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!

Men’s Only Rehab

Mens Only Rehab

Alcohol And Drug Rehab Basics

For persons struggling with alcohol or substance abuse and dependency, a rehab facility can be essential in their journey to sobriety and recovery. Rehabilitation facilities can be thought of as safe spaces with trained medical and psychological staff that offer services to persons trying to overcome addiction. At Pathfinders Recovery in Arizona, we offer a men’s only rehab that allows men to focus on their recovery in an environment specifically designed for success.

These services are all focused on navigating the process of withdrawal from the substance in as safe a way and environment as possible and treating the psychological conditions that may have led to the addiction in the first place.

Substance Use and Abuse Statistics Among Men

Substance abuse affects all genders, but there are genuine distinctions regarding the divide. According to the NIDA, Men and boys over the age of 12 are 11.5% more likely to fall prey to substance abuse than women and girls over the age of 12, who experience this issue at a rate of 6.4%.

When it comes to Alcohol Use Disorder, it is estimated that up to 20% of men struggle with it, versus around 7-12% of women. What does this tell us? There is a not insignificant divide between how “at-risk” men are to substance abuse compared to women. This is not said to diminish the suffering of women or to remove attention from that issue but rather to highlight those men are empirically more at-risk in certain regards, and the problem must be tackled at the root cause.

What are the Risk Factors for Addiction for Men?

Many factors can result in substance use and abuse. There is a misconception that falling prey to substance abuse is a moral failing or a character flaw. It is not. Some of the more common factors that put one at risk of falling into a substance abuse habit are:

Genetics

The literal DNA that makes up your body. Suppose you have a history of substance abuse in your family. In that case, there is a statistically higher probability that you may fall into a habit of substance abuse to some degree or another.

Environment

The surroundings you live within, what you are exposed to, the trauma inflicted upon you in adolescence or at any time really, the coercive influence that may or may not exist upon you. These things make up your environmental experience and can put you at risk for addiction.

Dual Diagnoses

Certain psychological conditions lead to substance abuse as the patient tries to “self-medicate.” Conditions like depression and anxiety are good examples of this particular phenomenon. Dual Diagnosis can also apply to neurodivergent persons. Persons with innate dopamine deficiencies and deficits caused by ADHD are at risk for substance abuse.

Why Choose an All-Male Rehab Center?

Why Choose an All-Male Rehab Center

All-male rehab centers are simply what they sound like – drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities that cater exclusively to helping men. You might be asking yourself, “Why choose a men’s-only rehab?” We are going to examine some of the benefits of single-gender rehab settings.

  • There is an inherent expectation for men to be “tough” or “resilient” in everyday life. This is rooted in toxic masculinity and is one of the core reasons men are more at risk for certain types of addiction than women. Difficulty in being vulnerable and expressing emotions are two of the core things that make addiction rampant among men. Men-only rehab facilities foster an environment that allows men to be vulnerable and, thus, work through their trauma.
  • Staff at these facilities are specifically trained to manage how men experience addiction and, therefore, rehabilitation. Because men tend to be more goal-oriented and motivated, treatment plans and communication may be tuned more in line to take advantage of this inherent quality to help ensure the success of the treatment.
  • Because the way men specifically experience the world and society is a huge factor involved in their psychological trauma, the methods and practices utilized when delivering therapy would be specifically aware of how difficult emotional vulnerability is for men. Therapists may conduct sessions while walking, for instance, to both burn calories and allow the client to avoid eye contact while expressing emotions and dealing with painful trauma, a thing that, for many men, the world has not prepared them to be able to do.
  • Without the presence of women, you erase the potential of romantic distraction (for heterosexual males seeking treatment in the facility). Aside from this, the company of women may prevent men from being genuinely vulnerable, a critical component for treatment. Reframing emotional vulnerability and therapy as an act of strength and not a sign of weakness can be more difficult if women are around. This might make it more inherently tricky for some men to put down their guard.
  • All-male rehab centers tend to focus on a results-oriented approach. These facilities can help a man open up about himself and become comfortable with others of their gender. It allows them to head in a unique and necessary way that other approaches cannot manage.

These are just a tiny sample of the techniques and considerations that are a part of men-only rehab facilities that specifically cater to treating men going through addiction. The male experience of the world is inherently unique and requires targeted treatment that keeps that unique experience in mind.

What are the Types of Programs Offered at Men’s Rehabs?

At Pathfinders in Scottsdale, our men’s rehab facilities offers a range of services; Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all ailment, so the treatment would not be either. We will detail the various options, but here are some factors to consider. Firstly, there are evidence-based/medical-focused treatments AND what could be holistic treatments. Secondly, treatments or sessions may be individual OR group-based.

Thirdly, as we said earlier, each person and their needs are unique. Finally, treatment can be inpatient for persons who need the round-the-clock observation and support, especially in the early stages of withdrawal, and outpatient, where people don’t stay at the facility but come in regularly for the sessions. Because of this, treatment almost always involves some combination of all of these things.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

How clients develop and allow negative thinking and poor self-image to dictate their actions inevitably, cognitive-behavioral therapy moves away from harmful thinking toward positive thinking. By doing this, clients typically feel empowered to make more healthy decisions moving forward in their life.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

This is very similar to CBT. These techniques examine how a client’s actions can be changed for the better through talk therapy.

Experimental Therapy

Talk therapy is sometimes not enough to address the needs of some clients. Experiential therapy can be helpful in these cases; clients may engage actively outdoors with others, building their team skills, interpersonal dynamics, and problem-solving.

