rehab instead of jail

Is it Possible to Substitute Rehab for DUI Jail Time?

Driving under the influence can be a dangerous situation for you and the people around you. Not only can you cause harm to yourself but you can injure or potentially kill another person. A person may be suffering from alcoholism or alcohol misuse underneath this situation. In some circumstances, a person may be able to attend rehab instead of jail time. 

This is dictated by a couple of different factors and may not be available depending on the state. Rehab can be an excellent way of growing and learning from your mistakes. DUI help through rehab can be extremely beneficial and much more productive than jail time. There are several things a person can do to attend DUI rehab instead of jail. Getting comprehensive help from qualified professionals can help a person a lot. 

At Sana Lake, we want to help you get to a better place. Alcohol can take over a person’s life and cause them to act dangerously and carelessly. Our passionate staff is ready to help you improve and become sober. Rehab can be an option instead of going to jail for months or even years. Let’s take a look at the ways a person may be able to attend rehab instead of jail time and how Sana Lake can help you today!

What is DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence, specifically under the influence of alcohol. This goes for anyone operating a vehicle and can be applied to more than just a car. A person can receive a DUI for operating a watercraft, mopeds, and even lawnmowers if they are under the influence. If a person is caught driving a vehicle while intoxicated they are arrested and charged. This is a very serious offense and can damage a person’s record and (potentially) their life.

dui rehab instead of jail

There are serious consequences for driving intoxicated, not only with the law but with those around you. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured or killed due to car accidents involving a drunk driver. In some severe cases, a person dealing with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may drive under the influence a multitude of times. Driving under the influence causes a massive risk for those driving around the person and themselves. 

When a person initially gets a DUI it is considered a misdemeanor. However, if anyone is injured or killed due to the incident (under the influence of alcohol or drugs), a person will be charged with a felony. There are some states that immediately charge a person with a felony if their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is high. However, in most cases, the standard is a BAC that is 0.15 or higher. This is a huge red flag that comes with consequences.

The Severe Consequences of a DUI

Apart from being charged with a felony or misdemeanor, there are other consequences for driving under the influence of drugs. It is important to know the consequences of a person’s actions so you can plan accordingly. This of course comes down to a case-by-case basis. How much you were drinking, who was injured, and other factors can make the consequences worse. Other consequences of a DUI include:

  • The intense expenses for the DUI (court bonds, towing charges, attorney, trials, etc.) 
  • Ramifications to a person’s driving privileges (restricted, revoked, or suspended driver’s license). Note that those with first-time offenders may just have their license suspended for 90 days (this of course depends on the case) 
  • Probation for a period of time
  • The possibility of an alcohol education program
  • Possible jail time 
  • The chance of paying more fines after conviction 
  • A requirement to undergo substance use disorder treatment

A DUI is a serious offense that can cost a person thousands of dollars and sometimes, even their life. It is important to get serious help if you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction. It can take one bad decision to cost someone their life. Under no circumstance should you or anyone you know drive under the influence of drugs. Be smart and think about the consequences that could occur if you are not careful. 

Avoiding Jail if a Person is Arrested for DUI

Every case of DUI is different and there are several factors that determine whether you will go to jail or perhaps rehab. However, the most telling factor is how much a person has to drink when they are arrested. 

If a person’s BAC is very high, they will most definitely be going to jail. Another big factor of whether you go straight to jail over rehab is compliance. It is important to comply and follow the requests of the police officers arresting you. As a citizen, you have your individual rights but being kind and compliant can go a long way in the future. 

Some states of different laws when it comes to aiding alcoholics who are facing DUI charges. This varies greatly from state to state. In some states like California, a first-time offender can avoid jail altogether (this varies depending on the case and any injuries/deaths involved). In cases where injury or high speeding are involved, a person will go straight to jail, even on a first-time offense. With this in mind, compliance with court requests and seeking rehab help can help a person avoid jail.

It is worth noting that if this is a person’s third or fourth offense, they will have a much more severe sentence. Jail time is almost guaranteed if a person has repeated offenses over the last 10 years. However, there are things you can do to ensure you can look for DUI rehab instead of jail 

Addiction Treatment Instead of Jail Time

Seeking a residential rehab (like Sana Lake) can be a great alternative to jail time. Residential treatment usually has a person staying in a rehab center with 24/7 supervision and assistance. This can be extremely beneficial and can help a person cope with their alcohol or drug problem with professional help. 

The treatment plan will most likely have to be laid out for the court, along with meeting obligations and program agreements. A person will need approval from the judge (this is where consulting a lawyer can help in these matters). 

The quality of the treatment center also plays a role in whether or not you can attend DUI rehab instead of jail. At Sana Lake, we provide quality care as we take all factors in mind when treating you or a loved one. Residential rehab can be a great alternative to jail time and can provide long-term sobriety in the process.

Depending on the case you can also look for possible outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment allows a person to live out their life while attending weekly sessions. This is typically for those who have prior responsibilities back at home (work, school, kids, etc.). However, the judge may be skeptical about outpatient treatment because of its need for transportation and accessibility. Other factors like your compliance, the detail of the DUI, and your age can have an impact on the decision. 

Addiction and Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

If a person is able to trade for jail time for DUI help, they can now focus on comprehensive addiction treatment. Drugs and alcohol can have a serious negative on a person’s body, mind, and behavior (hence the DUI). Luckily, there are evidence-based therapy and treatment options to help someone out of their hole of addiction. At the end of the day getting help can be the difference between a life of stress and addiction and a life of sobriety and mental ease. 

Detox

Detox is usually the first step of any alcohol or drug-related addiction. Detox completely rids the body of any and all alcohol. During the process, a person will experience the withdrawal effects of stopping their drug intake. This is where our staff at Sana Lake come in to make sure the process goes smoothly and safely. If you are able to go to rehab instead of jail time, your residential treatment will begin with detoxification. 

Therapy Options

Addiction and alcohol abuse is just as much of a mental thing as it is a physical one. Different therapies are used to pinpoint the reasons why a person uses drugs in the first place. In almost all cases of drug addiction, therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on behavioral and thought changes for the better. As well as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in some cases. Each can help you cope with the stresses of life and any cravings you may experience. 

Let Sana Lake Help you Today!

Even with a DUI, there are better alternatives with DUI rehab instead of jail. After that, it’s about getting quality care for long-term sobriety. At Sana Lake, we want to help you towards a better life for you and your family. Let our passionate team help you today with our drug and alcohol treatment program. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and addiction resources. 

Smoking Embalming Fluid: What You Should Know

Smoking Embalming Fluid: What You Should Know

When people suffer from drug addictions, they’re willing to do anything to get high. This includes consuming toxic chemicals. This is exactly the case when it comes to those that smoke embalming fluids. 

People that smoke embalming fluids only do so to dissolve PCP. They also do so to enhance the effects of smoking other substances like marijuana or tobacco cigarettes. 

Still, doing so is dangerous because of all the chemicals inside of the embalming fluid and all of the toxins inside of the PCP. In fact, the side effects of smoking embalming fluid and PCP are so severe that the combination of them with marijuana or tobacco cigarettes, otherwise known as wet drugs, can lead to its own form of addiction. To treat this addiction, you’ll have to attend wet drug use, embalming fluid, or PCP detox and addiction treatment. 

What is Embalming Fluid?

Embalming fluid is the liquid that’s used on dead bodies to preserve, disinfect, and sanitize them. People also use embalming fluid to view the dead bodies in their natural-looking appearance at funerals or in medical research labs.

 Embalming fluid is made out of toxic chemicals. The combination of chemicals that are within embalming fluid is formaldehyde, methanol, glutaraldehyde, and others.  

What is PCP?

PCP, otherwise known as phencyclidine, is a potent hallucinogen and an illegal man-made drug that’s used for getting high. Another name for PCP is angel dust. Because of how easy and accessible it is to buy the chemicals within PCP and make the PCP substance, PCP is popular to use. 

PCP comes in a powder or liquid form. You need to add hydrochloride (HCI) or concentrated HCI acid to liquid PCP to turn it into its pure powder form. This pure powder form of PCP is white and crystal-like and can dissolve in water. This powder can also get pressed into a tablet. 

The impure powder form of PCP cannot dissolve in water. Therefore, you need to mix it with embalming fluid to dissolve it and turn it into a liquid.  

People normally make PCP in makeshift labs. As a result, the color and consistency of PCP can vary greatly. Therefore, the color of PCP can range from crystal white to tan or even brown. The consistency of PCP can range from a powder to a gummy mass. 

Why Do People Combine PCP and Embalming Fluid Together?

When people combine PCP with embalming fluid, it’s to get the impure powder form of PCP to dissolve. That way they can use that mixture to now take their marijuana or tobacco cigarette high to the next level. 

Therefore, people began to smoke embalming fluid more for the PCP than the embalming fluid itself. Despite this fact, smoking embalming fluid gives off similar effects as smoking PCP. 

What is a Sherm?

A sherm, or shermstick, is the term that people use to refer to marijuana or tobacco cigarettes dipped in PCP, embalming fluid, or both. The name “sherm” was given to these PCP dipped cigarettes due to the fact that they look like brown paper Nat Sherman cigarettes. Other names for sherms, or tobacco or marijuana cigarettes dipped in PCP, embalming fluid, or both, include fry, dip, water, superweed, or wet drugs. 

