Category Archives: Drug Information

Why It Isn’t Safe To Detox From Heroin at Home

Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and getting clean from it can be a challenge. If you’re considering your options for getting sober, you might be wondering if it’s possible to detox from heroin at home, instead of going to a rehab center. On the surface, it might seem like detoxing at home would be more comfortable than detoxing at a treatment facility. However, it’s not a good idea to try to get through the detox phase by yourself.

If you’re addicted to heroin, it’s impossible to avoid withdrawals as the drug leaves your system. Heroin withdrawals can be very unpleasant, and in some cases, they can be severe enough to be dangerous. The pain and discomfort of heroin withdrawal drives many people back to using the drug, no matter how determined they might have been to get sober.

Some of the most common side effects of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors, fast pulse, and enlarged pupils
  • Mental health problems like increased anxiety
  • Flu-like symptoms such as muscle pain, fever, and chills

What Are the Potential Complications of Detoxing from Heroin by Yourself?

You might have heard of people claiming it’s possible to detox from heroin at home. Maybe you even know someone who’s done it. But detoxing by yourself can be very dangerous, and it’s better not to take that chance. Here’s why.

First of all, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, detoxing from heroin can make them worse. For example, if you have high blood pressure to begin with, detoxing without medical supervision can cause life-threatening complications. The only way to ensure you’re safe is to detox under the supervision of a professional.

Second, even if you are otherwise healthy, it’s possible to develop dangerous complications from heroin withdrawals. For instance, severe vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can be fatal. Detoxing at a rehab facility will ensure that you get the treatment you need if your withdrawal symptoms are especially intense.

Finally, detoxing at home has a very high failure rate. When withdrawals are making you feel sick and miserable, it’s all too tempting to relapse into drug use just to get some relief. Even people with strong willpower fall into this trap. Detoxing at a rehab facility, on the other hand, keeps you on track through the hardest part of withdrawals.

Detoxing from heroin is tough, but it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself. Ready to take the first step towards a better life? Call us today at 855-782-1009

Can You Accidentally Become Addicted to Pain Pills

Pain is the sensation that humans dread the most; they do everything that they can to dodge it. Science and medicine made it possible for humans to mitigate their pain when they invented pain pills. However in modern day, pain pills are doing more detriment than benefit because so many people are becoming addicted to pain pills, most commonly as a result of medical treatment. Pain pill use commonly leads to opioid addiction because opioids such as heroin are much cheaper than prescription drugs.

Almost everyone at some point in their life experiences an accident, illness, or medical procedure that causes them a significant amount of pain. Sometimes, this pain can be mitigated by over-the-counter medications such as Aleve or Tylenol. Other times, this pain requires prescription pain pills to mitigate it such as oxycodone or morphine. Pain pills do not specifically target the area of the body that is causing the person to experience the pain; they cause dopamine, a neurotransmitter, to be released. Dopamine causes a person to feel reward and contentment, which is why pain pills are addictive. Nobody who is prescribed pain pills to mitigate their pain intends on becoming addicted to them, but addiction happens very often as a result of the use of these pain pills.

Symptoms of Becoming Addicted to Pain Pills and Treatment for Pain Pill Addiction

If you were prescribed pills and are still using them after a duration of time has passed, you may be concerned that you are developing an addiction to them. It is important for you to be cognizant of the symptoms of developing an addiction.

  • Building a tolerance to the painkillers, which makes you feel the need to increase your dosage to achieve the same amount of pain relief.
  • Sudden mood changes.
  • Constantly contemplating how you will obtain more pills.
  • Relationship, legal, work, school, or other issues arising as a result of pain abuse.
  • Experiencing sensory issues to sensations such as light and sound.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you do not take the pain pills.
  • Taking a defensive position when questioned about your use.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of becoming addicted to pain pills, it is possible you have developed or are at risk of developing an addiction. Addiction is a progressive disease; therefore, it is important for you to seek help as soon as possible. Admitting you have a problem is a major step forward and the first step in the road of recovery.

