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Buprenorphine Facts

Buprenorphine is a medicine used in the treatment of people who suffer from addiction to heroin, morphine, and other opiate drugs. Although used to help people become and remain sober, as an opiate drug itself, buprenorphine is highly controlled due to its addictive potential.

Q: What IS buprenorphine addiction?
A: Buprenorphine addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by continued use outside of therapeutic parameters despite repeated negative consequences. Most importantly, addiction IS a treatable medical condition that responds well to adequate therapy.

Q: What buprenorphine addiction IS NOT…
A: The one thing addiction IS NOT is a character flaw or a personal choice.

In this article, we explore the main causes of Rx addiction to opioids like buprenorphine and what’s it like being ‘hooked’ on this medication. Then, we review the methods doctors use to diagnose and address the condition. At the end, we welcome you to send us your questions in the comments section and do our best to answer all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Causes

Most people become addicted to buprenorphine because they are looking to get high. In fact, misuse of the drug or mixing the drug with other depressants can not only lead to addiction…but can result in overdose or death!

Misuse is defined as altering the mode of administration, or taking more of the medication, more frequently. Any of these types of misues can cause you become addicted over a period of time. However, in most cases, behind a person’s buprenorphine use is a complicated interplay of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors, some of which may include:

  • Having a family history of substance use disorders, especially in the close family circle.
  • Having a personal drug abuse history.
  • Being exposed to traumatic events in the past (childhood abuse, loss of a loved one, etc.)
  • Being surrounded with drug use by peers or people in your community.
  • Lacking parental support and communication, especially in early childhood and adolescence.
  • Suffering from a co-occuring mental health disorder that is not managed adequately.

All these factors can be the real issues that fuel your addictive behavior. This is why addiction treatment for buprenorphine aims to get you safely off the drug, while also uncovering and addressing the root causes of addiction.

What’s Bupe Addiction Like?

Here is a honest story of a person from the United Kingdom about how he got addicted to buprenorphine, but also about how he got the motivation to stay clean:

“I got addicted to Subutex (buprenorphine) after I got it from a drug dealer. I took it because I am trying to recover from heroin. Because I did not receive any medical advice, I used buprenorphine for a year at 16 mg per day. I knew I was abusing and tried to stop and managed to remain clean for six months, but the sheer force of withdrawals forced me to take buprenorphine again. I live in Liverpool and I buy my buprenorphine in North Wales, which is 2-hour drive away. My addiction going at the maximum at that time.

We went in a year-end holiday at Cape Town with my family, and what would have been a wonderful trip became a nightmare as I ran out of drugs halfway. I managed to hide my withdrawal, but it was awful. The moment we arrived home, I shoved my wife and my kids in the car in their surprise and quickly drove home (we are supposed to rest in my sister’s place)so just I can buy drugs.That event made me ponder on what are my real goals in life.

Weeks later and gladly, I enrolled at a government-funded clinic where they put me on a buprenorphine tapering program that lasted four weeks. The tapering was easy, and I was able to gradually reduce my dose to only 0.4 mg/ day – a big difference from 16 mg back in my heydays.

The hardest part was getting off buprenorphine altogether. That first sober day, I went to work as usual (at the factory) and later felt the full force of withdrawal at approximately 24 hours after the last dose, and it lasted two days. In the end, my loving wife found out about the whole buprenorphine addiction I had for years. I had decided to stay clean, and there was lots of promises and ‘contract signing’ to submit to surprise urine tests. But she would not need these things as I had committed myself to stay clean from buprenorphine and other drugs.”

Addiction Signs

There are several signs and symptoms that are commonly seen in the majority of people who abuse buprenorphine. These signs are an indicator that there is a drug problem. The symptoms of addiction generally include:

  • Hiding buprenorphine use from family, friends, coworkers and others.
  • Inability to control buprenorphine use due to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Losing control over buprenorphine use.
  • Not having correct and complete medical advice on the use of buprenorphine.
  • Obtaining buprenorphine from illegal sources like drug dealers, off internet pharmacies, etc.
  • Prioritising buprenorphine over relationships.
  • Putting extra effort just to get more buprenorphine.
How to Diagnose?

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), addiction can be defined as the use of any substance (including buprenorphine) that results in recurrent failure to meet obligations at work, school, and home due to drug use, use of the drug in hazardous situations, experiencing repeated legal problems due to drug use, and having drug-related relationship problems.

Doctors diagnose buprenorphine addiction by examining your medical history and performing physical examinations during an evaluation session. You can expect your doctor to ask the following questions as a part of your assessment:

  • Do you attempt to or feel a need to cut down on your buprenorphine use?
  • Do you end up using more buprenorphine than you initially intend to?
  • Do you engage in any risky behaviors (e.g. driving) while high on buprenorphine?
  • Do you feel that you need to use buprenorphine frequently in order to feel and function “normally”?
  • Have you attempted to cut down or stop buprenorphine without success?
  • Has your work or school performance declined due to buprenorphine use?
  • In what frequency and amount do you use buprenorphine?

Do any of these questions describe your relationship with buprenorphine? If you can answer with YES to 2 or more questions , it may be time to seek professional help. You can start by discussing your buprenorphine use with your primary doctor, or ask for a referral to a specialist in drug addiction, a licensed drug counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Treatment Options

With right help from professionals, recovery from buprenorphine addiction is realistically possible. Drug addiction professionals will address your buprenorphine addiction in several stages, such as:

  1. Gradual tapering of buprenorphine doses.
  2. Medical management of buprenorphine detox and withdrawal.
  3. Therapies that address the drug addiction problem.
  4. Aftercare programs.

Gradual tapering is a longer process that usually takes from 2 to 4 weeks before you can come off of the drug completely. However, tapering significantly reduces the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms from buprenorphine, thus making the process much more comfortable.

Medical detox and management of buprenorphine withdrawal can further ease the process for you. Detoxing under the medical care of skilled teams of doctors and nurses ensures that all your needs are catered to. Most importantly, medical detox is a safe and monitored process that increases your chances of further success in recovery.

Psychotherapy and behavioral therapies take the center stage during treatment for buprenorphine addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, helps you resist and cope with situations and emotions that drive buprenorphine abuse. Once you are aware of the symptoms that lead to buprenorphine abuse, you will seek help and support from your health provider before you act upon your urges.

Continued care (a.k.a. aftercare) stretches into the months and years after initial treatment is over. You will be encouraged to join support group therapy, go to a psychologist or a counselor for regular check-ins, or stay in a sober-living house for some time. Aftercare helps you socialize, continue working on your recovery, and seek/give support to people who are also recovering from addiction to buprenorphine and other drugs.

