Coke Jaw: Myths and Realities

Coke Jaw

Most people are familiar with the psychological effects of cocaine, like intense euphoria and an increase in energy. These eventually lead to mood swings, dependence, and addiction, which devastate the life of the user. But there are also the less recognized physiological effects. One of these is coke jaw, an issue that can affect more than 5.2 million people who’ve used cocaine in the US in recent years.

So, what is coke jaw? Are there ways this can be avoided or treated? Pathfinders Recovery Center has shared a guide that dives deeper into coke jaw, its symptoms, and some common misconceptions about the issue. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Coke Jaw?

Coke jaw is a slang term that’s used to describe the uncontrollable jaw movements of a cocaine user. This can include clenching and erratic side-to-side movements. Since the mouth is not designed to endure these constant mechanical movements, coke jaw often causes many other issues.

How does it happen?

Why does drug abuse cause unusual behavior in the first place? Keep in mind that cocaine directly affects the central nervous system or CNS. Coke is a powerful CNS stimulant taken that speeds up activity in the brain as well as exciting physical reactions.

This results in sporadic and uncontrolled movements that are commonly associated with cocaine abuse and coke jaw.

When is it not coke jaw?

Not all erratic or involuntary movements of the jaw are caused by substance abuse. Some of them are the effects of certain neurological disorders like cranial dystonia and Tourette syndrome.

So, if you see a loved one with uncontrolled jaw movements, it’s best not to jump to conclusions yet. If there aren’t any other signs of cocaine addiction or cocaine use, then it might be something else altogether. Be sure to look over our other resources on signs of addiction in a loved one before beginning a conversation with someone you think might be experiencing jaw issues caused by cocaine.

The Effects of Coke Jaw

Constant jaw movement will often result in other problems. Here are other signs and symptoms of coke jaw that can eventually ruin a person’s quality of life:

Temporomandibular Disorders

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is an umbrella term for various issues associated with the jaw and the joint connecting it to the skull. These are usually problems of the bone and not soft tissues, so they are harder to treat and take longer to heal. TMDs are some of the most common issues among cocaine users.

TMDs often result in limited use of the mouth, which makes eating difficult. This further aggravates the weight loss that many experience. In addition, temporomandibular conditions can cause chronic and severe headaches, tender facial muscles, and joint pain.

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Excessive teeth grinding, or bruxism, is another symptom of coke jaw. It’s one of the oral motor parafunctions heightened by cocaine use; those who already have bruxism might feel their symptoms worsen. Over time bruxism can cause severe damage if left untreated.

While most people wouldn’t see an issue here, teeth grinding actually deteriorates the enamel if left unchecked. That can lead to issues like:

  • Cavities: The exposed enamel makes it easier for bacteria and acidic substances to create dental caries, or tooth decay.
  • Brittle or Broken Teeth: Excessive teeth grinding also weakens the enamel and makes it more susceptible to cracks and chips.
  • Dental Attrition: This happens when the teeth wear out because of constant friction. Because of this, teeth have a flat and uniform appearance that looks unnatural.

Jaw Pain

Constant movement on the jaw will put stress on the bone and joints. Clenching is also a concern since a person can do this subconsciously while under the effects of cocaine. This is tied to the anxiety that people experience because of the overwhelming energy they get from the drug.

When we’re anxious, we clench our jaw. It’s one of the most common bodily mechanisms associated with this feeling. Of course, prolonged clenching will only put undue pressure on the jaw. This results in jaw pain, which can last even after cocaine leaves your system.

Constant pressure on the jaw can also lead to the possibility of fractures and dislocation, a painful condition that can require surgery to effectively correct.

Coke Jaw vs Coke Mouth

While often lumped together, coke mouth and coke jaw are two different things. Coke mouth is a more encompassing slang term for all oral issues associated with coke addiction. This also applies to the throat, teeth, and gums. Here are some of the common issues associated with coke mouth:

Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease

Rubbing cocaine on the gums is one of the most common ways to ingest the substance. Because of this method, many cocaine users experience problems with their periodontal tissue or gums. They can experience rapid gingival recession or receding gums, which eventually result in tooth loss. There’s nothing left to hold the molars in place.

Habitual cocaine use can also have necrotizing effects on the gums. In other words, the tissue starts to decay and causes a host of other problems like infections and bad breath.

Dental Erosion/Tooth Decay

Dental Erosion

We’ve already mentioned how tooth decay can result because of coke jaw. But cocaine itself is a highly acidic substance that erodes the teeth’s enamel. Not to mention that coke is often cut with powerful solvents such as acetone.

The chemicals in cocaine adulterants can magnify the damaging effects of the drug itself , which makes users more susceptible to tooth decay and missing teeth. In severe cases, a person may lose all their teeth.

Other substances that may be added to cocaine can also contain bacteria and unknown agents that further exacerbate the physical effects on the hard tissue in your mouth and jawline.

Palatal Perforation

One of the most concerning long-term effects of taking cocaine orally is oral palate perforation. This is when the upper palate of someone’s mouth starts deteriorating, resulting in ulcerations or holes. These openings can increase the risk of infections and make eating, speaking, and swallowing extremely painful and difficult.

Heavy drug use often results in these oral problems, but it’s not too late to recover from it. There is a ray of hope for families and individuals who suffer from substance abuse.

Is Coke Jaw Caused by Cocaine Abuse Treatable?

Yes! There are plenty of ways to treat coke jaw, but the most effective method is to correct the root cause of the problem: cocaine use. Preventing people from accessing and taking the drug is the surest way to treat coke jaw, gum disease, dental erosion, and other problems that all stem from cocaine use.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is one of the treatments we offer at Pathfinders Recovery Centers. It’s a two-step process that helps clients remove all traces of cocaine in their system and deal with withdrawal comfortably.

Our team is equipped with the knowledge and tools to help stabilize your condition and get ready for primary treatment.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

An inpatient rehabilitation program is a form of cocaine addiction treatment that helps clients completely recover from substance abuse. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, you or your loved one can enroll and receive the treatment, counseling, and support they need.

Support Groups

Cocaine Abuse Treatment - Support Group

Joining support groups is one way to share your struggles and process your experience. Such groups foster a risk-free and safe environment where people can talk about their stories and coping strategies, whether it’s for their oral health or for preventing a relapse.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Coke jaw is only a small part of a bigger problem. So, if you’re starting to feel this symptom as well as other indicators of oral health deterioration, make the right choice and attend a recovery center. Recognizing that you need help is the first step.

If your loved one is showing signs of coke jaw and other indicators of cocaine use, it will be difficult at first to convince them to get the help they need. Bringing up the idea of rehabilitation may be difficult, but you’ll need to have an honest conversation with them and allow them to consider the idea of treatment.

Interventions shouldn’t be antagonistic. Instead, show them that you care and that you want them to feel better. If you need help with speaking to a loved one about their drug use, reach out today to Pathfinders and we can help get the dialogue started and address any concerns they (r you) might have regarding treatment.

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is battling cocaine addiction and would like to get the help they need, talk to us. We’re an established treatment center with facilities in Colorado and Arizona. With our team of expert counselors and compassionate medical professionals, we’ll be able to provide what our clients need the most.

Contact us today for a confidential call and get started on the path to recovery now!

