Meth Eyes

What is Meth Eyes

The Startling Effects of Meth Abuse

When I arrived at Pathfinders Recovery Centers, my meth addiction was terrible. Substance abuse runs in my family, and my meth use was another unfortunate example of that. Methamphetamine abuse is one of the most difficult addictions to contend with, and for someone in my situation, it was only a matter of time before my body gave out.

Every day that I was feeding my meth addiction, I felt that my heart was going to explode. I felt like every person I walked past was saying something negatively about me, judging me. I was probably wrong in most of these instances, but with my physical appearance being what it was, I’m certain that I scared people with my presence.

The common signs of meth abuse are some of the most obvious of any drug addiction, and I had them all. Meth mouth, skin sores, dilated pupils, red eyes, you name it. My meth eyes were what I think scared people the most. When I looked people in the eyes, I could feel their stomachs turn.

Keep reading if you are struggling with meth, to find out about getting past the damage done and into healing with the help of Pathfinders!

Seeing The World Through Meth Eyes

There are plenty of negative health effects from methamphetamine drug use, but the meth eyes are the most startling. I viewed the world through blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, and psychosis. My eye movements were rapid and startling. I felt like a squirrel trying not to get run over by a car.

The eyes are one of the most precious tools in our bodies. We use them not only to see but to communicate. There is a connection there when you look at someone in the eyes. When you stare into a pair of meth eyes, you are immediately filled with a sense that something is wrong.

The ocular effects in meth users can be easy to spot even if you have limited knowledge of meth addiction. The rapid eye movement, the pale skin, the sores, all of these make for a morbid physical appearance. My vision impairment was off the charts when I was using meth heavily. The rapid eye movement made me feel like I could never have one peaceful moment.

Your Meth Addiction Only Has You Fooled

Meth Addiction

Despite how obvious my condition was, I still felt like I was fooling everyone. That’s one of the biggest tricks that drug addiction plays on addicts. You think you can fool everyone. At first, you can, but the cracks begin to appear quickly and there isn’t much you can do to hide it after a while.

As I looked at the world through meth eyes and blurred vision, I looked for everyone and everything to blame but myself. It’s because of all the other external forces in my life that got me to this point. It’s hard to accept blame, even harder if you’ve been in the thick of methamphetamine addiction.

This is a common symptom of drug addiction. This is all across the drug spectrum. Whether you have an issue with prescription drugs, alcohol, or an illicit drug like meth. Drug abuse is related all across the board.

The Power Of Methamphetamine Drug Use

I never imagined I would end up in the situation that I did. As I mentioned above, drug addiction is something that has always existed in my family. I saw a lot of family members abuse alcohol and drugs.

It freaked me out when I was young, and I promised myself and the few sober family members that I had that that would not be me. Drugs would not enter my life at all. When you’re on the outside looking in, it can be easy to say that you won’t do the same.

Just saying it doesn’t make it possible. Even as you go through addiction treatment, the drug can still talk through you. The adverse effects that methamphetamine use has on your mind can be even more glaring once you stop using the drug.

Beyond the eye damage and the other side effects, the mental effects are extremely difficult to navigate. Meth use takes over your mind to a point that is terrifying. I look back on some of my decision-making and can’t believe that I was capable of some of the things that I did.

The All Consuming Effects Of Meth

The effects of meth can turn you into a person you won’t recognize. I put myself in a lot of life-threatening situations. I associated with some very questionable individuals and pushed away all of the positive people in my life. When my meth use was at its peak, I was sleeping on the streets and committing petty crimes to feed my habit. ‘

I never conceived that my meth use would have me sneaking into businesses and stealing merchandise. As I gave myself over more and more to the methamphetamine drug, I rationalized every horrible decision that I made. I made myself not care about the people that I was affecting.

The long-term effects of meth have followed me even well into my sobriety. I still get the urge to use it, and I still see myself falling back into my old crowd. I feel guilty sometimes that I got out of it while so many others didn’t. This is a common sign in recovery. It’s a form of survivor’s guilt that I continue to struggle with, but through treatment, I’ve learned to accept it and manage it.

The Lies Of Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

When I entered my teen years, I engaged in alcohol abuse, which slowly progressed into cocaine addiction. I realized that uppers were my thing. It wasn’t long after I first got into cocaine that I began using crystal meth. This is before I graduated high school. My father was sober at this point and pressured me into addiction treatment.

I couldn’t really say no, because I was still living under his roof. I did it because I was forced into it, which typically never works out. To get over substance abuse, you have to want it for yourself. Meth use isn’t going to fix itself.

I remember my father once asking me about my rapid eye movements, and why I couldn’t sit still without obsessively shifting around. I felt attacked, and would usually blow up at him ending the conversation.

I didn’t want it. I wanted the drug. My methamphetamine addiction was in its infancy. Of all the illicit drugs that I and my peers were into, crystal methamphetamine was to me the greatest substance in the world. Something I needed to get through my day. When I didn’t have it, it was a living hell. No one tries to be a crystal meth addict.

Methamphetamine Myths

Substance use disorder makes you believe all of the lies that the drug is telling you. It doesn’t matter what drug you are addicted to. Each of them has different effects and different ways that they change the brain, but overall, substance abuse in general changes your brain for the worse. Every time someone tried to help me or talk sense into me, I felt attacked and offended.

I made up excuses. I lied. I projected and tried to turn it back on them. There was no talking any sense into me. Even as my symptoms presented themselves in such an obvious fashion, I still couldn’t admit I had a problem.

The drugs were doing the talking, not me. It wasn’t until I was in treatment at Pathfinders that I could speak for myself. Meth abuse isn’t much different than alcohol abuse or any other type of substance abuse.

The Effects Of Meth On Everyday Life

Because meth is a stimulant, it’s much different than any central nervous system depressant. You don’t sleep on meth. I’ve gone days without sleeping, and it feels like you are literally in a nightmare.

There isn’t any other highly addictive drug that I feel can put you into that state of psychosis. If you are dealing with a mental illness of any kind, it can shake things up. Not only that, the withdrawal symptoms can greatly increase your psychosis. Meth is the one drug that made me feel like I had lost my mind.

Methamphetamine Abuse And Your Body

Methamphetamine Abuse

Meth addiction creates some very complex problems in your brain. The effects of meth on your mind are brutal and hard to describe unless you’ve been through it. First, let’s get into the physical symptoms.

Beyond meth eyes, meth mouth is a serious and potentially life-threatening side effect. Meth users grind their teeth, and the chemicals from the drug do a lot of damage to your gums if consumed orally.

There is an increased risk of high blood pressure, vision impairment, vision loss, changes in body temperature, and retinal vascular occlusive disease. I developed a retinal vascular occlusive disease, which affected my vision. This occurs when there is a blood clot in the veins around your eyes.

Methamphetamine use increases your risk of poor blood flow and high heart rate. All of this combined throws your body into a tailspin. What negative effects does your body try to fight first? The central nervous system can only handle so much of the effects of meth.

Meth and Body Temperature

The way methamphetamine made my body temperature rise and fall was shocking. Beyond the vision impairment, skin sores, and rapid eye movement, I always felt like I was being put in and out of an oven. Meth interrupts blood flow and

Your physical health and mental health are very closely related. One doesn’t work all that well without the other. Health problems greatly affect your mood and general disposition. When you’re using crystal meth or any other drug, you’re sapping your brain of dopamine. The dopamine receptors in your brain greatly affect your emotions.

Drug abuse puts these receptors into overdrive until they can no longer produce any more dopamine. When your brain is emptied of dopamine, it can create some real havoc. The support groups that I was a part of in my initial recovery were so great at teaching me about the way methamphetamine made me feel.

Even long after I stopped using the drug, I still felt the effects. This is one of the common symptoms of those in recovery. Just because you got clean, doesn’t mean you’re not going to desire that feeling again.