Got Any Questions?

We hope to have answered your questions regarding buprenorphine (Subutex) addiction and it’s treatment options. If not, please do not hesitate to send us your questions in the comments section at the end of the page or via our ‘contact us’ page. We do our best to answer all our reader’s legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: The facts about buprenorphine SAMHSA: Buprenorphine NIDA: Is the use of medications like methadone and buprenorphine simply replacing one addiction with another? NDIC: Buprenorphine: Potential for Abuse
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Strength In Addiction Recovery

Recovery requires a great deal of strength and effort. Even the smallest activities require a lot of energy. Challenges, fears, stresses and trauma are all part of the recovery experience and only strength in surrender can help you face and overcome them.

Inner strength is sometimes referred to as resiliency. Being able to maintain a sense of humor in the face of adversity, and knowing how to adapt strategies and techniques to fit your lifestyle are all characteristics of strength. Strength in recovery needs to come from within you. In order to remain drug-fre for the rest of your life, you’ll have to nurture it and help it grow.

You may already come across doubt and wondered: “Am I ready to quit? Am I strong enough to go through life?”

And the answer to this is: “You’ll have to try and find out”.

Addiction recovery requires a great deal of inner strength. Just like physical strength, psychological strength can also be built up with time. The purpose of these posters is to help you develop your inner strength. Do not let anything jeopardize your chance for a happy and sober life.

If you want to help and inspire others….please feel free to spread the word and share these quotes. Hopefully, they’ll also make a difference in the life of others who struggle with addiction or want to maintain their sobriety.

How to Use This Poster

1. Use these recovery quotes as armor against cravings.

Addiction carries vulnerability, both physical and psychological. Working on this vulnerability is not an easy thing. You will come across many challenges. One way you can use the quotes from this poster are as a weapon against cravings. Every time you feel that a craving overwhelms you, look on your wall – or on your desktop – and read the quote that has the biggest impact on you. Distracting your attention from the urge to use or drink again will help you remain in the safe zone.

2. Use the poster for raising conciseness.

A mind formerly under the influence of alcohol or drugs works a little bit differently. When your brain get used a drug, your cognitive processes become automatic. This means that each time a difficult situation occurs, your brain sends signals to you to repeat the same action over and over again.

So, another way you can use these quotes is to read them and repeat them out loud for several times in order to insert consciousness in the activities you do. With time, you’ll see how your consciousness grows stronger against the automatic impulses of addictive behaviors.

3.Use the recovery quotes for building cognitive awareness.

Building awareness is a process. If you were addicted for a long period do not be surprised if it takes more time for you to process the information you receive. In order to build a higher awareness about addiction and your life you need to remind yourself each day about the values of a sober life.

The quotes in these posters can help you there. Make several copies and put the around the walls of your house. They will serve as a great decoration element, and as a protection during hard times. When you want to raise your awareness, surround yourself with quotes that are meaningful and reflect wisdom.

Additional Sources of Posters and Quotes

Healthy Place
Inspirational Quotes Gazette
Health Line

Addiction Recovery Quotes For Strength

“Accept the challenges, so you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”
~George S. Patton~

“It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.”
~Betty Friedan~

“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”
~Henry Ford~

“It takes a habit to replace a habit.”
~Napoleon Hill~

“Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.”
~William James~

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
~Joseph Chilton Pearce~

“Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.”
~Frank Tyger ~

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
~Unknown~

“The key to why things change is the key to everything.”
~James Burke~

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Rehab Works!

Norco is well-known opioid prescribed for treatment of moderate to severe pain. But, because Norco can produce euphoric effect, people end up abusing the medicine to get high. Even people who are legitimately prescribed this medicine for pain can end up with an addictive habit, which leads to physical and psychological addiction.

Here, we’ll give you an idea of what addiction treatment looks like so you know what to expect. We’ll cover the stages of treatment, what rehab is like, and who you can go to for help. Then, we invite your to leave your questions/comments at the end of this page. In fact, we try to respond to all real-life questions with a personal and prompt response.

What To Expect in Rehab

Norco is a prescription painkiller that is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Since it contains an opiate, Norco is an addictive substance. As with other opiate addiction, a structured rehab treatment program is usually necessary in order to overcome an addiction to Norco.

It’s natural to wonder and fret about what to expect during Norco rehab treatment. Most Norco rehab programs, though, offer many of the same services and treatments, which are listed below. The general protocol for what to expect in rehab includes:

STEP 1: Screenings and Assessments

The first step when entering a program is to undergo a drug screen and thorough assessment. This is to help determine the extent of the addiction and also used to create an addiction treatment plan. Assessment includes physical exams, drug testing samples, and an interview process. Often, the screening process lasts for 1-1.5 hours.

STEP 2: Medical Detox

Withdrawal from hydrocodone is similar to withdrawal from other opiates, with symptoms such as runny nose, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and agitation. Entering a medical detox program can help ensure a more comfortable detox. During a medical detox, doctors and nurses supervise the removal of hydrocodone and offer medications when necessary. In addition to pharmacological help, staff at a detox clinic can also offer emotional support

STEP 3: Main Treatments

Individual therapy and group therapy that ai to change behavior are two of the most common methods used to treat addictions, and Norco rehab treatment is no exception. Recovering from addiction will typically require that you attend several therapy sessions each week, and may even attend daily therapy sessions, depending on the type of treatment program they are in.

Depending on the severity of a person’s addiction, medications are sometimes used during Norco rehab treatment. Methadone was once the standard medication for treating opiate addictions, but other buprenorphine and naltrexone are more common today, since they are less addictive.

STEP 4: Education and Support

During Norco rehab, patients also attend several education sessions evey day or week. These sessions can help them better understand their addictions, and learn valuable skills that will help them remain drug-free after treatment. Overcoming an addiction takes a great deal of willpower, but it also requires an equal amount of assistance and support. Treatment facilities can typically help you further by offering supportive services, such as finding employment and suitable housing during recovery.

What To Expect Afterwards

Once a person has completed a Norco rehab treatment program, their journey is far from over. In fact, in many ways, it is just beginning. At this point in time, a person who passed recovery must learn to live outside of a safe and structured treatment environment and learn to live a drug-free life. It can be difficult to know what to expect after Norco rehab treatment, but addiction specialists can help with this.

An addiction specialist will help you put together an exit plan once they have completed an addiction treatment plan. This is a written plan that outlines some of the post-treatment goals that you would like to reach. Exit plans also usually include what actions can be taken in order to reach these goals.

Addiction specialists will also usually create an addiction aftercare plan as well. For instance, they may refer you to an outpatient therapy program once you have completed treatment. Continuing therapy can help you cope with struggles after Norco rehab treatment and continue to remain drug-free.

