Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...

Archive for July, 2010

3moms help spread awareness about dangers of substance abuse

A nontraditional approach to substance abuse education prevention and awareness is what makes 3moms unique. It brings parents together and puts a face on substance abuse through parent-to-parent contact.

“We encourage parents to spend time with their kids, talk about serious issues like substance abuse and build relationships based on trust and respect in which both the child and parent can be honest with one another,” says Beth Wilkinson, one of the original 3moms and chair of the organization.

Wilkinson lost her son, Kent to an accidental overdose of oxycontin when he was 18. Wilkinson, along with several other Valley mothers, approached the Arizona Affiliate of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America in 2008 to share stories of their lives and the impact of a child’s drug use on families.

“The moms, along with the Partnership, recognized that it’s not a matter of if but when children are going to be approached to try drugs or alcohol, and that we as a community must do everything we can to keep them from experimenting,” Wilkinson says. “This unique concept of moms talking to moms is to encourage everyone who hears our message to share the information with at least three other moms or caregivers, creating a network that will make a positive impact on our community.”

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Am I Addicted to Codeine?

Codeine addiction is a very real problem that affects people all over the world. Codeine is a painkiller and is found in prescription drugs like Tylenol and Nurofen. It is a highly addictive substance that can lead to physical and mental dependency.

This isn’t surprising when you look into where Codeine actually comes from. Codeine comes from the poppy flower, the same source as morphine and heroin; it acts as a powerful painkiller. This drug is used to treat health problems such as pain, anxiety, and headaches. Heavy or long-term use of Codeine can severely damage the body of the addict.

When a drug has addiction potential and is freely available from pharmacies and supermarkets, this can result in consumers using more than the recommended dose. A tolerance can begin to form that naturally leads to increased dosage. If one Codeine pill doesn’t cure your headache, then two will, if two doesn’t work, then four will and so on.

A decrease in sex drive is the main indicator that someone is abusing Codeine. There are other signs that could indicate Codeine abuse such as drowsiness and slow motor skills.

Codeine addiction is just as serious as heroin or morphine abuse and should be treated by admission into a drug rehabilitation center. The addict will attempt to take Codeine in any way that they can. This includes, but is not limited to, oral use, smoking, and injected.

When the addict is using, they will experience euphoria, and will try to reach that same peak every time they use . This means increased dosages over time. As with most varieties of addiction, a Codeine addict may try and manage their dependency for a time. Eventually, their life becomes unmanageable and the user will begin to withdraw from society.

Anyone can become addicted to Codeine, especially if you’re using it on a long-term basis for acute or chronic pain. Codeine is also a popular recreational drug. It produces the same kind of high as heroin and suppresses emotional physical pain. There is also a trend for mixing Codeine with alcohol for an extra buzz. These cocktails are extremely dangerous and can lead to an accidental overdose.

Beating Codeine addiction is difficult. Withdrawal symptoms include: a racing heart beat, sweating, twitching, stomach pain, fever and vomiting.

Long-term Codeine abuse not only damages the user in the short-term, but can also result in additional health problems years later. There are specialized treatment centers available that can help wean the addict off this drug and aid in recovery from the severe withdrawal symptoms.

Much like a heroin or morphine addict, Codeine addiction is not something a user can beat on their own. Many rehab centers offer counseling services for family and friends. If you or a family member are suffering from Codeine addiction there are many medical services professionals who can help you find a place to recover and regain your life.

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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

When it comes to getting off of methadone it is important to know it will take time. It does not happen overnight. This is tough because of the way our world is now, we want everything right away. We want a quick fix if at all possible.

Many people want a quick fix when it comes to getting off methadone. They may think that trying to quit cold turkey is the best way to go. It is not really suggested. It is important to come off of it slowly, especially if you have been using methadone for a long time and/or large dosages. Getting the right help will make the process a lot easier. During the process the body needs to detox off the drug itself. Detox is having the body come down off the drug. It is not putting any more of the drug in your body. Detox can take awhile depending on how long the drug has been used and how much has been used.

Going to an inpatient treatment center is one of the best options. This option is great because they have support and medical personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows the person going through the treatment to have support and help anytime they need it. Having medical personnel all the time also allows them to watch the people who are detoxing and making sure that nothing out of the ordinary happens and is there to help when difficult times come up.

