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Is Xanax an Opioid?

Is Xanax an Opioid?

What is Xanax

Xanax is a type of medication that treats depression, panic disorders and anxiety. It works to balance out the chemicals in the brain to help a person feel at ease and comfortable. It belongs to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines and it is currently the most prescribed anxiety medication that is used in the United States.

Xanax works by increasing the number of neurotransmitters in the brain and works to help a person to become more relaxed, calm and comfortable. It is completely safe when taken appropriately and can be very effective at treating the symptoms from anxiety or panic attacks. It slows down the amount of movement of your brain chemicals which could be unbalanced, which helps resolve the symptoms of tension and anxiety.

What are Opioids

Opioids are a group of drugs that are classified together because of their naturally found ingredient opium poppy plant. Some of the prescription opioids are made naturally directly from the plant and others are man-made in a lab by scientists. They are used as medications for the calming and relaxing effect that they have on the body.

Traditionally, opioids are used to treat moderate to severe pain, but some can be used for other things such as diarrhea or coughing. The relaxing feeling from the drug can make it attractive for people to use these medications for non-medical reasons. Because opioids can be very addictive, it is not advised to use them frequently due to the chance of overdose or even worse, death. In the United States, Heroin is the most dangerously used opioids and is not prescribed.

Types of Opioids

Some popular terms used to describe opioids are Oxy, Percs or Vikes.

Common prescription opioids:

  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet)
  • Morphine
  • Methadone

Fentanyl

A synthetic opioid that is used for pain relief. It is extremely potent and can be anywhere from 50-100 times stronger than morphine. It is typically used for people who are in extreme pain or have recently had surgery. It also can be used for chronic pain in people who have a life-threatening disease or cancer.

Heroin

An illegal opioid and is used sharply across the United States among both men and women. It is common in most age groups and all income levels.

Benzodiazepines

A man-made substance used as a medication and can cause side effects such as mild depression of the nerves within the brain and severe drowsiness. When someone suffers from an excessive activity in the brain it may cause them to suffer from anxiety, seizures or other diseases that require benzodiazepines to treat it.

Is Xanax an Opioid

Xanax belongs to a classification of drugs known as benzodiazepines. From the American Addiction Center, “Opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines are two of the most frequently abused prescription drugs in the world, although they are frequently prescribed together. Medical researchers have been concerned about this combination since the 1970s, when the trend began to surface.”

A recent report from the Drug Abuse Warning Network stated that it is extremely dangerous to combine opioid medications with benzodiazepines due to the risk of overdose which can lead to emergency medical care or death. It is common for this to happen among people who are taking too large of a dose and mixing the two in order to get “high” resulting in abuse of the drug.

Opioid Dependence

Xanax can be highly addictive if it is not used for the right reasons or if it is used long-term. A high percentage of teens (around 70%) who have become addicted to Xanax got it from a medicine cabinet in their home; likely from a family member who was taking it.

Because the tolerance to Xanax develops so quickly, people need more and more to feel the same effects of the drug. People who suffer from addiction to Xanax may take anywhere from 20 to 30 pills per day. If they decide to stop taking it, they could suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors or restlessness. When withdrawal symptoms occur, there is usually a dependency problem.

Signs of Abuse

When someone becomes addicted to Xanax, they no longer are interested in things that they were before such as education, employment, family or personal relationships. Some of the signs can include:

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Engaging in risky behaviors such as driving under the influence
  • Obsessing about getting Xanax and planning out how to get more
  • Legal problems that arise from using the drug
  • Inability to stop using the drug
  • Continuing to use the drug despite the negative consequences associated with it

Xanax can be abused if the following occur:

  • Taking multiple pills
  • Injecting it
  • Snorting it
  • Taking it via blotter paper
  • Taking it with other drugs or alcohol

When deciding to quit taking Xanax it’s important to slowly taper the amount that you are taking and avoid stopping cold turkey. The severity of withdrawal symptoms will differ from person to person but can be described as a barbiturate or alcohol withdrawal. If severe enough and convulsions happen, then the withdrawal from Xanax could be deadly.

Detox is the Foundation for Recovery

One person’s treatment plan will look different from another person’s because each plan is individualized. When your plans are developed, both you and your case manager will sign them in agreement. A copy will go into your chart and you will be offered a copy to keep. You may also work with a therapist to develop plans for you and your family.

Those who struggle with addiction will find that the detox process can be difficult and can be accompanied by potentially serious withdrawal symptoms such as aches, fever, nausea, and fatigue. Because detox leaves the body and mind vulnerable, it also raises the risk of overdose, which can sometimes prove fatal. This is why home-based detox is not recommended; instead, those with addiction are encouraged to pursue medically supervised detox through Experience Recovery.

