Pink Cloud Syndrome

Pink Cloud Syndrome

What Is the Pink Cloud?

When you are newly sober, you go through a wide range of emotions. When I completed treatment at Pathfinders, I felt like I could take on the world. I had gone from being a hopeless alcoholic to being full of energy and ready to take on any challenge.

For newly sober people, this is referred to as the pink cloud syndrome. The signs and symptoms of pink cloud syndrome include feeling overly confident and elated. There are positive elements of a pink cloud, but it can also lead you to slip up if you are not careful.

It’s important to feel accomplished once you’ve become sober. It’s a huge achievement. A lot of addicts never get to experience what it’s like to overcome your addiction. There are many positive elements of a pink cloud, but you have to be careful.

There is a big risk of relapse in pink cloud thinking. While it feels great to be newly sober, it can be scary as well. Your emotions can flip from moment to moment. It’s very important to recognize that when you are newly sober, you are vulnerable.

You did not expect to feel the feelings that you are experiencing. I expected my recovery to be a bigger struggle. Not to make it sound like it wasn’t, but I didn’t anticipate the pink cloud.

I struggled with feelings of guilt as well. It was almost like a survivor’s guilt of some kind. Why was I able to get sober yet so many other people can’t? First of all, you should never feel guilty because you got clean and someone else didn’t.

If you manage to overcome your addiction, you deserve all the happiness that you can get. It’s difficult to achieve and you don’t understand that until you’ve experienced it. You should expect the unexpected. Not only will getting sober be a tough challenge, but it’s also a very unique one. There is going to be vulnerability no matter what.

This vulnerability can make you think a lot of things. There is a chemical understanding of the pink cloud that you must have. Because your brain is still recovering from the damage done during your addiction, you have good days and bad days.

On your good days, you think you’ll never get high or drunk again. On your bad days, it takes every last ounce of effort for you to not relapse. The pink cloud can be very deceiving.

The roller coaster of emotions can be very difficult to deal with, and it may make you want to give in and throw away your progress. This is where aftercare planning becomes very crucial. If you don’t have a plan in place, you can be in danger of relapse.

Long-term sobriety takes a lot of work. The longer you are sober, the more likely you are to remain sober. This is not always the case for everybody. I’ve met plenty of people who have been sober for decades and one slip up makes them go right back to their old ways.

Sobriety is tricky, and it really is a day-by-day process. On your bad days, it can take everything in you to not use again. There are pitfalls of pink cloud thinking. The pink cloud can go away as quickly as it begins. How long can a pink cloud last? It’s different for everyone. Everybody’s sobriety journey looks a little bit different even if there are similarities.

When I first got sober, everything seemed easy. I thought it was too good to be true, and it was. When I left Pathfinders, the last thing I wanted to do was drink. The idea of drinking made me nauseous.

I could taste the alcohol on my lips and it made me sick to my stomach. I felt energized for the first time in years. I started to allow myself to think that I had totally defeated my addiction. It was over and done with.

I was never going to drink again. Then, after one bad day, I got the urge. It was very disappointing for me to go through that and realize that I had been thrown off the pink cloud. I didn’t relapse, but I came very close.

Paint It Pink: Long Term Sobriety

Paint It Pink Long Term Sobriety

No matter how well you are doing in your recovery, achieving long-term sobriety is a full-time job. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, it will be hard to stay on the right track.

Because of aftercare services and therapy, I have learned some good tips for managing pink cloud syndrome. First and foremost, you have to live moment to moment. When you start thinking too far ahead, it can really mess you up.

Each day, your goal should be to not drink or get high on that specific day. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and you will have the opportunity to deal with it when that time comes.

It’s important to have a balance in your life. Avoid extreme emotions. When you are using drugs or alcohol, you are living on both extremes. You have high highs and low lows.

If you can find a way to manage your emotions and the way you react, you will teach yourself the power of rational thinking. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle will help you achieve this.

Developing healthy eating habits and engaging in physical activity is great not just for your body, but your overall mental health as well. If your mental health is in a good place, you have a great advantage.

Leaving behind the pink cloud and settling into your new lifestyle may be difficult, but it is a natural process. You’re not going to feel like Superman forever.

Eventually, sobriety just becomes another aspect of your life. It’s not the new thing in your life that’s bright and shiny. You have to remember that life ebbs and flows, and you are going to have challenges in the future. Taking on these challenges with a clear mind and a positive attitude is all part of living a sober lifestyle.

The 12 steps are a great outlet for you to learn about the pink cloud warnings. Anyone familiar with the 12 steps has heard about the pink cloud. If you are over-confident in your sobriety, it can give you a cocky attitude.

You don’t think you have a problem anymore. What meetings will help you realize is that you are not above your addiction, even if you have those fleeting moments where you feel that you are.

Meetings and therapy are a great way to keep you in check and bring down your ego a notch or two. I constantly have to remind myself that I am powerless against my addiction. The triggers for the pink cloud syndrome can affect anyone in recovery.

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

For all of us in recovery, there are plenty of occasions when we need to pick each other up. The pink cloud may make you feel all-powerful, but your peers in recovery will help you understand that these feelings will not last forever.

The ups and downs of sobriety vary from person to person, and there is no real handbook to follow. When you are newly sober, it’s a rollercoaster. Once my pink cloud went away, I was hanging on by a thread. It took everything in me not to get high.

When I think back on those days, I have a better understanding of how to help those who have just begun their journey. I know how I feel when I’m having an off day. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in.

Knowing that there are people in your corner who will help you through it can give you just enough of a boost to come out on the other end. However long you last on your pink cloud, you will still require the tools needed to maintain your sobriety once you jump off of it.

We all need affirmation from time to time. We need to be reminded by the people we respect that we are on the right track. The addiction peer support that I’ve received has given me an opportunity to maintain a righteous path.

The addiction support my family has received has only made things easier for all of us. They know when I am in need of help. They can see the signs. When I’m in a dark headspace, they know how to help lift me out of it.

Rehab romance and pink cloud thinking are very real. You have to understand and respect the process in order to keep moving forward. I take every experience I’ve had and every story I hear very seriously.

The moments of weakness are just as important to the process as the moments of strength. It’s been a wild ride for me, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We all need to keep our heroes close. You never know when you might need them.

How Long Does Meth Psychosis Last?

How Long Does Meth Psychosis Last

What Is Meth Induced Psychosis?

My meth addiction made me literally lose my mind. Besides losing my sanity, I also lost nearly everything else in my life. My job, my wife, and my overall happiness. There aren’t a lot of drugs out there like meth. The damage that it does to your body and your mental health is astounding.

Even after you quit using meth, there can be underlying conditions and psychosis. It took me a long time to feel normal again after I went through recovery at Pathfinders. I still have nightmares to this day and wake up wondering if they were real or not.

So what is meth-induced psychosis? Generally speaking, meth psychosis is brought on by a combination of paranoia and hallucinations that result from prolonged meth abuse.

Speaking from personal experience, this is a terrifying condition and can quickly escalate to a point that’s unimaginable. I started using meth when I was a teenager.

I grew up in a rural area, and the manufacturing of meth wasn’t too uncommon in my town. I ended up getting into it through friends, and eventually wound up producing it myself. It didn’t take long for my whole personality to change.

The progression of meth psychosis is rapid. Within several months of using meth, I found myself paranoid and thinking everyone was out to get me. First of all, there is a lot of paranoia that goes along with using illegal drugs and having your life revolve around them.

The people you associate with are less than ideal, and you are always in fear of being arrested or found out by your loved ones. Meth is a very hard addiction to hide from anyone. The damage that it does to your body makes it very obvious. It’s hard to deny you have an addiction when your teeth are falling out and you look as pale and sickly as a corpse.

So the symptoms of meth abuse are obvious. We’ve all seen the meth before and after photos of what the drug does to people over time. The symptoms of meth psychosis are also very obvious. You become incoherent.