Fentapills: Everything You Need to Know

Fentapills

How Fake Prescription Drugs Called “Fentapills” Are Contributing to Opioid Overdose Deaths

Most people have heard of fentanyl by now — however, counterfeit pills dubbed “fentapills” are the newest threat looming on the horizon. Fentapills, one of many types of unsafe street drugs, are only supporting the ongoing opioid epidemic in the country.

This epidemic has endangered millions and taken thousands of lives each year; in 2020 alone, over 48,000 drug fatalities were attributed solely to synthetic opioids.

So, what are fentapills, and what do you need to know about them? This guide will walk you through the basics and how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

What Are Fentapills?

“Fentapill” is a combination of the words “fentanyl” and “pills” which is commonly used to refer to the large variety of non-prescription fentanyl pills produced and sold illegally. In short, fentapills are fake prescription pills that do not contain any actual medicine.

Instead of containing medication, fentapills are often made of pure fentanyl or are a mix of fentanyl and other illicit, addicting drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. These pills are widely available online, cheap, and potentially fatal — thus posing a large risk for younger people.

The Origin of Fake Fentanyl Pills

Fake fentanyl pills are largely manufactured and circulated by cartels. Most of these cartels or criminal drug networks originate from Mexico. In particular, the DEA named the Sinaloa Cartel and the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación as the primary culprits behind fentapills.

The Appearance of Fentapills

These pills are specifically manufactured to resemble legal, pharmaceutical-grade opioids. Most are designed to look like oxycodone pills, although some may also look like hydrocodone, alprazolam, or amphetamine.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has issued new warnings regarding the latest wave of fentapills that come in a medley of pastel rainbow colors, making them look more like harmless candy rather than a dangerous drug.

How to Know if Your Prescription Medications are Fake

Although they mimic the look of authentic oxycodone and other prescription opioids, fentapills do not fully emulate them. If you are worried that your or your loved one’s prescription medications may be fentapills, looking at the writing on the medicine may help.

For example, actual Oxycodone uses a specific font to mark the tablets. When compared with a fentapill sold as Oxycodone, the fake pills have a different font type, thickness, or size. The information printed or stamped on the tablets may be different, as well. Authentic prescription medications often have the brand name printed. The bottle from the pharmacy will have a description of what the medication should look like.

In general, oxycodone and other opioid tablets or pills sold in legitimate pharmacies and hospitals are likely to be safe, while any purchased from unofficial distributors are likely to be counterfeit drugs. Counterfeit drugs are often found via social media or through connections with drug dealers.

However, there are many variations of fake opioids. It’s hard to rely only on your own eyes and assumptions. If you suspect your or your loved ones may be using fentapills, it is best to reach out to our expert staff at Pathfinders Recovery Centers for guidance.

Fentanyl addiction can be overcome, and we offer a firm foundation and have seen many clients make full and lasting recoveries from even severe dependence.

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl or Fentapills

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl or Fentapills

The candy-like appearance of rainbow fentanyl opens the public to greater risks — particularly to young adults, teenagers, and even children. Some fake pills that authorities confiscated are very similar to the colors of candy hearts. As the Halloween candy season nears, such deception can potentially lead to a spike in opioid dependency, addiction, or even opioid overdose.

It is likely that they have been tinted in such a way to make them look like candy for the purposes of smuggling them easier. However, it is always possible that misplaced drugs could be mistaken for candy by unassuming children, leading to potentially tragic outcomes.

Is Rainbow Fentanyl a Risk Near Me?

Fentanyl, the primary and often only active ingredient of fentapills, is one of the most dangerous opioids. DEA laboratory tests have shown that around 4 out of 10 fakes laced with fentanyl have potentially fatal dosage. For some perspective, a deadly dose of fentanyl is only two milligrams — which is less than the lead tip of a pencil.

The innocent-looking and happy colors of rainbow fentanyl not only downplay the dangers of the addictive drug, but also make it easier to hide and distribute. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, law enforcement officers have seized rainbow fentanyl pills across 26 states since August 2022. Recently, authorities seized approximately 15,000 rainbow fentanyl pills that illegal distributors tried to transport in a Lego toy box bound for New York City.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a highly powerful synthetic opioid prescription drug. It is used in medical settings as a potent pain reliever and is generally prescribed for post-surgery pain and chronic pain. However, fentanyl is still one of the deadliest drug threats that the U.S. faces.

The dangers of fentanyl not only lie in its potency, but also in its affordability and accessibility. Since it only takes a tiny amount of fentanyl to induce a high, it can be sold cheaply. For this reason, fentanyl is also often used to cut or dilute other illegal prescription drugs, such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, without affecting the high it produces.

Illicit fentanyl is widely sold on the streets. Recently, it has also become much easier to buy fentanyl pills online. This, combined with the cheap price, makes it easier for anyone to get a hold of illegal prescription pills and potentially overdose.

Other Names for Fentanyl Pills

Illicit fentanyl pills go by many other names aside from “fentapill”. The names may depend on what prescription opioids the drug may be masquerading as:

  • Fake oxycodone fentanyl pills: blues, buttons, cotton, 30s, hillbilly heroin, muchachas
  • Fake alprazolam fentanyl pills: bars, bicycle handlebars, planks, ladders, school bus
  • Fake amphetamine fentanyl pills: a-train, Christmas trees, lid poppers, study skittles

Can You Get Addicted to Fentanyl or Fentapills?

Fentanyl or Fentapills

Yes, fentanyl is an incredibly addicting drug; it is over 50 times more potent than heroin. Unfortunately, many people succumb to drug dependence and addiction even while taking legally prescribed fentanyl.

A telling sign of fentanyl addiction is the presence of withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing or failing to take the drug. The following are some of the most common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, which can appear within just a few hours of one’s last dose:

  • Sleep issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe cravings
  • Cold flashes
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Leg jitters or uncontrollable movements

How Does Fentanyl Affect Your Brain and Body?

Similar to other opioid analgesics or pain relievers, fentanyl influences the area of your brain that deals with pain and emotions. However, what gets people addicted to taking fentanyl is typically the high or feelings of euphoria it gives.

Fentapills are known to produce the following effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Pain relief
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Urinary retention
  • Pupil size changes
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Fatal respiratory failure
  • Unconsciousness

Can You Overdose on Fentapills?

Fentapills Overdose

Yes, taking fentapills can quickly lead to an opioid overdose. In fact, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are the most common causes of overdose deaths. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 66% of all drug overdose deaths in 2021 were due to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

Overdosing on fentanyl can slow down breathing to a dangerous degree. This puts users at risk of fatal respiratory failure; and the lack of oxygen to the brain can cause coma, permanent brain damage, and death.

If your loved one is ever breathing too slowly and you suspect they have overdosed on fentanyl, call emergency services immediately. Prompt action and timely naloxone intervention can save lives. With help your loved one can survive a drug overdose and overcome their addiction.

Helping Yourself and Your Loved Ones Get Treatment

Drug addiction can affect anyone, including yourself, your friends, and your family — even the ones you may least expect it from. Seeking help for fentanyl addiction doesn’t have to be a draining experience.

Drug addiction is a large burden on its own — finding and receiving the treatment you need doesn’t have to be another struggle for you to bear. At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we offer different treatment options to ensure the success of your journey to recovery.

If you or your loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction or dependence, Pathfinders Recovery Centers in AZ and CO are here for you. Contact us today to learn more!

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.

