Power of the Many

Substance use disorder is continuing to gain concern from the general population. As everything from south Florida alcohol treatment centers filling up to the poster child of the addiction epidemic leading many to seek treatments for oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, the spotlight on addiction treatment and awareness continues to expand and get brighter, shining a light on an extremely large blind spot in American healthcare concerns and especially coverage.

While it’s easy to tell each person you might meet suffering from the debilitating symptoms of addiction to just ‘get over it’, eventually, you will run out of breath, requiring a more dragnet-style approach, utilizing the power of the collective culture harnessed through government representatives to truly address the growing problem that claimed more lives than car accidents in 2018. In fact, congress passed SUPPORT For Patients and Communities act which expands coverage of research-based (not faith based like 12 step programs) addiction and mental health treatment.

While this is a good gesture to begin with, there’s no reason to stop here. Several more considerations could be implemented into policy that could have long lasting benefit to keep America from facing a seriously problem like this ever again:

  • Foster the increase of treatment personnel with fiscal policy that encourages people to enter the field. Not only will this help curb the growth of addiction in communities, it will help the preventative measures that can keep the problem from becoming so widespread as it is now.
  • Encourage cross training of physicians into the field of psychology and psychiatry. Many physicians today espouse the false beliefs of how addiction works, that it’s the role of an individual that causes that individual to form an addiction in the first place, passing judgement rather than identifying the problem AND handing them off to a certified treatment facility.
  • Modify policies to include addiction in chronic disease category. This would allow for funding of long term treatment for those who find themselves battling with substance use disorder. While treatment and detox last just a few months, the condition never truly subsides as the neurobiology of a person has permanently changed once the disorder takes hold.
  • For addictions that have medication assisted treatment, lowering the cost of these drugs through collective bargaining as well as expanding the availability of doctors to prescribe these drugs would greatly increase the chances that they can be used for patients that need them.

While the country continues to wake up to the reality that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, it’s imperative that everyone reading this understand that it will take the power of culture and pressure to successfully overcome what is an epidemic that is costing the country twice as much as cancer annually and is already five times the cost it took to get a handle on the AIDS/HIV crisis during its absolute height.

We can do better.

If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic substance use disorders, find them quality treatment in a south Florida drug rehab center like First Step Behavioral Health by calling (866) 319-6126.

Understanding Your Prescription Options Can Prevent Addiction

There is a saying that ‘Knowledge is Power’.  In the world of consumer advocacy, this is probably one of the most true statements one can make. Considering that the United States largely operates on a consumer/market model for things like dentistry, being an informed consumer could be the difference between a successful visit with no problems or having to check into a south Florida rehab center for oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. The opioid crisis is often framed as ‘the opioid’ crisis with one or two names of drugs frequenting the news, often being oxycodone and heroin, but the truth is, opioids have many forms and names and even dentists have been living by the ‘ignorance is bliss’ saying rather than taking the initiative to understanding the drugs they prescribe for operations such as wisdom tooth removal.

As a consumer in a ‘free market’ such as this, it’s important to understand what exactly the risks are of drugs prescribed to you by a physician or dentist. While they may be experts on knowing what drugs will operate as a painkiller, they may not be aware of the addictive properties of said painkillers when prescribing them.  A recent article in the Washington Post by Ronnie Cohen described their own personal lack of attention paid to a relatively harmless situation.

“A few days before extracting my teenager’s wisdom teeth, an oral surgeon wrote him a prescription for painkillers. My son filled it but never felt a need for anything stronger than ibuprofen. Three years later, I found an unopened bottle of Percocet—an opioid– in the back of a bathroom cabinet. I had no idea a dentist had prescribed..the highly addictive pills.”

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, dentists prescribe twelve percent of all painkilling opioids and family doctors prescribe fifteen percent. An American Dental Association survey of 563 oral surgeons in 2004 revealed that eight-five percent of oral surgeons wrote opioid prescriptions to their patients after removing wisdom teeth.

While some operations and injuries do require heavy doses of painkillers, it’s often overkill for many kinds of visits. Anti-inflammatory analgesics like ibuprofen often end up being a more beneficial choice, not only for its lack of addictive properties, but also for effectiveness in minimizing associated pain. When coupled with the fact that many people who find themselves inside the halls of a south Florida detox program often find they have undiagnosed secondary mental health issues like depression or anxiety, it becomes even more important to really pay attention to what a doctor or dentist prescribes as it may be the difference between a simple procedure or a complicated lifelong chronic illness known as addiction.

