Category Archives: Drug Information

The Link Between Higher Education Stress and Heroin Addiction

Recognizing The Signs of Accidentally Becoming Addicted to Opioids and Pain Pills

There are lots of legitimate reasons to take painkillers. Maybe you’re recovering from a surgery, or maybe you have a chronic condition that causes pain. But if you’re taking opioid painkillers, you could be at risk for getting addicted – even if you take your pills exactly as prescribed.

Opioid use is an epidemic. This type of drug is extremely habit-forming, and addiction can happen surprisingly quickly. No one is safe from addiction – the tired old “druggie” stereotype often doesn’t hold true when it comes to opioid abuse. Plenty of people from all walks of life are addicted to opioids.

Opioid painkillers come under a variety of names. Oxycodone, tramadol, fentanyl, and morphine are all opioid drugs. So are opium, heroin, codeine, and hydrocodone. If you take pain pills and you’re not sure what’s in them, a Google search or a call to your doctor can help you find out.

 

Could You Be In Danger of Addiction?

Many people think they’ll be able to recognize the signs of addiction and stop using drugs before the problem gets serious. This is a misconception, and a dangerous one at that. Addiction can happen very quickly, and by the time you recognize that something is wrong, it may be too late to easily quit. Addiction is a progressive disease, and the longer it goes untreated, the harder it is to beat – so it’s always better to seek treatment sooner rather than later.

Wondering if your opioid use is starting to be a problem? Here are some signs that you may be developing (or already have) an addiction.

  • You’ve noticed that you need a higher dose of a drug to feel the same effects from it. This means your body is becoming dependent on the substance. You may also have withdrawal symptoms, like nausea or chills, if you stop using the drug.
  • You visit more than one doctor so that you can get more pills.
  • You’ve started using opioids or pain pills because they make you feel good, not because they treat your symptoms. This is an especially big red flag if you’ve started neglecting your loved ones, your hobbies, or your job to use drugs.
  • You think about using opioids all the time, and you feel anxious when you’re about to run out.

If you are concerned about addiction, know that help is available. Call us at 855-782-1009 to get back on the path to sober living.

Everything you need to know about the Heroin crisis you’ve been seeing all over the news

Heroin is an opioid, a painkiller derived from opium. It’s not that hard to convert opium into heroin so it’s often done on-site right where the opium poppies are grown. From there it’s transported to countries world-wide. In some countries, heroin is a legal drug used to relieve severe pain in cancer patients and in hospice facilities. In the United States heroin is classified as a drug with no accepted clinical use. In other words, it’s illegal.

You can scarcely watch the news today without seeing yet another tragedy related to heroin. People die every day from heroin overdose, some of them teenagers. Much of the heroin addiction seen today is due to the original misuse of strong prescription opioids. When patients can no longer get the drugs legally from their doctors, they first turn to buying their pills on the black market.

This doesn’t work for most people for long because black market prescription opioids are often a dollar per milligram or more. Therefore, a 30 milligram tablet would cost at least $30, with the person needing at least several a day just to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.

The Perilous Path: From Pills to Heroin to Fentanyl

Doctors stop prescribing opioids for patients for many reasons. Usually the doctor’s reasons are sound, but for an addicted patient, it doesn’t matter. If they can’t get the desired pills legally at prices they can afford, meaning at a pharmacy, then they will get an opioid substance on the street at prices they can afford. And that’s where heroin comes in. Today’s heroin is cheap and potent.

Recently, heroin overdoses have increased dramatically because what the buyer thought was heroin, wasn’t heroin at all; it was fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid roughly some 25-50 times stronger than heroin. Because it’s so powerful much less can be used, saving dealers money. It’s bad enough that heroin users are buying a product that is always of unknown strength and purity. But when that bag that is supposed to be heroin is actually fentanyl, it’s no wonder people are dying every day from overdose.

Suspect that a friend or loved one may have an opioid drug problem if:

  • Their pupils are pin-pointed
  • They fall asleep throughout the day
  • They are always broke
  • They always wear long sleeves, even in hot weather

Talk to them and get them into treatment before it’s too late. For help, you can call us: (855) 782-1009. We are here 24 hours a day to answer your questions and offer personalized assistance for your situation.

 

opioids prescription drugs

Kitchen Drawer Drugs

opioids prescription drugsThe opioid epidemic, how parents can help: We keep our guns in a gun safe and our opioids in a kitchen draw.