We use science-based, clinically proven models that provide a safe, expedient, and fully effective detox process, preparing the client for ongoing treatment and recovery.

Xanax Side Effects

Xanax Side Effects

What is Xanax?

Benzodiazepine also known as “Xanax” is a type of medication that is used to treat symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders or depression and helps to balance out the chemicals in the brain so that the person can function at a normal level. Belonging to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines, Xanax is the most prescribed anxiety medication that is used in the United States.

Xanax works by changing the number of neurotransmitters in the brain which in turn can help a person become calm, relaxed and feeling better. When taken correctly, it is considered very safe and effective. It slows down the amount of movement of your brain chemicals which could be unbalanced, which can help resolve the symptoms of tension and anxiety.

Physical Side Effects

As with every medication, comes some side effects that can occur as a result of taking it. These side effects can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Poor coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stuffy nose
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lowered libido
  • Swelling in hands or feet
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating

Positive Side Effects

Xanax works to increase the effects of a brain chemical and causes a calm, relaxed feeling. It also helps to increase the excitement levels in the brain which can treat anxiety or panic disorders.

  • Anxiety relief
  • Easing of muscle tension
  • Loss of insomnia

Withdrawal Symptoms

Typically, withdrawal symptoms can happen between 8-12 hours after the last dose or use of the drug. If you do not gradually stop your dosage, it is more likely for withdrawal to occur and it can happen more quickly. Some studies have shown that the worst of the withdrawal symptoms happen during the second day of stopping use.

“Estimates suggest that about 10 to 25 percent of long-term benzodiazepine users experience what’s known as protracted withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal is a prolonged withdrawal experience marked by waves of mild psychological symptoms that come and go over the course of several months.”

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal

Some physical symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Racing pulse
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sweating

Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawal

Some psychological symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Delirium

Relief and Coping

The best chance at having an easy withdrawal from Xanax is to gradually taper off the drug and to reduce the dosage in small amounts. This means gradually taking a smaller dose of the drug over several weeks to ensure your body can handle the lack of the drug. It can be done on your own, but the safest option is to see a prescribing doctor to get the correct dosing that will make the person the most comfortable.

It is difficult to gradually reduce the amount of Xanax in your system because it is a quick-acting drug that metabolizes fast in your body. This means that the amount in your system will go up and down which makes it difficult to slowly reduce the dosage. To help reduce these symptoms of withdrawal, doctors will prescribe a different long-acting benzodiazepine such as diazepam. Switching to diazepam makes it easier to quit and once stabilized on this drug, the doctor can slowly taper the dose a little it at a time. This allows the body to get used to functioning without the drug in their system.

Dependency Problems with Xanax

When Xanax is used long-term it is extremely addictive. It is the number one prescribed medication to treat anxiety and a high percentage of teens (70%) who have an addiction to Xanax get it from a family member’s medicine cabinet.

Because the tolerance to Xanax develops so quickly, people need more and more to feel the same effects of the drug. People who suffer from addiction to Xanax may take anywhere from 20 to 30 pills per day. If they decide to stop taking it, they could suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors or restlessness. When withdrawal symptoms occur, there is a dependency problem.

Signs of Abuse

Once someone becomes addicted to Xanax then all other responsibilities and interests in life usually start to dissipate such as school life, employment, family, relationships etc.

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Engaging in risky behaviors such as driving under the influence
  • Obsessing about getting Xanax and planning out getting more
  • Legal problems that arise from using the drug
  • Inability to stop using the drug
  • Continuing to use the drug despite the negative consequences associated with it

Xanax can be abused if the following occur:

  • Taking multiple pills
  • Injecting it
  • Snorting it
  • Taking it via blotter paper
  • Taking it with other drugs or alcohol

If a person decides to quit using the drug it is not recommended to quit cold turkey. The severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the person, but they are similar to a barbiturate or alcohol withdrawal. If severe enough and convulsions happen, then the withdrawal from Xanax could be deadly.

Detox is the Foundation for Recovery

One person’s treatment plan will look different from another person’s because each plan is individualized. When your plans are developed, both you and your case manager will sign them in agreement. A copy will go into your chart and you will be offered a copy to keep. You may also work with a therapist to develop plans for you and your family.

