How to Survive Opiate Withdrawal

How to Survive Opiate Withdrawal

First of all, good luck. If you have never experienced opiate withdrawal symptoms, also called being dope sick, you are lucky. If you have, then you know what hell on earth feels like. And, if you have gone through opiate withdrawals more than once, you probably also have noticed that they get worse every subsequent time you stop or run out of your supply. This is because your body is going through a kind of shock: your brain has been altered by taking opiates (such as Oxycodone, Roxicet, heroin, etc.) and without these substances, your brain and therefore body go into panic mode.

Often times compared to being flu-like symptoms, opiate withdrawals are intense, acute, and although not life-threatening, it sure feels like you’re dying.

While going through opiate withdrawal, you may experience some or all of the following:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Muscle aches
  • Watery Eyes
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Chills and goose bumps

Here are 10 things you can do to survive opiate withdrawal:

1. Prepare a comfortable environment:

Keep your tablet or TV and DVD player nearby so that you can watch some lighthearted movies.

Make sure that your room is at a comfortable temperature, and make sure that you have some soft blankets and maybe a fan. Prepare to change your sheets often because of sweating.

Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Again, you’ll probably have to change clothes a lot because of the sweating.

2. Avoid going through opiate withdrawal alone. If you don’t plan to check yourself into a rehab facility, then stay with someone who can support you during the withdrawal period.

3. Take some time off from your usual activities. Opiate withdrawal may take up to 2 weeks, so try to take some time off of work. If you have a family, then check yourself into a rehab facility or go somewhere where your children won’t have to see you going through opiate withdrawals.

4. Slowly taper off your narcotics. Reduce your doses of opioids or medications by about 20 to 25 percent every 2 or 3 days to minimize opiate withdrawals.

5. Try community detox. Check out your local methadone clinic so that you can gradually wean yourself off of narcotics by taking gradually decreasing doses of methadone. Community detox will allow you to go on with your daily life without checking in to an in-patient facility.

6. Go to a psychiatric ward or other inpatient psychiatric facility if you’ve had episodes of suicidal thoughts or hurting yourself in the past. Opiate withdrawal can bring out these negative behaviors, which could put you in real danger. If you have a history of depression or other psychiatric problems, then do your detox under medical supervision.

7. Check yourself into a rehabilitation facility.

Also called inpatient therapy, you will receive individual and group therapy and support. While you stay in a rehabilitation facility, you can talk to counselors about your addiction or you can spend time in support groups with other addicts.

8. Give yourself a lot of positive reinforcement. Try some of these strategies:

Tell yourself that your withdrawal pains from opiates are like labor pains. You’re giving birth to a new you.

Write a notice to yourself that says, “I’m a fantastic person, and I’m doing something amazing.” Post the notice where you can see it.

Give yourself a non-drug reward for every day that you make it through opiate withdrawal.

9. Remember to eat food and drink water. You may not feel like eating or drinking fluids, but your body needs nourishment and hydration. Eat saltines or yogurt or other foods that are easy on your stomach. Also, be sure to drink water or fruit juice to replace any fluids that you lose from vomiting or diarrhea.

10. Get some light exercise. Don’t overdo it, but take a short walk around your neighborhood or do some light housework. Exercise will keep your spirits up and will help to distract you from the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.wikihow.com/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/

Roxy, Oxy, and Opana

Roxy, Oxy, and Opana

Roxy, oxy and opana are pretty much the crème de la crème for opiate addicts. First it was oxy, then it was roxy, and more recently it has become opana. Opana abuse has increased recently because of the new formulation of roxy, oxy that keep users from being able to break down the pills and shoot them up. Roxy, oxy and opana are all very similar in their effects but roxy, oxy are essentially the same drug: oxycodone. Opana is oxymorphone.

Roxy, oxy and opana: Roxy, oxy

The active ingredient in roxy is oxycodone, so essentially roxy, oxy are one and the same. Oxycodone is also found in Percocet, OxyContin, OxyFast, etc. Some of these meds, such as roxy and oxy, are short acting, while OxyContin is a sustained release medication.

