Category: Drugs

opiate medication

From Painkillers to Heroin: The Unintended Consequences of Opiate Medication

The addiction epidemic spreading throughout our nation has been growing at an unprecedented rate. It has been a problem for a number of years, but the past couple decades have been the worst of it. One of the largest contributing factors to the current state has been the widespread opioid epidemic. Of course, opioids hold a valuable purpose within the medical realm, which would be pain relief. When prescribed and used correctly, these medications can be very effective in helping people to recover from various ailments and to operate without pain in their daily lives. Although, many of these medications can be massive issues when it comes to addiction as well. Aside from legal opioid medications, there are also illicit opioids that are problems, with the most prominent of these being heroin.

How Heroin Use Rates Have Changed

Previously, heroin used to be a drug that was more commonly used by people within low-income neighborhoods, but this has changed greatly over the years. Nowadays, heroin is even being used by young adults in affluent neighborhoods. The opioid painkiller epidemic mentioned above is what has largely led to this situation. In today’s age, painkillers are being prescribed to more people and for more conditions than ever and many of those prescribed these medications have been converting to using heroin down the road. Realistically, the chemical structures of heroin and many of these painkillers are highly similar, which makes them only a hop skip and a jump away from each other. Most of these substances are sourced from the opium poppy plant, while others may be partly or completely created synthetically, but all of them bind to the same receptors in the brain. When used, opioids bring about reduced pain, a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and drowsiness.

With any of these opioids, there comes a matter of tolerance. When an individual has been continuously using one of these substances, their body grows accustomed to it and develops a tolerance, meaning that it then requires them to take higher amounts to achieve the same effects. This is where the road of addiction and heroin use begins. As a person continues to use oxycodone, they could also develop a physical dependence, which is when the body is so used to the drug being in the system that it has trouble properly functioning without it. If the person stops using or doesn’t use enough, they can experience hellacious cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Of course, this often prompts them to use more to relieve these ailments, and so begins the downward spiral.

Then comes the matter of how this leads to these individuals using heroin. There are generally three main factors that contribute to this transition. Firstly, comes the matter of tolerance. If an individual continues to build a larger tolerance, they may move to heroin as a way to get a more potent dose and achieve the desired effects. Secondly, heroin is much cheaper than pain medications. The typical cost of a pain pill for an uninsured individual is about $1 per milligram, meaning that an 80-milligram pill will cost them about $80, whereas an equal amount of heroin can be obtained for around a tenth of that price. As an individual’s habit grows, it can be harder to afford the larger amount of pain pills they need to achieve their desired effects, which prompts a move to heroin so they can afford their fix. Lastly, heroin is often more easily found on the streets than pain pills.

Unfortunately, this progression is not limited by demographic whatsoever anymore. With how prominently painkillers are being prescribed these days, more and more people are falling into this chain progression. There have even been police officers, doctors, nurses, ministers, and various other professionals moving to heroin after having developed an addiction to painkillers. As mentioned above, this is not a new issue either. Painkiller abuse and addiction have been growing problems for many years. They have heavily contributed to increased rates of accidental overdose, with someone dying in this way every 19 minutes in America, which is more deaths than car accidents cause.

One important factor that needs to be viewed in this issue is the rate with which our country prescribes these medications. A very mind-blowing statistic shows why our country is having the largest problem with this situation, which would be that 80% of painkillers in the world are consumed within the United States. What makes this statistic even worse is that our country only holds about 5% of the world’s population.

OxyContin and Heroin

Obviously, there have been some efforts to curb this massive issue, such as making medications abuse deterrent. One of the most prominent of these efforts was in 2010 when OxyContin was released in an abuse-deterrent version. It underwent a reformulation that made it much more difficult to crush or dissolve the pill, which limited people from snorting or injecting it. This did help somewhat by reducing OxyContin from 35.6% to 12.8% as a drug of choice over the course of two years. Unfortunately, this also greatly increased the rates of heroin use by nearly double. The problem ran into here is something referred to as the balloon effect. This is an analogy for the way that if one squeezes a balloon, the air is simply displaced into a different part of the balloon rather than going away. Applying this to OxyContin and heroin, these pain pills were made harder to use for individuals, but instead of this stopping their use, they simply moved to a similar substance. OxyContin and heroin are quite closely related chemically, so it made the jump easy for users.

