Opioid Detox

America has been in a drug crisis and opioid epidemic for quite some time now. Unfortunately, things are only getting worse due to the current pandemic. To rectify this growing issue, America will need to utilize opioid overdose treatment. 

The misuse of opioids and other drugs has been a serious issue in America since the 90s. Over the course of the past decade, the misuse of opioids and other drugs became more than just an issue. It became a full-fledged epidemic. This was particularly apparent in 2017 when the number of drug and opioid overdoses and deaths reached a new peak. 

To help fight the war against drugs, the American government invested $21 billion in efforts to target the opioid crisis. This investment helped things after a while. In fact, the number of deaths caused by drugs and opioid overdoses decreased by several percent in 2018. This provided hope that the country finally had a handle over the drug crisis. Unfortunately, this was not the case as the rates of deaths caused by drug overdose increased again in 2019.

Now that 2020 is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, deaths due to drug and opioid overdoses are only increasing. To understand just how much of an effect this pandemic will have on the rates of deaths caused by drugs and opioid overdoses, you must first understand the ins and outs of the opioid crisis itself. You must then also understand how the coronavirus pandemic hinders drugs and opioid overdose treatment.

History of the Opioid Epidemic

The American opioid crisis had its start in the early 90s. The opioid crisis then took off in the late 2000s. 

The First Wave of the Opioid Epidemic

The first wave of the opioid crisis occurred in 1991. Around this year, it became popular for doctors to prescribe opioids and combinations of medication with opioids in them to patients that wanted medical pain relief. 

This sudden increase in opioid prescriptions occurred because pharmaceutical companies claimed that the risk of becoming addicted to opioids was low. It was also during this time that pharmaceutical companies promoted taking opioids to treat non-cancer-related pain in patients. 

Because of all of the promotion and over-prescribing of opioids, by the time the year 1999 rolled around, 86% of opioid users were taking the drug for non-cancer-related pain. It was also around this year that the misuse of opioids started to become an apparent problem. 

The Second Wave of the Opioid Epidemic

The second wave of the opioid epidemic occurred in 2010. It was around this year that a large portion of the people that misused opioids started using the illegal form of opioids, otherwise known as heroin. Heroin is a drug that you inject into your body.

Although illegal, heroin is considered an opioid because it is made from morphine. Morphine is a natural substance found in the seed pod of opium poppy plants. All opioid drugs come from the opium poppy plant. 

Because one major side effect of all opioids is the reduction of pain, heroin also has this characteristic trait. As a result, people with pain can also become addicted to heroin. Heroin addiction can also begin in opioid addicts because the chemicals in their brains that are dependent on what’s inside opioids, will also respond to heroin. 

Once America started to realize the addictive nature of opioids, the country tried to reign in the number of opioid prescriptions that doctors gave out. As a result, more and more people turned to heroin to upkeep their addiction to opioids. Over time, the number of deaths that heroin-related overdoses from 2002-2013 increased by 286%. 

The Third Wave of the Opioid Epidemic

The third wave of the opioid epidemic started in 2013. It was around this time that synthetic forms of opioids, in particular, fentanyl, became popular. In fact, it was also around this time that people sought out illicitly produced fentanyl rather than seek diverted medical fentanyl. Over time, the misuse of fentanyl became so popular amongst opioid addicts that there were over 20,000 fentanyl-related deaths in America in the year 2016 alone. 

Overdose and Death Rates Caused by the Misuse of Opioids and Other Drugs from 2017-2019

The number of American deaths due to drug-related overdoses reached 70,699 in 2017. With the help of opioid overdose treatment and the time and money invested in targeting the opioid crisis, the rate of the total number of deaths caused by drug overdose decreased in 2018 by 4.6%. This was a huge feat in the war against drugs as this was the first time America had seen a decline in drug overdose deaths in almost 30 years. 

Unfortunately, in 2019 the total number of deaths caused by drug overdose went back up 4.6%. This erased the 2018 progress that was made in the war against drugs. 

Not only did the 2019 number of deaths caused by drug overdose erase the 2018 progress that America made in the war against drugs, but by the end of the year, it also topped it. This is evident by the fact that the total number of American deaths that were caused by drug overdose in 2019 reached 70,980. This number of drug-related deaths in one year even surpassed the previous 70,699 record number of drug-related deaths in 2017. 

Overall, more than half of the 2019 overdose-related deaths had to do with synthetic fentanyl. In fact, the number of American deaths related to synthetic fentanyl overdoses in 2019 was 36,500. This means that 36,500 of the 70,980 drug overdose-related deaths in 2019 involved synthetic opioids. 