As more studies come about showing the harmful effects of such drugs, physicians will eventually become aware of the carelessness on their part with their patients lives. Until then, however, you as the consumer have to exercise your role as being informed as possible when going into these situations. Otherwise, you’re playing roulette and the losses can be up to and including your life.

If you are or someone you know might be suffering from substance use disorder, call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for treatment options.

Battles With Businesses

Employers often times put unreal expectations on potential employees. The questionnaires often have what would be under most normal circumstances questions that sometimes even your parents don’t know the answer to because it’s that personal. One of the largest roadblocks for someone recovering from addiction can face is employment and being honest when answering questions related to drug use and drug related criminal records. But even people who are able to find time off to seek treatment can face a battle with the company they work for simply for going into rehab.

Recently, cases have been taken to court against businesses that enact retaliatory actions toward their employees that have attended or trying to attend addiction rehab treatment centers. A case in Michigan’s federal courts is now being sent to a jury trial after a business lost a summary judgment motion aimed at dismissing a former employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation and interference, claiming disability and discrimination under federal and state laws. The case may determine for all subsequent interactions that being diagnosed with substance use disorder would constitute a disability covered by the FMLA for the state. Other businesses would also be influenced by the outcome, as well

The case involved an account manager at an HVAC installation repair company who had a history of drug addiction and was terminated days after returning to work while on FMLA leave. She had already faced friction during a company restructure when her new supervisor was given an old email between her and her old supervisor regarding obtaining Suboxone, a medication assisted treatment drug for opioid addicts. In the email, the supervisor questioned  the employee about the worth and cost of the prescription being filled to which the plaintiff disclosed their opioid addiction and the need for the oxycodone treatment. The leave she took which in which she was terminated for was to take care of her sick mother, nothing to do with withdrawal from oxycodone, and was given the reason that her ‘job was being eliminated’.

She’s in the process of suing the employer for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law that falls under the FMLA interference and retaliation.

People with substance abuse disorder face a multitude of challenges keeping their condition in check, like all chronic illnesses. Battling employers to even be considered worthy enough to keep a job even after successful treatment can become a stress trigger, creating extremely tough times to deal as not only might someone be dealing with effects of the stress itself on their ability to keep on top of their behaviors, but having to deal with an employer’s treatment of your situation can seem like too much.

Not all addictions are built the same and not all people will be retaliatory supervisors nor will all people find the stress of dealing with one a risk to relapsing. This case, when it is has run its course, may dictate to more businesses how, at least, to handle someone on their staff learning to live with their condition and become supportive of those who have recovered rather than arbitrarily treating them like a sure liability as this HVAC company has apparently done.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, finding a south Florida drug rehab is as easy as calling First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.

The Battle of Supply vs. Demand Continues

The Philippines is currently replaying the failed War on Drugs scenario that America perpetuated for decades and is heading down the same path and serves to remind us all that drug addiction has no easy or intuitive solution. The War on Drugs criminalized addiction and use but did so in order to stop the supply of drugs. The idea was that by imprisoning the demand, the supply can be stamped out since simply going after the supply didn’t stop addiction.

In a vacuum void of modern knowledge of what addiction is, how it works, where human rights violations don’t exist, where prisons aren’t ill equipped to rehab inmates back into productive society, this approach would seem completely sound. If there’s no supply, then how could a demand possibly exist for a product which is not a necessity?

Looking into the issue itself, we can see that this same approach has been tried before and resulted in a bigger problem than when the proposed solution was put into place with a drug everyone reading this has likely tried and likely saw some of it being sold today while out and about: alcohol. Prohibition in the 20’s was a reaction to the alcoholism that was appearing around society in an ever increasing wealth gap divide, as productivity soared while wages continued to drop. The US government passed a constitutional amendment which only stayed in action for just 13 years. Making the substance itself illegal, users criminals, suppliers outlaws and distributors sneaky introduced an uptick of crime itself, and not just the criminality of imbibing in a scotch after work on Friday.

