Muscle Relaxants Developing Addictions

 

The battle against illegal drug abuse has taken a new turn with the growing number of cases involving the use of muscle relaxant medications. The fact is, muscle relaxant medications do have ingredients and effects that are considered habit-forming.  These drugs, similar to some narcotics, target some areas of the central nervous system to reduce or eliminate the sensation of pain.  Users of the medication may   experience a slight “buzz” that may be likened to the “high” effects of certain narcotic substances. In particular, the sensation has sometimes been compared to morphine, which is also used to control pain. Morphine is classified as a pain killer and it does have a muscle relaxant effect.  Both drugs target the central nervous system by inhibiting the production or flow of certain chemical transmitters. In the case of morphine, the drug temporarily disables the neurotransmitters that signal the body to feel pain in certain afflicted areas. In the case of a muscle relaxant, the drug actually also works to control the amount of activity involving the chemical receptors and transmitters. Also, the morphine is used to remove the sensation of pain to prevent the patient from recognizing that physical damage is occurring, whereas a muscle relaxant is designed to help prevent damage to muscle tissue.

 

 

Muscle relaxant addiction is still far from being considered a rampant social problem.  But if not addressed properly, it can be a serious concern in the not-to-distant future.  While there are some pain killing drugs available in the market, these are thought to be too mild to generate the addictive “buzz” that addicts crave for.  According to some reports, there are some more potent muscle relaxant drugs being tested out that might be made available without a doctor's prescription. If that is the case, then the number might increase.

 

Another factor to consider might be that some people addicted to pain killers might actually be unaware that they are developing an addiction, or are actually hooked on drugs. Denial is actually one of the strongest characteristics among people with substance abuse problems.  Persons addicted to narcotics or prescription medication slide down gradually, only to find themselves emotionally, psychologically, and physically bound to excessive drug use.

 

Since these medications can be used either on a regular basis or whenever the patient needs them, it can be difficult to determine if someone is using them irregularly or has developed a dependency. The easiest way to tell would be to know doses taken each day.   The larger the doses taken regularly, the faster that a user can develop dose tolerance which can lead to a progressively larger intake of the drug.

 

Substance abuse, including the unregulated intake of pain killers, is a problem that should concern everyone.  If left unattended, it can be next major problem for law enforcement.  Fortunately, a majority of pain killers are still prescription drugs that cannot be obtained without approval from a doctor or licensed pain therapist.  Still, adequate attention must be made on just how many patients are prescribed with pain killing products, how much is now being consumed in the market, and by whom. 

If you or someone you love may be struggling with overuse of muscle relaxants, it is important to reach out for help as soon as possible. The misuse of medication often leads to a more deadly and addictive drug of choice.

The Giving Tree Treatment Center dedicates itself to assisting individuals through a comfortable detox, with a focus on strengthening the relationship with the client’s self and family members.

 

 

 

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Latest News on the Overdose Epidemic

New Jersey Herion Overdoses: The Worst in the Country

 

New Jersey’s drug crisis has caused drug overdoses to be the leading cause of accidental death. Over the last ten years, admission to drug treatment programs has increased over 700%. In addition to the increase, there have also been over 14,000 deaths from drug overdoses alone since 2004. The state has an over 3x higher than the nation when it comes to heroin usage and fatalities.

One city even has the name Herointown, and it is for a reason. The dangerous town exits all across the state of New Jersey, where heroin and opioid addiction have skyrocketed in the past ten years, killing over 5,000 residents and enveloping thousands more into a spiral of addiction.

According to multiple state reports, the death rate in Herointown is almost twice that of the state including the rate of infectious disease, unemployment and homelessness far surpasses any level New Jersey has seen in over twenty years.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, the increase of opioid overdoses happened in three waves: the first wave consisted in the 1990s when there was a sharp increase in the prescribing of prescription painkillers, which resulted in the rise of deadly overdoses towards the 2,000’s. The second wave came in 2010 when heroin overdoses skyrocketed nationwide. Most of the heroin users started because of prescription opioids. Lastly, the third wave was the massive rise in overdoses around the country involving synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) started around 2013.

According to data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and health overall, in the state of New Jersey,  over 38,00 people over the age of 12 used heroin within the past year, the seventh highest in the nation. New Jersey also estimated that 283,000 people over the age of 12 misuses opioids with the last year, also reported in the same survey.

If someone is found in possession of heroin in the state of New Jersey will have to pay a D.E.D.R. penalty.  D.E.D.R. stands for Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction. D.E.D.R.  carries a penalty for third-degree possession of heroin is $1,000.00. If convicted, an individual could face an additional fine of up to $35,000.00.

The state has tried countless awareness campaigns to educate users and loved ones of the dangers and symptoms. New Jersey’s health commissioner went as far as to allow paramedics to administer the drug buprenorphine to victims virtually immediately after reviving them from an opioid overdose, mainly using Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal nasal spray. The number of drug overdoses due to heroin and other street drugs still fills the streets of New Jersey; however, with education and awareness, the leaders of the state hope to curb the toll quickly.

