Do Addicts Really Recover?

In my line of work as addiction professional, I’m often asked “Do people with addiction get better?” The question may sound simple but it’s not really that simple. There are so many facets to addiction. The chemicals are but one aspect. There also are the addict’s personality attributes, attitudes, lifestyle, and values – all contributing and feeding the addiction syndrome. For most people, the obsession by the addict to consume chemicals is the most salient aspect of addiction. This becomes their focus of attention when asking the question, “Do addicts really recover?” Meaning can they give up drugs and become “normal” people again?

After a closer look at addiction, one begins to realize that the chemical abuse is intimately tied to the person’s mental health, lifestyle, and personal values. For example, it is hard to ignore an addict’s criminal activities related to supporting his drug habit or an alcoholic’s scheming and manipulating behavior to hide his alcoholism when the addicted or alcoholic is trying to pursue “recovery.” Can people “recover” from addiction and still carry on with these criminal or anti-social inclinations? What are the chances of a recovering person remaining abstinent while continuing to sell drugs or maintaining his connection with friends who are involved in criminal activities? Can a recovering alcoholic remain sober while bar-tending?

My point is that there is a “quality of life” a recovering addict or alcoholic must maintain to achieve a certain level of healthy living. For some this may mean pursuing counseling or following medication regime to control psychiatric symptoms. For others, a complete lifestyle change may be necessary to re-align personal priorities and internalize pro-social values. With addiction, old associations — people, places, and things – can easily trigger a relapse to old “bad habits.” There is a common belief among recovering persons that “picking-up” drugs or any substances is the last step in the relapse process. Long before the actual substance use, the person has already relapsed in his thinking – reflected in noticeable changes in attitude, values, and over-all behavior.

To go back to the original question: “Do addicts really recover?” The answer is a relative yes. For some who consider their addiction as a disorder of the whole person and take a holistic view of recovery, they aspire more than giving up the chemicals to include a reinvention of themselves, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Others are content with minimizing the harmful effects of illicit drug use but still resort to alcohol use. Still others give up drugs but continue to have dysfunctional patterns of coping or residual manifestations of personality disorders.

Do Addicts Really Recover?
Dr. Fernando B. Perfas

Strong Pain Reliever Can Lead to Abuse and Addiction

Although OxyContin is a major weapon against chronic or severe pain, its use can lead to addiction and drug abuse. The synthetic opioid works in the body much like morphine. An unfortunate similarity is that OxyContin can prove highly addictive.

OxyContin, known as oxycodone when given as a generic drug, is a controlled substance. Doctors who prescribe it to relieve pain want their patients to keep a close eye on their intake. OxyContin abuse has increased dramatically in recent times in spite increased medical and legal scrutiny.

Two years ago the National Institute on Drug Abuse studied American high school students. The NIDA reported that greater than five percent of twelfth graders abused OxyContin, taking it without prescription. OxyContin abusers are not limited to the young; its use continues throughout all parts of the population.

Doctors have become more cautious about prescribing strong pain relievers. They must walk a fine line between appropriate prescribing and holding back from those caught in the web of abuse. Addiction can creep up on people, taking them by surprise.

Some people may be on the drug for months or years before they realize they have crossed the line into addiction. Others may not be able to admit that they have a problem. They may try to convince themselves and others that they are only occasional drug users who take OxyContin only when they need to relax.

It is easy to convince oneself that drug abuse is not in play when one is actually addicted. Some people are just as good at convincing themselves as they are at convincing others that they do not have a problem. For awhile at least they maintain the illusion that they choose when they take OxyContin, that the drug does not have control of them.

Signs of OxyContin addiction can be observed so that addicts themselves as well as loved ones can become aware of growing trouble. Having to take more OxyContin for the same results is one warning sign. If people get into legal trouble or come close to a legal problem because of drug use, then that should be taken as a signal.

Drug use will sometimes replace other activities in a person’s life. When taking drugs becomes more important than other people other events, then abuse should be suspected. Dependency on drugs for pleasure is not a good sign.

For an addict, withdrawal symptoms will arise when the drug dose gets reduced or eliminated. Getting over an addiction is often not a simple matter of quitting. Dependency makes leaving the drug behind a difficult matter.

