IOP Programs Denver

Intensive outpatient programs

Attending a Denver Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programs or IOPs are a way for mental health treatment centers to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient facilities. An inpatient facility allows patients to stay there for an extended period to deal with their problems. These facilities limit the number of external stimuli that a patient has to deal with, so they can focus on their recovery. Because of this focused recovery approach, inpatient treatment tends to have more success and less chance of a relapse. Inpatient treatment isn’t for everyone, unfortunately. The type of treatment usually requires a person to leave their job or take an extended leave of absence.

The other side of the treatment scale is outpatient treatment. This type of treatment offers more freedom to the patient than inpatient treatment. With outpatient treatment, the patient must show up at a scheduled time to receive counseling and attend group therapy sessions. They don’t stay at the facility, and the onus is on them to make it to their scheduled counseling. Outpatient counseling has the downside that a person still has to deal with their environment and other influences that could lead them to relapse. IOP programs seek to find a middle ground between these two treatment options.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Or IOP?

Intensive outpatient treatment is a treatment program for substance use disorder. It’s a step-down treatment after detox and inpatient treatment. Typically, it lasts for weeks, with visits scheduled for a few days out of the week. IOP can serve as either the primary treatment after detox or a continuing treatment method after a person has completed residential treatment. IOPs are built to be flexible and offer patients the best option for visiting a treatment center within their schedule. Most patients are trying to cope with re-entering the world and holding down a job. An IOP gives them the support they need through therapy while not infringing on their lives.

IOP sessions vary in length, but typically they last between two and four hours long. Most facilities that offer IOPs try to limit them to at least three days a week. More intensive programs might provide additional time, but three days are standard. One of the core focuses of IOP treatment is preventing relapse from external stimuli. Much of the discussion might be around managing the triggers that could lead to relapse and how to cope with those forces. Interpersonal relationships might need to be re-examined to give the person a better chance at staying away from those that might encourage unacceptable behavior.

What Does an IOP Treat?

While IOPs can be used for treating addiction, they can also be applied to an extensive range of mental health conditions. Among the typical cases in that IOP may be used are:

Typical Features of a Quality Intensive Outpatient Program

Not all IOP programs are the same. Some are far better at dealing with disorders than others through their flexibility and how they approach the issue of addiction or mental health disorders. The ideal IOP should feature:

Education Services

Recovering from any disorder requires understanding it fundamentally. A top-class IOP should incorporate education into its regimen. Part of the treatment should discuss how drug and alcohol addiction affects the body and the mind. Relapse prevention starts with recognizing the effects of cravings and how they change a person’s behavior. Intensive outpatient sessions should address practical ways of avoiding relapse.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy - IOP Programs Denver

Psychotherapy is one of the accepted methods of treating substance use disorder and mental health over the long term. A good IOP will incorporate family, group, and individual therapy to help recovering people deal with their conditions. Sharing experiences with others, opening up to family, or addressing the direct effects of a person’s mental health issue positively affects their ability to maintain their recovery.

Support Services

Typically, a person is in pretty rough shape financially, legally, and in employment when they enter rehab. The best IOP programs have advisors who can help people recover their financial and social standing while motivating them to continue their treatment. Finding solutions to these problems can help people focus more on improving themselves.

Who Can Benefit from a Denver IOP Program?

Anyone who has had a mental disorder or is dealing with long-term recovery from substance use disorder can benefit from joining an IOP. The IOP is an alternative to inpatient treatment while offering many benefits to outpatient therapy. IOPs do have an ideal candidate for success. A person who wants to undertake IOP needs to fit these criteria:

  • The patient must have completed inpatient treatment or have a mild enough substance use disorder that they don’t need acute treatment.
  • The patient must have a moderate substance abuse disorder.
  • They must not be dependent on drugs or alcohol.
  • They must have a means of support outside of the treatment center since they don’t live there.
  • The patient must be able to get to and from the facility independently.
  • They should be able to commit a significant amount of time to their recovery.

A recovery center would look at a patient’s history and determine whether they fit the ideal patient model before suggesting that they start IOP. Not all patients will match the perfect model of a patient. Since recovery depends on the individual, each person will have their own road to recovery. IOP can help some patients that don’t meet the ideal criteria but are willing to work towards their recovery.

Are IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance?

IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance

Insurance companies are required to cover treatment for mental health disorders. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all public, private, and group plans offer coverage for mental health treatment. IOP is another type of treatment that can help individuals who suffer from mental health disorders.

Therefore, IOP programs in Denver are covered by health insurance to a particular degree. Consulting with the facility will help you better understand whether your insurance will cover your IOP and to what amount. You may be responsible for meeting some part of the financial responsibility for your treatment, even with insurance.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and IOP Participation

Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT uses medication alongside therapy to gain results in treating substance use disorder and mental health issues. Evidence from many studies suggests that this might be a viable way of helping some individuals cope with their mental health or substance use problems.

Results have shown that individuals who might otherwise be struggling with recovery have a much better outcome when incorporating MAT into their treatment. The use of MAT has historically been part of many inpatient and residential treatment programs. Introducing it to IOP requires adapting the existing methodology to the intensive program.

IOPs that incorporate MAT offer significant benefits over IOPs that use standard therapy as their go-to approach for treatment. Generally, patients who don’t have acute issues with substance usage are the best candidates for MAT. These patients benefit from being treated in their home environments for their disorders, allowing them a better chance of recovery. MAT raises that chance further by providing them with a way to manage their cravings through medication. Combining therapy with group support through IOP gives a recovering person the social support they need to recover from their disorder completely.

What Are the Features Of Top IOP Programs In Denver?

IOPs are quickly becoming popular because they combine the best of good treatment models. However, not all IOPs are helpful to every individual. The top IOPs in Denver share some similarities, however. Among the traits they display are:

  • Mental Health Disorder Assessment: Determine what mental health disorders the patients are dealing with.
  • Therapy Sessions: Group, individual, and family therapy should all form part of the treatment regimen.
  • Behavioral Health Assessment: How does this mental health disorder affect the person’s behavior?
  • Life Education Skills and Training: A recovering person will have to relearn many basic life skills a person needs when living independently.
  • Teaching Focus Development: Yoga and meditation help balance a patient and get them focused on their recovery.

If you are looking at an IOP and aren’t sure whether it’s right for you, you should objectively examine what it offers. You should be able to get to the location relatively quickly, so you don’t miss appointments. The staff should be welcoming and understanding about your goals. It should also offer you an individual solution to your problem, not a generic fix.

Find Lasting Sober Success with Pathfinders Recovery Centers Now

Pathfinders Recovery provides treatment to our patients with a view to long-term recovery. Our two decades of service have prepared us to deal with all types of mental and substance use disorders. Our staff is trained in helping recovering persons come to terms with their disorders and overcome them. Let us help you deal with your condition. Call us today, and we’ll guide you towards leaving your disorder behind and living your life anew!

Men’s Only Rehab

Mens Only Rehab

Alcohol And Drug Rehab Basics

For persons struggling with alcohol or substance abuse and dependency, a rehab facility can be essential in their journey to sobriety and recovery. Rehabilitation facilities can be thought of as safe spaces with trained medical and psychological staff that offer services to persons trying to overcome addiction. At Pathfinders Recovery in Arizona, we offer a men’s only rehab that allows men to focus on their recovery in an environment specifically designed for success.

These services are all focused on navigating the process of withdrawal from the substance in as safe a way and environment as possible and treating the psychological conditions that may have led to the addiction in the first place.

Substance Use and Abuse Statistics Among Men

Substance abuse affects all genders, but there are genuine distinctions regarding the divide. According to the NIDA, Men and boys over the age of 12 are 11.5% more likely to fall prey to substance abuse than women and girls over the age of 12, who experience this issue at a rate of 6.4%.

When it comes to Alcohol Use Disorder, it is estimated that up to 20% of men struggle with it, versus around 7-12% of women. What does this tell us? There is a not insignificant divide between how “at-risk” men are to substance abuse compared to women. This is not said to diminish the suffering of women or to remove attention from that issue but rather to highlight those men are empirically more at-risk in certain regards, and the problem must be tackled at the root cause.

What are the Risk Factors for Addiction for Men?

Many factors can result in substance use and abuse. There is a misconception that falling prey to substance abuse is a moral failing or a character flaw. It is not. Some of the more common factors that put one at risk of falling into a substance abuse habit are:

Genetics

The literal DNA that makes up your body. Suppose you have a history of substance abuse in your family. In that case, there is a statistically higher probability that you may fall into a habit of substance abuse to some degree or another.