Those who struggle with addiction will find that the detox process can be difficult and can be accompanied by potentially serious withdrawal symptoms such as aches, fever, nausea, and fatigue. Because detox leaves the body and mind vulnerable, it also raises the risk of overdose, which can sometimes prove fatal. This is why home-based detox is not recommended; instead, those with addiction are encouraged to pursue medically supervised detox through Experience Recovery.

We use science-based, clinically proven models that provide a safe, expedient, and fully effective detox process, preparing the client for ongoing treatment and recovery.

How to get Prescribed Xanax?

How to Get Prescribed Xanax?

What is Xanax?

Benzodiazepine or better known as “Xanax” is a type of medication that is used to help balance out the chemicals in the brain and treat anxiety or depression. It is used to treat anxiety disorders, anxiety caused by depression or panic disorders. Xanax belongs to a group of drugs in the category, benzodiazepines. Currently, it is the single most prescribed medication for anxiety in the United States.

Xanax works by increasing the number of neurotransmitters in the brain that will promote a relaxed, calm feeling. When taken correctly, it can be very safe and effective. It slows down the number of the movement of your brain chemicals which could be unbalanced, which can help resolve the symptoms of tension and anxiety.

Side Effects

With any drug comes some side effects as a result of using it. Some of the most common side effects of Xanax include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

Other side effects that some people experience include:

  • Speech problems
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems
  • Headache
  • Addiction
  • Weight changes
  • Dry mouth

Withdrawal Symptoms

When stopping the use of Xanax there can be some negative side effects or withdrawal symptoms. These can include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue

Severe cases of withdrawal can experience seizures, which means it’s important to slowly decrease the dose of drug with a doctor’s assistance rather than quitting cold turkey.

Ingredients

The main ingredient in Xanax is alprazolam which is part of the 1,4 benzodiazepine class of compounds for the central nervous system. It consists of a white crystalline powder, which can be soluble in both methanol and ethanol.

Inactive ingredients: Cellulose, corn starch, docusate sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide and sodium benzoate. In addition, the 0.5 mg tablet contains FD&C Yellow No. 6 and the 1 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue No. 2.

Getting Prescribed Xanax

“Xanax is a medication that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat anxiety and panic disorders.” Although, it is possible to get Xanax over the counter, without a prescription, it can be much more expensive than if you go through your doctor or insurance. It is not recommended to get Xanax without a prescription because of the risk of added ingredients as well as getting the wrong dosage.

Going to a doctor to determine if Xanax is right for you is the first step. If you have symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder or phobias then it might be right for you. Talking to your doctor about your symptoms and letting them perform an evaluation will help them determine whether Xanax is right for you. If you feel that your anxiety or panic disorders are affecting your life and you cannot cope with the symptoms, then there is probably a good chance you can get prescribed Xanax.

Sometimes anxiety can be caused by another source or medical condition. Therefore, it’s important to have an exam with your doctor or physician to determine if Xanax is the right treatment option for you. It’s crucial to mention all the aspects of your anxiety and how it’s making you feel. This allows the doctor to determine the best course of treatment.

Dependency Problems with Xanax

Xanax can become extremely addictive it is used long-term. It is the number one prescribed medication to treat anxiety and a high percentage of teens (70%) who have an addiction to Xanax get it from a family member’s medicine cabinet.

Because the tolerance to Xanax develops so quickly, people need more and more to feel the same effects of the drug. People who suffer from addiction to Xanax may take anywhere from 20 to 30 pills per day. If they decide to stop taking it, they could suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors or restlessness. When withdrawal symptoms occur, there is a dependency problem.

Signs of Abuse

Once someone becomes addicted to Xanax then all other responsibilities and interests in life usually start to dissipate such as school life, employment, family, relationships etc.

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Engaging in risky behaviors such as driving under the influence
  • Obsessing about getting Xanax and planning out getting more
  • Legal problems that arise from using the drug
  • Inability to stop using the drug
  • Continuing to use the drug despite the negative consequences associated with it

Xanax can be abused if the following occur:

  • Taking multiple pills
  • Injecting it
  • Snorting it
  • Taking it via blotter paper
  • Taking it with other drugs or alcohol

If a person decides to quit using the drug it is not recommended to quit cold turkey. The severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the person, but they are similar to a barbiturate or alcohol withdrawal. If severe enough and convulsions happen, then the withdrawal from Xanax could be deadly.

Detox is the Foundation for Recovery

One person’s treatment plan will look different from another person’s because each plan is individualized. When your plans are developed, both you and your case manager will sign them in agreement. A copy will go into your chart and you will be offered a copy to keep. You may also work with a therapist to develop plans for you and your family.

