Tag Archives: Opioid Addiction

Opioid and Benzodiazepine Abuse: Two Dangerous Drugs are Often Mixed

Both opioids and benzodiazepines are dangerous drugs in themselves, but a deadly cocktail is mixed when these two drugs are taken together. Even though the dangers of combining these two drugs are extreme, most recreational users do not understand just how dangerous it can be to take both drugs at the same time.

The Dangers of Opioids: Why are Heroin and Prescription Painkillers like Oxycontin so Deadly? 

The opioid addiction crisis that has swept across the United States in the past 20+ years, and increased exponentially starting in 2007, has brought more attention to the dangers of opioids, but many in the younger generation are still oblivious to the very real dangers.

Are Opioids Narcotics? 

Opioids are drugs in the narcotic class that include heroin, oxycodone, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Opium, fentanyl, and morphine. In a clinical setting, they are used to treat chronic pain, and many will receive a short-term prescription for opioids following surgeries or injuries such as broken bones. The drugs are also highly addictive, which means that long-term use should be reserved only for cases where the quality of life is severely decreased without the medication.

Opioid Overdose, Hypoxia, and Death 

What makes opioids so deadly is the fact that they suppress breathing function. The more opioids a person has in their system, the more the breathing is suppressed. In cases of overdose, the breathing suppression is so great that breathing stops completely. The body literally forgets to breathe – this leads to lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia), which quickly leads to brain damage and death.

In many of the cases involving opioid overdose, the individual falls asleep or loses consciousness. With the brain not able to make the conscious decision to breathe, breathing becomes shallower and shallower until the body stops breathing altogether.

How Benzodiazepines Increase the Dangers of Opioids 

Mixing and two or more drugs will always increase the dangers of those individual drugs, but when it comes to mixing benzos and opioids, the dangers are far greater. We have already established that the primary concern with opioid overdose is that the individual falls asleep or passes out – leading to the suppressed breathing function. When benzodiazepines are in the body, the likelihood of passing out or falling asleep is greatly increased.

Benzodiazepines are primarily used for their main effects: general anesthesia, muscle relaxation, drowsiness, and sleepiness. These effects may help with symptoms of anxiety or sleeplessness, but are downright dangerous for anyone experiencing suppressed breathing function.

Benzodiazepines and Opioids Prescribed Together 

In some cases, both types of drugs may be prescribed to a person. However, doctors and pharmacists will advise not to take the two together. Because so many people have overdosed on taking the two drugs in a relatively short period of time, doctors are reconsidering prescribing the two at the same time and checking prescription drug monitoring systems before prescribing.

However, in some cases, the two drugs need to be prescribed for two separate medical issues at the same time. In these cases, doctors warn about the risk of overdose and advise patients to look closely at the half-lives of both and to ensure sufficient time between dosages.

Recreationally Using Benzodiazepines and Opioids Together 

The real concern of mixing these two drugs comes to those who have not been prescribed one or the other, but are using the drugs recreationally. All you have to do is look online in forums and on social media to see the extent of the problem among today’s youth. Kids as young as 13 are regularly taking both opioids and benzodiazepines to get high. Besides the fact that both are some of the most addictive medications available, both have the very real danger of causing overdoses.

Today’s younger generation isn’t just taking a few pills here and there either, they are taking handfuls of pills and mixing them together to achieve an “even greater high.” Even worse, some that have found themselves addicted to opioids have realized that benzodiazepines are often used during medically assisted detox for opioids. The danger here is that many attempts to detox themselves from opioids by taking benzodiazepines. This should never be attempted, and detox efforts should be left to the professionals.

Can You Be Addicted to Opioids and Benzodiazepines at the Same Time

Yes, it is possible to develop an addiction to both opioids and benzodiazepines at the same time. Polydrug use like this is extremely risky, not only due to the risk of overdose, but because withdrawals from both drugs can be life-threatening. It is extremely important to get yourself or your loved one into medical detox to begin detoxing from both benzodiazepines and opioids as soon as possible.

Addiction Treatment for Opioids and Benzodiazepine Abuse

We cannot stress the dangers of opioids and benzodiazepine abuse enough. With an addiction to opioids or with an addiction to benzodiazepines, the risk of overdose and death is very high. However, if someone is mixing the two or are addicted to both, that person is a ticking time bomb. You cannot wait to get someone in this situation helps. You need to perform an intervention immediately, set a plan for recovery, and get them into detox as soon as possible.

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Drug Overdose Crisis Growing in Colorado

The drug overdose crisis is one of the biggest threats the United States faces, and the state of Colorado is no exception to this devastating trend. In 2016, more than 900 people died of drug overdoses in Colorado, which is 300 people more than the number of deaths in auto accidents in the state that year.

Preliminary statistics indicate the 2017 overdose death total will increase in Colorado as well. Experts say pharmaceutical opioids are the cause of about two-thirds of overdose deaths. These include oxycodone, morphine, codeine and Percocet. The remaining third of overdose deaths are from heroin. 

While the Denver and Colorado Springs areas saw more than 100 deaths each due to heroin and opioid overdoses, some of the least-populated areas in the state also endured a disheartening number of overdose-related deaths. These are some of the key findings in the Colorado Health Institute’s recent report, “Death by Drugs: Colorado at Record High.”

Opioid Deaths Rising in Colorado 

Heroin- and opioid-related deaths rose at a rapid pace during the last few years. The Colorado Department of Public Health reported that deaths caused by heroin in Denver have shot up a whopping 933 percent since 2002. The figures also indicate a 759 percent increase in heroin-related deaths from 2001 to 2016 in Colorado overall. Further findings indicate other opioid related-deaths went up 128 percent during the last 15 years.

The 912 deaths in 2016 indicate 16.1 heroin- and opioid-related overdose deaths per 100,000 residents of Colorado. This is an 83 percent increase from the 2001 rate.

Colorado Fatal Drug Overdoses by County

For 2016, the 16.1 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents rate is only slightly higher than the state rate in 2014 and 2015, and it is admittedly lower than the national average of 19.8 drug fatalities per 100,000 residents that year.

