Is Heroin More Dangerous Than Other Opiates?

Out of all of the opiates out there, heroin is the most talked about. More lives are ruined by heroin than any other opioid-based drug, but is it more dangerous than other narcotics in this drug family? Let’s find out.

Heroin, also known as smack, China white or dope, is available as a white or brown powder or as a sticky, black substance (known as black tar). This highly addictive substance can be smoked, injected or snorted. Heroin is most commonly injected intravenously, giving the user an instant high. Once you’ve graduated to “shooting” (injecting) heroin, it’s very difficult to stop the habit on your own. The major psychoactive ingredient in heroin is diacetylmorphine (also known as diamorphine). This is a very potent painkiller that gives heroin it’s addictive attributes and causes a physical dependence with painful withdrawal symptoms. The effects of heroin abuse show that the substance is more dangerous than other opiates.

Largest Barriers To Addiction Recovery

Heroin Can Kill You

The risk of contracting blood-borne diseases (such as hepatitis and HIV) is increased through the use of heroin, especially when it’s injected. Long-term opioid use increases the risk of dangerous health problems, including kidney or liver disease, collapsed veins as well as heart infections. The risks can be worsened if heroin is taken with other substances like alcohol, which is called polysubstance abuse. In this case, your internal organs can decline in function, and there is always the risk of a fatal overdose.

Heroin is by far one of the most addicting drugs known to mankind. Results from many studies confirm the fact that a single dose of heroin can push an individual into addiction. About 25% of those that try heroin at a particular point in their life will become addicted to the substance. When the brain is continuously introduced to this opiate, the dopamine receptors within the nerve cells of the brain become exhausted as a result of overstimulation. Heroin is also 100 times stronger than morphine; this makes it one of the strongest opiates. Being a street drug, it is more prone to impurities than pharmaceutical opiates, adding another layer of danger and uncertainty for those addicted.

Facts About Heroin Addiction

The route through which heroin is administered also makes it more dangerous than other opiates. Addiction rates vary based on how heroin is consumed by the addict. Those that inject heroin are found to have higher dependence rates than those that smoke the substance (known as “chasing the dragon”).

Heroin is a potent street drug that is derived from morphine obtained from the seed resin of the opium poppy. According to Live Science, heroin yields the fastest-acting high out of all opiates. The fact that it is less expensive than prescription opiates makes it very popular on the street. In recent years, fentanyl is being added to street heroin to make it even more powerful. Dealers usually ‘cut’ heroin with other drugs to make it stronger and increase the price. The introduction of different substances ‘cut’ with heroin into the body makes it difficult for doctors treating a typical heroin overdose to pinpoint the specific substances involved. This can lead to life-threatening complications, including death. A report obtained from the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that deaths caused by heroin overdose increased by six times between 2001 to 2014, and the numbers keep increasing.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one are addicted to heroin, reach out for help right now. We are fully aware of the pain you are going through and our compassionate specialists are here to guide you to recovery. Get in touch with Recreate Life Counseling and achieve freedom from heroin addiction forever.

Adderall Addiction Treatment Programs

Most college students and young adults have heard of Adderall. It’s used by many people in need of a performance boost in school, or those who are simply searching for a stimulant rush. 

Abuse of prescription drugs for non-medical use is a growing health crisis throughout the United States. Among young people in high school and college, there has been an upsurge in the abuse of prescription stimulants. The most popular of these drugs is Adderall, which is used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Stimulant drugs come under various street names such as Speed, Vitamin R, and Uppers. They are very dangerous and addictive when misused or abused, that’s why our Adderall treatment programs are available to help alleviate this chemical dependency.

 

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant often recommended by doctors for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. It is made up of a combination of two active ingredients – Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine.

When used as prescribed by a physician, Adderall helps in heightening alertness, improving attention and increasing energy. It functions by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

Despite possessing beneficial therapeutic properties, Adderall and other prescription stimulants such as Ritalin also have a high potential for abuse. Prescription stimulants are often used by young adults to help in academic achievement, but occasional misuse often turns into full-blown drug addiction.

