Tag Archives: mental health

Can Methadone Cause Personality Disorders?

There is a strong link between the abuse of methadone and personality disorders. In general, there is a connection between a great number of personality disorders and opioid addictions. The more you know about the true impact of being addicted to methadone, the better equipped you will be to break away from the opioid addiction that is controlling your life.

Methadone and Personality Disorders

Studies have shown that those who are addicted to methadone demonstrate a specific set of personality traits that are indicative of a personality disorder.

Some of these traits include the following:

  • Neuroticism
  • Anti-social tendencies
  • Paranoia
  • Impulsivity
  • Short temper
  • Hostility
  • Loss of self-esteem

These same traits can also be indicative of a true mental disorder, which can make diagnosis a bit tricky sometimes. You may struggle with coming to terms with the changes in yourself or your loved one but may not readily attribute the changes to an addiction. With the personality concerns often building up over time, methadone abuse is not always suspected as being the primary culprit behind the personality alterations.

Depression and thoughts of suicide can also accompany methadone abuse. Hostility to family and friends, no longer enjoying things that were once a source of comfort and entertainment and displaying the signs of paranoid personality disorders or even some form of schizoid personality disorder are all markers that could potentially mask the fact that you are addicted to methadone.

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Recovering from Methadone Abuse

Methadone is often used as a substitute for those who are weaning themselves off of heroin. While these types of programs offered at a licensed methadone clinic can be effective, they are not a good choice for individuals with personality disorders or mental health concerns.

Group counseling sessionIn order to truly get the right type of help for an addiction to methadone and personality disorders, you need to seek out treatment in a rehab facility that can offer you dual diagnosis treatment.

What this means is that you will receive treatment from medical professionals who recognize that you are addicted to methadone and are also displaying the signs of a mental health problem and potentially issues with personality disorders.

You will then receive customized treatment plans that work to address both the addiction to methadone and your personality disorder so that you are treated holistically. You are not treated simply as someone struggling with addiction or a personality disorder. Rather, you are treated as a whole. This will help to ensure that your recovery is comprehensive and successful.

Getting Help for Methadone Abuse

If you or a loved one is addicted to methadone, call our toll-free helpline today at 760-548-4032. We can help guide you to a methadone detox program that will treat both the addiction to methadone and personality disorders, while also effectively addressing mental health concerns. You are not alone and don’t have to face your addiction by yourself. Call us today.

Can Methadone Interact with My Anti-Depressant?

opiate use in the homeMethadone is an opioid (narcotic) analgesic (painkiller) that many people use to treat heroin or opiate addiction. It has a very long half-life, which means that it stays in an individual’s system for quite a long time, so other medications can affect its efficacy. Complications arise when medications have to compete for sites in similar regions of the body to be metabolized.

In other words, any drug that affects the same part of the body as methadone may exacerbate or weaken its effects.

Many adverse reactions to drugs occur because of interactions with other substances. In other words, other drugs can affect the amount or action of a drug in the body, usually by increasing or decreasing the amount of drugs the body can metabolize. Avoiding these interactions can be difficult, especially for individuals receiving methadone treatment who also have co-occurring disorders, such as depression. Because so many issues are treated with medication, people may take several drugs at once to handle their problems.

Generally speaking, methadone is a well-tolerated medication that has minimal adverse reactions when taken as prescribed.

However, the following drugs can harm methadone users in various ways:

  • Benzodiazepines can enhance the sedative effect of methadone
  • Buprenorphine can have an antagonist effect or enhance sedative and respiratory depression, which can trigger withdrawal symptoms
  • Other tricyclic antidepressants can enhance sedative effect which is does when users become dependent
  • Fluoxetine can raise methadone levels
  • Fluoxamine can raise plasma methadone levels
  • Other SSRIs can raise plasma methadone levels
  • MAOIs can cause CNS excitation, delirium, convulsions and respiratory depression
  • Buprenorphine can trigger difficult withdrawal symptoms, thereby increasing risk of central nervous system and psychomotor depression
  • Tricyclic anti-depressants can increase sedation

To protect your health while receiving methadone addiction treatment, it is important to follow standard protocols, like the following examples:

  • Participate in behavioral components of treatment, such as support groups and individual counseling
  • Follow methadone prescriptions to the letter
  • Inform your doctors of any medication and supplement you currently take
  • Follow a medically supervised tapering schedule

Methadone addiction is a serious condition that requires medical help to quit. With treatment, it is possible to regain your health. Comprehensive rehab centers also provide counseling to help users understand the causes of their addictive behavior.

Help for Methadone Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from methadone addiction, we can help. Admissions coordinators are available at our toll-free, 24-hour helpline to guide you to wellness. Please call 760-548-4032 now for instant help.

Rohypnol Tolerance and Abuse

Users can develop a tolerance for a drug with frequent drug use. That’s because your body continually adapts to the foreign chemicals and sets a higher equilibrium level. This is called developing a tolerance. Once a new level is set, a person must take more drugs to achieve the same effect previously achieved on less.

