is the right fit for your unique and individual needs.

7. Addiction Treatment and Detox Facilities

The detox and recovery process is difficult and challenging. The recovering individual must commit to a number of changes in behavior, in thought processes, reward systems, in interactions, etc. They must learn how to reorient their lives successfully.

Addiction treatment and detox should not be presented as a punishment and exclusion but rather in a supportive, empathetic, holistic environment. Healing, healthy substitutions to dysfunctional behaviors need to occur in an environment conducive to growth and changed behaviors.

The best addiction treatment and detox programs offer a variety of activities to heal the body, mind, and soul. We believe at Coastal Detox that activities offered, such as massage, acupuncture, biosound therapy, and other adjunct therapies as well as medically supervised medication regimen combined with professional counseling, assist the recovering individual in an optimum environment.

The Best Addiction Treatment and Detox Facilities on the Treasure Coast

When it comes to choosing an addiction treatment and detox program for you or your loved one, there are many considerations. You must decide what will work the best to optimize the quality of your life. You must make that first step toward recovery and embrace the best that life has to offer!

The best addiction treatment and detox programs focus on detox first, so you can get over that initial, terrible hump. Choose wisely in picking a detox facility with a holistic philosophy to heal you in mind, body, and spirit.

Coastal Detox: Helping You Detox From Drugs and/or Alcohol

Coastal Detox, located in beautiful Stuart, Florida, along the Treasure Coast, is a wonderful choice for detox and rehab. Their addiction treatment programs consist of professionals that are well educated and trained to treat your unique needs. You or your loved ones will be treated individually to detox, safely and comfortably, from any and ALL drugs, including alcohol. If further addiction treatment is necessary, Coastal Detox will assist you in finding the appropriate type of addiction treatment program. Coastal Detox has your sobriety and improved mental health as a priority of their treatment.

Please seek the assistance of the staff professionals at Coastal Detox to assist in reviewing your financial situation and work with your insurance company to make your detox journey affordable. 

It can be painful to deal with addiction, whether your own or a loved one. You don’t have to deal with the pain of detox alone. Find the support and assistance that you need and desire by contacting the professionals at Coastal Detox. For more information, please contact Coastal Detox at (877) 406-6623 today. You deserve the peace of mind that sobriety brings!

Approximately 23.5 million American adults and adolescents are addicted to drugs and alcohol. That works out to roughly 1 in 10 Americans over the age of twelve who are addicted.

Are you part of this group? Are you eager to get clean and take back control of your life?

As you probably know, when you stop drinking alcohol or using any kind of drug, you will have to go through a detox period as the substance leaves your system.

If you’re considering detoxing at home, you should definitely reconsider.

You will be much safer and more likely to be successful if you go to a detox facility in Palm City, Florida. Read on to find out why.

Risks of At-Home Detox

What makes at-home detox so dangerous? Well, there’s actually a lot that can go wrong during an at-home detox. Some of the risks include:

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

Many people underestimate the severity of the withdrawal symptoms they will experience when they give up drugs or alcohol. This is especially common among individuals who underestimate how dependent they are on a particular substance.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

Clearly, there’s a lot that can happen when you’re detoxing. If you detox at home alone, you won’t have access to many medications or other resources that can help you through these not so fun parts of the withdrawal process.

Sometimes, without medical assistance, withdrawal symptoms are so severe that people can actually die. That alone should be reason enough for you to look into staying at a detox center.

Relapse

When you detox at home, your chances of relapse also increase. Not only are the withdrawal symptoms and cravings enough to cause you to give in and start using again, but you’ll also likely have easier access to your drug of choice.

Overdose

When you go through a detox period, no matter how brief, your body starts to recalibrate itself and become more sensitive to your drug of choice.

This means that, if you give in and start drinking or using drugs again, your body will become overwhelmed more easily than it did before. This increases your risk of overdosing, which can be deadly.

Mental Health Struggles

In addition to the physical discomfort of detox, this process can also be incredibly challenging for your mental health. It’s not uncommon to experience anxiety, paranoia, mood swings, and agitation.

If you don’t work with a doctor during this period, you may find that your mental health gets worse. This, in turn, can increase your likelihood of turning back to drugs or alcohol when life gets challenging.

Benefits of Staying at a Detox Center

Okay, so detoxing at home is not a good idea. But what should you do instead?

Most people do much better when they stay at a detox center.

A detox center is a facility dedicated to helping people overcome drug addiction with medical supervision. At a detox center, you will have 24-7 access to trained medical professionals who can help you through the detoxification process.

There are lots of other reasons to consider staying at a detox center, including the following:

Safe Environment

First, staying in a detox center means you’ll be in a safe environment while you go through the detoxification process. You won’t have access to items that you could use to hurt yourself, and you’ll be much more comfortable than you would be if you were trying to detox alone at home.

Access to Medication

At a detox center, you also have access to medications that can help to minimize the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. These medications are measured out and administered by medical professionals, so there’s no risk of abusing them.

Support and Encouragement

When you stay in a detox center, you’ll have a support system in place to help you through the process.

Not only will the staff be cheering you on, but you’ll also get to spend time with other addicts who are going through the same thing. These people can be a great help to you and can encourage you when things get difficult.

No Temptations

Staying in a detox center removes you from the temptations of everyday life. You won’t be surrounded by people who are consuming the substances you are trying to avoid, and no one will be offering you anything that could be potentially harmful.

Protection From Triggers

Finally, detox centers offer you protection from many of the triggers of everyday life. You’ll be removed from stressors like challenging work situations, sick children, or family drama. Your only job while you’re there is to focus on getting well.

How to Choose the Right Detox Center

At this point, you’re probably convinced that staying in a detox center is the appropriate approach. But, how do you choose the right detox center?

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when making your decision:

It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance company to see if they will help cover the cost of your treatment.

