Author: Justin Mckibben
In America, estimates say nearly a thousand people died from drug overdose per week in 2015. This year, we see how this problem continues to grow and strike some cities with terrible intensity. Drug overdose was the leading cause of death in Philadelphia, claiming 700 people that year. One place in particular has earned a name for itself: “The Badlands.”
The Badlands of Philadelphia is an area encompassing the Kensington neighborhood and parts of North Philadelphia. Residents gave this part of town the infamous “The Badlands” title because of its high rate of crime including homicide, drug trafficking and gang activity. Just this past week nearly 50 residents in the Badlands of Philadelphia suffered overdoses from what narcotics officers believe was tainted heroin.
Luckily, according to an NBC Philadelphia report, there were no fatalities during the outbreak of overdoses on November 17. However, several individuals had to be revived using Naloxone. That is the opioid overdose antagonist that has seen expanded access all over the country in an effort to stop the ever increasing body count.
Record numbers of overdoses like this are popping up in various parts of the country, and it is an exclamation point to the story of the opioid epidemic in America. This was one very bad day in the Badlands of Philadelphia, but will it get worse before it gets better?
Badlands of Philadelphia: Following the Pattern
Philadelphia Police is working on laboratory tests to determine if these drugs are part of a growing problem with tainted narcotics. Many overdoses in several states have been linked to tainted heroin that has been mixed with Fentanyl or other synthetic analogues far more powerful than the illicit drug itself. This is not be the first time a bad batch of heroin has hit the Badlands of Philadelphia. Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, had some powerful words concerning the way the epidemic has been handled until now.
“If we had ISIS terrorists roaming the streets, killing a thousand Americans a week, [or] ebola or some exotic disease, we wouldn’t tolerate it for a minute… But because of the stigma around this disease, we continue with policies federally, state and local, that are fundamentally inhumane.”
The Badlands of Philadelphia also made headlines in May of 2016 when the experimental painkiller W-18 was allegedly found within its territory. The dangerous W-18 is causing considerable hysteria in Canada and the United States.
Badlands of Philadelphia: W-18 and Fentanyl
As a recap from previous stories back in May of 2016, W-18 is a synthetic opiate and psychoactive substance similar to heroin. However, it is horrifically more deadly. W-18 is one of the most powerful opioid of a series of about 30 compounds. Experts go as far as to describe W-18 as being:
- 100 times more potent than fentanyl
- 10,000 times stronger than morphine
Though fentanyl or W-18 are yet to confirmed as the cause of the outbreak of overdoses in the Badlands of Philadelphia, fentanyl is considered to be responsible for a upsurge of overdoses that health officials say has risen 636% since last year.
- In 2013, 25 people died as a result of Fentanyl overdose in Philadelphia
- In 2015, 184 people died as a result of Fentanyl overdose
- The 2016 99 people died from Fentanyl overdose in Philadelphia in just the first four months
Between 2013 and 2015 is a seven fold increase in death. One can only imagine where the number will be by the end of this year. According to NBC news, Philadelphia also has some of the cheapest and most potent heroin in the nation. Reports claim that purity levels of heroin reach an estimate between 80% and 90% purity. That alone is incredibly deadly. The addition of unpredictable and synthetic drugs only magnifies the threat to life.
Badlands of Philadelphia: Not the Only “Badlands”
Philadelphia is not the only state with a section of “Badlands.” In reality, the “Badlands” are basically everywhere. In every major city, in every state, there are people suffering. A recent report stated that one American dies every 19 minutes from a heroin or opiate overdose. Not doesn’t include alcohol or any other drugs that contribute to the destruction caused by addiction all over the nation.
The new report from the U.S. Surgeon General highlights the distressing truth in the statistics. To understand the depth of the addiction crisis in America, one needs only to look around. The report says 1 in 7 Americans will face a substance use disorder. Sadly, only 10% of those will get the necessary treatment to save their life.
In the presence of great suffering there is still hope. People are finally working together to try and shed the stigma of addiction in many communities. The progress that is possible in holistic treatment is life changing, and taking the first steps can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling, call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Strange isn’t it… the title of this article. I mean, how could stress possibly be a good thing for anyone, especially someone who has a severe addiction to a substance as powerful and deadly as heroin?! What possible treatment strategy could be derived from stress?
Well, believe it or not there are researchers saying a chemical reaction in our bodies to stress can actually impact cravings for heroin, so could stretching yourself too thin be the answer to keeping the needle off your mind?
Positive Side of Stress
No matter what substance, be it alcohol, nicotine, or any number of illicit narcotics, addiction is characterized by an overwhelming desire and physical craving for a certain substance. Your brain on drugs is a mechanism that reprograms itself to hanker for a fix, but there are ways to retrain the brain and one recent theory is we can do so by utilizing the brains reaction to strain.