In spite of promises to themselves and loved ones, OxyContin addicts face a battle in getting over their drug dependency. Another sign of addiction is the arrival of withdrawal symptoms when the user skips taking the drug. Withdrawal itself can scare drug users back into the vicious cycle of abuse.

One symptom of OxyContin addiction is the experience of blackouts. Forgetting events that the drug taker has lived through or knowing that he or she has passed out can signal addiction. Loved ones calling attention to the drug users’ blackouts can help the user ultimately face the addiction.

Abuse of OxyContin destroys people’s emotional and physical well-being. Depression and social alienation can set in, ruining the drug abuser’s sense of self. Insomnia or a major increase in the need for sleep may haunt the lives of addicts.

Other signs of a drug abuse problem include changed eating habits that result in sudden weight loss or weight gain. Slurred speech and lack of coordination may set in when people step over the line into drug abuse. OxyContin is an important medicine for the treatment of pain, but users need to know that it can lead to drug abuse.

Opiate Addiction and Types of Treatment Provided

Suboxone has produced the least amount of acclaim for drug addiction treatment, yet it is the one drug that is widely dispensed by physicians.

If you are taking a prescription drug right now, chances are you are taking it incorrectly. Misuse is a major health problem in the United States. The U.S. Government estimates approximately 11 Million Americans are dependent on drugs, but there are more addicts than drug centers. A large percentage of addicts seeking help face long waiting lists and thus become hesitant to start a program once their name surfaces to the top of the list. Almost 70 percent of people face a waiting list for longer than thirty days.

Those dependent on prescription drugs have a mind-set that is different from what addiction-free individuals believe. Addicts are resistant to letting go of their drugs. They typically justify their drug use because for many, they have gotten the drugs legitimately, from their doctor. Some addicts do not realize they are prone to addiction, and they can become hooked on a legal drug. Equally unfortunate is the addict who finally realizes they require help, and then seek help only to be placed on a waiting list. In the end, far too many addicts go untreated. It would seem the odds are against addiction treatment, but Suboxone relieves this problem since the guidelines to prescribe the drug is more relaxed and offer greater flexibility.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone contains two active substances, buprenorphine and naloxone, both used to treat dependence on opioid drugs. The cost of treatment depends on the dose used and the frequency of services. This cost is higher than that of methadone treatment when the two drugs are served daily; however, there is greater flexibility in prescribing Suboxone.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone binds to opioid receptors, and thus produces welcoming effects of euphoria, and a secure comforting feeling, although at much lower levels than those addicts would of total opioid agonists such as methadone. The effects of these agonists are sufficient to allow addicts to stop the misuse of opiates, without encountering withdrawal symptoms.

The Benefits of Suboxone

· Less risk of respiratory problems
· Lower risk of overdose
· The withdrawal symptoms are less profound than when using methadone to combat addiction
· Euphoric symptoms occur less

Adverse Effects of Suboxone

The side effects of Suboxone mainly occur when too much of the drug is taken. The symptoms are similar to the side effects of opiates:

· Headache
· Sick
· Constipation (delayed bowel function)
· Poor sleep
· Sleepy
· Drowsiness
· Dizzy
· Sweaty
· Breathing difficulties (always contact a doctor)
· Dry mouth (brushing your teeth regularly and extra good care of your teeth)
· Slight pain is felt with less risk of causing more inflammation or untreated injuries
· Psychological problems (hallucinations, nightmares, depression) treatment should be coordinated with psychologist
· Itchy rash (contact your physician in connection with possible allergic reaction)
· Sleep apnea (consult a physician)
· Difficult to urinate (call a physician)

Every drug has an adverse effect, yet the result of using Suboxone is positive.

Opiate Addiction: Tips for Treatment

Methadone is a particularly addictive drug, but is often used in the treatment of heroin addiction. Also known as Symoron, Dolphine, Amidone and Methadose, Methadone belongs to the opioid family of drugs. This prescription drug is often prescribed to treat the pain and withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin addiction. For a person trying to get off heroin, their doctor may prescribe this drug to help them cope while their body experiences living without the drug in its system. This not only helps make it easier for an addict to cope while they are dealing with intense withdrawal symptoms from stopping, but also can prevent serious medical issues such as heart attack and stroke.

