Are you or somebody you love taking an addictive drug? Are you abusing them? Many people are prescribed drugs by their doctor for medical purposes. Pain and illness are a fact of life. While many people are prescribed medications for ongoing conditions, some people only take them short-term. When the drugs are addictive, however, somebody may continue seeking them out when they don't medically need them.
It’s confusing that doctors prescribe drugs that are easy to abuse.
For many doctors, the goal is to make you feel better. As a result, they may prescribe medications that are addictive, believing it’s worth the risk to help you get better.
Sadly, many people start their journey towards addiction through legally prescribed drugs.
Addictive Prescription Drugs
Many types of prescription drugs have side effects that people find enjoyable. From the dawn of time, people have used substances to alter their thoughts and feelings. So it’s no surprise that some patients who take drugs may try to enhance the pleasurable side effects by abusing them.
There are a lot of different drugs that can be addictive when used in another way than prescribed. Here’s a look at the most common ones:
- Opioids and opiates. Drugs like Fentanyl, Tramadol, Oxycontin, and Codeine are all drugs that can be highly addictive when used differently than prescribed. Fentanyl is particularly potent and only used with end-of-life care or during surgery. Some people who become addicted to these drugs end up seeking them out online or on the street.
- Diet pills. These drugs feel similar to amphetamines and often give the takers an “adrenaline boost” or mood boost. Sometimes people will take more of the medication because they want to lose weight.
- Anti-anxiety pills, also known as benzodiazepines. Xanax and Klonopin can help fend off an anxiety attack, but the truth is that they are also highly addictive when a person takes more than prescribed. In addition, detoxing from benzos can be dangerous and should not be done on your own.
- ADHD drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin, and other stimulants. Some people buy these drugs and use them in college without realizing how addictive they can be. People typically take them in pill form or snort them.
- Barbiturates, which are typically used for surgery, are also highly addictive. They are usually only prescribed for intense migraine pain or for surgery. Phenobarbital is one example of a drug in this class.
- Any other drug that changes the way a person thinks or feels has the potential for abuse and addiction.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a treatable and manageable disease. We’re here to help you reclaim your life in a compassionate, professional, healthy environment. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.
Many people take prescription medications under the supervision of their doctors. However, some drugs that are prescribed have the potential for abuse. In addition, people who take these medications may not be aware of their addictive nature until it is too late. People with opioid use disorder, for example, often don’t realize the extent of their addiction until they try to stop using opioids and suffer severe withdrawal symptoms.
Legally obtained prescriptions are one of the most commonly abused drugs in America. While most drugs are meant to improve our quality of life or our health, some also have side effects that can cause misuse and lead to a substance use disorder.
What Prescription Drugs Are Addictive?
Any drug that can alter your state of mind, cause euphoria, or other pleasurable side effects can be addictive.
- Some of the most addictive prescription drugs are opioids (narcotics) such as Oxycontin or Vicoden. People addicted to opioids can suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using after regular drug use.
- Barbiturates, also known as downers or sedatives, are also frequently abused. One drug in this category is phenobarbital, a powerful sedative.
- Benzodiazepines are prescription medications commonly used to quell anxiety or help a person relax their muscles. This drug class includes drugs like Klonopin or Valium that can cause a drowsy, calm, and sedate effect in their users. These feelings can be pleasurable, especially for people who have anxiety.
- People sometimes abuse sleep medications. For example, drugs like Ambien can cause side effects like sleepwalking or hallucinations when people take more of the drug than prescribed.
- Amphetamines like Adderall are often prescribed for people who have an ADHD diagnosis. The drugs are also sometimes used by people who want to lose weight or “cram” for classes in college. However, at higher doses, these drugs function as speed and can have dangerous withdrawal symptoms. They also can cause cardiac arrest.
Who Abuses Prescription Drugs?
People of all ages have the potential to abuse prescription medications.
