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 wellness 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:
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Teary eyes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Intense drug cravings
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.
Alcohol poisoning is a potentially fatal event that occurs when an individual consumes a high level of alcohol over a short period of time. The result of binge drinking on college campuses has been well document, with many tragic deaths occurring as a result of the dangerous drinking behavior. Alcohol poisoning doesn’t have to be related to partying college kids, however. There is the potential for anyone to drink to excess, either intentionally or accidentally, through chronic over drinking, which could result in a devastating outcome.
It is important to recognize alcohol poisoning symptoms next day effects, and long-term alcohol abuse consequences. Alcohol has the potential to upend one’s life, leading to substantial negative health effects and serious ramifications generally. Avoiding the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption requires knowledge of, and a healthy respect for, the risks of drinking.
About Alcohol Poisoning
The human body is only capable of metabolizing a certain amount of alcohol. The liver is able to process about one ounce of liquor per hour, meaning that drinking in excess of that amount will result in the non-metabolized alcohol accumulating in the blood. When the liver, bloodstream, and body tissues become overwhelmed by excessive alcohol consumption, the alcohol causes toxicity.
The guidelines established by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction state that women should drink no more than three drinks in a given day or seven drinks per week. Men should not exceed 4 drinks in a given day or 14 drinks per week. Blood alcohol concentration can reach the legal limit of .08 g/dl after a woman drinks 4 drinks in a two hour period, or a man drinks 5 drinks in that same time span.
When alcohol toxicity occurs the body’s ability to metabolize it has been overridden, leading to very serious potential health risks. The individual will experience the following signs:
- Low body temperature
- Irregular breathing
- Pale, clammy skin
- Mental confusion
In the event of alcohol poisoning, it is considered a life- threatening emergency. While waiting for the first responders to arrive, keep the individual in an upright position and attempt to keep them awake. Do not leave the individual alone. Once at the hospital, the individual will be treated based on severity. The individual will likely need intravenous hydration and glucose. They may require a breathing tube until normal breathing is restored. In some instances, the stomach will need to be pumped to quickly eliminate the remaining alcohol contents in the system.
Untreated alcohol poisoning can result in asphyxiation due to the individual vomiting and not being able to expel it. Other serious after affects include possible brain damage, hypothermia, or hypoglycemia. Alcohol poisoning will have impacted the liver, pancreas, and stomach, causing inflammation. The alcohol poisoning symptoms next day may resemble a severe hangover as the body attempts to stabilize.
Symptoms Alcohol Poisoning Next Day and Prevention of Alcohol Use Disorders
Anyone who has experienced binge drinking, even without reaching a state of alcohol poisoning, can see how extreme the after affects are. The obvious short-term affects include nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, stomach distress, increased risk of accidents, DUI, or unsafe sex. In addition, alcohol abuse at a young age is a risk factor for eventually developing an alcohol use disorder later on.
Practicing safe drinking practices from early adulthood is key to avoiding the potential of addiction. Being cognizant of the temptations to party in college and setting self-boundaries for participating in social drinking is important in establishing self-moderation and control with regard to drinking and the affects of alcohol abuse.
If there is a mental wellness issue present, it is important to address it and get some therapy. Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent mental wellness conditions that can drive alcohol abuse. In an attempt to minimize psychological suffering, alcohol can be used as a crutch, which can develop into an alcohol use disorder over time.
The Importance of Getting Help for an Alcohol Use Disorder
Ignoring an alcohol use disorder is never advisable. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, relapsing brain disease that is relentless in its trajectory. Ignoring the burgeoning problem will only allow the alcohol issue to continue to worsen, so delaying treatment or counseling is not productive.
The reasons why someone becomes alcoholic is still not fully understood. Science has not yet determined why one heavy drinker becomes addicted or dependent on alcohol and another does not. Genetic predisposition, family history, personality traits, individual biology, and life events can all play a part in the development of an alcohol use disorder. When an individual has experienced enough alcohol poisoning symptoms, next day and beyond, they will hopefully elect to get help. For the best recovery outcomes it is best to seek professional help when an unhealthy pattern of alcohol consumption becomes evident.
