Help With Heroin: Is Narcan the Heroin Addict Help We Need?

Heroin Addiction Treatment in Texas – The opioid overdose reversal drug known as Naloxone (Narcan) is one of the years most celebrated drugs for heroin addict help and bringing addicts back from the gates of death. With increasing media attention ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved the nasal and intravenous injection devices, Narcan is selling faster than ever. To help with heroin current epidemic and the nations opioid addiction the demand for this magic-bullet antidote drug is skyrocketing. When a person is overdosing on an opioid or heroin, breathing can slow down or stop and it can be very hard to wake them from this state. Narcan is a medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose. Many police departments officers now carry this antidote with them to help with heroin overdoses. You can even pick it up at your local Walgreens without having a prescription. Ordinary Americans are now stocking their medicine cabinets with it. Since the release of Narcan hundreds of people who might have died this year from a heroin overdose are still alive.

It may sound like this is the answer we have been waiting for. But the lifesaving medication is not a cure. When Narcans job is done, and the heroin overdose is reversed, the addict is still left with the disease of addiction, the cravings, and the obsession of drugs. Without proper heroin addiction treatment, they are likely to keep feeding their habit, which puts them at risk of another overdose. Those who overdose are having to rely on emergency personal or a good samaritan carrying the anti-reversal drug to live, if not given in time the overdose could be fatal.  Many addicts feel a moment of clarity after being revived, wanting to seek treatment. Sometimes they’re given a list of heroin addiction treatment centers but without insurance, treatment can be difficult to get into. Thus the hopes for recovery are often diminished and they go back to what they know, heroin. The number of heroin related deaths is growing. Users find heroin to be a cheaper and more potent alternative to prescription medication. The recent CDC guidelines addressing doctors to prescribe long term opiate pain medication as a last resort is showing a decline in written prescriptions. Although the written prescriptions are down, the deaths of addicts are still happening. American policy makers are not addressing the actual problem, the addiction itself for those already addicted. The statistic of those who enter treatment over being saved by Narcan is unknown. Addicts revived from heroin overdoses are rarely tracked. Many addicts are returning customers to the drug Narcan, even after being handed treatment options. Why is this? Overdose after overdose you would think the user would want another life. Sadly, the answer for many is yes, they do want something better for themselves. The problem is the disease of addiction. Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistaken that drug addicts lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because heroin changes the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual. Sounds like even an almost fatal overdose is not enough to get an addict to just say “no”. Unless Heroin Addiction Treatment is available directly after the moment of “clarity” that many addicts have after waking up from an overdose, they may never commit to treatment if the timeline is too long. When I say available I mean within 24 hours. State funded heroin addiction treatment in Texas is hard to find, many of the beds are taken. America needs more heroin addiction treatment centers and access to treatment needs to be easier.

Here at Nova Recovery Center we can provide you with Heroin Addiction Treatment in Texas. Our Detox center can provide heroin withdrawal help, easing the painful withdrawal symptoms that many long time heroin addicts know too well. Our 90-day Inpatient Drug and Alcohol rehab has qualified counselors and recovery specialist working hard to heal the addict. If you or a loved one is seeking help with heroin or heroin addict help, contact us today.

Heroin Addiction Treatment in Texas: Signs of Drug Use

The use of drugs like heroin, opioid painkillers, and fentanyl is on the rise in America. An estimated 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs, for every 10 people in America, one of them has a drug addiction over the age of 12. The population of Texas is less than the population of the current drug addicts roaming around Americas streets. The sad truth is, only 11% of those addicts will receive treatment. Addiction is a chronic, but treatable condition and our health care systems have been slow to recognize the severity of this devastating disease. Many Americans do not understand why people become addicted to drugs. It is often believed that these addicts lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by saying no. This is not true, a drug addiction is a disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions. For many drug addicts, drug addiction treatment is needed to overcome their addictions and for a life in recovery. Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that causes drug seeking and drug using, despite health problems and consequences. Usually the first initial drug use is voluntary for most drug addicts. The brain changes that occur over time make it challenging for an addicted person to control their drug use, the disease hinders their ability to resist intensive impulses to take drugs. It is mindboggling to think that we would need a drug addiction treatment in Texas, the size of Texas, just to help the current drug addicts in America. Full blown addiction might have already set in for some addicts, but early prevention and intervention can help. Heroin addicts may try to lie and hide their habit, but there are a few signs you can watch out for if you suspect a loved one is addicted.

