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How Addictive Is Heroin?

Opioid drugs such as Heroin are processed from the opium poppy seed plant native to Turkey and other middle eastern countries. It is also harvested in regions of Asia and in Columbia and Mexico. All opioid drugs, including Heroin, are made from morphine which comes from the poppy seed plant. Once Heroin is processed from the morphine, it will either end up as a white-brownish powder or left as a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. The majority of Heroin that is sold in the United States is cultivated in Asia and Mexico. 

The street names for Heroin include Horse, Chiva, Tar, Down, Smack, H, Junk, Dope, China White, Bone, Raisin, and others.

How Addictive Is Heroin?

How Addictive Is Heroin?

Heroin can cause addiction the minute someone first uses it. Heroin is so addictive because of the massive amount of pleasure-reacting chemicals it tells the brain to release. When a person uses Heroin, the brain floods their body with dopamine and endorphins. Both of these chemicals make up the reward center of the brain. So we experience regular surges of dopamine and endorphins when we engage in things that give us pleasure—having sex, eating chocolate, listening to music, etc., all feel-good release chemicals.   

Is Heroin Deadly?

Heroin is a powerful drug that quickly causes accidental overdose every day. People unfamiliar with the potency are trying Heroin and stop breathing and die. Heroin slows down respiration, and if the person is not experienced with it, they stop breathing. Unfortunately, the rates of people addicted to and dying from Heroin continue to climb in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the devastating numbers of opioid overdose death rates in recent years.   

“In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses.” (NIDA)   

Who Gets Addicted to Heroin?

Unlike past assumptions about what kinds of people use Heroin, today, heroin addiction affects all demographics. The days of heroin addicts only affecting non-white people or poor people is over. Today Heroin addiction is found among all races, ages, and genders. People with college degrees and earning hundreds of thousands per year are getting addicted to Heroin. It is also documented that age groups as young as middle school age are susceptible to exposure to Heroin and using it.  

There are four main risk factors that can predispose someone to become an addict of any drug/alcohol, including Heroin. They include: 

  • Environmental Factors (presence of drugs/alcohol in the home or environment)
  • Genetic Link ( Family history of Addiction/alcoholism) 
  • History of Trauma (sexual/physical abuse, neglect, witnessing violence) 
  • Undiagnosed or Diagnosed Mental Illness

What Do the Experts Say About Heroin Addiction?

The medical community that researches heroin addiction and how to help addicts is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They support opioid replacement drugs known as medication-assisted treatment or MAT to treat heroin addiction. 

MAT is primarily used to treat addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy that address the needs of most patients. (SAMHSA)

What To Do If Someone You Love is Addicted to Heroin?

The first thing to help your loved ones is to understand that they are suffering and need medications and emotional support to get through the detox and overcome their addiction. The programs at Garden State Detox are personalized and provide targeted therapy and safe and effective MAT. Don let your loved ones kill themselves with Heroin. We have saved thousands of heroin addicts who are now in recovery long-term. They begin at medically supervised detox and then go into one of our evidence-based treatment programs. 

Call us for priority admission right now, and chat or email for more information. 

Signs your liver is healing from Alcohol

The liver, the body’s largest internal organ, is responsible for filtering out and eliminating various types of waste and toxins from the bloodstream. This includes alcohol. Each time you enjoy an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol must pass through the organ. Up to 90 percent of consumed alcohol is processed in this organ, and the remaining alcohol is expelled via breathing, sweating, and urine. It takes approximately 60 minutes for the body to process a single serving of alcohol from a base level, and this amount of time increases exponentially with additional drinks.

Signs your liver is healing

 

Signs your liver is healing

Unfortunately, alcohol is toxic to this vital organ. As the organ’s cells process the beverage, the damage is done to the cells’ enzymes. While the occasional drink may not take a severe toll on the organ, regular and heavy alcohol consumption can lead to serious health issues. The amount of damage to the organ with excessive consumption depends on the level of consumption and the person’s gender, weight, genetics, and other essential factors.

The good news for those who are overcoming alcoholism is that the organ can heal itself over time. When alcoholism persists for long periods, however, organ scarring can occur. This scarring, known as cirrhosis, is irreversible and will impact the organ’s functionality for the rest of a person’s life. Are you wondering if your liver is healing? Depending on the severity of the damage, it could take several days to many months for the organ to heal fully, but you may notice some indicators that healing is underway. What should you know about damage to this vital organ?

