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How To Stop Pill Addiction

Is Treatment Different For Criminal Justice Populations

Pill dispenser with lock, timer could prevent opioid addiction

Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that drug abuse treatment can help many drug-using offenders change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors towards drug abuse avoid relapse and successfully remove themselves from a life of substance abuse and crime. Many of the principles of treating drug addiction are similar for people within the criminal justice system as for those in the general population. However, many offenders dont have access to the types of services they need. Treatment that is of poor quality or is not well suited to the needs of offenders may not be effective at reducing drug use and criminal behavior.

In addition to the general principles of treatment, some considerations specific to offenders include the following:

  • Treatment should include development of specific cognitive skills to help the offender adjust attitudes and beliefs that lead to drug abuse and crime, such as feeling entitled to have things ones own way or not understanding the consequences of ones behavior. This includes skills related to thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.
  • Treatment planning should include tailored services within the correctional facility as well as transition to community-based treatment after release.
  • Ongoing coordination between treatment providers and courts or parole and probation officers is important in addressing the complex needs of offenders re-entering society.

How Pain Pills Work

Prescription opioids interact with opioid receptors in the brain, intercepting and warding off pain sensations. They also slow down heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rates, inducing a sense of relaxation. Most prescription opioid drugs are classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration . Even though they do have accepted medical use, they also have a high potential for diversion, misuse, and dependence.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that about 54 million Americans have misused a prescription drug at least once in their lives. At the time of the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health , approximately 4.3 million American adults were considered to be currently abusing prescription painkillers.

Taking these drugs, even as directed, can lead to physical and psychological dependence, as the brain gets used to the chemical changes incurred by their interference. When an opioid drug enters the brain, fills an opioid receptor, and depresses the central nervous system, it also increases the presence of dopamine and endorphins. Dopamine is one of the brains chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, that signals feelings of pleasure. With repeated chemical interference, the brain may stop making and absorbing dopamine naturally, and brain chemistry may be negatively impacted. This is called drug dependence. When an opioid drug wears off, dopamine levels dip and both physical and emotional discomfort can occur.

Medical Detox And Rehab

Some people choose to detox on their own. This is not only harder but also more dangerous than detoxing with a doctor. Medical detox is the best way to get sober in a safe, comfortable environment. For those addicted to alcohol or Benzos, medical detox is a must.

A supervised detox is the first step in treating any type of addiction.

A supervised detox can alleviate health issues. Physicians track the patients heart rate, temperature, breathing rate, and fluid levels. Physicians help relieve any discomfort the patient may be feeling. They also adjust any medication doses according to the patients needs and make long-term plans for medication. Those with separate health issues should also seek medical detox. Withdrawals can complicate problems like high blood pressure. A physician can prevent any issues that may arise from attempting to detox alone.

Break free from addiction.

Detox is often a part of inpatient rehabs. In most cases, inpatient rehab takes 30 to 90 days. The first week consists of closely observed detox. Rehab includes other treatments, such as behavioral therapy, to make recovery more successful. If you or a loved one wants to explore rehab options, contact a treatment provider now.

Jeffrey Juergens

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: December 7, 2018

David Hampton

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How Is Opioid Withdrawal Diagnosed

To diagnose opioid withdrawal, your primary care doctor will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your symptoms. They may also order urine and blood tests to check for the presence of opioids in your system.

You may be asked questions about past drug use and your medical history. Answer openly and honestly to get the best treatment and support.

Understand How Addiction Develops

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Lets agree, you wouldnt wish to take a drug and end up being an addict. It starts as fun, and thats how it develops. In teens, for instance, they may try out cigarettes, inhalants, and alcohol just to feel relaxed or for curiosity.

The person begins to use the drug regularly without knowing where it could lead them. You may start creating opportunities to use the drug. This may result in conflicts with people closer to you. It reaches a point where youre finding it difficult to carry out your regular daily responsibilities without the influence of the substance. At this stage, you may experience several health changes such as loss of weight, gum disease, and other problems.

A person may lose interest in self-hygiene and even lose family and friends. Substance dependence turns out to be a chronic disease which can only be controlled by a professional.

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What Are Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are adverse effects that can occur if you suddenly stop using, or suddenly reduce the dosage of, an opioid medicine. They can also occur if you take another medicine that blocks the opioid from working.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant and make you feel unwell, but are unlikely to be dangerous if withdrawal is managed slowly and carefully under medical supervision.

You should not stop taking your opioids without talking to your doctor first.