Addiction Treatment and Meth Use

Both prescription and illegal drug abuse require a lot of support. Getting clean is a decision you make on your own, but you need a lot of help along the way. The support groups I have joined have given me a great sense of purpose and responsibility.

Addiction Treatment

I try and stay clean not just for myself, but so I can help someone else see that it is possible. I no longer see the world through meth eyes. Crystal methamphetamine turned me into a person that I don’t want to become again, but I know it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

I may not be engaging in meth use now, but I can’t predict the future. I try to live moment by moment and help others see it that way too. Ultimately though, I’m only in control of my own life. I work on myself first before anyone else.

Long Term Effects After Treatment

The effects of meth are still with me, but I try to use them as a tool to help others. I may have gotten over my physical effects, but there are long-term effects that last well into recovery. The retinal vein occlusion is gone, but the effects linger. Meth seems like it will always be a part of my life, whether I still use it or not.

When I was going through my initial treatment at Pathfinders, I knew I had made the right decision even if the withdrawal symptoms were tearing me apart inside. I had tried treatment many times over the years, but never truly wanted it for myself.

A Journey of Recovery from Methamphetamine

Being in treatment has given me a new lease on life, and I make sure every day that I’m doing the best I can to not go back to methamphetamine. The long-term effects of meth may be there, but I know that it’s something I can handle if I put in the work.

If you are struggling with meth, or have a loved one that is, reach out to Pathfinders and ask about your options. I know it may seem scary, but I was pretty far gone, and they helped me find a strength and hope I thought were long gone. I bet they can help you find them too, all it takes is a phone call to get the ball rolling and claim your own recovery!

Slang for Cocaine

Slang for Cocaine

Common Street Names for Cocaine

When you suffer from cocaine addiction, you pick up pretty quickly on the street names for cocaine. There have been a lot of substitutes and variations of the word cocaine. Some of the terminologies get pretty ridiculous, but if you have a cocaine addiction, you become an encyclopedia of street names for cocaine. Cocaine addiction has unfortunately become a part of American culture in the last several decades.

I didn’t think I had it in me to accept addiction treatment when I got to Pathfinders. Drug use in general requires a rigorous treatment process. Cocaine addiction is one of the toughest forms of substance abuse to overcome. Cocaine users have gotten pretty creative in their slang for cocaine. Cocaine abuse is a very common form of drug abuse and it crosses all lifestyles and cultures.

Keep reading if you or a loved one is struggling with coke, to find out the names for the drug you may not have heard before, and find out about effective treatment with Pathfinders Recovery Centers!

Going Beyond Nose Candy: A Dictionary of Slang for Cocaine

The slang terms also transcend these boundaries. The drug cocaine is derived from the coca plant. It is generally a drug that is smuggled and one of the biggest headaches for the drug enforcement administration. The substance derived from the coca plant is very often in a white powder form.

Cocaine use has been popular in America for decades, and as the times change, so do the cocaine slang terms. There is a lot of variation in these nicknames for cocaine depending on how the cocaine is produced. Crack cocaine is a common form of cocaine that has been highly dangerous.

Cocaine Mixed With Other Drugs

Cocaine With Other Drugs

Cocaine is commonly mixed with other drugs and has various street names. ‘Nose candy’ is one of the most common slang terms for cocaine by itself. This is because it is commonly ingested in its white powder form. Typically, by the time you develop a cocaine addiction, you are no stranger to other drugs.

Cocaine is very often mixed with other drugs in order to enhance its effects. Many of the people I’ve met in addiction treatment have talked openly about using cocaine with other drugs. When I was at the height of my cocaine addiction, I used to put powder cocaine at the end of my cigarettes. ‘Cocoa puffs’ is one of the slang terms for cocaine mixed with cigarettes.

Another one of the slang terms for this is ‘Greek Joint’ or mixed with marijuana in a blunt it used to be called a ‘woo-banger.’ All the slang gets a little crazy, but it can help conceal the way you are using it and lets a coded message be passed back and forth a bit more easily.

One of the scariest substances on the rise is fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful narcotic and is responsible for many overdose deaths. Dirty fentanyl is crack cocaine mixed with fentanyl. Sometimes it’s very difficult to know what you are ingesting when all you are given is a white powder or crack cocaine. I’ve known several people who lost their lives because of dirty fentanyl.

Cocaine Street Names Not Often Talked About

As new forms of drugs become more widely used, the street names for and slang for cocaine continue to multiply. There are slang terms that I first heard about in Treatment, and I thought I knew them all. Cocaine is a drug that can be mixed with many other substances.

Cocaine mixed with heroin is known as a ‘speedball’. Big flake is another term used to describe the appearance of cocaine. The street name for cocaine mixed with marijuana is known as Bazooka.

The list of slang for cocaine seems never-ending. Some of the most common street names for cocaine are Coke, Big Flake, Blow, Candy, White Girl, and Pearl. Common slang terms for crack include Rock, Black Rock, Kibble, and Ice Cubes. Cocaine mixed with meth is known as Croak. The slang terms just seem to go on and on the further, you delve into them.

Cocaine street names change often and make it difficult for law enforcement to keep up. The influx of cocaine into the United States has continued to be a big problem in the world of drug addiction. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that Columbia produces about ninety percent of the cocaine that reaches America. Other countries in South America that produce cocaine include Peru and Bolivia.

Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine abuse that is often found in poor neighborhoods. “Crack”, “Rock” or “Base” are common crack cocaine slang terms. Crack has been one of the most common street names for cocaine since it became a prevalent form of drug addiction.

Because crack is one of the most common nicknames for cocaine, it can be confused with white power. Those who aren’t familiar with cocaine may not know the difference between crack and powder cocaine.

Crack cocaine is made from cooking cocaine mixed with baking soda. It is then typically smoked. It is often seen as a much more addictive form of cocaine. Crack quickly became a common form of cocaine use as soon as it was first introduced. Cocaine mixed with baking soda provides a very quick, intense high. It’s a big rush that is rarely felt by other drugs.

As someone who has suffered from substance abuse and gone through addiction treatment, I can attest to the powerful grip that crack cocaine has on addicts. Cocaine use is bad enough for your body and mind, but crack is truly all-encompassing. The national institute on drug abuse has warned about the link between crack cocaine and developing STDs such as HIV and Hepatitis.

Long Term Recovery From Substance Abuse

To achieve long-term recovery from drug use, you need to be all in. The decision needs to come from you, and nobody else. This is one of the first things you’ll learn in treatment centers. There are many aspects to the recovery process.

A lot of treatment facilities focus on behavioral health and your individual needs as an addict, and in my case Pathfinders in Colorado helped me get to the reasons I loved coke so much, and help me find ways to stop using that seemed almost natural in hindsight. Over the years I have replaced that intense high with a ton of other ‘highs’ from daily life that are sustainable and don’t leave me filled with regrets.

There are many ways to become a drug addict. It always begins with recreational use, and normally gets worse over a period of time. No one decides to be a drug addict one day, it happens gradually and the drugs fool you into thinking you’ve got it under control. Treatment programs are designed to help you deal with the issues that led you to that place.

There is usually some sort of outside factor for the development of drug addiction. When the drug becomes the only thing important in your life, it is typically because it is masking something painful in your past. This is not one hundred percent the case, but pretty close.

Treatment Options For Drug Abuse

Drug treatment looks pretty similar for most addicts. Whether you are addicted to one drug or multiple drugs, treatment starts at the core of who you are. Addiction comes in many forms. When I finally sought treatment, not only was I falling apart personally, but so were my family members. I lived with a lot of shame for what I put them through, and I wanted to make it right.

Ultimately, you can only achieve long-term recovery if you do it for yourself first. You have to love and forgive yourself above all else. Pathfinders have one of the best treatment programs out there, and I tried my best not to take it for granted. They offer treatment placement tailored to your specific addiction.

