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Options for Opiate Addicts – Is There a “Right” Way to Get Clean?

Options for Opiate Addicts – Is There a “Right” Way to Get Clean?

Faced with breaking an opiate drug abuse habit, patients in detox and rehabilitation programs have many options. Choosing the right avenue for an individual’s addiction issues can take some trial and error. However, it is statistically proven that seeking opiate addiction treatment – rather than attempting to break the habit on one’s own, without assistance – makes the chances of quitting for good much higher.

Detox – Only the First Step

Many patients and families mistakenly believe that participating in a detox program can cure their loved one’s addiction. However, the likelihood is that without additional assistance, this detox period will be just that – a period of cleanliness and clear-headedness amid a life of chaos. Most addicts of heroin, prescription drugs and other opiates face a cycle of detox and relapse that can last years or even decades. To break that cycle, it is important to seek professional assistance beyond the detox phase.

Medically-Assisted Detox and Step-Down

Ceasing the use of opiate drugs can be difficult, both emotionally and physically. Not only do addicts have trouble letting go of what has become a coping mechanism for stress and sadness in their lives, but withdrawal from opiates can cause uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms.

Doctors are able to ease these symptoms for patients with the use of replacement medications. These drugs are meant to ease patients off of the level of opiate use they currently engaged in by providing only part of the chemicals needed for the reward system in the brain stimulated by opiate use.

Newer drugs like Suboxone are combination therapies that provide a safer way for step-down to occur, as they do not provide the same disorienting high or euphoria associated with methadone and other previous methods. This makes them safer to use and allows patients going through detox to engage in more normal activities while using these replacements.

Twelve Step Programs

One of the most popular types of post-detox treatment is the twelve-step program. These programs – such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous – help patients develop coping mechanisms to deal with stress in a drug-free way and provide support and encouragement during rehabilitation. Combining these programs with traditional or medically-assisted detoxification can lead to excellent results and help keep patients accountable for months or even years after their initial detox.

Regardless of which type of opiate addiction treatment a patient chooses, their most important choice is to seek help at all. Encourage your friend or loved one who is looking to make positive change in their life, and if you’re the one looking for help know that you are not alone in this. For more information about treatment options and how to get the help you need, visit AddictionAlternatives.org.

How Suboxone is Different Than Other Opiate Withdrawal Medications

How Suboxone is Different Than Other Opiate Withdrawal Medications

Opiate addiction is a serious issue in America. Just recently, a national epidemic was declared because of overuse and abuse of these drugs. Unfortunately, walking away from ongoing opiate use is very difficult, partly due to the serious side effects experienced by many users when they attempt to quit. These symptoms are part of a condition known as withdrawal, and it is the primary reason so many people fail within their first year of attempted opiate sobriety.

What can be done to help those who are seeking a drug-free life? For many years, the only option was to quit “cold turkey” or to use a substance known as methadone under the close surveillance of a medical professional. Now, though, a new medical approach is changing the face of opiate detox. Read on to find out more about suboxone treatment and how it might be the right choice for someone you know.

What is Suboxone and How is It Different?

Just like methadone and naltrexone, Suboxone – or buprenorphine – is a drug used for treating the withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing opiate use.

Suboxone is a two-part drug, that accomplishes its goal in two ways. One part of the formula is a “partial opiate agonist”; this means that it attaches to the opiate receptors in the brain to provide the relief of withdrawal symptoms needed, but does not provide the full effect that full opioid agonists such as narcotic prescriptions drugs and heroin do.

The other half of the formula is an opiate antagonist, blocking the effects of the user’s previous substances from effecting the brain for 24 hours after taking it. This means that the euphoria chased by many drug addicts is no longer possible from using their drug of choice, giving the brain less satisfaction and helping the patient to break their habit more easily.

Methadone and naltrexone both incite feelings of euphoria in the user – though far milder than that provided by typical opiate drugs – which make them more dangerous to use and are the reason they require strict medical supervision during treatment. Suboxone treatment allows users to recover while maintaining some semblance of their regular life, since it doesn’t provide the same intoxication and feeling of euphoria.

Is Suboxone Treatment More Effective?

Statistically, the success rate of those undergoing treatment with medications to offset withdrawal symptoms are several times more likely to succeed than those without. Specifically, the rate goes from less than 25% of success after one year without medication to over 40% with it. Adding Suboxone to the mix can raise the rate above 60%, an excellent improvement in a field that is much-needed in the United States.

If you need more information about Suboxone treatment and other ways to cope with opiate withdrawal, visit AddictionAlternatives.org today.

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

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. This is completely normal according to the reports made from the Resurgence Recovery Center, 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

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 California? Look the right program, doctor and Sacramento detox centers 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.


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 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.



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



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.


Source: www.treatment4addiction.com

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