When a drug is addictive, there is always a potential for misuse when a doctor prescribes it. For example, it’s common for a person using an opioid for pain relief to take an extra pill or take their next dose early to get more of a euphoric feeling.
Sometimes, though, a person who misuses prescription drugs may not have been prescribed them. For example, adolescents who experiment with drugs might take medication from their mother or grandfather’s pill bottle when they are not looking. This scenario is why it is so important to properly dispose of opioids and other prescription drugs if you’re not using them.
Symptoms of Prescription Drug Misuse
People who are abusing substances will often change their behavior. For example, they may be more secretive or less talkative. In addition, young people who are using drugs will sometimes change their friend circle. They may have trouble getting to work on time, have financial issues, or even get in trouble with the law.
If a person is misusing prescription drugs, they may also display the following behavior:
- Splitting pills or having multiple bottles of drugs in the room - usually from more than one doctor. Sometimes there will be evidence of tablets being crushed into powder and snorted.
- Doctor-shopping and getting multiple prescriptions for the same health issue.
- Looking unkempt or not caring about their appearance.
- Buying drugs or pills off the internet or seeing multiple internet doctors for the same problems.
- Refusing to talk about their health problems or prescription pill usage.
Each drug, however, has its own side effects. For example, a person who is misusing Adderall may stay up all night for days, while a person who is on opioids may appear to be sleeping all the time.
You can learn more about prescription drug abuse on this blog and recognize the symptoms of addiction. In addition, information on specific prescription drugs can help you learn about the signs of misuse and the dangers or side effects.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love need help with a substance use problem, we’re here to guide you. Learn more about our programs and how we can help you get on the road to recovery by calling us at 619-363-4767.
A new drug combination called “benzo dope” has hit the streets of North America. The drug, which refers to benzodiazepine-adulterated opioids, has been increasingly linked to overdose deaths in British Columbia, Canada. It has also popped up in other parts of North America.
With benzo dope, drug dealers add benzodiazepines to a drug like fentanyl. Both drugs, especially to inexperienced users, can suppress respiration and cause overdose deaths. Naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug, doesn’t help reverse benzodiazepine overdoses. This is why overdoses are more likely to be fatal.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are used as sedatives. Drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are sometimes legally prescribed for people with anxiety disorders or muscle problems. However, they have a high potential for abuse, especially when someone drinks after taking them or uses them alongside other substances.
Benzodiazepines can cause physical addiction and withdrawal symptoms. When used with drugs such as heroin or Oxycontin, users are more likely to overdose. It is also quite dangerous to use benzos with alcohol.
When used together, benzos and fentanyl can cause a prolonged loss of consciousness, trouble breathing, and blackouts for the user, similar to the amnesiac blackouts of a person who has overdosed on alcohol.
Benzo Dope Takes Its Toll in British Columbia
British Columbia has been hit hard by the new drug combination. Authorities first learned of its existence when there were 30 drug overdoses over the space of a week in 2019.
During the pandemic, Benzodiazepines from April 2020 and April 2021, the combination of benzos and opioids, caused 60% of overdose deaths. At the same time, more and more opioids were discovered with benzo adulterants. It became so common that by April 2021, 25% of the samples were testing positive. Most users had no idea that they were ingesting more than fentanyl, which is a powerful drug that has caused many overdoses on its own.
What We Know About Benzo Dope
On the street, benzo dope has also been called “purple heroin.” However, it can vary in color. It’s usually dark purple or blue and orange. Benzo dope is usually commonly smoked or inhaled, but users sometimes inject it as well.
The drug itself has caused overdoses in Michigan and a few other American cities, but it is most well-known in British Columbia, where it was first discovered.
In the samples from British Columbia, the most common benzo drug identified in benzo dope was etizolam. Etizolam is used in medicine in Japan, Italy, and India, but it has never been legal in the United States. It’s also a drug of concern – in Ireland, there is an onslaught of benzo addiction attributed to the drug. Etizolam is a highly addictive drug, nearly ten times as powerful as Valium, according to the DEA.
