What Are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic Opioids | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Synthetic opioids are in a class of drugs that are human made and designed with a chemical makeup similar to opiates and semi-synthetic opioids that are derived naturally from the opium poppy. They include both prescription and illicit fentanyl and its analogs, carfentanil, methadone, U-47700, and Tramadol.

More specifically, although the chemical structure is similar between synthetic opioids and their natural counterparts, the compounds that make up synthetic opioids are exclusively made by humans, typically in a pharmaceutical lab.

This process is different than that used for natural opiates like the alkaloids codeine, morphine, and thebaine, which are extracted from opium pods and then refined and made into medication. Also different are semi-synthetic opioids, which include medications such as Oxycodone which derived from thebaine but also partially humanmade.

About Synthetic Opioids

Synthetic opioids are frequently used as cutting agents in other drugs such as heroin or pressed into pill form and sold on the black market as counterfeit painkillers or anti-anxiety medication. Because synthetic opioids are so potent and can be added to other dangerous drugs with the user unaware, accidental overdose is very common.

A tragic example of this occurring involved the death of the artist Prince in 2016. By his bedside was found a bottle of pills labeled as Vicodin. It was later discovered that the pills actually contained the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, and later this drug was determined to be the cause of his untimely death.


Synthetic Opioids | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Fentanyl is among the most common synthetic opioids found in the United States. First developed in 1974, fentanyl is a powerful drug about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

The drug is produced en masse by both drug companies for legal, legitimate purposes and by illicit drug manufacturers for illegal distribution. Currently, there are a number of fentanyl analogs that can be found on the street. These analogs are slight variations from one another that are potentially even more harmful to the body, and they are being introduced into the drug market with no prior or current approved medical use.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an analysis of opioid-related overdose fatalities found that synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have exceeded prescription painkillers as the most common drug involved in overdose deaths in the United States. A letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that nearly half of opioid-related fatalities in 2016 involved fentanyl.

This report examined 2010-2016 mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System that includes information on all deaths in the United States, based on death certificates submitted by coroners and medical examiners and coroners. Results revealed that among the 42,249 opioid-related overdose fatalities in 2016, 19,413 (45.9%) involved fentanyl, while 17,087 (40.4%) involved prescription painkillers and 15,469 (36.6%) involved heroin.


Carfentanil is considered to be the most powerful opioid in the world. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and was created for use as a large animal tranquilizer. The powder form of the drug has been used as a deadly cutting agent in heroin. The illegal use of carfentanil has further increased the dramatic rise in opioid overdose deaths in the U.S.

Although not commonly found throughout the U.S., carfentanil has killed thousands of people in Ohio in the last few years, a trend that appears to be related to the inclusion of carfentanil into the cocaine supply, and to a lesser extent, meth. Moreover, most of these victims used these stimulants without knowing that lethal carfentanil had been used as an adulterant—the users had little or no tolerance to opioids.

Synthetic Opioids and the Opioid Epidemic

Between 2017-2018, deadly drug overdoses increased by 10% in the U.S., rising to a total of more than 72,000 Americans. The popularity of particularly deadly synthetic opioids continues to make up a majority of the ever-increasing death toll. Deaths from prescription opioids, which were blamed for the onset of the drug epidemic, began to level off around 2011, and many parts of the country even experienced a reduction.

Synthetic opioids, however, have added fuel to the fire. In what has been referred to as the “second wave” of the opioid epidemic, drug traffickers began using synthetic opioids to simulate the effects of other drugs. This strategy can be very profitable for dealers because fentanyl is inexpensive to make, and a little goes a long way.

Fentanyl is usually cheaper to make that cocaine or heroin, and when used as a filler or substitute, it also greatly increases the potency of the products and, subsequently, the user’s pleasure. And, because it is much stronger than heroin, it is even more addictive. If a person survives fentanyl use and does so repeatedly, he or she will likely be so strung out that even going back to regular heroin could prove very difficult.

The Effects of Synthetic Opioids on the Body

Synthetic Opioids | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

The effects that synthetic opioids have on the body is similar to that of other opiates and opioids, which primarily act on the brain and spinal cord. Prescription opioids are controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with predesigned potencies and uniform effects on the body. Illicit synthetic opioids, however, are unregulated. This means that drug potency can vary in the manufacturing process, between individual batches, and from dealer to dealer, depending on how and with what other adulterants it is cut.

Using synthetic opioids to seek a stronger “high” usually results in an intensification of symptoms and the potential for overdose. Regardless of whether these drugs are administered orally, sublingually (under the tongue), intranasally (snorted), smoked, or intravenously, the general effects are similar.

Differences in effect include variations in intensity, time of onset, and, of course, the method of administration. Physical symptoms of opioid include feelings of well-being, pain reduction, drowsiness, sedation, and nausea.

Newer, more powerful synthetic opioids and their analogs are always being produced. Unfortunately, standard detection tests that can discriminate between opioids have yet to become accessible to coroners, emergency medical staff, or hospitals. Data does not yet confirm that synthetic opioids are innately more or less addictive than other opioids.

Treatment for Addiction

Synthetic opioid addiction is a very serious disorder. Each year, thousands of people are killed by accidental overdoses involving synthetic opioids. Many who die are not even aware that the drugs were in the product they were purchasing, which may have included cocaine, meth, or heroin.

Currently, drug markets are rife with incorrectly marketed products and drugs combined with other substances unknown to potential users. As such, anyone suffering from drug addiction is at a high risk of unintentional overdose, regardless of their drug of choice.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive treatment for substance abuse in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. Our programs include clinically-proven services vital to the process of recovery, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

MAT is especially beneficial for those dependent on opioids because medications such as Suboxone can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings and help people better focus on their recovery from the onset.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to prescription or illicit drugs or alcohol, contact us today. Discover how we help people who are motivated to recover to break free from the cycle of addiction and reestablish happy and fulfilling lives!


Roofies | Date Rape, Abuse, and Addiction | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Rohypnol, commonly known as “roofies,” is not approved for use in the United States. Nonetheless, like other benzodiazepines, it is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV substance, indicating that it has a lower potential for abuse than other drugs and does have some legitimate medical purpose.

Rohypnol, along with GHB, is among the best-known date rape drugs. Despite its relatively low scheduling, it is frequently abused for its sedative properties.

What Are Roofies?

Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) and other benzodiazepines (e.g., Ativan, Xanax, and Valium) act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Roofies are reportedly ten times stronger than Valium and is commonly used in other countries such as those in Europe and Latin America for the treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders.

Rohypnol As a Date Rape Drug

There have been a large number of cases of unintentional Rohypnol use. During the college years, an estimated 1 in 4 women experience date rape or attempted rape, and a significant amount of these incidents involve substances such as Rohypnol and alcohol.