Oxy is an opiate medication prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It bears much similarity to hydrocodone, which is most commonly known under the brand name Vicodin. However, oxycodone is believed to be more potent than hydrocodone, making it the drug of choice for many opiate abusers who take the drug for its euphoric effects. In high doses, it can cause shallow breathing, hypotension, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest and death. Roxy is just one of the name brands of oxy.

Roxy, oxy and opana: Opana

The drug Opana, also known as Oxymorphone, is an opioid pain reliever which is similar to morphine. Reformulated OxyContin (oxy) pills make getting high harder, so opioid abusers are turning to Opana (oxymorphone) instead, according to a July 12, 2012, report in USA Today. As a result, the report added, Opana-related crime, including pharmacy robberies and overdose deaths, as well as treatment for oxymorphone addiction have been rising in several states.

Prior to August 2010, when Purdue Pharma reformulated OxyContin, opioid abusers could crush, break, or dissolve the pills in order to snort or inject the drug, which produces a more rapid high. The new formulation cannot be broken, crushed, or dissolved, so addicts must either take larger quantities of the drug or find another option. In Kentucky, according to USA Today, oxymorphone appeared as a factor in 23% of overdoses in 2011, up from just 2% in 2010. In nearby Ohio, the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network reported in January 2012 that many opioid abusers said they were using oxymorphone as a replacement for oxy. This is not the first time oxymorphone abuse has been in the spotlight. According to a May 2011 intelligence brief from the Drug Enforcement Administration, oxymorphone abuse was popular during the early 1970s, when many who injected it considered it superior to heroin or morphine. The brief singled out New Castle, Delaware, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as present-day hot spots of oxymorphone abuse.

Other than a drug test, one can use the following symptoms to detect or roxy, oxy and opana abuse:

•Drowsiness, sometimes to the point of nodding off

•Sedation

•Euphoria

•Lightheadedness

•Itching

•Nausea and vomiting

•Constipation

•Low blood pressure

•Respiratory suppression

•Headache

•Dry mouth

•Sweating

Constricted pupils, although overdose may bring about dilated pupils.

Overdose deaths can occur due to respiratory suppression, especially when oxy, roxy, and opana or any opiate is combined with another drug that suppresses respiration, like another opiate, benzodiazepines or alcohol.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_the_pain_medications_oxycodone_and_roxicodone

http://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/Reformulated-OxyContin-Leads-to-Increased-Opana-Abuse

Opioids Are the Most Prescribed Drug in America

Opioids, commonly known as painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin, and Fentanyl, are becoming the most prescribed and abused drugs in America.

Prescription rate and statistics show that Opioids Are the Most Prescribed Drug in America.

Most prescription painkillers are prescribed by primary care and internal medicine doctors and dentists, not specialists. Roughly 20% of prescribers prescribe 80% of all prescription painkillers Dentists were the main prescribers for youth aged 10-19 years old. Nearly 46% of opioid prescriptions were given to patients between ages 40 and 59, and most of those were from primary care providers. The records show the trend that opioids are the most prescribed drug in America because approximately 56% of painkiller prescriptions were given to patients who had filled another prescription for pain from the same or different providers within the past month. In addition, nearly 12% of opioids prescribed were to young people aged 10-29, a nearly 20 year increase in the use of prescription painkillers. From 1991 to 2009, prescriptions for opioid painkillers increased almost threefold, to over 200 million, showing a trend that opioids are the most prescribed drug in America.

An analysis of national prescribing patterns shows that more than half of patients who received an opioid prescription in 2009 had filled another opioid prescription within the previous 30 days.

Misuse and Abuse

With the exponential increase in prescribing patterns, opioids are the most prescribed drug in America and more and more patients are abusing their prescription, meaning that they are taking more than what is prescribed to them. Indicators for this behavior include running out of their month’s supply before the original prescription is able to be re-filled, doctor-shopping (visiting different doctors) in order to obtain multiple prescriptions, getting prescriptions filled at different pharmacies so as not to raise any “red flags,” and even resorting to purchasing them illegally, either online, through an acquaintance, or off the street.

The misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers was responsible for more than 475,000 emergency department visits in 2009, a number that nearly doubled in just five years.

