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Panic, Stress, Anxiety Attacks, How to Tell Them Apart, and Why? | West Palm Beach

Currently, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests there are approximately 40 million individuals who experience panic attacks, stress attacks, or anxiety attacks. These symptoms are by far the most under-reported, most frequently occurring encounters for many adults states Arizona Casa/FCRB Training in Anxiety Disorders, and there are distinct differences between the types of attacks.

Differences Between Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders are a category in the DSM-IV, which analyzes the differences between panic, stress, and anxiety attacks. This analysis is important so a doctor can accurately diagnose which anxiety disorder an individual has.

 The specific information about the patient’s attacks guides the doctor through the complex maze of anxiety disorders to rule out the ones that do not apply. Knowing which disorders to consider will enable the doctor make a proper diagnosis. Then, appropriate treatment plans can be discussed.

Symptoms of Panic Attacks

A panic attack occurs suddenly, intensifies quickly, and reaches its magnitude in approximately 15 minutes or less. Panic attacks can create such feelings of fear that an individual can feel like their throat is closing, their stomach is upset, or that they may even pass out. It is not unusual to perspire heavily or experience the sensation of a heart attack occurring, according to the DSM-IV criteria. The most important fact to remember is a panic attack is often unexpected, it just happens.

Evidence of Stress Attacks

Stress attacks are known to occur when a certain sound, thought/dream, or smell relative to the initial traumatic event, triggers another attack of intense fear. The initial event is repeatedly experienced over time because it is viewed as an assault on ones principles or on one’s physical body.

In some cases, according to the DSM-IV, stress attacks may continually happen for up to approximately four weeks and then cease. It is the length of duration of the attack, related to the initial traumatic event, that determines if an individual is experiencing stress attacks.

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Manifestation of Anxiety Attacks

Unlike panic attacks which occur suddenly, anxiety attacks involve feelings of apprehension and doom. The DSM-IV explains there can be an inability to focus as well as continual feelings of tiredness. Anxiety attacks are not related to an initial traumatic event as in the case of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Additionally, one would not engage in repetitive behaviors to reduce obsessions or compulsions. However, insomnia and other problems affecting sleep can be experienced as a result of an anxiety attack. According to Brown, O’Leary, and Barlow’s study in the Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders, Third Edition: A Step-by-Step Treatment Manual, the inability to control excessive worry is a notable symptom of anxiety attacks.

Treatment Solutions for Anxiety Disorders

Treatment for panic, stress, or anxiety attacks may include psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. Different types of psychotherapy are available for each diagnosis based on how well they work. New therapies and a combination of therapies are being studied continually for effectiveness. A variety of medications are also available for the different types of attacks an individual experiences. As is the case with new therapies, combining medications are also being studied. In some cases, psychotherapy and medications together may be the best treatment, depending on the diagnosis.

It is a wise person who likes to be informed about their life experiences. However, it is of the utmost importance for individuals to contact their own physician if they feel any of the above information applies to them. Of particular importance is if unexpected attacks occur more than once, or if excessive worry cannot be controlled, or the duration of the attacks continues to occur over a long period of time. Doctors do not self-diagnose, and it would be a good idea to follow the same principle; so please contact your own physician to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.

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Overwhelmed by Work Stress,Anxiety: Stress Reduction, Anxiety Relief from Overwhelm and Overwork

Millions of people are feeling stress and anxiety, and are overwhelmed by increasing responsibilities at work and home. Stress anxiety is compounded when family responsibilities must be faced after a stressed out work day. It’s no wonder so many people are anxious to find stress reduction cures and stress relievers.

Stress Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are normal reactions to internal or external forces that take people beyond their normal comfort levels. Stress can result from simply too much to do, or the anxiety of a values conflict.

Overworked, Overwhelmed and Stressed Out

The potential for being overworked, overwhelmed , and stressed out is very high in today’s do-it-all, have-it-all culture. Many believe the cure for stress and anxiety is to work more efficiently. Multitasking is a favorite strategy, yet researchers have proved when we multi-task we actually accomplish less and with lowered quality. Multi-tasking is not a stress reliever. It’s more likely that the answer to too much to do is doing only the important tasks and doing them one at a time. Here’s how…

Six Stress Management Keys

These six keys to stress reduction from overwhelming work will help you get back your work life balance.

  • Identify: Work day tasks can overwhelm when viewed at the end of the day or week, but lend themselves to rational analysis when captured on paper. For one week, keep a log of each task and how long you spent on it. Don’t forget to log activities such as interruptions from co-workers, coffee breaks, checking email and weather reports, office gossiping, and other sidetracking events. You’ll know that you captured nearly everything if your logs account for your normal work day.
  • Analyze: Now analyze your week’s worth of data with a detached and critical eye, think like an IRS auditor going over your tax return. The goal of this step is to find time-wasters, those activities that don’t contribute to successful completion of your job. Use the 80/20 rule. If you’re a sales person, look for the 20% of your tasks or customers providing 80% of your sales. If a writer, determine the activities that generate 80% of your output.
  • Prioritize: Identify the tasks most critical to performing your main job function and look back over your log. Was most of your time spent on these critical tasks? If not, it’s time to ruthlessly pare your activities. If the offending activities come from your boss, it’s time to ask for a priority list of your responsibilities. Don’t accept “they’re all equally important.”
  • Stay on task: Research studies show that our brains are built to do one thing at a time. Each time we’re interrupted, we lose time, focus, and quality in going back and forth between tasks. As complexity increases, the problem worsens. Jealously guard your ability to stay on task. Discipline yourself to check email and phone messages once or twice a day at set times. Ask your co-workers to honor no-interruption times of the day. Let them know you’ll respond to email and voicemail at set times and then follow through so they know they can count on you.
  • Automate: Each important but routine activity is a candidate for automation. For example, develop form letter responses to your routine communications. If you can’t automate, develop an efficient routine and always follow it.