Stress is essentially a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance. When the brain senses danger the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic mobilization process known as the “fight-or-flight” response. This response can activate whether the danger itself is real or even imagined as a body’s way of protecting itself.
When working properly stress can help you stay:
While it may not be the most productive state to try and function in normally, in emergency situations stress can save your life by giving you the extra strength or attention needed to survive a dangerous situation.
So stress isn’t all bad all the time on its own.
Past studies have revealed that the stress hormone cortisol diminishes the ability to retrieve memories, so increased intake of the hormone reduced the brain’s ability to remember. With the impact of memory recall in mind, researchers developed the hypothesis that cortisol could have an inhibitory effect on heroin addiction-related memory and thus on the craving for heroin.
Studying Stress and Addiction
This new -and probably a little confusing- concept comes from researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Recently a team conducted a study on heroin addiction published in the medical journal Translational Psychiatry which demonstrated that the stress hormone cortisol actually has the power to reduce addictive cravings.
Heroin is a drug with an extremely high risk of dependency, and it stimulates severe cravings in users who have become addicted through consistent use.
PD Dr. Marc Walter and Prof. Dominique de Quervain from the University of Basel led the team of researchers as they studied the effect of the stress hormone cortisol on the addictive cravings in heroin addicts using 29 patients currently undergoing heroin-assisted treatment.
The subjects of the study were divided into 2 groups:
- Group 1 was given a cortisol tablet before receiving a dose of heroin
- Group 2 was given a placebo before receiving a dose of heroin
(For those who don’t know, a placebo is a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.)
The addicts’ craving were then gauged with a series of tests, including the subjects being asked to rate their cravings on a visual analogue scale (VAS), which is a scale for evaluating subjective experiences.
What came next is kind of intriguing. The patients who received cortisol experienced a decrease in cravings by an average of 25% when compared to placebo!
For the record, 25% may not seem like an astonishing number, but when it comes to the obsession of addiction, that 25% is huge and could mean the difference between life and death for many.
Now it is important to note that this decrease was seen in patients who were dependent on a relatively low dose of heroin, but not in highly-dependent patients. So while this news might create the hope of a treatment innovation, those who are often considered desperately addicted heavy users may have a tougher time reaping the benefits.
Could this be just another variation of Vivtrol, which so many claim is a miracle cure for opiate addiction? Or is it a new spin on an old idea of vaccinating addicts?
Whether these inhibitory effects on heroin cravings will have any affect on addiction-related behaviors in the day-to-day lives of addicts or not is still uncertain, so according to Marc Walter, chief physician at the Psychiatric University Clinics (UPK) Basel, the researchers want to explore the possibility of whether the cortisol hormone of stress can be used to help heroin addicts reduce their dosage, or if it could even help them remain abstinent from heroin for longer periods of time.
Other researchers involved in this study say there are already ongoing plans for further studies, including examining if these inhibitory effects from the cortisol hormone of stress can also have positive implications for nicotine, alcohol or gambling addiction. If the key to its success so far it the impact cortisol has on memory, it might be used to overcome a variety of memories attached to other addictions, not just heroin.
Stress is what it is, and what it is can cause a lot of trouble in anyone’s life. Stress can make the little issues or anxieties in life seem so much more drastic and overwhelming than they truly are, but it also seems stress has a side-effect we could one day harness to help save lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
For anyone who is struggling with an addiction to heroin, a heroin detox in West Palm Beach can be the thing that changes your life, and can even save your life. Too many people get dependent on heroin, and when they want to quit they never do because when they try they experience serious and intense side effects called withdrawals, and the fear of experiencing that all over again often keeps people who need the help from ever giving another attempt at kicking the habit.
Fortunately, there is help out there, and heroin detox in West Palm Beach is the perfect place for many people to start their journey of recovery.
Heroin Detox in West Palm Beach: Heroin Abuse and Dependence
The excessive abuse of heroin leads to a medical condition known as chemical dependence, physical dependence or substance dependence. What this means is that you have become both physically and psychologically dependent on heroin. This is the first element of severe addiction.
Physical dependency becomes pretty apparent when you try to stop using heroin. When you try to stop using abruptly you will experience extremely uncomfortable physical and mental withdrawal symptoms, as well as obsessive and compulsive thoughts. Heroin detox in West Palm Beach can help you stop your heroin use by helping you address a physical dependence directly.
This kind of physical and psychological dependence can develop into a full-blown heroin addiction, which is a serious illness. Heroin addiction leads to devastation all many aspects of life, including:
- Physical health
- Mental health
Addiction to heroin is profoundly injurious to your personal relationships. A heroin addict is never the only one who they hurt, but their family and loved ones suffer, too.