Side Effects You’ll Experience When Smoking Embalming Fluid, PCP or Both

When you smoke embalming fluid, PCP, or both through a marijuana or tobacco cigarette, the side effects are severe. The most common side effects of wet drug use include a euphoric feeling, an adrenaline rush, hallucinations, feeling detached from reality, and self-delusions. 

Because smoking embalming fluid, PCP, or both can cause such a severe separation from reality, many people smoke them to escape their lives. In fact, the effects of smoking embalming fluid and PCP overpowers that of the marijuana or tobacco cigarettes that people use to dip into the embalming fluid solution in the first place.  

The strength of effects that a PCP and embalming fluid solution can cause on a person is unpredictable. This is because many of the PCP toxins don’t get filtered out in the inconsistent making of the drug.  

If the PCP and embalming fluid solution are especially strong, the effects of wet drug use can include violent and aggressive behavior, reduced ability to feel pain, blackouts or memory loss, impaired coordination, respiratory depression or failure, schizophrenic like symptoms, and accidental suicide or self-injury due to delusional thinking.

The side effects of smoking embalming liquid are more severe than that of smoking PCP. This is because of how toxic embalming fluid is. Some of the side effects of smoking embalming fluid include seizures, lung damage, brain damage, cancer, destruction of body tissue, immediate coma, or death. 

Peculiar Behaviors of Those That Use Wet Drugs, Embalming Fluid, and/or PCP

There are numerous stories of people becoming completely out of their minds once they smoke embalming fluid and/or PCP. In fact, there are reports of people jumping off buildings and saying they felt like Superman after smoking embalming fluid and/or PCP.  

People have also exhibited sudden extreme strength after using embalming fluid and/or PCP. As crazy as the behaviors that people that smoke embalming fluid and/or PCP are, many people reported blacking out and not remembering their actions afterward. This is due to the memory blocking effects of these substances.

Thus, it’s no surprise that many people under the influence of these substances commit crimes. Regular people can even commit murder or abuse when under the influence of embalming fluids or PCP. 

How Dealers Get Embalming Fluid

Embalming fluid is a legal substance. Therefore it isn’t very hard to get your hands on it. All you need to do is go to the normal places that would use embalming fluid. Those places include funeral homes and morgues. You can also purchase embalming fluid from chemical compounds or online. 

When drug dealers buy embalming fluid, they usually do so through people that they know. Those people usually work in funeral homes, hospitals, morgues, or other places that might contain embalming fluid. That way the purchase of the embalming fluid isn’t as easily traceable to them. 

Wet Drug Use, Embalming Fluid, and PCP Overdose

When you use PCP or embalming fluid, you’re possibly setting yourself up for an overdose, cancer, or death. When a person overdoses when he or she starts to smoke embalming fluid, PCP, or both through wet drug use, that person experiences extremely high body temperatures. 

Wet Drug Use, Embalming Fluid, and PCP Health Hazards

Embalming fluid and PCP are so toxic that using them can cause you to develop cancer. That’s why you should avoid using these substances. 

Wet Drug Use, Embalming Fluid, and PCP Detox

Embalming fluid and PCP are toxic and strong at the same time. The use of them together or alone could cause severe and immediate addiction. As a result, to overcome an addiction to embalming fluid, PCP, or both through wet drug use, you must attend medical detox.

Wet drug use symptoms include intense cravings, disorientation and confusion, and depression and anxiety. Although not deadly, these withdrawal symptoms are bad enough to cause someone to want to abuse the substances again to cope. This then can turn into a relapse. That is why medical detox is necessary to get clean and sober from these substances. 

Wet Drug Use, Embalming Fluid, and PCP Addiction Treatment

After completing medical detox you need to attend inpatient or residential treatment. This is because inpatient or residential treatment will contain 24/7 care and supervision. 

Containing such extensive care and supervision is particularly important during the first few weeks of treatment for such addictive substances. This is because that is the time period when you’re most vulnerable to relapsing. 

If you still feel that you need support after your addiction treatment is over to transition into real life, you can even look into staying at sober living homes. Staying at sober living homes will allow you to receive extra therapy and aftercare services. 

Sober living homes also provide you with the freedom to get and maintain a job and practice real-life skills in the real-life world. Thus, you’ll get the added support that you need to transition into the real-world after treatment.  

Sana Lake Recovery Is Here for You

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, our goal is to heal people from substance abuse and mental health disorders for life. We aim to do this by giving the public new tools to use every day. 

Here at Sana Lake, we offer a wide variety of detox and addiction treatment services. Thus, whether you need to attend medication-assisted treatment, inpatient treatment, detox, family therapy, sober living, or something else, we can serve you here at Sanna Lake. We can also personalize your treatment plan. That way you can receive some form of treatment for unusual substances like embalming fluid and PCP. 

If you want to learn more about Sana Lake and the treatment programs and therapy services that we offer, contact us today! We are excitedly awaiting your call. 

https://www.mytimerecovery.com/embalming-fluid-smoking/

Can You Take Advil and Drink Alcohol?

Can You Take Advil and Drink Alcohol?

Many of us know that mixing alcohol and any medication has risks. But, can you take Advil and drink alcohol? Are there ibuprofen alcohol interactions? Medications containing ibuprofen have serious side effects. However, mixing alcohol and Advil increases your risk of liver issues and gastrointestinal bleeding. 

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is in a drug class known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are useful in easing pain and inflammation. Advil not only treats these issues, but it also reduces fever. 

Ibuprofen is available over-the-counter under these brands:

  • Addaprin
  • Advil
  • Cedaprin
  • I-Prin
  • Midol
  • Motrin
  • NeoProfen
  • Profen IB
  • Proprinal
  • Ultraprin

Prescription drugs such as Duexis also contain ibuprofen.  Duexis relieves arthritis pain without upsetting your stomach. 

Is it Safe to Take Advil and Drink Alcohol?

Ibuprofen is typically safe as long as you follow the directions. However, the problem with mixing alcohol and Advil is they both irritate the stomach. Also, alcohol increases acid production in your stomach. 

This increase in acid decreases the protection of your digestive tract. As a result, you damage your delicate gastrointestinal tissue. For instance, high doses and long-term use of Advil can cause your stomach to bleed. It also can lead to ulcers. However, drinking alcohol increases this risk. Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of dependence and addiction.

Mixing Alcohol and Advil: Stomach Ulcers and Bleeding

Advil irritates your digestive tract. For this reason, doctors tell you to take Advil with food. When you take Advil for a long time or in high doses, it increases your risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding. 

Alcohol also irritates the stomach and digestive tract. Furthermore, mixing alcohol and Advil increases your risk of ulcers and bleeding. However, the risk of ulcers and bleeding increases the longer you drink alcohol and take Advil. 

Alcohol and Ibuprofen Leads to Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Ibuprofen should always be taken with food because it irritates the digestive tract. Ibuprofen is also associated with peptic ulcer disease when overused. The irritation from ibuprofen can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding or perforation. 

Symptoms of severe GI bleeding includes:

  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Bloody vomit
  • Vomit with brown granules like coffee grounds
  • Blood in stools
  • Black or tarry stools

Combining alcohol and ibuprofen increases your risk and severity of GI bleeds. 

Can You Take Advil and Drink Alcohol: Kidney Problems

Your kidneys filter toxic substances from your body. These toxins include alcohol. As a result, the more you drink, the harder your kidneys work. So, when someone asks, can you take Advil and drink alcohol? The answer is no. 

NSAIDs such as Advil affect kidney function. NSAIDs stop the production of a kidney enzyme. By halting this enzyme, Advil can lower your inflammation and pain. However, this also interferes with kidney function. 

The effects of alcohol also put a strain on your kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation states that regular heavy drinking doubles your risk of chronic kidney disease. Although your risk of kidney disease is low if your healthy and occasionally take Advil. But, Advil can be dangerous if you already have kidney issues. 

Symptoms of kidney problems include:

  • A decrease in urine output
  • Retaining fluid in the legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or pressure

Risk of Liver Damage when Combining Alcohol and Advil

Although combining alcohol and Tylenol is more commonly linked to liver damage, so is alcohol and Advil. This damage causes a backflow of bile into the liver. The damage also leads to liver cell damage. 

Symptoms of liver damage include:

  • Extreme weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain on the left side under the ribs
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools

Advil can also lead to developing fatty liver disease. This development is because Advil interferes with fat metabolism in the blood. Moreover, alcohol contributes to fatty liver disease. If you continue combining alcohol and Advil, it can lead to cirrhosis. 

Alcohol and Ibuprofen: Increases Drowsiness

On their own, alcohol and ibuprofen cause drowsiness. However, combining alcohol and ibuprofen intensifies the tiredness. As a result, you can feel extremely sleepy. It can also make it impossible to function normally. If you are drinking alcohol, do not drive. Alcohol slows down your reaction time and impairs coordination. 

Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Advil in Older Adults

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports, older adults risk more complications when mixing alcohol and Advil. The higher risk is because, the older you get, the harder it is to break down alcohol. Also, as you age, you typically take more medications. Therefore, if you drink, you risk more complications from interactions.

Are There Any Ibuprofen Alcohol Interactions?

If your honest, you probably never thought about alcohol and Advil interacting. Furthermore, most of us don’t think about ibuprofen alcohol interaction with other drugs. But, there are many drug interactions with ibuprofen and alcohol. These drugs include:

  • Anticoagulants including Coumadin (warfarin) and Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Oral corticosteroids including prednisone
  • Other NSAIDs including aspirin, Aleve (naproxen), and Celebrex (celecoxib)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors including Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors including Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine)

If you take alcohol and ibuprofen, and any of the above drugs, it can intensify all the substances’ effects. For example, ibuprofen can cause GI bleeding. If you are blood thinners, it can increase the risk of bleeding. Furthermore, alcohol enhances the effects of blood thinners. 

