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Methods of Drug Detox

There are various types of drug detox programs depending upon the drug or substance of use. These methods can be very effective if chosen for the right condition. In addition to the type of the drug of abuse, other factors that play a role include the dose taken at the time the patient starts detox, the duration of addiction, and if there is polysubstance abuse determine the most appropriate type of detox. Some of the detox methods include “Cold-Turkey” detox, short-term medicated detox, long-term medicated detox, etc.

The “cold turkey” detox method entails stopping the use of all drugs with no pharmacologic assistance and with only medical care available for emergency situations. These patients experience the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms with no help from supportive therapy. That makes it a feasible option for less intense addictions but for the rest, the cold turkey detox is not suitable and can be counterproductive, in fact dangerous.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed
Medical detox, on the other hand, is different because patients who opt for medical detox stop taking their substance of use but as they experience withdrawal symptoms, they are able to take certain medications for a limited period of time to ease discomfort. This is why this program is better tolerated and can handle slightly more intense forms of addictions. It is important to note that the medications administered/prescribed in this program are primarily for symptomatic relief, such as non-addictive sleep medication for insomnia or anxiety. The main idea is to minimize the degree of discomfort as these patients are detoxing.

If an alcoholic is undergoing medical detox, they are commonly given benzodiazepines to alleviate anxiety, jitteriness, insomnia, and to treat or prevent seizures, and they have a cross-tolerance with alcohol. However, in order to treat the use of opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, these medications have to be taken longer-term, especially partial agonists, such as methadone or the drug combination buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone). But over time, as the detox continues, they’ll often require lower doses of medication until they’re eventually drug-free.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed, then the right type of detox program is chosen. Regardless of the type of detox program chosen, it has to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Both these detox types can be carried out with the patient being at home, but it may not be the best option. The reasons for that are that it may not be entirely safe, given the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse with an overdose. It is also less effective given the higher chance of noncompliance. Overall, professional detox is safer, better tolerated and more effective in the end. Choosing the right professional detox is key, however. And at Pacificbayrecovery.com, we provide highly professional, evidence-based care to these patients.

Drug Detox for Women

While it is true that men in the United States report higher rates of drug abuse (7.7% of American men vs. 5% of American women), substance use disorder is a significant problem for women as well. A woman goes to the emergency room after abusing prescription painkillers every 3 minutes in the USA. There are approximately 15.8 million adult women per year reported to be using illicit drugs. The most commonly used substance is alcohol (33.3%), followed by heroin (15.3%), marijuana (14.6%), prescription painkillers (13.8%), cocaine (9.3%), methamphetamine/amphetamines (8.6%), etc.

Women have a different clinical presentation of their substance use disorder. They tend to have a shorter history of abusing alcohol and drugs than men, yet they are likely to develop more severe physical, emotional, behavioral, and social problems compared to men. The spectrum of symptoms and signs may also differ between women and men in any given substance use disorder. Women are also more likely than men to suffer from comorbid mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, eating disorders and particularly polysubstance abuse. It has also been noted that many women begin abusing drugs as a means of self-medication for these disorders.

Women with substance abuse problems may be more susceptible to rape, given their vulnerable state overall
All patients of substance use disorder, regardless of their gender, suffer from social problems, financial issues, mental and behavioral health disorders, malnutrition, hepatitis, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, female patients have these additional unique challenges, including having a higher rate of adverse physical effects on their cardiovascular system. They are also more likely to overdose and more sensitive to certain substances. Women with drug and alcohol addiction may be more likely to face certain financial and legal problems. This becomes even more problematic when they have children. Women with substance abuse problems may be more susceptible to rape, given their vulnerable state overall. A recent study reported that approximately 73% of female drug abusers that were surveyed had a history of rape, of whom 35% were raped while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To makes matters worse, women engaging in substance abuse may face unplanned pregnancies as a result of poor safe sex practices due to lack of awareness/resources or while under the influence.