Rohypnol was first synthesized in Switzerland in 1975, intended for medical use. Soon, however, instances of misuse were reported throughout Europe. Sexual predators began frequently employing the use of Rohypnol by secreting dropping a pill in a person’s drink without their knowledge. After it quickly dissolves and is consumed, the perpetrator is free to take advantage of the unsuspecting victim who ingested it.

Rohypnol has been most commonly found as a white, odorless and flavorless drug, making it almost impossible to detect when it’s been slipped into a drink. Some manufacturers reformulated it into green tablets that make drinks blue when mixed, making it more identifiable. Both types of pills are still being produced, however, and cases of date rape involving use of the drug are still a problem in the United States.

How Are Roofies Used?

Rohypnol pills are often swallowed, either with water or alcohol, or chewed and then dissolved sublingually (under the tongue). Pills typically come in 0.5-2 mg doses, but users may take many to intensify the effects. Some users will crush the pills and snort the remaining powder, smoke it with marijuana, or sometimes even inject it.

Also, people who use heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, or LSD might use Roofies to either amplify the positive effects or temper the adverse effects of these drugs. Rohypnol and alcohol is, unfortunately, a popular and infamous combination at both clubs and parties. Once Rohypnol enters the body, effects take about 20 minutes to onset and can last for 12 hours or longer.

Roofies | Date Rape, Abuse, and Addiction | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Origins of Rohypnol in the U.S.

Although physicians do not prescribe Rohypnol in the U.S., there is enough demand that shipments have frequently been smuggled in from abroad. It may be procurable by asking around at a club or on the Dark Web, as drug trafficking websites have illicit substances to be ordered and shipped to addresses in the U.S.

In 1996, the Drug-Induced Rape Prevention Act increased the restrictions and penalties associated with the use of the drug. Being found in possession of Rohypnol can lead to a fine and up to 3 years in jail, and importation or distribution is punishable by as much as 20 years.

Symptoms of Rohypnol Abuse

Some people, especially teenagers and young adults, abuse Roofies in an attempt to manage co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety or insomnia, or solely for the sedative high that Rohypnol induces.

If someone is abusing Rohypnol, you might notice some warning signs, which can include the following:

  • Extreme lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Confusion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor work or school performance
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Apathy

Effects of Rohypnol Abuse on the Brain

Roofies work to depress brain function and CNS activity, and it can accomplish this to a profound degree. It has a potent tranquilizing effect, and many users have described it as “paralyzing.” This dramatic reduction in activity in the brain and body is compounded when it is used in conjunction with alcohol.

This overall effect helps to explain why people who have the drug slipped into a drink without their consent become vulnerable and incapacitated. Death from an overdose of Rohypnol is much more likely to occur when alcohol use is involved.

Other mental side effects of Rohypnol can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Short-term amnesia
  • Blacking out
  • Long-term memory impairment
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stupor
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination

Effects on the Body

The incapacitating effects caused by Rohypnol are both physical and psychological. As brain activity slows dramatically, the body’s functions will also experience a similar reaction. Some of these effects may be evident to others, but some are internal, and may not be identified until they result in a medical emergency.

Physical side effects of Rohypnol may include the following:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Weakness
  • Impaired motor control
  • Visual disturbances
  • Low blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Urinary retention
  • Profound respiratory depression
  • Tremors

Roofies | Date Rape, Abuse, and Addiction | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Rohypnol Addiction and Withdrawal

If a person begins regularly abusing Rohypnol, he or she may soon discover that habit can be quite challenging to quit. Both psychological and chemical dependence hallmark Rohypnol addiction. These conditions are more like two sides of the same coin.

Psychological dependency becomes apparent when the person starts engaging in compulsive drug-seeking behaviors to fulfill an emotional need. This type of dependence can develop with regard to the use of nearly any psychoactive substance—marijuana, for example. Rohypnol, just like cocaine and heroin, can also result in what is called a chemical or physiological dependence.

When a person misusing Rohypnol discontinues drug use, he or she may encounter highly unpleasant symptoms of drug withdrawal. This effect is the result of the body’s intense reaction to the drug’s sudden absence and is a tell-tale sign that the person is chemically dependent.

Withdrawal symptoms of Rohypnol addiction can include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Tingling sensation
  • Numbness of the extremities
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Shock

Rohypnol withdrawal can induce seizures up to a week after a person’s last use. Rohypnol treatment typically consists of a prolonged supervised detox period that often involves a drug taper or gradual reduction in doses over the course of several weeks.

Many cases of addiction develop as users are simply trying to avoid withdrawal. If you recognize symptoms of Rohypnol misuse in yourself or someone you love, you should seek help as soon as possible to prevent further abuse and the myriad of risks associated with this behavior.

Getting Help for Rohypnol Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to Rohypnol, other drugs, or alcohol, the best path to recovery is through specialized treatment. This path may entail detox, followed by a partial-hospitalization or outpatient program.

Through the use of comprehensive treatment programs, Midwood Addiction Treatment offers help to those who are motivated to recover from substance abuse. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that is most effectively treated using an integrated approach that includes therapy and medication, as well as holistic elements, such as proper diet and exercise.

Our team of addiction specialists employs evidence-based services vital to the process of recovery, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and aftercare planning. We are dedicated to providing people with the tools, resources, and support they need to become sober, prevent relapse, and foster satisfying lives, free from the use of drugs and alcohol!

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol?

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? | Midwood Addiction

Detox is the process of removing toxins, including alcohol, from the body. During this time, people with alcohol dependence may suffer from a variety of unpleasant and potentially life-threatening symptoms.

For people with mild-moderate alcoholism, withdrawal symptoms may onset within a few hours after the last drink and can last between 5-7 days. For persons with severe alcoholism, withdrawal effects may not completely resolve for two weeks or more.

The duration of alcohol detox depends on several factors, including the severity of a person’s alcohol addiction. The more intense the substance use disorder is, the longer detox may take.

Alcohol Withdrawal Side Effects

Withdrawal can be broken down into three separate stages of severity:

Stage 1: Mild

  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Foggy thinking
  • Moodiness
  • Heart palpitations

Stage 2: Moderate

  • Increased body temperature
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Rapid respiration
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Mood disturbances

Stage 3: Severe (Delirium Tremens)

  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Severe confusion
  • Extreme agitation

It takes about 6-12 hours for the first stage of alcohol withdrawal symptoms to begin and is often hallmarked by symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, headaches, shakiness, nausea, and vomiting.

