Can You Snort Heroin?

A man snorts white lines of suspected heroin in a concept pic

Is Snorting Heroin Possible?

Seeing your loved one frequently sniffling is rarely a cause for concern. However, if it’s not allergy season and they are constantly sniffing and always seem to be in a daze, it might be time to start asking, ‘Can you snort heroin?’

These sorts of ‘allergies’ could be signs of substance abuse — specifically heroin use. And if you see them with a powdery substance around their nose, they might be snorting heroin.

While snorting any substance is dangerous and can lead to health problems, it’s especially risky when it is heroin. Heroin abuse is rising in America, with over 13,000 deaths caused by heroin overdose in 2020 and many more due to its synthetic cousin, fentanyl.

Getting someone needed help as soon as possible is crucial. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment can be the difference between life and death. Keep reading to find out more about heroin and effective treatment for heroin addiction found at Pathfinders Recovery Centers!

Understanding How Heroin Works

Heroin is a powerfully addictive drug that can quickly take over a person’s life. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of snorting heroin — especially if someone you know is struggling with an addiction.

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid made from the opium poppy and typically appears as a white or brown powder, or a dark sticky substance known as “black tar heroin.”

Powdered heroin is usually snorted or smoked, while black tar heroin is heated and injected using drug paraphernalia. All methods of heroin use are dangerous and can lead to addiction and overdose.

Heroin works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors in the brain. This produces a sense of euphoria and relaxation.

How Does Heroin Addiction Happen?

How Does Heroin Addiction Happen

Heroin is also a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down breathing and heart rate. When people use heroin, they might feel like they’re in a dream-like state, and a sense of well-being and relaxation follows this.

As heroin addiction develops, people will feel less relaxed and anxious. They might also experience depression, mood swings, and problems sleeping. This leads to physical dependence as the body becomes used to the drug and needs it to function.

Tolerance to heroin develops quickly, which means people need to use more of the drug to get the same effects. As tolerance builds and dependence develops, heroin users will start to feel withdrawal symptoms when they stop using heroin.

Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and painful, which is why many people continue to use heroin despite the negative consequences.

What are the Signs of Heroin Addiction?

Frequent sniffling and runny noses are arguably the most telltale signs that someone has a problem with heroin abuse. This is because the drug releases histamine, which can cause inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages.

If you’re worried that someone you care about is snorting heroin, there are other signs and symptoms to look out for.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Use

  • Small, pinpoint pupils
  • Drowsiness or “nodding off”
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with coordination and balance
  • Slowed breathing

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Abuse

  • Changes in appearance, such as weight loss or poor personal hygiene
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Withdrawing from friends and activities
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Secretive or suspicious behavior
  • Changes in mood or personality

 

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in yourself or someone you care about, getting help as soon as possible is critical. Heroin addiction is a severe problem that can quickly lead to overdose and death.

What are the Effects of Snorting Heroin?

What are the Effects of Snorting Heroin

Snorting heroin has become one of the most common ways people abuse the drug. When heroin is snorted, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal passages in the nose.

The effects of snorting heroin are similar to the effects of smoking or injecting the drug. However, snorting heroin takes slightly longer for the drug to reach the brain, and the effects of snorting heroin typically peak within 10 minutes.

The primary effect of snorting heroin is a sense of euphoria followed by drowsiness. Snorting heroin can also lead to several physical effects, including nausea, vomiting, constipation, itchy or flushed skin, and dry mouth.

The Health Risks of Snorting Heroin

Snorting heroin is extremely dangerous and can lead to many health problems, including:

  • Nosebleeds: Frequent sniffing can damage the delicate blood vessels in the nose, which can lead to nosebleeds.
  • Infections: Snorting anything, including heroin, can damage the mucous membranes in the nose. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the body and cause infections.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people are allergic to heroin or its additives. Snorting heroin can lead to various allergic reactions, including hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
  • Nasal Congestion: Snorting heroin can block the nasal septum and the throat, leading to nasal congestion.
  • Respiratory Problems: Snorting heroin can damage the lungs and lead to respiratory problems.
  • Circulatory System Problems: Snorting heroin can damage the heart and lead to heart problems.
  • Nervous System Problems: Snorting heroin can cause severe brain damage.
  • Overdose: The effects of snorting heroin can be unpredictable. This increases the risk of overdose, which can be deadly.

Health Risks Associated with Injecting Heroin

Injecting heroin is even more dangerous than other methods of heroin use because injecting heroin directly into the bloodstream bypasses the body’s natural filtering system.

The use of drug paraphernalia, such as syringes and needles, comes with its own risks, as they can also introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the bloodstream.

Injecting heroin can lead to many health issues, including:

  • Infections: Injecting anything into the skin can damage the tissue and lead to infections. Using dirty needles can also introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the body.
  • Vein Damage: Injecting heroin can damage the veins and lead to vein inflammation or blood clots.
  • Nerve Damage: When you inject heroin frequently, it can cause damage to the nerves.
  • Skin Infections: Injecting heroin can cause skin infections.
  • HIV/AIDS: Injecting heroin can increase the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases.
  • Hepatitis: Injecting heroin can increase the risk of contracting hepatitis B and C.
  • Overdose: The more you inject heroin into your system, the more tolerance you will build to the drug, which can lead to overdose or death.

Why Do People Snort Heroin?

Heroin Addict

While injecting the drug was the traditional method of abuse, snorting heroin has become more prevalent in recent years. This is because the effects of snorting heroin are slightly faster than the effects of smoking heroin.

Snorting the drug also requires less paraphernalia, which makes it easier to hide from law enforcement and parents.

There is also less stigma around the idea of snorting heroin as opposed to injecting it, but the resulting dependence and addiction are identical regardless of the means of administration.

Prevent Contracting Diseases

Snorting heroin is also seen as a less risky method of abuse than injecting it. This is because there is less hazard of contracting blood-borne diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C when you snort heroin rather than inject it.

False Belief That It’s Less Addicting

Substance users snort heroin because they believe that snorting it is less addicting than injecting it. However, this is not the case. Snorting heroin can be just as addictive as injecting it, and the risk of addiction increases when you abuse heroin.

The Effect Is More Gradual

When you snort heroin, the effects of the drug are not felt as immediately as when you inject it. Some heroin users may prefer this method because it allows them to control the effects of the drug better.

What Can You Do to Help Someone with Heroin Use?

If you suspect that someone you know has a problem with drug abuse, there are a few things that you can do to help them.

Talk to Them in Private

The first step is to talk to the person in private. This is important because it allows them to feel safe and comfortable discussing their substance use problem.

Listen Instead of Lecturing

Help Someone with Heroin Use

When you talk to a person dealing with addiction, listening is crucial instead of lecturing. This means you should avoid judgment and instead focus on understanding their point of view.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

If the person is willing to talk about their drug abuse issue, encourage them to seek professional help. There are plenty of treatment options for drug abuse, which can be in the form of therapy, counseling, a rehabilitation program, or other specialized programs. Health insurance coverage can also cover addiction treatment services.

Support Their Journey to Recovery

If the person you know is willing to seek help for their substance abuse and addiction, support them on their recovery journey. This means being understanding and patient as they go through treatment and attending counseling sessions or family therapy with them.

Find Heroin Treatment at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Long-term recovery from substance abuse and addiction is possible. With the proper treatment and support, anyone can overcome their drug use problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin abuse, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers a variety of addiction treatment options for drug addiction, including detoxification, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services.

We also offer a wide range of support services, including family therapy, individual counseling, and group therapy. Our goal is to provide comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of the individual’s life, including their physical, mental, and emotional health.

If someone you know is struggling with heroin, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us for a confidential call to learn more about our treatment programs now!

Fentapills: Everything You Need to Know

Fentapills

How Fake Prescription Drugs Called “Fentapills” Are Contributing to Opioid Overdose Deaths

Most people have heard of fentanyl by now — however, counterfeit pills dubbed “fentapills” are the newest threat looming on the horizon. Fentapills, one of many types of unsafe street drugs, are only supporting the ongoing opioid epidemic in the country.

This epidemic has endangered millions and taken thousands of lives each year; in 2020 alone, over 48,000 drug fatalities were attributed solely to synthetic opioids.

So, what are fentapills, and what do you need to know about them? This guide will walk you through the basics and how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

What Are Fentapills?

“Fentapill” is a combination of the words “fentanyl” and “pills” which is commonly used to refer to the large variety of non-prescription fentanyl pills produced and sold illegally. In short, fentapills are fake prescription pills that do not contain any actual medicine.

Instead of containing medication, fentapills are often made of pure fentanyl or are a mix of fentanyl and other illicit, addicting drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. These pills are widely available online, cheap, and potentially fatal — thus posing a large risk for younger people.

The Origin of Fake Fentanyl Pills

Fake fentanyl pills are largely manufactured and circulated by cartels. Most of these cartels or criminal drug networks originate from Mexico. In particular, the DEA named the Sinaloa Cartel and the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación as the primary culprits behind fentapills.

The Appearance of Fentapills

These pills are specifically manufactured to resemble legal, pharmaceutical-grade opioids. Most are designed to look like oxycodone pills, although some may also look like hydrocodone, alprazolam, or amphetamine.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has issued new warnings regarding the latest wave of fentapills that come in a medley of pastel rainbow colors, making them look more like harmless candy rather than a dangerous drug.

How to Know if Your Prescription Medications are Fake

Although they mimic the look of authentic oxycodone and other prescription opioids, fentapills do not fully emulate them. If you are worried that your or your loved one’s prescription medications may be fentapills, looking at the writing on the medicine may help.

For example, actual Oxycodone uses a specific font to mark the tablets. When compared with a fentapill sold as Oxycodone, the fake pills have a different font type, thickness, or size. The information printed or stamped on the tablets may be different, as well. Authentic prescription medications often have the brand name printed. The bottle from the pharmacy will have a description of what the medication should look like.

In general, oxycodone and other opioid tablets or pills sold in legitimate pharmacies and hospitals are likely to be safe, while any purchased from unofficial distributors are likely to be counterfeit drugs. Counterfeit drugs are often found via social media or through connections with drug dealers.

