What Are The Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

 

The United States is currently in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Drug overdoses are increasing mainly due to an increase in the use of opioids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses. In 2015, over 52,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses which jumped to 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published data that showed between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are drugs and medications commonly prescribed to treat pain. Under opioids are opiates, drugs derived from the opium poppy, and synthetic opioids like methadone. Doctors prescribe opioids to patients to treat pain. They usually prescribe one of the following: Oxycontin (oxycodone), Vicodin hydrocodone and acetaminophen), Dilaudid (hydromorphone), or morphine. Illegal opioids, like heroin and fentanyl, are causing the biggest increases in deaths and withdrawals all across America.

What Causes Opioid Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from opioids occurs once the body has become accustomed to a certain level or dosage of opioids. When someone takes opioids ( legal or illegal) for an extended period of time, their body becomes desensitized to the effects. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are the body’s physical response to the absence of the drug. This is what pushes people to increase their use of an opioid because it helps them avoid withdrawal symptoms. People become dependent on opioids in order to stop pain or withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal symptoms may occur as early as a few hours after the last dose. These symptoms can last a week or more. Everyone experiences opioid withdrawal symptoms differently and the symptoms depend on the exact opioid and dosage taken. But, there is a general timeline for the progression of symptoms.

Early Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The earliest withdrawal symptoms start about 6-12 hours after the last dosage for short-acting opioids and 24-30 hours for longer acting opioids. Early symptoms include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive yawning
  • Eyes Tearing Up
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Muscle aches
  • Racing heart
  • Runny Nose
  • Trouble falling and staying asleep
Later Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Some opioid withdrawal symptoms occur later on and peak usually after 72 hours. Later symptoms usually begin after 24 hours and are more intense than early symptoms. These opioid withdrawal symptoms sometimes last a week or more. Later symptoms include the following:

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils and/or blurry vision
  • Drug cravings
  • Goosebumps
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach cramps
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms of Babies

Unfortunately, there are mothers that suffer opioid addiction while pregnant or must use opioids while pregnant. So, when a baby is born they experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms babies experience include the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Digestive issues
  • Poor feeding
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

The onset of withdrawal depends on the drug, frequency of use, and severity of the addiction. While unassisted withdrawal is usually not life-threatening, it has the ability to lead to relapse. However, some withdrawal symptoms become intense and require hospitalization. In order to keep a person out of danger and make relapse unlikely, finding the right treatment is needed.

Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal and Addiction

Opioid withdrawal is an extremely unpleasant experience which many people try to avoid by taking more opioids. Or people try to manage withdrawal symptoms on their own unsuccessfully. But, professional treatment at a facility within a controlled environment offers a higher chance of success. While understanding opioid withdrawal symptoms is a good way to help people with addictions, it’s even more helpful to direct them to a rehabilitation facility that specializes in drug addiction. A facility provides effective treatments for opioid addiction which have the ability to save lives. Find the right treatment for yourself, your friend, or family member today.

fentanyl transdermal patch

What is Fentanyl?

Since President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, the drug fentanyl has been brought up in the news a lot more. Yet, there are many people that lack an understanding of this drug and its presence in the lives of many Americans. While there are many drugs that fall under opioids, fentanyl is one of the most problematic. Fentanyl is reportedly even more dangerous than heroin since data released from 2016 found fentanyl to be the opioid causing the most drug overdoses. Deaths (drug overdoses) from fentanyl were up 540% in three years. This drug is a danger people need to know about.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, or painkiller, that was first developed in the 1960s. The properties are similar to morphine but fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent. It’s also 30-50 times more potent than heroin. It is a schedule II prescription drug. Doctors mainly prescribe fentanyl to cancer patients, patients experiencing severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery. In surgery, doctors use fentanyl to help prevent pain after the surgery is over. Sometimes fentanyl is prescribed to people suffering from chronic pain who have become tolerant to other opioids. Fentanyl, in its legal form, is known as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®. Street names for fentanyl include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.