Another thing about treatment centers is they want to make sure you are ready for the world when you are done. They do not want to release you until they feel and know you are ready to deal with the world outside the treatment center. They will release you when they see and feel you are ready. Some go through treatment faster than others. No one should compare themselves with someone else. It is when you compare yourself to someone who is doing better that you can slow the process or even relapse.

Having a support system will also make a huge a difference. You want people who will encourage you and support you not only in the bad times, but also the good times. It is important to have people there who will help when things get rough, but also to congratulate you when you are on the right track.

There are many things that are not a quick fix. Being willing to wait and work through issues and problems will only make it better and help you in the long run. This is no different with coming off methadone. Do expect there will be withdrawal symptoms with methadone.

Withdrawal symptoms

Physical symptoms

  • Lightheadedness
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe Itching
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Akathisia
  • Tachycardia
  • Aches and pains, often in the joints and/or legs
  • Elevated pain sensitivity
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Reduced breathing (may be fatal between 2–4 hours)

Cognitive symptoms

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Susceptibility to Cravings
  • Depression
  • Reduced breathing (may be fatal between 2–4 hours)
  • Spontaneous orgasm
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Delirium
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Increased perception of odors, real or imagined
  • Marked decrease in sex drive
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions

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Methadone, Opiate and Heroin Detox

More people die every year from methadone than from heroin.

I read an article today that happened to mention that one of the people involved in the situation being written about was a methadone counselor. I was curious to find out exactly what they meant, so I checked it out. Methadone is sometimes used in treatment programs for heroin addicts.

Methadone is Also an Opiate and is Addictive

Unfortunately, methadone is also an opiate, and is also addictive, and many people who take methadone to kick heroin wind up addicted to methadone instead. They then have to go through a methadone detox program and sometimes to drug rehab to handle their new addiction.

So what does a methadone counselor do? According to the Methadone Assisted Recovery Guidelines for Saskatchewan, methadone counselors do everything from screening an individual to see if methadone treatment is right for them, to dealing with the issues that would make someone addiction prone.

Objectives of Methadone Counseling and Opiates Detox

The outcome of methadone counseling is supposed to be one of three possibilities: the addict stays on methadone long-term, the addict goes through a medically-supervised withdrawal from methadone, or the addict is given a “methadone harm reduction” program.

The addict is expected to be on methadone and receiving methadone counseling for two or more years, after which time the counselor makes his recommendations.

Okay. So that’s how it works. During the two or more years the person is taking methadone, the counselor is working with them to resolve their addiction issues. If the counselor concludes that the issues are resolved, I would assume he would recommend withdrawal from methadone so the addict can become drug free.

Side effects of Methadone Treatment and Withdrawal

But there’s a major flaw in this treatment: The person is trying to resolve his personal issues while he or she is on methadone. Is that going to be a drawback? Well, here are the side effects of methadone:

  • shallow breathing
  • hallucinations or confusion
  • fast or pounding heartbeats, chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling light-headed, fainting
  • feeling anxious, nervous, or restless
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness
  • dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite; or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

What do you think? Would you be able to resolve your addiction issues with the above going on? I’m sure some of those side effects are precisely the type of thing that drives a person to take drugs in the first place.

Counseling After Methadone Detox?

Don’t you think it would be wise to get the person through a methadone detox program before diving in to the personal and life issues that lead them to drug addiction in the first place?

How exactly is feeling confused, anxious, nauseous, not being able to sleep and being impotent supposed to empower the person to overcome their problems in life and not want to be on drugs anymore?

More people die every year from methadone than from heroin. Let’s get heroin addicts into a detox drug rehab that can really get them off drugs. And let’s get people who have now traded methadone addiction for their addiction to heroin into a medically supervised methadone detox program so they can truly be drug free.

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L.A.’s “Walking Man” Found dead, was under investigation

A doctor and neighborhood fixture found dead in his hot tub this week was under investigation in connection with his treatment of a patient who overdosed on the prescription drug Oxycontin, authorities said.

