The best addiction treatment program is the one that addresses both the symptoms and the roots of addiction. Some addiction treatment facilities in Los Angeles only concern themselves with the former, with predictably disastrous results. Real addiction recovery can only come when the source of addiction is itself eradicated. In practical terms, this means that an effective addiction treatment program must promote both physical and psychological healing, because substance abuse is both a physical and psychological disease. In the end, there’s simply no other way for anyone to get better.

Remember, there are no guarantees in the addiction treatment process. Addiction treatment programs can only be successful if they are administered the right way, with empathy and expertise. The addiction treatment center that are right for you is the one that can account for each and every one of your individual needs. With so much to lose, and so much more to win, you cannot afford not to get the best help available to you. Your addiction treatment program is too important for you to settle for anything less.

Types of inhalants

November 15th, 2018
  • Solvents: industrial or household solvents or solvent-containing products, including paint thinners or solvents, degreasers (dry-cleaning fluids), gasoline, and glues art or office supply solvents, including correction fluids, felt-tip marker fluid, and electronic contact cleaners
  • Gases: gases used in household or commercial products, including butane lighters and propane tanks, whipping cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and refrigerant gases household aerosol propellants and associated solvents in items such as spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, and fabric protector sprays medical anesthetic gases, such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Nitrites: aliphatic nitrites, including cyclohexyl nitrite, which is available to the general public; amyl nitrite, which is available only by prescription; and butyl nitrite, which is now an illegal substance

The dangers of using inhalants

Although different in makeup, nearly all abused inhalants produce effects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body’s functions.  When inhaled via the nose or mouth into the lungs in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxicating effects.

Intoxication can last only a few minutes or several hours if inhalants are taken repeatedly.  Initially, users may feel slightly stimulated.  With successive inhalations, they may feel less inhibited and less in control.  Finally, a user can lose consciousness.

 Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death.  This is especially common from the abuse of fluorocarbons and butane-type gases.

High concentrations of inhalants also cause death from suffocation by displacing oxygen in the lungs and then in the central nervous system so that breathing ceases.

Other irreversible effects caused by inhaling specific solvents:

  • Hearing loss – toluene (paint sprays, glues, dewaxers) and trichloroethylene (cleaning fluids, correction fluids)
  • Peripheral neuropathies or limb spasms – hexane (glues, gasoline) and nitrous oxide (whipping cream, gas cylinders)
  • Central nervous system or brain damage – toluene (paint sprays, glues, dewaxers)
  • Bone marrow damage – benzene (gasoline)

Amyl and butyl nitrites have been associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer reported among AIDS patients.  Early studies of KS showed that many people with KS had used volatile nitrites.  Researchers are continuing to explore the hypothesis of nitrites as a factor contributing to the development of KS in HIV-infected people.

 Serious but potentially reversible effects:

  • Liver and kidney damage – toluene-containing substances and chlorinated hydrocarbons (correction fluids, dry-cleaning fluids)
  • Blood oxygen depletion – organic nitrites (poppers, bold, and rush) and methylene chloride (varnish removers, paint thinners)

Death from inhalants

Death from inhalants is usually caused by a very high concentration of fumes.  Deliberately inhaling from an attached paper or plastic bag or in a closed area greatly increases the chances of suffocation.  Even when using aerosols or volatile products for their legitimate purposes (i.e., painting, cleaning), it is wise to do so in a well-ventilated room or outdoors.

Prevention and Treatment

National surveys indicate that more than 12.5  million Americans have abused inhalants at least once in their lives.  Initial use of inhalants often starts early, often in elementary school.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately one in five eighth-graders have abused inhalants.  Most inhalant abuse occurs after dinner between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • Talk with your child about not experimenting with inhalants.
  • Discuss this problem openly and stress the devastating and life-threatening consequences of inhalant abuse.
  • Be alert for symptoms and signs of inhalant abuse.
  • If you suspect there’s a problem, seek professional help immediately.

Immediate treatment is directed at reversing life-threatening symptoms.  A calm, quiet atmosphere should be provided to prevent adrenalin surge which can bring about cardiac arrhythmia and cause Sudden Sniffing Death (SSD).  Know what to do in an emergency.

Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur with long-term inhalant abuse.  Research suggests that chronic or long-term inhalant abusers are among the most difficult to treat and they may experience multiple psychological and social problems.  There is more chance of recovery the earlier intervention begins.