Environment

The surroundings you live within, what you are exposed to, the trauma inflicted upon you in adolescence or at any time really, the coercive influence that may or may not exist upon you. These things make up your environmental experience and can put you at risk for addiction.

Dual Diagnoses

Certain psychological conditions lead to substance abuse as the patient tries to “self-medicate.” Conditions like depression and anxiety are good examples of this particular phenomenon. Dual Diagnosis can also apply to neurodivergent persons. Persons with innate dopamine deficiencies and deficits caused by ADHD are at risk for substance abuse.

Why Choose an All-Male Rehab Center?

Why Choose an All-Male Rehab Center

All-male rehab centers are simply what they sound like – drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities that cater exclusively to helping men. You might be asking yourself, “Why choose a men’s-only rehab?” We are going to examine some of the benefits of single-gender rehab settings.

  • There is an inherent expectation for men to be “tough” or “resilient” in everyday life. This is rooted in toxic masculinity and is one of the core reasons men are more at risk for certain types of addiction than women. Difficulty in being vulnerable and expressing emotions are two of the core things that make addiction rampant among men. Men-only rehab facilities foster an environment that allows men to be vulnerable and, thus, work through their trauma.
  • Staff at these facilities are specifically trained to manage how men experience addiction and, therefore, rehabilitation. Because men tend to be more goal-oriented and motivated, treatment plans and communication may be tuned more in line to take advantage of this inherent quality to help ensure the success of the treatment.
  • Because the way men specifically experience the world and society is a huge factor involved in their psychological trauma, the methods and practices utilized when delivering therapy would be specifically aware of how difficult emotional vulnerability is for men. Therapists may conduct sessions while walking, for instance, to both burn calories and allow the client to avoid eye contact while expressing emotions and dealing with painful trauma, a thing that, for many men, the world has not prepared them to be able to do.
  • Without the presence of women, you erase the potential of romantic distraction (for heterosexual males seeking treatment in the facility). Aside from this, the company of women may prevent men from being genuinely vulnerable, a critical component for treatment. Reframing emotional vulnerability and therapy as an act of strength and not a sign of weakness can be more difficult if women are around. This might make it more inherently tricky for some men to put down their guard.
  • All-male rehab centers tend to focus on a results-oriented approach. These facilities can help a man open up about himself and become comfortable with others of their gender. It allows them to head in a unique and necessary way that other approaches cannot manage.

These are just a tiny sample of the techniques and considerations that are a part of men-only rehab facilities that specifically cater to treating men going through addiction. The male experience of the world is inherently unique and requires targeted treatment that keeps that unique experience in mind.

What are the Types of Programs Offered at Men’s Rehabs?

At Pathfinders in Scottsdale, our men’s rehab facilities offers a range of services; Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all ailment, so the treatment would not be either. We will detail the various options, but here are some factors to consider. Firstly, there are evidence-based/medical-focused treatments AND what could be holistic treatments. Secondly, treatments or sessions may be individual OR group-based.

Thirdly, as we said earlier, each person and their needs are unique. Finally, treatment can be inpatient for persons who need the round-the-clock observation and support, especially in the early stages of withdrawal, and outpatient, where people don’t stay at the facility but come in regularly for the sessions. Because of this, treatment almost always involves some combination of all of these things.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

How clients develop and allow negative thinking and poor self-image to dictate their actions inevitably, cognitive-behavioral therapy moves away from harmful thinking toward positive thinking. By doing this, clients typically feel empowered to make more healthy decisions moving forward in their life.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

This is very similar to CBT. These techniques examine how a client’s actions can be changed for the better through talk therapy.

Experimental Therapy

Talk therapy is sometimes not enough to address the needs of some clients. Experiential therapy can be helpful in these cases; clients may engage actively outdoors with others, building their team skills, interpersonal dynamics, and problem-solving.

Motivational Interviewing

Clients struggling to overcome indecision and uncertainty can sometimes be helped by these methods. It can significantly aid in being motivated to take action by establishing and accomplishing positive goals.

Trauma Therapy

Psychological trauma is one of the significant contributors to men using and abusing substances to escape mental and emotional pain. A key component of proper recovery is learning healthy ways to process and identify the trauma’s effects on their lives. By working with compassionate counselors and therapists, clients can learn to identify triggers and deploy healthy coping mechanisms.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the basis of nearly all talk therapy. With this method, clients work one-on-one with a counselor or therapist to discover the underlying issues that have impacted the client and led to their fall into abuse and addiction, to begin with. Substance use disorder is often a symptom of deeper psychological issues that have yet to be addressed. These issues are consciously or unconsciously being ignored or self-medicated in an attempt to deal with them and cope. In a comfortable and safe setting, clients can develop a personal relationship with their therapist and work through the issues to overcome substance abuse and improve their overall mental health.

Holistic Treatments

Yoga Therapy

As a practice, yoga offers many unique therapeutic advantages. The techniques help clients engage in the yoga therapy that teaches them how to control their bodies and be capable of expelling stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions when they are confronted by them.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation focuses the client’s attention on being as present as possible at the moment. By enhancing one’s awareness of themselves as an intimate part of the world around them, clients can better understand their motivations and actions and those of others. As a practice, meditation teaches clients to limit dwelling negatively on the past or becoming too obsessed with the future.

Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapy allows clients to explore their creativity and experience the healing aspects of these practices. Metaphor is a highly effective tool for working through issues. Journaling is a well-noted practice with many benefits. Learning new hobbies and skills is inherently fulfilling for humans. Simply consuming and appreciating works of art can allow clients to develop positive psychological perspectives of themselves and their issues.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Touch therapy can be beneficial in managing overall health and wellness. As the body’s soft tissue is manipulated, many clients find that there is a release of tensions in their body and that this goes quite a long way towards aiding in reducing stress and anxiety. Thus, they are in a better position to explore and progress through the work of treatment.

Privacy And Confidentiality at Men’s Treatment Programs

For anyone struggling with substance abuse, one of the worst aspects is the shame, stigma, and judgment attached to both being an addict and, paradoxically, seeking treatment. Patients may be concerned about whether or not the fact that they are being treated would be in danger of being publicly disclosed.

Fortunately, HIPAA laws exist and are enforced to protect citizens’ information. Rehab centers must comply strictly with this standard. All staff at men-only rehabs must follow the same rules and regulations as any family doctor. No one on the team is allowed to share information about your case unless your express consent is given or unless the situation necessitates the release of information, such as in a medical emergency where providers need certain information to treat you.

Does Insurance Cover Men’s-Only Rehab Treatment?

Rehabilitation can be an expensive process. If the client needs complete inpatient care, the out-of-pocket costs can skyrocket even higher. However, many clinics accept insurance to completely or significantly cover treatment costs. Medicaid and Medicare are two national options that many facilities do accept. Keep in mind, though, that this is a thing that differs from center to center, and it is essential to check with the individual facility to ensure that the insurance you (or a loved one) are interested in using is accepted.

Searching for ‘Men-Only Addiction Treatment Near Me’

The internet has changed how people discover resources. One of the top Google searches around the particular topic of getting help for substance addiction is “finding men-only treatment near me in Arizona.” This tells us that many people are trying to find help AND that the internet is an incredible tool for delivering that information. A quick search will give you many options to explore for treatment. It is a matter of finding facilities with high success rates where their reputation precedes them, such as the programs for men at our facility in Arizona.

Find Lasting Addiction Recovery for Men at Pathfinder’s Arizona

At Pathfinders Recovery Center in Scottsdale, AZ, we have over two decades of experience treating and rehabilitating persons struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Our expert medical team works with you to help you navigate the entire process of detoxing through to healing from the psychological trauma that led to the addiction in the first place.

A truly sober, happy, and fulfilling life is the ultimate goal for every client that comes to us for help, and our results speak for themselves. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse issues, please know that there is hope. Contact us today for more information or a consultation.

Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

What is Chronic Relapse

The Cycle of Addiction and Relapse

For many individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorder, the rehabs they enter can end up becoming revolving doors. The constant cycle of recovery and relapse cycles over and over in a seemingly never-ending battle for sobriety.

What makes the situation more frustrating is the inability to pin down why the relapse keeps happening. The motivation to recover is present, and the effort is put in each time – it’s difficult to remain in recovery after a few weeks or months after graduation.

This would just be attributed to a lack of discipline or motivation in the past. However, many experts believe it points to an underlying mental health condition or a specific set of symptoms that manifest this behavior.

It’s known as chronic relapse, and it’s actually a very common occurrence in many present-day rehab participants.