Outsource: Don’t assume that you must continue to do everything yourself. Evaluate each task and responsibility for an opportunity to delegate, assign, convince, or hire someone else to do it. Be creative. Remember that your goal here is to reduce your workload and the resulting stress anxiety.

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Alcoholism Symptoms: Are You Into Alcohol Dependency Or Alcohol Abuse?

Alcoholism can impact people in many ways. There are those who can drink a glass of wine with their food and even drink in moderation during social settings without causing harm on their bodies. Too much or too often consumption of alcohol as well as the inability of the drinker to control his consumption are often signs of a bigger problem.

There are individuals that have the tendency to develop alcoholism or alcohol dependency and alcohol abuse. Often used interchangeably, these terms are actually a lot different.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers moderate drinking as having one or lesser drinks a day for women and 2 or lesser drinks a day for men.
  • Those who abuse alcohol usually drink copious amounts in social events or show risky behavior and poor judgment.
  • Alcoholics generally feel that they need alcohol just to live each day.

It really is not easy to become objective when trying to figure out your or your loved one’s problem with drinking as emotions can run high. A lot of rationalizations, as well as denials, can lead to confusions. Therefore, it would appear difficult to draw the line between acceptable and too much.

The boundaries could be fuzzy. The issues you may have with drinking can further be classified into alcohol dependence and problem drinking, but the latter is not a full-fledged addiction to the substance. However, their drinking could begin to affect their daily lives and put them at risk of becoming dependents later on.

So while technically some of the warning signs of the disease are the same as problem drinking, there is a lot of overlap. Take a look at the 10 important red flags to watch out for:

Hiding your drinking or lying about doing it.

One common thing that people who have problems with alcohol have is denial. Both alcoholics and problem drinkers often resort to drinking in secret or else lying about the amount of alcohol they consumed and making it seem like a trivial matter. It may not be easy to spot this person due to the very nature of it, but denial is seen as an important sign that there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Drinking to feel better or to relax.

Most of those who struggle with addiction, abuse addictive substances due to emotional reasons; most of the time could be stress, anxiety, or depression. Alcohol is often used to ease the negative feelings of an individual; however, this can be risky as alcohol can only provide temporary relief and may make things worse over time. So if you find yourself drinking more alcohol after a stressful day at work or when you feel like drinking to really relax then that is a sign that you are consuming alcohol as your emotional crutch.

Regularly “blacking out.”

Drinking too much of alcohol that you can no longer remember what happened when you were drunk is another sign that you have a problem with alcohol. This means that you have drunk too much. Next time around you have to ask yourself why you are drinking excessively. Then, remember that you do not have to black out just to have fun.

Inability to stop once you’ve started.

You always have to finish that bottle of wine when you open it or drink all of the beer you can find in your house. This is a tell-tale sign that you are no longer in control of your drinking and that you could have a problem with alcoholism.

Drinking in situations that may be dangerous after.

You drink when and where you should not be like before going to work or driving somewhere. You could also be going against doctor’s orders not to consume alcohol when on medication. Although nothing may go wrong just yet, each time you think of doing something similar, you run the risk of getting more complicated consequences each time.

Neglecting responsibilities.

You are now having problems in school, at work, or at home. Alcohol has already crossed the line from occasional indulgence to a problem with drinking that seriously affects your everyday functioning.

Showing problems in relationships.

If you find that your drinking is already causing issues with you and your friends, significant other, and family, then that means you have a problem with drinking.

Drinking a lot more than you previously did.

Another tell-tale sign of an addiction developing is tolerance. You may find that you have to increase your consumption to feel any effects of the substance. This is also a strong indicator that you are already becoming an alcoholic. Your body becomes exposed to the substance regularly that it is already able to cope with its existence inside your system more easily.

Withdrawal symptoms start to show.

Different from your usual hangover, your body now reacts to the lack of alcohol instead of too much of it. You are often tired, irritable, nauseous, anxious, or depressed when you cannot drink. Other withdrawal symptoms include losing your appetite, experiencing trembling or shakiness and having trouble sleeping.

Trying but unable to quit.

You may have already realized your problem with drinking in the past and have already decided to change. Later you may notice that you have become unsuccessful in your attempts. Quitting alcohol shows that you understand alcohol’s impact in your life but you are also able to recognize that since you are unable to quit by yourself, you could be struggling with an addiction to alcohol.

You should know that experiencing one of the aforementioned signs does not immediately mean that you are an alcoholic or a problem drinker. However, if you experience several of them, it is highly possible that your consumption of alcohol has reached way beyond its limits. It could be difficult but you should know that it is possible to seek treatment and recover from this medical condition just as with any other disease.

