Treatment For Opioid And Heroin Addiction in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Health officials in New Mexico reported that deaths caused by drug overdose increased to 497 in 2016 from 493 in 2015, in a state that is on the front lines of the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. New Mexico had one of the highest overdose death rates in the United States in 2014, second only to West Virginia.
But West Virginia has jobs in coal and oil shale while New Mexico continues to do things that only hurt business growth. That is a key difference but let’s get back on track.
In a nationwide survey of high school students, it was found that youths in New Mexico reported some of the highest rates of drug use in the US across a broad range of illegal substances. The state ranked second highest for use of cocaine and Ecstasy, fifth highest for meth and eighth highest for heroin.
According to the survey, 1 in 4 high school students in New Mexico said that they had used marijuana at least once in the month before the survey. It was also found that nearly 9% of the state’s students said they had used cocaine, and roughly 8% said that they had used Ecstasy. Over 4% reported that they used meth at least once while 3.5% said that they had used heroin.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, an epidemic of drug use is sweeping the city (perhaps too many people saw the amazing show Breaking Bad and went the wrong route with their life!). In 2012, 21.2% of drug seizures were for heroin. It has also been revealed that sales of prescription opioids in the city have increased in recent years.
Total sales of prescription opioids in Albuquerque increased by less than 1% from 2010 to 2011, compared with 5.8% for New Mexico. Oxycodone had the largest volume in terms of sale in the city, although its sales levels went down by 3.2% in 2011.
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If you live in Albuquerque and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.
What are Opioids?
The term “opioid” is often used in reference to prescription opiates. “Opiates” technically encompasses drugs that are derived naturally from the narcotic constituents of the opium poppy, while “opioid” is a label that covers synthetic as well as semi-synthetic drugs – which are the modified versions of opiates. When referring to prescription drugs, the term “opioid” is usually used. However, opioids and opiates are often used interchangeably.
Opiates, or opioids, cover a wide range of drugs, from legal substances such as morphine, codeine, and fentanyl to illegal ones like heroin and opium. Some examples include:
- Oxycodone – trade names include Percocet and OxyContin
- Hydrocodone – trade names include Lortab and Vicodine
As mentioned earlier, opioid addiction is a major problem in the US, with addiction to prescription opioids currently being one of the biggest drug issues. It is surprisingly easy to obtain prescription opiates. The frightening thing is that people who abuse prescription opioids are far more likely to develop a heroin addiction compared to a non-opioid abuser. This is because heroin offers a similar high at a significantly cheaper price.
Signs and Symptoms
A major indicator of addiction to opioids is continued use of the drug even when negative repercussions occur as a result of doing so.
Some of the physical signs that indicate opioid abuse include:
- Noticeable euphoria/elation
- Marked drowsiness/sedation
- Slowed breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Intermittent loss of consciousness, or nodding off
Other signs of opioid abuse include:
- Dramatically changing or shifting moods
- Sudden financial problems
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Getting multiple prescriptions from different physicians, also known as doctor shopping
- Extra pill bottles in the trash
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can mimic symptoms of the flu and include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Inability to sleep
Effects of Opiate Abuse
The facts about the effects of using opiates are often misleading as focus may be put only on the short-term impact. For example, opiates, in many cases, cause diarrhea and vomiting, delayed reactions and sedation in the short term.
However, what is often not mentioned are the long-term symptoms, which include the following:
- Weakened functioning of the immune system
- Gastric issues ranging from the troublesome, like constipation, to severe, like bowel perforation and intestinal ileus
- A wide range of medical issues secondary to intravenous administration, such as embolic events, localized abscesses, contraction of bloodborne diseases, systemic infections, etc.
- Significant depression of the respiratory system; cumulative hypoxic injury of end organs
Treatment for Opioid Abuse
Typically, recovery from opiate abuse and addiction starts with questions that are related to the nature of the addiction, like:
- How long have you been using the drug?
- When was the last time you used it?
- How do you usually get your supply?
- How do you finance your addiction?
- Do you have any co-occurring conditions or addiction?
- Are you on any medications for a medical or mental disorder?
- How has your addiction to opiates or heroin affected your life?
Questions like these help drug treatment centers find the best treatment for opiate addiction that addresses your needs and issues.
Three major options for opioid dependence treatment include drug detox, inpatient drug rehab and outpatient therapy. There are a number of inpatient heroin detox and treatment centers in Albuquerque, NM where you can get the help you need to successfully overcome your problem, such as addiction to pain medication, heroin, etc. It is important to check out treatment centers that can tailor a plan that will help you take the critical first steps to recovery.
