Does Suboxone Block Fentanyl?

Opioid medications, such as fentanyl, can be highly addictive and lead to various health problems, including overdose and death. Their addictive quality has led to an opioid crisis that has devastated individuals, families, and communities across the United States. In response to this crisis, healthcare providers have turned to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help individuals overcome their opioid addiction. One commonly used medication in MAT is Suboxone, a brand name for a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone.

What Is Suboxone and How Does It Work?

Suboxone is a medication that helps people who are addicted to opioids. It contains two active ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while naloxone prevents people from abusing Suboxone.

Does Suboxone Block Fentanyl?

Yes, Suboxone can block the effects of fentanyl.

Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist which works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that opioids like fentanyl bind to. When someone takes Suboxone, the buprenorphine in the medication binds to the opioid receptors before fentanyl can. This effectively blocks the effects of fentanyl. But this only happens when individuals consume a high enough dose of Suboxone. If they're taking a low dose, fentanyl may still have an effect.

In summary, Suboxone blocks the effects of fentanyl through the action of buprenorphine, which binds to opioid receptors more strongly than fentanyl, and naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist.

This means the medication works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that opioids like fentanyl bind to. However, naloxone binds to these receptors much more strongly than opioids do. When someone takes naloxone, it quickly binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and displaces any opioids that are already there.

What Happens When Someone Taking Fentanyl Takes Suboxone?

There are two possible scenarios that could happen when someone using fentanyl takes Suboxone.

  1. Alleviation of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. If the person is already in withdrawal from fentanyl, taking Suboxone can help alleviate their withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The buprenorphine in Suboxone can bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain that fentanyl does, helping to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
  2. Precipitated withdrawal. If the person is not already in withdrawal from fentanyl, taking Suboxone can cause them to go into precipitated withdrawal. Precipitated withdrawal is a sudden and intense form of withdrawal that can occur when someone takes Suboxone too soon after their last use of opioids. This is because the buprenorphine in Suboxone binds to opioid receptors more strongly than other opioids like fentanyl, which can quickly displace the fentanyl and cause withdrawal symptoms to occur rapidly and intensely.

If the person is still under the influence of fentanyl, taking Suboxone may not have much effect because the fentanyl will be competing with the buprenorphine for binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. This means that the person may not experience the full benefits of Suboxone, and the risk of overdose from the fentanyl may still be present.

Benefits Of Suboxone

Some of the most common benefits of Suboxone include:

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Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can have devastating effects on individuals who abuse it. Suboxone is a medication commonly used to treat opioid addiction because it can block fentanyl’s effects. Overall, it's crucial that individuals who are struggling with opioid addiction seek help from healthcare professionals and have access to life-saving medications to help prevent fatalities and support long-term recovery.

Contact us today if you or a loved one are ready to say goodbye to fentanyl for good.

Can Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Hallucinations?

Alcohol withdrawal is a complex process that occurs when individuals consuming excessive amounts of alcohol abruptly reduce or stop their alcohol intake. While the physical and psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are well-documented, one intriguing aspect that often arises is the potential for hallucinations. Hallucinations cause people to see and hear things that are not real, and they can be vivid, unsettling, and even terrifying experiences. Fortunately, several ways exist to treat, manage, and prevent alcohol-withdrawal-induced hallucinations.

Types Of Hallucinations

Hallucinations are sensory experiences that take place in the absence of external stimuli. They are sensations and feelings not caused by actual external events but creations of the mind and body. They can manifest in various forms, including:

What Are Delirium Tremens?

Delirium tremens (DTs) is a severe and potentially life-threatening form of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). It typically occurs in individuals with a history of heavy, prolonged alcohol use who suddenly reduce or cease their drinking. DTs usually manifest within 48-96 hours after the last drink and are characterized by severe neurological and autonomic symptoms. Symptoms may include:

Hallucinations are a prominent feature of delirium tremens. Visual hallucinations, in particular, are commonly reported during this condition. The hallucinations experienced during DTs can be highly distressing and contribute to confusion and agitation in affected individuals.

Alcohol Withdrawal-Related Hallucinations

Hallucinations occurring during alcohol withdrawal can be classified as alcohol withdrawal-related hallucinations. They typically emerge within 12-48 hours after the last drink and can persist for several days. Alcohol-induced hallucinations most commonly involve visual experiences, although auditory and tactile hallucinations can also occur. Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal, including:

The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including hallucinations, is often influenced by the intensity and duration of alcohol use. Individuals who have been consuming alcohol heavily and for an extended period are at a higher risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, including hallucinations. Prompt recognition and management of alcohol withdrawal can help minimize the risk of severe symptoms.