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Side Effects of Methadone

If used properly following under strict supervision methadone is an effective medication for severe pain. As a long-lasting drug, experts use it for Methadone Maintenance Treatment or MMT. For users who have been addicted to opiates such as heroin, MMT can ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. The medication also helps the user’s chance of recovery in preventing relapses, a common occurrence during rehab.

Even during this MMT, health care providers need to meticulously monitor administering the drug to prevent overdose and further withdrawal symptoms. Methadone contains a long-lasting drug life which stays in the system for as long as 56 hours. If another dose is taken too soon, it can lead to a fatal drug overdose.

Quick facts about Methadone

  •    Between the year 2001 to 2007, methadone abuse drastically increased seven-fold when doctors begun prescribing it as a pain reliever.
  •    In a report about drug overdose in Florida that spans over five years, methadone ranks as the second cause of death. Cocaine still tops the list for drug overdoses fatalities.
  •    In the US, methadone overdose fatalities increased about 400% from the year 2001 until 2004.
  •    The most common effects of methadone are addiction, drug overdose and death.
  •    Users typically combine methadone with other drugs and alcohol which lead to drug overdose.
  •    Any substance that contains the following can increase the dangerous effects of methadone, these are:

o    antidepressants

o    alcohol

o    anti-anxiety medications

o    antihistamines

Prolonged use of methadone can result in tolerance to the drug. Once tolerance develops, addiction sets making the situation even more dangerous for users. In controlled condition, methadone is relatively safe but in other instances, it can provide a long list of health hazards as long as users abusing the drug.

Methadone Side Effects

  •    Weight gain
  •    Nausea
  •    Intolerance to heat
  •    Low blood pressure
  •    Vomiting
  •    Irregular heartbeat
  •    Insomnia
  •    Loss of sexual interest
  •    Loss of appetite
  •    Difficulty urinating
  •    Swelling of hands and arms, feet and legs

A separate study conducted in New Zealand added health hazards which include:

  •    Abscesses
  •    Sleep disturbances
  •    Dental problems
  •    Sweating
  •    Headache
  •    Fatigue
  •    Depression
  •    Hay fever

Several symptoms of methadone users

  •    People who abuse methadone suffers from poorer health condition than the other group of population.
  •    42% of methadone users also suffer psychological problems like depression.
  •    Users tend to have the poor diets, skipping meals for days and have cravings for sweet foods.
  •    Methadone users also have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep because of nightmares.

Effects of Methadone in Pregnancy

When a woman takes methadone during her pregnancy, her newborn suffers. The baby may suffer withdrawal symptoms that of adults after birth. However, the mother may not suffer from the withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms include:

  •    weight gain or weight loss
  •    irritability
  •    over activeness
  •    seizures

If a mother who used methadone during pregnancy and breastfed her baby, the drug can make its way into her milk feeding it to her baby. Babies may show these symptoms:

  •    vomiting
  •    nausea
  •    itchiness
  •    poor appetite
  •    trouble sleeping

The increasing number of drug abuse factors in for overdose cases in the country. Watch out for these methadone overdose symptoms:

  •    Constipation
  •    Nausea
  •    Stomach or intestinal spasm
  •    Small pinpoint pupils
  •    Nausea
  •    Dizziness
  •    Fatigue
  •    Drowsiness
  •    Blue lips and fingernails
  •    Vomiting
  •    Muscle twitches
  •    Limp muscles
  •    Weakness
  •    Cold, clammy skin
  •    Difficulty breathing
  •    Stopped breathing
  •    Shallow breathing
  •    Slow breathing
  •    Disorientation
  •    Coma
  •    Sudden death

In a suspected drug overdose, bringing the user to an emergency room is the safest thing to do. Ignoring to do so could lead to more fatal results and possibly death of the user.  Upon arriving at the emergency room, doctors may administer several things such as:

  •    Activated charcoal medication
  •    Fluids via intravenous
  •    Breathing tube
  •    An antidote to reverse the effects of the drug
  •    A tube inserted through the mouth into the stomach to wash it out (gastric lavage)
  •    Induced vomiting

Doctors may also treat other methadone overdose symptoms as they arise. For severe cases, they administer appropriate medication for heart or kidney problems.

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How Long is the Withdrawal from Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a very powerful opiate use as a medical treatment for pain. The drug contains addictive properties similar to illegal drugs like heroin. However, fentanyl is 100 more times potent than heroin and cocaine. This makes the side effects of the drug more intense and deadly. There are several forms of fentanyl sold in the market, these are:

  •    injectable form (Sublimaze)
  •    transdermal patches (Duragesic)
  •    lollipops (Aqtic)

In recent years, fentanyl abuse increased drastically according to The Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA. Experts noticed the increased in several instances like:

  •    emergency department visits
  •    drug seizure cases
  •    drug overdose related incidents

Fentanyl Abuse

Users who use fentanyl for a long time are at risk of developing tolerance and dependence. They may experience withdrawal symptoms whenever they attempt to stop using fentanyl. Unfortunately, because of the high potency and severe intensity of fentanyl, withdrawal symptoms can be more severe compare to other opiates.

Undergoing ‘cold turkey’ remains as the top reason why users do not want to stop using fentanyl.  Because of the difficulty quitting the drug, users are stuck  crash and use cycle.

