Category Archives: Information

Drug Induced Hepatitis – What To Look Out For

Hepatitis C seems to have a common presence among drug users.

Myths and tales seem to spread quicker than a bunny in a super car, so let’s shed some light on what can actually be contagious and what should not worry you!

Hepatitis C is “simply” a virus that lives in your cells and infects your liver.

How does Hepatitis C spread?

Unlike many seem to believe, you cannot get hep C from social, casual contact! Kissing, hugging, sharing food and drinks, sneezing, coughing and so many other interactions like these are harmless.

You can get hepatitis C IF you come in contact with some infected person’s blood and that is the reason why hep C seems to be so common in the drug scene. Hard users tend to overlook their hygiene and, what’s worst, they often share gear (needles, cotton, spoons…).

There is still some uncertainty regarding sexual contact. Good sense should prevail – although, according to doctors, the risk of infection in this case is very small.

If your partner (or family member, or roommate) has hep C, some simple care should keep you safe. Avoid sharing personal objects, such as razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers and you should be alright!

Rapid Opiate Detox Presents More Risks Than Benefits

Rapid opiate detox, according to a report by CDC, presents more risks, including death risk, and should be avoided!

Is this a safe and successful way of dropping an addiction or should conventional, tested treatments be the way forward for now?

What Is Rapid Opiate Detox?

Mostly for the rich, the famous and the desperate, “rapid detox” as it has unofficially become known, lets people sleep through their withdrawal period.

Under anesthesia, the patient sleeps through this fast withdrawal, while the doctors replace their opiate addiction by another, supposedly safer. When the patients wake up, there is a placebo, a fake, dummy drug blocking their brains opiate receivers, simply put.

In and out of the clinic in two days.

Is it for anyone? What’s the price for a rapid opiate detox?

Rapid detox is not for just anyone! This type of treatment can cost up to $10,000 and is not covered by health insurance.

The price is not the only deterrent, though. At a New Jersey rapid detox center, there have been 6 deaths over the last seven years!

What are the risks of rapid detox, then?

According to several studies and reports (see resources box), several deaths and long term diseases have resulted from this type of treatment.

These results are, according to federal officials, unacceptable!

If you think you might have an addiction and are looking for help, until this method presents valid proof of its effectiveness, I would advise people to follow traditional methods – methadone, buprenorphine…



What to do to keep clean on or after a detox

Making the decision to go on detox might be the hardest step but if you don’t change your life cycle, your habits, your daily routine… Keeping clean might be just as hard as that. So how do you stay committed once the withdrawals kick in for the first time?

I was very lucky to have C’s full support and understanding throughout my detox, as this made it so much easier to cope. I also knew that if I didn’t change my routine, I would most likely fall into the habit again.

The most important step of all was moving out of the town I was living in at that moment. Might not seem that much important but if you have family or friends willing to support you with that, when the turkey kicks in, you won’t be near anyone you know who has the magic potion to end your pain.

Also, if you keep busy you will think so much less of what you are going through. Although it wasn’t planned, moving into the countryside brought me closer to animals. C has a couple horses of her own and me, as a proper city boy, was scared sh*tless the first couple times I was around them but I still had to help out, working with them. Today, however, I have my very own horse, I’m learning how to ride and am having my first steps into breaking a horse (training a “wild”, untrained horse to be riden).

That gave me lots of stability and the fact alone of having someone, even if an animal, depending on me, made me so much stronger in regards to keeping myself out of trouble and keeping up with my responsibilities – wouldn’t be fair this little cob not having a proper life because of my own stupidity.

This post turned out to be more one of “my own” than an “information” one, though I still think it is quite on the spot for anyone going through the same… Keep strong and busy and the road ahead will only bring you good stuff!

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

What will someone have to face when detoxing from opiates? Let’s take a closer look at the opiate withdrawal timeline.

The timeline in this article was obtained from the average opiate user. Obviously, some cases might turn out being different, depending on what opiate you have been using and for how long.

In general, when you are already really deep in an addiction, withdrawal symptoms start appearing in 8 to 16 hours after the last time you have used the drug. For those who aren’t yet so far down that road these should only begin surfacing between something like 10 to 24 hours.

As the hours pass and your body really starts craving the drug, you will most probably feel nauseated, start sweating more than usual, will have a constant runny nose and your eyes will feel watery. Most the times your pupils will be dilated, so if there is someone who you don’t want to talk about this subject with, it might be a good idea to avoid them – employers, teachers, family

Between the second and third day (48 to 72 hours) you might experience some anxiety, insomnia and localized pain, like back or stomach ache, your legs might also be hurting. Despite the discomfort, these are good news:

Your pain is almost coming to an end.

On the fourth day your body should start feeling a bit better and the physical drug cravings should have stopped by now. These symptoms will gradually start to fade away (72 hours up to a week).

What should you do now?

No matter how long have you been using drug, returning to a normal life is always hard. Feel free to check out our “What to expect about heroin rehab” article for some guidance.