Marc Abrams, the doctor known as the “walking man” for his long, shirtless strolls around Silver Lake, died Wednesday. His death is being investigated as a potential suicide, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Abrams, 58, was the subject of a series of undercover investigations following the death of a 25-year-old patient who was prescribed the powerful painkiller Oxycontin, a law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times for Saturday’s edition. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said officers posing as patients were able to easily get prescription medications from Abrams based on fake notes signed with names including “Dr. Kevorkian,” “Dr. Pepper” and “Dr. Dre.”

Abrams kept nighttime office hours and “catered to nothing but addicts,” the official told the Times. Police served a search warrant on Abrams’ office in North Hollywood in 2009, seizing patient files and other records, according to law enforcement officials.

No charges had been filed against Abrams. His lawyer said the doctor was “a fine physician with an impeccable record” and did nothing wrong.

Attorney Michael A. Zuk told the Times he had no knowledge of any criminal investigation and had not spoken with or been contacted by to any law enforcement agency on Abrams’ behalf.

The investigation was launched following the October 2008 death of 25-year-old Joseph Garcia, who died of an accidental overdose of Oxycontin. Other drugs also were found in his system.

Garcia’s mother, Lori, filed a wrongful death claim against Abrams last year, alleging that he was professionally negligent in prescribing drugs that resulted in the overdose. Garcia’s lawyer, Robert Gibson, said law enforcement officials from “multiple” agencies had contacted her about the criminal investigation surrounding her son’s death.

Abrams confirmed to the coroner’s investigator that he had seen Garcia about 7 p.m. the night before his death and had prescribed him Roxicodone, a version of oxycodone, and Soma, a muscle relaxant. He said Garcia had a history of back pain from an injury.

Abrams’ widow, Cindy, did not respond to a request for comment.

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Lindsay Lohan, Lethal and Legal, it can happen to you too…

Details of starlet Lindsay Lohan’s being sentenced to jail this week, trouble stemming from her use of Alcholo and Drugs, included her probation report and the list of drugs she is allowed to take and has been taking for a long time as prescribed by doctors. This list of legal and Lethal drugs is Zoloft (antidepressant), Trazodone (antidepressant), Adderall (stimulant), Nexium (acid reflux) and the powerful, addictive painkiller Dilaudid.

One side effect of the Dilaudid is euphoria, a kind that drug abuse counselors liken to a heroin high. Dilaudid was allegedly one of the drugs taken by the late Michael Jackson at the time of his death. Adderall is a mix of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, which is also highly abused by school aged children as well as young people and adults of all ages.

Far from being a reflection of celebrity excess, these lists of drugs are popping up in small towns, big cities, and rural towns where the biggest celebrity may be last year`s Prom Queen, with unintentional overdosing on legal drugs has become a tragic and rapidly growing trend.

A famous person`s cocaine use may be the stuff of tabloid headlines, but legal drug abuse is this country`s biggest drug problem right now.

According to the CDC(Centers for Disease Control), more than 26,o00  people died from accidental drug overdoses in the United States in 2006, with half of those attributed to legal pain medications such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Codeine, Dilaudid and others. Unintentional drug overdose deaths has been on the general upswing since the 1970s, but alarmingly it more than doubled between 1999 and 2006. In 2008 alone, it landed 1 million people in U.S. emergency rooms.

The CDC says, the increase in deaths is because of prescription painkillers. Doctors are over prescribing them, and giving patients too many in appropriate scenarios, such as following a major surgery. The pills and liquids stick around, become addictive, sometimes land the patient in the ER or the grave.

Sometimes the patient will stash the drugs for later, but are found and abused by a non-patient, or the patient sells it on the black market to a nation addicted to euphoria, especially teens and young people.

In the last 15 years, the medical community’s aggressive approach to pain management has lead to a 10-fold increase in opioid painkiller prescriptions. These opioid medications can and have also lead to heroin addictions as well. When a legal pill form or liquid form of drug is no longer available, people have turned to the next best and deadly thing; Heroin.

Opiates medications being the main cause of Slipknot Bassists Paul Gray’s death, whether prescribed or obtained illegally, Morphine and Fentanyl are also abused on teh street market by kids and young adults everywhere too.

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How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?

How long will the withdrawal from painkillers last? Whether it’s withdrawal from Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percodan, Codiene or any other painkiller or heroin, that’s kind of a loaded question.