However difficult it may seem, quitting the addiction is still possible. Some the things that may help users quit fentanyl addiction include:

  •    understanding withdrawal symptoms
  •    the process involved during withdrawal
  •    aftercare to avoid any possibility of relapses

Tapering off Fentanyl

Tapering means gradually decreasing the dosage of fentanyl until the body re-learns to function without the drug. In doing so, it can reduce the discomfort of the withdrawal symptoms. Slowly removing fentanyl from the body is also referred as weaning off from the drug. Tapering off from fentanyl needs careful monitoring and precise medications from medical practitioners. This will ensure:

  •    the drug leaves the body gradually to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms
  •    Withdrawal symptoms may manage to avoid any possibilities of relapses

This method varies from an individual to anther and doctors may utilize different approaches. Several factors play an important role when tapering off from fentanyl, these include:

  •    The dependence level of users (the heavy the user is, the slower tapering needs)
  •    Severity of the addiction
  •    Co-existent disorders like mental disorder or other medical problems
  •    the duration of fentanyl abuse
  •    Other occurring substance abuse (other substances can hinder and interact with fentanyl)

Detoxification

Detoxification means removing all traces of fentanyl from the body safely. A detox program will eliminate all toxic substances from the body.

A detox program can either be done in an inpatient or outpatient depending on the user’s condition. However, for fentanyl users, detox is usually done in a health care facility to ensure the safety of the user. Medical practitioners need to monitor several things like:

  •    physical aspects of addiction and the mental health of the users
  •    vital signs
  •    medications needed to ensure gradual fentanyl excretion
  •    manage the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms

The process usually lasts around 5 to 7 days and can extend for more than 10 days depending on the severity of the addiction. Some people need more time compare to other users. A meticulous evaluation can help determine the most appropriate detox time process for each individual.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

When users choose to stop using fentanyl the body goes into withdrawal process. Opioid withdrawal symptoms usually start within 12 to 30 hour from the last drug intake. Fentanyl transdermal patches take longer to leave the body. It can last up to 72 hours after removing the patch. The drug has a half-life of 17 hours and withdrawal can start at least a day after removal.

Withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl include:

  •    Restlessness
  •    Tearing up
  •    Runny nose
  •    Chills
  •    Backache
  •    Stomach cramps
  •    Pain in joints
  •    Muscles Pains
  •    Goosebumps
  •    Muscle weakness
  •    Nausea
  •    Vomiting
  •    Anorexia
  •    Diarrhea
  •    Elevated heart rate
  •    Hypertension
  •    Increased respiratory rate
  •    Insomnia
  •    Anxiety
  •    Pupil dilation
  •    Yawning
  •    Sweating

Fentanyl withdrawal timeline

Because of the short-acting half-life of fentanyl, it takes about three days to leave the body. Withdrawal symptoms usually last for 14 days to a month but some psychological symptoms may linger for a while. Depression and problems feeling any pleasure along with cravings may last several months to a year.

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms peak in the first few days and fade within a week or so.  The withdrawal timeline of the drug is as follows:

1 to 3 days

Within several hours of stopping fentanyl intake, withdrawal symptoms will start. Some of the initial withdrawal symptoms include:

  •    muscle and joint pain
  •    headaches
  •    stomach cramps
  •    shaking
  •    restlessness
  •    sleepiness

3 to 7 days

The symptoms may continue to peak but include some more withdrawal symptoms like:

  •    nausea
  •    vomiting
  •    diarrhea
  •    runny nose

8 to 21 days

Withdrawal symptoms will begin to fade but psychological problems may start to surface like depression and anxiety.

Beyond 21 days

Other symptoms that may arise and need to properly address to ensure full recovery of the user. Proper aftercare can also avoid cravings and relapses.

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How Long Fentanyl Stay in your System

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl belongs to a synthetic opiate group of drug used as a pain reliever. One of the most powerful opiates in the market, it is 50 times more deadly than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Doctors usually prescribe the drug as a pain management treatment for patients with:

  •    severe or chronic pain
  •    patients who suffered injuries
  •    who undergone surgery

The US Food and Drug Administration classified fentanyl as a Schedule II opiate drug. This means that the drug contains a high potential for abuse even though it has some medicinal purposes. Over the past few years, fentanyl gained negative attention because of the increasing number of people abusing the drug. The addictive properties of fentanyl are similar to heroin and other illegal street drugs.

Street names of fentanyl include:

  •    Apache
  •    China girl
  •    China White
  •    dance fever
  •    friend
  •    goodfella
  •    jackpot
  •    murder 8
  •    TNT
  •    Tango
  •    Cash

How fentanyl works

Fentanyl affects the brain receptors and the spinal cord to lessen the feeling of pain. It also controls how the individual responds to pain. The drug activates the opiate receptors in the brain which controls and process emotions and pain sensitivity. Using the drug for a long period of time often leads to severe physical and psychological dependence. Even if used a prescribed and despite various health benefits, many users become addictive to the drug.

How fentanyl produces ‘high’ euphoric feeling

Fentanyl increases the dopamine levels in the brain which produces an intense euphoric feeling or the ‘high’.  This sensation is what users seek when using fentanyl. However, as the drug produces the ‘high’ sensation, it also affects some critical bodily functions like the heart rate and breathing process.