Between 24-72 hours, symptoms peak, and stage 2 symptoms can rapidly onset and include disorientation, increased blood pressure and body temperature, and irregular heart rate. Stage 3 symptoms also manifest during this time and in severe cases, may include hallucinations, fever, and seizures.

Symptoms may start to subside between 5-7 days and gradually diminish in intensity. After the first week, some of the side effects, particularly those that are psychoemotional, may continue for several weeks unless properly addressed. When these symptoms persist, the condition is referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? | Midwood Addiction

Professional Detox

Alcohol rehab offers a safe, comfortable place for people to undergo detox. Trained medical professionals can administer medication-assisted therapy to relieve the most painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms, thus expediting the detox process.

During detox, the first phase is to monitor and control the physical symptoms until the patient’s system is relatively stable. This step is often accomplished through the administration of medications to treat symptoms such as nausea, dehydration, seizures, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines like Ativan are commonly used during alcohol withdrawal to reduce overactivity in the central nervous system that can occur as it attempts to restore equilibrium.

Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and body temperature should all be closely monitored, and measures should be taken to ensure that they stay within safe levels. Those dependent on alcohol also frequently suffer from malnutrition. As such, a healthy diet with supplemental support and a dedicated sleep schedule may mitigate some of the withdrawal effects and help the body heal faster.

In summary, a medical detox program provides the most comprehensive and supportive environment during all stages of alcohol withdrawal.

Detox from Severe Alcohol Addiction

For those people suffering from especially severe alcoholism, detox can take longer. Chronic alcoholics may experience a condition known as delirium tremens (DTs) when they stop drinking abruptly. DTs is a collection of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including extreme confusion, hallucinations, and tremors. This condition often affects individuals with late- or end-stage alcoholism.

Fortunately, DTs is a relatively rare condition. According to research, about 3-5% of people hospitalized for alcohol withdrawal will develop delirium tremens. A small percentage of those will die due to complications, but fatality is more likely when the person does not receive medical treatment.

DTs may not start for one or two days after alcohol is eliminated from the bloodstream, and can occur without warning. For this reason, alcohol withdrawal should be closely supervised by a healthcare professional who can continually monitor vital signs and ensure the client’s safety during the detox process. Stopping one’s drinking abruptly —or “cold turkey”—is never recommended without clinical supervision.

Factors That Affect Alcohol Withdrawal Duration

The alcohol withdrawal timeline is influenced by several factors, such as the severity of alcohol dependence and addiction, medical history, presence of a co-occurring mental health condition, stress levels, and a family history of addiction or childhood trauma. The use of other drugs, in addition to alcohol, can also affect withdrawal and increase the potential risks and side effects.

The more alcohol-dependent a person has become, the more likely the person is to encounter severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, many people without extremely severe addictions will not go through every stage of withdrawal (e.g., delirium tremens). A person’s tolerance to alcohol and the intensity of his or her addiction are two of the greatest factors that determine the length of time it takes to detox.

Other factors that influence how long alcohol detox lasts include the following:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Biological sex
  • Mental health status
  • Overall health status
  • Genetic predispositions
  • Other substances present in the body
  • How much the person typically drinks
  • How long the person has been drinking heavily
  • Whether they binge on occasion or drink on a daily basis

Addiction Treatment

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? | Midwood Addiction

After completing detox, people with alcohol dependence should enter a comprehensive treatment program. Here, individuals can work on changing their feelings toward alcohol, manage their cravings, and find more effective ways of coping with stress.

Once the physical symptoms are under control, mental health professionals who specialize in substance abuse treatment can help people reduce some of the more powerful emotional symptoms associated with withdrawal. Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations are all possible outcomes that can be managed by medications coupled with psychotherapy, counseling, and other treatments and forms of support.

Preventing relapse is also an essential part of any alcohol detox and treatment program, and 12-step groups and individual therapy can provide continued support throughout recovery, into aftercare, and beyond. To help prevent relapse, detox centers may prescribe one or more of the following FDA-approved medications to help reduce alcohol-related cravings: disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. These medications work in various ways to manage withdrawal symptoms and discourage those in recovery from drinking again.

Getting Help for Alcoholism

As noted, detoxing from alcohol should not be done at home. Medical detox is usually necessary to prevent relapse and ensure the person’s safety as their body endures the withdrawal process, which in some cases can be life-threatening.

Midwood Addiction Treatment is a specialized rehab center that offers outpatient detox services as well as comprehensive treatment in partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. We also employ medication-assisted therapy as a part of our detox and recovery process.

Research has shown that psychotherapy and counseling, in addition to group support and other therapies, are vital for recovery, and those patient outcomes are significantly improved when they receive these services. Our staff of highly-skilled addiction professionals is trained to deliver treatment to clients with compassion and expertise. We are dedicated to providing them with all the tools they need to achieve a full recovery.

If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol addiction, please do not go through it alone. From detox to aftercare, we help people free themselves from the grip of addiction and foster the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve! Contact us today to discover how!

Home Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal

Home Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Home Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal – For those with a dependence on alcohol, quitting for good can seem impossible. Alcohol addiction results in highly unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and cravings upon cessation. It is these effects that often compel those in recovery to relapse.

Although going through alcohol withdrawal at home without medical supervision is not advised, people frequently do choose this method. Those who, for whatever reason, believe themselves unable or unwilling to undergo a medical detox should be aware of the risks involved. Also, under no circumstances should this process be done alone without someone else present in case of an emergency.

Note: While detox in a specialized facility that also includes additional therapeutic services is ideal, without insurance or financial means, this may not be achievable. However, unless a person does not have access to 911 or emergency services, there is no reason why medical detox is out of the question. These services are available to everyone, even those without insurance. A hefty bill may come later, but it’s worth it to ensure your safety during this process.

Risks of Home Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal

Some individuals opt to detox at home for reasons that come down to comfort. Keep in mind that this “comfort” is usually more psychological than physical, however. Safety and physical comfort are often better achieved with medical detox, as medications can be administered that mitigate many of the worst effects of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, there is some unpredictability associated with detoxing from alcohol. In addition to the possibility of immediate relapse, there is also a very real potential for severe depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. Finally, a complication known as delirium tremens (DTs) can occur. This condition is characterized by confusion, hallucinations, and seizures, and can ultimately result in death.

Home Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal: Preparation

If you do decide that an at-home detox is right for you, it’s vital that you try your best to do it safely. The following are some things to consider when undergoing alcohol withdrawal at home:

Remove all alcoholic beverages from the home. This first step may sound self-evident, but it’s a critical action to take when detoxing. Moreover, when you first begin to encounter withdrawal symptoms, you may not be able to control your cravings. It’s much better to evade the temptation altogether.

