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Tag Archive: addiction

Systematic and Medically Supervised Withdrawal from a Drug

Medically supervised withdrawal from a drug, also referred to as detoxification, is the first step in substance abuse treatment programs and it involves the removal of these toxic products from the bloodstream.

An indicator of addiction to a substance is the onset of withdrawal symptoms when trying to remove the drugs from the body. These can range from mild to severe in nature, and there are situations which can be life-threatening depending on the drug used as well as the level of dependency and the method of intake.

Withdrawal symptoms can be both psychological and physical and abruptly stopping the offending drug is usually not suggested. Therefore, medically assisted detoxification is recommended to prevent patients experiencing unwanted withdrawal effects.

assisted or Supervised Withdrawal

Medically Assisted Withdrawal

Medically assisted detoxification is accomplished in a controlled facility which is supervised by healthcare professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some patients may need to be weaned down from the drugs they are using in order to slowly get the product in their system down to nothing, and others may require being prescribed other medications in order to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

The patients most likely to require medically assisted withdrawal include those who are addicted to drugs such as:

  • Prescription opioids
  • Heroin
  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines

Prescription Opioids and Heroin

Prescription opioid addiction is a public health emergency currently in the United States with over 40 Americans dying from opioid overdoses every day in the country. In 2012 alone, over 2 million Americans over the age of 12 were addicted to these medications and another near 500,000 people were addicted to heroin. Heroin is also an opioid but an illegal one.

Opioid addiction needs to be managed medically since withdrawing from these drugs causes uncomfortable symptoms and signs such as:

  • Excessive sweating with intermittent chills
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Generalized muscle aches and pains
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Patients addicted to prescription opioids are usually managed by gradually reducing the dose of the drug until it has worked out completely from their bodies. Heroin is managed differently in that methadone is dispensed to these patients to take over the effects caused by the drug. The methadone is then gradually tapered down until it can be stopped.

Medications such as buprenorphine and buprenorphine combined with naloxone are also used to help treat opioid addiction and dependency.

Alcohol

Suddenly stopping the intake of alcohol in someone who has a severe dependency on this product can be life-threatening.

A condition known as delirium tremens (DT) can develop as a result of alcohol withdrawal and may present with the following symptoms and signs:

  • Agitation
  • Fevers
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

In order to avoid these severe conditions, medically assisted withdrawal from alcohol is often necessary and entails the use of medications such as benzodiazepines. Mineral and vitamin supplementation may also be prescribed to replace those lost as a result of excessive alcohol use.

Benzodiazepines

These drugs do have their place in treating anxiety and sleep disorders but there are patients who become dependent on them and need help to remove them from their system.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal is performed in a similar fashion to that of opioid withdrawal in that the dosage of the medication is tapered down until it is completely metabolized by the body and completely removed from the patient’s bloodstream.

Patients addicted to short-acting benzodiazepines are prescribed longer-acting ones during medically managed withdrawal in order to reduce the chance of potential side effects.

Why Oxycodone is Being Used Recreationally

is oxycodone addictiveOxycodone is a synthetic opioid drug that is produced from thebaine which is found in the Persian poppy plant. The drug is used as a pain relieving medication and is found to be up to 1.5 times more potent than morphine.

Oxycodone is indicated for providing pain relief in patients with moderate to severe pain and is used in situations such as:

  • Post-surgical pain relief.
  • Severe spinal pathologies.
  • Pain caused by certain cancers.

Effects

Effects of oxycodone other than pain relief include:

  • Feelings of euphoria.
  • Reduced anxiety.

