What Does Fentanyl Look Like?

What Does Fentanyl Look Like? | Recovery in Tune

Fentanyl is an opioid and prescription painkiller that is available as a pill, powder, tablet, spray, or sublingual (under the tongue) film. Time-release formulas of fentanyl are found as gel patches or lollipops, and hospitals sometimes use injectable forms. Illicit street versions of fentanyl are usually in powder form.

Understanding Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. Clinically, it is used to relieve severe pain, such as during or following surgery or that which is related to cancer treatment, palliative care, and breakthrough pain.

Common brand names and forms for fentanyl include, but are not limited to, the following:

ActiqActiq is a lozenge on a plastic stick placed under the tongue similar to a lollipop. It is used by patients already taking pain-relieving medications.

Duragesic—Duragesic is a transdermal patch prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Its effects can last for up to three days.

SublimazeSublimaze is usually administered in hospitals, and sometimes alongside anesthetics, it is an injectable form of fentanyl. It is used to relieve pain before, during, and after surgeries.

SubsysSubsys is a sublingual spray administered under the tongue in order to deliver instant pain relief. Its main purpose is to treat breakthrough pain related to cancer.

Fentanyl Abuse and Effects

Like other opioids, fentanyl works by attaching to receptors in the brain and increasing the production of the feel-good chemical dopamine. For this reason, people who regularly use fentanyl are at high risk for addiction, regardless of whether it is taken according to a prescription or illicitly.

Those who use fentanyl in excess of prescription doses or an illicit form will experience intense euphoria and feelings of relaxation similar to those induced by heroin.

Common symptoms of fentanyl abuse include the following:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness

Fentanyl abuse is particularly hazardous to those without a high tolerance to opioids. The drug risk of overdose is further increased when a person without tolerance abuses it.

Combining fentanyl with illicit drugs, such as heroin, meth, or cocaine, can compound the substance’s harmful effects. Regardless of whether it is used as prescribed or abused for recreational purposes, fentanyl is a potentially deadly drug.

Overdose

The abuse of fentanyl can profoundly depress a person’s respiratory system, resulting in a lethal overdose. A fentanyl overdose is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical intervention.

An individual that has been exposed to fentanyl may experience the following symptoms:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Nervous system depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Limpness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

If you or someone you know are experiencing the above symptoms related to fentanyl use, call 911 immediately. First responders can administer naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioids and can, therefore, save a life.

What Does Fentanyl Look Like? | Recovery in Tune

What Does Fentanyl Addiction Look Like?

Signs of addiction include the following:

  • Tolerance, hallmarked by the need to use increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect
  • Dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of use
  • Using to avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Obsession with obtaining and using fentanyl
  • Being unable to quit despite the desire to do so
  • Neglect of social activities in place of using fentanyl
  • Using fentanyl despite incurring adverse effects
  • Significant physical and psychological health problems
  • Strained interpersonal relationships
  • Poor performance academically or professionally
  • Financial issues
  • Arrest and incarceration
  • Social withdrawal
  • Homelessness
  • An overwhelming sense of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts

Many people who become dependent on opioids, such as fentanyl, have a genetic predisposition to addiction. Others are at risk due to severe health conditions. Some start using fentanyl to treat pain and end up abusing it and becoming addicted. Also, health problems are not limited to those which are physical. If a person has a mental health disorder, he or she is more likely to engage in substance abuse as a means of self-medicating.

Dependence is partially a psychological condition but is fundamentally a physical one. Long-term fentanyl use or abuse can cause brain dysfunction. When opioids are abused for a prolonged period, dopamine receptors in the brain stop operating effectively without the presence of opioids.

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction, regardless of the drug abused, is an extremely dangerous condition that requires professional treatment. Individuals who are dependent on opioids need to undergo a medical detox followed immediately by a comprehensive, evidence-based treatment program.

Recovery in Tune offers treatment for addiction in both outpatient and intensive outpatient formats. We employ caring, highly-skilled staff who are committed to ensuring that each client receives all of the tools and support they desperately need to experience a full recovery. 

If you or someone you love is ready to stop the cycle of addiction, contact us today and find out how we can help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: What Does Heroin Look Like?

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System? | Recovery in Tune

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System? – Methadone has a half-life of between 8-59 hours, which is the time it takes for half the dose to be cleared from the system. It takes about five half-lives for a drug to leave the body entirely. Therefore, methadone can potentially stay in a person’s system for as long as 12 days.

The amount of time that methadone is detectable in a person’s system depends on the type of test being administered.

Urine tests can identify the presence of methadone after 24 hours and for up to one week. Blood tests can detect methadone as soon as three hours after it’s been ingested orally and for up to 60 hours. Hair tests can identify methadone within 7-10 days after use and for up to 90 days. Methadone can show up on saliva tests within 10 minutes after consumption and for as long as ten days.

Several factors affect how long methadone stays in a person’s system, including the following:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Metabolism and liver health
  • Duration and frequency of use
  • Dosage amount
  • Use of other substances

What Is Methadone?

Methadone (Dolophine) is a synthetic opioid used to treat pain and help people get off more potent opioids by easing them through the process of detox. It works to relieve withdrawal symptoms for those who have become dependent on illicit drugs such as heroin or fentanyl. When used for pain management, methadone is usually only prescribed to people who are experiencing chronic pain that has not responded to other treatment methods.

Methadone is commonly prescribed as a tablet or liquid solution that is taken orally. In some cases, doctors administer doses of the drug via intravenous injection.

Methadone has become widely prescribed because it is often more cost-effective than other prescription painkillers. The effects of methadone are typically experienced within 30 minutes of use and endure for 8–12 hours. The prescribing doctor will closely monitor dosages and effects and can modify the prescription as needed.