What Is Chronic Relapse?

In order to understand chronic relapse, first, consider temporary relapse. Temporary relapse occurs when addicts experience a setback related to their recovery process — losing housing, getting fired from a job, or having an argument with loved ones.

After experiencing a period of stress or difficulty, most people bounce back into their normal routines of substance abuse. They temporarily lose their motivation to stay clean or quit drinking.

However, if the crisis persists, then it becomes a chronic relapse. A person suffering from chronic relapse experiences regular periods of craving, increased tolerance, negative mood swings, compulsive behavior, poor performance at school or work, and/or legal troubles.

Short Term Addiction Treatment and Relapse

Those who successfully complete detoxification and enter residential rehab programs tend to remain sober longer than others. On average, recovering heroin users spend less than six months living in halfway houses before returning home.

Yet many individuals who suffer from chronic relapse will fall off the wagon just a short time after returning home. This could be because the initial time in inpatient treatment wasn’t enough for them.

Once patients leave rehabilitation, they must rely solely upon themselves to deal with triggers and temptations. If adequate education and treatment wasn’t received during their stay in rehab, they’re left unprepared for entering the real world again. If left untreated, chronic relapse can lead to further deterioration.

What is the difference between a chronic relapse treatment center and a traditional rehab facility?

What Is a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center?

 

For individuals who frequently suffer from challenges associated with relapse, regular rehabilitation facilities that offer the typical 30-day program clearly aren’t enough. The resources available at a normal treatment center and a facility that specializes in this issue can be more accommodating.

By definition, a chronic relapse treatment center is a facility that provides care 24 hours a day in a non-hospital environment. The planned length of stay in these facilities is typically anywhere from six to 12 months.

Chronic relapse treatment centers normally include the following elements as part of their treatment plans:

  • Helping clients stay active and healthy through participation in exercise or sports
  • Preparing balanced, healthy diets high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed foods
  • Various stress management techniques like yoga or mediation
  • They offer substance abuse and mental health resources to break the constant cycle of relapse

Personalized Treatment to Combat Chronic Relapse

What Is a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

There is also a distinct outline for treatment offered to clients in chronic relapse treatment centers. Personalized treatment plans contain elements of each of the following:

  • Evidence-based treatment that’s proven to work long-term in an inpatient setting
  • Various options for customized care plans that include dual-diagnosis treatment
  • Continued support and sober living home options for structured rehab during aftercare
  • Continued resources for group recovery meetings during post-care treatment

Facilities that specialize in chronic relapse often include a softer, more accommodating touch that provides more of a home-like environment. Many people consider these facilities as “upscale” or “extravagant.” However, there is just more attention put into the need for the client’s appropriate environment.

Different people require different elements and environments to promote long-term sobriety. Research has shown that individuals who suffer from chronic relapse often require a more intimate, personal environment.

In order to identify the presence of chronic relapse, you must understand the signs and symptoms of this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Relapse

There are specific signs and symptoms that identify the presence of chronic relapse. These symptoms include the following:

  • They are glamorizing the use of their drug of choice. This may include the individual sharing fond memories of past substance abuse.
  • The individual believes they can use again without any negative consequences
  • They may become increasingly isolated
  • They may stop participating in their 12-step recovery meetings
  • They stop pursuing interests that were a part of their recovery plan
  • They may begin to doubt how effective their initial treatment plan is/was

Identifying these signs could make it possible to prevent relapse before it happens. Do you know the differences between emotional, mental, and physical relapses?

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Relapse

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Relapse

To understand chronic relapse, you must understand how normal relapse takes place. It doesn’t happen overnight – in fact; it happens in three distinct phases.

Emotional Stage

The emotional stage includes the individual experiencing anger, stress, sadness, depression, or any wide range of intense feelings. Initially, the user may not think about using. However, when these feelings aren’t dealt with and processed in a healthy manner, individuals will progress to the next stage.

Mental/Craving Stage

This is the mental warning sign of an impending relapse. Users may find it difficult to stop thinking about using at this point and continuously play the process of using it repeatedly in their minds.

Physical/Engagement Stage

At this point, the user physically engages and enters relapse. The user put themselves at high risk of addiction once again by continuing to relapse. The urge to use again will be quite intense with each subsequent relapse, and it’s easy to fall back into habitual use.

Now, what about the stages of chronic relapse?

What Are the Stages of Chronic Relapse?

The stages of chronic relapse aren’t dissimilar to normal relapse. However, they take place over an extended period and include several more mental steps and contemplation. Below is an example of the stages of chronic relapse.

Precontemplation

During this stage, individuals aren’t necessarily contemplating using drugs or drinking alcohol. However, thoughts of past use may circle around in their heads. They may dream about using drugs or give too much thought to reliving their past or remembering what drug use felt like.

Contemplation

During this stage, individuals are actively contemplating using drugs. They may go back and forth in their head, arguing with themselves or trying to rationalize why it would be okay to use drugs at this point.

Rationalization

After making the decision to move forward with using, individuals will attempt to rationalize their decision to themselves. They’ll use excuses like, “well, I’ve been sober for a while, so I won’t become addicted again.” Another famous excuse is, “I’m only going to use this one time, and I won’t get high after this.”

Relapse

During this stage, the user actively engages in relapse. They will obtain their drug of choice and proceed to get high. The results after this stage vary but often include the same sentiment among all users.

Remorse

The remorse stage includes the individual expressing guilt about using. This will include a period of depression and withdrawal from society, family, and friends. It’s often these feelings of guilt and negative emotions that trigger subsequent use. Individuals are unable to properly handle or process these emotions, so they turn to further drug use to avoid dealing with them.

After this stage, uses go one of two ways. They either choose to seek help immediately or fall back into regular use.

Regardless, once the user comes back to terms with the fact that they need more help, they enter the acceptance phase and must go through the detox, withdrawal, and treatment process all over again.

Individuals who suffer from chronic relapse end up wasting large chunks of their lives on this condition. Each time they cycle through relapse, treatment, recovery, and back into relapse, you’re looking at anywhere from six to nine months of hard work and progress erased each time.

Why Do People Relapse Frequently?

Most people think relapse involves going right back to exactly the same way of thinking, and doing that got them hooked in the first place. But research tells us otherwise.

Even though a person may engage in harmful activities, he or she won’t develop true addiction unless certain personality traits come into play. Addiction researchers used to refer to these characteristics as vulnerability factors but now call them risk markers.

Risk markers occur early in development and indicate susceptibility to developing addictive tendencies later in life. People whose genetic makeup includes specific variations in dopamine genes, for instance, are believed to be predisposed to alcoholism and substance abuse issues. Researchers have identified dozens of similar risk markers.

Risk markers vary from individual to individual, but the following are typical warning signs that someone could develop issues with chronic relapse:

  • Lack of strong bonds with parents
  • Unstable childhood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poorly developed conscience
  • History of trauma or neglect
  • Psychological instability
  • Impulsivity
  • Hanging out with the wrong groups of people
  • Lack of education regarding triggers and relapse, or substance abuse in general.

Some experts suggest that anyone exhibiting four or more of these qualities identify the chance for chronic relapse.

Who Benefits from Chronic Relapse Treatment Plans?

Although chronic relapse can happen to anyone, certain segments of society exist that may have a higher risk of developing this condition. Individuals with any of the following situations benefit the most from relapse treatment plans:

  • Anyone with stressful events going on in their lives (health problems, unemployment, rocky relationships, etc.)
  • Underlying mental health conditions
  • Any victims of childhood sexual, mental, or physical abuse
  • Genetic history of substance abuse or alcoholism
  • A lower amount of dopamine receptors compared to the average number
  • Anyone who displays the traits of having an impulsive or addictive personality
  • You have fewer dopamine receptors compared to the general population

When individuals aren’t educated on any of the issues listed above, their chances of chronic relapse increase significantly. It’s important to seek treatment and craft a chronic relapse prevention plan.

Crafting a Chronic Relapse Prevention Plan

When people relapse chronically, it’s harder to pull themselves out of the cycle of unhealthy choices. Finding effective ways to cope with stressful circumstances helps reduce the likelihood of falling back into old habits. To break a pattern of relapse, clients must implement the following strategies into their relapse prevention plan:

Identify Triggers

Identifying triggers can help pinpoint moments when urges arise. Triggers can range from environmental stimuli to emotional states. Common triggers include boredom, anxiety, depression, loneliness, anger, frustration, and impatience. Learning to manage these triggers effectively can significantly decrease the chances of relapse.

