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The Opioid Epidemic – How Silver Can Help in Detox

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The Opioid Epidemic:
How Silver Can Help in Detox

Opioid Addiction Epidemic

By Dr. Pedersen Ph.D
04-22-2019

How Silver Can be an Ally During Drug Detoxification

Silver is a master detoxifier. It has become a valuable tool in destroying inflammatory agents like the bacteria, viruses, and yeast that attack the body and cause a multitude of symptoms and diseases.Silver can be a tremendous ally during drug detoxification. The obstacles that interfere with normal immune function can be reduced or removed by silver as it mobilizes and activates stem cells.

It takes the workload off the immune system, freeing it up to rebuild. All this while promoting the healing and rebuilding benefits of immune cells.

The immune system is then able to focus on regenerating healthy nerve cells, restoring immune function, and reducing inflammation caused by autoimmune attacks.

This cellular detoxification helps inside cells, in tissues, and within whole body systems.

Alkaline structured silver, unlike the colloidal silver or silver hydrosol you may have heard of, is bonded to pure, distilled water molecules. Structured silver has a tetrahedral, crystalline structure. And its alkaline pH works with the immune system instead of against it like other forms of silver.

Structured silver works by stealing an electron from a nearby microbe’s cellular membrane. It then fires off an electron to another one… killing both of the cells (the one it stole from and the one it fired at). It’s a microbe-killing machine!

It has the remarkable ability to attack and destroy the bad, or pathogenic bacteria in the gut as well as any other microbes, like viruses and fungi. And it doesn’t harm the good, probiotic bacteria.

Alkaline structured silver is a win-win for the gut microbiome and for the patient recovering from drug addiction!

At the top of the drug abuse and addiction charts are opioids.

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The Opioid Epidemic

Opioid drug abuse has reached epidemic levels in the United States.

It’s estimated that more than 130 people die every single day in the US from opioid drug overdoses… nearly 47,600 a year as of 2017. In fact, there were more than 70,200 drug overdoses in 2017 and more than two-thirds of them… a whopping 68%… were related to opioids.

It’s estimated that more than 130 people die every single day in the US from opioid drug overdoses… nearly 47,600 a year as of 2017. In fact, there were more than 70,200 drug overdoses in 2017 and more than two-thirds of them… a whopping 68%… were related to opioids.

How did we get to this outrageous number?

It started in the late 1990s when the pharmaceutical giants convinced the healthcare providers that addiction to opioid pain medications was nothing to worry about. With that reassurance easing their minds, doctors trusted pharma and started prescribing more of these medications.[1] [2]

By 2010, heroin had begun to rear its ugly head, making bigger contributions to the opioid overdose death rates.

2013 saw the rise in synthetic opioid overdose deaths. Illicitly-manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is one of the main culprits. IMF shows up mixed with heroin, cocaine, and counterfeit meds.

HHS finally declared a public health emergency in 2017.

Of course, not all users die… still, 2.1 million Americans have what the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refers to as an “opioid use disorder.” That’s a lot of people, folks!

HHS finally declared a public health emergency in 2017.

What is an opioid use disorder? It’s a pattern of opioid use that has become a problem leading to impairment or distress. The symptoms of an opioid use disorder are centered around four categories[3]:

  • Loss of control
  • Social problems
  • Risky use
  • Pharmacological problems

Opioids: The Pain Medication in Crisis

Opioids, a type of narcotics, are a class of drugs. They include prescription pain medication, illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Most Opiates Come From The Pharmacy

Some common prescription opioids include[4]:

  • hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Lortab®, and Norco®)
  • oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®)
  • oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • morphine (Kadian®, Avinza®)
  • codeine
  • fentanyl (a synthetic alternative to morphine)
  • carfentanil (veterinary drug – “elephant tranquilizer” or “horse tranquilizer”)
  • methadone
  • meperidine (Demerol®)
  • tramadol

Again, there are illegal opioids as well as the legal drugs available by prescription. Illegal opioids include:

  • heroin
  • heroin laced with fentanyl
  • opium

Opioids take their name from the opium poppy plant where they are found naturally. Some prescription opioids are made from the plant directly. Others are made by scientists in labs using the same chemical structure[5].

Opium Comes From The Poppy Flower

Opioids contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. For this reason, they are often used as medicines.

These medications are prescribed mostly to treat moderate to severe pain. Due to their ability to relax the body, some opioids can be used to treat coughing and diarrhea by calming the muscle spasms.

When taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, opioids are generally safe. Unfortunately, misuse has become common.