Before entering a rehab for alcoholism it is first necessary to complete a residential detox. Alcohol detox can turn potentially dangerous, necessitating trained detox specialists who are able to quickly respond if withdrawal symptoms become erratic. In most cases, the alcohol detoxification segment of the recovery process will take about a week to complete.
During detox, the brain and central nervous system will respond to the absence of alcohol by becoming destabilized. As the body attempts to normalize the individual will go through withdrawals, the unpleasant symptoms that will vary in severity depending on how long a history the individual has with heavy drinking, the general health and age of the person, and whether there is a coexisting mental wellness disorder.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Hand tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
To help manage the symptoms, the detox team will provide benzodiazepines and other medications.
Comprehensive Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
To treat an alcohol use disorder there are two types of rehabs available, outpatient and inpatient, or residential. The outpatient option is less intensive, lower cost, and more flexible, but it is only appropriate for mild to moderate alcohol use disorders. The residential option provides an extended stay at a treatment center where a broad schedule of therapeutic activities will consume much of the day. This includes psychotherapy, group therapy, medication management where appropriate, addiction education, and 12-step programming.
Ken Seeley Communities Provides Early Intervention Services and Rehab for Alcoholism in Palm Springs, CA
Ken Seeley Communities wants to make a difference in the prevalence of binge drinking and alcohol abuse by providing services to help individuals get help earlier rather than later. If your loved one is engaging in dangerous binge drinking behaviors, consider contacting Ken Seeley Communities for our expert and renowned intervention services. Ken Seeley was featured on the hit A&E series, Intervention, as well as being interviewed by major networks about his effective intervention techniques.
Ken Seeley Communities provides all aspects of alcohol addiction treatment, covering the spectrum of services including interventions, outpatient rehab, residential rehab, dual diagnosis treatment, sober living housing, and continuing care services. Our focus is on early intervention and comprehensive treatment, all within the context of a compassionate and respectful treatment environment. For more details about our intervention services and recovery programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.
Getting help for a prescription opiate addiction begins with the detox and withdrawal process. During detoxification the body expels the drug’s residual chemicals while the brain attempts to stabilize in the absence of the drug. Someone anticipating going through this detox process may rightly ask what helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms. After all, during detoxification, highly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will come into play, challenging even the most committed person to actually complete the detox process.
Thankfully, there are medications available that can help reduce the withdrawal symptoms and help the individual successfully complete this important first step in recovery. During a residential detox, specialists are trained in what helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms and will offer psychological support to minimize discomfort and safely guide the individual through the process.
Prescription opiates are powerful synthetic opiate with very high addictive properties, thus the Schedule II controlled substance classification. These drugs work to suppress the effects of physical pain by modifying the signaling in the central nervous system through the body’s opioid receptors. By blocking the pain signals, the perception of experiencing pain is altered, allowing the patient to endure post-operative discomfort. Used appropriately and for a specified period, prescription opiates can advantageous for pain relief due to surgery or injury. Unfortunately, extended use of these drugs can result in addiction or chemical dependency.
Prescription Opiate Detox and Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal can be a painful process, so one should not attempt to go through it without support. Within 6-12 hours following the last dose of prescription opiates, withdrawal symptoms will emerge. The length of the detox period as well as the severity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on the severity of the opiate addiction. Generally symptoms peak on days 2-3 and begin to subside on day 5. The total withdrawal timeline can last from 7-28 days.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pain
- Increased pain sensitivity
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Excessive yawning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep disturbances
- Drug cravings
What Helps with Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
A residential detox and withdrawal will involve close supervision of vital signs and withdrawal symptoms. The detox team will know what helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms and can ease much of the discomfort with a variety of interventions.
Clonidine can help reduce anxiety, muscle aches, cramping, runny nose, and agitation. Over-the-counter medications can help with muscle aches, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea. Detox medications can help mitigate some of the withdrawal discomfort, and support early recovery.