Many of our efforts over the years focused largely in the area of legality. Individuals caught abusing pain meds or using heroin were prosecuted and given ridiculous sentences. Sure, this may stop these individuals from using while serving their time, but many of them simply return to use soon after being released. This can be pretty easily understood, considering that there is much more to handling addiction than simply ceasing to use substances, and these imprisonments do nothing to handle the underlying condition. These punitive efforts essentially focus more upon curbing the resultant symptoms of these individual’s struggling with underlying difficulties.

As far as moving forward, further efforts need to be directed toward treatment of those struggling. There has begun to be a paradigm shift in this direction, with more states refocusing their law enforcement on getting these individuals help. Several other countries and even some states have chosen to go with harm reduction efforts. For instance, some countries actually provide heroin to addicts, which in some ways, can reduce risks and use of other drugs. There are numerous consequences that heroin users can face, such as injection site infection, infections of the heart lining and valves, and bloodborne illnesses from sharing needles. Providing individuals with heroin and clean needles can help to curb many of those medical risks. Although, this harm reduction methodology is not necessarily the right direction either, as it is more of a defeatist enabling of the problem. Of course, heavy legal prosecution has already displayed that it is not very successful in addressing the issue. We need to focus on treating the underlying conditions that these individuals are struggling with and that is how we will truly begin to address and move forward from this massive epidemic.

oxycontin and pain management

The Dangerously Flawed History Behind OxyContin and Pain Management

The drug epidemic within our country has seemed to only worsen as time goes on. Many substances have been reformulated for increased potency, which has contributed to more people developing addictions to them. One of the most problematic types of substances in this epidemic has been opioid pain medications. Of course, these substances have a valuable purpose within the medical realm, but they can also be quite dangerous and come with a huge risk of addiction. OxyContin has been a massive problem in particular since it was introduced in 1996.

Interesting Facts About OxyContin

Some of the most interesting facts about OxyContin and a large part of the issue was in the way that it was marketed. OxyContin was originally manufactured and launched by Purdue Pharma, and they had claimed that a single dose of the medication would relieve pain for 12 hours, which was more than double that of generic medications and this is what set it apart from many of the medications in use. Purdue was telling doctors that patients would not have to wake up during the night to take their medications, as it would only require one dose in the morning and one at night for regular pain control.

From the above premise, OxyContin came to be the best selling pain medication in America, also allowing Purdue to receive revenue to the tune of $31 billion. Unfortunately, this rapid and huge success was disguising a hidden truth, which was that the medication was actually wearing off earlier than what was claimed by many people. Chemically, OxyContin is related to heroin, and when it does not last the time periods necessary, individuals may go through burdensome withdrawal symptoms. The individual can then begin experiencing intense cravings, which contributes to people developing an addiction and is also why OxyContin is one of the most abused drugs in our country.

An LA Times investigation into this matter actually found quite a lot of interesting facts about OxyContin, including the deceit and misdirection surrounding it. In fact, based on reviewed confidential documents from Purdue and various other records, they found that earlier clinical trials had shown that the 12 hour claim was not true for many patients and that the company had even been confronted with further evidence, reports from sales reps, independent research, and complaints from doctors regarding this. Yet, Purdue continued to hold on strong to the 12-hour pain relief claim, likely in large part to keep the revenue flowing. Realistically, OxyContin does not offer much advantage over other less expensive pain medications without the 12-hour claim. There was even a point in the late 90’s where doctors had begun prescribing OxyContin in shorter intervals, which prompted Purdue to send a flurry of sales reps to get them back onto the 12-hour dosing regimen. Purdue recommended prescribing stronger doses instead of more frequent ones, which can increase the risks of overdose, addiction, and death.

OxyContin Abuse and Dependence

Over time, the problem of OxyContin abuse continued to grow rapidly, with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health stating that more than 7 million Americans abused OxyContin over the past 20 years. This contributed heavily to the rates of an overdose on OxyContin and various other pain medications. Many of those abusing it may have even fallen into that pattern of behavior due to the claim of 12-hour pain relief. If a person’s medication wears off early and they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings, this could lead to them taking another dose for a reprieve. When this continues, it can bring about a repetitious cycle of addiction and dependence.

