Category Archives: natural

Opiate Addiction: Tips for Treatment

Methadone is a particularly addictive drug, but is often used in the treatment of heroin addiction. Also known as Symoron, Dolphine, Amidone and Methadose, Methadone belongs to the opioid family of drugs. This prescription drug is often prescribed to treat the pain and withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin addiction. For a person trying to get off heroin, their doctor may prescribe this drug to help them cope while their body experiences living without the drug in its system. This not only helps make it easier for an addict to cope while they are dealing with intense withdrawal symptoms from stopping, but also can prevent serious medical issues such as heart attack and stroke.

Methadone is the first step of treatment for many addicts. It gives them the chance to get off the drugs without having withdrawal symptoms so extreme that they can barely function. For serious addicts, these withdrawal symptoms can last for months, even longer. For some people, they will feel urges for the rest of their life. It is definitely not easy to overcome a drug addiction, but this is a necessary process for someone hooked on drugs who wants to get clean. Methadone can help you get your life back, so if this is something you’re interested in, you should talk to your doctor to get more details. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and get you a prescription if you are thought to be a good candidate for the drug.

The detox process is essential for anyone trying to get off heroin. Be prepared for serious withdrawal symptoms, including anything from muscle aches, anxiety and muscle tension to headaches, nausea and agitation. You may feel edgy, moody and miserable, you may notice that you’re sweating or even feel almost feverish. These are all normal, expected symptoms. Physical and emotional symptoms are expected, especially with a drug like heroin. These symptoms are occurring because you are stopping the drugs after heavy and prolonged use, forcing your body to become dependent without the use of the drugs.

Keep in mind that you may have to take additional medication along with the Methadone drug, especially if you notice that you are experiencing very intense symptoms. You may be placed on long-term maintenance, which means you could be taking Methadone for the long-term or even for the rest of your life, if your doctor feels it is helpful for your recovery. You need to stay in close contact with your doctor to properly monitor your progress. They can ensure there are no potential complications arising as a result of your treatment, such as aspiration or dehydration.

The most important thing is that after you go through treatment, once you have gotten yourself on the right track and aren’t using anymore, that you do whatever it takes to stay off the drugs. The last thing you want is to end up back in the same situation you started, having to start all over from square one. Go through a support group or have regular sessions with a therapist, to have someone there to talk to and support you during this difficult time in your life. It always helps to have someone there who you can feel safe venting to, expressing your feelings and getting support from when you’re not feeling at your strongest.

Millions of people suffer from heroin addiction, and if you are one of those people, at least you know you have options. Methadone is an effective treatment for heroin addicts, offering many advantages to users as a means of treatment.

Opiate Addiction and Types of Treatment Provided

Suboxone has produced the least amount of acclaim for drug addiction treatment, yet it is the one drug that is widely dispensed by physicians.

If you are taking a prescription drug right now, chances are you are taking it incorrectly. Misuse is a major health problem in the United States. The U.S. Government estimates approximately 11 Million Americans are dependent on drugs, but there are more addicts than drug centers. A large percentage of addicts seeking help face long waiting lists and thus become hesitant to start a program once their name surfaces to the top of the list. Almost 70 percent of people face a waiting list for longer than thirty days.

Those dependent on prescription drugs have a mind-set that is different from what addiction-free individuals believe. Addicts are resistant to letting go of their drugs. They typically justify their drug use because for many, they have gotten the drugs legitimately, from their doctor. Some addicts do not realize they are prone to addiction, and they can become hooked on a legal drug. Equally unfortunate is the addict who finally realizes they require help, and then seek help only to be placed on a waiting list. In the end, far too many addicts go untreated. It would seem the odds are against addiction treatment, but Suboxone relieves this problem since the guidelines to prescribe the drug is more relaxed and offer greater flexibility.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone contains two active substances, buprenorphine and naloxone, both used to treat dependence on opioid drugs. The cost of treatment depends on the dose used and the frequency of services. This cost is higher than that of methadone treatment when the two drugs are served daily; however, there is greater flexibility in prescribing Suboxone.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone binds to opioid receptors, and thus produces welcoming effects of euphoria, and a secure comforting feeling, although at much lower levels than those addicts would of total opioid agonists such as methadone. The effects of these agonists are sufficient to allow addicts to stop the misuse of opiates, without encountering withdrawal symptoms.