How is Fentanyl Taken?

People most commonly take fentanyl via injection, transdermal patches, and as lozenges (generally lollipops). An increase in drug overdoses via fentanyl is largely due to the production of illicit forms of the drug. All over the world clandestine labs produce these illicit forms to sell illegally throughout the United States. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl sold illegally includes powdered substances, spiked on blotter paper, mixed with or substituted for heroin, or as tablets. People using fentanyl in these forms can swallow, snort, or inject the fentanyl or place the blotter paper in their mouths absorbing it through the mucous membrane. These clandestine labs produce fentanyl in pill form to look like OxyContin and Xanax pills. Unfortunately, because of these similarities, many people suffer a higher risk of overdose.

Why is Fentanyl Dangerous?

One of the biggest factors in the lethality of fentanyl is its high potency. The potency of fentanyl is so high, and deadly, that a microgram amount has the ability to kill someone. Additionally, many people take drugs like cocaine, heroin, and OxyContin completely unaware that they’re mixed with fentanyl. These mixtures amplify the potency and potential dangers of all drugs and create a higher risk for overdoses. As an opioid, fentanyl also affects the breathing rate of users. This is due to opioid receptors found in areas of the brain that control breathing. Thus, fentanyl has the chance of stopping a user’s breathing which potentially leads to death. When an overdose of fentanyl occurs doctors and first responders use the medication, naloxone, to save lives. Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that reverses an opioid overdose and restores normal respiration.

Signs of Fentanyl Abuse

Since fentanyl has a higher potency than most opioids, symptoms of abuse show up faster. There are many common signs and symptoms of fentanyl abuse. Signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slowed/altered heart rate.
  • Labored breathing
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
  • Shaking
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Weight loss
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching & scratching
  • Pinpoint pupils

Fentanyl has the ability to cause unconsciousness, comas, and even death. So, these signs and symptoms warrant serious attention. A person with a long-term fentanyl problem experiences even more severe effects. These include gastrointestinal problems, a weakened immune system, respiratory problems, and seizures. A long-term user is more at risk of experiencing respiratory failure, a coma, and death. Learn more about fentanyl abuse here.

It’s important to realize that someone struggling with an addiction to fentanyl or any opioid needs immediate help. One of the best and most successful forms of kicking an addiction is going through an immersive rehabilitation program. At Meridian Treatment Solutions, we provide our clients with a life-changing experience by treating the mind, body, and soul.

Facts provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse

How To Help A Friend Who Has A Drug Addiction

In early August, the opioid crisis was declared an emergency by President Trump. This declaration emphasizes the magnitude of drug addiction currently plaguing the lives of Americans across the United States. The face of addiction isn’t limited to people that are poor or living in bad conditions. An addict can be your next-door neighbor, your best friend, or even a family member. When you realize someone close to you has an addiction there are some ways you can help them. Keep in mind that you can never force someone to get help and that the person must want to get better on their own. But, it doesn’t hurt to try and help someone with an addiction.

7 Ways to Help a Friend Who Has a Drug Addiction

When you try to help out a friend who has a drug addiction it takes a lot of patience and effort. Many people are unsure of the best way to help. Below we compiled a list of helpful actions you can take to help a friend in need. Not every action is going to be successful. However, it’s worth it to help your friend beat their drug addiction.

  1. Use Compassion

    Compassion is something many people with an addiction don’t see enough of when they really need it. When you’re with your friend and bring up their addiction make it a no-judgment zone. This gives your friend the ability to share their problems freely without the fear of being judged. In the presence of judgment, there is denial and defensiveness that hinders any ability to help. It’s recommended to meet your friend in a safe and neutral place when discussing their drug addiction.

