A Guide To Cocaine: Dangers, Signs, & Symptoms

Cocaine has long been associated with the rich and famous, but in reality, that’s just a fairy tale. Many people from all walks of life find themselves lured into the world of drug abuse only to find that the fantasy is a long way from the reality where cocaine abuse is concerned. The addiction soon sets in and lives are destroyed.  Let’s look at the reality of cocaine abuse.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a central nervous stimulant. It raises your heart rate and gives you energy. Normally, this white powder is ingested by sniffing it into the nose, but it can also be injected or smoked. It produces a high that can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how it is taken and how large the dose is. Over time, cocaine changes the structure of the user’s brain, causing addiction. The high from this drug is produced because it blocks the absorption of dopamine, allowing the “feel good”  neurotransmitter to stay active in the brain longer.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the more common signs that a person is using cocaine include:

  • Increase in the amount of talkativeness and the rate of speech
  • Flushed skin that may contain sweating
  • Paranoia or delusions may be present or hallucinations. Often the symptoms resemble schizophrenia.
  • Weight loss can be extreme because cocaine reduces appetite. The individual will also experience a great deal of movement in the form of constant jitters and an inability to sit still. The increased activity combined with low appetite makes weight loss quick.
  • Increased risk-taking is noticed. The drug reduces inhibitions and the user may feel invincible. This can include taking part in frequent risky sexual behaviors.
  • Redness under the nose and frequent runny or bloody nose. This comes from the cocaine burning the skin around the nose and doing damage to the lining of the nasal passages.
  • Needle marks if the user injects the drug
  • When higher doses are used, the person may exhibit anger, strike out violently, or throw frequent tantrums that result in throwing and breaking things. 

In addition to the above signs, the person will exhibit signs associated with most addictions. These include a seemingly never-ending need for money, secrecy, neglect of body appearance, and a change in both behavior and personality. You may find the person stealing and lying to gain access to money for the drug. Often a person won’t admit how frequently they use cocaine and may try to hide the fact entirely, resulting in more lies and secrecy.

Dangers of Using Cocaine

One of the biggest dangers related to cocaine abuse is that a user’s blood pressure rises extremely high. This happens because the blood vessels constrict and the heart needs to work harder in order to get the blood through. Long-time use also destroys the lining of the nasal passage. A person loses sleep which doesn’t allow for the body to heal. This means that other body organs eventually show signs of damage. If too much cocaine gets into the system, a person can experience extreme rises in blood pressure, seizure, stroke, and even death.

Let Us Help You Find Treatment

Getting help for addiction can be confusing. There are so many choices available, insurance coverage varies, and even things like transportation issues can all factor into things. Above It All was created to make the process easier. Our 24/7 free matching service will work with you to find the addiction treatment that is best suited for your needs. We want drug abuse to be something you can put in your past. Contact us today and let us find you help.

How to Spot the Most Common Signs of Opiate Use and Addiction

It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling with opiate use yourself or watching a loved one suffer from afar, opiate use and addiction can be tough to recognize. While the signs of opiate use may be there, but admitting there is a problem may not come as easily as one would hope.

People who have become dependent on drugs may not even realize they are addicted because they are still able to function in their day-to-day lives. Addiction looks different for everyone, but there are a few telltale signs of opiate addiction that you can look out for if you are concerned.

Think about when someone you are close to is in a bad mood. It’s easy to tell almost instantly that something is visibly wrong, without them having to say a word. Someone addicted to drugs has that same type of “cloud” hanging over their head all the time, a sign of addiction. The Mayo Clinic notes that common symptoms of opiate use to look out for include physical changes, such as:

  • Confusion;
  • Constricted pupils;
  • Slowed breathing;
  • Loss of consciousness or intermittent nodding off; and
  • Outward euphoria or drowsiness.

These symptoms are indicative of a drug abuse problem, especially when paired with evidence of drug paraphernalia (pipes, needles, syringes, etc). If you’ve ever noticed a drastic change in behavior or describe someone you know well as having “high highs” and “low lows,” while there may be a number of factors at play opiate abuse can have a significant impact.

