Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog
Controversy swirls around the approval of Zohydro, a new narcotic pain reliever manufactured by Zogenix, Inc. Zohydro ER is an opioid containing hydrocodone in capsule form that is intended as an extended-release formula. This means that one pill should last 12 hours, so those suffering from chronic pain don't have to take as many pills throughout the day. Zohydro is also one of the only opioid pain relievers to contain only hydrocodone and no acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage. Zohydro isn't the first opioid created to treat chronic pain, so why all the fuss?
Reasons for Concern
For one thing, Zohydro packs a bigger punch than its counterparts, containing 50 milligrams of hydrocodone in one capsule as compared to 10 milligrams in one Vicodin pill. This is in part due to the fact that Zohydro is meant to be an extended-release formula as opposed to Vicodin's instant release.
Another element of this drug that has emergency rooms and physicians on standby is its lack of tamper-resistance. The fear is that people looking for a high will crush the pills and either snort or inject all 50 milligrams at once, sending the entire dose into the bloodstream simultaneously which can lead to overdose and death.
Other drugs with high doses of opioids meant for extended release like OxyContin have safeguards in place. These pills turn into a jelly-like substance when crushed, making them nearly impossible to use recreationally. It was years before the makers of OxyContin created this tamperproof pill however, and in that time, millions of addicts were created and overdose deaths skyrocketed. Many believe that creating a new hydrocodone medication without these safeguards is inviting another epidemic....
Hello Addictionland Recovery Friends,
I wanted to share some of my feelings around the recent loss of a man who was loved by world. He loved to make us smile, laugh, cry, and giggle. A man who cared so much for others, including our Armed Forces around the world. He gave of his time generously, and we all never knew how much he was suffering on the inside. I shared some of this on my own personal recovery blog a few days ago, and it hits on some key points that we all as human beings can learn from. Of course, I'm talking about Actor & man of Comedy, Robin Williams.
Life just all on it's own can be a journey of good and bad, trials and tribulations, happiness and blessings, but when we see someone on the outside,
we really never know what's really going on inside. I also talk in my blog post about the Stigma around the issues of Recovery, Addiction, Mental and Emotional illness and disorders. Which these same issues and a few more were part of the why's that took his life ...
Important Recovery After Thoughts From Actor, Robin Williams In His Own Past Haunting Words…
By: Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
It’s not easy, and it’s a very POWERFUL example of the daily battles we can have, and even long-term recovery people can have a life threatening RELAPSE at anytime.
“It waits,” he told “Good Morning America” in 2006. “It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.”
Prescription drugs are simply part of modern life. People who go to the doctor for some type of illness usually expect to walk away with a prescription in return, and they might feel cheated if they don’t get the pills they think they need. At the same time, experts have come to believe that certain types of prescriptions are associated with addiction, and they’ve responded by tightening restrictions and making those drugs just a little harder to get. Manufacturers have done the same.
It might seem like great news, as steps like this have the capability to reduce the suffering of people who might be tempted to abuse prescription drugs. However, the evidence suggests that the link between restrictions and addiction isn’t always straightforward. In fact, tightening restrictions sometimes has completely unexpected, and unwelcome, consequences in terms of addiction.
While the regulation of any class of prescription drug could help to illustrate this concept, prescription painkillers provide the clearest example of the dangers of shifting regulations. That story begins with a sea change in terms of the number of prescriptions written for this class of drugs.
Between the years of 1997 and 2007, the milligram-per-person rate for this type of drug rose by 402 percent. In addition, pharmacies filled out 48 percent more prescriptions for these painkillers in the same time period. It seems that people developed a love for these medications during this time period, and that love was accompanied by a rising awareness that people were getting these drugs in order to abuse them....
Military personnel have their own subculture and as such are subject to different stressors and issues than those of your average civilian. Combat and wartime deployment are a few of these stressors that may lead active duty and military veterans to seek unhealthy coping methods like drugs and alcohol. The stigmas and zero-tolerance policies that exist also may deter them from seeking the help they need.
This same zero-tolerance policy may act as a deterrent for illicit drug use among active duty military, as only 2.3 percent of the population used an illicit drug in the last month as opposed to 12 percent of civilians. Prescription drug abuse is, however, much higher in military personnel than the civilian population, most likely due to the rise in the availability and prescriptions of these medications for combat-related injuries and strain from heavy lifting. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are also much higher in the military population, with nearly half of active duty service members admitting to binge drinking episodes. Combat exposure and wartime situations seem to only increase these statistics.
History of Military Drug Addiction
The United States military is no stranger to substance abuse; in fact, it runs rampant throughout our history. One of the bloodiest wars in American history was that of the Civil War (1861-1865). More than one million Americans were killed and countless others were injured or developed debilitating diseases.