Lortab Addiction

November 7th, 2018

Lortab addiction can develop before you know what hit you. Lortab is the brand name for hydrocodone and acetaminophen, a drug commonly used for the management of moderate to moderately severe pain. The hydrocodone and acetaminophen combination is sold under several hundred generic and brand names including Lortab, Lorcet, Norco, and Vicodin. Hydrocodone is a narcotic drug and acetaminophen is a less potent analgesic that is non narcotic and increases the pain relief power of hydrocodone. Lortab can also be used to suppress chronic coughs as it is considered an effective anti-tussant. All narcotic prescription medications have the potential to be habit forming and Lortab is no exception.

Lortab is a Schedule II Controlled Substance in the U.S., classified as such because of its potential to cause dependence and addiction. Lortab should be taken only as prescribed. Misusing it in any way can be dangerous and lead to Lortab addiction or overdose. Taking too much acetaminophen can lead to liver damage so users are urged to discuss with their doctors all other medications they are taking whether they are prescription or over-the-counter. Regular use can cause patients to develop a tolerance to Lortab, meaning the usual prescribed dose is no longer effective in treating their symptoms. At this point, users should contact their doctors immediately to discuss options and alternatives. Increasing your dosage of Lortab or taking it more often than recommended can lead to a physical reaction, addiction, or overdose.

Lortab addiction has been escalating over the last decade. There has been large scale diversion of hydrocodone (the main component in Lortab). For example, an estimated 7 million dosage units were diverted in 1994 and over 11 million in 1997. In 1998, there were over 56 million new prescriptions written for hydrocodone products and by 2000 there were over 89 million. From 1990 the average consumption nationwide has increased by 300%. In the same period there has been a 500% increase in the number of Emergency Department visits attributed to hydrocodone abuse with 19,221 visits estimated in 2000. In 1997, there were over 1.3 million hydrocodone tablets seized and analyzed by the DEA laboratory system. A recent petition submitted to the DEA has requested a review of the control status of all hydrocodone containing products.

Hydrocodone containing products may come in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms. A variety of colors, markings, and packaging are available. The major source of hydrocodone to the street has been through bogus call-in and forged prescriptions, professional diversion through unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, and dentists, and large-scale thefts. The pills have been sold for $2 to $10 per tablet and $20 to $40 per 8 oz bottle on the street

.As a narcotic, Lortab is a highly desired drug of abuse. Many people are afraid to take this medication for fear of Lortab addiction, and many people who take this medication wonder if they might have a problem with Lortab addiction. Most healthcare providers that prescribe or dispense this drug watch for certain signs of Lortab addiction, such as

  • Going through Lortab prescriptions too quickly
  • “Doctor shopping,” which is seeing several different healthcare providers to obtain Lortab prescriptions or switching from one provider to another
  • Repeated reports of losing a prescription, having a prescription stolen, or needing a prescription early to go on vacation
  • Having a specific “favorite” narcotic drug (such as Lortab), and nothing else will do (or reporting “allergies” to all other alternatives)

Friends and family can also keep an eye out for other signs of Lortab addiction, such as:

  • Stealing, lying, or other dishonest behavior
  • An unexplainable lack of money
  • Secluded behavior, often needing to spend large amounts of time alone
  • Changes in social circles, such as abandoning good friends, and replacing them with new ones
  • Unexplained changes in mood or behaviors

One way to gauge whether you are physically addicted to Lortab is if withdrawal symptoms set in once you decrease use or stop it suddenly. Withdrawal is what happens when your body begins to detox from the drug. It can be quite challenging to detox from a Lortab addiction without the proper medical help. Opiate withdrawal syndrome can include muscle and bone pain, agitation, insomnia, restlessness, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, other flu-like symptoms, and involuntary leg movements. Finding the right Lortab treatment program can help you to manage withdrawal symptoms and minimize discomfort.

Methadone Addiction

October 31st, 2018

Methadone addiction may take a number of forms. Here are some signs that a user has developed an addiction to methadone:

  • Lying to the doctor about symptoms to get a higher dose of the drug
  • Combining methadone with alcohol or other substances
  • Taking more of the drug than the label indicates
  • Using methadone while continuing to use heroin

Methadone hydrochloride is an opioid (a synthetic opiate) that was originally synthesized by German pharmaceutical companies during the Second World War. It was first marketed under the brand name Dolophine and was used as an analgesic (a painkiller) for the treatment of severe pain. It is still occasionally used for pain relief.