If anyone is struggling with drugs or alcohol The Recover’s, national helpline is available at (888) 510-3898
 
 
 
 
The Recover is an unbiased substance abuse and mental health news provider. Helping individuals looking for the right treatment programs in their area. Also providing information on drug rehab centers for addiction recovery.
 
 
 
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Oxycodone Abuse & Addiction & Side Effects & Testing

Oxycodone is a prescription drug that acts as a depressant of the central nervous system. It is a narcotic, much like Vicodin and morphine and is used to treat moderate to severe pain like that caused by fractures, arthritis, childbirth and serious diseases like Cancer.

Going by such brand names as Percocet, OxyContin, Tylox and Percodan, oxycodone is an opiate that is highly addictive and is being abused by many. When taken repeatedly, one can become tolerant to the drug, therefore requiring higher doses to experience the same effects. Oxycodone is often mistakenly referred to as Oxycontin. This drug is also referred to as oxy and hillbilly heroin on the street. 

Oxycodone Side Effects

Oxycodone is very addictive and is often abused by individuals who begin taking the drug as a part of a prescription but spiral out of control into actually abusing it. As their tolerance increases, they require a higher and higher oxycodone dosage to achieve the same effects, such as euphoria, pain relief and the prevention of withdrawal symptoms.

When taken as prescribed, oxycodone can cause several side effects including constipation, headache, nausea, excessive sweating and dry mouth. An oxycodone overdose can cause severe symptoms including seizures, coma, dizziness, clammy skin and slowed breathing.

Oxycodone Abuse

Abusers of oxycodone may either take it in its original pill form or crush it into a powder to be snorted. The drug can also be melted in water and injected. Because the drug is meant to act as a time-released pain reliever, when crushed or injected oxycodone causes an intense high that involves feelings of euphoria. This is how abusers experience an oxycodone overdose, due to the large amount of the substance being released into their system at once, rather than slowly released over time in the oxycodone pill form.

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

If a person's use of oxycodone is radically different from their prescription or doctor's recommendations, or is taken without a prescription, they may be addicted to the drug. Oxycodone abuse can be seen in those who have developed a dependence on the drug and will continue to take it despite negative consequences. Their bodies go through withdrawal when the intake of the drug is ceased. Withdrawal symptoms are quite obvious and include anxiety, diarrhea, nausea, muscle cramping, especially in the legs, and restlessness.

How To Test For Oxycodone Abuse

There are many different types of drug tests available that detect oxycodone. When searching for one, look for those that test for opiate abuse. Also look for drug tests that test for another opiate, hydrocodone. This substance can be found in drugs such as Vicodin and produces much of the same affects as oxycodone. Drug testing kits come in several types including oxycodone urine tests, saliva tests and hair tests.

Employers, in particular, are often concerned with drug testing and how to go about administering it, yet don't know where to turn. Liability rests on the shoulders of the employer, making drug abuse of utmost concern. While abusing oxycodone can decrease a person's ability to make sound judgments and decisions, the abuse of any drug in the workplace can potentially lead to disastrous results. This is why employers often opt to start an employee drug testing program. 

Parents, too are worried about drug use in their homes. Teenage drug abuse of substances such as oxycodone is a serious matter. Even the slightest suspicion of teen drug use, and a drug test should be administered.

Why Addressing Cocaine Addiction is Important

Addiction is a nasty word that many people find very difficult to confront. Usually it is because they are addicted, or they know or suspect a loved one of being caught in the trap of addiction. It is not always easy to confront things like addiction.

With some people, addiction might take the form of "they have to have their fix now" while others have an urgency to get out and meet with their friends because they're going to get high together. Whichever form of addiction it is, the social addiction or the craving for the drug addiction, it is something that needs to be addressed and resolved with urgency.

Why is cocaine addiction so serious? To give it to you straight, it is a powerfully addictive drug and it can kill! Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that interferes with the re-absorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. The buildup of dopamine causes continuous stimulation of receiving neurons, which is associated with the euphoria commonly reported by cocaine abusers.

It is not a drug to be ignored, even if the addict is only using it socially. Using cocaine takes many forms, including injecting, snorting or smoking. Smoking and snorting are far the most dangerous ways of using it but that does not make any other way of using it any less serious.  Crack (smoking) has become a major problem in many American cities because it is inexpensive and easily transportable. It is sold in small vials, folding paper, or tinfoil.

Resolving cocaine addiction speedily is of paramount importance if one is to rescue a loved one from its grips and the potential consequences.

The effects a cocaine user feels appear almost immediately after a single dose. The "problem", however, is that they disappear within minutes or hours resulting in the user wanting more in a fairly short space of time.

In small doses, it makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative and mentally alert with heightened perceptions of sight, sound and touch. It can decrease the desire for food, which makes it worse. Cocaine's effects can be a complete dichotomy in that some will find it simple to perform simple physical and intellectual tasks quicker, while others have the opposite effect.

Short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased temperature, heart rate and blood vessels. Large amounts intensify the user's "high" which, very often, also leads to bizarre, erratic and violent behavior. They may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia and can even have a toxic reaction similar to amphetamine poisoning.

