How Can We Treat the Opioid Epidemic?

There’s a decent chance that you or someone you know have heard in the media about the nation’s growing opioid epidemic. In truth, this isn’t something that’s suddenly appeared, but rather, the opioid crisis has built up for a long time, and it is built on the lives of many people who have become trapped by this highly addictive variety of drug, both in its legal and illegal forms.


What They Are

Opioids actually cover a sizable number of drugs, but what they are in essence are chemicals that act on the opioid receptors in the brain. These includes naturally occurring chemicals derived from the opium poppy, including the epinonimous drug opium, as well as morphine and heroin. It also covers artificially produced drugs synthesized to have effects like morphine, such as oxycodone and fentanyl. Some of these chemicals are available as prescription drugs, which worsened the problem with America’s growing reliance on these drugs.



While the chemicals involved are slightly different, heroin treatment and oxycodone treatment will often turn out similar, just more or less dramatic. Often times it is necessary to go through a medical rehab in order to wean the body off of its dependence and ensure recovery. Opioids generally will have similar withdrawal symptoms, and they can be very dangerous if left unsupervised. Medical staff can provide medicines that can prevent seizures and convulsions which would otherwise endanger the addict’s life.


Rehab Options

There are both beds for supervised medical rehab and options for part time rehab. Generally, it is safest to take a bed at a rehab clinic, but due to waitlists or other personal realities, that might not be doable. However, even after the detoxification is complete, rehab clinics still have great resources for patients, such as psychotherapy partners and support group meetings to help the recovering addict settle back into a life without opioids.


If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, contact us today. .


How Painkillers Led to Widespread Heroin Addiction

Poorly Regulated and Misunderstood

In some way or another, nearly everyone has heard about the “opioid epidemic” and how it has been plaguing our nation over the last decade. However, although it is often portrayed as individuals abusing their painkillers, the widespread addiction actually has roots in issues that actually places the blame squarely where it belongs – on the government and big pharmaceutical companies.

When it was time for the Food and Drug Administration to do its job and test each opioid painkiller  as they hit the market, they apparently just trusted whatever the medicine’s manufacturer said rather than actually putting in due diligence. Because of this, it became “common knowledge” that opioids were not addictive. While we know the (obvious) truth of these dangerous drugs now, before everyone understood how addictive opioids could really be, doctors prescribed them at rates that would now be deemed highly irresponsible.

Because of that, millions of people around the United States are now addicted to some opioid or another, and many are in life-or-death battles with their addictions.


Going From Painkillers to Heroin

Where things get really dangerous with the opioid epidemic is that many addicts end up turning to heroin. As drastic of a choice this might seem, it is usually done to save money rather than just get a stronger high as most people assume. In fact, many medicinal opioids are actually much stronger than heroin. Still, where pharmaceutical opioids start at around $40, give or take a few, to get a day’s worth of drugs in, heroin is closer to $5. People have turned to heroin in large numbers simply to afford their addiction.


If you or a loved one is developing or has developed an addiction to prescription opioids or heroin, get the help you need right away by calling us today at (866) 319-6126 or send us a message online. Don’t wait until it’s too late.


America’s Addiction to Opioids – It’s Not Your Doctor’s Fault

Our Country’s History with Opioids

The United States has a very long and complicated history of opioid use that goes back much further than most people would expect or assume. In fact, its use goes back even further than even the founding of the US – laudanum (opium mixed with alcohol) was used as far back as the 1500s. Regarding this country, we have been using opioids since at least as far back as the early 1800s, where morphine was used as a painkiller during the Civil War.

Because of the intense addictiveness of morphine, research was conducted during the 1800s to find an alternative opium-derived painkiller. From that research, heroin ended up being created in 1874, which actually led to even more widespread use and addiction. This ended up being a pattern with opiates, which led to stronger and stronger drugs.