Stay In a Palm City, Florida Detox Center

As you can see, there are lots of benefits that come with detoxing in a professional detox facility. You’ll stay safe, get plenty of support, and be far less likely to relapse.

If you live in or around the Palm City, Florida area, consider staying with us at Coastal Detox.

We are a drug and alcohol detox center that offers a wide range of services in a stunning facility. Here, we combine holistic therapies with medication-assisted treatment to help you get well and overcome your addiction.

Contact us today to learn more about services or to schedule a tour of our center.

Millions of Americans struggle every year with addictions to drugs or alcohol. The good news, though, is that one in ten of these people manage to overcome these addictions.

If you’re currently dealing with an addiction, there is hope for you. But, in order to recover, you must first go through a detoxification period.

This period can be unpleasant and even dangerous if you’re not careful.

Here are some guidelines that will help you to stay safe while going through drug detox.

What Can Go Wrong During Drug Detox?

Many people don’t realize the dangers of drug detox, especially when you’re detoxing alone at home.

A lot happens to your body during drug detox, and if you try to go through it alone, you’re putting yourself at risk for all kinds of issues.

Some of the greatest risks of at-home drug detox include:

Medical Complications From Withdrawal

When you first begin the detox process, it’s common to experience withdrawal symptoms. Some common symptoms include:

When you detox at home alone, you won’t have access to resources that can help to minimize these symptoms.

Worsened Mental Health

Drug detox can also wreak havoc on your mental health. It’s not uncommon for individuals who are detoxing to experience depression, anxiety, paranoia, and other mental health issues. These issues, if left untreated, can make it harder for you to resist drug cravings long-term.

Increased Chance of Overdose

When you go a while without consuming a drug, your body becomes more sensitive to that drug. As a result, if you go back to using your drug of choice, your chances of experiencing an overdose increase. This could lead to serious medical consequences, including a coma or even death.

Increased Chance of Relapse

You are also more likely to relapse if you detox alone at home. You won’t have the support you need to resist temptations, and you may have a harder time identifying and avoiding triggers.

How to Stay Safe During Drug Detox

There is a lot that can happen during drug detox. But, there are also a lot of things you can do to minimize your risk of experiencing the issues listed above.

Some of the best things you can do to stay safe and healthy while detoxing include:

Use Medications to Manage Withdrawal Symptoms

There are a lot of safe medications that you can use to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

Some medications you may want to try include:

You may also be able to benefit from natural sleep aids like melatonin.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The food you consume can have a profound impact on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms and your ability to cope with them. A healthy diet won’t totally alleviate your discomfort, but it can help.

Focus on eating a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruit, healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, etc.) and high-quality protein sources (grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, pastured eggs, wild-caught fish, etc.).

Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, too. Dehydration is common among people who are detoxing, especially if you’re struggling with issues like vomiting or diarrhea.

Utilize Alternative Therapies

There are lots of alternative therapies that can help you stay calm and focused as you detox. Therapies like yoga, meditation, and massage are all great options.

By adding these to your daily routine, you’ll have an easier time managing your symptoms and maintaining a positive attitude about the process.

They are especially helpful for those who struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is also beneficial to those who are trying to detox from drugs or alcohol.

Not only does exercise cause you to break a sweat, which helps to get harmful substances out of your body, but it also gives you something else to focus on besides the discomfort of drug detox.

Exercise also produces endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good chemical messengers that can improve your mood and minimize your pain.

When you’re detoxing, exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing. Once you get up and start moving, though, you’ll likely find that you feel a lot better.

Seek Support

Nobody should have to go through the process of detoxing alone. Research shows that peer support can have a significant impact on the recovery process.

Try to find and surround yourself with people who are going through the same thing as you, who can relate to your situation. It’s much easier to go through something as difficult as drug detox when you have people rooting for you.

Stay In a Medical Detox Center

Finally, consider staying in a medical detox center.

A medical detox center will provide you with easy access to resources that can help you through the detox process. Not only will you be surrounded 24-7 by medical professionals, but you’ll have access to medications that can ease your discomfort.

You’ll also be with other people who are experiencing the same thing you are and can empathize with your situation. Many detox centers offer alternative therapies and access to healthy food and exercise equipment, too.

Stay In a Medical Detox Center Today

As you can see, it’s not such a good idea to try and go through drug detox alone. In order to see the best results and stay safe and healthy during the process, it’s best to stay in a professional medical detox center.

If you live in or around the Stuart, Florida area, consider staying at Coastal Detox.

We’re an award-winning detox center dedicated to helping you overcome your addictions so you can get back to living your best life.

We combine holistic treatments with medication-assisted therapies to help you feel your best and increase your chances of having a successful recovery.

Contact us today to learn more about what we do here or to take a tour of our facility.

2017 was the worst year for drug overdoses with around 200 people dying per day in the US.

And, unfortunately, these numbers continued to rise through 2018 and will likely continue to rise through 2019 as well.

If you have a loved one who is an addict, the chances of them dying from an overdose are unfortunately very real. While the best thing to do is to get your loved one into a detox center and get them help for their addiction, this doesn’t always happen.

If you are worried about your loved one overdosing, it is very important to be aware of the signs of an overdose as well as what you should do if you witness one.

Read on to learn the 10 signs of an overdose as well as what to do if a loved one has an overdose.

The Signs of An Overdose

The signs of an overdose can vary slightly depending on the type of drug the person has in their system.

However, there are some general signs to look out for that will alert you someone has overdosed and that they need medical attention. Let’s look at the most common signs.

1. Unconsciousness

When we think of an overdose, we usually think of someone lying on the ground unconscious.

And, this is actually a fairly accurate image as overdoses nearly always render one unconscious.

This is because when large of amounts of depressants that affect the central nervous system are taken, like alcohol, sedatives, or opiates, the brain begins to shut off. When the brain begins to shut off, we slip into a state of unconsciousness.