Make sure your schedule is free for several days, if possible. For some, clearing one’s schedule for this amount of time seems impossible, but it’s necessary for detox to be successful. There will be benefits from taking time off work or school and temporarily relinquishing some responsibilities to focus on staying sober and on track to recovery.

Find support! Just because you’re enduring an alcohol detox at home doesn’t mean you should suffer through it by yourself. Find a family member or friend who can keep you safe during this process and can get help if withdrawal symptoms get too severe.

Hydration and Nutrition During Detox

Home Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcohol withdrawal results in a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms typically last between 24-74 hours and may significantly curb appetite. But remember that these symptoms are normal, and make sure to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated during this process as it will help clear your body of toxins.

Water, juice, and broth are all healthy choices during the early stages of withdrawal. However, don’t forget that eating healthy is also a vital component of your recovery because alcohol alters how your body metabolizes and uses nutrients.

Once you can begin eating again, it’s essential to focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet. Eat foods from all four food groups in sufficient amounts to meet your caloric needs. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, but don’t forget to include lean protein and whole grains.

Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

If you detox at a hospital or inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment center, you will likely be prescribed medications to help mitigate withdrawal symptoms. While at home, though, you won’t have that luxury. But there are over-the-counter vitamins and mineral supplements you can take, however, that may be beneficial and help eliminate toxins. Some of these include B- vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and multivitamins.

Pros and Cons

Alcohol withdrawal can be a dangerous process, which is one reason why most medical providers and addiction experts maintain that it is best handled in a clinical environment. Alcohol detox causes physical and emotional symptoms that can be severe and, in many cases, very difficult to endure without medical assistance.

While withdrawing at home may seem like the best course financially, it’s also very risky. While a detox at home is most often warned against by medical professionals, of course, it can be done. If you choose to detox from alcohol at home, make sure you’re in a safe environment without access to alcohol and have support readily available from family or friends who can help you safely get through it.

If the symptoms of alcohol detox become too painful or severe, you should seek help from a medical professional immediately.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

If you choose to undergo medical detox, this will be the first step in treatment for addiction. Those who opt to go through withdrawals at home should also strongly consider specialized treatment following this process. After the body has rid itself of toxins, those motivated to make a full recovery should seek professional treatment.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers outpatient detox services and professional treatment that is comprehensive, customized for the individual, and comprised of evidence-based modalities, including psychotherapy, counseling, and group support.

Contact us today! We are dedicated to providing people with the tools and support they need to reclaim their lives and enjoy long-lasting sobriety, happiness, and wellness.

Alcohol Detox Symptoms

Alcohol Detox Symptoms | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcohol Detox Symptoms – Most Americans 18 and over have consumed alcohol at some point in their life. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 87% of the U.S. adult population has drunk at least one unit of alcohol. Unlike most other psychoactive addictive substances, alcohol is legal to consume for those over age 21 and is readily available.

Many people consume alcohol regularly and have minimal or no issues. Patterns of binge or excessive drinking, however, can suggest that a person has a problem with alcohol consumption, according to NIAAA.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

Alcohol detox symptoms do not rigidly follow a specific schedule but manifest on a general timeline that fluctuates between people according to individual factors and the severity of their dependence on alcohol. The alcohol detox and withdrawal timeline includes the following stages that begin after the last drink has been consumed:

Stage 1: 8 Hours Later

The early hours after drinking has subsided may be characterized by nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, and anxiety. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression and fatigue
  • Foggy thinking
  • Moodiness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors

Stage 2: 24-72 Hours Later

Elevated blood pressure, body temperature, breathing, and heart rate can be experienced during this time. These symptoms often peak and rapidly onset at this stage. Other symptoms may include sweating, confusion, irritability, and moodiness.

Stage 3: 3-4 Days Later

Agitation, fever, and, more rarely, delirium tremens (hallmarked by hallucinations, seizures, and severe confusion) may manifest at this time.

Stage 4: 5-7 Days Later

Most symptoms usually start to subside, decreasing in severity. Psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, however, may persist for much longer.

Alcohol Detox Symptoms | Midwood Addiction Treatment

More About Alcohol Withdrawal

The severity of alcohol detox symptoms can vary significantly, and are influenced by several factors, including the following:

  • Duration of alcohol use
  • Average amount consumed
  • Medical history
  • Stress level
  • Liver function
  • Presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • Family history of addiction and substance abuse
  • History of childhood trauma such as neglect or abuse

Using other drugs in conjunction with alcohol can impact the withdrawal process and increase potential risks and side effects. The more dependent on alcohol an individual has become, the more likely the person is to experience more intense withdrawal symptoms.

The most severe (but, fortunately, the rarest) form of alcohol withdrawal is known as delirium tremens (DTs). This condition occurs in about 5% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal, and it can be deadly without treatment. About 1 in 20 who suffer from DTs will die, but this rate is significantly reduced among those people who receive medical treatment. DTs will probably not onset until a day or two after alcohol is totally eliminated from the bloodstream, and it can manifest suddenly and without warning.

It is for this reason that the withdrawal process should be closely supervised by a health care provider to ensure the patient’s safety throughout alcohol detox. Moreover, quitting drinking suddenly or “cold turkey” is never recommended without the help of medical supervision. Alcohol withdrawal can lead to life-threatening complications, as the brain and central nervous system (CNS) experience a “rebound” after being consistently subjugated by alcohol for a prolonged period.

Managing Symptoms During Medical Detox

After physical symptoms have been controlled, mental health specialists can help the person overcome some of the most severe emotional side effects of withdrawal. Sometimes this emotional instability, if not adequately managed, can become even more challenging to deal with than the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Medications can help to treat anxiety and depression, especially when used in combination with therapy and counseling. Preventing relapse is a vital part of any alcohol detox program, and group support and individual therapy can offer resources for clients throughout detox and beyond.

Alcohol detox centers may administer one or more of the following medications, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to lessen alcohol-related cravings: disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. These medications work to manage the symptoms of withdrawal and discourage patients from drinking again.

Naltrexone works by binding to and blocking opioid receptors in the brain, thereby reducing cravings and the potential rewards commonly incurred from alcohol use. Acamprosate is indicated to treat long-term withdrawal symptoms, and disulfiram causes people to become violently ill if they drink, therefore making drinking undesirable.

A fourth medication, the anticonvulsant drug topiramate, has also shown promise for the treatment of alcoholism by interfering with the way alcohol “rewards” those who abuse it. Topiramate’s primary function is to reduce abnormal excitement in the brain.

