soma addiction withdrawal symptoms

Soma Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s the same old story. Soma is yet another prescription medication that was said to be safe and non-habit forming…until it was discovered that it is indeed prone to abuse and addiction. Soma is a popular muscle relaxant that is prescribed for relieving pain associated with muscle injuries, such as sprains or strains, and is, unfortunately, often misused.

The problem with Soma is, as with other pharmaceuticals, that tolerance to its effects increases with time and more of the drug is needed to produce the positive effects. As dosage escalates the individual can become addicted. Soma abuse has similar effects to benzodiazepine abuse, including the very unpleasant soma addiction withdrawal symptoms. As with detoxing from benzos, Soma detox must be done according to a tapering plan to ease the individual through the detox process, and to avoid any serious withdrawal effects.

A medical detox program is the best setting for detoxing from Soma. Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms can include psychosis and other worrisome effects, which can be best monitored in a supervised setting.

About Soma 

Soma, the brand name for carisoprodol, is a popular muscle relaxant often prescribed in tandem with Xanax (to reduce anxiety) and Vicodin (to reduce pain). This trio of prescription drugs produces just the right effect that the patient may be resistant to giving them up, even after their skeletal muscle injury has healed. These three drugs together are commonly abused recreationally, as each drug enhances the effects of the others.

The normal daily dosage of Soma is 750-1050 milligrams, and the drug is available in tablet form. Because of its high propensity for misuse, Soma is typically prescribed for a short term, such as 2-3 weeks.

Soma acts on the central nervous system, acting as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Because of its effects alongside other prescription drugs, those who use Soma recreationally may develop an addiction.

Soma Short Term and Long Term Effects

In addition to the pain relief that Soma can provide, there are other effects of this drug that should be noted. Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Lightheadedness, fainting
  • Extreme weakness
  • Giddiness, euphoria
  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Depression

Long-term Soma abuse can lead to health risks as well. These include damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain. One very serious condition is called transient quadriplegia, which involves a temporary weakness of arms and legs.

An unintentional overdose of Soma can result in permanent brain damage or death. A Soma overdose is a medical emergency requiring immediate intervention. The signs of Soma overdose include:

  • Vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Respiratory distress
  • Stupor
  • Extreme sedation
  • Fever, chills
  • Shock
  • Coma

Soma Addiction

There is a good reason for the guidance to only prescribe Soma for a short period of time. Soma is very habit forming, as the giddy, euphoric effects are attractive for some who may want to continue experiencing this sensation. Other people simply procure this drug on the street, known as Da, Dance, and Las Vegas Cocktail (when used with Vicodin). Individuals with an opiate addiction may use Soma as an alternative drug. Soma impacts the GABA receptors in the brain, which triggers a flood of dopamine and a reward response in the brain.

Because tolerance to this drug escalates rapidly, the need to use increasing amounts of it can quickly evolve into addiction. Signs of Soma addiction include:

  • Obsessed with obtaining and using Soma
  • Mood swings
  • Doctor shopping
  • Obtaining the drug illicitly
  • Continue to abuse Soma regardless of the consequences
  • Lie to others about how much Soma is being taken
  • Declining performance at work
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Low energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Attempts to stop taking Soma fail
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • When unavailable Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms emerge

Becoming addicted to Soma, or multiple drugs including Soma, will cause a steady decline in quality of life. If an addiction has developed, it is necessary to get help from an addiction recovery professional. The first step in recovery is the detox and withdrawal phase.

Soma Detox and Withdrawal

When someone has decided they are ready to tackle a Soma addiction and break free from its grip, they will have to first undergo the detox and withdrawal phase before beginning treatment. Soma detox is similar to benzodiazepine detox, meaning that it is necessary to slowly taper off of the drug rather than stop Soma cold turkey.

A medically supervised detox is the safest setting for detoxing from Soma. These detox programs offer personnel who are specifically trained to assist individuals through the withdrawal symptoms by providing medical and psychological support. Additionally, these detox specialists are prepared in the event of a medical emergency. With regard to Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms, serious reactions to absence of the drug might involve seizures or heart distress.

The first withdrawal symptoms emerge after 12-24 hours from the last dose of Soma. Severity of the symptoms will be dependent on the length of Soma abuse history, the amount of consumption, whether there is polydrug abuse, the age of the person, and their general health status.

Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Muscle twitching
  • Ataxia
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures

Throughout the detox process the medical detox team will continue to monitor vital signs and offer medications to help relief discomfort and pain. Emotional counseling is provided as needed to help the individual successfully endure the detox and transition into treatment.

Soma Addiction Treatment

Even though the detox process will rid the body of the drug that is simply not enough. The engrained addiction behaviors that keep the individual reaching for the Soma must be conquered and changed for there to be lasting recovery. Addiction treatment is the program that guides individuals through the process of making fundamental changes in the way they think and behave, which can then alter their need or desire for drugs.

For an addiction treatment program to be successful it must contain various treatment elements that are designed to work in tandem. Some individuals will respond better to group therapy, some will benefit from holistic therapies, and others may find that addiction education helps them finally understand. Because each person is wired differently, a quality treatment program will include a menu of different interventions that will hopefully resonate with various individuals in recovery.

A comprehensive Soma addiction treatment program includes:

  • Evidence-based psychotherapy. An evidence-based approach to therapy means that the methods have been clinically studied and research has indicated that they are indeed effective for treating a particular disorder, such as addiction. For Soma addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective of these proven methods. CBT works well for substance use disorders because it guides the individual toward replacing dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns with healthy ones, becoming an effective coping tool in recovery.
  • Group therapy. Some individuals are more comfortable opening up in a small group of peers than in a one-on-one therapy session. A clinician who provides topics related to sobriety and overcoming addictive behaviors, guides the group sessions. These meetings enable participants to bond, providing the peer support so important in treatment.
  • Family therapy. Many times, a Soma addiction has impacted not only the individual but the whole family. In family-focused groups, loved ones are guided toward better communication skills, setting healthy boundaries, and having realistic expectations for their loved one in recovery.
  • Dual diagnosis. Addiction often is accompanied by a mental health disorder, which is referred to as a dual diagnosis. If so, the individual will need a program that is proficient in treating both disorders simultaneously for optimal recovery outcomes.
  • 12-step programming. Recovery communities, such as AA or NA, can provide an extra layer of social support, as well as accountability. Attending these meetings has been shown to contribute to higher rates of sustained sobriety.
  • Nutrition and exercise. Addiction can take a toll on the body and the mind, so engaging in restorative activities is key in recovery. A quality rehab will place importance on clients getting regular exercise, as well as consuming a nutritious diet.
  • Holistic elements. To help bridge the mind-body connection in recovery, holistic activities have been shown to be useful. These activities help individuals learn how to quiet the mind and decompress, which can help reduce the risk of relapse. Holistic activities might include yoga, massage, and meditation.
  • Aftercare services. One sign of a high quality rehab program is the attention they pay to aftercare. The first several months following completion of a program is critical to long-term success, so accessing these services is key. These include alumni meetings, outpatient group therapy, individual therapy when needed, participation in ongoing recovery community meetings, and even sober living housing.