Methadone as a Treatment for Opioid Addiction

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that methadone works by altering the brain and central nervous system (CNS) responses to pain. When used, methadone acts as a full opioid agonist and binds to opiate receptors in the brain.

Methadone blocks the unpleasant symptoms of opioid withdrawal and euphoric effects of feeling high. In combination with comprehensive therapy and peer group participation, medication-assisted treatment with methadone can help people recover from opioid addiction.

According to SAMHSA, all people who are receiving methadone for opioid addiction must be participating in a drug treatment program. In this way, healthcare providers and addiction specialists can administer and monitor methadone for each patient. In fact, legally, methadone can only be acquired through a certified opioid treatment program.

Common side effects of methadone use include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Leg swelling
  • Rash or hives
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Arm swelling
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting

Methadone has been successfully used as a treatment for people with opioid-related substance use disorders. When used as directed, it can be a life-altering drug. However, it also has the potential for abuse as it can induce feelings of pleasure similar to those of other opioids.

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System? | Recovery in Tune

Drug Testing for Methadone

While methadone is typically eliminated from a person’s system within a week and a half, traces of the drug can be detected for much longer, depending on the type of test used. Employers, addiction treatment programs, and law enforcement officials may all require a methadone drug test for one reason or another. Standard drug tests usually check for opioids such as heroin, but they don’t detect methadone. For this reason, specialized tests must be employed to screen for methadone use.

Urine Testing

Urine tests are the most commonly used method of testing for methadone. The detection window in a user’s system is one hour to two weeks following the last use. Urine tests are non-invasive, easy to administer, inexpensive, and have a relatively long detection period. Therefore, they are usually the favored mode of testing for methadone.

Saliva Testing

Saliva tests are also a convenient and non-invasive way to detect methadone use. Traces of methadone can be identified in saliva 30 minutes after administration and stay there for up to a few days following the last use.

Blood Testing

Methadone can be identified in the blood within 30 minutes of use and is detectable for several days. Blood tests are very accurate, but they are also more expensive, invasive, and have a relatively short detection window. For these reasons, they are not commonly used to test for methadone.

Hair Testing

Hair tests are appropriate to identify methadone use that has occurred over time. Someone with a chronic habit will have traces of methadone in their hair follicles. Moreover, a person who has just started taking methadone will not reveal the drug in their hair for at least a week after use.

It has been generally accepted that methadone will clear out of a person’s body entirely within two weeks. Heroin, conversely, has a much shorter half-life than methadone. Because of this, it is expelled out of the body much more rapidly, possibly in less than an hour.

Morphine, however, can take up to two days to clear from a person’s system. This fact is important to know because heroin is converted back into morphine in the body, so detection of morphine can indicate heroin use.

Methadone Addiction and Dependence

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System? | Recovery in Tune

Like all opioids, methadone can lead to abuse and addiction. Methadone can be habit-forming and must be used as directed by a healthcare provider and not for longer than needed. Factors such as a history of alcohol use, mental health conditions, and heart or breathing problems can increase a person’s likelihood of encountering adverse side effects.

Physical dependence on methadone can manifest if it is used regularly for a prolonged period. Once physical dependence onsets, a person will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops using methadone.

The timeline of withdrawal symptoms is comparable to that of other opioids. It is likely to begin within a couple of days after last use and can persist 7–10 days. Severe side effects, such as profound dehydration, have occurred in those who have suddenly stopped taking methadone “cold turkey.”

Common methadone withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Shaking
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Body aches and pains
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Elevated heart rate

When administered correctly, methadone will be closely monitored by healthcare providers and only used for a short period, so dependence and addiction are less likely to occur.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Methadone is used as a treatment in those who have developed a dependence on stronger opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl. However, methadone itself does carry the potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. For this reason, people have found themselves seeking treatment for methadone, regardless of whether it was prescribed legally or obtained illicitly.

Recovery in Tune offers outpatient programs that specialize in the treatment of opioid dependence and other substance use disorders. We feature therapies proven to be vital to the process of recovery, including psychotherapy, counseling, peer group support, medication-assisted treatment, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you know is abusing or dependent on methadone, contact us today! We can help you break free from the chains of addiction and begin to experience the fulfilling life you deserve!

Dangers of Using Opioids and Potentiators

Opioids and Potentiators | Recovery in Tune Addiction Treatment

Dangers of Using Opioids and Potentiators – Opioids are drugs used for pain relief that include both prescription medications and illegal drugs. Examples of prescription opioids are oxycodone and hydrocodone, and examples of illegal opioids are heroin and illicit fentanyl. Potentiators are substances that are used to intensify the effects of opioids.

For example, grapefruit juice increases the amount of an opioid available in a person’s blood plasma. This means that when someone drinks grapefruit juice and takes opioids, it increases the amount of the drug available for the body to use. It also increases the duration of the effects of the opioid.

How Opioids Are Combined with Potentiators

Many people combine opioid-based drugs with other substances to maximize their rewarding effects. Unfortunately, combining opioids with other substances is associated with many risks and possible interactions.

Even with seemingly innocent everyday substances, unintended complications can occur. Most dangerously, combining substances increases the chance of an overdose.

Orange and Grapefruit Juice

According to research, grapefruit juice, as well as some orange juices, can increase the concentration of oxycodone in the body. The result is an intensification of effects. In many cases, this interaction can be dangerous.

More of the drug can transfer from the digestive system into the bloodstream, and result in respiratory failure. Grapefruit juice can be consumed several hours after a pill with potentially dangerous repercussions.

Certain oranges have a comparable effect to grapefruit juice. People who eat limes or marmalade with oranges are also at risk. Those who take prescription opioids should also ask their doctor whether eating grapefruit is okay.

Other Potentiators

There are other substances that can potentiate opioids. Some people have tried Imodium, although they do not experience a “buzz” this way unless they use doses that are at least 150% higher than recommended.