  Because of its potency as a pain killer, the DEA has allowed physicians to prescribe it for pain control. However, most states require that a physician document in the patient’s chart that methadone is being prescribed for pain control and not treatment of drug addiction. Many hospitals, however, do not have methadone supplies in their pharmacies. All physicians with appropriate Drug Enforcement Agency registration may prescribe methadone for analgesia.

Today, methadone is primarily used for the treatment of narcotic addiction. With methadone maintenance, the opioid addicts take regular doses of methadone to decrease the withdrawal and cravings that are associated with opioids. The effects of methadone last longer than those of morphine-based drugs. Methadone’s effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs.

Deaths occur more frequently at the beginning of treatment in methadone programs. They are usually a result of excessive doses (i.e. erroneously estimated tolerance) and they are affected by concomitant diseases (hepatitis, pneumonia). Methadone generally entails the entire spectrum of opioid side effects, including the development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Respiratory depressions are also dangerous. The released histamines caused by the drug can cause hypotension or bronchospasms. Other symptoms are: constipation, nausea or vomiting, sedation, vertigo, edema.

Many people go from being addicted to heroin to developing a methadone addiction, and continue with this “treatment” for years. Methadone does not have to be the way of life for former heroin addicts. Gradual cessation followed by a drug-free program of rehabilitation is the answer. After several days of stabilizing a patient with methadone, the amount can gradually be decreased. The rate at which it is decreased is dependent on the reaction of the individual. Keeping methadone withdrawal symptoms at a tolerable level is the goal.

Methadone is usually available as a liquid – linctus or methadone mixture – which should be swallowed. Tablets and injectable ampoules are sometimes prescribed, and like many other medicines, some of these prescribed drugs are diverted and become available illegally.

Why do people develop a methadone addiction?

People who use methadone experience similar effects as if they were using other opiates, albeit not to the same extent. Methadone works on the pleasure centers in the brain and creates a feeling of well-being. A heroin addict may continue using methadone to avoid going through withdrawal symptoms much in the same way they originally continued to abuse heroin.

Those who suffer with methadone addiction are in the throes of a physical addiction to the drug. Because methadone is a synthetic opiate it has the same characteristics as other drugs in this class and is used to replace other medications such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, and heroin. A person who develops a methadone addiction feels that they can’t function throughout the day without it.

A person who has been using methadone regularly (prescribed or not) will experience withdrawal once they stop taking the drug. The physical changes caused by methadone are similar to other opiates (like heroin) and may include a suppressed cough reflex, contracted pupils, drowsiness, and constipation. Some methadone users feel sick when they first use the drug. If you are a woman using methadone you may not have regular periods – but you are still able to conceive.

When pregnant women use methadone the fetus is also exposed to the drug. As a result, the baby is commonly born with a methadone addiction along with changes for numerous other birth defects. These women are usually encouraged to choose breast feeding over bottle feeding, since methadone is also present in breast milk. After birth, the baby goes through withdrawal from the drug, and this method of feeding helps to ease their symptoms.

Those who want to end their methadone addiction need support as they continue along the road to recovery. A drug rehab program in an inpatient drug rehab center that lasts at least 90 days has the best success rate for this type of drug addiction. This methadone treatment approach helps the addict to develop new ways of dealing with life stresses and the circumstances that may trigger a desire to use again.

Morphine Addiction

October 30th, 2018

Morphine addiction can happen fairly quickly because this drug is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop rapidly in those who abuse the drug repeatedly. Morphine is one of the most powerful opiates on the market today. It is commonly prescribed for moderate to severe pain in hospitals. However, it is rarely prescribed for take-home use because of how extremely addictive it is. Unlike other narcotic medications, morphine is not commonly prescribed for pain due to surgery or acute injury unless you were already taking the drug prior to the event.

After only a short time of regular use, morphine use can quickly turn into morphine abuse and then morphine addiction. It is important to note that if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, do not stop taking the drug “cold turkey” and do not wait to get help. A comprehensive drug rehab that includes both a morphine detox and psychological morphine addiction treatment is essential.

What is morphine?

Generically known only as “morphine,” the drug is sold under a number of brand names including Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, MSIR, Oramorph SR, and Roxanol. It is classified as a narcotic pain reliever, which means that it works by hampering the way your brain perceives pain. Both short-acting and extended release versions of morphine are available. For moderate pain, the short-acting version is usually prescribed. The extended release version is usually reserved for those who have chronic or severe pain.