However, there are many variations of fake opioids. It’s hard to rely only on your own eyes and assumptions. If you suspect your or your loved ones may be using fentapills, it is best to reach out to our expert staff at Pathfinders Recovery Centers for guidance.

Fentanyl addiction can be overcome, and we offer a firm foundation and have seen many clients make full and lasting recoveries from even severe dependence.

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl or Fentapills

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl or Fentapills

The candy-like appearance of rainbow fentanyl opens the public to greater risks — particularly to young adults, teenagers, and even children. Some fake pills that authorities confiscated are very similar to the colors of candy hearts. As the Halloween candy season nears, such deception can potentially lead to a spike in opioid dependency, addiction, or even opioid overdose.

It is likely that they have been tinted in such a way to make them look like candy for the purposes of smuggling them easier. However, it is always possible that misplaced drugs could be mistaken for candy by unassuming children, leading to potentially tragic outcomes.

Is Rainbow Fentanyl a Risk Near Me?

Fentanyl, the primary and often only active ingredient of fentapills, is one of the most dangerous opioids. DEA laboratory tests have shown that around 4 out of 10 fakes laced with fentanyl have potentially fatal dosage. For some perspective, a deadly dose of fentanyl is only two milligrams — which is less than the lead tip of a pencil.

The innocent-looking and happy colors of rainbow fentanyl not only downplay the dangers of the addictive drug, but also make it easier to hide and distribute. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, law enforcement officers have seized rainbow fentanyl pills across 26 states since August 2022. Recently, authorities seized approximately 15,000 rainbow fentanyl pills that illegal distributors tried to transport in a Lego toy box bound for New York City.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a highly powerful synthetic opioid prescription drug. It is used in medical settings as a potent pain reliever and is generally prescribed for post-surgery pain and chronic pain. However, fentanyl is still one of the deadliest drug threats that the U.S. faces.

The dangers of fentanyl not only lie in its potency, but also in its affordability and accessibility. Since it only takes a tiny amount of fentanyl to induce a high, it can be sold cheaply. For this reason, fentanyl is also often used to cut or dilute other illegal prescription drugs, such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, without affecting the high it produces.

Illicit fentanyl is widely sold on the streets. Recently, it has also become much easier to buy fentanyl pills online. This, combined with the cheap price, makes it easier for anyone to get a hold of illegal prescription pills and potentially overdose.

Other Names for Fentanyl Pills

Illicit fentanyl pills go by many other names aside from “fentapill”. The names may depend on what prescription opioids the drug may be masquerading as:

  • Fake oxycodone fentanyl pills: blues, buttons, cotton, 30s, hillbilly heroin, muchachas
  • Fake alprazolam fentanyl pills: bars, bicycle handlebars, planks, ladders, school bus
  • Fake amphetamine fentanyl pills: a-train, Christmas trees, lid poppers, study skittles

Can You Get Addicted to Fentanyl or Fentapills?

Fentanyl or Fentapills

Yes, fentanyl is an incredibly addicting drug; it is over 50 times more potent than heroin. Unfortunately, many people succumb to drug dependence and addiction even while taking legally prescribed fentanyl.

A telling sign of fentanyl addiction is the presence of withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing or failing to take the drug. The following are some of the most common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, which can appear within just a few hours of one’s last dose:

  • Sleep issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe cravings
  • Cold flashes
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Leg jitters or uncontrollable movements

How Does Fentanyl Affect Your Brain and Body?

Similar to other opioid analgesics or pain relievers, fentanyl influences the area of your brain that deals with pain and emotions. However, what gets people addicted to taking fentanyl is typically the high or feelings of euphoria it gives.

Fentapills are known to produce the following effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Pain relief
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Urinary retention
  • Pupil size changes
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Fatal respiratory failure
  • Unconsciousness

Can You Overdose on Fentapills?

Fentapills Overdose

Yes, taking fentapills can quickly lead to an opioid overdose. In fact, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are the most common causes of overdose deaths. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 66% of all drug overdose deaths in 2021 were due to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

Overdosing on fentanyl can slow down breathing to a dangerous degree. This puts users at risk of fatal respiratory failure; and the lack of oxygen to the brain can cause coma, permanent brain damage, and death.

If your loved one is ever breathing too slowly and you suspect they have overdosed on fentanyl, call emergency services immediately. Prompt action and timely naloxone intervention can save lives. With help your loved one can survive a drug overdose and overcome their addiction.

Helping Yourself and Your Loved Ones Get Treatment

Drug addiction can affect anyone, including yourself, your friends, and your family — even the ones you may least expect it from. Seeking help for fentanyl addiction doesn’t have to be a draining experience.

Drug addiction is a large burden on its own — finding and receiving the treatment you need doesn’t have to be another struggle for you to bear. At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we offer different treatment options to ensure the success of your journey to recovery.

If you or your loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction or dependence, Pathfinders Recovery Centers in AZ and CO are here for you. Contact us today to learn more!

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Image of white powdered drug with spoon and syringe

Heroin is a drug with intense side effects, and it can be difficult to know how long it will stay in your system if you’ve taken it. The answer to how long heroin stays in your system depends on a few factors, including how often you use the drug and how much you use.

This article will explore heroin, its side effects, how long it stays in your system, and how to get help if you’re struggling with addiction.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid drug. It is made from morphine, which is derived from the poppy plant.

Heroin can be injected, snorted, or smoked, producing a powerful, short-lived high. The effects of heroin include a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and sedation.

The drug is highly addictive, and users can quickly develop a drug tolerance. Users will need to take larger doses to achieve the same effects with continued use.

Heroin use can lead to health problems such as collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and lung complications. It can also lead to psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, among others.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

Heroin enters the brain quickly, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. It binds to the brain’s natural opioid receptors, which are involved in pain relief and feelings of pleasure.

It is one of the longest-acting and most potent opioids available, which is part of what makes it so addictive. The effects of heroin can last for four to six hours.

While the effect of heroin is long, it has a short half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. The half-life of heroin is only 30 to 90 minutes. This depends on how quickly the drug is metabolized and how much is taken.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Body

When you are suffering from heroin addiction and desperately need help getting clean, drug tests may be required as part of the admissions process for some treatment programs.

The amount of time that heroin stays in your system depends on how often you use it and how much you use it.

Below are the factors that will affect how long heroin stays in your system:

  • Frequency of use
  • Drug quality (purity)
  • Method of consumption
  • Amount used
  • Metabolism
  • Weight
  • Body fat percentage
  • When you last used heroin

 

Generally, urine drug tests can detect heroin for around 24 hours after the last use. Blood tests and testing of hair follicles can be used to detect heroin for a more extended period.

Drug Testing Methods for Heroin

There are several types of drug tests, each with various detection windows.

1. Urine Test

Urine tests are the most common type of drug test. They are generally accurate and can detect most drugs for up to 24 hours after the last use.

For heroin, a urine test can detect the drug for up to 48 hours after the last use. Some urine tests can also detect heroin use and heroin metabolites for up to seven days.

2. Saliva Test

Saliva drug tests are one of the newest types of drug tests. Saliva tests are less invasive than urine or blood tests but are the least accurate.

A saliva test can detect heroin only 12 hours after the last use. Again, this depends on how much of the drug was used and how often it was used.

3. Blood Test

Blood Test - Drug Testing Methods for Heroin

When you take a blood test, a small sample of your blood is drawn and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Blood tests are the most accurate type of drug test.

A blood test can detect heroin in your system for up to 24 to 72 hours after the last use.

4. Hair Follicle Test

A sample of hair near your scalp is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Hair follicle tests can detect heroin use for up to 90 days, making it the longest-lasting drug test.

While this is the most accurate way to test for heroin use, it is also the most expensive.

How To Get Heroin Out of Your System

If you are trying to get the heroin out of your system, the best thing you can do is seek professional help.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and quitting cold turkey can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, on your own. Many different treatment options are available, and a professional treatment provider will help you choose the one that is best for you.

Sometimes, this may involve detoxification and rehabilitation in a hospital or treatment center. In other cases, it may be possible to find a less intensive outpatient program that can still provide the support you need.

Regardless of your path, getting professional help is the best way to increase your chances of success.

Pathfinders Recovery Centers are a leading provider of drug and alcohol abuse treatment. We offer a wide range of services, including detoxification, rehabilitation, and outpatient care. Our facility also provides various aftercare options to help you stay clean and sober after you leave our program.

Why Rehab is the Best Choice to Remove Heroin from Your System

Trying to get the heroin out of your system is extremely difficult if you have become dependent on the drug. Without professional help, the chances of success are very low.

For example, heroin withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Below are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Fast pulse
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

 

These symptoms can make someone trying to quit using heroin feel very ill. Sometimes, they can lead to backsliding and relapse or hospitalization.

Heroin addiction treatment options are available in various settings, such as inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs.

Licensed medical practitioners will help you through the detoxification process and make sure that you are comfortable and safe.

What is the Heroin Addiction Treatment Process?

Heroin Addiction Treatment Process

Substance use disorder treatment usually follows these steps:

1. A Confidential Assessment for Substance Use

When you seek treatment for an addiction, the first step is always a thorough assessment. This allows the treatment team to get to know you and your unique situation. It also helps them develop a personalized treatment plan.

The assessment process usually includes reviewing your medical history, a physical examination, and a psychological evaluation. You will also be asked about your alcohol or drug use and your family history of substance abuse.

This information will help the treatment team determine what level of care you need and what type of treatment will be most effective for you. If you are ready to take the first step on the road to recovery, call us today. We can help you find the treatment that’s right for you.

2. Medically Supervised Detox for Heroin

Detoxification is the process of ridding your body of toxins, typically from alcohol or drugs.

The severity of detox symptoms depends on several factors, including how often you’ve been using, the type of substances you’ve been using, and your general health and well-being.

Detoxing without medical supervision can be dangerous, so it’s vital to be well-informed before embarking on the process. Some common detox symptoms include shaking, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

For heroin, medications may be used to help with detoxes such as methadone or buprenorphine. These medications can help lessen withdrawal symptoms and make detox more tolerable.

If you’re considering detoxing, talk to a doctor or other medical professional first to ensure it’s the right decision.

3. Inpatient Rehab for a Foundation in Recovery

Rehabilitation is overcoming drug addiction and learning how to live a sober life.