Opioids and antihistamines are also dangerous to combine. These can produce respiratory depression and thicken bronchial secretions that can lead to acute bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and other serious conditions.

Phenyltoloxamine citrate is an antihistamine that can be purchased over the counter. It has been used in combination with opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and dihydrocodeine.

Doxylamine succinate, the active ingredient in NyQuil, has been combined with opioids as well. Dimetapp is another product known to increase the high experienced when used with opioid medications.

Dramamine can be useful in reducing nausea for those who take opiates. However, it can also intensify the desired effects. St. John’s wort is an herb that also can increase the stimulating properties of opioids.

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin mixed with codeine and cyclobenzaprine can also boost euphoric effects, especially if the person does so on an empty stomach.

Additional substances commonly used to potentiate the effects of opioids include the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Orphenadrine citrate
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Diazepam
  • Barbiturates
  • Benadryl
NOTE: Drinking alcohol or taking barbiturates with opioids can produce life-threatening respiratory depression.

Consequences of Opioid Abuse

Opioids and Potentiators | Recovery in Tune Addiction Treatment

Intentionally using a potentiator with an opioid to enhance its effects is considered abuse. Abuse increases the risk of dependence, addiction, and overdose.

Dependence occurs when the body becomes accustomed to chronic drug exposure. Dependence is characterized by the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to quit. These may include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills

People who have developed an addiction to opioids have lost the ability to control their behavior regarding the use of a substance. They engage in compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite incurring adverse consequences. Addiction occurs because, in essence, the use of some substances hijacks the reward and pleasure center of the brain.

Overdose

Mixing opioids with potentiators increases the risk of overdose. Opioid overdoses are potentially life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

People who are at the highest risk:

  • Use other depressants
  • Are middle-aged or older
  • Use high amounts of opioids
  • Have a history of substance abuse

Symptoms of an overdose include shallow and slow breathing, confusion, unresponsiveness, and coma. As noted, an opioid overdose is a medical emergency, and 911 should be called immediately. Naloxone is frequently used by first responders to reverse the effects of opioids.

Getting Treatment for Opioid Addiction

If you are abusing opioids with potentiators, you are urged to seek professional help as soon as possible. If you know someone who is abusing opioids, consider staging an intervention and encourage them to seek treatment.

Recovery in Tune specializes in the treatment of drug and alcohol disorders. We offer comprehensive programs in flexible outpatient formats. Services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Individual/family counseling
  • Group support

If you or someone you love needs help, contact us today! Discover how we help those who need it most break free from the vicious cycle of addiction for life!

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System? | Recovery in Tune

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System? 

Oxycodone is detectable for:

  • Urine test: 3-4 days
  • Hair test: 90 days
  • Blood test: 24 hours
  • Saliva: 4 days

The half-life of Oxycodone, which is the time required for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body, is between 3.5 to 5.5 hours. Despite only taking around a day for the body to rid itself of oxycodone, the process of breaking down the active ingredients creates byproducts called metabolites, which are detected by these tests.

The length of time oxycodone stays in a person’s system is determined by several factors, including the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Body fat percentage
  • Body mass index
  • Presence of food in GI tract
  • Kidney and liver function
  • Dosage consumed
  • Duration of consumption
  • Presence of alcohol or other opioid drugs

Oxycodone Facts

As a prescription medication, oxycodone is indicated to treat short-term moderate to severe pain such as from trauma, injury or surgery, but has also been used to treat chronic pain such as that related to cancer or palliative care. Oxycodone may be taken by itself or in combination with another medication, such as aspirin or acetaminophen.

Oxycodone can be administered in many different forms, such as by tablet, capsule, liquid solution, injection, suppository, or intranasally (snorting).

Brand names for oxycodone include the following:

  • Tylox
  • Percodan
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Roxicet
  • Endocet
  • Percodan
  • Endodan
  • Roxicodone
  • Oxynorm
  • Endone
  • Proladone
  • Targin
  • Xtampza

How Does Oxycodone Work?

Opioid-based substances stimulate the production of beta-endorphins, mitigating pain. Alongside the analgesic effect, beta-endorphins repress the production of GABA. GABA, when released, inhibits the production of dopamine.
Therefore, opioids increase dopamine concentrations in the brain, inducing feelings of happiness and euphoria. These effects can cause users to become dependent upon and addicted to opioids.

Oxycodone Abuse Or Addiction

Compared to other opioids, oxycodone is moderately potent, but still carries a high potential for abuse and habit formation. Oxycodone abuse may not be immediately noticeable because it can be legally obtained by prescription and sans drug paraphernalia. Because of this, it is important to know and be able to recognize the immediate effects of oxycodone, which include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Apathy
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased attention span
  • Slowed breathing
  • Flushed appearance

Oxycodone has many useful medical applications that help many people. Still, the dangers associated with its misuse are becoming more and more apparent. The euphoria induced by oxycodone motivates repeated use, which in turn increases the likelihood the user will develop dependence. Likewise, as with other opioids, oxycodone dependence develops rather quickly, contributing to its potential for abuse and addiction.

Side-effects of oxycodone abuse include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion and poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Blurred vision
  • Stiff muscles
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Excess sweating
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty walking and poor motor coordination
  • Itchy skin/mild allergic rash
  • Vivid dreams
  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Dental problems
  • Swollen limbs
  • Heart failure

Alarmingly high overdose potential

Perhaps the most significant threat posed by oxycodone is its alarmingly high overdose potential. Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant, and for this reason, abuse can result in seizures, cardiac arrest, coma, and death, especially when crushed tablets are snorted.

Furthermore, the probability of oxycodone overdose is dramatically increased when taken in conjunction with either alcohol, opiate/opioid, or another central nervous depressant.