There is a lot of fast-talking and rambling. Being unable to concentrate on one subject is extremely difficult. Dealing with that kind of fear and anxiety is totally crippling. You start to believe all these crazy thoughts are real. There is also the issue of thinking things are crawling all over you. Meth Mites are a common occurrence.

You start to believe there are bugs crawling under your skin. Meth crystalizes under the skin, which causes a lot of irritation and itching. It’s extremely uncomfortable.

It sounds nuts, but since you are not in the right frame of mind when you’re using meth, you can quickly start to believe that insects are literally crawling all over you. When you’re just getting into drugs, this doesn’t sound like a very appealing high.

Who in their right mind would want to experience something like that? You don’t get it until you’re in it. You don’t plan on using drugs to lose your mind. You begin using drugs because you want to have fun or you have some sort of pain to cover up.

When your drug abuse gets to the point of visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety, you’d think that would be enough to get clean right? The answer is usually no. People get so far in they don’t see what they’ve become.

When I look at old photos of myself from when I was using drugs, it shocks me. How did I not know how bad I looked? It’s a brutal reality that you develop drug eyes. You don’t see how bad it’s gotten. Even if you do, it still isn’t enough to do anything about it.

Progression Of Meth Psychosis

Meth hallucinations are very real and they affect every aspect of your life. They can be visual, auditory, and tactile. You can see, hear, and feel things that are not there. There’s no way something like that isn’t going to have a hugely negative impact on you.

The really tricky thing about psychosis is when you are experiencing it, you don’t recognize it as abnormal. It’s easy to look at a meth addict suffering from psychosis and see that they are unwell. When you’re the addict, it’s not all that clear.

Using drugs like meth cause the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, which are trigger feelings of euphoria. When those feelings go away, and the high disappears, you want nothing more than to get that feeling back.

Continued substance abuse and the repeated release of dopamine cause your brain to burn out. It’s the same with almost every drug. In the beginning, your tolerance is low.

As you build up your tolerance to the drug, you need more and more of it to get by. Eventually, this develops into a full-blown addiction, and your brain can’t release all that dopamine fast enough.

How long does meth psychosis last? It depends on the level of your addiction. For some people, it can play out over months or even years. There are some users who develop permanent meth psychosis, however, with treatment this condition is reversible.

There is a lasting recovery from meth misuse. It’s one of those addictions that you don’t ever really defeat. Because it is such a powerful drug, the cravings can continue long after you are sober. This is why it’s important to develop a strong recovery network and understand that you are powerless to the drug.

One of the obvious side effects of methamphetamine use is meth mouth. Meth mouth is defined simply as tooth decay and gum disease as a result of repeated meth use. The damage to the teeth is the result of not only the acidity of the drug but also involuntary teeth grinding and overall poor oral hygiene.

By the time the user seeks treatment, the teeth are often too damaged or broken to be repaired and have to be removed. There is also a direct connection between meth use and voice loss.

Treatment For Meth Psychosis

Treatment For Meth Psychosis

Treatment for meth addiction requires a lot of work on both the user and the person treating the user. I was really surprised at the care and compassion showed to me at Pathfinders.

My addiction and my psychosis were at a very dangerous level. Pathfinders offer a great dual diagnosis program, and for someone like me, it worked wonders. I didn’t realize that my mental health was at an all-time low.

Dual diagnosis treatment is a great way for addicts with mental illness to work on both issues at once. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s proven to be a very effective way to treat substance abuse.

Once the damage is done, it’s pretty difficult to do away with the problem on your own. Because drugs rewire our brains and change the way we think, addicts are not often concerned with their appearance after a while.

It quickly becomes an afterthought. When you are recovering from meth, you become one big restoration project. Your body and mind are equally damaged. If you are done feeling paranoid all the time, dope sick, and strung out, a place like Pathfinders will get you back on track.

If addressed early enough, there is a chance your state of mind can be restored. If you have been abusing meth long term, there aren’t a whole lot of options other than intensive rehab. The solution to fixing meth mouth is to quit using meth, which is not exactly simple.

Meth can be a very difficult drug to get off of, as it completely rewires your brain. If you are serious enough about it, sobriety can be achieved no matter where you’re in your addiction. The damage to your mouth is only something that can be addressed after you face the problem head-on.

When you recover from a drug like meth, it takes a very long time to return to the way you once were. Luckily for me, I have found the pull of recovery stronger at this point than the pull of Meth.

The triggers may still be there occasionally, but I am in a much better frame of mind these days to know the consequences of my actions. When I was using meth, there was nothing on my mind but getting high. I have a lot more positive elements in my life that help me stay on the right track.

Keeping yourself on track is going to be a huge part of your daily life. It takes a lot of work to reach a comfortable level of recovery. It’s something that’s worth celebrating every day.

When you are ready to take on the battle and follow through with it you will find the outcome very rewarding. Once you know you want to get clean, you will be coming from the best possible place.

Never Drinking Again

Never Drinking Again

Making The Decision Not To Drink

Making the decision to abstain from alcohol is extremely difficult. If you’ve gotten to that point, good for you. Keep in mind that a lot of alcoholics and problem drinkers never get to that point.

If you actually make the decision to stop drinking, that alone is a huge feat. If you slip up and go back to it, at least you know you can stop again because you’ve done it before. The reasons why people swear off alcohol may vary. Some people do it for their health and their overall well-being.

Some do it because it’s ruining their personal life. Regardless of how you’ve come to this conclusion, you’ve recognized that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. That is the first step.

Sometimes drinking is the symptom and not the problem. There’s a reason why a lot of addicts get as bad as they do. There is typically some sort of past trauma or tragic event that triggered you to use drugs or alcohol.

This isn’t the case with every single addict, but it’s a common thing they all have in common. A bad childhood. Mental health issues. Stress and anxiety. The list goes on and on. Whatever it is that led you to substance abuse, it needs to be taken care of as you begin your journey into sobriety.

There is something powerful to be said about dual diagnosis and drinking cessation. There are all sorts of therapy methods for alcohol abstinence, but dual diagnosis is an increasingly popular one.

Dual diagnosis refers to the process of tackling your addiction and your mental and/or emotional health issues at the same time. It may seem like a lot, but it worked wonders for me.

I had a lot of very serious emotional problems that I would cover up through drinking. When I got to Pathfinders for treatment, they offered a great dual diagnosis program that helped me work on all of my issues simultaneously.

It’s going to take a while to fix everything that you’ve been avoiding because of your addiction. When they say one day at a time, they mean it. You don’t have to worry about the next day or the next week.

The only thing that matters is how you are doing today, and what you are actively doing to work on yourself. There is a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done before you achieve long-term sobriety. If you’re up to the challenge, you can make it work.

Why is it so hard to stop drinking alcohol on your own? Because it is an all-powerful addiction. Recognizing that you are powerless to alcohol will help you through your initial period of recovery.

Some addicts try to convince themselves that they can have a couple of drinks and be ok. Some think they can figure out a way to keep their drinking under control. This usually doesn’t work out so well.

Even if you can control your drinking for a little while, it’s an addiction that’s designed to get worse and worse. Moderation and making drinking changes might work for non-addicts, but if you’re a true addict, you will know it sooner or later.

Self Knowledge And Drinking

Self Knowledge And Drinking

There is a lot of soul-searching to be done when you enter recovery. You learn a lot about yourself and what triggers you. You learn a lot about why you react the way you do in certain situations.

Even if you learn to cope with the triggers that may affect you, they can still overwhelm you at times. No one is perfect. When you attend meetings and therapy groups, you will meet a wide range of people from all different backgrounds, yet you all got there the same way. You couldn’t control it.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they are never drinking again. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself, but it’s very hard for any addict to say this definitively and make it actually happen.

Plenty of people in recovery never do end up drinking again. But coping with never drinking again is a lifelong battle. You have to be strong every day. You have to recognize the triggers and how to avoid them. It’s a huge responsibility to put on yourself, but it will reward you greatly if you keep at it.