It’s almost impossible to tell which student will abuse or become addicted to prescription Adderall. In this regard, parents and guardians need to be alert as misuse of this drug over a period of time can result in violent behavior, anxiety, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations.

How Young Adults Become Hooked On Adderall

Those addicted to Adderall and other prescription stimulants often start their addiction because of the false belief that Adderall will make them more productive, leading to better grades in school. This is common among young adults and college students who often misuse the drug in an effort to improve their mental performance. While studying for exams, some students misuse the drug as a “study aid” to achieve the highest test scores. In many instances, these students obtain the drug without a prescription. Over time, they become hooked unwittingly. Similarly, some adults also misuse prescription stimulants to help improve their memory or are simply looking for that Adderall stimulant rush, which is not unlike the street drug methamphetamine.

When Adderall is misused for reasons other than the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it could result in serious health consequences such as addiction, psychosis, seizures and heart disorders. Some college students have also experienced incoherence and emotional numbing.

How to Recognize Warning Signs Of Adderall Abuse

It may be quite difficult to tell if someone is addicted to Adderall. This destructive habit is often done in secret without telling anyone. Adderall addicts become dependent on this drug by:

  • Taking more of the medication than prescribed
  • Prolonging the use of Adderall longer than prescribed by a physician
  • Obtaining more of the drug by using someone else’s medication or other people’s prescriptions

The following warning signs may indicate that your loved one is abusing or addicted to Adderall:

  • Anxiety
  • Diminished appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Low sex drive
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in upper and lower limbs

Although these signs are not conclusive of Adderall abuse or addiction, they are indicative that you should reach out for help from an addiction professional.

Getting Help With Stimulant Abuse

Adderall addiction is a chronic condition that is created over time and becomes progressively worse. If left untreated, it may result in long-lasting damage to your loved one’s mental and physical health. Verbal confrontation or threats may do little to help in this situation. In fact, it may make a bad situation get even worse.

At times like these, you need the professional services offered at a drug recovery treatment facility. Our addiction professionals at Recreate Life Counseling are specially trained to assist addicts that want to break free from Adderall addiction and also manage unpleasant symptoms associated with discontinued use.

In our Adderall Addiction Treatment Programs, individuals will also learn the skills needed to handle everyday activities without resorting to drug abuse. Furthermore, staying in a drug-free environment keeps our clients away from tempting situations, thereby reducing the likelihood of a relapse.

Adderall Addiction Treatment: A Solution for Lasting Recovery

Choosing the right Adderall rehab can be quite challenging. We offer flexible, individualized treatment programs customized to meet each person’s unique circumstances. We do not believe in the classic “one size fits all” approach. Recovery from substance abuse is a complex process and we do not want to make it any more complicated. This is the reason why we structure our treatment plans around your circumstances, making the path to recovery a smooth experience.

Our team of addiction recovery counselors is available around-the-clock to plan every step of the Adderall rehab process. Whether you are looking for an intensive outpatient or day/night treatment program, we’ve got you covered. Long-term recovery from substance abuse is our goal from the moment a client steps through our doors. Throughout the years, we have been able to assist countless families affected by Adderall abuse. Let us help your loved one break free from stimulant addiction and live a sober, drug-free life once again.

Benefits of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

Does exercise benefit men and women in early recovery?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can cause serious havoc on an individual’s emotional and physical well-being. This explains the importance of healing not only the body but also the mind when undergoing drug and alcohol rehab. Exercise is an important component of healing individuals that are recovering from substance use disorders and it helps in tackling cravings during addiction treatment. Let’s shed some light on how those recovering from addiction can benefit from regular exercise.

Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery3

Fitness & Recovery Are Related

Just like in the world of fitness, when you’re working out, you’ll need to strive to achieve your goals every single day. It’s all about discipline and having a routine. Recovery is kind of the same way, wouldn’t you agree? We need to work on our sobriety every single day or we will start slipping sooner or later. Fitness and recovery are more related than most people realize. Incorporating a workout routine into your life when you’re newly sober can add an additional layer of structure and motivation to avoid a relapse. The benefits of exercise in addiction recovery include:

Reduction of Stress

Most individuals usually consume a high quantity of alcohol and drugs in order to overcome stress. However, what started as a voluntary use later becomes addictive. The relief from stress that is being sought after by abusing drugs becomes more allusive and then disappears completely. The use of alcohol or drugs later becomes the bedrock of stress. Engaging in physical activities that increase the heart rate goes a long way in reducing stress. As an individual that is recovering from substance abuse, you need to get used to engaging in physical exercises in order to recover easily and stay sober. Regular physical exercise will help you reduce stress in the short and long term. Exercise releases chemicals that suppress stress in the brain. This will help recovering individuals maintain balance in their lives.

Sound Sleep

Problematic sleep usually occurs in the early stage of recovery. Irrespective of the kind of drug you abused, withdrawal from using drugs can seriously affect your sleep. Inability to fall asleep, staying asleep or the need to sleep in the middle of the day can increase after substance abuse and this can make those recovering from addiction feel sluggish and tired. Regular physical exercise will help recovering individuals enjoy a better quality of sleep. It also lowers the impulse to sleep in the middle of the day. As your sleep improves, you will become more awake and alert. This helps you to be able to stand up to the demands and challenges of life in sobriety.

Exercise helps improve your body by altering your body temperature. The temperature of the body is usually at the highest level during engaging in aerobic or weightlifting exercises (it’s at the lowest level while sleeping). Hours after engaging in physical exercise, your body will cool off at a very fast rate. This increased cooling process will allow you to easily enjoy sound sleep.

Better Clarity

Just like meditation, exercise helps you focus on your well-being and not on the challenges and stresses that you go through every day. Individuals in recovery that engage in physical exercises usually feel more relaxed and they also have clearer thoughts.

Increased Confidence and Optimism

Exercise contributes to increasing a recovering individual’s confidence. It helps those suffering from addiction and other co-occurring disorders to overcome depression and anxiety. This is as a result of the physiological changes that take place after exercising. Achieving fitness goals also produces feelings of pride and self-worth.

Improved Energy

Although you may use lots of energy while engaging in physical exercises, you will also receive energy in the process. The whirlwind of recovery can make you tired, but regular exercise will energize you and put you back on track to scale through the recovery process.

Prevention of Relapse

This is probably one of the greatest benefits of exercise for addiction recovery. Regular exercises prevent the individual from returning to abusing alcohol or drugs. Rehab programs that include daily exercise usually help the recovering individuals maintain their newfound long-term sobriety.

Get all the exercise you can!

Regular exercise and staying active is an effective tool for strengthening your personal recovery. Irrespective of the form of exercise that you partake in (yoga, running, team sports or aerobics), you need to keep moving so that you can increase your chances staying sober and healthy for many years to come.

Largest Barriers To Addiction Recovery

Largest Barriers To Addiction Recovery

An estimated ten percent of the population is dealing with addiction issues, but a much smaller proportion of individuals will ever see recovery. Part of the reason for that bleak statistic is the many barriers that prevent people from achieving recovery- or even from seeking abstinence in the first place. These barriers are often insidious- relying upon dysfunctional thought patterns that lead to addiction in the first place. However, if you are planning on getting sober at a South Florida outpatient addiction treatment center, you will need to identify these barriers to ensure the best chance at a lifetime of recovery. The right South Florida IOP will help you to navigate these common pitfalls, and work through self-destructive thinking and coping mechanisms. So what are some of the top barriers for those pursuing recovery?

Largest Barriers To Addiction Recovery

Self-Defeating Thoughts

This blanket statement helps to describe a number of negative beliefs and thought patterns that many addicts accrue during years of substance abuse or alcohol abuse. These beliefs include things like: resentment, grandiosity, delusion, denial, impatience, entitlement, and self-pity. These feelings and attitudes are reflective of the addict self and stop individuals from becoming who they were meant to be- free from drugs and alcohol. However, with certain therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, those struggling with negative beliefs can begin to let go of this inner critic and embrace hope.