Psychological support is also an important aspect of the detox support efforts. The withdrawal symptoms often include depression, anxiety, and may even induce suicidal thoughts. The emotional support efforts can help to persuade the individual to continue on and complete the detox.
Comprehensive Treatment for Opiate Dependency
Following the detoxification process, the individual will now be in a much better place to enter into active treatment for the addiction. Detox without addiction treatment is likely to result in nearly immediate relapse, so treatment should always be the goal when initiating the recovery process. Addiction treatment programs use assorted therapies and activities that work in tandem to help break the addict reflex behaviors.
Treatment elements in Opiate Addiction recovery include:
- Medication can help the individual transition slowly off of the opioid, reduce cravings, and thereby reducing the risk of relapse.
- Individual psychotherapy sessions. During these one-on-one sessions the psychotherapist helps the client identify underlying factors that might be driving the dependence on prescription opiates, such as using it to self-medicate a mood disorder or a difficult emotional event or trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapy can guide individuals in shifting disordered thought and behavior patterns.
- Group counseling sessions. Group therapy provides the important social support component in recovery. Members of the group, under the facilitation of a therapist, can share their personal experiences and struggles, while gaining each other’s support.
- Complimentary therapies. These might include family therapy, couples therapy, mindfulness training, yoga, and art therapy can augment treatment results and improve recovery success rates.
Ken Seeley Communities Recovery Services for Prescription Opiate Addiction
Ken Seeley Communities is an addiction and dual diagnosis treatment program. It is understandable why someone would want to know in advance what helps with prescription opiate withdrawal symptoms. Rest assured that at Ken Seeley Communities all clients will be carefully monitored during detox and withdrawal, with our residential detox team providing every measure available to reduce withdrawal discomforts. Our goal is to transition the client safely through detox and into treatment. If you are ready to change your life for the better, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502. Our team is here to help make that happen.
6 Benefits of a Residential Addiction Treatment Program
We humans have been groomed to expect instant results in every facet of our lives. We seek expediency wherever we can find it, whether it’s the highest speed Internet service, the quickest Prime shipments on Amazon, or a swift weight loss program. We want it all, and we want it now. But there are certain things that cannot be rushed, that is, if you want to enjoy a lasting outcome, and addiction recovery is one of those things. For individuals with a deeply ingrained drug or alcohol addiction, a short-term rehab simply will not produce the lasting recovery one is seeking or needing.
When chemical dependency on a substance of abuse develops, the brain has become accustomed to the daily delivery of the substance and has adjusted its own natural chemistry accordingly. These new neural pathways bypass the brain’s normal production of dopamine, for instance, relying instead on the drug of choice to provide the flood of dopamine as usual. This is one reason why a long-term history of alcohol or drug addiction makes a swift recovery impossible. It takes time to normalize brain chemistry and central nervous system functions after discontinuing drug or alcohol use.
Addictive behavior patterns are another reason why a long-term rehab is needed. While in active addiction, the trigger produces the thought that one will suffer unless they acquire and use the substance of choice, so the destructive behavioral response, to drink or use, is then activated. These reflexive patterns have become so entrenched that it takes an extended period of time to replace them with new, healthy, and productive thought/behavior patterns.
While outpatient rehab services are an excellent option for individuals with an emerging or recent substance use disorder, these programs do not offer the oversight needed for individuals with moderate to severe addiction status. Outpatient programs provide flexibility and freedom that, for someone deeply addicted, offers too many temptations that can trigger relapse.
Why Long Term Addiction Treatment Facilities Are the Best Option
Long term addiction treatment facilities offer a much better environment for individuals with established addiction histories. The length of the stay will be determined during the intake interview and assessment process, and may be anywhere from one month to a year in length depending on the addiction information obtained. Here are 6 reasons why long term addiction treatment facilities are the more appropriate setting for individuals with a lengthy history of addiction, a dual diagnosis, or a poly-drug substance disorder:
- Structure. A predictable daily schedule is beneficial for someone in early recovery. Residential rehabs offer a full daily schedule of therapies and activities, in addition to meal times, recreational time, and down time. This creates less stress for the clients, knowing their days are full and they will be busy, which helps them focus on recovery and dwell less on cravings or romanticized addiction activities.
