Tag Archives: withdrawal symptoms

Can Methadone Affect My Memory?

Methadone is a medication prescribed for severe pain. It is also given to individuals recovering from heroin and prescription drug addiction.1 People who abuse these substances often change their brain chemistry. Drugs such as heroin and prescription painkillers attach to opiate receptors in the brain and intestinal system. Over time, the receptors become less and less responsive until they can no longer detect natural pleasure-producing chemicals on their own.2

Methadone is an acceptable substitute medication that helps individuals break addiction to heroin and painkillers while avoiding painful withdrawal symptoms. It attaches to opiate receptors to normalize body functions and bring relief without producing an addictive high. Doctors typically administer methadone through the withdrawal phase then decrease the dosage over time; however, some people stay on methadone for many years.3

Important facts about methadone treatment include:
 

  • It is a long-acting medicine, and each dose stays in the body for a long time.
  • It can take several days to become fully effective.
  • Some individuals must continue methadone treatment for their entire lives.

 

Memory and Methadone

Methadone is a lifesaver for people breaking heroin and painkiller addiction, but it does have several negative side effects. It disrupts the way the brain handles cognitive processes which subsequently results in slower reactions and diminished alertness. Additionally, it can impair attention, learning ability and memory functions, including the following:

  • Working memory – Short-term storage of numbers, words, names and other items
  • Verbal memory – The ability to remember words and abstract concepts related to language

Once opioids start affecting brain chemistry and function, it is important to seek help in order to prevent damage from becoming permanent.

 

Methadone Safety

Like other narcotic medicines, methadone also slows down breathing. Respiration can remain slowed even after the pain-relieving effects of the medication have worn off. Other guidelines to follow in order to take methadone safely include the following:

  • Never stop taking methadone suddenly.
  • Call your doctor if you miss doses for more than three days in a row.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you feel the medicine is not working.
  • Do not combine with alcohol.
  • Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how methadone affects you.

 

Healing from Addiction

When taken under the supervision of a medical professional, methadone can be an important part of treating the physical consequences of opiate addiction. In addition to the provision of the drug itself, methadone maintenance should include ongoing psychological and medical support. Nutritional counseling can also be a component of recovery.

Several supplements recommended for their ability to restore balance and function to the brain include the following:
 

  • Vitamin B-5
  • Tyrosine
  • Citicoline
  • Melatonin

Recovery from addiction is not easy, but it is possible with courage, commitment and the right tools and support.
 

Recovery Help For Methadone

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction and other issues surrounding methadone, you are not alone. Addiction coordinators at our toll-free, 24-hour helpline, 760-548-4032, can help you begin your journey to a healthier you. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call the number on this page to start your recovery today.


Sources

1 Methadone.” Medline Plus. 15 March 2018.

2 Prescription Opioids.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. June 2018.

3 Opiate and opioid withdrawal.” Medline Plus. 20 April 2018.

How Rohypnol Affects Your Sleep

It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is an essential component of good health.1 Plus, it just makes you feel better, sharper, not to mention a whole lot more pleasant to be around. But for those who find the proverbial eight hours a little more elusive, it can be tempting to take a sleep aid.

And while many prescriptions meant to help with sleep are administered under the care of a trusted physician in limited amounts, some, like Rohypnol, which is banned in the United States for medical use, aren’t safe in moderate, let alone large, doses.

Some countries outside of the United States still prescribe Rohypnol for alleviating insomnia, but one of the main problems is that Rohypnol’s effects change over time, become unmanageable and ultimately cause more problems than it solves.

How Rohypnol Works

Rohypnol is popularly known as a date-rape drug, or a tool that assailants use to enable sexual assault. Some of the slang terms for it, such as the “forget pill” and “forget me drug” are a nod to the memory loss that the drug produces, which sexual criminals exploit.

What draws people to Rohypnol, in particular, is the specific high it produces. People who abuse cocaine use it to balance out the stimulant’s effects, and opiate users take Rohypnol to amplify those drugs’ sedative effects. Its popularity as a recreational drug is similar to cocaine and heroin.