Alcohol Detox Symptoms | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcohol withdrawal shouldn’t be undertaken without the supervision of health care providers in a medical setting or detox center, as symptoms can manifest and accelerate quickly. Even after the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have been controlled or have subsided, protracted withdrawal, or the long-lasting experience of emotional symptoms and cravings, may persist and can result in a relapse without the proper level of support and treatment.

During medical detox, the first step is to monitor and manage any existing physical symptoms and achieve stabilization. Medications are often used to relieve symptoms such as dehydration, nausea, seizures, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines, particularly Ativan, are commonly used during alcohol detox to mitigate over-activity in the CNS that may manifest as the body begins to restore its natural order.

Also, blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, and body temperature are all closely monitored, and measures can be taken to ensure that they remain within safe levels. Some people who are dependent on alcohol may also suffer from malnutrition due to poor diet and the effects that alcohol has on bodily organs and the digestion of nutrients. Various vitamin supplements and the implementation of a healthy diet and regular sleep schedule may reduce withdrawal side effects and facilitate the healing process.

How Alcohol Impacts the Brain

Alcohol use boosts the brain’s levels of dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure. For this reason, alcohol can temporarily improve mood, increase self-confidence, and lessen inhibitions. As alcohol is cleared from the bloodstream, however, these feelings quickly subside.

Repeated interference in dopamine levels can cause the brain to become accustomed to the presence of alcohol and, as a result, stop producing dopamine at healthy levels without exposure to the substance.

The more alcohol a person consumes, the more a person’s tolerance builds and the more dependent on it the brain may become. Tolerance is a byproduct of the brain’s capacity toward “repeated exposure = diminished response” in response to exposure to psychoactive substances. When the effects of alcohol subside, a dependent person will encounter highly unpleasant and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild to lethal.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction After Detox

Following detox, those who have an alcohol use disorder are urged to participate in a partial-hospitalization or intensive outpatient program that uses an integrated approach which includes evidence-based treatment modalities, such as psychotherapy, psychoeducation, counseling, and peer group support.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers outpatient detox and medication-assisted treatment. We employ caring, highly-competent addiction professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with the resources and tools they need to achieve abstinence, avoid relapse, and enjoy long-term happiness and sobriety.

We can help restore sanity to your life! Please contact us today to discover how we can help you on your path to recovery!

Mixing Valium and Alcohol

Valium and Alcohol | Midwood Addiction Treatment

While Valium is considered to be relatively safe for most adult users when used as directed by a doctor, mixing Valium and alcohol or taking it with other drugs can result in severe side effects, including the following:

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Stumbling
  • Accidents
  • Nausea
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Addiction
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Death

What Is Valium?

Valium (diazepam) belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines (benzos). Diazepam is commonly prescribed as a sedative/anxiolytic and anti-seizure agent, and to help people with anxiety or insomnia to help them relax or fall asleep. It is also sometimes used to treat muscle spasms, restless leg syndrome, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

The benzo family also includes other popular anti-anxiety medications, such as alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). Benzodiazepines are scheduled substances because they do have the potential for abuse.

Misusing Valium or abusing it with other drugs or alcohol also increases the likelihood of developing chemical dependency and addiction. As noted, Valium is considered to be safe for most adult users when taken as prescribed by a doctor. However, abusing this medication by combining it with other medication, illegal drugs, or alcohol poses significant risks.

Some users combine Valium and alcohol or use it with other drugs to amplify their euphoric effects, but some take Valium in conjunction with other substances without knowing they are compromising their health and safety. To prevent excessive sedation, injury, or overdose, it is vitally important to be aware of the possible interactions of Valium and other intoxicating substances.

Valium and Alcohol | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Effects on the Brain and Body

Valium acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to reduce activity by means of GABA receptors (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a naturally occurring agent made from glutamate in brain cells. GABA is the body’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter and is responsible for inhibiting nerve impulses when we are placed in stressful situations.

Overall, Valium has a depressant effect that helps to prevent seizures and muscle spasms. It can also have a sedating effect on the user and make him or her feel drowsy.

Drug and Alcohol Contraindications

The dangers of Valium dramatically increase when it is used at the same time as other drugs or alcohol. In particular, the following substances, when combined with Valium, pose a heightened risk of overdose, loss of consciousness, coma, and death:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Barbiturates
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone
  • Illicit opioid drugs, such as heroin and street fentanyl
  • Other benzos or sedatives, such as Xanax
  • Sleep medications, such as Ambien

Many of these substances are CNS depressants, meaning that they reduce activity in the brain and slow down various physiological processes. Combining these drugs with Valium can amplify the effects of both, making the user more vulnerable to the dangers of profound CNS depression.

The use of Valium in conjunction with stimulants like cocaine or meth can also threaten the user’s health and safety. Abusing multiple substances increases the risk of dangerous drug interactions, overdose, addiction, accidents, and death.

The abuse of Valium with alcohol, opioids, or other prescription medications is not always intended. Some people with legitimate prescriptions for Valium drink alcs drug, unaware of the potential hazards. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIDA) warns that benzos like Valium can increase the sedating effects of alcohol, making the user even more drowsy, confused, disoriented, and susceptible to accidents or injuries.

Risk of Overdose

According to the Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), benzos like Valium were involved in more than 408,000 emergency department visits in 2010. Among patients who overdosed on Valium, alcohol is often used in conjunction with this medication, intensifying its sedative effects. In fact, MMWR reported that more than 27% of ER visits related to benzos also involved alcohol and that over 26% of the those who died as a result of benzo use had also consumed alcohol.

Opioid medications such as Percocet, OxyContin, Dilaudid, and Vicodin are commonly prescribed in the United States to mitigate moderate-severe pain. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine stated that in 2012, there were nearly 182 million prescriptions written for opioid medications.

Furthermore, it also claims that the growing accessibility of these drugs was partially responsible for the increase in ER visits involving other substances such as alcohol and benzodiazepines. The Journal added that a significant number of patients treated for an opioid overdose in an emergency department setting also tested positive for benzo use.

Like Valium, opioid painkillers can depress certain CNS activity but have a more potent effect on respiration and heart rate. When used alone, Valium is unlikely to result in severe respiratory depression or a dangerously slow heart rate. But, when taken with opioids, these substances can enhance CNS depression produced by Valium, making it more likely that the user will encounter one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Slow breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Bluish lips or fingernails
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Stumbling
  • Loss of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

When a person’s heart rate becomes so depressed that blood and oxygen are no longer delivered to the brain and respiration becomes so labored that the body is no longer receiving oxygen, he or she is at risk of death. While some lethal overdoses are accidental, others are deliberate and planned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that benzos such as Valium were among the leading drugs used in suicide deaths between 2005-2007 and that 31% of suicides involved prescription drugs and alcohol.