The Benefits of Suboxone

· Less risk of respiratory problems
· Lower risk of overdose
· The withdrawal symptoms are less profound than when using methadone to combat addiction
· Euphoric symptoms occur less

Adverse Effects of Suboxone

The side effects of Suboxone mainly occur when too much of the drug is taken. The symptoms are similar to the side effects of opiates:

· Headache
· Sick
· Constipation (delayed bowel function)
· Poor sleep
· Sleepy
· Drowsiness
· Dizzy
· Sweaty
· Breathing difficulties (always contact a doctor)
· Dry mouth (brushing your teeth regularly and extra good care of your teeth)
· Slight pain is felt with less risk of causing more inflammation or untreated injuries
· Psychological problems (hallucinations, nightmares, depression) treatment should be coordinated with psychologist
· Itchy rash (contact your physician in connection with possible allergic reaction)
· Sleep apnea (consult a physician)
· Difficult to urinate (call a physician)

Every drug has an adverse effect, yet the result of using Suboxone is positive.

Strong Pain Reliever Can Lead to Abuse and Addiction

Although OxyContin is a major weapon against chronic or severe pain, its use can lead to addiction and drug abuse. The synthetic opioid works in the body much like morphine. An unfortunate similarity is that OxyContin can prove highly addictive.

OxyContin, known as oxycodone when given as a generic drug, is a controlled substance. Doctors who prescribe it to relieve pain want their patients to keep a close eye on their intake. OxyContin abuse has increased dramatically in recent times in spite increased medical and legal scrutiny.

Two years ago the National Institute on Drug Abuse studied American high school students. The NIDA reported that greater than five percent of twelfth graders abused OxyContin, taking it without prescription. OxyContin abusers are not limited to the young; its use continues throughout all parts of the population.

Doctors have become more cautious about prescribing strong pain relievers. They must walk a fine line between appropriate prescribing and holding back from those caught in the web of abuse. Addiction can creep up on people, taking them by surprise.

Some people may be on the drug for months or years before they realize they have crossed the line into addiction. Others may not be able to admit that they have a problem. They may try to convince themselves and others that they are only occasional drug users who take OxyContin only when they need to relax.

It is easy to convince oneself that drug abuse is not in play when one is actually addicted. Some people are just as good at convincing themselves as they are at convincing others that they do not have a problem. For awhile at least they maintain the illusion that they choose when they take OxyContin, that the drug does not have control of them.

Signs of OxyContin addiction can be observed so that addicts themselves as well as loved ones can become aware of growing trouble. Having to take more OxyContin for the same results is one warning sign. If people get into legal trouble or come close to a legal problem because of drug use, then that should be taken as a signal.

Drug use will sometimes replace other activities in a person’s life. When taking drugs becomes more important than other people other events, then abuse should be suspected. Dependency on drugs for pleasure is not a good sign.

For an addict, withdrawal symptoms will arise when the drug dose gets reduced or eliminated. Getting over an addiction is often not a simple matter of quitting. Dependency makes leaving the drug behind a difficult matter.

In spite of promises to themselves and loved ones, OxyContin addicts face a battle in getting over their drug dependency. Another sign of addiction is the arrival of withdrawal symptoms when the user skips taking the drug. Withdrawal itself can scare drug users back into the vicious cycle of abuse.

One symptom of OxyContin addiction is the experience of blackouts. Forgetting events that the drug taker has lived through or knowing that he or she has passed out can signal addiction. Loved ones calling attention to the drug users’ blackouts can help the user ultimately face the addiction.

Abuse of OxyContin destroys people’s emotional and physical well-being. Depression and social alienation can set in, ruining the drug abuser’s sense of self. Insomnia or a major increase in the need for sleep may haunt the lives of addicts.

Other signs of a drug abuse problem include changed eating habits that result in sudden weight loss or weight gain. Slurred speech and lack of coordination may set in when people step over the line into drug abuse. OxyContin is an important medicine for the treatment of pain, but users need to know that it can lead to drug abuse.

Do Addicts Really Recover?