The reason why this happens is that the drug works on the opioid receptors in the brain that are involved with the reward system of the organ. Unfortunately, prolonged use of medications such as oxycodone can lead to other problematic behaviors such as:

  • Tolerance – where the user starts to use more of the medication because it doesn’t seem to provide the desired effect, be it pain relief or the mentioned euphoria associated with its use.
  • Recreational use – the pain may no longer be present but the individual may still be using the medication because of the mentioned effects it has on the body.
  • Dependence – this occurs when one stops using the drug and begins to experience withdrawal symptoms thereby causing the individual to continue using oxycodone to prevent these issues from occurring.
  • Addiction – is oxycodone addictive? Yes, it is because continued use of the medication may result in health-related problems, issues with school or work performance, and even getting into trouble with the law. Continued behaviors such as these without taking into consideration the negative consequences associated with it are regarded as addictive behaviors.

In one literature review, multiple studies demonstrated that oxycodone had an elevated abuse liability compared to other similar drugs such as morphine and hydrocodone-based on its high likability scores and relatively reduced amount of subjective effects.1

 

Adverse effects

Oxycodone use in high dosages can lead to problems such as:

  • Suppressed and shallow respiration.
  • Slowed heart rate.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Circulatory collapse.
  • Respiratory arrest.
  • Spinal cord infarction, strokes, and heart attacks due to reduced blood flow and oxygen transport to the involved organs.
  • Liver and/or kidney damage if oxycodone combined with medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are consumed.

Legal status in the United States

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act that was enacted in 1971. This includes formulations of the medication where other drugs are included with the oxycodone, such as those mentioned already.

Despite this legislation, oxycodone is still one of the most commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs in the United States and has given rise to the current opioid epidemic which has resulted in the death of over 180,000 people from 2009 to 2015 with nearly 35,000 of those fatalities coming from the latter mentioned the year.

Management

The primary focus of prevention is at the level of the physicians who prescribe these medications. Caution needs to be exercised when patients are prescribed oxycodone. Their needs and unique circumstances should be factors that must be considered when deciding who is prescribed these kinds of medications.

Where addictive behaviors are suspected in individuals using these medications, the services of local substance abuse rehabilitation facilities should be made use of.

First 6-Month Implant to Treat Opioid Addiction

The Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee (PDAC) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 12 to 6 for the approval of Probuphine implant for treating opioid addiction. Probuphine is the first long-acting subdermal buprenorphine implant that delivers 8 mg or less per day of the drug to the patient.

At the recent meeting, doctors presented efficacy data from a recent clinical study confirming Probuphine’s effectiveness as a 6-month maintenance treatment for opioid dependence. Several sensitivity analyses were presented at the meeting, and the FDA evaluated the results that favored Probuphine. In addition, safety findings showed how insertion and removal procedures were safe.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include licit prescription pain relievers, as well as the illicit drug heroin. Commonly abused opioids include oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine, hydrocodone, and morphine. Opioids interact with opioid receptors that lie on the nerve cells of the brain tissue. These receptors produce pleasurable effects when activated, relieving pain.

Drug Rehab San DiegoHow Common is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, primary, and relapsing brain disease characterized by a person pursuing reward and relief by using substances. Around 21.5 million Americans have a substance use disorder, and of these individuals, almost 2 million use prescription pain relievers. In addition, 586,000 people use heroin, with 23% of these individuals developing an opioid addiction.

Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. According to recent data, there are around 19,000 overdose deaths related to prescription pain medicines each year, and approximately 10,500 overdose deaths are related to heroin annually.

How does Probuphine Work?

Probuphine offers the best chance of individuals with opioid addiction to reach recovery goals. This new treatment is a real option for millions of patients and their families who suffer from opioid addiction. Probuphine provides maintenance treatment continuously for 6 months, decreases the risk of diversion, eliminates the need to visit the clinic frequently, and improves people’s quality of life.

Probuphine is merely a small rod that contains buprenorphine, which is a medication approved by the FDA for opioid addiction. The rod is positioned under the skin of the upper arm in a simple office procedure. The implant delivers a daily dose of medication to the patient without the need for taking pills or injections.

Addiction RecoveryWhat are the Potential Benefits of Using Buprenorphine?