The drug doesn’t seem to be going away, either. Many overdoses caused by benzo dope last January - half of the 165 suspected drug overdose deaths in British Columbia - also involved benzos. The prior year that number was only 15%.
Benzo dope is just starting to make its way onto the streets of America, but hopefully, public health authorities will have the tools in place to recognize when it gets here and help mitigate the danger.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love needs help for addiction, it's available. We're here to help you get started. Learn more about overc0ming your addiction and starting to reclaim your life. Call us at 619-363-4767.
A growing problem that has been flying under the radar is prescription drug abuse among the elderly. Over 50% of Americans over the age of take 5 or more medications. As people age, the number of medications they’re prescribed goes up with declining health. Many elderly people juggle fifteen or more prescriptions.
The Over-prescription of Drugs to Seniors
Some elderly become victims of over-prescribing, with the side effects of one medication being mistaken for another condition, and then a doctor prescribes more drugs. This is especially alarming with Big Pharma encouraging doctors to overprescribe by using aggressive marketing and hiring people to write the Clinical practice guidelines doctors rely on.
Gradual Prescription Drug Abuse by Elderly Patients
People abuse drugs to change the way they feel, and most people want to escape feelings like loneliness, pain, fear and despair. For elderly people, losing a mate or another loved one, loneliness, and age discrimination are all emotionally harrowing. There’s physical decline and just possibly boredom after retirement, especially if one cannot enjoy the activities and hobbies one dreamed about having time to pursue once retired due to declining health. Really, it’s easy to imagine why an elderly person with a cabinet full of medications that produce sedation and/or euphoria might be tempted to take more pills than prescribed.
Types of Addictive Drugs Commonly Prescribed to Elderly Patients
Many elderly people have health conditions such as osteoarthritis that cause chronic pain. Also, they undergo more surgeries and are prone to accidents such as falling (especially if overmedicated). These conditions/pain events are treated with opioid painkillers which are highly addictive.
Opioid drugs include:
The above is a partial list.
Other addictive drugs prescribed frequently to elderly patients are benzodiazepines, used to treat insomnia (a common problem among older adults), anxiety and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines include:
Even the milder versions of the above drugs on both lists are highly addictive, yet commonly prescribed. It is very easy to overdose if one takes more than the recommended dosage, misses a dose and then doubles up, or mixes the medication with another substance such as alcohol.
Even when taken as prescribed a patient can become dependent on any of the above pharmaceuticals. Doctors normally wean a patient off the above drugs by gradually lowering dosage to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
The only three drugs that can cause death from withdrawal are
Any combination of the above 3 categories of drugs is extremely dangerous.
How Can I Tell if My Parent is Addicted to Prescription Drugs?
Unfortunately, many symptoms such as confusion, forgetfulness and changing sleep patterns could be mistaken for normal signs of aging. Other signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Changes in mood
- Slurred speech
- Taking more than prescribed
- Multiple prescriptions of the same drug
- Seeing more than one doctor for the same condition
You know your loved one better than most. If he or she doesn’t seem normal and is engaging in unusual behavior, or just seems impaired, you may want to look at what prescription medications they’re on. Although this could be a delicate situation requiring diplomacy and tact, checking out what prescriptions doctors have your elderly loved one on may save their life.
Beware Double-Dosing With Multiple Prescriptions
No matter what age somebody is, it is very hard to remember and keep track of what you took when you have multiple prescriptions. One good way to do so is to buy a compartmentalized drug organizer, with days and times listed on the compartments. You can help your loved one fill these at set times, maybe twice monthly for a two-week supply. They may need to be changed if a doctor changes a prescription, but this should be relatively easy to do by just taking the old dosage out of the compartments, putting the new dose in, and then disposing of the medication that isn’t being used any more.
When your loved one goes to the doctor, they can easily show the doctor what prescriptions they’re on because they will keep all their pill bottles in one place to access at set times when they (and you) fill the organizer(s).