Overdose and deaths

Nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers. The unprecedented rise in overdose deaths in the U.S. parallels a 300% increase since 1999 in the sale of these medications, which were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), now that opioids are the most prescribed drug in America, prescription painkiller overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, killing more people than heroin and cocaine combined.

In 2010, nearly 60% of the drug overdose deaths involved pharmaceutical drugs. Opioid analgesics, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, were involved in about 3 of every 4 pharmaceutical overdose deaths.

Men vs. Women

The CDC also finds that, although more men are dying of prescription drug overdoses, women are catching up. In the last 14 years, the percentage increase in deaths has been greater for women, spiking by 400% as opposed to 265% for men.

Being that opioids are the most prescribed drug in America, it is no wonder that access to these potent painkillers has gotten easier. A curious kid can gain access to opioid prescription pills simply by looking in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov

http://www.drugabuse.gov

http://oxywatchdog.com

http://www.cdc.gov/

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are described as some of the worst withdrawal symptoms in the opiate family. The reason for this is because oxycodone is a fast acting, short lasting medication for intense and chronic pain to help improve quality of life. Oxycodone is usually prescribed for those with cancer, and for those who have been in some sort of accident or have had some kind of surgery that leaves them in chronic pain.

Oxycodone was manufactured in Germany in 1916 and is a derivative of the drugs morphine and heroin. Oxycodone has many of the same effects as heroin and is just as addictive. It tends to be more socially accepted in comparison with heroin because it is a medication not an illicit drug. Some of the street names for oxycodone are “hillbilly heroin, blues, OC’s, Oxys, pills, OC 80’s”. Just as with heroin, oxycodone is extremely habit forming and you do not have to be taking the drug recreationally; you can also be prescribed oxycodone and become physically dependent.

Taking oxycodone regularly can cause you to build a tolerance as with most opiates. This is because oxycodone attaches itself to the opiate receptors in the brain causing a change in brain chemistry. This tolerance causes a user to need more and more oxycodone to continue getting the desired pain relieving effects or “high”.

A user who is taking oxycodone for recreational purposes is trying to achieve a “high” much like heroin. Oxycodone can be snorted, taken orally or injected. The effects of taking this drug recreationally can range from intense euphoria, drowsiness, all the way to hyperactivity. After a certain period of time, whether oxycodone has been taken recreationally or as prescribed; a user will become physically dependent. How long it takes to become physically dependent on oxycodone depends on the person, how much they have been taking and for what length of time they have been taking oxycodone. After a user becomes physically dependent on oxycodone, if they rapidly decrease their use or stop “cold turkey” they will inevitably experience oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. These oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can begin a few hours after stopping use and last weeks; this can vary from person to person. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are not fatal although they are very painful, extremely uncomfortable and frightening.

Here are some examples of what to expect from oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, these can vary and are not limited to:

  • Abnormal skin sensations
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Cold- or flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Goose bumps
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rigid muscles
  • Runny nose
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Shivering or tremors
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

If a user is experiencing any of these oxycodone withdrawal symptoms they may think it’s a better idea to just continue using oxycodone rather than deal with the withdrawal symptoms. This leads to a longer period of habitual oxycodone use. It is recommended that a user who is experiencing any oxycodone withdrawal symptoms seek outside help from a medical detox or healthcare professional even though the symptoms are not fatal. There are medications now to ease the pain of oxycodone withdrawal and a medical detox will allow for the most comfortable oxycodone withdrawal that is available. Withdrawal from any drug is extremely frightening, so seek help.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms           

Methadone is a synthetic opioid used for the maintenance of patients with opiate addiction.  Methadone is mainly used in the involvement of stopping or reducing the use of illicit drugs such as heroin and morphine although it also used in the treatment of chronic pain. While this is the case it has been found to be used recreationally for those with opiate addiction.

Methadone addiction is common because it is readily and easily available at methadone clinics. Clinics are where a user may go for the maintenance of their illicit opiate addiction. There they will receive methadone doses for a small payment each day legally. Just because methadone is legal whereas heroin is not, does not mean it is any less addictive or dangerous. The death toll from methadone use has spiked upward dramatically since 1999, with there being about 3,849 known in 2004 compared to 790 in 1999. Mixing methadone with other drugs such as benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous also.