Cocaine Comedown

Cocaine Comedown

The Impact of Cocaine’s After-Effects on Your Addiction Risks

The stimulant street drug cocaine affects your system in a variety of ways. Most of the people who use the drug are seeking its euphoric, stimulant effects. However, those effects fade quite rapidly. This is true because cocaine does not stay in your system for long. When the drug has left your body, you will likely experience a number of unpleasant sensations. Together, these sensations are known as a cocaine crash or cocaine comedown. Another term, cocaine hangover, describes essentially the same phenomenon.

A cocaine comedown is not a trivial thing. Instead, it can play a significant role in the eventual onset of cocaine addiction. Why? Many people seek to avoid the effects of a comedown by using more of the drug. When repeated again and again, this cycle of excessive use can speed up the pace of a developing addiction. As a result, it can also hasten your need for an effective cocaine treatment program.

What Are the Effects of Cocaine

The effects of cocaine are similar to those of other stimulant drugs. All drugs in this category increase the baseline level of activity in your central nervous system. They also typically produce the extremely pleasurable feeling known as euphoria.

Cocaine also has a range of other short-term effects. The list of those effects includes mental and physical changes such as:

  • Narrowing of your blood vessels
  • An increase in your normal blood pressure
  • Spikes in your heart rate and body temperature
  • Pupil dilation

 

If you consume heavy amounts of cocaine, the drug may produce some additional, unpleasant mental effects. Potential examples of these psychological alterations include:

  • Violent outbursts
  • Bouts of panic
  • Behavior that is erratic or out of character
  • Paranoid behavior
  • Anxiousness, irritability and/or restlessness

 

Heavy cocaine use may also lead to physical health issues such as vertigo and trembling or twitching muscles.

 

What Are the Signs of a Cocaine Comedown

Cocaine Comedown

A cocaine comedown or crash has an impact that is mostly psychological. Possible signs or symptoms of a comedown include:

  • An inability to feel pleasure
  • Feelings of irritability and anxiousness
  • Powerful urges to use more cocaine
  • A drop in your normal energy levels
  • Unusual sleepiness

 

While coming down from the drug, you may also feel paranoid or agitated.

What Is the Cocaine Comedown Timeline

Not everyone who crashes after using cocaine goes through the exact same experiences. However, there is a typical cocaine comedown timeline. If you nasally inhale the drug, it will produce its characteristic euphoria for roughly 15 minutes to half an hour. If you smoke the drug, its high lasts for just a few minutes. A comedown can begin shortly after the drug leaves your system. You may continue to feel its effects for a number of hours.

If you are addicted to cocaine, the comedown period may be followed by symptoms of withdrawal. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of a crash. Others differ substantially. All told, common indicators of cocaine withdrawal include such things as:

  • Depression
  • Malaise, i.e., a general feeling of unease
  • Nightmares
  • Continued cravings for more of the drug
  • Loss of energy
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • A slowdown in your normal rate of physical and mental activity

 

Most of the symptoms of withdrawal fade in a matter of days. However, if you have a long history of heavy cocaine use, you may continue to feel depressed for months. Your cravings for the drug may also linger for a similar amount of time.

Who Suffers From a Cocaine Comedown

Who Suffers From a Cocaine Comedown

No one who uses cocaine is immune to a crash or comedown. It can happen to you the first time you use the drug. It can also happen at any other time thereafter. The more you use cocaine, the worse your comedown symptoms may become. They may also grow worse if you use the drug heavily.

Cocaine Jaw and Bruxism in Cocaine Users

If you use cocaine, you can develop a condition called bruxism. People affected by this condition clench and/or grind their teeth without realizing it. Potential symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Wearing away of the surfaces of your affected teeth
  • Tension in the muscles of your jaw and face
  • Headache
  • A locked jaw
  • Cracking or chipping of your teeth
  • Pain in your jaw area
  • A dislocated jaw
  • Cuts or sores on the side of your mouth

 

When bruxism is the result of cocaine use, it is sometimes known as cocaine jaw.

Cocaine Comedown, Cocaine Binging and Addiction Risks

Some people who use cocaine end up binging on the drug. This behavior is typically characterized by doing several things in a short span of time. These things include:

  • Using heavy amounts of the drug
  • Not taking any breaks while using the drug
  • Only stopping when there is no cocaine left or you are physically forced to quit

 

There are several possible motives for going on a cocaine binge. In many cases, the motive is a desire to avoid coming down from the drug.

If you binge on cocaine, you can easily increase your risks for addiction. Why is this the case? Regular, heavy use is a known factor in the development of physical drug dependence. If you keep using cocaine, you may also become emotionally dependent on it. In addition, you may feel an involuntary need to find and take more of the drug. Physical dependence, emotional dependence and involuntary drug-seeking combine to create cocaine addiction.

Recovering From a Cocaine Comedown

A cocaine crash can be profoundly unpleasant. In response to the experience, it is tempting to try to minimize its effects so you can keep using the drug. However, the point is not finding tips to recover from too much cocaine the night before. The only way to completely avoid a cocaine comedown is to stop using the drug.

Using a Cocaine Crash and Cocaine Hangover to Get Sober

Recurring exposure to cocaine crashes is often a compelling motivation for getting sober. That can be especially true if your crashes are followed by cocaine withdrawal. Whatever your reason for wanting to get sober, it is crucial that you follow up on this intention. That is the only way to avoid getting addicted. And if you are already addicted, it is the only way to restore your sobriety and well-being.

How Can Cocaine Binges Be Treated Effectively

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you regularly binge on cocaine, there is a good chance that you meet the criteria for stimulant use disorder. All people with this disorder have life-disrupting problems related to stimulant use. These problems may lead to a diagnosis of addiction. They may also result in a diagnosis of damaging, non-addicted stimulant abuse. In addition, you may have a mixture of diagnosable addiction and abuse symptoms.

Whichever of these scenarios apply to you, you need the specialized help provided by professional cocaine treatment. If you are addicted to cocaine, the first task is usually completing a stimulant detox program. In detox, you will receive support that helps you weather the effects of cocaine withdrawal. When the process is complete, the drug will be out of your system.

Detox alone is not sufficient treatment for cocaine addiction. It serves a crucial purpose by helping you reach initial sobriety. But as a rule, that sobriety is extremely difficult to maintain unless you receive further recovery support.

This support is provided in primary cocaine treatment. Behavioral psychotherapy forms the core of modern treatment programs for stimulant problems. Three forms of this therapy are especially helpful for people in cocaine programs:

 

Contingency management and community reinforcement use reward systems to help you stay motivated during treatment. CBT teaches you to recognize thoughts, emotions and behaviors that sustain your cocaine use. It also teaches you to cultivate different thoughts, emotions and behaviors that help prevent cocaine use. You may also benefit from 12-step facilitation. This therapy helps you add a support group to your treatment plan.

Seek Help For Cocaine Problems at Pathfinders

A comedown, hangover or crash can happen to anyone who uses cocaine. All of these terms refer to a group of symptoms likely to appear when the drug leaves your system. Comedown symptoms can be extremely unpleasant. To avoid them, some people go on binges of heavy cocaine use. Binging can make your eventual comedown symptoms worse. Recurring binges also increase your chances of developing the symptoms of cocaine addiction.

You can escape the cycle of binging and addiction by seeking help for your cocaine problems. Detox is a common starting point for an effective recovery. Successful completion of detox forms a basis for primary cocaine treatment. Behavioral therapy is the modern standard for cocaine rehab programs. Several forms of this therapy may play a role in an effective treatment plan.