The issue of OxyContin not lasting 12 hours for many people was well known by Purdue, but they simply used the select favorable results to promote this claim. In fact, for them to secure FDA approval, Purdue had to show that OxyContin was effective and safe like other medications on the market and to establish the desired length of duration, they had to demonstrate that the medication lasted 12 hours for a minimum of half of the patients. To adhere to these guidelines, Purdue submitted a study from Puerto Rico that did display this, but this also effectively neglected the several other studies that did not show what they wanted. Although, their skewed findings worked well enough and they were able to secure FDA approval in 1995.

The Financial Gains of OxyContin

The creation of OxyContin was a two-sided venture, as it was developed as a way to better mitigate pain but it was also a solution to a financial problem. Previously, one of the largest money makers for Purdue was a medication called MS Contin, which was a morphine medication for cancer treatment. In the late 80’s, the patent for this medication was about to come to an end, which was going to place Purdue at a disadvantage because of generic versions driving the price of their proprietary medication down. Then in 1990, the vice president for clinical research suggested the development of a second pain medication that was also a controlled-release form. Purdue had already discovered a way to extend the duration of a medications release, which was used in MS Contin and made it last around 8 to 12 hours. They looked into the form of opiate known as oxycodone, which generally lasts around 6 hours. When looking at the normal duration, they theorized that their extended release method could make it last 12 hours. Purdue then began development of OxyContin, with this lasting about a decade and cost them over $40 million.

Now, back to the marketing techniques used by Purdue during the rollout of OxyContin. Realistically, they seemed to put everything into this medication, including massive amounts of time and money. After all, this was supposed to be their solution to the generic flooding of the market, so they needed people and professionals to be fully on board with their new medication. This included Purdue working to break out of the cancer-only market. OxyContin and Purdue resulted in somewhat of a paradigm shift, as prior to its release, doctors were very aware of the dangers of narcotic pain medications and they were mainly considered to be for the terminally ill and cancer patients.

The change in this scene came with the push from Purdue and their new release. Employees of the company were told by a marketing executive that they did not want OxyContin to be just for cancer pain. They then went on to double their sales team and pump $207 million into the launch of OxyContin. Sales reps were convincing doctors that the medication was even for lesser conditions like knee or back pain, with the 12-hour dosing being the hook. Prescribing doctors were given gifts covered in a “Q12h” logo and doctors were brought to seminars and weekend events at hotels. Of course, the intent of these events being to bring doctors on board for prescribing their medication and encouraging colleagues back home to do the same. Unfortunately, these marketing and sales techniques were quite effective for Purdue, with OxyContin sales quickly dwarfing their MS Contin sales.

Down the line in 2002, a lawsuit was brought against Purdue regarding their exaggeration of the duration. Much of this case was kept under wraps due to sealed court documents and Purdue’s attempts to keep it from going to trial. Realistically, a lot of questions would have been directed at Purdue during a trial and sealed evidence would have been laid bare for numerous officials. This prompted Purdue to take any action necessary to avoid this, which in the end, included them paying a $10 million settlement on the eve of the trial. This settlement money was used for the funding of programs discouraging drug abuse.

amphetamines and methamphetamines

5 Ways Amphetamines Differ from Methamphetamine

Amphetamine and methamphetamine are two drugs that, based on their names and chemical base, you may assume are similar in every way. It’s true that amphetamine and methamphetamine can produce many of the same mood-boosting effects in users, but there are some important differences between the two drugs, including how they are obtained and their potential for abuse and addiction. If you are facing an addiction to amphetamines or methamphetamine, asking for help may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. Call Best Drug Rehab today at (877) 474-7119 for more information about amphetamine addiction and treatment.

What is an Amphetamine Drug?

Both amphetamine and methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, are central nervous system stimulants that increase the release of the pleasure chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain, which stimulates the brain’s reward center and, with continued use, causes the user to crave ever-increasing amounts of the drug. Amphetamines are considered “uppers,” which means they produce psychostimulant effects in users, resulting in pleasurable feelings, like euphoria, increased energy and alertness, improved mood and ability to concentrate, and higher self-esteem. Methamphetamine, a derivative of amphetamine, also produces a euphoric effect in users that elevates mood and increases energy. However, there are several ways in which amphetamine and methamphetamine differ, including the following:

  1. Chemically speaking, amphetamine is phenylethylamine, while methamphetamine is referred to as N-methylamphetamine.
  2. Methamphetamine is significantly faster-acting and more potent, and is, therefore, more addictive than amphetamine.
  3. Amphetamine is prescribed for medical use, while meth is considered an illicit recreational drug.
  4. Amphetamine and methamphetamine have their own groups of addicts. Someone can be addicted to amphetamine but not meth, and vice versa.
  5. Methamphetamine is more effective as a central nervous system stimulant, with less cardiovascular and peripheral nervous system stimulation.

