What Is Carfentanil?

What Is Carfentanil? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What Is Carfentanil? – Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid comparable in effect to heroin, but it is, incredibly, up to 5,000 times more powerful. It is an analog of fentanyl, another potent painkiller used to treat severe pain and in hospital settings for general anesthesia.

Unlike fentanyl, however, carfentanil is not approved for use in humans. In fact, it is only commercially used to sedate very large animals, such as elephants.

Carfentanil was developed in the 1970s by scientists at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. It is currently classified as a Schedule II substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Carfentanil is so powerful that those who handle it are required to wear protective clothing to avoid incidental skin contact. Indeed, human exposure to even a minuscule amount can easily prove fatal. Carfentanil has been related to hundreds of overdose deaths in the U.S. in recent years, due to dealers combining it with heroin and other drugs.

Of note, it is possible for a person to build a tolerance to opioids high enough to sustain the use of carfentanil. However, most who ingest it are unaware that this lethal substance has been mixed with or substituted for their drug of choice. The presence of carfentanil in illicit street drugs such as heroin and cocaine is an increasingly worrisome problem.

Side Effects of Carfentanil

Due to its potency, the most common and tragic effect of carfentanil use is death. Those who use carfentanil and do not die will encounter effects similar to those associated with heroin or fentanyl.

Besides a brief euphoric high and sedation, side effects of carfentanil may include the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impaired memory
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Depressed respiration
Street Names for Carfentanil
  • Apache
  • China White
  • China Girl
  • Drop Dead
  • Gray Death
  • Goodfella
  • Serial Killer
  • Tango and Cash
  • TNT

Carfentanil Addiction

What Is Carfentanil? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Carfentanil has a high potential for addiction when used. Addiction is hallmarked by tolerance and dependence, two conditions that develop over time with abuse.

Tolerance occurs because, with regular abuse, the brain stops responding as intensely at it once did—repeated exposure = diminished response. As a result of this reduction in effects, users are forced to consume an increasing amount of the substance to achieve the desired experience. For this reason, those who develop a high tolerance are also at a much greater risk of overdose and death.

Dependence occurs when the brain becomes used to the presence of a drug. When this happens, it can no longer function normally without it, and highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms onset when the person tries to quit. These withdrawal symptoms are not usually deadly, but in the most extreme cases, they can be.

Addiction also leads to many adverse behaviors that reflect its true nature. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences
  • Stealing or borrowing money to support one’s habit
  • Neglect of important obligations associated with work, school, or family
  • Engaging in drug-related criminal activity and encountering legal issues as a result
  • Financial problems
  • Family conflict and interpersonal problems

Overdose

A carfentanil overdose can only be effectively treated with Narcan (naloxone). This remedy is an opioid antagonist that reverses the drug’s effects and halts life-threatening central nervous system depression.

Signs of an overdose may include the following:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Shallow or stopped breathing
  • Slow, erratic, or absent pulse
  • Pale or bluish skin and nails
  • Snore-like gurgling noise
  • Vomiting
  • Limpness
  • Clammy or cold skin

Treatment for Carfentanil Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers professional, evidence-based services for substance use disorders. Treatment for carfentanil abuse usually begins with a medically-supervised detox. During this process, the patient is monitored for several days to ensure his or her safety. Medications, such as Suboxone, can be administered to minimize withdrawal symptoms and ease drug cravings.

After completing detox, patients are encouraged to enroll in a comprehensive treatment program. During this time, they will receive corrective interventions, such as psychotherapy and counseling. Treatment also usually includes 12-step group meetings and holistic practices, such as yoga and meditation.

Many individuals begin treatment in our partial hospitalization program, then proceed to intensive outpatient treatment. Some reside at their private residence, and others choose to live at sober living homes while they visit our center several times a week to continue recovery.

After discharge, aftercare coordinators help the patient find other resources, such as counselors, psychiatrists, and group support programs.

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

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.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.

888-MAT-1110
⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Is Oxycodone an Opiate?

What Are Opioids?

What Are Opioids?

Updated: 7-31-19

What are Opioids? Why are They So Dangerous? Opioids are synthetic drugs designed to replicate the effects of natural opiates (i.e., opium and morphine) from which they are partially derived. They are indicated to treat moderate-severe acute pain, such as after injuries and surgeries.

Types of Opioids
Opioids are commonly prescribed legally by health care providers and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • codeine
  • fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, etc.)
  • hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER)
  • hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Norco, Vicodin)
  • hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • meperidine (Demerol)
  • methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  • morphine (MS Contin, Morphabond)
  • oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet)

How Opioids Work?

Opioids are chemicals that contribute to pain relief by attaching themselves to corresponding receptors in the brain cells of animals. Once bonded, the cells transmit signals that stifle feelings of pain and increase feelings of well-being.

However, opioids alter one’s perception of pain more than they actually numb or block it. This effect can lead to increased sensitivity to pain, also known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia.

Other possible side effects and dangers of opioid abuse include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Heavy sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Skin rash

Tolerance, Dependency, and Addiction

What are Opioids? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Opioids have a high potential for misuse, dependency, and overdose. Their psychoactive properties impact a number of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine that produce euphoria and feelings of reward.

Signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Continued opioid use despite unwanted physical and psychological effects.
  • Lack of interest or enjoyment in activities once considered important.
  • The use of opioids in dangerous or inappropriate settings.
  • Negative changes or problems in other areas of life such as work, school, relationships, and financial status.
  • General malaise, lethargy, or sedation.