With commitment and patience, a Soma addiction can be overcome and one’s quality of life restored.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Soma Addiction in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities provides top-level addiction recovery services including medical detox for Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms. Ken Seeley became known through his appearances on A&E’s Intervention series as a professional interventionist. He then founded Ken Seeley Communities, which is an addiction treatment complex located in beautiful Palm Springs, California.

Ken Seeley Communities offers all aspects of addiction recovery, including professional intervention services, medical detox, outpatient rehab, residential treatment, and sober living housing. Ken Seeley Communities sees addiction recovery on a continuum, with each phase of the process leading organically to the next. Alumni are provided with excellent continuing care options to help reinforce recovery for a sustained and successful outcome. For more information about the various programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

Skin Abscess from Injecting Heroin

The Dangers of Skin Abscess from Injecting Heroin

The highly addictive, semi-synthetic opioid made from morphine, a substance taken from opium poppy plants that produces intense feelings of euphoria has exploded along with the opioid epidemic in the USA. As prescribed opioids by doctors and prescribers become harder to get, newly formed addicts turn to the street drug known as “heroin” for their latest fix. Mostly in urban centers, drug use has skyrocketed, but also in many major cities and states across the country. Homelessness and abject poverty have created swaths of hardship, disease, and drug laden tent cities where drug use takes center stage. These dens of inequity are breeding grounds for health hazards and complications from intravenous drug use. Along with the increase in drug overdoses and death, another health hazard often develops within user groups, which is a skin abscess from injecting heroin. These skin abscesses themselves can be quite dangerous and lead to further health consequences. That is why it is important to understand what they are and what complications can arise from them.

What is a Skin Abscess?

Usually, a skin abscess is a tender mass surrounded by pink and red flesh, sometimes referred to as a “boil.” This bump is usually bloated with pus or translucent fluid, which is often a sign of an infection. They are usually very painful and warm to the touch and can show up anywhere on your body. An abscess can form when the skin barrier is broken via minor traumas, cuts, or inflammation. Your body’s immune defenses involve an inflammatory response that sends millions of white blood cells to the infected area. The middle of the abscess will then liquefy, containing the dead cells, bacteria, and other scattered waste and remains. Unlike most infections, antibiotics alone will not cure an abscess. These complications may need intervention depending on the severity of the infection and tissue damage. That is why it is important to seek attention as soon as possible.

How Skin Abscess from Injecting Heroin Form

Once a drug user becomes a full blown addict, the fix becomes paramount while all other considerations fall to the wayside. Often times, an addict will find themselves using needles in unsanitary conditions with “dirty” syringes that may be contaminated by other user’s blood, but also by bacterial growth. Each individual, as well as the environment, is covered in microscopic bacterium that may colonize damaged areas of the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis during intravenous drug use. These colonies may jump from needle to user quite effectively without the proper sanitation that can now be found in fix rooms in some major cities. Contaminated needles deliver the bacteria past the skin barrier into the blood stream and also into these soft tissues. Multiple punctures in the same area may worsen the wound and will, in turn, be more likely to be infected during the heroin injections. Forming a skin abscess from injecting heroin becomes common during the constant urge to get another fix. Multiple boils may form as the addict searches for new injection points that aren’t collecting fluid and swelling with pain, redness, and warmth.

Complications from Skin Abscess from Injecting Heroin

Without treatment, many dangerous complications can arise from these skin abscesses. If the infection spreads, it has the potential to cross the blood-brain barrier. The key structure of the blood-brain barrier is the “endothelial tight junction.” Endothelial cells line the blood vessels interior and form the blood-brain barrier; these cells are wedged very tightly, so much so, that only small molecules, fat-soluble molecules, and some gases can pass through. A bacterial infection, however, has the potential to bind to the endothelial wall, causing the junction to open slightly. This development means toxins and bacteria can enter and attack the brain tissue, which can mean inflammation, brain swelling, and even death.

Another complication can arise, often referred to as “blood poisoning,” which is used to describe bacteremia, septicemia, or sepsis. Sepsis is a serious and potentially fatal blood infection. These infections can occur in your abdomen, lungs, and urinary tract. Septic shock has a 50 percent mortality rate, so these complications would call for quick attention.

Endocarditis is another more specific infection that is possible from abscess complications, as it is the inflammation of the heart’s inner lining, called the endocardium. The condition is uncommon for those with healthy hearts, but a possibility for long time drug users that have abused their bodies. This condition may develop over time and may go undiagnosed as the symptoms are similar to the flu and pneumonia. Fever, chills, muscle and joint pain, nausea, heart murmur, swollen limbs or torso, and a cough are common symptoms of this infection.

Tissue death or gangrene in the area of the abscess is another concern as it usually affects your extremities, which also happen to be injection points. It can start in a hand or leg and spread throughout your entire body and cause you to suffer shock. Shock will be marked by low blood pressure or hypotension. Vital organs such as the brain may we starved of oxygen and nutrients, creating light-headedness, weakness, blurred vision, and fatigue.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Ken Seeley Communities is a recovery program specializing in addiction and dual diagnosis conditions. With an expert team of recovery agents, Ken Seeley Communities guides individuals through the steps necessary to recover from heroin’s dark path, starting with processing, detox, treatment, and aftercare. Ken Seeley is known for being an interventionist that provides quality and professional care for families dealing with addiction and has the communication skills necessary to persuade individuals to enter treatment. Once entered into the treatment process, individuals will be provided evidence-based treatment solutions, as well as nutritious programs and fitness regimen to support the recovery. Sobriety is a multi-stage and multi-faceted undertaking, which is why our treatments are comprehensive and robust. For more information about the program, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

effects of fentanyl laced heroin

Effects of Fentanyl-Laced Heroin

Heroin use began to surge about a decade ago, creeping into just about every nook and cranny of society. Then around 2014 there was a sudden surge in overdose deaths, initially attributed to heroin. Eventually, it became known that this spike in overdoses was due to the effects of fentanyl-laced heroin. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and which is usually used by physicians to help manage pain in terminal cancer patients. Fentanyl and its analogs, or clones, are being manufactured illicitly in China and Mexico, then widely distributed on the streets of our country in the form of as fentanyl-laced heroin.

In 2016 alone, more than 19,000 opioid-related deaths were attributed primarily to fentanyl, according to statistics provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, showing a six-fold increase since 2010. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that overdose deaths caused by fentanyl doubled in a six-month period between the end of 2016 and the summer of 2017. According to the CDC, “The number of deaths involving heroin in combination with synthetic narcotics has been increasing steadily since 2014 and shows that the increase in deaths involving heroin is driven by the use of fentanyl.”