What are Amphetamines Prescribed For?

Because of their ability to increase metabolism or improve focus and mental clarity, amphetamines are often used in prescription weight loss drugs and medications designed to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some widely-used drugs with amphetamines include Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Dexedrine. When taken exactly as prescribed, under the careful supervision of a healthcare professional, amphetamine can have some medical benefits and may be fairly safe to use. Methamphetamine, on the other hand, is a drug with no medical purpose and one that is more commonly associated with illicit, recreational use. Both drugs pose a risk of overdose, and abuse of either amphetamine or methamphetamine can cause the following adverse side effects:

  • Blurred vision
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe mood swings
  • Aggression and violent impulses
  • Increased irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headaches

Chronic use or high doses of amphetamine can have devastating physical or psychological consequences, including psychosis, behavioral changes, heart attack, stroke, seizures, coma or even death.

Contact Best Drug Rehab Today

Many amphetamine users underestimate the risks of taking the stimulant drug, believing that it’s safe to take just because it was prescribed by a doctor. However, people may crush amphetamine pills and snort the powder to intensify the drug’s effects, combine it with water into a solution and inject it, or smoke it by inhaling its vapors, and even people who take amphetamine as prescribed by a doctor can become addicted to the stimulant. In fact, while amphetamine and methamphetamine have different chemical makeups and their effects on the body can vary significantly, both drugs carry a high potential for abuse and addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to amphetamine or methamphetamine, call Best Drug Rehab today at (877) 474-7119 to speak with an experienced substance abuse counselor about your treatment options.

counterfeit oxycodone pills

Counterfeit Oxycodone Pills: Why They Might be Laced with Heroin

There are many reports circulating today about fake Oxycodone pills. The reports state that these counterfeit Oxycodone pills are actually Heroin, a highly addictive and dangerous drug. Among other opioids, counterfeit Oxycodone is becoming more and more rampant in today’s illegal drug trade.

These fake pills are pressed and even marked with the same A/215 to look nearly identical to the real thing. Some reports show the fake pills as being green, which is a marked difference from the real ones, which are purely white. But you can’t simply tell the populace to avoid the “green pills” as the official and legal pharmaceutical pill color for Oxycotin, which contains Oxycodone, is in fact green. So, how do we tell the real Oxycodone from the counterfeit Heroin?

Oxycodone and Heroin – How to tell them apart

Even though there are many similarities between the real and counterfeit pills, here is what you want to look for to spot the fakes:

  • Look at the texture of the pill. Real Oxycodone has a uniform speckle pattern, the counterfeits usually have much larger specks.
  • Lick the pill. If it doesn’t taste extremely bitter, you are dealing with a counterfeit.
  • When you wet the pill, notice if the color changes. If it begins to turn a yellowish color, it is fake.
  • Smell the pill. If it is made with Heroin, it will often smell a little bit like vinegar.

Is There Heroin in Oxycodone?

You may be surprised to learn that the molecular structure of Heroin and Oxycodone and nearly identical. After all, Oxycodone and Heroin are both semi-synthetic drugs that are derived from the exact same plant, the Opium Poppy. They also act in the same manner in the body, lingering in the brain and affecting the neuroreceptors that allow cells to communicate with one another. So that prompts another question, is Oxycodone like Heroin?

When looking at the difference between Heroin and Oxycodone, you could ask yourself the question “What difference?” Heroin and many prescription pain pills, such as Oxycodone, affect the same neuroreceptors in the brain which can lead to the formation of the same dependencies, which ultimately lead to addiction. The addictive dependence and eventual withdrawal symptoms of Heroin and Oxycodone are shockingly similar.

Withdrawl Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms for Heroin and Oxycodone alike include anxiety, pain, muscle cramping, insomnia, hot and cold sweats, and diarrhea. To put it simply, there is no difference between a Heroin addiction and an addiction to prescription pain medication. The only true difference, one is legal and one is not. Heroin is unregulated and usually comes in the form of a white or brown powder, which is then melted down and taken by injection. Now we have one more form to be wary of. Pills are easier to take and even easier for abusers to get their hands on.