Too often pharmaceutical drugs, even when prescribed by doctors, do more harm than good. This is especially true in for victims of pharmaceutical cascade, where a doctor mistakes the side effects of a drug for another illness and responds by prescribing more drugs. While this could be entirely by accident, it can and has actually killed elderly patients who trust their doctors’ judgments without question.
There’s a grass-roots movement among physicians and patients called Deprescribing. Their goal is to move towards prescribing less pharmaceuticals. For more information, check out the website by clicking the link above.
Getting More Help
If you or somebody you love is addicted to pharmaceutical drugs, there are many options to get help. It is extremely dangerous to quit taking pharmaceutical drugs cold turkey. Medical detox with a team of Clinicians who can monitor for adverse withdrawal symptoms and keep the patient as comfortable as possible is the only safe option.
After detoxing, there are many more options for ongoing support. Residential rehab treatment has helped millions of people pursue recovery without their drug of choice. Quitting addictive prescriptions has become easier with the help of medication assisted treatment (MAT), which is the practice of taking medications that help reduce cravings and block the pleasure of the addictive drug. Contact a behavioral health professional to get help. Your phone call is completely confidential. We are here for you and those you love now.
For months, public health experts have predicted an onslaught of addiction alongside the COVID-19 crisis. Now stark numbers show that over the course of a year, over 87,000 Americans died from drug overdoses.
About the Overdose Numbers
The study, which examined drug use from September 2019 to September 2020, showed a steep increase in the mortality rate of drug overdoses. Many of these overdoses were due to the introduction of fentanyl, whether the users knew it or not. Many drug dealers have been “spiking” other opioids like fentanyl.
Police often see it as an ingredient in cocaine here in America. Sometimes overdoses involve a fake opioid pill like Oxycontin or Percocet bought on the street. Fentanyl is becoming an easy-to-get drug that dealers seem to like to add “pep” and create a deeper addiction.
Before the pandemic, the number of opioid overdoses had begun to decrease, but there was a sharp reversal in early 2020. The highest number of overdoses in 2020 can be tied directly to the pandemic.
Loss of Services Caused Desperation
People in recovery are included in those overdose numbers. People who lost jobs, family members and faced uncertainty didn’t have the support systems to stay sober on their own. People sent home from sober living and rehab were vulnerable to relapse as they sheltered-in-place alone.
People with opioid use disorder who relapse are more likely to overdose because their body isn’t used to the amount of drugs they take. Fentanyl, a drug that’s 50 to 100 times as strong as morphine, causes overdoses precisely because the users are either experienced or do not have the physical tolerance for the powerful drug.
Getting Help for Addiction
The good news is that there’s still help available. Recovery rooms are opening up around the country, and treatment centers have been operating safely for months. Help is possible and available! Let us help you reclaim your life and find purpose again. We offer programs in a safe, compassionate environment. Call us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about what we offer.
The County of San Diego recently published stark numbers about addiction overdoses. Overdose deaths during the pandemic are a parallel public health crisis. Deaths have increased at least 50% since the same time last year. Three people overdose and die daily, mostly from opioids.
The indirect causes of overdose deaths vary. Some people are newly addicted, some have relapsed, and others may have increased their drug use or are struggling to maintain it. Drug supplies have been spotty on the streets of San Diego for illicit drug users, causing them to turn to other sources. Fentanyl is often found in drug supplies that are sold as heroin or Oxycontin.
Pandemic and Relapse
San Diego isn't the only place where people are struggling. The pandemic has, in part, ushered in a new addiction epidemic. Like many people, some individuals in recovery have struggled with isolation, and anecdotally there is a decent percentage of people who have relapsed since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Drugs are not flowing on the streets the way they used to due to border shutdowns and fewer flights. Thus, pills are often cut with fentanyl, which is very potent and can be fatal to inexperienced people using it.
Addiction, also called substance use disorder, is found among people from all backgrounds. Addiction is a disease and has its progression. The good news is that help is available.