Withdrawal symptoms are similar for all opioids, and can include:

  • watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing
  • yawning and disturbed sleep
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and a lack of appetite

You may also experience different types of pain during opioid withdrawal, such as joint, bone or muscle pain, and headaches.

How To Help Someone Addicted To Pills

While its not always easy to help someone who has become addicted to pills due to the changes that take place in the brain, its possible. Pill addiction can be treated successfully to help people stop abusing pills and return to productive lives.

If you believe that your loved one is addicted pills, you shouldnt try to use force or isolate the person. First, you need to educate yourself about the way people become addicted to pills. Then, you should take the time to walk the person through the information that will help them realize theyre misusing drugs and discover what to do about it. If the person cooperates, you can start by locating an addiction recovery center. Such centers will have doctors with expertise in the area of addiction.

Encourage your loved one to seek help for their pill addiction. Like any other chronic disease, addiction can be managed effectively. Treatment helps people counter the disruptive work of drugs in the brain, helping them regain control of their lives.

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Taking Painkillers Can Lead To Opioids Addiction

Being free of pain is an important part of healing and recovery from drug addiction. To help you heal, your doctor may prescribe pain-relieving medication to block pain signals to your brain. These medications are in a class of drugs called opioids. While this medication can help you feel better more quickly, it can also cause you to become dependent on, or even addicted to it. Talk to your doctor often about your pain and your medications.

How Do Sleeping Pills Work

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For the 1 in 7 Americans with long-term sleep insomnia, as well as those that experience other sleep difficulties, over-the-counter sleeping pills, and prescription medications can be helpful.

There are several types of both over-the-counter and prescription sleeping medications. OTC medications that are commonly recommended included antihistamine-based products such as melatonin. In terms of prescribed medications, there are non-habit forming agents that are prescribed to help with sleep, such as certain antidepressants. The other category of prescription sleep aids, are the benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Klonopin, or benzodiazepine-like drugs such as zolpidem or zopiclone , otherwise known as Z drugs.

These are the types of sleep medications that have the potential for tolerance, dependence, and misuse . To achieve drowsy and relaxing effects, these sleeping pills activate activate the GABA system, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. This means that sedative pills are essentially able to slow down the brain, producing tranquilizing effects.

Sleeping pills have been known to reduce incidents of waking from slumber and can increase deep sleep in users.

These pills are often taken as needed, meaning only when it is suspected that there will be difficulty getting a full nights rest. However, they can sometimes be prescribed to be taken every night and for extended periods of time.

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How Does An Intervention Work

An intervention includes trained professionals like a drug and alcohol counselor, therapist, and/or interventionist who can help guide a family through the preparation and execution. It occurs in a controlled setting . Intervention works by confronting the specific issues and encouraging the person to seek treatment.

Commit To Giving Up Drugs And Alcohol

If you are wondering how to get clean and sober from drugs or alcohol you may find that committing to stop can be an excellent first step. Getting sober can take a lot of time and effort, so if you can find reasons to stop and state them clearly, you will likely have a better chance for recovery.

Committing is hard. We are more likely to commit when we truly feel the pain of the consequences of drug use. This isnt meant to make us feel guiltyjust to acknowledge that we may not be living the life we want to live.

  • You would like to rebuild damaged relationships with children, a spouse, or other family members.
  • Addiction is damaging your professional life and threatening your ability to make a living.
  • You want to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • You have put your life in jeopardy by consistently using drugs or alcohol in dangerous situations.
  • The addiction has caused you severe financial stress or legal problems.
  • Drug or alcohol use has caused blackouts and you want to be able to remember life events.

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Is It Possible To Cure Drug Addiction At Home

No doubt struggling with drug addiction is a frightening, frustrating, and a downright complicated journey for both the individual and their loved ones. Perhaps you have tried getting sober in the past. Maybe you have tried different options, but none of them have stuck the way you had hoped.

However, do you need formal treatment to beat the addiction? Alternatively, is it possible to stop drug use at home? Lets get the info that you need to know.

Is There Such Thing as A Drug Addiction Cure?

While it may seem promising and alluring, the word cure is often far-fetching and unrealistic. Most experts agree that recovery from addiction requires lifelong work and maintenance. One does not simply solve the addiction. Instead, you will need to prepare for managing triggers, avoiding relapse, and learning how to implement healthier ways of thinking and behaving with the world around you.

While everyones recovery process looks different, there is always a sense of work involved. Even the best treatment in the world does not fix ones problem. It only provides a roadmap for how to manage life without drugs or alcohol.

The journey towards healing is not paved on the path of quick fixes. In fact, the journey can be lengthy and arduous, but the challenge is worth it.

