Drug use has permeated all aspects of American culture and affects teenagers, men, and women from all cross-sections of society. Often glamorized in movies and music, drug culture became widespread in the 1960s and is unfortunately still wreaking its effects on society.
According to a nation-wide study conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2013, illicit drug use is increasing. The survey shows that 9.4% of Americans ages 12 or older used an illegal drug within the last month. This is an increase from 2002’s survey which indicated only 8.2% usage within the past month.
An alarming trend shows an increase in the number of overdose deaths caused by prescription drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the total number of deaths from prescription drugs has more than doubled from 2001 to 2014.
Prolonged drug use can have devastating effects on your health, and affect all aspects of your life, especially relationships with friends and family. If you or a loved one has a drug addiction, going to a professional drug detox clinic is the first step. Call First Step Detox 24/7 at 1-877-389-1135 to speak to a drug detox specialist.
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How Drug Addiction Develops
There are many genetic and environmental factors at play when studying drug dependency and addiction. Some environmental factors that lead to an increase in drug addiction include your family upbringing and exposure to drugs through peers.
Your biological makeup also plays a significant role in determining your susceptibility to drug addiction. Studies show that genetics account for 40% to 60% of your likelihood of addiction. Those who suffer from mental illnesses have a higher risk of developing a drug addiction. Of course, positive environmental influences can mitigate chances of drug exposure and addiction.
Often an introduction to drugs in a social setting begins innocently. You may first try drugs at a young age to experiment, feel good, or to fit in. Many people believe they can control their level of drug use, but are often surprised by how quickly a drug dependency and then addiction develops.
Drug addiction is a disease and the effects of drugs chemically alter the composition of your brain. Some drugs such as heroin affect the brain by activating neurons while other drugs such as cocaine cause the neurons to release large amounts of neurotransmitters which affect how your brain sends messages. Most drugs affect the reward system of your brain by spiking the levels of feel-good dopamines. This teaches our brain to seek out the “reward” or drug over and over again to feel euphoric.
The younger you are first exposed to drugs, the higher the chances of developing an addiction. As your brain develops from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, it undergoes changes, particularly in the pre-frontal cortex. The introduction of drugs at a younger age impedes normal development and can have a dramatic and long-lasting impact on a person’s ability to make decisions and control impulses. Let the experienced Florida drug detox center team at First Step Detox help you overcome your addiction.
Long-Term Health Hazards of Drug Use
While all types of drugs, whether prescription or illicit, affect the body and brain differently, long-term and chronic use of drugs can cause lifelong damage to your body and organs. Individuals also react differently to drugs as well.
Opiates, also referred to as narcotics include heroin, cocaine, and codeine. Opiates are very addictive as they provide pain relief and extreme feelings of euphoria. They affect the nerve cells in your brain, your spinal cord, limbic system and brain stem.
There are so many different drugs on the market it would be difficult to examine all the long-term health hazards of each. Let’s take a closer look at how prolonged cocaine use affects your entire body. A few side effects of chronic cocaine use include:
- Higher risk of stroke
- Reduced attention span
- Voracious appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hoarse voice and sore throat
- Chest pain
- Bronchospasm (abnormal contraction of bronchi muscle which causes difficulty breathing)
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Hemoptysis (coughing up blood or mucus)
- Eosinophilia (a build-up of white blood cells in organs and tissues which cause inflammation)
- Rhinorrhea (a frequent runny nose with mucus discharge)
- Higher risk of infarction
- Pruritus (severely itchy skin)
Drug Detox Process and Methods
With the powerful pull of drugs and the feelings of euphoria associated with them, it’s difficult to overcome drug addiction withdrawal alone. Undergoing drug detoxification is a dreaded, but necessary first step to recovery. Cleansing the body of drugs and lingering toxins is a lengthy process that is best accomplished under medical supervision.
Some substance abusers may try to quit “cold turkey” however this method is not recommended for a few reasons. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), people who stop drug use abruptly have a higher chance of relapse and also are more prone to fatal drug overdoses as tolerance levels fluctuate during this period.
At First Step Detox, our Florida drug detox center believes in taking a holistic and natural approach to healing. A holistic approach includes examining your lifestyle, diet, fitness and emotional well-being. Medical professionals and counselors are on hand to supervise drug addiction withdrawal and provide assistance 24/7.
Drug Detox Process
- Initial Assessment. The purpose of the initial assessment is to learn more about you. A professional will inquire about your family and medical history, any unique home or social issues, mental health issues, employment and education background, and, of course, the amount of drugs consumed, the length of time you have been using, and whether you have previously entered a detox or rehab facility.
- Forming a Plan. Together with a medical professional, a plan will be formulated to meet your individual needs. For example, if you are addicted to multiple drugs your plan will be catered to address this problem. You’ll discuss your goals, any unique health issues, formulate an overall timeline and go over expectations.
- Medical Detox. Once you are admitted to a detox program, you’ll undergo treatment under the watch of experienced detox medical professionals. Staff members make every attempt to make your detox go smoothly.