Long-Term Effects of Combining Alcohol and Advil

If you’re like many people, you don’t see a problem with combining alcohol and Advil. But, mixing alcohol and any drug is risky. For instance, it can lead to severe health issues and substance use disorder (SUD). 

Although it’s common in social circles, alcohol is extremely addictive. These risks of consuming alcohol can cause short-term health issues. But the long-term problems can be severe and life-threatening. 

Mixing alcohol and Advil effects include:

  • Increasing sensitivity to alcohol and Advil
  • Developing a dependence on alcohol
  • Risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD)
  • Increase risk of overdose or death

Although many people use ibuprofen to ease joint and muscle pain, it can be dangerous. If you or someone you love regularly mixes alcohol and Advil, it can be a sign AUD. Find out your treatment options through Sana Lake Recovery. 

How Can You Safely Detox from Alcohol?

If you are struggling with alcohol misuse or AUD, you are not alone. Many people fear going through withdrawal when they stop drinking alcohol. Depending on your dependence, withdrawal can be uncomfortable, or it could be life-threatening. However, a medical detox program can help ease the discomfort and risks of withdrawal. 

Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Overly tired
  • Tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Racing heart rate
  • Pale skin

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The most severe withdrawal symptom is delirium tremens or DTs. Generally, 3 to 5 percent of heavy drinkers have DTs in detox. However, DTs can be life-threatening. So, if you or a loved one is having DTs, seek emergency help. 

Symptoms of DTs include:

  • Fever
  • Extreme agitation
  • Seizures
  • Extreme confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure

Because alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, it’s crucial to detox under medical supervision. Medically supervised detox generally provides support and medication to help keep you comfortable. Support is vital to help you work through the mental aspect of withdrawal and to ensure further treatment. 

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Once you have completed detox, you are ready to enter treatment. Centers like Sana Lake Recovery offer a variety of treatment options. You may choose from inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization treatment. 

Inpatient or residential treatment is considered the highest level of care. However, each treatment program provides a high level of care and a structured environment for recovery. Depending on the severity of your AUD and your home environment, among other factors, inpatient treatment may be your best chance at recovery. 

Whether you choose inpatient or one of our outpatient programs, you will typically have access to the same therapy types. Therapies for AUD may include:

  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Medication-Assisted Recovery

Holistic therapies also available at Sana Lake Recovery include:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • Nutritional Therapy

Dual Diagnosis and Alcohol Use Disorder

Over 9 million American adults with AUD also struggle with other mental health illnesses. These illnesses include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. If you struggle with AUD and any mental illness (AMI), it’s vital to seek comprehensive co-occurring disorder treatment. 

Common mental illness co-occurring with alcohol use disorder include:

Long-Term Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder

The decision to seek treatment is only the first step in recovery. Alcohol use disorder is a disease. And like other diseases, it requires lifelong treatment. Chronic treatment will vary for each person. However, 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) help maintain recovery and prevent recurrence of use. 

Before completing treatment, you and your therapist will develop a plan to prevent the recurrence of use. This plan will cover possible triggers and dealing with the urges to drink. If you are struggling with any of the following, it’s crucial to reach out to your therapist or sponsor. 

  • Having withdrawal symptoms that won’t stop
  • Being surrounded by enablers
  • Being in a bad relationship
  • Feeling lonely
  • Feeling depressed
  • Events that make you want to use

Help for Alcohol Use Disorder at Sana Lake Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, it can feel lonely. However, our team of certified professionals will support you on your journey to recovery at Sana Lake. Our traditional and holistic therapy programs offer the best chance of maintaining a life of recovery. Contact us today and find out how.

References:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgh.12805

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mixing-ibuprofen-and-alcohol

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/Harmful_Interactions.pdf

https://www.kidney.org/news/kidneyCare/winter10/AlcoholAffects

naltrexone shot for medication assisted treatment

Can a Naltrexone Injection Help Me Overcome Opioid Dependence?

If you struggle with opioid dependency, Naltrexone might help you quit. It works by blocking the effects of opioids. As a result, you have fewer cravings. Therefore, when used alongside traditional and holistic therapies, Naltrexone injection can further encourage recovery. 

What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is a drug commonly used in treating opioid dependence. But, if you use it while still using opioids, it will trigger withdrawal symptoms. So, it is vital to be free of opioids for 7 to 10 days. This period will reduce your risk of withdrawal symptoms. However, the length of time depends on your opioid dependence, the dose, and how long you’ve been dependent. 

Although recovery takes patience and time, the process is worth it. Moreover, treatment centers like Sana Lake are with you every step of the way. Additionally, with the help of doctors and therapists’ help, you will weigh the benefits and risks of naltrexone vs naloxone.

Brand Names for Naltrexone

The brand name for naltrexone injection is Vivitrol. This form is an extended-release that’s injected once a month. However, a naltrexone injection is only used in inpatient settings. 

The oral brand-name form of naltrexone is ReVia. It’s a tablet that’s taken once a day. It is generally taken with food to reduce stomach upset. To make sure you use naltrexone as directed, it’s best to have someone else dispense it. 

Another brand-name for oral naltrexone is Depade. Like ReVia, Depade can lead to stomach upset and other side effects. So, it’s vital for you to eat before taking Depade. 

What is Naloxone?

Sadly, 1 person dies every 12 minutes from an opioid overdose. But, naloxone could prevent these deaths. Naloxone is known by the brand name Narcan. It is a medication that reverses an opioid overdose. 

Using opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone can lead to a life-threatening overdose. And if an overdose is not treated immediately, it can lead to permanent damage and death. 

Three common signs of overdose include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Respiratory depression

Other symptoms of opioid overdose, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Slow heartbeat
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Inability to respond to others

Drugs Naloxone Can Counteract

Beside opioids. Naloxone counteracts the dangerous effects of:

  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone

Uses of Naltrexone vs Naloxone

In opioid dependence treatment, Naltrexone injection works differently than other medications. Some medications, like methadone and buprenorphine help, reduce cravings. But, naltrexone injection takes away any desire to use opioids. It works by blocking receptors, so you don’t experience the “high” effects of opioids.

However, naloxone helps prevent respiratory and CNS depression. These issues happen when breathing has slowed to the point of almost stopping. However, naloxone injection takes effect within minutes. But, naloxone is a temporary fix, and you must seek emergency care. 

Naltrexone vs Naloxone: Using Naltrexone Injection in Addiction Treatment

In addiction treatment, naltrexone vs naloxone works differently. Often, opioids give you a “rush” or “high.” These effects give you a feeling of contentment and pain relief.

But, if you take naltrexone, these feelings are blocked. As a result, your brain stops focusing on the drug. Refocusing allows you to focus on your recovery and a healthy lifestyle.

Although naltrexone injection is common in opioid treatment, it may not stop drug cravings. As a result, it works best if you have completed the withdrawal process. You must also want to succeed in recovery for naltrexone injection to work. 

However, you may be sensitive to even low dose opioids after taking a naltrexone injection. So it is vital to not take any drugs after completing treatment. Above all, the recurrence of use of heroin or other opioids increases overdose risk. 

Naltrexone vs Naloxone: Using Naloxone for Opioid Dependence 

Naloxone is used only to treat an overdose. But, it is not used in the treatment of opioid dependence. However, treatment does require a comprehensive program. Treatment plans should include multiple therapies, support, and relapse prevention. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 10,000 doses of naloxone were given between 1996 and 2010. You may benefit from naloxone if:

  • You have had a long-term dependence on high dose opioids.
  • You consume opioids regularly for chronic pain.
  • You have had a previous overdose.

Administering Naltrexone: Naltrexone vs Naloxone

You can receive naltrexone via a tablet, injectable, and implant device. ReVia and Depade are common brand names for the tablet form. But, naltrexone injection is sold under the brand name Vivitrol.

Naltrexone Tablets

If you take the tablet form of naltrexone, the dose will vary. The dose will depend on the strength of the tablet and the amount needed every day. It is crucial to follow your doctor’s orders. Tablets can be taken in treatment centers or at your house. However, if you take it at home, have someone else give it to you. 

Naltrexone Implant

An implant is another way to give naltrexone. They are small pellets inserted into the lower abdomen wall. To insert the implant you must go under local anesthetic. However, once implanted it releases naltrexone for 3 to 6 months. Because of potential side effects, implants are only available in inpatient settings. 

Naltrexone Injection

Naltrexone injection is an extended-release form of the drug. The naltrexone injection is given once a month in your muscle. For this reason, it is given in a clinical setting. But if you must attend every appointment. If you miss a naltrexone injection, the drug will not be beneficial. It is common to see bruising, swelling, or feel pain after your naltrexone injection. 

Administering Naloxone: Naltrexone vs Naloxone

At the moment, there are 2 forms of naloxone available. Most, if not all, first responders and medical staff have the drug on-hand. But, more states are approving pharmacies to release it.

The nasal spray is a single-use, single-dose device. It is easy and requires no assembly. Above all, a patient only needs to be on their back to receive the drug.

The auto-injector is a single-use device. It is easy to use with one hand. It also gives verbal instructions for use. Although naloxone stops an overdose, it’s temporary. For this reason, you must seek emergency care after taking naloxone. 