When a person becomes addicted to opiates, the drug – like oxycodone, fentanyl, heroin, or any other opiate – hijacks the chemical production of the brain. This results in the brain being unable to produce enough of the endorphins that is essential to reduce pain and feel happy.
The process of detoxification removes the harmful chemicals from the drugs so that the levels of endorphins in the brain can eventually return to normal. Although many people try to detox on their own, it is rarely successful. Due to the often painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal, users get the opiates they need to relieve the symptoms and this is when they relapse – and any chance of recovery goes out the window.
Detoxification is an important part of the recovery process from any kind of addiction. Detoxing off opiates involves withdrawing from the substance, often slowly, using stabilizing and maintenance medication under a medical team’s supervision. Medical detox from opiates is best as the withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, often even painful.
It is important to have a team of trained and experienced medical professionals to monitor your vital signs and administer medication when the need arises. If you want to get medical detox, you should check out detox facilities in Albuquerque that will get the process done on an inpatient basis in order to maintain safety.
Rapid detox centers are another option available when you want detox for heroin or opiate addiction. Also known as Accelerated Opiate Detox (AOD), this type of detox provides the most comfortable ways to ease opiate withdrawal. When you self-detox, it normally takes about 10 days to completely eliminate the harmful chemicals, but with AOD, it only takes about 3 days.
You could completely flush out the opiates from your system over a 3-day weekend and get ready for the next stage of your recovery process. You should bear in mind that not every detox center offers this method. If you are interested in AOD, all you have to do is research “detox centers near me” that offer rapid detox for your addiction, whether you are going through pain pill addiction treatment, or one for any other type of opioid addiction.
Ultra Rapid Opioid Detox
Another speedy detox option available is ultra rapid opioid detox (UROD), also known as anesthesia-assisted opioid detoxification. In this detox method, large doses of naxolone are used to cause the fastest possible withdrawal from opioids in a user. In this process, the user is put under general anesthesia during an intense administration of naxolone by a team of trained medical professionals.
With UROD, physical elimination of the opioid used by the patient can take place in as little as 4 to 8 hours. There will be mild withdrawal symptoms experienced by the patient for about 6 days after waking up from the anesthesia – compared with similar symptoms of withdrawal experienced on a methadone taper of 20 days.
You should bear in mind that UROD is not recommended by the Guideline Committee of the American Society of Addiction’s most recent guidelines as the process comes with a high risk for adverse events or death. It is unlikely that this process is offered even in the best heroin addiction treatment centers in Albuquerque.
Treatments for Heroin Addiction
One of the dangers of addiction to prescription opioids is that it, more often than not, leads to heroin use and eventually, addiction. As mentioned earlier, heroin is more easily available and more importantly, more affordable. If you are looking to get clean and need heroin addiction help, the first thing you need to do is check out the heroin addiction treatment options that are available in Albuquerque, NM.
There are inpatient treatment centers and outpatient ones – it is critical to determine which type is best for your needs. You should note that if you are a long-term heroin user, your best option is an inpatient treatment program as it provides the comprehensive heroin treatment and care you need for a successful, long-term recovery.
Residential Treatment Centers
When it comes to treating heroin addiction, an inpatient or residential treatment center is the best option. The risk of relapsing to heroin use is very high, especially during the early stages of the recovery process.
Some individuals can amend their medications, putting their health at risks. They can also run into street hawkers or dealers who have heroin to sell.
When people continue to live at home, there is temptation in every corner, but much of that is not a problem in a residential program. As drugs are strictly prohibited, it is a clean environment where there are other individuals who want to get clean and drug treatment professionals who want to help them achieve just that.
Apart from heroin detox, inpatient heroin treatment centers provide therapy and counseling. Almost every minute of the day in a residential program is devoted to learning about, talking about and coping with an addiction to heroin. Patients are not given the time to think about or plan on taking heroin. Every day is filled with tasks to help patients heal and strive harder to recover from their heroin addiction.
Some therapy sessions in a residential treatment center are held privately between a therapist and patient. These are insight and coaching sessions that provide people with the personalized help they need to recover. Treatment programs often hold group sessions as well. This is an effective form of therapy as it taps into the human need to belong.
This is one element that many people with heroin addictions may have missed out on in their lives. Accustomed to hiding their feelings and not discussing their behaviors and issues, group therapy helps them share their feelings and stories and connect with other people. This in turn can help them feel a lot less isolated and also build their communication skills so that they can work better with family, friends, and their community as a whole in the future.
Whether a pain medication rehab or one for heroin, an inpatient program does not only offer therapy. They offer patients other opportunities to heal and build their strength to recover successfully from their addictions – some of these may seem a little unusual. For example, patients in some programs are provided with fitness instructors and exercise equipment.