Overdose and Death Rates Caused By Cocaine and Methamphetamine Abuse from 2017-2019

The number of cocaine and methamphetamine-related overdose deaths in 2019 increased by 10.7% between 2017-2019. Even many of the 2019 deaths that were caused by cocaine and methamphetamine overdose had something to do with fentanyl. This is apparent in the fact that many of these 2019 deaths were due to overdoses caused by combination drugs made out of fentanyl, cocaine, and meth. 

By the time the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finalizes the total number of drug-related overdose deaths in 2019, one may assume that the total number of deaths increased. 

Overdose and Death Rates Caused by the Misuse of Opioids and Other Drugs in 2020

Data shows that the trajectory of death rates caused by drug overdoses will increase throughout 2020. Within the first quarter of the 2020 year, data even showed that drug overdose death rates were up 11.4% from 2019. At this rate, the 2020 percentage of deaths caused by overdoses will have the sharpest annual increase since 2016.  

The last month of the first quarter of 2020 was when the coronavirus pandemic started. Therefore, the rates of drug overdoses and deaths will greatly increase throughout the rest of 2020. This is especially true since the pandemic caused many people to lose their jobs. As a result, they have more time on their hands. 

Ways Covid-19 May Cause an Increase in Drug Overdose and Death Rates in 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has put a big wrench in the year 2020. This is because it changed the way that we all function, work, shop, and more. This virus has had a major effect on drug overdoses and death rates in America. Below are the ways that Covid-19 helps improve on their rates of drug overdoses and heath. 

It Brings About Poverty and Unemployment

Because COVID safety measures called us to social distance and stay six feet apart from one another, many small businesses have had to close. As a result, many people lost their jobs during the pandemic. When people are poor and stressed out about money and employment, they become depressed. To help cope with depressed feelings, many people turn to drugs. This will cause drug overdose and death rates to increase. 

If Covid-19 makes people live without employment for too long, some people could reach complete poverty or become homeless. Studies show that people and areas that are stricken by poverty tend to struggle more with drug misuse. As a result, addicts that become poor or homeless due to the pandemic will likely go back to misusing drugs. The misuse of drugs will then lead to more cases of overdoses and deaths caused by overdoses. 

It Caused Many Addiction Treatment Facilities to Shut Down

Many addiction treatment facilities are closing down during the pandemic. This is partly because many addiction treatment centers cannot properly social distance their residents. Inpatient treatment centers are particularly having a hard time socially distancing their residents. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers also struggle with providing all the required safety measures to stay open. 

Another reason why many addiction treatment centers are shutting down is that they are not receiving enough business to stay open during the pandemic. One reason why rehab facilities do not receive enough business during the pandemic is that prospective patients are afraid that attending rehab will cause them to expose themselves to the virus. Another reason why rehab facilities are not making enough business during the pandemic is that they aren’t taking advantage of telehealth treatment. 

The less access that addicts have to receive help at treatment centers, the more likely that drug overdose and death rates will increase in 2020. 

It Causes Drugs and Opioid Overdose Treatment Funds to Be Cut

As fewer people are using mental and behavioral health services during the pandemic, funding for such services is being cut. Cutting funding for mental and behavioral services during recessions is not uncommon. In fact, a handful of states already decided to cut fiscal funding for mental and behavioral services for the next year. Because treatment for drug and opioid addiction falls underneath mental and behavioral health services, cutting funding for such services will cause an increase in deaths caused by drug and opioid overdoses. 

Opioid Overdose Treatment and Prevention: Coastal Detox Will Never Abandon You

Because the rates of drug and opioid misuse and addiction are only increasing, it is imperative that addicts have access to treatment. Lucky for you, Coastal Detox provides high-quality addiction treatment during the pandemic. We’re even offering residential and dual diagnosis treatment right now. 

Here at Coastal Detox, we provide treatment for addictions to opiates, heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, alcohol, crack, painkillers, and benzodiazepines. To learn more about the treatment programs that we have here at Coastal Detox, feel free to contact us today. You can gain access to the tools you need for opioid overdose treatment and prevention now!

America’s opioid crisis has been increasing and is expected to continue doing so over the next coming years. Around 2 million Americans today are addicted to opioids and close to 400,000 have died from opioid overdose in the past few decades.  While there is no one drug to blame for the epidemic, the most common drugs abused right now include heroin, fentanyl, opium, morphine, and oxycodone. 