At Pathfinders, we offer extensive resources for cocaine recovery. Those resources include targeted stimulant detox. They also include both inpatient and outpatient options for a follow-up treatment program. In addition, Pathfinders provides specialized help for addiction that occurs alongside other mental health issues. To find out more about our options for cocaine treatment, contact us today.

Books for Parents of Substance Abusers

Books for Parents of Substance Abusers

Getting Help for Children Who Use Drugs or Alcohol

Across the U.S., millions of preteens and teenagers drink or take drugs at least occasionally. Significant numbers of younger children are also involved in some form of substance use. Compared to adults, children are more susceptible to the major risks of using drugs and alcohol. They also have additional risks that are not a factor for adults.

Having a child who drinks or takes drugs is a cause for serious alarm. In this situation, you naturally want to do as much as possible to help your affected loved one. One key step is following the advice of verified addiction and substance treatment specialists. Among other places, you can find this advice in expert-recommended books and other resources for parents of substance abusers.

Why Read About Substance Use Disorders and Addictive Behaviors

Knowledge is power when it comes to helping your substance-using child. The more you know, the better your ability to understand what is happening to your loved one. You also have a better chance of responding to your child’s substance use in effective, supportive ways.

Reading is an excellent way to educate yourself about substance problems and addiction. Potential sources of useful information include:

  • Addiction specialists
  • Public health experts
  • Other parents who have faced similar situations
  • Books and articles from the wider substance recovery community

What to Read If Your Child Suffers From Addiction

All children who drink or take drugs are at-risk for addiction. Addicted children no longer use drugs or alcohol voluntarily. Instead, they have a chronic brain disease that leads to involuntary substance use.

What should you read if your child suffers from addiction? As a rule, the most reliable sources are federal public health officials. These officials belong to organizations dedicated to providing accurate information on addiction-related topics. One top federal source is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA. NIDA features a resource page geared toward both parents and teachers. This page includes:

  • Information on the most commonly abused substances
  • Advice on how to talk to your kids about substance use
  • Links to a vast range of relevant articles and guides
  • Dozens of short, informative videos

 

What to Read If Your Child Suffers From Addiction

NIDA also offers much more detailed information on addiction-related topics. One key publication is the short book Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment – A Research-Based Guide. This online book:

  • Explains the general principles of effective treatment
  • Answers common questions about addiction and its treatment
  • Describes the treatments used for specific forms of addiction
  • Identifies treatments that are especially helpful for teenagers

 

Another excellent source of information is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA. SAMHSA offers more than 100 publications designed specifically for parents and other caregivers.

Online Resources Related to Staging an Intervention

An intervention is designed to provide effective help for anyone caught up in substance abuse. When performed properly, it can encourage your child to seek needed recovery support. However, when performed improperly, it can have the opposite effect.

A well-designed intervention requires detailed planning. For this reason, you must choose your online sources of intervention information very carefully. One of the best online guides comes from the Mayo Clinic. This guide provides comprehensive advice on topics such as:

  • Relying on professional help when making your intervention plan
  • Creating a team of people to carry out an intervention
  • Deciding what to say during an intervention
  • Holding the actual intervention
  • Taking follow-up measures after an intervention

Titles That Look at Drugs and Addiction in America

A quick Google search will bring up countless titles of books that look at drugs and addiction in America. Some of these books take a historical perspective. Others look at current aspects of drug use and addiction. Still others offer advice on how to help teens affected by addiction.

How can you wade through this sea of information? After all, in today’s world, anyone can write a book and publish it online or in print. Some of these authors are acknowledged experts in their field. However, others may have little expertise to offer, if any. How can you tell the difference?

One thing you can do is consider the credentials of a given book’s author. Do they have a background in the subject they are covering? Do they have academic positions or work for organizations that specialize in addiction-related topics? What do reputable reviewers have to say about a given book? These kinds of questions can help you separate reliable authors from those whose advice may be less valuable.

Books From the Alcohol and Recovery Support Community

Books written by members of the alcohol and recovery support community can also be useful. The authors of these books typically:

  • Have children or other loved ones who have been affected by addiction
  • Speak from personal experience rather than from formal expertise

 

Recovery Support Community

Dozens of publications in this category are released every year. There is a good chance that you can find one suitable for your current situation. The right book may:

  • Offer timely advice
  • Help you gain a better perspective on your situation
  • Direct you toward important treatment resources

Fentanyl and Harm Reduction Reading Resources

Harm reduction is an approach designed to prevent overdoses and other severe outcomes of substance use. Today, public health officials sometimes take this approach to help people using the powerful opioid fentanyl. Why? Fentanyl use inevitably comes with a very real chance of experiencing an overdose. Harm reduction can potentially help lower your child’s overdose risks.

A variety of reliable online resources cover the topics of fentanyl and harm reduction. Some of these resources are provided by federal public health experts. Many state governments also provide similar resources.

Reading Materials for Kids With Addicted Parents

Children in communities across America grow up with parents affected by addiction. You may know teens or younger children in this situation. If so, you may want to provide them with helpful, supportive reading materials. You will find informative brochures on this topic at SAMHSA. The nonprofit organization Common Sense Media also provides a listing of recommended books for kids with addicted parents.

Finding Effective Treatment for a Loved One at Pathfinders

Resources for parents and loved ones of addicted individuals come in a variety of forms. Some of the most sought-after resources are books for parents of substance abusers. Books of this type can help you understand addiction’s effects on your child. They can also help you respond to your child’s needs in ways that support their eventual recovery.

Generally speaking, public health officials are the most reliable sources of information. However, you may get crucial help from other knowledgeable professionals. Books written by members of the recovery community may also offer important support and advice.

In addition to reading up on addiction, you must help your child enter an effective treatment program. At Pathfinders, we specialize in the treatment of all forms of substance addiction. No matter how your loved one is affected by addiction, our customized care will help them recover. We can also help your loved one recover from mental illnesses that often occur in people with substance problems. Ready to get the process started? Call us today to learn more about our available inpatient and outpatient treatment options.

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

Most Addictive Drug

In a world where dozens of substances exist that cause an entire range of side effects associated with addiction, one of the most commonly pondered questions is “what is the most addictive drug?” Finding a definitive answer to this question is all but impossible, considering how relative addictions can be.

The science and medical worlds would disagree, considering the physical markers and battery of tests conducted on participants over the years. Readings of different brain chemicals and the way our body responds to abuse do show some pretty hard evidence as far as how addictive certain drugs can be.

However, the scientific and medical term is better served using the description of “physical dependence” than addiction. Addiction is far too mental to produce a definitive number one in this category.

A check of multiple sources produces multiple definitions, each with different wording or their own twist on the term:

Source 1: An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about how your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and a lack of concern over consequences.

Source 2: Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

By most definitions, addiction can stem from several different sources and isn’t limited to alcohol or illegal substances. People can develop habits with something as simple as Diet Coke.

Although the severity of the addiction is ultimately determined by the eyes or mind of the user, we attempt to make sense of this question in the following article.

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

The answer to the question of “what is the most addictive drug?” depends on who you ask and the criteria you use to judge the addiction. Is it based on how often the user abuses the drug? Is it based on how much a user will go through to obtain the substance? Or is it answered based on the severity of withdrawal, using a combination of the drug’s grip on the mind and body.