Group Therapy

There are so many great treatment options these days, and easy ways to find recovery information online. Many of these programs offer both in-person and text support for those who prefer texting. Everyone’s journey is unique, so treatment placement is tailored to the individual.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Library of Medicine were great learning tools for me during my treatment. My specific addiction was cocaine mixed with heroin. Two very strong and potentially fatal addictions. I learned a lot about these specific drugs, and how lucky I was to be alive. Cocaine and heroin are bad enough on their own. Cocaine mixed with heroin very often results in death.

Behavioral Health and Treatment Placement

Finding the right fit is key to navigating drug treatment. Many people don’t know where to start when selecting the right program. A lot of addicts assume they won’t be able to afford it. Luckily there are many programs in the network at a reduced rate. The insurance coverage I got was very necessary and was a big part of why I was able to make it work.

Once you go through treatment, it doesn’t mean the problem is totally fixed. Finding a good support group is vital to your recovery. The reoccurring messages you hear through support groups may sound old after a while, but for us in the program they are crucial. Truer words have never been spoken than ‘one day at a time’.

Reach Out for Your Own Recovery

When you receive treatment, you are doing yourself and your community a giant favor. Not to mention your family as well. I work very hard on myself and my mental and behavioral health. I know that I’m not going to completely make it all go away, but I can separate myself enough from my addiction to where I feel like I have a fighting chance. That’s all anyone in recovery can ask for.

If my story sounds similar to your own, or if you have a loved one going through some of the same experiences, please give yourself a fighting chance and seek out help. I know Pathfinders helped me grab hold of a life I thought was long gone for me. If you want something different for yourself, reach out now and see what your options are for a new way of life.

Can You Snort Meth?

Snort Meth

Get Answers and Treatment Options for Meth Abuse

Methamphetamine or meth is readily available in the United States. However, the highest availability is in the Midwestern and Western regions of the country. This is where many people have seen a loved one struggling and wondered: can you snort meth?

Data from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission reports that the task force seized over 4,500 pounds of illicit meth in 2019, a sharp increase from the previous year. This significant increase in people abusing meth comes despite various federal and state-level actions aimed at restricting the production and distribution of this highly addictive substance.

Meth has devastating effects on the lives of users and their loved ones. Understanding the reason for the continued high prevalence of the drug in the Grand Canyon State is crucial when determining what to do to combat its harmful impact on residents.

There is a wide range of treatment options for meth abuse. Methamphetamine addiction treatment often involves detox, therapy, counseling, and aftercare services from a rehab center.

If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, our addiction treatment providers can help you get your life back on track.

Keep reading to find out more about effective programs for recovery from meth, and how Pathfinders Recovery can help you get your recovery started today!

What Is Meth?

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine or meth is a highly potent and addictive psychostimulant that affects the central nervous system (CNS). It is a white, odorless, crystalline drug that is odorless and bitter.

Developed from amphetamine in the early 20th century, meth was sold by pharmaceutical firms as a nasal decongestant and respiratory stimulant. Some medical disorders that doctors may prescribe amphetamine for include obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Methamphetamine is commonly abused because of the intense high it delivers. However, meth abuse negatively affects your health and can be fatal. The armed services widely used this drug during World War II to boost morale, alertness, and endurance.

Time revealed that methamphetamine was a highly addictive drug. So, the Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States classified the drug as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its high potential for abuse.

Methamphetamine is banned unless a doctor prescribes it for some specific medical conditions. It is highly addictive and easy to manufacture, making it a persistent problem in the drug market.

Consumption for an extended period has disastrous impacts on the user and has negatively impacted whole communities as well.

How do People Use Meth?

Methamphetamine can be manufactured in several forms. This drug can be used in many ways, including smoking, sniffing, injecting, or orally ingesting pills. Injecting meth poses a serious risk of contracting hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the preferred route of meth use varies widely by geographical location. However, a significant percentage of people snort meth. The short-term and long-term effects of meth differ depending on the mode of administration, but all are harmful.

Meth misuse usually follows the “binge and crash pattern,” in which the user attempts to sustain their high by taking many hits in rapid succession. Some users will “run” or engage in a sort of binge, in which they take meth continuously for many days without refueling their bodies with food or sleep.

Can You Snort Meth? Answers to Meth Questions

Snorting Meth

Meth is often produced in illegal labs at home using everyday ingredients like:

  • Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, which is the main ingredient in meth and found in common cold medications
  • Drain cleaner
  • Battery acid
  • Acetone
  • Iodine
  • Ether
  • Lithium
  • Paint thinner

 

This drug is produced in varying forms, including a solid rock-like formulation known as crystal meth, a liquid, or a powder usually snorted.

Although snorting meth may produce a less intense effect or a lesser high than other routes of administration, such as an intravenous (IV) injection, people who snort meth can experience a wide range of adverse effects.

What are the Dangers of Snorting Meth?

Dangers of snorting meth include:

  • Sinus damage
  • Nosebleeds
  • Damage to nasal tissues
  • Nose lining damage
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased body temperatures
  • Risk of meth addiction and physical dependence

The Short-Term Effects of Snorting Meth

The effects of methamphetamine abuse are temporary and only present during use. Meth and other stimulant drugs influence the central nervous system, leading to elevated heart and respiration rates, body temperature, and blood pressure.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methamphetamine’s short-term effects can last anywhere from eight to twenty-four hours, or even longer in those who repeatedly take the drug on binges.

Snorting meth may also have the following short-term effects:

  • Intense rush of euphoria
  • Heightening of consciousness, vigor, and activity
  • Increased energy
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Intense perspiration
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Increased body temperature
  • Preoccupation with meaningless routines
  • Muscle tension in the jaw
  • Irregular and even potentially harmful conduct
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Irritability

 

Other short-term effects of methamphetamine use include seizures and abrupt death because of the drug’s strength and impact on the body.

Long-Term Effects of Snorting Meth

Long-Term Effects of Snorting Meth

Snorting meth for an extended period can cause severe effects. People who abuse meth in binges may go for days without sleeping or eating, a condition known as tweaking.

Below are some of the long-term damage and effects of chronic use of meth:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Psychosis

 

Chronic meth use can also lead to skin sores. These sores are primarily caused by excessive scratching caused by a condition known as meth bugs. This condition makes users feel like they have bugs under their skin. Another long term effect of meth mouth.

What Is Meth Mouth?

If you’re addicted to meth or methamphetamine, you probably have meth mouth, which is a term for tooth decay and poor oral health. This condition is the result of acidic dental decay and drug-induced physical alterations that occur with meth use. It is often referred to as a “dentist’s worst nightmare.”

Meth mouth, along with other changes in facial features and skin damage from snorting or smoking meth, is one of the most noticeable physical changes that occurs when someone consumes meth.

Signs of Meth Mouth from Snorting and Smoking Meth

Meth mouth is characterized by severe tooth decay and gum disease. The teeth of chronic meth users are often rotting, crumbling, and blackened. Below are the common signs of meth mouth:

  • Black rotting teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bruxism
  • Xerostomia
  • Cracked, loose, or missing teeth
  • Lockjaw
  • Gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis
  • Carious lesions

 

Contact us today for professional medical advice on how to stop snorting meth at our treatment center.

Detoxing from Methamphetamines with Support

Detoxing from Methamphetamines with Support

Medically supervised detox programs can assist a person in safely withdrawing from methamphetamine, so they can move on to a more permanent treatment program. However, there are no approved drugs for treating methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms like intense cravings.

A person undergoing medically supervised meth detox will have their vital signs constantly monitored to ensure they remain within safe ranges. Medical professionals can ensure that a person undergoing meth detox receives the fluids, adequate nutrition, and supplements needed to restore physical health. This is because many people going through meth detoxification become very dehydrated and may already be malnourished.

Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine is so potent that it usually necessitates a comprehensive inpatient addiction treatment program for people to break free from addiction and stay clean. When someone receives inpatient care at our drug and alcohol rehab center, they can live at the facility while obtaining the best quality of medical care and treatment assistance available. This helps ease the withdrawal symptoms through supportive treatment

Those who don’t have a robust support system or don’t get intensive therapy for their addiction often relapse after abstaining from meth for some time. Although everyone’s experience with recovery is unique, studies have indicated that those who stay in treatment for at least 90 days have the best chance of achieving their long-term recovery goals, such as maintaining sobriety.

Some of the best and most comprehensive addiction treatment available can be found in inpatient programs at Pathfinders Recovery Center. Long-term sobriety from methamphetamine abuse is possible with the help of individualized substance abuse treatment programs that may incorporate a wide variety of therapies, counseling, medication, group participation, arts and recreation, and aftercare services.

Get Help for Meth Abuse at Pathfinders Recovery

Drug abuse and addiction can be challenging to beat, especially with meth. However, there are various evidence-based methods for treating methamphetamine abuse and addiction, such as behavioral therapy. The professionals at Pathfinders can help determine the best treatment approach for your addiction or drug use.

Reach out now for a confidential discussion about options if you or a loved one are struggling with meth use!

How Long to Rewire Brain from Addiction?

Reversing Damage from Drug Abuse

Addiction Treatment and Reversing Damage from Drug Abuse

Long-term use of drugs and alcohol is associated with a wide range of adverse brain-related health outcomes, including cognitive decline and mental health disorders. The sooner a person receives treatment for their drug addiction, the sooner their brain will mend and recover from the impacts of drug use.

Drugs have a devastating effect on the human brain chemistry and overall health. The brain adapts to receiving the drug after prolonged use, affecting the brain’s chemical processes. Luckily, a wide range of effective treatment methods can help you recover from the effects of drugs.

The recovery period from drug addiction varies widely from person to person, depending on factors such as how long they were abusing drugs and whether they have any preexisting medical conditions or mental health disorders.

Read on to find out how long it may take for rewire brain from Addiction and to learn more about the connection between drug use and brain health!

The Effects of Drugs on the Brain

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is a mental condition involving various neurological and psychological symptoms. Long-term treatment and recovery may be necessary due to the damaging effects of drugs on the brain.

The U.S. Surgeon General explains that the pleasure, stress, learning, decision-making, and self-control circuits in the brain are all negatively affected by drugs. Your brain’s basal ganglia is the brain’s reward system, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and motivation. When you take drugs, this pathway activates, leading to euphoric feelings.

The extended amygdala is the brain regions that control stress responses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that drug abuse causes these neural pathways to become more sensitive. This leads to stress responses like irritability, uneasiness, and anxiety.

Responsible for learning, decision-making, and self-control, the prefrontal cortex is the last section of the brain to mature and develop, usually in one’s twenties. Drugs’ effects on the prefrontal cortex may lead to compulsive behavior in people addicted to substances.

Different drugs have varying effects on the brain. Opioids like heroin, oxycodone, and Suboxone, for example, enhance the risk of overdose by altering fundamental physiological processes like heart rate and respiration. Inhalants can impair cognitive function, and cocaine can cause minor strokes in the brain, damaging brain nerves.

How Long Does It Take to Heal the Brain from Addiction?

Since drug use has varying effects on different individuals, brain recovery could take several weeks, months, or even years.

Factors that Influence the Time it Takes for the Brain Cells to Recover from Addiction

Rewire Brain from Addiction

It is essential to note the time it may take for the brain to recover depends on various factors, such as:

  • Type of substance abused
  • Length of time suffering from the addiction
  • Severity of addiction
  • Presence of co-occurring mental health issues

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a person in recovery from marijuana addiction should expect to feel anxious and irritable for one to two weeks. This timeframe is significantly shorter than the recovery time required for benzodiazepine addiction, which can cause similar symptoms plus agitation, poor memory, and poor focus for up to eight weeks or longer.

Some people take the entire rehab treatment program to achieve complete abstinence, while recovery takes longer for others.

Specific treatments and lifestyle changes may speed up brain healing. These include total abstinence, exercising regularly, and maintaining proper nutrition. Moving from high-stress or hostile environments to a supportive drug rehab center would be best.

Treatment Options for Brain Rewiring After Addiction

Addiction is a complex brain disease that affects an individual’s physical, emotional, relational, and mental states. Substance use disorders (SUDs) can also trigger co-occurring disorders.

There are various management options available after completing rehab. Depending on your specific requirements and preferences, you can complete one or more of these programs individually or in combination with each other. Once you complete detox and withdrawal symptoms have subsided, you can start rewiring the brain’s physical and chemical dependency on substances through rehabilitation.

The brain can self-repair some brain damage, according to NIDA. This happens through neuroplasticity, a process where the brain forms new neural connections in response to positive environmental changes.

Drug rehab centers often use a medical detox and behavioral therapies to help clients recover from the damaging effects of drug addiction. Treatment providers may also use medications to reduce and reverse the effects of addictive substances on brain health.

Below are some of the most common treatment options:

Medical Detox for Alcohol and Drugs

Medical Detox for Alcohol and Drugs

Medical detoxification is the initial phase of treatment for those struggling with substance abuse. Your medical provider will conduct an assessment through diagnostic tests or brain scans like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the severity of the addiction and brain structure.

Medication is used in detox to keep patients comfortable and limit the risk of health issues during drug or alcohol withdrawal. During detox at a detox center, medical practitioners and addiction specialists constantly monitor clients, ready to step in whenever necessary to make the detox process comfortable.

Some patients may be prescribed drugs and nutritional supplements that heal brain damage and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Patients in recovery from alcoholism, for instance, may take vitamin B1 supplements to prevent memory loss, while those from opioid addiction may take methadone to correct biochemical brain irregularities.

Neurological damage caused by drugs can be treated with medicines like Deprenyl and Acetylcysteine.

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery)

The SMART Recovery program is an alternative to the 12-step and other religiously-based approaches for addiction recovery. It centers on a group of people sharing similar experiences in overcoming addiction.

Drug and alcohol addiction is widespread because these substances’ euphoric feelings encourage users to keep abusing drugs. The primary goal of SMART recovery is to provide an alternative to drugs and alcohol for maintaining motivation.

To maintain their drive for sobriety, clients in this program are urged to discover external sources of happiness, like a fulfilling career, good health, or supportive connections with family and friends. The brain is rewired to seek happiness from within rather than from external sources like drugs. Learning to control cravings and avoid relapse is another critical goal of the program.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Many people struggling with mental health disorders or addiction turn to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The core tenet of CBT is the realization that one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions are interconnected.

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to equip the patient with healthy coping mechanisms and counter-thoughts to the negative thought and emotion cycles. Despite CBT’s relatively straightforward theory, the process of retraining the brain to overcome addiction is lengthy.

Some people’s negative thought patterns are deeply ingrained habits that need to be chipped away at methodically with CBT techniques.

Issues Addressed in CBT Addiction Treatment

This helps in addressing the following aspects of a continuing addiction:

  • Triggers that reinforce an individual’s urge to continue using drugs and alcohol
  • Destructive or harmful thought patterns that lead to unwanted behaviors

Psychotherapy Based on Mindfulness

Psychotherapy Based on Mindfulness

Mindfulness therapy is an increasingly popular option for those struggling with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health issues like depression. Mindfulness is a philosophy that shares some similarities with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with an added focus on being present with one’s thoughts.

When aware of their immediate environment, the person is taught to identify habitual, automatic ways of thinking and replace them with present-minded ones. This helps to divert attention away from the problematic thought processes while breaking them down.

Clients participating in a mindfulness-based therapy session are encouraged to:

  • Consider mental processes as temporary occurrences rather than fixed truths
  • Focus on the present to anchor themselves in reality
  • Think “in the present” to help them avoid patterns of rumination

12-Step Programs for Brain Rewiring

Many people assume that 12-Step and religious-based programs are ineffective because they lack a scientific foundation. But research shows that the 12-step activities used to combat addiction can rewire the brain.