Health experts have shown the importance of seeking treatment and going through a medically supervised detox in order to fully recover from opioids. Many people, either because they don’t want to be public about their addiction or want to attempt recovering on their own, attempt to detox at home. Without medical advice and supervision, this could serious health concerns and lead to unsuccessful rehabilitation. 

How do Opiates Affect the Body? 

Opiates work by blocking pain signals in the body. While they were manufactured for medical settings to help those suffering from acute or chronic pain, they have since become recreational drugs and misused by millions across America. 

Opiates are extremely addictive and long term frequent use can lead to severe mental and physical damage. Over time, individuals become addicted to opiates and without having them in their system their natural levels of pain are increased. The body begins to rely on the drug to feel good and operate normally, so taking away the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms. 

Overtime people using opiates will also develop a tolerance, so they will need to increase their dosage in order to feel the desired effects. This deepens the addiction, side effects, and makes recovery more difficult. Some of the most common side effects of opioid abuse include : 

More serious side effects include:

Opioid Detox 

When the body suddenly stops receiving the influx of opiates, it starts to experience uncomfortable symptoms.  Anyone addicted to opiates will experience different combinations of withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of the addiction, these side effects may or may not be serious health concerns. Most can expect to feel 

What is Imodium?

Imodium, medically known as loperamide hydrochloride,  is a medication commonly prescribed to help decrease gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. This type of medication can be purchased over the counter and is easily accessible to the public. It helps to slow down the intestinal movement and digestion in general.

Loperamide is the active ingredient in Imodium and acts as an opiate receptor agonist, meaning it’s a type of opiate in itself. Loperamide binds to the cells in your stomach and signals the opioid receptors to keep working. This helps keep your digestive system working as it was while you were using, which decreases uncomfortable diarrhea and may ease withdrawal symptoms. 

Although Imodium will help with the gastrointestinal effects of the withdrawal process, it will not reduce the mental, emotional, or other physical aspects of withdrawal. People who believe it could help with those symptoms often end up taking more than what is safe and cause more damage that can lead to serious side effects.  

Immodium and Opioid Addiction 

Although government and medical professionals are aware of the opioid epidemic, there are only so many precautions they can take to prevent further addictions from starting. Rules and regulations have been set, but individuals tend to find access to these drugs anyway. So while prescriptions may be decreasing, people have moved on to street drugs like heroin and fentanyl.  When they don’t have access and start to go through withdrawals, many look for easily accessible options to help others combat withdrawal symptoms which can feel unbearable at their worst. 

Immodium is only intended to help with gastrointestinal symptoms, but when taken in large doses, there is potential to feel some “euphoric” effects This potential is dangerous as the amount needed to create this effect poses a risk of stroke, death, and heart attack. 

Effects of Imodium and Potential Overdose 

Since the uprise in using Imodium as a method of relieving withdrawal symptoms has surfaced, many studies have been done to determine the actual benefits of the drug. There have been no formal conclusions, and the only hypothesized conclusions have been that low doses of Imodium may help alleviate the presence of severe gastrointestinal discomfort. 

This is because Imodium doesn’t affect what is known as the “blood-brain barrier”. This barrier is what sends signals to the entire body including the central nervous system, pain receptors, and emotional reactions. Without being able to reach these internal signals, Imodium cannot have any direct effect on their function. 

Too much Imodium can cause severe damage, and those who take more hoping for more “opiate” like results could be putting their health at risk. Typically, doses are prescribed in 20-40mg. Anything more than 60 mg can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and lead to overdose. 

Signs of Imodium Overdose

Imodium overdose is more of a risk for those attempting to detox at home. Too much Imodium can lead too: 

In 2016 the Food and Drug Administration released a public statement advising caution when using Imodium as high doses can lead to stroke, heart attack, and death. High doses can even lead to death.

Health Precautions When Taking Imodium 

If you are going to take Imodium at home, there are a few precautions you should be aware of to ensure you’re taking this over the counter medication properly and not putting yourself at risk for overdose. 

Treating Imodium Overdose

Although Imodium poses fatal risks, if medical attention is sought immediately there is potential to reverse the overdose. People who have overdosed on Imodium or have taken enough to cause damage, have a few options for treatment:

Stomach Pumping: Stomach pumping, also known as gastric lavage or stomach irritation is a process where the contents of the stomach are cleared out to remove any toxins or poisons in the digestive tract. This can help remove the fluid Imodium from the body before it is absorbed. 

Activated Charcoal: Using activated charcoal to absorb the Imodium is a process commonly used after the individual has undergone stomach pumping. Typically, about 100 mg of charcoal will be administered and it will be able to absorb the Imodium before the excess amounts affect the body and cause dangerous side effects. 