Naltrexone Injection Side Effects

Taking naltrexone in any form can cause side effects. But, once you adjust to the naltrexone injection, they typically disappear. However, the minor side effects of naltrexone injection may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Restlessness
  • Appetite loss

It is vital to discuss all your concerns with your doctor. You shouldn’t start a naltrexone injection without knowing all the side effects. 

Naltrexone Interactions

A naltrexone injection can have unpleasant interactions with other drugs. Naltrexone interaction includes not just other prescription meds. Naltrexone interactions also include over over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbal remedies. 

Several common naltrexone interactions include:

  • Opioids
  • Methadone
  • Disulfiram
  • Thioridazine
  • Some diarrhea, cough, and pain medications

You should always keep an updated list of all your medications. This list is important because many drugs have interactions. So, before starting a naltrexone injection, you should be aware of naltrexone interactions. 

How Can a Naltrexone Injection Help Me in Recovery?

If you are dependent on opioids or alcohol, naltrexone may help you. But, how it helps is dependent on you and your addiction. For alcohol use disorder, it can stop your desire to drink. In contrast, naltrexone injection stops the effect of opioids on your brain. 

However, naltrexone injection doesn’t treat withdrawal symptoms. But. once you have gone through detox, it can help you in recovery. So, if you are free of alcohol and opioids, then naltrexone injection can prevent recurrence of use

Can Naltrexone be Misused?

Many people wonder if naltrexone injection or tablets can be misused. Also, can you become dependent on naltrexone? However, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there isn’t a risk of addiction. Besides, there are no euphoric feelings that accompany a naltrexone injection. 

Side Effects of a Naltrexone Overdose

In theory, naltrexone overdose is possible. However, it is highly unlikely. But, what is more likely is you would take higher doses of opioids to get high. As a result, you will likely overdose on opioids. 

Because you have to go through detox to receive naltrexone injection, your tolerance to opioids is lower. This change increases the risk of overdose if you have a recurrence of use. Although the risk of naltrexone injection overdose is low, it does come with some uncomfortable side effects. 

Statistics on Naltrexone vs Naloxone

Almost three-quarters of those struggling with opioid use disorder also drink alcohol. Because naltrexone also helps with alcohol use disorder, it can benefit both disorders simultaneously. Drugs like naltrexone increase your chance at a successful recovery. They also reduce overdose rates by 30 to 50 percent. 

Because opioid overdose deaths have tripled over the last 20 years, naloxone needs to be widely available. In fact, naloxone prescriptions jumped up 1170 percent between 2013 and 2015. As a response to the overdose increase, over 600 community programs educate and distribute naloxone. 

How Can I Get a Naltrexone Injection? 

You must have a prescription to receive naltrexone. Your doctor or treatment center will work with you to develop a treatment plan, including naltrexone. However, the form of naltrexone you receive will depend on the treatment setting. 

Get Help Now at Sana Lake Recovery 

Do you or a loved one struggle with opioid use disorder? Are you still curious if naltrexone can help you on your recovery journey? We are waiting to answer all these questions and more. Contact us today and discover a life free of drugs and alcohol. 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/opioid-addiction-monthly-shot

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/naloxone-injection-route/side-effects/drg-20095285?p=1#:~:text=These%20include%20body%20aches%2C%20a,heartbeat%2C%20and%20increased%20blood%20pressure.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6731a2.htm

https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions/naltrexone

mixing stimulants and depressants

What are the Consequences of Mixing Stimulants and Depressants?

There are very few reasons why people take stimulants and depressants together. For instance, on rare occasions, doctors recommend mixing the drugs. However, the main reason is for recreational purposes. 

Stimulants and depressants are two different drugs. Stimulants increase energy and mental awareness. But, depressants slow down physical and mental functions. They also produce relaxing and sedative effects. For this reason, when people combine stimulants and depressants, the body receives mixed messages. 

What are the Potential Consequences of Mixing Stimulants and Depressants?

There are many different stimulants and depressants. They also have different results when taken together. So when someone asks, “What are the potential consequences of mixing stimulants and depressants?” there are multiple answers. 

Mixing drugs like stimulants and depressants is also known as polydrug use. Typically in polydrug use, the user has one drug of choice. However, they use other drugs to amplify the effects or to counteract them. 

However, polydrug use of stimulants and depressants is extremely dangerous, and reactions are often unpredictable. To make it worse, many people who mix narcotics also use illicit substances. These substances include cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. They are very powerful and possibly fatal drug combinations. 

The polydrug use of stimulants and depressants puts the body under undue stress. The cardiovascular, respiratory, and central nervous system (CNS) receives mixed messages to speed up and slow down. 

So, what are the potential consequences of mixing stimulants and depressants? Well, they include:

  • Slowed, depressed, or stop breathing
  • Cardiac arrest, heart attack, or heart failure
  • Coma
  • Overdose
  • Death

And 10 Other Questions Related to Mixing Substances

Many people use depressants to “come down” from a stimulant high and vice versa. People may also be seeking a certain high. For instance, the polydrug use of heroin and cocaine (speedball) produces an intense and long-lasting high. However, these and other drugs are fatal drug combinations. 

But, fatal drug combinations can happen by accident. Subsequently, those taking medication for pain, depression, or anxiety need to be careful. For example, many people like to have a drink or two after a long day. But, if they also take benzos for anxiety, it can increase the effects of benzos. 

Polydrug use minimizes the side effects of either drug. This use creates the feeling of not being as intoxicated as they are. Stimulants motivate the user to continue partying. They also hide the fact that the CNS system is slowing down. At the same time, depressants might hide a dangerously high heart rate. 

For example, if a stimulant is taken with alcohol, it can lead the user to drink more. The body’s response to alcohol is to induce unconsciousness, but stimulants stop that from happening. Therefore, a person can drink more before passing out. If other depressants are taken, it can lead to coma or death. 

Is Alcohol a Stimulant?

Everyone knows that alcohol changes brain functions. But is alcohol a stimulant? Or is it a depressant?

Many people think alcohol is a stimulant that increases heart rate and gives them energy. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions. However, alcohol isn’t just a stimulant. 

Although alcohol has some stimulant effects, it is primarily a depressant. This effect means it slows the body down. But how it affects a person depends on how much a person consumes, their tolerance, and polydrug use. 

Stimulant Effects of Alcohol

Initially, consuming alcohol causes the brain to release dopamine. It is the chemical that causes feelings of stimulation and energy. Alcohol also increases heart rate and can lead to aggression. These are typical symptoms of stimulants. 

Stimulant effects of alcohol typically occur when BAC is around 0.05. However, depressant effects kick-in around 0.08 BAC. At this level, a person is considered legally impaired.

Depressant Effects of Alcohol

After the stimulant effects, alcohol slows down the CNS. This slowdown causes a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and mental clarity. Additionally, large amounts of alcohol slow reaction time and cause sleepiness and disorientation. 

The depressant effects of alcohol occur when BAC levels reach 0.08. However, if a person continues to drink, it is extremely dangerous. The depressant effects of alcohol can lead to coma and even death. 

Is Marijuana a Stimulant or Depressant?

Marijuana is complex and affects users in various ways. At times, marijuana acts as a stimulant and a depressant. The reaction depends on the strain and the chemical reaction with the body.

Marijuana typically affects attention span, long-term memory, and psychomotor skills. However, long-term use may lead to psychotic episodes. It can also cause brain damage and mental functioning.

Marijuana is a Stimulant

A strain of marijuana called “Sativa” has stimulant properties. It can raise moods, heighten creativity, and increase energy. However, it can also have the harmful effects of stimulants. For some people, marijuana may cause anxiety and paranoia. But, in severe cases, it can lead to panic and fear. 

Marijuana is a Depressant

A strain of marijuana known as “Indica,” has depressant effects. It produces a calm, relaxing effect that can ease anxiety. It can also treat insomnia and help people sleep all night. However, the adverse effects can be similar to depressants. These effects include a decrease in energy and short-term memory loss. 

What Substances are Commonly Used WIth Marijuana?

Because many states have legalized medical or recreational marijuana, many people forget it has risks when mixed with other drugs. For the most part, marijuana is safe compared to other drugs. But, when mixed with alcohol, antidepressants, or benzodiazepines, it can be dangerous. 

Marijuana and Alcohol

Oftentimes, people like to have a drink after consuming marijuana. But, this comes with significant risks. For starters, combining marijuana and alcohol intensifies the feelings of both. This increase in effects can lead to:

  • Weed-induced panic attacks
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Disconnect from reality
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Loss of motor skills

Marijuana and Antidepressants

Most drugs don’t mix well with antidepressants. This includes marijuana. However, many people on antidepressants also consume marijuana. But, many mental health disorders are intensified by polydrug use of marijuana and antidepressants. 

For example, someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder who consumes marijuana may experience higher anxiety. Additionally, marijuana can counteract the medication and increase anxious thoughts and feelings. 

Marijuana and Depressants

Many people mix marijuana and depressant drugs like benzodiazepines because it intensifies the high. But, this can cause the heart rate to drop very low. It also slows a person’s thinking, speaking, and reaction time. Above all, marijuana and depressants’ polydrug use can lead to serious health issues and fatal drug combinations. 

What are the Polydrug Use Risks of Heroin and Cocaine?

