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6 Ways to Offer Support to a Loved One Going Through Treatment and Withdrawal

If you think your loved one is struggling with withdrawal, here’s how you can offer help and support:

Get the right mindset

A lot of people still believe that mere willpower can trump over drug and alcohol dependency. That’s not the case. Addiction results in changes in the brain, turning it into a chronic disease. If your loved one is addicted, you’ll need to get the right mindset to gain better understanding of your relative or friend’s condition.

Educate yourself

Know what kind of symptoms you can expect. It would also help if you read up on the facts. This article from The Washington Post talking about a 10-year old passing away from opioid abuse or LinkedIn’s piece on how the addiction has affected the job market are both definite eye-openers to the seriousness and magnitude of the crisis.

Participate in the treatment

Plenty of Benzo withdrawal programs in Florida offer family counseling or sessions. Show your support by participating. This can give you and your loved one a shaky foothold of understanding that could help mend your relationship after any of the damage that might have been caused by the addiction.

Don’t enable

Don’t make excuses for your loved one, says How Stuff Works. If your relative or friend doesn’t want to talk about the problem or to seek out treatment options, that’s going to mean a harder road to recovery down the road. Love and support don’t mean giving in to what your loved one wants. Seek out treatment and don’t stop trying to get your loved one to see the importance of treatment.

Know that relapse is normal

A lot of family members get discouraged when their loved ones suffer from a relapse. But this is normal, especially in cases that involve drug dependency. By treating relapse as a normal part of the rehabilitation process, providing support to a recovering loved one while keeping a positive mindset is possible.

Seek out help

While your loved one looks for a Benzo withdrawal treatment program in Florida that’s right for him, you might want to seek out counseling as well. Addictions don’t happen in a vacuum. Often, they happen in loving families and communities. With help from a pro, you can process your emotions with greater ease, allowing you to provide better support to your relative or friend.

Take immediate measures to help your loved one. The sooner treatment starts, the easier rehab and recovery can be. For more information on treatment options, contact us at Addiction Alternative.

5 Ways to Help a Family Member Through Rehab

Helping a loved one through rehab isn’t easy. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Get help

Oxycontin is another type of opiate, says WebMD. Need to assist your loved in looking for an oxycontin rehab treatment in Florida? Look the right program, doctor and facility for starters. Then take the time and effort to review the programs. Which one seems a better fit for your loved one? Which one offers a great aftercare program? These choices can help ensure a successful recovery in the future.

Discuss the options

Make them part of the decision-making process if possible. Discuss options. Withdrawal is brutal and can be one of the hardest things your loved one will face. Allowing them to be a part of the decision-making process can help them prepare for what’s coming.

Read

Know what your loved one is going through. If you don’t understand the hold or effects of drugs on the human psyche, behavior and body, there’s no better time to learn than now. The more you know, the better you will understand what your loved one is going through. The more you understand, the easier it will be for you to offer your support and love.

Be there

Your support can make a huge difference. Family support has a positive impact on an addict’s recovery and can convince one to finally get help. That’s why you should look for an oxycontin rehab treatment in Florida that allows friends and family to participate in some of the sessions. Being a part of your loved one’s care plan can help not just your loved one but the entire family heal as well. That’s because when drug problems happen, these don’t just involve the individual. It can involve the well-being of the whole family.

Don’t judge

It’s easy to pass judgment and believe withdrawal and recovery are easy. But they’re not. Drugs change the way the human brain works. That’s why will power isn’t enough if your loved one wants to recover and live a life free of drugs. It’s best to leave your biases and judgments behind if you want to genuinely connect with and help a friend or family member who’s suffering from opiate abuse.

Relapse and failure can happen. But recovery is always possible. With these tips, you hopefully will know enough to provide your loved one with the help he needs. For assistance and help, call us.

Suboxone Withdrawal Factors

Suboxone, medically known as Buprenorphine, is used to help ease symptoms of opiate addiction. However, by itself, it can be used to provide pain relief for chronic pain. Since it helps patients who suffer from opiate addiction, those who use the drug can inevitably find themselves addicted to the substance. This is where the help and assistance of a suboxone withdrawal facility in Florida will prove helpful.