Common aftercare activities include:

  • Finding a job that supports your new lifestyle.
  • Ongoing counseling.
  • Outpatient addiction treatment.
  • Sober living.
  • Support group attendance.
When Planning a Visit…

Knowing what to expect when visiting someone in rehab isn’t always easy. Different facilities have different policies when it comes to visitation. Most facilities, however, only allow you to visit someone in treatment after they have settled into the routine of the treatment program for a few weeks. Afterward, you will most likely only be able to visit your loved ones on certain days for a short period of time, usually only a couple of hours.

When visiting someone in rehab, you should be prepared to abide by some strict rules. For instance, you may not be permitted to bring certain items with you during the visit. This includes items such as medications. In addition, you may also be asked to limit physical contact with your loved one.

Family counseling and addiction education sessions may also be available to visitors as well. Taking part in these sessions can help you learn more about addiction, show support for your loved one, and learn how to help him or her through the long and difficult recovery process.

Can You Leave Before Completion?

Contrary to what some may believe, addiction rehab is not a prison. There are no locks on the door, and anyone is free to leave whenever they choose. However, while you can leave rehab before completion, this is certainly discouraged.

The most important reason that a person should stay is simple – relapse is much more likely if a person quits a treatment program early. By leaving early, a person is not gaining all of the knowledge, tools, and resources that the program has to offer. Therefore, they may not be prepared to resist the temptation of taking the drug again if they have access to it.

Completing rehab treatment also has a number of other benefits. For instance, ithelps many users realize that they can live without the drug. It can also give them a strong sense of accomplishment and possibly earn them more respect from their family and peers.

Treatment Expectations

It isn’t always easy to enter Norco rehab treatment, and expectations for treatment should remain realistic. For instance, while it can be effective, it isn’t usually easy. Taking those first steps toward recovery, though, is often imperative for addicted individuals who wish to lead a drug-free life.

If you or a loved one is ready for addiction treatment but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Any questions you have can be left in the comment section below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Reference Sources: NIDA: Buprenorphine: Treatment for Opiate Addiction Right in the Doctor’s Office NIH: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications King County: Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force
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The 12 Steps are Controversial

The 12 Step recovery approach to addiction is the subject of considerable controversy. On one side are the supporters of the program, many of whom credit the 12 Steps with saving their lives or the lives of their loved ones. On the other are those whose experience of the 12 Step program was negative, even damaging.

In this article we will investigate the arguments against the 12 Step program. We’ll also offer the counters to these arguments. Finally, we invite your feedback at the end. We want to hear from our readers! So, sound in.

Argument #1: You have to believe in God to do the 12 Steps.

The 12 Steps contain numerous references to God or a higher power, and often meetings conclude with a prayer, usually The Serenity Prayer. The 12 Steps were initially conceived from a Christian point of view, not only that, a white, male, Christian point of view.

This was because of the context of the founders of the original 12 Step fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in 1935 Akron, Ohio. Subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions along with the meeting format and sponsorship system.

Florence Rankin, A.A.’s first female member, joined A.A. in March 1937, and the first non-Protestant member, a Roman Catholic, joined in 1939. The first Black A.A. group was established in 1945 in Washington DC by Jim S., an African American physician from Virginia. A.A. membership has since spread internationally and become ever more inclusive of all kinds of diversity. Close to 2 million people worldwide are members.

The 12 Steps have not changed in language, they have however changed in meaning as times have changed. They continue to be adapted by each individual that finds a way to incorporate them into their lives.

COUNTER: The concept of God has expanded to include any higher power in which you can put your faith, this can be something spiritual, equally it can be the group itself or anything which fits, there is no strict dogma in practice.

Argument #2: The concept of powerlessness frees the addict from responsibility for their actions.

Rather than affording the addict a cop out, the idea of powerlessness frees the addict of some of the crippling shame and guilt of addiction. It is the nature of addiction that leaves a person powerless. You are not weak willed or flawed or a bad person, instead addiction is a chronic illness or a disease.

COUNTER: Powerlessness’ is a condition of the disease of addiction, which is both compulsive and chronic, and progresses despite negative consequences.

Understanding and acceptance of this is necessary for 12 Step based recovery which requires abstinence from addiction forming mind/mood altering chemicals, including alcohol.

Argument #3: Addicts substitute their addiction with dependence on 12 Step meetings.

Meetings provide community with like-minded people who share a similar past and a future. Meetings provide a space in which addicts can begin to develop healthier relationships, a place in which to be helpful and to be helped and generally expand their repertoire of positive and effective behaviors and attitudes.

COUNTER: The stable presence of meetings, the only requirement for attendance of which is the desire to stop using, is a very different kind of presence in anyone’s life that the all-consuming nature of addiction.

Argument #4.: The 12 Step program is a Patriarchal Cult.

Often the definition of an addict has been based on observed male characteristics that seemed common in the drinking culture of the 1930’s and 40’s.  The A.A. basic text describes addicts as self-absorbed and self centered. In the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous the characteristics of alcoholics is described as being ‘King Baby’, ‘grandiose’ and as having an ‘inflated self-ego.’ (These definitions have been expounded on throughout recovery/ treatment literature). All this must be taken in context though, as discussed above the book was written in the 30s by white, male, Christians.

COUNTER: 12 step fellowships are today what each group makes them, continually evolving and become more inclusive. People are free to take what suits them from the meeting and leave the rest. The 12 Steps provide a frame work for what must necessarily be – a very personal, existential journey. Those participating in the 12 steps must think critically and find their own way, blindly accepting religious dogma wouldn’t cut it.

Argument #5: Twelve-Step programs don’t work.

Research limitations

The controversy that surrounds the efficacy of 12 Step fellowships is understandable in that the scientific study of A.A. members has been hard to achieve. This has left us with a debate involving believers and non-believers rather than evidence based, objective facts.

Studies

The studies which have been conducted give us wildly divergent conclusions, some associating attendance with higher rates of assistance whilst others suggest the opposite is true.

The 2006 Cochrane Review, of eight studies (undertaken between 1967 and 2005) on the effectiveness of A.A., found no significant difference between the results of Twelve Step participation compared to other treatments, stating that “experimental studies have on the whole failed to demonstrate their effectiveness in reducing alcohol dependence or drinking problems when compared to other interventions.”

A 2014 study by Keith Humphreys, Janet Blodgett and Todd Wagner concluded that “increasing A.A. attendance leads to short and long term decreases in alcohol consumption that cannot be attributed to self-selection.”