With the advent of the syringe in 1853, the seemingly perfect solution to intense pain and suffering on the front lines was the newly minted opioid pain reliever, morphine. Doctors were injecting it frequently, not realizing its high potential for addiction. Soldiers were addicted to morphine for decades after the war, the addiction being termed “Soldier’s Disease.”...
A study published in the August issue of the journal Addiction and summarized on PsychCentral by Richard Taite looked at the impact of second-hand trauma on later substance abuse. Researchers looked for traumatic medical events in the families of 1.4 million children born in Sweden between 1984 and 1995 by examining hospital discharge records. They were able to identify children who had a parent or a sibling who had been diagnosed with cancer or an immediate family member who suffered an injury which resulted in permanent disability or who had been a victim of assault or who had died. They then assigned each child a score of 0-4 depending on the amount of secondhand trauma s/he experienced. Then the researchers turned to medical, legal and pharmacy records to see which of these children were diagnosed with substance abuse problems when they reached their 20’s.
The researchers took care to control for other factors that might promote substance use, such as socioeconomic status, drug use by family members, psychological wellbeing and parents’ educational level. What they found was striking: Children who experienced even one of the four secondhand traumas under study had twice the risk of later drug abuse. Children who experienced the death of a parent were at greatest risk. Having a parent or sibling who was the victim of violent assault was the second most powerful factor. The PsychCentral report points out that “substance abuse was even higher in children whose siblings had experienced trauma than it was in children whose parents had been traumatized”. The authors of the study had high confidence in their findings since they were able to conduct annual sampling of a national population over a period 16 years and because they had access to multiple data sources in order to identify cases of substance use disorders.
Of course, previous studies have noted the impact of adverse childhood events (ACEs) on childrens’ emotional development. As I explained in another post researchers have found that people who endure a great deal of toxic stress spend much of their lives in fight, flight or fright. As the ACEs Too High Newsletter explained in October 2012:
When Treatment Triggers Addiction
There is often a fine line between treatment of addiction and exacerbation of addiction when legal pharmaceuticals intended to alleviate addiction in turn become abused by non-prescribed users. The danger plays out dramatically at the neurological level. An ongoing use of opioids (medications to relieve pain such as legal pharmaceuticals Vicodin, OxyContin and hydrocodone, and also the illegal drug heroin) causes brain abnormalities to develop that restructure, or rewire, the brain to become dependent or addicted to opioid(s).
What Is the Difference Between Opioids, Opiates and Opium?
Poppy plants contain opium. Organic substances derived from opium, such as morphine and codeine, are opiates. Opium can be converted to heroin, an illegal opiate, through non-organic, synthetic processes. Opioids, such as OxyContin, are similar in molecular structure to opiates but created through a synthetic or partly synthetic process.
Whereas the drug-dependent brain can successfully respond to detoxification in as little as 30 days, the drug-addicted brain presents a much more complex treatment scenario. Pharmaceuticals have been proven to be effective in treating brain abnormalities underlying addiction, but there is an ever-rising concern that these very medications invite new addictions. These treatments can therefore have the effect of giving with one hand and taking away with the other, thus compromising the entire goal of treating addiction and alleviating the American drug epidemic.
The neurobiological factors at play with addiction treatment implicitly challenge any view that drug addiction is purely a matter of choice. A deeper understanding of the brain chemistry of addiction can garner greater compassion for the many obstacles facing people with drug addictions and also help to reduce the stigma of addiction....
Step 12..Carry the AA 12 Steps message of hope to the sick and suffering alcoholic, practice these principles in all my affairs. Live one day at a time on the Spiritual Path suggested that others may benefit from my daily reprieve. Is it about me or isn't it? Obviously this seems much more difficult than it really is. Too goody goody God like? Like it's great talk and talk is cheap. You can't be that good every day right? Saints? I mean for real not just in my own (I believe everything I think to validate myself) mind...Well, I have to say although it sure seems like it sometimes, I am not alone here in the Big Book 12 Steps. I've gotten quite used to the extreme self centeredness, the lions and tigers and bears.
The many who are willing to believe, willing to put the drink down with Steps 1 and 2 and understand the three pertinent ideas. And when ready, move ahead to their 3rd Step decision, express the idea, voicing it without reservation? Those who now have the new found Spiritual courage and strength to inventory their past from a new fearless moral standpoint in their 4th Step? Then have finally seen themselves and let their God know they knew the emotional distress and destruction they have caused..This is huge! Go on to surrender their defective character to their Spiritual Higher Power and clean up their past? Steps 5 6 7 8 9. Simply put, this is just how we roll. This is our whole new attitude and outlook on life. We are a reborn lot, not to be confused with a born again lot, for me anyway. We're sober today and willing to surrender ourselves to the power of the Spirit with each moment or like the Book's Step 10 suggests, constantly. Yes, following the Big Book 12 Steps and feeling myself thorough in my Step work to this point, Step 11 shows me everything I need to know about living one day without one drink. Everything to continue to grow in understanding and effectiveness in my sober life. I now have purpose, a reason for living. I can care enough about myself to be willing to take care of myself each day without some emotional enabler fancied or real. I am no longer the producer of confusion with the best of intentions. I have lost sufficient fear so life is no longer all about me, it's ok to just be a small part of it. I can survive, be valid without stealing a piece of everyone involved to create my emotional security. I am a real boy.