This is why a large number of people who overdose actually just appear to be sleeping. And, this is also why overdose can be so dangerous-sometimes people will encounter a loved one who has overdosed, only to mistake them for being asleep.

Therefore, being aware of all the signs of overdose is very important.

2. Cool Body Temperature

When we’re sleeping, our body temperature does not lower that much. However, when someone overdoses, that’s a different story.

When the brain begins to shut down, so too does the movement of blood through the body. And, if the person who has overdosed is also unconscious, they will not be moving their muscles in order to warm their body back up.

This causes their overall body temperature to drop. In fact, if you come upon someone who has overdosed, you will likely find their skin to be cold to the touch. And, their skin and nails may even have a blue tint to them.

3. Slower, Irregular Breathing

Just like the slowing down of the brain slows the flow of blood, so it also slows down one’s breathing.

However, breathing rates do tend to vary throughout the day. For example, when someone is exercising, their breathing rates will be much higher. When someone is sleeping, their breathing rates will be much slower.

So what’s the difference when someone overdoses?

The difference is that in addition to slower breathing, an overdose is also accompanied by irregular breathing. In some cases, breathing may cease altogether.

4. Profuse Sweating

Profuse sweating is another big indicator that someone has overdosed.

While sweating is usually a healthy activity as it helps the body release toxins and prevents the skin from overheating, sweating profusely is usually a sign that something unhealthy is occurring, such as an overdose.

When someone overdoses on stimulants, such as meth, cocaine, or amphetamines, their body temperature will rise extremely high, causing excessive amounts of sweat. Someone who has overdosed may have soaked hair or clothes that are soaked through.

5. Chest Pain

Abusing stimulants can cause a lot of stress on someone’s heart. When an addict overdoses, they may find themselves in a severe amount of chest pain.

Sometimes, this chest pain is nothing more but extreme pain. Oftentimes, however, the chest pain can indicate a medical emergency, such as a heart attack.

6. Seizures

If someone you know is abusing stimulants, an overdose can also lead to a seizure.

Seizures are very serious as they can cause damage to your tissues in the brain, and they can even result in death. Therefore, if you come upon someone experiencing a seizure, addict or not, it is very important that you call 911 immediately.

7. Vomiting

When someone overdoses, they are essentially poisoning themselves. One of the many miraculous things about our bodies is that they have mechanisms to protect us against poisoning, such as vomiting.

If you see a loved one vomiting profusely, it may be that their body is rejecting the toxins. While this can often increase their chances of survival, vomiting can sometimes be dangerous.

People can and do vomit while they are unconscious, this can lead to choking as well as inhaling the vomit, which in turn can lead to damage to the lungs or even death.

8. Disorientation and Anxiety

While someone who has overdosed on depressants will not likely experience disorientation and anxiety, it is very common for those on stimulants to experience this.

People who have overdosed on stimulants often find themselves unaware of what is going on and what they are doing. They might act in an aggressive or violent manner, even if they regularly do not behave this way. Their behavior can oftentimes be unpredictable and sometimes even dangerous toward others.

It may almost seem like the person is in a state of hysteria as they may be talking very quickly and making little sense.

9. Hallucinations

Many people only think those who take hallucinogens (ie, LSD, mushrooms) experience hallucinations.

However, overdosing on stimulants, like meth or cocaine, can also lead to hallucinations. Hallucinations occur when someone hears, smells, or sees something that is not really there.

When someone is hallucinating, they disconnect from reality, and while their behavior may feel normal to them, to others it appears erratic and dangerous. In fact, sometimes when someone is hallucinating, they will attempt to do something which feels safe and sane at the moment but is actually dangerous and harmful.

If you suspect that someone is hallucinating, it is very important that you stay by their side.

10. Slow or Rapid Heart Rate

If you suspect that someone has overdosed, it is also very important to check their heart rate.

A person’s heart rate will often slow down or speed up if they’ve overdosed, depending on what type of drug they’ve done. If they’ve overdosed on stimulants, their heart will likely start racing. If you touch the pulse points, it may even feel like it’s fluttering.

On the other hand, if someone has overdosed on depressants, such as heroin or alcohol, their heart rate will likely slow down a great deal. If you feel their pulse, it will likely be very faint. And sometimes, the pulse will stop altogether.

What to Do If You Witness an Overdose

Oftentimes, when someone overdoses, they will not exhibit just one of these signs, but several or more.

If you see someone displaying the signs of an overdose, it is very important that you act fast. But, just exactly what do you need to do?

Let’s take a look.

Call 911

If you think you or someone you love has overdosed, the very first thing you should do is call 911.

Even if you are not positive, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, if you are underage or there are illegal substances in the home, absolutely do not let that stop you from calling 911.

The consequences of leaving someone who has overdosed unattended are far worse than the consequences you’ll receive for using illegal substances. Don’t worry about the person who has overdosed or about anyone else being angry at you for calling 911. Trust us, in the long run, these people will be thanking you.

In fact, many states now have medical amnesty laws, in which someone underage cannot be prosecuted for illegal drinking if they call 911 for medical help.

After Calling 911

After you call 911, you will still need to call the person until help arrives. Here’s what you should do after placing the call to 911.

1. Check the person’s heart rate and breathing. You can check their heart rate by placing two fingers to the side of their neck or to their wrist and counting the beats.

2. If the person appears to be unconscious, try to get some sort of response out of them. Ask the person simple questions that will help you gauge their level of alertness as well as their level of understanding as to what’s going on.

3. If the person is responsive, try to get as much information out of them as possible. For example, try to find out what they took to overdose and how much they think they took.

4. If you find that the person is not breathing, you will want to turn them on their side. There’s a good chance that if they are not breathing, they have vomit stuck in their throat that they need to get out.

5. If necessary and if you are medically qualified to do so, provide them with CPR.

6. Stay by the person the entire time. This is especially important because you want to make sure they don’t engage in any more dangerous behavior, such as taking more substances.