Heroin Rehab – What To Expect

What is the difference between detox and rehab?

Although the detox from heroin might be of a short duration, the rehab itself might take years.

Heroin detox is the fact of getting rid of all physical withdrawal symptoms – most of them described in “physical signs of addiction”.

Heroin rehab comes after the detox and includes helping the former drug user getting back to what we call normal life, since it will most likely be very hard. Most drug users tend to lose their non-using friends and family along the way. If no help is provided after the detox, they will just end up falling into addiction for the lack of social support.

3 Steps For Heroin Rehab

Step 1 – Detox

The most difficult step for most the users is this one. Detox requires self-will and determination. You know you are gonna suffer in the first few days but you also know you really need to go through this, to get rid of your addiction.

Step 2 – Psychological Treatment

Detoxing is not enough. You need help and support to go through with your life after you become clean. Ideally, a professional will help you get an answer to the main question – why have you gotten into heroin and is there a chance of relapse?

Step 3 – Aftercare Services

Now that you are through detox and rehab, you should still search for counseling, once in a while. There are many support groups out there and all will welcome you into their meetings. Sharing your past problems and especially your success will make you feel proud and help others that might be thinking or preparing to give that step!

Suboxone vs. Subutex

Suboxone and Subutex – both of this have been approved when it comes to treatment of opiate addiction. They are both quite effective, as is methadone but what is the difference between them?

Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in both
This is the main ingredient in both Suboxone and Subutex and takes place in your brain to replace other opiates.

Basically, the buprenorphine present in these will satisfy your brain, filling and activating its opiate receptors, in a way that you won’t feel the regular withdrawal symptoms.

This is also a drug that is considered “sticky” because it hangs on to your brain so well. If you were to take heroin and buprenorphine at the same time, heroin would be kicked of your brain receptors by the other, not allowing you to feel the high from that opiate and at the same time, still giving your brain the necessary to avoid withdrawal symptoms, the so called ‘turkey’.

So what is the difference between them two?

Naloxone – present in Suboxone but not in Subutex.

Suboxone has two main ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. This second one is in the formula to avoid users from overdoing their medication. While the first one still activates the receptors, making you feel a kind of high, the second one only fills them, making you not feel the cravings.

However, naloxone is only present in a small quantity and if Suboxone is taken in the way you are supposed to, by letting the pill dissolve under your tongue, naloxone won’t ‘harm you’ because it will be entering your system slowly.

However, if you decide to abuse your prescription by, for example, shooting Suboxone you will feel the full withdrawal symptoms, even if you are high on any opiates, like heroin. This happens because the naloxone will stick to your brain’s receptors and “kick” anything else – meaning they’re full but not high. This state can’t be reversed by taking more drugs and if you abuse it, you will ave to hang on to it.

Physical Signs Of Addiction

How to know if you or a loved one is facing an opiates addiction?

Most drug use starts as a joke, something to do between friends. Problem is, many times it becomes a habit, making its use more and more frequent. Once this happens you will notice that it takes a higher dose of that drug to feel the high and it will last less than when you started.

From this point is where the whole routine begins. You will notice that you need the drug just to feel good, even if your body is still not begging you for it, you do feel you have to take it.

You might notice this problem and try to stop but at this moment it is already very hard to go through your day without the drug. If you stop using you feel strong cravings and even feel ill – this are the withdrawal symptoms.

Physical Signs Of Addiction

  • You feel that you have to use the drug daily or even more than once a day;
  • You feel that you always have to have some drug for the next usage;
  • You try to stop using it but you fail at every try;
  • You start doing things that you normally wouldn’t do, if it wasn’t for the drug (this includes stealing or borrowing money);
  • You start spending all your money, even though you need it for other things (food, rent, bills…);
  • You start focusing your energy and time in finding the drug;
  • You carry on doing things you know you shouldn’t, while under the influence, like driving or operating heavy machinery at work;

What To Do Now

If you think your drug usage is start getting out of control, please consider seeing a doctor while there is still time.

If you need help, the sooner you ask for it, the better are your chances of letting go of that addiction. You can speak not only to your family doctor but also to a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

How Methadone Works

Many people wonder how methadone works, that is IF it really does work at all. I hope this post can finally answer that question.

How Methadone Works

When a person takes methadone the body must transform it into something that can be used by his organic system. The liver does this and also stores any excess methadone in itself and the blood stream, releasing that excess during the next 24 hours – sometimes a bit more, since the more you take, the higher quantity is stored.

Some pacients on higher doses (70mg/day or even more) can go for a day or two without their medication. This is not recommended though, because as the stored dosage starts going down, the drug cravings  come back which might lead to an overdose, should the person try to have some heroin.

Once the methadone reaches the blood stream it starts being conducted to the brain, slowly as needed, to satisfy the opiate receptors. The powerfull side of this treatment is that even if a user takes, for example, heroin while on methadone, that person will feel no high from the drug, rendering it useless.