Still, these numbers offer little comfort when considering the rate of fatalities within Colorado by county. In fact, when taking a closer look at the death rate resulting from drug overdoses by county, the underlying increase in state overdose fatalities becomes even more apparent.

In El Paso County, 141 people died in 2016 because of drug overdoses, while Denver County saw a similar number (138 overdose-induced deaths). While the numbers are lower in other Colorado counties, this is only because the total number of residents is smaller when compared to more-populated regions.

The fatality rates in smaller counties are remarkably higher than those in populated places when measured per resident. For example, in Huerfano County, there were only six reported deaths because of drug overdoses in 2016, but since the population is 6,700. That means the death rate for this county is an unsettling 152.6 per 100,000 residents.

Below, we have formed two brief lists to provide a glimpse into the extent of the issue within each county and the state of Colorado as a whole. The lists feature the four Colorado counties with the largest numbers of fatal drug overdoses and the four with the highest death rates for 2016.

Colorado Counties with the Largest Numbers of Overdose Deaths in 2016 

  1. El Paso County experienced 141 overdose deaths. With a population of 690,207 residents, the county’s overdose fatality rate for the year was 20.4.
  2. Denver County saw 138 deaths because of drug overdoses. Maintaining a population of 693,292, the county’s death rate was 19.2.
  3. Adams County sustained a total number of 92 deaths. With a population of 497,673 residents, the overdose death rate was 18.6.
  4. Jefferson County‘s population of 571,711 saw 91 overdose fatalities, marking a death rate of 16.4.

Colorado Counties with the Highest Overdose Death Rates in 2016 

  1. Huerfano County had 6,642 residents and saw six drug fatalities, but the death rate per resident was 152.6.
  2. With a populace of 6,497, Rio Blanco County had three deaths and saw a death rate of 52.2.
  3. Las Animas County had a population of 14,082 and saw eight deaths, indicating a death rate of 50.9.
  4. Montezuma County experienced 10 deaths among its population of 26,906. This makes its death rate 42.8.

Consequences of Addiction

As the statistics show, opioid and heroin are far more common than most people think. Not only has opioid use risen in the past decade, but accidental overdoses on prescription opioid painkillers have more than doubled since 1999.

Overdose fatalities and addiction cases are destroying the lives of individuals and families across Colorado and the United States. As the problem worsens, more people are seeking professional drug help in Colorado.

With a concentration on expanding awareness and creating innovative treatment options, Colorado addiction treatment centers and Colorado heroin rehabs continue to demonstrate their commitment to making the state a safer and healthier place. 

Finding Colorado Heroin Rehab Here or Out of State

To treat an addiction to heroin or opioids, it is imperative to address both the physical and emotional health of each individual. If the addiction started due to a prescription that was supposed to address symptoms of physical pain, it is crucial to help individuals find a way to deal with the pain without using these substances.

People struggling with addiction also must address any mental and emotional issues they have tried to bury with substance abuse. In many cases, individuals with physiological issues attempt to use drugs as a form of self-medication. Even if an individual does not have any psychological disorders, he or she  needs to find a way to change behaviors to live a fulfilling, healthy life.

Reflections Recovery Center is located in the neighboring state of Arizona and can help fill the void that Colorado treatment centers leave. With a reputation for helping individuals rebuild their lives and mend their relationships, Reflections is an attractive choice for a number of families who are seeking Colorado heroin addiction help.

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Oxymorphone (Opana) Addiction Withdrawal, Treatment for Detox and Rehab

Oxymorphone, marketed under the brand name Opana, is not the first drug that comes to mind when we think about the American opioid epidemic. However, Opana addiction remains a serious concern among addiction treatment specialists around the globe.

Treating an addiction to oxymorphone requires many of the same techniques used in treating addiction to other opioids. But because oxymorphone is such a powerful opiate, extra care should be taken during the recovery process to ensure long-term sobriety.

What Is Oxymorphone?

German scientists first developed oxymorphone in 1914, but the drug didn’t make it to the American market until 1959. Oxymorphone is prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, and many patients take it to treat feelings of anxiety prior to surgery.

Like other opioid painkillers, oxymorphone works by binding to opioid receptors throughout the body, which triggers the release of the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine. Oxymorphone is an estimated 10 times more powerful than morphine and available in both instant-release and extended-release forms.

Oxymorphone made headlines in 2017 when the FDA issued a request for the drug to be pulled from the U.S. market. This was the first such request in FDA history. By July of that same year, Endo International agreed to pull the extended-release version of Opana from the market, although generic versions of the drug are still available to this day.

Opana Addiction

Like other opioid drugs, oxymorphone has a high potential for abuse. Tolerance to the painkilling effects of oxymorphone develops rapidly with regular use. Over time, users will require more and more of the drug to treat their pain symptoms. Increasing the dose in this way frequently leads to dependence and abuse.

Signs that an oxymorphone user has developed an addiction to the drug include:

  • Drug-seeking behaviors such as “doctor shopping” and illegally purchasing the drug
  • Withdrawing from social activities that the user once enjoyed
  • Constricted or “pinpoint” pupils
  • Dramatic changes in mood that appear out of character
  • Engaging in risk-taking behaviors, such as driving under the influence
  • Trouble staying awake or falling asleep at inappropriate times

Oxymorphone Withdrawal Symptoms

Once a physical dependence on oxymorphone has emerged, attempts to quit using the medication can result in powerful withdrawal symptoms. Typical symptoms of oxymorphone withdrawal are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety, irritation and depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose

Severely addicted users who attempt to quit “cold turkey” are at risk for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as organ failure and suppressed respiration.

For addicted users, withdrawal symptoms typicality begin within 12 hours of the last dose and reach peak intensity during the second and third day after quitting. The total duration of acute withdrawal symptoms range from five to 10 days.

What Is Medically Assisted Detox?