7. Know that this is not a time to reasons with the person or to give them a lecture about their behavior or what your opinion is on the situation. Instead, your job is to remain calm and to assure the person that help is on its way.

8. If the substance the person used to overdose has a label on it, make sure you take the container with you to the ER, even if it is empty. Knowing what the exact drug is can be of great help to doctors.

Prevention

Of course, the best way to handle an overdose is to prevent one from happening in the first place.

While there is only so much you can do to prevent a loved one from overdosing, here are a few simple steps you can take (these apply to yourself as well):

The best way to prevent overdosing is to seek professional help. Some of the different treatment options include the following:

Detox

Detox is the process in which you receive medically supervised support managing the withdrawal process.

Withdrawal can actually be a very dangerous process, and it’s about a lot more than just avoiding cravings. In fact, heavy drug users often get very sick during the withdrawal process. Therefore, it is important to do it in a medically-supervised setting.

Treatment Programs

After the detox process is complete, signing up for either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program is the best move.

Inpatient treatment programs involve living in a highly-structured facility for a few weeks to a few months. In these facilities, you will have support and care around the clock. Days will consist of individual counseling, group therapy, exercise, motivational speakers, and classes on relapse education.

Some people opt for outpatient treatment instead of inpatient. Outpatient treatment involves attending group and individual therapy a few nights per week.

Support Groups

After completing a treatment program, many recovering addicts find it best to join a support group, such as AA.

You can come to these meetings as often as you wish, and during them, you will discuss with others the highs and lows of your addiction and recovery.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, many of the signs of overdose are quite dangerous. But, as we also discussed, preventing an overdose is definitely possible.

If you have any questions about these signs or about what to do when someone overdoses, be sure to drop a comment below.

Otherwise, if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one overdosing, please be sure to get in contact with us today.

Over 22 million people in the United States alone struggle with drug abuse – and believe it or not, you may be one of them. Realizing you’ve become addicted to drugs is not an easy process, and it’s not very straightforward, either. This causes many intense emotions and realizations, but it’s not something you have to take on alone.

One of the most important things to remember is that you have a strong support system ready to help you overcome addiction. In addition to the love of friends and family, you also have the option to check into a drug detox center or seek out rehab.

If you live in the Sunshine State, here’s everything you need to know about choosing a drug detox center in Florida. There’s also a guide to help you understand whether you really do need help and what the entire recovery process looks like.

How to Choose the Right Drug Detox Center in Florida

The first step in putting your drug addiction behind you is coming to terms with it. The second step is checking into a drug detox center.

However, it’s worth making sure that the center you choose is the best option you have available. These are the seven steps you should follow in order to make the right choice.

1. Check for Licensing and Accreditation

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who want to take advantage of drug addicts. There are also some who genuinely want to help, but don’t have the proper training to do so.

It’s easy to check whether or not a drug detox center in Florida is licensed.

Most centers will make this information readily available on their website. You can also look for licensing details on their brochures and other handouts. If it’s not easy to find, chances are that the detox center you’re looking at isn’t as reputable as you may think.

A center’s level of accreditation is what really sets apart the good from the bad. Research how many awards and recognitions a drug detox center has won. Learn more about the people who own the business and the medical staff they’ve hired.

It’s much better to end up in a center with highly experienced professionals than one who isn’t as accomplished.

2. Make Sure a Detox Center Specializes in Your Drug

There is one caveat to keep in mind when comparing each center’s level of recognition and experience. You have to consider how well prepared they are to handle the withdrawals of your specific drug.

Detoxing from alcohol abuse is not the same as detoxing from heroin or painkillers. Each drug has its own unique set of symptoms that you’ll have to overcome. The best way to ensure this process happens smoothly is to put yourself in the hands of medical professionals who have dealt with similar symptoms many times before.

3. Compare Various Forms of Detox Care

Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to detox centers that specialize in the treatment you need, consider the different approaches you can take.

Some detox centers only offer short-term support to help you overcome the withdrawal process. Others take on the long-term needs of their patients and guide them through the entire recovery process.

You also have to consider whether you want to check yourself into a center or have a professional aide you in your home. It’s worth learning as much as you can about detoxing instead of making a rushed, uneducated choice regarding your treatment.

4. Explore Nutritional and Lifestyle Components

Speaking of learning more about detoxing, don’t forget to take nutrition and lifestyle components into account.

The best drug detox centers are ones that will create a special diet to help you feel like yourself again. They’ll make sure you get all the nutrition you need to curb cravings and symptoms. They’ll also help you work through all the emotions you’ll experience during the detox process.

5. Look for a Detox Center That Offers Rehabilitation Services

Keep in mind detoxing is only the first step in recovery. After completing this stage, you should go right into rehab in order to prevent a relapse. As such, it’s best to choose a detox center that provides long-term rehabilitation programs in addition to detox support.

Take the time to compare the various forms of rehab available to you and how they coincide with drug detox programs. It’s worth considering inpatient vs outpatient rehab and exploring the specific programs offered within each different detox and rehabilitation center. Don’t be afraid to contact a detox center and ask questions as you do so.

6. Read Reviews

Instead of calling every single center you’re thinking about checking into, read their reviews. This will save you a lot of time and it will give you a better idea of what you can expect.

Reviews may be written by recovered addicts themselves or by a family member. Either way, they will tell you specifics about a drug rehab center like how attentive the staff is to each person’s unique needs and how welcoming they are as a whole.

7. Talk to Your Insurance Company

Depending on the policy you have, you may be able to cover some drug detox fees with health insurance. This makes drug detoxing even more accessible than it already is! It leaves you with no excuse to not get the treatment you need.

Even if your insurance doesn’t offer coverage or copay, you should still seek out detox support. Most centers are willing to work with you in terms of finances so long as you’re committed to a healthy recovery.