When taken in excess, fentanyl abuse can depress the respiratory system leading to a drug overdose. The drug can either stop breathing, incite brain damage and death. Individuals can easily get addicted to fentanyl whether get a prescription from their doctors or obtaining the drug illegally.

Unfortunately, because of the wide spread abuse, fentanyl can easily obtain from several channels like:

  •    buying from street dealers
  •    changing from one doctor to another, ‘ doctor shopping’
  •    stealing prescription medications
  •    purchasing from uncertified online pharmacies even without a valid prescription

Abusing fentanyl put the user at risk for several health problems such as:

  •    developing tolerance
  •    getting addicted to fentanyl
  •    risky behaviors
  •    serious health problems
  •    poor decision-making
  •    accidental drug overdose
  •    death

How long fentanyl stays in your system

Even if fentanyl users hide their addiction, there are several ways in detecting drug use. Different drug tests can detect specific time frames. Some of the drug tests include:

  •    blood
  •    urine
  •    hair
  •    saliva

Experts utilized urine testing to detect fentanyl, the most common drug test. However, there are several factors which come into play in detecting how long fentanyl stay in the system. Several drug tests prove effective with certain drugs. It is important to know which of these tests will best detect a particular drug and other factors which could affect the drug testing.

Factors that influence fentanyl drug testing include:

  •    The amount of drug used (the dosage that the user take in each occasion; the higher the dosage, the longer it remains in the system)
  •    The physical wellness of the user (such as height, weight, and bodily functions)
  •    How fast the body can metabolize the drug (metabolism rate can affect how fast or how slow the drug exits from the body)

On average, urine testing can effectively detect fentanyl more than 12 hours. But hair follicle testing can detect accurately detect fentanyl up to three months.

How long does Fentanyl stay in urine?

Typically, a urine test can detect fentanyl from 8 hours to 24 hours from the last drug intake.

How long does Fentanyl stay in blood?

Another common drug test that experts to analyze drug abuse is through blood testing. On average, fentanyl stays in the blood for more than 12 hours from the last dose.

How long does Fentanyl stay in saliva?

Saliva testing is a less common method when testing fentanyl usage. This test can detect fentanyl use more efficiently than blood or urine testing. Usually, saliva test can detect fentanyl use from day 1 up to 3 days after the last drug use.

How long does Fentanyl stay in hair?

Experts considered and some of the best addiction center hair testing as the most accurate methods of detecting the drug in the system. It can detect more precise usage of drug use compared to blood, urine, and saliva. But, this test is more expensive that other drug tests.  Hair follicle testing can detect fentanyl for up to three months from the last fentanyl dose.

In summary, drug test can detect fentanyl from the last dose:

  •    saliva = 1 to 3 days
  •    blood =  12 hours
  •    urine = 8 to 24 hours
  •    hair = up to 90 days

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How to Detox from Methadone

Many health care professionals and addiction treatment center use methadone to treat opiate addiction like heroin. But long-term use of the drug can result in drug dependence. Eventually, the event will lead to drug addiction.

When taken properly as prescribed, methadone is relatively safe.

Some of the uses of methadone include:

  •    treatment for opiate addiction
  •    as a pain reliever

As a long-lasting opioid synthetically made, it still contains properties with high potential for abuse. Patients can become addicted to methadone even if they use it as a treatment medication. Most methadone treatment involves health care facilities which administer the dose to patients.

However, it holds some drawbacks. These are:

  •    Location.

Most of the centers are located far from where users live.

  •    The long wait.

Only a handful of certified centers exist. If users arrive in centers they may need to wait in line to get their dose.

  •    Unsafe environment.

Since centers are well popular within the community, dealers try to sell illegal drugs outside the facility.

  •    Mischievous Motive.

Most certified methadone facilities see users as a source of income rather than someone who needs help recovering from the addiction. They feel contemptuous when users say they want to stop using the drug.

However, prolonged use of methadone can also produce withdrawal symptoms if an individual suddenly stops using the drug. Going through methadone withdrawal is a discomfort sometimes painful experience. It is important to have a medical practitioner monitor the health condition of the user during this sensitive period.

Using methadone has its own disadvantage.  However, successful addiction treatment is very plausible.

Here are some of the facts about methadone in treating opiate addiction:

  •    Methadone can ease withdrawal symptoms. As a long-lasting drug, it prevents intense cravings up to 24 hours or more.
  •    The drug is inexpensive, requires no needles and most of all legal to use.
  •    Many people can access methadone without going through much trouble of getting one.
  •    Anyone can buy methadone from various certified pharmacies. Unlike illegal drugs that are only available on the streets and drug dealers.
  •    Methadone formulation came from license pharmaceutical companies.
  •    Undergoing methadone treatment will let users keep their job and function normally in their daily routine.
  •    Going through methadone medication is socially acceptable and does not give out discrimination.

However, methadone contains addictive properties similar to other opiates. Here are some of the negative effects of methadone:

  •    Methadone is more addictive and more difficult to undergo withdrawal than OxyContin and heroin.
  •    Some people develop drug dependency over methadone. Simply because they cannot endure the pain related to withdrawal symptoms once they stop.
  •    Doctors prescribe methadone to prevent painful withdrawal symptoms. However, many users take the drug along with other drugs or alcohol to get ‘high’.
  •    It is a very powerful drug, especially when mixing with alcohol and another drug.