Methadone is highly physically addictive just as any other opiate. Methadone’s effects can last up to 35 hours and can remain in the body for days. This makes it prime for the maintenance of opiate addiction but also extremely hard to quit. That’s because when stopping methadone use there are going to be methadone withdrawal symptoms. The physical changes in the body after using methadone for a period of time are similar to those when using heroin or any other opiates.

To know if you are going to have methadone withdrawal symptoms, you can look for signs of methadone addiction. Signs of methadone addiction are pinpointed or contracted pupils, drowsiness, constipation, and suppressed breathing or cough reflex. If you or someone you know has been taking methadone for a long period of time and has these signs they most likely are going to go through methadone withdrawal symptoms once they stop their methadone use. Methadone withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and while they are not fatal it is very frightening. It can become psychologically as well as physically painful. Methadone withdrawal symptoms can vary based on age, gender, how much or how little you have been using and usually consist of;

  • Physical Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms:
  • Lightheadedness
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe Itching
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Aches and pains, often in the joints and/or legs
  • Elevated pain sensitivity
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Reduced breathing (may be fatal between 2–4 hours)

 

  • Psychological Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms:
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Susceptibility to Cravings
  • Depression
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Delirium
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Increased perception of odors, real or imagined
  • Marked decrease in sex drive
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions

Methadone withdrawal symptoms have shown to be up to twice as severe as those of morphine or heroin and are last a significant more amount of time; methadone withdrawal symptoms can last for several weeks or more. At high methadone doses, sudden cessation of therapy can result in methadone withdrawal symptoms described as “the worst withdrawal imaginable,” lasting from weeks to months.

 

 

 

Withdrawal Symptoms from Opiates

Withdrawal Symptoms from Opiates

Withdrawal Symptoms from Opiates

Withdrawal symptoms from opiates is referring to the different experiences that occur after stopping or largely reducing the use of opiate drugs after heavy and prolonged use (usually several weeks or more). The street term for withdrawal symptoms for opiates is known as being dope sick.

Opiates include heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, methadone and more.

Around 10% of the United States population misuses opiates at some point during their lifetime. Misusing opiates also means using illegal drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin in a way other than prescribed. Drugs, such as opiates, cause physical dependence. A physical dependence to opiates means a person relies on them to prevent symptoms of withdrawal from opiates. Over the course of a few weeks, or a longer period of time, a greater amount of opiates will be needed to produce the same affects in the opiate user. The time that it takes to become physically dependent on opiates differs from person to person. When a person who has become physically dependent on opiates stops taking them, the body has to take some time to recover, the result of this is withdrawal symptoms from opiates. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates can happen whenever a person who has been chronically abusing opiates stops or reduces the amount they are using. There are even some instances where someone ends up withdrawing from opiates after being given the drugs for pain in the hospital. Usually the withdrawal from opiates in this instance is not too bad but it is still uncomfortable and the person doesn’t know what’s happening to them. They think they have the flu.

Early withdrawal symptoms from opiates include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Late withdrawal symptoms from opiates include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The withdrawal symptoms from opiates usually begin within the first 12 hours after the last opiate use. For an opiate for methadone it is 30 hours since the last dose. A doctor can quickly tell if a person has opiate withdrawal symptoms just by asking questions and doing an exam. Blood and urine tests can confirm the diagnosis.

There is help for those withdrawal symptoms from opiates. For instance treatment for the withdrawal from opiates includes medications. The most common medication used for opiate withdrawal is clonidine which helps reduce anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and muscle cramping. Other medications that can be given are there to help treat vomiting and diarrhea. In some instances Buprenoprhine, better known as Suboxone can be given to help the opiate user taper off their drug of choice. It is also good for treating withdrawal symptoms. It helps to reduce the intensity of the opiate withdrawal symptoms. The treatment programs for withdrawal symptoms from opiates are known as detoxes and are purposely in place to help those who are experiencing any kind of withdrawal from any substances what so ever.

It is best if anyone is withdrawing from opiates or any substance to seek medical assistance and utilize a medical opiate detox facility.