The CDC had issued a health advisory in 2015 regarding the dangers of fentanyl, but this was upgraded to an alert in early 2018 as deaths continued to mount. The alert included information that the powerful drug was showing up in heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and counterfeit opioid pills on the street, and encouraged wide availability of the opioid antidote, naloxone, to help reverse the effects of the drug in individuals still alive. While a heroin overdose can be overturned with 1 mg of naloxone, for the individual who has overdosed on fentanyl laced heroin, a dosage of 8-10 mg of naloxone is needed, although most individuals will not survive.

Why is Fentanyl So Deadly?

Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic analgesic manufactured under such brand names as Duragesic, Abstral, Fentora, Actiq, and Subsys, and is used by physicians to control pain in patients with serious or terminal illness. The fentanyl compound is easy to be replicated and reproduced in a lab, being widely distributed as street drugs or through online websites.

The drug is so potent that it is measured in micrograms, not milligrams. Law enforcement and first responders fear having any contact with the substance, as just a few granules can produce fatal respiratory effects. Many of the overdose deaths occurring in recent years occurred in individuals who were unaware that they were ingesting fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was first introduced in the 1960s for use as an anesthesia during surgeries. Later, fentanyl was approved for its analgesic properties for use as a prescription pain medication. Although fentanyl is in the news in recent years, it is not new. News reports from 1991 were informing the public of a spate of fentanyl laced heroin overdose deaths in Pennsylvania. Later, in 2005-2006, this deadly mixture was at the center of another outbreak of overdose deaths in various regions.

Deaths occur because the fentanyl, an opioid agonist, impacts the opioid receptors in the brain associated with controlling the respiratory system. A high dose of fentanyl can reduce the breathing rate dramatically, possibly causing breathing to stop altogether, leading to death.

The Danger of Heroin and Fentanyl Together

In many cases, it is the opioid epidemic of this past decade that has led to a significant increase in heroin addiction. This happens when the opioids become increasingly difficult to obtain, or if the cost of the prescription opioids becomes prohibitive. To avoid withdrawals, some will switch to heroin as a cheap, easily procured substitute for the opioid.

Since most heroin addicts obtain the drug from dealers on the street, they may be unaware that the heroin they purchased is cut with fentanyl—or may even be pure fentanyl. In most cases it is impossible to detect the presence of fentanyl, especially when it is cut into counterfeit opioids or cocaine, as these are also white substances. However, because heroin has a yellowish tint, if a large amount of fentanyl has been cut into the heroin it might be detected. Understanding the dangers of heroin and fentanyl can help raise awareness through the education of our youth from as early as adolescence.

Symptoms of Fentanyl Overdose

Because fentanyl impacts the central nervous system like any other opiate, the respiratory system is significantly affected. The drug is so potent that a tiny amount carries the risk of a drug overdose. The effects of fentanyl-laced heroin can lead to an overdose, which is a serious medical emergency that allows very little time for successful intervention. Signs of fentanyl overdose include:

  • Extreme grogginess, sleepiness, or fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing, slowed respiratory function
  • Contracted pupils
  • Inability to walk, loss of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Coma

A fentanyl-related overdose is a medical emergency. Death can occur rapidly, so if these symptoms are present it is necessary to obtain immediate medical help. Most first responders now carry naloxone to help reverse the effects of opiate overdoses.

Getting Help For Heroin Addiction

Individuals who are addicted to heroin or opioids must seek professional help to be able to get off these highly addictive drugs so they can avoid the accidental effects of fentanyl-laced heroin. Overcoming an opiate addiction requires specialized treatment. Without a formal addiction treatment program, the individual will not succeed long-term.

Opioid addiction recovery is possible but it is dependent on the individual completing a treatment program that uses evidence-based, or proven, treatment methods, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as complementary therapies and aftercare services.

Those who decide to get treatment for a heroin addiction will progress through four steps in recovery:

  1. Intake. When the individual approaches treatment they will first be involved in an assessment and intake process. After the clinician has considered all the information, including the length of history of heroin abuse, the daily dosing, the general health status of the individual, and whether there is a coexisting mental health disorder present, they will design an individualized treatment plan. This tailored approach is important, as each person will have unique recovery needs.
  2. Detox and Withdrawal. Detoxification is the first necessary step in getting free of a heroin or opioid addiction. Without clearing the body of the drug and stabilizing, the individual would be unable to fully participate in treatment with a clear mind. The detox and withdrawal process is difficult and highly unpleasant, and not to be undertaken on one’s own. People who attempt to go it alone are not able to endure the withdrawals and will swiftly relapse back to drug use.

A medically monitored detox will provide continuous oversight while providing medical interventions that help ease the withdrawal symptoms. Psychological support is also provided, helping the client emotionally throughout the detoxification process. Medications, such as buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone, can be initiated once the drug has been eliminated from the system, and can help reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and also reduce cravings. This medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help the individual become stable in recovery by reducing the risk of relapse. MAT requires the individual to continue engaging in outpatient therapy following rehab, and the medications are strictly monitored to help prevent abuse.

  1. Active Treatment. Active treatment begins immediately following detox and involves a variety of treatment elements. Rehabs programs include individual psychotherapy, group therapy, recovery group meetings, family therapy, addiction education, relapse prevention planning, and medication management. Together these interventions can help the individual change habitual addiction-associated patterns and behaviors, while also addressing underlying factors that may be contributing to the drug abuse. In addition, the individual is coached to establish healthy lifestyle habits, such as diet and exercise, and taught relaxation techniques to help manage stress.
  2. Aftercare Therapy. Once the treatment program has been completed, it is essential to continue to participate regular outpatient counseling, both individual therapy and support groups. Attending a weekly or twice weekly therapy session can help clients over the rough spots during the first year of recovery when they are the most vulnerable to relapse. Sober living is another good aftercare option, providing a living environment that is drug and alcohol-free and where the client can learn healthy new daily routines and habits, and practice recovery skills before heading back to their regular life. Additionally, engaging in a 12-step or similar recovery group can provide an additional layer of peer support and accountability.

Although overcoming heroin dependence requires time, patience, and perseverance, it is something that can be done. A heroin addiction cannot be wished away, it must be muscled away through sheer will and a steely commitment to embrace a clean and sober lifestyle.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Ken Seeley Communities is an integrated addiction recovery program in beautiful Palm Springs, California. Through an immersive approach to recovery, the expert team at Ken Seeley Communities will guide individuals through each step of the process—intake, medical detox, treatment, and aftercare. Ken Seeley is a renowned interventionist who provides these professional services for families to help persuade someone to enter treatment. In addition to the evidence-based treatment approach, the emphasis on nutrition and fitness helps reinforce recovery efforts. Embrace sobriety with the support of this comprehensive and highly effective program. For more information about the program, or about the effects of fentanyl-laced heroin, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

effects of coming off alcohol

Managing the Effects of Coming Off Alcohol with Residential Detox

If only there was a way to magically bypass the detox and withdrawal phase of recovery. But until some brilliant inventor creates a magic pill that can allow a person to leapfrog over the suffering of detox, there is the detox, an absolute necessity when alcohol is the substance involved.