- Post-treatment counseling. Detox is only the first step on the path to recovery. Once drugs and toxins are eliminated from your body, you can begin to discuss and heal the root problems of your substance abuse. You may be referred to a rehabilitation clinic, ongoing support groups or one-on-one counseling.
The Benefits of Inpatient Treatment
There are two main types of drug detox programs:
- Inpatient centers: Patients reside in a facility for the length of the treatment.
- Outpatient programs: Patients live at home, and either receive occasional home visits or are required to visit a hospital for scheduled appointments.
Outpatient programs are designed for those with mild addictions, whereas inpatient centers are more suited for people with moderate to severe addictions. An inpatient center provides 24/7 medical supervision and a support network of counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists to help with emotional needs. At a detox center, you are in a safe environment — away from the triggers and temptations that you may have at home.
Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal
Our Florida drug detox center provides treatments for:
- Opiates and painkillers including Codeine, Vicodin, and Oxycontin
We also offer treatment for patients addicted to multiple substances. It should be noted that all patients respond differently to treatment, and not all of the following acute symptoms may be experienced by an individual.
Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can range from uncomfortable to painful. In extremely rare cases, withdrawal can be fatal. The following acute symptoms may last for one to two weeks.
- Body aches and pain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insatiable hunger
Heroin is a highly addictive substance which makes it one of the toughest drug addictions to overcome. The withdrawal symptoms can be painful, and the detoxification process can be lengthy, but it can be done with the right help and perseverance. First Step Detox only administers medicine in crucial situations.
A few side effects of heroin withdrawal include:
- Powerful craving for drug use
- Severe mood swings
- Body aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
Addiction to opiates is common as they’re typically prescribed to manage pain. Easily addictive, these drugs are often overused and then obtained illicitly. Although heroin is also an opiate, it is often classified as a separate treatment as its effects and withdrawal symptoms are different. Some typical opiates include:
Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, but not insurmountable:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
Benzos are a type of narcotic prescription drug used to treat bipolar disorder and anxiety that can be addictive over time. While some other treatment centers may administer benzo for alcohol withdrawal symptoms, at First Step we only use medicine if absolutely necessary. Common drugs that are classified as benzodiazepines include:
Withdrawal symptoms for benzo addiction vary between individuals. They may include:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle pain, aches or stiffness
- Flu-like symptoms
- Shaking & convulsions
Drug Detox Timeline
Every patient responds to detoxification differently. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact detox timeline, as there are so many individual factors that affect recovery including the length of time a patient has been abusing drugs, the frequency of use, medical history, age, etc. A patient may experience some withdrawal symptoms and not others.
Here is a general drug detox withdrawal timeline:
- Cocaine: It takes between one to two weeks for acute symptoms to run their course.
- Heroin: You may experience withdrawal symptoms as quickly as six hours from last time of use. The most painful withdrawal symptoms typically occur between the first to the third day and may last up to one week.
- Opiates: Withdrawal symptoms may occur as quickly as 24 hours since last use. Symptoms intensify between days one to three and usually improve by day four.
- Benzo: A withdrawal timeline greatly varies between users. Symptoms commonly last between a few days to several weeks. However, long-term abusers have been known to experience symptoms for months.
What you Should Look for in a Florida Drug Detox Center
When you are researching different detox centers, it’s important that you find a quality clinic that matches your philosophy and where you believe you will feel comfortable. Here are a few characteristics of a high-quality alcohol inpatient drug detox center:
- Professional credentials. What sort of training and accreditations does the staff have at the clinic? Recovery should be supervised by a medical doctor, while a team of psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors may help you during and after detox.
- Individualized treatment. Does the detox center create a customized plan to suit your individual needs, or does it employ a one-size-fits-all approach? Since drug abuse covers such a wide range of substances and effects, flexibility and a tailor-made program help to address your unique issues.
- Comfortable environment. Since you’ll be living at the facility for several weeks or more, the physical surroundings must be serene and in line with what you envision as a suitable detox environment.
- Ongoing support. After your detox treatment is complete, you should be provided with continued support. Detox is only the first step, and a reputable clinic will help you find a longer-term rehabilitation center.
A few questions to ask a detox center:
- Are my friends or family allowed to visit?
- What types of amenities are available at the clinic?
- Who will be looking over me during the detox process?
- What is the philosophy at your facility? Do you use medications to lessen withdrawal symptoms?
- Does your program accept insurance?
Why Choose First Step Detox
First Step Detox is a leading drug detox facility located in Palm Beach, Florida. We’ve helped thousands of patients from around the country safely detox from drug addiction and we have the tools and staff to help you on the road to recovery.
Our philosophy is holistic and includes care for mental, emotional and physical well being. We employ a team of professionals that includes counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists that work around-the-clock to ensure your stay is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Would you like to learn more about our Florida drug detox center, or speak to a drug detox specialist? Call First Step Detox 24/7 at 1-877-389-1135.