If you are reading this, then you are a parent who is concerned about the opioid epidemic in this country and the vulnerability of your children. This is commendable and justified.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments every day for misusing prescription opioids. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdose and that figure has nearly quadrupled since 1999.

78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin.

In a recent blog (reference and link here), we discussed the importance of sitting with your child and developing a healthy attitude to understanding the medication we take. This mirrors the recent CDC guidelines for physicians prescribing opioids for chronic pain, which state: “Before starting and periodically during opioid therapy, clinicians should discuss with patients known risks and realistic benefits of opioid therapy.”

However, I’d like to make another important suggestion, around the medications we keep around the house, to which our children have access.

For adolescents, a significant point of access to narcotic pain medication is leftover pills from a prior prescription. Our clients at Waters Edge Recovery bring their medication with them when they present for care, and that medication is reviewed and discussed when they meet with our physicians. So many clients bring a whole bag of medications, many of which fall into the category of ‘My mother gave me these’. Quite simply, this is a very dangerous practice. Nobody should ever take prescription medication that was not prescribed to them. Nor should we ever allow anyone to gain access to our old opioids.

Surveys show that many people, including teens think prescriptions are safer to use than street drugs because they were prescribed by a doctor. However, they were prescribed by a doctor to someone else. Ideally, they would have been prescribed sparingly and as a last resort. The CDC recommendations also state that “nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronicpain. Clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient.” CDC Guidelines Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that nearly half of parents whose child had leftover pain medication from a surgery or illness say they kept the prescription opioids at home. When asked what they did with the leftover medication, 47% said they kept it at home, while 30% disposed of it in the trash or toilet, and 6% used it for other family members. Only 8% returned leftover medication to the doctor or pharmacy, and 9% did not remember what they did.

http://labblog.uofmhealth.org/rounds/poll-many- parents-keep- prescription-opioids- at-home

Let’s, please, protect our children by safely disposing of old prescription medications, and talking to them about why we do. Pharmacies will take them back and many sheriff’s departments will take them from you if you simply drop them off. With medication meant for a family member that is being taken exactly as prescribed by that family member only, these should be stored, in original packaging and with original instructions, in a lockable container out of reach of anyone it was not prescribed for. As we would with anything with a serious potential to harm.

Prescription Drug Price Hikes

Consumers Called On To Take A Stand Against Prescription Drug Hikes

Prescription Drug Price HikesWith the never ending barrage of disturbing news coming at Americans each day, perhaps one of the more troubling subjects to hit the headlines is the rising cost of prescription medication. Pharmaceutical drug pricing is not regulated by any governmental agency. Coupled with this fact is the reality that high drug prices impact the insurance industry which passes the cost to the consumer. The result is a massive impact on the individual American’s core spending power, i.e., prescription costs that require a shifting around of spending priorities. Another more troubling scenario is the unwillingness to fill prescriptions impacting on the quality of life and one’s very health.

Hikes in pricing are flagrant, one example being the cost of the EpiPen injector device. Associated Press reported on September 14, 2016 that “the price has grown to $608.00 for a two-pack, an increase of more than 500% since 2007.” There is nothing illegal about this practice. Lawmakers are reaching across the aisle with leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties urging increased competition in the market to pull the price down. It is even more disturbing that there are no lower cost generic replacements or alternatives to the branded drug. When you grow concerned that individuals who need the EpiPen injector the most, those most at risk for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, carry the concern a step further. Individuals with allergic reactions are often at risk due to an inadvertent exposure to a food or environmental stimuli. Imagine the concern that parents have for their children who are ingesting substances willfully that result in an overdose. Naloxone, brand name Narcan, per All Things Considered, Public Radio, September 10, 2015, “is a drug that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses the respiratory depression that occurs during an overdose.” All Things Considered goes on to note that “the price for the lifesaving drug has steadily increased by as much as 50 percent over the last year.” Coincidentally, and sadly, the price increases correlate to the increase in opioid overdoses across the country.

With these price hikes in mind, is it right for the consumer to be caught in the middle between the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance companies? A resounding no! So where does one turn for relief? Who is the voice for the consumer? There is hope. It is the taxpayer dollar that is allocated for the purchase of drugs for the Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as for the military, per Consumer Report, July 2016 that reports management of these costs falls under Congress. Thus far many justifications for the price hikes have been voiced by the pharmaceutical companies under Congressional investigation. These justifications include citing the clinical value of the drug or explaining there are reductions in other healthcare costs due to the use of the drug. Other justifications include the cost of research and development and the cost of marketing and promotion. But after much analysis, the basis upon which a drug is priced is unclear. In the final analysis it boils down to need. If the need is there, the ceiling is raised on what the proverbial market will bear.

