How Should You Respond To An Opioid Overdose
If you think someone may be experiencing an opioid overdose, take the following actions immediately:
If You Get Little or No Response
If lightly tapping, shaking, and shouting at the person or rubbing your knuckles on the personâs breastbone do not elicit a response , take the following actions:
Definitions Of Key Terms
dopamine : A neurotransmitter present in brain regions that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and the feeling of pleasure.
GABA : A neurotransmitter in the brain whose primary function is to inhibit the firing of neurons.
locus ceruleus : A region of the brain that receives and processes sensory signals from all areas of the body involved in arousal and vigilance.
noradrenaline : A neurotransmitter produced in the brain and peripheral nervous system involved in arousal and regulation of blood pressure, sleep, and mood also called norepinephrine.
nucleus accumbens : A structure in the forebrain that plays an important part in dopamine release and stimulant action one of the brains key pleasure centers.
prefrontal cortex : The frontmost part of the brain involved in higher cognitive functions, including foresight and planning.
ventral tegmental area : The group of dopamine-containing neurons that make up a key part of the brain reward system key targets of these neurons include the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex
Let Daylight Recovery Help
At Daylight Recovery Services, our focus is on the individual. Our drug rehabilitation center offers inpatient drug treatment programs to get to the root of each clients opioid or heroin addiction. It is never too late to get help from medical professionals
If you think you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, let us help. Well use evidence-based treatments to guide you toward long-term recovery and with a customized treatment plan. Contact Daylight Recovery Services today to begin your journey toward sobriety.
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Heroin & The Mu Receptor
Whether the source of the opioid is heroin, a prescription opioid pain-killing tablet like OxyContin®, or our own natural endorphins, they all do the same thing. They bind to these opioid receptors, and block any neurotransmitters from activating the nerve cells, which in turn stops any electrical pulses from these cells delivering the message to our brain.
To do this, opioids bind to any of 3 major receptors in the brain, called Mu, Kappa and Delta . However, its the Mu receptor that is responsible for the major effects of all opiates.
Many Opioid Addictions Surface After Surgery
Some patients face much higher risk of becoming dependent on powerful painkillers
WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 — Some surgery patients prescribed opioids for post-operative pain relief may face a high risk for developing a long-term opioid addiction, new research warns.
The analysis tracked a half-year of opioid use among more than 36,000 surgery patients. None had taken opioids before their surgical procedure.
“We found that 5 to 6 percent of patients not using opioids prior to surgery continued to fill prescriptions for opioids long after what would be considered normal surgical recovery,” said study author Dr. Chad Brummett. He is director of the division of pain research at the University of Michigan Medical School.
“Moreover, the rates of new chronic use did not differ between patients having major and minor surgeries, suggesting that patients continue to use these pain medications for something other than simply pain from surgery,” he added.
The risk was highest among smokers patients who had struggled with alcohol and/or drugs in the past those previously diagnosed with depression or anxiety and those with a history of chronic pain, the findings showed.
Patients who smoked and those who had a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse faced about a 30 percent higher risk. And that increased risk rose to roughly 50 percent among patients with a history of arthritis, the researcher said.
The findings were published online April 12 in JAMA Surgery.
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How Do People Become Addicted
Addiction to opioids isnt a one-size-fits-all issue.
Everyone who takes prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin, even as prescribed by a doctor or medical professional, is at risk of developing a tolerance, becoming dependent on them, and even addicted. Which is confusing, since taking things as prescribed is usually what people do when theyre trying to be responsible.
Thats not to say people shouldnt trust their doctor/surgeon/dentist/nurse practitioner. They absolutely should! But over-prescriptions can happen, so its important to talk to those medical professionals. Or the pharmacist thats filling the prescription. Having the most information possible about opioids before taking them is a good strategy because dependence on opioids can happen after just five days of use.
The more someone takes opioids, the more the brain adapts to having them around. Having a tolerance to opioids means that someone has taken enough over time to require higher or more frequent doses in order to get that same feeling.
Dependence on opioids happens with repeated use, so the parts of the brain responsible for releasing dopamine only function normally when the drug is around–and when its not, things get unpleasant. Withdrawal symptoms can include aching, fever, diarrhea/vomiting, sweating and chills. Which sounds like the flu or a bad order of clams, but worse, since the brain is still screaming for the one thing that could make it all stop.