When used long-term (more than a few days) opioids can become addictive. Addiction is fueled by dependency (withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation) and tolerance (increasing amounts of the drugs are needed to achieve the same effect.)

Dependency decreases one’s desire to quit or cut down, due to the unpleasant effects of withdrawal. The onset of withdrawal symptoms is a tell-tale sign that the user’s system has become compomised and less capable of functionally properly without the drug’s presence. These mental and physical symptoms often persist for several days after the user’s last dose.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal may include but are not limited to the following:
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Appetite changes
  • Tremors
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Chills and shivering
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Fever
On the other hand, tolerance drives users to take higher doses, which can lead to potentially life-threatening central nervous system (CNS) depression, a condition characterized by slowed breathing and heart rate.

Also, when combined with the use of alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other CNS depressants, an opioid’s impact is exponentially greater than when used alone. The effects of other substances can be enhanced as well, meaning the risk of overdose and death is significantly higher.

Opioids and Overdose

Opioid misuse, especially in combination with other drugs or alcohol, can lead to life-threatening central nervous depression, overdose, and death.

Symptoms of an opioid overdose include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Restricted pupils
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pale, blue lips and nails
  • Limp body
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Respiratory distress
  • Seizures
  • Extremely slow heart rate
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma and death

From Detox to Addiction Treatment and Beyond

Despite the dangers of opioid addiction, may who misuse prescription painkillers such as oxycodone downplay the seriousness of their condition. Refusal to seek help can result in chronic, life-threatening effects. Conversely, receiving treatment at any stage of addiction is absolutely crucial to long-term sobriety.

Detox

Treatment for opioid use disorder starts with our medical detox program, a process in which health care providers monitor patients around the clock and administer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as needed to lessen cravings and mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. MAT is a therapy that makes use of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of opioid use disorders, such as methadone and suboxone.

Upon discharge, most patients seek admission to one of our treatment programs, which include both inpatient and intensive outpatient therapy (IOP).

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Persons who choose inpatient treatment stay reside in our center 24/7, ideally for 30 days or longer. Those who require more freedom due to school, work, or family responsibilities can opt for IOP treatment, a program that requires the attendance of several scheduled sessions per week while the patient lives independently outside of the center.

Why Seek Our Help?

Opioid use disorder is extremely hazardous and even life-threating. It is an incurable disease that is best treated through ongoing therapy, counseling, and support. Those who receive treatment are given the opportunity to regain control of their addiction and well-being while enjoying long-term sobriety – hopefully for the rest of their lives.

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

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.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.

888-MAT-1110

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System? – Tramadol is a prescription opioid sold under the brand name Ultram, among others. It is prescribed for the treatment of moderate-severe pain.

Tramadol can be identified in the body using the following tests:

  • Urine, which can detect use within two hours of use and up to 40 hours.
  • Hair follicles, which can detect use for up to 90 days, possibly longer.*
  • Saliva and blood, both of which can detect use for 24 hours.

*Duration is approximate. One study found tramadol in a person’s system after seven months.

The process of tramadol elimination begins in the liver, and it has a half-life of 5-6 hours. One metabolite created during this process has a longer half-life of 8 hours. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes for a person’s system to clear half of the consumed substance.

Individual factors can affect how long tramadol and its metabolites remain in the system, including the following:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Metabolic rate
  • Hydration levels
  • Amount used
  • Duration of use

How Is Tramadol Used?

Like other opioids, tramadol works by attaching to and activating opioid receptors in the brain and body. When tramadol binds to certain receptors, a person’s perception of pain is altered, and, as a result, the person experiences pain relief.

Tramadol is also a monoamine reuptake inhibitor, which means that it increases the availability of chemicals in the body that induce feelings of well-being, such as serotonin. This effect is thought to contribute to its effectiveness as a pain reliever.

The effects of immediate-release tramadol will be experienced for about 4–6 hours. Extended-release tramadol can produce effects that last for about 12-24 hours.

Is Tramadol Misused?

When used as prescribed, tramadol is a relatively safe and effective medication that can help people who experience pain. Abuse of this drug, however, increases the risk of dependence and addiction.

The non-medical use or abuse of tramadol is hazardous and can result in an overdose. Abuse includes using tramadol more often, in higher doses, or for longer than directed. It also includes tampering with tramadol, such as crushing pills and snorting the residue.

Tramadol may also be a product of drug diversion. Moreover, a person may receive the drug from friends or relatives and use it without a prescription. It may also be purchased on the black market.

The Food and Drug Administration includes a warning label on tramadol packaging. It states that it has a potential for abuse and that use of this medication can lead to physical and psychological dependence. There is a higher risk of this occurring for those who have a history of substance abuse.

Overdose

One of the most dangerous risks of abuse is an overdose, which can be lethal. Symptoms of a tramadol overdose include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Constricted pupils
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Profoundly depressed breathing
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Bluish tinted skin
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Stupor
  • Coma

The risk of a lethal overdose is increased if tramadol is used in combination with other depressant substances, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other opioids. An overdose is a medical emergency. If you witness signs of an overdose in someone, call 911 immediately.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System? – Tramadol Detox

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Withdrawal symptoms will onset after about 12 hours after last use. These will peak in intensity within 1­-3 days after the last use then recede by approximately one week.

Withdrawal symptoms can include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Pupil dilation
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle pain

Medical detox may be beneficial for those with a tramadol dependence. In a supervised environment, the person undergoing withdrawal is monitored for potential health complications and can receive emotional support. Medication-assisted treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms, such as the administration of Suboxone, may be provided as well.