Dr. Lee Ann Caskets reported in 2009 that the frequency with which individuals attend meetings appears to have a statistically significant correlation with maintaining abstinence. Caskets noted two studies which both found that 70% of those who attended twelve-step groups at least weekly were abstaining from alcohol consumption at follow ups at both two and sixteen years later. Those who attended less than once per week showed about the same success rate as those who didn’t attend meetings

COUNTER: This conflicting evidence should not convince us that 12 step recovery doesn’t work however, just that research methods to date have unfortunately been inadequate.

In Conclusion

If you are suffering from addiction, 12 step recovery meetings remain a free and ever available resource for you.
So, why spurn the process?
You are welcome to go and check them out for yourself!

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Addictionblog.org by Addiction Blog - 1w ago

You Can Quit Crack

Crack became enormously popular in the mid-1980s. Since then, it’s been widely used because it produces an immediate high and is relatively easy and inexpensive to produce. In fact, crack is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that is derived from powdered cocaine using a simple conversion process.

But you can quick crack when you’re ready.

In this article we explain the use, abuse and consequences of smoking crack cocaine. We invite you to read on, learn more and post your questions or personal experiences in the comments section at the end.

Crack Recreational Use

Crack cocaine stimulated the entire central nervous system and almost immediately damages and stresses the user’s lungs, brain and heart. When smoked, crack cocaine influences the whole body. The muscles tense, the heart rate increases, blood vessels constrict and feelings of excitement, happiness, and elation follow the release of specific mood hormones.

The main methods of using crack include:

  • combining crack cocaine with marijuana (lacing)
  • crushing and snorting crack
  • injecting it intravenously
  • mixing crack with heroin
  • smoking or freebasing through a glass hand pipe or water pipe

The almost immediate effects of smoking crack intensify the euphoria a person is feeling. But, it only lasts 5-15 minutes, after which there is an intense desire for more if the drug. Addiction to crack cocaine can develop even after only one use. Sudden death can also happen with the first use. Many first time users overdose on crack, and for many it has fatal consequences.

If you or someone near you has been using crack and experiences adverse effects, you shouldn’t hesitate to Call 911. You can also CALL the Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert and have a free over-the-phone assessment of overdose risk and instructions on what to do next.

Medical Use Of Crack

Crack is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act and is not intended for medical use. Instead, crack is an illicit, or illegal, form of cocaine. It is used because it produces euphoria, is a stimulant, suppresses appetite, and relieves pain.  Crack abuse is illegal and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Here are some quick stats on who uses crack:

The National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health data indicate that about 6 million American residents aged 12+ used crack at least at one point in their lifetime.

1. Around 150,000 teenagers from the age group 12-17 have used crack cocaine.
2. About 1,003,000 adults aged 18-25 have used crack at least once.
3. Nearly 4% of high school seniors in the U.S. have reported at least a one-time crack use.
4. More than 1% of high school seniors reported past month use of crack cocaine.

Long Term Crack Use

Crack is extremely addictive and its effects are intense, but short. Users quickly develop strong psychological and physical dependence on crack, and cessation becomes nearly impossible. Long-term crack addiction can cause permanent and irreversible damage. It damages the body and mind, increases the risk of developing psychological disorders, such as agoraphobia, depression, and psychosis. It may cause permanent organ damage and failure, premature aging and increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

After a long period of crack use, the most common problems users experience include:

  • auditory and tactile hallucinations
  • brain seizures
  • death
  • delirium or psychosis
  • depression
  • heart attack
  • heart disease
  • irritability and aggressiveness
  • mood changes
  • paranoid behavior
  • reproductive damage and infertility
  • respiratory impairment and failure
  • risky and illegal actions and behavior
  • sexual dysfunction
  • stroke
  • tolerance and addiction
Prolonged Use Of Crack

Users quickly develop a tolerance to crack, this means they’ll be needing more of the substance to achieve the desired effects. Since the high from crack cocaine is so short-lived, users will usually smoke it repeatedly in order to sustain a longer high. This can lead to an even faster onset of addiction, as the drug is very potent and is smoked.

Crack cocaine interferes and changes the brain’s system of reward and punishment. So, when the drug’s effects wear off, withdrawal symptoms occur. These symptoms can include depression, irritability, extreme fatigue, anxiety, an intense craving for the drug, and sometimes even psychosis. Users often keep using just to avoid the severe and agonizing effects of crack withdrawal.

Now, Your Questions

Looking for more information on crack cocaine? Maybe you want to learn how long does crack last or how to withdraw from crack, perhaps you’re looking for more on medical crack detox options or crack addiction treatment help. Explore our site and find the answers to those and many more questions. We invite you to post your questions and comments below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: National Drug Intelligence Center: Crack Cocaine Fast Facts National Institute of Justice & Office of National Drug Control Policy: Crack, Powder Cocaine, and Heroin: Drug Purchase and Use Patterns in Six U.S. Cities NARCONON International: Signs and Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Use Foundation For a DRUG-FREE WORLD: The truth about crack cocaine? Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR): Crack Cocaine
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Addictionblog.org by Addiction Blog - 1w ago

Withdrawal Requires Help

As a benzodiazepine, Valium is a strong, psychoactive drug. In fact, Valium’s high addictive potential can led not only to physical dependence, but also psychological dependence. Over time, you may notice you are building a high drug tolerance level. So, when you stop using Valium or even when you lower down doses, you can expect to experience symptoms of Valium withdrawal.

Managing withdrawal requires the application of specific tapering techniques. But, what are some common Valium withdrawal symptoms? How can they be treated? We review in the article below. At the end, we invite you to join ou open discussion in the comments section at the end of the page. Please, share your experience with us. We’ll try to respond to all real-life questions personally and promptly.

Why Does Withdrawal Occur?

Valium – main ingredient diazepam – acts directly on the central nervous system enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyris acid) in the brain. It actually changes the function of the brain, and the system adopts the presence of Valium after only several weeks of daily use.

Over time, the body develops both a physical tolerance to Valium and physical dependence. In this way, you become reliant on Valium to function regularly. As a result, when you decrease or stop taking your regular doses, you will go through Valium withdrawal. This is the body’s way of regaining homeostasis. Withdrawal is actually the manifestation of symptoms the Valium normally depresses/surpresses.

Withdrawal symptoms are the main reason why people feel forced to continue taking Valium, even though they do not want to. Often, taking Valium may seem like the only to avoid the pain and discomfort when the body is going through this period of re-stabilization.

When Does Withdrawal Start?