Many have argued very convincingly that the infamous Italian Mob gain prominence by giving them a monopoly on the supply of alcohol. Individual demand didn’t dip whatsoever. With money to be made, the fact that people buying the product were also deemed criminals didn’t have the desired outcome of eliminating, or even reducing, alcoholism and alcohol use. People would end up dying from batches of product made with poison in bathtubs. Public intoxication was still a thing, alcoholics still would find a way to buy, and suppliers were always around to supply.

Even in the face of modern psychologists making the case directly with modern data and research, the Presidential spokesperson of the Philippines, Salvador Panelo doubled down on the violent tactics currently employed for ‘stopping drug use’. Many Americans echo his sentiments, though, even today. After presented with the lack of desired outcome of the solution of instituting draconian drug laws which has only had the same effect of the American War on Drugs (exploding the prison population and doing nothing to deal with the demand side of the equation) and prohibition (giving cartels a monopoly backed up with violence), he stated “Ineffective where? Why not? We have reduced, dismantled in fact a huge chunk of the illegal drug apparatus.” Unfortunately, the huge chunk dismantled is primarily the people with the illness of addiction, which is akin to putting people in prison for having cancer.

Massive amounts of otherwise rational people being put into prison for an illness that has treatment has repeatedly shown to be a non-starter solution. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, calling the a south Florida rehab center like 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 will connect you with a specialist that can confidentially discuss treatment options. 1st Step offers residential detox and is equipped to medically handle oxycodone withdrawal symptoms as well.

Fake Opioid Treatment Distributors Targeted by FDA

One of the unfortunate side effects of a market driven economy is the incentive of money that can motivate some people and their companies to put profits and exploitation above the customer satisfaction and even safety. With the opioid epidemic catching a large portion of the news cycle, morally ambiguous businesses are popping up claiming to have solutions to opioid addiction while completely avoiding the approval process of the FDA, which was established by congress passing the Food and Drug Act in 1906 to protect consumers from negligent business practices. The FDA approval process for drugs involves rigorous testing and proving the effectiveness of the drug, reviewing and documenting possible side effects and general safety when used by the consumer.

Recently, numerous reports to the FDA drew attention to the marketing of tianeptine by at least two specific companies who are being investigated for violating the regulatory laws resulting from marketing the drug under the supplement category. In some countries, the drug is approved for sale as an antidepressant, but has been rejected by the FDA for any use due to the risks of use which include neurological, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems in addition to mimicking opioid withdrawal and toxicity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in August the number of tianeptine exposure calls to U.S. poison control centers rose during 2014 to 2017, suggesting a possible emerging public health risk.


Tianeptine as a “Dietary Supplement”

Tianeptine itself, being distributed as a ‘dietary supplement’ in order to avoid FDA approval as a safe consumer-grade drug, was found to be in Tianaa Red, Tianaa Green and Tianaa White distributed by Jack B Goods Outlet Store and Vicaine, distributed by MA Labs. The FDA issued warnings to cease distribution of these products in an effort to ensure consumer safety. With the opioid crisis showing very little signs of slowing down overall, the FDA has it’s work cut out for them in maintaining a safe consumer environment that prevents exploitation of businesses in this way to cash in on the addiction epidemic.

While these two specific companies were the only ones named in the warning letters sent out, which does not demand any monetary compensation related to the customers whose health was adversely affected already, there’s no authoritative information available at this time about how many different ‘supplements’ are currently sold under different names and outlets.

Opioid addiction is serious and requires professional treatment and rehab to be successful within an addict. The biggest risk to an addict is overdose which can lead to death. The longer the addiction goes on, the risk to overdose increases as well. If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, 1st Step Behavioral Health can help. Please call (866) 319-6126 to speak to a qualified counselor about treatment options and residential in the southern Florida area.

Why Some People are Saying Naltrexone Can Stop The Opioid Crisis

Naltrexone is a medicine designed to assist people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in their detox and rehab recovery. Specifically, this medicine is designed to be especially useful for those who are suffering from an addiction to an opioid or to alcohol. Indeed, alcohol and opioid addicts are substantially more likely to successfully enter active recovery and remain there for the long haul with the help of Naltrexone. One of the best things about this drug is that it is not an addictive medication. Some other replacement drugs that are used for addiction recovery are indeed addictive. Naltrexone though is a non-narcotic drug that attaches to the brain’s pain and reward receptors and completely blocks them.