When you make the decision to quit drinking, picking the right place for recovery is key. Treatment centers are incredibly helpful for you to build a sober foundation. I was extremely pleased with my time at Pathfinders. I couldn’t have picked a more compassionate place.

Luckily, there are so many different forms of therapy and so many different recovery centers. What works for one person may not work for another. If you find the right treatment center, you will know it. Does alcohol detox work for casual drinkers? It may, but there may be alternative methods as well.

There is a lot that can be said about quitting cold turkey vs. home detox. Alcohol can be a very dangerous substance to detox from. It’s one of the few drugs where detox can be fatal if not done correctly. If you choose to do an at-home detox, you should make sure that you are doing it the right way.

Going through detox under medical supervision is the best way to do it, but if you’re going to home detox you need to recognize and be aware of the dangers and look into natural detox remedies. I strongly do not recommend quitting cold turkey if you are a late-term alcoholic.

It’s shocking that alcohol is legal, yet it can do more damage to us mentally and physically than most illegal drugs. I’m not here to argue that drugs should be legal, but it’s a strange reality.

You are allowed to legally drink yourself to death, but not to snort yourself to death. Alcohol is probably the most abused substance in the country because of its acceptance and availability. People make jokes about alcoholism and drinking to excess.

We think it’s funny until it hits us too close to home. When someone you know dies of alcoholism, it makes you think a lot more about how you view it. We often view drinking as a way to have fun and relax. That isn’t the case for a lot of addicts.

Milestones And Commitments To Stop Drinking

Milestones And Commitments To Stop Drinking

You have every reason to celebrate when you hit a milestone. When I was sober for one year, it was a surreal feeling. I was a bit worried though. I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it, because I didn’t want to feel the external pressure to keep it up.

I still have off days and I still have times where I feel triggered to drink. Again, it’s a personal decision. If you feel like celebrating your milestones is a positive thing for you then by all means celebrate as much as possible!

You’ve done something worth celebrating. I like to spend some time on my sober anniversaries to reflect on how far I’ve come, and what I need to do to continue being sober.

There are several different schools of thought when it comes to recovery. There are some programs that claim they can cure you of your addiction and you will never go back. In my experience, that is not always the case for a lot of addicts.

When we talk about AA vs. other methods of sobriety, there are some differences but a lot of similarities. The AA approach is that you are powerless to your addiction, and seeking a higher power will help you achieve sobriety. Some people aren’t into the whole higher power thing, and that’s totally fine.

I try to keep in mind that I didn’t get here all by myself. I know there were a lot of people that helped me along the way. I try to celebrate those people as much as I celebrate my own progress. When I know someone has reached a milestone, I tell them how proud I am of them.

I don’t put any pressure on them, I just let them know they’ve done something commendable. The peer support I’ve received has helped keep me sober, so I try to lend a helping hand and give encouragement whenever possible.

Denial is a big part of the addiction process. We have to let people make the decision on their own to get help. You can only help someone so much. If you can’t help yourself, no one else is going to get through to you.

You can offer someone all the encouragement in the world, but if they don’t really want sobriety they won’t be able to attain it. I remind myself of this as well.

I can only do so much for other people, but I can do a lot for myself. Almost all of the days I’ve strung together are because of the decision that I made. That gives me a lot of faith in myself that I can keep it going.

The Sober Movement

The Sober Movement

What Is the Sober Movement?

The sober community has come a long way in recent years. There are many reasons for this. The rise of the opiate epidemic is a big one, but there is also so much more information out there these days regarding substance abuse.

When I was growing up, I had no idea of the dangers of certain drugs. There were afterschool specials and a few random TV ads about drugs being bad, but they never really told you why. “Just Say No” became a popular term back in the 80s, but what is the reason for just saying no?

I didn’t get it until I became a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. I dabbled in a lot of different drugs and ended up wasting a lot of my life. I lost multiple jobs and could barely hold down a place to live.

When I entered Pathfinders for treatment, I didn’t know too much about the sober movement or the term ‘sober curious’. The definition of sober curious is a bit different from being actually sober.

Sober curious refers to the option you have to not drink or use drugs. When someone is sober curious, they are more interested in sobriety for health and wellness reasons. Anyone can be sober curious. You don’t necessarily have to have an addiction to be sober curious.

The origins of the term can be traced back to the author Ruby Warrington. Her book “Sober Curious” was published in 2018 and has become a must-read for those interested in the sober movement.

This book has been a big eye-opener for a lot of people, myself included. The sober lifestyle has historically been seen as made up of only former addicts. There are so many people out there who are not addicts that have just decided to not drink or do drugs.

When you meet someone who has never drunk alcohol or done drugs in their life, it’s rare. But these people are out there, and they have just as much wisdom as anybody else.

You don’t have to have a drug or alcohol history to have insight into the world of substance abuse. Obviously, recovering addicts may have more personal experience on the matter, but the information is out there if you choose to educate yourself.

It doesn’t take a drug addict to know that doing opiates can kill you. It doesn’t take you being an alcoholic to know that alcohol can seriously hurt your body and your mind.

Do I have to be an alcoholic to get sober? The answer is absolutely not. The sober movement is made up of all kinds of people. Perhaps you’ve had people in your life who are addicted, and it scared you enough to never want to try drugs or alcohol.

I have met many people in the sober community who were the children of alcoholics. They made the decision early on to never drink, knowing full well that it probably wouldn’t go so well. If you have a family history of substance abuse, chances are you won’t be one of those people who can just drink socially.

Changing The Sobriety Stigma

Changing The Sobriety Stigma

Another question sober curious people may ask themselves is why am I expected to drink to have a good time? There is so much peer pressure in our society and an emphasis on drinking to have fun.

Why is this the case? When you really try to wrap your head around this issue, it makes you question a lot of things. We’ve seen what drugs and alcohol can do to people, yet drugs and alcohol are so closely associated with having a good time.

Sober people are often looked at as boring and uninteresting. Since I got sober, I can’t count how many fun and interesting sober people I’ve met. This is one of the great tricks that society plays on us.

Just like there is a stigma with drug addicts, there is also a stigma around sober people. Some people think we are miserable because we can’t get high or drunk anymore.

There are people that are sometimes referred to as ‘dry drunks’. This is defined as a recovering alcoholic who still exhibits the behavior and attitude of an active alcoholic. You may meet these people, but in my experience, most of the people I’ve come across in the sober community are full of life and couldn’t be happier to not be addicted.

The trend vs. lifestyle of the sober movement is also something to consider. Sure, some people may consider themselves sober curious because they see it as the cool thing to do. Some people may be trying to impress others by bragging about their sobriety.

In my experience, no matter what community you are part of, there are going to be people who aren’t all in. Some people just want to feel like they are part of something bigger. Sometimes people just want to try it out and see for themselves.

No matter what, I treat everyone I meet in the sober community the same. If they no longer want sobriety, it isn’t my place to judge. If one of my peer’s relapses and doesn’t come back from it, it’s sad, but there isn’t a lot I can do for them personally other than offer my insight.

I look at achieving recovery from drinking as a way of life. This is who I am, and it plays a big role in every aspect of my life. When you become sober after being addicted, it’s something you need to put a lot of work into. It doesn’t come easy, but the rewards are very much worth it.

There is a lot to be said regarding social media and the sober movement. Social media is a huge part of our daily lives today, and a lot of influencers online have taken to the sober movement.

There are a lot of celebrities involved in the sober movement, which can be encouraging to younger people. I never want to be influenced in any way by something just because of what a celebrity says, but it really does have an impact on a lot of people.

All the great actors of the golden age of Hollywood were known for their drinking habits and exploits. These days, you will find just as many sober entertainers as you will ones that engage in substance abuse.

Forms of Treatment for Assistance In Sobriety

Forms of Treatment for Assistance In Sobriety

Your approach to sobriety very much determines how well you will do. If you are all in, and you truly want it for yourself, you have a great chance of succeeding. While you do have to do a lot of the work on your own, you are going to need help along the way.

I know that for me personally I really needed all the peer support that I’ve gotten over the years. It plays a big part in me staying on the sober path. I’ve met a lot of other problem drinkers like myself who made the decision to get sober before it was too later.