Valium and Alcohol | Midwood Addiction Treatment

The use of Valium and alcohol or with other drugs places the user at a higher risk of chemical dependency and addiction. Valium and other depressant substances can have a symbiotic effect, heightening the user’s response to the drugs. Users who have experienced the amplified effects of multiple substances may no longer be content with using a single substance, especially when a variety of drugs and alcohol are easily accessible.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out that people who already have substance abuse disorder, such as opioid addiction or alcoholism, are more likely to abuse benzos than the general population. Indeed, a large percentage of patients in addiction treatment programs abuse benzos in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol.

Also, people suffering from alcohol addiction sometimes use Valium to avoid the potentially dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as tremors and seizures. Valium is prescribed in some detox programs to help counteract some of the more severe effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Regardless, it is unsafe and illegal to take diazepam a manner not in accordance with a doctor’s orders. Moreover, the only safe, effective way to withdraw from alcohol, benzos, opioids, or other drugs is through a professional detox program that provides intensive clinical supervision.

Treatment for Valium and Alcohol Addictions

Individuals who abuse Valium and alcohol, or take it with other drugs, have what is called a polysubstance use disorder. This condition can be more dangerous than an addiction to any one substance alone.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers an integrated approach to addiction that includes therapeutic services essential to the process of recovery, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and more.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction Valium, alcohol, or a combination of substances, contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the jaws of addiction and learn how to lead healthier, more satisfying lives!

Flexeril High

Flexeril High | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

The drug Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a prescription muscle relaxant often used to treat back pain and, occasionally, for less common disorders such as muscular dystrophy. It works by controlling muscle spasms that originate in the muscle itself, versus other drugs that reduce pain in the nerves that control the muscles. Flexeril is less addictive than other painkillers (e.g., opioids), but there is still is a risk of abuse and dependence.

The Flexeril High

In addition to relief from spasms and the pain associated with them, the physical effects of Flexeril may also include feelings of relaxation, drowsiness, and a sense of “floating” that might be considered by some to be similar to a relatively mild high. This effect usually only occurs during first-time uses, or if it is misused and taken more frequently or in higher amounts than directed. Also, the effects of being high may be intensified if the drug is used in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol.

The general guidelines for prescribing Flexeril for persons 15 years of age and older recommends 5-10mg doses three times per day. The Flexeril high itself isn’t typically as euphoric as with some other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as benzodiazepines. However, it can induce long-lasting feelings of relaxation and calm that may encourage some users to experiment with it.

How Do People Abuse Flexeril?

Flexeril medication can be easily be dissolved in alcohol or crushed and snorted, two methods of administration that can produce a more intense high. As opposed to 5-10mg as directed, recreational doses are often much higher and can range from 20-80 mg or more.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has found that most people who abuse Flexeril do so by combining it with other illegal or prescription drugs. The reason for this is because cyclobenzaprine intensifies the effects of other CNS depressants, such as alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and opioids.

Risks of Flexeril Abuse

Flexeril abuse can result in an overdose, the effects of which can be dangerous and include fluctuations in body temperature, irregular heartbeat, and convulsions. Recreational use can also lead to the development of tolerance and physical dependence.

Tolerance is a condition that builds over time and results in the user’s need to use increasing amounts of the drug to experience the desired effects. Dependence is hallmarked by a need to use cyclobenzaprine regularly in order to function properly.

The development of both tolerance and dependence frequently leads to compulsive drug-seeking behavior. These three elements together form the cornerstone of addiction, which can result in long-term implications and adverse health effects.

Flexeril High | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Risks of Mixing Flexeril With Alcohol

The combination of Flexeril and alcohol can lead to severe problems in the central nervous system, the consequences of which can be fatal. Mixing Flexeril and alcohol is especially dangerous because both of these substances are CNS depressants.

One of the most vital bodily processes that these two drugs can impact is respiration. When used alone in excess, alcohol itself can slow respiration to perilous levels (alcohol poisoning), and Flexeril abuse can also lead to dangerously slow breathing. When Flexeril and alcohol are combined, however, the effects of each other can compound and increase the risk of severely depressed respiration even further.

Alcohol use can also increase the side effects of cyclobenzaprine, including dizziness, difficulty concentration, and drowsiness. As a result, persons who use both substances in conjunction may be more likely to injure themselves or others. As such, it is strongly advised that a person abstains from alcohol while they are being treated with Flexeril.

People that mix Flexeril and alcohol also may not think clearly and may be more susceptible to making bad choices, therefore resulting in more risks to the user’s well-being. Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, experiencing falls, and other risks of physical harm may be more likely when abusing Flexeril in conjunction with alcohol. In fact, there have been a number of deaths related to the use of Flexeril and alcohol together that occurred due to physical harm caused by over-intoxication.

Flexeril Side Effects

Flexeril has the potential to cause severe CNS complications as well as mental health issues, including disorientation, anxiety, and, in extreme cases, psychosis. The most common side effect is drowsiness, and therefore, those who are using it should avoid responsibilities that require attentiveness and focus until they know how it will affect them.

Some may not experience much drowsiness, while others may feel it profoundly. Other common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, and dizziness. Flexeril also contains antihistamines (allergy medication) that can cause some of the side effects.

Research indicates that Flexeril abuse can cause liver damage, including inflammation and swelling if a person misuses the drug. Liver damage can also result in jaundice, or bile can be diverted from the liver into the intestines. Similar to chronic alcohol use, Flexeril abuse can cause permanent and potentially life-threatening damage to the liver and other vital organs.

Flexeril abuse can also cause neurotransmitters to malfunction in the brain, possibly resulting in the following:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision problems
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Unusual thought
  • Intense fear

Flexeril Overdose

It is possible to overdose on Flexeril. Common effects include extreme drowsiness and an irregular heartbeat that can be fast and pounding, often accompanied by anxiety and difficulty breathing.

Less common effects include:

  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Coma
  • High blood pressure
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle stiffness

Rarely, a Flexeril overdose produces life-threatening symptoms, including the following:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Chest pain
  • Cardiac dysrhythmias
  • Severely low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Flexeril High | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Overdose Risk Factors

There are several individual factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of experiencing a Flexeril overdose, including the following:

  • Height and weight
  • Dose amount and time duration of use
  • Pre-existing cardiopulmonary issues
  • Other pre-existing health problems, such as overactive thyroid, incontinence, enlarged prostate, glaucoma, and liver disease

Flexeril Addiction Treatment

Getting treatment for addiction has many benefits, including gaining insight into what factors led to the problem in the first place. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers an evidence-based approach to addiction comprised of services essential to the recovery process. These services include cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, peer support, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning, among others.