Moreover, if a person doesn’t increase the dosage to keep up with rising tolerance levels, the body can start incurring withdrawal symptoms. This is the essence of an addition, and it can be especially dangerous with a drug like Rohypnol.

Dangers of Rohypnol Tolerance

It is not a winning endorsement if more people know Rohypnol as the “date-rape drug” than by its actual name. Rohypnol is banned in the U.S. but is easily obtained in Europe and Latin America. The following are some of its potential dangers:

  • Amnesiac effects that make it a popular tool for sex offenders and kidnappers
  • Addiction similar to alcohol, withdrawals worse than opiates
  • Change the way the brain functions until well after recovery
  • Potentially damage vital body organs
  • Strong synergistic effects with alcohol
  • Seriously affect a person’s judgment and actions

Benzodiazepines like Rohypnol present serious dangers for someone who abruptly quits. A sudden stop in Rohypnol use can cause the following symptoms:

  • Dangerous delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • A sense of going mad
  • Potentially fatal seizures

Psychological effects also include anxiety, psychosis, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts.

What Is Your Rohypnol Tolerance Level?

Whether you are self-medicating anxiety or chasing a high, you need to evaluate your Rohypnol tolerance level to see if an addiction has taken hold. The following are signs of addiction:

  • You need larger doses to achieve the same effect
  • You are often preoccupied with acquiring more pills
  • You experience insomnia or anxiety without the drug
  • You limit your social circle to users
  • You suffer headaches that only the drug can take away

If you exhibit any of these signs or have been using for an extended period, it’s time for a realistic evaluation of your tolerance level. It’s likely raised and in need of treatment.

Treatment for Rohypnol Addiction

Because of the drug’s many health risks, proper treatment is recommended for high Rohypnol tolerance levels. Detox is medically supervised and designed to reduce physical withdrawals and mental health complications. Facilities achieve many of these goals by using a tapered approach that weans a person off the drug at a steadily decreasing rate. In other words, tolerance levels are slowly lowered until the body returns to its natural equilibrium. Unfortunately, even then, it can take up to a year for long-term side effects like insomnia and light sensitivity to disappear. Professional treatment includes ongoing aftercare to monitor the symptoms, provide support and help keep your recovery on the right track.

Help with Rohypnol Tolerance

We are here to help. Call us today on our toll-free 24 hour helpline to speak with a caring addiction expert about tolerance levels, addiction treatment and Rohypnol recovery. We can even check your health insurance to see if treatment is covered. We are available 24 hours a day.

The Tragic Problem of Rohypnol, Roofies, and Trauma

In the early 1990s awareness increased about a drug that was often referred to as the “date rape” drug. Known on the streets as “roofies,” Rohypnol has never been approved for any medical use in the United States. Therefore, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess Rohypnol in this country.

According to the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica – UCLA Medical Center, Rohypnol is the brand name for flunitrazepam. This drug is a benzodiazepine, which is the same category as medications, such as Valium and Xanax. Benzodiazepines are used primarily to produce sedation, sleep or muscle relaxation; to reduce seizures and anxiety; and to produce anterograde amnesia, a desired effect for some surgical procedures.

How is Rohypnol Used?

Since Rohypnol is illegal in the United States, the drug is smuggled into the country in pill form, crushed into powder or even in liquid form. People who intend to use the drug on an unsuspecting victim will often place either the pill or powder into a drink because it dissolves quickly and has no smell or taste.

What Are the Effects of Rohypnol Use?

The physical effects of Rohypnol may be noticeable within twenty to thirty minutes after ingestion, can last for several hours, and can include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Dis-inhibition
  • Impaired judgment
  • Reduced levels of consciousness

As a result, in a social setting that involves alcohol, many people who observe a person who has ingested Rohypnol will assume that the person is merely drunk. His or her speech may be slurred and the user may have difficulty walking – both common symptoms associated with excessive drinking.

However, a greater cause of alarm is when Rohypnol is combined with alcohol or other drugs. The combination can produce extremely low blood pressure, respiratory depression, difficulty breathing, coma or even death.

Trauma Associated with Rohypnol-Induced Rape

Woman hiding faceUnderstanding the impact of drugs that were used to facilitate rape was an assignment that the U.S. Attorney General gave to the Department of Justice in 1997.

The report, entitled, Drug-Facilitated Rape: Looking for the Missing Pieces, has provided considerable insight on this topic. While the research was unable to give specific statistics about the occurrence of drug-facilitated rape, it did provide several insights into the trauma associated with the rape.

Not surprisingly, many victims were as traumatized by the cruel and criminal act of being given the drug as they were by the physical rape that also occurred. Having been deprived of the ability to think clearly and having lost the ability to recall events causes many victims to struggle with a significant sense of powerlessness. Many victims of trauma suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that include having recurrent, intrusive recollections, thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares.

To add insult to injury, for drug-induced rape victims, they are unable to have these flashbacks of a real experience and often have even more frightening assumptions because they do not know what in fact happened to them.


