Author Archives: Detox Counselor

Why The Risk Of Opana Addiction Continues To Increase

Continued and updated from our original blog: Opana Taking Over For Oxycontin

It has been nearly a decade since the powerful prescription painkiller Opana hit the market. Twice as strong as OxyContin, it continues to destroy the lives of abusers and their families.

The Dangers Of OpanaPathwaysRecovery-SignsOfOxycontin-5-4-16

Also known as oxymorphone hydrochloride, Opana is two to eight times more potent than morphine and can be crushed, chewed, snorted or injected. Because of its strength, abusers of other opioids are at risk of overdosing on Opana. Unlike OxyContin that can produce a stimulating effect, Opana causes users to fall asleep. One of the biggest risks of the drug is respiratory depression. There is also a big risk for addiction, depending on the dose and frequency of use.

Classified as a schedule II narcotic by the DEA, Opana also produces side effects of:

  • severe drowsiness
  • light-headedness
  • itchy and/or clammy skin
  • headache
  • constipation
  • trouble breathing
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • decreased heart rate
  • seizures
  • confusion
  • weakness

When mixed with other drugs or alcohol, the results can be dangerous and even fatal.

Widespread Availability Leads To More Addicts

A key reason why Opana has become such a popular drug is because of its street price which is nearly half that of Oxycontin. Many addicts who once used OxyContin or other opioid painkillers have made the switch to Opana. In fact, it has become the drug of choice for many. In Kentucky, the drug was present in the blood of 23 percent of all overdose victims in 2011. Since then, the numbers have only increased.

The Trend Of Opana Abuse And Addiction

A decade ago, the drugs of choice were Vicodin or Lortab. This shifted to oxycodone, and today it’s all about Opana which is leading to greater number of addicts and more fatal overdoses. Sadly, the trend is spreading fastest in rural, low-income areas where individuals are purchasing the drug from elderly people with prescriptions who are selling it to supplement social security income. Others are buying the drug from overseas manufacturers. Some are even stealing the drugs from pharmacies or stealing other things to obtain the money to buy the drug. For abusers of Opana who cannot afford the drug, the next step is heroin.

Are You Battling Opana Addiction?

Do not underestimate the power of this dangerous drug. Attempting to overcome addiction to Opana is not something to try alone. Withdrawal symptoms can be very serious, and your best chance of recovery is under the watchful eye of professional addition treatment professionals. In many cases, there is insurance that covers detox and rehab for Opana addiction. Call now to get the the help you need, we will be with you every step of the way.

Learn More About Insurance That Covers Detox And Rehab

Pathways Recovery is a prestigious detox treatment center that services the greater area of Sacramento. Here at Pathways Recovery, we know how hard it is to start the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction while having compassion and patience for those recovering. We have many services that cater to drug and alcohol addiction for each individual. Our detox treatment center is made to make everyone feel safe and at home with many of our services, including but not limited to; opiate detox treatment, drug and alcohol treatment, and outpatient rehab. Contact us today for further information over our services and see which one fits for you or a loved one. Don't think you are alone; we are here to help you on your road to recovery.

Will Congress’ Recent Efforts On How To Prevent Drug Abuse Have A Substantial Impact On The Addiction Treatment Field?

Congress How To Prevent Drug Abuse

On March 10, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation intended to combat the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. This landmark legislation is known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and it is the largest congressional action to date intended to fight America’s ongoing abuse of and addiction to opioids.

CARA also intends to open new avenues of treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction. While still needing to be passed by the House of Representatives, CARA secured a 94-to-1 vote in the Senate, which sends a strong message that Congress is serious about taking on opioid abuse and addiction treatment.

What Will The Opioid Legislation Do, If Signed Into Law?

If passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the president, CARA will provide the following:

  • Expanded access to addiction treatment resources, including medication-assisted addiction treatment for heroin and opioid dependence
  • Funding for substance use prevention efforts and addiction recovery programs
  • New opportunities for addicts to receive drug treatment in lieu of jail time
  • Stronger prescription drug-monitoring programs to help states track prescription drug diversions and to help at-risk individuals access addiction treatment resources
  • Expanded addiction recovery support for students in high school and colleges
  • Wider availability of Naloxone (which reverses the effects of opioid medication) to police and other first responders so they can administer it to more patients who need it
  • More disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications, which will help keep them out of the hands of children and young adults

What Has Prompted This Recent Legislation?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. Also, since 1999, the number of deaths from opioid overdoses has nearly quadrupled. Between 2000 and 2014, nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. As of 2016, an average of 78 Americans are dying every day from opioid overdose.