It is widely understood that people with an alcohol dependency who want to enter recovery should undergo a supervised detox. There is good reason for this guidance, as the effects of coming off alcohol can produce highly unpredictable, even dangerous, symptoms. Trained detox specialists are prepared to intervene should such symptoms arise and result in an emergency.

About Alcoholism

Alcoholism continues to lead the rehab admissions in America. While the opioid crisis has captured the national headlines, in reality alcohol addiction represents 80% of the individuals suffering from a substance use disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Alliance.

There is a strong genetic component to the disease, with over 50% of Americans having a family history of alcoholism. In addition to genetics, neuroscience research is beginning to identify the chemical effects of alcohol on the brain structures. Using MRI and PET imaging, scientists are able to literally see the impact of alcoholism on the human brain.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a method called event-related potentials (ERP) has allowed researchers to identify markers that appear in the brains of alcoholics and their children, becoming a useful tool for identifying individuals at risk for alcoholism.

Other potential risk factors for developing an alcohol use disorder include alcohol being introduced at an early age, psychological factors, such as a co-occurring mental health disorder, poorly formed coping skills or a lack of resilience, or stressful life events.

Importance of a Residential Detox

All too often, someone wrestling with an alcohol dependency may hit a low point and impulsively decide to stop drinking on his or her own. Attempting to undergo alcohol detox alone is a serious mistake, as sudden, unpredictable acute withdrawal symptoms can emerge, requiring immediate assessment. Detox specialists possess the training to quickly intervene should severe withdrawal symptoms suddenly occur.

During a residential detox, a specially trained detox team will have the client’s intake data available that can prepare them for any potential problem. This information helps to alert the detox team if there is a health condition or a history of acute withdrawal syndrome. Throughout the detox process the team will monitor the client’s vital signs so they can identify any serious symptoms.

The delirium tremens (DTs) is a very serious development that constitutes a emergency. While the DTs only affect a small percentage of individuals going through alcohol detox, the mortality rate for those who do is about 5%-15%, the need for attention should it emerge is essential. Symptoms of the DTs include severe mental confusion, tremors, fever, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures.

During the detox process, specialists will administer medications as needed to dramatically reduce many of the common alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as well as provide emotional support. The goal of a residential detox is to use interventions to guide the client safely through the withdrawals with the least amount of discomfort, while preparing the individual to transition into the treatment phase of recovery.

Factors that Influence Withdrawal Severity

Certain factors can determine the level of severity of the withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms to severe. These factors include:

  • Length of history of the alcohol use disorder
  • The level of alcohol consumed daily
  • Having a history of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS)
  • Age of individual
  • A coexisting mental health disorder
  • General health status of individual

Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox Timeline

Alcohol detox needs to be viewed as a necessary step in achieving freedom from alcohol addiction. It is the gatekeeper to recovery, so it must be endured before one can proceed into addiction treatment. Detox is the most unpleasant part of recovery, where the body attempts to adjust to the sudden absence of alcohol, something that results in unpleasant physical withdrawal symptoms that begin within 6-12 hours. Again, alcohol detox should only be attempted under the care and supervision by a detox team.

In most cases, withdrawal symptoms will be unpleasant, but not life threatening. However, for someone with a long history of excessive alcohol consumption or other risk factors, serious complications can arise. Withdrawal symptoms generally fall into one of two categories based on the severity of the alcohol addiction or dependency.

Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Tremors of the hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Body shakes
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe mental confusion
  • Seizures
  • Death

Alcohol detox occurs in three stages—the emergent stage, the peak stage, and the subsiding stage—and is typically completed within 7 days.

Managing the Effects of Coming Off Alcohol

While the unavoidable effects of coming off alcohol is an unpleasant one, here are some methods that can help to minimize the discomfort:

  • Hydrate. While the body is detoxing electrolyte levels can benefit from drinking fluids, which helps combat nausea and dehydration.
  • Distract. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, it may help if you can take a walk, take a brisk shower, listen to music or a podcast, or watch TV.
  • Eat healthy. Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to help balance blood sugar levels.
  • Holistic. Try deep breathing techniques, aromatherapy using oils that reduce cravings and help with detoxification, a YouTube yoga class, or a meditation app.

Riding out the detox process is just that, so brace yourself for waves of cravings that will soon dissipate, remind yourself of the reasons you seek sobriety, and know that the detox process is a very short-lived inconvenience.

Treatment for Alcoholism

After detox is completed, a structured addiction treatment program will guide individuals through the process of changing disordered addiction-related behaviors and habits. Recovering from alcoholism requires an extended period of treatment to replace those self-destructive patterns and acquire new behaviors and recovery skills that help support sobriety. Rehab is available in an outpatient format, which is appropriate for mild to moderate alcohol use disorder, or a residential format, which is appropriate for moderate to severe alcoholism.

While in treatment the individual will participate in a variety of treatment activities and therapies that approach all angles of recovery, including:

  • Psychotherapy. Individual therapy, using various evidence-based psychotherapies, helps the individual work through any underlying emotional issues or past traumas that may be a factor in the alcoholism.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT guides individuals toward adopting new thought and behavior patterns that replace the disordered patterns that have culminated in alcohol abuse through addict behaviors.
  • Group therapy. Group sessions offer peers in recovery opportunities to share about their personal experiences and challenges, fostering an essential source of mutual peer support.
  • Family-based therapy. Family-focused therapy helps family members process their frustrations, mend hurt feelings, and discuss the fears around the disease of alcoholism and how it has impacted the family.
  • Relapse prevention planning. Each individual will examine his or her unique triggers or stressors that could potentially disrupt recovery and lead to a relapse.
  • Meetings. 12-step meetings, or some form of alternative programming, can provide additional social support, as well as opportunities for establishing new sober friendships.
  • Holistic therapies. There are complementary therapies, such as yoga classes, massage therapy, acupuncture, mindfulness training, and art therapy that can help the individual in recovery regulate stress.
  • Nutritional counseling and exercise.  Establishing new lifestyle habits that are focused on wellness are incorporated into the program to help promote physical and psychological healing.

Life in Recovery

Taking that first step is momentous, putting you on the path to reclaiming your life and fulfilling the dreams that had been lost in the fog of addiction. Life will begin to improve in a multitude of ways, especially following that first year of recovery. But even in that first year of adjusting to a sober lifestyle, improvements in sleep quality, your physical appearance, energy, cognitive and memory functions, and overall mood will spur you to stick tight to the plan. Stay in outpatient therapy, participate in a recovery community, and try sober living if the home environment is not supportive to your recovery goals. Do whatever it takes because life is so worth the effort.