Getting Help for Tramadol Addiction

Fortunately, there are many treatment programs available to help those in need to navigate through the addiction recovery process. Midwood Addiction Treatment is a specialized rehab facility that offers treatment in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats.

Treatment is hallmarked by psychotherapy, counseling, and group support, and it may also include medication-assisted treatment. We also offer substance abuse education, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning, among other services.

Co-occurring conditions, such as mental illness or chronic pain, can also be addressed in a rehab program. This integrated treatment is essential to reduce the likelihood of relapse and improves the overall physical and mental well-being of those in recovery.

Our team of caring addiction specialists is committed to ensuring that each client receives all of the tools they need to fully recover from addiction. We believe that every person deserves a chance to be happy, regardless of their past mistakes.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to Tradamol, other drugs, or alcohol, contact us today!

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Methadone Withdrawal and Detox

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox – Methadone is a synthetic opioid used in medication-assisted treatment to help people quit the use of heroin or other opiates. It should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment program that also includes counseling and participation in social support programs.

When used as directed, methadone can relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and decrease opioid cravings. Less commonly, methadone may be prescribed for pain management to those who have been unable to find relief with other opioids.

Although methadone can help a person overcome addictions to drugs like heroin, it also has the potential for abuse and addiction. Detractors of methadone use contend that it is essentially like trading one drug for another. However, the truth is that methadone is effective at reducing the harm done from more powerful opioids, as long as it is used correctly.

Becoming dependent is common with long term methadone use. If a person with a dependency stops using it, they will encounter unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The best way to manage withdrawal is through a gradual reduction in dosage or professional detox treatment.

Methadone Withdrawal at Home

When a person abruptly stops using opiates, the withdrawal process isn’t usually life-threatening. However, if a person uses methadone in large amounts or over a prolonged period, stopping the use of this drug can result in severe symptoms. These include depression and suicidal thoughts, which are most safely managed in a clinical setting.

Attempting to withdraw from methadone at-home is not only uncomfortable but potentially dangerous. Detoxing from methadone abruptly or “cold turkey” is not recommended, especially if the person is a chronic and/or excessive user. Medical supervision can ease withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and reduce the risk of suicidal thoughts.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methadone withdrawal symptoms can onset within 30 hours of the last use. Withdrawal from methadone is slow and may last for a few weeks or longer.

Symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal include the following:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes or a runny nose
  • Chills
  • Excessive yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Drug cravings

The first signs of methadone withdrawal are frequently described as flu-like symptoms.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

Within about 36 hours following the last dose of methadone, many people begin to encounter withdrawal symptoms. This process can take days to weeks. The first few days of withdrawal is referred to as the acute phase.

Early symptoms of withdrawal likely to onset include rapid heartbeat, chills, and cold sweats. Shortly thereafter, some of the most unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may also occur. These may consist of physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, body aches and pain, and increased anxiety. Most of the worst physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as nausea and vomiting, will have subsided after 7-10 days.

The stage after acute withdrawal is called post-acute withdrawal. Many of these symptoms are emotional and may include depression, anxiety, and irritability. Difficulty concentrating and fatigue are also effects likely to persist, as well as drug cravings.

Tapering

If a tapering process is used, a person who has used methadone for a long period will need a slower, more gradual weaning process. Shorter, less severe addictions may not need an extensive tapering process. Tapering is a method used to gradually reduce drug dosages to promote a more comfortable and safer withdrawal.

While withdrawal will depend on individual factors, there is a standard process for weaning off methadone. It is not recommended to reduce dosages faster than 5 mg of methadone per week. Many methadone taper program will use a dose reduction of 10% every two weeks.

How Long Does Methadone Withdrawal Last?

The length of withdrawal from methadone depends on several factors. These include the length of time used, size of the dosage, and the preferred method of consumption.

A person who uses methadone as directed for three months will likely encounter a relatively short withdrawal process. Conversely, a person who has been abusing methadone for a year or more will be more likely to experience a more intense, extended withdrawal period.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Fortunately, there are several medications available that can ease the methadone withdrawal process.

Suboxone is a synthetic drug like methadone. Its use can decrease methadone withdrawal symptoms and reduce the length of the withdrawal process. It is designed to increase the comfort of patients during withdrawal, which in turn can decrease the risk of relapse.

Clonidine is another medication often used to reduce emotional symptoms that may occur during detox. Clonidine is approved for the treatment of high blood pressure, but it can also mitigate anxiety and agitation. It may also be helpful for physical symptoms like body aches and runny nose.

During the withdrawal process, Zofran is sometimes also used to treat physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Managing these symptoms helps to avoid dehydration that could otherwise result from excessive vomiting.

Baclofen is a muscle relaxer that can be used to relieve muscle aches, pains, and spasms to make the patient more comfortable. By minimizing these symptoms, the patient is then more free to focus on the emotional aspects of detox and recovery.

Following detox, naltrexone may be prescribed to help patients continue with recovery. This medication reduces cravings and blocks the pleasurable effects of opioids.

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methadone Overdose Symptoms

Those who are abusing methadone in high amounts face the potential for overdose. By some estimates, 5,000 overdose deaths occur each year as a result of methadone misuse. In 2014, methadone accounted for nearly one-fourth (23%) of all opioid-related deaths.

Methadone overdose often occurs because the drug stays in the body for a very long period. For this reason, those in treatment programs are only given a few doses per day. Accumulation of successive doses can have lethal consequences.