Since 1999, the volume of opioid-based prescription pain medications sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, while at the same time, there has not been a significant increase in the amount of pain that Americans are reporting. Deaths from prescription opioids (drugs like hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone) have similarly quadrupled since 1999. Clearly, many of the opioid painkillers being prescribed in the U.S. are being diverted to recreational users and opioid addicts.

How Does Opioid Addiction Develop?

Evolving from a legitimate prescription painkiller user to someone who is addicted can often happen by accident. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription opioid pain medication and heroin affect the brain through the same mechanism. Opioids (both prescribed and illegal) reduce the perception of pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain cells as well as other places in the body. As opioid use continues, one’s tolerance to the drug increases, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect.

For someone in legitimate pain, this can be a dangerous path, as they need more of their pain medication to get relief. For someone using opioid-based pain medications for recreational purposes, this can be a deadly path, because most recreational users alter the medication to achieve quicker euphoric effects. For both the legitimate user and the recreational user, they can become physically dependent on opioids before they know it. The combination of dependence and higher tolerance quickly leads to an opioid addiction.

Once addicted, acquiring enough opioid-based prescription medication can be difficult and very costly. With limitations on the amount they can get from their primary care doctor or pain management physician, most opioid addicts turn to illegal ways to acquire enough of the drug to achieve the euphoric state they have become accustomed to. This can be done by buying pain medication on the street or turning to illegal drugs like heroin.

The street price for opioid medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone, however, is much higher than what they were paying at their local pharmacy. Suddenly, the opioid addict is in a desperate situation where he or she can no longer afford the drug of choice. As a result of the higher availability and lower cost of heroin in many communities, many opioid addicts transition to using heroin.

Seeking Treatment For Opioid Addiction

Opioid Addiction TreatmentFor people who are addicted to opioids and trying to seek proper treatment, many roadblocks are present. According to NIDA, less than 12 percent of the 21.5 million Americans suffering from drug addiction in 2014 received substance abuse treatment.

Furthermore, many addiction treatment programs do not utilize evidence-based treatment methods. As an example, less than half of the addiction treatment programs surveyed by NIDA offered medically assisted treatment for opioid addicts. Proven addiction treatment medications such as Suboxone and buprenorphine do not appear to be widely used in the addiction treatment field, as of 2014.

According to NIDA, providing evidence-based treatment for addicts offers the best chance at interrupting the drug use-criminal justice cycle for many drug addicts. Viewing drug addiction as a disease instead of a crime seems to be critical to reducing the heavy load on our criminal justice system caused by addicts who result to criminal behavior to support their addiction.

Addiction treatment has proved over the years to reduce the costs related to addiction resulting in terms of lost productivity, crime and incarceration. NIDA has suggested several ways that addiction treatment can be implemented into a criminal justice environment, including the following:

  • Addiction treatment as a condition of probation
  • Drug courts that combine judicial monitoring and sanctions with addiction treatment
  • Addiction treatment in prison followed up by community based treatment after release
  • Addiction treatment under parole or probation supervision

How To Prevent Drug Abuse On A National Level

So, will the recent Congressional action have a significant impact on addiction treatment in the United States, specifically as it relates to opioid addiction? Recognizing the seriousness of the epidemic and the growing problems it is creating was a monumental first step by Congress.

For CARA to be implemented, however, it must next pass in the House of Representatives. You can help make this happen by lobbying your Congressional representative.

As for the legislation’s impact on the addiction treatment field, Norma Cordero, Outreach Coordinator at Pathways Recovery and a veteran of the addiction treatment industry, has this to say: “Passage of the bill will continue a philosophical shift toward treating addiction not as a crime, but as a chronic disease. Hopefully, it will establish new rules and policies for prevention and treatment of addiction.”