Many opioid addicts find that the process of detoxification is too difficult to handle alone. Instead, they should enter a medically assisted detox program to safely break their drug dependence. Medically assisted detox is a treatment program that incorporates medical supervision and potential pharmaceutical intervention in order to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal.

Benefits of Medically Assisted Oxymorphone Detox

The greatest benefit of medically assisted oxymorphone detox is safety. By going through the detox process with medical supervision, patients can receive immediate treatment for any troubling complications that arise related to the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

While few opioid withdrawal cases result in life-threatening symptoms, detoxing in a medical setting can help to put the patient’s mind and body at ease, which makes a profound difference in the early stages of recovery.

Other benefits of medically assisted Opana detox include:

  • Reduced intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Residence in a stable, controlled environment
  • Additional support for any co-occurring disorders
  • Reduced opioid cravings during withdrawal
  • Reduced risk of stress-induced trauma during withdrawal
  • Mitigated risk of early relapse
  • Increased likelihood of long-term recovery

Individuals seeking to overcome an addiction to opioid drugs should take every possible precaution during the withdrawal and detox stages of rehabilitation. At Reflections Recovery Center, our expert staff of addiction treatment specialists have the knowledge and experience to successfully guide our clients through this trying time.

Rehab for Oxymorphone Addiction

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a prescription opioid rehab program. Helping clients who suffer from an addiction to oxymorphone isn’t as simple as getting them to stop taking the drug.

Once clean, clients may still need to find a solution for managing their chronic pain. Having a licensed physician present at the prescription drug rehab facility is one way to ensure that preexisting medical conditions receive attention as well.

It is also important that patients receive emotional counseling to aid in the process of reintegrating back into society. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychoeducation and motivational interviewing are all powerful tools that every recovering addict can benefit from during recovery.

Addiction affects everyone in the user’s life. It is important to choose a rehabilitation program that will work with both friends and family to ensure that the recovering addict has a strong support system at home to aid in the healing process.

Prescription Opioid Rehab at Reflections

If you or someone in your life is struggling with an addiction to prescription opioid medications, know that the team of addiction specialists at Reflections Recovery Center in Prescott, Arizona is here to help. Contact us today and take the first step toward a life free from addiction.

Learn How We Can Help You Manage Chronic Pain as You Recover from Addiction

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How to Help a Family Member Addicted to Pain Medication

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in our society and has rightfully been labeled a national epidemic. However, after surgeries or during injuries, some people are looking for relief, and pain medication can be helpful.

Finding a balance between alleviating pain and preventing dependency can be tricky. Dependency can overtake someone’s life quickly, and it’s often easier for a friend or family member to see when an addiction begins to take hold.

Despite pain medication’s help in times of need, many believe that there are other ways to treat pain that shouldn’t lead to addiction. Medical professionals wrote 207 million opioid painkiller prescriptions in 2013, and that number has risen every year since. On a related note, the United States has almost 100 percent of the world’s hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone is an opioid that affects the levels of dopamine in the brain and is often prescribed after a surgery or when someone is recovering from an extremely painful injury. If someone takes it regularly for a while, a tolerance begins to build. This means people need to take more and more of the drug to continue to feel the pain-numbing effects.

If people stop taking the medication, they will be met with painful withdrawal symptoms that they may not even realize are a consequence of stopping the medication. Talking with loved ones about this downward spiral can be difficult, but it’s crucial that they find help for prescription drug abuse.

The Average Timeline of Opioid Withdrawal

Hydrocodone withdrawal generally begins between six and 12 hours after the last dose. This can vary depending on the specific dosage and the length of time the person has taken the medication.

Withdrawal symptoms usually peak within three days and can last any amount of time. Some experience withdrawal symptoms for a week and some for a month. If the person addicted does not find help, relapse can be almost impossible to avoid – if the medication is available. If it isn’t, some turn to street drugs, which create another, more deadly issue.

Opiates act as nervous system depressants, reducing:

  • Breathing rate
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Body temperature

The body eventually becomes dependent on the chemical changes that happen in the brain during this time. When the drug is gone, withdrawal symptoms ensue.

Common Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

Help for addiction to prescription drugs starts with watching your loved one who may be dependent. Therefore, some of the opioid withdrawal symptoms to watch for include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive tears
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Chills

Psychological symptoms include difficulty concentrating, anxiety and countless others. These side effects can reach any level of intensity. The reaction depends on the person’s level of addiction and dependence on the drug.

If you’ve noticed these symptoms in a loved one after he or she stops taking medication and you see the drug-seeking behavior, your loved one may have a dependency on painkillers.

How to Respond If You See Addiction in a Loved One

You may be nervous about approaching someone regarding this issue; after all, a doctor prescribed these drugs because your loved one needed them, but their future may be in jeopardy. Considering the countless deaths from opioids that have swept this country, that isn’t an exaggeration.

If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, talk to him or her, but don’t encourage stopping cold turkey. Get them to their doctor or another professional for prescription painkiller help before they begin experiencing further dependency.

The more dependent a person is on a drug, the more difficult the withdrawal can be. People suffering from withdrawal should be under the care of medical professionals who can help counsel and stabilize them through the process.

Prescription Painkiller Help: Seek Alternative Pain Relief

Your loved one may be afraid to stop taking painkillers – not because of withdrawal symptoms – but for fear of chronic pain. For people who are dealing with chronic pain, it is frightening to think of cutting pharmaceuticals out of their life completely.

You may not have the answer for them in this situation, but a professional interventionist may be able to help. He or she can talk your loved through the need to seek help and discuss methods for pain management that do not involve opioids.

New and Overlooked Pain Relief Techniques

There are many interesting innovations on the horizon for pain management. Some researchers have suggested applied gaming as a strategy for pain management. The research is not completely finalized yet, but people are discovering that enjoyable activities like playing video games could help relieve the pain that people would usually take medication for.

Mental techniques are another way to combat chronic pain. Therapists have been known to be able to teach patients certain tricks that can help them deal with their pain. It is currently central in the military. Military members are taught these mental tricks and skills so they can keep fighting.