This functionally means that when a person takes codeine, heroin, or any different type of opioid, or drinks too much alcohol that the pain, pleasure, and reward controlling receptors of the brain will already be occupied and therefore the person taking the drug will not feel the effects of the intoxicant. This is a priceless boon in the detoxification and rehabilitation steps of recovery. As a person gets sober from their substance of choice, say oxycodone, heroin, or booze, they will experience serious alcohol, heroin, or oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, and those symptoms can and do frequently lead people to relapse.

If the user is taking naltrexone during their withdrawal from oxycodone or other intoxicants, there will be little incentive to take a pill or pick up a beer when they will have no hope of feeling the effects of the substance. South Florida rehab clinics and detox facilities often offer naltrexone to their patients who suffer from addiction in hopes of helping them through the difficulties of detox and rehab and giving them a good foundation for future active recovery. Naltrexone helps not only biologically, but also psychologically. Since the drug helps with cravings and triggers having naltrexone to lean on allows the patient to focus on their mental health and the life skills they need to sharpen to be ready for the outside world.

Naltrexone is the generic version of the following brand names:

  • Vivitrol
  • Depade
  • Revia


Medication Assisted Oxycodone Treatment Program

Medication assisted addiction recovery programs are designed to function using medications like naltrexone, in conjunction with behavioral therapies to treat alcohol or drug addicted individuals. While medications like buprenorphine and methadone do indeed leave space for a person who has been dealing with an addiction to opioids to become dependent on them, Naltrexone is a drug that does not. Opioids are intense intoxicating substances and very quickly engender a high tolerance and intense cravings within the user.  Because of this, it is highly advisable for the patient dealing with opioid addiction to be treated by a medication assisted treatment program.


Treatment For Opioid Addiction in South Florida

There is help available for opioid addiction. Oxycodone and other opioid addictions are difficult struggles for anyone to deal with and they are not just something you can walk away from on your own. Everyone needs help. 1st Step Behavioral Health can offer support in the form of an excellent staff of qualified and licensed medical clinicians and therapists. Call today to learn more about our rehab programs.

The Cornerstone of Oxycodone Treatment

When an oxycodone addict goes through a medically supervised drug detox program they are likely to suffer side effects while they go through withdrawal from oxycodone. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will vary in severity depending on the physical fitness and general wellbeing of the patient. After detox the addict will go on to rehabilitation. The best recovery programs in South Florida will modify their programs to fit the individual needs and struggles of each individual patient.


Oxycodone Rehab

This second step in a tiered addiction treatment plan, rehabilitation, is generally largely centered around different forms of therapy. Behavioral therapy has especially become the cornerstone of treatment for drug addiction, including oxycodone rehab programs.

Behavioral therapy is a category of therapy comprised of many different types of therapy such as: dialectic behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, system desensitization, aversion therapy and interpersonal therapy, among others. These therapies are meant to help a person suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction to look deeper within themselves and within their environment to find the source of their triggers. This teaches them about why they react the way they do in stressful situations. In the end this knowledge will help the addict to take control of their reactions in the moment and, with the life skills they learn in therapy, be able to resolve the situation without turning to oxycodone to soothe their anxieties and calm their bodies down.

Behavioral therapy will surely be a part of any good oxycodone treatment offered from an addiction treatment center. Even after an addict successfully completes a recovery treatment program and their behavioral therapy at the facility has come to a close they should seek out continuing therapy as a form of relapse prevention. Oxycodone addicts have a tendency to slide into a serious addiction to other more dangerous opioids such as heroin or fentanyl when a person does not take the necessary care of their disease. Without continuing therapeutic care someone addicted to oxycodone could very quickly find themselves either back in the control of opioids, or worse experiencing a devastating overdose.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment in South Florida

So many people who suffer from opioid addiction also suffer from some form of comorbidity such as a co-occurring mental health disorder. A dual diagnosis like this makes therapy trickier. Not only is therapy important for someone suffering from a dual diagnosis, but it is vital that the therapies that are undergone can address both the addiction and the mental health disorder. If the two disorders are not confronted by therapy together, they will keep each other alive, feeding on the one while the other is being treated. They feed off of one another and frustrate each other’s symptoms, making the patient more sick on both accounts.

At 1st Step Behavioral Therapy we offer comprehensive oxycodone recovery including the vital therapies that can help an addict prepare for a life lived in sobriety. Call today for more information.