Signs of a methadone overdose include the following:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Very weak pulse
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Constricted/pinpoint pupils
  • Dizziness or sloppy behavior
  • Body spasms at irregular intervals
  • Absence of breathing or consciousness

A methadone overdose can result in profound central nervous system depression and death. If you witness someone overdosing on methadone, seek emergency medical help immediately.

Treatment for Methadone Addiction

Supervised withdrawal at a medical detox facility is the best way to ensure that the patient is supported and comfortable. By withdrawing from methadone in a clinical environment, people avoid the worst of the symptoms.

Often, other medications such as Suboxone can be used to treat opioid dependency. Addiction specialists can prescribe buprenorphine for people as they transition away from a methadone dependence. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid with much less potential for abuse.

Detox should be immediately followed by addiction treatment that features therapies essential for recovery, including the following:

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive programs that provide clients with the tools and support they need to overcome addiction and prevent relapse. We believe that every person is entitled to receive the most effective treatment currently available.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the use of methadone, other drugs, or alcohol, contact us today! Discover how we help people who need it most break free from the cycle of addiction for good!

>>>READ THIS NEXT: Snorting Oxycodone

Is Oxycodone an Opiate?

Is Oxycodone an Opiate? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Is Oxycodone an Opiate? – Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller and is among the most abused prescription drugs in the United States. The terms “opiate” and “opioid” are often used interchangeably, but they do refer to some differences between similar drugs.

The term “opiate” is often used in reference to natural compounds in the opium poppy. Opium can be extracted from the plant and contains the chemical compounds morphine, codeine, and thebaine.

Semi-synthetic opioids are opiates that have been chemically modified and work by binding to the same receptors as their natural counterparts. Fully synthetic opioids are entirely manufactured in a lab and include drugs such as fentanyl and methadone.

Many people have moved away from distinguishing between opiates and opioids and use the term “opioid” to denote both natural or human-made substances. If the term “opiate” is applied, it is usually thought of as the naturally-occurring compounds within the opioid class.

Opioids are also technically classified under the term “narcotic.” But, due to the adverse connotations that the term has when associated with illicit drugs, it has largely fallen out of use in medical environments. It might be helpful to think of opiates as being a subclass of opioids, and opioids being a subclass of narcotics.

Oxycodone Definition

Oxycodone is made by altering thebaine, a chemical compound found in opium. It changes the way in which the body perceives pain and also manipulates neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feelings of well-being and reward. Under the Controlled Substances Act, oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II drug, indicating that it has a definite medical purpose but still a high potential for abuse.

Oxycodone is the potent main ingredient in many painkillers prescribed to those who are experiencing moderate to severe pain. Pills come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors depending on brand and dose, and oxycodone is also sometimes prescribed as a liquid. It is often found in a combination product with other drugs, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Although opioids are prescribed primarily to relieve pain, they can have adverse effects such as drowsiness and can lead to chemical dependence. Because opioids have a relatively high potential for abuse and addiction, the use of prescription opioids is strictly regulated in the U.S.

Not all opioids, however, can be prescribed for treatment. For example, heroin, a derivative of morphine, is a semi-synthetic opioid that is illegal and commonly abused by injection.

Common Oxycodone Brands

Among the most common brand names for oxycodone-based drugs include the following:

OxyContin

OxyContin is a controlled-release formula provides relief for chronic pain for up to 12 hours. Many people circumvent the time-release action by crushing and snorting the drug, or by dissolving the tablets in water and injecting the solution. Other modes of abuse include using more than the prescribed dosage, taking the drug for longer than the prescribed length of time, and chewing or injecting OxyContin.

Is Oxycodone an Opiate? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Percocet

Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen and is commonly prescribed for a number of painful conditions that range from mild to severe. Like OxyContin, crushing and snorting Percocet is a common method of abuse.

Percodan

Percodan contains a combination of oxycodone and aspirin and belongs to a class of drugs called salicylates. It works in the body to reduce pain, fever, and inflammation. Although Percodan is not prescribed as often as Percocet, the drug has a high potential for addiction and has contributed to the epidemic of opioid addiction in the U.S.

Roxicodone

Roxicodone is a rapid-release formulation of oxycodone that is used to treat moderate-severe pain. It is often administered to a patient before surgery to sedate him or her and for the management of around-the-clock pain. When abused, such as when a person crushes or melts down the tablets for smoking or injecting, the drug induces a very quick high.

Oxycodone Effects and Abuse

As noted, using more than the prescribed dosage, taking the drug for longer than prescribed by a doctor, or chewing, crushing then snorting, or injecting the pills are all considered abuse of oxycodone. Many people abuse oxycodone for its euphoric effects, which are said to be somewhat comparable to that of heroin.

The effects of oxycodone use include:

  • Intense feelings of well-being
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Confidence
  • Relaxation and calm
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Because prescription opioid use is considered acceptable in our society, it can be challenging to identify or address abuse. Especially in the cases of valid prescriptions, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between an acceptable dose and misuse. Ultimately, it comes down to the adverse consequences the drug has on the user’s life and health. A definite red flag of abuse occurs when a person runs out of their medication too early before their next refill is available.

Common Drug Combinations

Alcohol and benzodiazepines are two of the most hazardous substances to mix with oxycodone. Because oxycodone, alcohol, and benzos are all central nervous system depressants, combining them can result in severe health complications, including death. This deadly cocktail can dramatically reduce breathing and cardiac function to the point of failure. Even if this combination doesn’t prove to be fatal, it can result in irreversible damage to the brain and major organs.

