How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

The Duration of Adderall’s Beneficial and Potentially Harmful Effects

Adderall is a prescription medication widely used in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Doctors may also prescribe the medication to help people with narcolepsy. A given dose of Adderall stays in your system for a fairly predictable amount of time. While in your bloodstream, it produces certain therapeutic effects. A variety of side effects may also occur in anyone taking the medication. In addition, if you misuse or abuse Adderall, you can run into problems that include addiction and overdose.

What Is Adderall

Adderall belongs to a group of brand name medications known as combination products. Medications of this type do not contain just one active ingredient. Instead, they contain a mixture of active ingredients that work together.

What is Adderall made of? The medication’s active ingredients are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Dextroamphetamine is the primary ingredient. Each dose of Adderall contains three parts of this compound and one part amphetamine.

Both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine belong to the stimulant category of substances. When you take them, they speed up the activity rate in your brain and spinal cord. At the same time, they make you feel more focused and alert.

There are two formulations of Adderall on the market. One formulation, Adderall IR, is the standard, immediate-release version of the medication. When you take it, you feel its full effects all at once. The second, Adderall XR, is an extended-release product. This means that it does not hit your system all at once. Instead, it has a more gradual effect.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

The question of how long Adderall stays in your system is a bit complicated to answer. That is true because a range of considerations have an impact on the duration of the medication’s presence. Still, some basic facts can be established.

One crucial concept in determining the duration of any medication’s effects is half-life. This term describes the amount of time it takes for half of a given medication dose to leave your system. The half-life of Adderall IR is roughly nine hours. Adderall XR has a half-life that varies from ten to 13 hours.

What do these figures mean? In about nine hours, your system’s levels of Adderall IR will fall by 50 percent. In the next, nine hours, the remaining level of medication in your system will be halved again. This process continues until no more Adderall remains in your body. The same process holds true for Adderall XR, but on a time scale of every ten to 13 hours.

How Long Does Adderall Show Up On Drug Tests

How Long Does Adderall Show Up On Drug Tests

Most of the Adderall in your system gets excreted in your urine. How long will a urine drug test reveal the presence of the medication? Both Adderall IR and XR will be detectable for about two to three days after you take a typical dose. What if a blood test is performed, instead? In these circumstances, testing will show positive for Adderall for up to two days. A saliva test will reveal the medication’s presence for roughly a day or two.

What Affects How Long Adderall Stays in Your System

Half-life is a useful, convenient medical concept. However, it only provides an educated estimate of how long a medication will stay in your system. Why is this true? A number of factors can affect the speed at which you process a medication like Adderall. The list of these factors includes:

  • The functional health of your kidneys
  • Your age
  • Potential interactions with other drugs or medications in your system
  • Other details of the specific way your body processes drugs or medications

 

Together or separately, such factors can have a significant impact. For this reason, the half-life of Adderall in your system may vary from the norm. In turn, the medication may stay in your body for shorter or longer than expected.

Are There Side Effects to Taking Adderall

The use of many medications comes with a risk for unwanted side effects. That is certainly true for Adderall. Doctors break the potential side effects of taking Adderall down into two main groups. The first group contains effects that are only a concern if they take a severe form or do not fade away. Problems in this category include:

  • Headaches
  • Constipated bowels
  • Loose bowels
  • Feelings of nausea
  • Unusual nervousness
  • An abnormally dry mouth
  • Increases or decrease in your sex drive or sexual performance
  • Painful cramps associated with menstruation

 

Adderall side effects in the second group are always a concern. If they occur, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Effects in this category include:

  • Skin that itches, peels or blisters
  • Rashes on your skin
  • Abnormal speech difficulties
  • Leg or arm numbness or weakness
  • Problems swallowing or breathing
  • A depressed mental state
  • Altered nerve sensations in your feet or hands
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Delusional beliefs

These are just some of the almost two dozen emergency symptoms you may experience.

What Is Considered Misuse of Adderall

Misuse of Adderall

Adderall can trigger side effects even when you take it as intended. If you misuse the medication, you open yourself up to other possible issues, as well. One such issue is Adderall addiction. You can also potentially overdose on the medication.

What actions are considered to be misuse of Adderall or any other prescription drug? Specific behaviors that fit this definition include:

  • Increasing the frequency and/or amount of your medication doses on your own
  • Using Adderall prescribed to another person
  • Taking Adderall for any reason other than needed medical treatment
  • Doing anything to make the medication hit your system faster than usual

Stimulants like Adderall are some of America’s most widely misused prescription medications.

When Does Adderall Misuse Become Adderall Addiction

Every time you misuse Adderall, you increase the odds that you will become physically dependent on it. Physical dependence indicates that your brain now expects the medication to be in your system. It is characterized by two main things:

  • Rising tolerance to the effects of Adderall
  • The onset of withdrawal if you stop taking the medication or rapidly decrease your use

 

However, physical dependence and addiction are not equivalent things. As a rule, Adderall misuse becomes Adderall addiction when two other issues also occur. The first of these issues is an emotional dependence on the medication. The second, recognized as a defining element of addiction, is a compulsive drive to keep using more and more Adderall.