The polydrug use of heroin and cocaine is called “speedballing.” Many people like the effects of both highs and the different feelings it provides. People also take heroin to counteract the effects of cocaine. While this may work, they are fatal drug combinations. Additionally, large doses of heroin can also lead to respiratory failure when the cocaine wears off.

What Happens When Cocaine and Ecstasy are Taken Together?

Because cocaine and ecstasy are both stimulants, when taken together, it increases the user’s rush.  Furthermore, it increases heart rates and the risk of heart attack or stroke. However, mixing any two stimulants can have these effects.

What are the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Hydrocodone?

Alcohol dangerously intensifies the effects of hydrocodone. However, these are possibly fatal drug combinations. But, mixing alcohol and hydrocodone can lead to:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Depressed breathing
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Coma

Is it Safe to Use Cocaine and Drink Alcohol?

People who struggle with cocaine addiction often drink alcohol to reduce the adverse side effects of cocaine. Although the polydrug use of cocaine and alcohol usually occurs in social situations. Sometimes, a person may consume cocaine to wake them up after drinking too much. Whatever the reason, these drugs can be fatal drug combinations. 

The most severe risk of mixing cocaine and alcohol is the production of cocaethylene. The liver produces this chemical when it metabolizes both cocaine and alcohol together. When this chemical builds up, it increases the euphoric effects of the drugs. But, it also increases blood pressure, aggression, and violent thoughts. In increase in cocaethylene is toxic and can lead to sudden death.

Can I Take Xanax to Counteract the Effects of Cocaine?

Xanax and cocaine are both dangerous drugs on their own. But, when taken together, they limit the power of the other. This reaction causes people to take more of one or both drugs. 

The polydrug use of Xanax and cocaine increase the feelings of sadness and irritability. As a result, people are at a higher risk of suicide. Overdose is another severe risk of polydrug use. 

When people combine these drugs, they don’t notice when the cocaine has their heart racing. They don’t notice because the Xanax has them feeling relaxed. On the other hand, they may not notice their body slowing down from the Xanax. However, they don’t realize it because cocaine has them feeling alert and energetic. 

Are Meth and Heroin Fatal Drug Combinations?

Yes, meth and heroin can be fatal drug combinations. For example, heroin slows down breathing, but meth increases it. As a result, people feel like they are breathing normally. This rollercoaster can lead to a heroin overdose and even death.

But, the reverse can also happen. The effects of meth typically last longer than heroin. As a result, when meth wears off, the effects of cocaine spike. This spike dramatically increases the heart rate. For this reason, meth and heroin combinations lead to sudden death, arrhythmias, and heart attack. 

What Happens if I Drink While Taking Oxycodone?

Because alcohol and oxycodone both are central nervous system depressants, they can be fatal drug combinations. The respiratory system becomes overwhelmed and can lead to respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is when a person is not breathing or barely breathing. As a result, respiratory depression causes brain damage and even death.

Treating Polydrug Use at Sana Lake Recovery Center

After learning, “what are the potential consequences of mixing stimulants and depressants?” the need for treatment is more obvious. If you or a loved one struggles with substance use disorder, we can help. Contact us today and find out how. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1243898/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-alcohol-a-stimulant#bottom-line

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20170208/opioids-and-alcohol-a-dangerous-cocktail

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21560041/

naltrexone shot for medication assisted treatment

Self-Care in 2020: Investing in Mental Health

Mental health is one of the most underfunded areas of public health. However, almost 1 billion people worldwide struggle with a mental illness. Furthermore, 3 million people die from alcohol use disorder (AUD) every year. And sadly, 1 person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And now, with billions around the world affected by Covid-19, the depth of mental health is coming to light. 

Unfortunately, very few people around have access to quality mental health care. For example, 75% of low-to-middle income countries have no treatment for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders (SUD). Furthermore, the stigma, discrimination, and human rights abuse is still a worldwide issue. 

What is World Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is observed every year on October 10th. The overall focus is on the importance of mental health awareness and support around the world. On this day, experts and mental health stakeholders talk about their work and how to help people worldwide.

The Focus of International Mental Health Day 2020

The focus of International Mental Health Day 2020 is, Move for mental health: let’s invest. Dr. Daniels, President of WFMH, says, “ Now more than ever greater investment in mental health is needed to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to mental healthcare. The under-investment in mental health has left large treatment gaps globally.” She also states, “ Mental health is an investment and not an expense and should be prioritized to avert a further catastrophe.”

International Mental Health Day: Commit to Your Mental Health

The World Mental Health Day campaign will offer online opportunities for each of us to support our mental health. We will also be given a chance to support our friends and families. If we are employers, we can put wellness programs in place. However, as governments, they are given a chance to swiftly up-scale mental health services within their country. Each person can step up and support the mental health of not only themself but for their neighbor.

Mental Health News: Facts and Stats

According to WHO, almost 450 million people worldwide live with mental disorders. However, the treatment gap is still large. In high-income countries, 50% of people still don’t have access to mental health treatment. In comparison, over 75% of people in low-to-middle income countries lack access to mental health care. 

According to WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2014 survey, on average, 3% of a government’s health budget is spent on mental health. This percentage ranges from as high as 5% in high-income countries to less than 1% in low-income countries. However, to increase treatment, therapy, and antidepressant medication worldwide between 2016 and 2030 would only cost $147 billion U.S.

Even though it sounds like a lot of money, the return is greater than the cost. The WHO estimates that for every U.S.$1 invested in increasing mental health awareness, the return is $4 in improved health and productivity. But, despite the importance of mental health awareness, investment in mental health is not increasing. 

Mental Health News: Mental Health in the United States

According to the NIMH, there were over 46 million American adults with mental illness in 2017. That is almost 20% of U.S. adults. Other facts and mental health news to help better understand the importance of mental health awareness include:

  • Mental health is defined as a good mental state—for example, emotionally well and functions properly. 
  • Mental illness, or mental health disorder, affects mood, thinking, and behavior. 
  • Mental illness was most prevalent in young adults between 18 and 25. That is over 25%, according to the NIMH.
  • Over 11 million adults have a severe mental illness, such as major depression and schizophrenia. 
  • Severe mental illnesses left untreated often leads to suicide. Unfortunately, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in 2018. Sadly, 48,000 people took their own life because of the lack of mental health care. 
  • In addition, suicide was the fourth leading cause in people between 25 and 54. While in 10 to 34-year-olds, it was the second leading cause of death.

As more and more people realize the importance of mental health awareness, the more people seek treatment. The NIMH also says that over 11 million Americans have a severe mental illness; over 66% received treatment. 

Effects of the Pandemic and the Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Before the pandemic, mental health issues across the globe were on the rise. However, the lockdowns in place to reduce Covid-19 and increased isolation also brought on depression and other mental health issues. On top of that, job loss and financial stress led to an increase in substance use

HRH Princess Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah of Malaysia, Patron of World Mental Health Day, says,

“While Covid-19 has increased the spotlight on mental health, the stocktaking of how greater access to mental healthcare can be improved must always be a continuous process. We can always do more to strengthen mental health response and support in our communities.” She also says, “These investments are not purely the government’s responsibility, nor should doctors be the only answer for those suffering. These investments are the responsibility of all. More importantly, they indicate that we ourselves are an untapped resource in mental healthcare.”

How Does International Mental Health Day Benefit the World?

Although WHO is hard at work every day, World Mental Health Day helps bring light to many of the world’s ongoing struggles. This year, 2020, the goal is to end the stigma and discrimination against mental illness. Specific mental health issues include:

About WHO: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder

The World Health Organization has a whole department that focuses on preventing mental illness and substance use disorders. They also promote the expansion of access to affordable care to everyone. They especially focus on those in the poorest of countries. 

WHO’s Mental Health Unit leads the work in:

  • Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian and public health emergencies
  • Care of mental disorders in specialized and non-specialized health care
  • Training of the mental health workforce
  • Research in psychological interventions
  • Mental health in the workplace
  • Suicide prevention
  • Mental health economics

WHO’s Alcohol, Drug, and Addictive Behaviors Unit benefits the world by:

  • Promote evidence-based policies, strategies, and interventions
  • Provide guidance and assistance on the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders
  • Gather data to enact changes in treatment development

International Mental Health Day: Organization Involvement

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is the global leader in public health within the United Nations. It was founded in 1948. WHO works to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. They work with 194 Member States, across 6 regions of the world. They also have 150 global offices. 

The goals of WHO for 2019-2023 are:

  • Ensure a billion more people have universal health coverage
  • Protect a billion more from health emergencies
  • Provide a billion more people with better health and well-being 

United for Global Mental Health

United for Global Mental Health brings the government and the mental health community together in support of mental health. Their goal is to make sure everyone everywhere has access to mental health services. This not-for-profit group was launched in September 2018 at the UN. 

United for Global has a nationally driven globally united campaign known as Speak your Mind. Speak your Mind supports mental health for all. It brings together mental health experts and organizations to call on governments to focus on the importance of mental health awareness. They want world leaders to increase funding and education to end the neglect of mental health issues. 

19 countries involved in this campaign are Argentina, Australia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) is an international membership organization. It was founded in 1948 to increase mental health awareness across the globe. WFMH focuses on preventing mental and emotional disorders and proper treatment for such disorders. 