People dependent on oxycodone also frequently abuse marijuana and stimulants. These may be taken in conjunction to either intensify or diminish the effects of oxycodone.

Oxycodone has also been known to be a potential gateway drug for heroin use. When a person addicted to oxycodone cannot access their drug of choice, they may resort to using heroin as a less expensive, more accessible drug with similar effects.

Is Oxycodone an Opiate?: Overdose

Is Oxycodone an Opiate? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

When a person consumes a dose of oxycodone that overwhelms the body and impedes life-preserving physiological processes, such as breathing, they can experience an overdose. An oxycodone overdose can be a terrifying experience that includes a number of life-threatening symptoms. The sooner these symptoms are identified and addressed, the better the person’s odds are of surviving.

Oxycodone overdose symptoms include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pale skin
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Limp body
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Profoundly slow heart rate
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Slow or stopped breathing
  • Seizures

In addition to opioid overdose, as noted, many oxycodone products contain other drugs such as acetaminophen or aspirin, which can come with their own dangers. And, overdose on products containing acetaminophen, for example, can result in life-threatening liver failure.

If you witness any of these symptoms present in a user after consuming oxycodone, call 911, and seek emergency medical help immediately.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Opioid addiction can be a devastating and potentially life-threatening condition that dramatically and adversely affects the lives of those suffering as well as their loved ones.

Midwood Addiction Treatment specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction and offers both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. Our comprehensive programs feature clinically-proven services, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, counseling, psychoeducation, group support, medication-assisted treatment, aftercare planning, and more.

We are dedicated to ensuring that every client receives all the tools, skills, resources, and support they need to foster a new, healthier life for themselves, free from the use of drugs and alcohol. Contact us today to discover how we help people free themselves from the powerful chains of addiction for life!

What Is Gray Death?

What Is Gray Death? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What Is Gray Death? – “Gray death,” or “grey death,” is the name given to a street drug that began showing up in certain regions in the U.S. near the end of 2016 and early 2017. It contains a blend of opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and U-47700 (Pink). Mixtures and potencies vary between doses, and the product is often so strong that use can result in rapid death by overdose.

The name of the drug describes both its color, which is cement-like, and incredibly lethal nature. Indeed, this drug’s extremely high potency can result in instant death—even in small doses with minimal contact, such as through the skin while handling it. This new drug has so far been found in several states in the eastern part of the country, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

What Exactly Is In Gray Death?

Gray Death can be found in a variety of textures, and it is either powder or rock-like in appearance. People who have studied the samples of this new drug cannot fully explain it’s strange, defining, gray color. Although there is no standardized recipe used to in the production of gray death, several opioids are likely to be found in any given sample, and may include the following:

Heroin – Most batches of the gray death drug will probably contain at least some heroin, a semi-synthetic opiate derived from morphine that induces a strong and rapid euphoric high. An overdose of heroin can result in severe complications up to and including a life-threatening overdose.

Fentanyl – Fentanyl as a prescription drug is used in hospitals for general anesthesia and at home for severe pain. This legitimate use is usually in the form of a transdermal patch or lozenge, both of which administer the drug into the system in a prolonged and controlled manner.

Fentanyl is roughly 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin itself. An amount as minuscule as 0.25 mg can result in death when consumed and left untreated. Some fentanyl is diverted from legal prescriptions, but the vast majority is believed to be obtained through international drug markets from illicit labs in China or Mexico.

U-47700 (Pink) – Pink currently is not approved for human use, though it can be purchased on the Internet as a “research chemical.” The heroin-like effects of this drug make it a target of abuse, and it has caused several overdoses.

Carfentanil – Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid used as a tranquilizer for large animals, such as elephants. It is roughly 100 times more potent than fentanyl and about 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Exposure to any amount of carfentanil without the use of protective gear will likely result in death. Fortunately, at the time of this writing, carfentanil’s presence in the U.S. drug market appears to be minimal or non-existent.

Why Is Gray Death Increasing in Popularity?

What Is Gray Death? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Gray death’s prevalence is mostly due to the fact that it is powerful and inexpensive, both for buyers to purchase and manufacturers to produce. It can be purchased on the street for as little as $10, and drug makers can produce it with whatever ingredients they have available at the time.

Another reason for the sudden appearance of synthetic drugs such as gray death is that foreign labs producing drugs abroad and trafficking them to the United States will quickly change their formulations to evade U.S. drug laws. These ever-evolving analogs tend to be increasingly more potent, and with manufacturers constantly changing ingredients, users can never be sure exactly what they’re receiving.

Even with the known risks, some people who are addicted to opioids may be seduced by gray death’s ability to induce a high unlike other drugs out there. Using a drug like this is, in essence, like playing Russian Roulette.

Who Uses Gray Death?

Most users and victims of gray death are those who are addicted to opioids, particularly powerful ones. These individuals may intend to purchase straight heroin but accidentally consume gray death. Heroin use has become increasingly dangerous in the last few years, in large part because so many adulterants are being added to it.

Tragically, it is not only opioid users who can be affected. Those who treat victims of overdoses can become victims themselves. First responders such as emergency medical personnel and law enforcement are at risk if they come into contact with it.

Synthetic opioids can easily be absorbed through the skin or inhaled without the person’s knowledge. There have been reports of police and others experiencing an overdose from having minimal contact with the substance.

Just How Deadly Is It?

The inclusion of fentanyl, carfentanil, and U-47700 places gray death currently among the deadliest drugs on the street. Because a dose that can’t even be seen the naked eye can kill a person, someone trying to take heroin, as usual, can die within minutes. As it is, thousands of Americans are killed each year as a result of overdoses related to heroin, fentanyl, synthetic opioids, and prescription painkillers.

