Are You Missing Conversations About Detox Due To Slang?

Are You Missing Conversations About Detox Due To Slang?

Addiction is another world which comes with it’s own dictionary of vocabulary. You might be missing critical clues that your loved one is addicted. In addition to physical and behavioral signs of addiction, one of the best places to identify substance abuse is in the way your loved one talks. If they are hiding their addiction, they will not likely talk to you directly about entering a phase of detox. However, you might catch a text or a phone conversation where you hear unfamiliar slang. Primarily, these terms will refer to being sick or under the weather. However, the right term, like “DT’s” could indicate a higher level of concern regarding detox. Knowing these terms could be the difference between life or death if a loved one decides to hide their withdrawals at home.

Asian Flu: One source claims this is a common term for the flu-like symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It might stem from opium withdrawal, hence “Asian flu” and not some other kind of flu.

Cold Turkey: quitting suddenly without a gradual reduction in dosage. Cold turkey is the fastest way to detox and might not be too bad if you receive medication to treat withdrawal symptoms.

Dope Sick, or Dopesick: originally meant nausea specific to heroin withdrawal, but is used more generally for opiate withdrawal and is sometimes used for other drugs. Dopesickness can make it hard to drink enough water and eat while detoxing, which can make detox more painful and dangerous.

Drying out: quitting alcohol

DTs: delirium tremens, severe alcohol withdrawal resulting in shaking or seizures. The DTs are among the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms, fatal in three to five percent of cases. DTs usually require medication to prevent seizures.

Kicking: detoxing, trying to quit. One might think this derives from kicking something away, but probably derives from the kicking and flailing of heroin addicts suffering withdrawal.

The Shakes: tremors associated with alcohol or opiate withdrawal. The shakes can be an early symptom of alcohol withdrawal, appearing within a few hours, or a moderate to severe symptom of alcohol or opiate withdrawal.

The Sweats: sweating associated with many kinds of withdrawal, including opioids and alcohol

Tapering: not slang exactly. Tapering refers to gradually reducing dosage, usually of opioids, to lessen the severity of withdrawal.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

Effects of Meth Addiction on Dental Health

Effects of Meth Addiction on Dental Health

The term “meth mouth” refers to the bad teeth of meth addicts. We’ve all seen the ads featuring pictures of mouths full of crooked rotting teeth. In truth, any addiction severe enough can cause you to neglect your health, including nutrition and oral hygiene, but there are several factors that make meth particularly bad for your teeth.

Meth causes dry mouth. This is a condition called xerostomia. It’s certain that meth reduces production of saliva, but the reason remains unclear. It may constrict blood flow to the salivary glands, resulting in less saliva production. This is probably compounded by dehydration–less water, less saliva. Saliva is important for protecting your teeth and a reduction in saliva increases tooth decay, enamel erosion, and gum disease.  

Meth makes you clench and grind your teeth. Bruxism is the name for clenching and grinding teeth. One of the effects of meth is that you may continually grind your teeth as the drug’s effects wane. This is especially common in long-term addicts and over the years it gradually wears down the teeth.

Meth makes you crave sugary drinks and snacks. Meth famously makes people not want to eat, but when meth addicts do eat, they tend to prefer sugary junk food. Not only do they crave sugary food, but it’s usually cheap and easy to get. They also tend to drink a lot of sugary drinks. All this excess sugar, combined with inadequate saliva, increases the rate of tooth decay. This junk food diet also leads to malnutrition, meaning your teeth don’t get calcium and other minerals they need to be healthy.

Meth makes you neglect oral hygiene. Meth is a relatively cheap drug and it may be that meth addicts in general are less likely to have access to dental care. It’s certainly true that meth addicts are more likely to neglect oral hygiene. This means neglecting daily brushing and regular checkups.

In fact, dentist visits pose several problems for meth addicts. They probably won’t want to discuss their drug use with their dentist and so will probably avoid the dentist if at all possible. If they do go to the dentist and need work done, there may be dangerous drug interactions between the meth and the anesthesia. After the work is done, there may be dangerous interactions between the meth and the pain medication. All of these complications make meth addicts less likely to get needed dental work.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

How Do I Tell My Job I Need to Go to Detox?

How Do I Tell My Job I Need to Go to Detox?