Drug paraphernalia – Heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected.

Syringes are a popular method for using heroin. The heroin enters the bloodstream directly, although this method may be used by long time heroin users, a syringe can be a red flag that someone is using drugs. Along with the syringe, a spoon, cotton, and a lighter or candle are used to cook the heroin by heating it up, and then injecting it into the bloodstream. Addicts use belts, ropes, or something to tie off the users arm in order to find a vein. The entire “kit” is usually kept together.

Tin Foil.  A common form of drug paraphernalia used to smoke the heroin, aluminum foil is used. The heroin is placed on the aluminum foil and acts as a board for holding the heroin, and a lighter to heat it up, while the drug addict uses a straw to inhale the drug. Also used to inhale arepens, rolled up tin foil, or anything that resembles a straw. A residue will form on the inside of these straw like instruments.

Heroin is usually sold inside of balloons or baggies. Look around for small rubber balloons or plastic bags no bigger than the size of your thumb.

Physical Signs of Heroin Use

Heroin will constrict the pupils of the user of the heroin drug. A typical addict neglects the use of good hygiene and grooming, and this could be a sign of heroin use. Heroin can cause an excessive “scratching” for the addict who uses the heroin drug. Weight loss and gain due to on and off use is also a sign of heroin use.

Nodding Off – A term used by many heroin addicts. Heroin use can and usually causes long hours of drowsiness. Mental and physical sluggishness or slurred speech and the inability to stay away while having a conversation can be a sign of heroin use.

Track Marks – Heroin Addicts will sometimes hide their arms due to tack marks on their injection sites. Long sleeves in the summer time can be an indicator of heroin use. These marks are generally located on their arms and hands but can likely be found elsewhere on their body such as their ankles, feet, and between their toes.

Change in Mood – Mood swings are common for heroin users, if an addict is withdrawing from heroin their behavior can become violent. They may also look pail and sick due to the physical addiction of heroin. Users of heroin often hang out with others who use Heroin, a drastic change in friends, showing up late to events or curfew, and becoming aggressive when question could possibility be signs of heroin use.

Other signs of heroin use could be speaking in slang, or code when around others. Dope, smack, black, brown, junk, a point, gram, H, China, white, chasing the dragon, speed balling, are just a few of the many slang terms for heroin.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to heroin, and is looking for heroin addiction treatment in Texas, Nova Recovery Center can help. Contact Us Today

Why 90 Day Drug Inpatient Rehab is Needed

Recovering from an addiction is a life-long process. In the past, 30-day inpatient drug rehab programs were the norm for anyone entering treatment, due mainly to insurance reasons. Recently there has been a new “gold standard” for addicts wanting help with their addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse released “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Base Guide (Third Edition) shows that remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical. Although the appropriate length of stay a drug and alcohol treatment center depends on the addicts needs and problems, research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug using and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. It was only a few years ago that 90 day rehabs became the new “gold standard”, due to signs showing that people who attend a longer treatment plan have a lower rate of relapse. It can be difficult to admit you have a problem, but once you admit you have an alcohol or drug addiction, you’re making the first step to getting sober. The sad truth is that only 10% of those who have an alcohol or drug addiction problem seek help for it, according SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. If you’re questioning yourself if you have problem with drugs, and need help getting sober, the truth is, you probably do. The criteria for addiction can help you determine if your addiction is server, moderate or mild.

  • Lack of control
  • Desire to quit but unable
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get the substance
  • Cravings
  • Lack of responsibility
  • Problems with relationships
  • Loss of interest
  • Dangerous use
  • Worsening situations
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal

The severity of your problem is determined by how many criteria you meet. Being honest with yourself, for example if you met 2 of the criteria you could have a mild substance use disorder. Even having a mild substance use disorder, you should still seek help. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning that it will get worse. You may have a mild substance use disorder today, but next week or in the near future you could have a serious problem. You don’t have to hit rock bottom to need treatment. Getting help before it’s too late, having a server addiction problem can be deadly.

Here are a few reasons why 90 days can help you mild, moderate, or severe drug addiction problem.

More Time to Heal – In a 30 Day Rehab, the first week is usually for detoxification, getting the drugs out of the system so you can focus on your recovery. Nearing the end of your stay, a lot of residents get senior-ritis which is a condition where minds are distracted and focus more on leaving than learning. This can leave very little time for effective learning and healing. Longer term drug rehabs allow more time for the client to learn, heal and grow. Especially if the drug use has lasted awhile, 90 days Is needed to overcome their addiction.