Despite the devastating effects, the person struggling with a heroin addiction will typically continue to use until they are ready to make a change, if they are ever that fortunate. While in the grip of addiction, it is difficult to imagine life without heroin. Facilities for heroin detox in West Palm Beach can help.
Heroin Detox in West Palm Beach: Withdrawals
You don’t have to kick the habit on your own, and you don’t have to come up with all the answers alone. A heroin detox in West Palm Beach can help ease you off of heroin and other opiates gradually with the use of medications specifically designed to assist with your heroin withdrawal symptoms, so that they are much more manageable and so that you are kept in a safe and healthy environment, both physically and emotionally.
When you suddenly stop using heroin, it’s called going “cold turkey and it throws you almost immediately into withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawals are a set of specific symptoms, and for heroin there is a long and severe list of withdrawals including:
- Extreme anxiety
- Excessive yawning and sneezing
- Runny nose
- Cold sweats
- Severe muscle and bone aches
- Cramp-like pains
- Involuntary spasms in the legs, arms, and neck
Withdrawing from heroin on your own is difficult and pretty much impossible. In fact, many people break down and use again just to make the pain and discomfort go away; they are caught in a vicious cycle.
Heroin Detox in West Palm Beach: Gets You Started On the Right Foot
Heroin Detox in West Palm Beach consists of two phases: evaluation and stabilization. During the first stage you will be given an assessment in order to find out how much heroin is currently in your system, as well as how much you have been using and over what length of time. This is done by way of a urine drug screen, and with any further information you provide.
Because programs for heroin detox in West Palm Beach are in a medical setting in which you are treated for both physical dependence and addiction, the results of your drug screen and information disclosed during your assessment are strictly confidential just like any other medical information is. All of this is done in order to make a treatment plan that will best serve you.
During a program for heroin detox in West Palm Beach, you will be giving taper medications in order to wean you off of heroin in both a safe and comfortable way. Detoxing from heroin and other narcotic opiates like prescription painkillers should always be done in a caring and professional manner, where you will be given care specific to your needs. Heroin detox in West Palm Beach is one place to find this kind of quality care.
Are you struggling with a dependence on heroin? Are you trying to quit but have failed on your own? Are your seeking a Heroin Detox in West Palm Beach? If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.
Heroin is substances derived from the opium poppy and is scientifically known as diamorphine. Heroin creates an intense state of relaxation and euphoria in its users. The human body builds a tolerance to heroin very fast and heroin users have to quickly increase the amount of heroin they use in order to achieve the euphoric effects.
As a heroin addiction develops, the heroin user finds it more and more difficult to abstain or stop using even though they may not desire to use heroin anymore. Many heroin users do not know what it takes to beat a heroin addiction and if they try to beat the addiction on their own the heroin withdrawal symptoms are so severe they would rather just continue on with their heroin addiction. Many addicts end up feeling powerless over their heroin use. As a highly physically and psychologically addictive drug, heroin addiction requires several steps of treatment if a heroin user wishes to beat their heroin addiction.
The first step towards beating a heroin addiction is detoxing. Many people will try to beat heroin addiction on their own by quitting and begin to experience severe heroin withdrawal symptoms; these heroin users are rarely successful in beating their heroin addiction. Luckily, there are detoxification programs nationwide to help heroin users to beat heroin addiction. Heroin detox programs help heroin addicts safely remove heroin from their body so that they can begin the process to beat their heroin addiction. A heroin detox helps to make the heroin withdrawal symptoms much more manageable as in comparison to a heroin addict trying to beat heroin addiction on their own. Here is why heroin detox is one of the most effective ways to beat heroin addiction. Heroin addiction withdrawal symptoms really suck and here are some examples of them:
- Cold Sweats
- Hot flashes
- Body aches and pains
Detoxing in safe medical environment is almost a guaranteed way to get through the heroin withdrawal symptoms and begin to beat heroin addiction. Heroin detox is very helpful to a recovering heroin addict. After a heroin detox though there needs to be other steps taken to beat heroin addiction. It is recommended in order to beat heroin addiction that a heroin addict also attend some form of rehab; in most cases a residential treatment center. A residential treatment center gives the heroin addict a drug free setting for at least a month. This is helpful to beat heroin addiction because it allows the addict’s mind to clear up and become healthier. Also, during residential treatment to beat heroin addiction a heroin addict will get to participate in group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention groups and so much more. A recovering heroin addict will also get to participate in outpatient programs and get to attend 12 step meetings that are absolutely paramount to beat heroin addiction.
With all the right tools in place within a safe environment anyone with a heroin addiction can beat it if they are willing to do so. Heroin detox and drug treatment are the surest ways to beat heroin addiction and there are many recovered addicts who can attest to this.
If you or someone you love is trying to beat heroin addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.