Managing AWS Hallucinations

Hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal can be distressing but can be managed effectively. Strategies to manage hallucinations often include:

  1. Ensuring a safe environment: A calm and secure environment can help minimize distress and prevent hallucinations-related accidents.
  2. Supportive care: Offering reassurance, emotional support, and non-judgmental understanding can help individuals cope with their hallucinations.
  3. Medication management: If hallucinations are severe or significantly impact daily functioning, medications, such as antipsychotics, may be prescribed under medical supervision.

Strategies For Minimizing Withdrawal Symptoms and Hallucinations

To minimize the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations, it is essential to:

Alcohol addiction is a severe condition that affects millions of Americans every day. However, a factor that hinders many from sobriety is alcohol withdrawal syndrome. AWS can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including Delirium tremens (DTs), a severe manifestation of alcohol withdrawal that often involves hallucinations. Alcohol-induced hallucinations during withdrawal primarily manifest as visual experiences, but can also involve auditory and tactile sensations.

Alcohol withdrawal can be challenging and potentially dangerous, mainly when hallucinations and other severe symptoms occur. But there’s hope.

Seeking professional help from healthcare providers specializing in addiction medicine can ensure proper assessment, monitoring, and treatment during withdrawal.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependence and considering withdrawal, it is crucial to seek professional help. Reach out to healthcare professionals, addiction specialists, or helplines to access the support and guidance needed to navigate alcohol withdrawal safely. Remember, you are not alone, and resources are available to help you on your journey to recovery.

Alternatives To Methadone

Methadone has been a widely used medication for opioid addiction treatment for over half a century. While it has been effective in managing opioid withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings, it may not be the best option for everyone. Using methadone has its own risks and limitations, including the potential for abuse, dependence, and adverse side effects. Fortunately, there are alternatives to methadone that can help individuals struggling with opioid addiction achieve and maintain sobriety.

How Does Methadone Work?

Methadone works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that are affected by other opioids, but with a lower intensity of effects. This helps individuals in recovery avoid the extreme highs and lows of drug use without the constant distraction of withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Unfortunately, methadone has some drawbacks, including the potential for abuse, dependence, and side effects. The good news is there are several alternatives to methadone that may be more suitable for some individuals.

Alternative Medications To Methadone

1. Buprenorphine

Like methadone, Buprenorphine binds to opioid receptors in the brain, but it produces a weaker effect, which can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms without causing the same level of dependence or euphoria as other opioids.

One of the main advantages of buprenorphine over methadone is its lower potential for abuse and overdose. While methadone is a full opioid agonist and can produce euphoria, buprenorphine has a ceiling effect, meaning that it reaches a maximum effect at a certain dose and does not produce additional effects at higher doses. Buprenorphine is also associated with fewer withdrawal symptoms and a milder withdrawal syndrome compared to methadone, which can make it easier for individuals to taper off the medication.

2. Naltrexone

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids by binding to the same receptors in the brain without producing any opioid effects. This makes naltrexone a safer option than methadone, which is a full opioid agonist that carries a risk of overdose and abuse. Another advantage of naltrexone is that it does not cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms, making it a good option for individuals who have already detoxed from opioids.

3. Suboxone

Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids. This combination allows suboxone to relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while also preventing the potential for abuse and overdose. Methadone, on the other hand, is a full opioid agonist that can help stabilize the brain's opioid receptors and reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, methadone is associated with a higher risk of dependence, abuse, and overdose than suboxone. Suboxone also has the advantage of being able to be prescribed in an office-based setting, while methadone is typically dispensed in specialized clinics. Additionally, suboxone may have fewer side effects and milder withdrawal symptoms than methadone, making it easier for individuals to taper off the medication.

4. Vivitrol

Vivitrol contains naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids by binding to the same receptors in the brain without producing any opioid effects itself. This makes Vivitrol a safer option than methadone, which is a full opioid agonist that carries a risk of dependence, abuse, and overdose. Additionally, Vivitrol does not cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms. However, Vivitrol requires individuals to fully detoxify from opioids before starting treatment.

Consider Medication-Assisted Treatment With Us

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) helps individuals struggling with opioid addiction. MAT uses medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, Vivitrol, and clonidine to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings and support recovery. While methadone has been a cornerstone of MAT for decades, it carries risks of dependence, abuse, and overdose. It is important to note that methadone is not the only effective medication for opioid addiction and that other options such as buprenorphine and naltrexone may have advantages in certain situations. Ultimately, the choice of medication should be tailored to the individual's unique needs and circumstances.

Let us help you make the right choice for you. Contact us today.

How Does Suboxone Make You Feel?

If you or someone you love struggles with opioid addiction, Suboxone may be able to help you begin and maintain the path to recovery. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, two drugs that work together to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Initial Effects Of Suboxone

When you first start taking Suboxone, you may experience some side effects, such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own after a few days. If you continue to experience side effects, talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or recommend other medications to help manage your symptoms.

How Does Suboxone Make You Feel In The Long Run?

