Indicators of Relapse

alcoholic relapse
Relapse risk

Relapse is always a risk to the newly sober drug addict or alcoholic. An individual who is in recovery for a drug or alcohol addiction must be very careful and vigilant in early recovery and through the remainder of their life in sobriety. Relapse is definitely a chance in the existence of a recovering addict or alcoholic. Whenever a recovering addict or alcoholic indulges in drugs or alcohol again after being abstinent from drugs and alcohol for a long period of time a relapse happens. A good short relapse is quite dangerous because it can trigger the addictive behavior once more. Once that happens, anyone may never have the ability to leave again.

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Addiction Hotline Facts About Opioids and Opiates

What are opiates and opioids?

CDC Opioid statistics
CDC Opioid statistics

Opiates are a drug derivative of opium. Originally “opioids” referred to synthetic opiates (drugs created to mimic opium,). Today the term term Opioid is used to describe the entire family of opiates including natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic.  An opioid is best described as is any chemical or agent that binds to opioid receptors (which are protein molecules located on the membranes of some nerve cells).  These cells are primarily found in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.

There are four broad classes of opioids:

  1. Endogenous opioid, naturally produced in the body, endorphins 
  2. Opium alkaloids, such as morphine and codeine
  3. Semi-synthetic opioids such as heroin,oxycodone, and Buprenorphine
  4. Fully synthetic opioids, such as methadone

Examples of opioids are: painkillers such as morphine, methadone, Buprenorphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Heroin is also an opioid and is illegal. Opioid drugs sold under brand names include: OxyContin® , Percocet® , Vicodin® , Percodan® , Tylox® and Demerol® among others.  What they all have in common is each is highly addictive.

How do opioids affect people?

Opioids attach to receptors in the brain. Normally these opioids are the endogenous variety created naturally in the body. Once attached, they send signals to the brain of the “opioid effect” which blocks pain, slows breathing, and has a general calming and anti-depressing effect. The body cannot produce enough natural opioids to stop severe or chronic pain nor can it produce enough to cause an overdose.

Nearly 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014 – Center for Disease Control

The “High” from an opioid is not intoxication or impairing as it is with alcohol.

At low to moderate doses the “High” from opioids is not intoxication or impairing (as with alcohol). It does not feel like alcohol or marijuana, or hallucinogens. It instead provides feelings of intense joy and comfort, more so than can be obtained naturally.

At higher doses, breathing is impaired, it slows down and can result in death. This respiratory depression is the actual cause of overdose deaths.  With opioids there is a small window between euphoria and death.

How dangerous are opioids?

Opioids are highly addictive and very dangerous.  Not only will they cause an array of health problems they’re prone to overdose and death.  The CDC has published many papers on opioid overdose and death.  Some of their findings include:

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015.  From 1999 to 2008, overdose death rates, sales and substance use disorder treatment admissions related to prescription pain relievers increased in parallel. The overdose death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the 1999 rate”

Is there hope for opioid addicts and users?

Yes of course.  In spite of the highly addictive nature of opioids, opiates, and prescription drugs addicts stop using all the time.  It takes an honest desire and reaching out for assistance.  We highly encourage any opioid addict or user to see a trained health professional to help address any withdrawal symptoms they might experience.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction call someone today.  Get help, life if short and you deserve better.

 

Signs of Meth Dependence

Crystal meth and tools to smoke or inject it
Crystal meth and tools to smoke or inject it

Methamphetamines are psychostimulant drugs that have incredibly powerful effects on the human body and mind. Crystal Meth is a kind of methamphetamines that is regarded as among the most addicting drugs on the market together with the opiate drug heroin. In reality, Crystal Meth has a nickname of “The Devil’s Drug” as some feel it requires the spirit away because it is really addicting that individuals are willing to actually do something for this. Regrettably, tens of thousands of people in America struggle with addictions to crystal meth in addition to additional methamphetamine drugs.

Learn more about Help For Crystal Meth Addicts from the National Addiction Hotline

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The Facts about Methamphetamine

crystal meth
Crystal Meth

This video by Drug Policy.org outlines some of the history of methamphetamine use and addiction.  Methamphetamine is a cousin to the drug amphetamine.  The affect of methamphetamine on the body is far more daunting.  Both are highly addictive.

Amphetamine was first synthesized in the late 1800s.  Methamphetamine was discovered around 1919.  By 1971 congress classified both as Schedule II drugs, which is the most restricted category for prescription drugs.  Then the black market took over filling the gap.

Today tens of thousands of addicts struggle for survival.  Just paying for their drug habit and keeping a job can prove to be too much.  While this highly addictive drug can ruin a life in a short amount of time, there is always hope for the addict who wants to turn their life around and free themselves from their addiction.

We hope this video sheds some light on both of these drugs and addiction to them.

And if you are a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction call our hotline and get help today – 1-888-352-6072

 

Read more about Help For Crystal Meth Addicts.

 

After Overdosing on Heroin Four Times, Mother Commits to Recovery

Heather Wetzel recovering heroin addict
Heather Wetzel

In this video Heather Wetzel explains how she became addicted to heroin, her overdoses, and the guilt she carried being an addicted mother to her four year old daughter.  She explains how she turned to a life of  crime to fund her drug habit, and the time when she overdosed and the  police arrived while her daughter was home.

I told her, Mommy’s got to go away…

She was in prison for eleven month and completed a drug program while there.

I don’t know how I lost sight of being a mother…

After she was released from prison she and her daughter lived in a treatment center for recovering mothers and their children. Heather hopes her recovery will last and that she’ll remain drug free for her daughter.  She says she feels confident about remaining drug free but she has a fear of the cravings.

Thousands of lives are lost each year to prescription drug overdose.  Opioid prescriptions are at an all time high, so are emergency room visits and deaths from overdose.  It has become a national crisis.  Sadly stories like Heather’s are common: a young mother gets caught up into drug addiction and the downward spiral is fast and ugly.  Heather is fortunate in that she’s still alive, and is drug free now.  Heroin overdoses are lethal far too often.

Too often someone addicted to opiates tries and fails to kick their addiction and mistakenly concludes they’re hopeless and they have no chance for recovery.  We see people end the cycle of addiction each day.  It’s not easy and the first thing the addict must do is recognize they have a problem and then seek help.

We hope Heather’s story inspires heroin addicts that they too can turn their lives around, no one is hopeless.

Why Are Opioids So Addictive?

 

This CNN video about opioid addiction is an eye opener.  For instance in 2016 every 19 minutes someone dies from an accidental drug overdose,

Opioid overdose statistics

and most of the time it’s prescription drugs.  We are facing an opioid epidemic and this documentary sheds some light on the reasons why.  Opioids,  synthetic opiates, are highly addictive.  The number of opioid prescriptions written each year is staggering.

Watch this insightful news coverage that explains why opioids are so addictive.  And if you or a loved one is affected by opioid addiction we’re here to provide guidance.  Our phone is answered 24/7.  1-888-352-6072