Other signs of drug abuse may include social withdrawal, consistent trouble at work or school, sudden financial problems, or an attempt to receive multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors. There are noticeable shifts in behavior and specific actions that reveal a possible problem. It’s better to address it head on with concern rather than trying to brush it under the rug as if it doesn’t exist.

What Drugs Fall Into the Opiate Category?

Opioids are more commonly known as painkillers. They’re prescribed to reduce intense pain, typically from a surgical procedure. Medications that fall within the opiate category include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Recognized brand names include Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet.

Opioid addiction is all too real and affects millions of lives daily. It may happen more often than you think. It’s become a national epidemic and surpasses many stereotypes society may have about drug abuse before. The truth is that the American Society of Addiction Medicine reported nearly 2 million of the people with a substance abuse disorder suffer from addiction to prescription pain relievers. And well over 500,000 people face a drug addiction involving heroin.

Heroin abuse, specifically, has been a rising problem over the past few years. Due to how it is administered, heroin brings an additional set of risks to those typical of opioid use. Since heroin is often administered by needle, it leaves room for blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis to occur. Shared or dirty needs are common among heroin abusers and can easily transmit these life-threatening diseases.

The use of this drug is not found solely in the inner cities as was once recognized, but has infiltrated into the suburbs and has made a significant impact on young adults. Why? Heroin has become easier to come by and is cheaper than prescription medications.  

How Does Opiate Addiction Occur?

It can be hard to understand how those being prescribed painkillers by their doctor can quickly quick turn into such a strong addiction. The first thing to consider is the potency of painkillers. They are usually prescribed with the intention to alleviate pain and discomfort for people who are post-surgery, experiencing chronic pain, or are recovering from an injury. They are to be administered in a way as approved by a medical professional due to the addictive nature of the drugs being prescribed.  

The dosage of any drug is important as well as how often the drug is taken. If someone goes off schedule from the prescription, a variety of problems can occur including overdose and death. Over time people’s tolerance to the prescription can build up leading their doctor to up their dosage to ensure the same pain relief. On the other side of the coin, when one pill no longer relieves their pain, people often take matters into their own hands and take the drugs as often as they feel necessary. This behavior easily leads down a road of addiction because the body becomes more immune to the effects of the drug. Meaning over time, it takes more of it to feel the effects.

Where the drug may have once alleviated pain, it may not do the trick anymore when it’s being abused. The body begins to adapt, and the drug can become stored within the body as the user continues to take more and more. Because of this, it’s easier to form a chemical dependency. Unfortunately, dependency often leads to addiction.

Opiate Side Effects

There are quite a few side effects a person might experience from taking opiates. Opiate side effects range anywhere from dizziness to vomiting to sedation to respiratory depression. Two of the most common side effects are constipation and nausea, which are unpredictable and depend on the severity of the situation.

One of the biggest risks of continuous opiate use is an accidental overdose. This can happen just as easily with a first time user as it can to someone who has been abusing drugs for years. Accidental overdose occurs in thousands of people every year with most of the cases being fatal. Even if this does not occur, there are still several serious events that can happen including such as a stroke, heart attack, or coma.

Signs of Opiate Withdrawal

Just as each addiction story is different, so is the withdrawal experience. Several factors are accounted for to determine how severe withdrawal may be. For example, how long a person has been using opiates, how much they use, how often, and other basic health factors all come into play.

Early symptoms of opiate withdrawal commonly occur within the first 24-48 hours after the last dosage and include:

  • Muscle aches;
  • Restlessness;
  • Anxiety;
  • A runny nose;
  • Excessive sweating; and
  • Insomnia.

A few of these initial symptoms aren’t much different than having a bad case of the flu, but they are often followed by more intense symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and dilated pupils. The level of pain and discomfort range from person to person. But if you are a friend or family member of someone you think has been using, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these types of opiate addiction symptoms.