Whereas the insurance companies can negotiate large-volume discounts, they can’t keep up with exorbitant price hikes and are forced to find more ways to cost share with the consumer. The consumer is in turn forced to “own” his or her own health and appeal in some cases to pharmaceutical companies to give them individual discounts. They can appeal to their physicians to provide samples that might buy them some time. They can shop around for lower prices on drug websites. But nothing is as valuable as challenging the price hike practices directly and legislatively. Letters to our elected officials are more important now than ever!

synthetic cannabinoid

Drugs: Teaching our children about what they are putting into their bodies.

synthetic-cannabinoid

Synthetic-cannabinoid overdoses are on the rise, some resulting in death.

According to a new report on July 14 th from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which analyzed data from 101 U.S. hospitals between 2010 and 2015, a total of 456 synthetic-cannabinoid overdoses were recorded at these sites and, more worryingly, this number is rising.

Although such overdoses represent a small proportion of total overdoses in the USA, it is a worrying trend, especially when we take into account that synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes called K2 or spice are cheap, easily purchased by young people- often under the counter in convenience stores – and, crucially, are a drug that people know little about and are marketed as harmless synthetic marijuana.

Such drugs tend to evolve quickly, as the producers make small chemical changes in order to stay ahead of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to analyze them and add them to their illegal drugs database.

Synthetic cannabinoids are not actually substitutes for marijuana at all, but they are described in this way because they are loosely related to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot. In reality, they can be two to 100 times more potent than THC, according to the CDC. Synthetic pot overdoses in the US have resulted in heart and kidney damage, delirium, coma and even death.

Where parents can set the best precedent is teaching their children to never put a substance inside their body unless they are aware of what it is and what it may do. How can this be taught at home? It’s a very simple strategy involving something we all have in our homes. The leaflet that accompanies any medication we buy: it has ingredients, dosage advice, adverse effects , etc. etc.

How often do you actually read them? More importantly, have you ever considered sitting down with your children and reading through one of them together? Can you see how that might create a positive attitude to understanding the questions to consider when taking something and putting it into your body? This is something all parents should do and it’s never too late to start.

Designer Drugs

Current Trends In Designer Drugs – What’s Popular?

Designer DrugsDesigner drugs are some of the most dangerous drugs out there, and they’re often more accessible than illicit drugs. The types of designer drugs that people begin using are typically available in stores.

Designer drugs are most popular in youth culture because they’re easier to obtain, and young people are more likely to want to experiment with different types of drugs. The primary reasons people abuse drugs are to have an escape, get rid of a feeling or to get a feeling. Those using drugs like opiates or alcohol are often dealing with emotional issues and trying to get rid of a feeling or have an escape, but those using different types of designer drugs are usually just trying to get a feeling.

Popular Types of Designer Drugs

The most popular designer drugs in recent years include spice, NBOMes and bath salts. Spice is very popular because it’s a synthetic cannabinoid that mimics the effects of marijuana. Those using spice typically smoke it to get a mellow high like marijuana. NBOMes are similar to the drug LSD, so it gives the person a psychedelic trip or hallucinations. A rising trend in designer drug abuse has been in the form of bath salts, and this drug acts as an amphetamine like cocaine. Those using bath salts get an energetic high, and they feel euphoria as well as an intense amount of alertness.

The Dangers of Designer Drugs

For each designer drug that’s popular, there are a variety of negative side effects much like any other drug. The difference between these drugs and others are that these can provoke different types of psychotic behaviors. The nation was first alerted about the dangers of bath salts when there were stories from Florida about people using the drug and attacking complete strangers. Bath salts can make a person experience excited delirium as well as hyperthermia and kidney failure. Since 2012, there have been a variety of NBOMe overdoses appearing in emergency rooms, but the drug has also caused instances where abusers experience psychosis and harm themselves.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the abuse of designer drugs, there’s hope to live a better life. Waters Edge Recovery in Florida offers a wider variety of treatment methods to help people recover from addiction and live a happier, healthier life. With an inpatient program as well as a partial hospitalization program and outpatient program, Waters Edge Recovery has many leading-edge treatment options to help people find a new beginning in their lives.