5 Signs It’s Time to Get Professional Treatment

Do you really need to go to a drug detox center anyway? Has your drug use gotten to the point that you can’t control it anymore?

It’s hard to be 100% honest with yourself when answering these questions.

But, it’s even harder to continue ignoring the signs that you need help.

Here are 5 sure-fire signs that you need to undergo a drug detox treatment.

1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Were Sober

If you have to stop and think about the last time you were sober, it’s time to get drug detox treatment. If you can’t remember the last time you were sober by choice and enjoyed not being under the influence, it’s time to get treatment.

This is one of the easiest signs to tell whether or not your drug use has spiraled out of control. Drinking every once in a while or using painkillers when prescribed is normal. Using drugs every single day to avoid a certain situation in your life or to feel a sensation you’re craving is not healthy.

2. You’ve Lost Your Job or Your Home Due to Drug Use

When you’re not sober, you’re not able to show up and give your best effort in life. This goes for your family life, your career, and your personal development.

Drug use chips away at all of these things. It can cause you to be late on rent or not even be able to pay your rent in full. It can affect how well you perform at work – or if you show up at all – which can quickly lead to you getting fired.

Before you know it, you’re on the verge of eviction or you’ve already had to relocate to get back on your feet. If this sounds familiar, you need to quit using drugs. Start by going to a drug detox center.

3. You’ve Hurt Loved Ones

As bad as it is to lose yourself, your home, and/or your job due to drug use, it’s even worse when your addiction starts to affect others. Take a second to think about how your loved ones must feel watching you turn into an addict.

Consider how it affects them when you’re not able to take care of your kids or behave well around others. Imagine how much pain it causes them to deal with you lashing out or just not being a reliable person.

Your addiction has a ripple effect that goes way beyond your personal problem. It causes pain and struggles for your loved ones that take years to mend. Sometimes, the wounds of addiction cut so deep that some relationships end permanently.

4. You’ve Been Hiding Your Drug Use

If your loved ones haven’t been affected by your drug use, that’s a good sign. However, if this is because you’ve been keeping your new habits to yourself, it’s a bad sign.

Having such a big secret can only go on for so long. At some point, you will get tired of keeping your drug use under wraps, and it’s not going to be easy when everything gets out.

But, you can make the process more manageable for everyone involved by seeking treatment. It’s a lot better to come clean about your addiction and be able to say that you’ve got it under control, rather than to be in a place when it’s only getting worse and worse.

5. You’re Experiencing Drug-Related Health Problems

When was the last time you went to the doctor? If you’re constantly getting sick, feeling fatigued, or having trouble sleeping, your addiction has started to take a more serious toll on your body. These are the least of the health problems you have to worry about, though.

Continuous drug use affects everything from the appetite level you have every day to how well you can remember simple facts. It changes your body’s chemical balances, which can throw a lot of basic functions out of whack. Before you know it, you’ve lost or gained a lot of weight, you’re experiencing heart problems, and your skin complexion and hair growth have changed, too.

If you’re already experiencing these things, you need to get clean right away. If you’re only starting to see how bad the effects of drug use can be, don’t wait until they get worse. Make the decision today to find a reputable drug detox center to help put you on the right path.

The Next Steps After Your Drug Detox

Here’s a bit of good news: once you get past the first step of recovery, everything else becomes a lot easier. The hardest part of overcoming addiction is getting through the withdrawals you’ll feel during a detox.

Symptoms range in intensity and duration. But, no matter what you feel, you can be sure this will be a physically and mentally exhausting time.

This is why going to a drug detox center is so important! Being around a team of trained professionals and in community with other people going through the same thing makes you stronger. It gives you the support you need to see things through rather than fall into the temptations of relapsing.

Once you get through the detox, you can enjoy a newfound appreciation for life as a sober individual. Then, you can start working toward a full recovery and maintaining your sobriety with a rehabilitation program.

It’s hard to tell how long this whole process will take. Detoxing itself can last anywhere from 24-72 hours. Rehab may take as little as 6 weeks or more than 3 months to complete.

But, every day is pushing you toward something greater. Never forget this truth as you go through all the steps from accepting the truth of your addiction to overcoming it.

Make the Best Decision of Your Life Today

Ready to change your life for the better? Sick of feeling burdened by addiction?

Stop waiting and making excuses. Contact a drug detox center in Florida today to finally turn your life around! Click here to discover everything our detox services can do for you.

It’s the drug that killed Prince, Tom Petty, and Mac Miller. It’s the opioid that took the lives of 29,000 people in the U.S. in 2017. It’s the synthetic narcotic which has 50 times more potency than heroin.

Yes, we’re talking about none other than fentanyl.

For years now, fentanyl has been taking over heroin and morphine. In fact, the U.S. CDC says it’s caused more deaths than any other opioids.

This alone should already answer your question, “Why is fentanyl so dangerous?” But to those who’ve become addicted to it, it’s not enough for their clouded judgment.

That’s why as a concerned parent, sibling, child, or friend, it’s best you know more about this drug. This way, you are better equipped to handle a drug intervention and to make them agree to go to rehab.

Ready to learn more about fentanyl? Let’s dive right into it.

What is Fentanyl?

So, what is fentanyl?

It’s a type of drug that falls under the opioid category. Opioids are often used as a form of medication for relieving pain. These substances also contain chemicals which help relax the body.

Not all opioids are illegal – there are those which doctors have the authority to prescribe. After all, these prescription meds help 50 million people in the U.S. who suffer from chronic pain. Morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine are examples of prescription opioids.

Doctors can prescribe fentanyl, but only for patients with severe pain conditions. The same goes for patients who’ve gone through surgery and need pain management. But it’s a schedule II prescription drug, because of its high potential for abuse.

Why People Become Addicted to and Abuse it

Fentanyl is so powerful that even inhalation of fentanyl patches can be intoxicating. But it’s also this intoxication that drives people to keep using it even when no longer needed. From here, dependence and abuse start, causing serious physical and mental health problems.