Motivational Interviewing

Clients struggling to overcome indecision and uncertainty can sometimes be helped by these methods. It can significantly aid in being motivated to take action by establishing and accomplishing positive goals.

Trauma Therapy

Psychological trauma is one of the significant contributors to men using and abusing substances to escape mental and emotional pain. A key component of proper recovery is learning healthy ways to process and identify the trauma’s effects on their lives. By working with compassionate counselors and therapists, clients can learn to identify triggers and deploy healthy coping mechanisms.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the basis of nearly all talk therapy. With this method, clients work one-on-one with a counselor or therapist to discover the underlying issues that have impacted the client and led to their fall into abuse and addiction, to begin with. Substance use disorder is often a symptom of deeper psychological issues that have yet to be addressed. These issues are consciously or unconsciously being ignored or self-medicated in an attempt to deal with them and cope. In a comfortable and safe setting, clients can develop a personal relationship with their therapist and work through the issues to overcome substance abuse and improve their overall mental health.

Holistic Treatments

Yoga Therapy

As a practice, yoga offers many unique therapeutic advantages. The techniques help clients engage in the yoga therapy that teaches them how to control their bodies and be capable of expelling stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions when they are confronted by them.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation focuses the client’s attention on being as present as possible at the moment. By enhancing one’s awareness of themselves as an intimate part of the world around them, clients can better understand their motivations and actions and those of others. As a practice, meditation teaches clients to limit dwelling negatively on the past or becoming too obsessed with the future.

Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapy allows clients to explore their creativity and experience the healing aspects of these practices. Metaphor is a highly effective tool for working through issues. Journaling is a well-noted practice with many benefits. Learning new hobbies and skills is inherently fulfilling for humans. Simply consuming and appreciating works of art can allow clients to develop positive psychological perspectives of themselves and their issues.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Touch therapy can be beneficial in managing overall health and wellness. As the body’s soft tissue is manipulated, many clients find that there is a release of tensions in their body and that this goes quite a long way towards aiding in reducing stress and anxiety. Thus, they are in a better position to explore and progress through the work of treatment.

Privacy And Confidentiality at Men’s Treatment Programs

For anyone struggling with substance abuse, one of the worst aspects is the shame, stigma, and judgment attached to both being an addict and, paradoxically, seeking treatment. Patients may be concerned about whether or not the fact that they are being treated would be in danger of being publicly disclosed.

Fortunately, HIPAA laws exist and are enforced to protect citizens’ information. Rehab centers must comply strictly with this standard. All staff at men-only rehabs must follow the same rules and regulations as any family doctor. No one on the team is allowed to share information about your case unless your express consent is given or unless the situation necessitates the release of information, such as in a medical emergency where providers need certain information to treat you.

Does Insurance Cover Men’s-Only Rehab Treatment?

Rehabilitation can be an expensive process. If the client needs complete inpatient care, the out-of-pocket costs can skyrocket even higher. However, many clinics accept insurance to completely or significantly cover treatment costs. Medicaid and Medicare are two national options that many facilities do accept. Keep in mind, though, that this is a thing that differs from center to center, and it is essential to check with the individual facility to ensure that the insurance you (or a loved one) are interested in using is accepted.

Searching for ‘Men-Only Addiction Treatment Near Me’

The internet has changed how people discover resources. One of the top Google searches around the particular topic of getting help for substance addiction is “finding men-only treatment near me in Arizona.” This tells us that many people are trying to find help AND that the internet is an incredible tool for delivering that information. A quick search will give you many options to explore for treatment. It is a matter of finding facilities with high success rates where their reputation precedes them, such as the programs for men at our facility in Arizona.

Find Lasting Addiction Recovery for Men at Pathfinder’s Arizona

At Pathfinders Recovery Center in Scottsdale, AZ, we have over two decades of experience treating and rehabilitating persons struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Our expert medical team works with you to help you navigate the entire process of detoxing through to healing from the psychological trauma that led to the addiction in the first place.

A truly sober, happy, and fulfilling life is the ultimate goal for every client that comes to us for help, and our results speak for themselves. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse issues, please know that there is hope. Contact us today for more information or a consultation.

Signs Of Stimulant Abuse

Signs Of Stimulant Abuse

What Are the Most Common Stimulant Drugs?

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

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

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

What Are the General Effects Of Stimulant Substances?

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

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

What are the Side Effects of Stimulant Abuse And Dependence?

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

Short term side effects can range from:

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

 

Side Effects of Stimulant Abuse

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

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

 

How Can I Tell the Signs Of Stimulant Abuse?

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

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

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

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

 

Is Stimulant Abuse Dangerous?

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

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

Does Stimulant Abuse Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

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

Finding Help for Stimulant Abuse is Possible

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

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

What are the Features Of Treatment for Stimulant Addiction?

Treatment for Stimulant Addiction

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

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

 

Find Lasting Recovery from Stimulant Addiction at Pathfinders

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

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

 

Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

What is Chronic Relapse

The Cycle of Addiction and Relapse

For many individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorder, the rehabs they enter can end up becoming revolving doors. The constant cycle of recovery and relapse cycles over and over in a seemingly never-ending battle for sobriety.

What makes the situation more frustrating is the inability to pin down why the relapse keeps happening. The motivation to recover is present, and the effort is put in each time – it’s difficult to remain in recovery after a few weeks or months after graduation.

This would just be attributed to a lack of discipline or motivation in the past. However, many experts believe it points to an underlying mental health condition or a specific set of symptoms that manifest this behavior.

It’s known as chronic relapse, and it’s actually a very common occurrence in many present-day rehab participants.