1. More Stable

Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and can include things like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and insomnia. Suboxone helps reduce these withdrawal symptoms, making you feel more comfortable and stable as you recover. As a result, Suboxone can help you feel more comfortable and stable, which can make it easier for you to focus on your recovery. You may feel less anxious, less nauseous, and more able to cope with the challenges of withdrawal.

2. More Emotionally Balanced

Suboxone works by binding to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but to a lesser degree. This means that it can help to reduce cravings for opioids without producing the same euphoric effects as opioids. As a result, you are less likely to experience the intense highs and lows that come with opioid addiction. By reducing the intense highs and lows, Suboxone helps you feel more emotionally balanced. The medication can also help improve your overall sense of well-being, making it easier to take care of yourself and focus on your recovery.

3. In Less Pain

If you are someone who struggles with chronic pain, you may also find that Suboxone can help to manage your pain symptoms. Buprenorphine, one of the active ingredients in Suboxone, is a potent pain reliever that can help to reduce pain without producing the same addictive effects as other opioids. This means that you can manage your pain symptoms without putting yourself at risk of developing a new addiction.

Keep In Mind

However, it is important to remember that Suboxone is not a cure for addiction. It is only one part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may also include counseling, support groups, and other medications. It is important to work closely with your doctor and treatment team to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

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Suboxone can help you feel more stable and in control and can give you the tools you need to make positive changes in your life.

If you are interested in learning more about Suboxone and how it may benefit you, talk to your doctor. They can help you decide if Suboxone is right for you and can provide you with the support and guidance you need to overcome your addiction.

What To Eat When Going Through Withdrawal

Going through drug and alcohol withdrawal can be tough on both your body and mind, affecting your overall well-being. You may experience distressing symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. To make this process more bearable, it's important for you to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Eating well can help alleviate these symptoms and promote a smoother recovery. So, if you or someone you love is undergoing drug and alcohol withdrawal, here are some practical tips on what to eat.

Foods To Eat When Going Through Withdrawal

Eat nutrient-dense foods

Focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to heal and repair. Some good choices include:

Snack Wisely

During withdrawal, you may experience fluctuations in your appetite and energy levels, which can make it challenging to stick to a regular meal schedule. To avoid feeling too hungry or too full, snack wisely. Be intentional about snacking on small, nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. Some examples include:

Focus on Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs to repair and regenerate tissues. Eating protein-rich foods can help support your body's recovery during withdrawal. Excellent sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and legumes. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can get protein from sources like tofu, tempeh, and quinoa.

Eating protein during drug and alcohol withdrawal can help improve your body in several ways:

Incorporate Healthy Fats Into Your Meals

During drug and alcohol withdrawal, the body undergoes significant stress, and the brain chemistry is altered. Consuming healthy fats during this time can provide several benefits, including:

Unhealthy fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats found in processed foods, can have the opposite effect and may worsen withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it's important to focus on consuming healthy fats from whole foods, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, during drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Adding healthy fats to your diet can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for sugary foods. Good sources of healthy fats include:

Don’t Forget Supplements

During drug and alcohol withdrawal, the body undergoes significant stress, and the normal absorption and utilization of nutrients can be compromised. Withdrawal can deplete the body of certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall health and recovery, such as B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and zinc.

While getting your nutrients from whole foods is ideal, it can be challenging to consume a well-balanced diet during withdrawal because of nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to take supplements to help replenish depleted nutrients.

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your individual needs. They can help determine which supplements may be beneficial for you based on your specific symptoms and nutritional needs. They can also monitor your progress and adjust your supplement regimen as needed to ensure that you're getting the nutrients you need to support your recovery.

Beverages To Drink When Going Through Withdrawal

Staying hydrated is essential during drug and alcohol withdrawal, as the body loses fluids through sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. It's important to drink plenty of water and other hydrating beverages to prevent dehydration and support the body's natural detoxification processes.

Some beverages that can be helpful during withdrawal include:

Try to avoid caffeine and sugary drinks like soda or pop during withdrawal, as they can dehydrate the body and make your symptoms worse. If you're unsure about which beverages to drink during withdrawal, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist for personalized recommendations.

Foods To Avoid During Withdrawal

woman eating healthy food and refusing unhealthy foodWhile it's important to eat enough calories and nutrients during withdrawal, it's also crucial to avoid foods that can make your symptoms worse or hinder your recovery.

Some foods to avoid during withdrawal include:

Don’t Forget To Plan Ahead

To make healthy eating easier during withdrawal, it's helpful to plan ahead and prepare your meals and snacks in advance. This can help you avoid making impulsive or unhealthy food choices when you're feeling overwhelmed or fatigued. Some tips for meal planning include:

Eat Well, But Maintain Your Hygiene, Too

When going through the discomfort of withdrawal, it's easy to neglect basic self-care activities like showering, brushing your teeth, and changing your clothes. However, making an effort to take care of your hygiene can have significant benefits for your physical and mental health.