Loving Yourself Through Your Oxycodone Treatment

Coming back from oxycodone treatment at First Step’s South Florida Rehab Center, you may find it hard to forgive yourself for the pain and suffering your substance abuse and addiction has caused in your life, and the lives of the people around you. Even though you would never tear down a friend for their disease, you spend much of your time in shame and self loathing because of yours. But self loathing and shame are part of what helped foster your alcohol and oxycodone habits to begin with.


Addiction Is A Complicated Disease Killing

With so many elements at the foundation of addiction, boiling it down to you just being a bad person or worthless, as you perhaps feel sometimes, is really underestimating your disease. And also, it is simply false. Addiction is the result of a perfect storm of many different life variables, and genetics all coming together.


Often people are exposed to Opioids like Oxycodone as prescription painkillers. They are a slippery slope and thousands of people die every year due to fatal overdose because they so quickly become chemically dependant on the drug. The point is, Opioids are ubiquitous in our current society, readily available to almost anyone via prescription or illicit means. Opioids make you feel euphoric and relaxed, they attach themselves to the reward center in the brain and a person quickly becomes addicted. To someone recovering from trauma, or predisposed to addiction it is a firm possibility that they could be exposed to the drug and very quickly become an opioid addict.

Oxycodone Treatment is Your First Act In Self Care

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde

It’s time to forgive yourself, take care of yourself, and foster a genuine love for yourself. When you were going through withdrawal from Oxycodone and you felt like you were dying you found yourself feeling a deep rage toward yourself for the questionable judgement and poor choices you had made that brought you to that point. You swore if you survived this withdrawal from oxycodone that you would make yourself into someone you could actually love someday. The way to self love is through self care.


The moment you picked up the phone and called 1st Step’s South Florida Rehab Center you began taking care of yourself and taking responsibility for your own self care. That choice is a true act of self love and it’s the one that matters the most.


The Revenge of The Nerds (in Modern America)

Are you uncool? Me too! But guess what, nerdy is totally in these days. It can be hard to believe because if you’re my age, when I was a kid, “nerd” was totally a bad word, but these days it’s something you can embrace. Take a look at the television. It’s full of television shows about awesome nerds. The Big Bang Theory for instance has been on the air for years because it gave many people like us a place to feel represented and gave us a story we could see ourselves in (that is, unless you absolutely hate the show which is fairly common in our community – everyone seems to have a very strong opinion about Big Bang Theory). It’s the same with Stranger Things. I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I got all kinds of hell for playing D&D, but here’s a show centered in many ways around a D&D campaign in the 1980’s. It was made for nerds like us. There is a reason there are so many shows that are incorporating science fiction elements into their plot line. It’s the revenge of the nerds, except that revenge mostly just looks like asserting ourselves as a legitimately awesome group. Maybe your nerdery is different. I happen to also really love spanish history and will geek out to all of the experimental poetry you’re willing to talk about. The way I see it, a nerd is just someone who really revels in whatever they love. It’s possible they love it so much that they squee about it, they let their enthusiasm bubble over and you can see it in them, maybe even hear it in their voices. I happen to think some of the most adorable people are like this…probably because I am.


Accept Yourself

Since when many of us were kids, being a nerd, or being different in some way was so derided, many of us still struggle to accept ourselves. I know I struggle with that everyday. Sometimes I do better than others. I think most people are like that, honestly. The first step to fighting that self doubt or hatred, that perhaps has already led you into addiction, is focusing on the things you love. Let yourself get lost in them for a moment. Get excited about them. Let the corners of your mouth turn into a smile when you think about that character in that game you played, or that moment in Harry Potter when… or that poem by Wallace Stevens that just feels like you. Really think about how very much you light up when you think about those things. Think about how alive you feel when you are engaging with who you are/what you love. Those two things are intrinsically linked. You are what you love. It’s easy to accept the things you love. Usually the problem we have is that we wish we were different. But remembering how much joy or life we get from what we love can lead to some genuine self acceptance. Since I started doing this I’ve experienced so much less regret about who I am.


Seek out Fellow Nerds

You know where to find them. Find a game to play in, join people in MMOs if you are feeling like you don’t want to leave your house, join a book club, an art club, or any kind of online community celebrating what you love. Making connections with people who can understand your passions is important. You need that overlap of interest sometimes. That very tangible solidarity can feel like so much relief and can really build you up and help you feel safe in your own skin.