Similar methods can also work on civilians. At Reflections Recovery Center, we work with the individual to see which methods work best for them, both during their time in treatment here and when they walk out the door.

Rehab for Prescription Drug Abuse

The most important thing that people struggling with addiction need is support. Reflections Recovery Center offers this – along with compassion and professional medical care. We leverage personalized treatment plans and the full continuum of care to offer our clients their highest chance of lifelong recovery.


Roxicodone Addiction, Withdrawal and Treatment for Detox and Rehab

Balancing Roxicodone Risks of Dependency with Its Benefits

Roxicodone, also known as Roxycodone, is an opioid. More specifically, it is a white crystalline powder that comes from the opium alkaloid thebaine. It has an immediate release, and like many opioids, physicians can prescribe it to help patients deal with intense pain.

Roxicodone Dosing

The dosage of Roxicodone that is assigned to each patient depends on factors such as age, weight and drug tolerance. The level of tolerance for each specific person is different, and previous drug use may be a component in determining how effective it will be in covering someone’s pain. As with all medications, Roxicodone prescriptions take into account a patient’s medical history, including other medications or opioids.

What Roxicodone Is and When to Halt Usage

Know When You're Addicted - Reflections Recovery CenterRoxicodone is a very potent drug, and dependency can happen in a relatively short time. When someone who has become dependent on Roxicodone, or Roxi, stops taking it, withdrawal symptoms will likely occur.

Rather than stopping such a drug immediately, it’s best to wean off the medication to avoid painful withdrawal. The basic guideline is to reduce the dose by 25 to 50 percent each day, while carefully observing how the body and mind react to the change.

If the patient begins experiencing withdrawal symptoms, then the physician might up the dose back to the previous level before decreasing it again, but more slowly this time.

As with any drug a physician prescribes, users should talk to their doctors before ending a medication in any capacity. If you feel like you’ve become too dependent on this opioid pain reliever or another medication, discuss the situation with your doctor. If the dependency on the drug has lead to an addiction, your next call should be to a professional addiction treatment center.

At a certain stage of addiction, tapering off a drug is best done in a hospital or a licensed rehabilitation center, such as Reflections Recovery Center in Prescott. At Reflections, our team can help you safely reduce your dependence under professional supervision.

The Side Effects of Roxicodone

As with other prescription opioids, Roxicodone’s side effects can be very intense. Using this drug can lead to:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Circulatory depression
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Shock
  • Cardiac arrest (especially when users take more than prescribed)

Like any medication, there are other, less serious side effects that users should still be aware of. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Pruritus (severe itching)

You can also develop problems with your heart, digestive system and even risks to your nervous system. In short, Roxicodone can affect almost all areas of the body.

How to Avoid Dependency on Roxicodone

The best way to avoid a dependence on this drug or another pain medication is to start with the lowest prescribed dose. In fact, taking the medication in this amount is often too strong from people who haven’t taken opioids before.

Staying on top of the pain by taking the drug at regular intervals – rather than waiting until the pain is at its worst – can prevent people from taking too much for their body to handle. In some cases, people will take more of the drug than they need while trying to cover heightened pain. Staying on top of your schedule for medication, which likely includes anti-inflammatory drugs as well, is better than taking too much later.

If you begin with a large amount, your body will be shocked by the drug and is likely to react negatively. If these reactions do happen, they will usually lessen over time as the body becomes more used to the drug, but that’s not exactly a good thing.

Roxicodone Addiction Signs

Abuse and addiction are different than physical dependence and tolerance. However, if you suspect you are becoming dependent on Roxicodone, it may be time to discuss another type of pain medication to cover your symptoms.

If you stop taking the medication and feel uncomfortable, you are likely in the midst of addiction, and you might feel Roxicodone withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Restlessness
  • Excessive tear production
  • Excussive mucus
  • Perspiration
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Backache
  • Joint pain
  • Increased heart rate

Groups that Should Avoid or Limit Roxicodone Use

Some people should avoid Roxicodone use completely or only use it while being treated by a medical professional. Nursing mothers should avoid using Roxicodone, as it can work its way into the breast milk. This can lead to infants developing dependence on the drug, therefore putting them through withdrawal symptoms once nursing stops or the mom stops using Roxicodone.

Drugs like Roxicodone can sometimes impede women in labor by weakening and lessening the frequency of uterine contractions. This can make the process of giving birth longer and more difficult.

Studies of rats and rabbits have shown that the use of drugs such as Roxicodone during pregnancy were not directly harmful to the fetus. However, using the drug during pregnancy should generally be avoided unless the benefits outweigh the possible risks to the fetus.

While there has been no proof that the drug has a different effect on older people as it does on younger people, the increased sensitivity that most elderly people have to drugs makes the effects appear more intensely in them. Like other opioid drugs, Roxicodone should be limited or taken carefully.

Roxicodone Rehab Facilities in AZ

A Roxicodone rehab center is the foremost resource for someone dealing with addiction. Reflections Recovery Center is one of these Roxicodone rehab clinics.

Contact us if you have concerns about Roxicodone addiction signs, or if someone you care about has developed a dependency. Powerful medication is sometimes necessary for pain relief, but when the ill effects start to outweigh the benefits, it’s time for professional care.

Learn About OxyContin Risks and Symptoms

Arizona Opioid and Heroin Trends in 2018

Statistics on Arizona Opioid and Heroin Trends

The United States makes up around 5 percent of the planet’s total population but uses approximately 80 percent of the opioid supply around the world. Additionally, one in four people who have been prescribed opioids for long periods in a primary care environment end up struggling with addiction.

Arizona Opioid Addiction Statistics 2018

Arizona High School Students Active Heroin Use - Reflections Recovery CenterFour out of 10 adults in Arizona know someone who struggles with an addiction to prescription painkillers.

In 2016, a total of 431 million opioid pills were prescribed to patients. That number of pills is enough for every person in the state of Arizona to have a two-and-a-half-week supply of opioids.