People usually don’t stay in the withdrawal phase for long, since their bodies are dependent on the drugs, which is why it’s best to have assistance. There’s little that can be done without medical supervision to help alleviate the pain as the drug is working itself out of the system. Withdrawal and detox are not fun by any means, which is why many people who try to go it alone relapse. However, detoxing under the care and supervision of trained professionals can make you as comfortable and safe as possible.

Additionally, babies who are born addicted to opiates because their mothers used drugs during pregnancy may also experience harsh withdrawal symptoms, which may include digestive problems, dehydration, vomiting, or seizures. A baby barely has time to build up the immune system against common germs or diseases much less the stress on the body that comes from drug withdrawal.

There’s no way to pinpoint a specific time when drugs will be fully out of your system. It all depends on the type of drug, the frequency of use, and the level of addiction. For example, an otherwise healthy person who has taken unprescribed amounts of opiates for several days in a row may be able to rid the body of the drug faster than someone in poor health who has been abusing drugs for years.

[cta]Speak with a treatment specialist to learn more.[/cta]

How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?

Although many opiate withdrawal timelines are similar, there is no one specific marked time, but rather a range of what to expect. How long does opiate withdrawal last? Typically, opiate withdrawal can occur anywhere from 12-30 hours after the last use. But it depends on the level of addiction, a person’s overall health, last opiate use, and an array of other determining factors.

The first days of opiate withdrawal are the most painful and uncomfortable, but with time, symptoms subside. It’s not uncommon for individuals to start using again during the first few days of withdrawal because the symptoms are so severe. Complete withdrawal may take several days and possibly weeks to take place.

This difficulty is one of the many reasons why it’s highly recommended to undergo drug withdrawal and detox in a medically supervised rehabilitation center. Not only does it help protect a person’s safety, but it gives medical staff the opportunity to monitor a person’s overall health and aid them through the rough times of opiate withdrawal.

Certain treatment methods may permit a doctor to prescribe medication to help ease the symptoms of the withdrawal process. Naloxone is often used in monitored facilities to reduce symptoms. Naltrexone is used to reverse and treat overdose for heroin addicts specifically, and buprenorphine is administered to help prevent relapse during the detox period.

When it comes to understanding the withdrawal process, it’s important to remember that the body is now dependent on the drug to function normally. While it’s easier to tell someone to “just quit” or think that you can quit whenever you decide it’s unfortunately not as easy as simply stopping opiate use. With the way that opiates change the physiological makeup of the body and brain going through withdrawal can trigger strong, often violent, reactions after having become physically dependent on opiates.

Withdrawal is not something anyone should have to go through alone. In addition to the medical supervision that is called for, stable, emotional support is required as well for long-term sobriety. Often, this means the individual should be removed from his or her normal environment because it may hold temptations the person is not strong enough to face and cope with yet. It’s not the same for every situation, but finding a healthy space with healthy support is a top priority.

Addiction is a disease and has to be treated as such in order to heal. Although there are different facets of the condition that are dangerous to the body, it is not something that should be taken lightly. It’s important to seek help and get the support needed for a successful recovery.

Seeking Help for Opiate Use and Addiction

Do you feel like a loved one may be exhibiting opiate addiction symptoms? Has a family member confronted you about a drug problem? Whatever the case may be, it’s important to understand and find comfort in the fact that there is help available whenever you need it.

The first step is recognizing the problem and the need to change it. It won’t happen overnight, and it may not happen as quickly as you’d like. Sobriety requires a lifetime commitment to abstinence from drug use.

To start anew with this lifestyle requires support. Sobriety isn’t only about getting clean from drug use. It’s about recognizing temptations and learning healthy ways to cope with them. To help move forward it’s important to identify the underlying causes of substance abuse, which can include mental or physical health conditions. Addicts who enter a detox and recovery treatment program most likely will be required to participate in counseling of some sort.

This may occur in a group setting with other people that are battling addiction or in one-on-one sessions with a psychiatrist or other medical professional. There is also the choice between inpatient and outpatient care depending on the preference of the person seeking treatment.

Some may find solace in getting away from their current environment to truly concentrate on their sobriety without interruption. Others may feel the need to be closer to home and have the support of their friends and family to successfully go through recovery.