You Don’t Need Drugs To Love Yourself

Because so many of us were bullied as kids for loving things that other people didn’t understand, it can be hard to not become dependant on an intoxicating substance of some kind. Many nerds have fallen into addiction through alcohol, sleeping pills or pain prescription and ultimately end up with a very scary Alcohol, Barbiturate, prescription drug or even heroin addiction. If you are one of those people, know this: you can recover from this. There’s help, and you can find ways to not feel that crippling self doubt other than drugs that will deteriorate your biological systems, or even kill you.


Maybe you’re scared, but, as a fellow nerd, let me tell you, you’ve got this. Nerds have fought for everything they love and believe because they’ve had to to keep it in them in the face of bullying or derision. 1st Step wants to help. We have programs for addiction recovery including Heroin and Oxycodone addiction. Our heroin drug treatment in Broward County can help you get clean of the Opioids and prepare you for further treatment as well.  Don’t try to detox on your own. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can make you very sick. When you go through withdrawal from oxycodone you need to have medical professionals to monitor your health and make sure you’re needs are met and that your vital signs are stable. Call us now at (866) 319-6126. Addiction can take over our lives. We can help you walk away from the addiction and get back to being your awesome, nerdy self.


What’s the Difference Between An Opioid And An Opiate?

Opioid and an opiate are two words that are often thrown around interchangeably. When people reference the drug epidemic sweeping the nation, sometimes they say “opioid epidemic,” and sometimes they say “opiate epidemic.” It’s not always clear that these are two different types of drugs altogether. Understanding the difference between opioids and opiates is key to preventing addiction or treating an existing problem.

So, What is the Difference Between An Opioid and An Opiate?

Opioids refer to both synthetic and natural forms of an opioid. Synthetic opium drugs contain natural opium then altered by the addition of synthetic opioids. Opiates refer to opium drugs found only in nature from the opium poppy plant. Don’t let that fool you, though. 

Keep in mind that while all opiates are opioids, not all opioids are opiates. Also, some people make the mistake of thinking that because opiates are less harmful because they’re natural. However, opiates are highly addictive and frequently misused, just like opioids.

Opioids and Opiates: What Drugs Belong to Which Category?

As mentioned above, the difference between opiates and opioids are significant. They both include different kinds of drugs. 

What drugs are Opioids?

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, or Percodan
  • Hydromorphone, or Dilaudid
  • Duragesic, or fentanyl

What drugs are Opiates?

  • Opium
  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Thebaine
  • Morphine

Do They Make You Feel Different?

Both kinds of opioids bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. Those are the pain receptors, the reward receptors, and the receptors that control addictive behavior. Although each drug has a variation in its effects, ultimately, the feeling is quite similar. 

When someone used opioids or opiates, they’re looking to alleviate pain. These drugs temporarily lessen pain and often induce a euphoric, calm feeling. These feelings are temporary and only worsen your naturally existing condition.

Although these drugs can be prescribed and taken carefully, misuse is a severe risk. It’s easy to fall into toxic drug habits without even realizing you’re doing so. Navigating the differences between opioids and opiates will help to educate you and prevent addiction.

Symptoms of Opioid and Opiate Addiction

Although it’s important to understand the differences between opiate and opioid addiction, the signs, and symptoms of addiction are essentially the same. To reiterate, there will be variations within each drug and frequency of use. 

There are many signs one can look out for when it comes to opiate and opioid addiction. Spotting these symptoms early on can prevent fatal consequences and overdose. Do not feel ashamed if you notice these symptoms within yourself. 

Being honest with yourself is the first step in recovery. We’re telling you it’s okay to find yourself in a position where you realize that you’re not okay. What’s important is recognizing the warning signs and taking that first step on the road to recovery. 

The following symptoms are the most common:

Mood Symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Temporary euphoric mood 
  • Irritability

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Forging prescriptions for opiates
  • Stealing narcotics from friends and family
  • Robbing pharmacies and other medication dispensaries
  • Not fulfilling important obligations/responsibilities
  • Decreased performance in your career or school
  • Preoccupation with obtaining, using, and recovering from the usage of opiates
  • Lying to others to cover the amount of drug taken
  • Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities
  • Social isolation
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy

Physical Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sedation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures

Psychological symptoms:

  • Addiction
  • Memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening of mental health
  • A decrease in emotional well-being
  • Prevalent symptoms of mental illness

Symptoms of Opioid and Opiate Overdose

An overdose of opioids or opiate calls for immediate emergency medical treatment. If you or someone you love has overdosed on opioids, call 911 immediately. Recognizing these symptoms as soon as possible is key to preventing a fatal overdose.