Factors Affecting Your Addiction Risks

Not everyone who takes Adderall has an equal chance of developing problems with addiction. Instead, a number of factors may increase your level of risk. Examples of these factors include:

  • Your genetic background
  • How old you were when you started misusing Adderall
  • The conditions you grow up in during childhood

 

Generally speaking, the younger you are when you start misusing Adderall, the greater the chance addiction will occur. The interaction between your genes and your childhood environment can also have a huge impact. Specific environmental factors that make addiction more likely include:

  • Inadequate parental supervision
  • Having peers who approve of drug use and misuse
  • Living in a place with easy access to Adderall

When combined with genetic factors, poor school performance may also help increase your risks.

How Many People Are Addicted to Adderall

Adderall addiction is an example of a condition called prescription stimulant use disorder. This disorder also covers addiction to other kinds of prescription stimulants. It also covers all forms of damaging, non-addicted abuse of these medications.

Research shows that roughly three-quarters of a million Americans have prescription stimulant use disorder. By far, adults over the age of 25 are most likely to develop this condition. Younger adults make up a much smaller percentage of people with prescription stimulant use disorder. Relatively few preteens and teens are affected.

Treating Adderall Addiction

Adderall Detox

How do rehab programs help people recover from Adderall addiction? If you are addicted to the medication, you will probably need to start with a medical detox program. This kind of program provides a safe environment for halting your Adderall misuse. It also provides crucial support for coping with stimulant withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Changes in your normal sleep pattern
  • Loss of energy
  • Unusual anxiousness or irritability
  • Problems focusing or concentrating
  • Depression
  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Ongoing cravings for more Adderall

 

There are no medications available to help reduce the effects of Adderall withdrawal. Instead, you receive basic support that keeps you safe and helps you stay as comfortable as possible.

Primary Adderall Treatment

Primary Adderall Treatment

Once Adderall is out of your system, you can continue your recovery in a primary treatment program. As in detox, medication does not typically play a role in this phase of your recovery. Instead, rehab facilities provide help in the form of behavioral psychotherapy.

Multiple types of behavioral therapy are known to help most people addicted to a prescription stimulant. One potential option is contingency management, also known as a motivational incentives program. In this kind of therapy, you receive some kind of meaningful reward when you stay sober during treatment. Common examples of such rewards include:

  • Goods
  • Services
  • Food
  • Entertainment passes or vouchers

 

Your Adderall treatment plan may also include something called 12-step facilitation therapy. This therapy was created in recognition of the importance of joining a mutual self-help group while in recovery. It teaches you how self-help groups work. It also helps you prepare to become an active participant in any group you join.

You may also benefit from other therapy options. One additional option is family behavior therapy. This therapy helps you work through family issues that may be supporting your Adderall addiction. It is common to receive more than one form of behavioral therapy will recovering from stimulant addiction.

Get Effective Help for Adderall Abuse and Addiction at Pathfinders

Need help for Adderall abuse or addiction? The professionals at Pathfinders are standing by to assist you. We specialize in the treatment of all stimulant-related problems. That includes problems related to the combined use of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Our goal is to help you regain your sobriety and learn the skills needed to maintain it. To get your recovery started, call us today.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. Fentanyl can be prescribed as a patch, lozenge, or injection, and it is also available illegally as a white powder or blue pill. People who misuse fentanyl by taking it without a prescription or by taking it in a way other than prescribed are at risk of overdose and death. When misused, fentanyl can stay in your system for up to 72 hours.

Currently, this deadly drug is sweeping every neighborhood in America, recently causing a new record high for overdose deaths among users. This marks another year in which the United States has seen record deaths, having bested the previous totals for at least the last half-decade.

Aside from its deadly properties, the average citizen knows very little about fentanyl. One of the most effective ways to mitigate the risks associated with any deadly force is to raise awareness and educate the public regarding different talking points, including withdrawal, dependence, and other essential elements. Let’s look a little closer at what exactly fentanyl is and its effects on the individuals who abuse it.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a type of opioid analgesic, also known as a narcotic. It’s made from the powdered sap of the opium poppy and is mainly used to relieve pain. Because it’s so powerful, it’s often mixed with other drugs or sold on its own. It came into use on the illegal market because it’s relatively easy to produce and sells well on the black market.

At wholesale prices, it’s also much cheaper than street heroin for several reasons. Number one, poppy plants don’t require any waiting period to approach a harvest point. This cuts off a considerable amount of time and ramps up production.

Second, because it’s a synthetic product, there are no limits to the amount of this drug chemists can manufacture. In the past, significant distributors were forced to order the product from China, which was the hub for most of the world’s fentanyl. However, this would all change after the Mexican cartels learned how to manufacture their own product.

Currently, the tyrannical Mexican drug cartels produce fentanyl in our backyard. On border cities throughout the southern United States, just on the other side, are massive labs producing some of the world’s most potent fentanyl. This means there’s an almost infinite supply that dealers can get their hands on. With the expertise of the veteran drug smugglers these cartels already employ, fentanyl flows onto the streets of America uninhibited, with no end to the crisis in sight.