  2. Don’t Support or Enable the Addiction

    There is a fine line between helping out a friend and enabling their addiction. Be aware of the favors your friend asks you for so you don’t end up enabling their addiction. They may ask you for some pills for joint pain when it’s really pills to fuel their addiction. Additionally, they may ask for a small amount of cash for any number of things. When you know your friend has an addiction it’s better to be wary of why they want money. If they say it’s for food then buy them a meal directly. Pay directly for the things they ask to borrow money for. That way you know it’s not going towards drugs.

    A lot of times social events or activities are the biggest triggers for addictions. Don’t invite your friend to a party or event that would have tempting substances for them. Also, note the people that cause them the most stress and prove to be a bad influence. Try to avoid those type of people during this time to help your friend. If there is a big party going on that would make your friend’s addiction worse find something else to do. By putting your friend in a healthier environment you’re supporting their recovery, not their addiction.

  3. Urge (Don’t Push) Them to Tell a Professional or Significant Other

    Many addictions start because people are not getting the help they need for a physical ailment or mental disorder. Instead of seeking the necessary professional help people tend to self-medicate believing they’re in full control. Before they know it, they have an addiction that’s extremely hard to kick. Even if your friend begins to recover from their addiction they still have a higher chance of relapsing if their physical or mental problems aren’t properly addressed. Urge them to seek professional help to get the right treatment or medication for their problems.

    Moreover, there is a high chance that your friend’s significant other has no clue about their addiction. Addicts are particularly good at hiding their addictions from those they love most. In order to receive the help they need your friend needs to come clean to their significant other because that’s where the largest amount of their support for recovery will come from. Never push your friend to come forward about their addiction because it may backfire and scare them into hiding the addiction even more. This is another place where compassion is needed in place of tough love.

  4. Help Them Manage Withdrawal

    Please note that withdrawals have the ability to be dangerous and harmful for people if they don’t receive professional help. Understand the withdrawal process before helping your friend go through it. Find out the exact drugs your friend used frequently because different drugs have different withdrawal symptoms. Remember you’re not a professional so don’t try to do any actions that are better left to a hospital staff or doctor. The main way you can help a friend going through withdrawal is by cooking meals, helping around the house, and completing their usual daily duties. Withdrawal tends to be an extremely painful process for people and just being there to support your friend is help enough.

  5. Encourage Them

    Once a person is brought face to face with their addiction they begin to feel guilty. A lot of addicts feel weak, stupid, and hopeless for letting their addiction consume them. This is a time they need to be reminded that facing their addiction is the first step to getting their life back on track. A lot of addicts start feeling bad about themselves when they remember the actions they did due to their addiction. Remind them that they’re finally taking action and getting the help they need for themselves and their loved ones. Words of encouragement go a long way during this delicate time for addicts and these words may give your friend the courage to continue on their path to recovery.

  6. Compile a List of Resources

    As a friend of an addict, it’s good to know the resources that would be helpful for dealing with addiction. These resources provide the tools for you to really be there for your friend and understand the best ways to help them. One place to start would be to go over a drug addiction test (without calling it that) with them. By listing off behaviors from a test it might open their eyes to the addiction. Additionally, know a handful of addiction hotlines that could be useful for your friend and pass along the information. The National Institute On Drug Abuse is a great resource for all kinds of information on addiction and the best ways to get help. Also look up organizations that are local to your area for close and immediate help for your friend.

  7. Encourage Your Friend to Enter Rehab, Therapy, or a Program for Their Addiction

    When an addict finally seeks help for their addiction they’re faced with the overwhelming decision on the exact actions to take. Trying to find the right place or way to help themselves may cause stress that thwarts their efforts to get better. Plus, there is only so much you can do as their friend. In order to really treat their addiction, your friend must seek professional help. Whether it’s an addiction support group, a therapist, or a rehabilitation center they need a wide network of people that know the best ways to help them get better. At Meridian, we have a large network of knowledgeable staff members to help people struggling with addiction. People that enter our facility become a part of our family and we find the best ways to help them recover.