Warning signs and symptoms of oxycodone overdose include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Very slowed, stopped or labored breathing
  • Widened pupils
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Bluing of the lips, fingers, or extremities
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Choking sounds
  • Extreme confusion
  • Marked impairments in thought, speech, and motor functions
  • Dangerously low blood pressure or heart rate
  • Fainting or unconsciousness
  • Limpness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Getting Help: Oxycodone

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System? | Recovery in Tune

Addiction to oxycodone is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical assistance. Patients typically begin treatment with the help of specialists who develop a plan for detox and long-term therapy counseling.

A clinical detox is a medically-supervised process that provides patients with around-the-clock supervision and mental/physical healthcare to lessen severe withdrawal symptoms and avoid complications. Detox can take several days to complete and should be following by inpatient in intensive outpatient treatment for a minimum of 30 days.

Inpatient or rehab treatment involves a residential stay at the center 24/7 for several weeks while participating in behavioral therapy, counseling, and support groups. These patients benefit from constant supervision and support in a safe environment free from substances and the possibility of relapse.

During intensive outpatient treatment or IOP, the patient lives at a personal residence or sober living home while engaging in therapy and counseling, and attending group support meeting several times per week.

An outpatient format is recommended for those who need more flexibility to attend to critical life responsibilities or who have already completed a residential stay. Moreover, after inpatient treatment, patients can continue to benefit from ongoing therapeutic/support services while in the transition back to their normal lives.

Patients can also take advantage of aftercare planning services which help them locate resources outside of the center, such as psychiatric services or 12-step programs for ongoing recovery and support. Our center also hosts alumni events that allow former patients to reconnect and enjoy continuous peer group activity throughout the year.

If you or a loved one live with an addiction to oxycodone, contact us today. Call and speak to a representative to learn how individualized treatment programs address addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders.

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Oxycodone Effects and Symptoms

The Dangers of Using Norco and Alcohol

Norco and Alcohol | Recovery in Tune Addiction Treatment

The Dangers of Using Norco and Alcohol – Both alcohol and prescription opioids such as Norco (hydrocodone) are frequently abused in the U.S. The risks of abusing either substance by themselves are significant, but when the substances are combined, these risks are increased even further.

Alcohol Abuse

According to a survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA, 2015), more than 85% of people age 18 and older reported consuming alcohol at some point in their lives. In fact, excessive drinking is a serious problem in the United States, as the same survey found that more than 25% of people also reported past-month binge drinking.

Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are characterized by problematic alcohol use and manifest as a result of chronic consumption. An estimated 88,000 people in the U.S. die each year from causes related to alcohol, making it the fourth-highest preventable cause of death in the country.

What Is Norco (Hydrocodone)?

Norco is a prescription painkiller that includes hydrocodone, an opioid, and the over-the-counter pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol). Opioids block some of the brain’s nerve receptors and are frequently prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen’s exact mechanism of action is not known, but experts believe it may reduce the production of prostaglandins, chemicals in the brain that cause inflammation and swelling.

Common side effects of hydrocodone include sedation, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. There is also the potential for additional serious side effects to occur, including the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression and mood swings

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that hydrocodone is the most often prescribed opioid in the U.S. And, unfortunately, it’s potential to induce euphoric feelings and sedation make it attractive to would-be recreational users.

Norco Abuse

With the extended use of Norco, a physical dependence can develop, hallmarked by withdrawal symptoms when the person discontinues using the medication. As a person’s tolerance to the drug builds, increasing amounts are needed to achieve the same effects. At this point, a person may then start to increase the dosage or change the method of administration (e.g., crushing pills and snorting residual powder) and initiate an escalating pattern of abuse that can rapidly lead to addiction.

How Using Norco and Alcohol Affects the Liver

Norco and Alcohol | Recovery in Tune Addiction Treatment

Combining Norco and alcohol can be risky for a number of reasons. First, as with any drug containing acetaminophen, consuming alcohol in combination with it can result in severe liver damage. In fact, Norco is packaged with warning labels regarding its acetaminophen content.

If alcohol and acetaminophen are combined, this can result in alcohol-acetaminophen syndrome (AAS). AAS is hallmarked by increased levels of transaminase, a liver protein that helps with metabolism. This effect is a warning sign that the liver is working overtime to break down both the acetaminophen and the alcohol, which can cause severe liver damage or failure.

AAS may occur because alcohol is metabolized by the liver first, meaning that the toxic materials in acetaminophen are neglected. It has been believed that this form of hepatotoxicity could be the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States.

Other Dangers of Combining Norco and Alcohol

Unfortunately, although acetaminophen presents significant dangers when used in conjunction with alcohol, the pleasurable effects of hydrocodone often encourage polydrug use. What’s more is that alcohol is a popular choice as a secondary substance.

Concurrent use can cause the following symptoms:

  • Poor judgment
  • Confusion
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Respiratory problems
  • Excessive sedation
  • Coma and death

Moreover, drinking alcohol while taking any drug containing hydrocodone can result in life-threatening effects. Alcohol amplifies and accelerates the release of hydrocodone into the system, which can lead to perilously high levels of the drug in the body. Alcohol consumption also increases the drug’s absorption.

While people often deliberately combine hydrocodone and alcohol, it can also happen unintentionally. Those using Norco should confirm the alcohol content of anything they consume. For example, something as seemingly innocuous as over-the-counter cough syrup may contain alcohol, and even a standard dosage can result in a significant reaction when used with hydrocodone.

Finally, operating a motor vehicle or other machinery can be dangerous after consuming either Norco or alcohol, but doing so after using a combination of both can be especially hazardous. Mixing the two substances can result in impaired judgment and making the decision to get behind the wheel. In addition, impairment of motor skills can make it very difficult, if not impossible, for a person to safely operate a motor vehicle once he or she is on the road.