What Is Chronic Relapse?

In order to understand chronic relapse, first, consider temporary relapse. Temporary relapse occurs when addicts experience a setback related to their recovery process — losing housing, getting fired from a job, or having an argument with loved ones.

After experiencing a period of stress or difficulty, most people bounce back into their normal routines of substance abuse. They temporarily lose their motivation to stay clean or quit drinking.

However, if the crisis persists, then it becomes a chronic relapse. A person suffering from chronic relapse experiences regular periods of craving, increased tolerance, negative mood swings, compulsive behavior, poor performance at school or work, and/or legal troubles.

Short Term Addiction Treatment and Relapse

Those who successfully complete detoxification and enter residential rehab programs tend to remain sober longer than others. On average, recovering heroin users spend less than six months living in halfway houses before returning home.

Yet many individuals who suffer from chronic relapse will fall off the wagon just a short time after returning home. This could be because the initial time in inpatient treatment wasn’t enough for them.

Once patients leave rehabilitation, they must rely solely upon themselves to deal with triggers and temptations. If adequate education and treatment wasn’t received during their stay in rehab, they’re left unprepared for entering the real world again. If left untreated, chronic relapse can lead to further deterioration.

What is the difference between a chronic relapse treatment center and a traditional rehab facility?

What Is a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center?

 

For individuals who frequently suffer from challenges associated with relapse, regular rehabilitation facilities that offer the typical 30-day program clearly aren’t enough. The resources available at a normal treatment center and a facility that specializes in this issue can be more accommodating.

By definition, a chronic relapse treatment center is a facility that provides care 24 hours a day in a non-hospital environment. The planned length of stay in these facilities is typically anywhere from six to 12 months.

Chronic relapse treatment centers normally include the following elements as part of their treatment plans:

  • Helping clients stay active and healthy through participation in exercise or sports
  • Preparing balanced, healthy diets high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed foods
  • Various stress management techniques like yoga or mediation
  • They offer substance abuse and mental health resources to break the constant cycle of relapse

Personalized Treatment to Combat Chronic Relapse

What Is a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

There is also a distinct outline for treatment offered to clients in chronic relapse treatment centers. Personalized treatment plans contain elements of each of the following:

  • Evidence-based treatment that’s proven to work long-term in an inpatient setting
  • Various options for customized care plans that include dual-diagnosis treatment
  • Continued support and sober living home options for structured rehab during aftercare
  • Continued resources for group recovery meetings during post-care treatment

Facilities that specialize in chronic relapse often include a softer, more accommodating touch that provides more of a home-like environment. Many people consider these facilities as “upscale” or “extravagant.” However, there is just more attention put into the need for the client’s appropriate environment.

Different people require different elements and environments to promote long-term sobriety. Research has shown that individuals who suffer from chronic relapse often require a more intimate, personal environment.

In order to identify the presence of chronic relapse, you must understand the signs and symptoms of this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Relapse

There are specific signs and symptoms that identify the presence of chronic relapse. These symptoms include the following:

  • They are glamorizing the use of their drug of choice. This may include the individual sharing fond memories of past substance abuse.
  • The individual believes they can use again without any negative consequences
  • They may become increasingly isolated
  • They may stop participating in their 12-step recovery meetings
  • They stop pursuing interests that were a part of their recovery plan
  • They may begin to doubt how effective their initial treatment plan is/was

Identifying these signs could make it possible to prevent relapse before it happens. Do you know the differences between emotional, mental, and physical relapses?

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Relapse

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Relapse

To understand chronic relapse, you must understand how normal relapse takes place. It doesn’t happen overnight – in fact; it happens in three distinct phases.

Emotional Stage

The emotional stage includes the individual experiencing anger, stress, sadness, depression, or any wide range of intense feelings. Initially, the user may not think about using. However, when these feelings aren’t dealt with and processed in a healthy manner, individuals will progress to the next stage.

Mental/Craving Stage

This is the mental warning sign of an impending relapse. Users may find it difficult to stop thinking about using at this point and continuously play the process of using it repeatedly in their minds.

Physical/Engagement Stage

At this point, the user physically engages and enters relapse. The user put themselves at high risk of addiction once again by continuing to relapse. The urge to use again will be quite intense with each subsequent relapse, and it’s easy to fall back into habitual use.

Now, what about the stages of chronic relapse?

What Are the Stages of Chronic Relapse?

The stages of chronic relapse aren’t dissimilar to normal relapse. However, they take place over an extended period and include several more mental steps and contemplation. Below is an example of the stages of chronic relapse.

Precontemplation

During this stage, individuals aren’t necessarily contemplating using drugs or drinking alcohol. However, thoughts of past use may circle around in their heads. They may dream about using drugs or give too much thought to reliving their past or remembering what drug use felt like.

Contemplation

During this stage, individuals are actively contemplating using drugs. They may go back and forth in their head, arguing with themselves or trying to rationalize why it would be okay to use drugs at this point.

Rationalization

After making the decision to move forward with using, individuals will attempt to rationalize their decision to themselves. They’ll use excuses like, “well, I’ve been sober for a while, so I won’t become addicted again.” Another famous excuse is, “I’m only going to use this one time, and I won’t get high after this.”

Relapse

During this stage, the user actively engages in relapse. They will obtain their drug of choice and proceed to get high. The results after this stage vary but often include the same sentiment among all users.

Remorse

The remorse stage includes the individual expressing guilt about using. This will include a period of depression and withdrawal from society, family, and friends. It’s often these feelings of guilt and negative emotions that trigger subsequent use. Individuals are unable to properly handle or process these emotions, so they turn to further drug use to avoid dealing with them.