If you have decided to seek treatment, you’ve cleared the first hurdle. You have accomplished something difficult in taking an honest look at yourself and admitting you need help. Now you have some practical choices to make. One of the biggest decisions is what to do about work. Most of us can’t just take a week or two off of work with no explanation. You are probably considering what to tell your boss.

The first thing to keep in mind is that your recovery is your business and it should be your top priority. If you had any other illness you would just say that you’re sick. No need for detail. There’s not reason detox should be any different.

Many companies have policies in place allowing for addiction treatment. Have a look at your employee handbook or check out the HR department on your company’s website. Also, find out if you are protected by the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year without losing your job. You may also have accrued sick days or vacation time you can use.

That said, it may be better to be honest with your boss. You may imagine that your addiction has been your little secret, but if you are ready to seek treatment, most of the people in your life are already aware you have a problem. Your addiction has likely affected your work and your boss has likely noticed. Your job may already be in jeopardy and if you continue using, your performance will continue to decline and eventually you certainly will be fired.

If you tell your boss you are going to detox and then rehab, it shows you are aware of the problem and are doing something definite to fix it. It may be inconvenient to give you the time off but it’s also inconvenient to find someone to replace you, fill out a bunch of paperwork, and train the new person. Supporting you in recovery means you will be back at work and performing at a higher level before your replacement can get started. Everybody wins.

Work relationships are all different. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your boss you’re going to detox, then just ask for sick time or unpaid leave, or use vacation time. You don’t have to say why. The important thing is that you don’t let fear of an awkward conversation become an excuse for not seeking treatment. You may feel like you can’t afford to miss work, but really you can’t afford to delay treatment. You may also be surprised how supportive you boss is if you come clean. She may be more invested in your welfare than you realize. At the very least, bosses hate firing people and by committing to detox and rehab you will have spared her that unpleasant task.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Diseases Caused by Drug Use

Diseases Caused by Drug Use

What effects drugs have on your body depends on the drugs and the body. Everyone is different and every drug works in a different way. If you have some health problem before you start abusing drugs, the drug use can make it much worse. If, for example, you have a family history of heart disease and you drink heavily, you will greatly increase your risk of heart attack or arrhythmia, while another heavy drinker may not develop serious heart problems.

Here is a short list of diseases and conditions caused by abusing common drugs:

Marijuana: Bronchitis, increased risk of lung cancer with chronic use, increased risk of depression

Cocaine: Increased risk of heart attack, tachycardia, stroke, deviated or perforated septum

Benzos: Abdominal pains, fatal blood clots, erectile dysfunction, and birth defects

Opiates: Hepatitis and HIV (from infected needles), collapsed veins, digestive problems including constipation

Amphetamines: Insomnia, weight loss, degraded eyesight, stunted growth, hypertension, urinary tract infections, skin diseases, heart disease, and liver disease

Meth: Liver damage, lung disease, brain damage, compromised immune system, heart disease, stroke, severe depression and mania, bad teeth

Alcohol: Liver disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, hypertension, anemia

What diseases a drug is likely to cause depends on both the drug itself and how it’s taken. For example, while heroin and opioid painkillers have similar effects on the brain, injecting heroin puts you at greater risk from infections, while taking opioid painkillers orally can damage your stomach. Snorting cocaine can damage your sinuses, while smoking crack can damage your lungs. Anything that comes into direct contact with the drug is at risk for damage. This includes the mouth, sinuses, stomach, veins, lungs, and digestive tract. This effect may be compounded if the drugs contain other substances that have harmful effects.

While different drugs cause different diseases, there are some organs that are likely to be damaged by many sorts of drugs. The liver, for example, is likely to bear the brunt of any addiction because it has to filter all the toxins from the blood. The liver takes a particular beating in alcoholism because it metabolizes alcohol into a carcinogen. The kidneys and digestive tract, are also frequently at risk because they play a large role in expelling toxins from the body.

Many drugs also have cardiovascular effects. Alcohol, cocaine, meth, heroin, MDMA, marijuana, ketamine, and others all affect the heart in some way. Cocaine and meth can speed up your heart and make it beat erratically, while heroin can slow it down to the point of stopping. Other drugs, like MDMA and marijuana can increase your blood pressure but probably won’t do much harm except in the case of heavy prolonged abuse.