What makes fentanyl so deadly is its incredible potency and how it acts on the brain and body. Miniscule amounts are deadly for the novice user, proved by the swollen overdose death numbers that have surpassed the six-figure mark.

Let’s take a look into the effects of fentanyl from the first-person point of view. How does the user feel after taking a dose of fentanyl?

The Effects of Fentanyl

The Effects of Fentanyl

Anybody who has ever researched fentanyl has probably read a generic list of the effects. However, this doesn’t tell us much about the user’s experience, which is required to gain a perspective on this deadly addiction. From a user’s viewpoint, let’s look at the effects of fentanyl firsthand.

1. Immediately After Injection

The user will feel an immediate rush about two seconds after injecting the drug. After about five seconds, the user develops the feeling of “pins and needles” poking them throughout their body. This feeling results from the receptors responding to the painkilling properties of the drug.

2. Initial Effects

After 30 to 45 seconds, the user will feel warm and sometimes sweat at higher doses. These could also be the beginning moments of an overdose.

3. Peak Period

A wave of euphoria rushes over the user as they begin feeling the peak effects of the drug. Their breathing is slowed down, followed by the heart and other functions of the body. At this point, respiratory depression can take hold because of toxicity, leaving the user in and out of consciousness.

Some users experience nausea and may even vomit because of how the drug interacts with the digestive system. Intense itching ensues for many users and is one of the driving forces of the wounds of many opioid addicts.

4. Coming Down

After the peak period, which usually lasts two to three hours, the user will begin feeling the comedown. They may still be groggy and even fall asleep for an extended period. Some users will experience mood swings, and headaches because of light sensitivity are common.

This assumes the user didn’t overdose during the previous phases of the experience. The chances of overdose are incredibly high, and it’s essential to understand the risks of overdose with fentanyl.

Risk of Overdose with Fentanyl

Before the fentanyl epidemic, we dealt with the heroin epidemic. Before heroin, we dealt with the opioid painkiller epidemic. These epidemics led to record overdose deaths, but they were nothing compared to the numbers caused by fentanyl.

The risk of overdose with fentanyl is higher than any other drug we’ve ever seen. Most overdose deaths occur in situations where users get way more than they bargained for.

Heroin users purchase a bag of what they think is unadulterated heroin. However, dealers looking to stretch their profits incorporate fentanyl into the mix or, in some instances, replace the heroin with pure fentanyl.

Even a veteran heroin user with what’s considered a high tolerance will quickly succumb to the bad batch of heroin if there’s enough fentanyl included – and it doesn’t take much. For someone not used to injecting or snorting fentanyl regularly, a dose no more significant than the size of a pinch of salt is enough to send them to the point of no return.

One of the significant risks of overdose with fentanyl is its ability to stand up to the overdose reversal drug Narcan. In the past, most users who required Narcan could rely on one dose to bring them out of respiratory arrest and back from the brink of death. Sporadic cases MIGHT have required two doses, but these were only in the case of a massive injection of heroin.

After fentanyl hit the scene, paramedics began noticing something they hadn’t seen before. Overdose victims were hit with Narcan two, three, and four times and still weren’t coming out of the overdose fast enough. It’s not uncommon to hear about fentanyl overdose victims needing five and six doses of Narcan to keep them from dying.

Even homes or individuals who usually carry Narcan aren’t equipped with that many doses – a prepared heroin user might take two or three doses on them in most cases. If individuals in the immediate company of someone don’t have enough Narcan to reverse the overdose effects, the ambulance won’t arrive on time.

Situations like the one described above are a driving factor in dozens of fentanyl overdose deaths each day. What’s being done to mitigate situations like this?

For starters, test strips exist on the market to try and filter out unwanted fentanyl. This may be the most effective approach instead of arresting and fighting a drug war the government can’t win.

Drug Testing for Fentanyl

Instead of choosing to approach the fentanyl epidemic with an aggressive approach, many cities and states are participating in what’s known as harm reduction. Many places already have a needle exchange program, which many people are already familiar with.

Needle exchange programs, which are still controversial in some forums, aim to reduce injury and the spread of disease among IV drug users. These programs consist of mobile volunteers who set up random hubs on different days throughout urban areas, passing out clean needles, Narcan, and other harm reduction supplies.

Since FTS programs’ inception and widespread availability, some alarming trends have surfaced. An incredibly high number of random batches of narcotics were found to contain lethal amounts of fentanyl – and it wasn’t just heroin.

Batches from marijuana to methamphetamine and cocaine have all been found to contain fentanyl. In addition, several fatal overdose cases are to blame for these drugs containing adulterants, unbeknownst to the user.

These deaths were driving factors in the push to make FTS available whenever drug consumption is possible. Many of the same harm reduction groups that distribute Narcan and syringes have begun adding these fentanyl test strips to their repertoire.

When Will Fentanyl Begin to Show Up On a Test?