Other Forms of Dependency

While the principal objective of addiction treatment in South Florida is to combat alcohol and drug dependency, there are other forms of (emotional) dependency. Emotional dependency can be catastrophic- especially during early recovery. Often, addicts foster dependency on other individuals in their life (especially family members or significant others), but emotional dependency can be a result of certain behaviors as well (eating, spending, having sex, etc). An emotional dependency- no matter what on- serves to inhibit your recovery by redefining your standards and prioritizing the dependency over your sobriety. During early sobriety, nothing should be put in front of your recovery- not even a significant other. The right South Florida outpatient center will be able to help you prioritize your recovery over everything else.

Unrealistic Expectations and Beliefs

It’s important (albeit difficult) to remain grounded in reality when pursuing recovery. Sometimes recovering addicts will have the idea of “should” deeply ingrained in their psyche during the recovery process. This isn’t a helpful idea, because recovery takes all different shapes and sizes. How you feel, your social life, professional and academic pursuits, familial acceptance and other dynamics of recovery are all subject to change and deviation due to the person undergoing the experience. Just as there are many different types of addicts and shades of addictions, the same goes with recovery- it is a personal journey.

The most successful treatment centers in South Florida will help you identify these mindsets as well as work towards eliminating them. Of course, some of these thought processes and behaviors are deeply ingrained- learned during years of addiction and a subsequent survival mentality. However, with a tailored therapeutic approach, even the most hardened individuals can find life-long recovery. If you are searching for an outpatient treatment center that understands the barriers addicts are up against, search no further than Recreate Life. Recreate Life will not only help you drop the drugs and alcohol- it will help you eliminate the thoughts and behaviors that keep you sick.

Behavioral Therapy For Drug Addiction: What to Expect

Behavioral Therapy For Drug Addiction

If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to know that there is hope. Many have found themselves in the same situation, and the right South Florida addiction treatment center can help you navigate the rough waters of early recovery and pursue lifetime sobriety. However, not all outpatient drug and alcohol treatment centers in South Florida are the same, nor will they all use the same therapies. There are certain behavioral therapies that are widely recognized as the best forms of treatment for alcohol abuse or substance abuse. Here, we list some of the most lauded forms of behavioral treatment you may encounter in a South Florida rehab facility.

Behavioral Therapy For Drug Addiction

Individual Therapy

One of the most common forms of therapy for those entering recovery after a bout of alcohol or substance abuse is individual talk therapy. Depending on the level of care, the client’s specific mental health needs and the treatment center itself, individual therapy sessions with a primary therapist will be scheduled on a regular basis, usually once or twice per week. These individual therapy sessions are crucial- during them, the addict and their primary therapist can help determine a treatment plan that will guide the patient through their experience at a South Florida outpatient treatment center. The family, patient, and clinical team will help determine the treatment plan, and it is obviously subject to dynamics like mental health, severity of addiction and more.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is another type of treatment that is often used in cases of substance abuse and alcohol abuse. The right South Florida intensive outpatient program will include those who are important in an addict’s life in the therapy- often involving a significant other, parent, sibling, friend or other loved one. Sometimes, South Florida IOPs will do this programming in person or sometimes through online or telephone sessions. Family therapy can often get at the underlying causes of addiction and help to ensure that the addict will have a positive home environment to return to, if they choose to.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is one of the most quintessential forms of therapy used in addiction treatment settings. These therapeutic groups are led by a licensed addiction professional, who oversees the group and helps to procure contributions from every member of the group. Group therapy helps to lead to peer support, which is a crucial element of recovery. Given the shared experiences so germane to addiction, group therapy helps to employ empathy as well as accountability.

Expression Therapy

Expressive therapy is less well known, but has been found to be a helpful approach for those suffering with addiction. Expressive therapy helps addicts to utilize the creativity so many inherently possess to help uncover and process emotions. Some examples include art therapy as well as music therapy.