There is also a increased risk of secondary diseases caused by reckless behavior. Heroin increases your risk of infection from needles, for example, and alcohol increases your risk of car accidents. PCP or ketamine can lead to injuries you don’t even notice. Any sort of addiction can impair judgment and lead to bad decisions, including risky sex.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

How Do I Get Through Cravings During Detox?

How Do I Get Through Cravings During Detox?

Detox is the difficult time when your body has to quickly adjust to functioning without drugs. You may feel sick, anxious, irritable, and depressed. These are all signs of physical dependence on the drug. The most difficult part of detox–and what makes it so hard to do alone–is that you know all this misery can stop if you just use the drug. That is the physical aspect of addiction, but there is also the psychological aspect–the cravings. Cravings are most intense in the midst of physical withdrawal, but they may continue for years. If you want to stay in recovery, you have to learn to deal with cravings as early as possible.

During detox, the surest way to deal with cravings in the sense of just preventing relapse, is not to have access to drugs. In a facility, this is taken care of because the staff won’t let you have any drugs that aren’t prescribed. At home, this can be trickier. Even if you get all the drugs out of the house, you only have to text the right person to be resupplied pretty quickly. It helps to have someone there to keep you accountable.

This is the brute force method. It keeps you from relapsing, but the cravings themselves are unpleasant and it helps to find ways to deal with them. Here are some suggestions.

Remember it’s a want not a need. When you experience a serious craving, the underlying assumption is “I need this.” You have to remind yourself that you don’t actually need it–you just really, really want it. Don’t let your addicted brain fool you. Remind yourself you only want it, even if you don’t quite believe it at first.

Stay busy. Sometimes in detox, you can’t do very much because you feel terrible. As soon as you can, try to keep yourself occupied. Cravings start sneaking in when you’re bored. If you are focused on doing something interesting or challenging, then cravings have a harder time competing for your attention.

Examine the feeling. When you do notice a craving and it becomes distracting, examine the feeling a little bit. Where in your body do you feel it? What were you feeling just before the craving appeared–anxiety, stress, boredom, despair? Be as specific as possible. Understanding your cravings better will help you manage them in the future.

Remember your long-term goals, but focus on now. This is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you have to reaffirm your commitment to recovery and believe you will be better for it in the long run. On the other hand, you don’t want to constantly bear the burden of a lifetime of sobriety. If you have spent a little time examining your cravings, you have probably noticed that they are not constant. They appear, they sometimes get worse, then they ease up and maybe go away completely for a while. When you’re experiencing a craving, keep in mind that you only have to experience it in the present moment and that the craving will soon pass.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Discerning a Detox Emergency from a Detox Challenge

Discerning a Detox Emergency from a Detox Challenge

You are going to face some challenges while detoxing, especially if you are detoxing at home. You will likely feel anxious and uncomfortable. You might feel very sick, like you have the flu. You will have strong cravings and your brain will invent compelling reasons why you need to quit detox and try again later. If you really want to see it through to the end, it helps to know what symptoms are actually dangerous and what symptoms are just the typical misery of detox.

First, some drugs have more dangerous withdrawal. Quitting alcohol, benzos, and opioids can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that may be dangerous. It’s better to detox from these in a clinic if you can. Medical staff can monitor your symptoms and give you medication to decrease the danger and make you less uncomfortable.

If you detox at home, have someone there to help you. The other person can provide a more objective opinion of your condition, keep you from relapsing when the cravings get strong, and get help if things go bad.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can escalate quickly. The most dangerous symptoms, DTs, usually don’t appear until about three days after your last drink. You can, however, experience withdrawal seizures after about six hours. These usually resolve by themselves but about one third of people who experience withdrawal seizures later experience DTs. If you experience withdrawal seizures, you are at greater risk for DTs and you should get help.

If you have just been experiencing normal symptoms–anxiety, irritability, nausea, headache, tremors–for a day or so, you may be fine. If you start experiencing worse symptoms after two or three days, there is cause for concern. These symptoms might include a fever over 100 degrees fahrenheit, severe confusion, hallucinations, and seizures. If you experience any of these go to the emergency room or call 911.

For all drugs, including alcohol, use some common sense. If there is blood in your vomit or stool, if you have abdominal pains, hallucinations, seizures, erratic heartbeat, high fever, or psychosis, you are having a medical emergency and need help immediately.

Keep in mind that in addition to certain drugs–alcohol, benzos, and opioids–having more dangerous withdrawal, there are other complicating factors. The first is how heavily you have used and for how long. The longer and heavier your use, the more on guard you should be against danger signals.