The buprenorphine implant has several benefits. These include:

  • You do not have to worry about taking a pill every day.
  • You will not experience the side effects of Suboxone, such as the awful taste.
  • You won’t have to worry about the medication being stolen, lost, or sold.
  • If you have to go to jail or attend rehab, the implant will continue working, so there is no chance of withdrawal or interruption in treatment.
  • The treatment is more effective than short-term detoxification followed by maintenance medicines.

What is involved in the Treatment Program?

The Probuphine 6-month implant is used as a part of a complete treatment program that includes psychological support and counseling. Probuphine consists of 4 one-inch-long rods that are implanted beneath the skin of the upper arm. The doctor administering the medication is specially trained for the surgical insertion and removal procedure. The doctor must become certified through the Probuphine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program.

Is the Probuphine Implant Safe?

In a recent randomized clinical trial, the safety and efficacy of Probuphine were demonstrated. The participants were adults who met strict clinical criteria for opioid dependence. This was measured using self-reporting illicit opioid use and urine screening. Of the participants, 64% had no evidence of opioid use throughout the six months of evaluation and implant treatment.

 

Resources:

American Society of Addiction Medicine (2016). Opioid Addiction.

Food and Drug Administration (2016). FDA approves first buprenorphine implant for treatment of opioid dependence.

Addiction Treatment Facts from a Top San Diego Rehab Center

The Facts on Addiction Therapy

There are many addictions that can take control of your life. The two most prevalent are illicit drugs and alcohol. With the lifestyle we as American lead, we don’t stop to consider if the occasional glass of wine with dinner or the few beers on Sunday afternoon watching the game will create a destructive pattern that might lead to addiction. This lack of concern is probably because it is socially acceptable to drink, and we don’t even see the warning signs until it starts to spiral out of control and is too late.Detox Center San Diego

The statistics on addiction among youth and teenagers are alarming. Around 50 percent of high school seniors have abused a drug of some kind, and by the 8th grade, approximately 15 percent of kids have tried marijuana. Also, 64 percent of teenagers report using prescription drugs obtained from their parents or family members.

Types of Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapy is a viable treatment option for those addicted to drugs or alcohol. It is essential for recovery. The two types of therapy are group therapy and individual counseling. While someone may want to do individual therapy, it isn’t always the right choice for everyone. Group therapy is usually preferred because an addict is more likely to relate with others going through there same situation. Usually, people who are seeking individual therapy are being treated for one or more other underlying disorders that require treatments besides the drug and alcohol addiction.

In therapy, whether group or individual, the addiction therapist will teach the addict how to recognize and avoid the triggers that create thoughts to use. This is done by helping the addict to replace the negative urges with healthier ones. Drug and alcohol abuse specialists show the person Alcohol Rehab San Diegohow to recognize the thoughts, situations, and moods that create the craving.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps many of those addicted, but there are very few therapists that are trained in this type of treatment. These days, with the scientific understanding of how drug and alcohol affects the brain, cognitive therapists are able to gain more insight on how to treat the drug or alcohol patients so they can lead a long, healthy, addiction-free life.

Regardless of the therapy you choose, for recovery to be successful, you need to decide if it is right fit for you. Does it fit your beliefs and values? Do you believe that it will help you in your pursuit of recovery from drug and alcohol? These are questions you need to consider.

Meet with your substance abuse professional or counselor to ask questions about their success rate and what were the most effective treatments that worked 5, 10, and 20 years down the road. This is you taking charge and responsibility for your addiction, and you are the hiring manager. You are investing in yourself like a company invests in an employee. Over the long haul, you want to make sure the time is worth it.

The best drug and alcohol rehab center in San Diego is Pacific Bay Recovery. The center offers customized and comprehensive treatments including medical detox, inpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment as well for long term success. Group and individual therapy is involved at the center, with the combination options achieving success rates that are over 3 times the national average! Call us today.