Mindfulness Meditation in Recovery

Mindfulness Meditation in Recovery

Meditation and mindfulness in sobriety, especially early recovery is crucial. It is suggested that anyone in recovery meditate and practice mindfulness. It makes the recovery journey much more enjoyable and will improve the quality of one’s everyday life. There is a plethora of scientific evidence out there that backs up the benefits of practicing meditation in sobriety. Studies have shown that these techniques, especially when combined with conventional therapies are extremely effective. Not only will these practices help improve quality of life, it will help prevent a relapse from ever happening.

Mindfulness in Sobriety

Practicing mindfulness can help alleviate various mental stressors. Mindfulness is a state of mind that can be found when one focuses on living in the current moment. When in this frame of mind they will be more accepting and acknowledging the thoughts and feelings they have on a much deeper level. When done correctly, one will not have a side on whether these feelings are right or wrong, the thoughts will simply exist. This therapeutic technique takes time to master, but even a few minutes a day of practice can make a huge difference.

Mindfulness in sobriety will help one connect with themselves and their surroundings. It is an easy and natural way that allows a person, in addition, to be fully present in the moment, without becoming overwhelmed by what is going on around them and in their lives. Practicing on a regular basis can help lower stress and anxiety and even help with physical pain. Wandering thoughts and a racing mind will become something of the past. Neural connections will become stronger which can lead to increased creativity.

Meditating in Recovery

When someone meditates, they are taking a break from everything to simply “be”. The hecticness of the outside world and the stressors from everyday life will take a backseat to inner peace and tranquility. Learning how to handle life and everything that comes with it is very important. While in active addiction, people with addiction issues would turn to their substance of choice for relief. They used mood and mind altering substances to find an escape from life, to use as a vice and to cope with various life stressors and issues. Meditating on a regular basis will help prevent relapse and improve one’s overall quality of life.

Meditating in sobriety will help one understand more about themselves and can change how they handle everyday situations. Regularly practicing meditation in early recovery can help one focus and maintain a positive outlook on life. Finding happiness in difficult times can be the difference between another day clean and sober and a relapse. Finding a balance instead of swinging between emotional extremes is imperative.

One doesn’t have to meditate for an hour every day to find this peace, mediation can be done for just a couple minutes. YouTube is loaded with tons of free mediation for beginner videos and audio files. These videos range from a few minutes to a few hours. If you are brand new to meditating, try guided meditation at first. It’s a great place to start off. Don’t get discouraged at first, it can take a few minutes for one to get in the moment. For some, it can take multiple attempts to really reap the benefits. The longer one practices mediating in sobriety, the better they will get and the better their lives will become.

Proof that Meditation and Mindfulness Helps One Recover

Yale University conducted a study that proved that meditation decreases activity in the DMN (default mode network) in the brain. This area is responsible for the mind wandering about, commonly referred to as daydreaming or zoning out. When someone is zoned out it is common for them to think about things in life that bring them stress and worry. Focusing on past, present and future issues will only make people less happy and more stressful. People who practiced meditation and mindfulness for just a few weeks saw a variety of benefits.

A study performed by John Hopkins found links between medication and lessening depression, anxiety and physical/mental pain. The benefits of meditation and mindfulness and endless. Someone in early recovery will see a huge improvement in their day to day life. They will be able to build a much stronger foundation to build the rest of their life upon. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation practices will help people with addiction and abuse issues find a happier and more fulfilling life. They will be less reactive and less spontaneous, thus helping prevent a relapse from ever occurring.

Most Effective Addiction Treatments, According to Science

Most Effective Addiction Treatments, According to Science

Addiction is one of the largest medical conundrums in modern history. It continues to claim countless lives, and many treatment methods fail addicts who are desperately trying to get clean. In fact, of the 23.5 million Americans addicted to alcohol or drugs, only about 1 in 10 receives treatment. And the statistics for those who attend treatment are not so sunny either.