Treatment for Norco and Alcohol Addiction

Addiction to either Norco or alcohol alone can have devastating effects, but combining the two substances compounds these effects and makes their use even more dangerous and potentially life-threatening. People who are abusing Norco and alcohol are urged to seek treatment at Recovery in Tune where we offer comprehensive, evidence-based services, such as psychotherapy, counseling, and group support.

We can help you restore balance and wellness to your life, free from drugs and alcohol indefinitely. Contact us today to find out how!

Snorting Percocet

Snorting Percocet | Recovery in Tune Addiction Treatment

Snorting Percocet – Snorting Percocet is a method that some people use to achieve a faster, more intense high. Those who crush and snort Percocet may be misusing their own prescription medication, or they may be obtaining it illegally from friends, family, or the black market.

What Is Percocet?

Percocet tablets contain the active ingredients oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a potent opioid painkiller, and Percocet is often used for the treatment of moderate-moderately severe pain. There are other non-active ingredients also present in Percocet. These include the following:

  • Colloidal silicon dioxide
  • Croscarmellose sodium
  • Crospovidone
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Pregelatinized cornstarch
  • Stearic acid

Moreover, when snorting Percocet, in addition to oxycodone and acetaminophen, people are also inhaling these chemicals into their nasal passage.

Effects and Side Effects of Snorting Percocet

Crushing and snorting Percocet causes a rapid release of oxycodone, increased absorption in the body, and high peak concentrations of oxycodone in the blood. When oxycodone passes through the blood-brain barrier, it works by binding to opioid receptors, which are proteins found on nerve cells. Once oxycodone is attached to these receptors, it begins to block the perception of pain.

It is also this same chemical reaction along with a massive boost in dopamine that induces feelings of euphoria, an effect that greatly contributes to Percocet’s high potential for abuse and addiction. When a person snorts Percocet, high feelings are intensified, and the user also faces an increased risk for severe medical consequences, such as addiction and death.

Taking Percocet as directed can result in side effects, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, and sedation. Snorting Percocet has been associated with other, more severe symptoms. These include the following:

  • Abnormally slow heart rate
  • Slow, labored breathing
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Muscular flaccidity
  • Lung damage
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Brain damage
  • Respiratory depression
  • Stupor
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death

Snorting drugs such as Percocet can also cause frequent nose bleeds, nasal congestion, severely dry mouth and throat, and watery eyes.

Snorting Percocet Vs. Oral Administration

Opioids such as Percocet can be absorbed in the body through several routes. Doctors usually prescribe oral Percocet for safety reasons. Oxycodone has a somewhat high bioavailability (between 60-87% of an oral dose of oxycodone reaches the systemic circulation), and its effects last 3-6 hours.

The primary difference between ingesting Percocet orally and snorting Percocet is the onset of action. After oral administration of prescription dosages of oxycodone, an analgesic effect occurs within 15 minutes, and this effect peaks in around 30-60 minutes. Conversely, snorting Percocet rapidly generates high blood concentrations of Percocet, so pain relief and the corresponding euphoria are nearly immediate. Unfortunately, this fast and intense high also places users at risk for acute toxicity (overdose).

Snorting Percocet | Recovery in Tune Addiction Treatment

Dangers of Snorting Percocet

Percocet contains oxycodone, which is a narcotic. The following are risks and dangers that have been associated with snorting oxycodone:

Risk of accident and injury – Percocet can impair a person’s ability to operate a car or other machinery. Snorting Percocet can rapidly dull the senses and decrease alertness, and therefore activities that require a quick response time should be avoided. Also, impaired coordination may result in injuries from falls.

Risk of addiction – One of the real dangers of snorting Percocet is the risk of addiction. Even when used as directed, Percocet can lead to physical and psychological dependence when taken for an extended period. Snorting Percocet for its high effect significantly increases the risk of addiction, as well.

Risk of damage to nasal passages – Snorting Percocet for a prolonged period can result in damage to the nasal cavity and difficulty swallowing. In extreme cases, nasal damage may be extensive and result in permanent injury and scarring.

Risk of disease – Sharing straws or other objects to inhale Percocet into the nose can lead to the contraction of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or bacterial infections.

Risk of overdose – Snorting Percocet puts one at risk of depressing the central nervous system to levels that result in respiratory arrest or heart failure and death.

Treatment for Percocet Addiction

People who abuse Percocet, particularly in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol, face a high risk of developing significant health problems or experiencing a life-threatening overdose. For this reason, these individuals are urged to seek professional addiction treatment to help them detox from Percocet and learn how to maintain long-term sobriety.

Recovery in Tune offers a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that features therapies, counseling, and other services scientifically proven to be effective and vital to the recovery process. We are dedicated to helping people free themselves from the grip of addiction by providing them with the resources, tools, and support they desperately need to prevent relapse and stay sober indefinitely.

Contact us today and discover how we can help you restore your health and well-being and reclaim the fulfilling and happy life you deserve!

Oxycodone Effects and Symptoms

Oxycodone Effects and Symptoms | Recovery in Tune

Oxycodone Effects, Overdose, and Withdrawal Symptoms – Oxycodone is a prescription opioid painkiller that works by altering how the brain interprets pain. It is prescribed to treat moderate-severe pain, and commonly found under the brand names OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone, and Percodan.

Oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This indicates that it has an accepted medical purpose, but also has a high potential for abuse and can lead to chemical and psychological dependence.

Oxycodone is most often found in pill form (with immediate and extended-release formulation) and is often combined with other drugs such as acetaminophen (e.g., Percocet). It is also occasionally administered in liquid form (Oxydose).

Oxycodone can induce intensely pleasurable feelings and rewarding sensations. As such, it has a high potential for misuse and dependence. Using oxycodone for non-medical purposes also increases the risk of overdose, as recreational methods of administrating it (e.g., crushing and snorting) accelerate the rate and amount in which the drug is consumed.