Remember that helping someone with an addiction is not easy. It’s possible they won’t want your help at all. Don’t give up on them. Your friend is in a place where they need someone to keep trying. If you have the ability to help them be patient and try your hardest. Some of these helpful actions you take to help them might even make them angry at first. But, eventually, once they do finally get the help they need, they will truly appreciate your help on their path to recovery.

How To Have A Sober Halloween

Stay Sober This October

Halloween is a celebration of all things spooky, pumpkin, and ghostly. When we’re children the plan for Halloween is easy. A Halloween night for children is knocking on all the doors in the neighborhood and saying “Trick or Treat!”. But, as an adult Halloween becomes harder because trick or treating is only for the children. Most adults go to a Halloween party that is brimming with alcohol usually in the form of a punch concoction called Witch’s Brew or Frankenpunch. Whether newly sober or sober for years these parties are hard to navigate since a majority involve alcohol. Below, we have a small little guide with activities for enjoying a sober Halloween.

Scary Movie Marathon

Grab some horror classics and get a group of friends together for a scary movie marathon. Spend the night munching on popcorn with the lights off while films like The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, and Halloween strike fear into your core.  If you want to get out of the house you can see a scary movie in theaters instead. Every October there are new scary movies released. Some scary movies released this October are Happy Death Day, The Snowman, and Jigsaw (another movie from the SAW series). If horror films aren’t up your alley then watch Halloween themed movies like Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, or Casper the Friendly Ghost. Horror or not these movie marathons are a great way to have a fun and sober Halloween.

Haunted Houses

Every local community has at least one haunted house in the neighborhood. Sometimes a couple of neighbors go all out by turning their home into a spooky spectacular event. But, even if none of your neighbors get haunted this year, most cities have a haunted house event. For example, the city of Miami has a yearly Haunted House carnival. If there isn’t a place with haunted houses in your area it would be a fun idea to take a mini vacation and travel to a place full of them. A haunted house Halloween adventure is a great way to make staying sober easier.

Halloween Potluck

A sober Halloween means the party is all about the food. Grab some friends together for a Halloween Potluck filled with spooky treats. Each person brings a Halloween themed food like mummy dogs (pigs in a blanket), spider web dip (top the dip with cheese as spider-web), witch fingers (carrots or celery with a dab of cheese or ranch), and other spooky named foods. A Halloween potluck can still have Witch’s Brew or Frakenpunch just made without alcohol. This potluck is a great way to spend Halloween sober with friends.

Hand Out Candy

There is nothing better than seeing the joy candy brings to the faces children. Stay inside and wait for the doorbell to ring or sit outside and people watch. Either way, you get to see all the clever costumes created by children for Halloween. Be part of the Halloween fun by dressing up and acting in character as the trick-or-treaters come to collect their candy. Halloween is the perfect holiday to people watch because everyone is dressed up in costumes which are a great conversation starter too. Don’t be afraid to have a short conversation with children and their parents (especially when it’s complimenting their costumes). This way Halloween night will speed by while you hand out candy.

Halloween Runs

Whether it’s a 5k or a marathon a run on Halloween is great for sobriety. Running is known to relieve anxiety and depression which many people living the sober lifestyle may experience during this holiday. Some Halloween themed runs occur earlier in the month of October rather than the actual date of Halloween. There’s always a zombie run going on which is lots of fun as you get to run from zombies or dress up like them. Other runs may not be for costumes but they’re great for your body and soul. Check your local area for different runs throughout the month of October.

Pumpkin Crafts

Carve a pumpkin. Paint a pumpkin. Do all sorts of pumpkin crafts. Halloween is a time when pumpkins are everywhere. So, it’s easy to find a plethora of pumpkins to use for crafts. Pumpkin crafts are a great sober Halloween activity to do with a group. Grab markers, paint, a carving knife, or whatever you need for your pumpkin craft. If you carve your pumpkins don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds. The seeds are great to use as a Halloween snack which is essentially a pumpkin food craft. Roast the pumpkin seeds into a salty, sweet, or even spicy flavor and viola a Halloween snack is complete.