Morphine was first isolated in 1804 by the German pharmacist Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Serturner, who named it “morphium” after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. But it was not until the development of the hypodermic needle in 1853 that its use spread. It was used for pain relief and as a “cure” for opium and alcohol addiction. Later it was found that morphine was even more addictive than either alcohol or opium, and its extensive use during the American Civil War allegedly resulted in over 400,000 sufferers from the “soldier’s disease” of morphine addiction.

What are the risks of morphine addiction?

The biggest issue with continued morphine use is the development of addiction. Everyone who takes morphine for an extended period of time on a regular basis will develop a physical dependence upon the drug. This means that more and more of the drug will be needed to in order to maintain the same level of pain management as originally experienced. When this happens, it is described as developing a morphine tolerance and this is a hallmark of morphine addiction.

Craving morphine, wanting more before your scheduled dose time, or wanting more than the amount prescribed are additional hallmarks of morphine addiction. Psychological cravings and the desire to augment the prescription with more morphine, other opiate painkillers, or other drugs including alcohol is a sure sign that an addiction to morphine is in effect and morphine rehab is necessary.

How do I know if I need morphine rehab?

Discerning whether or not a morphine prescription has turned into morphine abuse or morphine addiction can be difficult, especially if the person in question is you. If you are concerned about your own use of morphine, take an honest inventory.

  • Are your doctors telling you that your morphine use is hurting vital organs and body systems?
  • Are you fighting with your significant other over your morphine use or the decisions you make or behaviors under the influence of morphine?
  • Do you have a number of legal issues to deal with due to a stack of unpaid bills, DUI charges, forgery, or fraud charges to gain more opiate prescriptions, even assault or other petty theft crimes?
  • Are you unable to keep up with your commitments at work or school or feel that you’ve let go of important relationships and/ or projects in your life due to morphine addiction?
  • Do you feel that your children, elderly family members, or others who depend on your are being let down because you are unable to keep up due to morphine use?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then your morphine addiction is affecting your life. Please contact us and we will help you with any questions regarding your drug addiction and recovery needs. Our trained professionals will guide you to the most appropriate drug rehabilitation program to meet your needs and get you on the path towards addiction recovery.

OxyContin Addiction

October 23rd, 2018

he effects from OxyContin addiction can be dramatic. What is OxyContin? It is an opium derivative that is supposed to be used by terminal cancer patients and those who suffer from chronic pain. While there are individuals who are able to take the drug as prescribed, there is a high propensity to develop an OxyContin addiction. To avoid the controlled-release mechanism, individuals with addiction problems chew, snort, or inject the medication to get an instant and intense “high.”

Addiction to OxyContin takes its toll on a person emotionally and physically. In addition to the physical issues associated with OxyContin addiction, its abuse can cause the deterioration of interpersonal relationships, loss of employment, legal problems, financial difficulties, and poor health.

When OxyContin is abused, how is it obtained?

The methods by which OxyContin abusers and illegal OxyContin dealers obtain the drug are countless. They include:

  • forging prescriptions
  • health care professionals who “divert” medication for their own use or for sale
  • improper prescribing practices by unscrupulous physicians
  • robbing pharmacies
  • visiting doctors and lying about symptoms to get prescriptions

If a person begins taking OxyContin for pain, odds are they are experiencing some degree of depression. They may be depressed because they feel isolated, lonely, angry, and scared. While the pain might be present, many people find themselves taking the OxyContin to offset the feelings listed above. As the drug use increases, the pain may diminish, but more importantly, the individual doesn’t have to cope with those feelings because they are numb. Unfortunately, by this time they have begun to experience the negative effects of OxyContin addiction. Due to this OxyContin addiction, people have difficulty concentrating, feel even more depressed, crave the drug, and will do almost anything to get more of it.

Like morphine, Demerol, or Dilaudid, OxyContin blocks pain messages to the brain and central nervous system. This drug also tends to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which allows us to feel pleasure. As people continue to use more OxyContin, they expect to feel even more pleasure, but as they continue to abuse the drug a tolerance develops. This means it takes more of the drug to produce the same effect. In an effort to achieve the same “high” they originally experienced, coupled with tolerance, an overdose may occur. In many cases, respiratory failure is seen as the cause for death. The respiratory system is so slowed due to the vast amount of OxyContin; a person’s system begins to just shut down.

