Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Serenity Knolls Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Serenity Knolls Treatment Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Causes & Effects of Opioids Addiction

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Learn About Opioid Addiction & Abuse

Named for their relationship to the opium poppy plant, opioids are a class of substances that are used both medically and recreationally. In medical settings, prescription opioids act as powerful painkillers, able to bring relief from even the most severe pain. Prescription opioids include medications such as morphine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and OxyContin. Although prescription opioids tend to be relatively safe when used as prescribed, they are still opioids and thus the potential for addiction remains if they are used recreationally.

Opioids also appear outside of medical settings. Heroin is perhaps the most common example of an opioid drug that is not used medically, but is only used recreationally. Heroin is a dangerous substance that is extremely addictive and can be life-threatening if heroin abuse continues unchecked.

When they are ingested, all opioids produce feelings of pleasure and relaxation. In the case of illicit opioids such as heroin, this pleasure is powerful and euphoric and is responsible for the drug’s addictive quality. However, when prescription opioids are used recreationally, they also can produce powerful and addictive feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

Regardless of which opioid a person abuses, these are dangerous drugs and an addiction can be life-threatening. Because of the difficulty in overcoming the compulsion to use these drugs, as well as the severe consequences of withdrawal when one attempts to stop using them, it can feel almost impossible to overcome opioid abuse without professional help. For this reason, treatment should be sought.

Statistics

Opioid Abuse Statistics

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5), slightly less than 0.4% of individuals over the age of 18 meet criteria for opioid use disorder in a given year. Rates of opioid abuse tend to be higher in males (0.49%) than in females (0.26%), and this discrepancy is even higher when looking at heroin as opposed to all opioids combined.

Causes & Risks

Causes and Risk Factors for Opioid Abuse

Although an individual’s risk of abusing opioids is affected by both genetic and environmental factors, the DSM-5 argues that genetic factors are foundational to determine an individual’s risk for opioid abuse.

Genetic: Although factors such as social environment and peer relationships can affect an individual’s risk of using opioids, these factors arise as a result of genetic personality differences, such as heightened impulsivity and novelty seeking behavior. In addition, if a person is born into a household with parents who abuse opioids, that individual will likely be at an increased risk of opioid abuse.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Personal history of substance abuse
  • Being male
  • Being in one’s teens or early 20s
Signs & Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Abuse

There are many signs and symptoms that may suggest a person is struggling with opioid abuse, such as:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Apathy
  • “Doctor shopping” or visiting multiple physicians in an attempt to secure multiple prescriptions for opioid drugs
  • Taking opioids in larger amounts or over a greater period of time than intended
  • Spending a great deal of time in efforts to obtain, use, or recover from use of opioids
  • Continuing to abuse opioids despite persistent negative physical or interpersonal consequences of use
  • Failing to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home due to opioid abuse
  • History of failed attempts to reduce opioid use
  • Abusing opioids despite use being physically hazardous

Physical symptoms:

  • Tolerance, or needing increasing amounts of opioids to achieve a high
  • Drowsiness
  • Withdrawal when ceasing use of opioids
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slurred speech

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Poor attention
  • Cravings for opioids
  • Poor memory
  • Impaired judgment
  • Inattention to the environment

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Euphoria
  • Depressed mood
  • Changes in relationships
Lasting Effects

Effects of Opioid Abuse

If left untreated, opioid abuse can have severe consequences for a person’s life, including:

  • Strain on personal relationships
  • Social isolation
  • Separation, divorce, or loss of child custody
  • Contracting HIV, hepatitis C, or other blood-borne illnesses from sharing used needles or risky sexual practices
  • Onset or worsening of mental health symptoms
  • Polysubstance use, addiction, or chemical dependency
  • Birth defects
  • Injury due to drug trafficking violence
  • Dry mouth and nose
  • Loss of visual acuity
  • Poor performance at work
  • Loss of job
  • Constipation
  • Death, either from overdose or suicide
Co-Occurring Disorders

Opioid Abuse & Co-Occurring Disorders

Unfortunately, individuals who abuse opioids are also at risk of other mental health disorders. The most common of these include:

  • Other substance use disorders, especially involving tobacco, alcohol, stimulants, cannabis, and benzodiazepines
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Depressive disorders
Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of Opioid Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of opioid withdrawal: With continued use, a person’s body becomes accustomed to the presence of the opioid which he or she had been abusing. If that person then attempted to abstain from using the opioid, he or she would experience a number of painful and negative effects, including:

  • Dilated pupils
  • High fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Aches
  • Insomnia
  • Depressed mood
  • Excessive sweating
  • Goosebumps
  • Yawning
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose or watery eyes

Effects of opioid overdose: Opioid overdose is an ever-present danger of continued opioid abuse. An overdose occurs when a person ingests more of the drug than his or her body can safely handle. Effects of an opioid overdose can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Severely constricted pupils
  • Confusion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Twitching or spasms
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Coma

After a work related injury, I was prescribed opioids to help deal with the pain. My addiction became worse. I admitted myself and doubled down on getting sober. Now, a year later, I am fully recovered and have not relapsed!

– Robert D.