Oxycodone Effects

Short-Term Effects

When used as directed, oxycodone can produce the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Extreme relaxation and sedation
  • Decreased anxiety

Side Effects

Oxycodone is a potent opioid that can also provoke several unwanted side effects, such as the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach aches and pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushing and sweating
  • Itchiness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Adverse changes in mood

These side effects can make the user very uncomfortable, and tend to worsen as the dose increases. Other side effects may be much more severe and may require immediate medical attention. These include the following:

  • Irregular heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Hives, rash, and itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Postural hypotension
  • Lightheadedness
  • Seizures

Oxycodone can also cause edema (swelling) in the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, lower legs, ankles, or feet.

Oxycodone Overdose

Oxycodone Effects and Symptoms | Recovery in Tune

Among the most severe and dangerous effects of oxycodone use are related to the breathing problems that it can produce. A perilously slow respiratory rate can rapidly become life-threatening and is a likely characteristic of an overdose, especially if other substances are involved. Alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines have similar depressant effects and when used in combination pose a much higher risk of overdose.

Symptoms of oxycodone overdose include:

  • Labored breathing
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Pinpoint or dilated pupils
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Limp or weak muscles
  • Slow or stopped heartbeat
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Cyanosis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma
  • Death

Long-Term Dangers

On the one hand, many people and medical providers find that oxycodone is extremely effective for the management of chronic pain. On the other hand, when used long-term, oxycodone can have harmful psychological and physiological effects, including dependence and addiction.

Extended oxycodone use has been linked to kidney and liver failure, as well as impaired cognitive function. Combination products present an even greater risk – the prolonged use of any medication combining oxycodone and acetaminophen can result in severe liver damage. What’s more, adding alcohol increases these associated risks.

Development of Dependence and Tolerance

As noted, oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning that despite its therapeutic value, it still has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Chemical dependence occurs as the brain adapts to the consistently elevated presence of a substance in a person’s system. Over time, certain physiological processes are impaired when the drug isn’t available, which result in the body becoming unable to operate “normally” without the drug’s presence. When a user tries to quit, he or she will encounter very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which are often uncomfortable enough to compel the person to resume using the drug to avoid them.

The development of tolerance is another result of prolonged oxycodone use, since, over time, the body tends to diminish the effects of certain substances in response to repeated exposure.

Oxycodone Withdrawal

As with other opioids, withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone are flu-like, and may include the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Muscle or joint pains
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid pulse and breathing

Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

Recovery in Tune offers a comprehensive approach to the treatment of oxycodone addiction that includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an evidence-based, psychotherapeutic strategy that addresses the underlying factors that contribute to addiction. Working with a therapist in this way helps patients reframe negative thoughts and develop the healthy behaviors and coping skills they need to prevent relapse in the future.

We also provide several other services vital to the recovery process, including individual and group counseling, group support, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning for the long-term maintenance of sobriety.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you or someone you know is abusing oxycodone, other prescription medications, illicit drugs, or alcohol. We are dedicated to helping people free themselves from the shackles of addiction and begin to enjoy the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!

Related: Neurontin Abuse

Acrylfentanyl: The Dangers of Use and Addiction

Acrylfentanyl | The Dangers of Use and Addiction | Recovery in Tune

Acrylfentanyl: The Dangers of Use and Addiction – As the opioid crisis continues to threaten the lives of Americans, overdose rates continue to increase. This fact makes opioid addiction a national epidemic that is endangering the nation’s public health, as well as its social and economic well-being. Today, over 115 people die every day in the United States due to opioid misuse, including drugs such as prescription painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl.

As the number of opioid overdoses increases, so does the development and distribution of analogs. Analogs are derivatives of chemically similar opioid drugs that are produced illicitly in clandestine laboratories here and abroad. One of the main purposes of the creation of analogs is to circumvent U.S. drug laws by developing new drugs before they can be classified as controlled substances.

What Is Acrylfentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is an incredibly effective painkiller that is commonly used in conjunction with other substances to produce anesthesia. Fentanyl is so powerful that a potentially deadly dosage is only 3 milligrams, compared to the lethal dosage of 30 milligrams of heroin. This fact illustrates how an addiction to fentanyl is much more dangerous than heroin addiction.

Acrylfentanyl is a fentanyl analog, a designer drug produced synthetically. It has been increasingly found on the black market and is endangering the lives of many Americans today. Chemically, it is very similar to fentanyl, but also has a slightly higher potency and longer duration of effects.

Also, in the past few years, many other equally dangerous fentanyl analogs have been introduced into the black market, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Alfentanil
  • Butyryl fentanyl
  • Carfentanil
  • Despropionyl fentanyl
  • Furanyl fentanyl
  • Isobutyryl fentanyl
  • Methyl fentanyl
  • Norfentanyl
  • Para-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl
  • Para-methoxyfentanyl
  • Remifentanil
  • Valeryl fentanyl

What Makes Acrylfentanyl so Dangerous?

Like morphine, heroin, and all other opioid drugs, acrylfentanyl chemically attaches to opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for feelings of reward and well-being. When this occurs, it precipitates a release of an excessive amount of dopamine into the brain’s reward centers, inducing euphoria and relaxation. Pain is also reduced, and these effects, over time, cause responses in the brain that produce tolerance and chemical dependence in users.

Tolerance is a byproduct of the body’s tendency to reduce the effects of certain substances after repeated exposure. When this condition develops, the user needs more of the drug to achieve the desired “high” or pain relief that he or she is seeking. If the person chooses to continue to increase their doses, this corresponds to an increased risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

Chemical dependence occurs over time as the body becomes used to the presence of a substance, eventually becoming unable to function normally without it. If the user tries to quit or cut back, they are faced with the onset of a wealth of highly unpleasant effects of withdrawal. These symptoms can be very painful and distressing and are considered to be a primary incentive for the person to resume drug use in an effort to avoid them.