Naloxone: Naloxone, a common overdose reversal drug may be provided to offset the Imodium overdose. Naloxone blocks the effects of opiates and is typically used as the medication blocks the effects of opioids and is a common form of treatment for a narcotic drug overdose. Naloxone should only be administered by a medical professional or someone who has been trained on how to properly inject it. 

Anyone taking Imodium should be careful with their dosage regardless of the fact that there are options for reversing an overdose. These methods should only be used for emergency situations and never as a planned method of safety. 

Treatment for Opioid Addiction 

Treatment for substance abuse disorder should include a blend of treatments that address both the mental and physical aspects of the addiction. Many factors come into play, and options for treatment typically include a combination of the following:

Detox is the most important step in recovery, and should always be done is a professional rehabilitation center with licensed professionals who can monitor and supervise you through the withdrawal stage. Attempting to detox at home can lead to a whole host of medical and psychological issues that were not expected. 

Medical professionals are trained to handle any unforeseen bumps in the recovery road and can give you long term care beyond detox that will ensure you stay sober and don’t have to go through the detox process again. 

Counseling sessions with a psychiatrist or counselor that are offered at professional rehab facilities will be able to address your addiction and help find the root causes so you can learn to cope in healthier ways. Until both the body and mind are healed, addiction is not fully treated. 

Seeking Professional Help

If you think you need to detox from opioids, or someone you love is struggling with addiction, find a treatment center close to you to find out more information on how to enroll in their detox and rehab programs. 

There are many options for extended programs, including Sober Living Homes, Intensive Outpatient Programs, and outpatient treatment services. Once your initial treatment is complete, your team of doctors and clinical professionals will be able to advise what the next steps are to successfully address your co-occuring conditions and maintain recovery. 

To learn more about the treatment options available contact us here. You can also call us at (877) 406-6623.

Resources:

https://www.drugs.com/imodium.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/diarrhea/imodium

https://newperspectivesfl.com/withdrawal/imodium/

Recovering from an addiction can be a scary thing. There are so many unknowns that an addict has to look in the eye and overcome. That’s why it’s so important to get good information about addiction recovery into the hands of addicts.

It might make the process of deciding to get clean a little easier.

Heroin recovery can be particularly daunting. It’s a notoriously difficult drug to bounce back from, but with the right team of qualified caregivers even lifelong users can transition into sobriety safely.

If you or your loved one is thinking about trying to get sober, keep reading to find out what you can expect from heroin recovery.

Inpatient Heroin Treatment

When they enter inpatient therapy for heroin addiction, they are getting rid of any external factors, like a poor environment or friends who also use, from the equation. The best hope that an addict has of recovery is going to inpatient rehab.

The prospect of going to an inpatient treatment facility can be intimidating to many addicts. There’s a lot of unknown there, and it’s a big leap to go from living life as a heroin addict versus being in treatment.

To take away some of this fear and apprehension, we’re going to take a look at what a day in rehab looks like in the average facility.

A Day in Rehab

Most places will require that you wake up early to eat breakfast and attend an early meeting or class. You’ll be given a healthy breakfast that’s packed full of nutrients that will help your body heal and recover. Each day in rehab should start on a healthy foot.

Many places offer relaxing classes to kickstart the day. Think yoga or meditation or other activities that you can continue after rehab is over to live a healthy life.

After your healthy morning, many places have group sessions. Group sessions are large conversations that a therapist or counselor leads. During group sessions, people talk about things like the 12-steps and other various aspects of addiction.

To understand the root of addiction, you have to understand the things in your life that led you to make the choices that you made to get to where you are. And while one on one therapy sessions are great for digging deep in this way, group sessions offer a unique way for you to talk to other people in similar situations and learn from them as well.

In the afternoon, your more intense therapy will start. You’ll get a healthy lunch and then get started on your one on one therapy for the day.

Several different therapies can be very helpful for heroin recovery. A few to keep in mind are:

Many rehab centers also offer changes to listen to guest speakers and participate in art and music therapy, dance therapy, and exercise therapy!

After your daily therapy sessions, you might have some free time on your hands. Most rehabs will have things for you to do like watching TV, playing basketball, or reading from their library selection. If you can, try to pick up a hobby that can keep you busy after rehab is over.

In the evening, you’ll eat dinner and attend a 12-step program meeting. These meetings are great for connecting with your fellow addicts and achieving sobriety in the long term.

From there, you’ll head to bed for lights out and start the whole thing over again.

Medications to Ease Heroin Recovery

Buprenorphine is a medication that acts the way heroin does by stimulating the opioid receptors in the brain. It can help reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal and can even help people with chronic pain issues. However, there is still a risk of withdrawal and overdose with this medication.