Showering or taking a bath can help soothe sore muscles, ease tension, and promote relaxation. It can also help reduce body odor, which can be a common symptom during withdrawal. Brushing your teeth and using mouthwash can help freshen your breath and maintain good oral health. Additionally, changing your clothes can help you feel clean and comfortable, which can boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Incorporating minor acts of self-care into your daily routine can help improve your overall mood and well-being during withdrawal. These activities can also provide a sense of control and structure during a time when you may feel overwhelmed and disoriented.

Be Mindful Of Triggers

During withdrawal, you may experience intense cravings for drugs or alcohol. Make sure you’re mindful of your triggers and avoid situations that may tempt you to use drugs or alcohol. Eating a balanced diet and taking care of your hygiene can help you feel more in control of your emotions and cravings. You may also want to consider mindfulness practices like meditation or deep breathing exercises to help you stay centered and focused on your recovery.

Listen to Your Body

Finally, remember to listen to your body and honor your cravings and preferences. While it's important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet, it's also okay to indulge in a treat or comfort food once in a while. If you feel like eating something specific, try to find a healthier version of it or enjoy a small portion. For example, if you crave something sweet, you can try a piece of dark chocolate or a fruit smoothie instead of a candy bar. If you crave something salty, you can try roasted nuts or air-popped popcorn instead of chips. By tuning into your body and nourishing it with kindness and compassion, you can support your recovery and build a healthier relationship with food.

Make Sure To Get Professional Support

Finally, it's important to remember that going through drug and alcohol withdrawal can be a challenging and sometimes dangerous process. If you're struggling with withdrawal symptoms, seek professional support. Your doctor or a substance abuse counselor can help you manage your symptoms and provide guidance on how to best support your body's recovery.

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Going through drug and alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult and challenging time, but by focusing on your nutrition and eating habits, you can support your recovery and feel better in the long run. Remember to hydrate with water and electrolytes, eat nutrient-dense foods, avoid processed and sugary foods, snack wisely, plan ahead, and listen to your body. By taking care of your physical health, you can also improve your mental and emotional well-being and increase your chances of a successful recovery. Contact us if you or someone you love needs help staying strong.

The Signs Of Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is a serious public health crisis that has been affecting individuals and communities in the United States for decades. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that over 2 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD), and over 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Opioid addiction can be difficult to recognize, as many people who develop an addiction initially receive prescription painkillers for legitimate medical reasons. However, if left untreated, opioid use can lead to abuse, addiction, and serious health consequences, including overdose and death.

More Statistics On Opioid Use Disorder

Symptoms And Signs Of Opioid Use Disorder

Common signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder include:

1. Itching skin

Opioids can also stimulate the release of histamines, which are substances involved in the immune response. Histamines can cause itchiness and skin irritation when they are released in large quantities. With opioid addiction, the release of histamines can be a side effect of the drugs themselves or a result of the body's response to chronic opioid use. Besides the release of histamines, opioid addiction can also lead to dry skin, which can exacerbate itching. Opioids can also cause reduced saliva production and trigger dehydration, which can, in turn, lead to dry skin and itching.

2. Drowsiness

Opioids bind to receptors in the body, blocking the transmission of pain signals, and can produce a sense of euphoria and relaxation. This also leads to a decrease in the activity of other neurons in the brain, including those responsible for wakefulness and arousal, resulting in drowsiness, fatigue, and lethargy. Opioid use can also interfere with the natural sleep cycle, leading to sleep disturbances such as insomnia and fragmented sleep. This can contribute to daytime drowsiness and fatigue. Opioid addiction can also lead to respiratory depression, which is a decrease in the rate and depth of breathing. This can cause a decrease in oxygen levels in the body, which can lead to drowsiness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.

3. Intense flu-like symptoms

Opioid addiction can lead to intense flu-like symptoms during withdrawal. Opioids work by binding to receptors in the brain and body that regulate pain, pleasure, and other bodily functions. When someone uses opioids regularly, their body adjusts to the presence of the drug and may become dependent on it to function normally. When they stop using opioids or reduce their dose, their body may react with withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, runny nose and watery eyes, muscle aches and pains, restlessness and anxiety, insomnia, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.

4. Doctor shopping/forging prescriptions

People with opioid addiction may engage in doctor shopping and forging prescriptions as a means of obtaining more opioids to feed their addiction. Doctor shopping involves visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for opioids. This allows individuals to accumulate a larger supply of opioids than they would be able to obtain from a single doctor. Forging prescriptions involves altering or creating fake prescriptions for opioids. This can be done by stealing prescription pads or using computer programs to create counterfeit prescriptions.