In my line of work as addiction professional, I’m often asked “Do people with addiction get better?” The question may sound simple but it’s not really that simple. There are so many facets to addiction. The chemicals are but one aspect. There also are the addict’s personality attributes, attitudes, lifestyle, and values – all contributing and feeding the addiction syndrome. For most people, the obsession by the addict to consume chemicals is the most salient aspect of addiction. This becomes their focus of attention when asking the question, “Do addicts really recover?” Meaning can they give up drugs and become “normal” people again?

After a closer look at addiction, one begins to realize that the chemical abuse is intimately tied to the person’s mental health, lifestyle, and personal values. For example, it is hard to ignore an addict’s criminal activities related to supporting his drug habit or an alcoholic’s scheming and manipulating behavior to hide his alcoholism when the addicted or alcoholic is trying to pursue “recovery.” Can people “recover” from addiction and still carry on with these criminal or anti-social inclinations? What are the chances of a recovering person remaining abstinent while continuing to sell drugs or maintaining his connection with friends who are involved in criminal activities? Can a recovering alcoholic remain sober while bar-tending?

My point is that there is a “quality of life” a recovering addict or alcoholic must maintain to achieve a certain level of healthy living. For some this may mean pursuing counseling or following medication regime to control psychiatric symptoms. For others, a complete lifestyle change may be necessary to re-align personal priorities and internalize pro-social values. With addiction, old associations — people, places, and things – can easily trigger a relapse to old “bad habits.” There is a common belief among recovering persons that “picking-up” drugs or any substances is the last step in the relapse process. Long before the actual substance use, the person has already relapsed in his thinking – reflected in noticeable changes in attitude, values, and over-all behavior.

To go back to the original question: “Do addicts really recover?” The answer is a relative yes. For some who consider their addiction as a disorder of the whole person and take a holistic view of recovery, they aspire more than giving up the chemicals to include a reinvention of themselves, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Others are content with minimizing the harmful effects of illicit drug use but still resort to alcohol use. Still others give up drugs but continue to have dysfunctional patterns of coping or residual manifestations of personality disorders.

Do Addicts Really Recover?
Dr. Fernando B. Perfas

Importance of Alcohol Rehabilitation

Do you know that the last hope of alcohol addicts lies in rehabilitation centers? Alcohol rehabilitation is a recovery process that helps drug addicts return to their normal self and get incorporated into their families and the society.

The recovery process may at times be a painful one to both the patient and the relatives. This is why you need professional touch experts.

Research has shown that it takes several weeks for full recuperation from alcohol addiction. This period ranges between eight weeks to six months. However, the length of time it takes an individual to get healed depends on the gravity of addiction. In essence, when someone indulges in such drugs like as marijuana, cocaine, morphine, and even heroine, such a person will likely suffer the consequence.

Addiction is like a disease which inflicts more injury to the patient and refuses to go except it receives the desired treatment from alcohol rehabilitation professionals. For instance, drug causes the addict more hunger for the substance and at the same time induces abnormal behavior in the person.

Such behavior may include shop-lifting, arrest and detention of the culprit. When someone drives under the influence of alcohol, there is a high chance of fatal accident with resultant death.

Have you taken time to consider the impact of addiction on children? The behaviors of children who are trained by drug-addicted parents are violent and chaotic. Their lives too are known to be very unproductive, insecure and unpredictable.

The ultimate alternative is for those who have alcohol addiction to seek alcohol rehabilitation centers where proper care will be ensured.

In these rehabilitation centers, there are several professionals who manage and care for patients. Here, the mental and other health complications of addiction are treated.

Several alcohol rehabilitation programs abound. These programs are capable of restoring the mental normalcy of the patient. In the rehabilitation centers, there are in- and out-patient sections. In the out-patient section, the patient only visits the doctor for attention usually in the morning and leaves for his home at a later part of the day. This type of program has been adjudged to be the best as it allows the patient and his relatives enough time and opportunity for other activities such as work while keeping time for his treatment.

On the other hand, the residential alcohol rehabilitation is basically for patients with serious case. This is a situation where patients are kept in-house with doctors. Treatments are given at all times to monitor improvement. Often, it is advised that people in such category should seek immediate help.