Methadone is a popular choice for many addicts who want to get clean. It’s stronger than buprenorphine and because of this, it can be just as addictive as heroin. However, when used as prescribed it can be a great way for addicts to get and stay clean.

Those are the day to day things you can expect from heroin recovery. However, the part of recovery that many addicts fear is the withdrawal. Withdrawl from heroin addiction can be painful and even dangerous if not handled the right way.

That’s why there are medications designed to help wean addicts off of heroin without the dangerous side effects.

Treatment After Rehab

After rehab, you must continue to seek medical care for your addiction. Staying in contact with a doctor and seeing a therapist regularly can be the difference between recovery and relapse.

It’s also important that you continue to attend meetings. You can’t leave rehab and go back into your old environment and expect things to change. You often have to overhaul your whole life to get clean.

Preventing Heroin Relapse

Relapse is a part of the recovery process. However, you should make every effort to prevent relapse if you can.

This means you will have to cut out your friends who use heroin, change the places you hang out, and learn a whole new way of life.

Make a list of people who you can call if you feel tempted to use. Make sure that you give these people a call if you have to, use them as a lifeline to staying on the path to recovery.

The Struggle is Worth It: Get Help Today

Heroin recovery isn’t easy but it’s worth it. Not only will you be free of a dangerous and expensive addiction, but you will be able to regain control of your life. All the struggle will be worth it when you can face any obstacle without the need to use.

If you or your loved one suffers from addiction, contact us today for information about how to recover for good.

References:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/international/abstracts/heroin-relapse-after-withdrawal-homeostasis-yin-yang

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17439868

Over 130 people die due to opioid overdose every day. 

While we hear a lot about heroin overdoses, morphine abuse occurs just as often. If you’re concerned about a friend or family member using morphine, recognizing the signs of drug addiction can help.

Here are the common signs of morphine abuse to look out for.

1. Short-Term Effects of Morphine

The short-term effects of morphine use depend on how much was taken. The method for administering the drug can influence these side effects as well. Most side effects occur within 15 to 60 minutes.

Depending on how much was taken, these morphine symptoms could last between 4 to 6 hours.

The possible short-term effects or morphine use include:

Morphine impacts the body’s central nervous system (CNS). As it depresses the CNS, morphine will slow down both the nervous system and brain.

This causes morphine users to experience drowsiness and take slower breaths.

In higher doses, the person might become unconscious or fall into a coma.

2. Long-Term Effects of Morphine

21 to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Using morphine over a long period of time can cause intense side effects. Prolonged use can lead to morphine addiction and dependence as well.

People who use morphine over an extended period of time might also develop depression or another mood disorder.

Constantly injecting morphine into the body can cause damage to a person’s veins as well.

Other long-term effects of morphine use include:

Morphine use impacts the brain’s pleasure-causing chemicals.

Like many opiates, morphine stimulates parts of the brain that releases these chemicals. This allows morphine to increase the amount of pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain, creating a euphoric experience.

Risk Factors

People with a loved one who has experienced a morphine addiction in the past might develop the same addiction.

Another risk factor for morphine abuse is stress. When we experience long-term stress, or bodies tense up, causing joint and muscle pain. This stress can cause anxiety as well.

Morphine can produce euphoria to mask this pain and relieve anxiety.

If a friend or loved one is using morphine for chronic pain relief and experiences heightened stress, they might use morphine to cope.

3. Behavioral Changes

Morphine abuse can impact how people think, act, and communicate with the people around them.

Some of the general signs of drug addiction include:

Morphine abuse also manifests through other behavioral changes. These can include:

You might also find pills, pill bottles, or syringes finding around.

Even if they’re using a prescription, it can take as few as two weeks on a regular dose for morphine addiction to development.

Despite knowing your friend or loved one is using morphine, other behavioral changes can indicate morphine abuse, including:

If you notice these signs, it’s possible your loved one is experiencing a morphine addiction.

4. Mood Changes and Psychological Symptoms

You might notice your interactions with your loved ones have changed as well. If you’re concerned they’re experiencing morphine addiction, check for these psychological symptoms:

Over time, it’s possible to develop a morphine tolerance. Patients who are prescribed morphine are warned it’s possible to develop a tolerance after just a few dosages.

If they’ve developed a tolerance, the patient might start taking higher dosages to feel an effect. They might also begin to take morphine more often than prescribed.

If they’ve developed a morphine tolerance, they’ll start to take higher and higher dosages. Otherwise, they won’t experience the euphoria associated with morphine use.