Valium withdrawal symptoms usually occur a few hours after the last dose effects have worn off. The severity, intensity, and duration of symptoms will depend on many individual factors, such as:

  • age
  • body weight
  • dosage
  • drug metabolism
  • general health
  • mode of administration
  • past history of drug abuse

In reality, symptoms can last for few weeks. Additionally, withdrawal symptoms can reoccur after several weeks after harsh symptoms have ended. These symptoms are known as Post- Acute-Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). Prolonged withdrawal syndromes include a set of persistent discomforting symptoms that occur after withdrawal from Valium has ended.

Main Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

Being dependent on Valium means you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you decrease the daily drug dose or quit taking it at all. This happens because the body is trying to maintain homeostasis, since it has got used Valium as normal. Below is a list of the most common symptoms reported during Valium withdrawal:

  • abnormal pains
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • delirium
  • dysphoria
  • headache
  • hallucinations
  • increased blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • muscle pain
  • panic attacks
  • paranoid psychosis
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • sweating
  • tension
  • tingling of extremities
  • tremors
  • vomiting
Overall Duration

Generally, people need more time to withdraw from Valium than from other prescription drugs. Acute Valium withdrawal lasts from 3-6 days. However, some of the symptoms may reoccur even several weeks after initial symptoms have worn off.  Most people experience withdrawal symptoms at different levels of severity for several weeks after the last dose in “rebound” cycles. Usually, these withdrawal symptoms come and go. This is why it’s helpful to seek medical guidance during the process: to know what to expect.

Medications

Paradoxically, Valium is commonly used as a replacement medication during people’s withdrawal from other benzodiazepines. It is helpful to those who have developed physical dependence on other benzodiazepine drugs. In these cases, a physician creates a tapering plan that will allow the person to slowly and safely stop the use of his/her benzodiazepine. Eventually, when the dosage reaches a certain level, the medicine is discontinued altogether, and the person has avoided facing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Similarly, doctors usually use a tapering strategy for those who experience Valium dependence. This is considered to be the most effective strategy when it comes to easing Valium withdrawal symptoms. However, medications can also be applied during the acute phase of withdrawal.

Some of the medication aids used during Valium detox are:

  1. Anticonvulsant medications for preventing seizures. Some anticonvulsants have been proven to be also useful in addressing the overall symptoms experienced during Valium withdrawal.
  2. Melatonin is a hormone given to people in detox from Valium with the intent of helping people easily bear feeling of anxiety and insomnia.
  3. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are effective in rebound anxiety.
  4. Muscle relaxants such as Gablofen to reduce drug cravings.
Valium Withdrawal Tips

Withdrawal from Valium could be very harsh and severe. The first step you can take is to ask for advice from medical professionals who are knowledgable about benzodiazepine withdrawal. You can also seek advice from your pharmacist about protocols for diazepam withdrawal as well as look into over-the-counter prescriptions drugs to ease symptoms of Valium withdrawal. Also, it’s highly recommended that you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

Here are some basic tips to ease Valium withdrawal:

FIRST TIP: Drink plenty of herbal teas and consider nutritional supplements to help balance out fluctuations in mood and concentration. A variety of herbal teas have proven to be excellent in lessening some of withdrawal symptoms, while supplements can help maintain body weight. Still, note that before starting any supplement regime, you should consult with your physician and/ or pharmacist.

SECOND TIP: Practice mind and body therapies. Meditation, breathing, and gentle exercises can help you focus on your goals. Further, massages and hot baths are helpful for easing body and muscle pain.

THIRD TIP: Build a stable network of support. Share your experience with friends and family. This can help you to get all support that you need for overcoming Valium dependence and its withdrawal. Also, talk with spiritual, religious, or community leader for emotional guidance and support.

Questions?

If you still have questions and concerns regarding the stages of Valium addiction treatment, please do not hesitate to ask us in the comment section at the end or via contact us page. All your comments are welcomed and appreciated. We try to respond to all real-life comments as soon as possible.

Reference Sources: SHAMSA: Abrupt Withdrawal from Pain Medications — Information and Caution NIH: Diazepam withdrawal syndrome: its prolonged and changing nature NIH: Clinical management of benzodiazepine dependence NHTSA: Diazepam
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Addictionblog.org by Addiction Blog - 1w ago
Does experimentation = Xanax abuse?

YES!

Xanax – alprazolam – is a benzodiazepine medication that affects the central nervous system (CNS). Even though it is classified as a Schedule IV drug, Xanax has a high potential for abuse since it has the ability to trigger calming and relaxing feelings. In fact, it is considered to be the 2nd most popular drug of abuse in United States.

So, if you’re reading this and feel that Xanax use has become a problem…you’re in the right place. We can help!

First, we suggest that you inform yourself about effective ways you can recognize when Xanax use has become an issue for yourself or a loved one. Then, if you are ready to stop taking Xanax, we suggest that you seek help instead of trying to do it on your own. You are not alone!

—–

Ready to stop abusing Xanax for good?
Just dial 1-877-459-2431.
Toll-FREE Helpline is Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
PRIVACY GUARANTEED!

—–

In this article we review the signs of Xanax abuse, as well as the risks and consequences of such use. Then, we invite you to send us your questions and comments via the section at the end of the page. We value your feedback and try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

Medical use vs. Xanax abuse: What’s the difference?

Xanax is a medication with depressant effects that decreases abnormal excitement in the brain. Due to this effect, Xanax has a wide use in medicine, especially in the treatment anxiety and panic disorders.

Q: When does therapeutic use become Xanax abuse?
A: When you are not using it EXACTLY as recommended by a doctor.

Although people often believe that someone with a medical prescription cannot abuse Xanax, this is not true. In fact, any use in ways other than as prescribed is considered to be illegal and is punishable by law. Here are some actions that enter the scope of drug abuse even for Xanax patients:

  1. Use of bigger amounts of Xanax than recommended.
  2. More frequent dosing than recommended.
  3. Alteration of the suggested mode of administration by chewing, crushing and snorting Xanax.
  4. Using Xanax to get “high”.
  5. Mixing Xanax with other medications, illicit drugs, or alcohol to enhance its effects.

So, if someone is using Xanax in ways, doses, and frequency other than prescribed than they are abusing the drug. Such continued use of Xanax may lead to more serious problems, one of which is the development of an addictive dissorder.

Why is Xanax Abused?

This is a question without an easy, straightforward answer. In fact, there is an array of factors that make all the difference between why some people can remain on therapeutic doses of Xanax without abusing the medication, while others are more prone to misuse. The following delicate interplay of individual factors can include:

#1 Your genetic makeup – Scientists have concluded that individuals who have a family history of substance abuse disorders (SUD) are at a 50% higher risk of abusing drugs such as Xanax, as well as other illicit and prescription drugs or alcohol.

#2 A traumatic life event – Those who experience a traumatic event, especially during early childhood, have a higher risk of abusing psychoactive substances later in their adulthood. Trauma can be caused by many types of life experiences, including psychological trauma, any form of abuse, the loss of a loved one, and so on.