Signs Your Liver Is Damaged

Alcoholism is only one of many causes of organ damage. For example, both a hepatitis infection and various autoimmune conditions can cause severe damage. Medications, excessive fat around the organ, exposure to specific types of chemicals, genetic disorders, and even some types of liver cancers can result in organ damage. The adverse effects of alcohol consumption may often be combined with one or more of these other causes of serious harm. 

Generally, women can have one to two servings of alcohol daily without causing permanent damage, and men may have up to three servings daily. The difference between genders is the prevalence of a digestive enzyme in men. Regardless of how frequently or heavily you drink alcohol, knowing the signs of organ damage and taking damage quickly if you notice any concerning symptoms is essential. 

Stages of Liver Damage

 

Stages of Liver Damage

Some of the early signs that indicate developing damage are:

  • dark urine
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • tenderness in the upper-right section of the abdomen
  • unexplained weight loss
  • diarrhea
  • confusion
  • drowsiness

As damage to the organ becomes more serious, these symptoms may be combined with others. Signs of severe organ damage include:

  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Fever
  • Itchy and yellow skin
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Complete organ failure

When you identify the signs of damage early enough, you may be able to start the healing process before permanent damage occurs. 

How to Heal Your Body

Your organ will need to rest extensively for it to heal correctly. Each time you expose the organ to alcohol, it fights infection or is exposed to other damage-causing events, it must work overtime to do its job correctly. When this happens, the organ does not have ample time to rest and heal. With this in mind, it is crucial to reduce alcohol consumption drastically. If the alcohol-related liver disease develops, consider abstaining from all alcohol consumption for at least four to six weeks. If or when you start drinking again, keep your intake to a minimum to prevent additional organ damage. 

Some medications are processed through this vital organ. This means that consuming them could strain the organ. Rest will not be possible while these medications are in your system. Some of the medicines that should be avoided while detoxing from alcohol include Azathioprine, Phenytoin, and Acetaminophen. In addition, antibiotics like Amoxycillin and statins should be avoided. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, called NSAIDs, should not be used. Even some herbal supplements can strain the organ and should be avoided. These include kava, black cohosh, and ma huang. Work with your doctor to find alternative medications. If you must take some of these medications or herbs, do not consume alcohol in conjunction with them.

Because excessive fat around the liver will also strain the organ, you should do your part to maintain a healthy weight. Get plenty of exercise and rest days, and eat a healthy, low-fat diet. An optimal diet to promote healing includes whole foods, lean meat, seafood, beans, whole grains, and fresh produce. Avoid fatty cuts of meat and processed foods. The organ’s health is also dependent on hydration, so ensure that you drink a good amount of water each day. 

Infections like hepatitis can wreak havoc on the organ. While you should take steps to protect yourself against diseases at all times, it may be particularly crucial when you are detoxifying from alcoholism and trying to heal your liver. Keep in mind that Hepatitis A is usually fully treatable, but Hepatitis B and C may turn into chronic conditions that result in severe organ damage over time. You can reduce your likelihood of contracting these infections by not having unprotected sex and not sharing toothbrushes, needles, nail clippers, and razors. If you plan to get a tattoo or if you need to have a medical procedure, ensure that the facility is following proper sterilization procedures for equipment. 

Because other factors can harm the organ, it is essential to seek guidance from your doctor regularly. If you have not had a checkup recently, now is the time to schedule an appointment. In addition to getting regular checkups, you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you spot any indicators of potential organ damage. 

Physical Signs to Look For

While the liver can heal naturally under the right conditions is impressive, the process can be taxing in the body. As your organ is healing, you may notice a variety of symptoms. While some symptoms are unpleasant, others can be severe if the organ is severely damaged. For example, you may experience restlessness, insomnia, and confusion as the organ heals. You may also notice cardiac symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and a higher heart rate. In addition to these symptoms, tremors, anxiety, headaches, vomiting, and nausea may occur. Some of these symptoms may be present to varying degrees for weeks in some cases. 

Even if you have been suffering from alcoholism for many years, healing can still take place. However, because some of the signs of healing are comparable to those of severe organ damage, it is crucial to seek medical assistance. Your doctor can monitor the recovery process and provide medical support as needed. Your doctor may even help you to identify other signs that the organ is recovering from damage. These could relate to amino acid regulation, blood clotting capabilities, immune factors, glucose levels, bilirubin removal, glycogen production, and more. 