Whether a person started taking OxyContin to alleviate physical or emotional pain, one thing becomes clear to them early on. They cannot live without the drug. They constantly think about the drug, where to get the drug, and how they will use the drug. Once this obsessive thinking sets in, along with the actual craving, a person is addicted.

It is quite easy to become addicted to OxyContin. Unfortunately, like any drug addiction, withdrawal can be difficult. Some of the symptoms associated with withdrawal from OxyContin are; insomnia, nausea, vomiting, muscle and bone pain, restlessness, and tremors. Those who abruptly discontinue the drug place themselves in danger of experiencing seizures and convulsions, which can result in death. For this reason, we urge you to seek help within residential treatment programs where you can experience a safe and comfortable withdrawal from OxyContin addiction.

Overcoming OxyContin addiction begins with a medically supervised drug detox program followed by residential addiction treatment programs. While in detox, a physician will develop a medical protocol designed to reduce and sometimes eliminate the feelings and symptoms associated with OxyContin withdrawal. It is rare that these symptoms are ever eliminated, due to the nature of the addiction, but they are tolerable. Detox from OxyContin usually takes between five and seven days.

After detox, residential treatment is highly recommended due to the nature of OxyContin addiction and the damage it has caused. Although medically stable, the person may still experience OxyContin cravings and residential support will prove invaluable during difficult times. While in rehab for OxyContin addiction group, individual, and family therapy may be available to help recovering addicts resolve the pain of the past and the wreckage of the present. Residential treatment typically lasts between three weeks to several months, but can vary depending upon the severity of the addiction problem.

Percocet Addiction

October 22nd, 2018

There are many dangers associated with Percocet addiction. Much like codeine and morphine, Percocet is an opiate available only through prescription. Percocet contains acetaminophen in combination with oxycodone which is a narcotic analgesic. Percocet is most often taken in tablet form. It is not uncommon for people with Percocet addiction problems to take between 20 – 40 pills a day. Percocet is manufactured in the following strengths, in which the first number indicates the amount of oxycodone in each pill, and the second, the amount of acetaminophen per pill (both in milligrams): 2.5/325, 5/325, 7.5/500, 7.5/325, 10/650, and 10/325.

Percocet addiction can occur within three weeks of using the opioid. On the surface, Percocet seems like a typical prescription drug. The addictive capability of the drug and widespread use has propelled it like all other prescription opioids into a main stream addiction epidemic. Percocet is mainly prescribed by physicians to manage pain. When the patient feels this initial pain relief and pleasurable feeling they try to recreate it by taking more. By increasing the dosage of tablets you are also increasing your tolerance to the drug. What this means is that your body needs more of the drug so that your mind can experience similar affects thus creating a very dangerous and unhealthy addiction.

Percocet addiction is known to affect women more than men and is often times ingested for non-medical uses the most (according to national statistics) in the age groups 12-17 and 18-25. The US National Drug Intelligence Center’s 2006 Drug Threat Assessment reported that “commercial disbursements of commonly abused pharmaceuticals such as oxycodone” nearly doubled between 2000 and 2004 and that their abuse rate is second only to marijuana.

Percocet addiction is cyclical, swinging between intense use and cravings for the drug. Most Percocet addicts develop such a dependency on this medication that they need it to feel normal. Percocet is not only addictive, but affects consciousness as well. Often times it gives the user, and especially an addict, a sense of loss of surroundings. It acts as a “block” to pain receptors in the brain, which results in a feeling of euphoria. It is this euphoria that people with a Percocet addiction are searching for every time they ingest these tablets. They believe they can reproduce this euphoria by increasing the quantity and frequency of the tablets. Unfortunately, this initial feeling is rarely recreated. But the person will continue taking the drug despite the tolerance they have developed which is keeping them from experiencing the euphoric feeling that they crave. This pattern of behavior is known as addiction and it affects millions of people. If the person stops taking the drug, they will experience unpleasant, uncomfortable, and in many cases, dangerous Percocet withdrawal symptoms.