Learn Skills That Promote Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to the ability to focus attention internally instead of dwelling on external distractions. Practicing meditation and breathing exercises can increase awareness and lower stress levels.

Set Goals

Setting realistic goals that coincide with your values can boost self-confidence and motivate you to stick to your plans. Create actionable steps toward achieving your objectives and write your own success story!

Hold Yourself Accountable

Admit when you made a mistake and act immediately to correct it. Don’t blame others, and don’t dwell on regret. Take accountability for your actions.

Long Term Treatment and Long-Term Recovery

Long-term treatment leads to long-term recovery. Individuals who suffer from chronic relapse commonly need much longer stays at the inpatient facility of their choice.

The more education and counseling a client receives, especially in the right environment, the chances of avoiding relapse during the long-term increase significantly.

Lasting Recovery with a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve helped many clients achieve recovery from chronic relapse challenges. Our state-of-the-art facilities are comfortable and conducive to long-term comfort, which clients need for long-term residence for chronic relapse.

To find out about our specialized treatment plans for chronic relapse, contact a member of our admissions team today!

Gas Station Dope

Gas Station Dope

Over the Counter Drugs… from a Gas Station

In the world of illegal narcotics, there are always designer drugs and research chemicals that make their way onto the scene. Many of these are completely unheard of by the FDA and squeak by for a while under the radar.

Many of these gain popularity through individuals who are on probation and still want to catch a buzz without failing a drug test. Normally you can find these substances in gas stations, and while most of them come and go – some have gained immense popularity and, many times, become notorious for being extremely dangerous.

Examples of these fad substances include spice, K2, and bath salts. Each of these was sold at gas stations and smoke shops – all of them were on the news for the wrong reasons.

Ultimately, all of these substances were banned, and gas stations that continued to sell them ended up being raided and fined. Normally these substances disappear, but not without doing considerable damage.

This craze’s latest offering is Tianeptine, a supplement being sold in gas stations and has similar effects as heroin and other opioids. It also causes nasty withdrawals and has been banned in several states. People are calling it “gas station dope,” and here’s what you need to know about it.

What Is Gas Station Dope?

What Is Gas Station Dope

Just because a product is easily available doesn’t mean it’s safe for use. This is especially true when it comes to gas station supplements.

Tianeptine is a perfect example of this, posing serious health risks and possibly leading to death. This substance is not FDA approved for any medical use whatsoever. Despite this, many of the manufacturers are illegally marketing this product as a solution to opioid use disorder, depression, and pain.

This substance is normally marketed as Coaxil – an atypical drug used for antidepressant purposes in Europe and Asia. As stated earlier, this drug is not approved by the FDA and is considered an unscheduled agent as of now.

Studies have shown that this drug has an opioid agonist. There have been multiple cases of negative effects and even deaths because of recreational abuse.

Emergency calls placed regarding this substance included cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and neurological side effects. Callers also experienced symptoms similar to withdrawal after discontinuing long-term use.

In the United States, reports of negative reactions and unsavory effects involving this drug are increasing. The Poison Control Center fielded only 11 cases between 2000 and 2013. However, in 2020 alone, over 150 cases were reported.

Is Tianeptine Legal In the US?

Currently, Tianeptine is only illegal in two states. It’s considered an unscheduled substance with no medical use by the FDA, which is basically stating the verdict is still out.

Michigan and Alabama are the only two states to ban this substance so far. In both states, Tianeptine is considered a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are considered substances with a high potential for abuse, having the ability to do severe psychological and physical damage.

What Are the Effects of Tianeptine?

Most users report the effects of Tianeptine to be similar to an opioid high. Many users indicate the drug causes anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, with mild euphoric effects.

It activates the body’s opioid neurotransmitters and potentiates dopamine. In high doses, it’s possible for this drug to cause deep sedation and even overdose leading to death.

When combined with other substances like phenibut, benzodiazepines, and opioids, it can cause drowsiness, difficulty breathing, and confusion. There have been multiple reports out of Europe, where the drug is more popular, of hundreds of withdrawal cases being considered more severe than those of opioids.

Because of all of these characteristics, it may be easy to identify individuals who abuse this substance.

Signs of Tianeptine Dependence

Individuals who abuse Tianeptine may show effects similar to opioid abuse. These signs include:

  • Frequent drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Frequently nodding out

When users run out, they’ll also display signs of withdrawal.

Does Tianeptine Cause Withdrawal?

Users have reported severe withdrawal symptoms with this drug. Many consider these symptoms to be even more severe than opioids.

Each year since 2013, cases have increased. As of last year, there were 251 cases reporting either adverse side effects or withdrawal. The increases reported are similar to the same trends as other similar drugs like Kratom, bath salts, and spice.

Kratom and Other Forms of Gas Station Dope

Kratom and Other Forms of Gas Station Dope

Kratom is known to cause withdrawal symptoms like opioids as well. This natural supplement is one of many substances to make its rounds through the gas station circuit, being marketed as an alternative to popular street drugs.

Some of these other drugs include:

Bath Salts

Bath salts are a ‘research chemical’ similar to methamphetamine. However, the negative results produced were much more severe. Users ended up in a zombie-like state, with several cases of murder and grotesque self-mutilation being reported. These substances were banned from the market and made illegal in the United States.

Spice/K2

This substance was marketed as an alternative to marijuana, advertising a similar relaxed high. However, many users reported negative side effects that included intense psychoactive properties leading to hallucinations. This drug was also taken off the market.

Salvia

Native American tribes have used this herb for years as a religious sacrament. It has extremely high psychoactive properties and leads to hallucinations and other harmful side effects. Salvia was taken off the market but is still widely traded on the black market along with psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms.

Medical Detox for Tianeptine and Kratom

In many cases, the best course of treatment for recovery from substances like these is medical detox. Whenever detox causes intense physical withdrawal like opioids, completing the process can be difficult because of the discomfort.

However, medically-assisted detox provides constant monitoring by a professional staff and certain medications to ease the pain and discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms.

The response from Tianeptine to this form of treatment may be similar to that of medication-assisted treatment and opioids. However, because of the relatively limited information regarding the detox process, it’s hard to recommend a concrete regimen. This is especially true considering there are no official research or case studies done on the drug.

Out of the cases that have been studied, the methods used for opioids HAVE proven effective in the treatment of withdrawal and detox from Tianeptine. Other medications may be used to mitigate the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, such as clonidine and antidepressants.

Is Long-term Recovery from Gas Station Dope Possible?

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve dealt with many cases of rare designer drugs and research chemicals causing harm to clients. With attention to past case studies and a careful approach led by our expert medical team, long-term recovery is possible from substances like Tianeptine.

We’ll craft a personalized care plan that works best for you and help you prepare for life after treatment. For more information on how we can help you break the chains of substance abuse, contact a member of our admissions staff.

How Long Does a Heroin High Last?

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

Heroin is one of the most dangerous opiates on the market today. Usually found as a powder, many individuals use it as a recreational drug. In the past, opiates like heroin used to be used as painkillers. However, doctors realized that these substances have undesirable side effects like addiction with time. Heroin is a fantastic painkiller. It inhibits signals from reaching the brain, dulling the feeling of pain that may occur within the body.

Alongside this beneficial painkilling aspect, heroin also produces a sense of euphoria as it causes the body to dump a lot of dopamine into the brain. Dopamine is the chemical that makes a person feel good about accomplishing something. Unfortunately, this dopamine rush causes the brain to change itself to cope with it, leading to dependence and addiction.

The Stages of a Heroin High

Heroin highs happen in two different stages. In the first stage, there is a feeling of warmth, happiness, and euphoria that is associated with the spreading of the drug into the brain’s regions. This may only last a few minutes, and it’s the feeling that many heroin users yearn for. The second stage lasts a bit longer and is characterized by extended mild euphoria, sleepiness, relaxation, and pain relief.

This second stage of high lasts for between two to five hours. Eventually, the feeling dissipates, and the user starts feeling the need to use it again to chase that feeling. Why exactly does heroin do this to a person, and how does it work on a person’s brain and body?

What Does Heroin Do to You?

The brain is a mass of chemical interactions. The transmission lines for these interactions are known as receptors. The brain typically sends information between receptors by chemicals known as neurotransmitters. One set of these receptors is designed to accept chemicals like heroin, known as opiates or opioids.

Once a person takes an opiate-like heroin into their body, these receptors start collecting the molecules inside the bloodstream. The opioids are pain-blockers, making it harder to get a pain signal through to the brain. Unfortunately, the side effect of these opioids is a massive flood of dopamine, as mentioned before.

How does Heroin Work in the Brain?