If designer drugs are taking a toll on your life, it’s time to take your life back. Call Waters Edge Recovery today at 855-782-1009 and get started on the road to your recovery.

 

Intravenous Drug Abuse in South Florida

Intravenous Drug Abuse in South Florida Leads to Spread of Diseases [Infographic]

Now more than ever, the number of people who abuse intravenous drugs such as heroin has risen to epic proportions in South Florida. In recent years, the annual percentage of residents who struggle with addiction to these substances has risen to a level above the national average.

Openly acknowledged as being detrimental to health overall, many people don’t realize how easily intravenous drug abuse can lead to the spread of disease. If you’re struggling with addiction to these types of substances, seeking treatment is strongly advised.

Intravenous Drug Abuse Can Lead To The Spread Of HIV And Hepatitis C

As recently as 2012, South Florida saw a rapid increase in the number of prescription opioid injectors, methamphetamine abusers, and young adult abusers. Many people currently struggling with addiction to intravenous drugs were born after the year 1990.

It’s become clear that this new generation of individuals addicted to heroin and similar substances is unaware of the benefit of utilizing clean needles. Through sharing needles and the use of dirty equipment, the number of people afflicted with HIV and Hepatitis C has risen greatly in South Florida.

How Can A South Florida Drug And Alcohol Rehab Center Help Combat This?

Drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer specialized programs suitable for South Florida residents who are struggling with addiction to intravenous drugs. These facilities are capable of working with addicts to tweak a program as necessary to ensure effective treatment.

Many common treatment methods include behavioral modification therapy or one-on-one counseling sessions. Some centers focus on physical activity such as hiking or yoga. Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to stop abuse and the spread of disease with it.

Are There Any Other Little-Known Facts About Drug And Alcohol Rehab In South Florida?

Many addicts are unaware of the variety available among drug and alcohol rehab facilities offering treatment for intravenous drug abuse. One of the most important things to maintain during detox and treatment is comfort. This can be incredibly difficult without professional staff who are familiar with your situation. When you begin seeking treatment, work to identify a center that specializes in treating your demographic.

A drug rehab with professional staff and guidelines will likely be your answer to overcoming addiction and your abusive habits. Reach out to us as soon as possible so you can learn more about how to take the first steps on the road to recovery.

Help for Benzo Addiction - Benzo Rehab in Florida

What Is Benzo Addiction?

Benzodiazepine dependence (a.k.a. “benzo addiction”) is one of the toughest drug habits to overcome. This class of drugs includes Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and others. While benzos can be prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks, they are frequently used and abused for non-medical purposes. Abuse leads to both physical and mental addiction, meaning that the body physically craves the drug and the mind is overwhelmingly obsessed with using it. If you or your loved one may be at risk for benzo addiction, the signs to look out for are: tolerance (needing to take more to feel the same effect), inability to moderate or stop altogether, feeling unable to sleep or function properly without benzos, and withdrawal symptoms.

Benzo Addiction, Withdrawal, & Treatment

Benzodiazepines are both physically and mentally addictive. Physical withdrawal from benzo addiction includes symptoms such as:

  • Seizures & convulsions
  • Sensitivity to touch & pain
  • Tremors
  • Shakiness
  • Bodily aches, cramps & pains
  • Headaches

Mental withdrawal from benzos includes symptoms such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia & sleep disturbances
  • Disorientation
  • Increased risk for suicide & self-harm
  • Psychosis (rare but severe cases)

Benzo Addiction Rehab

Due to the severity of benzo withdrawal, treatment always begins with detox. It is highly recommended that a benzo addict detox at the proper facility, under medical supervision. Otherwise, going “cold turkey” exposes the addict to discomfort, distress, and gave danger. Proper drug detoxification will gradually decrease the symptoms of withdrawal by weening the addict off of drugs safely and carefully.

After detox comes the next step in benzo addiction rehab: treatment and therapy. This includes all aspects that are normally included in treatment, such as individual and group therapy, workshops, relapse prevention training, and often family therapy. In addition, special attention is given to dual diagnosis because bezo addicts often use benzos to treat their anxiety and/or depression. At our Florida drug rehabilitation center, therapy and medication management work together to help addicts recover from these co-occuring disorders. Anxious and depressed benzo addicts have much to gain from counseling, especially approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy. If necessary, they may also be prescribed non-addictive, non-abusive drugs for the time being.