5 Things to do on International Mental Health Day

  1. Educate yourself about mental health – The more you know about mental illness, the more you will be able to help yourself and your loved ones. 
  2. Advocate for wellness programs at work – If you don’t have a wellness program at work, it never hurts to ask about one. There are virtual programs available to employers. In addition, there are many meditation apps you can download.
  3. Practice kindness – It’s not that hard to be kind, right? No, however, it’s easy to get busy in our own lives and forget to be kind. So stop, look away from your phone and remember….a small act of kindness can change a person’s life. 
  4. Support friends and family – Many people who struggle with mental illness feel alone. So if you have a friend or family member struggling, reach out, let them know you are there. You don’t have to fix it. Just listen without judgment.
  5. Speak out about the importance of mental health awareness – Talk about it. As hard as it is, talking about your own mental health struggles helps lower the stigma around mental health. And who knows, you may encourage someone else to speak out. 

Find Help at Sana Lake Recovery Center 

If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental illness or substance use disorder, they are not alone. Our caring trained professionals are waiting to show you how we can help. Contact us today and start your path to a better life. 

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/27-08-2020-world-mental-health-day-an-opportunity-to-kick-start-a-massive-scale-up-in-investment-in-mental-health

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3981564/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/mental-health/art-20046477

covid heroes

Forgotten Heroes of the COVID Pandemic Story

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times. The COVID pandemic has added a whole other dimension to being good parents and role models to our children.

Mention the coronavirus in any situation and you never know what kind of reaction you’ll get. Attitudes, beliefs, and tempers have run rampant in media, in public, and in personal relationships. Should we wear masks, or not? It is a hoax, or not?

Amongst all the uncertainty and angst, we have been hearing more lately about the real heroes of this story, the heroes that may be going unnoticed: our children.

They hear us. They listen to the news, even from the other room. They may not know or understand exactly what’s happening as a result of the onset of COVID-19, but they sense it. They know something’s not right. And they’re scared.

We at Sana Lake want to acknowledge and honor these heroes. The young ones, the parents, relatives, caregivers, and all who have a hand in raising and caring for our little people. With school starting or just around the corner, how do you make the best decisions for you and your family, and help your kids weather the stress?

There’s no right answer. 

The decisions are hard ones, no matter how we look at it. We honor your courage.

To the teachers who would like nothing more than to offer reassurance to your students, you are unsung heroes, too. We can imagine how frustrating it must be to hear and see the heartbreaking stories of kids trying to learn in less than ideal conditions. Children trying to learn in abusive homes, surrounded by substance users acting out their addictions, or with screaming babies in the background. Children who want connection but don’t have internet access nor a computer, or have challenges keeping up in an online world.

The stories have touched us deeply. We extend our utmost respect and support to all the children in our communities, their families, relatives, friends, and professional support networks through this COVID pandemic.

You all are our heroes.

stress and addiction

What are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

The saying is, “there is nothing guaranteed in life except death and taxes.” Well, stress should be on the list. Whether it is work, children, or bills, life is full of stress.  Learn what the 5 emotional signs of stress are and tips to help you de-stress

What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to a threat or demand. Even if the danger is not real, your body will react rapidly. The body’s defense is a “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”

Stress is not always a bad thing, and is your body’s way of protecting you. The stress response helps you stay alert, focused, and energetic. In an emergency, stress can save your life. Stress can give you the strength to defend yourself or help you avoid a car accident. 

Stress also helps you rise to challenges. During a presentation at work, stress keeps you on your toes. It enables you to focus during a test or in a game of chess. At some point, stress can start to affect your health, mood, and relationships.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, then it is crucial to stop. Stop whatever you are doing and bring your nervous system back in balance. You can improve your thoughts and feelings by knowing the signs and symptoms of chronic stress. 

What are the Negative Effects of Chronic Stress?

Your nervous system does not know the difference between emotional and physical threats. Stress over an argument, bills, and work deadlines can cause your body to react the same as a life or death situation. The more your body stays in the “fight or flight” mode, the harder it is to find a healthy balance. 

If you are easily stressed and spend most of the day stressed out, it can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress affects every system in the body. It suppresses your immune system, upsets the digestive system, and can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Chronic stress changes your brain and can lead to depression, anxiety, or more serious mental health issues. 

The Effects of Stress on Your Health

Stress can lead to a variety of health issues. It can also worsen existing health issues. These health issues can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep issues
  • Skin conditions
  • Digestive problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Cognitive issues
  • Reproductive issues

Stress not only affects physical health but mental health as well. But what are the 5 emotional signs of stress? Learn the signs that stress is taking its toll.

What Are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

When you stress out for long periods, you start exhibiting the emotional signs of stress. The feelings of stress can feed off each other, making you feel worse. When you know what 5 emotional signs of stress are, you can stop and find balance again. 

Anxiety

An estimated 40 million Americans are suffering from anxiety. Adding stress to already existing anxiety increases a person’s anxiety. It is common for those under chronic stress to develop anxiety from the pressure. 

Frustration

Frustration comes from the feelings of a stressful situation. Not all stress leads to frustration, but chronic stress can. Not being able to control a situation or fix something can become overwhelming. And when it becomes too much, then frustration kicks in. And frustration leads to negative behaviors.

Anger

Anger can be an emotional sign of stress and can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. It can also lead to relationship issues. Some people react in anger without thinking. But the intensity of the anger will be based on how a person views what is happening. 

Sadness

Sadness is a severe emotional sign of stress. A person can be so stressed out that all they can feel is sad. Sad that life isn’t going as planned. A sadness that they let everyone down. It is vital to seek treatment before the sadness turns to depression.

Fear

Many people become fearful when stress is high. We all know that fear is a product of being in danger. But, it can also be fearing messing up at work and being fearful of losing your job. Being afraid of losing your spouse due to the stress of a sick parent can also be scary. Fear can be life-altering unless you stop, relax, and find balance again. 

What Happens When Stress Is to Overwhelming?

Stress is dangerous because it sneaks up on you. You may not even notice how much it is affecting you. A little work stress, a little stress at home, is not a big deal. But, every day, a bit more stress gets added. And before you know it, the stress has become overwhelming. The physical and emotional effects of stress can cause serious health issues. 

Warning Signs That Stress Has Become Overwhelming

As stated, the effects of stress can harm the entire body. And the results can be long-lasting and require medical attention. Be aware of all the signs that stress has become overwhelming. 

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Constant worry
  • Anxious thoughts
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Poor judgment
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to focus

Emotional Symptoms

  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Moody
  • Overwhelmed
  • Other mental health issues

Physical Symptoms

  • Body aches and pains
  • Stomach issues
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Low sex drive
  • Frequent colds

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Change in eating patterns
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Nervous habits
  • Angry outbursts
  • Use of drugs or alcohol

Stress at work is recognized worldwide as a major issue. If you have a high-stress job, it is vital to watch for the above signs of stress overload. 

First Responder and the Effects of Stress

According to a 2017 report by CareerCast, firefighters have the second most stressful job in America. And police officers have the fourth most stressful job. The chronic stress of first responders is the leading cause of death. The pressure can lead to heart disease, cancer, stroke, or depression. 

First responders not only run into fires, but they also respond to every accident. If the paramedics are on the scene, so are the firefighters. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Institute (NCBI) shows that accident scenes are more stressful than fighting fires. 

First responders love their job. They make lifetime friends and save people’s lives. But, they are always on duty. Their brains replay accident scenes and fires that didn’t end well. And they live with the fear that something can go wrong. 

5 Stressors First Responders Don’t Talk About

  1. The weight of responsibility is crushing. On the outside, a first responder looks calm and collected. But on the inside, the burden can be crushing them mentally. 
  2. They are not born knowing how to be a first responder. A person may love the thought of saving lives. But, it takes training to know how. Training never stops. There is always new technology to learn.
  3. The fear of failure is the biggest fear of first responders. They respond to emergencies with confidence. So the public views them as invincible. But, in the quiet moments, first responders fear the what if’s. Failure is their biggest fear.
  4. They know the risk of cancer is high. When things burn, they emit toxins. The toxins are present even after the fire is out. Firefighters are exposed to cancer-causing toxins daily. 
  5. First responders see the worse things imaginable. They prepare themself to see death, disfigurement, and sights the general public can’t imagine. The images begin to destroy them mentally. PTSD is high in first responders because of what they see. 

Even though it’s evident that first responders have high-stress jobs, it doesn’t diminish the stress level of another career. Many jobs and careers are stressful. How you handle stress is the biggest concern. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with it. Drugs and alcohol do not help. They only add stress and lead to addiction.

Stress and Addiction

Addiction is a chronic brain disease. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports in 2014, one in every 12 American adults suffered from addiction. Stress is a big reason people use substances like drugs and alcohol. But, they are a temporary relief and lead to substance use disorder and addiction. 

Stress is a leading cause of addiction. Stress and addiction feed off each other. And can cause problems at work and in relationships. Stress and addiction can also lead to other co-occurring mental and physical health problems. 

Co-occurring Stress and Addiction

Co-occurring mental disorders are common in addiction. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports, a third to half of the individuals with mental health issues battle addiction and vice versa. Self-medicating to cope with stress or other psychiatric disorders is risky. 

In 2018 9.2 million American adults suffered a co-occurring mental health disorder and addiction. It is so common therapists screen each individual for all co-occurring diseases and addiction.

Stats on Stress and Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) studied the effects of stress and addiction. In humans and animals, stress leads the brain to release a peptide. The increase of peptide causes a pattern of responses. Individuals with chronic stress are prone to using substances and addiction. 