The most important thing to remember is there is help. Treatment will help you understand your opiate addiction and what may trigger use, in order to find ways to cope in the future. By facing addiction head on, there is a chance for a healthier life on a new path. Choose a program that works best for you.

[cta]Learn how to get on the path to opiate addiction recovery at Above it All. Call today and get started,[/cta]

What You Need to Know About Fentanyl

The opioid epidemic is still raging strong across the United States. More awareness is being brought to the dangers of prescription drug misuse and heroin. However, another drug is hitting the spotlight as well: fentanyl. While not a new drug – it has been around since the 1960s – it is gaining more attention due to its highly addictive nature and significant risk of overdose.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever similar to morphine, but 50-100 times more potent. In medical settings it is often prescribed as a powerful pain reliever for patients recovering from major surgery or accidents, or those with chronic pain due to conditions such as cancer. It prescribed in incredibly small doses – micrograms instead of the typical milligrams.

One of the problems with getting fentanyl on the street is that it is not as highly controlled. It is often cut with other drugs such as heroin or morphine, and measurements are estimates at best. Additionally, it is often passed off as other drugs. Individuals have no way of knowing exactly what substance they are receiving or how powerful it may be. This significantly increases the risk of overdosing. Naloxone can help to counteract the effects of fentanyl, but multiple doses are often necessary due to the potency of the fentanyl.

Individuals struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, heroin, fentanyl, or other opiates can enter a safe, supervised detox program at Above It All. This is the first step in treatment and preventing overdose or dangerous episodes of withdrawal. From there, clients can engage in a treatment program tailored to their needs in order to overcome addiction and effectively transition into recovery. There is help available for opioid addiction and recovery is possible. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug to get involved with, but clients can make their well-being a priority by getting the help they need for substance use and addiction at Above It All.

[cta] Don’t put yourself at risk with drugs like fentanyl – get the help you need to overcome addiction by contacting Above It All today. [/cta]

Empowering Yourself in Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is about changing your thoughts, actions, and life to support a fulfilling substance-free lifestyle. In rehab, you will be surrounded by people supporting your efforts and teaching you strategies to prevent relapse and continue moving forward. However, these changes rely on you and your efforts; no one can do it for you. Therefore, finding ways to empower and motivate yourself is important.

Challenge yourself: Try things that you’ve never done before or didn’t think you could do. With some practice, effort, and focus, you may surprise yourself. Oftentimes people doubt their abilities, so don’t let your own uncertainties hold you back.

Do things for yourself: Don’t always rely on others to do things that you are capable of doing yourself. Family and friends want to help, but learn to stand on your own two feet and take control of your life. Find other ways they can support you without enabling.

Learn from challenges: Let mistakes and obstacles serve as lessons that empower you to make positive changes moving forward. Don’t let them get you down. Prove to yourself that you are strong and capable, and move on, lesson learned.

Break down larger goals: Is there a big goal that you want to accomplish? Break it into smaller, more manageable parts. You don’t want to take on too much and set yourself up for disappointment. Build yourself up and take it step by step, growing your confidence and determination as you go.

Oftentimes our biggest critic is ourselves. You already made one of the hardest choices, and that was admitting that you needed help and entering treatment. Keep moving forward and proving to yourself and others that recovery is possible. Relapse doesn’t have to be a part of your journey; Above It All can help you overcome addition and empower yourself in recovery.

[cta] Whether you’re entering recovery for the first time or recovering from relapse, Above It All provides the treatment you need to feel more confident. [/cta]

How Keeping a Gratitude Journal Can Support Recovery

Whether writing is something you’ve always loved or never really got into, keeping a gratitude journal can be beneficial in your recovery. You don’t have to write long drawn out passages or share your innermost thoughts – though you certainly can have a journal for that. A gratitude journal is your opportunity to write down a few things each day that you’re thankful for. Maybe it’s someone at work holding the door when you had your hands full, being able to watch your child’s soccer game, or having a new book to read when it’s raining out. Taking a few minutes each day to jot things down can have a positive impact.