Alcohol Awareness Month: Spread The Word & Help A Struggling Loved One

Embrace-Alcohol Awareness Month-Spread Word, Help Struggling Loved OneApril is the official month dedicated to alcohol awareness. Initiated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month is focused on reducing the stigma of alcoholism and strengthening awareness of the risks of alcohol, as well as the opportunity for recovery.

Understanding The Statistics Of Alcoholism

Many people are surprised by alcohol abuse statistics. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Nearly 17 million Americans can be classified as alcoholics.
  • Approximately 50 percent of college students who consume alcohol are actually binge drinking.
  • Nearly 88,000 individuals die from alcohol-related causes each year, making it the third leading, preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.

Do You Have A Friend Or Loved One Who Is Struggling With Alcohol Abuse?

Whether it’s a spouse, a sibling, a friend or a colleague, it is never straightforward and easy to be in a relationship with someone who is an alcoholic. During this month of increased awareness of this progressive disease, you have an opportunity to share information, and perhaps even guide someone you care about towards getting help.

Depending on the depth of their problem, you may want to recommend starting with alcohol detoxification. There are options for alcohol detox in Northern California, such as Pathways Recovery which offers a holistic detoxification program for alcoholics that provides comprehensive treatment protocols, including detailed assessment, individual and group therapy and family education.

An Integrative Approach To Addiction Treatment

Reaching-Alcohol Awareness Month-Spread Alcohol’s Risks, RecoveryAt Pathways Recovery, we are here 24 hours a day if you’d like to speak with an addiction counselor. We can provide you with details of our safe and comfortable detox treatment program that can help you or a loved one begin the journey of recovery. There is no need to struggle alone or to attempt recovery without professional help.

Our inpatient alcohol detox treatment facility is located near Sacramento and offers a comprehensive range of benefits to support a life of sobriety that include medical care by a board certified doctor of addiction medicine, a highly experienced detox staff, a three to one staff ratio, balanced nutritious meals, vitamins and supplements to heal the addicted brain, yoga, meditation, and more.

The first step is calling us now to discuss options for alcohol detox treatment.

Learn More About Our Alcohol Detox Program

Join us in spreading the dangers of alcohol and the first steps of recovery by sharing this post with loved ones, colleagues and friends.

One Day At A Time – What Does It Really Mean?

Surrender, Let Go, Have Faith In What Will Be-Tips For Recovery“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” Maybe you’ve seen this ubiquitous slogan on a bumper sticker, or perhaps, you’ve heard it spoken at a meeting. But, what does “one day at a time” really mean?

In the history of the universe, no one has ever been able to go back in time and change events from the past. Likewise to date, no one has been able to see into the future. Thus, it seems obvious that as human beings, we truly only have today. We need to live in the present.

The Challenge Of Living In The Present For Addicts

Although living for today is a challenge for nearly everyone, it is particularly difficult for addicts. When you are actively using, the overpowering desire to escape reality with drugs or alcohol tears you away from the present and puts you into a place of denial. As the denial builds up, life starts to spin out of control. This makes it impossible to engage in the here and now, and ultimately leads to living life in a crisis mode, again taking you away from reality. Prior to going into rehab, most addicts will hit bottom which can lead to regret, poor self-esteem, depression, and a host of other negative feelings and emotions.

Embracing Recovery And Refocusing On Today

Upon entering rehab, it’s time to reset and reassess your life. An important part of recovery is learning how to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. It’s time to start living life on life’s terms – one day at a time. How can this be done? Here are a few tips to consider:

Tips For Staying Focused On The Present

The following are beneficial strategies to stay focused on the present and take every day one day at a time for those in recovery.

Glasses Focusing-Tips For Staying Focused On The PresentAccept That You Can’t Change Yourself Overnight – Addiction didn’t happen in a day. The journey of recovery is a marathon best taken one day at a time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but do hold yourself accountable. Doing this will help you remain in control and work toward your goals more successfully.

Create a Priority List Each Day – By focusing on and properly organizing your business, personal and family priorities, you can minimize the temptation to get lost in thoughts about your past or future. Remember, an idle mind can serve as a breeding ground for troubles.

Attend Meetings – Listening to others and sharing your personal story in group meetings can help you achieve a level of serenity today. Once you’ve been in recovery for some time and have remained sober, you can help others by becoming a sponsor. Helping others on their road to recovery can further strengthen your sobriety and recovery, all while giving your self-confidence a boost!