If you’re using the latter to answer the question, technically, the most addictive drugs, not a drug, would probably be a three-way tie between alcohol, nervous-system sedatives, and opioids. Technically, we could cut that list down to two because alcohol can be grouped as a nervous system depressant.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin and prescription painkillers, while central nervous system depressants include alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.

Opioid addiction is characterized by compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences to one’s health, finances, or relationships. This leads to tolerance—when users must take more significant amounts of the drug to get high—and withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it abruptly or after prolonged use.

Central nervous system depressant addiction often occurs when someone uses these substances for recreational purposes but becomes dependent upon them over time due primarily to their soothing effects on areas within the brain responsible for regulating emotions and behavior. Users often get wrapped up in a cycle of using these substances to numb certain feelings.

In addition, they also have the most severe withdrawal symptoms, with nervous system depressants edging opioids slightly in this category. And they all have a high rate of relapse. In addition, the consensus of most users would be that these two are indeed the most addictive drugs.

But that’s if you ask people who have struggled with these drugs – people who preferred them. Plenty of people tried both categories of these drugs and didn’t enjoy them, instead maybe leaning toward cocaine or amphetamine.

To this demographic of the drug user, cocaine and methamphetamine would be the most addictive drugs. This makes this question so difficult to answer with any level of certainty.

What Makes a Drug Addictive?

What makes a drug addictive? This question is a little easier to answer but may vary from person to person. However, the core driving factors typically remain the same in nearly every instance of addiction.

Typically, addiction begins subconsciously, usually by blocking or correcting a negative feeling or emotion an individual has. It could be insecurity, guilt, anger, or several other issues.

A large majority of the time, individuals aren’t even aware that they’re participating in the abuse to mask or bury the feeling. However, dependence takes hold after a significant period of use, mental and sometimes physical.

During the early abuse period, the substance in question is causing an explosion of certain chemicals in the brain. Dopamine, serotonin, and other chemicals, released in large amounts, cause the euphoric feeling or “high” users chase.

However, after an extended period of the drug driving the release of these chemicals, the body cannot produce them naturally and relates the dispensing of these chemicals with the ingestion of the drug. Eventually, the user takes  the medication to maintain a somewhat average level.

Now, what about types of addictive substances?

Categories of Addictive Substances

Categories of Addictive Substances

 

There are several categories of addictive substances. Each of these categories seems to have its unique, addictive properties and potential level of severity. At the minimum, they can be distinguished by their levels of physical addiction or lack thereof.

  • Stimulants: Amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine
  • Inhalants: Spray paint, antifreeze, nitrous oxide
  • Cannabinoids: Marijuana, hash, wax
  • Depressants: Benzos, anti-depressants, barbiturates, alcohol
  • Opioids: Heroin, methadone, fentanyl
  • Steroids: Various performance-enhancing drugs, human growth hormone
  • Hallucinogens: LSD, PCP, DMT, Psylocibin mushrooms
  • Prescription drugs: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, morphine

 

With such a variety of categories, how would we even begin to determine the most addictive substance?

How to Determine the Most Addictive Drug

Determining the most addictive drug is difficult because of the varying viewpoints. However, you can use two approaches when attempting to answer this question.

Using a scientific or medical approach to reach the answer would require looking at past data. Noting things like which drugs altered brain chemicals the most, which drug produced the most intense detox period, and other evidence-based conclusions would give you the popular answer for the most addictive drug.

The other approach requires a personal testament from specific users of various addictive substances. However, it’s not incorrect to assume that a large majority of personal opinions would point toward heroin or another opioid being the most addictive.

This also matches with scientific and medical data and is further intensified by the fact that we’re currently in the middle of an epidemic.

The Most Physically Addictive Drug

The most physically addictive drug isn’t as difficult of a question to answer. However, this spot is shared by three substances.

Alcohol, benzos, and opioids are the clear winners regarding the most physically addictive drugs. They all produce life-threatening, painful withdrawals and almost always require medically assisted detox.

The Most Psychologically Addictive Drug

This is another matter of opinion answer and garners many different results. However, many argue that methamphetamine is the most psychologically addictive drug.

The primary reason for this widespread opinion is the numerous cases of psychosis triggered by methamphetamine abuse. Typically, it takes prolonged use of methamphetamine to begin experiencing symptoms of psychosis.

However, more recent, highly concentrated batches of crystal meth are causing psychosis after only a month or two of abuse. In addition, overdose cases of methamphetamine have steadily increased after being almost non-existent for over a decade.

The Top 5 Most Addictive Drugs

The argument over which drugs are the most addictive will likely be perpetual as long as abuse exists among the population. However, a list of the five most addictive drugs is probably more agreed upon, only in varying orders.

The top five most addictive drugs, in our opinion, are as follows:

1. Heroin/Fentanyl

Heroin and fentanyl may not have the severity level when it comes to withdrawals as benzos, but they seem far more prone to quick addiction and abuse. One look at the numbers of fentanyl overdose deaths and the use statistics give insight into the grave situation that is the opioid epidemic.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol has the number two spot for a couple of reasons. First, it’s the most widely abused drug out of all other options and is more accessible because of its legality. Two, the withdrawal symptoms are dangerous, potentially causing life-threatening side effects. Alcohol is tough to detox from without the help of medical professionals.

3. Cocaine/Crack

Cocaine Dependence and Addiction

 

Crack was an easy pick for the list and has been a staple among discussions of the most addictive drugs. Many crack users become hooked after their first hit, chasing that initial high through years and years of spiraling and abuse. It’s important not to forget that before the opioid and fentanyl epidemic, the crack epidemic ravaged inner-city neighborhoods across the country.

4. Crystal Meth

Number four on the list is methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth. This drug was dormant for a period but is back with a vengeance, causing an epidemic of its own that’s been overshadowed by the opioid crisis. However, after a steep increase in meth overdose deaths, this dangerous drug finally has the attention of the public eye again.

5. Prescription Pills

Prescription pills round out the top five and include several different substances like benzos, pain killers, and stimulants. Although the prescription pill crisis isn’t at the heights it was in the early 2000s, it’s still a massive problem and takes lives daily. Not only does this category include benzos but also opioid painkillers, which are often a stepping stone to heroin and fentanyl.

The Rise of Fentanyl Addiction

As mentioned above, the prescription pill epidemic of the early 2000s eventually gave way to the heroin epidemic, which quickly morphed into the fentanyl crisis. Currently, massive quantities of drugs flood our streets because of the shifting availability.

Dealers no longer must import the substance from China, as Mexican cartels manufacture the drug right on our borders. This led to another record year of opioid overdose deaths and a grim reminder that the problem is far from under control.

Finding Top Treatment, No Matter the Addiction

Regardless of your drug, the top treatment regardless of addiction is essential. No addiction should ever take precedence over another, as everyone has their own battles to fight.

Each addiction case shares a common denominator – there’s human life at stake and a family that’s losing someone they love. Fighting substance abuse is a worthy cause that requires a collective effort, and winning the battle starts with awareness.

Long-term Sobriety with Pathfinders Recovery

If you or someone you love is suffering from any addiction, Pathfinders Recovery is here to help you reclaim your life and independence. Our top-notch staff is compassionate about our effort; every client gets 110%, regardless of their addiction or background.