  • Exposure to stress increases the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • People with opiate addiction and high levels of stress will continue to use it. 
  • Chronic stress can lead to using substances even if a person has never used it before.
  • Chronic stress can impair memory and cognitive function.
  • Stress can increase cravings for cocaine and alcohol. 
  • The lack of coping skills increases the chance of relapse. 

You need to have excellent coping skills for stress and addiction. Treatment for both stress and addiction is a great way to build healthy coping skills. But, there are things you can do outside of therapy to help cope with stress without turning to drugs and alcohol.

Tips for Coping With Stress

Get up and moving

Regular exercise can ease stress. It can stop negative thoughts and worries. Make it fun. Involve friends and family and play a game of touch football. Sweat the stress away.

Connect with others.

Suppose you are feeling overwhelmed by stress talk to someone. Talking about it takes away it’s power. Talking to a friend and seeing a smile, calms the nervous system. 

Engage your senses.

A fast way to relieve stress is by alerting another one of your senses. Maybe it is a happy song or the smell of fresh coffee. Everyone responds differently, so experiment to find what works. 

Relax.

Stress is going to happen. But you can control how it affects you. Yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques activate relaxation responses. Learning to relax can reduce how you respond to stress.

Eat a healthy diet

Your mood is affected by the food you eat. When you are in a bad mood, stress is difficult to handle. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein can help cope with stress.

Get lots of rest.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to thinking and coping with the day. But, chronic stress can interfere with sleep. Using a combination of the above tips can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Treatment of Stress and Addiction

Stress has a strong role in addiction, so it essential for treatment to address stress management and addiction. Many therapy programs already involve stress management. Behavioral therapies focus on the treatment of both stress and addiction.

Behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you recognize behavior patterns and your response to situations. By understanding these patterns, you can make changes to correct the behaviors and responses. Changing behaviors is crucial for handling stress and avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol

Support groups and 12-step groups are great for helping fight addiction. These groups hold you accountable for your actions and behaviors. At the same time, these groups decrease stress levels with human contact and fun activities. 

Stress and Addiction Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery Center

Has overwhelming stress in your life led you to use drugs and alcohol to cope? If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, we can help. Contact us today and get started on your path to a better life. 

References:

https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-distress-helpline/warning-signs-risk-factors

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

https://www.careercast.com/

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Substance-Use-Disorders

https://archives.drugabuse.gov/publications/stress-substance-abuse-special-report-after-911-terrorist-attacks

is drug addiction a disability

Is Drug Addiction a Disability?

Unfortunately, disabilities have long been at the root of financial hardships and all-around discomfort. Many places of employment have, sadly, discriminated against people with disabilities, leading to laws and regulations that prohibit such actions. But, there are also those who are unsure about what classifies as a disability. Namely, a question that might arise often in this regard might be, “Is drug addiction a disability?” 

Truly, this question is one that many people pose. This might especially be a concern when it comes to insurance coverage for addiction treatment. It may also be a question that comes to mind for employers and other people who may feel the impact of an individual’s addiction.

This is why it’s important to address the questions individuals may have on the subject of substance use disorders. It is also necessary to discuss the right and more favorable ways to speak to people who suffer from addiction. These methods include using person-first language and having an attitude of genuine understanding.

An Overview of Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders

First, it is critical to understand what it means to have an alcohol or drug use disorder. When a person suffers from a substance use disorder, it means he or she has a substance dependency. This dependence on alcohol or drugs prevents the individual from being able to function normally. Instead, those who suffer from addiction rely on the influence of these substances.

Substance use disorders can affect people of any age group. It occurs and develops as a result of various unique causes and circumstances. With that being said, it’s important to recognize the fact that addiction requires customized care. Professionals who offer treatment for alcoholism and drug misuse must have an in-depth understanding of these disorders. It also helps for family members, friends, and employers of struggling individuals to have a working knowledge of addiction.

Alcohol Use Disorder

A person who suffers from alcohol use disorder (or alcoholism) uses alcohol more often than experts consider to be healthy. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can be harmful and even life-threatening. However, despite the risks and dangers that present themselves, those who suffer from alcoholism cannot control their alcohol use. 

This is due to the effect alcohol has on the brain and body. Those who develop a dependence on alcohol feel as though they cannot function without it. Their bodies struggle to perform “normally” without alcohol. This is a result of increased tolerance and alcohol use. 

Drug Use Disorder

Individuals who suffer from drug use disorders depend on drugs. Excessive drug use alters the brain structure, causing various chemical imbalances and functionality changes. As a result of these changes within the brain, individuals often become unable to control their substance use. 

This inability to control or end drug use leads to mental, emotional, and physical health problems. Many people who suffer from drug dependence experience serious and life-altering effects. These include financial stress, medical emergencies, legal issues, relationship problems, and more.

What is a Disability?

By definition, disabilities are impairments on a person’s physical body, emotions, and/or mind. Individuals can suffer from disabilities that relate to their mental and cognitive abilities. For example, learning disabilities sometimes affect children in school. Also, people who experience injuries may develop physical disabilities. Some may be born with physical or emotional disabilities.

Is Drug Addiction a Disability?

According to the Department of Health & Human Services, “Section 504 of the Rehabilitation

Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act” answers the question, “is drug addiction a disability?”

These Acts state that drug addiction is considered to be a disability in cases where the addiction is causing major limitations in an individual’s life. Certain and specific elements must be present for a drug use disorder to qualify as a disability. Individuals who meet these criteria can have access to and protection through disability laws.

Firstly, individuals who have completed treatment for addiction and are not actively using drugs can receive protection through federal laws regarding disabilities. Also, those who are currently working through a treatment program for addiction and are not using illegal drugs may qualify. Or, individuals who are may mistakenly be regarded as involved in drug use, but are not actually using drugs may qualify. 

With protection under federal disability rights laws, individuals receive protection from discrimination. In other words, individuals cannot be excluded from services or denied certain benefits due to their disabilities.

Understanding the Exceptions

There are certainly exceptions and circumstances that may alter one’s ability to qualify for disability benefits. The Department of Health & Human Services gives information on this, as well. In cases where individuals are actively using illicit drugs, they are not exactly considered to have a disability. This results in an exclusion when a covered entity takes “adverse action” due to current use. Still, however, health services or addiction treatment-related services cannot be denied. 

Also, individuals who are receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be able to have protection under disability acts and laws. But, this is mainly based on the specifics of each case. In other words, protection and rights will vary from case to case.

Addiction Treatment and Insurance

Experts recognize addiction as a disease. Since this is the case, insurance companies must provide coverage for those who suffer from substance use disorders. Individuals who struggle with the effects of drug or alcohol use disorders can seek help from professional treatment centers with help from insurance companies. (However, it is important to note that coverage options will vary. It is also critical to find out more about in-network and out-of-network options when seeking treatment.)

Those who suffer from co-occurring disorders can also find the hope and help they need through treatment. Many insurance plans cover treatment for mental health treatment in addition to substance use disorders.

How to Properly Address Addiction

Once an individual realizes the need for addiction treatment, it is necessary for the person to seek help. Unfortunately, however, many individuals find that recovery centers are ill-equipped or unprepared to truly help them. One of the main ways in which facilities can best prepare to treat struggling individuals is to gain more information about how to approach these individuals. Likewise, family members and friends of sufferers should learn more about this matter as they seek to help.

Substance dependence is a very serious matter. Those who suffer from it are often met with stigma and misunderstanding. But, the truth of the matter is that addiction is a disease. People who struggle with alcoholism or drug dependence do not choose to suffer in this way. So it’s important for families, friends, and treatment specialists to understand the right way to approach those who are suffering. 

One of the most important elements of helping individuals who are struggling with addiction is through communication. The way in which a person speaks to a suffering individual is more effective than many realize. This is why it is vital to understand the importance of “person-first language”.

What is “Person-First Language”?

Person-first language, as the name implies, is language that places the person first. It is an approach to addiction that places the individual before the condition. For example, calling an individual an “addict” does not place the person before the disease. Instead, it prevents them from being a separate entity from their condition. Another harmful way of verbally addressing suffering or struggling individuals is to say “disabled person”. 

Person-first language would instead recognize that an individual is not his or her addiction. It would place the individual before the substance use disorder. An example of a person-first language approach would be as follows: “a person who suffers from substance dependence”. Also, it is better to refer to individuals who have disabilities such as addiction or other physical disabilities as having a disability rather than being disabled.

When approaching an individual who is suffering from a substance use disorder, it is critical to come with understanding. Part of addressing addiction is knowing how to discuss it and how to approach those who suffer from it. 

Treatment specialists and families alike can be more helpful just by adjusting the way they verbally approach addiction. Person-first language is one of the most effective ways to appropriately address cases involving substance use.

Why is Person-First Language Important?

Placing the person ahead of the substance use disorder prevents causing individuals to feel inseparable from their addiction. If people feel as though they are no more than what they suffer from, they will eventually begin to feel that recovery is impossible. The point of addiction treatment is to prevent this mentality from developing.

The truth of the matter is that person-first language isn’t about making a person feel better. It is not about sounding more professional or creating an illusion of understanding or political correctness. It is simply a sign of an accurate understanding of addiction and other disabilities. Those who truly understand the effects of addiction will know that this disorder can cause major challenges in a person’s life.

When approaching those who have substance use disorders, specialists must be able to do so properly. Otherwise, mutual trust will never be established. Individuals in treatment will not be able to learn from misunderstanding professionals. Thus, recovery may never truly take place.