Above is a picture of Meridian clients getting into the Halloween spirit with painted pumpkins. We always make sure our clients have a fun and healthy sober lifestyle. Our clients have just as much fun as anyone else does on Halloween. Meridian is here for you or your loved one. All you have to do is contact us now.

Fentanyl Surpasses Heroin in Drug Overdose Deaths

The first governmental account of nationwide drug overdose deaths to cover all of 2016 was recently released. Data from this account shows that overdose deaths are growing at a much faster rate than previously thought. According to data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics, drug overdoses killed about 64,000 people in the United States last year. That’s 22 percent more than the 52,404 overdose deaths recorded in 2015. These rapid increases in death rates show our country has a severe drug epidemic. Now is the time to take notice of the issue and start taking action. 

Leading Cause of Death

It’s expected that drug overdoses will remain the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. This is mainly due to the increase in the use of synthetic opioids. The drug fentanyl is the main culprit which has continually pushed the overdose death count higher. Deaths involving fentanyl have doubled from 2015 to 2016. In addition to this, there has been an increase in deaths caused by cocaine and methamphetamine overdoses. These drugs are causing an epidemic of drug overdoses that are currently killing people at a faster rate than the HIV epidemic did at its peak.

The Role of Fentanyl in the Rising Death Count

Many states have seen the growing count of drug overdose deaths mainly because of an increase in fentanyl use. Look at the chart below to clearly see the extent of the fentanyl’s role in the rising death count from drug overdoses. Deaths from synthetic opioids, fentanyl, in particular, have doubled in one year. However, these deaths have risen at a catastrophic rate within the past three years from 3,000 to over 20,000. To put this into perspective, overdose deaths from the drug fentanyl are up by 540% in three years.

The Effect on Local Communities

Local communities are completely overwhelmed by the sudden upheaval of fentanyl deaths and widespread opioid epidemic. State resources are limited and many communities have strained budgets due to the additional needs warranted from this epidemic. Budgets for these communities filter into the need for more police care, medical care, and even foster care to handle the rise in neglected children. Many people believe the opioid epidemic is solely a problem in rural areas. Yet, the data shows that fentanyl and other opioids equally affect rural and urban areas. In the chart below the data shows the death rate in Maryland (a more urban state) surpassing Kentucky, Delaware, and Maine.

Florida is Top 5 in Drug Overdose Deaths

Florida is another state high up on the list for drug overdose deaths. As of 2016 Florida is within the top 5 states with the highest overdose death rates. This was a steep rise in drug overdose deaths in Florida, a state that barely made the top 10 in 2015. It’s a dire time for those opioid addicts and the only way to stop this increase in deaths is to help these addicts get the help they need. The goal of Meridian Treatment Solutions is to change a person’s lifestyle in the healthiest way possible. We hope to be a part of the decrease in drug overdose deaths. Please check out our drug rehab services to help out you or your loved one today.

The National Center for Health Statistics provided all of the provisional data in this article after an influx of requests from government officials for more information on this epidemic.

Post Hurricane Irma Meridian Treatment Solutions Update

FT LAUDERDALE – SEPTEMBER 10: A canal near downtown Ft. Lauderdale, FL September 10, 2017 as Hurricane Irma’s wind and rain take effect. (Photo by Andrew Innerarity/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

How the Meridian Staff Handled Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma had a huge impact on South Florida. It caused damage to various places and many people were without power for quite awhile. This hurricane brought on a lot of stress for everyone but it was extremely hard on our clients in recovery. Thankfully, Meridian Treatment Solutions has an amazing team that put their immense effort into preparing clients for the hurricane. The dedication the Meridian team had for the client’s safety before, during, and after hurricane Irma was absolutely amazing.