To find out how we can help you in your journey to recovery, contact a member of our compassionate staff at any time, day or night. We have convenient locations in Arizona and Colorado that accept clients from all over the country, regardless of geography. Don’t let distance stop you – contact Pathfinders Recovery today.

Am I An Addict?

Am i an Addict?

Am I An Addict? The Importance Of Honesty.

A lot of people experiment with drugs and don’t become addicts. This is not true for most of us. When I began experimenting with opiates in high school, I thought it was all fun and games. How could this go downhill? You feel great and your mood is greatly increased. It’s fun to party with. How could it get to a point of not being fun?

When I arrived at Pathfinders Recovery Center, I had become completely addicted and my life was in shambles. My existence seemed hopeless. My opiate addiction was no fun whatsoever at this point. I was living on the street, crashing on people’s couches, and committing petty crimes so that I could feed my habit.

What is an addict?

An addict is somebody that has formed an addiction to a particular substance. You become an addict when your entire life and routine revolves around your drug of choice. Your top priority is either getting high or looking to get high. All of your other obligations become unimportant. These are the top signs of drug addiction.

There is nothing like the power of honesty. When you enter into the world of addiction, there are a lot of lies you tell yourself and others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they are clean. A lot of times, these people are not being honest.

I lied to myself as well as a lot of other people during my addiction. I told people I didn’t have a problem. I told myself the same thing. When I was finally willing to admit to my family that I had a drug addiction, the truth truly did set me free. I finally felt okay opening up about it and getting it off my chest.

Dependence Vs. Addiction

Sometimes the lines blur between drug dependence and addiction, but there is a difference. Everyone’s experience with drug abuse is different on some level, and the drugs all affect us differently. The term dependence refers to those who have begun to develop a physical dependence on a drug.

Addiction is defined as a change in behavior and brain chemistry as a result of drug dependence. I didn’t know an awful lot about how we use these terms until I entered recovery. I didn’t have a lot of education on drugs at all even though I was an addict. Pathfinders did a great job of educating me on the power and pull that addiction has on us mentally and physically.

When you decide to go to rehab, you are obviously at a very low point. The great thing about going to rehab is that oftentimes, you have finally hit a wall and made a conscious decision to try and get better.

A lot of addicts don’t ever even have this moment. Once you decide you want to fix the problem and get better, you’ve already done a lot more than other people can say. There are a lot of things to consider when you want to get clean. How much does rehab cost? What are the levels of care in addiction treatment? These are all things that you will come to learn the more you focus on recovery.

The Top Signs Of Drug Addiction

When you finally make the decision to get clean, you begin to understand what got you there in the first place. When you are finally ready to work out your issues, you learn a lot about yourself and how you got here in the first place. It’s easy to see the signs in other addicts.

The number one sign is lying. As I mentioned above, most of the people in your life are lying to you in some way when you are deep into your addiction. You avoid the people in your life that might encourage you to get clean. You don’t want your family to see what is being done to you. You tell them everything is fine when it isn’t.

Denial is a big part of the process. You get really good at hiding things when you are an addict. You become a master of concealing the parts of your life that you don’t want people to see. But even the best liars slip up. This can create a lot of problems in your relationships. No one wants to be lied to. It can create a lot of resentment and anger. A good relationship is based on trust.

Changes in mood are also a sign of addiction. You can go from being in a happy, uplifting high to a very low period of depression. Your brain is constantly fluctuating between the highs and lows, and it really messes with you. These are things that are impossible to hide after a while. You can only hide your mood for so long before it becomes obvious that you are struggling.

Paranoia and anxiety are other clear signs of addiction. Living in a constant cycle of trying to get high and make sure you have what you need puts you in a very rough state emotionally. Just getting through the periods between each high can be exhausting. If you don’t know where your next high is coming from, it can throw you into a tailspin of emotions.

I Am An Addict: Next Steps To Take

When you admit you have a problem, you have made the first step. It’s a giant step and should not be underestimated. You’ve done something commendable when you reach out for help and admit there is something wrong. When you are ready to be totally honest and upfront about it, you can get help a lot easier.

There are a lot of self-assessment tools and questions that you must consider. Going through the NIDA guidelines can help you figure out what level of addiction you are at, and what kind of help you might need. The national institute on drug abuse has a standard test that can help you better understand your level of addiction. They also offer many other further resources for addiction information.

The CAGE and MAST self-test tools are other ways you can assess and identify where you are at in your addiction. On top of these assessments, there is the question of how to choose a reputable rehab facility. One place might be better for one addict, while another might suit a different addict. You can never really tell unless you give it a shot.

Effective Treatment Types For Drug Addiction

Effective Treatment Types For Drug Addiction

Finding the right form of treatment is key to your addiction recovery. Depending on your level of addiction, medication-assisted treatment for addiction might be the best option. When I was in recovery, it sounded a bit strange to combat my addiction to medication with other medication, but it helped tremendously during my withdrawal period. If you’re anywhere near where I was, a medically assisted detox is really the only way to do it.

When is residential addiction treatment needed? This is one of the things that the NIDA, CAGE, and MAST tests can help you determine, but it can also be pretty obvious if you have a very serious physical addiction. If you have a long-term addiction the withdrawal symptoms can be a lot to overcome without some kind of medical assistance.

A lot of us struggling with addiction aren’t exactly in great shape financially, either. Worrying about how to pay for addiction treatment can make a lot of people not even consider it. Fortunately, there is a lot more emphasis on getting people into treatment no matter what their income is.

There are ways you can get into a program either for cheap or free depending on your situation. It will take some research on your part, but if you are really willing to get clean you must be ready to put in some work. Fighting addiction is a personal thing, but you will need a lot of help along the way. As you begin your journey into sobriety, you should embrace the process and ask for help if need be.

Escape Addiction With Pathfinders Recovery Centers.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the knowledgeable and passionate people that helped me during my stay. I was an emotional and physical wreck when I first got to treatment. I was afraid that I would be judged and not helped. It was the exact opposite of that, and I have a lot of people to thank for being instrumental in my recovery.

When you open up and begin to trust people who really want to help, it restores your faith in humanity and the overall process of addiction recovery. For the longest time, I didn’t think treatment would do anything for me. It would just be a big waste of time. How could I have known that if I never even gave it a chance?

When I finally did give it a chance, it was the total opposite experience of what I had imagined. I didn’t know you could come back from such a low place. I assumed because I was where I was at, there was no coming back. I learned that recovery is possible for anyone. Anybody that wants to give it a chance, it can work wonders. If you really want it, it’s there for you.

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.

Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Cocaine overdose

The Risks and Consequences of Cocaine in America

Cocaine remains one of the deadliest drugs in circulation in the US. Not only does it lead to untold losses of human life and societal harm, but the fallout of the war on drugs has impacted every corner of modern society. Cocaine overdoses have become prevalent, especially in certain areas. When a person takes cocaine, it speeds up their heartbeat, which is a typical body response to a stimulant.

However, cocaine also creates a rush of dopamine, bringing a feeling of euphoria. This feeling of joy leads many people to use cocaine to such an extent that they endanger their lives. Cocaine can also be found on the streets in a cheaper and more addictive form known as crack. These substances can lead to overdose if taken individually or alongside other drugs.