The main physical withdrawal effects, such as the pain, sweats, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea usually last only about 5 days to a week. The other part, the longer term withdrawal or PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) can last from several weeks to several years.

This part is sometimes what keeps people going back to the drug. After the initial withdrawal or detox, then you have residual detox and the brain trying to function normally, but it just can’t. At least not yet, and it can take months or years for a persons brain chemistry to get back to normal.

It is this period of time that can be the most difficultfor many to STAY OFF of the drugs, because it is here where the nagging and gnawing little voices start talking. I am not talking hallucinations, but I am talking depression and anxiety and the want to just be happy again.

What happens when a person is addicted to pain killers is their brain stops making endorphins, the bodys natural pain killers and the thing that keeps us from getting depressed. When a person starts taking pain meds for an extended length of time, their brain stops making endorphins because opiates look just like endorphins to the brain and the brain stops making them.

After so long the brain stops making them and the pain killer is now depended upon for endorphins or the imitation endorphins. Clinically the opiate dependance is spelled out like this:

“Opiate addiction is recognized as a central nervous system disorder caused by continuous opiate use. Extended opiate abuse leads to the nerve cells in the brain to stop functioning as they normally would and stop producing natural endorphins. Because the body is receiving opiates and is no longer producing endorphins, the nerve cells start to degenerate and cause an opiate addiction.”

So what happens is the brain doesn’t make endorphins anymore, the person who was addicted may be depressed and have anxiety for a period of time after getting off the painkillers and after the physical withdrawal is over.

It is during this period of time the person occupy themselves with something constructive. The person will most likely not want to do anything much, but once they start they start to feel better. It forces the brain to start making it’s own endorphins. Physical exercise can help to jump start the endorphin making process.

It is also of great importance for the person to get SUPPORT in the form of either a 12 step program(Highly Recommended), or through some form of group counseling. There is power in numbers and being a part of a group really helps immensely.

Many people feel they don’t belong in a group with other drug addicts, but the fact is, they do, they were once addicted or are currently addicted to drugs. They may feel they are not like the other people., but they are, in that they were addicted.

I also want to make one thing VERY clear, Just because you or someone you love is addicted to painkillers, doesn’t mean they have a moral problem. Opiate addiction is NOT a moral issue, it’s a medical one, and one not to be trifled with. Give them a break and support them emotionally, and get them the help they need.

I’d also Suggest reading this post: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

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Natural Supplements to Help Painkiller Withdrawal

I’ve compiled a list of Natural Supplements to help with Painkiller Withdrawal. I’ve personally used several of these, and still use a couple for joint help.

These might help anyone going through withdrawal, to calm them down, and take the “edge” off. Some are for Joint Pain while going though withdrawal, some are for the body uneasiness. The rest is for anxiety and to relieve the cravings that come with withdrawal.





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Addicted to OxyContin, Today’s Heroin for Today’s Youth

I was at a recovery center the other day doing some IT work for the counselors there, all of whom are friends of mine in recovery. I was talking to some of them and was told that today’s huge problem was Oxycontin. Today’s youth are getting more and more addicted to Oxycontin because they think if it’s a legal drug, as opposed to heroin, they won’t get addicted.

The fact of the matter is that Oxycontin is addictive and the youth are finding out that it is addictive when they try to stop, or they can’t get anymore. The unfortunate truth with running out and not being able to get anymore is they go into a painful opiate withdrawal.

Anyone who hasn’t been through an opiate withdrawal, and doesn’t know what to expect, is in for a very unpleasant and  unexpected surprise. Withdrawal from Oxycontin is very painful, and can be literally debilitating. It’s not uncommon to hear from teenagers who are going through opiate withdrawal for the first time, to say they feel like they are dying or that it’s killing them.

Yes, it’s that bad.

Here’s a list for anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like:

The signs of withdrawal:

Early Signs

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose/Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Advanced signs:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • curling up in a fetal position

Many of the youth are finding out all too late that Oxycontin is a very addictive drug and find themselves addicted to Oxycontin when it’s just a little too late.

Oxycontin is also known as HillBilly Heroin, Cotton, Kicker, Oxy, 40, 40-Bar and Oxy cotton.

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