Start Your Journey Of Recovery Today

Help is available for your addiction. With the single step of making a call, you can begin the journey of your recovery. Don’t put off your healing for tomorrow. Our addiction specialists are here in the present, to help you today. Call now.

Learn More About Our Drug And Alcohol Programs Near Sacramento

Find Yourself With Pathways Recovery

In the throes of addiction, everything can seem dark…but remember, once you are lost, you can be found. Find your true self, free from addiction with Pathways Recovery.

Our caring and knowledgeable staff is waiting for your call. Contact us today to begin your new life of recovery and healing. We will be with you every step of the way...Call now.Find Yourself With Pathways Recovery.

5 Surprising Myths About Addiction

5 Surprising Myths About AddictionWhen it comes to those suffering from addiction, there are many misconceptions. Unfortunately, these fallacies can lead to assumptions and preconceptions that prevent individuals from getting the help they need.

It’s important for addicts as well as their loved ones or anyone who has been affected by addiction to understand more about it, including the truths and myths surrounding addiction.

Five Myths About Addiction

So, what are the most common myths when it comes to addiction and individuals struggling with substance abuse? Here are five to consider:

Myth #1: Addiction Is A Choice

Addiction Is A ChoiceNo one chooses to be at the mercy of drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a disorder that alters brain chemistry and makes it increasingly difficult to stop using. Genetics and environmental factors also play a part in the risk of addiction.

Myth #2: Addicts Are Bad People Who Need To Be Punished

There is a common perception that all individuals suffering from addiction are corrupt, lazy, and misguided. Although addiction can perpetuate bad behaviors in some people, even good people, professional and appropriate treatment is the answer and not punishment or jail time.

Myth #3: Addicts Usually Only Have One Substance Of Choice

While there are plenty of alcoholics who have never touched another substance, and likewise, drug addicts who have only one drug of choice, the reality is many people mix drugs to increase their high or to come down from another. Teens and young adults are most likely to experiment with multiple substances. Unfortunately, mixing substances is riskier and harder to treat.

Myth #4: People Abusing Legal Prescription Drugs Are Not Really Addicts

People Abusing Legal Prescription DrugsInterestingly, many people believe that those who have an addiction to prescription drugs are different than others suffering from street drug or alcohol addiction. Yet, the reality is that prescription drugs have the same addictive properties as illegal substances. Abusing Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall or other prescription drugs can possess the same level of addiction as drugs on the street.

Myth #5: You Need To Shame Addicts Into Change

You Need To Shame Addicts Into ChangeUnlike individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy, those suffering from the disease of addiction are often not given the level of treatment or care they need for long-term recovery. Some treatment centers use shame as a tool to initiate change in their patients, yet this approach often backfires and results in a quick relapse.

Get The Help For You Need For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with the bondage of substance abuse, the first step in getting the help you need is by calling the caring and professional staff at Pathways Recovery. We offer customized detox and treatment programs along with family education and much more. Call us today!

Welcome To The Newly Redesigned Site – Stay Tuned For More Exciting News!

Newly Redesigned Addiction Treatment Site Pathways RecoveryAt Pathways Recovery, we are proud to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website. With our focus on providing high quality detox and outpatient addiction rehab treatment, we knew we needed a professional-looking, highly-functional website that provided up-to-date information and resources in an understandable and informative format. We believe that the new website has accomplished just that!

With informative content, an easy-to-navigate layout and the latest information on insurance and other important topics, our potential clients and their loved ones can find out what they need to know about addiction treatment at Pathways Recovery.

The website is organized by programs and detox services. There are also pages on nutrition and family education, as well as a blog that will include the latest information about addiction and recovery. The Admissions section provides valuable information such as cost, financing options, insurance information and more.

Pathways Recovery’s New Design And Logo

Along with the new website, Pathways Recovery also has a new look that includes an updated logo and design elements. The logo redesign represents an individual who has struggled with addiction now achieving new hope in recovery. New images of the facility have also been added to the website to give site visitors a visual perspective of the treatment offered at Pathways Recovery.

More Than Just An Updated Brand

While the new website and brand elements certainly improve the online presence of Pathways Recovery, they are also designed to provide quick, easy access to those who are facing the challenge of addiction. When confronted with such a seemingly insurmountable challenge, it only makes sense that the information provided should be given in a user-friendly, simple fashion.