In the last two years or so, overdoses and deaths from gray death have been increasing. Unfortunately, exact numbers are difficult to determine, because toxicology testing and coroner reports do not always identify it as the substance consumed. Moreover, a person who has died after using gray death may have just “drug” (e.g., heroin) reported as the cause of death.

Overdose

What Is Gray Death? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Fortunately, the same methods used to treat a heroin overdose can be used to reverse a gray death overdose, but the process may be more challenging. A person overdosing on gray death might require multiple doses of Narcan (naloxone), and some people may, in fact, need up to ten doses to recover. When this occurs, it can be a major problem because family members and first responders may not have that amount on hand.

If you are concerned that someone you know is getting too high, it is vital that you don’t leave them alone. If the person is still conscious, try to keep them awake and monitor their breathing. If they are lying down, keep them on their side to prevent them from aspirating their own vomit.

The following are signs of an overdose:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Stupor
  • Respiratory depression
  • Choking or gurgling
  • Vomiting
  • Body is limp and pale
  • Bluish nails and lips
  • Pulse is slow or absent

If a person high on opioids is making unfamiliar sounds while at rest, it is worth trying to wake him or her. Many loved ones of opioid addicts think the person is snoring, when in fact they are fatally overdosing.

These situations represent a missed opportunity to intervene as early as possible and save a life. If you suspect someone you know is overdosing on any drug or alcohol, call 911 immediately and stand by for their instructions while you wait for emergency help to arrive.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Opioid abuse or addiction are devastating and potentially life-threatening disorders that require immediate professional help. Midwood Addiction Treatment center offers comprehensive treatment plans that include clinically-proven services, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, medication-assisted therapy, aftercare planning, and more.

Our highly-trained staff provides our clients with the tools and support they need to achieve abstinence, avoid relapse, and end their suffering once and for all. Contact us today to find out how we can help!

What Are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic Opioids | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

What Are Synthetic Opioids? – Synthetic opioids are in a class of drugs that are humanmade 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.

Fentanyl

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

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!

Is Percocet an Opioid?

Is Percocet an Opioid? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Is Percocet an Opioid? – The short answer is yes. Percocet is a potent prescription painkiller that consists of the synthetic opioid oxycodone and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Opioids, sometimes referred to as narcotics, are drugs prescribed by doctors to treat persistent or severe pain.

Opioids are often derived from naturally-occurring alkaloids in the opium poppy (e.g., codeine, morphine, and thebaine) but sometimes are fully synthetic, humanmade compounds (e.g., fentanyl) that act on the brain in the same way. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from thebaine.

Opioids work by binding to proteins known as opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body. When this occurs, the opioids block pain messages transmitted from the body through the spinal cord to the brain.

While opioids they can effectively reduce pain, they carry some risks, and many have a high potential for addiction. The risk of addiction is particularly high when opioids are used to treat chronic pain over an extended period.

Opioid Tolerance and Dependence

When Percocet is ingested, it releases a massive amount of dopamine—a chemical messenger in the body that produces intense feelings of well-being (euphoria). When used regularly, both tolerance and dependence can form, which are hallmark indications of opioid addiction.

Tolerance develops due to repeated exposure to drugs or alcohol. After a prolonged period of regular use, the user’s body will eventually become accustomed and develop a reduced response to the drug. Consequently, they will need ever-increasing amounts of the substance to experience the desired effects.

Dependence also develops over time as neurons in the brain grow accustomed to repeated exposure to intoxicating substances, and can no longer function normally without them. When someone has become dependent on a substance, they will encounter highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit using. These effects are often the main reason why people relapse.

While dependence and tolerance are two key factors in the development of addiction, they are not addiction in and of itself. Addiction is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and an obsession with obtaining and using a substance despite the incurrence of adverse effects in many areas of one’s life.

Symptoms of Percocet Addiction

Percocet addiction can lead to several side effects, including the following:

  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Sweating
  • Impaired coordination

Other Life Complications

Percocet abuse can cause severe social problems in addition to physical and mental conditions. Users may engage in risky, impulsive, or generally detrimental behavior, such as driving while intoxicated, becoming involved in illegal activity, and failing to fulfill important work, school, and family obligations.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Is Percocet an Opioid? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

As noted, the development of dependence is followed by the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the person is not using. Percocet withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Yawning
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle aches and pains

Signs of Overdose

A person who is dependent on Percocet may be more likely to use other drugs such as alcohol or heroin. Although an overdose of Percocet on its own can be lethal, death is much more likely to occur if Percocet is used in combination with other central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

A person in the thralls of a Percocet overdose may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Limpness of extremities
  • Respiratory distress
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Stupor
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Seizures
  • Body spasms
  • Bluing of lips and nails
  • Fainting spells
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death

Ingesting high doses of Percocet can also lead to acute acetaminophen poisoning, which is life-threatening. Symptoms include the following:

  • Jaundice
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Profuse sweating
  • Clammy skin
  • Irritability
  • Confusion

Other complications of a Percocet overdose may include liver damage, kidney or liver failure, urinary tract infection, chronic constipation, and a compromised immune system.

Treatment for Percocet Addiction

Treatment for Percocet addiction usually begins with a medical detox and is closely followed by comprehensive care that includes:

By promoting participation in multiple therapeutic activities using an integrated approach, we aim to foster long-term abstinence and reduce the likelihood that clients will relapse after discharge.