What exactly does fentanyl drug do to the body and make people want to keep using it?

Fentanyl works much like how heroin and morphine do, in the way they affect the brain. To be more precise, the body’s opioid receptors, which regulate pain and emotions.

Fentanyl or opioids bind or “attach themselves” to these receptors. Once they do, they trigger a considerable increase in dopamine levels. This then results in a relaxed, even euphoric state.

Aside from pain relief, it’s also this euphoria that makes people use opioids. In the case of fentanyl, its extreme potency drives people to want its euphoric effects.

Granted, heroin and morphine bring the same effects. But comparing fentanyl vs morphine, the former can be up to 100 times more powerful. That’s why it causes more deaths than these two other commonly-abused opioids.

Why is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

Fentanyl side effects are much like heroin, including nausea, drowsiness, and confusion. It also causes constipation, sedation, and in case of higher doses, unconsciousness. Respiratory problems, like chest pain, tightness, and breathing difficulty can also arise.

But that’s not the end of it. Its effects are so potent that anyone who uses it has such high potential for becoming tolerant to it. This, in turn, can lead to addiction and abuse, which can be the precursor to overdose.

Overdosing on fentanyl can cause coma and death.

Fentanyl can do this since it can affect opioid receptors controlling breathing rate. When taken in high doses, this drug can cause the person to stop breathing completely. From there, death can then follow.

The extreme potency of fentanyl is what makes it more dangerous than other opioids. There’s a much higher risk of overdosing on it, especially if someone uses a drug not knowing it has fentanyl.

Furthermore, illegal fentanyl pills are often mixed with other drugs. These include narcotics like cocaine or heroin. In any case, this combination further boosts the drug’s potency and life-threatening effects.

When Fentanyl Abuse Occurs

If taken only as prescribed by a doctor, the risk of overdosing is low. But when someone uses it outside of doctor’s orders, they can become tolerant to it.

Tolerance occurs as the body adjusts to continuous receipt of the drug. This then results to a person having to increase intake of the drug to achieve the usual effects. But the body keeps adjusting to these changes, to the point that it can no longer take the higher doses.

This abusive behavior from developing tolerance is what leads to drug overdoses. Also, the more fentanyl ingested, the more dangerous the side effects – and their severity.

The Signs of Fentanyl Abuse

Overdosing on fentanyl often causes symptoms like shallow or slow breathing. People who abuse this drug can also become depressed and isolate themselves. Lack of energy, loss of strength, as well as muscle and back pains are also common abuse signs.

It’s important these people get medical attention when these symptoms appear. Again, fentanyl can completely stop breathing, causing coma or even death.

Also be on the lookout for withdrawal symptoms pointing to a person’s use or abuse of fentanyl. These occur when someone stops its use or there’s a significant reduction in their usual dose. Here are a few of these signs that a person is on fentanyl withdrawal:

General weakness, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting are also typical withdrawal symptoms. If you notice a loved one exhibiting these symptoms, take that as a sign of possible fentanyl abuse.

Help for Intervention and Rehabilitation

Now that you know how and why is fentanyl so dangerous, act quickly if you suspect a loved one addicted to it. Of course, seeking medical attention is the utmost priority. But for one to completely rid themselves of fentanyl addiction, rehabilitation should follow.

Does someone you care about and love suffer from drug or alcohol abuse? If so, then please don’t hesitate to connect with us. We can help prevent even more serious consequences from befalling your loved one.

If you decided to embark on a journey toward heroin recovery from Florida, you are probably both scared and excited. Here’s what to expect.

Drug use continues to be an ongoing epidemic in America. Nearly 24 million Americans are addicted to alcohol. That’s almost 10% of the population.

No doubt, heroin can be one of the toughest drugs to beat. Heroin is incredibly addictive. It can also be incredibly dangerous and downright fatal.

Seeking heroin recovery in Florida may be one of the best decisions you make for your life. Let’s get into everything you need to know.

Understanding The Warning Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction doesn’t always look obvious. While we have stereotypes about what these users might be, many people do not fit that mold.

Heroin addiction can impact anyone. It doesn’t matter your age, race, or socioeconomic status. It also doesn’t matter whether or not you smoke, snort, or intravenously use the substance.

Dependence and Tolerance

By nature, all opioids present with a high risk of dependence. That means your body becomes chemically adapted to the substance. As you become adapted, your tolerance increases.

Ever notice how you were once able to get high on a seemingly small amount? Now, it may take 3-4x that dose.

Intense Cravings

Heroin can create an intensely euphoric high. Many people use this drug as a form of recreational pleasure. It can also be a form of self-medicating and numbing pain.

That said, cravings can be powerful. Even if you logically know you don’t want to use the drug, your cravings pull at your emotions. They can feel overpowering.

Problems in Daily Functioning

How has your work performance been lately? What about your grades? How would you rank your relationships with your friends and family?

Heroin can destroy all semblance of daily functioning. That’s because it takes tremendous effort to obtain, use, and plan your day around the drug. As a result, you typically neglect other priorities.

Bills go unpaid. You stop returning calls. Maybe you stop brushing your hair or showering.

Even if you still consider yourself ‘functioning,’ it’s essential to take an honest assessment of what you’ve been compromising.

Money Problems

Funding a heroin addiction can get, well, expensive. Getting heroin may be simple- when you have money.

However, at some point, the money runs out. Then what? Most people resort to suspicious or dangerous tactics like lying, stealing, or prostitution.

Why Is It So Difficult To Stop Taking Heroin?

It’s difficult to stop taking any drug if you struggle with addiction. Addiction is a vicious sickness; it doesn’t necessarily play by the rules.

Distressing Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person stops taking heroin, he or she enters into withdrawal. Users may consider these symptoms as some of the worst sensations of physical pain known to man.