Opioid deaths, prescription drug deaths and heroin deaths have all increased since 2012. In fact, heroin fatalities in Arizona have tripled and opioid deaths have skyrocketed.

This all spells an epidemic that opiate drug rehabs in Arizona and throughout the nation are doing their best to clean up.

Estimated Non-Fatal Overdoses in the Past 8 Months

The crisis has taken such a toll in Arizona – and throughout the United States – that statistics are unfolding in months, rather than years. Some areas of the country are harder hit than others, and Arizona is high on the list of states suffering from opioid deaths. As you might suspect, some parts of the state suffer more than others.

Metro Tucson Non-Fatal Overdoses

According to opioid overdose statistics for 2018, the metro area of Tucson contains five communities that all had an estimated number of more than 60 people who overdosed without dying:

  • Tucson Central
  • Tucson Foothills
  • Casas Adobes
  • Tucson East
  • Tucson South

Only Tucson Estates reported having zero non-fatal overdoses in the past eight months.

Metro Phoenix Non-Fatal Overdoses

Though the Tucson numbers regarding non-fatal overdoses are large, the metro area of Phoenix has seen more. In fact, 18 different communities in the metro area of Phoenix reported more than 60 non-fatal overdoses in the last eight months. There were no communities in metro Phoenix that reported zero non-fatal opioid overdoses.

Other Arizona County Non-Fatal Overdoses

Of all the other cities in Arizona, only Kingman, Prescott, Prescott Valley and Florence reported more than 60 non-fatal overdoses. The larger metro areas of Arizona reported numbers that were significantly larger regarding non-fatal overdoses than the other areas of the state.

Common Arizona Ages for Opioid Use

To get a sense of how the opioid crisis is impacting state residents, consider the ages of those most affected. The statistics from this year and the last decade highlight who becomes dependent and at what point addiction takes hold.

Most Frequent Ages for Possible Overdoses This Year

Arizonans between the ages of 25 and 34 are the ones who experience the most opioid overdoses. Residents of age 75 and older reportedly were the least likely group to experience opioid overdoses. Around 15 percent of these possible overdoses were fatal.

Children Affected by Opioid Addiction

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a condition that occurs when a newborn is exposed to opioid drugs while in the mother’s womb. So far in 2018, there have been more than 600 cases in Arizona of babies born with possible drug-related withdrawal symptoms. A government report also said that 52 percent of mothers in these cases were being medically supervised while taking opioids while pregnant.

Fatalities Among Different Age Groups over Last 10 Years

Though 25 to 34 was the most common age group for possible overdoses over the past eight months, the most affected demographic has traditionally been a different one.

Overdose fatalities between 2007 and 2016 were the highest among Arizonans between the ages of 45 and 54. Other than children and teenagers 14 years old and younger, people aged 75 years and older were still the group that suffered the fewest amount of fatalities.

Overdose Hospitalizations and Deaths in Arizona

American Opioid Overdose Statistic InfographicFrom 2007 to 2016, hospitalizations due to prescription opioids rose by 64 per 100,000 people in Arizona. The peak was in 2011, with 162 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Of the possible opioid overdoses in the last eight months, 14 percent of those people were hospitalized in 2016 for a reason that involved opioid use. About 13 percent of the people who were hospitalized in 2016 died in the last eight months from a drug overdose.

As those statistics indicate, the period after someone is released from an overdose is a dangerous time.

Seeking help from a treatment center like the rehabilitation programs at Reflections Recovery Center is the best way to start turning things around. Reflections uses personalized treatments and the calming attributes of nature to offer support and comfort during this dangerous time.

Prescription Drug Overdoses and Fatalities in Arizona

Drug use statistics reveal that 39 percent of the people who experienced a possible opioid overdose in the past eight months had a prescription for opioids at least two months before their overdose. About 2 percent of the people who overdosed died as a result.

Of the fatal overdoses, 29 percent of them were using only prescription opioids and were not using any other types of drugs. Meanwhile, 32 percent of this group used more than one drug.

Though it is more dangerous to be taking multiple types of drugs, even just one prescription opioid medication can be fatal if taken too often or in large quantities.

The Use of Naloxone to Counteract Overdose

Many different emergency medical services and law enforcement professionals administered naloxone (an opioid overdose antidote) to Arizonans from mid-2017 through March 2018. In fact, EMS, law enforcement and other individuals administered nearly 4,500 doses outside of a hospital during this time frame.

Best Heroin Treatment Centers

If you’re looking for a drug rehab in Gilbert, AZ, Mesa, Chandler or Phoenix, consider heading up north a short ways instead. Prescott’s Reflections Recovery Center is located apart from the bustling metro areas and offers many desirable amenities and services.

Reflections offers a program, which, for many, is more conducive to long-term recovery than the standard experience. Reflections focuses on clinical and holistic treatment, as well as using the outdoors to help those in recovery get the tools they need to avoid relapse.

Learn About the Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

How Long Does It Take for Opioid (Painkillers/Heroin) Cravings to Go Away?

When Will Opioid Cravings Finally Stop?

Do heroin cravings ever go away? Opioid addiction, including heroin, is one of the most debilitating and habit-forming types of substance abuse.

Opioids produce powerful effects that cause the brain to crave more doses, rewarding the user with a surge of dopamine in each dose. Eventually, an opioid user will only feel this “reward” neurotransmitter by consuming more opioids.

Cravings can start very soon after beginning opioid use, both for heroin and prescription opioid painkillers. When people struggling with opioid addiction finally start the recovery process, one of the most commonly asked questions in recovery is how to deal with heroin cravings.

The Cravings Never Really Stop

A common phrase heard in recovery centers is that “cravings never go away.” This may sound discouraging or even defeatist at first, but people say it with good intentions. What the people who say this mean is that recovery is not a one-step process. Cravings do not magically stop once you finish recovery.

Opioid cravings will not last forever, but they last for a lot longer than most people would like. Recovery is an ongoing process that lasts for the rest of one’s life, and the power of cravings diminishes with time.