The Most Addictive Drugs
The top three most addictive drugs are heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth. This is due to how quickly these drugs cause dramatic physical and mental effects, including hijacking the brains neurotransmitters, which are chemicals the brain uses to control and monitor behavior and reinforce life-sustaining actions such as eating food. Your brain will literally train you to keep using illicit drugs in the same way that it trains you to take care of your physical wellbeingonly this training is much more powerful because the brain is releasing 10 times as much dopamine in response to illicit drugs than it ever does for healthy behaviors.
Once you are physically addicted, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking your drug of choice. While everyones detox experience is different, there are some general symptoms and timelines you can expect.
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How Addictive Is Heroin
Its difficult to measure or compare types of drug addiction. In a 2007 study published in the Lancet, a survey of doctors and psychiatrists concluded that heroin was the most addictive drug because of its effects on pleasure, psychological dependence and physical dependence. It also had the highest risk of physical harm and social harm.
Physical dependence refers to changes in the brain that cause increased tolerance to the drug and trigger withdrawal symptoms when the drug isnt present.
Psychological dependence refers to changes in motivation, self-control and judgment that make a person crave heroin. People who are addicted to heroin will do almost anything to obtain the drug because their brains arent properly weighing the consequences of their actions.
Opioids In Your System
The length of time opioids stay in the body depends on a variety of factors. The amount of drugs taken at once, level of habitual use, weight of the person tested, and speed of metabolism can all affect the window of time when testing for opioids. The following averages are based on the amount of time a urine test could detect their presence.
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Signs Of An Opioid Overdose
With dependency and tolerance comes the dangerous chance of overdose. An opioid overdose can occur when someone takes too much of a certain drug . Too much of a drug can take a dangerous toll on a persons body at any given moment.
It is important to be attentive to these signs and act quickly. If you notice any of these signs, call 9-11 immediately and get medical attention. Common signs of an opioid overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness
How Long Does It Take To Become Addicted To Opioids
Opioids often come in the form of narcotic pain relievers that contain either natural or synthetic opium. Anyone can become addicted to opiates, often before they even realize it. While not everyone who uses opioids will get addicted, every user is at risk.
Opioids are usually prescribed to patients recovering from surgery or for those with intense pain. All opioids work by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain and giving the user a high as they relieve the pain. But with this much potency often comes addiction.
When someone has an opiate addiction, their body and mind can begin to change negatively. In some cases, a persons entire life can be consumed by opioids. With continued use, a person can begin to have a number of health issues which can lead to overdose or death in some cases.
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Pharmacological Interventions And Treatment Implications
In summary, the various biological models of drug addiction are complementary and broadly applicable to chemical addictions. Long-term pharmacotherapies for opioid dependence and addiction counteract or reverse the abnormalities underlying those conditions, thereby enhancing programs of psychological rehabilitation. Short-term treatments for relieving withdrawal symptoms and increasing abstinence are beyond the scope of this article instead, we refer readers elsewhere for detailed neurobiological explanations of the various nonopioid-based abstinence initiation approaches such as clonidine and clonidine-naltrex-one for rapid detoxification .
The medications most commonly used to treat opioid abuse attach to the brain cells mu opioid receptors, like the addictive opioids themselves. Methadone and LAAM stimulate the cells much as the illicit opioids do, but they have different effects because of their different durations of action. Naltrexone and buprenorphine stimulate the cells in ways quite distinct from the addictive opioids. Each medication can play a role in comprehensive treatment for opioid addiction.
How Long Does It Take
Anyone that has been addicted to drugs will know that withdrawing from that addiction is a different process for everyone. Whilst the symptoms are similar and the stories sound the same, each persons recovery journey is different its a very personal experience and how long it takes to recover from opioid addiction is not set in stone.
There is no set answer as to how long it takes to withdraw from opioid addiction. The withdrawal timeline is dependent on different factors. Where one persons withdrawal symptoms will last a few days to a week, another persons symptoms may last for a month. In some rare cases, the timeline could be a lot longer.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Opiates
The beginnings of an opiate addiction are actually triggered by that initial rush of pleasure you get from the drug. On the other hand, the point wherein regular misuse or abuse of opiates transitions into compulsive drug use and cravings for the drug vary with each user and is dependent on a number of aspects.
Once you begin to use opiates, it may take several weeks to a few months before cravings start to appear. Along with the cravings are other drug-seeking behaviors that are most of the time associated with bad acts. There is yet to be a reliable source written on the exact timeline these manifestations show themselves.