After this stage, uses go one of two ways. They either choose to seek help immediately or fall back into regular use.

Regardless, once the user comes back to terms with the fact that they need more help, they enter the acceptance phase and must go through the detox, withdrawal, and treatment process all over again.

Individuals who suffer from chronic relapse end up wasting large chunks of their lives on this condition. Each time they cycle through relapse, treatment, recovery, and back into relapse, you’re looking at anywhere from six to nine months of hard work and progress erased each time.

Why Do People Relapse Frequently?

Most people think relapse involves going right back to exactly the same way of thinking, and doing that got them hooked in the first place. But research tells us otherwise.

Even though a person may engage in harmful activities, he or she won’t develop true addiction unless certain personality traits come into play. Addiction researchers used to refer to these characteristics as vulnerability factors but now call them risk markers.

Risk markers occur early in development and indicate susceptibility to developing addictive tendencies later in life. People whose genetic makeup includes specific variations in dopamine genes, for instance, are believed to be predisposed to alcoholism and substance abuse issues. Researchers have identified dozens of similar risk markers.

Risk markers vary from individual to individual, but the following are typical warning signs that someone could develop issues with chronic relapse:

  • Lack of strong bonds with parents
  • Unstable childhood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poorly developed conscience
  • History of trauma or neglect
  • Psychological instability
  • Impulsivity
  • Hanging out with the wrong groups of people
  • Lack of education regarding triggers and relapse, or substance abuse in general.

Some experts suggest that anyone exhibiting four or more of these qualities identify the chance for chronic relapse.

Who Benefits from Chronic Relapse Treatment Plans?

Although chronic relapse can happen to anyone, certain segments of society exist that may have a higher risk of developing this condition. Individuals with any of the following situations benefit the most from relapse treatment plans:

  • Anyone with stressful events going on in their lives (health problems, unemployment, rocky relationships, etc.)
  • Underlying mental health conditions
  • Any victims of childhood sexual, mental, or physical abuse
  • Genetic history of substance abuse or alcoholism
  • A lower amount of dopamine receptors compared to the average number
  • Anyone who displays the traits of having an impulsive or addictive personality
  • You have fewer dopamine receptors compared to the general population

When individuals aren’t educated on any of the issues listed above, their chances of chronic relapse increase significantly. It’s important to seek treatment and craft a chronic relapse prevention plan.

Crafting a Chronic Relapse Prevention Plan

When people relapse chronically, it’s harder to pull themselves out of the cycle of unhealthy choices. Finding effective ways to cope with stressful circumstances helps reduce the likelihood of falling back into old habits. To break a pattern of relapse, clients must implement the following strategies into their relapse prevention plan:

Identify Triggers

Identifying triggers can help pinpoint moments when urges arise. Triggers can range from environmental stimuli to emotional states. Common triggers include boredom, anxiety, depression, loneliness, anger, frustration, and impatience. Learning to manage these triggers effectively can significantly decrease the chances of relapse.

Learn Skills That Promote Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to the ability to focus attention internally instead of dwelling on external distractions. Practicing meditation and breathing exercises can increase awareness and lower stress levels.

Set Goals

Setting realistic goals that coincide with your values can boost self-confidence and motivate you to stick to your plans. Create actionable steps toward achieving your objectives and write your own success story!

Hold Yourself Accountable

Admit when you made a mistake and act immediately to correct it. Don’t blame others, and don’t dwell on regret. Take accountability for your actions.

Long Term Treatment and Long-Term Recovery

Long-term treatment leads to long-term recovery. Individuals who suffer from chronic relapse commonly need much longer stays at the inpatient facility of their choice.

The more education and counseling a client receives, especially in the right environment, the chances of avoiding relapse during the long-term increase significantly.

Lasting Recovery with a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve helped many clients achieve recovery from chronic relapse challenges. Our state-of-the-art facilities are comfortable and conducive to long-term comfort, which clients need for long-term residence for chronic relapse.

To find out about our specialized treatment plans for chronic relapse, contact a member of our admissions team today!

Gas Station Dope

Gas Station Dope

Over the Counter Drugs… from a Gas Station

In the world of illegal narcotics, there are always designer drugs and research chemicals that make their way onto the scene. Many of these are completely unheard of by the FDA and squeak by for a while under the radar.

Many of these gain popularity through individuals who are on probation and still want to catch a buzz without failing a drug test. Normally you can find these substances in gas stations, and while most of them come and go – some have gained immense popularity and, many times, become notorious for being extremely dangerous.

Examples of these fad substances include spice, K2, and bath salts. Each of these was sold at gas stations and smoke shops – all of them were on the news for the wrong reasons.

Ultimately, all of these substances were banned, and gas stations that continued to sell them ended up being raided and fined. Normally these substances disappear, but not without doing considerable damage.

This craze’s latest offering is Tianeptine, a supplement being sold in gas stations and has similar effects as heroin and other opioids. It also causes nasty withdrawals and has been banned in several states. People are calling it “gas station dope,” and here’s what you need to know about it.

What Is Gas Station Dope?

What Is Gas Station Dope

Just because a product is easily available doesn’t mean it’s safe for use. This is especially true when it comes to gas station supplements.

Tianeptine is a perfect example of this, posing serious health risks and possibly leading to death. This substance is not FDA approved for any medical use whatsoever. Despite this, many of the manufacturers are illegally marketing this product as a solution to opioid use disorder, depression, and pain.