5. Dry mouth

Opioids are known to decrease the production of saliva, which can cause dry mouth or xerostomia. This happens because opioids interact with the nervous system, and this can inhibit the production of saliva, which can lead to a range of dental problems, including gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. The lack of saliva can also make it more difficult to eat and speak, as well as contribute to difficulty swallowing or dysphagia. A dry mouth caused by opioid addiction can also increase the risk of infections in the mouth, such as thrush or fungal infections. These infections can be painful and uncomfortable and may require medical treatment to resolve.

More signs include:

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Medication-Assisted Treatment For Opioid Addiction

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective way to overcome opioid addiction and take back control of your life. MAT uses a combination of FDA-approved medications, behavioral therapy, and counseling to provide a holistic approach to recovery. With MAT, you'll have the support you need to break free from opioid addiction and stay on the path to recovery.

There are three FDA-approved medications used in MAT: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms for up to 24 hours. Buprenorphine also helps alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids, so individuals can’t experience a high from the effects of opioids.

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If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid use, please reach out to us. We can help you overcome addiction and live a happy, healthy life — potentially involving a medication-assisted treatment plan with counseling and support.

What Is The Purpose Of Suboxone?

An addiction to any substance can be a tragic matter for everyone involved — users and their loved ones — but few drugs are as catastrophic to one’s life as opioids. Opioids are a major problem in the United States, so much so that in 2019 about 10.1 million people, ages 12 or older, misused opioids or opiates (naturally found opioid substances i.e. heroin). Of that 10.1 million, 745,000 used heroin, and 9.7 million misused prescription opioids. Furthermore, the average life expectancy in America declined because of opioid overdoses between 2015 and 2017. Since this period, life expectancy has only recovered by 0.16 percent. At the same time, drug overdose deaths have increased by 4 percent every year, 67.8 percent of which were opioid overdoses (in 2017).

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that is used to treat opioid addiction. It is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist, which means it attaches to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids but does not create the same level of euphoria or sedation as full agonists like heroin or prescription painkillers. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioids, deterring abuse of Suboxone.

Suboxone is usually administered as a tablet, sublingually, which means it is placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve. In this way, the medication absorbs into the bloodstream more quickly and effectively than other medications with the same purpose. Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance, which means it has a lower potential for abuse and dependence than Schedule I or II drugs, such as heroin or fentanyl.

Although Suboxone is a far safer and more effective alternative to other commonly used MAT drugs, it can be misused, and the potential for abuse and dependence should not be overlooked. If taken in higher than prescribed doses or in combination with other opioids, it can lead to respiratory depression, sedation, and even death. If Suboxone is injected, the naloxone component of the medication can cause immediate withdrawal symptoms.

In addition to the risks associated with misuse, there are also potential side effects of Suboxone when taken strictly as prescribed. These may include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, and constipation. Some people may also experience allergic reactions to the medication. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional about any side effects.

It is also important to note that Suboxone is not a cure for opioid addiction. It is a tool that can help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, not a standalone treatment. Counseling and therapy are also important parts of medication-assisted treatments and the recovery process.

We Can Help You Overcome

Opioid addiction is a serious disorder that has harsh consequences for everyone involved. If you or a loved one is battling opioid use disorder, please contact us today. We have the means and motivation to help you overcome your addiction and live a full and healthy life.

Does Intensive Outpatient Treatment Work?

The term mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions that affect a person's thinking, mood, behavior, and overall functioning. Addiction and substance use disorders are types of mental illnesses that are characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use despite harmful consequences. According to the World Drug Report in 2019, 35 million people globally contend with substance use disorders but only 1 in 7 people receive treatment. Substance abuse can lead to a multitude of negative outcomes, including further mental health problems, physical health issues, strained relationships, and financial difficulties. Prolonged substance use can have a devastating impact on a person's life.

Viable Treatments For Addiction

Treatment for addiction and substance use disorders typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapy. Currently, the FDA has approved 4 drugs for opioid addiction recovery, 3 drugs for tobacco addiction, and 3 drugs for alcohol addiction, with more introduced for methamphetamine use disorder. Some argue that the addition of a new drug when used to treat the abuse of another simply replaces one addiction with a new one. This however is entirely inaccurate. These medications are drastically less addictive than substances like fentanyl or opioids, and far less damaging than alcohol and cigarettes. Most of these medicines can help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while some block the effects of alcohol and drugs.

Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM) can help individuals to recognize and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to substance use. In addition, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, self-help groups, and support from family and friends can also be an important part of recovery. It's important to remember that becoming healthy is a process and that it can take time to fully overcome the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges associated with substance use disorders.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a comprehensive approach to treating addiction that involves the use of medications in combination with behavioral therapies. The goal of MAT is to help individuals overcome substance use disorders by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and by promoting long-term recovery. MAT is effective for treating a range of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder, and tobacco dependence. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MAT has been shown to improve treatment outcomes, increase retention in treatment, and reduce the risk of overdose and death.