More Time to Practice – When entering drug addiction treatment, you’re taught coping skills. Such as managing interpersonal relationships, healthy boundaries, engaging in conflict resolution, exercising personal discipline, and recovery! Just like any other skill, they require practice. As we all know, the more you practice the better you are at something. Short term rehab don’t allow you enough time to practice the skills before entering back into society. A longer term rehab allows you more time to practice these skills, so when you graduate, you have a higher chance at sobriety.

More Time to Change A Habit – Some believe that it takes approximately 90 days for the brain to reset itself and shake off the effects of an addiction. This allows an addict to learn about his past habits, and create new ones.

A Longer Experience and A Break From Life– Sometimes short term rehabs are not enough of a “getaway” from the stressors of life. A longer stay within the safety of rehab bolsters your recovery muscles so you will be ready for the temptations outside rehab. A longer program allows you to dig deeper into the concepts of recovery and benefit from detailed education sessions.

Is it really worth it?

Even though with a longer stay at a drug rehab may mean more time and money, the long term goal of sobriety can require a stay of 90 days. Just think about, a life filled with drugs and alcohol use every day and breaking that habit and learning tools for recovery takes time. Rehab isn’t just a financial burned, it’s an investment in life. An investment to get your life back on track.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, Contact Us Today for help.

Parents: How to Have the ” Drug Talk ” With Your Child.

My family celebrates the holidays together at my parents house in Arizona. Rarely am I able to attend, living in Texas and working full time. This past Christmas I was able to return home and enjoy the festivities with my family. Walking through my childhood home I reminisced on my younger years. Happy family photos covered the walls in my parents house. Anyone looking at these old photos could tell our family was happy, but no one could tell that the little boy in those photos would grow up to become a junkie who would be forced to wander the streets night after night in search for drugs that he thought he so desperately needed to survive. My parents had no idea what was going to happen to their son. Encouraged to perform well in school, my parents were good role models for my siblings and myself growing up. I was involved in the Boy Scouts and even earn the highest rank Eagle Scout. Sports filled my time after school, it seemed like the picture perfect childhood and my parents had no idea that their son’s future was going to involve an addiction to heroin.

There is no question about it, if you have a child in high school, your child will be exposed to drugs directly or indirectly. That’s a given, Drug War Facts released an article stating that, between the ages of 12 to 17, 47.8% of teens reported that It would be fairly easy or very easy for them to obtain marijuana if they wanted some. 1 out of 10 teens indicted that heroin would be easily obtainable, and 1 in 9 reported that LSD and cocaine would be easy to get. Many parents have no problem having The Sex Talk with their children, but when should they talk about drugs. An excerpt from an article shows that “Teen users are at significantly higher risk of developing an addictive disorder compared to adults, and the earlier they began using, the higher their risk. Nine out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance use disorders involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18. People who begin using any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times as likely to develop a substance use disorder as those who delay use until age 21 or older (28.1 percent vs. 4.3 percent). With the recent opioid epidemic and heroin epidemic in America it seems that having the “drug talk” with your children is becoming mandatory, but you cannot have the drug talk unless you yourself are informed and educated. If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, chances are that you might have experienced or know someone who experienced drugs. I understand that you may want to keep this part of your history a secret from your kids, but you can also use it to get through to them.Getting “real” with your kids about what is really going on, and letting them know you’re not oblivious to drug use. The drugs that were around in the 60s and 70s are still here today unfortunately, but even newer drugs such as bath salts, saliva, spice and kratom are in head shops located on street corners next to high schools in every major city in America. Which means parents need to be educated on speaking wit their children about drugs. But where do you go to get educated? If you’re reading this article, this is a good start

As a parent is it up to you to determine what’s best for your children throughout their growth. Some parents will never speak to their children about drugs, some will instill anit-drug messages from the moment they’re born. Kids that receive “the talk “usually have strict house rules and are less likely to experiment with drugs and develop a habit. Some experts suggest that having this talk with them at the ages of 8-10 is a good time to start. This may seem early, and you can certainly wait it out longer if you want to. Keep in mind that 62% of teens who admit to drinking had their first full drink by the age of 15, and that kids as young as 11 are statistically likely to encounter others who drink or do drugs. Equipping them with the necessary tools to identify alcohol related or drug related situations can help them make smart decisions.