From bone and muscle pain to severe vomiting and restlessness, the desire to run away from these symptoms can sabotage someone’s efforts before even embarking.

Co-Occurring Mental Illness

Most people struggling with heroin addiction also have other mental illnesses. These illnesses often include:

Addiction requires immediate intervention. Heroin, after all, can be fatal. However, if an individual does not receive support for other issues, there is a change for relapse.

The Willpower Myth

Some people believe that you could stop taking heroin if you really wanted to stop. This is indicative of the common willpower myth.

Addiction, however, is a chronic, brain disease. People need serious brain retraining and reprogramming to obtain sobriety. Willpower may provide some headway, but it won’t be long-lasting.

Don’t beat yourself up for relapsing in the past. Each of those experiences can teach you something about yourself and your addiction.

Relapse is not a sign of failure. It is a sign that you need to do something differently.

Failure or Lack in Planning Ahead

Sobriety is brimming with triggers. Maybe your tumultuous relationship with your mother triggers you. Maybe it’s the nagging feeling of inferiority. Maybe it’s the mere sight of drug paraphernalia.

Maybe it’s all of the above. That’s common, too!

Proper treatment teaches you how to navigate these triggers. However, many people still struggle with them when they arise.

For example, returning to one’s old using environment can be dangerous. The same mentality applies to former workplaces or relationships.

Finally, some people hold unrealistic expectations for their future. They may falsely assume that they’ll “never relapse.” This cockiness can set the stage for problems later on.

Planning ahead provides a pathway to success. You can anticipate stressors. You can also anticipate how you plan to cope with them without using.

Seeking Medical Detox

Detox is the first step of heroin recovery. It can be one of the scariest steps, but it’s a vital one!

Medical detox provides structured settings for individuals struggling with active addiction. These facilities have trained nurses, doctors, and counselors to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms.

In detox, you’ll receive 24/7 care. If you are withdrawing from heroin, the initial symptoms may include:

About 12 hours after the last heroin dose, late symptoms start emerging. These can include:

Symptoms typically increase over the first 48 hours. They peak within about 72-96 hours. While the symptoms may feel uncomfortable, they are not inherently life-threatening.

Acute withdrawal concludes after about a week. The muscle aches and pains begin to wear off. Even though users may still feel fatigued, they start feeling an increased boost of energy.

Seeking Appropriate Treatment

Detox is the first step of stabilization. However, it is not a sufficient form of treatment. You don’t learn how to cope with the stressors associated with addiction.

After detox, many people succeed in residential facilities. These facilities operate on an inpatient level of care. That means you still receive support 24/7.

In residential care, you’ll be assigned a treatment team. This will include your therapist, case manager, and a physician. The team collaborates together to coordinate your care appropriately.

In treatment, you may participate in the following:

Many clients form powerful friendships during treatment. That’s because you are surrounded by other people who are managing the same stressors. As a group, you cheer each other on and provide support when needed.

Aftercare Treatment

It’s also typically not enough to only attend detox and residential treatment. At the most, this is about one month of treatment. Many people try this, return home, and then promptly relapse.

Instead, you need a crafted plan for success. Usually, this entails some form of structured aftercare.

Partial Hospitalization Care

Partial hospitalization (PHP) is one step lower than inpatient care. However, the two share many similarities.

You’ll still attend groups and therapies most days of the week. The main difference is that you won’t receive 24/7 monitoring. You can live on your own and commute to and from the facility.

Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient Care

Intensive outpatient (IOP) or outpatient (OP) levels of care are the least-restrictive treatments.

Depending on the facility, you’ll receive treatment anywhere from 1-4 days a week for a few hours each time. You will still receive professional support on an ongoing basis.

This option allows clients to attend to real-world duties. For example, many people attend treatment in the day and work or go to school at night.

Sober Livings or Halfway Houses

These environments refer to safe and structured living environments intended for newly sober roommates.

There are many advantages to this living arrangement. For one, you’ll need to comply with a set of rules and regulations. This may include daily or weekly chores and curfews.

Moreover, you’ll need to submit to regular drug screenings and breathalyzing. Most of these homes have zero-tolerance policies. If you use, you will be referred out.

Many people have great intentions of staying sober when leaving treatment. However, if they are living on their own, it can be hard to hold themselves accountable. These homes provide that extra layer of accountability.

Support Groups

Many people benefit from ongoing group attendance during their sobriety. Even though Alcoholics Anonymous may be the most well-known name, there are plenty of peer support options available.

Most of these groups focus on abstinence (i.e., complete sobriety from all mood-altering substances). Others take on a more harm reduction approach.

It’s important to find a group that fits in with your values. You should feel welcomed by other group members. You should also feel willing and comfortable to share within the group meetings.

Ongoing Therapy

Therapy doesn’t need to end when formal treatment ends. Therapy can be incredibly helpful for other stressors related to sobriety including:

Many therapists provide sliding scale fees. You may also be able to utilize your insurance to subsidize costs. Contact your treatment facility for referrals.

Medication

Pharmacological treatment can be helpful in ongoing recovery efforts. Today, several medications help combat cravings and stabilize moods.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors. This means that if people still use heroin, they will not feel the euphoric effects of the drug. Essentially, they can’t get “high.”

Many physicians prescribe naltrexone after successfully completing detox. It can be taken orally (as a tablet) or intravenously by a doctor (known as Vivitrol).

Buprenorphine (Subutex)

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It can reduce heroin cravings without producing the same high.

Suboxone contains naloxone, which also reverses opioid effects. If someone were to inject the suboxone, they would enter withdrawal. They would then have to reverse these symptoms by taking the medication orally.

That said, there is still a risk for abusing buprenorphine. Discussing the risk factors with your treatment team is essential.

Methadone

Methadone is a slow-acting opioid agonist. It is taken orally, and it reaches the brain slower than other opioids.