During rehab, you will participate in individual and group therapy sessions. You will also have the opportunity to learn about addiction and recovery and how to manage triggers and cravings.

Inpatient rehab programs offer 24-hour supervision and care, which can be especially helpful during early recovery. These programs typically last 30 days, although more extended stays are sometimes necessary.

Outpatient rehab programs allow you to live at home while attending treatment during the day. These programs are less intensive than inpatient programs but can still be very effective.

4. Aftercare Planning and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare is any care you receive after completing a formal treatment program.

Aftercare can include 12-step meetings, therapy, and sober living houses. Aftercare aims to help you transition back into everyday life and maintain your sobriety.

While most clients will eventually graduate to self-sufficient recovery, some will require more ongoing care. This is often the case for clients with a dual diagnosis or those who have been through multiple treatment programs.

5 Things to Look for in a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

A controlled substance like heroin can wreak havoc on your life, causing problems at work, in your home life, and your relationships. If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, there is hope.

Treatment can help you overcome addiction and learn how to live a sober life. But not all treatment programs are created equal. When looking for a treatment program, you should keep a few things in mind.

1. Individualized Care

Individual Care - Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

One size does not fit all when it comes to addiction treatment. A good treatment program will offer individualized care that considers your unique situation.

This may include factors such as age, gender, the severity of your addiction, and any underlying mental health conditions.

In addition, the best treatment programs will also be flexible, offering different levels of care that can be adjusted to meet your changing needs. Tailoring treatment to your specific situation can increase your chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

2. Evidence-Based Treatment

When looking for a treatment program, you should ensure that it offers evidence-based treatment.

Evidence-based treatments are those that have been proven to be effective in scientific studies. These treatments are based on the latest research and are constantly refined to ensure they are as effective as possible.

Some common evidence-based treatments used in addiction treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational enhancement therapy.

3. Fully Licensed and Accredited

You should also ensure that the treatment program you’re considering is fully licensed and accredited.

Licensing ensures that the program meets specific standards and is run by qualified staff. Accreditation shows that the program has been independently reviewed and found to be effective.

When you’re considering treatment programs, be sure to check that they are licensed and accredited. This will give you peace of mind that you’re choosing a program that is likely to be effective.

4. Comprehensive Services and Dual Diagnosis Programs

A good treatment program will offer a comprehensive range of services that address all aspects of addiction.

This may include detox, medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and aftercare. Those with dual diagnoses may also need additional services, such as psychiatric care.

By offering a comprehensive range of services, treatment programs can address all factors contributing to addiction.

5. Experienced and Qualified Staff

The staff at a treatment program can make a big difference in your recovery.

Look for a program that employs an experienced and qualified staff dedicated to helping you recover. The best staff will be compassionate, understanding, and firm in their commitment to helping you achieve sobriety.

With us, you will find a team of highly qualified and experienced staff who are devoted to helping you recover from addiction. Our staff includes doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors committed to helping you achieve lasting sobriety.

If you’re looking for a heroin addiction treatment program that offers individualized, evidence-based care, look no further than our treatment center.

Further Resources on Heroin

If you’re looking for more information on heroin addiction treatment, here are some of the resources you may also want to check:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC offers information on the risks of heroin use and how to prevent heroin addiction.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a government organization with helpful information on the latest heroin addiction and treatment research.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is a government organization that offers resources on finding treatment for substance abuse disorders. They also have a helpline that can connect you with treatment providers in your area.

 

Forums and support groups like Narcotics Anonymous can help find treatment and support.

Our heroin addiction treatment program can help you achieve sobriety and live a healthy, happy life. Contact us today to learn more about our program or to schedule a consultation.

Find Your Path to Sobriety and Recovery Today

Drug tests are a reality of life for many people.

With heroin, how long it stays in your system depends on various factors, but generally speaking, it can be detected for up to 3 days in urine, up to 90 days in hair, and up to 14 days in blood.

If you’re concerned about drug testing, the best thing you can do is seek out treatment for your addiction. Contact Pathfinders Recovery now to help you get started on the road to a healthy life, without the worries of drug testing or being dopesick!

Rehab for First Responders

Rehab for First Responders

First responders, including law enforcement officers, search and rescue teams, firefighters, and emergency medical services teams (dispatchers and ambulance workers), are some of the first to step on the scene of disaster, accident, or emergency. These scenes present some of the most dangerous and emotionally demanding situations possible.

As a first responder, you often interact with victims needing immediate care, life support, or urgent medical help. As a first responder, your duty further involves giving emotional support to disaster survivors. In the face of these emotionally draining situations, first responders’ training requires them to maintain composure despite these demands.

A 2018 report on the mental health of responders claims that emergency medical personnel, firefighters, and police officers carry a 70%  higher mortality risk compared to workers who are non-first responders. Due to frequent exposure to work-related traumatic events, first responders are likely to develop mental health issues. Generally, the prevalence of sleep disorders, behavioral health issues, anxiety, and PTSD among first responders is greater than among the general populace.

As a first responder, or with a loved one serving in the role, you may already be familiar with these facts. Now keep reading to find out why Pathfinders should form the front line of your efforts to get lasting relief from alcohol and/or drugs!

Identifying Mental Health Issues in First Responders

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders are often people with high-level self-esteem and are performance-driven. A first responder’s motivation is to do well and get the desirable results.

Some first responders may start to interpret issues with feelings of anxiety, isolation, or flashback as signs of weakness and may feel embarrassed to share these feelings with family or friends. In many cases, they may opt to internalize these feelings, eventually resulting in behavioral health issues. If this goes unchecked, it may lead to increased feelings of depression, leading to burnout on the job.

Here are common mental health issues among first responders:

Depression in Emergency Response Teams

Depression in Emergency Response Teams

Depression is a commonly reported mental illness issue in first responders’ professions. A case-controlled study on medical team workers who responded to the 2011 Japan earthquake indicated that 21.4% of the team suffered clinical depression.

First responders battling depression may experience feelings of sadness. They may find little or no pleasure in jobs they used to enjoy. These emotions can negatively affect their energy levels and overall well-being. Some common signs of depression may include:

1. Extreme fatigue

First responders work long shifts, but extreme fatigue may signify depression. If you’re having trouble remaining awake even after a night of good sleep, it could be depression. The key here is to identify if there’s a pattern linked to this behavior.

2. An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness or sadness

One of the most difficult things to accept as a first responder is a reality that you won’t be able to save everyone. While most first responders come to terms with this reality, those battling depression may have increased feelings of hopelessness or sadness.

3. Loss of Enthusiasm

First responders look forward to making a difference every day. However, depression can turn this enthusiasm into dread. When you find yourself starting to take unplanned off days, enthusiasm may be fading away.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Changes of appetite
  • Unexplained body aches or fatigue
  • Having difficulty making choices or focusing
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Behavioral concerns

 

People that are battling depression experience difficulty controlling negative, repetitive thoughts. The good news is that; depression can be treated. If you or your loved one is struggling with this mental health issue, it’s essential to seek help.

Substance Abuse in First Responder Professions

There’s sadly a close connection between drug and alcohol addiction and the life of first responders. Exposure to traumatic scenes while on duty can lead to the development of behavioral disorders. One such behavioral disorder is alcohol use disorder.

Its reported alcohol abuse among first responders is greater than that of the general population. First responders use alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.

First responders who develop substance abuse might show abrupt changes in their behavior, and these negative changes can impact their self-esteem and motivation.

What are the Warning Signs of Substance Abuse?

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Some of the warning signs include:

  • Unexplained absence from work
  • Inability to focus or forgetfulness
  • Hyperactivity or extreme lethargy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Challenges with physical co-ordination

 

Many first responders suffering from alcohol use disorder experience social stigma. In most cases, they fear being judged if discovered. With the right care and support, sustained recovery is entirely possible.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in First Responders

Considering the severity and frequency of traumatic scenes, it’s not shocking that first responders face a significant risk of suffering PTSD.

Occupational-specific risk factors that contribute to PTSD among first responders include:

  • Hostile occupational environments including risk for physical injury and exposure to excessive smoke, heat, or fire.
  • Traumatic events encountered on the line of duty
  • Types of traumatic events
  • Routine occupational stress
  • Lack of adequate workplace social support
  • Irregular sleep patterns may compromise resilience in the face of a traumatic experience.

 

PTSD is a severe mental health condition that can impact every aspect of a first responder’s life. A Journal of Emergency Medical Services report claims that PTSD is heavily unreported among the first responders’ community because it’s regarded as a weakness.

Common signs of PTSD among first responders include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of interest at work
  • Intrusive dreams, flashbacks, or memories of a specific incident
  • Distancing from family and friends
  • Overwhelming fear
  • A feeling of guilt or self-esteem
  • Inability to focus
  • Increased substance abuse
  • Self-destructive or dangerous behavior

Is Rehab Important for First Responders?

Getting specialized treatment for first responders is essential for recovery. A responder addiction treatment program helps those who have suffered work-related traumatic events quickly get the help they need. The program addresses underlying mental health issues and shapes the path to sustained recovery.

Pathfinders Recovery Centers use an integrated addiction treatment approach that combines licensed professionals from different backgrounds to treat a first responder. These specialists form a multidisciplinary team that meets to discuss patients’ treatment targets and progress and then meets separately with the patient to discuss specific issues during admission process.

The multidisciplinary team can include therapists, counselors, physicians, and other specialists who combine their expertise to offer best treatment for first responders. The drug and alcohol addiction treatment process starts with an overall assessment by trained professionals such as psychologists to evaluate you at all levels, effectively diagnose underlying issues, and develop a holistic addiction treatment for you.

Mental health condition treatment is a long-term commitment, and it’s overall in nature since it addresses your social, psychological, and physical needs. This means that addiction treatment for first responders will often include medications, therapy, family support, and other necessary interventions. For patients with co-occurring PTSD and behavioral health disorders, the first treatment steps would most likely involve using a medical detox program followed by an intensive outpatient or inpatient program.

Using medications for addiction treatment can help the patient get through chronic pain, reduce cravings and manage symptoms like anxiety. However, medications don’t address the underlying causes of first responders’ co-occurring disorders and can’t prepare them for behavior adjustments.