Detoxifying on Methadone at home

Even though methadone is a very addictive drug, detoxifying at home remains a possibility and is considered effective. But it may involve some discomfort to the user and it will take time. Here are some of the things that might help during detox:

  •    Commit quitting methadone regardless how hard it would be. The detox process for methadone usually lasts from six up to ten months.
  •    Read different subjects about methadone; how it works, how it affects the body particularly about withdrawal symptoms. This will help to prepare the mind and the body on what to expect during the process.
  •    Find an alternative medical practitioner who can monitor the physical and psychological problems during the detox. An alternative doctor will not easily prescribe a drug but instead, will address directly address the problem.

Methadone Withdrawal

In higher doses, methadone acts as a very powerful addictive drug. Usually, the drug used as a substitute for an opiate addiction treatments, leading users to trade the methadone over their original addiction. Tolerance can build quickly, controlling users to take more of the drug to get the same effect. Along with tolerance, dependence also develops and users will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body managed to adapt the drug in its bodily function. Without methadone, it needs to re-establish its normal function. As the drug leaves the body, it makes it painful for the user making recovery more difficult.

Although detoxifying at home is possible, it is best to do the withdrawal process in a medical environment. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs often include medical detox. This is due to the adverse symptoms of methadone produces.

Withdrawal process for each individual varies because of the genetic make-up. Similarly, depending on the severity of the addiction, the duration of withdrawal also varies. These two greatly influence on how long the withdrawal process will take.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of methadone are less intense than other opiates like heroin and morphine. It includes flu-like symptoms such as:

  •    Chills
  •    Fever
  •    Anxiety
  •    Muscle aches and pains
  •    Nausea or vomiting
  •    Sweating
  •    Rapid heartbeat
  •    Stomach cramps
  •    Irritability

Other symptoms include:

  •    Paranoia
  •    Diarrhea
  •    Cravings
  •    Insomnia
  •    Hallucinations
  •    Depression

Duration of Withdrawal

Symptoms usually show up within 24 hours from the last drug intake. Since methadone is a long-acting drug, it can take between 15 to 60 hours before methadone leaves the system. In rare occasions, withdrawals symptom may take several days to begin.

Events during withdrawal symptoms:

  •    In typical cases, methadone withdrawal last for about three to six weeks.
  •    For severe cases, it may take several weeks.
  •    The worst symptoms occur during the first 7 to 10 days.
  •    Flu-like symptoms usually appear first followed by psychological symptoms.
  •    Over the next few weeks, withdrawal symptoms will start to fade, making it easier for users to recover from addiction.

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What Helps Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms?

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms of methadone addiction show similarities that of other opiates like heroin and morphine. Some of the symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as:

  •    Chills
  •    Fever
  •    Anxiety
  •    Muscle aches
  •    Stomach pains
  •    Nausea
  •    Vomiting
  •    Sweating
  •    Rapid heartbeat
  •    Stomach cramps
  •    Irritability
  •    Paranoia
  •    Diarrhea
  •    Cravings
  •    Insomnia
  •    Hallucinations
  •    Depression

The symptoms may look like simple but the experience can still be uncomfortable and painful. Also, if methadone users consume multiple illegal substances, the withdrawal process may take longer and more severe.

Most users fear to quit the “cold turkey” because of intense withdrawal symptoms. Medical practitioners often prescribe tapering off methadone to gradually remove the drug from the body. This will make the withdrawal process more bearable for the user.

Duration of Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms of methadone usually surface within 24 hours from the last dose. Depending on the severity of the addiction, it can take from 15 hours to 60 hours before the body flushes out methadone completely. For chronic cases, it takes several days before withdrawal starts.

The Withdrawal Process

The withdrawal process typically lasts three to six weeks except for users with severe addiction. The first week until the 10th day of withdrawal remains as the worst experience for users. But over the next several weeks, withdrawal symptoms will eventually fade.

Knowing what to expect during withdrawal symptoms will help users prepare for the worst. Understanding how methadone affects the body makes it easier for users to seek appropriate help.

Here is a quick look at what happens during withdrawal period

The first 24 hours:

o   Usually, withdrawal symptoms become apparent within the first 24 hours after the last drug intake.

o    Physical symptoms appear such as:

o    fever

o    chills

o    muscle aches

o    runny nose

o    rapid heartbeat

2 to 10 days

o   The following days even weeks, users will experience very strong methadone cravings.

o    Flu-like symptoms will still persist but some psychological symptoms will start to appear like:

o    hallucinations

o    insomnia

o    paranoia

o    irritability

11 to 21 days

o   After a week or so, most of the physical will begin to disappear, giving way to cravings and depression to set in. Psychological symptoms will become more intense and severe giving users difficult to feel any pleasure.

22 days and over

o   Most of the symptoms will disappear; if anything remains it should be very mild. However, users may still feel depressed for several weeks. The body will then re-learn to function normally without methadone.

Medications that help with methadone withdrawal symptoms

As uncomfortable as it can be, users can still take some medication to ease the discomfort. However, doctors can prescribe medications for various illnesses as they arise. Doctors often give or prescribe medications like:

o    for diarrhea, loperamide (Imodium)

o    for symptoms of nausea and dizziness, meclizine (Bonine), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or Benadryl.