It is important for you to not feel ashamed about becoming addicted to pain pills. Addiction is a disease, not a moral failure. Addiction does not discriminate, so it can happen to anyone. There is still a stigma surrounding addiction and those who suffer from it, but do not allow it to prevent you from seeking the help you need. Waters Edge Recovery is a phenomenal treatment center in South Florida for individuals who are 18 years-old and older. Start your journey on the road to recovery by calling them today at 855-782-1009

Why You Should Always Dispose of Unused Pain Medication

Drug abuse has reached epidemic levels in recent years. Explosive growth in the use of opioids has pushed deaths from drug overdoses in the United States to over 50,000 annually. Drug cartels and “pill mills” grab the headlines. However, leftover drugs kept in millions of homes are a major supply source for addicts. It has never been more important to dispose of unused medications. Equally important is knowing how to get rid of leftover drugs in a safe manner.

Pain medications like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet are widely prescribed for legitimate medical reasons. Unfortunately, many people hang on to unused medications once the medical need has passed. Most people don’t keep these drugs in a secure place. This means curious children might get access to these powerful drugs. The same is true for anyone in the home who is dealing with drug addiction. Visitors can also be a problem. For example, teens seeking access to drugs are known to check medicine cabinets when they visit a friend’s house. Whatever the circumstances, there is a risk an user will overdose anytime he or she abuses these medications. Consumers should always store any prescription pain medications in a locked cabinet.

 

How to Safely Dispose of Unused Pain Medications

Consumers should never keep unused prescription pain medications. However, they should not simply put remaining pills or liquid in the trash. Tossing these drugs out may makes them accessible to animals, children or addicts. It is best to keep the medications locked up until they can be properly dispose of. It’s better not to flush leftover drugs down the toilet. Once flushed, they may find their way in the local water supply or harm fish and aquatic plants. Consumers have several options for safe disposal.

  • Start by reading the product instructions. If special steps are required for safe disposal, they will be stated.
  • Take unused doses to a pharmacy, hospital or clinic. Even some long-term care facilities will act as drop off points.
  • Many local and state organizations now sponsor “Drug Take Back” programs to make it easy for consumers to dispose of unused pain medications.
  • If the only option is to discard the medication, crush the pills and mix them with something unappealing like used coffee grounds. Seal them in a plastic bag before throwing them out.

We want to help with information about safe pain medication disposal. We encourage consumers to call 855-782-1009

Hallucinations: A Little Known Side Effect if Meth Addiction

It’s a well-known fact that methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug that can ruin a person’s life. You probably know that it can cause problems such as sleeplessness, a loss of appetite, paranoia, irritability and a loss of appetite, but you might not know that meth addiction can also cause hallucinations. It’s part of a condition known as meth-induced psychosis, an issue that can be severe enough to mirror schizophrenia in some cases.

Common Meth-Induced Hallucinations

Hallucinations brought on by meth addiction can affect each of the five senses. As a clinic that regularly treats meth-induced psychosis regularly, we try to look for the following common hallucinations:

  • Auditory hallucinations, during which the sufferer hears sounds that are not there. Many auditory hallucinations come in the form of voices that tell the user to engage in negative and dangerous activities
  • Visual hallucinations, or seeing things that aren’t there.
  • Olfactory hallucinations, or smelling things that are very unpleasant. One common olfactory hallucination reported among heavy users is being able to smell the brain rot.
  • Tactile hallucinations, or feeling something that isn’t there. A common hallucination is when users feel like there are bugs crawling underneat their skin.
  • Gustatory hallucinations, or false perceptions of taste. Many meth users believe that they can taste poison in their food, which goes hand-in-hand with the paranoia that often accompanies heavy use. This is also common among those living with schizophrenia.

It can be difficult to determine if these hallucinations are truly the result of meth addiction, as they are also common among those suffering from schizophrenia. This is why it is always very important to report these symptoms as they happen as well as any recent drug use.

In addition to hallucinations, meth users may also become delusional as part of their meth-induced psychosis. They may have delusions of persecution, grandeur, and the feeling that important events have something to do with them. They may also feel like their bodies are changing, such as when many feel like their brains are rotting.

Finally, many people suffering from meth-induced psychosis are also extremely paranoid, which can make treatment very difficult. They may believe that the staff at a treatment center or in a hospital is trying to harm them.

If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from hallucinations brought about by meth abuse, seek help immediately. We have staff members available for assistance 24 hours a day at 855-782-1009

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.