Those who struggle with addiction will find that the detox process can be difficult and can be accompanied by potentially serious withdrawal symptoms such as aches, fever, nausea, and fatigue. Because detox leaves the body and mind vulnerable, it also raises the risk of overdose, which can sometimes prove fatal. This is why home-based detox is not recommended; instead, those with addiction are encouraged to pursue medically supervised detox through Experience Recovery.

We use science-based, clinically proven models that provide a safe, expedient, and fully effective detox process, preparing the client for ongoing treatment and recovery.

Detox at Experience Recovery

Detox is the first step in the recovery journey. Our team wishes to make it as seamless, comfortable, and effective as possible. Along with providing medically assisted detox we begin to introduce our clients to the concept of change. Learn more about detox by contacting Experience Recovery today.

What is Xanax?

What is Xanax?

Benzodiazepine or “Xanax is a type of medication that is used to treat anxiety, depression or panic disorders and works to balance out the chemicals in our brain. It belongs to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines and it is currently the most prescribed anxiety medication that is used in the United States.

Xanax increases the number of neurotransmitters in the brain that can help a person become relaxed, calm and feeling better. It is very safe and effective when it is taken correctly. It slows down the amount of movement of your brain chemicals which could be unbalanced, which can help resolve the symptoms of tension and anxiety.

Ingredients

Xanax is made up of alprazolam which is part of the 1,4 benzodiazepine class of compounds for the central nervous system. It consists of a white crystalline powder, which can be soluble in both methanol and ethanol.

Inactive ingredients: Cellulose, corn starch, docusate sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide and sodium benzoate. In addition, the 0.5 mg tablet contains FD&C Yellow No. 6 and the 1 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue No. 2.

Uses for Xanax

The primary use for Xanax is to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are described as:

  • Restlessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • Worry and apprehension
  • Aches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Clammy hands
  • Smothering sensation
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated startle response

Xanax is also used to treat anxiety that may come from panic attacks. Panic attacks can happen unexpectedly or during specific situations such as driving or flying. In these circumstances a higher dosage may be necessary.

Side Effects of Xanax

During the early stages of using Xanax there can be some side effects associated. They usually go away upon further use of the drug. The side effects could include:

  • Light-headedness
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Low energy
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Impaired coordination
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Memory impairment
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rash
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Increased libido
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fear
  • Tremors
  • Incontinence
  • Slurred speech
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Strange dreams

What is Xanax Prescribed For

Anxiety Disorder

The first line of treatment for an anxiety disorder is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), although Xanax can be used for situations where short-term help is needed to help with the symptoms associated with anxiety. Xanax typically treats symptoms that come on rather quickly and is used for a short period of time in combination with other prescriptions or treatment.

If your doctor prescribes Xanax it is likely to treat symptoms that come on abruptly and they are not a long-term solution. It is not a cure for anxiety, but it can help with immediate symptoms that occur from anxiety or panic attacks.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can happen as a result of panic disorder or agoraphobia and Xanax can help with these symptoms. It can also be used for certain situations or phobias such as fear or flying, driving or other stressful events. “In the case of social anxiety disorder, Xanax is more commonly prescribed for cognitive symptoms such as worrying about performance or the judgment of others. In this case, Xanax can be taken about an hour before a performance event.”

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Xanax belongs to a group of drugs that are used to treat anxiety including symptoms of PTSD called benzodiazepines. These drugs can bring immediate relief for symptoms of anxiety, depression and panic disorder but they are thought to be linked to drug dependence.

Getting a Xanax Prescription

A physician or doctor will determine whether it is right for you to begin taking Xanax for anxiety or panic disorder. If you’ve been suffering for an extended period, then Xanax may be the right medication for you.

It’s very important to only receive Xanax from a doctor and not from an outside source as there may be additional ingredients added or an incorrect dosage being taken. It could potentially be dangerous to take a prescription that you have gotten from someone else. Combining Xanax with other medications can be detrimental to your health and should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor or physician.

If Xanax is taken in too large of a dose or by people who do not experience anxiety, it can cause euphoric feelings which is why it’s important to not take it without a prescription from a doctor.

Withdrawal from Xanax

Similar symptoms as initial dosing can happen when withdrawal of Xanax occurs. They usually occur within a few hours of the last dose and will be the most severe within 1-4 days. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Tremors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Paranoia
  • Numbness in hands or fingers
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Panic
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Xanax is considered a highly addictive drug among the list of benzodiazepines. “Xanax is also considered to be very addictive. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prescribing information for Xanax states that taking the drug can lead to dependence, especially when taking high doses for longer than a month.”