What Makes Opioids Addictive

Opioid drugs can be highly addictive. Overdoses and death resulting from recreational or non-medical use are becoming more and more common.

Comsuming Opioids Can Be Harmful

The characteristic that makes opioids dangerous is their ability to make people feel “high” or super relaxed. Users begin to crave that feeling leading to the drugs being used for non-medical or recreational reasons. Some people may seek them out for this purpose alone.

Opioids work by binding to and activating opioid receptors on cells throughout the brain, spinal cord, and other organs. This activation blocks any pain signals that were being sent from the brain to the body. It also releases large amounts of dopamine throughout the body.

Dopamine is a brain chemical called a neurotransmitter… it transports information from one neuron to another. Dopamine is the chemical associated with the reward or pleasure center of the brain… the “feel-good” chemical.

The release of dopamine gives the sensation of euphoria. It’s no surprise then that opioid drug users many times want to repeat the experience. Over. And. Over.

Heroin: Cheaper + Easier = More Dangerous

Heroin is very similar to the prescription opioids in chemical structure. Therefore, it gives a similar high feeling.

Heroin, illegal and therefore never used as a medicine in the United States, is one of the most dangerous opioids in the world.

The problem is it may be cheaper and easier to get ahold of than prescription medications. This has led to some people switching to heroin as their drug of choice instead[6].

The Effects of Opioid Drugs

Opioids can relieve pain and make people feel relaxed and happy… after all, their primary use is for pain relief. They can also have other effects… some pretty nasty. Some of the side effects (both common and uncommon) of opioids include:

  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • euphoria
  • slowed breathing
  • hallucinations[7]
  • auditory hallucinations[8]

In addition, there’s a direct link between use of opioids and psychological disorders such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder[9]

Misuse of opioid drugs can cause the breathing to slow to the point of hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition that happens when not enough oxygen gets to the brain. It can have both short-term and long-term effects. Hypoxia can lead to the body entering a coma. It can cause permanent brain damage, or death.

Long-term effects of opioid addiction on the brain, including whether damage can be reversed, are being researched.

The damage caused by the effects of opioid drugs include stress and overstimulation of the body and its vital organs including the heart and brain. By exceeding the physical limitations of the organs, entire body systems begin to break down.

And extensive drug use damages the immune hormones and metabolic systems, the very systems that fight to keep the body healthy.

Substance Use Disorders: Dependence, Tolerance, and Addiction

And extensive drug use damages the immune hormones and metabolic systems, the very systems that fight to keep the body healthy.

The difference between the terms addiction, dependence, and tolerance can be a bit confusing. The three words mean three different things.

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic disease… it is persistent and can last for a very long time.

When someone is suffering from a drug addiction, they look for and use those drugs compulsively… uncontrollably… even though they may have begun to experience harmful effects or consequences.

Drug abuse can result in long-lasting changes in the brain. Changes that can result in harmful behaviors by the drug user. These drugs may be illegal but many times, especially when the drugs are of the opioid type, they are prescribed by a doctor.

Drug Tolerance

Long-term use of prescription opioids can result in some people developing a tolerance to the medication… even those prescribed by a doctor. So they need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the effects they’re looking for.

Opioid Epidemic From Prescriptions

Drug Dependence

Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, a drug dependence is quite different from an addiction. When certain drugs are used repeatedly for long period of time, the user’s body may become dependent on it.

In drug dependence, the neurons in the brain adapt to the drug’s presence. They reach a point where they will only work normally when the drug is present.

The addictive nature of opioids means that the body becomes dependent on them. The body’s biochemical functions begin to depend on the drugs to be there. They become necessary for normal daily function.

This dependence on a foreign substance creates a change in the body’s normal homeostasis, or its balance.

When the drug is taken away, the body reacts physiologically. This is what withdrawal symptoms are. They may be mild as in the case of caffeine.

Or they can be life threatening, like we see with heroin and other opioid drugs.

Chronic pain patients may become dependent on opioids. When this happens, support is needed in order to help them stop using the drug.

Opioid Overdose: An Indiscriminate Drug

When a person uses enough of a drug that they die or experience life-threatening symptoms, they’ve had an overdose.

My Doctor Suggests Opioid Epidemic

During an overdose of an opioid medication, the person’s breathing may slow or stop. Since breathing is how oxygen gets in the body and to the brain, their brain may not get enough oxygen. A shortage of oxygen to the brain can lead to a coma, permanent brain damage, or even death.

The brain and body aren’t selective about the source of the drug. An overdose can happen whether the drug is legally prescribed or acquired illegally. It doesn’t matter if it’s made in a lab or if it’s natural. An overdose is an overdose.