- 24-hour supervision. Residential rehabs provide round-the-clock monitoring of clients, reducing the opportunities for the clients to engage in drug-seeking or sneaky behaviors that will sabotage recovery. There are clinicians, psychotherapists, addiction specialists, and personnel to keep clients supervised throughout the day.
- Comprehensive programming. An inpatient setting has the time available to offer a multitude of recovery programming. This includes individual therapy, group therapy, addiction education classes, life skills classes, family counseling, 12-step meetings, guest speakers, and holistic therapies.
- Peer support. Having people around you that understand your struggles because they have the same ones is comforting to clients in recovery. With a shared experience and with aligned recovery goals, the clients can provide social support for each other. In the inpatient setting, new friendships are often established as a result of this shared experience.
- Removed from environment. By leaving one’s home community and staying for an extended period in rehab clients are much more able to focus on the work of recovery. Daily stressors, triggers, and obligations do not invade the rehab environment, allowing clients to concentrate on getting healthy and restoring overall wellness.
- Fitness and nutrition. An essential part of the recovery process is restoring health. Active addiction tends to put nutrition and fitness on the back burner, often leaving clients with nutritional deficiencies, health conditions, and unfit bodies. By spending a period of time in a residential program, the client has time to establish new healthy habits and routines that benefit overall wellbeing.
Continuing Care Following Long Term Residential Rehab
An often-neglected component of the recovery process is planning what happens after discharge from a long-term residential program. Clients may be anxious to return to their home community and shirk the recommendations of the therapists to continue on with aftercare services, to their peril. Early recovery is a very vulnerable phase that should be carefully prepared for.
Continuing care services allow the client to shore up sobriety and practice recovery tools while still under the care of addiction recovery professionals. It is a mistake to believe one can go it alone right after rehab. Many clients find themselves overwhelmed by the return to freedom and may expose themselves to triggers or people who are not supportive of their recovery. This can lead to relapse, and in the case of an opioid addiction, this can prove deadly.
Plans should be made to follow up the residential rehab program with the following continuing care services:
- Sober living housing. Spending a few months in sober living increases the sustainability of recovery during the early months.
- Ongoing outpatient counseling. By continuing to receive support from an outpatient therapist or group therapy session, clients can work through some of the challenges experienced in early recovery.
- 12-step recovery group. Participating in a 12-step or non 12-step recovery community offers ongoing social support.
Ken Seeley Communities Offers Long Term Addiction Treatment Facilities
Ken Seeley Communities and Rehab is a leading provider of long-term residential rehab in Palm Springs, California. In addition to offering residential detox and residential programming, Ken Seeley also provides day treatment programs, outpatient treatment, and intervention services. For more information, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.
Barbiturates are prescription sedatives that have taken a back seat to benzodiazepines for treating anxiety and insomnia. Even though these drugs are not prescribed frequently, they are still available and therefore represent a potential drug of abuse. When someone either accidentally or intentionally overdoses on barbiturates, it constitutes a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention.
Barbiturate overdose treatment involves multiple actions to attempt to minimize the drug’s effect on body systems. Medical personnel will administer various emergency measures to prevent potentially deadly barbiturate poisoning. Once barbiturate overdose treatment is successfully completed, the individual will transition to an addiction recovery program.
Someone who has developed a chemical dependency on barbiturates will need to undergo a supervised medical detox and withdrawal program prior to beginning addiction treatment. It is never advisable to attempt to stop taking the drug suddenly, as serious withdrawal symptoms can suddenly emerge. A medical detox team will gradually reduce the dosing of the drug until the individual has safely completed detoxification.
Treatment for the barbiturate addiction or dependency will involve multiple therapeutic interventions that are designed to help the individual establish new healthy thought patterns and lifestyle habits, resulting in a sustained recovery.
What Are Barbiturates?