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

This dopamine flood is far in excess of anything the brain usually has to cope with. As a result, it needs to adjust itself and reorient to deal with the new situation. It starts rewiring itself to function normally with such a large volume of dopamine in the body. This rewiring results in the body needing more dopamine to get the same effect, an adaptation known as tolerance.

A person who is tolerant to heroin needs more of the drug to get the same high they rode previously. The rewiring of the brain creates physical dependence on the drug, meaning that the brain can no longer operate normally without it in the bloodstream. Dependence is the first step towards addiction. The term addiction refers to a brain disease where a person’s dependence on a substance affects their ability to make cognitive decisions.

What Opioids Are Similar to Heroin in Effect?

Drugs produced from opium or the poppy plant itself are called opiates. Synthetic drugs that try to mimic the chemical properties of opium and its derivatives are known as opioids. Both of these types of drugs interact with the same systems in the brain. Their impact is similar to a great extent. Among the opioids that produce a similar effect as heroin when taken are:

  • Fentanyl: Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine, the precursor to heroin. It typically appears as pills, and gel capsules, resembling legitimate pharmaceuticals. Fentanyl is sometimes combined with other drugs, but it can kill on its own. It’s among the most dangerous synthetic opioids currently available.
  • Prescription Drugs: Drugs such as codeine and oxycodone are synthetic opioids that have a similar action to heroin. These drugs were initially thought to be safe to use, leading to doctors prescribing them for chronic pain control. Thanks to this recklessness, there is a rising opioid crisis in the US as many of those prescribed developed an addiction.
  • Morphine: Before heroin was discovered, the painkiller of choice was morphine. It was used to significant effect as a painkiller and featured as a staple in the second world war as a painkiller on the front lines. Unfortunately, its addictiveness made it unsafe for use, and it was quickly phased out, forcing individuals addicted to it to find another drug to use.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Heroin doesn’t have a very long life within the body. Some experts agree that heroin’s half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the substance to be used) is about thirty minutes in an adult. While the drug is quickly in and out of the body, the effects that it produces can linger for hours. The initial hit, as explained above, brings that feeling of euphoria, with the secondary high and painkiller functionality coming later.

Concerns in Drug Testing for Heroin

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

Tests for heroin typically avoid looking for the drug in the bloodstream since it’s metabolized so quickly. However, it does linger in the body in the urine. If a person uses heroin, it may be present in trace amounts in their urine for up to two days afterward, although sometimes it may be excreted within six hours.

Urine is the most convenient test to find heroin over a period, but hair follicles can be just as helpful. If a person takes heroin, it can be detected in a hair follicle for up to three months after their last use. Newer tests have built upon these successes and can see heroin use in a person longer than three months, possibly up to six. This makes it extremely difficult to get away with taking the substance recreationally.

Factors That Affect a How Long A Heroin High Lasts

No two people who take heroin get the same feelings. Each person’s brain is built differently, but the brain structure isn’t the only thing that affects how long a heroin high lasts. Several factors can affect the length of a high, including:

  • Method of taking the drug: Injecting the drug into the bloodstream is the fastest way to get high, but it also results in the quickest removal of the drug from the bloodstream. Snorting or smoking the drug has a more extended high but takes longer to get there and back.
  • How potent the drug is: Most manufacturers of heroin these days are illegal labs with no quality control. The drug batches they produce will vary in concentration, which affects the intensity of a person’s feelings.
  • Amount of drug taken: The more drugs a person takes, the more intense the high is and the longer it lasts. Taking higher doses leads to more extreme highs but also runs the risk of overdosing on the drug.
  • Tolerance: As mentioned before, tolerance impacts the feeling of euphoria. The more tolerant to the drug a person is, the more difficult it is for them to get high from it.
  • Combination with other substances: Using heroin alongside other drugs can increase the feelings of euphoria, but it could also increase the risk of the body failing. Polydrug use carries a severe risk of life-threatening malfunctions and potentially death.

What Does It Feel Like When Heroin Wears Off?

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

Heroin is an addictive substance, and addiction stems from dependence. When someone uses the drug and comes off it, they immediately want to use it again. Part of that reason is because of the withdrawal symptoms that are typical of heroin and opiate use. Withdrawal symptoms are the body’s way of convincing a person to keep using the drug because the brain needs it to remain functional. Withdrawal occurs when a person cannot get the drug. The longer they go without it, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms get. However, the only way to break the physical dependence on the drug is to go through withdrawal.

Controlled Withdrawal through Heroin Detox

It is best to enter a facility that deals specifically with detoxification if you intend to quit using the substance. Heroin detox is a controlled form of withdrawal, usually monitored by medical health professionals. In some rare cases, heroin withdrawal can severely impact the body and lead to life-threatening situations. While these incidents are rare, it’s always better to have a trained team present to deal with complications if they arise.

Those who aren’t dependent on the substance will likely feel a bit tired when the drug finally wears off. Heroin promotes sleepiness and relaxation in a person, so it takes some time for their brain to recover and return to normal functioning. A non-dependent person won’t have withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug, and they can quit any time they feel like it. However, just because they’re not dependent on the substance doesn’t mean they won’t want to use it again. Addiction is not just dependence, which is a physical condition. Addiction also has a psychological component that pushes a person to use it.

Long Term Effects of Chasing A Heroin High

Chasing a heroin high can profoundly impact a person’s personal and professional life. Among the most impactful effects that chasing heroin can have on a person are:

  • Legal costs: Heroin is a controlled substance in many countries worldwide. If held with the substance, a person will face legal charges and require a lawyer to represent them. Additionally, public legal records will indicate their drug use, which may impact their chances of landing a job in the future.
  • Destruction of relationships: Heroin dependence can lead to someone neglecting their family. A person addicted to heroin will seek out the drug above all other responsibilities, including those of a family. This inevitably leads to relationship disintegration and loss of trust within the family unit.
  • Physical and medical issues: Heroin can lead to several physical and mental problems. Using the drug often can have side effects, including collapsed blood vessels, insomnia, liver and kidney disease, and heart infections, to name just a few.
  • Potential overdose: As mentioned above, a person who is tolerant to the drug will need to take more of it to get the same high. Unfortunately, this usually means that there’s a real danger of overdosing on the drug.

Heroin is a dangerous substance, not just because it can lead to death but also because of the other related damages it can cause to a person’s life. In many cases, a person recovering from heroin addiction has to rebuild their life all over again.

Helping Someone Seek Treatment for Heroin Use

Sometimes, a person may not even be aware that they’re addicted to the substance. Typically, these people mention that they can stop anytime they want, even though it’s evident that this isn’t the case. In such a case, the person’s loved ones may need to step in and help them understand they have a problem.

Heroin use can be easy to hide, but a person dependent on the substance starts showing obvious signs of addiction over time. Behaviors such as avoiding social events, becoming reclusive, and no longer enjoying hobbies that they used to are good signs that they may be hooked on drugs.

Interventions are a dangerous way to approach helping someone with heroin addiction. In some cases, however, it may be the only way. The more viable method of helping someone is to guide them towards understanding they have a problem. They need to decide that they want to quit, or else rehab and recovery won’t be able to help them.

Treatment For Heroin Abuse and Addiction at Pathfinders

Pathfinders Recovery has helped hundreds of people recover their lives from heroin and opioid addictions. Our well-trained staff is knowledgeable in treatment options and can help you find a course that’s right for your problem.

Communal areas for detox and inpatient/outpatient treatment allow us to cater to a wide range of clients. Our flexible payment options ensure that no one is left out. If you or your loved one needs the support and care of a rehab facility, contact us today. We’d be more than happy to lend a hand.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin

LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF HEROIN

Heroin Use Disorder Definition

Opioid or heroin use disorder is a chronic, lifelong disorder. Heroin use disorder has serious potential consequences, including a history of relapse, disability, and even death. In 2020, over 92,000 Americans died due to drug overdoses.

This was almost a 30% increase from the previous year. While heroin overdose rates have decreased slightly in the years since there was a seven-fold increase in deaths involving heroin from 2002 to 2017. Heroin use disorders remain a significant public health crisis.

What is Long-Term Heroin Use?

Since there are currently no approved medical uses for heroin, any amount or method of use constitutes abuse. But what is the timeframe that we consider short-term heroin abuse, as opposed to long-term heroin abuse, which is more likely to lead to heroin use disorders?

For prescription medications, many experts define short-term use as covering roughly one month. Long-term use may then be anything over one month and averages approximately three months or more.