Factors that affect withdrawal

Once a person has decided to undertake withdrawal and recovery, there are several things that must be considered. If the person is still using suboxone to deal with his opiate addiction, then the withdrawal process will not work, the Mental Health Daily cautions. That’s because the person will still need to be exposed to the drug to counter his opiate addiction, rendering any move toward withdrawal useless. Withdrawal symptoms depend on the length of time the person has been addicted to the drug. Also, before deciding to go through with this process, one must be prepared to go through the withdrawal symptoms.

How long does it last?

The more far along the addiction and drug dependency is, the longer the withdrawal will take. Drugs change the composition of the body. Those who have taken it for months will typically find it easy to come off the addiction, compared to those who have been taking the drug for years. Those who come out of their opiate addiction using the substance also find it difficult to come off Suboxone.

Does physiology matter?

Withdrawal symptoms differ from one person to another. Some might find themselves dealing with slews of painful symptoms while others might only experience mild ones. Your physiology and nervous system will influence the length of the withdrawal process. For instance, someone who’s fit and healthy will have a less difficult time with the withdrawal than someone who’s unhealthy, depressed or stressed.

Can you stop taking it immediately?

It is unsafe for anyone to stop taking the drug without first consulting with their doctors. The wisest course of action is to get in touch with a suboxone withdrawal facility in Florida to help one through the withdrawal process. Medical supervision and monitoring will help alleviate the symptoms and keep the body safe from succumbing to the more severe forms of symptoms that might occur, such as heart attacks or seizures.

By getting professional help, users are well able to get a better chance at recovery and a drug-free life.

Causes of Withdrawal

Causes of Withdrawal

Withdrawal is caused by the separation of oneself from something else. In this case; withdrawal refers to the discontinuation using of mind-altering substances such as prescription medications, recreational drugs or alcohol.

Withdrawal symptoms can occur after prolonged usage of a substance suddenly stops. Symptoms of withdrawal vary and depend on the substance used, quantity and length of time used. Typically withdrawals make the person feel worse continuously until they reach a plateau where the symptoms eventually begin to dissipate. In some extreme cases withdrawals can be fatal; for example withdrawals from benzodiazepines or alcohol.

Withdrawal occurs as a result of the building of a tolerance to given substance which in turn builds a physical dependency. Drugs are often abused for the effect they have on the brain. Drugs bind to different parts of the brain and cause different effects on the user. One of the main effects all frequently abused drugs have in common is the effect they have on dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for the sensation of pleasure. Drugs will often boost dopamine levels in the brain and so cause pleasure from use. Continuous use of drugs however can lead to withdrawal when the user suddenly stops ingesting the drug.

Symptoms

Dopamine levels will diminish from continuous use of drugs, causing the users ‘level of normality’ being significantly lowered as pleasure cannot be as easily felt; this is one of the factors that cause withdrawal symptoms. When someone stops using drugs or alcohol, the euphoria felt by the drugs, will cause Dysphoria. The main general symptoms of Dysphoria include depression, anxiety and cravings.

An individual withdrawing from a medication for conditions such as epilepsy or heart conditions may endure more severe or life-threatening symptoms. If attempting to quit any medications one should consult their doctor before detoxification. Sometimes substances will mask hunger, sleeplessness, pain or disease. When one goes into withdrawals these will be felt also; this can be dangerous individuals should be aware that some substances can lead to serious malnutrition, worsen illnesses or can cause physical and mental damage.

Withdrawal symptoms very depending on the type of substance the person is withdrawing from. Below is a list of withdrawal symptoms for the most commonly used substances in alphabetical order.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Headache including pulsating sensation in the temple area
  • Sweating, especially palms of the hands or the face
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Enlarged, dilated pupils
  • Pale skin
  • Abnormal muscle movements or “twitching”
  • Involuntary eyelid movements
  • Delirium tremens
  • Agitation
  • Fever
  • Convulsions and seizures

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Shaking
  • Fevers
  • Delirium tremens
  • Catatonia
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Coma
  • Uncontrollable violence and manic episodes

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain or stiffness
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of concentration

Cocaine/Crack Withdrawals Include:

  • Agitation and restless behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Mood Swings
  • Variable energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Low enthusiasm and lethargy
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Itching
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Fatigue
  • Strong cravings
  • Depression