Moreover, we employ caring addiction professionals who provide clients with the knowledge, resources, and support they need to achieve abstinence, prevent relapse, and ultimately reclaim their lives. We know that there are challenges and perceived barriers associated with addiction recovery, and we are committed to supporting and encouraging you throughout the entire process.

If you or someone you know is abusing Flexeril, other drugs, or alcohol, please contact us today! We can help you find the answers you need and get you started on your journey to sobriety and a healthier, more fulfilling life!

What is Norco?

What is Norco? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Norco is a prescription painkiller administered to patients for the treatment of moderate to severe acute (short-term) pain. It contains a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. Both drugs work to mitigate pain, and acetaminophen also works as a fever-reducer.

Due to the inclusion of hydrocodone, Norco has the potential for abuse and addiction. Hydrocodone is a moderately potent opioid that can cause dependency due to its effect on the brain’s reward system – namely, the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that are responsible for feelings of well-being.

Norco use can result in adverse side effects, including the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood changes
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Stomach pain
  • Incontinence (difficulty urinating)
  • Profound tiredness
  • Weight loss

Norco is normally administered as a tablet in formulations containing the following hydrocodone to acetaminophen ratios: 5mg/325mg, 7.5mg/325mg, and 10mg/325mg. When abused, Norco can also be crushed and snorted.

What is Norco Addiction?

Due to the addictive properties of opioids, Norco use can result in addiction even when taken in prescribed doses. Signs of a Norco dependency may include the following:

  • Obsession with obtaining and using Norco.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities once enjoyed.
  • Poor performance at work, home, or school.
  • Financial problems or legal issues related to excessive drug use.
  • Continued use or misuse of hydrocodone despite undesirable physical and psychological side effects.
  • The use of hydrocodone in hazardous or inappropriate situations (e.g. operating a motor vehicle).
  • Negative changes or issues related to relationships and social life.
  • General malaise, fatigue, or sedation.

Snorting hydrocodone can also cause nasal infections and damage to the septum and surround tissues.

Tolerance and Dependency

What is Norco? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

When hydrocodone is misused for a prolonged period, tolerance and dependence can develop. Tolerance is the result of the brain’s propensity to respond to certain substances by reducing their overall effects – namely, repeated exposure = diminished response. Tolerance often prompts users to consume more of the drug in an effort to achieve the person’s desired effects (e.g. euphoria, relaxation, pain relief.)

Dependency is a condition in which the brain is no longer able to function “normally” without the presence of a particular drug or alcohol. Efforts to reduce intake or cut back result in unpleasant side effects called withdrawal symptoms.

These effects are often the catalyst for relapse, and their severity is largely impacted by the amount of the average dose and frequency/duration of use.

Symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Severe headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal aches and pains
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stuffy nose and flu-like symptoms
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness – depression or anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Confusion and paranoia

Overdose Symptoms

Abusing hydrocodone, especially in combination with other drugs such as benzodiazepines or alcohol can result in life-threatening central nervous depression, overdose, and death.

Symptoms of a hydrocodone overdose include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • Restricted pupils
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Pale skin, blue color to lips and nails (cyanosis)
  • Limp body and cold, clammy skin
  • Unresponsiveness/Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Extremely slow heart rate
  • Extremely slow labored respiration
  • Stopped breathing/respiratory arrest
  • Coma
  • Death

Of note, an overdose of acetaminophen is equally, if not more dangerous than the effects of hydrocodone overuse on its own. Acetaminophen is highly toxic at excessive doses and can cause liver damage and failure within days of use.

Symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • General malaise/ill feeling
  • Inability to eat or poor appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion

An overdose of Norco is a medical emergency. If you or someone is experiencing the above symptoms related to Norco abuse, please call 911 immediately.

Treatment for Addiction

What is Norco? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Persons suffering from an addiction to Norco should seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Treatment usually begins with a medically-assisted detox, a process in which the patient is supervised around-the-clock for several days and medication is administered to prevent complications and reduce symptoms of withdrawal.

Following detox, patients are urged to participate in a long-term residential or intensive outpatient treatment program. Both tracks include individual and group therapy, counseling, 12-step program meetings and complementary therapeutic approaches such as yoga, meditation, and music and art therapy.

Residential patients reside at the center for 30 days or longer and benefit from 24/7 medical care and emotional support. Outpatients live at a private residence or sober living environment and visit the center several times per week for therapy and counseling sessions. These patients benefit from treatment services and recovery support while transitioning back into society.

After intensive treatment has been completed, former patients can take advantage of aftercare planning services and alumni activities that serve to provide long-term professional and peer support.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Understanding Alcoholic Neuropathy

Alcoholic Neuropathy | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcoholic neuropathy is a severe disorder caused by heavy alcohol consumption that is characterized by nerve damage and unusual sensations in the limbs, impaired mobility, and loss of some bodily functions.

When a person drinks an excessive amount of alcohol for a prolonged period, peripheral nerves can be damaged, and he or she may start to experience a tingling sensation in the limbs. Peripheral nerves connect both the brain and spinal cord to muscles, limbs, and sensory organs. Using these nerves, the brain is able to regulate parts of the body such as muscles and joints and obtain sensory information.

When alcohol has caused damage to the peripheral nerves, this is referred to as alcoholic neuropathy. People who drink excessively on a routine basis are at risk of developing this disorder. In fact, some experts estimate that nearly two-thirds (65%) of people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) also suffer from alcoholic neuropathy.

How Does Alcohol Cause This Condition?

Heavy, prolonged consumption of alcohol can result in malnutrition as well as nerve damage, and both are key contributing factors in the development of alcoholic neuropathy. Alcohol can impair the processing, transportation, and absorption of vital nutrients.

Some people with an AUD also have inadequate food intake, which can result in deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, and E, as well as thiamine, niacin, and folate. Deficiencies in these essential nutrients can negatively imp0act overall health and prevent nerves from functioning correctly.


Alcoholic neuropathy can manifest in different ways. Some people may experience only one symptom, while others have many.

People who drink heavily regularly and have one or more of the following symptoms in the affected areas should contact a doctor as soon as possible:


  • Cramps
  • Loss of movement
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle spasms or contractions
  • Numbness or loss of sensation
  • Pins and needles sensations
  • Tingling or prickling sensations

Urinary and Bowel System

  • Incontinence
  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Impaired speech
  • Infertility in men
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Nausea or vomiting

Alcoholic Neuropathy | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcoholic Neuropathy Diagnosis

An esophagogastroduodenoscopy examination may be performed to diagnose alcoholic neuropathy. Several other tests can be used to diagnose alcoholic neuropathy, and more than one is often necessary. These include a blood chemistry test, electromyography, nerve biopsy, and upper gastrointestinal and small bowel series.

