Category Archives: Opioids

Vivitrol for Opioid Dependence


People do recover from opioid dependence. Vivitrol can provide the extra push addicts need.

So, how does Vivitrol work?

opioid-dependenceOpioids such as methadone produce a limited buzz to control cravings. Anyone who is trying to get clean knows that a ‘buzz’ will often lead an addict to seek a better buzz. Vivitrol dulls the brain’s receptors so users don’t feel cravings and won’t get a high even if they take opioids. Also, unlike methadone, Vivitrol is not a controlled substance; it cannot be abused and there is no illegal market for it. One of the best thing about Vivitrol surrounds how it’s administered: as a monthly shot. Vivitrol is a new form of an old drug — naltrexone — that was developed in daily pill form in the 1970s and never caught on. It wasn’t until researchers created an injectable, long-acting version that clinical studies showed the drug’s promise.

It was just like: Wow, this medication is a magic bullet for treating opiate dependents. Taking a monthly shot can be a godsend for addicts who find it difficult to wrestle daily with the decision to swallow a pill to stay clean. When the Washington County MD Detention Center began a test pilot of Vivitrol for opioid dependence in late 2011 they worked in conjunction with The Washington County Health Department. A total of 246 shots to 83 people was documented in the program’s 3 1 / 2 years. The results were gratifying: Only two patients used illegal drugs or alcohol while receiving the medication. To the best of the department’s knowledge, the 81 others have remained clean.


So it works, but is it safe?

In the early stages, jails and institutions proved to be excellent testing grounds for the new injectable drug. They house a high number of drug offenders, provide a place for addicts to detox before receiving Vivitrol and are populated with people who are likely to have Medicaid or Medicare to help pay the costs. At up to $1,000 per shot, Vivitrol is the most expensive option for treating opioid dependence. It is highly recommended to be clean from all opioids before receiving the first Vivitrol injection. If not, the shot will send the addict into severe and immediate withdrawl.


Reviews on Vivitrol for Opioid Dependence

Addicts have given, overall, very good reviews on Vivitrol. Some have said:

“I am a 28 y/o male, I used all drugs from about 12 but opiates and then IV heroin for about 10 years straight. I went through at least 7-8 rehabs and detoxes and endless county jails. In all those years I never had been able to stay clean more than a month on purpose. I’ve been clean now 1 year 8 months and a day. Vivitrol saved my life w ithout a doubt. I was on it for 13 months w ith intensive out patient treatment and as many NA meeting as I could get to in a week. “

“I have been a heavy opiate user for 15 years. I did have years staying “clean” using soboxone but once I got divorced I became depressed and relapsed. My addiction took off and I ended up using IV heroin and at that point trying to go back and use soboxone to stay clean was impossible. It took a overdose and 30 day treatment to make the decision to get the injection and it saved my life, best drug in the world .”

People do recover from opioid dependencies, but often to do so they also need to deal with other issues in their lives. If you stop taking Vivitrol and you haven’t developed coping strategies you may relapse. A reputable detox, a 30 day rehab at an accreditated facility and treatment planning that includes a monthly Vivitrol injection is akin to starting a long road trip with a map and a full tank of gas.

Death by Overdose

Death by Overdose, these words are scary to hear today. With prescription drugs and heroin quickly flooding schools throughout the United States we tend to hear this more and more. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse there was over 25,000 Deaths from Prescription Drugs and over 11,000 Deaths from Heroin in 2014. Opioids are the most common type of prescription drug abuse that results in death by overdose. Respiratory failure is typically the cause of death in cases of opioid overdose.

Prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, were responsible for more than half of all drug overdose deaths. Most people who start abusing prescription opioid drugs quickly find themselves turning to illicit street drugs such as heroin for a cheaper and faster way to get high. An estimate of 45 percent of people who use heroin also are addicted to prescription narcotic painkillers.


No Fear of Death

There is an extreme rise in death by overdose amongst teens and young adults throughout the united states. Many reports showing that young adults ages 19 to 25 are particularly at risk for a fatal overdose. The national overdose death rate for that age group is 12.7 percent per 100,000.

Many say these young people have no fear of death, the truth of the matter is they are victims of a horrible disease that is consuming them and like many others before them they may end up paying the ultimate price, their life. To beat their addiction and prevent themselves from becoming another death by overdose statistic there is an immediate need for addiction treatment.


Getting the Help You Need

If you are suffering from an addiction to drugs the first step is admitting that you have a problem and asking for help. This could be reaching out to a loved one, turning to your doctor or making a very important phone call to an addiction treatment center.

For years you have battled with addiction, leaving you life on the line. Today is the day you take your life back and get the help you truly need.

How Opioids Work

Opioid drugs can be found as both prescription medications such as vicodin or illicit street drugs such as heroin. Opioids look like chemicals in the brain and body, attaching to nerve cells called opioid receptors. There are three types of opioid receptors: mu, delta, and kappa, each playing a different role.