There are several core medications currently approved for MAT, including:

More medications are sold under brand names comprising combinations of the above medications, such as Suboxone and Antabuse. It's important to note that MAT is only one aspect of a comprehensive treatment plan for addiction and substance use disorders. In order to be effective, MAT must be combined with behavioral therapies, support from family and friends, and other elements of a comprehensive treatment program.

More About Behavioural Therapies

Behavioral therapies are a type of treatment that focuses on changing the negative patterns of thought and behavior associated with addiction. The goal of these therapies is to help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and skills to deal with triggers and cravings, as well as to build a strong support system for ongoing recovery.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used behavioral therapies for addiction. This therapy focuses on the thoughts and beliefs that underlie addictive behavior and teaches individuals to identify and challenge negative patterns of thinking. CBT also teaches individuals how to replace those negative thoughts with healthier ones and develop coping skills to deal with triggers and cravings.

Contingency management is a type of behavioral therapy that uses a reward-based system to reinforce positive behaviors. This might involve a system of rewards for maintaining sobriety, such as vouchers for movie tickets or other treats, or a loss of privileges for relapses. The idea is to help individuals establish a new pattern of positive behavior and maintain motivation for sobriety.

Motivational interviewing is yet another form of behavioral therapy that focuses on helping patients overcome ambivalence and build motivation for change. This type of therapy involves working with individuals to identify their motivations for recovery and build a plan for achieving their goals.

Community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT) is a behavioral therapy that involves working with family members and friends of individuals struggling with addiction. This therapy teaches loved ones how to support individuals in their recovery and helps them build a strong support system for ongoing sobriety.

Finally, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) combines elements of CBT with mindfulness and acceptance-based techniques. This therapy teaches individuals to identify and manage emotions healthily and to develop coping skills to deal with stress and triggers.

Behavioral therapies have been effective in treating addiction and can be used in combination with other forms of treatment, such as medication-assisted treatment or group therapy. All these therapies can help individuals build healthy coping skills, overcome mental blocks and challenges, build motivation for change, and establish a strong support system for a life of sobriety.

Inpatient And Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Programs are two types of treatment programs for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Inpatient Treatment Programs are intensive, 24-hour programs that provide comprehensive care for individuals who need support around the clock. These programs typically require the individual to live at the treatment facility for a set period, ranging from a few days to several weeks or months. Inpatient programs provide a structured, safe, and supportive environment where individuals can focus on their recovery without the distractions and stress of everyday life.

Outpatient Treatment Programs offer a less intensive level of support and are designed for individuals who can live at home and maintain their daily responsibilities while in treatment. Outpatient programs typically include weekly therapy sessions, support groups, and medication management. This type of program allows individuals to continue working, going to school, and taking part in other daily activities while receiving the treatment they need to recover.

The difference between these two treatment methods lies in the level of support and structure needed and provided. Inpatient treatment is more intensive and provides a higher level of support, while outpatient treatment is less intensive and focuses on individual therapy and support. One's choice between inpatient and outpatient treatment should be discussed with a healthcare provider and be based on the severity of the individual's condition, their ability to manage their symptoms, and their personal lifestyle and preferences.

Benefits Of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment programs provide several benefits, including a safe and supportive environment, round-the-clock access to medical care, and a structured schedule for treatment and recovery. Inpatient programs also provide a higher level of support and accountability, which can be beneficial for individuals who are struggling with addiction or who have a co-occurring mental health condition. These programs also provide opportunities for individuals to form strong bonds with others who are also in recovery, which can provide a sense of community and support.

Benefits Of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment also poses many benefits, including the ability to continue working or going to school, maintaining relationships with family and friends, and managing daily responsibilities. Outpatient programs also offer more flexibility in scheduling, allowing individuals to attend treatment around their work and personal commitments. Additionally, outpatient treatment is typically less expensive than inpatient treatment, making it more accessible for those who cannot afford to take time off from work or who cannot afford the cost of inpatient treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) is a type of program for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues that provide a high level of support and structure while allowing individuals to continue living at home and taking part in their daily activities. IOP programs typically involve several hours of therapy and treatment each day, usually in the evenings, which makes it possible for individuals to attend work or school during the day. The treatment may include individual therapy, group therapy, and/or medication management, and typically lasts for several weeks to several months. Intensive Outpatient Treatment is designed for individuals who have a stable living situation but still need a higher level of support and structure than is available through regular outpatient treatment. This type of program is often used as a step down from inpatient treatment, or as an alternative to inpatient treatment for those who do not require 24-hour care.

Benefits Of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

The benefits of IOP include the ability to continue taking part in daily activities, such as work or school while receiving the treatment and support needed for recovery. It also provides a structured schedule for treatment and recovery, which can help individuals stay on track and make progress in their sobriety. Additionally, IOP is typically less expensive than inpatient treatment, making it more accessible for those who cannot afford to take time off from work or who cannot afford the cost of inpatient treatment.