In Florida, even in Texas due to hurricane Harvey, there were many cases at other facilities where many clients relapsed from taking advantage of the turmoil. There were many recovery facilities that experienced multiple against medical advice departures. Clients were leaving facilities in droves, taking advantage of disorganized staff, sloppy preparations, and an environment that felt unsafe. All in all, this shows how important it is for recovery facilities to have a hurricane emergency plan in place.

Meridian was fortunate enough to not experience the many mishaps and problems occurring at the other facilities. This was all due to the efforts, care, and dedication of the Meridian staff. Clients of our facility were provided a safe environment and all the necessary care the needed throughout and after the hurricane. Our staff was organized and prepared for this hurricane and we plan to be equally prepared in the future. We treat our clients like family and we always put their safety and well-being first.

“Our clients felt safe, taken care of, and genuinely appreciated,” said Hotse Langeraar, the CEO of Meridian Treatment Solutions. We are proud of our staff at Meridian and appreciate the commitment they give to make our facility a great one.

 

What is National Recovery Month About?

The national observance of National Recovery Month occurs every September. It’s a time to educate Americans on substance abuse treatment and mental health services that aid addicts on their path of recovery. Due to recovery programs, people with a substance abuse disorder have the ability to lead a healthy and sober life. Additionally, National Recovery Month highlights the benefits of recovery programs and mental health services for those suffering from an addiction or disorder. In the past, this national observance was referred to as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month or Treatment Works! Month.

How Did it Start?

Since 1989, the United States has recognized every September as National Recovery Month in an effort to raise awareness of substance use and mental disorders and recovery treatment for them. The national observance month started as Treatment Works! Month honoring the work of substance use treatment professionals. In 1998, the observance became National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. It expanded to celebrate the accomplishment of recovery for those with substance use disorders. Eventually, in 2011, the national observance fully evolved into National Recovery Month to include all aspects of behavioral health beyond addiction. Read about the 20 years of achievements, which showcases success in the recovery field along with the evolution of the national observance.

What is it All About?

National Recovery Month is a way to celebrate people in recovery and the services that help them get there. In fact, this month brings awareness to the public that recovery treatments and mental health services work. Millions of Americans have their lives transformed into a much healthier version every year thanks to recovery services. These successful stories frequently go unnoticed by the rest of the American population. So, National Recovery Month serves as a way to acknowledge all the accomplishments made by those in recovery. Every September thousands of recovery treatment centers and programs celebrate Recovery Month. People speak up about their success with recovery. This helps increase awareness of the services that help those with mental and substance abuse disorders.

National Recovery Month 2017

This year marks the 27th year of National Recovery Month. Throughout the last 27 years, this month has given prominence to the many successes and growth within the recovery community. The experiences and accomplishments of individuals in recovery are shared throughout the month to serve as an inspiration to others looking to get sober. By sharing their stories the country is shown how much recovery programs and mental health services help people with substance abuse disorders. Equally important, is for Recovery Month to encourage Americans to take more action to help increase and improve the availability of recovery services all over the country. In order to provide more help for those in need, recovery month becomes the voice of millions that benefit from recovery services.

The theme of National Recovery Month 2017 is Join The Voice For Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities. Below is the logo that represents this month’s theme.

The Next Step

The biggest way to provide help for the recovery community is to spread the word. Particularly, help with an increase of your knowledge on different types of recovery services. In fact, help out by discussing facts and issues of recovery with your peers. For more information, the official website of Recovery Month can be found here.

Furthermore, learning about National Recovery Month should be an inspiration for all to support recovery programs. If you or a loved one need help in recovery contact Meridian Treatment Solutions today.

Inspiring Quotes to Help You Stay Sober

A person going through recovery experiences many highs and lows. These highs and lows continue throughout the rest of their life in an effort to stay sober. It’s not easy to change to a new lifestyle of sobriety. But, it’s extremely worth it. Many days occur where there is low motivation to stay sober. Therapy, professional treatment, and other healthy support systems are good to turn to when someone needs help with their sobriety. Hopefully, these inspirational quotes serve as motivation to stay sober.

1. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~Socrates

This quote is a great reminder for you to stop dwelling on all the pain of your past. The past can’t be changed but you can make a difference in your life now. Don’t live in the past, live in the present moment. When you put all your energy into living your life now all the bad things of your past lose their control over you.

2. “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” ~ Elon Musk

There are going to be people that don’t believe in you. People that think you can’t stay sober. But, you know how important your sobriety is and you will prove everyone wrong. You will stay sober against all odds because it’s important to you.

3. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker

You have all the power within yourself to stay sober. Believe in yourself, in your recovery, in your sobriety. Then, good things will happen.

4. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~Confucius

Sometimes we fall down, take a step backward, or fail at something we worked really hard for. No good comes from beating yourself up over your failures. It’s okay to fall as long as you get back up.

5. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ~Paulo Coelho

A big part of staying sober is to want it with all your might. When you work hard for your sobriety the results show. The people around you and the universe see the progress you make and will help you further that progress. All you have to do is make that choice, that sobriety is the thing you want more than anything.

6. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ~Audrey Hepburn

When recovery happens impossible should leave your vocabulary. At the beginning, and maybe even years down the line, staying sober might seem impossible in certain situations. But, as you see yourself manage to stay sober time and time again you start to realize how possible it is to keep your sobriety for life. Staying sober is not impossible, you can do it!

7. “You were sick, but now you’re well again, and there’s work to do.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

Nobody said that sobriety would be easy. It does require a lot of effort on the sober person’s part. Sobriety won’t just happen, you have to work on it every day. But, you know that you and your sobriety are worth the hard work.

8. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

You have been through the worst of it and survived. You can get through your recovery, you can stay sober through the good times and the bad times. All you have to believe in yourself. You can do anything, just push aside your fear and do it!

9. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ~Maya Angelou

You don’t have to be perfect. As humans we all make mistakes, and that is okay. You can only try your best and that is enough. As time goes by you will learn how to tackle your sobriety in better ways. People learn and grow more every day.

10. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” ~Henry Ford

There are going to be hard times when you’re trying to stay sober. Some situations will be difficult to get through. Some people won’t make sobriety easy for you either. But, all this resistance will make your sobriety stronger as you find yourself staying sober through it all. When everything’s against you, believe in yourself to make it through the other side drug and alcohol-free.

While these inspirational quotes may be a great motivation for staying sober, it’s also wise to seek out professional help when you need it. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 844-281-3116 to help you with your recovery today.

What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

The first step in beginning the recovery process for alcohol addiction involves detoxification. However, detoxification from alcohol brings along withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe. In a previous blog post, we discussed how long it takes to detox from alcohol, which can be read here. There are a vast array of withdrawal symptoms that may appear during the detoxification period. Additionally, the detoxification period has different phases of alcohol withdrawal. In this article, we go into detail of the possible withdrawal symptoms and the different phases a person may experience. It’s important to realize, not all symptoms will appear and the extremity of the symptoms depend on the individual going through withdrawal.

Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when someone that drinks excess alcohol on a regular basis abruptly stops drinking alcohol. Symptoms occur most often in adults but appear in some adults and children. The more regularly a person drinks the higher the likelihood that they will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. A majority of people experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, people with other medical conditions aside from their alcohol addiction may experience more extreme symptoms.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

While symptoms usually appear within 8 hours after the person’s last drink, for some people they may appear days later. Additionally, the symptoms usually peak at 24-72 hours. But, some symptoms may go on for weeks.

Common Symptoms Include:
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Jumpiness or shakiness
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Not thinking clearly
Additional Symptoms Include:
  • Sweaty or clammy skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pale appearance
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tremor of the hands or other body parts
Severe Symptoms (delirium tremens) Include:
  • Agitation
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations (Visual, auditory, or tactile)
  • Seizures
  • Severe confusion

Delirium Tremens is an extremely severe form of alcohol withdrawal that tends to require professional medical help. So, if these extreme symptoms are experienced by you or a loved one, go to the hospital immediately.