Since the 1960s, clinics have prescribed methadone for heroin addiction. It can be a useful treatment option for clients who may not respond well to other medications.

That said, you can only take methadone through an approved outpatient program. The substance is dispensed daily.

Methadone is a controversial substance in the recovery sphere. Some people believe it is trading one drug for another drug. Others consider it a miracle, and they claim it’s only substance one can use to wean from heroin successfully.

Regardless of your stance, it’s best to consult with a treatment professional and physician.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants help balance the chemicals in your brain. As mentioned, many people with heroin addiction also have other mental illnesses.

SSRIs are the most common class of antidepressants. They are considered relatively safe with mild side effects. They increase serotonin levels in the brain.

SSRIs include:

Antidepressants are not habit-forming. They can, however, take several weeks to ‘kick in’ before you start to notice the effects.

Sleep Medications

Recovery can impact sleep. Many people struggle with insomnia, hypersomnia, or nightmares when newly sober. Non-narcotic sleep medications can mitigate some of these symptoms.

Final Thoughts on Your Heroin Recovery in Florida

Sobriety isn’t for the faint of heart. However, it will be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make.

Are you ready to start you heroin recovery in Florida today? If so, we’re ready to speak to you- and help assess your treatment needs. Contact us today!

What happens during opioid withdrawal? Read on to learn about the opioid withdrawal timeline.

In 2016 and 2017, more than 130 people died of opioid-related overdoses every day.

For the last 30 years, the US has been in the throws of the opioid crisis and today, over 2 million Americans are dependent on or abusing opioids. When it’s time to get clean, withdrawal can be one of the most physically and emotionally difficult parts of recovery.

If you or a loved one is considering treatment for opioid abuse, there are some things you should know about opiate withdrawal symptoms. Knowing the opioid withdrawal timeline best prepares you for the long and difficult road to staying sober.

Keep reading to learn more about what to expect and what kind of support is out there.

What Are Opiates?

Our brains, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system make up our central nervous system. Across the central nervous system are opioid receptors: neurotransmitters that receive our body’s naturally-produced opioids and regulate both pain and stress. But chemical opioids can have an effect on these receptors, as well.

Chemical opioids include prescription painkillers such as codeine, tramadol, and Dilaudid. They also encompass street drugs such as heroin. Because they contain opiates, these drugs are able to attach to our opioid receptors and produce physical and emotional reactions.

Both prescription and street opiates create a sense of euphoria. They lower heart rate, body temperature, respiration, and blood pressure. At the same time, they flood the central nervous system with a pleasant emotional sensation.

Of course, chemically-made opioids are much stronger than what our body produces naturally. Abusing an opioid can change your brain chemistry by hindering your ability to produce opioids naturally. When dependence occurs, the body can’t feel and operate normally without the chemical opioid.

How Does Drug Withdrawal Happen?

Withdrawal from opiates occurs in one of two ways. Either someone who has been abusing the substance significantly reduces how much they’re taking or they stop taking the drug “cold turkey.” This not only produces uncomfortable physical and mental side effects, but it can also be dangerous.

But why does drug withdrawal occur?

Your central nervous system becomes dependent on the opioids that it can no longer produce on its own. The severity of dependency is related to:

When your body becomes dependent on the opioid drug, you’re not producing any of those natural chemicals on your own. When the fake opioids are then withdrawn, your body has to adjust. This causes physical and emotional symptoms that range from mild to severe.

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

There are 3 stages to the opioid withdrawal timeline. The severity of these symptoms ranges from individual to individual but, it’s important for everyone to remember that withdrawal is temporary.

Stage 1

Opioids have what is known as a “half-life.” This refers to the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be flushed from the body. Half-life is closely related to the first stage of withdrawal symptoms.

For example, heroin takes effect faster than any other opioid. That means it has the shortest half-life. An individual withdrawing from heroin would experience withdrawal symptoms faster than an individual taking a drug with a longer half-life.

For individuals withdrawing from short-acting opiates, withdrawal symptoms are usually present within 6 to 12 hours after the last dose. For longer-acting opiates, withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 30 hours of the last dose.

The symptoms of the early stages of withdrawal include:

In this stage of withdrawal, the individual may experience agitation and restlessness. They may also have flu-like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

These symptoms get worse over the 48 hours after the last dose. After approximately 72 hours they’ll be at their peak. While most physical symptoms will be significantly reduced by the third day, they can last as long as 5 days.

Stage 2

After the drug has been flushed from the system in stage 1, the second stage of withdrawal can last for up to 2 weeks. The major physical symptoms include chills and cramping. Emotional symptoms such as depression and craving to use the opioid drug are common.

Stage 3

The final stage of withdrawal can last for as long as two months. These symptoms usually center around the mental and emotional attachment to the drug. They involve mood swings, anxiety, cravings, and insomnia.

Drug Withdrawal Support

While not all withdrawal symptoms pose life-threatening risks, opioid drug withdrawal commonly requires supervision and, more often than not, medical assistance. The medications and therapy that are provided in a medical detox can also reduce the chance of relapsing.

A medical detox usually takes place in a residential setting and makes the process as comfortable as possible for the individual. Medical professionals monitor vital signs such as respiration, body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. They can also provide pharmacological treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

Replacement drugs like Suboxone or methadone are weaker opioids that can be administered in a professional setting. Antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and other symptom-specific drugs can help an individual through their withdrawal and give them a good chance at recovery.

Finding the Support You Need

Abusing opioid drugs can change your brain chemistry. When your body becomes dependent on opioid drugs and can’t function without their interaction, withdrawing from those drugs can be physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Knowing the opioid withdrawal timeline can help you through the process, whether you’re helping yourself or a loved one.

The first 5 days of withdrawal symptoms are the most physically difficult while the months following involve more emotional symptoms such as cravings and depression.

To give yourself or your loved one the best chance at recovery, consider professional help. Contact us for more information.

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