#3 Mental health disorders – Suffering from psychological diseases, especially mood disorders such as chronic anxiety and depression can be a contributing factor in developing a substance abuse problem. Many times, people with mental health disorders try to self-medicate their condition if it’s not diagnosed or addressed appropriately.

#4 Your individual biological makeup – Some individuals have brains that are super sensitive to the effects if drugs and experience stronger reward sensations from Xanax. If you are one of those people, you have a higher likelihood to continue taking the drug in an abusive manner.

#5 Your social environment – Living in a stressful home environment, and/or growing up in a dysfunctional family surrounding, especially if alcohol and drug abuse are present, can normalize a person’s view on drug abuse and increase the likeliness of them following in the same footsteps.

In addition, many of those who abuse Xanax also abuse other drugs (mainly opiates and alcohol). This is a practice known as poly-drug abuse. Xanax can calm down the severity of the withdrawal symptoms of these other substances, but also intensify their potency…which is why users tend to mix these substances together.

What are the signs of Xanax abuse?

Sometimes the warning signs of Xanax abuse may not be obvious, especially if a person is taking the medication for medical reasons. So how can you know? If you suspect that someone close to you may be abusing Xanax, you can look for some changes in their behavior, as well as physical and mental health. Signs of Xanax abuse may include:

PHYSICAL SIGNS

Drowsiness
Sleepiness
Light-headedness
Sluggishness
Nausea
Headaches

PSYCHOLOGICAL SIGNS

Altered moods and demeanour
Disengagement from reality
Difficulty concentrating
Problems with memory
Lethargic and apathetic behavior

BEHAVIORAL SIGNS

Financial problems
Finding doctors that will prescribe more Xanax (doctor shopping)
Preoccupation with obtaining and using Xanax
Running through Xanax prescriptions too fast
Social withdrawal
Strained relationships with family and friends

Xanax Abuse Risks and Adverse Effects

Abusing Xanax may have many negative health consequences risks, and may even be life-threatening. Below is a list of the negative effects of Xanax abuse:

  • hallucinations
  • hyperactivity
  • memory impairment
  • uncontrolled movement and coordination
  • seizures
  • slurred speech
  • vision problems

When mixed with alcohol or other depressant drugs, Xanax abuse becomes far more risky. Such combinations could lead to:

  • coma
  • death
  • serious injury
Professionals that can help

Looking for help with Xanax abuse, but don’t know where to start? Check out the following list of professional help options to know who you can turn to.

1. Xanax Abuse Helpline – When you need FREE, Confidential and Anonymous help to assess and evaluate your or a loved one’s Xanax problem, CALL 1-877-471-1850. Hotline staffers are trained professionals who understand drug abuse as a medical condition, can answer questions, and offer strategies and information about treatment services that can best help you. You can expect a caring and non-judgemental approach.

2. A Pharmacist – Pharmacists can help you with withdrawal symptoms by recommending a tapering schedule when you want to quit Xanax. They can also suggest a number of over-the-counter medications and remedies to help alleviate some of the flu-like Xanax withdrawal symptoms.

3. Prescribing Physician – Your supervising doctor can determine if you need Xanax for medical purposes and also diagnose the severity of your abuse problem. Physicians can also help you in the case of adverse effects, and refer you to a reputable drug addiction treatment center.

4. Drug Treatment Centers – Xanax addiction treatment center are safe and secure facilities, equipped with professionals who know what works and how they can assist you best. In fact, rehabs readily accept patients who are addicted to prescription medicines, including Xanax.

5. Psychiatrists – These doctors specialize in mental health, and can determine the causes of your addictive behavior. Then, they work with you to administer the necessary therpies in order to resolve these issues.

6. Addiction Specialists – Doctors who are Certified Addiction Specialists (CAS) can help people with chronic or recurrent Xanax addiction.

7. Licensed Clinical Psychologists – Psychologists provide counseling and education to improve your sober life. They can also help you maintain sobriety in the long run.

8. Licensed Clinical Social Workers – These professionals are very efficient in helping people addicted to Xanax by providing assistance outside of a drug treatment facility, especially for the families of recovering addicts, and for the children who live in households where drug abuse is present.

Got More Questions?

We hope to answered your main questions regaring Xanax abuse, Xanax dependence, or Xanax detox. But, if you still have some concerns, questions and/or experiences that you’d like to share with other readers, please feel free to share them in the designated section below. We will respond to all legitimate inqueries promptly and personally.

Reference Sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse: Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs NIH: DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction NIH: Benzodiazepines Risk, Abuse, and Dependence NIH: Medicine Plus: Alprazolam FDA: Xanax
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Addictionblog.org by Glenn Sweetman - 1w ago

Another Relapse?

Well shucks… I gone done it again.

Not to make light of it, but I’ve just returned from a deceptively nightmarish relapse. Deceptive because in the eye of the storm you don’t realise how fucking bad you should be feeling, due to there being a load of chemicals pumping round your system, designed exactly to hide that feeling from you.

It all started with a badly conceived idea to take a drug that I haven’t taken for at least 8 years, the reason for that being my last experience not being a good one and, like the self-defeating dickhead that I am prone to become now and again, thought time would be a healer. SPOILER ALERT: it isn’t.

I’m speaking of my old (bad) friend, MDMA (or, following a bit of research after the fact, think may actually have been methylone).

A friend and I acquired some from somewhere. Now we weren’t expecting it to be delivered as early as it did (might give you an idea of where it was acquired) and so hadn’t practised normal psychonautical preparation, and got so excited by its arrival that we just dived right in.

Now I put it into myself in a way that I’ve never done before : IV.

Patterns of Use

So, just to recap: My last experience with the stuff was bad, and yet I decided to mainline it this time. What is wrong with people like me? You can’t even call it suicidal behaviour because death and the cessation of existence seems like a better option than getting through some of the bad trips I’ve had to endure.

And what a trip it was, which is why I don’t think it was actually MDMA. Within a minute I said to my mate “I really wish I hadn’t done this.” Not a great mood setting sentence. I could even be accused of “harshing the buzz, dude”.

To set the scene, it was snowing outside and I hadn’t even gone to the chemist for my Subutex and it was 3 in the afternoon. Shit. I have to actually go outside and walk (at Google’s estimate) 2.7 miles whilst coming up on whatever chemical that it actually was in that syringe.