But again, the rules change when we are talking about an illicit drug rather than a prescription medication. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available today. And it has become increasingly common for dealers to lace heroin with fentanyl, making it even more dangerous.

Effects of Long-Term Opiate Intake

Long-term opiate ingestion can cause a wide range of side effects. These side effects may be physical, mental, or emotional, with most users experiencing some combination of all three. Individual factors can alter your experience with heroin, including:

  • The frequency of heroin abuse.
  • The method of heroin abuse.
  • Other substances that are present in the body.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.

For most, changes in thought patterns, drug cravings, relapses, and withdrawal symptoms are some of the most noticeable early side effects.

Physical Effects of Chronic Heroin Use

Long-Term Effects of Heroin

Many of the effects of heroin use disorder are more psychological than physical. However, there are still many potential physical side effects of chronic heroin use that users should be aware of. Some of the most common include:

  • Constipation
  • Depressed respiration
  • Pneumonia and other lung complications
  • Damaged nasal tissue for those who repeatedly snort heroin
  • Collapsed or scarred veins and bacterial infections for those who inject heroin

As we mentioned earlier in the article, your side effects may vary depending on the severity of your addiction and the state of your overall health, among other factors.

Psychological Changes Made by Heroin

Repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain. These changes create long-term imbalances in our hormonal and neuronal systems, and these imbalances are not easy to reverse.

In long-term heroin use, one of the largest psychological concerns is white matter damage in the brain. White matter damage can impair our decision-making skills, behavior regulation abilities, and stress responses.

A lack of control over these emotional processes can leave us feeling trapped and helpless. We can help you end the cycle of abuse and regain control.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Certain opiates, including heroin, produce extreme degrees of tolerance and physical dependence. When our bodies adapt to the presence of a drug, we become physically dependent on it, and withdrawal symptoms occur if we abruptly reduce or stop using it.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms may start in as short as a few hours after the last dose. Some of the most common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia and restlessness.
  • Bone and muscle pain.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Involuntary leg movements.
  • Cold flashes and goosebumps.

Through any method, heroin is extremely addictive. And heroin use disorder leads users to prioritize the drug over all else in their life, despite any negative consequences this may cause.

Risks of Fentanyl and Heroin Overdose

With the rate of fatal heroin overdoses landing in the thousands, this opioid remains a pressing concern. And there are several activities or additions that may make a heroin overdose more likely. For now, we will focus on the risks of fentanyl and heroin overdose.

One of the most pressing problems in the heroin crisis is that it is frequently laced with fentanyl without the user’s knowledge. Fentanyl is another addictive and dangerous opioid, which is approximately 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

We can’t always control what distributors put in the drugs that they sell on the streets. And we can’t always control how our bodies react to these substances.  But we can control what we put into our bodies, even when it feels like we have no control at all.

Establishing Recovery That Will Last

Establishing recovery that will last starts with being honest with yourself. Heroin use disorder will not go away on its own. And it will likely not get better without treatment. This is not something that you have to face alone. Our dedicated professionals are here to help.

Heroin can present several overwhelming, uncomfortable, and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These severe withdrawal symptoms make it harder to detox at home. So, we recommend starting with medical detox.

Our suboxone and other medication-assisted options will help reduce or eliminate your withdrawal symptoms to aid the early sobriety stage. With these symptoms made more manageable, you become free to focus on your recovery.

From there, we recommend inpatient care, whether that means a traditional residential program or a long-term rehab program.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Care for Heroin Addiction

Long-Term Effects of Heroin

Long-term drug abuse and addiction may require long-term inpatient care. While many traditional residential programs last an average of 30 days to three months, long-term rehab programs typically last longer than that.

Some stay for six months, while others remain for a year or more. If you start your recovery journey with a long-term program, you will spend your time here working toward a variety of recovery goals, including:

  • Altering damaging thought patterns and behaviors
  • Re-establishing the social skills lost during addiction
  • Building sober social networks and learning from social support groups
  • Developing healthy habits and coping mechanisms
  • Controlling negative emotions, like stress, anger, and depression, rather than submitting to them or using drugs to quiet them

During your time in long-term rehab, your days are spent with dedicated professionals and others on the same journey. We will evaluate your progress and needs as they change to ensure that you are still in the appropriate program.

Other Program Options for Heroin Addiction

While there are many different paths toward recovery, most start with residential care before transitioning into a more flexible program. Once your condition is more stable and you feel confident in your ability to maintain your sobriety at home, an outpatient program comes next.

Depending on your needs and mental health, this might mean a partial hospitalization program or an intensive outpatient program. We will work with you to determine which will best suit your needs when the time comes.

Overcoming Heroin Use Disorder at a Pathfinders Recovery Center

With conveniently located luxury facilities in both Arizona and Colorado, personalized care programs, and a full staff of dedicated professionals, the Pathfinders approach can make all the difference.

From detox through aftercare, we offer comprehensive programs to meet all of your recovery needs through each stage. Call us today at 866-275-0079 to learn more. Our confidential call line is always open, and our addiction counselors are here to help.

Why Is a Medically-Supervised Heroin Detox Center Necessary

Medically-Supervised Heroin Detox Center

The Importance of Supervised Detox

For anyone using the street opioid heroin, a supervised heroin detox center is an absolutely vital resource. That is true for a couple of reasons. First, to avoid severe possible outcomes such as addiction, overdose and death, you must stop using heroin. Detox centers make this possible. Just as importantly, supervised centers are staffed by experts who specialize in helping people halt their drug use. 

But why is a supervised heroin detox center near you a necessity? Without help from trained personnel, you make it much less likely that you will succeed in quitting heroin. And that is not all. If you try to quit on your own, you increase your chances of experiencing an overdose. No one wants to face such a frightening and potentially fatal event. The assistance provided in supervised detox helps keep you safe as you take the first steps toward lasting sobriety. 

What Causes the Need for Detox

Why is detox even an issue for people who use heroin? The answer to that question lies in the addictive nature of the drug. Like all opioids, heroin is capable of making short- and long-term changes in the way your brain works. 

In the short-term, the most important change is the creation of a profound state of pleasure. This state, called euphoria, is much stronger than other kinds of everyday pleasure. In fact, it is so strong, that you may feel the urge to experience it again and again. Problems begin when you fulfill this urge. 

If you take heroin often enough, you will start to become tolerant to its effects. When this happens, you will need to use the drug in larger amounts to feel the rush of euphoria. In turn, this action sets off a repeating cycle of more tolerance and increasing heroin use. Eventually, you will become dependent on the drug. 

When you are dependent, you cannot stop taking heroin without experiencing negative consequences. Those consequences come in the form of heroin withdrawal symptoms. Examples of the symptoms that may affect you include:

  • Spikes in your normal blood pressure
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Spasms in your muscles
  • Unusually rapid breathing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sleeplessness
  • Pupil enlargement
  • Muscle and bone aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • A runny nose
  • Continued cravings for more heroin

There is no way for an addicted person to stop using heroin without experiencing at least some of these issues. That is why detox, known formally as detoxification, is an essential part of recovery.

How long does heroin withdrawal last? You can expect symptoms to appear pretty quickly once you stop using the drug. These symptoms tend to reach their worst in a day or two, then begin to ease a few days later. This may seem like a short time to endure heroin withdrawal. However, in reality, your symptoms may put you in a state of extreme personal distress. For this reason, you may find it difficult or impossible to cope with withdrawal on your own. 

A Heroin Detox Center Vs. “Cold Turkey”

Heroin Detox center

There are two basic choices for anyone who wants to quit using heroin. The first option is enrolling at a heroin detox center near you. The other option is quitting on your own. You may try to gradually reduce your consumption or stop all at once. This second method is known as going “cold turkey.” 

A Heroin Detox Center

Supervised detoxification is a coordinated approach to helping you halt your drug use. It is designed to take you from a current intoxicated state all the way through to initial sobriety. All aspects of your health are taken into consideration while you are enrolled. That includes addressing the effects of your withdrawal symptoms. It also includes:

  • Helping you stay safe and secure
  • Supporting your general health
  • Getting you prepared to take further steps toward recovery

“Cold Turkey”

“Cold turkey” is an unsupervised way of quitting heroin. If you choose this option, you run several unnecessary risks. That includes lack of basic support for your well-being. It also includes lack of help for any emergencies that might arise. In addition, you lower the odds of coping with withdrawal and reaching a sober state.