When Will Fentanyl Begin to Show Up On a Test

Initially, the fentanyl test strips were designed for use in urine analysis tests for probation and parole officers to use on clients. However, because fentanyl can be added to the standard panel-drug test with other narcotics, the exclusively-for-fentanyl test strips could serve in different ways.

How does fentanyl show up on drug tests compared to other opioids? And does this have any effect on its potency or risk for addiction?

Fentanyl does have a shorter half-life than heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. However, this doesn’t relieve the withdrawal symptoms and, if anything drives them to come on faster. How long can a user expect this deadly opioid to stay in the system after ingestion, and how soon does it show up on drug tests.

Fentanyl will begin to show up on a drug test almost immediately. Technically, it could take an hour or two because of the time it takes for the drug to enter all relevant body systems.

Another frequently asked question regarding fentanyl abuse is how long it stays in your system. The answer completely depends on the drug’s half-life, combined with how often the user ingests heroin and for how long.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

Fentanyl stays in your system for varying lengths depending on the system in question. Blood, urine, hair, and saliva are different times the drug expels itself from the body.

The half-life of fentanyl after IV administration is anywhere from two to four hours. This would make the total elimination time somewhere between 11 and 22-hours. However, it’s essential to remember that this is the time it takes for the body to eliminate fentanyl from the blood.

It takes substantially longer for the body to expel fentanyl from the urine, meaning you can still fail a urine analysis even after the drug exits your bloodstream. Besides indicating whether you’ll pass or fail a drug test, the length of time fentanyl stays in your system is significant in terms of withdrawal.

After the drug is expelled from your blood, you begin entering detox and experience the symptoms of withdrawal. It’s essential to be aware of the fentanyl withdrawal timeline to better prepare for any challenges.

The Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

The fentanyl withdrawal timeline is the window when you’ll experience the worst side effects of detox. This period typically lasts between 7 and 10 days, with varying degrees of severity in between.

12-24 Hours After Last Use

You’ll begin experiencing the initial symptoms of withdrawal, including sweating, anxiety, elevated body temperature, yawning, and intense cravings.

Days 1-3

Days 1-3, you’ll begin the gradual increase of the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. This period includes nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, body aches, insomnia, and restlessness.

Days 3-5

This is often considered the detox process’s most intense period or peak. Symptoms are usually the most severe during this period, with severe anxiety and dehydration becoming real dangers. It’s essential to try and keep liquids down to avoid dehydration and keep your heart rate and blood pressure as low as possible.

Days 5-7

Symptoms begin to decline and trail off until they wear off completely. Throughout the weeks following this stage, you’ll still experience severe insomnia that may cause mental and physical anguish. It’s essential to try to remain active and keep your mind occupied to keep your body somewhat normalized so you can rest.

How Can I Stop Safely Taking Fentanyl?

You can undergo detox and enter recovery from fentanyl abuse in several ways. The least recommended way is cold-turkey or at-home detox.

Several dangers are associated with this form of detox, including elevated blood pressure and heart rate. Complications associated with insomnia can also present challenges. In addition, your chances of relapse are much higher because of the temptation to avoid the pain and discomfort of withdrawal.

Medically assisted detox or medication-assisted treatment for opioids is usually the best course of action when you’re seeking to recover. Both of these, followed by inpatient or outpatient treatment, provide you with the best chances of success.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Medication-assisted treatment for opioids is one of the most popular ways to detox from fentanyl. Several options and programs exist to help users recover, and it’s essential to be aware of all avenues to find out what might work best for you.

Methadone

Methadone treatment includes attending daily dosing sessions at a clinic. You’ll also be required to submit to random drug testing and have once or twice-per-month meetings with a counselor assigned to you by the clinic.

After a few months of continuous participation without failing drug tests, you’ll be allowed to take doses home, earning privileges one day at a time. Methadone is widely considered a successful form of treatment, with the average participation time somewhere around two years. However, the demand for daily participation can be challenging for some clients.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is available at most methadone clinics as an alternative for clients who don’t want to dose methadone. Alternatively, physicians can open private practices and become licensed to dispense buprenorphine. These clinics are under heavy scrutiny and must comply with all regulations laid out by any state and federal agencies.

Any client who receives Buprenorphine from a private physician must return once per month for appointments and prescription retrieval. Regular visits with a mental health counselor are also required as a form of substance abuse treatment.

These, combined with newer, successful treatment programs with holistic options, can be a great way to battle any substance abuse issue using new methods that treat the mind, body, and soul.

Effectiveness of a Holistic Rehab for Fentanyl

Holistic rehabs like Pathfinders Recovery offer fantastic opportunities to enter recovery. We use traditional methods with a modern twist, incorporating things like equine and ocean therapy, including several other good options for the mind, body, and soul.

It’s essential to healing every part of yourself when you enter recovery. Otherwise, you could be in for a setback through relapse. The entire self needs rejuvenation and reanimation, and holistic rehab for fentanyl is the perfect way to experience this refreshing regimen.