The increasing number of people becoming addicted to Heroin and other opioid-based painkillers like Oxycodone is alarming. An estimated 23% of people who use Heroin develop a dependence to this harmful and life-threatening drug. Around 517,000 people in the United States suffer from an addiction to Heroin. Even more alarming is the estimated 1.9 million who are addicted to opioid pain medication. More than 8,000 people each year, die from a Heroin overdose and an estimated 17,000 die from opioid painkiller overdose, such as Oxycodone.

End your dependence to Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Heroin, and the many other opioid painkillers there are out there. You can live a life free of addiction. To learn more about Oxycodone and Heroin and how to rid yourself of addiction, contact Best Drug Rehabilitation today.

opiates and medication

Is Your Medication Derived from Opiates: What You Need to Know

These days, when we look at the health problems of the 21st century, we do not have to look far to see that drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is on the front lines of hardships that our country faces. In fact, when it comes to our health and vitality specifically, many experts believe that drug and alcohol addiction is the greatest health problem that our country faces at this time.

There is some reason and logic to this. Certainly, drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, has absolutely skyrocketed in this country, causing increasingly severe and worrisome problems for all who are affected by them. Furthermore, more people are addicted to substances and more people face hardship with substances nowadays than ever before in recorded, U.S. history. When we start to look at it this way, we can see why there is always so much concern and worry occurring when it comes to addiction. It is not undue.

About Medications

Unfortunately, when talking about medications, these are substances that we now have to more closely address. In recent years, a lot of information has surfaced about prescription drug information that has given us a lot of information on medications that we have begun to use to further understand substance abuse as it stands in our nation today. What we have learned is that very often those very same substances that are supposed to help people actually end up hurting people even more.

Sadly, people often get addicted to the very pill drugs that are supposed to be helping them with something. This is all too common and regular now, and it poses a lot of questions as to the true efficacy or value of pill drugs, to begin with, especially opiate prescription pain relievers. When people wonder what is really in their pills, they can rest assured that if it is a pain drug, then it is most likely going to have some degree of opium in the drug, which is the same base component for heroin. Listed below are a few pain drugs that have similar levels of opium in them as heroin does:

  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Suboxone
  • Subutex
  • Burprenorphine
  • Morphine
  • Dilaudid
  • Opana
  • Hydrocodone
  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Roxycet
  • Tramadol

This is just a short list, and it does not even show the full scope of pain drugs that have addictive properties to them. Nevertheless, all of the above pill drugs and all other pain drugs are going to have an addictive risk factor component to them too, which is a cause for concern as to how we are addressing pain in this country, to say the least.

Addressing Pill Addiction with Rehabilitation

As it stands, drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is a huge issue and a huge struggle to say the least, and getting people free and clear from addiction must be the main priority here. We need to get a much better handle on this problem, because if we do not then it will surely only get much worse long before it gets any better, and that is the honest truth of it. Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is a real nightmare, and whether a person is addicted to a legal substance or an illegal one, the simple truth of the matter is that they will need to get help from a qualified and a professional addiction treatment center like Best Drug Rehabilitation. For more information on how Best Drug Rehabilitation can offer excellent services and reliable options to people, call today at 1-(877)-475-7337.

lsd

LSD: How You Can Get Addicted After Just One Use

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as acid, is a potent, psychedelic drug known for the psychological effects it produces in users, which may include altered mood and personality, distorted perception, and a change in the person’s capacity to think rationally, communicate with others or even recognize reality. This “drug-induced psychosis” can be enjoyable and mentally stimulating for some users, but it can also result in terrifying thoughts and nightmarish feelings of anxiety, insanity, and despair. Because LSD accumulates in the body, users can develop a psychological addiction to the drug with just one use. Fortunately, there are professional addiction recovery programs, like Best Drug Rehabilitation, designed to help people who are dependent on acid overcome their addiction.

What Are the Physical Effects of LSD?

Known on the street as a “club drug,” LSD is typically taken in tab form, and is active in very small quantities. LSD is not considered physically addictive, which simply means it does not produce withdrawal symptoms like cramps, chills, and other flu-like symptoms in users who stop taking the drug after chronic use. LSD users quickly develop a high degree of physical tolerance for the drug, however, which means they require more and more acid to achieve the same high as before. There is also the risk of psychological addiction among LSD users, and for this reason, LSD is classified as a Schedule I drug by the DEA, meaning it has a severe potential for psychological or physical abuse.