Ecstasy or MDMA Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • De-personalization
  • Loss of reality
  • Paranoid delusions

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Headaches
  • Sleep disruption
  • Craving
  • Mood swings
  • Appetite changes
  • Sex drive fluctuation
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Shaking and dizziness

Methamphetamine or Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Amphetamine Psychosis
  • Confusion
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Increased appetite
  • Disruptive sleep patterns
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Intense headaches
  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Impaired concentration
  • Tension
  • Disturbed sleep or drowsiness

Opiate Symptoms include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Mood changes (depressed, anxious, irritable)
  • Excessive bodily fluids (tears, sweat, runny nose)
  • Stomach pain caused by spasms in the digestive system
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes (increased or decreased)

Tranquilizer Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Impaired memory
  • Aches and pains
  • Palpitations
  • Distortions of reality
  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • Depression
  • Agoraphobia
  • Seizures

Management

Some withdrawal symptoms from drugs will be severe but easily managed without medical care. Others can cause some serious health risks to the user and require medical attention throughout the withdrawal process. Quitting drugs such as nicotine are ones that can be done ‘cold turkey’ without any serious risk to health. Other substances such as benzodiazepines and alcohol can require medical assistance for potentially fatal withdrawals. Severity of withdrawal is normally factored on the drug itself and how dependent the individual has become.

Withdrawals from prescription medications should be closely monitored by the user’s doctor or at least be done under the advice and instruction from a physician. This is not necessarily only due to the withdrawals themselves; medications which are needed for disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis can be dangerous to withdraw from due to the disorder itself. Always consult the prescribing doctor prior to quitting a prescription medication.

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Source: www.treatment4addiction.com

Epigenetic Alteration a Promising New Drug Target for Heroin Use Disorder

Epigenetic Alteration a Promising New Drug Target for Heroin Use Disorder

NEW YORK, NY  – March 22, 2017 /Press Release/  –– 

Heroin use is associated with excessive histone acetylation, an epigenetic process that regulates gene expression, and more years of drug use correlate with higher levels of hyperacetylation, according to research conducted at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published April 1 in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The study provides the first direct evidence of opiate-related epigenetic alterations in the human brain, indicating that the drug alters accessibility to portions of DNA to be either open or closed, thereby controlling whether genes implicated in addiction are switched on or off.

The Mount Sinai study focuses on epigenetics, the study of changes in the action of human genes caused, not by changes in DNA code we inherit from our parents, but instead by molecules that regulate when, where, and to what degree our genetic material is turned on and off.  Histone acetylation of DNA-linked proteins is an essential process for gene regulation by which an acetyl functional group is transferred from one molecule to another, thereby activating gene expression.

To uncover the molecular underpinnings of heroin addiction, the Mount Sinai study team focused on the striatum, a brain region implicated in drug addiction because of its central role in habit formation and goal-directed behavior. Studying postmortem human tissue from 48 heroin users and 37 controls, they found acetylation changes at genes that regulate the function of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that regulates the drug reward system and controls drug-seeking behavior.  Specifically, changes were identified at the glutamate receptor gene GRIA1, which has previously been implicated in drug use.

“We hypothesized that the epigenetic impairments uncovered in our study reflect changes that would increase accessibility to DNA that is required to enhance gene transcription that subsequently plays an important role in addiction behavior,” says Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of The Center for Addictive Disorders at the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System, who led the study.  “Because epigenetic impairments are physical alterations to the DNA that do not change the sequence of a gene, they have the potential to be reversed, so our next step was to address this possibility.”

Using a rat model of heroin addiction, researchers allowed rats to self-administer heroin and observed the same hyperacetylation alterations that were found in the postmortem human brains.  The study team then treated the heroin-addicted rats with JQ1, a compound originally developed against cancer pathology, which inhibits the readout of acetylated epigenetic proteins thereby reducing accessibility to the DNA that was previously induced by heroin. The drug reduced heroin self-administration among study rats.  Importantly, JQ1 also reduced drug-seeking behavior after abstinence from heroin, suggesting it might be beneficial for long-term heroin users.  