How Effective Is Drug Testing in Eradicating Teen Drug Abuse?

Every day, thousands of teens are getting addicted to illicit drugs. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 percent of youth (more than 1 in 5) aged between 18 and 25 years are under the influence of illicit drugs.

The percentage of teens getting addicted to drugs has increased in the last few years. Many of them are getting into this devastating habit due to lack of awareness of the serious consequences it poses.

Why teens get into drug abuse

There are many reasons why teens get into this habit. Most of the teens experiment with drugs, putting their health and safety at risk. Many teens take drugs just to fit in their friends group because of peer pressure. Some teens are influenced by their parents’ behavior. If they find their parents taking drugs, they would follow it. While some of the teens taking drugs, want to feel good and some teens are prone to drugs due to financial or mental depression.

Teen drug testing helps in eradicating teen drug abuse. It can be conducted in high schools, colleges or at the privacy of the home. It is an effective way to keep teens away from drugs and studies show that it brings a positive effect.

Many high schools are conducting these tests randomly in their schools on students and schools that conduct these tests have higher attendance rates than compared to other schools where the drug testing is not conducted.

High school students are more likely to get influenced by drugs. Therefore, to prevent teens from taking drugs, drug-testing and awareness programs should be conducted in high schools to keep a check on drug abusing teens. These programs are not meant to punish or insult the teens, but to take measures before it is too late.

Use reliable test kits:

There are many drug test kits available in the market. But before you buy the test kit see that it is tested and proven. You need to buy kits from reputed dealer and check if the test kits are approved by the FDA. Reputed dealers will offer these test kits affordable price and the results will be accurate and consistent.

Therefore, before it is too late, teens should be educated about the negative impact that drug leaves on their body and mind in the early stage. Drug testing is an effective way in eradicating teen drug abuse.

How Nicotine Test Helps Employers to Establish Smoke-Free Workplace

Nicotine abuse is an issue affecting the profitability of businesses and the environment at workplaces. Employers are insisting on measures that will help them make the workplaces free from smoking of tobacco so as to make their businesses more productive.

Employers in US imposing ban on smokers:

Increasing numbers of employers in US are rejecting the applications of candidates who smoke. They are abiding by the laws framed by the government for the purpose and are not hiring who they find to be smokers. To know whether the prospective hired is smoker, they conduct tests. Those who are found positive for smoking are not offered employment.

Nicotine test helps them to detect smokers – instantly:

Employers apply different techniques to tackle the issue of smoking. These include testing for tobacco (nicotine) by different methods. These tests are helpful to identify if the applicant really smokes tobacco or not. Generally, a nicotine test can be conducted using urine, saliva or hair follicle samples. Employers use any or a combination of these techniques.

Benefits of establishing smoke-free environment:

A smoke-free environment improves productivity of the employees and reduces health insurance costs. Employers find smoke-free workplace beneficial on the following grounds.

Increased productive hours:

A no-smoking environment results in higher number of productive hours than in a smoking permitted one. Employees not used to smoking concentrate better on work and hence there is greater number of productive hours. They are healthy and take few sick leaves.

Whereas, smoking employees take unauthorized breaks to smoke, which is waste of productive time.

Healthy atmosphere:

As healthy employees are more focused on productivity, there is cordial relation between employees as well as employers. Such workplaces boost the employees’ morale and work potential and encourage talented workforce to work for more number of hours. Employers too reciprocate and get prompted to take positive action on any issue.

Shows professional approach of the business:

A smoke-free workplace, places the employer’s image in a positive view among the employees, peers, government, and social groups. The welfare measures taken serve as an example for professional approach taken by the employer. This will enhance mutual trust between the employer and employees.

Reduces healthcare costs:

Following a no-smoking policy at workplace would result in less healthcare costs. This is because, the employees are healthy and need lower health maintenance expenses – be it insurance premium or medical emergencies. These factors are known to cause increased medical expenses to employers in case of employees habituated to smoking. Studies show that, post non-smoking policy there is remarkable decline in the tobacco caused heart attacks, making current smokers to quit (Source: Forbes, 12 June, 2015).

Taking up nicotine tests to enforce a smoking-free environment at workplace is beneficial. The measures, of course, entail costs to the employers.