A Very Real Epidemic

With many opioids developed from opium through the last two centuries, it wasn’t until very recently that opioid addiction became a particularly widespread problem thanks to synthetic opioids, which first hit the market in 1984 as Vicodin. Like the way and why new opiates were created, these synthetic narcotics continuously led to even more powerful and dangerous opioid pharmaceuticals.

However, many of those medicines were believed to be non-habit forming, much less addictive. At least that’s what specialists (hired by the pharmaceutical companies, of course) said. Even the FDA was complicit in a number of these claims. Because of what they were told, many doctors believed these new opioids weren’t addictive and were told by their superiors to prescribe and continue prescribing these drugs with about as much thought as they put into giving aspirin. That being said, it’s easy to point fingers at our doctors as the culprit, but it was the manufacturers and the government who are really to blame for your addiction.

It wasn’t until around the mid-2000s that opioids were recognized as being a very serious problem in the US, and addiction -or at least reported cases of it- continues to rise all around the country.


There’s Hope – Opioid Addiction is Treatable

Thankfully, opioids are like many other addictive substances in that their addiction is treatable. However, the withdrawal symptoms and the severe addictiveness of opioids make rehab the best way to end an addiction and keep people from returning to the drugs.

To start down your path to rehabilitation, give us a call or contact us online and we will be glad to answer any questions and help to finally get those drugs out of your system for good.

Any Drug Addiction can be Beat

No Drug is Impossible to Quit

When a substance roots itself in your or a family member’s life, the addiction can feel like it will last forever. Especially when it comes to some of the more addictive drugs, the irritability alone after not using some drugs for a few hours can make it seem like quitting the drug is an impossible task.


That’s not nearly the case.


We have seen all kinds of people with all kinds of addictions achieve sobriety at our Pompano Beach drug addiction treatment center. Some of the more addictive drugs we have helped patients overcome include:

  • Synthetic opioids
  • Heroin
  • MDMA (ecstasy, molly)
  • Crystal meth
  • Amphetamines
  • Crack
  • Cocaine
  • Benzodiazepines (benzos)
  • Alcohol


Common Signs of a Drug Addiction

If you are concerned that a spouse, child, sibling, or parent has developed a drug addiction, it can be hard to determine if it’s true or not. Still, there are a variety of symptoms that they may show that can help you better conclude if they need to go to rehab or another kind of drug addiction treatment. Keep an eye out for combinations of the following symptoms and behaviors:

  • Isolating themself
  • Build unhealthy relationships with others who show signs of addiction
  • Irrational behavior and angst after spending a long time with the family
  • Financial problems
  • Lapses in judgement
  • Responsibilities take a back seat

Note: even if someone shows all of these signs, that is not a guaranteed indication that they are addicted to drugs – these are provided to show common symptoms. There are no definitive symptoms of addiction other than frequent use and abuse of a substance.

Treat Drug Addiction in Pompano Beach

Should you determine that you or a family member would be best off going into rehab, we offer treatments and the tools needed to help quit any addictive drug.


To get the help that you or a loved one needs to quit a drug addiction for good, contact First Step Behavioral Health as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the stronger the addiction will become, which will only make detox and full rehabilitation that much more difficult.

Symptoms and Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Heroin vs Heroin-based Drugs

While heroin has a reputation of being one of the most addictive and powerful illegal street drugs in the world, there are a number of pharmaceutical medicines derived from it. And although heroin itself is especially well-known as being dangerous, some of those medically-approved pharmaceuticals are actually more addictive, more powerful, and more dangerous than heroin.

The medicines built from heroin and those that are synthetic heroin are referred to as opiates and opioids. Technically speaking, the difference between opiates and opioids is that opiates are directly created from the poppy plant. On the other hand, opioids are any substance that binds itself to the parts of the brain that are affected by opiates. This means that although every opiate is an opioid, not all opioids are opiates since opioids can and are often synthetically built by pharmaceutical companies. For example, heroin is itself an opiate but not an opioid.