During recovery, people struggling with opioid addiction will learn new coping techniques and relapse prevention therapies for managing environmental triggers. Substance abuse recovery will also help an individual struggling with addiction manage the stages of cravings.

Acute Withdrawal

The most significant cravings appear very soon after a person’s last dose of opioids. The detoxification process typically involves the most significant cravings, sometimes causing individuals experiencing them to:

  • Lash out violently
  • Experience extreme emotions
  • Attempt to escape recovery
  • Undergo a significant medical decline

The acute withdrawal period is dangerous for advanced opioid users, as the body starts to shut down and cravings become more overwhelming.

After detox, the first few days and weeks of recovery may also entail a degree of acute withdrawal. Cravings become obsessions, and this is a very delicate time for anyone struggling with an opioid addiction.

People in recovery at this stage often experience significant cravings first thing in the morning, during alone time, and during stress. As time goes on, these cravings appear more sporadically and with less intensity.

Early Recovery

A few months into recovery will typically mean less frequent and less significant cravings. People at this stage will start to go for longer periods of time without cravings, and they will typically start to master the craving control techniques learned in recovery.

This is still a sensitive time, and environmental stressors and the sudden return to “normal life” can create the temptation for relapse. However, with every craving successfully quelled, the person moves closer to true sober living.

Managing Stressors in Long-Term Sober Living

Some people report feeling “normal” again in as little as six weeks after completing rehab, while others say it took six months or more to start to feel this way. Every person is different, and the psychological factors behind addiction may have deep roots that take time to uncover.

After about a year, every person who struggled with addiction and completed rehab will have likely faced all of the environmental triggers that could lead to relapse. Facing these temptations and applying the lessons learned in recovery builds a strong bedrock for lifelong sobriety.

Relapse Prevention Therapies

People who have been living sober for years will still report feeling cravings from time to time, but these cravings are more of an annoyance than a pressing issue at this point. After a few years of sober living, the relapse prevention techniques learned in rehab become almost second nature.

Aperson entering rehab for the first time may feel like the cravings will never stop. However, the future will start looking more hopeful after they get into the swing of rehab and recovery. Several therapies during rehab will help an individual struggling with opioid addiction to handle the psychological triggers that could lead to a relapse later.

EMDR Therapy

A common therapeutic treatment for substance abuse is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Originally developed in the 1980s as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, EMDR aims to change the way traumatic memories are stored in the brain. These memories often have a significant impact on an individual’s cravings and addictive behaviors.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) emphasizes how we think and feel, and how those thoughts and feelings translate into action. CBT uses the Socratic method and draws on concepts from ancient philosophy to help individuals understand their emotional responses to cravings and other addictive behaviors.

CBT can help a person struggling with opioid addiction to understand the impact that his or her own thoughts have on the addiction, instead of focusing solely on environmental triggers.

On the other hand, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) focuses on psychosocial treatment. It includes mindfulness techniques, and helps the patient regulate emotions. DBT also helps with tolerating pain (not changing it) and maintaining stronger relationships with others.

Don’t Let Fear of Cravings Stop You

Ultimately, everyone who enters substance abuse treatment will deal with cravings on some level. Some people experience them more acutely and for a longer period of time than others. Nonetheless, the fear of cravings should never deter you from seeking treatment for substance abuse.

Cravings are intense and uncomfortable, but they diminish over time. Patients at Reflections Recovery Center learn how to manage these cravings in healthy ways to achieve lifelong sobriety.

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Opioid Prescription Drug Abuse vs. Heroin: Differences and Similarities in Treatment

Treatment Comparison: Opioid Prescription Drug Abuse vs. Heroin Abuse

Prescription opioid painkillers and heroin have a lot in common. They are both opioids, with chemicals that bind to receptors on cells in the brain and body. Addiction to either drug is very serious, but treatment is possible.

Not surprisingly, the process for opioid detox is similar to detox from heroin. Here’s what to know about the steps to recovery for both drugs.

How Are Prescription Painkillers and Heroin Similar?

Several drugs fall into the class of “opioid.” Many are prescription painkiller medications, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine.

Heroin is also an opioid. Opioids block pain receptors, while simultaneously affecting the brain’s reward system. This can result in a euphoric feeling, or high. On a molecular level, the chemicals in both drugs are almost identical.

Someone with a heroin addiction and someone with a prescription opioid addiction both suffer dependencies on essentially the same substance. The signs and symptoms of dependency are the same for both heroin and prescription opioid drugs. The similarities between prescription opioids and heroin are what have driven the dramatic increase in heroin-related overdoses in recent years.

Many people who become dependent on prescription pills will turn to the black market to stave off withdrawal when they can no longer legally obtain the opioids. Many turn to heroin for the same effects.

To further complicate the matter, there has been an influx of counterfeit pain medications into the black market that actually contain fentanyl – a potent and potentially deadly opioid substance.

Fast Action Is Important for Both Types of Abuse

It is a misconception that heroin addiction is more serious than prescription painkiller addiction. In many ways, the two drugs are identical. Medical professionals need to treat someone with a prescription opioid addiction as if he or she were using heroin.

Similarities between the two drugs include:

  • In terms of substance dependency and withdrawal, the two are the same.
  • The urgency to get both types of users into detox as fast as possible is the same.
  • Heroin and prescription drugs both pose high risks of death from overdose.
  • Withdrawal from either drugs can be deadly if the user is not in a medically assisted detox setting.
  • Fentanyl disguised as prescription painkillers puts both types of users at risk of death from accidental exposure.

In April 2016, the first reports of fentanyl pills marketed as generic oxycodone on the black market surfaced. Police attributed 14 deaths in California and nine in Florida to counterfeit painkillers.

Fentanyl is an opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It can be fatal in tiny doses. Fast enrollment in a detox center is crucial to preventing overdose deaths – especially with camouflaged fentanyl floating around.