Taken together, detox and benzo addiction rehab empowers addicts to live happy, joyous and free from the pain and misery of drug dependence. If you or a loved one is fed up with struggling with benzo addiction, call Waters Edge now. You can speak with an admissions counselor and learn more about how our customized treatment programs can help. Don’t wait any longer – your life can be amazing without substance abuse.

Four Drug Rehab Concepts for Conquering Drug Addiction

Four Drug Rehab Concepts for Conquering Drug Addiction

1. Purpose

The #1 reason drug and alcohol treatment fails for people is when there is a lack of purpose. If people try to end their drug addiction just because they think they “should” or because it’s what loved ones want them to do, that’s often not enough.

Recovering drug addicts need to have a specific, personal purpose for ending their drug addiction. They must have concrete reasons such as: “My health is at risk” or “This drug addiction is tearing my family apart” or “I want to excel at my career.” Without a central purpose, rehab may be fruitless for the drug addict.

Four Drug Rehab Concepts for Conquering Drug Addiction2. Empowerment

Quitting a drug addiction is extremely challenging and can give the recovering drug addict a strong sense of accomplishment and power. When you quit an unhealthy behavior pattern, it can feel like you can do anything.

When you quit drug addiction, you realize how much power you have over your life.   

3. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the process of becoming aware of the forces that drive your destructive behavior. Mindfulness practices include yoga, meditation and exercise. These practices aim to help you reveal to yourself your truest values.

Drug addiction prevents you from seeking the things you really desire. Mindfulness is the process of becoming aware of these things and beginning to pursue them as you dislodge your drug addiction behaviors.

4. Pause

Every action you take is a choice. Drug addiction is all about immediacy and action. One approach to overcoming drug addiction is forcing yourself to practice silence and pausing—turning off all your impulses to act. Instead, just sitting in silence without action can allow your cravings to work themselves out while you use the power of “No.”

Finding the Best Florida Rehab

If you’re ready to put your drug addiction in the past, seek out the best, most reputable Florida rehab. Recovery is best completed in a beautiful, scenic waterfront where you can have peace and quiet.

You don’t have to live with drug addiction any longer. Begin your successful recovery at Water’s Edge today.

Unmasking the Facade: Five Reasons Why Drug Addicts Lie [Infographic]

Addicts often lead double lives and go to great measures to display a facade to those around them. They’re often oblivious to their faulty reasoning and that their web of lies is being untangled. Eventually the discord becomes too much to manage for them and they’re exposed and vulnerable. Those who witness another’s addiction often only see the tip of the iceberg and ask themselves, “Why am I being deceived?”

To Maintain Their Addiction

Addicts will go to great lengths to keep the addiction flame burning. If they were able to recognize the severity of their addiction and the hurt it causes others, they would be beset with difficulties as to whether or not they could continue this type of lifestyle. Lying becomes a matter of self-preservation where individuals are unable to intervene in their personal affairs and halt their drug addiction.

To Escape Reality

When addicts’ identities have been consumed by addiction, they become strangers to themselves and to those around them. They create an alternate, distorted reality rife with lies where they are free from the painful truth that their world has come crashing down. They resort to presenting the facade that things are well, when in reality they are not.

To Avoid Conflict

Very rarely do loved ones sit back and watch as addicts destroy themselves. They will express anger toward them and press them with endless questions to reach the same conclusion of inevitable wonder of why they would hurt them like that. Confrontation will fluster addicts and, if it means resorting to deception on the path of least resistance, they’ll opt for the easier path of lying.

Caught in the Clutches of Denial

Denial compels addicts to disavow their problem so that they can avoid the repercussions of their addiction. Addicts may be convinced that their loved ones have also become their nemeses. Like other defenses, denial exists to preserve the addiction and often is so strong that they are blind to the rifts it’s creating.

The Agony of Shame for Addicts

Addicts are exceptionally vulnerable to the feelings of shame and regret. When they are unable to process these feelings, they cope by increasing their drug use.

 Stop the Deception by Calling an Accredited Addiction Treatment Center Now!

Addicts deceive.While their deception can’t be ignored, the real solution is addressing the addiction. While addicts are often difficult to pull from the clutches of their denial, a staged intervention is the crucial first step. From there, an accredited addiction treatment center will take over. At Water’s Edge Recovery in Florida, we offer a full-continuum of care to help your loved one break the chains of addiction and resume the happy and fulfilling life they were intended to live. Call us today at 855.782.4024 to verify your health insurance coverage. We can help.