Consistently attending 12-Step meetings has been shown to strengthen neural circuits involved in decision-making and desire regulation. The environment modifies how the brain perceives the addiction, making it less likely that a person attending these meetings will relapse.

Individuals are less likely to engage in addictive behaviors if they model their actions after those they frequently meet. People find the environment at 12-step meetings to be inspiring, and it helps them stay committed to their recovery.

Most rehab facilities offer these types of care and can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs. You can select a single option or a blend of multiple approaches to find the best fit for addiction recovery.

Get Professional Help for Substance Abuse and Addiction

While you can’t treat a substance use disorder by an act of will, you can gradually change your mind or rewire your brain and overcome this chronic condition. You will need personal determination to commit to addiction recovery through the help of medical professionals and evidence-based treatment options.

Call Pathfinders now for advice on the best treatment plan to help you beat your addiction and achieve long-term sobriety!

Can Cocaine Kill You?

Can Cocaine Kill Youa

The Risk Of Cocaine-Related Death

Cocaine is a stimulant drug created from the leaves of the coca plant. Also called snow, coke, or blow, cocaine is a Schedule II drug with a high potential for addiction. Cocaine severely disrupts the central nervous system and can permanently affect the body and mind. But can cocaine kill you? The answer is a clear and resounding yes.

Despite this, it is often seen as a party drug, and in 2020 alone, 1.9% of people aged 12 or older in the United States had used cocaine in the past year. How is it possible for cocaine to kill you? If so, how much does it take? Perhaps most importantly, what should you do if you or someone you know uses cocaine reguarly and needs help?

Keep reading to get the details on all of these important cocaine questions, and how to get effective treatment with Pathfinders Recovery!

Can Cocaine Kill You?

Let’s answer the most pressing question first: Can cocaine kill you? Unfortunately, the answer is still an emphatic yes. Cocaine can kill you, and deaths related to the use of cocaine are not uncommon in the slightest.

In fact, cocaine was responsible for around 19,447 deaths in the United States in 2020 – a number that has continued to increase throughout the years despite heightened literacy and awareness surrounding drug use. Cocaine increases dopamine production and leads to a sense of euphoria, which is often the appeal of those who use the drug. Note that not every cocaine-related death is accurately reported, nor are all cocaine overdoses, so the total number of deaths might be even higher than statistics suggest.

As for how much cocaine it takes to kill you, the answer varies, but the most important thing to remember is that cocaine use is never without risk. Whether it’s your first time using cocaine or you are someone who has engaged in cocaine use continuously, overdose and death are always possible. Furthermore, cocaine-related deaths can occur at any time and may be sudden.

What Increases the Risk of Death from Cocaine?

What Increases the Risk of Death from Cocaine

When you use cocaine, it speeds up the heart and constricts blood vessels. This affects the cardiovascular system in any case and is why cocaine abuse is so strongly associated with heart attacks. Several factors raise the chance of cocaine-related deaths. You may be at an inflated risk of dying from cocaine use if you:

  • Combine cocaine with other drugs
  • Consume high amounts of cocaine
  • Use cocaine continuously

 

Older adults may also be at a heightened risk of cocaine overdose and death from cocaine use. However, cocaine overdose, sudden death, and heart attacks can and do occur in anyone who uses cocaine. Even if someone does not intentionally combine cocaine with other substances, it is not uncommon for cocaine to be laced with another substance, such as fentanyl.

When two drugs are taken at once (e.g., alcohol and cocaine, fentanyl and cocaine, or cocaine and methamphetamine), it heightens the risk of death, overdose, heart attacks, and other effects substantially.

What are the Side Effects Of Cocaine Use?

Side Effects Of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is life-threatening, but sudden death and overdose aren’t the only risks associated with the drug. Some effects of cocaine use range depending on how you use it, though some are consistent across the board.

There are both short and long-term effects of cocaine use that you should know about if you or someone you know uses cocaine.

Possible risks of using cocaine include:

  • Movement disorders (like Parkinson’s disease)
  • An increased risk of heart disease
  • Disturbances in heart rhythm
  • Impaired psychomotor activity
  • Hallucinations and paranoia
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Perforation of the septum
  • Nose bleeds
  • Infections
  • Headaches
  • Liver damage
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Headaches
  • GI pain
  • Nausea

 

Cocaine abuse can affect a person and their life in many different ways. Strained interpersonal relationships, job loss or problems at work, risky or impulsive behavior, criminal activity, the use of other drugs, and financial problems are other possible concerns associated with cocaine abuse, use, or addiction. If you live with cocaine addiction or might be, know that it is possible to recover.

Can You Overdose from Cocaine?

Signs of cocaine overdose

As mentioned previously, cocaine overdose is a sad reality for too many people. Knowing the signs of a cocaine overdose can help you spot it so that you can seek medical attention for yourself or someone else before it’s too late.

Here are some of the possible signs of cocaine overdose:

  • Stroke
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Heart attack or cardiac arrest
  • High blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cardiac arrhythmias or rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme or intense sweating
  • Blue-toned skin
  • Chest pain
  • Tremors

 

If you believe that you or someone else is experiencing a cocaine overdose, seek attention from a medical professional immediately or call 911.

Stopping the use of cocaine is the only way to fully avoid cocaine-related deaths and cocaine overdoses. It can be tough to reach out for help for substance abuse, but it’s something to take pride in, and the decision to do so saves lives.

Treatment Options For Cocaine Abuse

Intensive outpatient program

There are a number of different treatment options for cocaine abuse and other forms of drug abuse. We offer various levels of care for cocaine addiction, including:

 

Many people use other forms of support, such as support groups and therapy, after treatment to help themselves maintain sobriety. Treatment often involves a range of therapeutic activities and helps you create a relapse prevention plan to set yourself up for long-term success.

Cocaine and Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis care is often ideal for those who experience another mental illness alongside a substance use disorder, as it helps individuals address co-occurring concerns that commonly pair with substance abuse, like depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Everyone’s path to recovery is different, and overcoming cocaine addiction is more than possible.

Find Help For Cocaine with Pathfinders Now

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers addiction treatment and dual diagnosis care for those experiencing Cocaine Use Disorder, as well as other substance use disorders. We have treatment facilities located in both Arizona and Colorado.

Our hotline is available 24/7, and we are here to check on insurance coverage for you or your loved one, quickly and completely confidentially.

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center today for a call that can change your life and put cocaine in the past!

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your System

Get The Answers To Your Questions About Suboxone

Suboxone is well-known in addiction treatment spaces, but not everyone has all of the information they want and need before they start their prescription. So, what is Suboxone, and how long does Suboxone stay in your system?

Let’s answer those questions and discuss what else you’ll want to know about Suboxone. Then, we’ll go over treatment options for Opioid Use Disorders and how to get relief from all opioids with effective treatment at Pathfinders Recovery.

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is an FDA-approved prescription medication that is used to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). It is a form of medication-assisted treatment or MAT known to reduce cravings and lower the risk of both non-fatal and fatal overdoses. Accordingly, Suboxone is known as a life-saving medication that helps many people with Opioid addictions recover and transition to normal life.

Most people use Suboxone alongside other forms of support, such as therapy or counseling, as part of a whole-person approach. The effects of Suboxone allow people to focus on their treatment program and find relief from symptoms that may otherwise tempt a person to relapse, which is why it is such a crucial medication.

Typically, Suboxone is taken once daily. Some people take Suboxone short-term, whereas others are directed to take Suboxone long-term. The length of time you take Suboxone will depend on a range of individual factors.

How Does Suboxone Work?

how Suboxone Work

Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. It works by blocking the effects of other Opioids, like Heroin and Fentanyl.  The potential for Suboxone addiction is lower than that of other medications. Before you start Suboxone, you must abstain from the use of opioids for a minimum of 12-24 hours and be in the early stages of withdrawal.