“Our findings suggest that JQ1 and similar compounds might be promising therapeutic tools for heroin use disorder,” says Dr. Hurd.  “Furthermore, the animal model we created that displayed analogous epigenetic impairments related to heroin use will be useful for future studies looking to identify addiction-related changes that translate to the human brain.”

Researchers from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, contributed to this study.  

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the “Honor Roll” of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report.  The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in “Best Children’s Hospitals.”

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital

Naltrexone-Assisted Detox vs Buprenorphine Taper for Opioid Dependence

Naltrexone-Assisted Detox vs Buprenorphine Taper for Opioid Dependence

In a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, an 8-day detoxification process using low-dose oral naltrexone showed superior efficacy to the standard 15-day approach that uses an agonist taper leading to induction with extended-release naltrexone (XR-naltrexone).1

Results from a 2014 survey found that the monthly prevalence of nonmedical prescription opioid and heroin use in the United States was 4.3 million and 435,000, respectively.2 Such estimates, along with the rising rates of opioid overdose and related deaths, highlight the urgent need for effective approaches to detoxification and relapse prevention. Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved XR-naltrexone in injectable form for this purpose, its success is limited by the 7- to 10-day waiting period during which individuals must abstain from opioids prior to receiving the medication.

An 8-day detoxification process using low-dose oral naltrexone showed superior efficacy to the standard 15-day approach.

“This waiting period, combined with conventional methods of opioid detoxification employing agonist tapers over several days, represents a delay of 2 weeks or more before XR-naltrexone can be administered,” wrote the investigators in the present study, which was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Such a long delay is unrealistic in outpatient settings, however, in which greater numbers of patients are seeking treatment as inpatient detoxification beds become increasingly scarce, and the tapered approach has been linked with high relapse and attrition rates.3 

While earlier findings suggest that accelerated detoxification methods using buprenorphine and low doses of naltrexone to transition to XR-naltrexone may be effective in outpatient settings, no previous trials have compared such methods with the traditional approach.4 To that end, the current researchers compared 2 treatment methods in 150 individuals seeking outpatient treatment for prescription opioid or heroin dependence.

The rapid treatment included a single day of buprenorphine followed by low doses of naltrexone and adjuvant medications such as clonidine on days 2 to 7, and the standard treatment consisted of a 7-day buprenorphine taper followed by a 7-day waiting period. On day 8 in the first group and day 15 in the second group, patients were administered the initial dose of XR-naltrexone, and all participants who remained in treatment at week 5 received a second dose.

The results demonstrated that rates of XR-naltrexone induction were 56.1% in the rapid naltrexone-assisted group, compared with 32.7% in the buprenorphine-assisted group. In addition, the naltrexone-assisted group was more likely to receive the second dose vs the buprenorphine-assisted group (50% vs 26.9%). Although withdrawal severity and dropout rates were similar between the 2 groups during the first 7 days of treatment, 29% of patients in the standard treatment group relapsed during the 7-day waiting period and thus did not receive XR-naltrexone.

These findings “support the feasibility of ascending low doses of oral naltrexone, in combination with an initial dose of buprenorphine and standing non-opioid ancillary medications, as an outpatient regimen for opioid,” the researchers concluded. “By circumventing the need for a protracted period of abstinence and mitigating the severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced during detoxification, this strategy has the potential to considerably increase patient acceptability of, and access to, antagonist therapy.”

Source: Psychiatry Advisor

References

  1. Sullivan M, Bisaga A, Pavlicova M, et al. Long-acting injectable naltrexone induction: a randomized trial of outpatient opioid detoxification with naltrexone versus buprenorphine [published online January 10, 2017]. Am J Psychiatry. appiajp201616050548. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016
  2. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Behavioral health trends in the United States: results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs2014/NSDUH-DetTabs2014.htm. Accessed February 1, 2017.
  3. Day E, Ison J, Strang J. Inpatient versus other settings for detoxification for opioid dependence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;(2):CD004580.
  4. Mannelli P, Wu LT, Peindl KS, Swartz MS, Woody GE. Extended release naltrexone injection is performed in the majority of opioid dependent patients receiving outpatient induction: a very low dose naltrexone and buprenorphine open label trial. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014; 138:83-88. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.002

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