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Month: April 2022

How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last?

Over the last 20 years, benzodiazepine dependence has skyrocketed in America. Widely available and highly addictive, benzodiazepines are perfectly situated in a position ripe for misuse. During the process of recovering from benzo addiction, one will encounter the effects of benzodiazepine withdrawals, also known as benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Knowing how long benzo withdrawal symptoms last as well as the potential dangers one may encounter during withdrawal can be key in both the recovery and life-saving process. 

What Exactly are Benzos?

“Benzo” is the shortened term for benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are a classification of psychoactive drugs that possess depressant properties. As a depressant, benzos lower brain activity. As a result, they treat conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. 

First discovered and made available in the 1960s, benzos have become one of the most widely distributed drugs in America. As such, they have quickly gained a reputation for misuse, as their wide availability and highly addictive properties make them a very real threat. 

What are the Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal?

As one begins the journey to retake their freedom and end their dependence, they will inevitably come face to face with benzo withdrawal. Many of the withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous if left unsupervised, and it is highly recommended to get medical supervision during benzo detox.

Benzo withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Perceptual changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Increased tension
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Nausea

These withdrawal symptoms can range in severity depending upon individual factors, as well as factors unique to the specific benzo used. Typically, the severity of symptoms depends upon how long the person used or misused benzos. This being said, it is still possible to come up with a likely timeline for withdrawal. So just how long do benzo withdrawal symptoms last?

How Long do Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Typically, the average person experiencing benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms will experience the most severe symptoms during the first 1-4 days. Symptoms typically begin around 24 hours after the last use. The timeline for the withdrawal process increases due to factors such as extensive use or the type of benzo used. With these variables in mind, one could experience major withdrawal symptoms from anywhere between a few days to several months. The amount used, type of benzo, length of use, and method of withdrawal will all play determining roles in the length of the withdrawal process.

Is Benzo Withdrawal Dangerous?

With the proper medical supervision, the risks of benzodiazepine withdrawal are greatly reduced. However, attempting a solo withdrawal without a proper support system or medical supervision can be extremely dangerous and sometimes lethal. Quitting “cold-turkey” can be dangerous, as this method often sees the most intense withdrawal symptoms as well as the most severe physical and psychological reactions. 

The unpredictability of the withdrawal process can make it even more dangerous, and having the right people close by to help in the event that something goes wrong is crucial to one’s success. Those who seek the proper supervision and support during this trying time will most often see the highest rates of success. A proper withdrawal plan will help to give the best chances of a successful recovery without relapse.

How to Safely Detox from Benzos

Incorrectly approaching the detoxification and withdrawal process can lead to dangerous and sometimes lethal situations. However, there are safer methods by which one can free themselves from benzo dependence. 

Above all, an appropriate support system, as well as medical supervision, can give one the highest likelihood of success. It is safest to undergo withdrawal under medical supervision. Medical supervision ensures qualified staff will manage any complications. Chances of relapse and reuse greatly decrease when the detoxification process is undergone using the appropriate methods of withdrawal. Finding the proper support system could mean the difference between a successful recovery and tragedy.

Benzo Detox in Atlanta, GA

At Retreat Atlanta, we are waiting with open arms to give you the tools and support necessary to overcome your benzodiazepine dependence for good. Located in Eatonton, GA we offer a relaxing and comfortable environment in which you can confidently take on the detoxification and rehabilitation process. There has never been a better time to regain control of your dependency and your life. Contact our admissions page today and take the first steps in your recovery journey.

 

How Do Opiates Affect The Brain?

Over the last two decades, opiates have swiftly become one of the most widely used and misused drugs in America. Easily, accessible, widely available, and highly addictive, opiates are uniquely positioned to have devastatingly negative effects on the lives of users due to how opiates affect the brain. Each year between 30 and 70 thousand Americans lose their lives at the hands of opiate misuse. In 2020 alone, 68,000 Americans died as a result of opiates. 