Ken Seeley Communities Alcohol Recovery Program in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is a leader in the field of addiction recovery. Founder Ken Seeley is a renowned professional interventionist who was a staple on the A&E series, Intervention. His recovery complex includes all facets of the recovery continuum, including intervention services, detox, outpatient rehab programming, residential rehab programming, and sober living housing. If you are ready to tackle the effects of coming off alcohol in a safe, supportive environment, please reach out to our team at (877) 744-0502.

 

how long does heroin withdrawal last

How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

Wrenching yourself free from the grip of a heroin addiction can seem impossible. Having experienced the suffering of withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis, it may seem like going through the detox process would be unbearable. In fact, anticipating the difficult withdrawal phase of recovery actually deters many from ever seeking help, keeping them stuck tight in their addiction. So how long does heroin withdrawal last anyway? In most cases, the heroin detox timeline involves approximately 5-7 days. Although the physical and emotional effects that accompany the heroin withdrawal process are daunting, it must be looked at as a very short-term issue that will soon pass.

Some addiction treatment centers use specific prescriptions to assist with the highly unpleasant side effects associated with heroin withdrawal.  is itself an opioid that can help block the effects of opiates from ever attaching to the brain receptors, so euphoria is not experienced. Over time this helps reduce cravings, and subsequently the desire to use again declines.

There is another option available to help with heroin withdrawal, and that is to go the holistic route.  The holistic approach to heroin detox and withdrawal means that drug-free interventions are made to help assist the recovering addict through the uncomfortable side effects of heroin withdrawal.

It’s totally understandable why someone about to begin a heroin detox might ask, “How long does heroin withdrawal last?” Going through detox and withdrawal from heroin or opioids is a hurdle to clear, versus a welcome event. Detox and withdrawal will vary from one individual to another, based on a number of factors that help determine the timeline. But knowing approximately how long does heroin withdrawal last, and what to expect in a residential detox, can help one prepare mentally for what lies ahead, and to gear up for it.

About Heroin Dependency

Heroin is in the opiate family of drugs, derived from morphine, a natural byproduct of certain poppy plants in regions like Afghanistan, Colombia, and Burma. Opium is produced through the fluid that seeps out of the poppy seedpod and dried into a resin product.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that leads to rapidly increased tolerance to the drug, resulting in increased dosage and usage in an effort to relive the initial euphoric high.  Heroin use causes a powerful reaction in the brain’s chemistry, attaching to opioid receptors in the pain and pleasure centers. A flood of dopamine leads to the “rush” that is felt upon injecting, snorting or smoking heroin.

This powerful drug makes lasting changes in brain cells, causing the brain to eventually cease producing its own dopamine. Without the drug, the user will become unable to experience pleasure at all, only leading to higher dosing. When chemical dependence takes hold, any attempt to stop taking heroin results in highly uncomfortable flu-like withdrawal symptoms. At this point the addict needs to take the drug to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms and feeling very sick (“dope sick”).

The Centers for Disease Control recently released data from 2017 citing alarming statistics regarding heroin and other opioids. According to this report, deaths from heroin increased sevenfold from 1,960 in 1999 to 15,482 in 2017. A sense of urgency exists today regarding the staggering increases of heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, and the related fatalities.

What to Expect During Heroin Detox and Withdrawal

It is natural for someone to wonder how long does heroin withdrawal last.  In general, the heroin detox process follows a fairly predictable pattern. The first withdrawal symptoms appear between 6-12 hours after the last dose of heroin. The length of the detox period, as well as the severity of symptoms, will be dependent on factors such as:

  • The duration of the heroin habit
  • Heroin consumption level
  • If the individual has a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • General state of the individual’s health.

All these factors will play a part in the detox experience, as far as how intense the withdrawal symptoms will be and how long withdrawal will last. Generally, symptoms will peak between 24-48 hours and then gradually subside. Most heroin detoxes are completed in 5-7 days, however long-lasting effects can linger, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Restlessness
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

While some may they might die from experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms, the fact is that, while extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable, it is highly unlikely that heroin detox would be fatal. Detox providers will provide comfort through the use of medications that can significantly reduce the withdrawal symptoms, and will closely monitor the individual throughout the detox process.

Throughout a residential detox the individual will be supported with medications as symptoms emerge. The detox team will access various over-the-counter medications that can alleviate the muscle aches, fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea symptoms. The individual will also receive psychological support to offer encouragement and help guide through the detox process, and then into the treatment program.

Residential Detox for Heroin Withdrawal

Increasingly, heroin and opioid detox and treatment involves medication, such as using certain opioid antagonists and agonists to help control craving and slowly reduce the desire for the drug. Prescriptions for stabilizing the individual in recovery can help reduce the risk of relapse. In most cases, the drugs are prescribed for a limited time, such as 3-12 months, before beginning a tapering schedule. However, in some cases long-term use of these drugs is warranted.

What to Expect in Heroin Rehab

It is important to understand that overcoming a heroin addiction is a long-term effort that is undertaken at an inpatient treatment facility. Detox alone is not sufficient to achieve lasting sobriety. Without follow up addiction treatment the individual is bound to relapse right away. This is because the deeply entrenched thought-behavior patterns that define the daily life of an addict do not just go away. These reflexive habits must be identified, addressed, and changed to have any kind of success in recovery.

Heroin addiction treatment is a two-pronged method that typically involves detox and evidence-based behavioral therapies such as contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). During rehab the individual will be immersed in a variety of therapeutic activities that are designed to be an integrated approach to overcoming addiction. These treatment elements include:

  • Psychotherapy: The role of psychotherapy in treating a heroin addiction is a core treatment element in addiction recovery. The therapist will access a number of evidence-based therapies to effectively guide the person toward embracing new healthy thought patterns and introduce coping skills to assist them in recovery. In addition, the therapist can help the individual explore their emotional state and work through any lingering or unresolved issues.
  • Group therapy: Addiction and depression can leave someone feeling very isolated and alone in their disease. Bringing together small groups of peers who can discuss their points of view and personal experiences with each other can give each participant a feeling of belonging. This shared experience, the recovery journey, can bond the participants and even foster new friendships that will endure after rehab is completed.
  • Non 12-step or 12-step participation: The recovery communities that may be integrated into the overall rehab program provide an excellent introduction into the power of fellowship. Recovery meetings offer opportunities to learn from each other and become inspired by those who have achieved a sustained recovery, and who benefited from the particular program, be it A.A., N.A., Smart Recovery or others.
  • Addiction education: Information can be a powerful tool in recovery. By learning about how chemical dependence develops it can give individuals a new perspective about what a danger drug like heroin does to the brain and the body. Along with learning about how addition happens, clients are also taught methods to help avoid relapsing. They will be coached in developing their own specific relapse prevention plan, and will be equipped with the necessary recovery tools to sustain recovery.
  • Adjunct therapies to promote stress reduction and relaxation: These therapies include yoga, meditation, equine therapy, art therapy, and other holistic practices
  • Aftercare services: The rehab should encourage individuals to develop an aftercare plan for post-rehab recovery. These activities or services can help solidify early recovery while helping to avoid relapse. These actions might include continuing on with outpatient therapy, continued participation in a recovery community, or spending a few months in sober living.

