Saturday, February 16, 2019

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Rehab in Gainesville GA

The task of combating drug addiction in the Gainesville area involves both community awareness of the severity of the problem and dedicated facilities to assist the addicted toward a path of recovery. The process of treatment requires the dedication of the addicted to get well with both clinical and psychological support to help prevent relapse.

Georgia Faces Opioid Crisis

Gainesville is part of the 29 Georgia counties where the opioid addiction rates outpace the US average. In Gainesville, lethal opioid overdoses have increased 148% with projections for even more losses of life in the coming year.

Rural areas like Gainesville are regions where the national opioid crisis is reaching its peak. The crisis has become so severe that the Northeast Georgia Medial Center has become the first in Georgia to offer immediate recovery support to overdose cases that come through the emergency room. By attacking the problem at the point of non-lethal overdose, hospital officials hope to lead individuals down a path of recovery before it’s too late.

Efforts by Gainesville to Take Opioids out of Circulation

The Gainesville Police Department has teamed up with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators to provide drop boxes in the lobby of the Gainesville Justice Center. Here families can properly dispose of leftover prescription mediations so they do not end up on the street. The drop box has helped remove over twenty pounds of unused and expired medications. Opioids prescribed for pain and no longer used in a household can easily fall into the hands of teens at home.

The Georgia Legislature has also increased funding for substance misuse prevention programs, which focus primarily on legal prescription drugs that are abused. Beyond educating families and teens in Georgia, the prescription drug monitoring program will increase the scrutiny and records-keeping of drugs prescribed by doctors and hospitals.  Addiction and abuse often starts with a legal prescription.

Opioids in the Gainesville Area Part of a State Crisis

Already, deaths from opioids in Georgia has exceeded deaths from motor vehicle crashes. This places Georgia in the top eleven states with the highest number of opioid overdose deaths. Opioids gaining high usage in the Gainesville area and the many of the same drugs leading to the most overdoses throughout the state of Georgia and the US overall.  

Fentanyl is considered deadlier than heroin, fentanyl, quickly builds tolerance levels among users.  With a potency 50-100 times greater them morphine, Fentanyl has become an extremely dangerous drug in Georgia. The suppression of breathing, the first indicator of a Fentanyl overdose, can easily lead to death. Fentanyl overdoses are one of the most common in Gainesville.

Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are often used in combination with alcohol and other opioids, hydrocodone and oxycodone have become two of the most abused prescription drugs in the country and two of the most heavily abused opioids in Gainesville.  Initially prescribed as a pain reliever, hydrocodone’s addictive nature quickly converts many users to low cost heroine to maintain a similar high after their legal prescriptions can no longer be refilled.

Other Deadly Opioids in Gainesville, Georgia

Opioid abuse may expand beyond an initial legally prescribed drug to other drugs within the opioid family to obtain the necessary high. Users may switch to more readily available prescription opioids on the street, which can be taken in enormous doses to compensate for built-up tolerances.

Some of which are:

  • Methadone
  • Dilaudid
  • Morphine
  • Vicodin
  • Opana
  • Percocet
  • Demerol

The Hope of Naloxone

The Gainesville City Council has made considerable efforts to curb overdose deaths using the anti-opioid drug Naloxone.  Also known as Narcan, this powerful and effective medication can reverse the potential fatality of an opioid overdose. The availability of Naloxone offers hope to first responders and parents present at the scene of an overdose. As overdoses now even occur in Gainesville schools, educators are being supplied with the counteractive drug to save the lives of kids. The Gainesville City Council has already approved the purchase of Naloxone kits which will be provided to law enforcement who are often the first to witness an opioid overdose in progress. The drug gives opioid addicts a second chance toward recovery.

When is Opioid Usage an Addiction?

The point from which opioid use becomes an addiction usually occurs with the rise of numerous physical and behavioral indicators.

The physical warning signs indicate that pain treatment with opioids may be reaching addiction levels:

  • Long periods of drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Repressed or slowed breathing
  • Blackouts and sudden unconsciousness
  • Regular constipation

Other social and behavioral indicators may be a clear sign that opioid use is becoming an addiction:

Seeking out new physicians after your family doctor refuses to prescribe more medication-also known as doctor shopping, is a common practice to meet drug cravings, a telltale sign that opioid addiction is taking hold.  

Social withdrawal- has addiction takes hold, focus on family and friends diminishes. A focus on a personal relationship with the drug surpasses all over social and personal interactions.

Financial issues- an increasing use of opioids becomes financially costly and indicates a serious opioid problem

Understanding the Steps Toward Recovery

The recovery process begins with an assessment of the severity of the addiction. Clinical screenings can determine the risk factors, especially among those taking opioids for chronic pain. Because treatment of severe pain may include a legal opioid prescription from a doctor, the potential for addiction increases.

Initial assessments look for the following criteria:

Crisis intervention – The severity of the addiction may be so acute as to require immediate intervention which may lead a medical professional to advance treatment as quickly as possible.

Patient education – Patients may understand that they have a problem but may not see their addiction as a treatable disease. Recovery centers help patients understand the recovery process, the risks of withdrawal and most importantly seeing opioid addiction as a condition that can be reversed with their commitment to recovery.

Determining if the patient is ready for change – The path to recovery is filled with obstacles. The risk of relapse looms every day over someone battling addiction. Depression and social pressures push the recovering in the opposite direction as they seek relief from personal stresses. Gainesville recovery centers will evaluate if that patient is ready for the road to recovery. In Gainesville, the treatment for opioid addiction has doubled year over year, so the availability of treatment may depend on an incoming patient’s authentic personal commitment to getting well. For those who are ready, the long, hard journey includes positive and meaningful support.

The Detox Process

The absence of opioids in the blood causes the body to go into a form of initial shock. Symptoms may include severe nausea and muscle aches, difficulty sleeping, fever, sweating, extreme agitation and anxiety. These symptoms may begin within 6-12 hours from abstaining from common opioids. Recovery centers will monitor the process to ensure the detox is occurring safely and that there are no medical emergencies.  Gainesville recovery centers are prepared for this severe initial withdrawal episode and do their best to keep patients comfortable and to help them maintain the courage to persist through the ordeal. Within 72 hours and into the weeks that follow the early detox, patients will continue to experience physical symptoms ranging from stomach cramps to vomiting. During this time, the deeper psychological factors caused by addiction may take hold. Drug cravings become more intense and deep depression may lure patients toward relapse. This time frame becomes the most common for recovering addicts to fall back into addiction and becomes a critical time for recovery centers to provide concentrated care.

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