Midwood Addiction Treatment is dedicated to helping people reclaim their lives and free themselves from the chains of addiction. We employ highly-skilled addiction specialists who provide clients with the tools, resources, and support they so desperately need to achieve abstinence and maintain long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction to opioids, other drugs, or alcohol, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options and discover how we can help!

What Is Percocet Abuse and Addiction?

What Is Percocet Abuse and Addiction? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What Is Percocet Abuse and Addiction? – Percocet is a pharmaceutical drug that consists of a combination of the pain reliever acetaminophen and the painkiller oxycodone. While millions of prescriptions for this medication are written each year, it’s highly addictive, and more than 64,000 people are admitted each year to emergency departments due to the adverse effects of oxycodone.

As an opioid, Percocet is chemically comparable to heroin. While the opioid in Percocet is the element that gets some users addicted, many people don’t realize that the acetaminophen can also pose a danger to their lives.

Although oxycodone is potentially deadly, it is much easier to overdose on acetaminophen, which in large doses is toxic to the liver. In fact, many people who die as a result of Percocet overdose are killed by the acetaminophen and not the oxycodone.

For this reason, medical providers recommend limiting the use of acetaminophen to no more than 4000mg in a 24-hour period. This number may be easily ignored, however, when a person is taking multiple pills for their painkilling or euphoric effects in excess of prescribed doses.

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse and Addiction

If you suspect that someone you know may be abusing Percocet, some common signs to look for include:

  • Changes in mood, personality, behavior, goals, or priorities
  • Secretive or deceptive behavior
  • An increase in problems related to either physical or mental health
  • Changes in friendships or social groups
  • The neglect of important responsibilities

The hallmark sign of Percocet addiction – and addiction in general – is continuing to abuse the substance despite adverse consequences, such as loss of a job or recurring health problems. Percocet addiction also results in physiological dependence. If an individual experiences withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit, it’s a telling sign that the person has become dependent.

Effects of Percocet Abuse

Some of the most common side effects of Percocet abuse include the following:

  • Decline in mental health
  • Brain damage
  • Nightmares and insomnia
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Profound weight loss or gain
  • Frequent infections
  • Accidental overdose
  • Use of other opioids
  • Seizures
  • Organ failure, especially the liver

Mixing Percocet with Other Substances

Percocet abuse is dangerous on its own, but if combined with other CNS depressant drugs or alcohol, abuse can prove fatal. When used in conjunction with alcohol, Percocet can stop the heart and dangerously depress respiration, depriving the brain of oxygen.

What Is Percocet Abuse and Addiction? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Who Is at Risk for Percocet Addiction?

Risk factors for Percocet addiction include the following:

  • A history of trauma or abuse, especially in childhood
  • Chronic stress
  • Physical or mental health challenging
  • A family or personal history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Prolonged use of Percocet, even with a prescription

The presence of these risk factors alone does not necessarily indicate that someone will become an addict. Anyone using Percocet can potentially become dependent, and recreational users face a higher risk.

Percocet Treatment Options

Addiction is a disease, and there is no shame in seeking help when you feel you need it. Doing so can prevent more misery and damage to your life – or even save it.

It’s easy to fall into hopelessness when you experience addiction, but this a reflection of the nature of the disease, not reality. Addiction treatment can be successful, and those suffering have a wide variety of treatment options from which to choose.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows patients to continue residing at home while receiving regular recovery services. Schedules are flexible, and people can often adjust the intensity and frequency of treatment sessions to meet their needs. Because patients are not required to remain at a facility 24/7, they can attend to important responsibilities outside of treatment such as those related to family, work, or school.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

When compared to outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs require a significant time commitment. Treatment is rendered during the day, and patients often remain at the facility for all or most of that time, returning home only during the evenings.

Individual and Group Therapy

Psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy allow people to explore the factors that led to their addiction. Psychotherapy helps clients develop improved, healthier coping methods that don’t compromise emotional or physical well-being.

Medical Detox

Detoxing from Percocet can be highly unpleasant, but undergoing a medical detox can make the process safer and more comfortable. Some programs are outpatient, and some require an inpatient stay of several days.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Persons struggling with an opioid addiction can receive medication-assisted treatment, or pharmaceuticals medically-approved to reduce cravings for opioids and relieve symptoms of withdrawal. These include medications such as Suboxone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Seeking Help

Percocet abuse or addiction can be devasting to a person’s physical health and mental well-being. Opioid addiction is a very serious health condition that often produces many adverse consequences, including strained relationships, legal and financial difficulties, and premature death.

Midwood Addiction Treatment specializes in the treatment of opioid abuse and addiction and employs integrated, evidence-based services that are essential to overcoming substance abuse and facilitating recovery.

If you are struggling with an addiction to Percocet, other drugs, or alcohol, please contact us today to discuss treatment options!

Heroin vs. Fentanyl

Heroin vs. Fentanyl | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Heroin vs. Fentanyl: Differences and Similarities – Heroin and fentanyl are both opioid drugs that attach to opioid receptors in the brain, thereby reducing sensations of pain and inducing elevating feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Both are extremely powerful, fast-acting, and can be deadly in just one dose.

Heroin vs. Fentanyl: The Basics

Heroin is derived from morphine, a natural alkaloid that is found in the seed of the opium poppy. Heroin is commonly distributed as a white, tan, or brown powder, or sometimes as a black, tacky substance, aptly referred to as “black tar” heroin.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has classified heroin as a Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical use. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar in effect to both morphine and heroin. However, it is also approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine. The chemical structure of fentanyl is somewhat different from that of heroin.