>>> READ THIS NEXT: Start with Drug Detox

 

How Rohypnol Affects Sleep

So what exactly makes Rohypnol appealing to people who struggle to sleep well? It works by empowering certain neurotransmitters, so the result is general relaxation that makes it easier to sleep. As a sleep aid, it is intended only for occasional use, no more than two to four weeks at the most. Doctors must limit Rohypnol doses to the smallest possible level. However, when people abuse this drug, they tend to take doses that exceed medical guidelines, and they do so far beyond the medical recommendation.

The damage to sleep appears quickly, which can include the following problems:

  • Lower quality of sleep. Rohypnol shortens the periods of sleep called slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep. These phases have restorative properties that shallower phases cannot achieve.
  • Insomnia. While limited use can help someone get to sleep, prolonged use can quickly have the opposite effect. This change can devastate regular Rohypnol users if they take the drug to counter cocaine’s stimulating effects.
  • Drug interactions. When people abuse Rohypnol in combination with other drugs, the effects on sleep can magnify. For instance, many people take Rohypnol while they drink alcohol. The sedation created by the two drugs can be difficult to control, and quite possibly, fatal.

People may enjoy the sedative effects of Rohypnol, but it can quickly cause additional problems.

How Rohypnol Withdrawal Symptoms Affect Sleep

illustration of alarm clock with jumping sheepPeople may enjoy the sedative effects of Rohypnol, but it can quickly cause additional problems.

The effects of Rohypnol can linger and complicate recovery. Over time, the body adapts to drug, which means the body will experience strong withdrawal symptoms when Rohypnol use stops. This can affect sleep by causing insomnia, the very thing it was intended to eliminate, and nightmares.
 

Rohypnol Recovery Help

If you or a loved one is addicted to Rohypnol, the sleep it formerly delivered may have been replaced by restlessness and nightmares. Call our 24-hour helpline to learn about available help. Let this toll-free call at 760-548-4032 begin your escape from Rohypnol and help you regain restful sleep without the horrible side effects.

By Christa Banister, Contributing Writer


Sources

1 Sparacino, Alyssa. “11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep.” Health Magazine, March 4, 2018.

Heroin Fact and Fiction

The fictions that surround heroin addiction and heroin addiction treatment are often made up and perpetuated by heroin addicts who want reasons to avoid treatment and continue using.

It’s unfortunate that these heroin addiction myths exist, but when you take the time to discover the facts, you can get the help you need to break free from heroin addiction – or help someone you care about enroll in heroin addiction rehab.

If you would like assistance in finding the right heroin addiction treatment type that can provide you with detox and psychotherapeutic services, contact us at 760-548-4032.
 

Fiction: No One Really Uses Heroin Anymore

False. Unlike marijuana and prescription drugs, heroin is not often used by teenagers so perhaps it was this fact that spawned this heroin addiction myth. In fact, in the United States, the average age for first-time use is 24. After years of abusing other drugs and alcohol, many Americans “work their way up” to heroin abuse.

It is estimated that about half a million Americans live with heroin addiction and a little more than half of them actively seek treatment each year. It is estimated that just under four million Americans have used heroin in their lives; people are certainly still using this deadly drug. Check out our heroin addiction statistics page for more information.
 

Fact: Heroin Detox Is Effective

There are multiple types of heroin detox and each one of them provides an effective and safe way to exit heroin addiction. Monitored by medical professionals in all cases, you may choose between a long-term medicated outpatient drug rehab detox and a short-term cold turkey heroin detox done in an inpatient facility. Both ensure your health and safety in the event of complications and provide you with guidance and support from caseworkers and/or therapists.

They also guarantee that your physical addiction to the drug will be broken if you follow the treatment protocol as recommended by the doctor.

Medications are available on an outpatient or inpatient basis – methadone and Suboxone – that can provide patients with fewer and less intense withdrawal symptoms. Depending upon the dose of heroin you are taking when you quit, one type of medication will be more appropriate. Consult with your doctor and get your questions and concerns addressed before you begin.
 

Fiction: Heroin Addicts Always Relapse, Even After Treatment

Not true.
 

There is a high recidivism rate (or rate of relapse) among heroin addicts even after treatment, but a slip doesn’t necessarily constitute a return to a full-blown heroin addiction.