Breaking an Opioid Addiction: Withdrawal

To say that stopping an opioid addiction is difficult is putting it mildly. Many users become dependent on the drugs… it’s physiological. The body “needs” it.

Users who have developed a dependence on opioid medications can have severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop. Withdrawal can start as soon as a few hours from the time the drug was last used.

My Doctor Suggests Opioid Overdoses

Some opioid drug withdrawal symptoms are:

  • muscle and bone pain
  • sleep problems
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • cold flashes with goosebumps
  • uncontrollable leg movements
  • severe cravings

Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable… sometimes painful. It is one reason many people, even though they desperately want to quit, find it so hard to stop using the drugs that are slowly stealing their lives away.

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Seeking Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Because of the physical challenges that many people encounter when they make the move to stop using drugs, medical help or intervention is often sought out.

Medications are available that can help. The first two, buprenorphine and methadone, work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as the opioid drugs. So they take the place of the opioids in the body. This helps control or eliminate withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings for the opioids.

A third medicine, naltrexone, blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. If the opioid drug is used, it will have no effect.

Behavioral therapy will also play a big role in recovery from opioid and other drug addictions. Behavioral therapy helps recovering drug users adjust their attitudes and behaviors surrounding drug use.

Changing behavior involves learning to make healthy life choices and includes gaining the skills and knowledge to help them live a healthier lifestyle. It encourages them to seek or continue other forms of treatment, like medication.

One example of behavioral therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. CBT helps the patient change their drug use expectations and behaviors. In addition, it teaches them how to effectively manage stress handle events or situations that might trigger a recurrence.

Another type of therapy is called multidimensional family therapy (MFT). This approach is especially helpful for adolescents or teens with drug abuse problems. MFT takes a look at the family influences as well as personal influences inside and outside the home.

A combination of behavioral treatment and medication can be very effective in helping drug users end their addiction.

Immune system repair and detox also plays a key role in recovery.

Recovering from Opioid Drug Addiction: Repairing the Immune System

A third vital component of recovery from drug addiction or dependence is detoxifying and rebuilding the immune system. The immune system’s job in the body is to identify anything foreign and destroy everything that could hurt the body.

The immune system is the primary tool of rehabilitation and detoxification. It plays a key role in restoring the body’s normal functions and rebuilding tissues and organs that have been damaged by extended periods of drug abuse. It helps normalize basic homeostasis, so the drug-addicted patient can begin to heal at the biochemical or molecular level.

The immune system is the primary tool of rehabilitation and detoxification. It plays a key role in restoring the body’s normal functions and rebuilding tissues and organs that have been damaged by extended periods of drug abuse. It helps normalize basic homeostasis, so the drug-addicted patient can begin to heal at the biochemical or molecular level.

Detox With Silver Products

Repair and support of the immune system is crucial to recovery and detoxing.

Using Alkaline Structured Silver as a Detox Aid

Alkaline structured silver in the form of silver liquid and/or silver gel can provide support and help with drug detox. Taken internally, alkaline structured silver helps balance gut bacteria. This has a dramatic effect on the neurons that secrete those neurotransmitters to the brain (like dopamine).

pH Balanced Silver gel can be used to keep skin free of germs and microbes while helping to heal sore or damaged skin during rehabilitation.

Silver lozenges, made with natural and organic ingredients, are valuable in repairing or maintaining healthy mucous membranes in the mouth and throat when replacing oral addictions such as smoking. The mouth-watering flavors taste great, and by allowing them to dissolve slowly, they remain in contact with the mouth and throat for up to ten minutes.

To learn what else alkaline structured silver can do for you, visit our website or give us a call at 1-866-660-9868. Our customer service team will be happy to talk to you about your silver needs.

[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, What is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic?

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Understanding the Epidemic

[3] Providers Clinical Support System, Opioid Use Disorder: What is Opioid Addiction?

[4] American Addiction Centers, The Big List of Narcotic Drugs

[5] National Institute on Drug Abuse, Prescription Opioids

[6] Muhuri PK, Gfroerer JC, Davies MC, Associations of Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use and Initiation of Heroin Use in the United States, Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2013

[7] Tan, MinYi MD; Gan, Tong Joo MD, FRCA, MHS, LiAc, Anesthesia & Analgesia, Opioid-Induced Hallucination: Distressful or Sought After? October 2016 – Volume 123 – Issue 4 – p 818–819

[8] Eric Prommer, MD, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Musical Hallucinations and Opioids: A Word of Caution, October 2005, Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 305–307

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