Does Intensive Outpatient Treatment Work?

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) can indeed be an effective form of treatment for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. The effectiveness of IOP varies for each individual, as everyone's experience with mental health and substance abuse is unique.

However, research has shown that IOP can be an effective form of treatment for many people. For example, a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that among individuals with alcohol use disorders, IOP was associated with significant reductions in alcohol consumption and improvements in overall functioning compared to individuals who did not receive treatment. Another study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice found that among individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, IOP was associated with significant improvements in symptoms, functioning, and substance use compared to individuals who did not receive IOP treatment.

Additionally, a review of multiple studies published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that IOP was associated with reductions in substance use and improvements in mental health outcomes, with outcomes being particularly favorable among individuals with less severe substance use disorders.

In conclusion, while the effectiveness of IOP can differ from person to person, the literature has shown that it can be a highly effective form of treatment for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. More research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of IOP for different people, however, the available evidence suggests that it can be an effective option for many individuals.

We Can Help You

If you or someone you love is struggling with any kind of addiction or substance use disorder, please contact us. We can help you achieve a happy and healthy life, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

What Happens If You Drink On Vivitrol?

Alcohol use is widespread and normalized across the globe. In the United States, 2.3 million adults aged 18 or older were reported to have an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States in 2019. Though far less normalized and embedded in culture, opioid addiction is just as prevalent across the US. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over 2.7 million people in the United States suffer from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol, the brand-name medication made of naltrexone, is an extended-release medication of an opioid receptor antagonist — approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 for the prevention of relapse to opioid or alcohol dependence. Vivitrol (naltrexone) works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the intoxicating, euphoric, and pain-relief effects of opioids and alcohol. It is typically administered as an intramuscular injection once per month.

Vivitrol minimizes cravings, helping people uphold sobriety throughout its early stages. It works by stopping endorphins from binding to opioid receptors when alcohol is consumed, as well as by directly hindering opioids from binding to such receptors. Vivitrol is prescribed only in specific instances of alcohol and/or opioid addiction. It is necessary for a patient in treatment to detox from alcohol and opioids and maintain abstinence for at least 7-10 days before beginning a treatment plan involving Vivitrol (naltrexone). If used adversely to this strict prerequisite, naltrexone can cause serious side effects.

What Happens If You Drink On Vivitrol?

Vivitrol changes the brain’s response to alcohol in the body’s system and acts as an incentive for those with alcoholism to maintain sobriety. However, Vivitrol or naltrexone is not made to be taken with alcohol consumption. Drinking on Vivitrol will likely lead to liver damage, allergic reactions and symptoms, breathing issues, chest pain, dizziness, depression, suicidal behavior and ideation. People who continue to drink while taking Vivitrol should consult with a medical professional and be aware of signs of potential liver issues such as:

What Happens If You Take Opioids On Vivitrol?

Taking opioids or opiates while on Vivitrol can be hazardous and even fatal. Vivitrol (naltrexone) attaches to opioid receptors more vigorously than any opioid, causing opioids and opiates to be removed from their receptors, and allowing Vivitrol to bind. The abrupt removal of opioids from receptors can cause rapid and acute opioid withdrawal, known as precipitated withdrawal. Abusing opioids while receiving Vivitrol injections might lead to an overdose, since a person may take excessive amounts to experience the high. Furthermore, if a person skips or discontinues Vivitrol injections and begins misusing opioids, they also risk overdosing. Vivitrol inhibits the intoxication and euphoria or 'high' caused by alcohol and opioids, making it harder to get high on opioids and opiates while taking them.

We Can Help You Overcome

If you or a loved one is currently battling alcohol use disorder (AUD) or opioid use disorder (OUD), please reach out to us. You deserve a clean, healthy, and sustainable life. We have the means and motivation to help you achieve and maintain sobriety. Moreover, Vivitrol, or some other medication-assisted treatment, may be the most viable route to sobriety for you.

Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Seizures?

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances, and it is also one of the most harmful. Many of us drink alcohol regularly, and many know or have met someone who has a serious alcohol addiction. A study showed that, in 2019, 25.8 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they engaged in heavy binge drinking. In the same year, the NSDUH estimated that 14.5 million people ages 12 and older had alcohol use disorder (AUD).

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

For a lot of us, alcohol is interwoven within our social lives. Whether having a drink with friends, with co-workers at a social function, or on a date, alcohol is one of the few drugs that is common practice amongst almost everyone. Most of us know people who excessively binge drink regularly. Although the effects of alcohol consumption at any level can be harmful, drinking socially occasionally is not considered AUD. Alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism, is defined by a hindered ability to quit or control alcohol use, especially when social, financial, and health consequences are present in one’s life.