Detox and treatment can help you overcome addiction and reclaim your life.
If you or your loved one has relapsed, getting clean and sober may not happen overnight.
Keep a supply of Naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, with you if you or somebody you love uses opioids. In San Diego, a primary care physician or other healthcare can prescribe it for you. Check-in with your loved ones or commit to having them check in with you once or more times a day. Let them know that you'll have to call them an ambulance if they don't get in touch.
If you suspect your loved one has overdosed and you can't get in touch with them, it's okay to call 911 and let them know you suspect an overdose.
If a loved one turns blue, is unconscious, or has shallow breathing, don't hesitate to summon emergency help—call 911.
The best way to prevent an overdose is to get clean and sober through a reputable program. We can help you start your journey through recovery and begin to reclaim your life. Our caring intake coordinators are standing by to answer any questions you may have about detox and treatment. Call us today at (619) 363-4767.
Our Medical Director Dr. Milgram has this message we wanted to share here. He is in recovery himself for decades and is known as an inspirational figure in the San Diego recovery community:
Worry, fear, boredom, anxiety, loneliness, escapism, insomnia; these are the emotions that plague our society. The plague that is COVID is making these human imperfections more frequent and more pronounced.
There are healthy effective ways we can not only deal with these feelings and situations. But it is human tendency to take an immediate and effective way to escape: The Devil’s Drugs. They are too readily available. There is easy access to someone who can promise you the gates of heaven. You are invincible. And you want it now. From a friend or family member who has some. Or from a prescriber who will prescribe, sometimes inadvertently but often as a legitimate dealer. Hey, maybe it‘s even covered by your insurance. Maybe you know somebody who knows someone who can get it for you in a park or a parking lot. Trust me. You are not invincible. These are not your grandparent’s drugs. These synthetic drugs have a high addiction potential. I don’t think they should have ever been released to the public, like Quaaludes. You give these drugs to a thousand white mice…and a thousand whit mice will be pushing that button for more. Physiologically, we are not dissimilar from a white mouse. They use these same white mice to test the drugs and extrapolate to human consumption. WE WANT MORE OF THAT!!
These drugs cause what is known as hyperalgesia. Let’s say you stroke the hairs on your arm with a feather. These drugs make a stimulus that would be a tickle or an unpleasurable event and convert it to pain. What do you do? I WANT MORE OF THAT!!
Then you develop tolerance to the drug. Until you rapidly, sometimes within days, need more to get you to that place where you want to be. And you then know. I NEED MORE OF THAT!!
NAD+ Helps with Detox and Recovery
We have been very successful treating alcoholism and drug addiction to heroin, opiates with our innovative and experienced team and the magical molecule of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), which detoxifies and fixes your brain, relieving withdrawal symptoms and cravings with much greater regularity than your neighborhood rehab center. But these are The Devil’s Drugs. And they require an all out and effective therapeutic approach to avoid the gates of hell; loss of you job, your family, your money, your home. And finally you lose yourself and then you lose hope. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonipen, Ativan, Ambien and the sort) are not a good solution. You solve a problem by creating another problem. But prescribers too readily whip out their prescription pads to give you a stopgap that may be as bad or worse than the original problem. Please don’t take Kratom either. Often the addiction to Kratom is worse than heroin. Unfortunately, it is readily available and touted as “natural”. When you are addicted to Kratom, you may be suffering such terrible withdrawals that you have to use through the night every two hours.
The best way to avoid this whole situation is to not allow these drugs into your body. Avoid them all-knowingly because I have here told you of their power, their danger, and the high percentage for your physiologic tendency as a normal human being to succumb to the power of these drugs. But it is human tendency to think you are different, stronger, better, even invincible. I WANT TO FEEL IT, NOW!!