If you’re ready for exciting new-age treatment options with traditional effective mental health options, Pathfinders Recovery is waiting to hear from you. Contact a member of our admissions staff to find out how we can help you begin your recovery journey.

Signs Of Stimulant Abuse

Signs Of Stimulant Abuse

What Are the Most Common Stimulant Drugs?

The word “stimulants” describes a category of drugs and substances that affect the body and mind in unique ways. Within this broad classification, there are several further sub-categories. Prescription stimulants are frequently prescribed to persons for legitimate medical reasons by licensed and certified medical practitioners. It is considered unlawful to possess those substances within this category without a valid license (e.g., a prescription). Common examples of some of these are Adderall, Ritalin, and Methylphenidate. These substances are used for treating conditions like ADHD.

Then, some stimulants drug are outright banned and illegal. These substances cannot be prescribed medically, are strictly controlled, and carry heavy penalties. Examples of these drugs are cocaine, methamphetamines, and MDMA.

Finally, some substances aren’t controlled and can be possessed and consumed by anyone. Substances like caffeine (commonly found in coffee and sodas) and nicotine (in cigarettes and vape liquids). Caffeine isn’t a controlled substance, but cigarettes and vape products aren’t legally accessible to persons under the age of 18.

What Are the General Effects Of Stimulant Substances?

One of the essential things to know about stimulants is that they are addictive, habit-forming substances. The mind and body become dependent on them over time and start to, in a sense, “need” them to function. You might be asking, “How does this work?” In general, all stimulants operate via the same principle, and thus, all have pretty similar effects on the brain. Stimulants trigger an increase of dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is a chemical that acts as a “feel-good messenger.” What does that mean? Motivation, focus, mood, and decision-making are aspects of the human experience dictated and influenced heavily by dopamine levels. Dopamine runs our brains’ pleasure and reward centers, so persons consuming stimulants experience elevation to better moods, more motivation, focus, and more.

The only significant difference in the general effect stimulants have across the different categories is the increased degree to which dopamine is released. Coffee and nicotine have probably the mildest effect of them all, whereas outright illegal substances result in excessive dopamine levels in the brain. Controlled and prescribed substances like Methylphenidate are designed to help persons with ADHD. They have difficulty naturally producing dopamine to become more functional closer to a neurotypical experience. Prescribers monitor the usage of the substance in medical cases until the desired result is achieved. Misuse of these substances leads to a buildup and tolerance in the system, leading to higher and higher dosages and deeper addiction.

What are the Side Effects of Stimulant Abuse And Dependence?

One experiences many side effects due to the misuse and abuse of stimulant substances. These side effects can be experienced both within the immediate and short-term and over the long-term. Remember that one can experience adverse side effects from all stimulant substances. (Overconsumption of coffee, for instance, will undoubtedly lead to negative impacts). It’s also important to note that the body’s dependence on stimulants will result in withdrawal symptoms when deprived of said stimulant. The short-term side effects of usage and withdrawal can coincide with significantly more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. With illegal, banned or misuse of prescription substances even, the side effects will be much more pronounced.

Short term side effects can range from:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Elevated heart rate and breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Poor diet
  • Nausea

 

Side Effects of Stimulant Abuse

Long-term side effects of stimulant abuse are even more concerning because, depending on the severity, the misuse can have far-reaching consequences for the person many years later. Some examples of long-term side effects are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Lung damage
  • Elevated stroke risk
  • Elevated heart failure risk

 

How Can I Tell the Signs Of Stimulant Abuse?

Nobody wants to lose a loved one to the spiral of addiction. It is a destructive habit that can harm and even destroy the lives of everyone touched by it. That is why recognizing the signs of any form of stimulant misuse is so vital. Often, the best way to discern that someone may be misusing stimulants would be to look for critical behavioral changes. KEEP IN MIND that not all behavioral changes are a surefire sign of stimulant abuse! Mental health issues like depression can cause behavioral changes. It is also essential to keep in mind that accusing someone of being a drug addict is never the way to address it.

At best, your hunch is correct, and the person will double down on their attempts to hide the habit from you. At worst, your hunch is wrong, and you have now caused psychological and emotional damage to a person already in a place of struggling. Suppose you suspect someone has a stimulant abuse issue. In that case, the cornerstone of all efforts should be free of judgment and full of empathy and care and the engagement of professional sources on how to handle it tactfully.

That being said, here are some of the more common behavioral changes that someone may be misusing stimulants:

  • You come to discover that they are stealing or forging prescriptions.
  • They are taking doses higher than prescribed without authorization.
  • They become easily hostile and experience excessive mood swings.
  • Their sleep habits have changed, either increasing or decreasing in amount.
  • Decision-making is uncharacteristically erratic.
  • Overall personality changes (overly euphoric/energetic/sedated).

 

Is Stimulant Abuse Dangerous?

Addiction to stimulants can be dangerous. For some people, it is even fatal. The recent overdose deaths of two Arizona college students who were sold counterfeit Adderall (laced with meth) highlights yet another danger of this class of drugs.