A doctor will also conduct a neurological examination to evaluate a person’s reflexes, coordination, muscle strength, and sensory function. He or she may also test the functioning of the liver, kidneys, and thyroid and order blood tests to check for nutritional deficiencies.

Treatment for Alcoholic Neuropathy

Identifying the symptoms early and seeking treatment can reduce the risk of permanent disabilities. The best thing a person suffering from alcoholic neuropathy can do is to discontinue alcohol consumption as soon as possible. Inpatient detox and long-term rehab may be recommended when a person’s alcohol use disorder is chronic and severe. Others may opt for outpatient treatment.

Symptom Management

Alcoholic neuropathy is not considered to be curable and can make daily life challenging, so it is important to begin by managing the symptoms. A treatment plan may include one or more of the following approaches:

  • Vitamin supplementation, including vitamins E, B6, and B12, and others
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers for minor discomfort related to alcoholic neuropathy
  • Prescription pain relievers, such as gabapentin, tramadol, anticonvulsants, or capsaicin cream
  • Medications for urinary problems, such as duloxetine, imipramine, and tolterodine
  • Physical therapy techniques, because gentle activities and exercises and can help improve muscle and balance impairments
  • Orthopedic instruments to aid in mobility, such as pull bars in the bathroom, stair lifts, etc.
  • Other safety measures, including advice for people who are troubled by a loss of sensation
  • Exercise, as recommended by a physiotherapist who specializes in neuropathy

Alcoholic Neuropathy Outlook

Alcoholic neuropathy is a potentially severe condition that can result in chronic pain, loss of bodily functions, and permanent disabilities. However, as noted, recognizing the symptoms early and receiving medical attention can significantly reduce the impact of the disorder.

A person can dramatically improve their outlook by quitting drinking and ensuring that they are receiving the proper balance of nutrients. In addition to treatment centers, a wide range of support networks such as Alcoholics Anonymous are available. Individuals with alcoholic neuropathy who comply with treatments and recommendations often make a partial or even a full recovery, depending on the intensity and duration of their alcohol consumption.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive programs that include evidence-based services vital to the recovery process, such as psychotherapy, counseling, medication-assisted therapy, group support, and more. Our highly-trained addiction professionals are dedicated to providing each client with the resources, support, and care they need to recover and experience long-term sobriety and wellness.

If you or someone you know has alcoholic neuropathy or struggling with an alcohol use disorder, contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction and learn how to lead healthy, fulfilling lives!

Is it Okay to Mix Zoloft and Alcohol?

Zoloft and Alcohol | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

People who use Zoloft and alcohol in conjunction may experience suicidal thoughts, dizziness, nausea, extreme anxiety, headaches, digestive problems, and impaired coordination. Also, the effects of drinking alcohol such as impaired judgment and motor skills or slowed/slurred speech can become more apparent when taking sertraline. Because the interaction between Zoloft and alcohol can be severe, unpredictable, and dangerous in some cases, it is recommended that Zoloft patients strictly limit alcohol use or abstain completely.

Zoloft is the brand name for the antidepressant drug sertraline and is one of the most common prescription medications in its class used today. Zoloft is most often prescribed to minimize symptoms of depression, anxiety and panic attacks, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

For those who experience one or more of the above conditions, Zoloft can help improve mood, increase appetite, and decrease fear or anxiety. Zoloft can also be useful for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder by reducing the urge to engage in rituals and repetitive behaviors.

Sertraline is classified as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that works by balancing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical message that helps regulate mood, social behavior, appetite and digestion, and sleep. For those who are experiencing depression or another mood disorder, balancing serotonin can be an effective solution.

At the time of this writing, Zoloft and generic sertraline are available by prescription only. Zoloft is a small tablet that is taken orally once daily, ideally before or after a meal. While using sertraline, patients may notice some improvement in mood and physical symptoms in just a few days. However, it can take up to two months to experience the full effects of a prescribed dose.

Side Effects Of Zoloft (Sertraline)

The most common side effects of Zoloft (sertraline) are nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Other less common side effects include increased sweating, headaches, insomnia, upset stomach, and diarrhea. More severe side effects may include reduced sex drive or performance, bloody stools, weight loss, and vision problems.

Mixing Zoloft and Alcohol

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can interfere with mood and compromise the effects of mood stabilizers. For this reason, among others, drinking alcohol with any antidepressant medication is not recommended.

Unfortunately, because Zoloft is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, using it in combination with alcohol with it may be considered to be somewhat routine. However, the Food and Drug Administration warns against mixing Zoloft and alcohol because both substances affect the neurotransmitters in the brain and, if an unwanted interaction occurs, the individual may suffer a blackout.

As noted, sertraline exerts its action by regulating the activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and that is why this particular class of drugs (SSRIs) are called mood stabilizers. Alcohol, on the other hand, works by altering the function of a number of receptors in the brain, including GABA and dopamine, and for this reason, has a high potential to modify behavior and mood.

Alcohol’s action can, therefore, interfere with Zoloft’s primary medical purpose. Unfortunately, many people who are experiencing a mood disorder may be more likely to combine medication with intoxicating substances in an attempt to enhance pleasurable feelings.

Zoloft and Alcohol | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

In Summary

If you have been prescribed Zoloft or generic sertraline to treat a mood disorder, it is vital not to compromise the effectiveness of the medication with other substances. Zoloft regulates serotonin levels in the brain, and alcohol, in turn, affects brain function and mood and often makes depression and anxiety worse.

Therefore, reducing or avoiding alcohol consumption may be instrumental in allowing the sertraline in your system to work safely and effectively as it is intended. Of note, some patients on Zoloft who also drink alcohol can experience blackouts or periods of complete or partial memory lapses, which can place them and the people around them at great risk.

Treatment for Alcoholism

If you are taking a mood stabilizer such as Zoloft for depression or some other mental health disorder, drinking alcohol can compromise the medical purpose of this medication and lead to adverse complications. As such, those who are struggling to reduce their alcohol intake due to an alcohol use disorder should seek professional treatment as soon as possible.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment as well as co-occurring conditions such as depression and anxiety. Our treatments have been clinically proven to be effective and include essential therapeutic modalities including psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, group support, and aftercare planning.

We employ compassionate, highly-skilled addiction specialists who are dedicated to providing our clients with the care, resources, and support they need to recover from alcoholism and learn how to foster healthier and more fulfilling lives for themselves.

If you or someone you love is abusing substances such as prescription drugs or alcohol, please contact us to discuss treatment options. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction once and for all!