Methadone is the first step of treatment for many addicts. It gives them the chance to get off the drugs without having withdrawal symptoms so extreme that they can barely function. For serious addicts, these withdrawal symptoms can last for months, even longer. For some people, they will feel urges for the rest of their life. It is definitely not easy to overcome a drug addiction, but this is a necessary process for someone hooked on drugs who wants to get clean. Methadone can help you get your life back, so if this is something you’re interested in, you should talk to your doctor to get more details. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and get you a prescription if you are thought to be a good candidate for the drug.

The detox process is essential for anyone trying to get off heroin. Be prepared for serious withdrawal symptoms, including anything from muscle aches, anxiety and muscle tension to headaches, nausea and agitation. You may feel edgy, moody and miserable, you may notice that you’re sweating or even feel almost feverish. These are all normal, expected symptoms. Physical and emotional symptoms are expected, especially with a drug like heroin. These symptoms are occurring because you are stopping the drugs after heavy and prolonged use, forcing your body to become dependent without the use of the drugs.

Keep in mind that you may have to take additional medication along with the Methadone drug, especially if you notice that you are experiencing very intense symptoms. You may be placed on long-term maintenance, which means you could be taking Methadone for the long-term or even for the rest of your life, if your doctor feels it is helpful for your recovery. You need to stay in close contact with your doctor to properly monitor your progress. They can ensure there are no potential complications arising as a result of your treatment, such as aspiration or dehydration.

The most important thing is that after you go through treatment, once you have gotten yourself on the right track and aren’t using anymore, that you do whatever it takes to stay off the drugs. The last thing you want is to end up back in the same situation you started, having to start all over from square one. Go through a support group or have regular sessions with a therapist, to have someone there to talk to and support you during this difficult time in your life. It always helps to have someone there who you can feel safe venting to, expressing your feelings and getting support from when you’re not feeling at your strongest.

Millions of people suffer from heroin addiction, and if you are one of those people, at least you know you have options. Methadone is an effective treatment for heroin addicts, offering many advantages to users as a means of treatment.

Importance of Alcohol Rehabilitation

Do you know that the last hope of alcohol addicts lies in rehabilitation centers? Alcohol rehabilitation is a recovery process that helps drug addicts return to their normal self and get incorporated into their families and the society.

The recovery process may at times be a painful one to both the patient and the relatives. This is why you need professional touch experts.

Research has shown that it takes several weeks for full recuperation from alcohol addiction. This period ranges between eight weeks to six months. However, the length of time it takes an individual to get healed depends on the gravity of addiction. In essence, when someone indulges in such drugs like as marijuana, cocaine, morphine, and even heroine, such a person will likely suffer the consequence.

Addiction is like a disease which inflicts more injury to the patient and refuses to go except it receives the desired treatment from alcohol rehabilitation professionals. For instance, drug causes the addict more hunger for the substance and at the same time induces abnormal behavior in the person.

Such behavior may include shop-lifting, arrest and detention of the culprit. When someone drives under the influence of alcohol, there is a high chance of fatal accident with resultant death.

Have you taken time to consider the impact of addiction on children? The behaviors of children who are trained by drug-addicted parents are violent and chaotic. Their lives too are known to be very unproductive, insecure and unpredictable.

The ultimate alternative is for those who have alcohol addiction to seek alcohol rehabilitation centers where proper care will be ensured.

In these rehabilitation centers, there are several professionals who manage and care for patients. Here, the mental and other health complications of addiction are treated.

Several alcohol rehabilitation programs abound. These programs are capable of restoring the mental normalcy of the patient. In the rehabilitation centers, there are in- and out-patient sections. In the out-patient section, the patient only visits the doctor for attention usually in the morning and leaves for his home at a later part of the day. This type of program has been adjudged to be the best as it allows the patient and his relatives enough time and opportunity for other activities such as work while keeping time for his treatment.

On the other hand, the residential alcohol rehabilitation is basically for patients with serious case. This is a situation where patients are kept in-house with doctors. Treatments are given at all times to monitor improvement. Often, it is advised that people in such category should seek immediate help.