The definition of problem drinking is someone who abuses alcohol but is not yet chronically addicted. Luckily for me, I managed to get help before becoming physically addicted. Unfortunately, some people don’t seek help until they are late-term alcoholics.

There are a lot of different and unique ways to enjoy sobriety. I used to really enjoy cocktails, and luckily for me, there are a wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks that are commonly referred to as mocktails.

Mocktails and other sober movement drinks allow you to continue to have fun and indulge a little bit. When I first got sober, I switched to non-alcoholic beer. It was a great bridge drink for me. I always enjoyed beer and all the different varieties of beer. Being able to have my NA beer after I got sober was a good way for me to ease into my sobriety without completely dropping the drinks I used to enjoy.

The rise of the sober movement and sober curious people have been very fun for me to witness. The word is out on drugs and alcohol. They ruin lives, families, and careers. People don’t usually ruin their lives simply because they are sober.

With drugs and alcohol, no matter where you are in life, you are going to experience turmoil. Some addicts are violent and their behavior changes when they are under the influence. Some addicts are non-confrontational, and their addiction doesn’t affect their personality. Even though that is the case, they are still doing a great amount of damage to their bodies.

I was never a violent or angry drunk. I was what you’d call a happy drunk. I was nice to everyone, and I never engaged in any lewd or illegal behavior. Everything seemed fine until I realized the internal damage that it was doing.

The negative physical effects of substance abuse can really creep up on you. My uncle was a happy drunk too. Everything seemed fine with him until he died of a heart attack. The heart attack was brought on by his unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t get the chance to realize what he was doing to himself.

The alcohol was waging a silent war against him. Seeing that taught me a lot. The best lesson it taught me is that nobody ever died from achieving sobriety. That is a great thought that I continue to hold on to.

Can You Snort Hydrocodone?

Can You Snort Hydrocodone

Yes, But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t.

Hydrocodone is an opioid pain reliever that is sold under the brand names Vicodin and Norco. It results in feelings of euphoria as well as sedation. Hydrocodone is meant to be taken orally but some people abuse it by crushing the pills and snorting the powder.

This is known as insufflation. Any type of hydrocodone abuse is dangerous and there are general dangers of insufflation. 

However, there are also specific risks of snorting hydrocodone. Not only can it damage the nose, throat, and lungs, but it can spread disease. Snorting hydrocodone also increases the risk of addiction and overdose.

If you or someone you love is thinking about snorting hydrocodone, you should abandon the idea. Let’s take a closer look at why misusing hydrocodone is never a good idea.

Why People Snort Hydrocodone

Now that you have the answer to the question “can you snort hydrocodone?”, you may be wondering why people do it. Why are drugs snorted?  Individuals who snort hydrocodone don’t do it to enhance the pain-relieving effects. They do it to get a more intense high. 

When a person snorts hydrocodone, it enters their bloodstream quickly and produces a rapid but short-lived high. Since the high doesn’t last very long, some people crave another dose and they abuse the drug repeatedly.

Some people also choose to snort drugs because they’re afraid of injecting them intravenously or they think snorting is less dangerous than smoking. However, the reality is that snorting is by no means safe.

The Dangers of Snorting Hydrocodone

The Dangers of Snorting Hydrocodone

While snorting opioids results in intense effects, tablets aren’t made to be used in this way. They’re made to slowly make their way through the gastrointestinal system. They aren’t meant to come into contact with the nasal passages or enter the bloodstream all at one time.

This is significant since hydrocodone tablets contain fillers that can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs. 

Also, if you purchase your opioids on the street, you really have no idea what’s really in the tablets. Some of the hydrocodone sold on the street is counterfeit and it contains fentanyl. This is another powerful opioid that increases the risk of overdose.

People who abuse hydrocodone eventually usually obtain it illegally so they are likely to get a product that’s laced with something highly dangerous. 

This is why you should never snort hydrocodone even though it is possible to do so. If you’ve been misusing hydrocodone or other opioids in any way, you need to contact an addiction treatment professional or talk to your physician.

The sooner you get help, the better it will be for your chances of lasting recovery free from substances.  

Let’s discuss some of the dangers in more detail.

Nose Damage

Hydrocodone can damage the nose. The nasal tissues are very delicate and snorting any type of powder causes irritation and inflammation which can result in nosebleeds. As time goes on, the nasal tissue can become eroded and a hole may develop in the septum or roof of the mouth. This usually makes it difficult for the individual to breathe, eat or swallow normally. 

When they breathe, the nose may make a whistling sound. Hydrocodone insufflation can also dry out the mucous membranes that should lubricate and protect the nasal packages.

In addition, it can damage the nasal hairs that are designed to trap foreign particles. People who snort hydrocodone may lose their sense of smell either partially or totally.

Throat and Lung Damage

Throat and Lung Damage

Snorting hydrocodone is also harmful to the throat and lungs. Some of the powder will go to the back of the nose and drip into the throat or windpipe. If it gets onto the vocal cords, it will make the user’s voice hoarse. 

Hydrocodone can also get into the lungs since the mucus membranes and nose hairs are no longer able to protect the respiratory system. Snorting this opioid can make asthma worse and also lead to respiratory failure.

Spread of Infectious Diseases

Snorting hydrocodone can also spread disease if people share their paraphernalia. Mucus can contain blood and diseases like hepatitis C can be spread from one person to another on straws or rolled-up paper.

 Overdose

When a person snorts hydrocodone, they put themselves at high risk of overdose since the full dosage enters the system at the same time. If a person takes several doses, they may take a toxic amount of hydrocodone. Also, if they snort hydrocodone while they have other central nervous system depressants in their system, the effects will be even more intense.

They may lose consciousness, go into a coma, or even die. People who take increasingly high doses in response to increasing tolerance are most likely to overdose. 

 In 2019, 39 people, on average, died every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. This meant that more than 14,000 people lost their lives. A person who is overdosing on hydrocodone may:

  • Lose consciousness
  • Vomit
  • Have blue or cold skin
  • Have slowed breathing
  • Have a slow heartbeat or no heartbeat

Hydrocodone overdose symptoms can be reversed with the use of naloxone which is an opioid antagonist. It comes in the form of an injection called Evzio and a nasal spray called Narcan. These medications can keep an individual who is overdosing alive until emergency personnel arrive.

Addiction

Using hydrocodone in any way that it’s not prescribed is considered misuse or abuse and it can result in dependence in just a week. In fact, even five days of prescribed use increases the risk that a person will develop a chronic addiction.

When an individual is dependent on hydrocodone or any other opioid, they will need to take it regularly just to feel normal. If they don’t take the drug, they will go into withdrawal.

Because hydrocodone creates feelings of euphoria, people are encouraged to take it again and again to get the same effects. Since tolerance increases with continued use, they need more and more to achieve the same high.

Often, people don’t realize how dependent they are until they stop taking the drug or try to reduce their dosage.

It can be difficult for people to tell when their loved ones are addicted to hydrocodone.  Most people who become addicted start by misusing their prescribed medication. They may take the pills more often than recommended or continue taking them for longer than instructed by their doctor.

They may also stop swallowing the pills and start crushing them and snorting or injecting them.

Addiction ranges from mild to severe. People who are addicted to hydrocodone may take more than they intend to or try to stop taking it but fail to do so repeatedly. They may also prioritize their drug use over personal, familial, or professional responsibilities.

Signs a Person Is Snorting Hydrocodone

Given all the dangers associated with snorting hydrocodone, you may be wondering if there are warning signs for loved ones. While people may hide their drug abuse in the early stages, they may become less cautious as time goes on.

If your loved one is abusing hydrocodone, they may doctor shop or get the drug online or off the streets. When hydrocodone is bought illegally, it may be packaged in unlabelled containers.