What’s Next?

As we roll out this new website at the start of 2016, we are already looking at more exciting things to be launched this year. We encourage you to bookmark the Pathways Recovery site so that you can check back often as we launch new tools for helping those in need and their loved ones.

If you’re ready to overcome addiction or you know someone who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, we encourage you to check out our new site. There’s plenty of information about our facility and treatment options. Then, give us a call to speak to a caring and professional staff member.

Debunking Myths About Substance Abuse

Pathways -- Debunking Myths About Substance Abuse -- 08-23-16Common Myths About Substance Abuse and Addiction

Ever since Richard Nixon's "war on drugs" started over 40 years ago and Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign began in the 1980's, addiction treatment professionals have been fighting an uphill battle against myths and stereotypes related to substance abuse and addiction treatment.  Considering that substance abuse and addiction treatment cost this country about $600 billion per year in medical, criminal, social, and economic costs, it is high time (no pun intended) to debunk some of these myths and stereotypes.  This article attempts to do so by providing a brief summary of some of the myths and stereotypes and talking about the realities of substance abuse and addiction treatment.

Myth #1:  It's impossible to prevent substance abuse.  People who are going to use drugs are going to use drugs.

This myth is supported by the scare tactics, fear, and hyperbole surrounding substance abuse.  Instead of looking into the reasons that people decide to abuse drugs, the "war on drugs" has turned substance abuse into a criminal and moral issue where people requiring addiction treatment have weak character or bad morals.  The reality is that several risk factors are very good indicators of an individual's likelihood to abuse drugs.  These include environmental factors like growing up in poverty or in a dangerous neighborhood, living in an alcoholic household while growing up, losing parents at an early age either through death or divorce, and mental and emotional factors like learning disabilities and mental disorders.  When we begin to address these risk factors,  then we will begin to prevent substance abuse and leave the "Just Say No" mythology behind.

Myth #2: Addiction is a voluntary behavior.

While it may be true that many people start out as recreational drug users or social drinkers, the progressive nature of addiction eventually leads addicts to a point where choice is no longer an option.  Over time continued drug abuse and heavy drinking will change the addict's or alcoholic's brain in such a manner that compulsive and uncontrollable substance abuse becomes their reality.  No matter how much will power they may have, their physical and psychological dependence on drugs and alcohol makes get clean and sober almost impossible without some form of addiction treatment program where a workable solution for staying off of drugs and alcohol is attainable.

Myth #3: Marijuana is not addictive and it's not a gateway drug.

While many people who use marijuana recreationally have no major consequences, other people do develop dependence on the drug and you would be hard pressed to find a hardcore drug user who didn't have some amount of marijuana use in their drug use history.  Certainly the same thing can be said about alcohol which is legal.  So this is not an argument one way or the other for the legalization of marijuana.  Rather this is a statement that addiction is a personal issue and any form of mind altering substance can contribute to the progression of the disease of addiction.  So, for anyone who has addiction as part of their make-up marijuana should be avoided.

Myth #4: Someone has to want to pursue addiction treatment for it to be effective.

Many people enter into addiction treatment programs against their will by either a court order or through family pressure.  This does not mean that the treatment for their addiction that they receive while they are in the program will be ineffective.  In fact, many studies have shown that people who enter into addiction treatment programs unwillingly do better than average in their addiction treatment efforts.

Myth #5: Substance abuse treatment should be a one shot deal.

addiction treatmentLike many chronic diseases addiction may require more than one treatment.  Certainly it is common for people with diabetes to undergo continuous treatment to keep it under control, and it is not uncommon for people with diseases like cancer to undergo more than one treatment when their disease returns.  Certainly many people with substance abuse problems have quit "cold turkey", but the majority of people requiring addiction treatment will require longer term treatment or in many cases repeated stays at addiction treatment facilities.

 Myth #6 Addiction treatment doesn't work.