Some of the drugs, medical or otherwise, include:

  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Opium

Though this list isn’t comprehensive to all opioids available, those listed above are some of the most addictive with particularly widespread cases of abuse, including in Pompano Beach, FL .


Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

The signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include:

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Itchiness
  • Financial problems
  • Pulling away from friends or family
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Drop in productivity
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Heart problems
  • More susceptible to infection
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems


Though the effects of heroin and it’s opioid counterparts are generally very similar, there are specific signs and symptoms that indicate heroin use specifically, these include:

  • Needle marks
  • Bruises on areas injections are common
  • Abscesses
  • Skin infections
  • Collapsed veins
  • Paraphernalia found together (combinations of spoons, foil, lighters, candles, needles, syringes, cotton balls, metal bottle caps, tie-offs, straw, rolling papers, pipe, small tubes)


Best Rehab Options for Heroin Addicts

If you or a family member has an addiction to heroin, or any opioid for that matter, should seek assistance through rehab as soon as possible. The addictiveness and the dangers of these drugs make them especially difficult to quit on one’s own.


1st Step Behavioral Health has the tools, resources, and experience to help fight and end a heroin addiction safely and in a way that is far less likely to lead to relapse. Contact us for yourself or for a loved one to get started right away.


End Your Opioid Addiction at a Pompano Rehab Center

An Epidemic of Epic Proportions

Though some people seem to scoff at the idea of a drug addiction epidemic spreading across the United States, opioid abuse and addiction affects more people than anyone would have ever imagined.


The spread of opioid painkillers is so wide, in fact, that practically everyone (who isn’t themselves addicted to opioids) personally knows someone who is addicted to these kinds of narcotic pharmaceuticals. Those who don’t think the epidemic is real are either in total denial of reality or someone in their life is trying hard to hide the addiction from them.


The opioid epidemic truly is a real thing happening across the country right now. As an issue it is serious enough that multiple presidents have talked about it and new legislation is being considered, drafted, and enacted to help everyone.


Don’t be Another Statistic

Looking at the country’s opioid problem as a whole is fairly easy to digest, oddly enough. It’s when you realize you or a loved one is addicted to these painkillers that it starts being difficult to accept.


Nevertheless, if you or a family member is addicted to one of these substances, it’s vital that you seek out a Pompano rehab center immediately. Not only do opioids have some particularly nasty symptoms when abused, more than one of them can lead to death. This includes

  • Delayed reflexes
    • Can cause dangerous falls and car crashes
  • Seizures
    • Total loss of control of the body momentarily
    • Falling full force without trying to stop the fall or protect face or neck
    • Easy to choke during an episode


Along with delayed reflexes and seizures is death that isn’t caused by anything other than abusing opioids. That means if you take too much, temporary symptoms might be bypassed completely and you may just end up dying. Yes, opioids really are that dangerous.


When you’re ready to talk to someone about the opioid addiction that’s snuck into your life through you or a family member, contact us right away. We’re here to support you and treat any of your addictions, and quitting opioids goes much better when you have a team on your side.


Prescription Opioid and Heroin Addiction in Pompano

Starting off with a notably lax regulation of opioids during the 1990s and combined with years of negligent testing (it is unclear whether the tests were done poorly on purpose to increase usage), the United States has seen an explosive increase in opiate consumption over the last two decades. Pharmaceutical drugs like especially when it comes to heroin addiction in Pompano.


The Rise of Narcotic Pharmaceuticals

During the 90s and early 2000s, if a patient reported any kind of pain at all, most doctors would just prescribe a veritable never ending supply of some opioid or another. Over time, these patients grew dependent on their prescribed opioids, which led to many patients exaggerating or making up pain just to keep getting their preferred narcotic medications.


Once doctors and medical professionals finally realized that those medications were actually incredibly addictive -and downright dangerous for many users-, the medical community started pushing to add regulations to the way opioids get prescribed. Some doctors would only prescribe an opioid for pain relief if the patient was going through intense physical trauma, otherwise people would have to rely on the likes of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.