Detox is the Foundation for Recovery

One person’s treatment plan will look different from another person’s because each plan is individualized. When your plans are developed, both you and your case manager will sign them in agreement. A copy will go into your chart and you will be offered a copy to keep. You may also work with a therapist to develop plans for you and your family.

Those who struggle with addiction will find that the detox process can be difficult and can be accompanied by potentially serious withdrawal symptoms such as aches, fever, nausea, and fatigue. Because detox leaves the body and mind vulnerable, it also raises the risk of overdose, which can sometimes prove fatal. This is why home-based detox is not recommended; instead, those with addiction are encouraged to pursue medically supervised detox through Experience Recovery.

We use science-based, clinically proven models that provide a safe, expedient, and fully effective detox process, preparing the client for ongoing treatment and recovery.

Statistics About Drug Use in California

Statistics About Drug Use in California

California was founded by the bravest, the most explorative the pioneers. We weren’t called the Wild West for nothing. Orange County and the South Bay especially are known for passionate arts movements, a demand for equality and social rights, and light-speed progress to new technology and innovations. This exciting, open, and innovative lifestyle also comes with consequences. We’re more dependent on technology than ever before and as a reflection, we’re also less connected to real tangible people in our lives. We often aren’t equipped to handle real human problems, like trauma, stress, and addiction, and we live rapid-pace, stressful lives in some of the densest and most complex cities in the world. Many social issues evolve from such a huge and highly complicated society, with Substance Abuse Disorders (SUD’s) being near the forefront of these problems.

Substance Abuse in California

As of 2018, the California Healthcare Foundation found that about 6% of Californians could qualify as dependent on alcohol, and 3% on illicit drugs. Unfortunately, 8% of Californians could be determined to have a SUD yet only 10% of those received treatment for it.

As a whole, the CDC found that Californians were less vulnerable to the opioid epidemic than other states with 2,199 deaths in 2017. The difference roughly equates to 5.3 deaths per 100,000 population in California compared to 14.6 deaths per 100,000 in the nation. With strong social support systems and high-quality healthcare and rehab opportunities, California is deeply ahead of the national average but is by no means immune to the opioid epidemic in the US.

Over time, California has grown significantly in opioid deaths from roughly 500 in 2000 to nearly 2,200 in 2019. While synthetic opiates and heroin have contributed moderately to the increase, the biggest threat by far was from prescription opiates, where overdose deaths doubled just in the year from 2000 to 2001.

Why Drug Stats Are Rising in California

Several factors contribute to the rise in drug deaths in California. CEO of Insys Therapeutics is one of many implemented in a nationwide opiate distribution scheme that affected communities all over the US. The relaxed regulations combined with corporate bribes and fraud has led to one of the most destructive and widespread drug rings in the US, particularly targeting rural and disconnected Americans. In one notorious case, 21 million prescriptions were filled to a town with a population less than 3,000 residents.

In addition to the rampant rise in the illegal distribution of drugs throughout the medical system in the US, new and powerful drugs have emerged on the market. Fentanyl, in particular, is estimated to be 20-100x as powerful as morphine and has several pharmaceutical and street variations. This drug was intended for use only by people who were already tolerant of strong opioids and needed the extra potency of fentanyl to treat serious pain but has since been abused recreationally, leading to a high risk of overdose and death.

Treating Drug Addiction in California and Orange County

Our Orange County rehab and detox partners with organizations across the globe, from Alcoholics Anonymous, to medical and drug addiction specialists. If you or someone you know is considering rehab or detox, we encourage you to call us at (714) 782-3973 so we can walk you through your options.

Methadone

Methadone

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Methadone is a double-edged sword in medicine that’s been around since World War II. Because of its ability to relieve pain without a powerful high, like other opioids, it’s been prized both as a traditional pain medication and as a means of recovery from addiction to more severe opioids, like fentanyl, heroin, and morphine. Even without the aggressive high, however, methadone can still be an addictive medication, especially when it’s used in lieu of other substances rather than going sober altogether. Our detox and rehab in Orange County can help you find freedom from methadone by managing withdrawal symptoms and providing.

What is Methadone

Methadone is a synthetic opiate developed as a pain reliever in wartime. Since then, it’s found use universally as a pain medication, but also as a treatment for more severe opiate addictions. As a synthetic chemical, methadone has less severe withdrawal effects to heroin or fentanyl and therefore can be used as a stepping-stone in gradually reducing addiction and withdrawal symptoms to levels that can be managed with treatment and therapy. As an opiate, methadone creates a similar high to morphine which itself can be addictive, if less intense. The long active period of methadone means users have to chase an “opiate high” less often than they would with other drugs, but it’s still not a perfect option. Many rehabs have been leaning away from methadone use in favor of less addictive substitutes like suboxone in combination with therapy.