Fentanyl was first synthesized in 1960 as an extremely effective painkiller. It is still widely used medically to treat severe pain related to injuries or surgery or for chronic pain among those who don’t respond to less powerful opioids. So unlike heroin, fentanyl does have some accepted medicinal use and is therefore classified by the DEA as a Schedule II controlled substance.

Fentanyl can be diverted from legitimate uses for abuse, and it is also manufactured illegally in clandestine laboratories, particularly China. Fentanyl is less expensive and easier to obtain than heroin and is often included as a cutting agent in heroin.

Fentanyl exposure is extremely dangerous, as it can be absorbed through the skin and as little as .25 milligrams can be lethal. Prescription fentanyl can be found in lozenges, sublingual tablets, nasal and oral sprays, as an injectable, and as a transdermal patch.

Also, illicit fentanyl can be made into pills to look like other prescription opioids such as Norco, or be manufactured in powder form. Such is the case involving the death of the artist Prince, who died from a fentanyl overdose after consuming illicit pills labeled as Vicodin.

Overdose and Side Effects

Heroin vs. Fentanyl | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Overdose deaths involving heroin or fentanyl have been increasing each year steadily since the turn of the century. In 1999, there were less than 2,000 deaths in the U.S. involving heroin.

By 2017, that number had risen to more than 15,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, among the more than 70,200 drug overdose fatalities in 2017, the most significant increase took place among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs with more than 28,400 overdose fatalities.

LINK: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

Many of these deaths may be because persons exposed to fentanyl may not realize that it is present in the drug they are taking. It’s often laced into or passed off as pure heroin or other drugs to maximize dealer profits. However, fentanyl is more potent than heroin and can result in a toxic buildup, meaning it can precipitate an overdose faster and in smaller doses.

An opioid overdose becomes life-threatening when the user’s breathing becomes profoundly depressed. Heart rate is also reduced, body temperature decreases, and people may become confused, drowsy, lethargic, or fall completely unconscious, unable to be awakened.

An overdose on either fentanyl or heroin has the potential to cause death. Overdoses on both drugs can be reversed with the prompt administration of the opioid antagonist Narcan (naloxone). Because fentanyl is more potent in lower doses than heroin, it may take multiple doses of naloxone to reverse the toxic effects.

Both heroin and fentanyl abuse can result in permanent damage to the respiratory and cardiovascular system, as well as brain damage and cognitive impairments. Injecting either of these drugs also increases the risk of collapsed veins, track marks, and skin abscesses, and of contracting an infectious disease, such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Tolerance, Dependence, and Addiction

Both fentanyl and heroin have an extremely high potential for addiction. These two drugs can induce intense and euphoric feelings, and physiological dependence can develop rapidly. When the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of an opioid, the body will require the drug to function normally.

For users who have become dependent on one of these drugs, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms onset when the drug effects wear off. These withdrawals may include depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and flu-like symptoms. For many, it may seem better to keep using the drug than to cope with these nasty withdrawal symptoms, and this behavior can quickly result in an inability to control drug use.

Also, frequent drug use over time leads to the development of tolerance, a condition in which the person using requires increasing amounts of the drug in order to achieve the desired effect. Simply put, drug addiction can be defined as compulsive drug consumption driven by altered brain chemistry as a result of routine drug abuse.

Heroin vs. Fentanyl | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Heroin vs. Fentanyl Comparison

Heroin

  • Semi-synthetic opioid
  • Highly addictive
  • Illicit drug with no accepted medical use
  • Manufactured in powder form
  • Smoked, snorted or injected when abused
  • Fast-acting and induces a short but intense rush
  • Potential for rapid onset of overdose, resulting in life-threatening respiratory depression
  • Often requires medical detox and opioid replacement therapy to clear the drug from the body safely, and prevent withdrawal symptoms and relapse
  • Often requires comprehensive treatment for long-lasting recovery

Fentanyl

  • Synthetic opioid
  • Highly addictive
  • Available by prescription in several forms as a potent painkiller and also manufactured illicitly
  • Manufactured as a pill, tablet, lozenge, patch, an injectable liquid, or powder
  • Ingested, smoked, snorted or injected when abused
  • Fast-acting and induces a brief but intense rush
  • Lethal in microgram doses and can be absorbed through the skin by accidental contact
  • Often requires medical detox and opioid replacement therapy to safely clear the drug from the body and prevent withdrawal symptoms and relapse
  • Often requires comprehensive treatment for long-lasting recovery

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

Both heroin and fentanyl are dangerous and potent opioids, and comprehensive substance abuse treatment is usually necessary to address addiction to these substances. Several pharmaceuticals are FDA-approved to treat opioid dependence such as buprenorphine and naltrexone, and the use of these combined with behavioral therapies are often useful in managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with former opioid use.

Because both heroin and fentanyl are both short-acting opioids, they can be replaced with a longer-acting opioid during medical detox and addiction treatment. Neither should ever be discontinued cold turkey. An opioid withdrawal medication is often administered and then slowly tapered off to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Addiction to opioids is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition that should be comprehensively treated as a chronic disease. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers an integrated, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment that features behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, group support, and more.

Our center employs caring addiction specialists who render these services to clients with compassion and expertise. We are dedicated to the safe recovery of every client and provide them with the tools they so urgently need to achieve a full recovery and experience long-term sobriety and well-being indefinitely.

Recovering from addiction is a life-long process, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us today and find out how we can help you reclaim the life you deserve!