In a lauded study by Columbia University, researchers found that even though addiction is incredibly prevalent across the country, the availability of effective solutions is completely scarce. For the ten percent of addicts that receive care, only few receive anything that could be described as evidence-based treatment. Furthermore, medical professionals who are “treating” addiction across the country are largely unqualified. To add to it, misunderstandings and outdated traditions often dictate addiction treatment, which completely undermine any progress or evolution. The research proposes that addiction medicine be fully integrated into current healthcare systems. There must be more training for healthcare providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists and social workers. Furthermore, they prescribe regulation of addiction treatment programs, and mandated accountability for treatment consistent with proven standards. The researchers went so far as to suggest that current addiction practices could be considered medical malpractice.

  1. Thomas McLellan, co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, echoes this sentiment by saying, “There are exceptions, but of the many thousands of treatment programs out there, most use exactly the same kind of treatment you would have received in 1950, not modern scientific approaches.”

However, there are some individuals who are working to make sure that addiction treatment moves into the future. One such is Dr. Mark Willenbring, a former director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, who, among other things, is championing the use of medication-assisted treatment. This primarily entails the use of maintenance therapy with the drug suboxone for opioid addicts.

“We have some pretty good drugs to help people with addiction problems, but doctors don’t know how to use them,” he said. “The 12-step community doesn’t want to use relapse-prevention medication because they view it as a crutch.”

Among other medication-assisted treatment options, there lies the Sinclair Method. The Sinclair Method was discovered by Dr. David Sinclair. He hypothesized that alcohol produced reinforcement in the brain in a manner not dissimilar from opioids. Through years of research, he realized that alcohol did produce reinforcement via endorphins that bind with opioid receptors in one’s brain. He then concluded that an effective way to stop this dangerous reinforcement cycle would be to block the opioid receptors- after trying naltrexone, an opiate blocker, on rats, he decided it just may work for humans. The results in human trials have been very successful, and using extinction of the impulse to drink has had success with about 80 percent of those who have tried the method. Of course, the medication must be taken whenever one wants to drink.

If you are struggling with alcohol abuse disorder or substance abuse disorder, you will want to seek professionals who have a great knowledge of all current addiction treatment offerings. Truth Recovery Center has a large expertise on many evidence-based approaches and will create a treatment plan that is individualized and works for you.

Is An Intervention The Right Choice For Your Loved One?

Is An Intervention The Right Choice For Your Loved One

If your loved one is struggling with addiction, you may have considered what is referred to as an intervention. So what is an intervention? Well, it is basically the process by which an addict’s loved ones, often in addition to professional intervention specialists, can show the addict that their behaviors are destructive. Furthermore, the intervention aims to provide a way for the addict to seek help immediately, often going to treatment immediately after. So is an intervention the right choice for your family member or friend?

Is An Intervention The Right Choice For Your Loved One

Well, have you been able to recognize signs of abuse? Of course, some people want to write off any signs of drug abuse, rather than confront them head on, but there are a number of symptoms you can’t ignore. Some of these signs of drug or alcohol dependency are: bloodshot eyes and large/small pupils, changes in eating habits or sleeping patterns, changes in friends, trouble in school/work or with the law, missing classes or work, loss of interest in activities that they once loved, large change in weight, lack of grooming habits and change in appearance, and more. If you begin to notice any of these signs, it may indicate a friend or family member’s drug abuse. When the terrible process of addiction begins, the addict often loses control of judgement and decision-making. Subsequently, intervening when you recognize the first signs will give your loved one a better chance at full recovery.

But is a professional intervention the right way to go? Well, according to a study recently conducted by the University of Minnesota Medical School- yes. The study found that brief interventions are more effective, especially when handling mild to moderate cases of substance abuse. Based on the severity of the substance abuse seen in your friend or family member, you can conclude whether or not an intervention may be helpful. In pretty much every case, however, responding promptly and fully beats inaction.
So how do you go about conducting an intervention? You may not opt for the dramatic renditions you see on TV. You don’t want the addict to feel confronted, as that often leads to resentment, and even worse, resistance to treatment. A good way to navigate your way through the process of an intervention is to enlist the help of a professional intervention specialist. Once you make the choice to hold an intervention/seek treatment options for your addict, you have done the most important part. From there, experts can help you conduct the intervention and will also help solidify a plan for after the intervention.