How Does Suboxone Differ from Methadone?

Buprenorphine and naloxone-based medications like suboxone are convenient alternatives to methadone because they offer the same withdrawal relief as methadone, but at milder levels that can only increase to a certain amount before the effect plateaus. Because of this, there is less risk of overdose, less dangerous overdose symptoms, and a longer active duration which spreads out the time between doses. Overall, these drugs are safer and more reliable alternatives to methadone that allow for greater freedom and longer periods without the need to use.

Because buprenorphines are safer and less prone to addiction, these drugs can also be prescribed over the counter in many cases. Unlike methadone, which has to be administered by a licensed clinic, buprenorphines can be distributed more easily and in greater number of environments, such as doctors offices and correctional facilities.

Finding Freedom from Addiction to Methadone

Methadone has been an essential treatment for millions of people for nearly a century now, which explains why it’s so widespread and why so many people have developed addictions and dependencies to the drug. Ultimately, freedom from methadone and pure, simple sobriety is always the end-goal. You can find your freedom from methadone, and opiates in general, through treatment and recovery. Less addictive substances can be used to make withdrawal more comfortable, while techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used to manage cravings and symptoms. Programs like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also available as a means of long-term sobriety support for those looking to finally quit their dependence on opioids for good.

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The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs

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Why Punishment Isn’t the Answer to Addiction

Journalist Johann Hari, in his book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, offers some of the most potent insights into why America’s international War on Drugs has been such a catastrophic failure. At our Orange County detox and rehab, we see the effects of these policies every day and draw on decades of research on why punishment is not the answer to addiction. The War on Drugs focuses on isolating those most in need, inadvertently empowers drug peddlers and organized crime, while better options are ignored.

The War on Drugs Has Punished All Americans

The War on Drugs was intended to keep Americans safe, sober, and healthy, yet the consequences show anything but. According to drugpolicy.org, the War on Drugs is responsible for $47 billion in spending and resulted in over 1.6 million arrests, 85% of which were simply for possession. This aggressive push to arrest users lead to the US having the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Nearly half of these arrests were African Americans and Latinos. In neighboring Mexico, over 200,000 people were killed as a part of the drug wars. In the US, over 200,000 students lost their financial aid for college because of a drug conviction. If all these negative consequences are a result of the drug wars, what positive outcomes was the war aiming for, and did it achieve those results?

Isolation and the War on Drugs

The War on Drugs was simply an attempt to end drug use in the US. However, even at the time, there was evidence in multiple countries that trauma, isolation, and other negative life stressors are all causes of addiction. Sending people to prison for coping with stress and isolation with drugs and alcohol will only fuel the fire. Incarcerating those suffering from addiction is like taking insulin from a diabetic. You’re removing the very thing they need most as a punishment for their disease. Even at a surface level, it should be obvious that punishing someone for addiction is only going to discourage treatment and lead to a deeper and more secretive dependence on drugs.

We’ve Seen This War on Drugs Fail Before

Prohibition was America’s first attempt at a drug war—attempting to control substances by force and punishing those who used recreationally. The results were unmistakably bad, and yet we repeated the whole process all over again. By making alcohol illegal, Americans switched from drinking beers and low APV drinks to whiskeys and liquors which could be snuck around more efficiently and bring intoxication quicker. This also created a massive market for gangsters like Al Capone to create an industry in smuggling alcohol. As Capone made a name for himself with corruption and brutality, future gangsters had to one-up him to make their names, leading to an endless feedback loop of violence.

Reversing Addiction is Providing Care, Not Punishment

Hiding, suppressing, and punishing addiction does not make it go away. Those were the go-to options for many decades, and they’ve hurt Americans on a personal and national level. Being forthright about the truths of addiction, and how to heal those suffering from addiction, is quintessential to eradicating the disease. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, proper care and attention can help them overcome. Call our Orange County detox programs at (714) 782-3973 as soon as you can.

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Does Crystal Meth Addiction Require a Medical Detox?

Does Crystal Meth Addiction Require a Medical Detox?

Meth in the US today

American addiction centers have been fighting an uphill battle to retain patients for the treatment of meth addiction. Crystal meth and other methamphetamines are potent chemicals that were first synthesized as a treatment to a variety of disorders. Because of the addictive nature of methamphetamines, and the severe side-effects, these drugs are strictly regulated. According to drugpolicy.org they are mostly outlawed in the US except for a few prescriptions for targeted disorders, such as Adderall for ADHD and Narcolepsy.