Ken Seeley Communities Offers Heroin Residential Detox and Addiction Recovery Services

Ken Seeley Communities is a California addiction recovery complex that offers the full spectrum of necessary treatment components. These include professional intervention services, residential rehab, various intensities of outpatient programs, and sober living housing that all work together on the recovery continuum. For more information about how long does heroin withdrawal last, and additional details about our recovery resources, please contact our team today at (877) 773-8515.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Suboxone

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine can be a lifesaver for individuals recovering from an opioid addiction or dependency. This medication helps to block the effects of opioids, allowing for a gradual reduction in cravings to return to the drug. Meanwhile, the individual has more time to adjust to a life of sobriety and solidify recovery.

Some detox medications can work very well as a short, or sometimes long-term, medication to prevent opioid or opiate relapse.  For some, however, certain detox medications can be and prone to abuse and addiction itself.

Because Buprenorphine is itself a mild opioid, the dangers of dependency can emerge with long-term use. These long-term effects were not foreseen back in 2002 when the FDA approved. Because of a long 37-hour half-life, Buprenorphine is subject to building up in the system, contributing to the risk of potential chemical dependency.

Not all Buprenorphine addiction develop as a result of being prescribed the medication for recovery assistance. Some individuals access the drug illicitly and use it as a substance of abuse. Whether the Buprenorphine was legitimately provided or used as a recreational drug, the result of addiction or dependency will require a detox and treatment to overcome. This prompts the important question, “What are the withdrawal symptoms of Buprenorphine as someone anticipates the detox and withdrawal process.

How Buprenorphine Addiction or Dependency Develops

As with any other mind-altering substance, Buprenorphine can be abused. Indeed, addiction behaviors do die hard. When someone is being treated for an opioid dependency with Buprenorphine they may become tempted to begin abusing this medication. Some may choose to inject the drug, or snort it, in an effort to experience a high. Over time, the compulsive abuse of Buprenorphine can develop into a new addiction. When the individual uses Buprenorphine for an extended period of time, their brain adapts to the regular influx of the drug to the point where it is unable to function normally without Buprenorphine.

Symptoms of Buprenorphine Addiction

When someone is struggling with an addiction to Buprenorphine they will begin to exhibit the classic signs of drug addiction. Buprenorphine is an opioid, so there are the telltale sights of opioid abuse such as:

  • Escalating tolerance to the drug’s effects, leading to higher consumption of the drug
  • Doctor shopping to obtain additional prescriptions
  • Purchasing the Buprenorphine off the street or the Internet
  • Paraphernalia related to injecting the drug, such as needles, syringes, a white powdery substance, ropes or tubing to constrict blood flow
  • Loss of interest in recovery efforts once made. Not attending meetings as much or at all, hanging out with old pre-rehab friends, keeping odd hours
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies once enjoyed
  • Financial struggles due to missing work, spending excessive amounts of money on the drug, legal problems. They may steal money from their loved ones or ask friends for money
  • Loss of weight. Buprenorphine addiction can lead to loss of appetite, neglecting nutrition, skipping meals and subsequent weight loss

There are also physical signs of Buprenorphine abuse. These include nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils, tearing of the eyes, impaired speech, fainting, sweating, muscle aches, sleep problems, and drowsiness.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Buprenorphine?

Once chemically dependent, if the individual attempts to cease taking the drug, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means that trying to stop it will trigger the same types of withdrawal symptoms of most other opiates.  The withdrawal symptoms will vary from mild to severe based on the length of history using Buprenorphine the level of dosing, and the mode used to administer the drug.

Buprenorphine detox and withdrawal is said to last longer than other opioids because it is chemically designed to block cravings for an extended period of time, meaning that it remains in bodily tissues longer. So, what are the withdrawal symptoms of Buprenorphine?

Withdrawal symptoms begin approximately 6-12 hours after the last Buprenorphine dose and include:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Mood swings

Many of these withdrawal symptoms, such as the gastrointestinal distress, fever, headache, and muscle ache, can be managed using simple over-the-counter medications by the detox team.

Why a Detox is Important for Buprenorphine

Monitoring is important during a Buprenorphine. No one should attempt to just quit the Buprenorphine. Instead, professional oversight where a doctor can prescribe a tapering program can help minimize withdrawal severity and successfully complete the detox. This, however, means that a Buprenorphine detox may last up to a month for the most severe addictions. Patience is required in order to safely progress through the detox phase to completion. Individuals who attempt to stop cold turkey are likely to quickly relapse back to Buprenorphine use as the highly unpleasant symptoms would be difficult to endure.

Depression and cravings may persist for a month or more, which makes the individual at risk for relapse and suicidal ideation. The  detox team will provide relief for the physical symptoms, as well as offer psychological aid to help manage feelings of depression and anxiety.

Holistic Therapies that Aid Buprenorphine Detox and Withdrawal

Natural therapies can aid in restoring health while promoting stress reduction during a Buprenorphine detox. There is much evidence that experiential and holistic therapies can help reduce the discomforts of withdrawing from opioids, and are very useful in ongoing aftercare and relapse prevention following treatment. Some of the holistic therapies used for a Buprenorphine detox acupuncture, yoga, and meditation. These activities can enhance recovery by regulating stress, as well as provide avenues to self-discovery that might be useful in subsequent addiction recovery.

Addiction Recovery Treatment for Buprenorphine Dependency

After the Buprenorphine detox and withdrawal process is completed, the individual will segue into an addiction treatment program. This is an integral component needed for moving beyond addictive behaviors and into healthy, productive ones that will help sustain recovery from opioids.

Treatment for a Buprenorphine addiction may be provided in an outpatient setting or a residential setting. The outpatient programs will offer several levels of intensity. In most cases of opioid addiction if outpatient treatment is desired the most intensive level is appropriate. This is the partial hospitalization program (PHP), also referred to as a day program, which requires daily participation in various therapeutic sessions throughout the week. The PHP involves 25-30 hours per week of participation in the therapy and education elements, but provides the flexibility to reside at home during the program. This allows someone who is not able to take an extended leave from family obligations to still obtain the treatment they need following detox.

The residential program involves a long-term commitment of 1-9 months. During the residential program, the individual will reside at the treatment center and participate in a wide variety of treatment elements daily. These programs provide structure and constant support, while allowing the individual to remove themselves from their usual home environment to be able to focus completely on recovery.