Speaking of after the intervention, what are you gonna do? There are several parts to the addiction treatment process. First, detox is often necessary to provide medical equilibrium. From there, you will want to choose a residential treatment center, halfway house, or other sober living facility to get your loved one on the road to long-term recovery.

Perhaps the largest benefit of an intervention is the ability to weed out all manipulation and get a real picture of the addict in your life. This is aided by addiction interventionists as they are a bipartisan third party can provide expertise and neutralization. Furthermore, interventionists will help get the addict through the stages of admission, treatment, discharge and aftercare, all steps that accompany addiction treatment.

If you are looking for a detox center that treats addiction as the disease it is, look no further than Recreate Life Counseling. Recreate Life Counseling will not only help your addict get clean from drugs, but will get them on the path to recovery and sanity.

The Trait That Can Identify Addiction

The Trait That Can Identify Addiction

10 AA Sayings That Will Inspire You in RecoveryAs America’s battle with addiction becomes more and more prevalent, people begin to wonder what exact traits predict addiction. Older stereotypes have suggested addicts have more in common than the we now know them to have. We can see now that addicts hail from every race, creed, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and more. Yet, we can’t deny that there is a certain genetic element to the disease of addiction. After all, we can certainly see the evidence for it running in families.

So what is the commonality? Well, studies are beginning to suggest that the trait that most predicts addiction is impulsivity. This may not sound so surprising- but impulsivity shows up in more ways than you may think. Typically, impulsive people choose a smaller, faster reward over a larger, delayed reware. In layman’s terms, addicts are the ones that seek immediate gratification. Because of this, an important prevention tool is trying to overcome the delay when you don’t get what you want immediately. Learning to tolerate this delay is key, but still, it is genetically more difficult for some individuals, as their brains are wired to desire momentary gratification and rewards.

Though impulsivity is more common in those with addictive tendencies, it is a pretty common aspect of human life as well. It can be described as quick, momentary reactions to internal or external stimuli, often with unplanned consequences trailing behind. Though not everyone has this kind of thinking, and certainly not everyone applies this thinking to consuming drugs, this is a train of thought most can empathize with. Think about it- there are things we find ourselves doing even if we didn’t plan to. Eating that extra doughnut, buying a car we can’t afford, skipping the gym and going out. These impulsive behaviors represent the crux of addictive behavior.

So if we know the behavior that is generating addiction, does that mean we know the fix? Well, it isn’t that easy, but it is a start. A failure to resist impulse can now be described as the number one barrier addicts need to face in order to have a long-term strategy for success in recovery and life in general. However, this is a hard pattern to break, especially for individuals who much prefer immediate benefits to pleasures that occur far in the future.

It may give some comfort to know that the seasons of our life help to influence our impulsivity. Meaning, impulsive behavior is much more common at certain ages than others. It is estimated that impulsivity is at its highest levels during adolescence (around ages of 12) and levels off while moving toward adulthood (age of 20 years).

With this information in mind, it can be determined that impulsivity is often a prerequisite to addictive behavior and could be quite definitely used as a screening mechanism for future substance abuse.

How Does Narcan Work?

How Does Narcan Work

The opioid overdose crises is just another problem we created for ourselves when we decided our body’s little voice- the pain response is an unnecessary sensation that should be ignored. 16 years down the line we’ve kind of shut off these rational neurons that were easy to negotiate with using mild analgesics and ended up awakening a far worse nightmare – the opioid receptors.

Amidst the strive for health, fun and crazy dieting habits on the verge, opioid overdose crisis claims the lives of more than 115 Americans per day. Overdose deaths now surpass car accidents as the leading cause of accidental deaths. More than 66% of drug overdose deaths are attributed to opioids use in the U.S. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2016 statistics,  the number of opioid overdose deaths including heroin and prescription opioids like oxycodone fentanyl, methadone and hydrocodone exhibited a 5 times rise compared to 1999 cases. Between 2000 to 2015 over 600, 000 people died from drug overdoses.

So let’s face the facts, we now know that opioid overdose apocalypse is here, what has Narcan got to do with it?