Signs of AUD include:

The Physiology Of Alcohol

Dissimilar to other commonly abused substances that attach only to receptors in certain cells, alcohol can pass into every cell in your body, as it is water-soluble and fat-soluble. Ethanol, the form of alcohol consumed by humans, causes significant stress and damage to cells. Ethanol is immediately toxic to the body and must be converted into something else once drunk. Upon ingestion, ethanol is converted into acetaldehyde, a substance with even higher toxicity, as well as adenosine triphosphate, a nutrient-empty calorie. Acetaldehyde is a chemical that indiscriminately kills cells, and it is also what causes you to feel drunk by disrupting neural networks in the brain. Andrew Huberman, researcher and professor of neurology and ophthalmology at Stanford University, said, “Being drunk is a poison-induced disruption in the way that your neural circuits work.”

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal is certainly a harrowing element of getting sober, often hindering those who wish to quit alcohol. Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS) is the set of symptoms that arise when a severe alcoholic suddenly stops drinking or drastically reduces consumption.

The symptoms of AWS can include:

The Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

There are 3 stages of alcohol withdrawal that a person is likely to experience, the severity of which is relative to the strength of one's physical addiction to alcohol.

Stage 1 - Mild

The first stage of alcohol withdrawal — felt for 6 to 12 hours after the last drink — could be compared to a terrible hangover. Symptoms may include:

Stage 2 - Moderate

The second stage of alcohol withdrawal persists with the same symptoms as Stage 1 while introducing:

Stage 2 could last for up to 24 hours after the last drink.

Stage 3 - Severe

Stage 3 may include the aforementioned symptoms and may additionally exhibit:

Stage 3 is also where harmful complications and even fatalities most often arise. This stage generally happens on the third day of detox but can last up to a week if physiological dependence is relatively high.

Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Seizures?

Seizures are an extreme and sometimes fatal consequence of alcohol withdrawal that affect roughly 5% of those who endure it. If alcohol use is drastically decreased or stopped, withdrawal seizures may transpire. This is due to the nature of physiological tolerance to alcohol, which increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels and inhibits brain activity while lowering glutamate activities — stimulating the nervous system. According to literature, alcohol withdrawal syndrome involves both N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors.

Abrupt cessation of alcohol use after a long period of heavy drinking can cause alcohol withdrawal seizures, which can lead to a range of severe complications such as brain damage, heart attacks, strokes, and, in extreme cases, death. If a person has an alcohol withdrawal seizure, they may develop Delirium Tremens (DTs), which is a severe and dangerous condition. GABA and glutamate neurotransmitters, as well as fluctuating blood glucose and elevated norepinephrine levels, are the key factors in alcohol withdrawal seizures.

How To Ease Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal can be the most significant reason long-time alcoholics may choose not to quit drinking. As discussed, the effects of alcohol withdrawal are daunting, to say the least. However, such symptoms can be minimized via lifestyle changes and medication-assisted treatment. Ways one can brace for alcohol withdrawal syndrome in their lifestyle include:

Taper-off alcohol slowly

Remove alcohol from your home

Remove alcohol from your lifestyle

Take time off work or school

Resort to family and/or friends

Seek professional aid

Medication-Assisted Treatment For AUD

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) refers to the adjunctive use of various medicines and therapies to treat a range of substance use disorders. MAT involves taking pharmacological medications to curb the withdrawal discomfort that occurs upon quitting a substance. MAT can be used for alcohol, as well as nicotine, opioids and opiates, and methamphetamines. This type of treatment typically takes place as a specialized treatment to monitor patients and aid recovery. However, it is also common for MAT to be used in primary care practices, meaning it doesn’t have to take place at a specialized facility. The FDA has approved 4 drugs for opioid addiction recovery, 3 drugs for tobacco addiction, and 3 drugs for alcohol addiction. The drugs that are used for MAT purposes are drastically less addictive than their counterpart substances. With that being said, MAT medications can present side effects and become addictive over time. It is imperative to have a trained professional prescribing, monitoring, and advising you during treatment.

A medication-assisted treatment approach for alcohol use disorder (AUD) combines medications, counseling, and behavioral therapies. Some medications used to treat alcoholism ease the withdrawal process, while others remove the intoxicating effects of alcohol consumption — providing an incentive to quit drinking because of the harsh symptoms of mixed consumption. Common types of MAT medications used for alcohol addiction include Naltrexone, Vivitrol, Disulfiram, and Campral (acamprosate). These medications are FDA-approved and work to relieve withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. Additionally, MAT programs often suggest one-on-one therapy and support groups to give patients the best chance of success.

We Can Help You

Many people avoid detoxing and therefore sobriety because they are afraid of the uncomfortable and harsh alcohol withdrawal symptoms. No doubt, many heavy alcohol drinkers have heard or read of such harrowing tales. Patients at rehab clinics like ours can undergo medication-assisted treatment to alleviate such symptoms. This, along with appropriate counseling procedures, can help an alcoholic become sober and turn their life around. Please contact us if you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol. We can assist you.