People who use LSD experience a “trip,” or a visual hallucination, which can last upwards of 12 hours, and may include changes in sense or perception of time; intensified feelings and sensory experiences; seeing, touching, hearing or smelling things in a distorted way; and perceiving things that do not exist. The physical effects of LSD, for some people, include a pleasurable feeling of euphoria and a sense of heightened understanding. However, there are adverse psychiatric reactions associated with LSD use, including anxiety, paranoia, delusions and a disconnection from reality. These side effects can occur with just one use and may persist long after the drug is originally taken, and they may be accompanied by physical effects of LSD, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Sweating or chills
  • Increased body temperature
  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of appetite

Long-Term Effects of Taking Acid

The lasting effects of taking acid are unpredictable, possibly resulting in frightening flashbacks, sudden hallucinations, and other mood disturbances even when the drug isn’t being used. Some people who take acid experience long-term consequences of LSD, like extreme changes in mood, persistent psychosis or severe depression. In rare cases, the harmful effects of LSD may include hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), a condition characterized by persistent visual disturbances including auras or halos around objects, visual snow, trails of light or color behind moving objects, and a distortion in the appearance of objects. Sadly, these effects can occur following a single use of LSD.

Contact Best Drug Rehabilitation for Help

The majority of illicit drugs can have an adverse effect on the body, but the most dangerous are the drugs that also affect the mind, distorting the user’s sense of reality and causing lasting psychological effects that may persist long after use of the drug has stopped. People who experience the hallucinogenic effects of LSD may crave more of the drug or similar hallucinogenic drugs, leading to a physical tolerance or psychological addiction. A dependence on LSD can have a significant impact on the user’s sense of reality, and the harmful effects of LSD may worsen any underlying psychological disorders or mimic symptoms of a neurological problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with a psychological addiction to LSD, call Best Drug Rehabilitation today at (877) 475-7382 to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor about your treatment options.

opiates

The Use and Abuse of Opiates Today

Some various substances within our contemporary society can often seem innumerable. There are many different kinds of drugs, with some having valuable purposes within the medical realm and others only existing because of people recreationally using them to get high. One substance that is incredibly prominent in the society and used highly within the medical realm are opiates. This heading can include quite a multitude of different substances.

Opiates and Opioids

A person may hear one of two terms when these substances are being mentioned, which could be opiates or opioids. Technically, opiates refer to drugs that have been derived naturally from the opium poppy. Whereas, opioids also encompasses drugs where the opiate-based compounds have been semi-synthetically or synthetically modified. When speaking of opiates, this often alludes to prescription medications, but both terms are often used interchangeably.

The base purpose of opiates within the medical realm is for pain mitigation. Opiate compounds will bind to the receptors in the brain and help to curb pain signals being sent to the body. Though, this is a highly simplified version of what exactly occurs. There are numerous different types of opiate medications that are used for this purpose, as there are variations in different levels and types of pain. For instance, some drugs are used for moderate pain, whereas others may be prescribed for more severe or consistent pain, such as cancer. One of the most dominant types of pain medications currently out there is fentanyl, which is used to treat quite severe pain.

Codeine and Other Types of Opiates

Some of the various types of opiate pain medications are:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine

Codeine is a substance that many have likely heard of, as it is commonly used in cough medicines because it is highly efficient in suppressing coughs.

Illicit Use of Opiates

Then, there is the more illicit use of the opiate realm. The most prominent drug that comes under this heading is heroin, which is entirely illegal and serves no purpose in the medical field. Heroin often comes in the form of a white or brown powder that people use through various methods, whether it be smoking, snorting, or injecting. But, the medications that are used within the medical realm are also often used illegally by those without a prescription. Fentanyl has been entering the street scene much more prominently over the past few years, with it sometimes even being mixed with heroin to create more potent effects. Unfortunately, this has also led to increased rates of overdose and death. When dealing with drugs like this on the street, one never really knows what it is or has been added to it.

Both the illegal and medical opiates have very high incidences of dependence and addiction. Opiates can create a high physical dependency, and this can also bring severe withdrawal symptoms when abusers attempt to stop using. For this reason, it often requires that an individual attend a detox center to appropriately and safely come down off of these drugs. And as far as addiction, they should then follow up with a full treatment program to address the non-physical side of the situation.