Opioids Act on 3 Main Areas of the Nervous System and Brain

Opioids act on 3 main areas of the nervous system and brain. When opioids act on the limbic system (controls emotions) it can create feelings of pleasure, relaxation and contentment. When acting on the brainstem (controls the body automatically, ie. breathing) opioids can slow breathing and reduce feelings of pain. When opioids act on the spinal cord (receives sensations from the body and sends to them to the brain), they can decrease feelings of pain.

The Use of Opioids Determine the Effects

Regardless to if you are using an prescription opioid medication or an illicit street drug such as heroin, its effects will be determined by how much you take and how often you take it. When opioids are injected they take effect much faster than any other means of ingestion and with more intense effects. When taken by mouth it can take much longer to see effects, however this is a much safer way to use an opioid drug.

Opioid Abuse

Regardless to if you are using a prescribed opioid drug, abusing an opioid medication not prescribed to you or using an illicit drug such as heroin there are many dangers associated with it.

Regular use of any opioid drug can result in a tolerance, requiring larger doses of the drug to achieve the desired effects. Prolonged use at any dose can result in the body developing a dependency to opioids, discontinuing its use often results in uncomfortable even painful withdrawal symptoms.

Stopping Opioid Use when Dependent

Depending on the severity of the opioid dependency you may be weaned off the drugs over several weeks to months. This process will gradually lower doses until you eventually do not need the medication and are no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

If you have a severe dependence to opioids you may require professional treatment within an Addiction Rehabilitation Facility to help you.  There you will undergo medical and therapeutic treatment to help you stop use of opioid drugs, lessen symptoms of withdrawal and help you develop the skills needed to maintain your sobriety, preventing you from returning to opioid use.

Teen opioid use

There is a dangerous trend plaguing our nation’s youth. Parents do not know how to handle it, many unsure on where to turn.

In the United States there is an estimated 2.1 million people suffering from an opioid dependency, according to the Nations Institute on Drug Abuse in 2012.

It is no surpise as opioid prescription drugs are the most commonly prescribed pain relievers today.
These medications are extremely addictive and potent that even those taking them for true medical purposes are developing dependencies despite following directions of the prescribing doctor.

It is not only prescribed opioids that are on a rise for abuse, millions of Americas youth are turning to illicit drugs such as Herion for the powerful euphoric and numbing opioid effects.

What is Opioid Abuse?

As a parent you feel you have taught your child right, shared with them the dangers of drugs and addiction, steering them in the direction to keep them on the right track in life. Despite all of our effeorts as parents, some times our children find themselves mixed up in the wrong things. It is important that you know what opioid abuse is.

Teen opioid abuse can happen in many different ways; taking larger doses of an opioid medication than prescribed or taking one that was not prescribed to them, taking the drug by others means than it was prescribed (crushing pills into a powder to be snorted), or taking illicit opioid drugs such as Heroin. All of these means of opioid abuse puts your teen at great risk of developing an addiction and in great danger of overdose and death.

Opioids work by attaching to brain receptors to diminish perceptions of pain, as well as affect areas of the brain associated with pleasure, creating a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and a high. This makes opioid drugs appealing to youth and a highly abuse drug.

Treatment for Opioid Abuse

Treatment for teen opioid abuse takes place in a residential treatment facility. The process begins with detoxification, allowing your teen to get past the major physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with opioids.

He/she will then move onto an assessment to determine the severity of their addiction and create a treatment plan tailored to their individual needs. At this point your teen will move through the rehabilitation process with medication assistance, medical treatment, therapy, individual counseling, group counseling and chemical dependency education.

There is no quick fix for opioid addiction, it is important to seek treatment immediately and help to create a sober environment for your teen, encouraging them throughout the treatment process and offering them the support they need to maintain lifelong recovery.

What Are Opioids

Opioids come in three different forms: natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. These are all narcotics that derive from the opium poppy or are made synthetically in laboratories for pharmaceutical purposes. Opioids are often abused and affect the brain receptors that are responsible for the release of neurotransmitters. This allows people to cope with high levels of physical pain that would otherwise be intolerable.

When used correctly, prescription opioids or “pain killers” are an effective tool for pain management.

When abused, opioids can be taken orally, or by snorting, smoking, or injecting.  Abuse of opioids leads to a high risk for addiction.  Physical addiction typically occurs around 6 weeks of the initial opioid abuse, but psychological addiction/dependency can be noticed in as little as 48 hours.

Once the addiction occurs, opioid-dependent people will experience physical and psychological withdrawals if they stope abusing. Symptoms of withdrawal include: severe flu-like symptoms, pain, depression, and anxiety.  After the sever or acute withdrawals have been overcome, post-acute withdrawal settles in and for a much longer period of time. The brain is damaged damaged by opioids and physical healing of the brain typically begins 12 to 18 months after sobriety.