We have an alternative therapy here in Carlsbad, with the magic molecule (NAD+) that is already present in every living animal and plant cell. And that the body naturally uses to detoxify, heal, pump up immunity, and create new neural pathways that results in less cravings, less withdrawal symptoms and a high degree of long-lasting sobriety, health, longevity and wellness. We help restore restful sleep, use additional therapies, and get you on the road to a new life free from the influence of these drugs.
NAD+ is the magic. There is an art to the administration of it—starting with the best NAD+. Then there are therapies that enhance and propagate the NAD+ effect. Then, once off the drugs, you need to deal with the emotional, physical, depression, anxiety, any underlying mental disease, situation, and establish an ongoing program of healthy nurturing lifestyle.
There is such a thing as recovery, let us show you.
I am The NAD MD,
The pandemic has made life difficult for millions of Americans. Economic depression, lost jobs, and despair alongside the pandemic's isolation have caused more drug use than ever. Sadly, across the United States, fentanyl is causing overdoses at record levels. In San Diego County alone, there are currently three deadly overdoses a day. The opioid crisis hasn't been this bad for four years, and experts worry that addiction is snowballing quietly.
Fentanyl Contaminates Supply Chains
Researchers have sounded an alarm for the past few years about the rise in overdose deaths involving fentanyl. The majority of overdoses now involve the drug, which is 50-100 times as powerful as Morphine. Overdoses that involve fentanyl are usually deadlier because of the potency of the drug.
For people who have an opioid use disorder, there are many risks to take when buying drugs. Regular drug supply chains are strained, and China has outlawed the manufacture of oxycodone (aka Oxycontin) and fentanyl. Because of this, chemists that rely on illicit drug sales have been offering fentanyl either as an adulterant or alternative to other opioids. Chinese drugmakers funnel fentanyl through the Mexico border, and from there, it makes its way into heroin, Oxy, and other street (and internet) drug dealers.
Addiction More Prevalent, Support is Key
Coroners believe that most of the overdoses that they are seeing are accidental. People who have relapsed from recovery are already more likely to use more of a drug than their body can handle. Now, they can fall victim to isolation and a relapse cycle. Some people end up self-medicating their mental health disorders too.
Harm reduction advocates recommend that family members of people with an opioid use disorder or other addiction know the signs of an overdose. Keep Narcan (an opioid overdose reversal drug) in the house. There are even test strips that can help drug users test their supply for fentanyl. Ask to speak to family members you love via video and set up times to check-in.
There IS help available for people who need it. Offer support and love and even help find resources, such as a therapist or inpatient program for substance use disorders.
Getting Help During a Pandemic
Getting help for addiction during a pandemic starts with the same step as always – reaching out! We're here to help you create a new journey and plan your next steps. You're powerless over your addiction, but you can help yourself start a path to recovery.
Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.
The pandemic has caused a crisis for public health, and not all of the crisis is rising cases of the novel coronavirus. Overdoses and addiction involving opiates are getting worse, not better. During a time of isolation and uncertainty, many people who suffer from opioid use disorder have fallen between the cracks, causing a resurgence of the opiate epidemic. A new report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) discusses the dangers of opioid and other drug abuse during the pandemic.
Addiction isn't going away, and for addicted people, the tools to get clean and sober are becoming less accessible. There is more than one reason for this happening. Some people who are new to recovery have slipped back into using drugs, while others have found it is impossible to get the help they need right now. Others who weren’t addicted before may have begun to abuse opioids to cope with the difficulties of the situation. Either way, the saddest part of this crisis is that the epidemic is getting worse, and there isn’t necessarily enough help to go around for the most vulnerable people.
Opiates, Relapse And Recovery
Many people who have begun abusing opioids are people who achieved sobriety in the past. The good news is that they know what tools are available to help them get sober. The bad news is that it is humbling and painful for many of them to go through the process again. In some cases, they may have to wait for detox space to become available. They may be able to hide their drug and alcohol use because people don’t see them in person.
Relapse is often a part of the recovery process for people with opioid addiction. A person who is getting high needs to know that they can achieve sobriety again. Relapse isn’t the end. For many people, it can be a way to practice a stronger recovery program and find lasting sobriety.