What Do Your Kids Already Know?
It is possible that you may be amazed about what your child already knows about drugs and alcohol. The sponge like minds of children will absorb information from the internet, movies, TV and friends. Before starting off the conversation, ask them what they already know about drugs and alcohol. You can ask them if they have seen substances before, or if they have ever been offered them. Allowing them to ask questions opens the conversations to be two ways, preventing it from being a lecture.

Communicate the Risks
A lot of teens use drugs and alcohol because of the fun side of the substances. Informing your child about the risks of using drugs and alcohol could and may prevent them from trying them out on their own. Using alcohol or drugs irresponsibly can send them to the hospital, get them kicked out of school or land them in jail. Even a one-time use can turn them into an addict, or potentially end their life. There’s a fine line when communicating the risks, between painting an honest portrait and coming off as extreme. The facts speak for themselves. Deliver the message with a calm yet firm tone: substance use is a dangerous thing. If they aren’t careful, it can destroy their life.

Warn About Peer Pressure
Many first time users use because it is what their peers are engaging in. Peer pressure doesn’t always seem like pressure; it can be a casual suggestion to use. Your children might find themselves in a situation after school which they’re presented with the drug from one of their friends, trusting their friendship they might engage in this drug using. Peer pressure comes in all shapes and sizes. Help them identify common peer pressure situations, such as parties, and how to respectfully decline an offer from someone they know. Teenagers especially may be worried that saying “no” in certain situations can make them appear “lame,” and that their social standing is at risk. Make sure they know this is far from true, and that people who think for themselves and stand their ground demand respect from their peers.

Set Clear Expectations
Ensure that your children know your views on drugs and alcohol especially while living under your roof. Establish healthy boundaries and rules about substance use. Being upfront with this will not make your children love you any less or resent you. On the contrary — children in these situations feel more cared for and looked after, and are more likely to want to make their parents proud.

Ending on a Positive Note.
The message you’re bringing them may make you seem like a dictator, trying to scare your kids straight. You’re their parent, and want them to live long and happy successful lives. Your tone and body language should put them at ease, showing them you’re on their side. Let them know they can come to you any time they have a problem. Encourage them to be themselves. Parents may dodge the drug talk out of fear it will somehow damage the relationship. But when done properly, talks like these should only bring families closer together.

More likely than not, you’ll want to revisit these topics as your children grow into teens and progress through school. With each year that passes, the temptation to experiment often grows and grows, along with the availability and variety of harmful substances. They’ll make new friends, see new places, and gain new responsibilities — somewhere along the way, your advice to them may slip through the cracks. Maintain an active, constantly-evolving relationship with your children. Continue to educate them on what they’ll encounter, what to avoid and how to handle various scenarios. The older and wiser they get, the more comfortable you’ll become with sharing personal experiences and bits of wisdom to help them succeed. They’ll also have more to lose should substances enter their life. If you see an opportunity to talk with your kids about drugs or alcohol, don’t let it pass you by.

Probuphine : First Implant to Treat Heroin Addiction and Opioid Addiction

Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and partner Braeburn Pharmaceuticals won approval for the first implant in the U.S. to treat heroin and opioid painkiller addictions, which have reached epidemic levels. On Thursday The Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) approved Probuphine. This implant is the first of its kind, and is intended for people who are addicted to opioids and heroin. The FDA announced its approval of the anti-addiction delivery device which is inserted under the skin of the supper arm and administers buprenorphine in a continues does for six months. Currently, buprenorphine is only available in a pill or sublingual film. In the mist of the opioid and heroin epidemic that plague the nation, this device has caused an intense debate. Some say it will be beneficial for addicts seeking recovery where treatment options are limited, while others criticize and warn that this device remains largely unproven. Members of the FDA advisory believe one of the biggest benefits is that once the device is implanted in the addict’s arm, it releases the medication on its own. Unlike the oral forms of the drug, there will be no risk of the drug being sold on the streets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have pored over the data and declared Friday that the 28,647 deaths from prescription opioids and heroin set a record in 2014. Deaths involving powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl rose by more than 80 percent, and a number of states experienced large increases in overdose deaths from the previous year, CDC also said. More than 6 in 10 drug overdose deaths were caused by opioids in 2014 as the prescription drug epidemic continued to worsen and the pace of heroin fatalities surged even more rapidly. Everyone seems to be looking for answers to solve the crisis in America, some believe that Probuphine is not it. Former advisory committee chair Judith Kramer, argued against the approval of the device, saying the implants clinical trial data did not prove it is safe and effective. She noted that even some trial participants needed supplemental buprenorphine for relief, which suggested that the implant dose was too low and that it would be tough to eliminate pills altogether.