Specific Treatment Goals for First Responders

Treatment Goals for First Responders

  • Helping first responders express their needs in a way that doesn’t make them feel inadequate or exposed
  • The development of interests and hobbies outside of work to help first responders deal with work-related traumatic events
  • The development of a reliable social support system that can assist first responders
  • Continued support after the program enables first responders to identify signs of substance use disorders and traumatic stress.

 

Responders with co-occurring PTSD and alcohol use disorder need to remain in the responders addiction treatment program long enough to attain the necessary skills to avoid relapse. For sustained recovery, it’s essential to identify situations that can increase the possibility of relapse and recognize the signs of relapse.

How Can You Support a Loved One Struggling with a Mental Health Issue?

If your loved one is struggling with one of these first responder mental health issues, you can help them by being there for them.

Here are some tips:

#Tip 1- Listen to Them

Sometimes, your loved ones don’t know if they need help. It’s difficult for most first responders to accept that they have a mental health problem. If your loved one is having a hard time, sit down and listen to them.

#Tip 2 Seek Help

Don’t be ashamed to seek professional help. It’s okay to be uncomfortable when you shift position from a person giving help to one receiving it. If you join our first responders’ addiction treatment center program, you can view it as another professional network designed to help you exceed in your position even more than you currently do.

Start Your Healing Journey Today at Pathfinders

If you or your loved one needs help, Pathfinders Recovery Centers (AZ &CO) is here for you. Our top-notch mental health and addiction treatment center is the right place to start your healing journey. Enjoy a stress-free first responder addiction treatment program as you receive a personalized responders addiction treatment plan.

Contact us today if you’re ready to break free from a dangerous chain of substance abuse. We look forward to welcoming you.

Signs of Heroin Use

Heroin addiction

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug that acts primarily as a central nervous system depressant. Heroin is a Schedule I substance in the U.S., meaning that heroin use has no currently accepted medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse. Knowing the signs of heroin use can be vital if you believe a friend or loved one is using it.

The raw material that becomes heroin, morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin can be white or brown powder or a black sticky substance. There are many street names for the drug, one of which is “black tar heroin”.

Keep reading to find out the ‘red flags,’ that will let you know someone may be using heroin and how to get them effective help!

Heroin addiction – the facts

Heroin addiction is a growing problem in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that nearly half a million Americans have used heroin at least once in their life, and an estimated 23 percent of people who use heroin develop an addiction to it.

When this illegal drug enters the brain, it binds to opioid receptors, which are located throughout the brain and spinal cord. This causes them to release dopamine (a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure) and produce a rush of good feeling — also known as a “high” — similar to what occurs when someone takes cocaine or prescription painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone, according to NIDA.

Understanding heroin addiction requires knowing how substance abuse generally works. Over time, the more heroin that is used, the more there starts to be a physical dependence and a psychological dependence on the drug. The body becomes physically dependent on the substance is a result of it becoming used to the presence of the highly addictive drug in its system. This can result in incredibly potent and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when heroin users quit.

The psychological dependence is also of note as its implications for mental health are staggering. Some of the effects of heroin addiction as it relates to mental illness involve the exacerbation of mental health disorders and can even lead up to suicidal ideation.

How does heroin abuse affect your body?

Heroin addiction can affect the body to a staggering degree. Most people suffering from substance abuse, heroin specifically, cannot fathom how the uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviors of that addiction can affect their bodies.

The truth is, that prolonged heroin use can have an enormous impact. Read on for some of the short and long-term effects of heroin abuse on the human body. We’re going to divide some of the more common effects of heroin abuse into both short-term and long-term effects.

Short-Term

 

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sedation (drowsiness)
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • Small pupils (black centers) in the eyes
  • Involuntary muscle spasms.

Long-Term

 

  • Needle-sharing. Sharing needles can lead to infection at injection sites with hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases.
  • Heart problems. Long-term heroin use can increase the risk of heart disease by damaging the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle.
  • Infections. Tissue damage from poor nutrition and lack of cleanliness can cause abscesses (pus-filled pockets) in the skin, lungs, liver, and other organs.
  • Liver disease. Heroin use can cause liver failure, especially when users inject it into their veins because this type of injection bypasses most of the body’s natural filters for removing toxins from the bloodstream before they reach the liver.
  • Lungs and respiratory system damage. The chemicals in heroin are harmful to lung tissue and can cause coughs or wheezing that won’t go away, fever, chills, and breathing problems such as pneumonia or lung abscesses (lung infections).

Signs and Symptoms of heroin abuse

Symptoms of heroin abuse

Heroin addiction can be fairly easy to spot if you know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Let’s go over some of the more common signs and symptoms of heroin addiction that you should be aware of if you are concerned for a loved one. Heroin abuse signs and symptoms can range from physical to behavioral symptoms.

  • Needle tracks or injection marks on the body
  • Finding IV drug paraphernalia (like needles) hidden or even in plain view
  • Trouble breathing
  • Deterioration in personal habits including grooming and hygiene
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Constricted pupils
  • Massive change to sleep habits (either huge increase or decrease)

Both physical and behavioral symptoms can affect a person negatively, and recognizing these signs early forms a top way of preventing drug abuse from getting worse.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms

Drug use has massive implications for one’s life, but what about heroin withdrawal? The severity of withdrawal symptoms is actually one of the most commonly cited causes of relapsing disease as it relates to heroin.

At times, the physical symptoms can be so debilitating that they act as a motivator for people to either avoid quitting or relapsing back into the habit despite the fact that they might deeply desire to stop. For the most part, these unpleasant symptoms begin developing for the heroin user within a few hours of them taking the last dose.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of alcohol withdrawal, but they can be more severe. Some common symptoms of heroin abuse can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Goosebumps (piloerection)
  • Chills or shivering

The risk factors for heroin addiction

Heroin abuse is considered an epidemic. The causes and risk factors of addiction are varied and don’t include just any one thing. However, there are some factors that make someone more likely to become addicted to heroin than others. These include:

  • Genetics. Genetics may play a role in people who end up abusing drugs, but it’s not the only factor. Where there is a family history of drug abuse, there may be an increased risk. You can inherit certain traits from your parents, such as how easily you become addicted or how quickly you develop tolerance to drugs. But you do not necessarily have to inherit this trait from your parents for it to affect your risk for addiction.
  • Environment. Your environment can also affect your risk of becoming addicted to heroin or other substances. For example, if you live in an area where there are many people who use heroin, there’s more than a good chance that you will meet them and try heroin yourself at some point in time during your life. This increases the likelihood that you’ll become addicted at some point in time during your life — especially if you try it with friends who already use it regularly.
  • Co-occurring disorders. Persons who have experienced active trauma and have post-traumatic stress disorder or behavioral health issues and mental health issues are at increased risk of falling prey to a physical dependence on heroin or other drug use. This includes anxiety, depression, or even certain forms of neurodivergence. All of these are risk factors for, potentially, heroin abuse. Co-occurring disorders may happen alongside addiction treatment.

Heroin overdose – the facts

Heroin overdose

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin overdose causes more than 8,200 deaths each year in the United States alone. That’s why it’s important that you know what to do if someone you love has overdosed on heroin. The effects of heroin that are often responsible for overdoses are centered around the drug’s effects on respiration, which can slow down or stop completely over time. This can be deadly because it makes it harder for your body to get oxygen into its bloodstream and keep vital organs like your brain working properly.

No matter what, an overdose should be considered a medical emergency and can be life-threatening. It should be treated as such. Knowing the physical symptoms that are a result of a heroin overdose can help prevent death. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Slowed breathing or shallow breathing
  • Shallow or slow heartbeat
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Blue lips, nails, and fingertips (cyanosis) due to lack of oxygen in the body

Take back your life from heroin addiction today!

The intervention of a high-quality treatment center can be life-saving. A good treatment center features experts in behavioral health who are trained to aid with the symptoms associated with overdose, withdrawal, and addiction to heroin in general. Also, they will be well equipped to treat the co-occurring disorders that may have led to the addiction in the first place.

Addiction to heroin or other drugs is not just a physical issue. The underlying mental illnesses that predispose persons to become heroin users require intervention. If you have noticed signs or symptoms of heroin abuse, or any other drugs in a loved one, reach out to us at Pathfinder’s today and let us provide the help they need. Our expert team is standing by to help.

PPO Insurance Rehab

PPO insurance rehab

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) forms of insurance is widely recognized as a superior alternative to health maintenance organization (HMO) and exclusive provider organization (EPO) plans.

In most cases, a referral from your primary care physician is not necessary when using a PPO health insurance plan to see a specialist. In other words, if you have PPO insurance, you can go to whatever doctor or “PPO insurance rehab” you like as long as they accept your plan.

Read on to learn why it’s important to take advantage of your PPO policy’s coverage for addiction treatment and how to do it in a way that protects your privacy and your health.

Will PPO Insurance Cover Substance Abuse Treatment?

PPO insurance plans, like those from most other carriers, often include coverage for a variety of drug and alcohol rehab centers. The reason for this is the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2006.

As a result of this legislation, mental health and substance abuse services are required to be included in health insurance plans. In most cases, your health insurance will cover a wide range of alcohol and drug rehab programs and levels of care. This includes medically-assisted detox, inpatient residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs, and partial hospitalization programs.

Although PPO plans may not provide complete coverage for an extensive rehabilitation stay, they can still help you save money and provide you more flexibility in choosing your healthcare providers and the course of treatment you want to follow.

Why Is PPO Coverage So Efficient for Substance Abuse Coverage?

Substance Abuse

People with substance abuse problems benefit greatly from the 24-hour supervision and rigorous program structure offered by inpatient and residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

By entering inpatient treatment, patients are shielded from the stresses and temptations of the outside world, which may otherwise threaten their sobriety. They will have a much lower chance of relapsing and will have an easier time recovering if this choice is made.

This level of drug and alcohol treatment will likely also include different behavioral treatments and holistic recovery services for people battling an underlying mental health challenge, as well as give a holistic approach to therapy for clients who wish to participate in a more natural option.

Many insurance companies, including a Preferred Provider Organization that yields PPO plans, will provide less coverage for inpatient treatment in light of these supplementary benefits. This implies that if you want to rehabilitate in a residential treatment center, you may have to pay more money out of pocket.

Does PPO Cover Outpatient Treatment?