Withdrawal may be more dangerous if you are dealing with more than one thing. It might not just be alcohol withdrawal, but alcohol and stimulants. Or you have a heart condition that could be exacerbated by mild withdrawal. Sometimes addicts have injuries, including traumatic head injuries that can cause complications.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

Do Detox Symptoms Depend on the Drug?

Do Detox Symptoms Depend on the Drug?

Every drug does something a little different to your body and brain, which is why different drugs have different effects. Over time, your physiology adapts to those effects, creating a higher tolerance. When you stop taking the drug, those tolerances, which were built up over months and years, still persist, but now your chemistry is totally out of balance. This sudden chemical imbalance is what you experience as withdrawal.

These physiological adaptations are different, and so your withdrawal symptoms will be different too. Compare cocaine and alcohol for example. Cocaine works by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain, causing dopamine to build up in the synapses. This flood of dopamine makes you feel good but it also tells your brain it’s producing too much dopamine. Over a period of regular use, your brain produces less and less dopamine, but you don’t notice because you use more and more cocaine. When you stop using, your brain suddenly finds it produces too little dopamine and you feel depressed. Nothing seems very interesting or important. The color has gone out of the world and you feel like you’ll never be cheerful again.

Alcohol has a different mechanism. It enhances the effect of GABA, which calms you down, and blocks the effect of glutamate, which amps you up. Over a prolonged period of heavy, consistent drinking, your brain makes less GABA and more glutamate to counter the effects of the alcohol. Then, when you stop drinking, your brain produces way too much glutamate and not nearly enough GABA. As a result, you feel anxious, agitated, and irritable. You can’t relax.

As a general rule, withdrawal symptoms will include the opposite of the feelings the drug produced. Just as depression is a symptom of cocaine withdrawal and agitation is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal, pain is a symptom of opioid withdrawal. If you have been addicted to opioids for a while, you have gotten used to not feeling pain. When you stop using, everything is painful.

Beyond that, some drugs have withdrawal symptoms seemingly unrelated to their primary function. Opioid withdrawal, for example can include runny nose, yawning, and diarrhea.

There are some withdrawal symptoms common to many drugs. Anxiety is very common, as are headaches, nausea, shaking, sweating, and depression. Some of these symptoms, like nausea and sweating are the body’s way of getting rid of toxins. Others are more coincidental. Although depression is pretty direct effect of stopping cocaine, it may have more complex causes in other drug withdrawal. Addicts often feel like withdrawal will never end. Even when it does end, they may believe they are facing a life devoid of joy without the drug.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Defining Marijuana Abuse

Defining Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world. Some polls show more than half of American adults have used marijuana at some point and relatively large percentage use it regularly. States including California, Colorado, and Washington have made marijuana sale and use legal to some degree and that trend may continue. Marijuana is not as dangerous or addictive as many drugs, such as opioids, benzos, cocaine, or meth. It may even have some medical uses in managing pain or other conditions.

Given marijuana’s growing mainstream acceptance in recent years, it’s important to remember that it contains compounds that have a powerful effect on your physiology. It can abused, leading to some degree of tolerance and dependence. There are also some negative effects of long-term frequent use. These can be compounded by the use of extracts that concentrate the active ingredients of marijuana, making each use more potent than smoking the leaves.

With recreational marijuana use being so common, it may be difficult to determine when using has become a problem. Like alcohol, marijuana’s common use can mask addiction. According to the CDC, about one in 10 regular users will become addicted, and for regular users under 18 years old, about one in six will become addicted.

Signs of marijuana addiction include trying to quit but being unable to, skipping activities with family or friends to use, or continuing to use after it has become obvious that marijuana use is interfering with work or family responsibilities.

Prolonged frequent marijuana use can impair concentration, memory, and learning. Physically, it can increase heart rate and blood pressure and increase chances of heart attack and stroke. It can also irritate the lungs causing bronchitis and increased risk of respiratory infection.

The threshold of what is considered abuse is much lower in people under 18 years old because there is more potential for long-term damage. In addition to a higher risk of addiction, young brains are still developing–the adult brain isn’t fully developed until about age 25–and so any damage to the areas controlling concentration and memory is more likely to be permanent. Even temporary impairment of concentration and memory may be compounded in terms of lower grades and missed work opportunities.