Rehabilitation – There Is Support Available to Help You Beat That Addiction

No one ever said trying to come clean and overcome your addiction would be easy. In fact, it is one of the biggest obstacles you will face on a daily basis in order for you to remain sane and normal. Even though you may have felt alone while you were going through the addiction phase, there is help and support available during your recovery. That is why you should take advantage of the services that are offered at a rehabilitation center.

There is so much at stake when you make the decision to become sober and take back control of your life. Even though this situation will make you one of the strongest people in the world, it will also make you the most vulnerable. You are going to need more than the love and support of your friends and family to rise to this challenge. You will need the skill, expertise and professional services of the staff at a rehabilitation center.

Keep in mind that the path to overcoming addictions is not completely the same for all substances that are abused. In addition to needing counseling, you can also benefit from group therapy sessions with your peers that are going through the same thing that you are. It is important for you to know that you are not alone and no matter what stage you are at in the process, there is help and support available.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you don’t need help or can get through this trying time in your life alone. No matter how you got into this situation, you will need some type of assistance getting out of it. Beating an addiction is not something that once you stop taking the substance you are cured. It is a continuous and daily struggle that you will have to fight for the rest of your life. It is important for you to learn more about what caused you to resort to abusing. This means that you will need to get more in tune with yourself. You will need to get help so you can become healthy mentally and physically.

When it comes to choosing a rehabilitation center, you have two choices. You can choose to enroll in a day center or a residential center. If you have allowed your addiction to make you lose control of your life and you can barely make it through the day without thinking about your indulging in your addiction, then you may need to be under constant supervision. A residential rehabilitation center may be best for you. If you are currently struggling with an addiction, but are still able to maintain to work or handle some of your obligations, a day center may be what you need. No matter what type of rehabilitation you choose to got, you will receive the help and support you need to regain control over your life and fight your addiction.

Types of Drug Detox

There are 4 primary types of drug detox available for addicts and alcoholics to achieve the initial stages of sobriety. This includes the cold turkey method, specialized detox centers, medical detox facilities and rapid detox centers. Each type of drug detox has its own benefits and pitfalls that people seeking to recover from addiction should understand before they decide which treatment option is right for them.

Cold Turkey Drug Detox

This type of detox is also called “natural detox” and essentially consists of an addict or alcohol undergoing the stages of acute withdrawal in a private setting with little or no assistance or care. Unfortunately, the chances of successfully breaking the initial stages of acute withdrawal syndrome are small with this method, and most addicts will return to their drug of choice before they have reached a critical mass in their recovery efforts.

Despite its propensity for failure, quitting cold turkey isn’t dangerous if the substance in question is fairly benign such as marijuana or mild opiate addiction. However, some substance addictions can lead to life-threatening symptoms of AWS in the event of sudden cessation. The three most dangerous of these substances are alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines; all of which can lead to seizures, respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, coma and in rare cases, death.

Regardless of the substance of abuse, most experts do not recommend natural detox as the chances for success are significantly impaired.

Specialized Drug Detox Centers

Specialized detox centers provide inpatient style treatment for up to 2 weeks. Patients receive an initial evaluation which will be used to develop an individualized treatment plan for the duration of their stay. Because of the individual nature of these plans, some detox patients will undergo treatment in just a few days, while others will require a week or two. In many cases these types of detox facilities work in conjunction with longer-term treatment centers that patients can automatically transfer to once they are past the acute stages of withdrawal.

Specialized detox centers work because of the therapies employed – such as individual and group counseling – and because they effectively isolate the addict or alcohol from people, places and things that could be triggers for them to relapse.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is similar to a specialized detox center but with a distinctly medical component. This can consist of an on-site nurse or doctor, 24 hour monitoring and other types of medically-oriented benefits. A medical detox center can also help addicts to step-down their drug usage in an effort to maintain medical safety and reduce or eliminate symptoms of acute withdrawal.