Addressing Withdrawal in a Heroin Detox Center

Doctors in a heroin detox center near you take certain steps to ease your withdrawal symptoms. To help make the process more comfortable, they do not remove all of the opioids from your system at once. Instead, they prescribe controlled doses of a safer opioid option. The two such options now in use are:

  • Buprenorphine 
  • Methadone

Both of these substances are weaker than heroin. When you receive them in limited amounts, they will not get you “high.” On the contrary, they will support your body while you go through heroin withdrawal. In this way, they help keep your symptoms within a tolerable range of severity. As you make progress in withdrawal, your need for buprenorphine or methadone will drop. When you reach the end of withdrawal, you can stop taking the option prescribed to you. 

Some detox programs may use a non-opioid alternative called clonidine. However, clonidine does not relieve as many withdrawal symptoms as methadone or buprenorphine. Specifically, it will not help you cope with:

  • Opioid cravings
  • Achy muscles
  • Sleeplessness

Going Through Withdrawal “Cold Turkey”

You cannot legally gain access to buprenorphine or methadone without doctor’s supervision. This means that, if you try to detox on your own, you will not be able to rely on these medications for help. That is a serious issue. Why? 

When you stop taking heroin, it may only be a matter of hours before withdrawal sets in. And without any medical help, withdrawal symptoms often take a severe form. Severe opioid withdrawal can be a brutal experience. It usually does not threaten your life, but it can make you feel worse than you have ever felt before. 

This explains why many people who go “cold turkey” never successfully quit using heroin. They simply find their withdrawal symptoms too difficult to bear. When that happens, they start using the drug again.

How a Heroin Detox Center Helps You Avoid a Relapse

Relapses are a possibility for anyone recovering from heroin addiction. However, there are things you can do to lower your relapse risks. One of the most important steps to take is enrolling at a heroin detox center near you. 

How does a heroin detox center help you avoid a drug relapse? By reducing the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. When those symptoms are less intense, you will find it easier to stick with your program. In turn, by sticking with your program, you steer clear of any relapses.

The same benefits do not exist for people who try to quit on their own. For this reason, you are much more likely to relapse and fall back into heroin use.

How a Heroin Detox Center Helps You Avoid Overdosing

Heroin overdoses happen when the amount of the drug in your body begins shutting down your system. That amount differs from person to person. This means that you may overdose in circumstances where others do not. 

Many parts of your body are affected during an overdose. The most crucial and dangerous effects occur in your:

  • Brain and spinal cord
  • Circulatory system
  • Respiratory system

Your brain controls your heart and your lungs. If you take too much heroin, this process of control is interrupted. The result is an abnormal slowdown of your breathing and heart rate. Some people survive these and other consequences of an overdose. However, every year, thousands of Americans die. 

How does a heroin detox center help you avoid an overdose? By reducing your chances of relapsing while going through withdrawal. When you do not have excessive amounts of opioids in your system, you cannot overdose. 

Again, the situation is starkly different if you try to detox on your own. There is no one there with the professional experience needed to help you avoid a heroin relapse. In turn, there is no one there to help you avoid overdosing on the drug.

Overdose risks are a particular concern for people trying to quit using heroin. Why? As the drug leaves your system, you become less tolerant to its effects. This is a big deal if you relapse and start using the same amount of heroin you did before. That is true because your system may no longer be able to tolerate that much of the drug. The result can be an unexpected overdose that hits you when your defenses are down. 

Learn More About the Necessity of a Heroin Detox Center

A heroin detox center provides some undeniable benefits. By enrolling in one, you provide a major boost to your ability to get sober. At the same time, you decrease your risks of relapsing before you complete the withdrawal process. Just as crucially, you avoid the overdose risks associated with going “cold turkey.” With so many positives to consider, it is no wonder that supervised detox is the accepted standard of care. 

No one should have to go through heroin withdrawal on their own. And there is simply no need to do so when you have access to skilled detox professionals. To find out how you can protect yourself while getting sober, just contact the experts at Pathfinders. We are standing by to help you find a high-quality heroin rehab near you. We also provide safe, effective detox services as part of our larger package of addiction treatments. 

Finding Safe Heroin Detox Centers

Heroin Detox Centers for Initial Treatment

Heroin is one of the most popularly abused drugs all around the world, and usually requires heroin detox centers to rid the body of the drugs.

It is an opioid made from morphine.

Heroin could take the form of brown, white, or a black sticky substance which could be referred to as black tar heroin.

Heroin is taken in either through sniffing, injection, snorting, and smoking.

To increase the effect heroin has on individuals, people often mix it with crack cocaine.

This mixture can be known as speed-balling to achieve maximum effect.

Using the opioid called heroin has the effect of increasing heart rate, sleeping rate and associates itself with the cell responsible for ensuring pain and pleasure.

Some prescription drugs have been said to take the same effects as heroin, and require safe heroin detox centers.

These drugs include Oxycontin and Vicodin.

Research also shows that heroin is one of the first opioids individuals use before upgrading to other forms of opioids.

Individuals using heroin often experience certain signs such as a sudden surge or outburst of energy or euphoria.

They also experience other physical signs such as hazy mental cognition, constant itching, a dry mouth, flushed skin, vomiting, and diarrhea as well as constant swinging from consciousness and reality to semi-consciousness.

The aforementioned issues are known as the short-term effects of the abuse of heroin intake.

Some long-term effects include lack of sleep, liver disease, kidney disease, heart lining, and valves infection, collapsed veins, sexual dysfunction in men as well as irregularities in menstrual cycles.

How to Find Safe Heroin Detox Centers - Pathfinders Recovery Center - An image of someone holding a bunch of heroin needles who is looking for a safe heroin detox center.

Heroin Overdose

Most people ask questions regarding whether people can overdose on the opioid, heroin. The answer to this question is yes because the consumption of a certain amount of heroin can put the life of the individual in danger.

Signs of heroin addiction include slowing down in breathing which could put the individual in a coma or lead to brain damage and in some instances, death. This condition can be referred to as Hypoxia.

Due to the rampant occurrence of a drug overdose, different drugs have been discovered to help with an overdose of any form of opioids,

.One of these drugs that helps with heroin overdose is Naloxone.

This drug is to be administered immediately after it has been discovered that the individual overdosed on heroin.

What this drug does is that blocks the effect of the overdose from kicking in.

However, only a medical practitioner would be able to decipher the particular amount which would suffice.

Immediate Placement in Heroin Rehab – Get Help Now

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Heroin Addiction

It is not unusual to see people who use heroin getting addicted to it.

This tolerance or addiction to the substance then graduates into a disorder called substance use disorder. It could exist due to different factors.

Research has also shown that most addiction problems stem from mental health issues such as depression, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, suicidal intentions, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), amongst others. Addiction to heroin could also arise due to household issues with husband and wife, stress from work, academic stress as well as peer pressure.

Learn More About Safe Heroin Detox at Pathfinders

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Heroin Addiction Treatment Centers

Since heroin addiction is rampant around the world, it is only necessary that addiction treatment centers be erected to tackle this menace called substance abuse or addiction.

Addiction treatment can be carried out by various drug addiction rehab centers. These centers could be privately owned or government-owned.

However, it is important to note that private addiction treatment institutions provide value for money more often than not. Patients also get to avoid the notorious waiting lists associated with government-owned rehabilitation.

Besides, privately owned establishments generally provide a certain level of privacy. It does not necessarily translate to the amount of privacy one could get at home. However, compared to the government-owned treatment centers, it is still quite decent. The staff also pay more attention to patients and ensure that patients get value for their money.

As desirable as attending a private addiction treatment center is, it could also have its downsides. This downside comes in the form of funding. Private treatment centers are naturally more expensive than government-owned treatment centers. This is due to the fact they are privatized and as much as they render these services out of a passion for the job, revenue still has to be generated from such business.

However, health insurance companies who make provisions for drug or any other substance addiction treatment would be able to reduce the cost of attending a private rehab to a considerable extent. Government-owned treatment centers on the other hand are also quite effective in combating drug addiction. Individuals who are financially stable enough for private addiction treatment centers are advised to turn to government-owned drug rehab centers which would provide adequate care and ensure that the addiction is done away with at the end of the day.

Whether government-owned or private-owned addiction treatment centers, they all provide varieties of addiction treatment programs. Some of these addiction treatment programs include in-patient treatment programs, outpatient treatment programs, partial hospitalization as well as aftercare.

How to Find Safe Heroin Detox Centers - Pathfinders Recovery Center - A wife and her husband sit in family counseling at an inpatient rehab after her husband finished detox at a safe heroin detox center to discuss his progress and downfalls in treatment.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Inpatient treatment is one of the most commonly enrolled treatment programs. This is because it is the most suitable in terms of both phases of addiction treatment. An in-patient treatment program entails the patient staying in the treatment addiction center all through the healing process. This is the most suitable for individuals doing detox as he or she is not tempted to go back to those drugs after months of committing to being clean. It is however expensive especially when carried out in a private drug addiction rehab center as opposed to other government-owned drug addiction treatment centers.