There are some easily recognizable Percocet addiction symptoms that accompany opioid abuse, dependence and addiction, such as:

  • Taking the medication when it isn’t needed-to aide in relaxation after a long day, or simply to enjoy the euphoria.
  • A chronic and rapid increase in the amount of medication being taken, especially if it’s sooner than the prescription was written. For example, if the prescription is for 40 pills and it directs the patient to take 1 to 2 every four hours as needed up to 8 per day, it should last five days. Finishing the bottle in three (or two, or one day, or less-it’s been done, many times) should sound the alarm that either the person is taking the drug excessively and unnecessarily, or that it is ineffective at that dosage. Whatever the case, the patient should speak with his or her prescribing doctor.
  • Drug-seeking behavior such as Doctor-shopping. Defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as “moving from provider to provider in an effort to obtain multiple prescriptions for the drug(s) they abuse”, doctor-shopping is a phenomenon unique to prescription drug abuse for obvious reasons. Addicts may go to different doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics, or hospital emergency rooms in order to score the right prescription. If they strike out and they have nowhere else to turn, a driven addict may buy them off the street or in some cases attempt to rob a pharmacy.
  • Additionally, a user who has developed a dependence on the opioid may become irritable and exhibit flu-like symptoms when they are unable to find more. At this point, their body has begun the process of withdrawal.

Percocet withdrawal discomfort and symptoms vary depending on how long the person has been using and the amount of the drug taken at any given time. The symptoms one might experience during Percocet withdrawal include insomnia, vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, and muscle and bone pain. When you are dealing with a physical addiction it is very important to reduce the intake gradually. Abrupt discontinuation of the drug can have devastating effects on the body including seizures and convulsions.

We urge you to seek professional and medical supervision before undergoing Percocet addiction withdrawal. Entrance to residential treatment programs seems to be the best defense against any medical complications that could occur during the withdrawal process.

Rohypnol Addiction

October 17th, 2018

Most drug users who have Rohypnol addiction problems abuse additional substances including methamphetamine, alcohol, and heroin. This drug is frequently taken at raves, night clubs, all night parties, bars, and has been widely used as a “date rape” drug. In the United States, Rohypnol is commonly used in Texas and Florida where it is popular among high school students. Recent reports indicate that Rohypnol addiction problems are rapidly growing among those who abuse it. Additionally, numerous seizures of the illegal drug have been made by the DEA. Street names for Rohypnol include roofies, roopies, rope, ropies, R2, or roaches.

Rohypnol (the trade name for flunitrazepam), is a benzodiazepine (tranquilizer) similar to Valium but approximately 10 times more potent. Although the drug is classified as a depressant, Rohypnol can cause paradoxical reactions in some individuals that may include excitability or aggressive behavior. It is a highly addictive drug. Rohypnol cannot legally be produced or sold in the United States, but is available by prescription in Europe and Latin America. When prescribed in other countries it is primarily used to treat severe insomnia. This drug arrives into the United States illegally through smuggling operations and the US postal system. At this time, Rohypnol addiction is most common in South Florida, Texas, and Southern California.

The majority of Rohypnol in the United States has been smuggled in from Europe, South America, and Mexico. Recent seizures indicate that a significant amount of the drug is smuggled and distributed by the Israelis and Russian drug traffickers. Illicit use of Rohypnol originated in Europe in the 1970s and has increased worldwide since then. However, Rohypnol addiction did not appear in the United States until the early 1990s.

Rohypnol is abused for its intoxicating, sedative, euphoria producing properties, or for its release of growth hormones, which can build muscles. Recently, it has been identified as a “date rape” drug used to anaesthetize victims. It is added to their food or drink with little possibility of detection. The drug has a long half-life of approximately 18-26 hours, which means after a nighttime administration the effects often last throughout the next day.

If an individual suspects that he or she has been a victim of a Rohypnol-facilitated sexual assault, laboratory testing for Rohypnol should be done as soon as possible. Recent technological advances can detect Rohypnol and related compounds in urine for up to 5 days after administration of a single dose of the drug and up to a month in hair.

In general, the common Rohypnol addict is a high school or college student. Rohypnol can be taken by mouth in a clear liquid, white powder, or capsule form. Here in the United States, each tablet typically costs between $2-$4. It is usually ingested with alcohol and frequently mixed with other drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. Individuals who take it with alcohol report a euphoric feeling and lightheadedness.

Rohypnol is currently under consideration to be rescheduled to Schedule I and is already considered such in the States of Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Most states have introduced legislation that provide for stiff prison terms for the possession of Rohypnol. Penalties for use or distribution include life in prison should death or serious injury result.