A lot of people who are trying to overcome their addiction prefer to do it through outpatient programs. While less intensive and organized than inpatient treatments, PPO coverage expands with outpatient care, reducing the client’s out-of-pocket costs.

In addition, as you won’t have to relocate to attend treatment, you’ll be able to keep up with your obligations at home, work, and school while still getting the help you need for your substance abuse issue.

Group therapy, recovery support groups, and skill-building programs are common components of outpatient treatment plans. Care at this level may still need some out-of-pocket expenses, but it will be far more cost-effective than hospitalization.

How Long of a Stay Do PPO Plans Cover During Rehab?

PPO Plans

How long someone stays in rehab for substance abuse depends on several variables. Possible factors that may impede a person’s ability to recover from addiction include the severity of their condition, the nature of the treatment program, and any barriers they face on a personal level.

Many people lack the resources (both time and money) to get the help they need for their drug use disorder, which places them in a position where they cannot recover fully from their addiction. This might discourage people from getting help from professionals to solve their substance misuse problems.

Inpatient care typically lasts between 30 and 105 days, whereas outpatient programs often last around 120 days. Some patients, in their search for the most appropriate degree of care, go to both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers.

If the healthcare practitioner providing the therapy is not part of the insurance company’s network, the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses will likely exceed the maximum amount that the insurance company would pay. Insurance companies that operate on a PPO model may be more accommodating when it comes to covering addiction treatment.

In some cases, PPO insurance carriers will pay for detox, inpatient, and outpatient services from non-network treatment facilities, even if the patient’s private insurance company would not.

The client may be responsible for paying any additional fees that aren’t covered by insurance. Still, this will be far less expensive than providing healthcare with less adaptable insurance or no healthcare financing at all.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Coverage with a PPO Plan

Dual diagnosis therapy, or the combination of several behavioral and holistic treatments, is a crucial part of addiction treatment, as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

This paves the way for healthcare practitioners to adopt a holistic view of their drug and alcohol addiction therapy, treating not just the addiction but also the factors that led to it.

Essential health benefits, such as dual diagnosis services and access to select deluxe treatments, may be included with these suppliers under a PPO insurance plan. These facilities will, of course, charge more than average for rehabilitation services.

This is because they will provide extra luxuries that may not be available through other treatment programs, such as diverse sporting services and facilities, equestrian therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, and spa services.

While obviously more tempting and pleasant than other treatment centers may seem, luxury rehab facilities are not a necessary level of care for addiction recovery. Those without the financial means to pay for these luxuries can get by just fine with the basic levels of care.

Paying for Services Not Covered by PPO Insurance

Services Not Covered by PPO Insurance

Sadly, many alcoholics and addicts won’t get assistance because they can’t afford it. For this reason, a solid health insurance plan might be crucial to a person’s chances of beating their addiction for good.

However, it’s possible that some people won’t ever be able to afford dependable insurance. Fortunately, there are a number of options for covering the cost of professional substance misuse treatment that do not involve insurance or supplement what insurance does not cover.

Installment arrangements are by far the most common. These allow those in recovery to spread out the cost of their therapy over time, rather than having to come up with the full amount at once. This may be a huge relief to many people’s wallets as they attempt to pay for rehabilitation.

Another option is to ask close friends, relatives, or other loved ones to help out financially. A tight network of people who care about the individual’s well-being can lessen the financial burden of necessary medical care.

Having confidence in your ability to afford expert help to overcome drug and alcohol dependence by knowing what kinds of addiction treatment services are covered by your PPO insurance plan and how much coverage you will actually be able to obtain is crucial.

Getting Started With Insurance Coverage for Rehab

While each insurance provider has its own set of rules that must be met before they can issue a policy, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of being accepted.

If you do not yet have a PPO policy, the Affordable Care Act and the ACA Marketplace can be a good starting place for your search. When searching, remember that PPO insurance coverage is generally the best option for both in-network rehab options as well as an out of network provider.

Consult Your Physician

You can avoid unnecessary bother with your insurance provider by requesting a reference from your primary care physician to the institution of your choice.

Check Your Insurance

Although most rehabilitation centers take all major PPO plans, you should double-check that the facility you’re considering is indeed an in-network provider with your insurance company to avoid any unwanted out-of-network charges.

Even if rehab is not in your insurance network, you may still be eligible for some financial assistance. Your out-of-pocket costs can be determined with the aid of customer support.

Contact the Help Desk

Reviewing your documents alone may not always help you understand what is and is not covered. In this situation, feel free to call your insurance provider and ask any questions you may have, and remind them you would like to attend Pathfinders and find out any associated costs.

Our Admissions team is also always happy to assist with questions about your PPO insurance coverage and can let you know out-of-pocket costs within minutes.

Important PPO Insurance Coverage Terms to Remember

You should be able to grasp the language used by insurance companies in order to understand how to use your insurance to assist pay for rehabilitation treatments.

To help you better understand discussions regarding insurance, we’ve included definitions of several often used phrases below.

Deductible

You will have to pay this amount out of pocket before your insurance company begins paying anything. Payment of this amount is required in addition to your regular premium; your regular premium will not be deducted from this total.

In most plans, once you’ve met your yearly deductible, your insurance will begin paying a certain percentage of covered expenses.

Premium

This is the regular payment you make to keep your insurance in force. No, it won’t affect your deductible at all, as we’ve already established, but a PPO plan premium can tend to be a bit higher than other sorts of coverage.

Copay

A copayment, or “copay,” is a modest, predetermined sum of money that is due at the time of service. Depending on your insurance and the service you’ve requested for your visit, the fee might be anywhere from $5 to $75.

As with your premium, this contribution will not be applied to your yearly deductible.

Co-insurance

After your deductible is met, your insurance company will reimburse this amount. While some plans cover all of a patient’s expenses, others may only pay for a certain percentage, leaving the patient to foot the bill for the rest.

In-network

PPO Insurance Coverage Terms to Remember

Providers who are “in-network” with your insurance plan have bargained for lower fees on your behalf. In most cases, you may save the most money on medical treatment by sticking with providers that are part of your insurance network.

Out-of-pocket

You will frequently hear this as either “out-of-pocket expenses” or “out-of-pocket maximum.”

The term “out-of-pocket expenditures” describes the amount of money you will have to spend out of cash for medical treatment.

The greatest amount you’ll have to spend out of cash for medical care is known as the “out-of-pocket maximum.” After this limit is met, your PPO will pay 100% of the covered expenses.

An Addiction Treatment Center Made for Your Lasting Recovery

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, our program is covered by most major PPO providers. In addition, we also take a large range of different insurance plans, so we’re likely to cover the cost of your treatment.

For more information regarding coverage of your stay or to speak with our admissions team, contact Pathfinders Recovery today!

 

What Does Meth Look Like

What Does Meth Look Like

Identifying the Signs of Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamine, or meth, is one of America’s most notorious addictive substances. Use and manufacture of the drug are depicted in TV shows and movies with some regularity. These portrayals sometimes take a romantic or glamorous form. However, there is nothing glamorous about meth use. Anyone who consumes the drug can suffer a variety of serious health harms. Those harms include addiction and overdose. They also include other kinds of potentially lasting damage to your mental and physical functions.

Concerned that someone you know is using meth? Awareness of what the drug looks like can help you spot a potential problem. Knowledge of meth’s characteristic odors can also be important. The same holds true for the settings in which manufacture and use of the drug often occur. If you notice any signs of meth consumption, it might be time seek help for your affected friend or loved one.

What Is Meth?

What is meth? In other words, how is meth categorized and classified by scientists and doctors? Methamphetamine belongs to the amphetamine family of substances. Like all amphetamines, meth is a stimulant. This means that it speeds up the usual rate of activity in nerve cells in your:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord

Together, these two structures form your central nervous system. Meth also speeds up the activity rate in your sympathetic nervous system. This system triggers involuntary activation of your “fight-or-flight” response. Things affected by that response include your:

  • Heart rate
  • Core body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Digestive system
  • Level of sweat production

The vast majority of the meth distributed and sold in America is made illegally. A small percentage of the drug is sold legally as the medication Desoxyn. Today, most meth comes from Mexico. Hidden or clandestine labs also operate in various parts of the U.S.

What Does Meth Look Like

Not all methamphetamine looks the same. Instead, there are three common forms of meth: powder, base and crystal. Meth powder, sometimes referred to as speed, typically has a whitish or off-white color. It can be compacted under pressure to form pills.

Methamphetamine base is a brown, yellow or white substance with an oily or damp texture. Even excluding differences in color, batches of this substance are not uniform in appearance. Instead, base may look waxy or paste-like. Crystal gets its name from its crystalline or rock-like appearance. This form of meth is often translucent, which means that light passes through out. Crystal meth may also have a more solid, whitish color.

What Does Meth Smell Like When Smoked

What Does Meth Smell Like When Smoked

Meth powder and base are not typically smoked. However, users can smoke the crystal version of the drug. What does meth smell like when it’s smoked? There is no single answer to this question. Why not? Meth labs can use a variety of chemicals to manufacture the drug. In turn, these chemicals have an impact on how it smells when burned.

Meth smoke can have a non-specific chemical-like odor. It may also smell more specifically like household cleaning products. In addition, meth smoke can have an odor similar to burning or burnt plastic. No matter the particular odor you smell, one thing is certain. Burning meth has a strong scent that will likely stand out and grab your attention.

What Does Meth Taste Like

Meth can also vary substantially in its taste. Some users of the drug describe its powder or pill form as tasting bitter. All forms of meth may also taste like the chemicals used to make them. In addition, flavoring agents are sometimes added to the drug. These agents help reduce the unpleasant taste of methamphetamine. They may also be used to help the drug seem more generally appealing.

What Does Meth Paraphernalia Look Like

When it comes to drugs, paraphernalia is a term with multiple meanings. It can refer to the equipment involved in the manufacture of illegal substances. It can also refer to anything used to hide illegal substances or consume them.

What does meth paraphernalia look like? Perhaps the most well-known item is a metal or glass pipe used to smoke the crystal form of the drug. You may also notice glass bongs that serve the same purpose.