Without getting too morbid in my reflection it's safe to say I come from a pretty emotionally negative upbringing. Daddy had issues and passed them on to me. At 5 years old I was beat so bad I was never to be able to grow or participate...be a team player.. My life was over, shocked to the soul. I had been betrayed. I became stunted, self centered to the extreme. I jumped the track. I could not turn myself off now, there was no safe place for me now. Every minute of everyday was intense. I was afraid deep to my core. My head, my brain. Self centered fear was the norm. I could no longer hear and understand others, there was no listen and learn anymore. There was only tunnel vision of Daddy whipping me as I try to cover myself in the corner, am I good enough for Daddy, does Daddy approve, when will Daddy love me, nothing or no one else mattered. I began to treat others like Daddy would treat me. I saw his power over me and I wanted it over others. He loved me and I wanted to love others. In stead, I would make them pay for how I felt. My failures were your fault, if you can't fix me than the hell with you. Why didn't Daddy need to be fixed? Why was I the only failure? For the next 25 years life brought many empty relationships that began with the expectation that they would save me, fix me, make me happy, I would be could be normal, fulfilled even, happy.. They ended the same every time with me alone and broken. No new news here, same pain different faces. Whatever they had brought to me they left with. As much as I truly wanted to, I could not feel. I just could not risk it. I needed others to feel for me. I needed to fill my empty void of existence with others. I was always that beat five year old and sadly can still be today. Many many times and for long periods of time I wanted to die. Blubbering with my head in my hands. Many times I acted in ways that showed no concern for my life. I couldn't care. I was not capable of caring for myself. In my later teens and twenties when I became a drunk, that's all I was really. Just a drunk, a good for nothing drunk. All hat and no cattle. Hey! will somebody have sex with me and like me? Anybody? How about just talk to me? Notice me?...
Every year 12,000 deaths occur in the US because of prescription drug abuse. This number has seen a staggering increase over the last couple of decades. The recreational use of prescription drugs is a serious problem with teens and young adults. National studies show that a teen is more likely to have abused a prescription drug than an illegal street drug.
Many consider prescription drugs safer because they are prescribed by a doctor, but that is just not true. Imbibing these medicines to get high, or using them to self-medicate can be dangerous.
Prescription drugs have serious health risks; this is exactly why they are taken under the instructions of a doctor. Despite being taken under medical guidance these drugs still present a high risk of addiction.
Fatalities occur everyday when people take a pill that they think looks like some other pill. The most important thing to understand is that everyone's body chemistry is different, and that different drugs affect people differently. A drug that would be okay for some could be fatal for others.
Types of Prescription Drugs Abused:
These drugs are central nervous system depressants and slow down the function of the brain. These include sedatives and tranquilizers which make a person calm and drowsy.
These drugs are intended to reduce tension and anxiety in patients. They are also called downers and come in the form of multicolored tablets, capsules or as a liquid.
Some examples are Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol. They are known as antipsychotics and are supposed to reduce symptoms of mental illness. Depressants such as Xanax, Klonoping, Halcion and Librium are often referred to as "benzos". Barbiturates such as Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal, used as sedatives and sleeping pills, are also often abused.
Higher doses of these drugs can cause memory loss, impaired judgement and a lack of coordination. They have also been found to cause irritability, paranoia and suicidal thoughts. Many people experience the opposite effect, like agitation or aggression, than the one intended.
Using depressants with other substances, especially alcohol, can slow breathing and heart rate and can even lead to death.
These drugs are painkillers and usually contain opium or opium-like substances, used to treat patients experiencing chronic pain. These drugs cause drowsiness, slowed breathing, constipation, unconsciousness, nausea, and in extreme cases even send a patient into coma.
Continued abuse of opioids can cause physical dependence and addiction. The body gets used to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms can be observed if the use is reduced or stopped.
Withdrawal symptoms sometimes drive an addict towards abuse with renewed vigor. These symptoms can be restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes with goose bumps. Increased tolerance in users can mean increased doses, which can cause greater damage to the body.
These types of drugs are used to increase energy and alertness and also increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. These drugs are also called uppers -- cocaine and amphetamines are some examples of the same. These drugs can come in the form of tablets or capsules. Addicts usually swallow these pills or inject them in liquid form or crush and snort them.