It can change your perspective and help you see the silver lining. When you force yourself to look for the good in each day, it can make the bad seem less daunting. You learn to approach situations from a different angle and find the positives.

It helps you to appreciate the simple things in life that frequently get overlooked. Things like having a job, a family, food on the table, and friends who care may not seem like much at first glance, but they’re things we often take for granted.

It can be a mood booster when you’re feeling down. Go back and re-read what you have written to reflect on all of the good things that have happened and things you are thankful for. Whatever has you in a bad mood may not seem so bad after all.

It can inspire you to give back and help others. Volunteering and doing nice things for others not only puts a smile on their face but can put one on yours too. Give others something to be thankful for and be happy knowing you’re making a difference.

Above It All can provide you with the support you need to get on the road to recovery and explore all that you have to be grateful for in life. Comprehensive services meet you where you are at and offer an individualized plan for recovery. Turn your life around today at Above It All.

[cta] Join the conversation on Facebook and let us know what you’re grateful for! [/cta]

5 Tips for Taking Thanksgiving in Stride

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends and reflect on all of things you are thankful for. However, as with any holiday, it can come with its share of stress and challenging situations. For those in recovery, that means having to be especially diligent about planning and staying proactive in reducing risk of relapse. Here are a few ways that you can make the most of Thanksgiving without sacrificing the progress you’ve made:

  1. Attend a meeting before or after get-togethers: Get yourself in the right frame of mind and feeling more confident by connecting with others in recovery around the holidays. Reaffirm your commitment to your recovery.
  2. Have a plan: What will you do if there is alcohol is available? What if a difficult relative shows up? What if you’re ready to leave? Plan ahead so you know how you’ll deal with stress, temptation, and other challenges in a healthy manner.
  3. Focus on gratitude: Instead of thinking about the things you’re not doing any more, focus on the things you are doing. Reflect on the progress you’ve made and how your life has changed for the better. Tell others how much you appreciate them and the support they have provided.
  4. Create new traditions: If your old tradition was to drink and watch football on Thanksgiving, start a new tradition instead. Take a walk as a family, play games, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Find a different way to celebrate that is meaningful to you.
  5. Pay attention to how you’re feeling: Listen to your body and mind. If you’re hungry, bored, lonely, angry, or tired, take steps to change things before they lead to temptation. Stay away from triggers and know when it’s time for a change of pace or scenery.

Empower yourself over your recovery with support from Above It All. Get the personalized help you need to turn your life around and embrace a lifestyle of recovery.

[cta] If you’re struggling with addiction this holiday season, turn to Above It All for comprehensive treatment. [/cta]

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

When it comes to addiction, many people think of substances like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, opiates, and prescription drugs. However, nicotine is an addictive substance as well, and smoking can take a serious toll on your health. Some people smoke in addition to using other drugs or drinking, enhancing their risk of health complications. According to the American Cancer Society “tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.”

Making the decision to quit smoking can have a positive impact on your life almost immediately. Within just 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and within 12 hours your blood’s carbon monoxide level returns to normal. In less than one day you are already turning your health around for the better.

Over the next few days, weeks, and months of not smoking, you are reducing your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart disease, cancer, and more. You’ll begin to notice that you can breathe better, are not coughing as much, and have more endurance when doing physical activities. After five to 15 years of not smoking, your risk of developing certain cancers and heart conditions are the same as those of nonsmokers. It may take a while, but you can get there.

Another benefit of not smoking is increased savings. Calculate how much money you spend on cigarettes each week, and then think about everything else you could be putting this money toward – bills, savings, vacation, education, or something else you’ve had your eye on. In addition, foods will taste better, your sense of smell will improve, and you’ll start looking and feeling better.

As with any addiction, there is a period of withdrawal when you quit smoking. However, you can cope with these challenges in a safe, supervised detox program at Above It All while in treatment and recovery for substance use. Make the choice to turn your life around for the better and improve your health, well-being, and future, by quitting smoking (and other substance use) today.