When Seeking Treatment for an Addiction

Addiction to opiates or any other substance can be complicated, but it can be overcome through proper treatment. Best Drug Rehabilitation helps thousands to overcome their addictions every single year, and we would like to do the same for you or your loved one. Our success lies in our individualized approach, as we create a custom program for each person that is admitted. Give us a call today, and we can answer any questions that you may have about our program.

hydrocodone and oxycodone

The Difference Between Hydrocodone and Oxycodone

Opiates are one of the most common substances within our contemporary society. Of course, they have a valuable purpose within the medical realm, but they are also used by a multitude of individuals for recreational uses. There are numerous different types of opiates, but a couple of the common ones that many people have likely heard of are hydrocodone and oxycodone. Both of these substances come under the heading of opiates, but there are significant differences between the two of them.

Both of these medications are prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Of course, both of them should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor, as misusing them can lead to the risk of addiction. Fortunately, both are available in abuse deterrent forms. Aside from pain mitigation, hydrocodone can also be used as an effective cough suppressant.  Both can carry the risk of dependency, but oxycodone seems to be a bit higher statistically, as it is one of the most abused opiates within the country. Oxycodone is also more expensive; it is often around two times more than hydrocodone.

How Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are Used

As far as pain mitigation, both of these substances tend to be equally effective. There are different versions of each, as they can be provided by themselves or in combination with other medications for a more effective treatment. For instance, Oxycodone is often prescribed in a form by itself called OxyContin, but it can also be combined with acetaminophen or aspirin to assist certain conditions better. Generally speaking, oxycodone tends to be prescribed on its own, while hydrocodone is more typically prescribed in a combination form. Both hydrocodone and oxycodone are also sold in immediate relief and extended release versions. Both forms are used because some pain may need to be handled on an as-needed basis, whereas other types of pain can be around the clock. Extended release forms may be used for around the clock care.

Both opiates can have similar side effects, such as:

  • Shallow Breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Itching
  • Dry Mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Impairment of Motor Skills

A common side effect of many opioids is constipation, but out of the above two, hydrocodone tends to be more likely to result in this, as well as stomach pain.

Other more severe side effects can arise as well, though these tend to be less common, such as:

  • Pain when Urinating
  • Seizures
  • Feeling like One May Pass Out
  • Confusion
  • Rapid Heart Rate (Which could lead to heart failure)

As mentioned above, both of these substances can result in physical dependency and addiction. With powerful substances like hydrocodone and oxycodone, the physical dependence and addiction can be quite severe. Therefore, it is ideal that an individual seeks professional help with these conditions. These substances can have quite intense withdrawal symptoms, and it is better if they are monitored through the detox process by medical professionals.

Best Drug Rehabilitation Can Help

More and more people continue to fall into addiction every single day. And while addiction can be a challenging condition to struggle with, it can be overcome through proper treatment. Best Drug Rehabilitation can be of great assistance, as we help thousands to overcome their addictions every single year. A large part of our success lies in our focus on individualization, as we recognize that every single case of dependency is unique in many ways. As a result of this, we create a custom addiction treatment program for each person that is admitted, which allows us to address the difficulties that are particular to each. Give us a call today, and one of our staff can answer any questions that you may have regarding our program.

Most frequently abused drugs

The Most Frequently Abused Drugs Today

The number of substances out there being used and abused by people seems virtually innumerable. Over the years, a multitude of new substances have entered the scene, and older ones have continued to be altered and made more potent. With the various legal and illicit substances that riddle the country, it is no wonder why addiction rates continue to be such a large issue. Of course, some substances tend to be used by a much smaller percentage of people, and then some heavy hitters are the most frequently abused drugs today.

Of the Most Frequently Abused Drugs, Marijuana is Number One

Marijuana has been and continues to be the most commonly used illicit substance. Of course, the illegal aspect has begun to change somewhat, as several states within the nation have legalized it. Numerous states have legalized it for medical purposes, and a few others have even legalized it for recreational use. Other than that, it is still quite illicit in numerous parts of the country. A few of the effects of marijuana can be quite appealing to users, such as euphoria and relaxation. Some will also experience altered time perception, laughter, increased sensory perception, and often increased appetite. Of course, as with any substance, there are also several negative effects that can come along with marijuana use such as paranoia, fear, anxiety, distrust, or panic. And some that take larger amounts may experience an acute psychosis, which could bring about hallucinations or delusions.