Female patients are also prone to pregnancy complications, leading to negative outcomes for both the mother and the developing baby. These women who abuse drugs during pregnancy are more likely to experience high blood pressure, migraines, and seizures. Their fetuses are prone to having low birth weight, birth defects, developmental delays, etc. There is a 2-3 times higher risk of stillbirths in these cases.
All of these problems are made worse by several barriers to treatment faced by women. To begin with, women are generally less likely to seek treatment than men, which may be in part due to social stigmas, childcare responsibilities, financial difficulties, transportation issues, lack of interpersonal or familial support, just to name a few.

Special care should be provided to female patients in order to improve compliance, comfort and overall chance of recovery. Some female-specific supportive approaches include onsite childcare, parenting classes, special care for pregnant/nursing mothers or those who are victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. In addition, vocational training, income support, housing assistance, social services, family and couples therapy are also very useful in helping these patients.

3 Must Know Truths about Sobriety

Many people decide to get clean only after they hit rock bottom.

And the first, most important, step on their journey to recovery is to admit they can’t control or manage their addiction and to ask for help.

While this is a defining step in the recovery journey, there is a lot ahead that you should know if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.

Here are a few truths that you should know, about recovery and sobriety.

Recovery is HARD WORK

While people entering a drug or alcohol rehab already know that quitting is going to be tough, detoxing from drugs or alcohol is riddled with uncomfortable, even fatal symptoms, that affect both the body and the mind.

These are withdrawal symptoms and may include –

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache and Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tremor
  • Fever
  • Seizures

Mental Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Excitability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social phobia
  • Perceptual distortions
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Intrusive memories
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Obsessions

Recovery without Professional Help is a BAD IDEA

With the right treatment and support, the journey to recovery can be smooth. But without the right kind of help, quitting may even prove life-threatening, in some cases.

Brutal withdrawals, accidental overdose, and dangerous complications can cause serious problems if you are not at a good rehab or addiction treatment center.

Recovery DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

There is a reason recovery is called a ‘journey’. There is no cure for the disease that is addiction BUT a lifelong practice of sobriety, including behavioral changes and mental adjustments, can help the person lead a sober life forever. The best addiction recovery programs, such as ta Pacific Bay recovery in San Diego, will help you create a sober life for yourself, based on strong foundations. But it requires commitment to your own well-being. That is why good rehabs offer a medical detox followed by an inpatient rehab and later support by outpatient rehab, to ensure you stay clean and sober.

To learn more, call one of the most trusted intensive outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery at 858-263-9700 Today. Pacific Bay Recovery offers both inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment in San Diego.

5 Things you MUST Know if your Son or Daughter is an Addict

As a parent, you want to shield your kids from pain and you do your best to do so. But when your child is a victim of the disease of addiction, it seems you are completely powerless.

Fortunately, if you have a son or daughter who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is hope. Here are 14 things that you should know about children and teens who are addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Addiction is a Brain Disease

Addiction is a brain disease – a complex one that deeply affects those who are addicted to a substance. This may be a tricky concept to wrap your mind around but it is TRUE.

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) defines addiction “as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.”

Addicts are Sick, NOT Wicked

You may feel very angry with your child because of his/her addiction. Most parents condemn it.

The substance abuse may be affecting him/her as well as the rest of your family and you may witness examples of BAD behavior in action. But, that is all addiction, not your son or daughter.

Addiction is a failing of a person’s character. It is a DISEASE.

Addiction is Not a Choice

Understanding that addiction is a disease, and NOT a choice, is hard for many parents. Your child is not CHOOSING to use drugs. S/he may have chosen to do it the first time, but once the addiction is in control, s/he is powerless over the disease. The drugs run the show.

Addiction disrupts the brain’s function of critical thinking and decision making, rendering the addict powerless to exert free choice.