Acrylfentanyl | The Dangers of Use and Addiction | Recovery in Tune

Because opioids also have depressant properties, and because opioid receptors are partially responsible for respiratory control, acrylfentanyl abuse can suddenly stop a person’s respiration, resulting in death. An even greater danger exists if the person uses acrylfentanyl in conjunction with other psychoactive substances, particularly other central nervous system depressants.

Acrylfentanyl is an extremely potent substance, yet even more of its insidiousness is related to the fact that it looks identical to heroin in its powder form. As such, it is easily mistaken for heroin and used as a substitute by dealers to increase a drug’s potency and maximize profits. This substitution often occurs unknown to the user, further increasing the risk for unintentional overdose.

An overdose on acrylfentanyl may be more difficult to reverse, as well. Naloxone (Narcan), an antidote to an opioid overdose, reverses the effects of most opioids and is frequently used by emergency personnel and law enforcement. However, because of the potency of fentanyl and its analogs, one dose of Narcan may not be enough to save a life.

Fentanyl and Heroin Addiction

Recovery in Tune features addiction treatment programs that help patients by providing them with the tools and support they need to achieve sobriety and prevent relapse. We employ highly-skilled addiction professionals who are dedicated to helping patients break free from the grip of substance abuse.

Using a comprehensive approach, we offer evidence-based services vital to the recovery process that includes behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, peer group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, please contact us today and get the professional help you need and deserve! Our compassionate staff is available 24/7 for your support!

Fentanyl Effects

Fentanyl Effects | Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose | Recovery in Tune

Fentanyl Effects: Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose – Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl was developed in 1960, intended for the treatment of severe pain. It works by obstructing pain receptors in the brain and increasing the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes it highly addictive.

In recent years, drug dealers have increasingly been using fentanyl as a means to increase the potency of their drugs and reduce costs by adding it to other drugs such as heroin. The presence of fentanyl often occurs unbeknownst to the user, and significantly increases the risk of a life-threatening overdose.

How Is Fentanyl Used and Abused?

Fentanyl that is legally prescribed is available as a transdermal patch, nasal spray, lozenge, or in injectable form. It is a fast-acting substance that produces painkilling effects in just minutes, and the effects of a dosage will last for up to two hours. In addition to dramatic pain reduction, it induces deep relaxation and euphoria, effects that have made it popular among recreational drug users.

On the illegal drug market, fentanyl and its analogues are often sold as powders or tablets and can be smoked, snorted, or injected. Fentanyl in its illicit forms is often even more potent than legally-prescribed versions, and it is often combined with heroin, meth, or cocaine to induce more intense effects.

Although misuse/abuse of prescribed fentanyl is a problem, it is most often the illegal forms of the drug that are responsible for drug overdose deaths. When used recreationally or compulsively as a result of dependency, the risk of a fentanyl overdose increases dramatically.

Understanding Fentanyl Effects

Signs and Symptoms

The signs of fentanyl abuse will vary from between individuals, but may include any of the following:

Physical Symptoms

  • Psychomotor retardation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Drowsiness or insomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Slurred speech
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Neglect of daily responsibilities
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Poor performance/frequent absenteeism at work or school
  • Continuing to abuse fentanyl despite adverse consequences
  • Visiting different doctors to receive multiple prescriptions
  • Spending too much time obtaining, using, and recovering from use

Cognitive and Psychosocial Symptoms

  • Euphoria followed by apathy
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired memory
  • Cravings
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Attention and concentration difficulties
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation

Fentanyl Withdrawal

The fentanyl withdrawal timeline varies between individuals, but in general, symptoms begin in as little as 12-24 hours after the last dose. Physical withdrawal symptoms will peak at around 48 hours and may persist for up to a week. While physical symptoms usually subside within a week, emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, can last much longer.

What are the physical symptoms of withdrawal?

  • Sweating and chills
  • Aches, pains, and spasms
  • Runny nose and teary eyes
  • Stomach pain, and upset
  • Insomnia
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Exhaustion
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Memory or cognition problems
  • Intense drug cravings

Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl Effects | Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose | Recovery in Tune

When fentanyl is consumed in excess, symptoms may become severe and place the user at risk of serious complications or death. A fentanyl overdose is a life-threatening condition. As soon as the signs and symptoms of a fentanyl overdose are witnessed emergency medical help should be contacted immediately.

The symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include the following:

  • Miosis (pinpoint pupils)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Choking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • No response to stimuli
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Very slow heart rate
  • Slowed or labored breathing
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma

If multiple symptoms of overdose manifest, or if the individual loses consciousness and remains nonresponsive, an overdose is probable, and 911 should be called immediately.

Lethal overdoses of fentanyl are usually the result of respiratory distress. Nonetheless, the drug’s ability to severely depress central nervous system activity can produce other dangerous or fatal side effects, including brain damage, cardiac arrest, or organ failure.

To counteract an opioid overdose, paramedics or other first responders typically inject a drug called naloxone. This drug can halt and reverse the harmful effects of an overdose by attaching to and blocking the action of fentanyl at opioid receptors.

It may take multiple doses of naloxone to reverse a fentanyl overdose completely, and if the drug is administered after the overdose has advanced beyond a certain point, it may be ineffective.

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

Recovery in Tune offers outpatient treatment, which may include the following services:

We employ caring addiction specialists who provide clients with the tools and support they need to recover and experience long-term wellness and sobriety.

If you or your loved one is suffering from an addiction to fentanyl, please contact us as soon as possible!

What Are Opiates and Why Are They So Addictive?