Luckily my mate has his bike with him, which he is prepared to lend me, since he’s also off his head on the same thing, plus Ketamine. It takes me a good half hour to psych myself up for this seemingly massive undertaking. I set off but also learn 10 minutes into the journey that there are no functional brakes on this bicycle and come off the fucking thing and into the snow, with a nice head ricochet off a concrete bollard. I also had to make several stops along the way to try and calm myself down because the task ahead seemed monumental to my unhinged mind.

Didn’t want to do this journey in the first place but can you imagine going through opioid withdrawal on top of having this shit in your veins freaking your head to bits?

So… Finally get to the pharmacy and, God love the guy, I have a very understanding and caring Pharmacist. He goes : “Are you all right mate? You look a bit wired…”

Me: (going to change names for obvious reasons ) “Jeff, I’m not feeling great. Think I’m in withdrawal”. Not a total lie. I just omitted mentioning the dose of narcotics that were giving me an extra bonus hard time.

That’s all I remember about that exchange. And I know I’m not great at making names up but anyway let’s get back to it.

I get into the nearest public toilet that I can find (told you I was relapsing) and injected the dose of Subbys that I “redirected”, as the technical term seems to be…. Boosh! Great! I ‘aint rattling now. Feel a lot better. The (still unsure of actual chemical) stuff can do its work now, unhindered by such a paltry annoyance as opioid withdrawal.

The Funds to Keep it Going

It was benefit payday for me. Which if you live outside of the UK is probably called welfare or something. All the same thing, really: A system that enables addicts to afford drugs without lifting a finger to something like honestly working for a living. So I go to the cash machine (ATM) and my card gets rejected… almost complete preternatural terror begins to descend before I realise that the local branch of my bank is still open at this time.

Great, eh? No. Still have to actually go into the bank and talk to people that aren’t on mind bending chemicals and show my ID and sign my name and give a reason for needing to get at money without going through normal (ATM) channels. That bit’s boring and, thankfully uneventful and successful.

So… Wad of cash in my pocket, I set off home with a quick stop off at the local booze vendor. I buy way more than I normally would but my thoughts were that when I get back to the house, I’m not going anywhere for anything if I can help it.

By this time the (we’ll call it M for ease from now on) M was in it’s full on “Hello! I’m Here! Hope you’re ready for me ‘cos I aint going anywhere for a good long while” mode and I could start to feel an anxiety that I normally get on these “come ups”. Still. Nothing too drastic and my mate was very pleased to see me as he was having some problems with Ketamine time manipulation and thought I’d been gone so long he was thinking of getting the police on the phone, not really his best thinking of the day. I was actually gone less than an hour.

Harm Reduction: Don’t Use Alone

It was also good to be with someone again so I began to enjoy things a little. We did the usual thing of playing some music for the first 30 seconds before thinking of a better tune to replace it with and repeating the cycle. Sticking Youtube on for inspiring music videos and the like and mad skate board stuff, you know, time wasting.

A few hours and a re-dose later: I’m not really enjoying it as much as I thought I would be. Also the dreaded realisation that it may be going down hill went through my mind and that’s the first sign of trouble for me.
I then decided, in my infinite wisdom, to go and buy some crack, thinking that this might perk me up a bit. I was wrong.

Because I wasn’t taking the Ketamine it started turning out that our trips were taking different paths and I started to get very quiet and lethargic and my thoughts were turning to going to bed and trying to ride this thing out in a nicer environment, under a warm duvet.

After a long time convincing my mate that the best thing for me was bed, I managed to get myself under the covers whilst he was still downstairs going through God knows what.

The Next Day

Cut to the next day. I spent most of the morning throwing up and my mate went home (thanks for keeping an eye on me, bro). I now had a good three days of vomiting and having very strange and scary thoughts. I tried drinking heavily to numb/knock myself out. This didn’t go greatly and it took the third day to get some food into me.

And that’s when the relapse began. I started taking loads of crack and Heroin again, drinking like a madman for two weeks and generally behaving like a dickhead. Drinking for me is a very VERY bad idea. I suffer seizures when in withdrawal and have been in hospital at least eleven times for emergency detox. Those are the ones I can count from memory.

I’m lucky enough to have the best mother in the world (it’s not a competition but if it was I would win) and she saw what was happening and intervened. I managed to acquire some Diazepam (I know, I know), my Mum let me stay at her house and I got myself through a week of serious discomfort. But I did get through it. Not in the best way advisable but I managed it.

As an addict it’s such a scary thought when you realize that you’re going to have to get through life without your crutch of choice but it can be done. I was doing great for ages before my relapse and it nearly snapped my heart in two when it happened but you just have to pick yourself up and get back at it.

One last thing: The way I detoxed myself is not the proper way to do things. You need to speak to your doctor or if you are in withdrawal right now then get to an emergency centre/ A and E.

Thanks for reading.
Glenn.

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Percocet = Oxycodone + Acetaminophen

Percocet affect the brain. As opposed to local painkillers that work directly on the parts of your body where you feel pain, oxycodone binds to opiate receptors in the central nervous system to provide pain relief. This creates an analgesic and euphoric effect. However, as a result, the drug can be habit-forming.

This is why pharma companies have added acetaminophen as the second active ingredient found in Percocet. Acetaminophen is an analgesic and antipyretics. This combination attempts to make Percocet more safet, because acetaminophen has a daily dose limit. What ends up happening, though, is that Percocet REMAINS a strongly addictive painkiller with severe long term damages to the brain and body.

Percocet in the Body

Percocet has serious effects on mainly organs of the body, including the liver. Percocet can be even life threatening when crushed or snorted. These are some of the most common long lasting effects induced by Percocet:

  • anxiety
  • circulatory collapse
  • dizziness
  • hypotension
  • memory loss
  • nausea
  • shallow breathing
  • strong headaches
  • vision impairments

In this Percocet infographic, we visually present how Percocet travels through the body after you take it. We look at basic metabolism and describe the process in several visual description. We welcome you to post any questions regarding Percocet effects at the end, in the comments section reserved for questions. We value your questions and try to answer them as soon as we can.

How Does Percocet Work In The Body?

How does Percocet work?

1. YOU TAKE PERCOCET: Percocet can be used: orally, intranasally, intravenously, or by inhalation.

2. STOMACH: Percocet starts producing its effects 15 minutes after oral administration and reaches its peak for 30-60 minutes. The high from Percocet is similar to the one from heroin. This high creates an overall feeling of euphoria, claim, relaxation and intense pleasure. When Percocet is taken orally, it may cause upset stomach as a side effect.

3. NOSE: Snorting Percocet intensifies the effect of the drug, transferring large amounts of the drug to instantly enter the bloodstream through the nose. The high from snorting Percocet is felt 2-4 minutes.

4. LUNGS: Smoking Percocet is very dangerous and can easily lead to overdose since it delivers the drug to your lungs almost immediately as you inhale.