This substance is normally marketed as Coaxil – an atypical drug used for antidepressant purposes in Europe and Asia. As stated earlier, this drug is not approved by the FDA and is considered an unscheduled agent as of now.

Studies have shown that this drug has an opioid agonist. There have been multiple cases of negative effects and even deaths because of recreational abuse.

Emergency calls placed regarding this substance included cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and neurological side effects. Callers also experienced symptoms similar to withdrawal after discontinuing long-term use.

In the United States, reports of negative reactions and unsavory effects involving this drug are increasing. The Poison Control Center fielded only 11 cases between 2000 and 2013. However, in 2020 alone, over 150 cases were reported.

Is Tianeptine Legal In the US?

Currently, Tianeptine is only illegal in two states. It’s considered an unscheduled substance with no medical use by the FDA, which is basically stating the verdict is still out.

Michigan and Alabama are the only two states to ban this substance so far. In both states, Tianeptine is considered a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are considered substances with a high potential for abuse, having the ability to do severe psychological and physical damage.

What Are the Effects of Tianeptine?

Most users report the effects of Tianeptine to be similar to an opioid high. Many users indicate the drug causes anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, with mild euphoric effects.

It activates the body’s opioid neurotransmitters and potentiates dopamine. In high doses, it’s possible for this drug to cause deep sedation and even overdose leading to death.

When combined with other substances like phenibut, benzodiazepines, and opioids, it can cause drowsiness, difficulty breathing, and confusion. There have been multiple reports out of Europe, where the drug is more popular, of hundreds of withdrawal cases being considered more severe than those of opioids.

Because of all of these characteristics, it may be easy to identify individuals who abuse this substance.

Signs of Tianeptine Dependence

Individuals who abuse Tianeptine may show effects similar to opioid abuse. These signs include:

  • Frequent drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Frequently nodding out

When users run out, they’ll also display signs of withdrawal.

Does Tianeptine Cause Withdrawal?

Users have reported severe withdrawal symptoms with this drug. Many consider these symptoms to be even more severe than opioids.

Each year since 2013, cases have increased. As of last year, there were 251 cases reporting either adverse side effects or withdrawal. The increases reported are similar to the same trends as other similar drugs like Kratom, bath salts, and spice.

Kratom and Other Forms of Gas Station Dope

Kratom and Other Forms of Gas Station Dope

Kratom is known to cause withdrawal symptoms like opioids as well. This natural supplement is one of many substances to make its rounds through the gas station circuit, being marketed as an alternative to popular street drugs.

Some of these other drugs include:

Bath Salts

Bath salts are a ‘research chemical’ similar to methamphetamine. However, the negative results produced were much more severe. Users ended up in a zombie-like state, with several cases of murder and grotesque self-mutilation being reported. These substances were banned from the market and made illegal in the United States.

Spice/K2

This substance was marketed as an alternative to marijuana, advertising a similar relaxed high. However, many users reported negative side effects that included intense psychoactive properties leading to hallucinations. This drug was also taken off the market.

Salvia

Native American tribes have used this herb for years as a religious sacrament. It has extremely high psychoactive properties and leads to hallucinations and other harmful side effects. Salvia was taken off the market but is still widely traded on the black market along with psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms.

Medical Detox for Tianeptine and Kratom

In many cases, the best course of treatment for recovery from substances like these is medical detox. Whenever detox causes intense physical withdrawal like opioids, completing the process can be difficult because of the discomfort.

However, medically-assisted detox provides constant monitoring by a professional staff and certain medications to ease the pain and discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms.

The response from Tianeptine to this form of treatment may be similar to that of medication-assisted treatment and opioids. However, because of the relatively limited information regarding the detox process, it’s hard to recommend a concrete regimen. This is especially true considering there are no official research or case studies done on the drug.

Out of the cases that have been studied, the methods used for opioids HAVE proven effective in the treatment of withdrawal and detox from Tianeptine. Other medications may be used to mitigate the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, such as clonidine and antidepressants.

Is Long-term Recovery from Gas Station Dope Possible?

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve dealt with many cases of rare designer drugs and research chemicals causing harm to clients. With attention to past case studies and a careful approach led by our expert medical team, long-term recovery is possible from substances like Tianeptine.

We’ll craft a personalized care plan that works best for you and help you prepare for life after treatment. For more information on how we can help you break the chains of substance abuse, contact a member of our admissions staff.

Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose

What is the Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose

Glossing over the Dangers of Cocaine

Even in Hollywood, where the crudest, depraved, and unacceptable activities are glamorized, most hard drugs are presented in a negative light. We’ve seen this time and time again when it comes to heroin in movies like “Requiem for a Dream” and meth using movies like “Spun.”

However, no matter where you look, cocaine always seems to be a glamorized drug. Individuals who have battled cocaine abuse disorder and won would end up telling you different.

This is what makes cocaine such a dangerous drug. Especially in today’s society, where news of opioid and meth overdose deaths are dominating the headlines, cocaine is quietly being overlooked.

If we’re not careful, this lack of awareness can lead a whole generation of young people into the hands of substance abuse disorder. The bottom line is, that there just isn’t enough awareness regarding the dangers of cocaine abuse, specifically when it comes to a cocaine overdose.

Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Many people are under the impression that you can’t overdose on cocaine. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As all the attention has been on opioids and, more recently, crystal meth – cocaine is still as deadly as ever. In all reality, cocaine and meth are about neck and neck when it comes to overdose deaths, with both hovering somewhere between the 12,000 and 15,000 deaths-per-year mark since about 2016.