Warning Signs of Rohypnol Addiction:

  • Appear intoxicated (slurred speech, poor coordination, swaying, 0and blood-shot eyes) but have no odor of alcohol
  • Experience personality changes, poor judgment, and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Behave evasively or lie about activities or whereabouts

Both short and long term use can lead to physical dependence on Rohypnol. The addictive features are more pronounced in individuals who use Rohypnol in large doses for a long time. Long-term use of this medication can result in psychological and physical dependence and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.

Rohypnol is frequently involved in drug intoxication and overdoses. For a person with a Rohypnol addiction, symptoms of an overdose would include respiratory depression, coma, impaired speech and balance, and possibly death. The risk of overdose increases when consuming alcohol, taking opiates or central nervous system depressants with Rohypnol.

When taken regularly, Rohypnol can cause withdrawal symptoms which may include hallucinations, delirium, convulsions, shock, derealization, and cardiovascular distress. As with benzodiazapines, withdrawal from Rohypnol should be undertaken gradually and with medical supervision. Symptoms may last a week or longer.

Vicodin Addiction

October 16th, 2018

Vicodin addiction is a compulsion to seek and abuse this prescription medication despite any negative consequences that may affect your life, family, or work.

What causes an addiction to Vicodin?

Vicodin addiction causes changes in the user’s brain, but like all addictions people can recover from it. When dopamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers pleasure in the body, is overproduced due to Vicodin use, addicts get a rush of euphoria that is far more powerful than the natural pleasure system operated by the brain. For those with an addiction to Vicodin, the rush of dopamine lasts longer than a natural dopamine release, which then motivates the user to repeatedly take the drug. Eventually, the brain begins to produce less dopamine to balance out the high levels achieved from the addicts Vicodin abuse and tolerance to the drug occurs. This requires the user take more and more of the drug in order to achieve the higher levels of dopamine to try to duplicate the pleasurable sensation.

What are the risks of Vicodin addiction?

An addiction to Vicodin can lead to an overdose, which has severe symptoms such as a decrease in respiratory rate, coma, cardiac arrest, and death. Addiction to Vicodin has unique dangers because of Vicodin’s compound pill form. Vicodin combines hydrocodone with acetaminophen and may lead not only to an overdose of hydrocodone, but also of acetaminophen. If the body consumes more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen a day, it can cause severe damage to the liver or put the user in a coma. Symptoms for acetaminophen overdose include abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, and more. Vicodin addiction can also lead to overdose if the drug is taken in combination with other drugs.

As with any addiction to prescription medication, Vicodin addicts often view themselves as different from other addicts who may have acquired the very same drug illegally. One problem with addictions to prescription medicines in particular is the lengthy phase of denial that the addict first endures purely because they perceive the drug to be “legitimate”, with the concept of addiction not even worthy of consideration.

Vicodin addiction can be so ferocious that withdrawal at any level can be catastrophic to the addict. Dependence on a drug such as this is both physical and psychological, often stemming from the user’s main reason for taking the drug: to relieve pain. Residential treatment programs are the method of choice when addicts first begin their journey to addiction recovery.

Here are some of the most commonly recognized signs of Vicodin addiction.

  • Continued use of the drug: Even after the episode of pain for which the drug was prescribed has ended, those who have become addicted will continue to use the drug for comfort.
  • Mood and behavior changes: Those with a Vicodin addiction will develop hostile and volatile behavioral tendencies, even toward loved ones and those close by. Anxiety and general agitation are classic traits.
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms: Joint and muscle aches, increased night sweats, and insomnia are common symptoms, particularly when the addict has missed doses of the much relied upon drug.
  • Sneaky behavior: People who are dependent on higher-than-prescribed doses of Vicodin may use deceitful methods in order to gain additional supplies of the drug. Many addicts move between physicians, and, without the knowledge of the doctors involved, gain separate supplies from each in order to feed the increasing addiction.
  • Self denial: In the early stages of Vicodin addiction, users often attempt to convince themselves that they are not becoming addicted. Many hide packets of drugs and disguise the act of taking the pills in order to avoid confronting their need for over use of the drug.
  • Financial issues: When addiction to Vicodin becomes so serious that supplies are purchased by illicit methods due to the inflated costs involved, the addict may begin to neglect financial commitments and struggle to pay regular bills. Users in relationships may find themselves confronted by an angry and suspicious partner who is unaware where the money is being spent.
  • Inability to cope with routine: As with addiction to most drugs, the daily routine of life then revolves around obtaining and taking the drug. Vicodin addicts tend to struggle to focus or concentrate. In serious cases of addiction, those affected fail to attend work or school on a regular basis.
  • Withdrawal from society: As the Vicodin addiction takes hold; the addict will be less able to cope with social situations. With an overriding awareness that behavior may be different than normal, addicts often become virtual recluses as a result.