Signs of hydrocodone insufflation include:

  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Powdery residue on their belongings
  • A persistent runny nose
  • Perpetual sedation
  • Hoarseness

You may also notice the paraphernalia used to snort hydrocodone such as mirrors or other flat surfaces, rolled-up dollar bills or straws, and pill crushers or credit cards. If it appears that your loved one is snorting hydrocodone, you need to talk to them about getting professional help.

Treatment Options for Hydrocodone Abuse

Treatment Options for Hydrocodone Abuse

Each person will have a unique experience when they undergo treatment. However, they will all start by undergoing medically supervised detox. Withdrawing from hydrocodone can be very unpleasant.

However, doctors can help to make the patient comfortable and keep them safe during the process. Professionals can administer medication as well as counseling to help with detoxification.

After detox, many individuals enter inpatient treatment. However, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment may be better for some people.

In rehab, individuals can benefit from a variety of therapies as well as medication-assisted treatment. With counseling and ongoing peer and professional support, long-term sobriety is possible.

Reach Out to Pathfinders Recovery Center Today!

If you or a loved one is snorting hydrocodone or abusing it in another way, you need to seek help. There are several dangers associated with hydrocodone abuse and without professional intervention, your life could be in danger.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know what it is like to struggle with drug abuse and we also know what you have to do to fight addiction. We’ll help you to get to the bottom of your substance use problems and prepare you for long-term sobriety.

We offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs and we’ll tailor your treatment specifically to your needs.

Call us today to ask questions or learn more about the services we offer at our luxury rehab facilities in Arizona and Colorado.

Addiction Recovery Success Stories from Celebrities

Addiction Recovery Success Stories from Celebrities

Often, we hear about people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. These may be people in our families or neighborhoods, social media influencers, or TV celebrities. It’s not often that we hear about those who are successfully working through their recovery or those who are celebrating decades of sobriety.

Instead, it’s more likely to hear that someone suffered a fatal overdose. 

Dramatic stories grab headlines and attract lots of attention. However, the lack of addiction recovery success stories can make it seem like no one ever recovers from drug or alcohol addiction.

As addiction treatment professionals, we see several success stories. We also take note of celebrity accounts of addiction. They show that anyone can develop an addiction and anyone can recover if they get the right help.

Let’s take a look at some of the celebrities who have been open about both their addiction and their recovery.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore’s acting career started at the tender age of six and she started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes by the age of nine. She quickly moved onto cocaine and marijuana and by the age of 13, she entered rehab.

She spent the next year in and out of addiction treatment centers and psychiatric facilities. At age 15, she emancipated herself and started working in a coffee shop.

Eventually, she started attending auditions again. From all accounts, Barrymore was able to remain sober throughout adulthood and became a successful actress and producer.

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen has been in recovery from alcoholism since 1981. His alcoholism was so severe during the 1970s that he suffered a heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now. it is said that the opening scene in that film is very much real.

Sheen was so intoxicated that he punched the mirror and cut his hand. He refused to accept treatment or stop filming.

However, he later said he found sobriety through Catholicism and his faith and then became involved in Alcoholics Anonymous to help his son Charlie Sheen

Robert Downey, Jr

Robert Downey, Jr

Robert Downey, Jr’s addiction story has been told several times over. He appeared in his first film at the age of five and he said his father allowed him to smoke cannabis when he was just six years old. He recalled growing up surrounded by drugs and said his father would often do drugs with him as a way to bond with him

Downey eventually became addicted to heroin and he was arrested multiple times. He was also jailed for six months after failing to take a court-ordered drug test.

Downey managed to get clean in 2001. He credited holistic therapies, yoga, kung fu, and spousal support for his ability to achieve sobriety. Downey also recommends 12-step recovery programs.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis has a family history of addiction. Her father struggled with alcohol, cocaine, and heroin while her half-brother died from a heroin overdose at age 23.

Curtis has one of those drug addiction recovery success stories that need to be told having celebrated 22 years of sobriety in February 2021. Her history of addiction started in 1989 when she was prescribed Vicodin after minor plastic surgery.

For ten years, she used opiates and alcohol unbeknownst to many people. Curtis said she was careful not to use any substances while she worked or take Vicodin early in the day. After getting caught taking Vicodin pills with wine and admitting to stealing Vicodin from her sister, she sought help.

Curtis attended a recovery meeting in 1999 and confided in her husband. Since then, she has attended recovery meetings around the world and she asks hotels to remove minibars from her room to help her maintain her sobriety.

Elton John

Elton John

Elton John has been sober since 1990. He started experimenting with cocaine in 1974 as a way to gain social acceptance. John described himself as a loner who wasn’t good looking and he used drugs to make him feel like part of the “gang”. He recalled that his first line of cocaine made him sick but he still went back for more.

John took drugs from the mid-1970s and also drank alcohol. During what he calls the lost years, he attempted suicide many times, overdosed on cocaine on multiple occasions, and suffered epileptic seizures. 

The turning point came when he asked for help in 1990 after witnessing the death of teenager Ryan White. White contracted HIV through a blood transfusion and John became close to him and his family.

The two worked together on HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and fundraisers and John was at White’s bedside when died of AIDS on April 8, 1990. John said White’s death changed him.

Daniel Radcliffe

Few people would believe that Daniel Radcliffe struggled with alcohol abuse as he came to the end of filming the Harry Potter films. However, Radcliffe said he drank heavily during the production of the last three films before he realized he was not in control of his alcohol use. He quit drinking after completing the last film.

Radcliffe says he doesn’t consider himself an alcoholic but he has an addictive personality and he drank nightly

Radcliffe said he struggled to come to terms with his fame as an 18-year-old and he adopted a party lifestyle. However, almost every time he drank, he would black out, so he stopped going out.

Instead, he drank at home alone, fearing the tabloids would capture him doing something inappropriate if he went out. Radcliffe quit drinking in 2010 but in 2012, he got into a fight with a DJ while intoxicated. After this relapse, he was able to regain his sobriety.

Radcliffe doesn’t attend AA meetings but he said he goes for long walks when he gets the urge to drink and goes to the gym regularly.

Sir Anthony Hopkin

Sir Anthony Hopkins is an award-winning actor, producer, and director who has starred in more than 80 films in a career that spans 60 years. He’s known for his roles in Silence of the Lambs and Hitchcock.

What many people didn’t know until recently is that he struggled with alcoholism in the 1960s and 70s. Sir Anthony said he was plagued by feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt after he tried to build a theatre career. He abruptly walked out of the filming of Macbeth in 1973 and abandoned his first wife and daughter, all because of his alcoholism

In 1975, his second wife left him and he went on a bender that went on for multiple days. He ended up in a Pheonix, Arizona hotel room with no memory of how he got there. He subsequently experienced several blackouts as a result of his drinking and this is what prompted him to get help.

His agent suggested that he attend an AA meeting and that’s when he started his sobriety journey. Sir Anthony said his fear of losing his health, family, and career made him stay in recovery.

Treatment: The Foundation of Your Success Story

Treatment The Foundation of Your Success Story

Addiction recovery success stories aren’t reserved for celebrities. In recovery, you’ll meet regular people who have meth recovery success stories, benzo recovery success stories, and other drug addiction recovery success stories.

What’s clear about the celebrities we’ve discussed is that addiction is different for each individual. Some people started using drugs or alcohol in childhood while others developed an addiction later in life.

Each person had a different motivation for seeking treatment and they all tried different routes to sobriety.

That’s because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution where addiction is concerned. If you or a loved one is struggling to control your drug use, you need to find an addiction treatment center that’s right for you.

After you undergo detox, you will need personalized counseling and therapy to help you identify and manage your triggers and stay sober in the long term.

Many people follow a continuum of care that includes inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, 12-step support, and continued therapy. 

This is because addiction is a chronic disease and a few days of detox isn’t enough to ensure long-term sobriety. Drug and alcohol treatment may include:

  • Medication
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders including anxiety and depression
  • Skills training
  • Family or community-based support
  • Peer support

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center Today!

If you’re ready to take control of your life again and say goodbye to addictive substances, the professionals at Pathfinders Recovery Center are here to help.