Some find that it takes a few trips to heroin rehab to build a sustainable base in recovery, but many find success after a single stay in treatment.
 
Everyone is different and will heal more or less quickly according to a variety of factors, but thousands of heroin addicts have found the healing help they need at heroin rehab.

 

Fact: Heroin Can Be Addictive After a Single Use

Most heroin addicts report that they developed a physical dependence upon the drug after a few days of regular use. Many of them say, however, that their psychological craving for the drug happened after the first use. Depending on the other types of drugs and alcohol you use, your genetic predisposition for the development of addiction and the presence (or absence) of other psychological issues, it is possible to develop a heroin addiction that requires treatment after a very short period of time.
 

Fiction: Heroin Addiction “Preserves” Its Users

Woman with heroin needleNot true. There is a rampant myth that heroin addiction in some way protects its users from chronic illness and aging. In fact, heroin addiction can cause bacterial infections, heart lining and heart valve infections, arthritis, collapsed veins, poor circulation, liver and kidney diseases, and lung ailments like tuberculosis and pneumonia.

It absolutely does not keep you young or protect you from colds, the flu or any other disease.

In fact, heroin addicts are more likely to contract diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.
 

Fiction: Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Avoided Through Rapid Detox

No. There is no magic surgery, potion or bullet that will help you avoid heroin detox withdrawal symptoms if you are addicted to heroin. Blood transfusions or surgeries that profess to break you of your physical dependence upon heroin overnight are dangerous. Books, subscription programs or supplements said to help you treat heroin addiction at home are nothing more than a scam. The only way that you can break free from heroin addiction safely and effectively is to enroll in a heroin detox and addiction treatment program that stays with you from start to finish and gives you the time you need to stop using heroin at your own pace.
 

Fact: Heroin Rehab Is Available for You

If you are ready to get help quitting heroin, contact us today. We can help you find a heroin rehab that can help. Call 760-548-4032 now.
 

Drug Treatment or Cold Turkey

When a person with drug addiction decides they may need to slow down or even quit their drug use, they might strongly consider going cold turkey. Just drop it all at once and gut out the symptoms. They don’t need a shrink telling them what to feel or what to do, and they certainly don’t need to share their feelings with bunch of strangers. This might be the mindset of someone who decides to go cold turkey from drugs or alcohol – a lone wolf who’s confident and gutsy. But is this really the best way to handle a tough drug addiction?

coldturkey

Pros and Cons To Cold Turkey Approach

Let’s go over a few pros to the cold turkey approach. First, the addict may feel a strong sense of control over their situation. They may also feel some pride in believing they are self sufficient enough to manage something so “bad”. Deciding to tough it out may boost their ego. They can demostrate they are capable of handling it. It could also show that their drug use really wasn’t as bad as everyone has said.

Unfortunately, a lot of the benefit of going cold turkey is on the front end of the process. The idea of it may sound good, but following through the entire withdrawal process without any professional help often ends with relapse or other trouble. Symptoms can be miserable and even somewhat dangerous if a person has other health conditions. Relapse risk is very high simply because the quickest way to end the misery is to use again. And that usually ends the cold turkey process dead in its tracks. Perhaps a good theory, but for the true drug addict or alcoholic, very difficult to carry out in practice with healthy lasting results.

Pros and Cons To Drug Treatment

First, the cons to drug treatment. It will take time and patience to complete a full drug treatment program. This could also mean a halfway house or sober living arrangement for a while until sobriety is better established. This could be tough for a person with a job or a family to look after. However, the alternatives are to either continue with the drug use or go cold turkey. Neither of those prospects will result in good things for a job or a family.

Drug treatment can also cost some money. These days, everyone has to watch their wallet closely. Drug addicts and alcoholics may not want to spend another dime if they are in dire straights with their finances. On the other hand, what would happen if the addiction wore on? Would they eventually lose their job or continue to spend foolishly? Yes, most likely. And thankfully, there are many financial options with insurance, government supported programs, and payment plans. Drug treatment can actually save your finances.

Drug Treatment Or Cold Turkey

So what do you think? Drug treatment or cold turkey? Which approach will truly help you get and stay sober? When you are ready to consider drug treatment, it only takes a phone call to get started.