Crystal Meth Drug Abuse Risks

Crystal meth can run a gambit of severe health consequences. One study in the Journal of Forensic Science found that meth addiction was linked to enlarged hearts, coronary heart disease, “subarachnoid and intracranial hemorrhage,” and abnormalities in the liver and lungs. In addition, the majority of deaths related in the study (65%) were directly related to meth toxicity (overdose). Studies also found a correlation between HIV and meth use, possibly through high-risk sexual activity under the effects of the drug. While meth can be consumed in a variety of ways, such as smoking or snorting it, injecting meth can also increase the risk of HIV and other blood pathogens.

Meth Withdrawal

Coming off a meth addiction can be stressful, dangerous, and exhausting. Studies of meth withdrawal have found that the first day can be the most severe, with the effects slowly coming down throughout the following weeks. In the first 24 hours, paranoia and exhaustion are common. Depressed mood and other negative feelings can follow shortly after, and throughout the first week strong cravings can appear. As the symptoms slow down, normal, healthy feelings should return. In this final phase, it’s important to start building healthy habits, such as exercise, proper sleep schedules, and diet to further solidify on your returning health and build a foundation for a long-term recovery.

Does meth addiction require medical detoxification?

Medical detoxification is used to mitigate the intense withdrawal symptoms often associated with meth, cocaine, and other addictions. In this treatment, a substitute, such as methadone, is given to simulate these drugs and therefore reduce cravings and withdrawal. Patients are then slowly taken off the substitutes as their cravings are reduced.

Methadone is a much safer alternative to going cold-turkey from a serious chemical dependency, where withdrawal symptoms can be severe. However, the process still has its risks and needs to be professionally overseen, with proper dosages at different intervals of treatment and health personnel standing by.

In the case of pregnant women and mothers, children are often born with the chemical dependencies of their parents. In these cases, the mothers and their babies are often separated at birth and treated separately for a short while, as the babies will experience meth withdrawal. The symptoms of these meth addictions can include fever, crying, difficulty breathing, eating and more, and can last for the most part of a week where they will have to be monitored carefully in an infant ICU.

Because of the intense withdrawal symptoms, risk of comorbid diseases, such as heart disease and hemorrhage, and risk in withdrawal methods, it’s extremely recommended to seek professional help with any meth addiction and detoxification. Programs like Experience Recovery offer safe, healthy, and comforting solutions to families and individuals suffering with meth addiction.

How Do I know if I am An Alcoholic/Addict?

How Do I know if I am An Alcoholic/Addict?

Do You Think You Might Be An Alcoholic or An Addict?

If you have been abusing addictive substances like alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, or prescription opioids, you may be wondering, “How Do I know if I am an addict or an alcoholic?” The truth is, addiction has a sneaky way of creeping up on people. First; drug and alcohol use is fun, then it becomes a habit, then it becomes a full-blown addiction – without you even realizing it.

If you are addicted, we want you to know that you are not a bad person. You are not weak or lacking in moral character. You are sick. The result of repeated drug or alcohol abuse profoundly affects men. You may have a sincere desire to stop using drugs or alcohol but find that you cannot.

Here’s why:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.”

If you feel enslaved by your use of chemicals, chances are you are addicted. Once the addictive cycle takes over, it usually cannot be arrested without some type of addiction treatment.

Self- Assessment – How To Know If You are An Addict or Alcoholic

We want to mention that we recommend undergoing an assessment by an addiction expert to get a proper diagnosis if you think you have a substance abuse problem. It is not a great idea to self-diagnose because denial is a powerful driving force behind addiction. It is the voice in your head that minimizes the severity of your situation. It tells you that you have it things control and that you can quit anytime you want to.

However; we know you came here looking for an answer to the question, “How do I know if I am an addict or alcoholic?” And, we don’t want you to leave here empty-handed. So, we have put together a short list of questions we want you to ask yourself. Please do your best to be as honest as you can. A simple “yes” or “no” answer will do.

Here goes:

  • Do I often drink or use drugs after I have promised myself I wouldn’t?
  • Do I spend a considerable amount of time and energy getting high or drunk?
  • Do I spend a lot of money on drugs or alcohol?
  • Has my family expressed concern about my drinking or drug use?
  • Have I been late or absent from work because I was too high, drunk, or hungover to go?
  • Have I had any legal consequences as the result of my drinking or drug use?
  • Do I feel ashamed of my drug or alcohol use?
  • Do I have to use drugs or alcohol before or at work to function?
  • Have I put my children or other loved ones in danger because I was high or drunk?
  • Have I experienced withdrawal symptoms if I don’t drink or use drugs?
  • Have I tried to quit, but found that I am unable to do so?