Many people addicted to drugs have lost access to community programs that have closed and doctors who administer Medication-Assisted Treatment such as methadone. However, telehealth and other therapies have emerged to fill the gap.
There are still tools available for people who need to find their way back just as there are tools for people who want to get sober for the first time.
Drug Use Adds Danger When It Comes to COVID-19
Opioid use disorders are far more dangerous for the active user during this pandemic. Addiction, like coronavirus, doesn’t discriminate against who it infects. People who use opioids have compromised their lungs, which are depressed when a person is using drugs. This is what can cause death during an overdose. People who use drugs like opiates, methamphetamine, and cocaine also may be more vulnerable to heart damage.
Science shows that people with health issues are more at risk, and that includes people with addiction and opioid use disorder. A person who uses multiple substances, such as marijuana or alcohol, alongside opioids, maybe even more vulnerable. Coronavirus attacks the lungs, which already struggle and receive damage when a person is smoking or using substances to excess. Combined with alcohol or marijuana, the lungs can become infected more easily and the virus can do more extensive damage.
Many people with substance use disorders may not be able to wear a mask or keep it one. They can end up sharing needles, pipes, and other paraphernalia. Addicted persons are more frequently homeless, which can expose them to crowded conditions or outdoors in the elements. It is very difficult for a person who is addicted to socially distance or take good care of their health in these circumstances.
Getting Clean From Opiates During a Pandemic
While the type of help available to people who want to recover isn’t exactly the same, there are still opportunities to get clean and sober once and for all.
Addiction treatment centers are ready and willing to help you begin to get your life back together, one day at a time. You deserve to live a life free from addiction. Give us a call to learn about how we can help you get started on the journey to recovery. You can reach us at 619-363-4767.
Vivitrol, also known as naltrexone, is a form of medication that is used in Medication-Assisted Treatment to block the effects of opioid drugs. This means that if you’re taking Vivitrol, and use an opioid, you won’t feel any pain relief or feelings of euphoria. People usually get an injection of Vivitrol while they are also in drug treatment. This allows them to focus on their recovery and not any uncomfortable, longer-term withdrawal symptoms or cravings.
More recently, Vivitrol injection has also been used to treat alcoholism by reducing the urge to drink. Some people have been able to maintain long-term sobriety, although this type of treatment is still in its beginning stages. The drug should always be coupled with drug and alcohol treatment to be most effective.
How Does Vivitrol Prevent Relapse?
Vivitrol injection is used to prevent relapse for people in recovery from an opioid use disorder. It isn’t meant to help people begin detox; it’s given after a withdrawal period to prevent future cravings. Most people get the shot after they have been entirely sober for two weeks or more. For people who drink, Naltrexone helps reduce cravings but it cannot be used with a person who has alcohol in their system.
Vivitrol makes it easier for people who have started on their recovery journey to continue. Opioids are an especially addictive substance and have a high relapse rate, even for those who have detoxed completely. Vivitrol helps calm cravings for opioids or alcohol. It also blocks the effects of drugs – so if you get high, there won’t be any “reward” or elation.
Vivitrol injections are meant to be used as a part of a complete treatment program. Without behavior modification and therapy, few people achieve long-term sobriety. Vivitrol helps lessen the intensity of a desire to use, giving a person “breathing space” between their addiction cravings and their desire for recovery.
How Is It Taken?
The drug itself is typically injected and can be taken once a month. Some people prefer a daily pill, which is also available. Once they have acclimated to the drug, there is a maintenance dose required to continue to prevent cravings.
A doctor will typically be the one who prescribes and administers your prescription. Treatment centers also have trained medical professionals that can do this for you.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, has severe effects on the body, mind, and spirit. We want you to know that you don’t have to get high anymore if you don’t want to! There are hope and help available to help you reclaim your life and begin a journey to recovery. Contact us for more information on our Medication-Assisted Treatment options at 619-383-4767.