A wide range of paraphernalia are associated with making meth in clandestine labs. Common examples include:

  • Respirator masks
  • Rubber gloves
  • Various kinds of glassware
  • Hoses made from rubber or plastic
  • Lithium batteries

 

A wide assortment of chemicals are also used to make illegal meth. The list of these chemicals includes things such as:

  • Hydrochloric, muriatic or sulfuric acid
  • Camping fuel
  • Pseudoephedrine- or ephedrine-based cold tablets or capsules
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Lithium extracted from batteries
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lye
  • Ether

All of these substances have a legal, legitimate use. It is only their use in meth manufacture that makes them illegal.

How to Recognize the Signs of Meth Cooking

How to Recognize the Signs of Meth Cooking

Clandestine meth labs are makeshift facilities designed to produce, or cook, illegal forms of the drug. These labs can be set up anyplace where there is room for them to fit. No matter where you live, you may find one on your street or in your neighborhood or area.

What are the signs of a meth cooking operation? Depending on your situation, you may notice any number of things. One potential telltale sign is a smell in the air that resembles rotten eggs, cat urine or ammonia. You may also notice a house or shed with covered or blacked out windows. Yard or vegetation damage caused by the burning or dumping of chemicals is another possible indicator.

Many meth labs are protected by multiple layers of security. Measures in place may include “No Trespassing” signs and strategically located outdoor cameras or monitors. In addition, they may include high fences and/or guard dogs.

Certain kinds of trash can also point to the presence of a meth cooking operation. Items you may spot include:

  • Large numbers of cold tablet packages
  • Coffee filters that are stained or coated in a powdery substance
  • Broken-down lithium batteries
  • Piles of empty chemical containers
  • Plastic bottles with holes punched into them
  • Used rubber gloves
  • Discarded pieces of hose or plastic

 

Tweaking and Other Meth Warning Signs

Even without smelling anything or seeing actual meth, you may be able to tell if someone is using the drug. One classic sign is “tweaking.” This term refers to a grouping of symptoms that can occur after a period of heavy meth use. Such symptoms may include:

  • Temporary loss of the ability to experience meth’s typical drug effects
  • Extreme agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • A powerful urge to use more meth
  • Violent outbursts
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusional thinking

 

The signs of tweaking overlap in many ways with the effects of meth withdrawal. Other potential signs that someone you know is withdrawing from the drug include:

  • A depressed, irritable or anxious mental state
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of physical energy
  • Unusual slowing down or speeding up of their physical or mental reflexes

 

Withdrawal is just one sign that a person who uses meth has become addicted to the drug. Other indicators of addiction include:

  • Losing control over how much meth they use, or how often they use it
  • Having a routine that revolves around obtaining meth, using it and recovering from
  • Turning down other activities in favor of using meth
  • Not halting a pattern of meth use that clearly causes them significant harm
  • Developing a rising tolerance to meth’s stimulant effects

How to Help a Loved One Using Meth

How to Help a Loved One Using Meth

The best thing you can do for a loved one using meth is encourage them to enter a treatment program. This is not always easy to do. Many people who regularly use the drug have undergone profound mental and emotional changes. These changes may leave them unable to think clearly or rationally. A long-term user of meth may also be paranoid, delusional or violent. In addition, like anyone else affected by addiction, they may be in denial about their condition.

Try to approach the topic of seeking treatment as gently as possible. It helps to plan this kind of conversation in advance. It also helps to seek the advice of addiction specialists or intervention counselors.

Forms of Effective Treatment for Meth Addiction

Effective treatment for meth addiction is psychotherapy-based. The treatments of choice are behavioral therapies. Therapies of this type help your loved one change behaviors that support ongoing addiction. One option, cognitive behavioral therapy, is specifically known to help people with meth-related problems. Other therapies used to treat stimulant addiction in general include:

  • Contingency management
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • The Matrix Model

 

Family therapy may also be used in the treatment of all forms of substance addiction.

Each form of therapy provides its own treatment benefits. The right combination of options can help your loved one do things such as:

  • Reduce their cravings for meth
  • Cope with stressful situations that may increase their cravings
  • Stay sober during and after treatment
  • Add a self-help group to their larger meth recovery plan

Learn More About Meth and Effective Addiction Treatment at Pathfinders

If you think someone you know is using meth, you may have a number of pressing questions. For example, what does meth look like? What does it smell like? How can you tell if some is cooking meth? What are the signs of meth addiction?

Get answers to these important questions at Pathfinders. With our help, you can detect the potential signs that your friend or family member is using meth. Pathfinders is also a premier provider of treatment for methamphetamine addiction. No matter the extent of your loved one’s addiction symptoms, we offer customized recovery options that suit their needs. To learn more about our comprehensive meth program, call us today.

Books for Parents of Substance Abusers

Books for Parents of Substance Abusers

Getting Help for Children Who Use Drugs or Alcohol

Across the U.S., millions of preteens and teenagers drink or take drugs at least occasionally. Significant numbers of younger children are also involved in some form of substance use. Compared to adults, children are more susceptible to the major risks of using drugs and alcohol. They also have additional risks that are not a factor for adults.

Having a child who drinks or takes drugs is a cause for serious alarm. In this situation, you naturally want to do as much as possible to help your affected loved one. One key step is following the advice of verified addiction and substance treatment specialists. Among other places, you can find this advice in expert-recommended books and other resources for parents of substance abusers.

Why Read About Substance Use Disorders and Addictive Behaviors

Knowledge is power when it comes to helping your substance-using child. The more you know, the better your ability to understand what is happening to your loved one. You also have a better chance of responding to your child’s substance use in effective, supportive ways.

Reading is an excellent way to educate yourself about substance problems and addiction. Potential sources of useful information include:

  • Addiction specialists
  • Public health experts
  • Other parents who have faced similar situations
  • Books and articles from the wider substance recovery community

What to Read If Your Child Suffers From Addiction

All children who drink or take drugs are at-risk for addiction. Addicted children no longer use drugs or alcohol voluntarily. Instead, they have a chronic brain disease that leads to involuntary substance use.

What should you read if your child suffers from addiction? As a rule, the most reliable sources are federal public health officials. These officials belong to organizations dedicated to providing accurate information on addiction-related topics. One top federal source is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA. NIDA features a resource page geared toward both parents and teachers. This page includes:

  • Information on the most commonly abused substances
  • Advice on how to talk to your kids about substance use
  • Links to a vast range of relevant articles and guides
  • Dozens of short, informative videos

 

What to Read If Your Child Suffers From Addiction

NIDA also offers much more detailed information on addiction-related topics. One key publication is the short book Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment – A Research-Based Guide. This online book:

  • Explains the general principles of effective treatment
  • Answers common questions about addiction and its treatment
  • Describes the treatments used for specific forms of addiction
  • Identifies treatments that are especially helpful for teenagers

 

Another excellent source of information is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA. SAMHSA offers more than 100 publications designed specifically for parents and other caregivers.

Online Resources Related to Staging an Intervention

An intervention is designed to provide effective help for anyone caught up in substance abuse. When performed properly, it can encourage your child to seek needed recovery support. However, when performed improperly, it can have the opposite effect.

A well-designed intervention requires detailed planning. For this reason, you must choose your online sources of intervention information very carefully. One of the best online guides comes from the Mayo Clinic. This guide provides comprehensive advice on topics such as:

  • Relying on professional help when making your intervention plan
  • Creating a team of people to carry out an intervention
  • Deciding what to say during an intervention
  • Holding the actual intervention
  • Taking follow-up measures after an intervention

Titles That Look at Drugs and Addiction in America

A quick Google search will bring up countless titles of books that look at drugs and addiction in America. Some of these books take a historical perspective. Others look at current aspects of drug use and addiction. Still others offer advice on how to help teens affected by addiction.

How can you wade through this sea of information? After all, in today’s world, anyone can write a book and publish it online or in print. Some of these authors are acknowledged experts in their field. However, others may have little expertise to offer, if any. How can you tell the difference?

One thing you can do is consider the credentials of a given book’s author. Do they have a background in the subject they are covering? Do they have academic positions or work for organizations that specialize in addiction-related topics? What do reputable reviewers have to say about a given book? These kinds of questions can help you separate reliable authors from those whose advice may be less valuable.

Books From the Alcohol and Recovery Support Community

Books written by members of the alcohol and recovery support community can also be useful. The authors of these books typically:

  • Have children or other loved ones who have been affected by addiction
  • Speak from personal experience rather than from formal expertise

 

Recovery Support Community

Dozens of publications in this category are released every year. There is a good chance that you can find one suitable for your current situation. The right book may:

  • Offer timely advice
  • Help you gain a better perspective on your situation
  • Direct you toward important treatment resources

Fentanyl and Harm Reduction Reading Resources

Harm reduction is an approach designed to prevent overdoses and other severe outcomes of substance use. Today, public health officials sometimes take this approach to help people using the powerful opioid fentanyl. Why? Fentanyl use inevitably comes with a very real chance of experiencing an overdose. Harm reduction can potentially help lower your child’s overdose risks.

A variety of reliable online resources cover the topics of fentanyl and harm reduction. Some of these resources are provided by federal public health experts. Many state governments also provide similar resources.

Reading Materials for Kids With Addicted Parents

Children in communities across America grow up with parents affected by addiction. You may know teens or younger children in this situation. If so, you may want to provide them with helpful, supportive reading materials. You will find informative brochures on this topic at SAMHSA. The nonprofit organization Common Sense Media also provides a listing of recommended books for kids with addicted parents.

Finding Effective Treatment for a Loved One at Pathfinders

Resources for parents and loved ones of addicted individuals come in a variety of forms. Some of the most sought-after resources are books for parents of substance abusers. Books of this type can help you understand addiction’s effects on your child. They can also help you respond to your child’s needs in ways that support their eventual recovery.

Generally speaking, public health officials are the most reliable sources of information. However, you may get crucial help from other knowledgeable professionals. Books written by members of the recovery community may also offer important support and advice.

In addition to reading up on addiction, you must help your child enter an effective treatment program. At Pathfinders, we specialize in the treatment of all forms of substance addiction. No matter how your loved one is affected by addiction, our customized care will help them recover. We can also help your loved one recover from mental illnesses that often occur in people with substance problems. Ready to get the process started? Call us today to learn more about our available inpatient and outpatient treatment options.