Symptoms of an overdose include:

  • unresponsive (can’t wake)
  • slow, erratic (irregular) breathing, or no breathing at all
  • slow, erratic pulse, or no pulse
  • vomiting
  • loss of consciousness (passing out)
  • constricted (small) pupils

Don’t wait any longer to get help. You or a loved one can begin to change your life today.

Beginning Treatment for Opioid and Opiate Addiction

We like to emphasize that the treatment of each individual is unique. Depending on their circumstances and needs, the program will vary in structure. However, at the core, our treatment programs all provide the same quality care. 

Treatment begins with an assessment. The goal of the assessment is to gain a thorough understanding of the patient. This will help our staff develop a treatment plan that best matches the patient’s needs. One of our clinicians will ask questions to understand nearly every part of a patient’s life. 

Common assessment questions include: 

  • How long has someone been using drugs? 
  • What other medications are being taken? 
  • Are there special social or financial circumstances or needs? • Is there a family history of addiction?
  • Are there other mental or chronic health problems? 

After the assessment, a complete physical examination of the individual is next. This allows our medical staff to understand what current state the patient is at. This includes finding other common conditions (physical or mental) related to addiction, which may alter the treatment program given to the patient.

Types of Opiate and Opioid Addiction Treatment

The severity and length of your opioid or opiate addiction will influence what kind of treatment program will work best. Treatment options may include medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, or a level somewhere in between, such as partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient.

You’ll work together with our dedicated staff to find the best treatment for your needs. Keep reading to learn more about the different kinds of treatment for opioid and opiate addiction.

Inpatient Rehab/Residential Treatment for Opiate and Opioid Addiction

Severe addictions typically call for inpatient (residential) rehab. This type of treatment offers the highest level of care with around-the-clock care. The patient will reside at the facility following a structured program.

Our treatment programs are far more than just therapy and medical care. We’ll incorporate less traditional approaches, such as holistic care and music therapy. We believe in treating the patient as a whole, not just the addiction. 

If you have trouble controlling the intense cravings for opiates or opioids, residential treatment can make a huge difference. Inpatient rehab teaches our patients to live without opiate or opioid drugs, developing strong coping mechanisms and recovery skills through individual and 12-step group programs.

Our residential treatment for opioid or opiate addiction may include:

    • 24-hour nursing supervision
    • Co-occurring disorders treatment
    • Medication management, as necessary
    • Nutritionally balanced meals 
    • Individual therapy with an addiction counselor
    • Group or 12-step therapy 
    • Family therapy, as needed
    • Alternative therapy options, such as music therapy and holistic care
    • Aftercare and discharge planning, such as sober living homes

The minimum length of an inpatient program is 28 days, although patients generally choose more extended programs. Inpatient rehab allows people to commit to their well-being and good physical and mental health, relationships, finances, and more. We recommend you to stick with us from the beginning of the journey through the end, from detox to aftercare. 

Opioid and Opiate Addiction Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment will offer the same high-quality care as residential treatment. The main difference is the flexibility of the schedule. Patients are not required to live at the facility during treatment.

Outpatient rehab is typically best suited for those that have completed higher levels of care (detox, inpatient, or partial hospitalization). An outpatient program can be a great help when it comes to transitioning back into your regular life.

Outpatient treatment allows our patients to attend to family and job responsibilities while still receiving treatment. People in outpatient rehab programs can learn valuable skills for sobriety while going back to school or work.

Our structured outpatient treatment programs involve regular meetings with an addiction professional and include counseling and therapy sessions. Outpatient treatment generally incorporates: 

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Psychiatric counseling for those with anxiety, depression and other co-occurring disorders
  • Nutritional counseling

Call Us Today

Drug addiction, particularly opiate and opioid addiction, is very dangerous. Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling, we’d be honored to be a part of your recovery journey. With the right treatment program, recovery is possible.

Not only recovery but a more fulfilling and happier life is the goal at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Call us at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.