5. HEART: Percocet affects heart rate and may cause slow or fast heartbeats. Even when taken orally Percocet may affect your blood pressure and lead to either increase or decrease levels of blood pressure. Percocet hits its peak blood plasma levels very quickly. Peak effects of Percocet are felt 30-60 minutes after you take it.

6. BRAIN: Percocet provides pain relief by acting on µ and kappa opioid receptors in the brain. By binding to opiate receptors in the central nervous system Percocet numbs the feelings of pain and produces a euphoric “high.”

7. LIVER: Acetaminophen is largely converted to nontoxic glucuronate or sulfate conjugates and secreted in the urine. Oxycodone is metabolized by the enzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2D6, and its clearance therefore can be altered by inhibitors and inducers of these enzymes. How fast Percocet will be metabolized depends on your weight, the food you’ve eaten before taking Percocet and the way you administer Percocet.

8. KIDNEYS: Oxycodone and its metabolites are excreted primarily via the kidney. Percocet is eliminated from the body through urine in about 2 hours after you take it. The total plasma clearance was approximately 1.4 L/min in adults.

Percocet Dosage

  • Percocet 2.5 mg/325 mg = 1 or 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Percocet 5 mg/325 mg = 1 tablet every 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Percocet 7.5 mg/325 mg = 1 tablet every 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Percocet T 10 mg/325 mg = 1 tablet every 6 hours as needed for pain.
Percocet In The Body Questions?

Hopefully, we’ve given you a good idea about metabolism of Percocet. However, if you have any additional questions, please post them in the designated section at the end of the page. We look forward to answering any and all of your questions personally and promptly.

Reference sources: NLM: Acetaminophen
NCBI: Opioid Metabolism
NCBI: Mechanisms of Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Necrosis
Percocet Dosage
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Addictionblog.org by Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.d. - 2w ago

Teen Addiction Rates: What Every Parent Should Know About Protecting Their Teen’s Health

As a parent, you have likely come across conflicting information in recent months that leaves you confused about how serious the risk of addiction is for teens. Recently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released the results of a study that shows a continued long-term decline in teen drug use that could cause you to feel a false sense of security. Indeed, the 2017 Monitoring the Future survey results show that drug use trends seem stable and have dropped slightly.

The downward trend in teen drug abuse is excellent news, but you must understand that addiction rates for teens are still continuing to rise. You can do your part to help reduce the risk of your teenager developing an addiction by understanding this information about the trends affecting your teen’s mental health. Here are six steps that you take to start protecting your teen from developing an addiction.

1. Filter Through the Data

While it is true that fewer kids are reporting that they have recently used drugs such as cocaine or opioids, these results do not necessarily shed any insight into how many kids who do use drugs might fall prey to addiction. You should also be aware that certain drugs are reported to have a higher rate of abuse among teens.

For instance, the survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that marijuana use increased among high school seniors, and those living in states with some form of legalization were at higher risk for trying the drug for the first time. Unfortunately, people who begin using marijuana at an early age are at greater risk for developing an addiction. You should also be aware that the rate of kids using marijuana on a daily basis remains relatively stable. This means that those who do choose to use the drug are using it on a regular basis.

2. Look Beyond the Drug Statistics

Today’s teenagers are also at risk of becoming addicted to behaviors or items that go far beyond just drugs and alcohol. For instance, smartphone addiction rates are on the rise, and Medical News Today reports that over 90 percent of teenagers report using their smartphone daily. Addiction rates for teens also reflect growing numbers of kids being addicted to other forms of technology abuse.

For instance, teenagers who spend more than an hour or two playing video games and begin to limit their real life social activities may have a gaming addiction. Alternatively, young teens are now finding it difficult to curtail their social media habits. Although it can be hard to accept as a parent, teenagers may deal with gambling, sexual and self-injury addictions that all slip under the radar when you read reports about drug abuse statistics.

3. Reduce the Risk Factors

With so many different types of addiction today, parents face serious challenges when it comes to protecting their child’s safety. However, you can retain some control over your child’s health by knowing the risk factors that often lead to teens falling prey to addiction.

For example, teens with low self-esteem are more likely to try drugs for the first time or engage in behaviors such as self-injury. Help your child build a strong sense of self by providing them with wholesome activities that build their confidence. For instance, you could get them involved in sports or encourage them to join the drama team at school. When your kid has a healthy outlet for handling negative emotions they are less likely to turn to addictive behaviors for relief.

4. Set Healthy Boundaries

Your teen learns what constitutes a healthy lifestyle at home. Spend time talking to your teen about the importance of not using drugs or alcohol, and let them know what the consequences are if they are caught engaging in illicit behavior. You may also find it helpful to give your child a way out of difficult circumstances where peer pressure occurs. For instance, you can tell your teen that you will pick them up anywhere and anytime that they need to get away from other kids who are using drugs.

To prevent other addictions from developing, set boundaries that pertain to your child’s online activities. Limit how much time your teen is allowed to spend on the phone, and consider setting up a place for them to leave their electronics overnight so that they are not tempted to go online when they should be asleep.

5. Recognize the Signs of Addiction

Early treatment is essential for teens that do develop an addiction. For this reason, you should be alert for signs of addiction that you might see in your teen or one of their peers. Typically, the signs of addiction may vary depending upon the type of activity or drug that your teen is engaging in or using.

For example, a teen that uses cocaine may exhibit excitability or extreme mood swings, while teenagers who abuse opiates may be more lethargic or begin to steal pills to avoid withdrawal symptoms that occur when they cannot obtain the drugs on their own. Teenagers who struggle with technology addictions may begin to spend more time online or drop friends that they used to spend time with in person.

While each type of addiction has specific symptoms, you will also find that certain signs of a problem go across all genres. For instance, kids who struggle with addiction may experience trouble at school such as skipping class or receiving lower grades. Trouble with the law may also occur if your teen is caught using drugs or stealing things to feed their habit. As addiction takes its toll on your teenager, you may also notice signs of other underlying mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

6. Know How to Seek Help

When you notice that your teen may be dealing with addiction, it’s important to take action right away. Reach out to a treatment center that specializes in helping teens to arrange for an assessment. Often, professional assessments find that teens are dealing with more than one addiction, or your teen may be diagnosed with an underlying mental health condition. For the best chances at recovery, each addiction and coexisting mental health condition should be treated together.

Although teen drug use rates are stabilizing or declining in some cases, this should not cause you to believe that addiction rates are reflected in these figures. Sadly, teen addiction rates are continuing to rise, but you can prevent your teen from falling into these statistics by maintaining a watchful eye and knowing how to get help at the first sign of a problem.

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