For most adults, what constitutes marijuana abuse, like alcohol abuse, will depend on the individual. More frequent use, especially among younger users, will cause more problems with memory and concentration. If you find your memory and focus slipping, try using less or stopping completely. If you can’t stop, or if you find yourself craving marijuana, thinking about it a lot when you aren’t using, and skipping important events to use, then you are probably addicted and you should seek treatment.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

Can You Drink on Antabuse?

Can You Drink on Antabuse?

Antabuse, or disulfiram, is a medication that is meant to prevent alcoholics in recovery from relapsing by making them violently ill after drinking. It works by blocking an enzyme that your body needs to metabolize alcohol. Instead of metabolizing alcohol normally, the process is interrupted part way, causing the toxic byproduct acetaldehyde to build up to five or ten times the normal level. This buildup of acetaldehyde damages the liver, where alcohol is primarily metabolized, and it also damages other tissues, including the pancreas, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol causes an Antabuse reaction as the acetaldehyde quickly builds up. You would likely get a headache, terrible nausea, blurred vision, and elevated heart rate. In short, you will feel absolutely terrible as your body tries to rid itself of alcohol as fast as possible before it does serious damage to your organs.

Not only can you not drink, you should also stay away from products that contain even trace amounts of alcohol–mouthwash, cologne, perfume, antiperspirant, astringent skin care products, and aftershave. Even the small amount of alcohol in these products can cause an Antabuse reaction.

Antabuse takes about two weeks to leave your system so you should consider yourself to be on Antabuse until two weeks after your last dose. Drinking before then will risk illness.

If you feel you are still inclined to drink, despite being on a medication to block the ability to drink, you may want to look at your drinking behaviors. Alcoholic behavior reaches far beyond the simplicity of how much you drink. The deeply rooted why of your drinking is what would define your alcoholism. Why would you need to drink on antabuse is the real question you should be asking yourself. Not being able to imagine even a short period of time without drinking at the quantity you normally do is a sign of alcoholism.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Common Arguments Against Detox and Treatment

Common Arguments Against Detox and Treatment

The prospect of going to detox and treatment might be scary. You have to go stay in some unfamiliar place for some undetermined length of time. You might feel terrible going through withdrawal, but you can’t know ahead of time how bad it might get or how long it might last. It’s the start of a major life change, which is scary in itself. Facing these unknowns, it’s normal to look for excuses not to go to detox. The following are some reasons you might give for not going.

I’m not an addict. You don’t want to go to detox if you don’t believe you’re an addict. The addict is usually the last person to realize she has a problem, so if you think you might be an addict, you probably are. You might at least consider the possibility, and if you still aren’t sure, try quitting and see what happens. If you can’t, then start looking for a detox center.

Now is a bad time. It’s always a bad time. Tomorrow will be a worse time. There will always be some reason to put it off, but it will never be a better time than now.

I can’t afford it. It’s true that detox and treatment can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford it. Insurance often pays for detox and treatment and you only pay the copay. If you don’t have insurance or your insurance won’t cover the treatment you want, the center may have payment options–either financial assistance or installment plans–that will allow you to get treatment. Medicaid and Medicare might help, as well as other state programs. Contact the center you are interested in even if you aren’t sure you can afford it. They have people who specialize in finding ways to make treatment affordable.

No, really, I don’t have time. Even the week or so it takes to detox can seem too long for people with a lot of commitments. It means missing work and family responsibilities. You may feel like it’s just not possible to take the time off, but consider the alternative. If your addiction continues, it will affect your work and possibly get you fired. It will alienate your family. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, your employer must give you time off to seek treatment for addiction. Your employer and family know that your recovery is worth whatever inconvenience your absence causes.

I can do it myself. Maybe you can, but it’s going to be rough. Imagine having the flu for a week and knowing you can make it stop if you use again, just this one time. It’s very difficult not to relapse when detoxing alone. It’s also more painful than it needs to be. A detox center can give you medications to make withdrawal symptoms less severe. They can help you sleep better, get healthy, and start recovery sooner.

You might be thinking that you’ve detoxed on your own before. If so, you know how difficult it was. If you do it again, it will probably feel worse than you remember. Also, something must have gone wrong if you are detoxing again. Relapse can be a normal part of recovery, but you might have more success next time if you try something different.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168