[cta] Receive the support you need to quit smoking while in addiction recovery at Above It All. [/cta]

Keeping Cravings in Check

One of the ongoing challenges of addiction recovery is coping with drug and alcohol cravings. Individuals must resist the desire to give in to these temptations and instead find healthier ways of coping. It is important to remember that experiencing cravings is a normal part of recovery. The urges will diminish in strength and frequency over time. When a craving hits, remind yourself that it will pass, usually within about 15 minutes, and you do not have to give in. You will be okay.

Here are a few ideas for things you can do to keep cravings in check and wait it out until they pass:

  • Keep busy to distract yourself from thinking about it. Work on a crossword puzzle, listen to music, knit, shoot hoops, go for a run, or play a computer or video game.
  • Accept it. Journal about how you are feeling and face your craving head on. You’ll be able to better recognize the feeling and realize that you are in control. You may also choose to talk about it with someone close to you who can help you stay accountable.
  • Incorporate foods in your diet that may help reduce cravings such as whole grains, salmon, peanut butter, bananas, and walnuts. Try to eat at regular intervals to stabilize your blood sugar and keep yourself feeling full.
  • Change locations to somewhere free from triggers. Removing yourself from one environment and focusing on another can help you reassess and collect yourself. It can also be a healthy distraction.
  • Practice meditating when cravings strike to clear your mind and feel more in control. Meditating can be very relaxing and soothing when dealing with the stress of cravings.

Above It All supports clients in developing personalized relapse prevention plans that fit their needs and lifestyle. Clients are equipped with the tools and strategies to make healthy decisions and cope with cravings so they can focus on making the most of their future. Take back control of your life at Above It All and start your journey to long-term recovery.

[cta] Learn how to cope with cravings and other challenges surrounding addiction recovery at Above It All. Call today to get started. [/cta]

Changing the Language of Addiction and Recovery

The language used when discussing substance use and addiction matters. Certain words can give a positive, negative, or neutral impressions. Labeling individuals as “addicts” or “junkies” enhances the stigma around substance use disorders and can deter people from seeking the treatment they need for recovery. Medical providers, community leaders, family, and friends all need to think twice about what terminology is used to discuss substance use disorders and the image that it presents.

Addiction is a disease, but one that is manageable. You wouldn’t talk down about someone with heart disease or diabetes and shame people away from getting help, so why should these issues occur with addiction? Instead, we should be using language that promotes understanding and supports recovery. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2014 there were approximately 22.5 million individuals in need of treatment for substance use disorders, but only 2.6 million received the care they need. It’s time to break down the barriers that language creates.

Here are a few ways you can change the way you talk about addiction and recovery:

  • Use “substance use disorder” as opposed to “abuse” or “dependence.” You can also use “misuse” instead of “abuse”.
  • Use person-first language: a person with a substance use disorder or struggling with addiction, not an addict, junkie, druggie, etc.
  • Refrain from using “dirty” or “clean” when talking about drug use; instead say someone is in active addiction or is substance-free or in recovery.

In general, stop to think about what you are saying and how it may be perceived. It will take time to create change when it comes to weeding out stigmatizing language, but every voice counts. Start by changing how you talk about substance use disorders and recovery and then encourage others to do the same.

If someone you love is struggling with addiction, turn to Above It All to help them get the treatment they need for recovery. There is hope and recovery is possible.

[cta] Don’t let social stigmas keep you from getting the help you need. Turn to Above It All for comprehensive addiction treatment. [/cta]

Interest in Naloxone and Opiate Addiction Treatment Growing

Over the past few years, the term “opiate addiction” is one that has taken center stage. It has garnered increased attention from medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, researchers, lawmakers, and the general public due to the fact that addiction and overdose rates have skyrocketed. More than 27,000 people die each year from opiate overdoses.

This is a cause for alarm. Lawmakers and medical professionals are stepping up, calling for improved education about licit and illicit opioids and the risks they can pose. More training is being demanded for doctors in addiction risk, diagnosis, and treatment. The public is also striving to learn more and be proactive when it comes to opiate addiction.