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

Most Addictive Drug

In a world where dozens of substances exist that cause an entire range of side effects associated with addiction, one of the most commonly pondered questions is “what is the most addictive drug?” Finding a definitive answer to this question is all but impossible, considering how relative addictions can be.

The science and medical worlds would disagree, considering the physical markers and battery of tests conducted on participants over the years. Readings of different brain chemicals and the way our body responds to abuse do show some pretty hard evidence as far as how addictive certain drugs can be.

However, the scientific and medical term is better served using the description of “physical dependence” than addiction. Addiction is far too mental to produce a definitive number one in this category.

A check of multiple sources produces multiple definitions, each with different wording or their own twist on the term:

Source 1: An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about how your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and a lack of concern over consequences.

Source 2: Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

By most definitions, addiction can stem from several different sources and isn’t limited to alcohol or illegal substances. People can develop habits with something as simple as Diet Coke.

Although the severity of the addiction is ultimately determined by the eyes or mind of the user, we attempt to make sense of this question in the following article.

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

The answer to the question of “what is the most addictive drug?” depends on who you ask and the criteria you use to judge the addiction. Is it based on how often the user abuses the drug? Is it based on how much a user will go through to obtain the substance? Or is it answered based on the severity of withdrawal, using a combination of the drug’s grip on the mind and body.

If you’re using the latter to answer the question, technically, the most addictive drugs, not a drug, would probably be a three-way tie between alcohol, nervous-system sedatives, and opioids. Technically, we could cut that list down to two because alcohol can be grouped as a nervous system depressant.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin and prescription painkillers, while central nervous system depressants include alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.

Opioid addiction is characterized by compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences to one’s health, finances, or relationships. This leads to tolerance—when users must take more significant amounts of the drug to get high—and withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it abruptly or after prolonged use.

Central nervous system depressant addiction often occurs when someone uses these substances for recreational purposes but becomes dependent upon them over time due primarily to their soothing effects on areas within the brain responsible for regulating emotions and behavior. Users often get wrapped up in a cycle of using these substances to numb certain feelings.

In addition, they also have the most severe withdrawal symptoms, with nervous system depressants edging opioids slightly in this category. And they all have a high rate of relapse. In addition, the consensus of most users would be that these two are indeed the most addictive drugs.

But that’s if you ask people who have struggled with these drugs – people who preferred them. Plenty of people tried both categories of these drugs and didn’t enjoy them, instead maybe leaning toward cocaine or amphetamine.

To this demographic of the drug user, cocaine and methamphetamine would be the most addictive drugs. This makes this question so difficult to answer with any level of certainty.

What Makes a Drug Addictive?

What makes a drug addictive? This question is a little easier to answer but may vary from person to person. However, the core driving factors typically remain the same in nearly every instance of addiction.

Typically, addiction begins subconsciously, usually by blocking or correcting a negative feeling or emotion an individual has. It could be insecurity, guilt, anger, or several other issues.

A large majority of the time, individuals aren’t even aware that they’re participating in the abuse to mask or bury the feeling. However, dependence takes hold after a significant period of use, mental and sometimes physical.

During the early abuse period, the substance in question is causing an explosion of certain chemicals in the brain. Dopamine, serotonin, and other chemicals, released in large amounts, cause the euphoric feeling or “high” users chase.

However, after an extended period of the drug driving the release of these chemicals, the body cannot produce them naturally and relates the dispensing of these chemicals with the ingestion of the drug. Eventually, the user takes  the medication to maintain a somewhat average level.

Now, what about types of addictive substances?

Categories of Addictive Substances

Categories of Addictive Substances

 

There are several categories of addictive substances. Each of these categories seems to have its unique, addictive properties and potential level of severity. At the minimum, they can be distinguished by their levels of physical addiction or lack thereof.

  • Stimulants: Amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine
  • Inhalants: Spray paint, antifreeze, nitrous oxide
  • Cannabinoids: Marijuana, hash, wax
  • Depressants: Benzos, anti-depressants, barbiturates, alcohol
  • Opioids: Heroin, methadone, fentanyl
  • Steroids: Various performance-enhancing drugs, human growth hormone
  • Hallucinogens: LSD, PCP, DMT, Psylocibin mushrooms
  • Prescription drugs: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, morphine

 

With such a variety of categories, how would we even begin to determine the most addictive substance?

How to Determine the Most Addictive Drug

Determining the most addictive drug is difficult because of the varying viewpoints. However, you can use two approaches when attempting to answer this question.

Using a scientific or medical approach to reach the answer would require looking at past data. Noting things like which drugs altered brain chemicals the most, which drug produced the most intense detox period, and other evidence-based conclusions would give you the popular answer for the most addictive drug.

The other approach requires a personal testament from specific users of various addictive substances. However, it’s not incorrect to assume that a large majority of personal opinions would point toward heroin or another opioid being the most addictive.

This also matches with scientific and medical data and is further intensified by the fact that we’re currently in the middle of an epidemic.

The Most Physically Addictive Drug

The most physically addictive drug isn’t as difficult of a question to answer. However, this spot is shared by three substances.

Alcohol, benzos, and opioids are the clear winners regarding the most physically addictive drugs. They all produce life-threatening, painful withdrawals and almost always require medically assisted detox.

The Most Psychologically Addictive Drug

This is another matter of opinion answer and garners many different results. However, many argue that methamphetamine is the most psychologically addictive drug.

The primary reason for this widespread opinion is the numerous cases of psychosis triggered by methamphetamine abuse. Typically, it takes prolonged use of methamphetamine to begin experiencing symptoms of psychosis.

However, more recent, highly concentrated batches of crystal meth are causing psychosis after only a month or two of abuse. In addition, overdose cases of methamphetamine have steadily increased after being almost non-existent for over a decade.

The Top 5 Most Addictive Drugs

The argument over which drugs are the most addictive will likely be perpetual as long as abuse exists among the population. However, a list of the five most addictive drugs is probably more agreed upon, only in varying orders.

The top five most addictive drugs, in our opinion, are as follows:

1. Heroin/Fentanyl

Heroin and fentanyl may not have the severity level when it comes to withdrawals as benzos, but they seem far more prone to quick addiction and abuse. One look at the numbers of fentanyl overdose deaths and the use statistics give insight into the grave situation that is the opioid epidemic.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol has the number two spot for a couple of reasons. First, it’s the most widely abused drug out of all other options and is more accessible because of its legality. Two, the withdrawal symptoms are dangerous, potentially causing life-threatening side effects. Alcohol is tough to detox from without the help of medical professionals.

3. Cocaine/Crack

Cocaine Dependence and Addiction

 

Crack was an easy pick for the list and has been a staple among discussions of the most addictive drugs. Many crack users become hooked after their first hit, chasing that initial high through years and years of spiraling and abuse. It’s important not to forget that before the opioid and fentanyl epidemic, the crack epidemic ravaged inner-city neighborhoods across the country.

4. Crystal Meth

Number four on the list is methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth. This drug was dormant for a period but is back with a vengeance, causing an epidemic of its own that’s been overshadowed by the opioid crisis. However, after a steep increase in meth overdose deaths, this dangerous drug finally has the attention of the public eye again.

5. Prescription Pills

Prescription pills round out the top five and include several different substances like benzos, pain killers, and stimulants. Although the prescription pill crisis isn’t at the heights it was in the early 2000s, it’s still a massive problem and takes lives daily. Not only does this category include benzos but also opioid painkillers, which are often a stepping stone to heroin and fentanyl.

The Rise of Fentanyl Addiction

As mentioned above, the prescription pill epidemic of the early 2000s eventually gave way to the heroin epidemic, which quickly morphed into the fentanyl crisis. Currently, massive quantities of drugs flood our streets because of the shifting availability.

Dealers no longer must import the substance from China, as Mexican cartels manufacture the drug right on our borders. This led to another record year of opioid overdose deaths and a grim reminder that the problem is far from under control.

Finding Top Treatment, No Matter the Addiction

Regardless of your drug, the top treatment regardless of addiction is essential. No addiction should ever take precedence over another, as everyone has their own battles to fight.

Each addiction case shares a common denominator – there’s human life at stake and a family that’s losing someone they love. Fighting substance abuse is a worthy cause that requires a collective effort, and winning the battle starts with awareness.

Long-term Sobriety with Pathfinders Recovery

If you or someone you love is suffering from any addiction, Pathfinders Recovery is here to help you reclaim your life and independence. Our top-notch staff is compassionate about our effort; every client gets 110%, regardless of their addiction or background.

To find out how we can help you in your journey to recovery, contact a member of our compassionate staff at any time, day or night. We have convenient locations in Arizona and Colorado that accept clients from all over the country, regardless of geography. Don’t let distance stop you – contact Pathfinders Recovery today.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. Fentanyl can be prescribed as a patch, lozenge, or injection, and it is also available illegally as a white powder or blue pill. People who misuse fentanyl by taking it without a prescription or by taking it in a way other than prescribed are at risk of overdose and death. When misused, fentanyl can stay in your system for up to 72 hours.

Currently, this deadly drug is sweeping every neighborhood in America, recently causing a new record high for overdose deaths among users. This marks another year in which the United States has seen record deaths, having bested the previous totals for at least the last half-decade.

Aside from its deadly properties, the average citizen knows very little about fentanyl. One of the most effective ways to mitigate the risks associated with any deadly force is to raise awareness and educate the public regarding different talking points, including withdrawal, dependence, and other essential elements. Let’s look a little closer at what exactly fentanyl is and its effects on the individuals who abuse it.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a type of opioid analgesic, also known as a narcotic. It’s made from the powdered sap of the opium poppy and is mainly used to relieve pain. Because it’s so powerful, it’s often mixed with other drugs or sold on its own. It came into use on the illegal market because it’s relatively easy to produce and sells well on the black market.

At wholesale prices, it’s also much cheaper than street heroin for several reasons. Number one, poppy plants don’t require any waiting period to approach a harvest point. This cuts off a considerable amount of time and ramps up production.

Second, because it’s a synthetic product, there are no limits to the amount of this drug chemists can manufacture. In the past, significant distributors were forced to order the product from China, which was the hub for most of the world’s fentanyl. However, this would all change after the Mexican cartels learned how to manufacture their own product.