Barbiturates, including phenobarbital, Seconal, Amytal, and butalbital, are a class of sedative-hypnotic drugs intended for the treatment of seizure disorder, preoperative anxiety, and insomnia. Because of the mild euphoric effects, as well as the relaxation properties of these drugs, barbiturates are illicitly abused recreationally. In fact, the 2018 SAMSHA survey reported that more than 32,000 Americans over the age of 12 had admitted misusing barbiturates.
Barbiturates, a chemical derivative of barbituric acid, work by acting on the central nervous system as a depressant, causing a sedated effect. Because of the drugs addictive properties and toxicity in the event of an overdose, most physicians now prescribe benzodiazepines for treating individuals struggling with anxiety or insomnia. However, barbiturates are still commonly prescribed for epilepsy, general anesthesia, acute migraines, and other purposes. These drugs are not recommended for use by a pregnant woman or in individuals over the age of 65. In addition, individuals with severe respiratory disease or kidney disease should avoid barbiturates.
How Are Barbiturates Misused?
As with any drug that is capable of altering brain chemistry through the central nervous system, barbiturates are highly addictive. When used on a regular basis, the body will become more tolerant to its effects, leading the individual to need higher or more frequent dosing to achieve the desired effect.
The short-acting barbiturates are the most recreationally abused form of the drug, as these provide the desired sense of euphoria and relaxation. These drugs include Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, and Tuinal. Barbiturates are often consumed with alcohol, which only amplifies the dangerous sedative effects that can result in toxic poisoning. Barbiturates may also be combines with the use of heroin and prescription opioids.
What Are the Signs of a Barbiturate Overdose?
Even someone who was prescribed a barbiturate for a legitimate medical condition is vulnerable to toxicity building up in the system. When someone has ingested more of the drug than the body can safely metabolize, it results in overdose. Initially, the individual may appear to be intoxicated due to alcohol, as those are the initial symptoms of a barbiturate overdose. Signs and symptoms of a barbiturate overdose include:
- Shallow breathing, or even breathing that has stopped
- Altered level of consciousness
- Cognitive disruption
- Appearing uncoordinated
- Low blood pressure
- Slurred speech
- Skin rash
- Faint pulse
- Possible kidney failure
- Heart failure
If an overdose is suspected it is imperative that 911 be called immediately.
Emergency Barbiturate Overdose Treatment
Obtaining timely emergency medical interventions for barbiturate overdose treatment is paramount, as one in ten individuals will die from the overdose. The medical personnel will conduct the following actions:
- Determine that the individual’s airway is not blocked
- Order blood and urine tests
- Conduct a chest x-ray
- Conduct an electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Introduce respiratory support, such as intubation or oxygen treatment
- Begin intravenous fluids
- Provide activated charcoal through the mouth or nose to the stomach
- Stomach washing
A dose of 1gram of barbiturates can cause toxic poisoning, and dosage of 2-10 grams can cause death.
When the Overdose is a Suicide Attempt
Barbiturates are powerful sedatives, making them desirable for individuals seeking to end their life. In fact, barbiturates are used for euthanasia and death penalty convictions to induce death. If a loved one has developed the symptoms of depression and has barbiturates in their possession it is essential that the drugs be taken from them. Be aware of the symptoms of depression and the red flags that can indicate suicide risk.
Warning signs of suicide might include:
- Seeming despondent, hopeless, despairing
- Change in eating habits
- Losing interest in activities usually enjoyed
- Appearing anxious or agitated
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Increased substance abuse
- Sleep disturbances
- Expressing feelings of being overwhelmed
- Expressing guilt or shame, feeling humiliated
- Seeking information or items for suicide plan
- Increased risk-taking behavior
- Excessive fatigue
- Says he or she is a burden to others
- Makes a will, puts affairs in order
- Giving away prized possessions
- Saying goodbye to loved ones
- Talk of death or suicide
Someone who has attempted suicide will benefit from psychiatric intervention after the barbiturate overdose treatment has been completed.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment for Barbiturate Use Disorder
Treatment for the barbiturate addiction or dependence will involve a full spectrum of therapeutic interventions that work together as an integrated approach to recovery. Treatment can be obtained at either an outpatient or inpatient program, with pros and cons for each.