Muscles aches and stomach cramps can be cured with:

o    acetaminophen (Tylenol)

o    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil).

Other medications are specifically made to ease withdrawal symptoms like:

  •    Buprenorphine
  •    Naloxone
  •    Clonidine

These medications can shorten even relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms of methadone, along with the help of the best rehab clinic in your area. Also, taking these medications can ensure full recovery of a methadone addiction.

However, even if these medications are widely available as over-the-counter drugs, it is still important to follow the correct dosage. Never take the drug longer than intended or in larger doses. Since withdrawal symptoms last from few days to several weeks, it is best to purchase medications that can during this time.

Medications

Taking medication can ease the physical discomfort. But to somehow address the psychological symptoms, it is best to keep the mind occupies. Some of the activities listed below can distract the mind with:

  •    watching movies
  •    reading books
  •    finding an enjoyable hobby

Keep the mind occupied

Keeping the mind occupied and finding pleasant activities increases endorphins in the body. This can add up to the long-term success of the recovery program.  It would also help a lot to keep comfortable as much as possible. Prepare extra blankets, sheets, clothes and even a fan because of excessive sweating.

Build a support group

Talking to family members or close friends about the treatment will provide support needed during the treatment. They can check on the progress, offer help when things go bad, and comfort users during psychological break down.

Finding support group and sharing experiences can help:

  •    during the low times of the withdrawal process
  •    provide emotional support
  •    help deals with relapses, a common occurrence in the withdrawal process

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Stopping Drug Addiction without Rehabilitation

A lot of people are saying that stopping addiction or drug addiction is not possible if the person will not undergo rehabilitation.  However, few people still believe about quitting addiction without rehabilitation. Recovery from such challenges is still possible and many succeeded going through this road less traveled. Let’s try to explore on the thought of stopping addiction without going through rehabilitation.

One of the main ingredients or components in wanting to stop addiction without going through any drug rehabilitation center is YOU. A lot of health experts and physicians would say that in order for an addict to stop, they must first be willing to stop.  So the key to your rehabilitation without being confined to any rehabilitation facility is yourself.

Psychologists would often say that addiction is caused by the person’s inability to cope with different situations in their life, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and problems.  If the key factor to stopping addiction is yourself, you may need to bear the following things in mind:

Your reason to change.  

The hardest and greatest motivator is your reasons to change.  The most successful people are those who are able to discover their deepest WHY? Questions like: Why do I want to stop using drugs? Why do I want to change?  This is a major factor that would determine your success in quitting the addiction.

Knowing your deepest why and having that motivation of wanting to do whatever it takes in order to change your life and stop using drugs totally would be the best start to stop addiction without rehabilitation.

Set your goals.  

If you really want to change, you need to set your goals and determined to finish it.  In setting your goals, you have to bear in mind that your goals should be: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.  Setting your goals would give you a roadmap of how things are going to be.  Goal-setting is essential because this is the blueprint of what you want to happen in your life.  As successful people often say, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

Focus.

Just like in any other goal, you have to focus.  There might have been previous attempts where you failed, previous scenarios when you said you want to quit, but then, when you start doing it, you slide back.  If you focus on your goal of really wanting to quit, no matter how many times you slide back, you would always get back on your feet and try again.

Change your environment.  

One of the things that often let you slide is due to the environment that you have. If you keep living in an environment that lures you into using drugs, then the tendency is that you would go back into using it.  Changing your environment includes changing your friends.  If your friends are the ones influencing you to use drugs, then take them out.  Changing your environment means changing the people you interact with, changing the places that you go to, and totally removing all the stuff that would remind you to go back to use drugs again.

Have a Support Group.

Having a support group is essential if you would want to stop your drug addiction and resolve not to go back into it.  Your support group can be your family, your best friend, or a colleague who has your best interests in mind.  You should let them know of your desire, and keep an open communication with them so that during times when you feel like you want to go back into using drugs, they can provide you the appropriate support that you would need to prevent you from going into a relapse.

Know your triggers.  

In every feeling, scenario, or moments when you wanted to use drugs, there will always be triggers.  The important thing in your journey towards a drug-free life is knowing what triggers you to think of going back into the use of drugs.  Knowing your triggers would allow you to avoid falling into those triggers.  This can be associated with the previous topic where you would need to change your environment.  Knowing what your triggers are would allow you to include this in the things that you need to change in your environment.

Therapy.  

Therapy is also one effective solution to stop drug addiction.  Since experts say that addiction is something that is triggered by our mental state, the best way to be able to fight it is through different therapy sessions.  Some psychologists would even recommend going into hypnotherapy just to help a person remove their dependency on drugs.  Some even state that drug addiction is just like an alcohol addiction or smoking addiction.  People tend to use drugs because of some wrong belief or conception which should be changed and the only way to change it is through therapy.

There are several other types of treatment that one can explore and find out about.  There is no single treatment applicable for each drug dependent who wants to change and thus, it would be wise for one to explore his options in terms of seeking treatment, whether it be a medical treatment or psychological treatment.  Last, there are several reasons that would want you to stop your addiction and dependency on drugs so just think of the positive impact it can have in your life, such as:

  • Becoming healthier
  • Reducing your risk of death
  • Keeping your job
  • Preserving your relationships
  • Having more money
  • Regaining the ability to be a real person again, having authentic emotions, etc.