Stick To The Lowest Dose
If you need opioids, your doctor should prescribe the lowest possible dose. Three days or fewer will often be enough and more than seven days are only rarely needed for urology procedures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking opioids for more than three days will increase your risk of addiction. If youre still in pain after three days, use over-the-counter medicines as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you take those medicines safely. They may also suggest non-drug ways to ease your pain, such as heat or cold therapy.
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The Physical & Mental Effects Of Heroin Use & Addiction
Clearly, the most obvious effect of heroin use is the addictive, euphoric high experienced by users however, it is not the only rapid and short-term effect of the drug. Other common effects of heroin use include:
- Dry mouth
- Warm flushing of the skin
- Heavy feeling in the limbs
- Nausea and vomiting
HIV & Hepatitis C
Heroin users who inject the drug are also at a high risk of contracting HIV and the hepatitis C virus.
Both diseases are transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids, which can happen when users share needles or other injection drug use equipment.
HCV is actually the most common bloodborne infection in the U.S. HIV, and to a lesser extent HCV, can also both be transmitted through unprotected sex, which is more likely with drug use.
Lastly, heroin often contains additives, such as sugar, starch, or powdered milk, that can clog the users blood vessels, and lead to damage within the lungs, liver, and kidneys. There is also the risk of permanent brain damage.
Heroin took my dreams, and everything else I had. Within weeks of my first fix, I had gone from the person I could have been to being a total stranger unrecognizable to myself. I told lies. I stole. I would do anything for a fix. Often, my junk addiction meant I did. Jonathan*: Heroin addict, aged 24, Arizona Department of Corrections, Tucson, AZ *name changed
How Long Does It Take To Quit An Addiction To Alcohol
Breaking an addiction to alcohol requires enduring detoxification and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms that usually begin 8 hours after your last drink, although they may start later.
Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
These symptoms tend to peak at 24 to 72 hours after your last drink, and although they typically last between five days to two weeks, they continue for weeks in some individuals.
After acute withdrawal passes, many people suffer from protracted/post-acute withdrawal symptoms, otherwise known as PAWS. These emotionally and physically exhausting symptoms usually peak four to eight weeks after your last drink. Symptoms include continued mood swings, anxiety, depression and insomnia. PAWS can also cause a lack of emotion, problems with dizziness, balance and reflexes increased accidents, sexual dysfunction, difficulty coping with stress, memory problems, low energy and slowed metabolism.
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Talk To Your Doctor Before Surgery
If youre having urological surgerysuch as surgery for prostate cancer or to remove a kidney stoneyou will have a doctors appointment before the surgery. This is sometimes called a pre-op appointment. This is when you and your doctor should talk about how you will feel after surgery and whether or not you will need opioid pain medicine.
Aftercare For Hydrocodone Addiction Recovery
Once the rehab program has been successfully completed, the client will embark on the continuing care aspect of recovery. These are intrinsic to the long-term success of the clients recovery outlook. Continuing care helps the client face future triggers, stressors, or life challenges by providing the peer support and counseling needed. Aftercare services might include:
SOBER LIVING HOUSINGSober living is an excellent post-rehab action, as this transitional housing allows the individual time to adapt to their new sober lifestyle within a substance-free environment. In addition, strict zero tolerance policies and random testing help deter relapse.
ONGOING INDIVIDUAL AND/OR GROUP THERAPYOutpatient therapy and group support is essential in recovery. These function as a step-down from a residential program, helping to provide continuity in care during early recovery. Each individual is certain to encounter certain challenges in recovery, and outpatient therapy offers a support system for managing these events.
PARTICIPATION IN RECOVERY COMMUNITYJust as while in rehab, the recovery meetings serve an important function in recovery. These are free meetings, available throughout the country, and provide a valuable source of peer support. Recovery groups also offer the opportunity to meet new sober friends and to serve others in recovery.
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Your Environment Plays A Key Role In The Development Of Tolerance Dependence And Addiction
You can be more susceptible to abuse opiates frequently if you are surrounded by an environment where it is easy to obtain and use drugs.
Even your metabolism can affect how quickly the drugs clear from your body. It is highly likely that you will increase the frequency of use just to stave off the symptoms of withdrawal.
Are you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to opiates? Dont wait. Get help now before its too late.