5. Withdrawal Symptoms

Morphine withdrawal symptoms can occur 6 to 12 hours after the last dose.

Remember, morphine tolerance can occur even when someone takes the prescribed dosage. Even if someone hasn’t taken the drug for very long, their body might go into withdrawal after they stop using the drug.

Some of the first withdrawal symptoms include yawning, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Other withdrawal symptoms include:

These symptoms can be very intense, though most aren’t life-threatening.

Thankfully, recovery is possible. Despite the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, medical detoxification can help. This process reduces the change of relapse in the future as well.

While the physical symptoms can last three to five days, the psychological symptoms might take a few weeks to fade.

Your loved one doesn’t have to go through the withdrawal process alone. Instead, consider a detox program to help them heal in comfort.

Opiate Awareness: Understanding the Warning Signs of Morphine Abuse

Opiate awareness can help you keep an eye out for your loved one. With these five warning signs of morphine abuse, you can prepare to intervene if necessary.

If you have a loved one who is experiencing morphine addiction, we can help. Contact us today by calling (877) 978-3125, discuss the right drug detox plan for your friend or family member.

References:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis#five

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431077/

 

“And now my beauties, something with poison in it I think, with poison in it, but attractive to the eye and soothing to the smell . . . poppies, poppies, poppies will put them to sleep.” – The Wicked Witch of the West, The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Many of us have our first introduction to opium at a young age in this simple reference from a beloved film. The beautiful poppy, with its striking red petals and black pistol, contains a sinister secret.

The milk of the poppy, contained in its seed pod, has powerful sedative properties. It’s one of the world’s oldest known medicines. It also has the ability to produce a euphoric high. The drug made from this milk is opium and its classified as a controlled substance. Since 1914, the United States has recognized the addictiveness of this drug.

We no longer use the pure form of opium. The synthetic medical version of opium we know today as opiates. Opiate addiction has been the main driver of drug overdoses in the US since 2014. The deaths every year have continued to rise. In Florida, the increases in overdoses rose 5.9% from 2016-2017.

So, what drugs are on the opiates list? How do you spot the early signs of addiction in a loved one? Here we go over all that and let you know how to get them help.

What are Opiates and Five Warning Signs of an Opiate Addiction

Unlike other illegal narcotics like cocaine, opiates are mainly prescribed by a doctor and taken according to medical advice for the first time. The analgesic/pain-relieving qualities of the drug are perfect for post-surgical patients and others dealing with chronic pain.

So, before you fill your prescription you need to look twice at the name of the drug. If you have any risk of addiction, addictive tendencies, or are in recovery let your doctor know. Tell them you want to avoid controlled substances and to give you an alternative.

But, before you can avoid them you have to know what they are. So, which drugs are we talking about when we say opiates? Read on to find out.

What Drugs are on the Opiates List?

The first drug that comes to mind when you think about this epidemic is heroin. This is the illegal street version of this subset of medication. The reality of the hell of heroin addiction became realized on the big screen in the hit movie “Trainspotting” in 1996.

We saw just how far someone was willing to go for a fix and the consequences of this life-destroying drug. Since then, opiates/opioids have only gained in popularity.

This is due to their increased use, not only on the street but in hospitals and doctors’ offices. The typical opiate addict is no longer a junkie on the corner. They could be your own grandmother who got her hip replaced last year. They could be the new mom who couldn’t stop taking the Oxycodone after her c-section scar healed.

Here are some of the drug names to look for that are on the opiates list:

This is not an exhaustive list but gives you a good idea of the most popular drugs. Before you start taking any of these medications, consult with your doctor about the risk of dependency. Too often, people trust their doctors to know them and do what’s right. Don’t depend on a doctor with 100 or more patients to read your entire medical file before walking in the door.

You need to be your own advocate in medical situations. Never take a drug before you know what it’s for and what the risks are. Now, let’s take a look at some of the common signs of opiate addiction. Here’s the top five to pay attention to.

Physical Symptoms That Point to Addiction

These signs may start off slow. You may not notice them right away. Physical symptoms can go unnoticed.

Pay attention to subtle changes in behavior or mood that seem out of the ordinary. Some common problems to notice are:

Every addict will not look the same. Some people showcase addiction more than others. While one person will have 5 or 6 of these symptoms someone else has 1-2. Watch them close and try and stay with them for a 24-48 hour period to get a real sense of their dependancy level.

Psychological Symptoms and Clues of an Opiate Addiction

Psychological symptoms of opiate addiction are harsh. Outside of the euphoria of the high, there are scary and sometimes disturbing psychological consequences.