Week-over-week, Google searches for “addiction treatment” have increased by 22 percent. This should not come as a surprise due to the fact that opiate addiction has reached epidemic levels. According to the American Society of Addictive Medicine, in 2014 “1.9 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.” These drugs led to nearly 30,000 overdose deaths in 2014.

Fighting Back Against Opiate Addiction

Americans are taking a vested interest in addressing the problem. Opiate addiction is treatable. It is possible to live a meaningful and fulfilling life in recovery. Above It All Treatment Center provides clients with the comprehensive care and services necessary for recovery. From safe, supervised detox and evidence-based therapies through holistic treatment and ongoing support, clients can turn their lives around. Therapy and counseling helps individuals to identify underlying problems and risk factors for opiate addiction and effectively address these issues.

Medical professionals are also becoming more cautious about prescribing powerful pain relievers such as morphine and oxycodone. Prescription drugs do not have to be a first-line defense; treatments such as acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, meditation, hot/cold therapy, and over-the-counter medications are being incorporated into treatment more often. Many people find these approaches to be beneficial in relieving pain while reducing risk of addiction to opiates.

Some of these same techniques are also integrated into addiction treatment programs. These complementary therapies may support clients in achieving better physical, mental, and emotional health as they progress in recovery. These methods may help ward off relapse and promote more positive mental health as well.

Naloxone: Saving Lives

With the rise of the opiate epidemic, there has also been more talk about naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses. Google searches for naloxone have recently increased by 160 percent. As stories emerge about the impact of this drug and how it can save lives, they want to know more about it. Being revived by naloxone can be a wake-up call to the need to seek professional treatment for opiate addiction at a facility like Above It All.

Naloxone works by replacing opioids in the brain’s opioid receptors. This can help to reverse an overdose within minutes depending on the amount of opiates taken. While it used to be that only doctors and medical personnel could administer naloxone, it is now more widely available to the public as well. Common brands include Narcan and Evzio. Nasal sprays and auto injectors make it easier for individuals such as family, friends, or first responders to administer this recue drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 overdoses have been reversed since 1996.

In some states individuals can purchase naloxone from a local pharmacy without a prescription. In other areas a prescription can be provided to individuals who are on prescription pain relievers, or have experienced an opiate overdose in the past. Family members can often get it as well in case of an emergency. Understanding how and when to administer naloxone can save a person’s life and allow them to seek emergency medical treatment in the event of an overdose.

Treating Opiate Addiction

The increased focus on the opiate epidemic and naloxone shed light on the need for improved access to addiction treatment and reduced stigmas regarding addiction.  Substance use disorders are commonly regarded as a disease and part of mental health disorders due to how they interact with the brain and its function. Talking about addiction and the effectiveness of current treatment programs can help individuals to overcome these challenges and reduce their risk of overdose and relapse.

Above It All works with clients to develop an individualized treatment plan aligned with their unique needs. Everyone is affected by addiction differently and responds to various treatment approaches in their own way. Above It All provides comprehensive care that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social effects of addiction and recovery.

If you or a loved one is taking prescription opioids, it is essential to understand the risk for and warning signs of addiction. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If you are concerned about a loved one, take action. Let them know that you are concerned and encourage them to seek treatment. Support their recovery efforts and do your part to create a safe environment and strengthen communication.

You can also stand up for legislation that supports addiction treatment, prevention measures such as prescription databases, and increased awareness to break down stigmas and reduce misconceptions. Get involved and educate yourself and others; every voice and every vote counts.

Historically, only a small percentage of those in need of addiction treatment actually obtain it. With an increase in addiction-related searches, perhaps more people are taking notice and recognizing the seriousness of the opiate epidemic. It is essential that people realize that there is help available for opiate addiction. At Above It All, clients are supported through detox and engage in treatment that fits their needs. Overdoses are often unintentional, but treatment can help reduce risk and empower clients to live a healthier, more fulfilling life in recovery.

If you are concerned about your own well-being or that of a loved one and want to learn more about how treatment at Above It All can help, contact us today. Learn more about how you can build a brighter future in recovery.

[cta] Take action against opioid addiction and get yourself or a loved one effective addiction treatment at Above It All. [/cta]