NO ONE wants to be an Addict

Yes, it is true – no one wants to be an addict. No one wants to become hopelessly addicted to a substance, let it ruin their lives and destroy them.

Many people try drugs and move on. However, for those predisposed to the disease of addiction, the brain clings to the high and never wants to let go. Once addiction sets in, the addict is robbed of all free will.

Your Child’s Addiction is NOT your Fault

Many loving parents start blaming and beat themselves up for the mistakes they made as a parent, when they discover that their child is addicted to a substance.

Remember that you don’t cause it or control it. It is not your fault. But you can help your son or daughter get help at a professional rehab and help him/her lead a life of sobriety, doing all they dream of.

Is Drinking Alone a Sign of Alcoholism?

Having a beer or a glass of wine by yourself, in front of the TV isn’t alarming. For many people, it is a usual way to unwind after a long week. But for others, drinking alone is a sign of something bigger. Alcohol addiction is a disease that flourishes on isolation and can rapidly take hold if drinking is your way to cope with uncomfortable emotions or mental trauma.

Is drinking alone a sign of being alcoholic?

Drinking alone does not make a person an alcoholic. However, combined with other warning signs, drinking alone or in secrecy could indicate alcoholism. These warning signs include –

  • Temporary black-outs
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to quit drinking
  • Making excuses to continue or hide drinking
  • Drinking takes priority over your job or relationships
  • Increasing alcohol tolerance
  • Participating in risky behaviors
  • Feelings of withdrawal

Any combination of these symptoms in addition to drinking alone may indicate that your drinking is turning into an alcohol addiction.

There could be several reasons for a person drinking alone, such as –

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Loneliness
  • Sleep problems
  • Anger

Many people drink to avoid or numb such mental health issues. Without proper treatment, a drinking issue can quickly turn into alcoholism.

Is drinking alone dangerous?

Drinking alone results in a number of dangerous consequences. It can put drinkers in unsafe situations since alcohol consumption affects a person’s ability to reason and make decisions. Without anyone around to prevent the person from a risky behavior, the person may engage in drunk driving, and sexually aggressive or violent behaviors. These actions put ther person as well as those around him, in danger.

Drinking alone does not make you an alcoholic, but it could. If your solo drinking sessions have become more common lately, seek help.

 

 

Custom Addiction Treatment for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals often have demanding jobs and face great challenges at work. They are saving lives, after all. Most know when they need help with a substance abuse issue but often do not seek help. A common reason is lack of specific treatment programs for these professionals.

Here are 4 important reasons for customized substance abuse treatment programs for medical professionals.

Your license could be at risk

The state’s Licensing Board has total control over a healthcare professional’s ability to practice medicine. You may be in denial of your substance abuse problem but the Licensing Board will not see it that way. For them, the public’s best interest is important. You are at risk of losing your license.

Not seeking treatment is almost like throwing away your career, something you obviously don’t want.

Addiction specialists understand what you are going through

Specialists at a rehab program are trained and experienced in treating various types of substance abuse disorders – how the nature of each substance is different and how they affect the body differently. They also know how to wean the body off a substance and the individual withdrawal symptoms. Based on your specific condition and your overall health, they would customize a treatment plan, specifically for you.

Access to controlled substances is part of the job

Addiction treatment for healthcare professionals is unique because unlike others, who recover from substance abuse, they will have easy access to controlled substances, tempting them to start re-using. This makes the likelihood of relapse even higher than other individuals. The high degree of stress in the field of healthcare field and the easy access to medications can be a constant temptation.

For all these reasons, healthcare professionals dealing with substance abuse should find a treatment program that is customized to their needs. Seek help.

Odds of Dying from Opioid Overdose Surpasses Automobile Accidents

Death rate statistics in the United States now point to a startling turnaround with the likelihood of dying by opioid drug overdose surpassing the chances of dying in an automobile accident. Automobile accident deaths have long been the balancing point in conversations around the country. It is frequently said that a person has more chances of dying in an automobile than they do in an airplane. This is true.
You also hear that automobile deaths are the number one cause of preventable death. That is no longer the case, according to the Odds of Dying report put out by the National Safety Council (NSC). Opioids, their numbers say, are now the No. 1 preventable death threat in the United States.