A Cheap Alternative to Pharmaceuticals

As patients started to see their number of pills dwindle into nothing and new prescriptions being more and more unlikely, millions of people around the country turned to illicit sources to keep up with their opiate consumption. Many of these people looked for -and found- new ways to get their hands on the same opioids they had been prescribed for years on end.


Conversely, there are many opioid addicts who just can’t get their hands on their preferred pharmaceutical medicines, but that means they are left craving something that seems impossible to get. It’s situations like that when people start doing desperate things. And specific to the opioid epidemic, more people than ever before use and are addicted to heroin.


If you or a loved one is living with an opioid addiction, contact NSN Tdoayds

Epidemic leads to Drug Rehab Spike in Pompano FL

If you have been paying attention to the news over the last couple of years, there is a good chance that you have heard about the growing number of cases of opioid addiction and death from opioid abuse that has been plaguing the nation. And though Pompano Beach, FL, is an incredible place to live, the city has also been heavily impacted by this wave of opioid addiction. Because of the addictiveness and danger of opioids, there has been a huge surge in the number of people going to Pompano drug rehab centers.


The Opioid Crisis

It might be easy to hear that news and believe the media is overreacting (as it so often does – can you recall the last time a news channel didn’t have “breaking news” scrawled across the bottom?), but the opioid crisis truly is at critical levels. In fact, over 100 people die every day because of these narcotic pharmaceutical drugs. Rehab centers in Pompano Beach, FL, are receiving more and more patients every day because of opioid drugs including but not limited to the following:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone


How This Became an Epidemic

While placing blame on doctors for prescribing so many opioid drugs in the first place, they are not to blame for how huge this issue has become. Pompano drug rehab programs are seeing this huge spike in opioid addictions because pharmaceutical companies either lied to doctors or misled them. If not one of those, then the drug companies (and our Food and Drug Administration) neglected to test opioids properly before they were released to the public.


One of these situations has to be the truth because in the late ‘90s, doctors were told that opioid painkillers were in no way addictive. Obviously we know better now, but back then and into the 2000s, doctors were prescribing opioids for practically any kind of pain that their patients had, even to many children. They just didn’t know any better at the time.


Once the addictiveness of these medicines became understood, the medical community began limiting the amount of opioids they would prescribe. Many patients who had been taking opioids for pain relief over a long period of time suddenly saw access to their medicines vanish, but their addictions were too powerful by then. They started turning to other sources to satiate these addictions and would simply purchase opioids on the black market. And when pharmaceutical narcotics weren’t available, many of these people turned to one of the most notorious illegal drugs in America: heroin.


Pompano Drug Rehab

Drug rehab centers in Pompano Beach, FL, like 1st Step are well equipped to help addicts and their families through these difficult times. While there has been a huge spike in the number of patients that these facilities are receiving, the drug rehab centers Pompano Beach, FL, has available have taken steps to ensure that there is enough room for everyone who needs treatment.


If you are addicted to opioid painkillers or you suspect a family member has an issue with opioids, contact a Pompano drug rehab center as soon as possible.


A man wonders, "What are opioids?"

What are Opioids?

With opioid use at an all-time high, many now consider the problem an epidemic. What are opioids and why are they so dangerous? Learning more about their physical and psychological effects and addictive potential will help you avoid them.

What are Opioids?

Essentially, opioids are any substance that binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. This definition includes synthetic or partially-synthetic substances, as well as those naturally derived from the poppy plant. Therefore, experts consider opiates like heroin and morphine opioids as well.

Furthermore, many common opioids have tremendous pain-relieving properties and are therefore available in prescription form. Unfortunately, a dependency can occur just as easily when taking prescription medications as when taking street drugs. NBC News reports that 1/3 of all Americans had an opioid prescription in 2015. Unfortunately, this is another reason why prescription drug addiction is so high today.