If you do not wait a minimum of 12-24 hours to take Suboxone after using other Opioids, it will lead to a sudden onset of intense or severe withdrawal symptoms. Some people experience side effects when they use Suboxone, but it is prescribed when the benefits outweigh the risks.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your System?

The effects of Suboxone generally last for around 24 hours. However, it takes around 4-5 half-lives to become undetectable in the system.

What does “half-life” mean? Half-life refers to the length of time it takes for the active ingredient(s) in a drug to decrease by half. The elimination half-life of buprenorphine is 24-42 hours, and the elimination half-life of naloxone is 2-12 hours. This means that a drug test can detect Suboxone for around 5-8 days after your last dose.

These numbers are based on the use of Suboxone in healthy people, or people without liver disease. There are situations where the half-life of Suboxone may be longer and a drug test may be able to detect Suboxone for an extended period of time. Specifically, this is the case for those with poor liver function.

What If You Have Severe Liver Disease?

If you have liver disease, Suboxone will have a longer half-life and will stay in your system for longer than it will for someone with good liver health. But, you might wonder, how long does Suboxone stay in your system with poor liver health exactly, and how much does it affect the half-life of Suboxone?

If you have moderate liver disease, Suboxone will stay in your system for up to 12 days. The half-life of buprenorphine will increase by around 35%, and the half-life of naloxone will increase by about 165%.

If you have severe liver disease, Suboxone will stay in your system for longer and may be detectable for up to two weeks. The half-life of buprenorphine will increase by around 57%, and the half-life of naloxone will increase by about 122%.

Make sure that you take Suboxone as directed by your prescribing physician. Note that Suboxone will not show up in most drug tests, and it will not create a false positive for other Opioid drugs. Special tests or panels that look specifically for the active ingredients of Suboxone are needed to detect Suboxone in the system.

FAQs on How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

What do you test positive for when taking Suboxone?

Taking Suboxone will not make you test positive for Opioids or any other drugs. Despite the effects of the medication, Suboxone will not show up in a drug test as another Opioid. In fact, Suboxone will not show up in the majority of drug tests unless a panel tests specifically for naloxone or buprenorphine/buprenorphine metabolites.

 

How long after taking Suboxone is it in your urine?

There are a number of different tests that can be used to detect Suboxone and other drugs. These include blood tests, urine tests, saliva tests, and hair tests. Each test will be able to detect a drug like Suboxone for different lengths of time. Urine tests are most commonly used to determine whether or not a substance is in a person’s system. Typically, metabolites can be found in urine tests for 3-6 days.

 

Treatment Options For Opioid Addiction

Treatment Options For Opioid Addiction

If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery from Opioid addiction, you may wonder what treatment options are available. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer various levels of care for those with substance use disorders, including:

 

The level of care you start with will depend on a range of different factors. Other forms of support, such as support groups, are often used to aid long-term recovery. No matter what your path looks like, know that recovery is possible.

Find Help For All Opioids at Pathfinders Recovery

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers addiction treatment and dual diagnosis care for Opioid Use Disorder and the use of other drugs. We have treatment facilities in Arizona and Colorado. Our hotline is available 24/7, and we are here to help.

If you are struggling with Suboxone or other opioids, please call to check on insurance coverage for you or your loved one who needs treatment services. We accept most major carriers as well as some forms of Medicaid in Colorado.

Contact Pathfinders Recover Center today for a free, confidential call and learn about your options now!

Slang For Heroin

Slang For Heroin

Learn About Street Names For Heroin and Get Help

Heroin is an illegal opiate drug that is created by refining the sap of poppy flowers. Often, people take the drug for a sense of euphoria or relief from the emotional and physical pain it provides. Those who use the drug have given a wide variety of slang for heroin to hide their activities.

In 2020, 0.3% of the US general population aged 12 or above reported using Heroin in the past year. If you suspect that someone in your life is using heroin, you might want to know the most common slang for heroin and the street names for the drug.

In this article, we’ll go over heroin street names or slang terms you should know about, as well as possible warning signs of Heroin addiction and how to find help.

Common Heroin Street Names And Slang Terms

Unfortunately, many people with heroin addiction find themselves chasing the high they had the first time they took the drug and wind up taking more and more over time, leading to a range of devastating long-term consequences.

Teens and adults who use heroin may call the drug by other names. Heroin comes in different colors, and you’ll notice that many of the slang terms used for heroin are based on the color of the drug. Heroin can be white, brown, or sticky and black in the case of black tar heroin.

Some of the most prevalent Heroin street names and slang terms include:

  • H
  • Smack
  • Tar
  • Dope
  • Chiba
  • Chiva
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Brown sugar
  • Mud
  • Junk
  • White
  • Chinese white
  • White lady
  • White boy/girl
  • White stuff
  • White nurse
  • White horse
  • Skag
  • Hero
  • Horse
  • Coffee
  • Dirt

 

In some cases, people mix heroin with other drugs for a specific or unique high. Accordingly, there are specific slang terms for heroin mixed with other drugs you may want to be aware of.

Slang For Heroin Combined With Other Drugs

Those who use heroin may combine it with crack cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs (such as those used to treat anxiety disorders), methamphetamine, cold medicine, LSD, morphine, alcohol, MDMA, and other substances.

crack cocaine

Mixing Heroin is dangerous and can increase the risk of overdose and death. Slang terms and street names for Heroin mixed with other substances can include but aren’t limited to the following.

Heroin and crack cocaine

  • Dragon rock
  • Chocolate rock
  • Moon rock
  • Eightball

Slang for Heroin and marijuana

  • Woolie
  • Woo-woo
  • Atom bomb
  • A-bomb

Heroin and MDMA

  • H bomb
  • Chocolate chip cookies

Heroin and morphine

  • Cotton brothers
  • New jack swing

Slang for Heroin and LSD

  • LBJ
  • Neon nod
  • Beast
  • Cosmic charlie

Heroin and methamphetamine

  • Screwball
  • Speedball
  • Meth speedball

Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana

  • El Diablo

Heroin and Xanax

  • Chocolate bars

What are the Symptoms of Heroin Abuse?

In addition to learning about street names and slang terms for heroin, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of heroin use if you believe that you or a loved one may have a problem.

Physical signs of Heroin use

Physical signs of Heroin use

There are a number of different potential physical signs of heroin use. These include both changes in physical appearance and physical functioning. If someone in your life is using heroin, you may notice:

  • Needle tracks (often called “track marks”) on the arms or other body parts
  • Scabs or bruises
  • Looking unusually tired or fatigued
  • Neglected personal hygiene
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nodding off suddenly
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slowed body movements
  • Slowed breathing
  • Flushed skin
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal ulcerations
  • Itching
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss

Behavioral and cognitive signs of Heroin use

In addition to physical signs, behavioral and cognitive signs of heroin use can include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities, such as those that relate to family, work, or school
  • Wearing long pants or long sleeve shirts in warm weather to cover track marks
  • Stealing or a frequent, unexplained need for money
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities and hobbies
  • Strained interpersonal relationships
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • A decline in self-control
  • Lying and/or secretive behavior
  • Unexplained changes in personality
  • Mood swings
  • Angry outbursts or irritability
  • An uptick in feelings of anxiety or depression
  • Decreased focus or concentration
  • Difficulty with problem-solving
  • Paranoia

 

In teens, you may notice additional differences in behavior, such as skipping school and sudden changes in the friends they hang out with, either alongside or independent of the use of street names or slang for heroin. Heroin is a powerful opioid, and the use of the drug comes with a range of consequences you should be aware of.

Consequences Of Heroin Addiction And Use

Consequences Of Heroin Addiction

In addition to being highly addictive, Heroin is deadly. Here are some of the possible consequences of Heroin addiction and use:

  • Overdose
  • Impaired functioning of the immune system
  • Permanent organ damage
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Collapsed veins
  • HIV or Hepatitis B and C
  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Incarceration or legal problems
  • Job loss
  • Coma
  • Death

 

Note that there are a number of different ways a person may ingest heroin. For example, one may sniff, snort, or inject the drug. Although some of the potential consequences of heroin use, such as overdose, exist across the board, others, like collapsed veins, relate to the way a person uses heroin.