This is far from a glamorous or safe drug, but you won’t hear much about these overdose deaths on the news. When it comes to gross missteps like this in terms of public awareness, it becomes the job of the family member, the friend, or any other type of mentor to instill the facts regarding these dangers to young people.

Would you know what to do if someone was displaying signs of a cocaine overdose? Do you know the signs to watch out for?

What Does a Cocaine Overdose Look Like?

Individuals going through a cocaine overdose are in an extremely dangerous situation, especially considering the potential for heart damage. One of the greatest risks associated with an overdose is the potential to experience a heart attack or other heart-related issues.

During a cocaine overdose, the heart rate and blood pressure spike. If help isn’t sought, these levels are high enough to lead to additional complications. It’s important to be aware of the other signs so you can get help before it’s too late. Cocaine overdose victims will display the following signs:

  • Enlarged pupils
  • Intense sweating
  • Labored breathing
  • High body temperature initially, followed by clammy skin
  • Loss of color
  • Convulsions
  • Twitches or tremors
  • Complaints of chest pain/numbing in one arm
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dry mouth

Getting help in the right amount of time is vital during a potential cocaine overdose. While it’s not known how long it takes for cardiac arrest to begin, in certain situations, the risk may be elevated, depending on prior health conditions and the among ingested.

The Stages of Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

What does a user feel like when they’re going through a cocaine overdose? Not always will the user understand they’re going through an overdose. Many times, they’ll be physically unable to convey how they feel.

The answer to this question also depends on how far long the overdose has progressed. Normally, the process entails the following:

  1. Initial feelings may include an extreme feeling of euphoria or a rush of energy. This happens after an extremely large dose of cocaine.
  2. Users may find it difficult to breathe and experience intense sweating. The pulse rate steadily increases, as well as the blood pressure.
  3. At this point, anxiety may begin to take hold, and the user may feel panicked. Normally this is the stage where chest pains or numbing in the arm may be experienced.
  4. The user may experience nausea and begin vomiting/foaming at the mouth. oIt’s vital that emergency medical services are contacted to transport the individual to the ER. The stage after this one normally includes convulsions, which may segue into cardiac arrest.

How does it feel for the individual who is experiencing the overdose?

How Do Cocaine Overdose Symptoms Feel?

How Do Cocaine Overdose Symptoms Feel

 

During a cocaine overdose, individuals experience a wide range of physical (and mental) feelings in a short time. Some of the most commonly felt symptoms include:

  • Tightness in chest
  • Moderate to severe chest pain
  • Extreme anxiety and distress
  • Difficulty breathing
  • May become disassociated and find it difficult to remain focused or keep a train of thought
  • Ultimately, the user will most likely lose consciousness

Is Cocaine Overdose Common?

Cocaine overdose is probably more common than you think. Using data from last year regarding drug use, it’s estimated that almost 20% of individuals suffering from cocaine abuse disorder end up in the emergency room for a possible overdose.

This ends up totaling somewhere around 110,000 users per year. Out of these 110,000 users, an average of about 15,000 will end up losing their lives to a cocaine overdose.

Except for the number of current users, the statistics surrounding cocaine hospitalization and overdose deaths are nearly identical to methamphetamine numbers in the same category.

Because cocaine overdose is a significant threat, it’s important to understand what to do in the event someone you know is experiencing an overdose.

What to Do for Someone During a Cocaine Overdose

If someone you know is suffering from a cocaine overdose, it’s important to remain calm and exercise proper judgment. The first thing you want to do is contact 911 to ensure an ambulance is already on the way.

Second, you need to assess the situation. What stage of the overdose is the person in? Are they still coherent?

If the individual is still alert and conscious, ask them how they’re feeling. Sit and talk with them to help keep them focused on your voice and not the fact they’ve ingested too much cocaine. The goal is to keep their anxiety at bay.

If they are unconscious or nearing that point, don’t throw water on them or slap them. You might have seen this in movies, but it’s not the right thing to do in real life. Turn the person on their side and put a pillow under their head.

This will stop them from choking if they end up vomiting. Monitor them closely while you wait for EMS to arrive. You need to make sure they’re still breathing and have a pulse.

Actions to Take During a Cocaine Overdose

While you’re waiting for EMS, you need to begin administering CPR if they suddenly stop breathing. You need chest compressions to keep their blood pumping and make sure you’re breathing for them properly.

Remember, it only takes about three minutes without oxygen to suffer brain damage. Typically, this is what causes death in the case of an opioid overdose. It’s not the direct toxicity of the drug itself – it’s the lack of oxygen for too long of a period.

However, in the case of a cocaine overdose, most deaths occur as a result of a heart attack. Not every cocaine overdose leads to a heart attack, though.

It depends on how strong the dose of the drug is and the health of the user’s heart. The chances are high that if the individual has a strong cardiovascular system, they won’t suffer from a heart attack.

This gives them extremely strong odds of making a full recovery. However, another risk currently exists, putting cocaine users in harm’s way of the deadly effects of another drug – fentanyl.

The Risks of Fentanyl as a Cocaine Adulterant

The Risks of Fentanyl as a Cocaine Adulterant

There is currently an extremely high number of substances discovered on the black market that contain high doses of fentanyl. This is particularly alarming, especially considering that most of the users have no idea the drug is adulterated with this deadly opioid.

Batches of other substances have been tested and exhibit the same results – from cocaine to meth, marijuana, and ecstasy, they’re all testing positive for fentanyl. This is causing another surge in overdose deaths of all age groups.

What makes it scarier is the fact that these individuals have no idea these drugs are laced with the powerful opioid. In many cases, people in their company have no idea how to remedy the situation because of the unexpected results.