 

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How Cocaine Stay in the System

Definition of Cocaine

Cocaine is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as a smoke, or as a solution injected into a vein.

Historically speaking cocaine is being used as a topical anesthetic in eye and nasal surgery. Also as a result of improper use, one of the major disadvantages of the drug can cause vasoconstrictor activity. As well as a threat for a potential for cardiovascular toxicity. To control cravings of cocaine, Western medicine has long since replaced it with synthetic local anesthetics such as:

  •  benzocaine
  •  proparacaine
  •  lidocaine
  •  tetracaine

Apparently, it remains available for use if specified or prescribed by an authorized person. Doctors need the vasoconstriction properties of cocaine for medical procedures. They combine anesthetic with a vasoconstrictor such as phenylephrine or epinephrine.

For medical purposes topical cocaine, doctors use a local numbing agent to help with painful procedures in the mouth or nose.

Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. The duration of its effects can last from fifteen or thirty minutes to an hour. Its effects depend on the amount taken and the route of administration. Cocaine takes the form of a fine white powder which bitters to the taste. When inhaled or injected in a person body, it can cause a numbing effect on the body.

Cocaine also increases different sensations in the body, which may include:

  • alertness
  • feelings of well-being and euphoria
  • energy
  • motor activity
  • feelings of competence
  • increased sexual desires

It has stimulant effects that are similar to that of amphetamine. However, these effects tend to be much shorter lasting and more prominent.

Drug injection refers to the procedure turning the drug or the cocaine into a solution. This provides the highest blood levels of the drug in the shortest amount of time. Subjective effects not commonly shared with other methods of administration may include a ringing in the ears moments. This happens after injection of more than 120 milligrams and lasting 2 to 5 minutes including tinnitus and audio distortion.

This is colloquially referred to as a “bell ringer”. An average time to reach peak subjective effects takes about 3.1 minutes after taking the drug.

Cocaine contains properties that make it addictive intoxicant. It produces intense stimulating effects that can cause long-term damage to the body and brain.

Duration of Cocaine in our System

Cocaine is a very fast-acting central nervous system stimulant that produces an intense but short-lived euphoric high, lasting for only 15 minutes to an hour.

Usually, cocaine levels peak in the blood about 30 minutes after in gestation.

However, this depends largely on how it’s taken.

  • Intravenous use: Effects felt within 5 minutes.
  • Snorting: Effects felt within 30 minutes.
  • Smoking: Effects felt within 45 minutes.
  • Oral ingestion: Effects felt within 60 minutes.

Other factors may include the amount taken at once, body chemistry, and how long and heavily the individual uses it. Though it takes time for the levels of the drug to peak, the effects can be felt instantly with:

  •  injection or snorting,
  •  and immediately with smoking.

This initial high is often referred to as a rush.

This fades after a short period of time, resulting in an unpleasant crash. The cycle of high, crash, and then seeking more of the drug to counter the crash can easily lead to an increase tolerance and eventually addiction.

Cocaine’s half-life is nearly just as short at only an hour and not more than that. This means that it will take about an hour for half of the cocaine consumed to leave the body. However, heavy, long-term use will cause the drug to start to accumulate in body tissues, allowing certain tests to detect the drug in the system for an extended period of time.

What to test in order to obtain if someone has used or using cocaine?

Cocaine can also be detected in the blood and saliva for an average of 12-48 hours after last use. Unlike many other intoxicants, cocaine will stay in a person’s sweat for an extended period of time, up to several weeks. It can also be found in a user’s hair for years after an individual stops taking the drug. However, urine is the most preferred method of testing for most medical facilities and in any legal situations.

Anyone who regularly needs to be tested for cocaine is likely to have an addiction disorder.

After a single use of cocaine, metabolism creates agents of the drug which are detected in a person’s urine for 2-4 days. However, for some chronic users, or if it follows a heavy binge, cocaine can be detected in urine for up to 12 days.

The length that urine tests are effective also depends on the size of the dose and the purity of the substance. Extremely high doses can cause cocaine metabolites to be detectable for up to 3 weeks.

If you’re wondering how long after last using cocaine that a drug test will be able to detect the drug in the body, the answer to that will depend on:

  • How long you’ve been abusing cocaine.
  • Your average amount used each time.
  • The functionality of your liver.
  • The type of test used to detect cocaine in your system.

Cocaine and its breakdown products may be detected after last use of the drug in 1 of 5 different ways – each of which has varying detection duration times:

  • Urine = 2-3 days (or 2 weeks, for chronic cocaine users)
  • Blood = 12-48 hours
  • Saliva = 12-48 hours
  • Sweat = several weeks
  • Hair = a few months to years

In non-emergency situations, urine testing is often the most preferred testing method. It has a wider detection window than blood or saliva and also offers a non-invasive testing approach.

Blood testing is more commonly used in scenarios of some acute cocaine intoxication. Hair testing has the widest detection window but requires a more advanced detection technique, as there are many factors that can skew hair testing results.

The amount of time that you will continue to experience the immediate effects of cocaine on the body varies by the route of administration – in other words, how you used it:

  • Intravenous administration = 15-30 minutes.
  • Inhalation (Smoked) = 15-30 minutes.
  • Intranasal = 1 hour.
  • Gastrointestinal = 3 hours

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

Checkout this playlist for more info

 

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