These drugs can cause exhaustion, apathy and depression, and the down that follows the up provided by these drugs is usually quite severe. The immediate exhaustion after the high leads the user to want the drug again. Soon enough he forgets the high from the drug and all he tries to achieve is a feeling of normalcy.
Stimulants are dangerously addictive and repeated doses over short periods can lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia. They can also cause high body temperature and arrhythmia. Some examples are Ritalin, Concerta, Biphetamine and Dexedrine. Street names for these drugs can be Kibbles and bits, speed, truck drivers or black beauties.
These are usually psychiatric drugs that handle depression. These drugs include Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor and Remeron. They come as multicolored tablets or capsules. These drugs can cause nervousness, anxiety, irritability, violent thoughts, tremors and hostility among others. Some studies have also found a high correlation with aggression and criminal behavior.
A study found that 14% of young people taking antidepressants become aggressive and in some cases even violent. These drugs can also cause extreme and irrational behavior. Individuals with no history of violence begin to show aggressive and self-harming behavior. Withdrawal symptoms of this drug are also quite severe and can include anxiety, depression, weeping spells, insomnia, dizziness, vomiting, headaches and tremors.
Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse:
Opioids – Abusers of these types of drugs will usually experience constipation, depression and low blood pressure. They will also find their breathing shallower than that of non-addicts, and will often experience confusion, sweating and poor coordination.
Antidepressants – Drowsiness, confusion and an unsteady gait are among the prime symptoms experienced by an antidepressant abuser. They often experience poor judgement, involuntary movement of the eyeballs and dizziness.
Stimulants – Those abusing stimulants will see rapid weight loss, increased agitation, irritability and high blood pressure. They will have trouble sleeping, have an irregular heartbeat, restlessness and be victims of impulsive behavior.
Those addicted to prescription medication will often resort to stealing, forging and selling prescriptions to get a fix. Those taking higher doses than prescribed can also be noted as addicts. They will have regular mood swings and more often than not be hostile. They will have erratic sleep cycles and often have impaired decision making skills. Prescription drug abusers often pretend to lose prescriptions and use that as an excuse to get more written. They also tend to visit more than one doctor for a prescription.
Prescription drug abuse is a disease. If you are facing abuse by such an addict get in touch with a dangerous drugs lawyer in Raleigh for a free initial counsel. Those taking more than the medically advised dosage of prescription drugs may not be able to claim damages from the drug manufacturer in case of adverse side-effects.
Self-medicating can be a dangerous habit, so make sure that you follow your doctor's instructions when taking prescription medicines. Keep an eye on the prescription drugs you keep in your house and inform the young adults in your care about their side-effects. Drugs, while beneficial in the hands of a doctor, can be dangerous in the hands of someone just looking for a kick.
Hello Addictionland Friends, Followers, and New Visitors,
But like my last blog post said, sometimes if look dig a little deeper, we can find some of the issues in our life that lead us to take a dark path to cope, escape, and try to delete past issues and pains. Yes, many say it might be an excuse, rationalizing, blaming other people, places, or things on OUR CHOICES. I don’t agree. I DID NOT CHOICE to become an addict. Addiction isn’t always about CHOICE …
Well to those who have NO clue, no experience of being an addict of any type, nor been touched by addiction or someone they know or love has, then I say, ….YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE to be held hostage by any addiction. We all don’t get tangled up with addiction by CHOICE. Through treatment, therapy, or the personal inside work on all our character defects, and working through the 12-steps, we DO sometimes find a few reasons WHY we went down that dark path of addiction. Is it really too much to ask of the public to have a wee bit more understanding and compassion of what it’s like to be addicted to some type of addiction? Is IGNORANCE still that prevalent in our society? Sadly yes when it comes to addictions and Stigma around us who live life in Recovery!
See, for my own addictions of compulsive addicted gambling and alcohol abuse when I gambled, I found doing the work within side myself, and through therapy with a psychiatrist I found I was suffering from undiagnosed bipolar 2 severe depression, mild anxiety mania, bipolar cycle insomnia, and the ‘pleasure & reward’ part of my brain was effected from the years of the repetitive behaviors of addicted gambling. Then later effects of agoraphobia with panic settled in, another direct effect from my years of addicted gambling.
All these mental & emotional disorders I still battle today. It was the addicted gambling that brought out the bipolar symptoms to the surface when sent to a crisis center the first time.
I know all this sounds complex, then add my past childhood abuse & traumatic events that happened to me, I learned very well to stuff all that away for a very long time. But it did come back to haunt me, and I started using gambling as my escape, and a coping skill to not FEEL all that I endured as a little girl. I began having nightmares again, and didn’t know the proper way to process all this hurtful stuff. I’d done a good job pretending I was normal, and none of those things really happened to me....