Medical detox is often required by addicts that have relapsed repeatedly, as subsequent attempts to get clean result in more severe withdrawal symptoms that last for a longer period of time. This is referred to as the Kindling Effect and is a very real phenomenon that can make it extremely difficult for people to get clean and stay clean. A medical detox center can address these issues expertly in a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox refers to a type of medical-detox procedure whereby the patient undergoes most of the symptoms of withdrawal while unconscious. This is accomplished by placing the patient into a medically-induced coma, then administering a series of drugs that facilitates and hastens the process of acute withdrawal. This spares most patients the worst of the symptoms and allows them to begin their treatment without the pain and discomfort of a long period of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, rapid detox is a relatively new practice and it’s not well understood yet how successful it is from a long-term treatment standpoint. Addicts considering this method should consult with their primary physician prior to speaking with a detox specialist.

Going through detox in a specialized or medical facility is the best option for most addicts and alcoholics; not only from a safety standpoint, but also because sequestering an addict away from potential exposure to drugs or drug- abuse triggers provides the best chance for lasting recovery.

Find out for yourself by reaching out for help now if you or someone you love is fighting the disease of addiction.

The Role of Neurons in Substance Abuse

Addiction is a neurological disease and any attempt to define it otherwise can be met with compelling evidence. In fact, the nature of the disease of addiction is almost entirely based upon functions that occur within nerve cells and the circuits they are wired in. Understanding the role neurons play in substance abuse won’t help an addict get clean directly, but it will foster an environment of understanding that can help to mitigate and improve the serious public health threat of substance abuse.

What is a Nerve Cell?

There are billions – perhaps trillions – of nerve cells in the brain. Some scientists theorize there are so many nerve cells because in the event of their death or alteration, these cells are not regenerated and therefore we require a surplus of them. And because their functions are so critical, nerve cells are found in abundance in every area of the brain.

Nerve cells – also called neurons – have many different functions, but overall these functions are primarily communication-related. Neurons communicate by sending and receiving signals to other neurons and nerve circuits, to glands and other hormone-related organs, to muscle cells and other parts of the central nervous system.

Neurons are arranged in circuits, though individual nerve cells do not physically touch. Instead, they float freely within the circuit.

The Individual Parts of Nerve Cells/Neurons

A neuron has 4 primary components;

1. Cell Body: the actual body of the nerve cell

2. Dendrites: dendrites branch out from the top of the nerve cell body

3. Axon: the axon is a long “cord” that extends from the bottom of the cell body

4. Terminals: the terminals branch out from the end of the axon

What Happens During Drug Use

When drugs enter the bloodstream, a signal is sent that excites certain dendrites in a nerve circuit. This signal is processed by the cell body, which in turn then sends instructions about the signal down through the axon. The axon conveys the signal and a neurotransmitter – often dopamine – is released by the terminals.

The neurotransmitter settles into the small gap between individual neurons – called the synaptic gap – and binds with receptors found in the dendrites of connected nerve cells. This causes the user to feel a euphoric sensation or “high.” When drugs like cocaine, heroin or meth interfere with this process, the neurotransmitter is not reabsorbed correctly by the terminals, resulting in neurotransmitter saturation. This causes the high to last for an extended period of time, whereas a natural release of a transmitter like dopamine normally causes a mildly pleasant feeling that quickly dissipates.

How the Brain Corrects the Imbalance

Because drug use is essentially a chemical invasion of the brain, the central nervous system will seek to control the effects of the substance. This is accomplished through a process called drug tolerance, whereby users find it increasingly more difficult to get high.

Tolerance develops when changes are made to the way receptors bind with neurotransmitters, or when other processes in the nerve circuit are altered in order to reduce or eliminate the effects of the foreign substance. Unfortunately, this often means that the drug user will simply increase the dosage of drugs in order to overcome this growing tolerance. This is the beginning of the cycle of addiction.

Permanency of Changes

Changes made to receptors and nerve cells are not reversible. This means that the brain of a drug addict will have significantly changed by the time they stop using. Because these changes are largely permanent, they may cause the addict to feel differently than they did before they began using. Adjusting to these changes is the most difficult part of long term recovery from addiction or alcoholism.

The evidence shows that addiction is not an issue of morals or character; it has its roots literally in our brains and therefore deserves to be treated as the serious health concern that it is. This is why addiction can happen to anyone: we are all wired the same. The sooner we can understand this, the sooner we can begin to offer addicts the right treatment solutions, beginning with a grounded public perception of the neurological nature of addiction.