It should not be underestimated just how profound, tragic and aggressive a situation it can descend into. Everyone is urged to exercise caution with any types of controlled substances, stay away from illegal stimulants, and be measured and moderate with the usage of caffeine and nicotine in general.

Does Stimulant Abuse Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

In short, yes. This was discussed in detail above, but in essence, stimulants are addictive substances. As a result, the body experiences a withdrawal phase when deprived of it. This phase can include experiencing symptoms like fever, nausea and vomiting, light sensitivity, stomach pains, cramps, muscular pain, excessive sweating, and hallucinations, to name a few.

Finding Help for Stimulant Abuse is Possible

If you or a loved one are experiencing an addiction to stimulant substances and would like to regain control, autonomy, and agency over your life, there is hope. When it comes to stimulant abuse and treatment, a proper healthcare provider with programs specifically formulated and focused on rehabilitating persons experiencing substance use disorder is critical. The internet is usually an excellent tool for finding quality options.

For instance, a quick Google search for “Colorado stimulant addiction treatment centers” yields a wealth of information. By researching the history, success stories, and reputation of a facility, you can usually discern the general quality of care one can expect. Some factors to keep an eye out for when considering a facility or program are the qualifications of the staff, the accreditation status of the facility, the extent of their financing options, as well as whether or not they take each patient as a unique individual that not only deserves but requires a bespoke plan of treatment to ensure the highest chance of lasting sobriety. A good rule of thumb is that an exceptional facility will usually have a reputation that precedes it.

What are the Features Of Treatment for Stimulant Addiction?

Treatment for Stimulant Addiction

Stimulant addiction is a condition that requires a multi-stage, bespoke plan of action. Each person is unique. Their experience of addiction is unique, as are the specific circumstances and factors that led them to fall into the habit in the first place. For this reason, a good facility will work to figure out just how each phase of treatment should be handled for each person. There are, however, some broad stages that the treatment of stimulant abuse travels through:

  • Detoxification – When the body is deprived of the substance, it will invariably rebel. This phase is painful and uncomfortable and requires clinical staff and observation to reduce discomfort as much as possible.
  • Medication-Assisted-Treatment (MAT) – A combination of therapy and medication, MAT is used by pairing FDA-approved drugs that have been proven to help people overcome addiction. This can be cautiously employed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity and nature of the case.
  • Dual-Diagnosis Programs – Addiction is often one of the conditions a patient may be suffering from. Things like anxiety and depression may also be playing their roles in their pain. The addiction itself may be a symptom or result of the initial condition that the patient fell into due to trying to self-medicate. A good facility will be aware of this possibility and screen for it in their initial consultation.
  • Inpatient Care – Depending on the severity of the case, the patient may need to stay at the facility around the clock to be monitored, administered therapy, and other treatments deemed necessary for holistic recovery. Inpatient care can be expensive, but it has a very high success rate. Patients that undergo inpatient care are kept away from negative influences in the outside world until they can deal with them.
  • Outpatient Care – For cases less severe or severe cases that have de-escalated sufficiently, outpatient care may be the move. This involves the patient coming into the facility on a scheduled basis for treatment sessions as appropriate but not residing at the facility. Outpatient care is typically less costly than inpatient care. The downside is that patients are constantly exposed to the same stimuli that led them into addiction in the first place.
  • Aftercare – Don’t make the mistake of considering aftercare an afterthought. This is a critical, non-optional part of lasting recovery. This element involves many components such as skill-building, group therapy, community support, and more. This phase focuses on bolstering and sustaining the patient’s sobriety as they step into a new life free of the substance’s hold over them.

 

Find Lasting Recovery from Stimulant Addiction at Pathfinders

We have over 20 years of expert experience in treating and rehabilitating persons struggling with addiction and stimulant abuse issues. Our facility is staffed by full-service teams comprised of qualified, expert medical and holistic care professionals who are ready and willing to work with you as you navigate the entire process of recovery and rehabilitation; from detoxing to healing from the psychological trauma that likely caused the addiction, to the critical Aftercare process that empowers our patients and prepares them for life on the other side of substance dependency.

A happy, fulfilling, and engaging life is our ultimate goal for every person that walks through our doors, and we have the track record to back that up! If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to stimulants, know that hope exists. Contact us today for more information or a consultation!

 

Ice Cream Drug and Meth Slang Terms

Ice Cream Drug and Meth Slang Terms

The mindset of “my child would never use drugs” or “those types of drugs aren’t a problem in my town” are outdated assumptions that currently don’t even have a sliver of truth to them. There was a period in American culture when certain substances hadn’t permeated the fabric of tight-knit communities.

Currently, the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics have spread out to affect nearly every American family in some way. If any of your loved ones – specifically your kids – were struggling with substance abuse or even just dabbling, would you be able to identify the presence of drugs in their lives?

You’re vigilant enough to notice any physical indicators that could signal any drug use if you’re lucky. Unfortunately, physical signs may not manifest until later stages of abuse.

There may even be people you suspect your loved ones are using drugs with. Some family members will attempt to pick up on signals from conversations they have in person and on the phone.