The numbers are not only scary today, but the numbers have been on a rampage since 2011, coinciding with the arrival of street market fentanyl, which has proved to be as lethal as any illicit drug in the country. Put another way: The odds of dying by opioid overdose have probably not peaked yet. The problem, in part, is getting the message out to the public. “I can tell you without hesitancy, the general public does not like death rates,” Pain Medicine News quoted NSC statistics manager Ken Kolosh as saying. The aim of the NSC is, in fact, to put statistics in a manner in which the public can fully grasp their meaning. As such, the numbers are frightening, as they should be.

Opioids, their numbers say, are now the No. 1 preventable death threat in the United States

It breaks down this way: The U.S. population was approximately 326 million in 2017. The number of accidental opioid-related deaths came to 43,036 that year. Simply divide 326 million by 43,036 and you get one in 7,569, which are the odds of dying of an opioid-related overdose in the entire year. When you divide that by the average life expectancy, which is 78.6 years, you get one in 96. That’s the odds of dying of an opioid-related accident for someone born in the United States in 2019. Do the same numbers for other causes of death and you have heart disease, a one in six chance; cancer a one in seven chance, chronic respiratory disease one in 27, suicide one in 88. If born in 2019, the odds of dying in an automobile accident are one in 103.

Further, the odds of dying in an automobile accident have been improving over the last 10 years, while the odds of dying from overdose have been getting worse … and worse. According to the CDC, there were 47,600 opioid-related overdoses in 2017, which is 67. 8 percent of all drug overdoses. Are we done being scared? Absolutely not. But Pacific Bay Recovery is absolutely confident we have the team in place to turn your drug or alcohol addiction around.

Confidence and fear do not cancel each other out. We certainly know this is tough. We know this is difficult. We know you did not start out life seeking to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. We know how difficult this can be. We know this is scary, but we also know and abide by one absolute: Emotions can change. What if the source of your fear today – facing recovery – becomes a source of your proudest accomplishment in the future? We understand you are scared today, but how will you feel when you get back on your feet when you find you are no longer beholden to any mood altering substance or behavior?

Recovery is scary on day one. It’s scary on day two. It’s frightening for a while. We can help you get through those early fears and move on to a full, fruitful, healthy life in the future. What may seem scary, depressing and isolating today will look very different in the future. Recovery is about restoring hope. It’s about waking up every day with hope in your heart. Every day you have regained control of your life is a day of hope. You can win this struggle.

Don’t be a statistic. Call Pacific Bay Recovery, San Diego’s top drug and alcohol recovery program. Call 858-263-9700 today.

Is Marijuana addictive?

Marijuana or weed is one of the most intriguing and controversial psychoactive drugs. After the legalization of weed in many US states, the marijuana menace has increased, simply because it is legal and many people are curious to try it.

Marijuana is addictive and one of the most popular and commonly abused substance. While weed is an antidepressant, it also produces psychedelic effects in higher doses. There are two classified types of marijuana – one produces psychedelic effects and the other works as a depressant.

Despite its legal status and medical purposes, weed is addictive. For instance, it is one of the most commonly abused illicit drug among youth and adults.

So, if you wish to know whether weed is addictive, the answer clearly is “YES, it is!”

Marijuana users, especially chronic users, experience physical as well as mental health problems, including brain and memory malfunctions.

The short-term side effects of marijuana include –

• altered senses
• altered sense of time
• changes in mood
• impaired body movement
• difficulty with thinking and problem solving
• impaired memory
• psychosis, hallucinations, delusions (when taken in high doses)

Apart from the above-mentioned short-term side effects, marijuana can have profound effects on brain development, which makes it extremely harmful for children and adolescents. Pregnant women that use the drug give birth to babies with negative behavior and development issues.