Cocaine addiction is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Some users get very restless, irritable and become anxious. In some instances, it can result in sudden death even in a first time user or, unexpectedly, thereafter. They are usually the result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory failure. As an addict becomes accustomed to the dosage of cocaine, it no longer produces the desired effect so he has to constantly increase the dose, increasing the likelihood of serious consequences so something has to be done about it.

Having a loved one in the throes of cocaine addiction calls for urgent attention and a good cocaine treatment program is the only real solution to this problem. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of "solutions" out there, which can cause a lot of confusion for anyone trying to ravel through the myriad of options.

Some important criteria that must be weighed up when making decisions about any cocaine treatment program include 1) how the withdrawal is undertaken, 2) are drugs (meds) used to do the withdrawal, 3) how does the person get the drug residues out of their body, 4) is the individual himself - not his body - rehabilitated fully.

Another important question to ask is "What are the results"? Any program that does not at least have an 80% success rate is not worth spending another minute on. You're not throwing money at a slot machine; you're trying to save a loved one's life. Putting them through a program only to have them revert within days of completing adds unbelievable additional strain to a family.

 Anyone using any drugs - whether it be alcohol, meds or street drugs - experiences the same phenomena of woodenness, inability to think straight, depression, the list goes on and on. These feelings do not go away just because the person somehow or other managed to stop using the substance, hence it is vitally important that you find a program that meets the above requirements. That's the only way you will truly get your loved one back on track. 

Something started them down that road and that something came before the drug was ever used. That makes it even more critical that the right program is found so you can truly have your loved one back and not a shell of their former self.

At The Giving Tree Treatment Center, we address Cocaine addiction through constant monitoring by trained professionals, medical evaluation, a medically assisted detoxification, and therapeutic sessions. All this helps the individual to understand how cocaine can affect the body, mind and soul. Group and individual sessions with licensed counselors and therapists will being the process of mental and emotional healing from past trauma and drug use. 

Call for help today!

(310)779-1014

What Kind of Care to Expect when Attending a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility.

Addiction, formally known as substance abuse disorder is a serious disease. Not only can it tear a family apart and lead to financial ruin, it can also lead to the premature death of the addicted user. Therefore, it is vital for person suffering from this disease to find help immediately. Without help, it is nearly impossible for a person with an addiction to recover and return to a happy, healthy life.

The Support of a Rehab Center

In all cases, the addiction and other difficulties the patient faces are kept confidential. The individual receives the support and care necessary for them to achieve a prosperous life in recovery. Their treatment will also include five primary components: a medical evaluation, a psychological evaluation, therapy, detox, and extended care.

The Medical Evaluation

The medical evaluation is meant to help the staff identify any physical problems the person with an addiction may have. Often, these physical problems can be caused by our addiction. Problems with the liver, for example, may have developed as a result of heavy alcohol use. After medical problems have been identified, the staff of the rehab center can work toward making the patient physically healthy once more.

Improving the patient's physical health is an important component of addiction recovery. This is because it takes a holistic approach to get an addict back on the road of recovery. This includes taking care of the patient's physical, mental, and emotional health. Without this three-pronged approach, the patient is more likely to fail in the process of addiction recovery.

The Psychological Evaluation

The psychological evaluation also provides the staff of the rehab center with volumes of important information about the patient. The psychological evaluation helps the team better understand the patient. In addition, the team of specialists can determine whether the person suffering from alcohol addiction is also struggling from certain psychological problems. For example, it is common for a person suffering from alcohol addiction to also suffer from depression. If this is the case, the program developed to assist the patient will also include a plan to address this issue.

Therapy

Generally, a rehab center will provide both group and individual therapy to its patients. The group therapy is designed to give the person support from others who are experiencing the same difficulties. Being able to share in the struggles with those who can truly understand often makes the process easier for a patient to deal with.

Nonetheless, individual counseling is also critical to addiction recovery. Having the opportunity to work one-on-one with a counselor helps the patient work through his or her own individual conflicts. Through individual therapy, the patient can come to terms with his or her addiction and work through ways to resolve it by setting individual goals.

Detoxification

In addition the medical and physical evaluations, patients of rehabilitation centers generally undergo a 24-hour medically supervised detoxification and withdrawal period. During this period, the patient is forced to go without their drug of choice. For many patients coping with addiction, this may be the longest time they have gone without that drug in many years.

The detoxification period is difficult for the person suffering from addiction because it is accompanied by extreme withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms take their toll on the patient both physically and mentally. For this reason, the center also provides close patient monitoring and assistance during this period.

Extended Care

Extended care, which is also sometimes referred to as aftercare, is vital to the success of addiction recovery. Through an extended care program, the patient continues to receive support and assistance from the rehabilitation center after being released from the more intensive rehab program.

Extended care programs are designed to help monitor the patient's success in recovery. To do this appropriately, the program staff watch over the patient to be sure he or she is utilizing the new skills gained during their treatment. For instance, the extended care specialist may work with the patient to be sure he or she is staying away from specific crowds of people that encourage drinking and drugging. Or, the extended care specialist may check to be sure the patient is utilizing appropriate resistance skills. Without a strong extended care program, it is easy for the patient to fall back into the cycle of abuse.