The Risks of Heroin Overdose

Heroin users face a risk of a heroin overdose when they use heroin regardless of if it’s their first time or they have been using Heroin for many years. When you learn how to identify heroin overdose, you learn how to save a life. Signs of heroin overdose include but aren’t limited to:

  • Respiratory depression or a total stop to breathing
  • A markedly decreased level of consciousness or a complete loss of consciousness
  • An inability to wake up, even if provoked by external stimuli that would typically wake an individual
  • Extremely constricted (small) pupils
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Body going limp
  • Choking or gurgling noises

 

Call 911 or seek emergency care immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of an overdose.

Realizing that you have a problem and asking for help is often the first step to overcoming heroin addiction, as well as other substance use disorders. But, what can you expect when you seek treatment?

What is Treatment for Heroin Like?

Treatment options for heroin addiction include but aren’t limited to medical detox, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient programs, and more. It is not uncommon for people recovering from heroin addiction or other substance use disorders to start out at a higher level of care and then move down to a lower level of care.

In order to move through the withdrawal process safely, many people attend detox first. In treatment, you may attend group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy, alongside other activities, like learning about and creating a plan for relapse prevention.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Pathfinders Recovery

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you have an opioid use disorder, you may have another mental illness as well. This is not uncommon, and you should not lose hope. For example, in addition to heroin addiction, you might live with a co-occurring disorder like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.

That is where dual diagnosis programs come into play. Individualized treatment plans such as those seen in our programs help people overcome Heroin addiction while addressing hurdles, such as the existence of another mental health condition, that might affect a person’s recovery.

The length of treatment for drug abuse will always range based on factors such as the length of stay that your insurance will cover. However, you can generally expect to spend around 1-3 months in inpatient care. It’s normal to be nervous about getting help, but the experience is one that saves many lives.

Find Help for Heroin at Pathfinders Recovery

Whether you face heroin addiction yourself or have a loved one with an opioid use disorder, know that recovery is possible. Pathfinders Recovery Center offers dual diagnosis and addiction treatment for heroin and other forms of drug abuse. We have treatment centers in both Arizona and Colorado, and our hotline is available 24/7.

When you call us, we will verify your insurance coverage free of cost and answer other questions you might have about treatment.

Call Pathfinders Recovery Center at 1-855-728-4363 for more information.

 

Rainbow Fentanyl: Arizona Faces a New Risk

Rainbow Fentanyl

What Do You Need To Know About Rainbow Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is incredibly dangerous, leading to an uptick in drug overdoses and death across the United States. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, deaths related to fentanyl use have continued to increase despite efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of the drug.

Unfortunately, Arizona state is a hotspot for fentanyl pills, also referred to as fentapills and recently as rainbow fentanyl. This is despite the DEA and law enforcement relentlessly working to stop the trend and get fentanyl pills and powder off the streets. Fentanyl remains a pervasive problem amongst kids and young adults, as well as other groups, across the US.

Here’s what you need to know about rainbow fentanyl, and how to find help with Pathfinders Recovery if you or someone in your life shows signs of fentanyl addiction.

What Is Rainbow Fentanyl?

Rainbow fentanyl refers to colorful fentanyl pills, powders, and sidewalk chalk-like blocks. The pills come in various shapes and sizes, often resembling candy. Sometimes, these colorful fentanyl pills are even nicknamed after candies.

Those who use fentanyl pills may refer to them as “skittles,” for example, because they come in a variety of bright colors that resemble the product. The appearance of these pills is misleading and may drive use or addiction.

Myths And Facts About Rainbow Fentanyl

Facts About Rainbow Fentanyl

One of the most prevalent myths about rainbow fentanyl pills is that directed strictly toward very young children or that the bright colors are weaponized via drug traffickers to drive addiction in or poison children.

Due to the variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes of rainbow fentanyl pills that do indeed resemble candy at times, for example, many media outlets suggested that parents look out for rainbow fentanyl in their children’s Halloween candy this past year. Though this is certainly a possibility, and it is important to check on any candy that children get from a stranger to ensure that it is safe, young children are not the most likely individuals to get the pills, powders, or blocks in their hands.

Many individuals who are drawn toward this new type of drug do not know the severity of the risks of rainbow fentanyl. The bright colors, shapes, and general appearance of rainbow fentanyl pills and powder that resemble candy can make the drug look less harmful than it is, but this is a deadly falsehood. Additionally, while it is true that rainbow fentanyl is often used by young adults, addiction to fentanyl is not restricted to young people.

Fentanyl is both highly addictive and incredibly lethal, and the fact is that synthetic Opioids can be even more dangerous than other Opioid drugs on the market.

Why Are Fentanyl Pills And Powder So Deadly?

Fentanyl is up to twice as potent as Heroin and 50-100x more potent than Morphine. Accordingly, even small amounts of the drug can kill. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are the most common drugs involved in deaths by overdose. That is what makes the production of rainbow fentanyl pills and powder such an alarming emerging trend in actuality.

Furthermore, withdrawal effects of the drug can start within as few as a couple of hours after a person’s last dose of the drug. This is also known to drive addiction and is why so many people in our community find it incredibly challenging to stop taking fentanyl.

Signs Of Fentanyl Addiction

Signs Of Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl produces a short-term, intense high accompanied by feelings of euphoria. When you or someone around you has a fentanyl addiction, you may notice signs such as:

  • Mood swings (e.g., swinging from euphoria to a depressed mood)
  • A fixation on finding more fentanyl pills and power, etc., as a means to continue using the drug
  • Lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Decreased ability to fulfill obligations, such as those at work, home, or school
  • Changes in appearance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Constricted pupils
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness

 

Fentanyl also comes with a high risk of fainting, seizures, and overdose. During an overdose from the use of the drug, you might notice signs such as loss of consciousness, respiratory depression, low blood pressure, inability to respond or wake up even if provoked by external stimuli, bluish skin, and confusion.

Death from fentanyl can be sudden but is avoidable in some cases. Naloxone reverses overdoses from Opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioid pills and can save lives.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose or might be, seek immediate medical care or call 911. Good Samartitan Laws protect you even if you are using drugs as well.

Effects Of Addiction To Fentanyl Pills

In addition to the signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction and use listed above, using fentanyl ruins lives. Effects of fentanyl addiction can include but aren’t limited to:

  • Job loss or problems at work, school, and the home
  • Problems in interpersonal relationships
  • Diminished personal hygiene
  • New or worsening symptoms of mental illness
  • Financial problems
  • Criminal behavior or problems with the law

 

Fentanyl addiction can have a devastating impact on a person’s life, but it is very possible to overcome an addiction to the drug.

Overcome Fentanyl Addiction at Pathfinders

Overcome Fentanyl Addiction

Various treatment options can help you overcome fentanyl addiction. Treatment options for fentanyl addiction include:

 

Many people who use fentanyl or other opioid drugs regularly benefit from going to medical detox prior to starting a treatment program so that they can go through withdrawal safely. Some people use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in addition to treatment and therapy.

Residential or inpatient programs, as well as PHP and IOP typically involve a range of therapies and help you create a relapse prevention plan.

Aftercare planning forms a core component of our offerings at Pathfinders, and we make certain our clients have a firm foundation for lasting recovery. If you want to become a part of our acclaimed Alumni program, you have access to as much sober support as you like from our ever-growing network.

Find Help For Fentanyl Addiction In Arizona

If you or someone you know is affected by an addiction to Fentanyl or another drug, we can help. Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in both Arizona and Colorado. We offer a range of different treatment options, including IOP, PHP, detox, long-term rehab, and residential care.