While it’s currently unclear why doses of fentanyl are being placed in other drug supplies, many people have their theories. One theory to consider is the attempt to force users into a physical dependency on fentanyl.

Once this happens, individuals must consume the drug to even function normally. This would certainly be a way to ensure clients return to buy the same batch, over and over again.

Regardless of the reasoning, it proves the ruthlessness and lack of remorse the organizations that manufacture and distribute these drugs have.

This adds another danger to cocaine use – an already dangerous enough long-term situation.

Long Term Effects of Cocaine Usage

Individuals who engage in long-term cocaine usage face a potentially deadly list of side effects. These effects include:

  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Skin conditions affecting the face
  • Loss of nasal cartilage structure
  • Heart attack and stroke risk
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Paranoia/psychosis

Seeking treatment following a cocaine overdose is the best course of action. With the right help, users have a real shot at long-term recovery.

Is Lasting Recovery from Cocaine Addiction Possible?

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers in Colorado and Arizona, we understand that lasting recovery takes a strong team with experience and compassion. This is exactly what we bring to the table.

Recovery isn’t easy – but nothing worth having ever is. We’re right there with you every step of the way, ensuring your comfort and safety while providing you with the education and tools you need for lasting recovery.

Your recovery is calling. Contact Pathfinders today to find out how we can help you start your journey to full, successful recovery from the shackles of regular cocaine use.

Ice Cream Drug and Meth Slang Terms

Ice Cream Drug and Meth Slang Terms

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

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

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

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

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

Ice Cream and the Many Slang Terms for Meth

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

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

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

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

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

The Rising Purity of the Ice Cream Drug In the US

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

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

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

The Spread of Super Meth in America

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can You Overdose from the Ice Cream Drug?

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

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

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

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

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

How Is the Ice Cream Drug Made?

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

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

Let’s examine each method in greater detail.

Red Phosphorous Method

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

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

The Birch Method

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

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

P2P Method

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

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

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

What Are the Warning Signs of Ice Cream Use?

What Are the Warning Signs of Ice Cream Use

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

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

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

Physical Side Effects of the Ice Cream Drug

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mental

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

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

Physical

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

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

Methods of Treatment for Meth or “Ice Cream” Dependence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychological Addiction

Psychological Addiction

Addictions can be either physical or psychological. When a person is addicted to a drug, both of these subtypes of addiction are present. Psychological habits come from the impact that substances may have on the brain. Typically, they deal with the reward center of the brain. In many cases of addictive substances, the drug produces a massive amount of dopamine that leads to feelings of euphoria or pleasure.

The Role of Dopamine in Psychological Dependence

Unfortunately, the dopamine flood has some severe impacts on the brain’s structure. Over time, the brain changes to make it impossible to have regular feelings of accomplishment. The mental desire for the drug becomes too much to avoid, and eventually, the person gives in to the feeling.

Sometimes, the psychological component of addiction might be both pleasure-seeking and avoiding returning to the real world. Many people who use recreational drugs do so as an escape from reality. Because they use the substance this way, they feel less of a draw to return to the real world and keep using it as a means of permanent escape. This approach can be dangerous and lead to overdosing if the user isn’t careful.

Physical vs Psychological Addictions

As mentioned before, addictions can be both physical and psychological. Physical addiction is based on the physical need for a drug to be present in the body. Because it’s not used to the sheer volume of dopamine that a drug’s high generates, the brain will rewire itself to deal with it. As a side effect, the brain retools itself to be unable to function if the drug isn’t present in the bloodstream. This situation is a physical addiction, where the brain’s structure has changed to accommodate the drug.

Psychological addiction doesn’t rely on the body. The brain is a powerful organ, and when it wants something, it creates urges in a person. Psychological dependence comes from the brain wanting more of a substance. This situation may arise because the brain wants its pleasure centers to function or escape reality. The urges formed can be compelling and hard to ignore in either case.

What Is Psychological Dependence?

Psychological dependence is when the brain becomes attached to a substance through emotions or feelings. Mental dependence doesn’t show the same sort of effects as physical dependence. However, that doesn’t reduce their impact on their wants and needs. The brain’s pleasure center is the core of these psychological addictions. Because many of these drugs make it impossible to feel regular feelings of accomplishment anymore, the brain becomes depressed when it doesn’t get the chronic stimulation from them.

Part of the impetus to keep using the drug is to recover those feelings of euphoria that the brain was chasing initially. The dependence on that feeling of joy keeps the user coming back for more. The brain’s normal dopamine response can’t provide the emotions that the brain’s pleasure center needs anymore because of tolerance. This tolerance comes from the massive dopamine flood discussed earlier. The more dopamine within the brain, the more it needs to get the same feelings of pleasure.

How Does Psychological Addiction Happen?

Psychological Addiction

Psychological addiction is the exact mechanism a person uses to ingrain habits into their daily schedule. When a person does something consistently over time, their body starts rewarding them with small shots of dopamine to the brain. The minor doses of dopamine are usually enough to get the brain’s pleasure centers working and feeling satisfied.

The body, detecting that doing a particular thing gives a reward, continues setting up times to do that thing, establishing a habit. Habits don’t necessarily have to be bad. Some of them, such as exercising regularly or taking breaks from work, are healthy and necessary parts of restoring balance to life.

Unfortunately, using drugs short-circuits the reward pathway and drives the brain into a spiral of uncertainty. The amount of dopamine that even the mildest drug generates is far more than what the brain can deal with usually. Once it’s had this taste of pleasure, it can’t go back to the tiny allowances it would typically get. The result is psychological addiction.