Xanax Addiction

October 9th, 2018

Across the United States, many patients that have been prescribed Xanax are developing a Xanax addiction. These Xanax addicts are requiring drug interventions and drug addiction treatment to overcome their Xanax addiction. The short-acting tranquilizer alprazolam, better known by the familiar brand name Xanax (manufactured by Pfizer), is generally prescribed by doctors in the short-term to treat moderate cases of anxiety, panic attacks, and panic disorder. From the benzodiazepine class of drugs, its effect is to lower excitement levels in the brain. This medication has been around since the 1970s.

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. Xanax addiction is not uncommon among those who use or abuse this medication over long periods of time. In the United States, the FDA lists alprazolam as a schedule IV drug, meaning it believes, relative to schedule III drugs, that Xanax has a low potential for abuse and can lead to limited physical or psychological dependence.

Xanax addiction is on the rise, but there is help and support available. Among prescription tranquilizers, only diazepam (Valium) has higher abuse rates than Xanax, although it is more common for first-timers to misuse Xanax. Furthermore, between 1995 and 2002, drug abuse-related trips to United States Emergency Rooms involving benzodiazepines increased by 41%, from over 71,000 to over 100,000. No benzodiazepine was reported in these cases more often than Xanax, which increased 62% during that time.

Xanax is typically abused in oral pill form, but it is sometimes injected (which is particularly dangerous) and is often abused in conjunction with alcohol. The Xanax and alcohol combination is very dangerous since both are central nervous system depressants. Additionally, the user’s body can build up a tolerance to the drug and require larger doses if taken for long periods of time. With these increases in Xanax abuse come physical and psychological dependencies.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found during a two-year treatment outcome study that 15 percent of heroin users also used benzodiazepines daily for more than one year, and 73 percent used benzodiazepines more often than weekly. Studies also indicate that from 5 percent to as many as 90 percent of methadone users are also regular users of benzodiazepines.

Like many prescription drugs, not everyone will develop Xanax addiction problem, and a patient should always follow their doctor’s prescription. However, if you suspect you or a loved one of having a problem with this medication, here are Xanax Addiction Symptoms to watch for:

  • Tolerance: taking more Xanax to achieve the same effects, typically doing so in defiance of how the prescription was written
  • Withdrawals: they start when Xanax is discontinued
  • Compulsion: experiencing an inability to stop taking Xanax
  • Preoccupation: growing increasingly concerned with acquiring more Xanax, including doctor-shopping, buying it illegally, or attempting to find it through any means
  • Lifestyle changes: dramatic changes in habit or lifestyle, which might include ignoring responsibilities or social engagements

Xanax is not a drug to quit cold turkey. The Journal of Postgraduate Medicine stated that up to 25 percent of patients who stop taking their medication experienced withdrawal symptoms such as: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, chills, lethargy, fatigue, moodiness, crying, dystonia, paresthesia, tremor, vivid dreams, and myalgias.

There are various treatment methodologies for Xanax addiction. These range from simple detoxification to rehab treatment programs. Xanax addiction treatment involves careful monitoring and counseling in an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility. The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) report on benzodiazepines revealed that 11 to 15 percent of the adult population has taken a benzodiazepine one or more times during the preceding year, but only 1 to 2 percent have taken benzodiazepines daily for 12 months or longer. However, in psychiatric treatment settings and in substance-abuse populations, the prevalence of benzodiazepine use, abuse, and dependence is substantially higher than that in the general population.

Xanax addiction treatment encompasses a patient’s thought process, behavior, and helps them to cope with everyday life. Patients suffering from Xanax addiction should be tapered off gradually. There are basic outpatient plans available for discontinuation of the drug including: gradual discontinuance over a six to 12 week schedule, monitoring and helping the patient to feel in control of their dosage, and supplying a helpline when the patient needs reassurance. Other plans include inpatient treatment centers and 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, and drug treatment exchanges such as, Clonidine, propranolol, or carbamazepine. Please note that these drug substitutes are dangerous and are not recommended as a healthy way to overcome Xanax addiction.