MDMA Addiction Treatment

MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is known by many names – Molly, ecstasy/XTC, etc. It is a synthetic drug that has a stimulant and hallucinogenic effect on humans. It was initially used in the treatment of a number of psychological issues, but given its potentially harmful effects, it is not utilized as medicine. It has the ability to lower inhibitions, enhance a sense of interconnectedness, and create psychedelic effects, which is popular among teenagers and young adults, especially in the party culture (“raves”).

MDMA effects start kicking in within an hour or so after taking a single dose and include feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, a general sense of well being, decreased anxiety, as well as an enhanced sensory perception. MDMA dramatically alters an individual’s mood and perception, and its effects are similar to those experienced after taking amphetamine and hallucinogenic drugs. However, there are some users who report undesirable effects immediately, including anxiety, agitation, and recklessness. It can produce a variety of adverse effects, including nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. MDMA overdose results in high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness, and seizures.

We have a team of highly experienced professionals fully trained in the management of MDMA abuse disorder

It is typically consumed as a white powder form which can be applied on the gums, snorted or smoked. But more commonly, it is mixed with other substances and sold as a tablet. There is a common misconception that Ecstasy/MDMA does not lead to addiction or dependence; it is actually opposite to that – It is highly addictive and chronic use leads to serious long-term, overall poor health, wellbeing and quality of life. MDMA addiction may also lead to the development of alcohol addiction and other drug and behavioral addictions, as polysubstance abuse is quite common. Long-term users of Ecstasy/MDMA can lead to tolerance, which is a key factor in the development of addiction.

As devastating as it is, MDMA addiction is fully treatable. It takes will power and determination of the patient, and with the support of loved ones and experienced professionals, recovery from this abuse disorder is achievable. It takes a team of highly trained psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and other mental health professionals who have a thorough understanding of this type of substance abuse disorder to comprehensively treat it. Each patient is unique – different background, medical history, psychiatric issues, social circumstances and physical profile, and the treatment needs to be bespoke, individually tailored with support for each individual. Treatment may include outpatient therapy, 12-Step support group, partial hospitalization or residential treatment, family therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), biofeedback/neurofeedback, hypnotherapy, recreation therapy, etc. We have a team of highly experienced professionals fully trained in the management of MDMA abuse disorder, providing the full gamut of treatment options customized for each patient so that they can have the best shot a full and lasting recovery.

Methadone Addiction

Methadone is a painkilling, opioid drug. Opioids can be natural or man-made, pain-relieving drugs, prescribed to relieve pain and discomfort.

Methadone produces effects, similar to morphine but the effects tend to be longer-lasting. It is commonly used as a substitute to opiate like heroin and morphine. While methadone does not produce intense effects, it can still produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation. However, methadone can still be abused, resulting in physical and psychological dependence, if not used properly.

Short-Term Effects
After an initial absorption, individuals experience drowsiness, which may make them feel lethargic. They also experience pain relief, euphoria and complete relaxation.

Continued use of methadone produces severe physical effects on the body, including –
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Constipation
• decreased heart rate
• pinpoint pupils

Behavioral changes include aggressive mood swings, increased anxiety and feelings of depression.

In the event of an overdose or dependence, users may experience –
• lowered blood pressure
• shallow breathing
• tremors
• itchy skin
• blue lips
• decreased heart rate
• extreme lethargy
• hard time recognizing whereabouts
• even a comatose state

Long-Term Effects
The long-term effects of methadone addiction worsen as the individual goes on using. Long-term use may produce effects, such as –
• severe respiratory issues
• cardiovascular problems
• memory loss and issues with learning
• poor judgement
• changes in personality or behavior
• poor physical hygiene
These issues begin to build-up with continuous injections and go on becoming severe.