Buprenorphine and another treatment for opioid addiction, like methadone, trick the brain into thinking it’s still getting opioids. Unlike buprenorphine, methadone users must enroll in a treatment program. Doctors who want to prescribe the Probuphine implant to patients must take a four-hour training program that includes practice implanting the device. Richard Rosenthal, who helped lead the implants clinical trial, said the value of this device is providing a steady level of medication into the bloodstream, allowing an individual to avoid the peaks and troughs that can increase cravings, and avoid the risk of relapse.  The clinical trials showed results that a substantially higher percentage of people on the device managed to stay off illicit opioids for the entire six months, compared to those on the oval versions.

The only downside of the fix is that it may cost a great deal based on market demand. While the company making the drug promises to be reasonable in pricing, one never knows exactly how that will go in reality.

“The company says it will price the implants to be competitive with other injectable treatments used to battle opioid addiction, including a shot that costs about $1,000 a month. Buprenorphine pills, in comparison, typically cost $130 to $190 for a month’s supply.”

The company is exploring “value-based reimbursement programs” to provide insurers with rebates if the overall cost of care for a group of patients on Probuphine exceeded the cost of treatment either for the same patients in a prior six-month period or for a comparable group of patients taking other forms of buprenorphine or other anti-addiction medication.

The Failed War On Drugs: Opioid Addiction

The United Nations General Assembly gather in New York for the first time since 1998 for a special hearing on the Failed War on Drugs earlier this year. President Nixon began the war on drugs in 1971 proclaiming “Americas public enemy number one in the United States is Drug Abuse”. In order to win the war President Nixon, lead an all-out offense attack on the prohibition of drugs, military intervention, and a foreign aid to reduce the trade of illicit drugs. America punished manufacturers, locked up traffickers and suppliers and treated the drug addicts as criminals. During this process our police departments militarized and expanded and the prison systems ballooned. With all our efforts, the problem is still here today. The War on Drugs has gained much criticism in the past decade, arguing that it has burdened taxpayers without resulting in a significant reduction in addicts abusing drugs. “Several Decades of scientific research have made it clear that our current approach to this drug epidemic simply isn’t working “said Medical Director Dr. Michael Lowenstein. He has observed firsthand how the War on Drugs has failed the very people it was intended to save. “Under our current drug policy, rates of heroin overdose have quadrupled since 1999. Clearly, we can be doing more to help those who are vulnerable to opiate dependence. Addicted patients and their families deserve an updated, scientifically grounded, compassionate approach to global drug policy. This must include access to the best heroin addiction treatment available.”

Overdose deaths from opioids drugs like heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone continue to be the leading cause of unintentional deaths for Americans, rising 14% from 2013 to 2014. Every 19 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose.

The United Nations commissioned a 54-page drug report to evaluate the global progress towards the goal of eradicating drug abuse created by the John Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health. The report stated that the existing drug policies are not scientifically grounded and have contributed to excessive use of incarceration. The report also points out the barriers to humane and affordable treatment. The UN report proposed changes to such as access to harm reduction services such as naloxone, or supervised injection sites, and decriminalization of minor drug offenses. Much like President Obamas plan, the UN report calls for expanded access to effective treatments for drug dependence to help drug addicts.

President Obama Plan:

  • On top of expanding access to MAT, the White House announced other initiatives:
  • providing an additional $11 million to increase access to naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug.
  • establishing a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force.
  • Ensuring that mental health and substance use benefits are offered as medical and surgical benefits are for those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • A $7 million initiative by the Department of Justice toward policing and investigating heroin distribution.
  • Guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services for federally funded needle exchange programs.

Over the past month, federal agencies have been aggressive in implementing new strategies to help fight the epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new opioid prescribing guidelines. The guidelines, aimed at primary care prescribers, state that opioids should not be considered as first-line therapy for chronic pain and that clinicians should first consider non-opioid pain relievers or non-drug alternatives, such as exercise, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

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