Reactions to Trauma Caused by Rohypnol-Induced Rape

Many people who endure a Rohypnol-induced rape do struggle with severe stress disorders that require care and treatment. Started in 1999, Helpguide.org is a nonprofit health organization that has a mission to provide free, unbiased information to people facing mental and emotional health challenges.

In their article on Emotional and Psychological Trauma, people who suffer with trauma can experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical symptoms including the following:

  • Shock, denial or disbelief
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Being startled easily
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Muscle tension

Even experiencing these symptoms for a short period of time can have a significant negative impact on a person’s quality of life. Without treatment, these symptoms rarely diminish on their own, thus causing even more stress and discomfort in a person’s life.

Treatment for Trauma Caused by Rohypnol-Induced Rape

Many people struggle with the post-trauma healing process and are unsure of when to seek treatment. Helpguide.com identifies several conditions that should cause people to consider getting help, including the following:

  • Having trouble functioning at home or work
  • Suffering from severe fear, anxiety or depression
  • Unable to form close, satisfying relationships
  • Avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma
  • Emotionally numb and disconnected from others
  • Using alcohol or drugs to feel better

There are a variety of treatment options that are geared especially for dealing with trauma. It may make sense for you to understand your options and then seek a therapist who specializes in providing the treatment modality that you think will work best for you. Two common treatment options are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about a trauma and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is designed to unblock traumatic memories so that you can work through them.

Regardless of the treatment method you choose, getting help should be your first priority. It is important for you to get treatment as soon as possible to mitigate the chance for your symptoms to worsen over time.


Get Help for Trauma

At a time that you are feeling a loss of power, it is important to reach out to get the treatment you need. We can help you do this, so please call our toll-free helpline today at 760-548-4032. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for trauma.

The Mental Side of Addiction Recovery

If you took a running tally of all the negative thoughts that pass through your mind in a few minutes, would they outnumber the positive or neutral ones? If you did this several times during the day, what would you notice? You might be surprised by what you find.

If you are in addiction recovery, a lot of negativity could be a sign of trouble.

The mental side of addiction recovery is just as important as the physical side. Negativity and black-and-white thinking are hallmarks of addiction. During drug rehab or alcohol treatment, you really take notice of what’s going on in your mind. After you finish rehab, you’ll need to stay aware of anything that could put your sobriety at risk.

Negative Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Worried woman with head in handsEveryone has negative thoughts at one time or another. It’s not realistic to assume you won’t have negative thoughts at all. Everybody has those at times, especially when in a bad mood or just after a bad experience. But consider this – are your negative thoughts just passing through, or do they color your perspective most of the time? That’s the difference between having some negative thoughts and having a surplus of negativity.

So what does the negativity have to do with addiction recovery? You may be less likely to relapse if you are able to stay calm and shake off your emotional upsets fairly quickly. While no one can avoid bad situations, everyone can add coping skills to get through even tough moments. Even when things don’t go right for a while, you can see better opportunities in the future or acknowledge that “this too shall pass”. You feel it, you come out of it, and you keep moving forward.

If you feel it and stay stuck in negative emotions, you aren’t going to feel that hope for tomorrow. Your feelings of despair and emptiness will only grow, and the temptation to drown them in drugs or alcohol will escalate. When you learn how to stay away from the negativity trap, you greatly improve your chances of staying sober longer.

Black and White Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Now, let’s focus on black-and-white thinking, also known as “all or nothing” thinking. This is like looking at a distorted mirror in a funhouse. Your head gets squished all the way to the top and your feet are spread out on the bottom. Everything in-between is skinnier than a stick, almost invisible. Your perception of the world can become like this if you don’t catch yourself. Mistakes become unacceptable. Things need to either be all going right or it’s not worth putting in the effort.

Sure, anyone in addiction recovery would love to have things roll along smoothly from one step to the next. But in real life, bumps happen. Setbacks happen. Temptations happen.

Sometimes people give in to them and sometimes they don’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s pointless to stay sober just because you feel a difficult craving one day. When you can learn to accept some of the gray areas in life, you can learn how to see the bigger picture. You can avoid getting trapped in all the ups and downs.

The Mental Battle of Addiction

Negativity and black-and-white thinking are two roadblocks that most recovering addicts or alcoholics face. They are part of reality, but they don’t have to bring you down. Reach out, stay in touch with your support network, and always be aware of negativity and black-and-white thinking in your daily life.

No one is born with perfect coping skills. If we don’t learn good coping skills early in life, it can be possible to learn them later in life. It never hurts to make improvements.

The good news is that you don’t have to make improvements on your own. There are millions of people who seek positive change in the world, and many of those people would help support your journey to wellness.

The staff at Michael’s House have dedicated their lives to helping people reach brighter futures. Our experienced and educated staff can help you and your family overcome the difficulties of addiction to build a more positive future. Give us a call at 760-548-4032 to find out how we can help you today.