- Outpatient rehab allows the individual to remain at home while undergoing treatment. There are different levels of outpatient intensity, with the intensive outpatient program being the most often requested. An IOP involves 9 hours a week of recovery programming and lasts for an average of three months. Outpatient rehab offers more flexibility and is available at a lower cost when compared to residential treatment. However, outpatient treatment is best reserved for those individuals with a mild to moderate substance use disorder.
- Residential rehab is the higher standard of care for addiction treatment. The programs involve the client residing at the treatment center for an extended stay of 1-6 months where they will receive intensive treatment and 24-hour support. Inpatient programs provide treatment for individuals with moderate to severe barbiturate addiction or dependence, as well as dual diagnosis treatment.
Treatment elements for barbiturate recovery include:
Medically supervised detox and withdrawal: Barbiturate detox and withdrawal is potentially dangerous, with risks surpassing those involved with alcohol or benzodiazepine detox. Therefore, a barbiturate detox effort should always be medically supervised, as potentially serious withdrawal symptoms can suddenly emerge. Detoxification is conducted under the supervision of a doctor who will prepare a detox plan for the individual. The first phase is to switch the individual to a benzodiazepine, and then followed by a scheduled tapering process to wean the individual off of the benzo. Withdrawal symptoms are carefully monitored, and medical interventions are provided to help minimize discomfort.
Individual psychotherapy: Therapy is an essential core element for treating the barbiturate addiction and any co-occurring mental wellness conditions, such as depression. The therapist will guide the individual to examine any potential underlying psychological issues and then help them resolve them. Some of the evidence-based psychotherapies used in addiction treatment include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Contingency management
- Motivational enhancement therapy
All of these psychotherapies target behavioral changes, as well as shifting thought patterns away from negative, irrational thoughts to more affirming, productive thoughts.
Group counseling. Group therapy supports peer interaction through opportunities to share personal trials and experiences. Meeting with others who can relate to addiction or chemical dependence can provide a source for sharing and mutual accountability.
Medication management. To date there is no medication available that targets barbiturate addiction. However, if the individual is struggling with a co-occurring mental wellness disorder, the doctor can prescribe medications for help manage the symptoms.
Relapse Prevention: Individuals create a detailed relapse prevention strategy by identifying specific triggers or situations that could lead to barbiturate relapse, and then create an actionable response plan for when cravings or other triggers threaten sobriety.
Complementary activities: Addiction treatment now includes such adjunctive measures as recreational therapy, nutritional counseling, and holistic methods for promoting relaxations, such as yoga class, art therapy, massage, and meditation.
Continuing care services: Following completion of the treatment program, continuing care activities that help reinforce recovery are strongly advised. These might include staying for a few months in sober living housing, joining a 12-step community, and continuing outpatient therapy.
Individuals who have experienced a barbiturate overdose can reform their lives through comprehensive addiction treatment interventions.
Ken Seeley Communities Provides Barbiturate Addiction Treatment
Ken Seeley Communities is a comprehensive addiction and dual diagnosis treatment center in Palm Springs, California. Ken Seeley was an intervention specialist who was featured on the hit A&E series, Intervention, as well as an invited guest on several networks to talk about his effective intervention techniques. Ken Seeley founded Ken Seeley Communities with the intention of serving individuals seeking effective treatment for addiction recovery.
Ken Seeley Communities provides all aspects of barbiturate addiction treatment, including interventions, outpatient rehab, residential rehab, dual diagnosis treatment, sober living housing, and continuing care services. Our focus is on early intervention and comprehensive treatment, all within the context of a compassionate and respectful treatment environment. For more details about our intervention services and barbiturate recovery programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.
Ken Seeley Communities is a licensed and Joint Commission accredited Addiction, Dual diagnosis, and Mental Wellness rehab program in Palm Springs, California. Receive leading help from experienced treatment professionals and support staff. Our team is ready to show you how to live a life free from drugs and alcohol. Call our Admissions Team Now!