Exercise not only helps in healing the cardiovascular damaged caused by heroin, but also provides patients with pleasant workout sessions that make them feel healthy and strong. It also gives them a mental boost as well as clarity, both of which are important when you are trying to overcome an addiction.
While outpatient treatment programs have their advantages too, inpatient programs offer recovering addicts opportunities that they would otherwise not receive. Many residential programs offer educational and vocational classes that help them immensely when they leave the facility. Opportunities like these can help them to integrate themselves back into their community and become contributing members of society.
Holistic Treatment for Opioid or Heroin Addiction
An increasing number of drug addiction treatment centers are incorporating holistic care into their opiate or heroin addiction treatment plans as a means of helping people overcome their addiction. Based on age-old Eastern traditions, these holistic practices are primarily used as a way for recovering addicts to enrich their mind, body, and spirit as they move on through the primary treatment plan.
The most effective forms of holistic treatment for heroin addiction include:
Meditation and yoga are helpful in keeping distractions away from the “outside world” and ensuring that individuals in the program are able to put their focus on their health and well-being. For centuries, acupuncture has been a technique that helps isolate issues that endanger the individual’s health and putting the focus of treatment on those issues.
For many people struggling with opiate or heroin addiction, holistic drug treatment programs have been extremely effective. The unconventional treatment plans offered in this type of program seems to have a positive effect on these individuals, helping them overcome their addictions. Many continue to practice meditation and yoga to not only boost their health and well-being but also to help with long-term abstinence from substances and avoid relapse.
When a heroin addiction is left in place, it means leaving a person exposed to physical and mental challenges. It is not ideal, and fortunately, nor is it necessary. With the help of a qualified team of addiction treatment professionals, these addictions can be addressed. When this takes place, it can help people in developing the skills they need to control their addictions.
Recovery from heroin addiction commences with medically assisted detox. This is the one of the best detox for heroin. The impact of heroin can be felt and experienced even long after the effects of a hit has worn off, and when long-term heroin users try to wean off drugs, they experience flu-like symptoms that can last for weeks. As a result, users feel deep cravings for the drug, and it is more than likely that they do not have the skills to lean on to avoid a relapse.
Practitioners of medically assisted detox use therapies that are specifically formulated to mimic some of the effects of heroin. The medications provided in this type of detox do not make people with a history of heroin abuse or addiction feel high or altered. On the contrary, they tend to feel strong, focused, and healthy when they take these medications.
In medically assisted heroin detox centers, the medications provided to users are typically given on a tapering schedule. This means that the practitioners determine the amount of heroin the user has used in the past and provide an equivalent dosage of the replacement medication. Eventually, the medications are tapered until the user is not taking and does not need the replacement medications at all.
Long-Term Aftercare and Prevention of Relapse
Whether it is pain medication addiction treatment or treatment in a heroin detox center, the programs are typically measured in months. However, there is always a high risk of relapse with addiction to opioids, especially heroin, and this risk can stretch on for many years.
This is why it is extremely important for individuals with a history of addiction to heroin or any other opioids to enroll in long-term relapse prevention programs, e.g., 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous. Such programs provide individuals recovering from addictions the opportunity to meet people with a similar history and form a community where they support each other and focus on healing and leaving their addiction behind.
They come together during their meetings to share their issues, struggles, successes, ideas and last but not least, their support. One of the best things about 12-step programs is that participation is free, so recovering addicts can continue to be members for as long as they need without feeling any sort of a financial pinch.
While some people can benefit greatly from 12-step programs, there are others who are recovering from opioid or heroin addiction who need a little more support and discipline to stay on the right path. For these people, a sober living community may be the best option once they have completed their formal treatment.
Such communities are sober and they have a number of rules to make sure that every individual who lives there stays sober. However, sober living homes do not have therapeutic teams. It is, in a way, a step between living in a residential drug treatment and living at home. For a lot of recovering addicts, the slower adjustment that sober living communities provide means a safer recovery without the involvement or risk of relapse.
Choose the Best Drug Treatment Center in Albuquerque, NM
When it comes to drug treatment programs, it is critical that there is no one treatment plan that works for everyone. Each opioid or heroin user has their own issues that may have contributed to their addiction as well as their own unique needs when it comes to treatment.
This is why it is vital for you to find a treatment center in Albuquerque that suits your specific needs. You should consider a facility that offers aftercare services and relapse prevention programs to help in ensuring that you stay on the right path and recover from your addiction.
With the right opiate or heroin addiction treatment program, you can return to your loved ones and your community and rebuild your relationships. You can begin your journey to living a healthier and happier life. The right treatment program in Albuquerque can help ensure that you take back control of your life from the clutches of your addiction and begin a life that is free of drugs.