Alcoholism can wreak havoc on your life in numerous ways, and its effects directly impact health and longevity. Excessive consumption may only yield temporary or short-term damage to the liver if consumption ceases promptly and care is taken to promote healing. However, there may be instances when the organ damage is permanent. If this happens, managing the symptoms with medical assistance is necessary.

Adderall Withdrawal

Did you know that it is possible to develop a dependence on Adderall no matter your dosage or the duration of your prescription? Learn what signs to watch for and how to manage them from the addiction recovery experts at Garden State Detox. Here’s what you need to know to keep you on track.

adderall

Adderall 101

A combination of amphetamines and dextroamphetamine, Adderall is a stimulant created to boost the attention spans of those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. It works by raising chemicals associated with concentration and focus in the brain’s reward center while also increasing heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure.

There are two types of drugs on the market intended to raise productivity and levels of dopamine. Both types, instantaneous and extended-release, can give you energy and decrease your appetite. Although most users obtain a prescription for ADHD or narcolepsy, some misuse the medication to stay awake longer, lose weight, or for a high.

How Addiction Happens

Prescription dependency starts like any other addiction. Initially, you may take a lower dose to manage your attention difficulties. However, if you are not gaining traction with a smaller amount, your physician might increase the dosage until you see the benefits. If using recreationally or without a prescription, you may seek out an unsafe quantity the more your tolerance builds.

You may be wondering why feeling confident, alert, and happy is a bad thing. With long-term use, your brain’s reward center can change how it produces the feel-good chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, and that’s where dependency begins. Sadly, happy neurotransmitters can’t stop the side effects from wreaking havoc on your body, including potentially fatal heart and blood pressure problems.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Although this medication can be helpful, prolonged and frequent use can lead to harmful results when you stop taking it as much or altogether. It’s important to remember that your brain grew accustomed to higher levels of neurotransmitters and is doing without all of a sudden. These physical and emotional differences are your body’s natural way of adjusting to performing without the drug.

Everyone reacts differently while in recovery. Depending on your genetics, health history, and family history of addiction, you may experience more significant withdrawal symptoms than others. Watch for any combination of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Oversleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Hunger
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Sadness
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle aches
  • Stomach problems
  • Depression
  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Cramping
  • Anxiety
  • Craving the medication
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea
  • Intrusive or suicidal thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Lack of motivation

Any combination of symptoms is problematic. However, it is essential to talk to your doctor about feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, emptiness, or regret. That way, your physician can monitor for intrusive suicidal thoughts, overwhelming sadness, or depression.

How to Prevent Withdrawal

If you need Adderall to remain productive, you’re not alone. According to the National Center for Health Research, an estimated 2.5 million Americans have been prescribed prescription stimulants. Fortunately, not everyone experiences ill effects if they stop taking it, mainly if you take necessary precautions to prevent addiction from happening to begin with.

Do your best to take medication as prescribed, and don’t take more than required to achieve maximum benefits. At a lower dose, it can induce desired effects without dependency or crash symptoms. Symptoms are also unlikely if you slowly wean yourself from the medication under professional supervision.

Addiction Treatment Options

Pharmacological treatment for this specific addiction does not currently exist. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor or another medical professional specializing in drug dependency before you stop taking it. To minimize the impact, consider additional recovery methods, such as:

  • A rehabilitation or detox program
  • Establishing a daily routine
  • Therapy or counseling
  • Support groups
  • Self-care
  • Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Good nutrition
  • Pain relievers
  • Setting a sleep schedule
  • Sleep aids
Benzodiazepine Detox

What to Expect

Users report feeling euphoric and high-energy while taking the drug. As you can imagine, the opposite is true while in recovery. Understandably, relapse is at heightened risk in the hours and days immediately after stopping. In the first hours, days, and weeks after your last dose, you may feel achy, tired, irritable, and depressed. Though your body will naturally eliminate any lingering medication, the physical and emotional indications of withdrawal can make the detoxification process challenging to cope with.

Consequently, your performance in daily activities and relationships may suffer. Rest assured and know these symptoms will not linger forever. A good rehabilitation program can help get you through to the other side of recovery.

How a Detox Program Can Help

If you’ve tried and failed to stop on your own, there is help available. A medical or independent rehabilitation facility is an excellent option with 24-hour supervision, customized medical care, and mental health services. A good program will have a highly-trained and knowledgeable staff to help you control signs of medicine dependency and get you on the path to long-term sobriety.

