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Opiate Dependence

by James Heller 24. September 2009 14:13
Opiate abuse can lead to Opiate dependence over time.  The body will begin to tolerate opiates. The user will have to increase their use of the drug in order to achieve the results they are looking for. When opiate tolerance occurs, opiate abuse is in the beginning phase.

The user does not stay in the opiate abuse phase for very long. Because of the highly addictive properties, this abuse evolves into a physical dependence, or addiction. Once an individual is dependent on opiates, withdrawal symptoms start as early as a few hours after the last administration, making it extremely difficult to stop using the drug.

Opiate dependence can strike anyone at any time, people at particular risk are those who deliberately abuse heroin or prescription drugs, generally young people between 17 and 34, and the elderly who are often prescribed painkillers for a variety of ailments. People with high-stress jobs also run the risk of addiction to opiates prescribed for anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and other stress-related conditions

The use of opiates is particularly risky for alcoholics and drug addicts in recovery due to the possibility of cross addiction.  For example, alcoholics in recovery who are prescribed opiates for pain may be drawn to the euphoric properties.  The reminder of what alcohol did for them may lead to a subconscious need for more, and before they know it they become addicted.

Opiate abuse can quickly progress into an addiction if left untreated.  It can be overcome with the administration of proper treatment. In most cases, this requires admission into a medical detoxification center.  The key to a successful recovery from opiate abuse and dependence is to find the treatment program that best fits your needs.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides opiate detox using methadone or buprenorphine as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Two Strata of Opiate Detoxification Patients

by James Heller 8. July 2009 08:55
Opiate detoxification is not administered in the same manner for every patient at Tarzana Treatment Centers.  Medication schedules depend on the amount of opiates the patient used upon admission, as well as the length of prior continuous opiate use.  

Obviously the amount of usage determines the starting dosage from which to taper.  But the length of prior continuous opiate use determines care in the final days of medical detoxification.  

According to Duane Carmalt, MD, who has detoxed thousands of opiate addicts over the past 30 years, the length of prior continuous opiate use can make the experience of medical detoxification like landing a helicopter or a space shuttle.  Helicopters are smooth in the final phase of landing with no “jolt” experience of hitting the ground.  Space shuttles approach landing smoothly, but, due to abrupt changes at landing time, that jolt is almost inevitable.

Dr. Carmalt explains that the “helicopter” type patients have used opiates continuously for a few months.  They begin detox treatment at a certain dosage, determined by an assessment, which is tapered down until opiate detox is achieved.  These patients’ Withdrawal symptoms are minimal throughout treatment, including the final day.

 “Space Shuttle” patients have used opiates for a year or more.  They generally experience the same minor withdrawal symptoms until the final 48 hours or so of treatment.  They often experience a jolt of more significant opiate withdrawal symptoms in the final days of detoxing, and require a slower taper off the final doses of medication, which can extend their stay one or two more days.  

Keep in mind that patient motivation is a major factor in drug and alcohol treatment, and can have an effect on the helicopter/space shuttle strata.  In fact, a strong motivation for recovery is the best tool for paving a smooth landing area in opiate detox.  Opiate tolerance also affects how a patient responds to detox medications, and can cause the “Space Shuttle” effect to occur earlier in detox treatment.

Patients planning to enter opiate drug addiction treatment at Tarzana Treatment Centers should take note of these factors in medical detoxification.  Not only is it good to know what to expect from detox treatment, but it can also help in scheduling aftercare for those entering residential or outpatient drug treatment.

If you would like further details about opiate detox and treatment, please call us at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.

Heroin Treatment Options

by James Heller 13. May 2009 07:17
Heroin addiction is a serious disease that requires treatment.  The sad fact, though, is that many people, including heroin addicts, are unaware of the different heroin addiction treatment options that are available to them.

A section of an article from the National Institute on Drug abuse website is posted below that details most of the options available to heroin addicts.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers these treatment options and more.  In our heroin detox program, methadone and buprenorphine can be used for medical detoxification from heroin and prescription opiates.

Feel free to contact us here for more information, or call us at 888-777-8565.

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What Treatment Options Exist?

A range of treatments exist for heroin addiction, including medications and behavioral therapies. Science has taught us that when medication treatment is integrated with other supportive services, patients are often able to stop using heroin (or other opiates) and return to stable and productive lives.

Treatment often begins with medically assisted detoxification, to help patients withdraw from the drug safely. Medications such as clonidine and, now, buprenorphine can be used to help minimize symptoms of withdrawal. However, detoxification alone is not treatment and has not been shown to be effective in preventing relapse—it is merely the first step.

Medications to help prevent relapse include:

  • Methadone, which has been used for more than 30 years to treat heroin addiction. It is a synthetic opiate medication that binds to the same receptors as heroin; but when taken orally, as dispensed, it has a gradual onset of action and sustained effects, reducing the desire for other opioid drugs while preventing withdrawal symptoms. Properly prescribed methadone is not intoxicating or sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary daily activities. At the present time, methadone is only available through specialized opiate treatment programs.
  • Buprenorphine is a more recently approved treatment for heroin addiction (and other opiates). It differs from methadone in having less risk for overdose and withdrawal effects, and importantly, it can be prescribed in the privacy of a doctor’s office.
  • Naltrexone is approved for treating heroin addiction but has not been widely utilized because of compliance issues. It is an opioid receptor blocker, which has been shown to be effective in highly motivated patients. It should only be used in patients who have already been detoxified in order to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is a shorter acting opioid receptor blocker, used to treat cases of overdose.

For pregnant heroin abusers, methadone maintenance combined with prenatal care and a comprehensive drug treatment program can improve many of the detrimental maternal and neonatal outcomes associated with untreated heroin abuse. Preliminary evidence suggests that buprenorphine also is a safe and effective treatment during pregnancy, although infants exposed to either methadone or buprenorphine prenatally may require treatment for withdrawal symptoms. For women who do not want or are not able to receive pharmacotherapy for their heroin addiction, detoxification from opiates during pregnancy can be accomplished with medical supervision, although potential risks to the fetus and the likelihood of relapse to heroin use should be considered.

-- Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/heroin.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.