Spice/K-2

Also common among users is K-2 or Spice, which can be a variety of herbal mixtures that bring about similar effects to those of marijuana. These are illicit substances and have no medicinal or other types of beneficial value. Spice is one of the most frequently abused drugs by high schoolers. Some of the packagings of these substances may state that they contain natural material, but analyses done upon them commonly shows that they are synthetic cannabinoids.

Spice can be quite a dangerous substance, as it carries some pretty massive adverse effects, such as vomiting, agitation, rapid heart rate, hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and sometimes even heart attacks.

Some Other Frequently Abused Drugs are Prescription Medications

Numerous substances can have a valuable purpose within the medical realm, but many of these are also commonly abused drugs. One of the most frequent instances of this is with opioids, which are prescription painkillers. These are obviously used to mitigate pain from some conditions such as injuries or post-surgical, but they also have a range of effects that can be appealing to people. They can bring about a sense of euphoria, pain relief, and relaxation. Not only does this make recreational users fall into abuse and addiction to them, but it can also result in those legitimately prescribed them beginning to abuse the meds. Adverse effects of opioids can include constipation, slowed breathing, nausea, coma, unconsciousness, and numerous withdrawal effects when people cease use. The opioid epidemic has been sweeping the nation at a rapid pace, and many overdoses and deaths have been following in the wake.

There are also stimulant medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, which can be used to treat medical conditions like ADHD or Narcolepsy. Stimulants can bring about effects like increased alertness, more energy, and a sense of well-being. But they can also have their range of adverse side effects such as muscle shaking or tremors, increased body temperature, agitation, and increased heart rate.

If you or a loved one are seeking help with an addiction, give Best Drug Rehabilitation a call today. Recovery is possible.

rohypnol effects

The Physical Effects of Rohypnol

People may use substances for several different purposes. It could be that they are prescribed something for a medical condition, they are looking for the euphoric effects of some substance, or they may be trying to make themselves feel better about something. Whatever the case, there are numerous substances that can be used for all of the above, and there are also some that people can use for themselves or use them on others for malicious reasons. One of the latter could be Rohypnol, which is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and is also commonly referred to as the “date rape” drug.

Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine, and these types of substances can provide anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant, and sedative-hypnotic types of effects. It is often used for the purpose of treating insomnia, as the above effects can help a person to get relaxed and fall asleep. Of course, these types of effects can also be quite appealing to many recreational users.

Rohypnol as the Date Rape Drug

Back to Rohypnol being the date rape drug, it is obviously used for malicious purposes in this regard. In fact, if you have ever heard of the term “roofie,” Rohypnol is generally what is being referred to. When used in this way, it is generally slipped into someone’s drink so that sexual assault can take place. It is effective in this way because when placed in a drink, it is tasteless and odorless. It can bring about sleep and sedation to incapacitate an individual for this to happen, and it can also cause amnesia so that the victim may not even remember the assault. Because of how frequently that Rohypnol was being used for this purpose, measures were taken to help prevent it. One of these was that the pill was reformulated from a white tablet to a green oblong tablet that dyes liquids blue, as it used to be colorless when placed in drinks. Although, generics brands may not have this safeguard in place.

There are also several other effects that Rohypnol can have upon an individual, including impaired judgment and reaction time, aggression, confusion, and excitability. In regard to physical effects, it can cause loss of motor coordination, respiratory depression, headaches, weakness, and slurred speech.

Of course, there is also the potential for physical dependence and addiction. If an individual continues use of this drug over time, they may find themselves in withdrawal when no longer taking it, or engaging in risky behavior when seeking it. In this situation, they should seek professional help to get off of it. There is also the possibility of overdose, which could include symptoms like decreased heart rate, severe sedation, unconsciousness, and respiratory suppression that could result in death.

Best Drug Rehabilitation Can Help You or A Loved One

Struggling with addiction to any substance can be quite arduous, but it can be overcome. Through comprehensive addiction treatment, an individual can achieve their sobriety, which is where Best Drug Rehabilitation can help. We create a customized addiction treatment program for each person that is admitted into our facility, which allows the unique difficulties of each case to be addressed. Many facilities tend to create their programs with a one size fits all approach, but we recognize that this is often unsuccessful, which is why we approach treatment on an individualized basis. In fact, we offer a range of different modalities so that we can craft a program to fit virtually anyone. Give us a call today and one of our advisors will answer any questions that you may have in regard to our program.

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