We have luxury rehab centers in Arizona and Colorado and we offer highly personalized treatment for each person who comes through our doors.

We accept most forms of private insurance and we’ll gladly verify your coverage. Contact us today to learn more about the drug and alcohol treatment options we offer.

Am I An Alcoholic?

Am I An Alcoholic

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. While this explanation sounds simple enough, it can still cause a lot of confusion.

There are different types, levels, and experiences that alcoholics experience. 

It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not an alcoholic if you haven’t experienced financial or relationship troubles, lost your license, or been in an accident while intoxicated.

Alcoholism isn’t always this straightforward. 

So, how do you know if you have a problem if it doesn’t look like our overgeneralized idea of what alcoholism is?

We’ll break down the answer to this question throughout the rest of this article. 

Am I An Alcoholic?

At some point, many binge drinkers ask themselves: do I have a drinking problem?

Generally, when your drinking reaches the point that you have to ask yourself this, the answer is likely yes.

But we will help you further evaluate and understand this complex concern. 

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Addictions to alcohol are exceedingly unique for a few different reasons.

First, alcohol is an entirely legal substance, and therefore, generally goes unregulated for those over 21. Second, it is normalized enough to be a staple in most gatherings and celebrations. 

When was the last time you attended an office party, holiday gathering, or birthday party where no one had even one drink?

Third, it can be confusing and upsetting to try to understand why some people become addicted and others do not. 

So, how do we distinguish normal, healthy alcohol use from abuse, dependence, and alcoholism?

Nearly 18 million American adults have an alcohol use disorder. Every one of these disorders is unique.

They range from mild to severe and are never one-size-fits-all. 

But what separates normal use from abuse is the frequency.

What separates abuse from dependence is compulsive use.

Dependence is a key factor in alcoholism, as well. As your body builds a tolerance and dependence, you crave alcohol more. 

And you experience additional withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking, too. Withdrawal symptoms are some of the most common red flags. 

Alcoholic Stereotypes: What If I Don’t Fit the Mold?

For many years, the media has perpetuated alcoholic stereotypes that aren’t always entirely accurate.

On TV shows and in movies, they all tend to resemble each other.

They’re down on their luck, broke or alone, got fired from their job, or changed course after an accident. 

While these situations surely exist, alcoholics come in many other forms that we don’t always acknowledge the way we should.

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects our brain chemistry.

Depending on our medical histories, mental health, and other individual factors, it can affect us in different ways. 

High-functioning alcoholics tend to break all the rules associated with alcoholic stereotypes.

Rather than appearing to be at rock bottom, high functioning alcoholics often live relatively normal lives.

They work, often in high-paying jobs, they’re educated, they have families and spouses, and balance daily responsibilities alongside their drinking. 

Signs of Alcohol Dependence

So, since alcohol use disorders come in different forms and levels, how do you know if you’re an alcoholic?

There are mild, moderate, and severe alcohol use disorders, alcoholism, and binge drinkers.

At the different stages, many of the signs and symptoms may overlap. 

This can cause some confusion. But there are red flags to look for in those with alcohol dependence.

What makes someone an alcoholic is the inability to stop drinking without experiencing cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.

In the next section, we will go over common risk factors for alcohol use disorders. 

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Addiction develops from several different pathways. Mental health disorders, genetics, and environment are three of the most significant pathways.

Understanding the risk factors for developing alcoholism can help us avoid or overcome it. 

Some of the most common risk factors for alcohol use disorders include: 

  • Having more than 15 drinks per week if you’re male
  • Having more than 12 drinks per week if you’re female 
  • Having one or more parents with an alcohol use disorder 
  • Having pre-existing mental health disorder(s), most commonly depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia 
  • Having a stressful school, work, or home life 
  • Having low self-esteem 
  • Having a social circle that prioritizes drinking over all else or pressures others into participation even if they prefer not to drink 

Getting Answers and Understanding Your Addiction

It is not always easy to determine if we have a problem or not. The list above offers guidance into how alcohol use disorders develop.

But what do the symptoms look like once it has already developed? One of the first signs is personality changes. 

This might mean drinking alone or avoiding daily activities or responsibilities to drink more.

It might mean avoiding gatherings or activities where alcohol is not served, sneaking drinks there or in other inappropriate situations, or hiding your drinking from your loved ones.  

Needing more alcohol to get drunk because your body has built a higher tolerance is another sign of trouble.

Another sign is someone lying or becoming defensive, angry, or violent when their drinking is questioned. 

Lastly, drinking even after problems arise in your work-life, finances, relationships, or health is another sign of trouble.

If you are looking for additional signs or have unanswered questions, you can take a self-assessment quiz.  

Self-Assessment Quizzes

There are three free and confidential online screening tests you can take to better understand your drinking habits: 

The CAGE quiz is a good first step in determining whether your habits have become a cause for concern.

Developed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this four-question quiz is an easy starting point. 

The MAST test is 22 questions with a simple scoring system at the end.

A score of six or higher indicates hazardous drinking habits or alcohol dependence.

The experts who created the test at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence recommend calling a healthcare professional if you score above a six. 

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a simple, effective alcohol consumption screening.

This is the most widely used, as it is based on data from a multinational World Health Organization (WHO) study. 

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

In the same way that there are different types and levels of alcoholism, there are also different types and levels of treatment for it.

What works for one person may not work for another.

That’s why we personalize our treatment programs based on the needs of the individual rather than the needs of the majority. 

Pathfinders: A Full Continuum of Care Options

Someone with severe dependence or withdrawal symptoms, little support at home, and a history of relapse might be better suited for an inpatient or residential program.

This gives you 24-hour access to the care, guidance, and support of our expert teams. 

In the comfort and safety of our luxury-level facilities, you will work toward your goals through a variety of proven treatment methods.

A few of the most common treatment methods include behavioral therapies, support groups, and holistic remedies. 

Someone with a milder addiction, support at home, or full-time work and family obligations that prevent a full-time stay might be better suited for an intensive outpatient program or another option.

But we do not expect our clients to have all the answers before they come to us. 

We will work with you to determine which course of action will best fit your addiction and needs.

Because one-size-fits-all solutions are ineffective. We treat each of our clients on an individual basis.

That is the Pathfinders difference. Call us today at (866) 263-1820 to learn more.

What is Meth Mouth

What is Meth Mouth

Meth Mouth

Many people are surprised to find that bad breath is a common consequence of drug abuse. We talk extensively about the physical and mental health impairments related to drug abuse. But these are not the only impairments that we have to worry about. 

Oral problems, including bad breath, are particularly common among meth users. Users call this meth mouth. Meth mouth is characterized by damage in and around the mouth, to the teeth and gums, and the lips. 

What Causes Meth Mouth?

What Causes Meth Mouth

Meth mouth occurs for several different reasons. Neglected oral hygiene is one of the most common. Drugs as powerful as meth can make you forgetful, sleepy, and distracted. It is unlikely that someone on meth will remember to properly take care of themselves. 

In addition to a poor diet and a lack of exercise and proper hydration, the oral hygiene habits of drug users often suffer. It is easy to forget to regularly floss and brush your teeth when you are under the influence of an overwhelming substance. 

Meth also causes dry mouth, a significant contributor to developing cavities and eroding gums. It is acidic, which damages the teeth more directly. And it can make you crave sugar and grind or clench your teeth.

These are the primary drivers of meth mouth: poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, acidic erosion, sugar cravings, grinding and clenching your teeth. The symptoms of meth mouth can be a source of insecurity, discomfort, or even pain. 

Meth and Bad Breath

Bad breath in meth users is caused by dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. But bad breath is only the start of meth mouth. What’s more concerning are the side effects that come next. These side effects can be mild to severe, depending on the level of use and other individual factors. 

They can also occur both inside and outside of the mouth. Damage to the lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums is common. It is not just your breath or your teeth that suffer when you use meth. There is no safe way to use meth. Using meth will always put your oral, mental, and physical health at risk. 