Signs of Dependency

Aside from knowing the opioid definition, you should be aware of the common signs of dependency as well. For example, when people continue using prescriptions longer than necessary, they may be dependent on them. For instance, an individual may fully recover from surgery, but continue taking prescription medications for pain.

Additionally, doctor shopping is a common indicator of prescription drug dependence as well. This involves seeing multiple physicians to obtain more than one prescription. An individual with addiction might also frequent the emergency room with unusual complaints that seem to arise from nowhere.

Over time, people build a tolerance to opioids. When this happens, they require more of their drug of choice to achieve similar effects. Many then begin crushing pills or injecting powder to intensify the results.

Some users alternate between legal and illegal opioids. As such, it’s not uncommon for people to spend more time searching for drug dealers as dependency worsens.

Successful Programs for Conquering Opioid Addiction

Overcoming an opioid addiction is tough. However, 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida offers the following programs to help you through the process:

Dual diagnosis treatment
Family counseling
• Music and art therapy
Holistic therapy

The staff at 1st Step Behavioral Health believes family support and talk therapy go a long way helping many people reach lasting sobriety. Overall, our focus is on helping you uncover the root of your drug use and offer solutions for your unique needs. Only then can you make life-changing habits to ensure your successful recovery.

Seek Treatment Today

Now that we’ve answered, “What are Opioids?” don’t let them control your life. The best way to remain sober is by visiting a quality rehab facility like 1st Step Behavioral Health. Contact us today at (866) 319-6126. It’s never too late to get the help you need.

How Opioid Addiction Is Becoming a New Epidemic

In 2014, more people died from a drug overdose than in any year on record in the United States. Out of these deaths, a majority occurred because of an opioid addiction. From 2000 to 2014, a total of half a million people died from drug-related causes. Part of this is due to easy access to prescription drugs.

Opioid Addiction Changes From Prescription Drugs to Heroin

For years, OxyContin was one of the most popular ways for opioid-addicted individuals to get high. The pills would be crushed and snorted for an increased euphoria. In 2010, manufacturers of OxyContin changed the drug’s formula so that it would be harder to crush and abuse. After the deterrent was added, the number of OxyContin abusers dropped from 35.6% to 12.8%.

Unfortunately, the drug changes didn’t stop opioid addiction. Instead, many individuals switched to other medications like Percocet or illegal street drugs like heroin. While Percocet is safe when used according to the prescription, it can become addictive. By 2016, the CDC and FDA announced that they were going to take steps to prevent opioid abuse. Currently, an estimated 26% of patients using opioids are believed to have an addiction.

Heroin and Opioid Addiction

From 2002 to 2013, heroin use rose among young adults. Out of new heroin users, 75% abused prescription opioids before switching to heroin. This change is caused by the heroin’s lower price and ready availability. In addition, the purity of heroin available in the United States has increased in recent years.

Heroin has remained a problem along the Southwest border. From 2000 to 2009, the Drug Enforcement Agency seized 500 kilograms of heroin a year. By 2013, this number increased to 2,196 kilograms a year. This rise in drug trafficking was matched by an increase in heroin deaths. From 2010 to 2014 heroin deaths tripled. In 2014, there were 10,574 heroin deaths in the country. For synthetic opioids, fatalities increased from 3,105 in 2013 to 5,544 fatalities in 2014.

Getting Help With an Opioid Addiction

Fortunately, there are options available for addicted individuals who need help. Chemical dependency centers offer specialized programs for treating opioid abuse. At these treatment centers, patients can detox from the drug and safely go through the withdrawal process. Once the initial detox is complete, patients enter the rehab part of the program. During this stage, treatment centers use therapy options like art therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help with recovery.

No one deserves to live with an addiction. Over time, an addiction can change every part of your life. If you or a loved one needs help with an addiction, professional rehab is the key to treating your addiction. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health today at (866) 319-6126 to get help.