Knowing the dangers of opiate use and learning the next steps in the recovery process can be key in not only saving one’s own life but the life of a loved one as well. So how do opiates affect the brain? What makes them so lethal? In this post, we will analyze these questions and seek to provide insights into the effects of opiates on the human brain.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are a classification of drugs that specifically target opioid receptors in the brain. By acting on opioid receptors, the brain produces morphine-like effects on the body. Because of this, opiates primarily treat physical pain. This adds to their highly addictive properties and makes anyone experiencing physical pain susceptible to opioid misuse. Opiates come in many forms. These range from pharmaceutical prescription pain relievers like OxyContin and Percocet to synthetic opiates such as fentanyl and heroin. 

Often prescribed for anything from small injuries to major surgeries, the wide range of ailments that can be treated with opiates also greatly raises the likelihood of experiencing opiate dependency. Opiates are known to addict users after a small number of uses, unlike many drugs that require more extensive and persistent use to develop a lasting dependency. Because of this potency and the wide-ranging availability of opiates, they have become a formidable foe when battling both dependency and overdose. 

How Exactly do Opiates Affect the Brain?

After learning what opiates are, you may be asking: how do opiates affect the brain? Opiates affect the brain by acting on opioid receptors. These receptors are found primarily in the central and peripheral nervous system, as well as in the gastrointestinal tract. Opioid receptors mediate both the somatic and psychoactive effects of opioids. Often, the euphoria caused by opioid use is a key factor in recreational use and misuse. As a result, recreational misuse of the drug is one of the largest factors in leading one to dependency. 

In many cases, a user will be prescribed an opiate legally, for example, after major surgery. Ideally, the user takes the opiate as prescribed for the pain and discontinues use once the prescription’s purpose is fulfilled. However, things can be a bit messier in reality. Many people begin taking an opiate as prescribed but, as the pain wears off, they continue using the drug. This is where many experience the “euphoric” effects meant to dull severe pain rather than be used recreationally. At this point, many using the drug legally and with a valid prescription will still find themselves wrestling with the tribulations of dependency.

Short Term Effects of Opiates on the Brain

How do opiates affect the brain in the short term? Even with a short duration of use, opiates can have major negative effects on one’s brain and body. Many users will experience these effects even when taking the drug as prescribed or after very few uses. These effects include but are not limited to:

  • Itchiness
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Euphoria 

Long Term Effects of Opiates on the Brain

How do opiates affect the brain in the long term? Being so potent as to make short-term use dangerous, you may be questioning just how bad things can get with extended opiate use. The long-term effects of opiates on the brain include symptoms like:

  • Loss of motor function
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Symptoms of ADHD
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Impulse control
  • Stroke
  • Mortality

Withdrawal Symptoms of Opiates

The highly physically and mentally addictive symptoms of opiates can lead to withdrawal that can be quite severe depending on a user’s history. Length of use, the amount used, frequency of use, and other factors can greatly vary the time in which one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Myalgia
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea
  • Dysphoria
  • Tremor
  • Opiate cravings

Types of Treatment for Opiate Dependency

Misusing opiates can have massively negative effects on one’s brain and body. Fortunately, treatment options for opiate dependence are available, and those seeking to regain control over their dependency have options. Choosing the right support system in one’s quest for freedom from addiction can be imperative to one’s successful recovery. 

Deciding to undertake the process of recovery alone can often lead a person to relapse or continued opiate misuse. The right support system can mean the difference between a new lease on life and continued suffering at the hands of addiction. For those seeking sanctuary from opiate dependency, there are several options for treatment.

Opiate Addiction Treatment in Atlanta, GA

At Retreat of Atlanta, we are waiting with open arms to help you regain control of your life and your dependency. Located in Eatonton, GA, the Retreat of Atlanta provides a tranquil atmosphere focused on healing and recovery. With inpatient drug and alcohol recovery rehabilitation, one can tune out the distractions that can lead to relapse. Our team is ready to help you regain the stability and freedom that you deserve. Visit our admissions page today and take the first step in your recovery journey.

What Are The Drug Overdose Symptoms?

Understanding drug overdose and how to combat it can be essential to the life-saving process. Each year, thousands of lives are lost at the hands of drug overdose. Knowing life-saving practices and how to react during an overdose can mean the difference between tragedy and a new lease on life. In this article, we will discuss drug overdose symptoms, treatment, and the next steps in recovery from addiction.

What is a Drug Overdose?