What Are Opiates and Why Are They So Addictive? | Recovery in Tune

What Are Opiates and Why Are They So Addictive? – Opiates are substances derived from alkaloid compounds in the opium poppy plant. Opiates are generally classified as Schedule II drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration, indicating that while the drugs are considered acceptable for some medical purposes, they also have a very high potential for addiction.

Moreover, those who struggle with opiate use will be at risk for both physiological and psychological dependence on the drug.

Opiates vs. Opioids

Today, the term “opioid” is commonly used to describe both opiates and opioids. But technically, however, the term “opiate” refers to any drug derived directly from the opium poppy plant. While some opiates are used in the medical industry as a treatment for pain, others, such as heroin, are considered Schedule I drugs, or drugs with no acceptable safety use.

Opiates include:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Thebaine

Comparatively, the term “opioid” refers to any synthetic drug that produces a similar effect to an opiate. These drugs are either partially or fully human-made. Much like opiates, opioid use ranges from medically acceptable to illicit.

Opioid drugs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin)
  • Oxymorphone
  • Heroin

Prescription and Illicit Use

While Schedule I drugs such as heroin are often considered more dangerous or addictive, a case against Schedule II opiates has been gradually developing since the turn of the century. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, nearly two million Americans were addicted to prescription opioids. Prescription opioids are also involved in the overdose deaths of thousands of people each year.

These disturbing statistics have led the medical community to rethink their treatment strategies. Health providers nationwide have been taking active steps to curb addiction by recommending non-opioid treatments, offering their patients education on responsible use, and implementing prescription drug monitoring programs to watch for signs of addiction.

The medical community’s deliberate efforts to end prescription opiate abuse is commendable, and this concerted effort will undoubtedly save lives. But their efforts, however, will only help a portion of people struggling with opiate abuse. For many, use of prescription opioids and illicit opiates are implicitly connected.

For example, A 2008 study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence revealed that those who were dependent on heroin were nearly four times more likely to report the misuse of prescription opioids in the past year than those who were not heroin users.

Other people may start using opiates after experimentation with other illicit drugs, such as cocaine. Regardless of how a person starts abusing opiates, the risk is the same – physiological and psychological dependence, ultimately leading to addiction.

Signs, Symptoms, and Effects of Opiate Abuse

What Are Opiates and Why Are They So Addictive? | Recovery in Tune

Because opiates can adversely impact both the body and mind, those abusing them may exhibit physical and mental changes. Among the most common physical effects are:

  • Sleepiness and lethargy
  • Numbness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Small pupils
  • Nausea
  • Itching and rashes
  • Flushed skin
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech

Also, as a person develops a psychological dependency on opiates or opioids, they may begin to isolate themselves from friends and family and show reduced interest in activities they once enjoyed.

They may also exhibit psychological symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion and indecisiveness
  • Poor judgment
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems

If a person misuses opiates for too long, they also place their body and mind at risk for severe, irreversible damage. The long-term use of opiates can result in heart inflammation, which leads to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Persons abusing illicit opiates may also find themselves at risk of infection and HIV or hepatitis, as illicit opiates are often injected and needles are frequently shared among drug users.

Psychologically, prolonged opiate use has been associated with mood disorders such as depression, and can also lead to hormone imbalances, which can reduce libido or cause infertility.

For many, the most frightening consequence of drug use is the risk of overdose. Per the CDC, every day, more than 115 people in the U.S. die after overdosing on opioids:

“The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.”

In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from an overdose involving prescription medications, illicit drugs, or alcohol. Finally, opioid overdoses increased 30% from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas and 45 states.

Finally, combined drug intoxication is becoming more and more common. Opiates, as central nervous system depressants, produce compounded effects when used in combination with other depressants such as benzodiazepines or alcohol. Using opiates alongside other psychoactive substances dramatically increases the risk of adverse effects and overdose.

Due to statistics such as these as well as the potential for sustained, adverse health effects, there is a genuine sense of urgency for those struggling with opiate abuse to receive treatment as soon as possible.

Opiate Addiction, Withdrawal, and Treatment

Because opiates tend to foster strong addictions, professional treatment is always recommended. The first step for many people is usually the most uncomfortable – withdrawal. Once a person is dependent on opiates, they will find their body struggling to maintain balance without the drug.

As opiates begin to be cleared from the body, withdrawal symptoms start to appear.

Common physical withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Increased salivation
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive yawning
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Goosebumps or chills
  • Loss of appetite

Withdrawal can also cause psychological stress and include symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Extreme cravings
  • Confusion or disorientation

What Are Opiates and Why Are They So Addictive? | Recovery in Tune

While opiate withdrawal can be especially uncomfortable, it is not usually life-threatening. Even so, medical detox is recommended to mitigate the likelihood of relapse and keep the person safe and supported throughout the entire process.

Also, medical providers can prescribe medications to relieve specific symptoms of withdrawal, making the process more comfortable. In some cases, opiate replacement medications may be administered to manage cravings and withdrawal, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.

These drugs help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and also can block the effects of illicit opiates. The medications essentially prevent opioids from binding to receptors in the brain, thus removing their euphoric effects and appeal.

While these drugs should not solely be used for treatment since methadone and buprenorphine are opioids themselves, they can be effective when used in conjunction with other treatment methods. Behavioral therapy, for instance, is the foundation for most treatment plans, where clients are given an opportunity to meet with therapists to identify the root causes of the addiction and work to modify thoughts and destructive behaviors.

Overcoming Opiate Addiction

Addiction to opiates is a harmful and potentially life-threatening condition that can and should be comprehensively treated as a chronic disease. Our center offers an integrated, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment that includes behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, and group support, among other services.

We employ compassionate addiction specialists who deliver these services to our clients with care and expertise. We provide clients with the tools they so desperately need to achieve a full recovery and experience long-lasting sobriety and well-being.

Recovery from addiction is a life-long process, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us today and find out how we can help you achieve the life you deserve!