With the growing acceptance that addiction is a disease, substance abuse programs have changed their treatment methodologies accordingly with the understanding that there is no "magic bullet" for addiction treatment.  The reasons why people become addicted to drugs and alcohol vary.  So it is important to provide a variety of addiction treatment methods which can address the needs of the individual addict.  By improving the way addiction treatment is applied and working on the reasons why people got involved with substance abuse in the first place, the success rate for addiction treatment has shown drastic improvements.  Recent studies have shown that addiction treatment reduced drug use by 40 to 60 percent.  There are also side benefits demonstrated by effective addiction treatment including a reduction in crime and HIV infection and improvements in addict's ability to become gainfully employed after treatment.

This is certainly not a complete list of the myths and stereotypes surrounding addiction treatment and substance abuse.  The bottom line is that knowledge is the most important asset one can have when seeking help for themselves or a loved one.  The road of recovery from substance abuse is usually a long one, but the destination is worth the effort.  Especially when you consider the consequences of untreated addiction.  Addiction is a disease, and diseases kill people.  Or at a minimum they make their quality of life so poor that life just isn't worth living anymore.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and is seeking answers about addiction treatment, contact a professional in the field of addiction treatment.  Unless your family doctor is a specialist in addiction medicine don't trust their advice without doing research on your own.  The knowledge you acquire through doing the work yourself may be the difference between life and death.

Related Blogs

Fear Of Withdrawal Is Causing Unnecessary Overdoses From Opiate Abuse

Fear Of Withdrawals Causing Unnecessary OverdosesMany people with a drug addiction are supremely afraid of withdrawal. The symptoms can be debilitating and even dangerous. More than 2.1 million Americans use prescription opioids, and another 500,000 abuse heroin. Unfortunately, this fear of side effects could be causing unnecessary overdoses across the nation.

Why Withdrawals Have Become Dangerous

Symptoms from withdrawal can begin mere hours from the time of the last dosage—and that’s especially true for opioid addiction. Some types of opiates cause reactions more quickly. Each drug has a half-life, which is a measure of the time it takes for the original dosage to be reduced by 50%. The shortest-acting versions may offer symptoms anytime between 6 and 12 hours. Extended-release or other long-acting drugs may take 30 hours to demonstrate their effects. In most cases, the peak happens at around 72 hours after the last dose.

Often, people who abuse opiates are dependent on short-acting versions. Since symptoms begin to show so quickly, they take frequent doses. A dangerous concentration can be reached when they’re taken before the half-life.

The Horror Of Withdrawal

Early withdrawal signs are similar to a bad influenza virus. Low energy, insomnia, teary eyes, muscle aches, cold sweats, and runny nose are a few of the most common. The longer the body goes without the drug, the worse the symptoms become. More symptoms present as the effects peak, including:

  • Nausea
  • Visiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Drug Cravings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Victims may feel like they’re in the throes of death. Even though these feelings are extremely painful, they aren’t fatal. They can be so severe, however, that sufferers will use more of a drug than necessary to stop the withdrawals—sometimes leading them to an overdose. Additionally, if an addict has another health issue, like a heart problem, the pain of withdrawal can be a strain and cause physical stress. In that sense, victims trying to detox alone can be at serious risk.

Methods Of Avoiding Withdrawal

It’s easy to understand why people will go to such distances to avoid withdrawal symptoms. In the mind of an addict, the easiest way to prevent any ill effects is to never come off of the substance. Users will take frequent doses and attempt to keep a constant high.

There are many dangers associated with this method of use. The most obvious are the general health risks associated with opiates. The longer a person uses the drugs, the higher the chance of these effects. The severity of the conditions is also related to the duration of use. Potential issues include:

  • Abdominal distention
  • Constipation
  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage

Out of fear of these symptoms worsening, some people will—instead of taking frequent doses—begin increasing the amount that they take. Bigger initial doses will often provide stronger immediate relief. Drowsiness, paranoia, lethargy, nausea, and respiratory depression are common after a user takes a larger dosage of the opiate than he or she is accustomed to taking.

The Dangers Of Coping Methods

The most dangerous aspect of these changes in dosing is overdose. When an individual takes more frequent doses, the drug level in his or her bloodstream gradually rises. The drug then compounds, reaching dangerous numbers without the individual fully feeling its effects.

Likewise, increasing dose presents a high risk (even greater than more frequent dosing). The person’s body is used to smaller amounts and may not be able to handle the sudden change. The problem is exacerbated when the addict has been off the drug for some time: not only is the body accustomed to smaller dosages, but it has also been weaning itself off the substance. What was a normal dose may now be too much.