However, it’s possible they could be speaking about drug use right in front of you, and you may not even know it.

Ice Cream and the Many Slang Terms for Meth

One way to tell if your loved ones could possibly be suffering from substance abuse issues is by listening to certain words in their dialogue. Meth has multiple slang terms individuals use to hide the fact that they’re actually talking about drugs.

One of the most commonly used phrases for meth is “crystal,” which is short for crystal meth. This name is used because of the distinct crystalline form the drug commonly comes in. Later, the drug community would adopt the nickname “crank” because of its effects on the user.

If you suspect meth use from someone you care about, the following terms should raise a red flag:

  • Tina
  • Christina
  • Christie
  • Go-Fast
  • Go-Go Juice
  • Chicken Feed
  • Poop
  • Trash
  • Glass
  • Ice

If you hear any of those terms used frequently, especially around characters you may already be suspicious of, it should be a huge red flag. Identifying the signs of meth use is vital for avoiding long-term abuse and the side effects that come with it. The rising purity of the ice cream drug in the US is causing the rapid deterioration of mental health in large populations across the country.

The Rising Purity of the Ice Cream Drug In the US

Before sometime around 2006 or 2007, most of the meth available on the market was produced using ephedrine, a common ingredient found in cough medications. However, after a crackdown on clandestine labs throughout the United States in the early 2000s, obtaining ephedrine in large quantities became all but impossible – even in Mexico.

Manufacturers of the drug began using a recipe known as the “P2P method.” This particular recipe uses phenyl-2-propanone, aluminum, methylamine, and mercuric chloride instead of the ephedrine.

Mostly used during the 1970s and early 80s by outlaw biker gangs, this method took a backseat to ephedrine-based production because of the latter’s use of fewer harmful chemicals. However, after the ephedrine crackdown, manufacturers realized the precursors needed to cook P2P meth were much easier to obtain – and in massive quantities.

The Spread of Super Meth in America

This method is what has led to the explosion in meth abuse we’re currently witnessing alongside The Spread of Super Meth in Americathe opioid epidemic.

This method is what has led to the explosion in meth abuse we’re currently witnessing alongside the opioid epidemic. Mexican “super labs” are producing extremely large quantities of the drug – often tons at a time, in older, abandoned warehouses in cities near the United States border.

The surfacing of a high number of operations of this scale led to the price of meth bottoming out. Pounds are currently available for $1,000 in some states– a stark contrast to prices of the early 2000s when a pound of meth could fetch up to $10,000.

With super labs producing meth at record quantities and prices at rock bottom, competing cartels had only one choice to gain the upper hand – increase the purity. A great deal of the meth currently available on the United States black market is over 98% pure.

This is causing two huge issues. The first is the fact that meth produced using the P2P method causes more intense psychological side effects much faster than other variations. Drug-induced psychosis can set in in a matter of weeks instead of months or years and linger longer even after treatment.

The second challenge is relatively new territory for law enforcement and medical professionals. Overdose cases because of meth are also at an all-time high, presenting a fresh set of challenges for emergency workers.

Can You Overdose from the Ice Cream Drug?

It was rare to hear about overdoses related to meth in the past. Unfortunately, the tragic spike in deaths related to meth overdose has been overshadowed by the numbers associated with fentanyl.

In 2020, over 93,000 people died as a result of a fentanyl overdose. However, from 2015 to 2019, deaths associated with meth overdose quietly tripled in the background.

The numbers rose from 5,526 to a staggering 15,489 – a 180% increase. It’s worth noting that an uptick in overdose deaths would normally correlate with an increase in the number of users around the same percentage.

Surprisingly, the number of active meth users only rose 43% during the same amount of time. A situation resulting in a 180% increase in toxicity deaths and only a 43% increase in active users points only to one factor – a deadly spike in the purity of the drug or a change in the recipe that’s causing the wave of deaths.

While evidence points to the former being the culprit and not the latter, it still piques one’s curiosity. How is the ice cream drug made now compared to a decade ago?

How Is the Ice Cream Drug Made?

Overall, three primary methods exist for manufacturing methamphetamine. These three methods are known as the following:

  • Red Phosphorous Method. This was the primary method used throughout the 1990s and early 2000s before the current method took over.
  • Birch Method. The birch method, otherwise known as the Nazi method or Shake and Bake, is a cruder form commonly found in smaller, clandestine backyard labs across the United States.
  • The P2P Method. The P2P, or Amalgam Method, is the process most heavily used in Mexican super labs. Most of the batches that end up in the hands of users today are made using this method.

Let’s examine each method in greater detail.

