Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
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 Vantage Point Behavioral Health Hospital 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 Vantage Point Behavioral Health Hospital.

  • 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

Signs & Symptoms of Opiate Abuse

For over 30 years, Vantage Point is the area’s only full-service mental health facility with a complete continuum of psychiatric and behavioral health services for adults and senior adults.

Understanding Opiates

Learn about opiate addiction and substance abuse

The term opiate refers to any type of narcotic opioid alkaloids that come from opium poppy plants and includes Vicodin, OxyContin, and the illegal street version, heroin. Opiates, also interchangeably called “narcotics,” work to depress the central nervous system and are commonly used to reduce pain or to help people fall asleep. They can also be used to quiet feelings of uneasiness and help a person rest and relax. While some opiates are prescribed by doctors to help treat legitimate pain-related ailments, their effects can sometimes lead to addiction. Opiates create a sense of euphoria, which can be extremely appealing to many individuals. The more that people use different types of opiates, the higher their tolerance becomes, causing them to need larger doses in order to feel the same high. While opiate addiction can feel like a never-ending downward spiral, with the right treatment and care, you can overcome an addiction to opioids.

Statistics

Opiate addiction statistics

The type of opiate that is most prominently abused is heroin. However, painkillers are becoming just as prevalent and can be equally as dangerous. It’s estimated that 5 million people in the United States are addicted to prescription opiates, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 52 million people have experimented with opiates for recreational purposes at least once. While opioid abuse can begin at any age, studies have shown that the average age for experimentation is getting younger and younger. One in 12 high school seniors report nonmedical use of prescription pain pills like Vicodin, while 1 in 20 report abusing OxyContin. In the United States, 18% of people who enter treatment for addiction are abusing opiates.

Causes & Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for opiate addiction

The causes and risk factors of opioid abuse will vary from person to person, but it is believed that a combination of social, genetic, psychodynamic, and pharmacological factors can interact to induce addiction. The following are some examples of factors that can play a role in the onset of opioid addiction:

Genetic: It has been stated that there is a high degree of genetic vulnerability when it comes to opioid dependence. People are more susceptible to the onset of opiate addiction if biological family members (such as parents or siblings) suffer from an addiction as well.

Physical: Theories have been made that state that opioids help a person’s ego by managing the painful effects of things such as anxiety, anger, and guilt, among others. Dopamine and serotonin receptors are two aspects of the brain that are affected when an individual begins using opioids. As the chemicals become imbalanced, the likelihood that a person will develop an addiction increases.

Environmental: When people have easy access to opiates, they are more likely to experiment with the drug. Similarly, the fact that the use of prescription opiates is accepted socially makes the drug seem less dangerous. Studies have also shown that there is a higher rate of drug use in areas with higher crime rates, a high degree of unemployment, and poor parental interaction.

Risk Factors:

  • Preexisting mental health issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Family history of addiction
  • Poor familial dynamics
  • Easy access to opiates
  • Exposure to crime and/or violence

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of opiate addiction

The signs and symptoms of opiate addiction will also vary from person to person based on the level of intoxication that results from a person’s consumption. The following are some examples of symptoms that may present themselves in people who abuse opiates:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Slurred speech
  • Increased irritability towards others
  • Violence
  • Abuse
  • Angry outbursts
  • Theft
  • DUIs
  • Borrowing or stealing money

Physical symptoms:

  • Constriction of pupils
  • Sleepiness or insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Lowered heart rate

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Variable concentration
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Intermittent periods of dozing

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Fluctuations in a person’s mood
  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Effects

Effects of opiate addiction

Untreated, the effects of opiate abuse and addiction can range from relatively mild to life-shattering. Long-term complications of opiate abuse and addiction will impact virtually all aspects of a person’s life and may include:

  • Marital issues
  • Family problems
  • Significant changes in social behavior
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of interest in things that one used to be interested in
  • Work or school problems (absences, poor performance)
  • Legal problems
  • Loss of friendships
  • Arrests
  • Medical problems

Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of withdrawal and overdose

The effects of opiate withdrawal can be uncomfortable but are not normally life-threatening. However, withdrawal should always take place in a supervised medical atmosphere. After a person stops using opiates, the symptoms that they experience can last for anywhere between a week to one month. Various withdrawal symptoms that a person may suffer from after ending their opioid use can include:

  • Runny nose and teary eyes
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Variable concentration
  • Low energy
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Stomach cramping
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Central nervous system arousal (including restlessness, sleeplessness, and tremors)

Although withdrawal from opiates is not typically life-threatening, overdosing on the drug can be fatal. It has been estimated that approximately 17,000 people die as a result of opioid overdose in the U.S. every year. The effects of an overdose can include symptoms similar to those of withdrawal, but can also include:

  • Blacking out
  • Slowed pulse rate
  • Shallow, slow respirations
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Coma

Co-Occurring Disorders

Opiate addiction and co-occurring disorders

Like most drug addictions, there are a number of mental illnesses that can coincide with one’s addiction to opiates. Some examples of such illnesses can include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • PTSD
  • ADHD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Addiction to other substances

I wanted to give this recommendation for Vantage Point. This hospital has been very good for me. They work very hard to make sure their patients are well taken care of. I felt lucky to be here for in-house stay and now for IOP. If you need help emotionally this is the place to be.

– a former client