What Happens During An Overdose

Overdosing shuts down a person’s respiratory system. Victims often lose consciousness, have pinpoint pupils, and endure seizures or muscle spasms. People who are overdosing lose the ability to respond to questions or call out for help, which makes using opiates alone so deadly.

Overdoses are often completely avoidable. People fearing the painful symptoms of withdrawal allow this trepidation to encourage excessive intake. Withdrawal is a terrible thing to go through, but there are ways to manage the pain and discomfort.

Alcohol Detox And Nutrition

Alcohol Detox And NutritionAlcohol is abused more than any other legal substance in the nation. In fact, almost a quarter of the population admitted to binge drinking sometime within the past month. There are significant fatalities and injuries every single day due to alcohol. Because of the negative short- and long-term side effects, many people are seeking treatment for alcohol dependence to get their lives back together. Detoxification is a necessary first step in the fight against alcohol addiction.

The process of detoxing cleanses the body of toxins while still managing withdrawal symptoms. However, ending an alcohol addiction can be dangerous. Sudden changes to the body are even fatal in some cases, and stopping drinking should always be supervised by an experienced medical facility. Going “cold turkey” should never be attempted without medical assistance from someone experienced in addiction treatment.

Once an individual chooses to detox, it’s completed in either inpatient or outpatient environments—typically dependent on the severity and duration of the addiction. There are three stages of this process: evaluation, stabilization, and transitioning to treatment. Each of them are an important part of ending an alcohol dependency safely and effectively.

Why Proper Nutrition Is Key

Detoxing from alcohol is a delicate time for the body because it’s going through so many changes. Although a reduced appetite may make food one of the last things on your mind, the best way to ensure quick recovery and overall health is to pay careful attention to your diet. The right foods can provide the nutrients necessary to heal and condition you for a future free from addiction.

  1. Stay hydrated - Lots of fluid is lost as your system flushes out and your blood alcohol level returns to normal. Withdrawal can present fatigue, anxiety, nausea, depression, and loss of appetite on its own. Any time these symptoms are coupled with dehydration, they’re exacerbated. It’s important to drink as much water as you can.
  1. Depend on liquid foods like soup - The initial detox period can be very taxing, and it’s not unusual for patients to have difficulty keeping food down. If you rely on liquids during this period, vomiting will be easier and more comfortable if it happens. You can also drink juices to help maintain your caloric needs.
  1. Don’t neglect your vitamins - Alcoholics tend to have several vitamin and mineral deficiencies because alcohol inhibits absorption. B vitamins are most commonly missing, and they’re needed to make energy. Vitamins A, D, E, and K should be supplemented as well. Aside from capsules and pills, they’re found in:
  • Fish (Vitamin A and D, if the fish is fatty)
  • Milk (Vitamins A and D)
  • Almonds and other nuts (Vitamin E)
  • Vegetable oils (Vitamin E)
  • Olive oil (Vitamin K)
  • Leafy greens (Vitamin K)
  1. Avoid excess sugar - Many people who are detoxing find themselves craving sweets and sugary snacks. Avoid eating empty sugar calories, like sodas, and instead opt for fresh fruits. Too much sugar can disrupt your metabolism, and in essence, slow the recovery process.
  1. Balance your diet - Consume a healthy number of fruits and vegetables. Moderate dairy and proteins as well as healthy oils like coconut oil.

Getting The Right Amount Of Exercise

Improving your physical fitness is beneficial as well. Conditioning the body will strengthen your systems, but exercise can also be a way to cope with the effects of addiction. Most people find relief and even euphoria after a workout. People benefit greatly if they can switch their urges to more constructive habits, like swimming or running.

Begin your exercise at a level you’re comfortable with that still offers a bit of a challenge. Rely on past experience to give you a starting point if you’ve ever routinely worked out before. If not, take small steps and set frequent goals. Reaching multiple, modest milestones can fuel a hunger for success and help a person achieve larger goals. These aims, along with the increased physical benefits of exercise, will fight off depression and make it easier to resist temptation in the future.

Detoxification is a fantastic time to build better habits and help your body recover. Focusing on a proper diet and exercise plan could be a crucial factor in the beginning of a new, alcohol-free lifestyle.