What to Expect in Buprenorphine Recovery Treatment

Most addiction recovery programs, whether it is an outpatient or residential format, will provide fundamental treatment elements to aid the individual in overcoming a Buprenorphine addiction. These treatment elements include:

  • Psychotherapy sessions. These therapy sessions are conducted one-on-one with a licensed psychotherapist who will assist the individual in identifying key addictive behaviors and patterns. Once these are noted, the therapist will use evidence-based therapies to guide the individual toward adopting more positive and productive thought and behavior patterns in recovery.
  • Peer group sessions. Group therapy involves a small collection of peers who can discuss openly topics related to overcoming addiction. The therapist will provide the topics and facilitate discussions so they are productive and supportive.
  • Education. Addiction education is key to the overall success of the treatment program. In these classes, individuals learn about how opioid addiction develops, and then are taught recovery tools that can help them avoid relapse.
  • Other activities. In a residential program there will be a focus on nutrition and fitness, both important to restoring health and wellness in recovery.
  • Continuing care. Once the treatment program is completed, continuing care services should be accessed for the best chance at obtaining a lasting recovery. These include outpatient counseling, sober living housing, and attending recovery meetings.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Buprenorphine Detox Services

Ken Seeley Communities is a integrated addiction recovery program located in California. At Ken Seeley Communities, our philosophy for recovery from addiction or chemical dependency to Buprenorphine is centered on a transformational spectrum of treatment elements. This involves the initial residential detoxification process, participation in addiction recovery therapies, and continuing care services such as sober living and outpatient programming to help reinforce sobriety. When wondering what are the withdrawal symptoms of Buprenorphine, please contact our team for a thorough explanation of the detox and withdrawal process at (877) 744-0502.

alcohol and social anxiety

The Link Between Alcohol and Social Anxiety

When considering what may drive someone to use alcohol as a soothing panacea for managing mental health disorders it is helpful to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between social anxiety and alcohol abuse. It isn’t difficult to identify the causal nature of this link, considering the effects of social anxiety on a person. For individuals who suffer from social anxiety, the intense level of discomfort in social situations can lead to an array of physical symptoms. These include a racing heart, spiked cortisol and adrenaline production, palpitations, sweating, shaking, and nausea. Alcohol can behave as a very quick antidote to these symptoms, producing a calming, relaxing effect in moments.

But as with all substances that produce chemical changes in the brain, alcohol can create a whole host of additional problems on top of the social anxiety it is supposed to be helping. The partnership between alcohol and social anxiety becomes symbiotic, that is the effects of one enhance the effects of the other, as a vicious cycle. Alcohol abuse can enhance the anxiety symptoms, as well as contribute to depression and many negative consequences in one’s life.

Why Do Those With Social Anxiety Use Alcohol?

Someone with social anxiety disorder typically has an intense fear of social events and interactions. This can include fearing simple activities like eating a meal in public or something associated with an extreme fear of being judged, such as public speaking. It has been found that 20% of those who suffer from social anxiety disorder also present with a comorbid alcohol use disorder, according to the article by Book and Randall, “Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use.” Alcohol can help these individuals relax in social settings, reducing the anxiety symptoms associated with the social phobia.

For those who dread the prospect of being scrutinized or criticized publically, turning to alcohol can be the last thing they do before leaving the house. Self-medicating fears away is only going to provide a temporary Band-Aid as more and more of the substance will inevitably be needed to relax.

Signs of Alcohol Dependency

Alcohol dependency comes in stealthily, like a thief in the night attempting to rob one of everything they hold dear. While the alcohol started out as a crutch for managing social anxiety, over time increased tolerance resulted in higher levels of alcohol consumption. There are some specific signs that alcohol abuse has evolved into a disorder. These signs include:

  • Being unable to control the levels of alcohol consumption. No shut-off capability
  • Turn to alcohol first thing in the morning
  • Hiding alcohol in the house or at work, or lying about alcohol use
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Excessive absences from work or classes
  • Decline in work or academic performance
  • Obsess about getting alcohol, having enough on hand, anticipating drinking
  • Try to quit alcohol but cannot stop
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when try to quit

Treatment for Social Anxiety

Treating social anxiety will involved a combination of targeted psychotherapy and the use of medication. The psychotherapy best suited for treating social anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In addition, exposure therapies are also helpful in assisting individuals in overcoming their fear of social situations.

Antidepressants may be effective in managing the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. In addition, other types of antidepressants, such as the SNRI has been shown to be effective for this anxiety disorder. Anti-anxiety medications may also help reduce feelings of anxiety in a stressful situation, however these drugs have a high propensity for abuse and addiction.

Treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder

When seeking help for an alcohol use disorder the first step in the process of recovery will be the detoxification process. Alcohol detox should always be conducted in the safe and supportive detox environment. Alcohol detox can suddenly introduce serious health risks, such as seizures or the delirium tremens, so detox should never be done without appropriate supervision.

Once the detox is completed, it is time to transition to treatment for the alcohol and social anxiety disorders. Both disorders should be treated simultaneously using psychotherapy, such as CBT and motivational enhancement therapy, medication, 12-step programming, and adjunctive activities that can enhance the conventional treatments. These might include recreational therapy, mindfulness, EMDR therapy, yoga, and hypnotherapy.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Dual Diagnosis in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is an integrated alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center in California. At Ken Seeley Communities, great lengths are taken to match the needs of each individual client based on their particular substance of abuse or co-occurring mental health condition. For alcohol and social anxiety, a comprehensive approach to treating the co-occurring disorders would involve evidence-based therapies that are targeted toward social anxiety disorder. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and exposure-based therapies. The alcohol use disorder should be treated simultaneously for the best recovery outcome. For more information about our recovery services, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

how to stop taking codeine

How to Stop Taking Codeine Safely

Who would ever suspect that an innocent bottle of cough syrup could be problematic? But the reality is that contained in that prescription cough medication is an opioid called codeine. Codeine misuse may start through the legitimate clinical use of the cough suppressant, or it could result from recreation use known on the street as Lean, Purple Drank, Sizzurp, and Texas Tea.

Regardless of the origin of the codeine abuse it can lead to increased tolerance, escalation of dosing, and ultimately addiction. Once someone has decided they are ready to stop using codeine there is a knee-jerk impulse to abruptly stop using it. However, just as with all opioid dependency, it is important to understand how to stop taking codeine safely.

About Codeine Addiction

Codeine is derived from the poppy plant and has been used for medical treatment for 200 years. Although codeine is available as a stand-alone prescription analgesic in pill form, it is often combined with other ingredients. These medications may include other pain relievers such as Tylenol or promethazine and is available in pill, capsule, or liquid forms. Codeine-containing medications are used to treat a variety of symptoms, including cough, diarrhea, and low-level pain. Codeine is a Schedule II substance, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, which could result in addiction or dependence. In combination medications containing 90 milligrams or less of codeine, the classification is Schedule III, designating a slightly lower risk of abuse.