The Basics of Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine is a white powder derived from a South American plant known as “coca.” Native populations have used the coca plant for centuries to deal with altitude sickness and give a burst of energy and focus. By breaking down these leaves and extracting the active ingredient, drug traffickers create a near-perfect concentration of the stimulant powder. However, the cost of cocaine is prohibitively expensive anywhere outside of South America, making it hard for average drug users to obtain. unfortunately, aspiring drug dealers in the early 90s overcame this limitation by creating a version of the drug known simply as “crack.”

Crack cocaine still contains a significant volume of cocaine, but it is mixed with other substances. Drug dealers combine pure cocaine with water and baking soda to make crack. They mix these and create rocks out of them, which they can then sell for a much lower price than the same weight of cocaine. This drug version was introduced to the US in the late 90s and today makes up the source of most cocaine addictions in low-income neighborhoods. The name derives from the cracking sound the rocks make when the user is smoking them.

Can You Overdose on Crack?

Crack has garnered a reputation for being even more potent and addictive than pure cocaine. Overdoses tend to occur from crack use more often than from cocaine use. Typically, when a person consumes cocaine, their brain speeds up, and their heart rate increases significantly. This rush of blood and the euphoric feeling that the user gets makes them feel invincible for a short amount of time. The euphoria fades quickly, however, and a user wants to chase that feeling again, so they take the drug once more.

Crack overdoses occur because this euphoric feeling doesn’t last as long as the user wants it to. It also requires more crack each time to get the same feeling, leading the user to take larger and larger doses of the drug. Each individual has a different limit that they can handle when it comes to crack cocaine. This limit varies depending on several factors, including body weight and how long the person has been using the drug. However, once the drug reaches a critical point within the body, it will lead to an overdose.

Now, Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Crack and cocaine share a lot of commonalities, and you can overdose on cocaine just as quickly. Cocaine overdoses usually happen for a similar reason to crack overdoses – the user consumes the drug, gets high, and comes down but wants to recover that original feeling. Cocaine is a typical example of an addictive drug.

When a person takes such a drug initially, a flood of chemicals makes its way into the brain and drives them to the highs of euphoria. The brain adjusts its chemistry to deal with this increased chemical activity, permanently changing its functionality. The person will then have to take more of the drug to get the same euphoric feeling. This adaptation is known as tolerance. The higher tolerance a person has for the drug, the harder it is for them to get high on small volumes. As a result, they take more of the substance and eventually overdose because they crave that feeling of euphoria.

How Much Cocaine Does It Take to Overdose?

How Much Cocaine Does It Take to Overdose

As mentioned before, there’s no standard amount needed for an overdose with crack. Different factors will affect whether a person overdoses on a particular drug concentration compared to other people. In some cases, a few hundred milligrams might be enough to drive a person to arrhythmia and cardiac collapse.

It might be as much as a whole gram (or more) to cause the same response in other cases. People’s metabolism, their body’s ability to deal with toxic substances, and the size and weight of a person all have a part to play in whether they will overdose on a lower concentration of the drug. Older people tend to have a lower tolerance for overdosing, and it requires less of the drug to cause this outcome.

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose?

Cocaine overdose can lead to death in the most extreme cases. Luckily, a person can spot the symptoms of cocaine overdose early on and attempt to deal with it before it becomes unmanageable. Cocaine toxicity progresses in three stages:

Stage 1

Stage 1 demonstrates several problematic physical effects of consuming the drug. Among the symptoms that characterize Stage 1 of cocaine toxicity are:

  • Paranoia and Confusion
  • Pseudo hallucination (or visual aberrations)
  • Rapid and erratic breathing
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • The sensation of spinning or falling
  • Twitching
  • Nausea

Stage 2

The second stage of cocaine toxicity leads to the progression of these symptoms and the presentation of a few others. Some of the common symptoms seen in this stage are:

  • Seizures
  • Brain Damage
  • Irregular breathing or cessation of breathing completely
  • Hyperthermia
  • Loss of bladder control

Stage 3

If a person gets to stage three of a cocaine overdose, their prognosis for recovery is slim. The symptoms that a person is likely to encounter at this stage are:

  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory failure
  • Loss of vital functions

The most severe of these symptoms usually lead to unconsciousness and eventually death.

What To Do During a Suspected Overdose?

It’s vital to remember that time is of the essence in treating a cocaine overdose. The longer a person goes through the symptoms of an overdose, the less likely it is for them to recover. The damage done to a person’s body increases over time, but you can quickly reverse the symptoms and help the person if you catch an early overdose.

In the event of an overdose, the first thing you should do is call 911. Emergency response should be swift, allowing them to save the person’s life. While waiting for the emergency response personnel, keeping the victim calm is essential. Talk to them and engage them but avoid giving them object that they could harm themselves with. The massive rise in body temperature that comes with increased metabolic activity can be managed with a cold compress. If the person manages to survive their ordeal of overdosing, the most vital thing their friends and loved ones can do is arrange for them to enter rehab.

Are There Long-Term Side Effects of Cocaine Use?

The long-term effects of cocaine use are well-documented. As mentioned before, tolerance develops over time when someone uses the drug repeatedly. Alongside tolerance, a change in the person’s behavior is noticeable. They may become erratic and lash out violently at others without warning.

When they are not on the drug, they may experience increased anxiety and convulsions. Occasionally people who take cocaine go on binges, where they consume the drug regularly and in ever-increasing dosages. The result is a potential for overdose and several other symptoms, including restlessness or paranoia. Occasionally, they may even experience full-blown psychosis.

How a person consumes cocaine can also have detrimental effects on their body. Continued consumption of cocaine through snorting can lead to the destruction of nasal cartilage. It also leads to nosebleeds and a reduced sense of smell. Using needles can also damage skin and leave needle tracks that are a telltale sign of cocaine usage. Cocaine is a stimulant, and its usage does lead to a lack of sleep, which translates into a paler complexion and circles under the eyes. As people become addicted to cocaine, they avoid personal hygiene habits, leading to an unkempt appearance.

What are Treatment Options for Cocaine Overdose?

What are Treatment Options for Cocaine Overdose

When someone overdoses from cocaine, the first thing to do is call emergency medical services at 911. However, that’s not the end of the preparation. After calling emergency services, collect all the relevant information they may need to treat the patient.

This information includes drug allergies, pre-existing conditions, and the amount of cocaine the person has taken. If the person’s body starts overheating, use cold compresses to keep their body temperature regular. This approach helps to reduce the long-term damage that such a situation could lead to within the body.

Cocaine overdoses can also lead to a person vomiting. It’s best to lay them on their side while waiting for the emergency medical response. If they vomit in this position, their air passages will remain clear. This position may also help them with their breathing.

Ideally, the patient should be kept in an environment with less chance of harming themselves. Someone should always be with the patient until medical help arrives to ensure that no complications occur. A cocaine overdose needs to be dealt with quickly since the longer it persists, the more chance there is for the person’s body to shut down.

Finding Long-Term Cocaine Treatment Programs

A cocaine overdose occurs when a person has a high tolerance to the drug and has been taking it for some time. Dependency and addiction play a part in overdoses since they lead to a person consuming more of the substance over time. To avoid any issues with overdoses, the best approach would be to find a treatment center to help deal with addiction.

Long-term cocaine treatment starts with detox, then progresses to either inpatient or outpatient care. However, finding a suitable facility to deal with cocaine addiction can be difficult. There are many places a person could go to recover from cocaine addiction. However, not all facilities are the same. It’s essential to look at their quality of care, the cost of their programs, and whether they accept insurance for patients.