If you answered “yes” to any ONE of these questions, you may be an addict or alcoholic who needs help. Let’s keep it real. People who are NOT addicted to drugs or alcohol do not sit around wondering if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol! This by itself should cause you concern. And, people who do not have a problem with addiction do not experience any of the situations we have presented in the above questions.

What To Do If You Think You Are An Addict or Alcoholic Who Needs Help

Be honest. If you could have stopped drinking alcohol or taking drugs on your own, you would have done so by now. Most people try to quit numerous times and fail numerous times before they reach out for help. The fact is, addiction is a progressive disease that only gets worse with time – it NEVER gets better if left untreated. There is no shame admitting that you need help to arrest the cycle of addiction.

You have options when it comes to addiction treatment. You may need to check yourself into an inpatient rehab so you can be monitored around-the-clock. We believe a men’s residential treatment program is the best option for men who are struggling with substance abuse. This eliminates distractions and allows men to remained focused solely on recovery.

Or, if residential rehab is not an option, you could attend an Intensive Outpatient Program (also known as “IOP”). This allows you to attend treatment several hours a day for several days a week. Going to IOP gives you the opportunity to keep your job and maintain other personal commitments while getting help.

Just keep in mind that when it comes to getting help for a drug or alcohol problem, you do have options. You don’t have to stay stuck in the cycle of addiction. You can get help. No matter how hopeless or helpless you may feel, recovery is possible.

Ready to get your life back on track and stop the madness of addiction? Find a detox near you.

Where Can I Go to Detox Near Me?

Where Can I Go to Detox Near Me?

Addiction is a growing problem across the United States, and many Orange County residents are left wondering, “Where are hospitals that detox near me? Where can I turn for addiction recovery?” While there are many addiction treatment options, not every facility is the same. In addition, Orange County residents do not necessarily need to go to a hospital to detox – they can find high quality care at a detox center instead.

What is Detox and is it Necessary?

Detoxification, or detox, is the process of ridding the body of addictive substances. In order for addiction recovery to be more effective, clients must be free from the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Otherwise, these substances interfere with the ability to heal the body and mind and develop healthier routines thereby increasing risk for relapse.

Can’t I Detox at Home?

It can be very dangerous for individuals to go through detox without the supervision of trained medical professionals. Withdrawal symptoms can be very challenging and uncomfortable. Many people are not prepared to cope with withdrawal, and this can increase risk of relapse or overdose. Entering treatment at an Orange County detox facility is a much safer option and can support ongoing recovery.

Selecting a Detox Facility Near Me

There are many places in Orange County (OC) that offer detox, but the services and level of care are not always the same. It makes sense to look toward OC hospitals first, but there are other safe, high quality options that exist as well. For instance, Experience Recovery provides detox and withdrawal management services from the same skilled physicians that work in hospitals. However, they also have addiction specialists who are trained specifically in detox and addiction recovery and offer personalized care to clients.

Look for a detox facility that tailors care to client needs rather than following a strict timetable. Some clients are able to safely detox and move forward in recovery within three to five days, while others require 10 days, 15 days, or more. It all depends on the individual, type of substances used, duration and quantity, and other factors. Detox should not be rushed. Each client should be able to move at their own pace so that their individual needs are met.

What Makes Experience Recovery Different

Hospitals are often limited on how long patients can stay, but at Experience Recovery, treatment is personalized for each client. OC residents work with physicians, addiction specialists, and other care providers to progress through the detox process as safely and comfortably as possible. Medications are prescribed as necessary and carefully monitored to decrease the impact of withdrawal symptoms. Clients also work on other strategies to promote physical and mental healing and preparation for continued recovery.

Experience Recovery develops treatment plans aligned with each client’s individual needs. Clients receive around-the-clock care to help them address any challenges that may arise and mitigate risk of potentially serious withdrawal symptoms. As detox progresses, clients work with their treatment team to determine the next steps for recovery, whether that is residential care, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), outpatient care, or another option.

If you’re wondering, “Why choose an OC detox facility near me?” rest assured that you will receive the same high-quality care as at a hospital, but with a focus on the unique needs of addiction recovery and access to a full continuum of care at Experience Recovery. You can begin your journey by building a strong foundation in detox and then transition to other levels of care as you are ready to support a lifestyle of continued recovery. Engage in detox and addiction recovery geared specifically toward the needs of men at Experience Recovery today.

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