Here are some common psychological symptoms of opioid dependency:

The key factor in determining if these are clues to addiction is to note when they started and how long they’ve been going on. It’s harder to point to psychological clues if the person has a history of mental health issues. In that case, watch out for opposite reactions than they would normally have.

For instance, if someone has depression and goes through normal depressive episodes watch for changes. Without their medication changing or breakthroughs in therapy are they suddenly on top of the world. Do they wake up ready to go and seem overly enthusiastic about life? Look for clues that don’t seem like them.

Again, this is going to be different for every individual. Some may have lots of issues, some none. It’s all about paying attention. Let’s look at some clues within their social life that could tip you off.

Changes in Their Social Life

When someone becomes dependent on a drug their whole world begins to revolve around that drug. There is a shift in their entire worldview.

This can present itself in the people they surround themselves with. Have they started hanging out with a different crowd than normal? Have they stopped calling people they were close with?

Look at where they hang out now and with who and note any differences. Addicts tend to find other addicts to hang out with. Why? Because they understand each other. They will also have tips on how to score that next fix. Which doctor to go to for a script.

The next clue to figuring out if there is an addiction is watching their medical habits.

Changing Their Medical Team Often

As we said before, opiates have gotten off the street corner and into our household medicine cabinets. Your average opiate addict is going to be a normal person who got their original prescription for a valid reason and got hooked.

However, it’s getting harder and harder to get a prescription for these medications. These medicines have found their way onto the Schedule II Controlled Substances list.

What does that mean? Here’s a breakdown on the controlled substances list.

What is the Controlled Substances List and What Does Each Schedule Mean?

The Federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, more commonly known as the Controlled Substances Act, became effective on May 1, 1971. This outlined the guidelines medical professionals had to follow to protect their patients from becoming addicted. This also helps determine the punishment for illegal use of these drugs.

Every drug, street or medicinal, is categorized into a schedule. This schedule rates the addictiveness of the substance. There are 5 schedules. The rating is based on the levels of codeine per dosage unit.

Reserved for the drugs with the highest likelihood of dependency, Schedule I is also the most regulated. Most of these drugs are illegal. These are the most addictive drugs out in the world. Heroin is a schedule I opiate.

Schedule II is where the majority of the opiates land. These drugs are legal but regulated and watched. According to the DEA, “Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

What Makes it Hard to Obtain Schedule II Drugs?

There are a number of pharmacies and prescription regulations on these very addictive substances. Even when you get a prescription for one it can take some doing to find a pharmacy to fill the prescription. They will usually have to special order it for you.

According to the Controlled Substances Act, prescriptions for these drugs are only applicable in emergency situations. The amount of medicine a patient receives needs to be the least amount to cover the current condition. The pharmacist has to obtain all of the doctor’s information, the patient’s information, and the original written prescription.

This leads to one of the main behavioral changes that point to an addiction to opiates.

Other Behavioral Changes to Look Out For

The most common behavioral change in an addict of this type is a hyper-focus around the drug. The person becomes concerned all the time about where they will go to get it when they will get it. They become worried and irritable when the amount of pills they have is running low.

With the strict regulations, it’s harder and harder to find a doctor to write you a prescription. This can lead to what’s called “doctor shopping”. Doctor shopping is the act of going to one doctor after another to see which will believe the story and give you the medicine.

This patient will also have a variety of pharmacies they get the drugs from to avoid suspicion. How can you notice this?

Pay attention to the pill bottles in the person’s home. Do they all come from the same pharmacy? Has the person been seeing new doctors a lot lately? Are they on the phone a lot of making appointments?

If you have access to their financial information pay attention to the locations of the purchases. Are there multiple pharmacy names with no explanation? Look for co-pays at medical offices. These can all be good clues of opiate addiction.

Get Yourself or Your Loved One Help Right Away

If you suspect opiate addiction the time to act is now. Overdose is a very real possibility with these medications. Your loved one is at a high risk of death every day the addiction continues.

The last thing you want is for them to become a statistic. What are some of your options? Look into inpatient detox centers to handle the initial physical withdrawal symptoms. Do not encourage the addicted person to try to stop on their own. They need to be under proper medical supervision.

Once the medical detox is over they can enter into a residential recovery program. There they get the tools they need to kick the habit and avoid the drug for the long haul. Many recovery programs are covered, at least in part, by your health insurance benefits.

Do you know someone who needs the help of a treatment center? We can help you get them the help they deserve. Contact us today and we can give you the best course of action. Remember, the first line of defense is a good offense. If you suspect addiction call right away.