What to Look For in a Detox Program

Every detox program has one thing in common; the desire to safely and effectively help guide you on your journey to recovery in a medically supervised setting. How to achieve that goal, however, is where each program differs. Before choosing a detox program, be sure to ask the right questions to ensure the right fit for your unique situation.

Check into programs that offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), including Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol to help minimize the severity of physical symptoms and cravings. You may not need MAT to help you along, but it’s good to have the option if required. Additionally, it’s vital to have emotional and psychological support on an ongoing basis. Look for centers that offer individual and group therapy with 2/7 supervision to improve the experience.

At-Home Detox

If you’re unable to receive treatment at a rehabilitation clinic, you can still free yourself from addiction at home. If you are quitting Adderall in the foreseeable future, advanced planning will give you the best chance at sustainable change.

Prepare yourself for withdrawal cravings by eliminating access to the drug and taking time away from your studies or career for the time being. If possible, order delivery of healthy meals to give yourself a break from cooking while restoring nutritional balance.

Detoxification and withdrawal can be emotionally exhausting. In actuality, feelings of loneliness and depression are common and likely in the days and weeks after stopping. Be sure to let someone know about your plans to quit so that they can support you on your journey to health. If you feel yourself experiencing suicidal thoughts as part of your withdrawal symptoms, you must talk to your doctor right away to get professional guidance and monitoring if necessary.

Recovery Aftercare

No matter what path you choose for rehabilitation, aftercare is mandatory for long-term success. Reach out to local therapists, counselors, or group programs to assist you after healing. Collaborating with professionals and others in similar situations will help you maintain sobriety so you can get back to living fully.

Merely considering abstinence from any addictive substance is a feat you should feel proud of. After all, those feel-good chemicals aren’t easy to give up. If you’re abusing ADHD medication for any reason, your quality of life will eventually pay the price. Don’t wait for a new start. If you or a loved one is suffering from Adderall withdrawal, contact the addiction recovery experts at Garden State Detox today.

How Do You Control a Drug?

The ideal way to use drugs to get high and experience pleasure is to do them, and nothing terrible happens. Many individuals can go to a party, concert, or wherever and take drugs and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, these same people also stop using them once they wear off. The next day they go to work and reflect the drug use as fun and see it as a single event or even something they only do at certain times. These people are essentially able to control when they use a drug. When the drugs wear off, they don’t care. They reserve their drug use for special occasions. 

People who can control their drug use also don’t increase their drug use because they don’t want to. The drugs do not control them; they control the drugs. 

How Do You Control a Drug?

What is Uncontrolled Drug Use?

Addiction is a complex disease of the mind and emotions that makes someone use drugs even when they are ruining their lives. They have a strong urge to change how they feel and have found that drugs are the only thing that makes them feel better. Many people confuse drug-taking as a matter of lousy character or self-centeredness. Still, the facts are that when someone is addicted to a drug, their brains have changed due to the drugs, and they can’t help themselves. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as an inability to control drug use and why this occurs. 

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

When to Stop Using Drugs?

The answer on when to stop using drugs is simple. If the drugs you are using have negatively impacted your life, then do not take them. Sadly, this is not easy or obvious for most people who struggle with drug use and addiction to see. No one wants to give up something they enjoy, which doesn’t just apply to drugs. The issue of denial when it comes to drug use is very intense. People take drugs to feel happier, relaxed, more awake and to help them cope. If the drug is helping them in a way nothing else can, they will not be willing to see how it is harmful. 

The definition of addiction states that people who use drugs are experiencing negative consequences but still using. They are addicted to the drug and will do it no matter what. The following list explains some of the signs of when it is time to stop using drugs: 

  • A change in priorities that put drug use first
  • Lying about your drug use
  • Feeling guilty about your drug use
  • Failed attempts to stop using drugs
  • Missing work because of drugs
  • People close to you are worried about you
  • You no longer enjoy doing things without drugs  

What Do Researchers Think About Drug Use?

Since we now know that drug addiction is a disease of the mind that changes the brain, the research completed in the last two decades reflects science. As a result, the U.S. government now spends millions of dollars a year to help understand how to help people with addictions. In addition, the National Drug Control Strategy now supports that drug addiction is a treatable disease. 