Other Symptoms of Meth Mouth

Dry or cracked lips, damaged gums, tooth decay, cavities, and missing teeth are all common among meth users. In one study, medical professionals examined the mouths of 571 meth users. They found that nearly everyone in the study had poor oral health. 

Among them, the three most common oral health impairments were cavities (present in 96% of participants), untreated tooth decay (58%), and at least six missing teeth (31%). Meth mouth is often one of the most apparent physical changes that occur when a person uses meth. 

Dentists often characterize meth mouth by the presence of severe tooth decay and gum disease. This combination often causes teeth to break, blacken, rot, crumble, or fall out. Lesions are also typical among meth users. 

These side effects are often apparent from the outside. Meth users often experience alterations to their facial features, as well as skin damage. The sunken look that accompanies meth use is one of the most obvious signs of trouble. 

How Common is Meth Use?

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug. This means that it is too dangerous for medical use and has a high potential for abuse and severe dependence. But this classification has done little to curb meth use over the years. 

In 2017, roughly 1.6 million people reported using meth in the past year. Most users tried meth after becoming addicted to prescription opioids. One study confirmed that this connection was present in 80% of participants. 

Other Side Effects of Meth Use

Learning about the effects of meth is an important step in keeping ourselves and each other safe. Meth mouth is a common and concerning condition among users. But there are other side effects that you should also be aware of. 

Aside from meth mouth, some of the most common side effects of meth use include: 

  • Weight loss 
  • Body tremors
  • Increased or irregular heartbeats 
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Insomnia 
  • Anger
  • Anxiety 

These side effects can vary depending on many individual factors. The method of use, frequency, mental health, and medical history of the user are some of the most impactful. Some side effects are specific to certain methods of drug abuse. 

For example, injecting meth comes with the additional risks of collapsed veins, infections at the injection site, and HIV from shared needles. Snorting meth can damage the nasal cavity and sinuses, causing issues like loss of smell and painful nosebleeds. 

Over time, more troubling side effects become more likely. These include potentially fatal health problems, like central nervous system damage, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and overdoses. But you do not have to live in constant fear of the impacts of your meth use. Help is available. 

How to Prevent Meth Mouth

Preventing meth mouth comes down to altering your habits. There is no foolproof way to prevent meth mouth while you continue to use meth. These oral health impairments will always be linked to meth use, and they will only get worse the longer the abuse goes on. 

If you have already stopped using meth and want to prevent further damage, there are a few changes you can make. Building a healthier oral hygiene routine, staying properly hydrated, eating nutritious meals, avoiding excessive amounts of sugar, and checking in with your dentist are all good ideas. 

Treatment for Meth Mouth

Treatment for meth mouth can help reverse or improve the damage done. But meth addiction treatments should come first. After all, there is no point in improving your oral health without improving your habits. 

Once you have stopped using meth and developed a healthier routine, your dentist can help you determine which treatments will make the biggest difference. Depending on the level of damage, it may be as simple as brushing with a certain toothpaste, using a prescription mouthwash, avoiding sugar, drinking more water, and eating healthier meals. 

But for long-term users or users ingesting high volumes of meth, there may be more damage than can be undone with such simple changes. Our medical staff can help you analyze your options and find the right dental care provider. They will guide you from there. 

Getting Help for Meth Addiction

Getting Help for Meth Addiction

Recognizing that you need help is the first step in addiction recovery. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant. No one expects you to overcome it on your own. At Pathfinders, we understand how difficult it is to break the chains of addiction, and we are here to show you the way. 

At each step in your recovery journey, you will have access to the expert-level care, support, and guidance that you need. We will help you break down the barriers between this life and a healthy, happy, sober one. We will help you find a way to live that doesn’t involve meth or its many potential consequences. 

If you or someone you love needs help overcoming meth addiction, you have come to the right place. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we believe in high-level, holistic, and personalized treatment programs. Call our addiction counselors at 866-576-4892 to get started building yours. 

Cocaine and Bad Breath

Cocaine and Bad Breath

Does Cocaine Use Cause Bad Breath?

The phrase cocaine abuse often conjures up images of powder trails, dollar bill straws, mirrors, and credit cards. We think of the 1980s when cocaine abuse was common and unquestioned. But many don’t realize that this illicit stimulant is staging a comeback. 

From 1999 to 2019, fatal overdoses involving cocaine rose from 3,822 to 15,883. Cocaine is a powerful and addictive drug that can impair every aspect of life. From mental and physical health complications to financial and relationship troubles, its impacts know no bounds. 

But it’s not just the major, life-changing events that cocaine abusers have to worry about. There are also everyday annoyances like hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping, and other side effects that land somewhere in between. One of those side effects is something called coke mouth. 

Does Cocaine Use Cause Bad Breath

Cocaine and Bad Breath

On top of its many other potentially uncomfortable, unpleasant, painful, or even fatal side effects, cocaine causes a troubling oral condition. For users who rub the substance over their teeth, cocaine and bad breath are intrinsically linked. 

But bad breath is not the only oral concern when it comes to cocaine use. This bad breath is a symptom of a deeper and more concerning problem: dental decay. From bad breath to the loss of teeth, dental decay comes in varying stages and can cause many different problems. 

Cocaine Effects on the Mouth

Users can snort, inject, smoke, or rub the substance over their teeth. The side effects that you experience can vary depending on the method you use, the dose, how often, and for how long. Coke mouth is a side effect that is unique to users who ingest cocaine orally. 

Many users do this to produce a faster high. The short-term side effects of cocaine include euphoric feelings and increased energy and focus. But these side effects never last for long. And what comes next is not worth the tradeoff. 

Cocaine’s effects on the mouth include:

  • Bad breath 
  • Sores in and around the mouth 
  • Tooth decay (either from tooth and gum erosion due to rubbing cocaine there or from neglected hygiene due to cocaine use through other methods) 
  • Gingivitis and other oral diseases 
  • Wear to the teeth and jaw from grinding and clenching 
  • Tooth loss 

Snorting cocaine can also interfere with your oral and nasal health. It can cause you to lose your sense of smell, promote nosebleeds, make it harder to swallow and cause regular hoarseness. It can also cause an overall irritation of your sinuses, which often results in chronic runny noses. 

Other Symptoms of Cocaine Use

Different methods of cocaine use can cause different symptoms. Not all of them will be related to the mouth or sinuses. Other side effects of cocaine use include: 

  • Irritability 
  • Paranoia 
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sound, and sight 
  • Bizarre or unpredictable behaviors 
  • Increased feelings of anger that may escalate to violence
  • Constricted blood vessels and dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Fast or otherwise irregular heartbeats 
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature 
  • Muscle twitches and tremors 
  • General feelings of restlessness 

Smoking cocaine can cause asthma, respiratory distress, and a higher risk of infections. Injecting cocaine puts you at a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C, HIV, and other diseases, as well as infections, scarring, and collapsed veins. 

Over time, left untreated, the side effects of cocaine use only get more severe. It also becomes more likely to suffer life-threatening health impairments and a fatal or non-fatal overdose. 

How Addictive is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, which means that it has a high risk for abuse and addiction. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintains that using cocaine has the potential to lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Schedule II drugs are considered dangerous. 

Other drugs in the Schedule II class include: 

  • Vicodin 
  • Methamphetamine 
  • Methadone 
  • Hydromorphone or Dilaudid 
  • Demerol 
  • Oxycodone or OxyContin 
  • Fentanyl 
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall 
  • Ritalin 

As the drug class numbers get lower, they get more dangerous. This means that there is only one class of drugs considered more dangerous or with a higher potential for abuse and addiction. 

Schedule I drugs have no currently accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse. These drug classifications are there to shed light on the potential dangers of different drugs. Certain Schedule II drugs may have accepted medical uses in the appropriate doses, but they are still considered addictive and dangerous. 

And cocaine is not one that has approved medical purposes in the United States today. Illicit drugs have been more carefully regulated since the drug trade boom of the 80s, but it is still difficult to regulate them fully. 