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Heroin is one of the most addictive substances out there. Not only is overdosing common, but it can be challenging to get off as well.

When you try to quit heroin, you can suffer from some uncomfortable and distressing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are often so difficult to manage that you’ll be tempted to relapse.

For the best chance of success when quitting heroin, you’ll need to attend some kind of rehab program. This article describes what it takes and what you need to do to recover from your addiction through heroin treatment.

Rehab for Heroin

If you have a heroin addiction, it’s recommended that you attend some kind of rehab center. Heroin is notoriously difficult to withdraw from and if you don’t have any support, it’s likely that you’ll relapse.

Once you’ve locked yourself into an addictive, destructive pattern of behavior like using heroin, it becomes difficult to change your course of action and behave differently. Attending a rehab program gives you the chance to change your routine for the better.

Also, rehab doesn’t just address your physical addictions. You’ll also explore your mental health.

Quite often, people who are addicts have an undiagnosed mental illness or unresolved trauma they need to deal with. When you attend a good rehab program, you’ll have the opportunity to tackle these issues. If you try to quit without addressing these kinds of things, the chances of you staying off heroin are much lower.

When looking at rehab options, you’ll see that there are two distinct kinds of rehab: inpatient and outpatient rehab. Each of these two options has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Inpatient Rehab

This is the kind of rehab that has the highest chance of success for a heroin addict. During a stay in inpatient rehab, you’ll live in the rehab facility throughout the course of your treatment. You’ll have round-the-clock access to the care you need to help you get off and stay off heroin.

During your heroin withdrawals, you might experience some difficult side effects. When you’re in an inpatient rehab facility, you’ll have medical professionals available whenever you need them. They’ll be able to help you with the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

It’ll also be much more difficult for you to relapse, as you’ll be living in a facility where you’re constantly monitored.

Disadvantages

The downside to going to inpatient rehab is that you have to devote all of your time and energy to your recovery. While this does offer you the best chances of success, it’s not for everyone. Some people can’t afford to take time off school, work, or looking after their children.

Another issue is cost. Inpatient rehab is probably going to cost you a lot more than some of the alternatives. Also, you won’t be able to make any money when you’re going through rehab.

You stand the best chance of recovery at inpatient rehab, but it isn’t for everyone.

Outpatient Rehab

During an outpatient rehab program, you’ll continue to live at home but go into the rehab facility from time to time. This kind of rehab is suited to people who have less money to spend or if they have commitments they can’t get out of.

If you were to do this kind of rehab, you’d ideally have a good home environment. The effectiveness of outpatient rehab can depend heavily on the type of living environment you’ll be going back to.

If you’re living with other people who are still using, you’re not going to have much luck. If you have a good support network available to you outside of rehab, this kind of rehab could work quite well for you.

Therapy Sessions

Successful recovery requires you to address the mental issues that led to your addiction in the first place. This might involve one-on-one therapy sessions with a qualified therapist or it could involve group therapy sessions with other addicts.

As an addict, you might suffer from some form of mental illness that’s never been properly diagnosed. For example, you might have PTSD from something traumatic that happened to you in the past, or you might have a major depressive disorder.

Attending therapy sessions can ensure you understand the kind of issues you’re dealing with. This will allow you to get the treatment you need for your mental condition, reducing the chances of relapse and you needing treatment again.

Medication

Throughout your time at rehab, you might be prescribed certain medications to help ensure your chances of recovery are as high as possible. This could include heroin substitutes, such as methadone or suboxone. These will help to reduce the cravings for opiates and they’ll also help to prevent any strong withdrawal effects.

You could also be given medication to treat any psychological conditions. Ideally, you should only take these kinds of medications with the guidance of medical professionals.

Sober Living

After you’ve completed your rehab program, it might serve you well to spend some time at a sober living facility. A sober living facility is somewhere where you live alongside other ex-addicts.

Here, you’ll have access to the help and support you need should you feel tempted to relapse. Spending some time in a sober living facility can dramatically increase your chances for successfully withdrawing from heroin and not relapsing.

Staying Sober

Even if you’ve completed a stay in rehab and subsequently stayed in a sober living facility, you’re still at risk of relapsing at any time. It’s important that you continue to be mindful and look after your mental health. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness of some kind, you should continue to get treated for it.

Take the First Step in Heroin Treatment

Taking the first step in your heroin treatment is quite often the hardest part of recovery. Once you’ve made that initial phone call, things will start to get better for you. Take the first step today and start your recovery journey.

If you or a loved one needs reliable rehab services, get in touch with us today.

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Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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