Currently, the tyrannical Mexican drug cartels produce fentanyl in our backyard. On border cities throughout the southern United States, just on the other side, are massive labs producing some of the world’s most potent fentanyl. This means there’s an almost infinite supply that dealers can get their hands on. With the expertise of the veteran drug smugglers these cartels already employ, fentanyl flows onto the streets of America uninhibited, with no end to the crisis in sight.

What makes fentanyl so deadly is its incredible potency and how it acts on the brain and body. Miniscule amounts are deadly for the novice user, proved by the swollen overdose death numbers that have surpassed the six-figure mark.

Let’s take a look into the effects of fentanyl from the first-person point of view. How does the user feel after taking a dose of fentanyl?

The Effects of Fentanyl

The Effects of Fentanyl

Anybody who has ever researched fentanyl has probably read a generic list of the effects. However, this doesn’t tell us much about the user’s experience, which is required to gain a perspective on this deadly addiction. From a user’s viewpoint, let’s look at the effects of fentanyl firsthand.

1. Immediately After Injection

The user will feel an immediate rush about two seconds after injecting the drug. After about five seconds, the user develops the feeling of “pins and needles” poking them throughout their body. This feeling results from the receptors responding to the painkilling properties of the drug.

2. Initial Effects

After 30 to 45 seconds, the user will feel warm and sometimes sweat at higher doses. These could also be the beginning moments of an overdose.

3. Peak Period

A wave of euphoria rushes over the user as they begin feeling the peak effects of the drug. Their breathing is slowed down, followed by the heart and other functions of the body. At this point, respiratory depression can take hold because of toxicity, leaving the user in and out of consciousness.

Some users experience nausea and may even vomit because of how the drug interacts with the digestive system. Intense itching ensues for many users and is one of the driving forces of the wounds of many opioid addicts.

4. Coming Down

After the peak period, which usually lasts two to three hours, the user will begin feeling the comedown. They may still be groggy and even fall asleep for an extended period. Some users will experience mood swings, and headaches because of light sensitivity are common.

This assumes the user didn’t overdose during the previous phases of the experience. The chances of overdose are incredibly high, and it’s essential to understand the risks of overdose with fentanyl.

Risk of Overdose with Fentanyl

Before the fentanyl epidemic, we dealt with the heroin epidemic. Before heroin, we dealt with the opioid painkiller epidemic. These epidemics led to record overdose deaths, but they were nothing compared to the numbers caused by fentanyl.

The risk of overdose with fentanyl is higher than any other drug we’ve ever seen. Most overdose deaths occur in situations where users get way more than they bargained for.

Heroin users purchase a bag of what they think is unadulterated heroin. However, dealers looking to stretch their profits incorporate fentanyl into the mix or, in some instances, replace the heroin with pure fentanyl.

Even a veteran heroin user with what’s considered a high tolerance will quickly succumb to the bad batch of heroin if there’s enough fentanyl included – and it doesn’t take much. For someone not used to injecting or snorting fentanyl regularly, a dose no more significant than the size of a pinch of salt is enough to send them to the point of no return.

One of the significant risks of overdose with fentanyl is its ability to stand up to the overdose reversal drug Narcan. In the past, most users who required Narcan could rely on one dose to bring them out of respiratory arrest and back from the brink of death. Sporadic cases MIGHT have required two doses, but these were only in the case of a massive injection of heroin.

After fentanyl hit the scene, paramedics began noticing something they hadn’t seen before. Overdose victims were hit with Narcan two, three, and four times and still weren’t coming out of the overdose fast enough. It’s not uncommon to hear about fentanyl overdose victims needing five and six doses of Narcan to keep them from dying.

Even homes or individuals who usually carry Narcan aren’t equipped with that many doses – a prepared heroin user might take two or three doses on them in most cases. If individuals in the immediate company of someone don’t have enough Narcan to reverse the overdose effects, the ambulance won’t arrive on time.

Situations like the one described above are a driving factor in dozens of fentanyl overdose deaths each day. What’s being done to mitigate situations like this?

For starters, test strips exist on the market to try and filter out unwanted fentanyl. This may be the most effective approach instead of arresting and fighting a drug war the government can’t win.

Drug Testing for Fentanyl

Instead of choosing to approach the fentanyl epidemic with an aggressive approach, many cities and states are participating in what’s known as harm reduction. Many places already have a needle exchange program, which many people are already familiar with.

Needle exchange programs, which are still controversial in some forums, aim to reduce injury and the spread of disease among IV drug users. These programs consist of mobile volunteers who set up random hubs on different days throughout urban areas, passing out clean needles, Narcan, and other harm reduction supplies.

Since FTS programs’ inception and widespread availability, some alarming trends have surfaced. An incredibly high number of random batches of narcotics were found to contain lethal amounts of fentanyl – and it wasn’t just heroin.

Batches from marijuana to methamphetamine and cocaine have all been found to contain fentanyl. In addition, several fatal overdose cases are to blame for these drugs containing adulterants, unbeknownst to the user.

These deaths were driving factors in the push to make FTS available whenever drug consumption is possible. Many of the same harm reduction groups that distribute Narcan and syringes have begun adding these fentanyl test strips to their repertoire.

When Will Fentanyl Begin to Show Up On a Test?

When Will Fentanyl Begin to Show Up On a Test

Initially, the fentanyl test strips were designed for use in urine analysis tests for probation and parole officers to use on clients. However, because fentanyl can be added to the standard panel-drug test with other narcotics, the exclusively-for-fentanyl test strips could serve in different ways.

How does fentanyl show up on drug tests compared to other opioids? And does this have any effect on its potency or risk for addiction?

Fentanyl does have a shorter half-life than heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. However, this doesn’t relieve the withdrawal symptoms and, if anything drives them to come on faster. How long can a user expect this deadly opioid to stay in the system after ingestion, and how soon does it show up on drug tests.

Fentanyl will begin to show up on a drug test almost immediately. Technically, it could take an hour or two because of the time it takes for the drug to enter all relevant body systems.

Another frequently asked question regarding fentanyl abuse is how long it stays in your system. The answer completely depends on the drug’s half-life, combined with how often the user ingests heroin and for how long.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

Fentanyl stays in your system for varying lengths depending on the system in question. Blood, urine, hair, and saliva are different times the drug expels itself from the body.

The half-life of fentanyl after IV administration is anywhere from two to four hours. This would make the total elimination time somewhere between 11 and 22-hours. However, it’s essential to remember that this is the time it takes for the body to eliminate fentanyl from the blood.

It takes substantially longer for the body to expel fentanyl from the urine, meaning you can still fail a urine analysis even after the drug exits your bloodstream. Besides indicating whether you’ll pass or fail a drug test, the length of time fentanyl stays in your system is significant in terms of withdrawal.

After the drug is expelled from your blood, you begin entering detox and experience the symptoms of withdrawal. It’s essential to be aware of the fentanyl withdrawal timeline to better prepare for any challenges.

The Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

The fentanyl withdrawal timeline is the window when you’ll experience the worst side effects of detox. This period typically lasts between 7 and 10 days, with varying degrees of severity in between.

12-24 Hours After Last Use

You’ll begin experiencing the initial symptoms of withdrawal, including sweating, anxiety, elevated body temperature, yawning, and intense cravings.

Days 1-3

Days 1-3, you’ll begin the gradual increase of the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. This period includes nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, body aches, insomnia, and restlessness.

Days 3-5

This is often considered the detox process’s most intense period or peak. Symptoms are usually the most severe during this period, with severe anxiety and dehydration becoming real dangers. It’s essential to try and keep liquids down to avoid dehydration and keep your heart rate and blood pressure as low as possible.

Days 5-7

Symptoms begin to decline and trail off until they wear off completely. Throughout the weeks following this stage, you’ll still experience severe insomnia that may cause mental and physical anguish. It’s essential to try to remain active and keep your mind occupied to keep your body somewhat normalized so you can rest.

How Can I Stop Safely Taking Fentanyl?

You can undergo detox and enter recovery from fentanyl abuse in several ways. The least recommended way is cold-turkey or at-home detox.

Several dangers are associated with this form of detox, including elevated blood pressure and heart rate. Complications associated with insomnia can also present challenges. In addition, your chances of relapse are much higher because of the temptation to avoid the pain and discomfort of withdrawal.

Medically assisted detox or medication-assisted treatment for opioids is usually the best course of action when you’re seeking to recover. Both of these, followed by inpatient or outpatient treatment, provide you with the best chances of success.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Medication-assisted treatment for opioids is one of the most popular ways to detox from fentanyl. Several options and programs exist to help users recover, and it’s essential to be aware of all avenues to find out what might work best for you.

Methadone

Methadone treatment includes attending daily dosing sessions at a clinic. You’ll also be required to submit to random drug testing and have once or twice-per-month meetings with a counselor assigned to you by the clinic.

After a few months of continuous participation without failing drug tests, you’ll be allowed to take doses home, earning privileges one day at a time. Methadone is widely considered a successful form of treatment, with the average participation time somewhere around two years. However, the demand for daily participation can be challenging for some clients.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is available at most methadone clinics as an alternative for clients who don’t want to dose methadone. Alternatively, physicians can open private practices and become licensed to dispense buprenorphine. These clinics are under heavy scrutiny and must comply with all regulations laid out by any state and federal agencies.

Any client who receives Buprenorphine from a private physician must return once per month for appointments and prescription retrieval. Regular visits with a mental health counselor are also required as a form of substance abuse treatment.

These, combined with newer, successful treatment programs with holistic options, can be a great way to battle any substance abuse issue using new methods that treat the mind, body, and soul.

Effectiveness of a Holistic Rehab for Fentanyl

Holistic rehabs like Pathfinders Recovery offer fantastic opportunities to enter recovery. We use traditional methods with a modern twist, incorporating things like equine and ocean therapy, including several other good options for the mind, body, and soul.

It’s essential to healing every part of yourself when you enter recovery. Otherwise, you could be in for a setback through relapse. The entire self needs rejuvenation and reanimation, and holistic rehab for fentanyl is the perfect way to experience this refreshing regimen.

If you’re ready for exciting new-age treatment options with traditional effective mental health options, Pathfinders Recovery is waiting to hear from you. Contact a member of our admissions staff to find out how we can help you begin your recovery journey.