Find Lasting Recovery from Cocaine with Pathfinders

Pathfinders Recovery is dedicated to providing quality care to each individual to come to our recovery center. Our professional staff is trained in handling long-term addiction. We’ve dealt with complicated cases, too, including dual-diagnosis. Out detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient programs are adaptable and look at each case individually, requiring a unique approach. If you’re looking for a recovery center that aims to offer a long-term solution to addiction, give us a call today. We’ll walk right beside you throughout your recovery journey.

IOP Programs Denver

Intensive outpatient programs

Attending a Denver Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programs or IOPs are a way for mental health treatment centers to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient facilities. An inpatient facility allows patients to stay there for an extended period to deal with their problems. These facilities limit the number of external stimuli that a patient has to deal with, so they can focus on their recovery. Because of this focused recovery approach, inpatient treatment tends to have more success and less chance of a relapse. Inpatient treatment isn’t for everyone, unfortunately. The type of treatment usually requires a person to leave their job or take an extended leave of absence.

The other side of the treatment scale is outpatient treatment. This type of treatment offers more freedom to the patient than inpatient treatment. With outpatient treatment, the patient must show up at a scheduled time to receive counseling and attend group therapy sessions. They don’t stay at the facility, and the onus is on them to make it to their scheduled counseling. Outpatient counseling has the downside that a person still has to deal with their environment and other influences that could lead them to relapse. IOP programs seek to find a middle ground between these two treatment options.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Or IOP?

Intensive outpatient treatment is a treatment program for substance use disorder. It’s a step-down treatment after detox and inpatient treatment. Typically, it lasts for weeks, with visits scheduled for a few days out of the week. IOP can serve as either the primary treatment after detox or a continuing treatment method after a person has completed residential treatment. IOPs are built to be flexible and offer patients the best option for visiting a treatment center within their schedule. Most patients are trying to cope with re-entering the world and holding down a job. An IOP gives them the support they need through therapy while not infringing on their lives.

IOP sessions vary in length, but typically they last between two and four hours long. Most facilities that offer IOPs try to limit them to at least three days a week. More intensive programs might provide additional time, but three days are standard. One of the core focuses of IOP treatment is preventing relapse from external stimuli. Much of the discussion might be around managing the triggers that could lead to relapse and how to cope with those forces. Interpersonal relationships might need to be re-examined to give the person a better chance at staying away from those that might encourage unacceptable behavior.

What Does an IOP Treat?

While IOPs can be used for treating addiction, they can also be applied to an extensive range of mental health conditions. Among the typical cases in that IOP may be used are:

Typical Features of a Quality Intensive Outpatient Program

Not all IOP programs are the same. Some are far better at dealing with disorders than others through their flexibility and how they approach the issue of addiction or mental health disorders. The ideal IOP should feature:

Education Services

Recovering from any disorder requires understanding it fundamentally. A top-class IOP should incorporate education into its regimen. Part of the treatment should discuss how drug and alcohol addiction affects the body and the mind. Relapse prevention starts with recognizing the effects of cravings and how they change a person’s behavior. Intensive outpatient sessions should address practical ways of avoiding relapse.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy - IOP Programs Denver

Psychotherapy is one of the accepted methods of treating substance use disorder and mental health over the long term. A good IOP will incorporate family, group, and individual therapy to help recovering people deal with their conditions. Sharing experiences with others, opening up to family, or addressing the direct effects of a person’s mental health issue positively affects their ability to maintain their recovery.

Support Services

Typically, a person is in pretty rough shape financially, legally, and in employment when they enter rehab. The best IOP programs have advisors who can help people recover their financial and social standing while motivating them to continue their treatment. Finding solutions to these problems can help people focus more on improving themselves.

Who Can Benefit from a Denver IOP Program?

Anyone who has had a mental disorder or is dealing with long-term recovery from substance use disorder can benefit from joining an IOP. The IOP is an alternative to inpatient treatment while offering many benefits to outpatient therapy. IOPs do have an ideal candidate for success. A person who wants to undertake IOP needs to fit these criteria:

  • The patient must have completed inpatient treatment or have a mild enough substance use disorder that they don’t need acute treatment.
  • The patient must have a moderate substance abuse disorder.
  • They must not be dependent on drugs or alcohol.
  • They must have a means of support outside of the treatment center since they don’t live there.
  • The patient must be able to get to and from the facility independently.
  • They should be able to commit a significant amount of time to their recovery.

A recovery center would look at a patient’s history and determine whether they fit the ideal patient model before suggesting that they start IOP. Not all patients will match the perfect model of a patient. Since recovery depends on the individual, each person will have their own road to recovery. IOP can help some patients that don’t meet the ideal criteria but are willing to work towards their recovery.

Are IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance?

IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance

Insurance companies are required to cover treatment for mental health disorders. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all public, private, and group plans offer coverage for mental health treatment. IOP is another type of treatment that can help individuals who suffer from mental health disorders.

Therefore, IOP programs in Denver are covered by health insurance to a particular degree. Consulting with the facility will help you better understand whether your insurance will cover your IOP and to what amount. You may be responsible for meeting some part of the financial responsibility for your treatment, even with insurance.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and IOP Participation

Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT uses medication alongside therapy to gain results in treating substance use disorder and mental health issues. Evidence from many studies suggests that this might be a viable way of helping some individuals cope with their mental health or substance use problems.

Results have shown that individuals who might otherwise be struggling with recovery have a much better outcome when incorporating MAT into their treatment. The use of MAT has historically been part of many inpatient and residential treatment programs. Introducing it to IOP requires adapting the existing methodology to the intensive program.

IOPs that incorporate MAT offer significant benefits over IOPs that use standard therapy as their go-to approach for treatment. Generally, patients who don’t have acute issues with substance usage are the best candidates for MAT. These patients benefit from being treated in their home environments for their disorders, allowing them a better chance of recovery. MAT raises that chance further by providing them with a way to manage their cravings through medication. Combining therapy with group support through IOP gives a recovering person the social support they need to recover from their disorder completely.

What Are the Features Of Top IOP Programs In Denver?

IOPs are quickly becoming popular because they combine the best of good treatment models. However, not all IOPs are helpful to every individual. The top IOPs in Denver share some similarities, however. Among the traits they display are:

  • Mental Health Disorder Assessment: Determine what mental health disorders the patients are dealing with.
  • Therapy Sessions: Group, individual, and family therapy should all form part of the treatment regimen.
  • Behavioral Health Assessment: How does this mental health disorder affect the person’s behavior?
  • Life Education Skills and Training: A recovering person will have to relearn many basic life skills a person needs when living independently.
  • Teaching Focus Development: Yoga and meditation help balance a patient and get them focused on their recovery.

If you are looking at an IOP and aren’t sure whether it’s right for you, you should objectively examine what it offers. You should be able to get to the location relatively quickly, so you don’t miss appointments. The staff should be welcoming and understanding about your goals. It should also offer you an individual solution to your problem, not a generic fix.

Find Lasting Sober Success with Pathfinders Recovery Centers Now

Pathfinders Recovery provides treatment to our patients with a view to long-term recovery. Our two decades of service have prepared us to deal with all types of mental and substance use disorders. Our staff is trained in helping recovering persons come to terms with their disorders and overcome them. Let us help you deal with your condition. Call us today, and we’ll guide you towards leaving your disorder behind and living your life anew!