Similarities and Differences Between Prescription Opioid Detox and Heroin Detox

Both types of addiction are life threatening and require professional treatment. A detox center will treat both types of addiction almost exactly the same, except perhaps for small differences in approach. During detox, professional physicians will usually administer medications that help ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawal to make the process as painless as possible.

Slowly, the physician will start to remove the opioids from the system, replacing them with the detox drugs and possibly supplements and nutritious meals. Weaning users off slowly is critical to their overall health and the success of recovery.

After detox, it’s not wise to jump right back into the real world. Most addictions stem from underlying issues, such as trauma or mental health conditions. The full rehabilitation process is important for long-term recovery from both types of opioids.

The main difference between prescription painkiller detox and heroin addiction treatment is the rehabilitation process. During rehab, the user will need to learn skills that help prevent relapse, as well as how to live a fulfilling, sober lifestyle. This might take different steps depending on the drug.

The Importance of Personalized Opioid Addiction Treatment

Successful recovery from opioids depends in large part on the treatment center. While addiction recovery is a very personal endeavor, the support system and professional help available during the process can make or break the process.

Another similarity between prescription painkiller rehab and heroin rehab is that both require individualized treatment tailored to the person. This is true for all types of substance abuse disorders. Recovery is not one size fits all. It takes treatment that’s specific to the individual for the best outcomes.

At Reflections Recovery Center, we understand the similarities and differences in treatment for various substances and forms of the same substance. We offer opioid addiction treatment for all forms of this drug. You won’t find cookie-cutter treatment plans for heroin or opioid pills here: All guests of our programs receive 100 percent customized treatment.

It’s important for each individual to receive a treatment plan that addresses his or her specific needs. This includes dual diagnosis treatment for underlying issues, trauma-informed therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, and dietary/nutritional therapy to address deficiencies in diet.

Highly specific programs help those in treatment have an easier time adjusting to sober life, and more readily accept the recovery process.

What to Know About Heroin and Prescription Drug Rehab

Despite the striking similarities between heroin and prescription painkillers, there is not one recovery plan that’s appropriate for everyone. While detox treatment for either drugs has many things in common with the other, it is the customization of both processes that will facilitate successful recovery.

At Reflections Recovery Center, our treatment programs are so individualized and specific that clients clearly see the path to long-term recovery. We take the time to truly address all aspects of a person’s addiction and mental health struggles.

Whether you need treatment for an opioid addiction or know someone who does, Reflections Recovery Center is a premier destination. We help individuals understand how recovery and sobriety fit into their lives, and how to say goodbye to substances for good.

Let us walk you through a heroin and/or opioid prescription drug rehab program specific to your unique needs. With our help, opioid addiction recovery is more attainable than you might think.

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Starting Safe and Successful Addiction Recovery with OxyContin Detox

Why Detox Is Necessary for OxyContin Addiction Recovery

OxyContin is an opioid painkiller with the same chemicals as heroin. It is highly addictive and comes with a great risk of serious and even deadly withdrawal symptoms.

If you or a loved one wants to recover from OxyContin addiction, the first step must always be medically assisted detoxification.

The Size of the Opioid Problem in America

Approximately 1.9 million people in America struggle with opioid addiction at any given moment. Opioids include heroin and illicit painkillers, as well as prescription drugs. Every year, about 17,000 people die from prescription opioid overdoses. These numbers are staggering, and should help you grasp just how dangerous opioids like OxyContin are.

As suggested earlier, OxyContin (generic name: oxycodone) is in the same category as heroin. Both painkillers cause a euphoric effect by disrupting the brain’s reward center. Trying to detox from OxyContin – as well as heroin and other opioids – can be deadly.

Part of the current problem with opioid addiction and overdose is the inundation of illicit fentanyl in the nation’s current painkiller market. Fentanyl is a synthetic painkiller that’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It can be lethal in even the smallest doses.

Many people believe they’re buying the prescription drug OxyContin on the black market, when really they’re receiving fentanyl disguised as counterfeit prescription pills. It’s crucial to seek professional OxyContin addiction help as soon as possible – before users buy and take fake OxyContin, which can kill in seconds.

OxyContin Dependency on the Body and the Brain

Anyone can develop an OxyContin dependency. It is not a question of morals, judgment or character. It is simply a side effect of the chemicals in OxyContin – the same ones that are in heroin.

OxyContin works by altering the brain’s receptors to block sensations of pain while flooding the reward center with feelings of euphoria. Even when taken as the prescription directs, a patient can develop a tolerance to OxyContin over time. This means the patient will have to take more and more of the drug to experience the same painkilling effects.

Eventually, tolerance can lead to drug dependency. With dependency, the patient feels unpleasantness unless he or she takes the drug. At this point, the patient will experience withdrawal symptoms without the drug.

OxyContin withdrawal can cause symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety and irritation
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Lack of appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat

Most people cannot withstand OxyContin withdrawal symptoms on their own. Symptoms are too painful and unbearable, leading to intense cravings and relapse. Depending on the level of addiction, quitting OxyContin “cold turkey” can even be deadly.

Stopping the use of the drug suddenly can cause:

  • Organ failures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Other life-threatening conditions

No one should ever try to detox from OxyContin on his or her own. Always trust a rehabilitation facility like Reflections Recovery Center with the detox process instead.

The Importance of Starting Addiction Recovery with OxyContin Detox

At a molecular level, it is almost impossible to distinguish OxyContin from heroin. OxyContin use can lead to a very serious addiction.

Medically assisted detox is necessary for OxyContin addiction recovery. It is the only way to ensure patient safety through all phases of opioid recovery. Detox through an opioid rehab center can help the user safely manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings and mitigate the odds of relapse.

Relapse is especially dangerous for those with OxyContin addictions because of the risk of overdose. If the person relapses and takes the same amount of OxyContin he or she was using before detox, the dose could be deadly.

After detox, the body will not have the same tolerance for opioids, and jumping back to the same dosage can be fatal. This is why it’s important to enroll in a rehabilitation program directly after detox, to continue the recovery process safely and reduce the chance of overdose.