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

This program involves the patient coming into the rehab facility on time for classes and leaving as they leave. Outpatient services are highly required by individuals who are only mildly addicted to Heroin or cannot bear to be away from their families. Equally, the outpatient treatment program also allows the patient to be part of a community of several clean past drug abusers. Asides from this, it is also not cut-throat expensive and more cost-effective than the inpatient addiction treatment program. It is also similar to support groups in the sense that after therapy sessions, individuals are given the leverage to return to their various homes.

Detoxification

The process that heroin detox centers simply involves flushing out those toxins as well as drug substances to prevent the patient from remaining Heroin dependent. The time frame for detoxification usually depends on the severity of the addiction in question. It is also not unusual to experience withdrawal symptoms when the process of detoxification starts. Some obvious signs of withdrawal symptoms include shortness of breath, craving the substance (in this case, heroin), restlessness, insomnia as well as nausea, and vomiting.

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Conclusion

Different treatments are available for heroin addiction, such as medicinal treatment services or behavioral treatment methods, and heroin detox centers.

However, treatment centers can also employ the “reward” method as a way of encouraging their patients to remain clean while in the facility.

Some of these reward forms include various vouchers containing prizes as well as cash rewards themselves to motivate the patients to keep trying and accepting treatment for the sake of getting better.

Pathfinders do a great job in this regard by customizing each patient’s treatment program to suit them.

The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline: A Guide on What You Should Know

Know What Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Looks Like

If you use or are addicted to drugs, chances are you know it’s a good idea to stop.

But quitting is much easier said than done, not least of all because quitting means going through withdrawal.

And withdrawal can be a scary and painful process, especially if you’ve never gone through it before.

Knowing what the heroin withdrawal timeline looks like can help you know what to expect when you decide to quit.

You’ll know what’s coming, how long it will last, and when you’ll start to feel better.

Read on to learn more about this timeline and what to expect when you get ready to quit heroin.

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Detox word made with wooden blocks concept

What Is Heroin?

Before we dive into the heroin withdrawal timeline, let’s take a moment to discuss what heroin actually is.

You may have heard of it by the names horse, hell dust, big H, or smack. Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine that is derived from the seeds of poppy flowers.

Heroin can come in a few different forms, including a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance called black tar heroin. It can be injected, snorted, or smoked, depending on the form.

Some people mix heroin and crack cocaine in a practice called speedballing.

Effects of Heroin

Because heroin is related to morphine, a drug used to control pain, one of its primary effects is a vanishing of any pain you may have been feeling.

Many users describe a sort of rush or wave of euphoria that comes over them right after they take the drug.

Other short-term effects can include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, severe itching, clouded mental function, and drifting in and out of consciousness, sometimes known as “going on the nod.”

Long-term heroin effects can be devastating, ranging from insomnia and cramps to collapsed veins and livery and kidney disease. People with penises may experience sexual dysfunction, and people who have periods may start to have irregular cycles.

You may see swollen tissue filled with pus, damage to your nose, pneumonia, and a number of mental illnesses crop up, too.

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Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – The First Day

Heroin users may experience the early symptoms of withdrawal many times over the course of their use. These symptoms start between six and twenty-four hours after you take the drug and can last for a day or two.

These early symptoms are usually mild, but they can be unpleasant enough to lead the user to take heroin again to get rid of them.

Within that first day, you’ll start to feel like you have a bad case of the flu. You’ll get muscle aches that will get worse over the next couple of days.

You may also get anxiety or even panic attacks. You might get diarrhea or start shaking, and you may find yourself more irritable than usual.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – The Next Few Days

After the first day or two, symptoms of heroin withdrawal will start to peak. These few days are the worst of the heroin withdrawal cycle and are when you’ll need the most support around you.

You can expect these symptoms to start around the third day of no heroin use and will last two or three days.

During the peak of withdrawal, you’ll start to experience extreme stomach cramping and nausea or vomiting. You may start to sweat and get the shivers, and you might run a fever during this time.

You may have more diarrhea, and you might have trouble getting to sleep or settling down.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline -  A man holds his stomach in pain as he cramps up and is sick. According to the heroin withdrawal timeline the symptons will show usually in day 3.
A man holds his stomach in pain as he cramps up and is sick.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – The End of the Week

About five days after you last use heroin, you’ll start to come into the end of the acute withdrawal phase. Your symptoms will start to improve across the board, and you’ll start to feel better.

There will be some lingering effects of withdrawal, but the worst will be over.

You may still have some trouble getting a full night’s rest during this stage, but you should be able to sleep a little more. Your muscle aches and nausea will start to wear off, and you’ll start to feel like you’re coming off a bad case of the flu.

You’ll feel very tired, and that fatigue can last for months, but your stomach and bowels will start to get back to normal, and your fever should subside.

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Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Even once you’re past the first week of acute withdrawal, you’re far from out of the woods. During that whole withdrawal process, you’ll be craving heroin to experience that high again, and that craving can last for months.

After the first week of acute withdrawal, you’ll enter post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is the time when you’ll start to recover from the neurological damage that the heroin caused.

You may feel tired and irritable for months, and you may find you still have trouble sleeping. Anxiety and depression are common, and you may experience more cravings for heroin.

Factors That Affect Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

There are a number of factors that can affect how your withdrawal goes and how long it lasts. First among these is the amount of time you spent using heroin.

If you’ve only used heroin a couple of times, you’re going to have a much easier time in withdrawal than someone who’s been using heroin for years.

Which kind of heroin you use can also impact what your withdrawal experience is like. Things like speedballing or using black tar heroin can complicate your withdrawal, depending on the purity of the substances.

The amount of heroin you took each time can also affect how intense your symptoms are.

Medical Intervention

When you’re going through withdrawal, it can be a good idea to have a medical team around you monitoring you and keeping you comfortable.

Things like dehydration, fever, and seizures can present very real threats during the detox process. And if you’re quitting cold-turkey after years of using high amounts of heroin, especially mixed with other drugs, having medical help could save your life.

Doctors and nurses can provide you with IVs to help keep you hydrated and comfortable during withdrawal. They can take steps to ensure that something like a fever or a seizure doesn’t become life-threatening.

And they can make sure you get all the way through the withdrawal process without succumbing to the cravings and taking more heroin, starting the process all over again.

Helpful Medications

In addition to basic comforts, doctors may also be able to provide you with some medications that can help you during the heroin withdrawal timeline.

These medicines may be opioid-based, so they can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. But they aren’t as potent or as dangerous as heroin, so you get clean in a safer, easier way.

Methadone is a slow-acting, low-strength opiate that can help you taper off the effects of heroin and prevent withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine can reduce heroin cravings and symptoms like vomiting and muscle aches.

And naltrexone blocks receptors in the brain that respond to heroin, helping to reduce cravings in the long-term.

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Long-Term Treatment

Once you’re through the initial withdrawal stage, you still have a long road ahead of you to recovery. For one thing, you’ll need to get through post-acute withdrawal syndrome and past the point of craving heroin, which can take months or even years.

You’ll need to restructure your life to avoid triggers that make you tempted to start using again.

But oftentimes, there’s an underlying issue that led you to start taking heroin in the first place. This could be anything from chronic pain, mental illness, or some sort of emotional trauma.

Before you can get back to living a healthy, happy life free of heroin, you’ll need to deal with that underlying problem.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline at Home

Although it is not recommended, it is possible to go through heroin withdrawal at home. If you plan to do this, it’s a good idea to have a loved one around to help you through the process.

They can help keep you from giving in to the cravings and make sure you get medical attention if there are complications.

Ask for a week off work before you go through this process, and stock up on supplies. You’ll need lots of fluids, healthy food, and hygiene necessities like toilet paper.

And once you’re through the initial withdrawal process, be sure you join some sort of support group or rehab to keep from relapsing in the next several months.

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Learn More About the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin withdrawal is a difficult process that you need help to get through. Knowing the heroin withdrawal timeline can help you know what to expect and how long things will last.

By the time you hit day four or five, knowing that these symptoms won’t last forever can help keep you motivated to push through.

If you’d like help detoxing from heroin, come see us at Pathfinders Recovery Center.

We have programs for heroin addiction, as well as methamphetamine addiction, prescription pill addiction, and alcoholism.

Contact us today to take the first step on your road to a happier, healthier life.