Our hotline is available 24/7 for you to reach out about finding help for yourself or a loved one. We can even help you verify insurance coverage for treatment, completely confidentially and within minutes.

Call our welcoming Admissions team at Pathfinders Recovery Centers now to learn more!

Can You Snort Heroin?

A man snorts white lines of suspected heroin in a concept pic

Is Snorting Heroin Possible?

Seeing your loved one frequently sniffling is rarely a cause for concern. However, if it’s not allergy season and they are constantly sniffing and always seem to be in a daze, it might be time to start asking, ‘Can you snort heroin?’

These sorts of ‘allergies’ could be signs of substance abuse — specifically heroin use. And if you see them with a powdery substance around their nose, they might be snorting heroin.

While snorting any substance is dangerous and can lead to health problems, it’s especially risky when it is heroin. Heroin abuse is rising in America, with over 13,000 deaths caused by heroin overdose in 2020 and many more due to its synthetic cousin, fentanyl.

Getting someone needed help as soon as possible is crucial. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment can be the difference between life and death. Keep reading to find out more about heroin and effective treatment for heroin addiction found at Pathfinders Recovery Centers!

Understanding How Heroin Works

Heroin is a powerfully addictive drug that can quickly take over a person’s life. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of snorting heroin — especially if someone you know is struggling with an addiction.

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid made from the opium poppy and typically appears as a white or brown powder, or a dark sticky substance known as “black tar heroin.”

Powdered heroin is usually snorted or smoked, while black tar heroin is heated and injected using drug paraphernalia. All methods of heroin use are dangerous and can lead to addiction and overdose.

Heroin works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors in the brain. This produces a sense of euphoria and relaxation.

How Does Heroin Addiction Happen?

How Does Heroin Addiction Happen

Heroin is also a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down breathing and heart rate. When people use heroin, they might feel like they’re in a dream-like state, and a sense of well-being and relaxation follows this.

As heroin addiction develops, people will feel less relaxed and anxious. They might also experience depression, mood swings, and problems sleeping. This leads to physical dependence as the body becomes used to the drug and needs it to function.

Tolerance to heroin develops quickly, which means people need to use more of the drug to get the same effects. As tolerance builds and dependence develops, heroin users will start to feel withdrawal symptoms when they stop using heroin.

Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and painful, which is why many people continue to use heroin despite the negative consequences.

What are the Signs of Heroin Addiction?

Frequent sniffling and runny noses are arguably the most telltale signs that someone has a problem with heroin abuse. This is because the drug releases histamine, which can cause inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages.

If you’re worried that someone you care about is snorting heroin, there are other signs and symptoms to look out for.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Use

  • Small, pinpoint pupils
  • Drowsiness or “nodding off”
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with coordination and balance
  • Slowed breathing

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Abuse

  • Changes in appearance, such as weight loss or poor personal hygiene
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Withdrawing from friends and activities
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Secretive or suspicious behavior
  • Changes in mood or personality

 

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in yourself or someone you care about, getting help as soon as possible is critical. Heroin addiction is a severe problem that can quickly lead to overdose and death.

What are the Effects of Snorting Heroin?

What are the Effects of Snorting Heroin

Snorting heroin has become one of the most common ways people abuse the drug. When heroin is snorted, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal passages in the nose.

The effects of snorting heroin are similar to the effects of smoking or injecting the drug. However, snorting heroin takes slightly longer for the drug to reach the brain, and the effects of snorting heroin typically peak within 10 minutes.

The primary effect of snorting heroin is a sense of euphoria followed by drowsiness. Snorting heroin can also lead to several physical effects, including nausea, vomiting, constipation, itchy or flushed skin, and dry mouth.

The Health Risks of Snorting Heroin

Snorting heroin is extremely dangerous and can lead to many health problems, including:

  • Nosebleeds: Frequent sniffing can damage the delicate blood vessels in the nose, which can lead to nosebleeds.
  • Infections: Snorting anything, including heroin, can damage the mucous membranes in the nose. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the body and cause infections.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people are allergic to heroin or its additives. Snorting heroin can lead to various allergic reactions, including hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
  • Nasal Congestion: Snorting heroin can block the nasal septum and the throat, leading to nasal congestion.
  • Respiratory Problems: Snorting heroin can damage the lungs and lead to respiratory problems.
  • Circulatory System Problems: Snorting heroin can damage the heart and lead to heart problems.
  • Nervous System Problems: Snorting heroin can cause severe brain damage.
  • Overdose: The effects of snorting heroin can be unpredictable. This increases the risk of overdose, which can be deadly.

Health Risks Associated with Injecting Heroin

Injecting heroin is even more dangerous than other methods of heroin use because injecting heroin directly into the bloodstream bypasses the body’s natural filtering system.

The use of drug paraphernalia, such as syringes and needles, comes with its own risks, as they can also introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the bloodstream.

Injecting heroin can lead to many health issues, including:

  • Infections: Injecting anything into the skin can damage the tissue and lead to infections. Using dirty needles can also introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the body.
  • Vein Damage: Injecting heroin can damage the veins and lead to vein inflammation or blood clots.
  • Nerve Damage: When you inject heroin frequently, it can cause damage to the nerves.
  • Skin Infections: Injecting heroin can cause skin infections.
  • HIV/AIDS: Injecting heroin can increase the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases.
  • Hepatitis: Injecting heroin can increase the risk of contracting hepatitis B and C.
  • Overdose: The more you inject heroin into your system, the more tolerance you will build to the drug, which can lead to overdose or death.

Why Do People Snort Heroin?

Heroin Addict

While injecting the drug was the traditional method of abuse, snorting heroin has become more prevalent in recent years. This is because the effects of snorting heroin are slightly faster than the effects of smoking heroin.

Snorting the drug also requires less paraphernalia, which makes it easier to hide from law enforcement and parents.

There is also less stigma around the idea of snorting heroin as opposed to injecting it, but the resulting dependence and addiction are identical regardless of the means of administration.

Prevent Contracting Diseases

Snorting heroin is also seen as a less risky method of abuse than injecting it. This is because there is less hazard of contracting blood-borne diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C when you snort heroin rather than inject it.

False Belief That It’s Less Addicting

Substance users snort heroin because they believe that snorting it is less addicting than injecting it. However, this is not the case. Snorting heroin can be just as addictive as injecting it, and the risk of addiction increases when you abuse heroin.

The Effect Is More Gradual

When you snort heroin, the effects of the drug are not felt as immediately as when you inject it. Some heroin users may prefer this method because it allows them to control the effects of the drug better.

What Can You Do to Help Someone with Heroin Use?

If you suspect that someone you know has a problem with drug abuse, there are a few things that you can do to help them.

Talk to Them in Private

The first step is to talk to the person in private. This is important because it allows them to feel safe and comfortable discussing their substance use problem.

Listen Instead of Lecturing

Help Someone with Heroin Use

When you talk to a person dealing with addiction, listening is crucial instead of lecturing. This means you should avoid judgment and instead focus on understanding their point of view.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

If the person is willing to talk about their drug abuse issue, encourage them to seek professional help. There are plenty of treatment options for drug abuse, which can be in the form of therapy, counseling, a rehabilitation program, or other specialized programs. Health insurance coverage can also cover addiction treatment services.

Support Their Journey to Recovery

If the person you know is willing to seek help for their substance abuse and addiction, support them on their recovery journey. This means being understanding and patient as they go through treatment and attending counseling sessions or family therapy with them.

Find Heroin Treatment at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Long-term recovery from substance abuse and addiction is possible. With the proper treatment and support, anyone can overcome their drug use problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin abuse, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers a variety of addiction treatment options for drug addiction, including detoxification, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services.

We also offer a wide range of support services, including family therapy, individual counseling, and group therapy. Our goal is to provide comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of the individual’s life, including their physical, mental, and emotional health.

If someone you know is struggling with heroin, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us for a confidential call to learn more about our treatment programs now!

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!