Find Help, Hope, and Healing at Sana Lake

Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we do more than simply treat addiction. We strive to address and bring healing to every area of our members’ lives. Those who come to us can expect to find a team that understands the importance of treating the whole person. Members of our treatment facility are more than the addictions they are facing. We seek to recognize the potential in each one who comes to our center.

If you have been suffering from substance dependence, you know all too well how this disorder affects one’s life. Perhaps you are experiencing changes in your family or within your relationships. Maybe you are dealing with major difficulties at your job or struggling to stay afloat with your studies at school. You may even be facing problems in your physical or mental health. Sadly, many people who suffer from addiction experience these issues.

However, the good news is that you don’t have to struggle any longer! At Sana Lake, we are here to equip you with the tools you need as you seek recovery. Our team of compassionate and skilled addiction treatment specialists and therapists offers the best of care to our members.

Today is the day to begin experiencing a change. Now is the time to move forward, leaving substance use in the past. Please contact us here at Sana Lake Recovery Center today. We will work with you to overcome addiction and begin a new life. Allow us to help you through our comprehensive and individualized treatment and therapy approaches. Reach out to us now and begin your new journey to freedom!

References:

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/drug-addiction-aand-federal-disability-rights-laws-fact-sheet.pdf

clonidine for opiate withdrawals

Clonidine for Opiate Withdrawals

What is Clonidine?

Clonidine is part of a class of drugs called centrally acting alpha-agonists or antihypertensives. It works in the part of the brain that helps regulate behavior, attention, and how we express emotions.

Doctors commonly prescribe clonidine to lower blood pressure, and it does that by lowering the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. And when the chemicals are lowered, it allows your blood vessels to relax and your heart to beat more slowly and easily. 

Because of the calming effect it has on the body; clonidine is also used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Clonidine is not a controlled substance, so it doesn’t have a DEA drug rating. But each state has its laws prohibiting the possession of a prescription drug without a prescription. Depending on the state, possessing clonidine without a valid prescription can bring a charge of a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties range from fines and probation to time in jail or prison.

Clonidine for Opioid Detoxification

Medically supervised opioid withdrawal is also known as a medically assisted detoxification. It involves giving medication to patients to relieve the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

Medications used in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms include opioid agonists such as buprenorphine and methadone (types of opioids). This form of detox also utilizes alpha-agonists like lofexidine and clonidine (non-opiate).

For many years, the main plan for detox involved suppressing the withdrawal symptoms with methadone and then gradually reducing the methadone dose. Using methadone this way has been limited by government restrictions on the prescribing of methadone and the dislike of the drawn-out feature of methadone withdrawal.

The use of clonidine in detoxification from opiates has proven that it can quickly suppress the signs and symptoms related to opiate withdrawal. Recent studies also indicate that clonidine is useful for withdrawal from methadone maintenance. It can help detoxify the patient in less than 14 days instead of the usual 3 to 6 months on methadone. There is a high rate of success in achieving a zero dosage. 

Treatment of Choice

According to the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), studies have shown that clonidine weakens the opiate withdrawal syndrome considerably. Inpatient and outpatient clinical studies show clonidine to be reasonably safe, specific, and effective for detoxifying opiate addicts. It is the “go-to” medication prescribed by most physicians for the treatment of opioid withdrawal.

ACCP also states that clonidine seems best suited as a transition from opiate dependence to a maintenance drug such as naltrexone. They consider it to be an important treatment option for certain selected opiate addicts. It may be the “treatment of choice” when detoxification using methadone is not appropriate, not available, or unsuccessful.

Why Clonidine?

Clonidine is an extremely powerful medication for easing opiate withdrawal symptoms. It is the most prescribed medication because it works. Clonidine doesn’t eliminate all the symptoms, but, when used correctly, it can ease many opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Clonidine provides relief to many of the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including:

  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps 
  • Chills
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Slows down a racing heartbeat
  • Helps you fall asleep and stay asleep

The main reason for supervised withdrawal is to successfully and safely ease the patient into medically-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Withdrawal alone does not usually result in continued abstinence. 

Likewise, it doesn’t focus on the reasons the patient became addicted in the first place or the damage done to mental health, physical health, relationships, employment, and finances. 

Detox is just the beginning of the treatment of an opioid use disorder (OUD). A continuing program of therapy, peer support, and tapering off medications is necessary for long-term abstinence.

Clonidine Side Effects

Using clonidine for opiate withdrawal can lead to side effects.

Emergency side effects 

You should get emergency medical help if you show signs of an allergic reaction such as:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat

When to call a doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats
  • Very slow heart rate
  • Severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears
  • Nosebleeds
  • Anxiety or confusion
  • A light-headed feeling like you might pass out

Common side effects

  • Drowsiness, dizziness
  • Irritability or fatigue
  • Dry mouth, loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Dry eyes
  • Sleep problems, insomnia, nightmares

Is Clonidine Addictive?

Clonidine has mild sedative effects, and that’s how it works to relax the blood vessels and make it easier for the heart to pump blood in people with high blood pressure. 

However, some people take clonidine to enhance the effects of methadone and other substances. Its sedative properties make it attractive to people who just want to experience a sense of relaxation and happiness. 

Long-term use of clonidine can produce serious consequences, including low blood pressure and slow heart rate. The American College of Medical Toxicology warns that stopping clonidine suddenly can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure, agitation, and tremors.

It has been determined by studies conducted by Professor David Nutt et al. that clonidine and other sedatives have the potential to become addictive. In fact, they have a higher addictive potential than LSD and ecstasy, which are usually considered more dangerous.

Signs of Clonidine Addiction

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, some of the signs of addiction are:

  • Taking more frequent or larger amounts of the drug than originally intended.
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to cut down or stop.
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get, use, and recover from the effects.
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug.
  • Inability to fulfill school, work, and home obligations due to drug use.
  • Continuing to use the drug despite social or relationship problems.
  • Taking the drug when it’s unsafe to do so. (driving, operating machinery, etc.)
  • Continuing to use the drug knowing that you have a physical or psychological problem due to the use.
  • Tolerance (you need more of the drug to achieve initial results).
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using.

Is There a Risk of Overdose on Clonidine?

Clonidine and other sedatives have been suspected in thousands of overdose deaths. 

Public health officials are particularly concerned about the use of sedatives with synthetic opioids. Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016 showed that almost 80% of overdose deaths involving a synthetic opioid also involved alcohol or another drug.

In most cases, the other drug was the sedative, benzodiazepine. Combining sedatives such as clonidine, with an opioid, causes lethality.

However, overdoses mainly seem to occur because of unintentional ingestion by children, prescription errors, and intentional overdoses in adolescents and adults. In a study of overdoses in adults, consistent bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and a depressed central nervous system were found. 

An overdose causes deep sedation and affects the ability to breathe normally. But the poisonous effect of the drug was not life-threatening.  

What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?

The term “opiate” refers to any drug that is naturally occurring in the opium poppy plant. Opium, codeine, and morphine are opiates. 

The term “opioid” refers to any drug synthesized or partly synthesized from an opiate and causes a similar effect. An opioid is any substance, either natural, synthetic, or partly synthetic, that attaches to receptors in the brain and causes opiate-like effects.  

Examples of opioid drugs include heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methadone.

This means that all opiates are opioids, but not all opioids are opiates. Many organizations have stopped using the term “opiate” and are now using “opioid” to refer to all the opioid and opiate drugs. 

It’s important to point out that although opiates are made from naturally occurring substances, they are not safer than synthetic or semi-synthetic opioids.

Types of Opioid Drugs

The three main types of opioid drugs are:

  • Opiates
  • Semi-synthetic opioids—created in labs from naturally occurring opiates.
  • Synthetic opioids—created entirely in a lab.

Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Detox

After an initial assessment by your doctor or another medical professional, you will probably need detoxification. This is the process of ridding your body of toxins. Withdrawal from opioid dependence is extremely uncomfortable and often causes people to give up. That’s why a medically supervised detox is so important. 

Medical professionals can prescribe medications such as clonidine to help ease the way through the symptoms.

Treatment

After detox, you may still need medication for a period to address your cravings for opioids, depending on the severity of your addiction. Treatment involves therapy and combinations of therapies specifically for your situation. Counseling for opioid addiction can help you:

  • Change your behaviors related to drug use.
  • Learn and build healthy life skills.
  • Stick with your other forms of treatment, such as maintenance medications.

Treatment Programs Available

Depending on your home situation and other considerations, you may choose from different treatment programs such as:

  • Residential—where you will live at the treatment center.
  • Partial hospitalization—which is designed for people with a mental health or co-occurring condition. You may live onsite or not as needed.
  • Intensive outpatient—where you will live at home but attend intense counseling sessions each day at the treatment center.
  • Outpatient—is for people who have support at home, are stepping down from a more intense program, or do not have a severe addiction problem.
  • Sober living—for after you complete your initial program, but before you go home to face day-to-day stresses on your own. You live in a residence with other people in recovery.

Making It All Work for You

If you or someone close to you has an opioid addiction, you know first hand how debilitating and controlling it is. It doesn’t have to be that way. At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we have medically proven methods and evidence-based therapies to help effect a long-term and lasting recovery.

Our staff of professionals will be with you from entry to completion with one concern—helping you achieve your best life. There is no reason to wait. Contact us. Discover our programs and therapies, and you will understand why we are the best treatment facility in the Midwest.

References:

www.drugs.com

www.healthline.com

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books