Phases of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal commonly follows a course of three distinct phases. These phases include acute withdrawal, early abstinence, and protracted abstinence. In time, a person will be symptom-free.

Acute Withdrawal

To begin with, the first phase of alcohol withdrawal includes the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. Acute withdrawal is dominated by tremors, hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system, and a risk of delirium tremens. Tremors and seizures usually occur within the first 48 hours of alcohol abstinence and peak after 24 hours. People experiencing the more extreme symptoms of delirium tremens usually peak 72 hours after symptoms begin. Also, common symptoms of acute withdrawal include increased heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and gastrointestinal problems.

Early Abstinence

In the second phase of alcohol withdrawal, the person will experience anxiety, depressed moods, and disturbed sleep patterns. At this point, the symptoms of acute withdrawal have generally passed. Moreover, anxiety is elevated for about three to six weeks after abstaining from alcohol. Woman tend to take longer to get through this stage than men.

Protracted Abstinence

Many people relapse in the final phase of alcohol withdrawal. This is mainly due to a large amount of anxiety being present along with a state of unease and negativity. Therefore, small challenges may provoke higher emotional responses than normal leading to alcohol craving and relapse.

It’s important to seek professional treatment if symptoms get extreme. To emphasize this point, people experiencing severe symptoms of delirium tremens are at risk of serious health issues and possibly death. Thus, detoxification from alcohol is something that should never be done alone. For more information on the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal go to this website.

United States Sees 19% Increase in Teen Drug Overdoses

An opioid crisis has been sweeping the nation with an exponential increase in deaths every year. Many states have declared public emergencies on the opioid crisis throughout the year of 2017. Finally, last week President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. This declaration allows states and federal agencies to receive more resources and power to combat the opioid crisis. Trump’s declaration comes at a much needed time as the United States has seen a 19% increase in drug overdoses amongst teenagers. An increase in overdoses that is mainly due to the more popular use of heroin and other synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

The Rise in Heroin and Fentanyl

In 2015, 135,000 people used heroin for the first time. The number of new users has only gotten larger the past two years, especially amongst teenagers. While overdoses from methadone and prescription opioids have decreased in recent years, there has been an increase in overdoses due to heroin and synthetic drug use. Heroin and synthetic drugs like fentanyl have been a large contributor to the overdoses of teenagers. In a little over 10 years the rate of teen overdose from synthetic drugs has jumped from 0.1 out of 100,000 deaths in 2002 to 0.7 out of 100,000 deaths in 2015. According to the United States Health and Human Services, drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death of Americans. It’s clearly time for the opioid crisis to be taken as a serious public health issue.

Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

On August 10 of 2017, President Trump officially declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. He believes one of the key ways to combat this issue is to reach out to younger people. President Trump’s goal of tackling the opioid crisis involves a heavy focus on prevention. In a White House Press Release President Trump said the following,

“The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won’t have a problem. If they do start, it’s awfully tough to get off. So we can keep them from going on, and maybe by talking to youth and telling them, “No good; really bad for you” in every way. But if they don’t start, it will never be a problem.”

Combating the Opioid Crisis

Now that the opioid crisis is officially a national emergency the entire United States receives a lot more help to combat this epidemic. Although opioid drug overdoses increased in teens, the amounts of teenage deaths are quite small compared to the overall all amount of opioid overdose deaths. In 2015, 772 drug overdose deaths were teens out of over 33,000 drug overdose deaths related to opioids. This shows how big of a problem the opioid crisis is for everyone, not just teenagers. The nation recommends all states to increase treatment capacity for substance abusers along with establishing and funding better access to medication-assisted treatment programs. A national emergency helps bring more awareness to opioid abuse issue and mobilizes more resources. Hopefully, the United States is now on the right track for tackling the opioid crisis.

 

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