Drug overdose is a term used to describe either the accidental or intentional ingestion of a substance resulting in harmful effects on the body. These harmful effects can range from mild medical issues all the way to death. Drug overdose is commonly done by taking too large a quantity of a drug. On the other hand, overdose can also occur due to unforeseen individual health factors. 

Drug overdose can happen whether a person is using prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit narcotics. Overdose often occurs accidentally when a person’s metabolism cannot detoxify the drug quickly enough and the body becomes overwhelmed. In prescription drug users, prescription drugs can lead to bodily toxicity and overdose when the therapeutic range of the drug is misdiagnosed or improperly taken. Regardless of circumstance, overdose can be a dangerous, life-altering, and sometimes fatal event. Therefore, learning to identify and recognize drug overdose symptoms can be the difference between effectively saving a life and losing one. 

Drug Overdose Symptoms

The severity of a drug overdose can vary dramatically depending on a person’s medical history, the amount ingested, the time since ingestion, and the type of drug. Recognizing drug overdose symptoms is the first, and often most crucial, step in assisting someone struggling with an overdose. Common drug overdose symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Agitation and aggression
  • Paranoia 
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty breathing and irregular respiratory rate
  • Loss of motor function
  • Large pupils
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Seizure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Cold chills and sweats
  • Diarrhea 
  • Chest Pains
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated temperature

Treating Drug Overdose Symptoms

There are several good options for helping to treat an overdose. Knowledge is power in this circumstance. For instance, knowing the amount or type of drug ingested can be vital to treating a drug overdose. Spotting drug overdose symptoms early can also help expedite the treatment process. However, information about the drug type and amount will not always be readily available. Still, there are some general rules and tactics one can employ to assist someone experiencing a drug overdose. Some general best practices include:

  • Contacting Emergency Services or a poison control center as quickly as possible. They have the knowledge, tools, and skillset to handle most drug overdose situations (Included in these tools are narcan, naloxone, and activated charcoal which can greatly assist in quickly bringing one back from certain types of overdose)
  • Clearing the airway of any blockage
  • Inducing vomiting to clear the stomach
  • Assistance via intravenous fluids to flush the drug from one’s body
  • Pumping the stomach to remove the drug in question

Swift and decisive action as well as having a preparedness plan are essential to the life-saving process in the event of a drug overdose. Following successful medical stabilization, the next step in the process is to find an addiction detox and rehabilitation facility.

Finding Help for Drug Addiction in Atlanta, GA

Recovering from drug addiction is no simple feat. Finding the right support system to back you during this trying time can mean the difference between a successful recovery and a heartbreaking relapse. For this reason, family and friends can play a huge role in helping one recover from addiction. However, while their intentions may be pure, it is always best to seek assistance from licensed professionals who specialize in the area of drug rehabilitation, overdose treatment, and safe methods of drug detox.

Finding the right rehabilitation facility for you or your loved one will make the process safer and more effective. In addition, the right treatment center will ultimately raise your chances of a successful recovery. Retreat of Atlanta houses a compassionate group of treatment specialists. Our mission is to give those seeking sobriety and recovery a safe and effective avenue by which they can retake control of their lives.

Focused on individual treatment designed to heal, one can relax in a quiet country setting surrounded by woods, while still being easily accessible to those in or around the metro Atlanta area. With a drug and alcohol detox center, substance abuse treatment programs, and addiction treatment therapies, Retreat of Atlanta offers a plethora of options unavailable at many competing drug rehabilitation facilities. 

Safely Detox from Drugs in Atlanta, GA

Retreat of Atlanta specializes in making you feel as safe and comfortable as possible as you undergo the difficult yet rewarding process of drug detox and recovery. Our caring and attentive addiction center treatment technicians have made it their mission to provide an environment conducive to healing, individual wellness, and a renewed lease on life. Located just Southeast of Atlanta in Eatonton, the Retreat of Atlanta Drug and Alcohol Detox Center has made compassion, empathy, and a dedication to effective treatment its core principles. 

Regardless of what step in the process you or your loved one is on in their road to recovery, Retreat of Atlanta is ready to help you regain control of your life and your addiction. There has never been a better time to break the destructive cycle of addiction plaguing your life. Call or visit our admissions page today and give yourself the support you deserve.

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