Codeine abuse tends to be most prominent among young, urban males. Rappers have added to the allure of the concoctions created using codeine, only increasing the popularity of codeine abuse. The drug acts by blocking pain signals to the brain, acting much the same way as morphine does. In fact, a portion of the codeine is converted by the body into morphine in approximately 70% of those who use the drug.

Effects of Codeine Abuse

As with other opioids, the body will become more tolerant to the drug’s effects, prompting the individual to begin using heavier doses. Over time, the drug may be combined with other substances, such as benzos or alcohol, to achieve the desired high, and in some cases switching to more potent opioids.

While the initial effect of the drug is relaxation, pain relief, and mild euphoria, prolonged use will begin to cause side effects. These might include:

  • Itching or rash
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Mental confusion
  • Problems urinating
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Delirium and hallucination
  • Seizures

When codeine abuse escalates it can depress the central nervous system, dangerously slowing the respiratory rate. Risk of overdose death is increased if the codeine is used with alcohol, which could cause respiratory failure.

Different Forms of Recreational Codeine

Detoxing From Codeine

Knowing how to stop taking codeine in a safe manner is essential when deciding to get clean and sober. There is a risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms if the drug is abruptly stopped, so detoxification should only be accomplished through a residential detox. These residential detox programs will create a tapering schedule that will ease the person off the codeine safely, allowing the body to adjust.

While withdrawal symptoms can be somewhat regulated through tapering, some unpleasant symptoms are unavoidable. These symptoms will be managed through medications and treatments that will help minimize discomfort.

Codeine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Extreme irritability
  • Agitation
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue, malaise

Treatment For Codeine Abuse

The fact is that, over time, certain addictive behaviors became habit. The mind is a powerful instrument in relaying thoughts that would lead the individual to reach for the codeine. To overcome the codeine addiction or dependency, it is critical to make changes in thought/behavior patterns. Without making these core shifts in thinking and reacting, cravings for the drug, or ingrained addictive thought processes, would simply drive the person right back into using codeine.

After detox is completed, a rehab program will help the person accomplish these fundamental changes using cognitive behavioral therapy as an essential tool. Therapy will be offered in one-on-one settings as well as group settings, and combined with other treatment elements, such as detox treatment, 12-step meetings, and relapse prevention planning.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Codeine Abuse and Addiction

Ken Seeley Communities offers detox, rehab, and sober living services for treating codeine addiction in California. Because codeine addiction follows the same trajectory as any other opioid addiction, it is helpful to understand how to stop taking codeine through a tapering schedule. This allows the detoxification process to go smoother, increasing the chances of successfully completing detox and then transitioning into treatment. Treatment can be received through either an outpatient or residential program, depending on the severity of the codeine addiction. Ken Seeley Communities offers compassionate support at every juncture of the recovery process. For more details about the program, please reach out to Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

Prescription Opioid to Heroin Use

Prescription Opioid to Heroin Use

Over-prescribing prescription opioid has led to a national drug epidemic resulting in millions of people developing an addiction to these drugs. While doctors were initially misinformed about the drugs’ potential for addiction by the manufacturers, financial compensation lured them into unscrupulous prescribing practices that have had devastating consequences.

A pattern emerged about a decade ago, when it was noticed that heroin use had dramatically increased. This was strange because for decades heroin had been relegated to the fringe among recreational drug users. Suddenly, heroin addiction was on the rise in segments of the population where it had not formerly been common, such as in upscale suburban communities. Eventually, a connection between prescription opioid to heroin use was revealed, explaining the spike in heroin addiction.

Why People Shift From Prescription Opioid to Heroin Use

Prescription opioids are extremely addicting, even in as little as two weeks of prescribed use a patient can become addicted. When the prescription runs out, the individual will begin to feel sick, therefore asking for a refill. When the doctor finally refuses to refill the prescription, the now addicted patient becomes desperate. They may search for the opioids on the Internet or purchase the pills on the street. They may begin doctor shopping, hoping to score a new prescription. But when all avenues eventually dry up, the individual may shift from prescription opioid to heroin use.

Heroin is also an opioid, created from morphine, which is derived from the opium poppy plant. Prescription opioids have a similar effect to heroin, so gravitating to heroin when the synthetic opioids are no longer available or affordable is a natural step for the addict to take. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 80% of heroin users report first misusing prescription opioids. Heroin offers these individuals a more potent high at a fraction of the cost.

Overcoming a Heroin Addiction

It is a very difficult decision to seek out treatment for a heroin addiction no matter what devastation it has done to one’s life. The prospect of being “dope sick,” and then going through the painful process of detox and withdrawal can be a significant barrier to treatment. While this fear is understandable, it is important for loved ones to help the heroin addict to focus on the longer view. In some cases, accessing the services of a professional interventionist is the most effective and expedient way to get a loved one to the point of accepting help.

Once the individual has agreed to enter treatment, they will embark on an extended stay at a residential rehab where they will be guided through the early phases of the recovery journey. These phases include:

  • Residential detox. The individual will undergo detox and withdrawal under the supervision of a detox team that will provide interventions to ease withdrawal symptoms.
  • Therapy. Psychotherapy will be scheduled throughout the week, alternating between individual therapy sessions with a licensed psychotherapist, group sessions that are led by a therapist or clinician, and family-focused sessions where family members are invited to participate.
  • Classes. Addiction education helps individuals gain a better understanding of the effects of opioids on the brain and how the drug alters brain chemistry and function. The classes also focus on planning relapse prevention strategies, and equip the individual with essential recovery skills.
  • Holistic activities. Learning how to manage emotions, stress, and difficult life events in recovery is an essential asset. Utilizing activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress will help the individual stay on track. These include deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and mindfulness.

Continuing Care After Rehab

Once the rehab program has been successfully completed, the individual will need to access continuing care services to reinforce their newfound freedom from drug addiction. These include ongoing weekly outpatient therapy and classes, sober living housing, and active participation in a recovery community such as A.A.’s 12-step meetings or SMART Recovery meetings. Heroin addiction is treatable. Why not break free from the grip of addiction and begin your journey back to happiness today.

Ken Seeley Communities Offers Opioid Addiction Treatment in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is a comprehensive addiction recovery program offering intervention, residential detox, rehabilitation, sober living, and aftercare services. At Ken Seeley Communities, the expert clinical staff is highly experienced in treating individuals who have segued from prescription opioid to heroin use. Providing the latest in proven, evidence-based addiction treatment protocols, Ken Seeley Communities will guide each client through the phases of opioid recovery with respect and compassion. For more information about Ken Seeley Communities, please contact us at (877) 744-0502.