How to Prevent Bad Breath from Cocaine

The best way to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and other oral health problems is to stop using cocaine. For many people, this may be easier said than done. But we are here to help. It can be hard to change your life, but it is always worth the effort. A happier, healthier, sober life is a recovery program away. 

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Treatment for cocaine addiction starts with a detox. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer personalized detox programs to suit your unique addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and needs. There are three stages to every personalized detox: 

  • Evaluating your situation
  • Stabilizing your condition 
  • Getting you ready for primary treatment 

A personalized and professional drug detox is an excellent first step in the recovery process. Drugs that are as powerful and addictive as cocaine often come with troubling and overwhelming withdrawal symptoms. 

We can help you manage and overcome these symptoms so that you can stay strong and focused through the vital stage of early sobriety. 

What Happens After the Detox?

What Happens After the Detox

Cocaine detox takes an average of one week. This timeframe and the severity of your withdrawals can vary depending on how long you were using cocaine, how frequently, and how much each time. 

We will guide you through your detox to ensure that you stay safe, strong, comfortable, and hydrated. After your detox, we will help you evaluate your options and decide if you are better suited for one of our personalized inpatient or outpatient programs

Inpatient programs are generally best for patients with moderate to severe addictions and overwhelming or otherwise concerning withdrawal symptoms. Those who are surrounded by drug triggers and temptations could also benefit from a change of pace. 

Those with milder addictions, more manageable withdrawal symptoms, support at home, or work or family obligations that prevent a full-time stay are better suited for outpatient programs. But it is not always easy to tell which program will work best for you. 

We do not expect you to have the answers already or face your recovery on your own. Our team of addiction experts will guide you through making this decision. 

Pathfinders Recovery Center

Today is a great day to make a change. When you choose Pathfinders Recovery Center, you never have to walk the road to recovery alone. Our compassionate and knowledgeable teams, comfortable facilities, and personalized programs have helped thousands change their lives. 

Now, it is your turn. Call our addiction counselors today at 866-576-4892 to get started. They are on call to answer your questions, verify your insurance, and start your intake.

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Why Does Drug Abuse Affect Our Skin?

We talk a lot about how drug and alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health. The major health concerns, including things like depression and anxiety, different cancers, and heart and lung problems are well-known. What about the effects of addiction on the skin?

We don’t often acknowledge the effects of drug addiction on our skin. The skin is our body’s largest organ. It is not immune to the effects of drugs any more than our livers or kidneys are. The impairments caused by drug abuse affect the body, mind, and spirit. 

Why Do Drugs Cause Skin Problems?

Drug abuse causes skin problems through many different methods. It can cause dry or flaky skin through dehydration, encourage infections and scarring through skin picking, or promote acne breakouts and inflammation. 

Depending on the drug, the level and length of abuse, and your medical history, among other individual factors, your skin problems can vary. They may be mild, moderate, or severe. 

Common Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Common Skin Problems Caused by Drugs

If you’re looking for signs that drug abuse is affecting your skin, that is a sign in itself. Some of the most common effects of drug abuse on the skin include rashes and: 

  • Hyperpigmentation or color changes. 
  • Oral concerns, including swollen, inflamed, dry, or cracked lips and gums. In more severe cases and long-term use, this extends to include tooth decay and possible loss. 
  • Inflammation, redness, itching, dryness, irritation, and rashes. 
  • Worsened acne breakouts or new ones. 
  • Open sores and scarring. 
  • Skin and soft tissue infections. 

Drug-Related Skin Problems Ranked

On the milder side of drug-related skin problems, you may experience temporary inflammation, redness, or dryness. Mild rashes would be included on this list, as well. Mild skin problems may go away in between drug binges or get better when you moisturize. 

Acne breakouts, often caused by the urge to touch your face while on drugs, would land somewhere in the middle. Alterations to your skin tone would land in the moderate territory, too. On the more severe side, scarring, sores, and infections related to drug abuse could prove problematic. 

How Drug Abuse Affects Your Lips and Gums

Oral problems, including dry and cracked lips and gums, and tooth decay, are common skin concerns among meth users. Many people refer to these side effects as meth mouth. 

An examination of 571 meth users revealed that 96% had cavities, 58% had untreated tooth decay, and 31% had six or more missing teeth. This happens for several reasons. Primarily, these oral health impairments are related to psychological and physiological changes that cause dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. 

Methamphetamine is acidic, which can damage the teeth. It also makes you crave sugar, clench or grind your teeth, and experience bouts of semi-consciousness or unconsciousness. Each of these side effects can worsen your oral hygiene and routine. 

Drug Addiction and Acne

If you are already prone to acne, abusing drugs or alcohol may make it worse. But it may also prompt extreme acne breakouts in those who have never had acne in the past. The primary reason for this is that drug abuse often makes you more likely to repeatedly touch your face. 

Throughout the day, dirt, oils, bacteria, and other unwanted particles gather on our hands. We can avoid acne breakouts by washing our hands clean before touching our faces. But when you are under the influence of drugs, you are far less likely to follow through on that extra step. 

Scarring and Sores from Drug Use

Certain drugs and extreme amounts of alcohol can lead to hallucinations. The feeling that something is crawling under your skin is a common sensation among drug abusers. This can lead you to claw or pick at your skin to alleviate the creepy, crawling, itchy feeling. 

But when you claw or pick at the skin on your body or face and your hands are unclean, open sores and scarring become more likely. And when you continue to pick at your skin and neglect to clean the cuts and sores, they can scar or become infected. 

Skin Infections from Drug Use

Drug abuse weakens the immune system, making it harder for you and your body to fight off infections. Infections related to drug use often get worse over time and can take a while to heal because your body is not at its peak health. 

Infections at the site of injection are common, but infections can also come from picking, scratching, or clawing at your skin. And while skin picking is more commonly associated with meth use, it also applies to cocaine, heroin, and prescription stimulant users. 

Outside of skin picking, skin infections can also be sparked by allergic reactions to certain drugs. Prescription stimulants, including Adderall and Ritalin, can cause fluid-filled bumps that worsen over time. These bumps can swell, burst and scab, blister, or peel. 

Rapid Aging from Drug Addiction

Powerful illicit drugs, including heroin, can decrease the amount of oxygen that travels to the skin. This is one of the most common reasons for drug-related dry, itchy, flaky, and otherwise irritated skin. 

Along with oral health impairments, rashes, blemishes, sores, and bloodshot eyes, these skin symptoms can rapidly change your physical appearance. Wrinkles are also common among drug users and can make you look much older than you are. 

The first step in minimizing or ending these side effects is to stop abusing drugs. The longer the drug abuse continues, the more damage it will do to your skin, as well as your physical and mental health. And the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to reverse the damage, too. 

Moisturizing, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face can help reduce the risk. But real change involves treating the root of the problem. And that starts with a personalized and holistic addiction treatment program. Thankfully, this is exactly what we offer. 

Reversing Addiction’s Effect on Your Skin

Drugs can affect your skin in many different ways. Some of these side effects will naturally fade after you stop abusing drugs. From there, a healthy and consistent skincare routine can help further improve the appearance of your skin. 

Moisturizers, proper hydration, healthy meals, and a regular exercise routine can also help improve your skin’s appearance and reverse certain signs of aging. When you are good to your body, your body will be good to you. 

And for those particularly pesky skin concerns, a dermatologist may be able to recommend either over the counter or prescription medications for more significant cosmetic changes. The sooner you begin to improve your overall health, the sooner your skin will improve, too. 

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

No one likes to look in the mirror and see that they are aging faster than they should be. No matter the skin concerns you are facing, drug abuse isn’t helping. It’s time to improve your health, build your confidence, and restore your physical appearance. And we can help. 

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we put together personalized programs that match your unique addiction, recovery goals, time constraints, budget, and other needs. In full-time and part-time settings, we offer the care, guidance, and support you need to recover. 

Our addiction counselors are available 24/7 to ensure that you get the help you need when you need it. Call 866-576-4892 today to get started.