Narcan, another name for naloxone, is a non-selective competitive receptor antagonist that acts by reversing major life-threatening effects of opioid overdose like the Central nervous system and respiratory system depression within only a few minutes. Even though effects don’t last long, it gives one time to seek medical assistance. Most hospitals provide naloxone prescription to patients on opiate drugs for the treatment of chronic pain or following detox.

You’re probably asking yourself is Narcan safe? How much is it?

Narcan is approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA) and is among the WHO list of essential medicines. Narcan is considered one of the most effective and safe drugs for opioid overdose reversal. The drug is fairly affordable going at $0.50 to $5.39 per dose at wholesale price; a vial is sold at $25 in the United States while auto-injectors go for approximately $4,500, not a high price to pay to buy over 30 minutes to seek emergency medical care.

How does Narcan work?

An understanding of what opiates do to the body can help us better understand how Narcan works. Opiates are naturally formed by the body during exercising or strenuous activities in the form of endorphins. Endorphins or endogenous opiates bind to opiate receptors in the brain cells leading to an alteration in how neurons communicate resulting in pain relief, stress reduction, happiness and feelings of pleasure; sounds familiar?

Endorphins also control the rate of breathing through action on the respiratory center.

Since the body is always working to maintain homeostasis, endorphins production is only in regulated amounts to meet desired functions. Exogenous opiates like prescription or recreational opiates work in the same mechanisms as endorphins produced by the body. However, in overdose, the opioids flood the central nervous system activating many opioid receptors at once, this leads to amplified effects “Rush.”

Narcan is a pure antagonist with no partial agonistic effect or morphine-like properties like most opioid antagonists. Because of this property, Narcan only works if one has opioids in their system and elicits no pharmacological effects in people who have no opioids in their system. Chemically, Narcan is a congener of oxymorphone differing slightly in structure with a methyl group to alkyl group substitution on the nitrogen atom.

Though the mode of action of this drug is not fully understood, in vitro studies suggests that Narcan antagonizes Opioid actions by competing for the same binding sites on mu, kappa and delta opioid receptors in the brain. Narcan has the greatest affinity to mu receptor. The drug binds to this receptors displacing opioids from the binding sites and also occupies the binding sites locking them hence opioids binding is blocked. While it has an almost similar chemical structure as opiates, Nacarn bind the receptors but instead of activating the receptors to produce morphine-like effects it just sits at the binding site doing nothing.

Narcan is, therefore, an inhibitor of opioids since without binding the receptors opioids will not cause their usual effects. The overdose symptoms will immediately go away since the opioids are no longer sitting at the receptors. Free opioids that are not bound to receptors circulate in the blood and are eventually broken down in the liver and flushed out of the body through urine by the kidney.

While Narcan can reverse the symptoms of opioid overdose, this is a temporary relief. Narcan can be given as an injection or a nasal spray. The onset of action is approximately 5 minutes but Narcan has a half-life of only 30-80 minutes after which it is cleared from the body and opioids take over the receptors control again. Some people can relapse back to their initial state within minutes to hours hence seeking emergency medical care is essential in order to avoid adverse outcomes.

So next time you get an opioid prescription or even a malicious idea of “prescribing” it for yourself get naloxone/ Narcan. If you’re halfway through choosing your poison, you might as well get the antidote. Who knows it might just buy you 3 minutes to start the car or make a phone call for help.

References.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. (2011). Vital signs: overdoses of prescription opioid pain relievers—United States, 1999–2008. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report60(43), 1487.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22048730

Curtin, S. C., Tejada-Vera, B., & Warner, M. (2017). Drug Overdose Deaths among Adolescents Aged 15-19 in the United States: 1999-2015. NCHS Data Brief. Number 282. National Center for Health Statistics.

https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED575708

Drolet, G., Dumont, É. C., Gosselin, I., Kinkead, R., Laforest, S., & Trottier, J. F. (2001). Role of endogenous opioid system in the regulation of the stress response. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry25(4), 729-741.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584601001610

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0278-5846(01)00161-0