What Happens During Medication-Assisted Detox?

If you truly want your loved one to successfully recover from opioid addiction, the first step has to be medication-assisted detox. This is the only way to safely remove OxyContin from the body and brain without risk of crashing, relapsing and overdosing.

OxyContin detox, with help from registered nurses and professional rehab staff members, sets the stage for long-term recovery and living a happy, healthy and successful sober life.

During professional detox, carefully administered medications reduce painful withdrawal symptoms to lower the risk of relapse during the first stages of recovery. It safely removes the OxyContin from the body by facilitating a slow, controlled tapering off the drug. Medical supervision during the first steps is extremely helpful in addressing withdrawal symptoms and triggers – and potentially preventing life-threatening situations.

The most intense OxyContin withdrawal symptoms typically subside within a few weeks. People struggling with opioid addictions can come to a rehabilitation center like Reflections Recovery Center and immediately connect with physicians, consultants and specialists to plan the perfect detox process for their individual needs. Professionally supervised detox can make all the difference in the success of recovery.

Options for OxyContin Detox

When you hear the word “detox,” you might imagine a hospital bed, IVs and a staff of nurses. This does not have to be the case, however. At the right facility, detox can be a safe and rewarding experience.

With help from detox medications, the patient doesn’t have to suffer from intense and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Meanwhile, the person can learn about addiction recovery, rehabilitation, and proper nutrition in a setting that’s nothing like a cold hospital room.

Reflections Recovery Center is an excellent choice for OxyContin detox. It is a detox and rehab facility with a great number of clients who are recovering from heroin and other opioid addictions. Our detox staff cares deeply about each client’s recovery, and will custom-tailor the detox program for each situation.

OxyContin recovery at Reflections starts with medication-assisted detox, and continues the rehabilitation process through inpatient and outpatient treatment for the highest chance of successful, lifelong sobriety.

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Heroin Overdoses and Deaths an Ongoing Emergency in Virginia

Most Americans are aware of the ongoing problems in the country related to prescription opioid abuse, opioid addiction and overdose deaths. While prescription opioids represent the majority of accidental drug overdose deaths in the country, heroin is a close second.

Many people who develop an addiction to prescription opioid painkillers easily transition to heroin use. Virginia has seen some of the worst effects of the ongoing heroin problem in the country, particularly when it comes to heroin overdoses and deaths.

Prescription drug abuse in Virginia has been a problem for years, but reports indicate that heroin is overtaking prescription pills as the leading cause of overdose deaths in the state. Surveys of new heroin users indicate that 4 out of 5 users report having used prescription opioid painkillers before moving on to heroin.

Virginia’s Problems with Heroin

2016 saw staggering numbers of overdose deaths in Virginia, ranging from three to nine deaths per 100,000 residents in some areas to as many as 33 to 52 deaths per 100,000 residents in others.

More than 75 percent of all overdose deaths in Virginia in 2016 occurred from opioid use, or 1,133 out of 1,420 deaths. This figure could increase, as the results of 60 cases are still pending. Since 2013, drug overdoses have been the leading cause of unnatural death in Virginia.

Other stats worth noting:

  • Fairfax County had one the highest rates of overdose deaths in Virginia in 2016.
    • 80 of the 103 recorded overdose deaths happened due to opioids.
  • In Northern Virginia, opioid deaths increased dramatically in the past five years, from 180 in 2011 to 310 in 2016.
  • The highest per capita overdose death rate in 2016 was in Fredericksburg, with 11 deaths among it’s population of less than 30,000.

Heroin Overdoses and Deaths on the Rise

While prescription opioids have represented the lion’s share of overdose deaths throughout the country for several years, a few states, including Virginia, have marked an increase in heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths. In 2012, prescription opioids were responsible for 435 out of 572 opioid overdose deaths in Virginia, and “only” 185 happened due to heroin or fentanyl use.

In 2016, that figure increased dramatically. Out of the 1,133 opioid-related overdose deaths in “Old Dominion” in 2016, 810 occurred due to fentanyl and/or heroin use.

The remaining 469 were due to prescription opioid deaths, indicating a trend away from prescription opioids and toward illegal opioids like heroin and fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be as much as 100 times as powerful as heroin. It continues to cause serious problems in Virginia, and the state reports the number of fentanyl-related deaths tripled between 2012 and 2016.

Recent Heroin Bust in Virginia

In March 2017, law enforcement officials announced the end of “Operation Purple Rain.” A drug bust spanning Maryland and Virginia led to the arrests of 11 individuals running a massive heroin trade ring. The 11 individuals from Fairfax County, Alexandria, Prince George’s County and Prince William County worked together to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, a potential street value of up to $1 million.

In total, the bust led to the seizure of 400 grams of heroin, 330 grams of cocaine, 7 pounds of marijuana, 19 grams of PCP, 10 firearms, and about $18,000 in cash. While the seized drugs have not yet been linked to any of the recorded overdose deaths in 2016, law enforcement hopes that increased pressure on drug dealers will make heroin harder to buy and calm the growing number of overdose cases in the state.

Consider Heroin Rehab Outside of Virginia

In VA, help for heroin addiction can be hard to find. Many people struggling with heroin addiction also find that staying in their local area is difficult. The familiar places and faces can make it difficult to separate oneself from an addiction and start the recovery process.

Reflections Recovery Center Offers Specialized Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Anyone searching for help for heroin addiction in Virginia needs to know their options for treatment out of state, as well. Heroin rehab outside of Virginia may offer some individuals a better chance at recovery than in-state options. Some people struggling with heroin addiction may require specialized treatment, or may simply need to recover far away from stressors and triggers that enable their addictions.

Located in Prescott, Arizona, Reflections Recovery Center is an award-winning substance abuse treatment facility. Specialized heroin treatment in Virginia may be difficult to find, and we are certain our unique program can offer the best possible recovery experience.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction in Virginia, avoid becoming one of these tragic statistics and start toward recovery with the comprehensive and award-winning treatment offered at Reflections Recovery Center.

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