Red Phosphorous Method

The red phosphorous method is known for using ephedrine as the primary ingredient. Meth created using this method is known for a high that produces euphoric, energetic effects as opposed to the paranoia-inducing P2P method. Ingredients used for this method include the following:

  • Hydriodic acid
  • Hydrochloric (muriatic) acid
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Sodium hydroxide (lye)
  • Sodium chloride (salt)
  • Red phosphorous
  • Iodine
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
  • Methyl alcohol (methanol)
  • Ephedrine
  • Pseudoephedrine

The Birch Method

The birch method, better known among meth users as shake and bake, is a process that involves hardly any lab equipment. Normally, this method is produced using one container or pot instead of a series of glass tubes and beakers. Because of the simplicity of its production, this is the method most commonly found in clandestine labs for private use across the United States. Common ingredients for this process include:

  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Lithium metal
  • Sodium metal
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
  • Methyl alcohol (methanol)
  • Hydrogen chloride gas
  • Hydrochloric (muriatic) acid
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Sodium chloride (salt)
  • Toluene
  • Naptha (Coleman Fuel)
  • Methyl ethyl ketone
  • Ephedrine

P2P Method

The P2P method is currently the method being used in the Mexican super labs south of the border. The problem with this method is the fact that it contains d-methamphetamine and l-methamphetamine isomers. D-methamphetamine causes the intoxicating effects that users crave from abusing meth. However, l-methamphetamine causes the negative mental side effects so often seen in current meth users.

  • Phenyl-2-propanone (P2P)
  • Methylamine
  • Mercuric chloride
  • Aluminum, hydrochloric acid
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Methanol, ethanol
  • Acetone
  • Benzene
  • Chloroform

Because of the quickly deteriorating mental capacity of current meth users, it may be easier to identify the warning signs of abuse.

What Are the Warning Signs of Ice Cream Use?

What Are the Warning Signs of Ice Cream Use

In the past, it seemed that the warning signs of meth abuse were often physical as opposed to mental. While physical warning signs are still present, red flags may exist more in the form of mental symptoms. Some of the most common indicators present in users are listed below:

  • Paranoia, or a belief that someone is chasing them
  • Withdrawn from society, family, and friends
  • Violent changes in mood swings
  • Aggressive or violent tendencies or periods of rage
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Staying up for extended periods
  • Long periods of sleep
  • Engaging in ideas or beliefs that don’t make sense
  • Difficulty staying focused on one task
  • Becoming ultra-disorganized

Individuals who abuse meth engage in a behavior known as tweaking. They will remain hyper-focused on one activity, possibly participating in this activity for hours. However, when they get distracted, they’ll leave these projects, often unfinished, to move on to the next. This false belief that they’re accomplishing more leaves behind multiple unfinished tasks and projects.

Physical Side Effects of the Ice Cream Drug

Even though mental indicators may be more prevalent initially, this doesn’t exclude the possibility of physical side effects. Eventually, most everyone who suffers from meth abuse disorder will begin to manifest the physical signs of use. These signs include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Cracked, dry lips
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Spikes in blood pressure

Most of these symptoms are associated with the effects of short-term use. However, most of these physical side effects of the ice cream drug will increase in severity with long-term use.

There isn’t one guaranteed set of effects that users that long-term users are guaranteed to experience. The intensity of most of these effects heavily depends on the amount used, frequency of use, and any pre-existing conditions or accompanying addictions the user has.

What Are the Long Term Side Effects of Ice Cream Abuse?

Many long-term effects exist for individuals who suffer from meth abuse disorder. Again, many of the worst side effects will be mental because of the current manufacturing process. However, extended use will eventually lead to potential life-threatening physical challenges.

Mental

  • Meth-induced psychosis
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of cognitive abilities
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships

Many of the long-term mental effects are repairable after extended periods of recovery. What are some of the long-term physical side effects?

Physical

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Loss of teeth
  • Long-term blood pressure and heart issues
  • High risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Heart disease

Again, it’s possible to overcome the physical side effects after long-term recovery.

Methods of Treatment for Meth or “Ice Cream” Dependence

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for individuals who suffer from meth abuse disorder. However, through assessments and one-on-one interviews with mental health professionals, clients can form a personalized treatment plan that includes the most effective forms of therapy.

Some of the most commonly used forms of treatment for meth abuse disorder include:

  • Talk therapy and one-on-one counseling with therapists
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This form of treatment helps clients replace negative behaviors associated with meth abuse with more positive behavior habits.
  • Dual-diagnosis treatment aims to remedy underlying mental conditions that exist as a trigger for meth abuse disorder.
  • Group recovery meetings similar to 12-step programs are effective after inpatient or outpatient treatment.
  • Group therapy with family members and loved ones also significantly affects a positive recovery.

One of the most critical steps in the recovery process is actually finding help for a loved one using methamphetamines. With the right support system and the will to recover, individuals who suffer from meth abuse disorder have a good chance at lasting recovery.

Is Lasting Recovery from the ‘Ice Cream drug’ Possible?

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers in both Colorado and Arizona, we pride ourselves on having a staff who believes in long-term recovery and is experienced in helping clients achieve it. We start with a quality, accredited medically supervised detox process that segues into a top-notch inpatient treatment stay.

Clients have regular access to therapy sessions with top-rated mental health and substance abuse specialists. We even have five-star chefs preparing meals for clients – nutrition is a huge part of recovery as well!

If you’re ready for a robust treatment program that attacks abuse disorders from every angle, contact a member of our admissions team today!

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.