Science has shown that a substance use disorder is not a moral failing but rather a disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. (NDCS)

Start Your Recovery For Drug Addiction at Garden State Detox

Drug use that has gotten out of control indicates that someone struggles with something much more profound than is understood. We at Garden State Detox know how to help you get free of the vicious cycle of drug obsession and the needing to get high. The programs we offer are based on science and work. Don’t wait to change without professional counseling, support, and medications. Recovery from drug use and addiction is no longer a white-knuckling it. We provide in-depth behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapies, and holistic treatment methods that promise you to feel better. 

Call our Specialists for priority admission and chat or email to learn more. 

Tips for Finding the Perfect Sponsor

Many of us addicted to alcohol and drugs struggle to cope with life when we get our of treatment and into “real life.” Many of us feel overwhelmed. This is because living life on life’s terms without our drugs and alcohol takes some practice and experience. We lack these skills because we have been dealing with abusing drugs. When this happens it is best to have someone guide you through these tough times that have experienced it before and have come out on the other side.

After you come out of inpatient treatment and start going to outside meetings and outside therapy, you will most likely want to start the 12-step program as soon as possible. You will hear the word sponsor many times and maybe at a loss as to the exact meaning. However, as you begin to attend more and more meetings, the idea of having a sponsor will make more and more sense. Eventually, you will have to choose a sponsor so you can continue your path to a successful recovery. Although it may take some time, finding the right sponsor can make the difference in getting the best out of your recovery because, in order to share your thoughts and feelings with someone, you have to be comfortable and trust them.

Finding a sponsor is somewhat like dating. You meet people and learn about them and if they don’t mesh well if you don’t click, you move on to the next. And you can try out more than one at a time. This is your journey and so whatever feels right to you.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Sponsor

How Do I Find the Perfect Sponsor for Me?

As said above this is your journey and these are just guidelines, tips to finding a sponsor that is right for you. When you know you’ll know.

  1. Describe your perfect sponsor

Make a list in a notepad or just in your head, of the qualities that would describe your perfect sponsor. It is suggested that the sponsor be the same sex so there is no romantic stuff that might happen. Also, it is recommended you select somebody who has been in recovery for at least twelve months, if not longer. This means this person is fairly established in his or her recovery. This is also an indication that this person is ‘working a program’ that works and that’s effective.

We also urge you to be honest with yourself as to what type of person you need, that you would listen too. Maybe you need a strict individual or maybe a gentle indirect person. Consider this early to avoid the situation where you chose someone that didn’t work out.

  1. Court before you commit

Before asking somebody to be your sponsor, it is recommended to get to know the person first. You may want to tell them your intentions to see if they are even able to sponsor at that time, but once you make that known, it’s then safe to start “dating”.

Some sponsors even do a trial run for a couple of weeks where you call each other on the phone to have conversations to get to know each other. When this goes well you can then maybe meet for coffee or lunch to continue the see if they are right for you and if not it will be easy to end the “courtship.”

  1. Interview with questions

Ask potential sponsors questions that you have about their own experiences in recovery. This is where you can find those who you may have common interests with so you can maybe have a connection and talk about things other than recovery. You need to balance with life activities and recovery. It can’t be recovery 100% of the time. If you feel this potential sponsor isn’t being truthful when answering your questions, then they probably aren’t right for you. Trust your gut feeling.

  1. Find out what’s expected from you

Getting a sponsor shouldn’t be a one-way relationship where the sponsor does all the work and you receive all the benefits. It is exactly the opposite. You take the suggestions and do the work and reap the benefits. The sponsor is just there to give suggestions and their experience on how they did the 12-steps and guide you along.

Some sponsors may expect you to contact them every day. This is probably because the sponsor knows this formula works. Other sponsors may require that you contact them only if needed. It’s important that you do not violate each other’s expectations, so work out what your sponsor expects from you early on in the relationship. This will ensure the relationship does not turn sour.

None of these are set in stone. Like said in the beginning, these are guidelines for finding a sponsor. There will be ups and downs, trial and error, and however you go about it, if your intentions are good, it will work out.

Addiction can rob someone of their life. At Garden State Detox, our mission is the consistent comfort of each individual client. We take a unique approach to medical detox in the sense that the services we provide go far beyond physical stabilization. We believe that quality detoxification not only actively treats all symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal but focuses on setting a stable, unwavering foundation for long-term sobriety.