Therefore, the word cure is often misguided. Instead, it tends to be far more preferable to consider the phrase, in recovery, or, maintaining sobriety.

Understanding the Detox Process

How Do Opioids Work

Stop Drugs! stock illustration. Illustration of chemistry

Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. When this happens, the opioids block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive. The risk of addiction is especially high when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a long period of time.

While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive.

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Its Important To Do It Right

So, youve decided youre ready to try and stop taking pain pills on your own. Before you begin this journey, its highly recommended that you meet with your doctor and come up with a plan together. It will likely look something like this:

  • Increase time between doses. This is the recommended approach for short-acting medication. Start by cutting back on the frequency , then decrease the dose itself . Continue to decrease your dosage over the course of about a week, then try stopping all together.
  • Slowly reduce the dose youre taking. This is the best approach for long-acting medication. Increase the number of hours in between doses over the course of a few weeks. When youre down to once a day, try stopping. .

Everyones recovery plan will look a little different, so again, work with your doctor on the best approach for you.

Is It Possible To Stop An Addiction

Yes, addiction and substance use disorders are treatable. Like other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as asthma or heart disease, addiction isnt curable but it can be successfully managed through proper treatment. Addiction has a relapse rate similar to other chronic diseases for example, the relapse rate for asthma or high blood pressure is 50-70%, while addiction has a relapse rate of around 40-60%. Addiction relapse is considered to be a normal part of the recovery process relapse does not mean that treatment has failed, but can mean that your treatment plan or treatment methods need to be re- evaluated.10

Effective treatment plans benefit from being individualized and constantly adjusted to your changing needstaking into account all of your biological, psychological, and social considerations. Your plan may involve a continuum of care, starting from the moment you enter detox, which focuses on treating withdrawal and helping you become medically stable. Once youve completed detox, youll be ready to transition to additional rehabilitation. Though treatment lengths vary, research supports relatively longer periods of treatment for optimal treatment outcomes. As a formal treatment program comes to an end, youll then move on to aftercare, which is designed to promote lifelong sobriety.5,8,13,14

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Is Dependence The Same Thing As Addiction

Dependence and addiction arent the same.

Dependence refers to a physical state in which your body is dependent on the drug. With drug dependence, you need more and more of the substance to achieve the same effect . You experience mental and physical effects if you stop taking the drug.

When you have an addiction, you cant stop using a drug, regardless of any negative consequences. Addiction can occur with or without physical dependence on the drug.

However, physical dependence is a of addiction.

What causes addiction?

Addiction has many causes. Some are related to your environment and life experiences, such as having friends who use drugs. Others are genetic. When you take a drug, certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing an addiction. Regular drug use changes your brain chemistry, affecting how you experience pleasure. This can make it difficult to simply stop using the drug once youve started.

Addiction has some common signs, regardless of the substance being used.

Some general warning signs include:

Your friend or loved one might try to hide substance abuse from you. You might wonder if its drugs or something else, such as a challenging job or a stressful life change.

The following can be signs of addiction:

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Stopping Opioids

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While withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to endure, they can be managed effectively with positive results, especially with the assistance of a specialist like an anesthesiologist. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people have improved function without worsening pain after stopping opioid use. Some patients have even experienced improved pain relief after weaning off the medicine, even though pain might briefly get worse at first. Additionally, alternative therapies with fewer risks and side effects may be effective in managing pain.

Because opioids mask pain, removing them can also give the pain management specialist a better understanding of the nature and level of your discomfort. With that understanding, the physician can better assess which alternative treatments could be effective for you.

Anesthesiologists are the most highly skilled medical experts in anesthesia care, pain management, and critical care medicine, with the education and training that can mean the difference between life and death.

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Can I Prevent Substance Use Disorder

Yes. Preventing drug addiction starts with education. Education in schools, communities and families helps prevent misusing a substance for the first time. Other ways to prevent substance use disorder:

  • Dont try illegal drugs, even one time.
  • Follow instructions for prescription medications. Donât ever take more than instructed. Opioid addiction, for instance, can start after just five days.
  • Dispose of unused prescriptions promptly to reduce risks of misuse by others.

Who Is At Risk For Opioid Addiction

Anyone who uses opioids is at risk for developing an addiction. The best way to prevent an addiction is to avoid all illegal drugs. Only use prescribed painkillers as recommended by medical professionals.

While opioid use is a choice, some factors may increase a risk of addiction. People with a family history of drug dependence and those who grow up in certain social or economic situations can be more at risk. People who abuse alcohol or other drugs, or who have a mental illness, have an increased risk of opioid dependence.

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