What are the Underlying Causes of Psychological Addiction?

What causes a person to become mentally addicted to a substance? The mental draw of a substance may be due to the feelings it produces when it’s in the body. However, this isn’t the only reason for developing psychological dependence.

Some studies have suggested that certain people get a positive reaction from doing a particular drug. The response here is simple – they enjoy the feeling, so they do the drug. However, in some cases, it might not even be about the emotions that the drug generates when it’s in the person’s body.

Other researchers have found that some people do drugs because of nostalgia. In many cases, people started doing drugs when they were younger and associated it with having a good time or going to a party. Because of their feelings rooted in the past, these individuals are more likely to do drugs.

In a few cases, people use drugs as a tool to cope with their reality. Just like some people read, others use drugs to help them imagine themselves away from their surroundings. Also, psychological dependence can take hold as the outside world gets more unforgiving. The fantasy world that the drugs introduce them to becomes where they want to spend most of their time.

What Substances Cause Psychological Addictions?

Most substances can cause psychological addiction. Some substances may only cause psychological dependence and have no physically addictive properties. While almost any substance can result in psychological addiction, a few stand out as the most addictive from a mental standpoint. Among them are:

  • Cannabis
  • Psychotropic medication, including depressants
  • Stimulants, like cocaine and Ritalin
  • Hallucinogens like LSD
  • Inhalants

Many of these substances also have a physical addiction component that goes along with psychological addiction. It’s not a simple process to understand how a person becomes psychologically addicted to a substance or whether they are more mentally or physically addicted to it.

How Does Addiction Affect the Brain?

As most people would know, addiction is a brain disease that results from making bad decisions regarding sourcing a drug and using it. These decisions are illogical and don’t make sense to someone who understands the user. Even the person making the decisions isn’t sure why they’re doing it.

Addiction’s effect on the brain makes it less aware of the world around it. It encourages tunnel-vision – forcing the person to focus on a single goal and ignore all the other things that might happen during their quest to achieve it.

The brain’s physical structure also changes because of addiction. Physical addiction stems from a condition known as dependence. As mentioned above, the brain rewires itself around the massive floods of dopamine that the drugs introduce. This rewiring leads to an inability to function without the drug.

Dependence is the fuel for psychological addiction as well. When a person becomes dependent, their urges and cravings center on getting the drug at any cost, including facing jail time or death. The psychological blocks that would stop these behaviors become eroded, leading the person down a dangerous path that may eventually claim their lives.

Withdrawal From Psychological Addictions

Psychological Addiction

Withdrawal is a crucial part of addiction recovery. Going through withdrawal breaks the body’s dependence on a drug, but it can also give users agency in their decisions again. Detoxification is a method of controlled withdrawal that most rehab facilities use to help their patients overcome their addiction.

Unfortunately, withdrawal can have some severe symptoms. These symptoms may ramp up in intensity the longer a person avoids the substance. Among the typical psychological responses to withdrawal are:

  • Cravings
  • Change in sleep patterns or incidences of insomnia
  • Obsessing over the substance or romanticizing its use
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety when considering stopping the use of the substance
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Denial of a substance abuse problem

These psychological responses are in addition to the physical reactions a person may have from a drug. The psychological responses work alongside the physical withdrawal symptoms to push a person back into using the substance, even though they know it’s not in their best interest.

Supervised withdrawal in detox facilities is the best way to overcome withdrawal. Staff at those facilities can help in case there’s a medical emergency. These facilities are also excellent at preventing people from succumbing to their urges and relapsing. Withdrawal sets the stage for further treatment.

Can Rehab Help with Psychological Addictions?

Psychological Addiction

Rehab centers offer many solutions for psychological addiction. As mentioned before, many rehab centers have detox facilities that can aid in breaking the physical dependence a person might have on a substance.

However, physical addiction isn’t the only thing that detox addresses. Psychological addiction can be dealt with partially in detox. The real power of detox is allowing a person to proceed to in-depth therapy to deal with their psychological dependence on a substance. If they are still physically dependent on the substance, there’s no way they can succeed in overcoming the psychological dependence on it.

Behavioral Health Treatment for Psychological Addictions

Behavioral therapies have shown a lot of promise in helping patients overcome their psychological urges to use a drug. These therapies focus on giving the individual tools to spot when their thoughts are impacting their actions. The goal is to spot the negative thoughts that lead to negative actions early to avoid them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has become one of the best ways to deal with psychological addiction over the long term. Other behavioral therapies may also contribute to overcoming psychological addiction. However, this requires constant work, even after in-facility treatment has ended.

Many people believe that they’re clean of the substance when they’re finished their three-month stay in a rehab facility. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Rehab centers address the problem of overcoming the most pressing symptoms of addiction. Over the long term, psychological urges may persist, potentially risking falling back into their old habits of use.

CBT can be helpful in these situations, giving a person the tools they need to overcome their psychological addiction. Recovery is only truly complete when a person no longer has these urges to use the substance. This final point may take years to get to, but it’s worth the time spent getting there.

Treatment For Psychological Addiction or Dependence

Pathfinders Recovery has dealt with both physical and psychological addiction. Our rehab centers have dedicated detox facilities, but we also provide long-term support for recovering persons in the form of therapy. Our trained staff are knowledgeable in treating psychological addiction and can advise you on the best approach for you.

If you’re unsure whether you can overcome your addiction, come see us. Our doors are always open, and we’re willing to listen and help. Contact Pathfinders today to schedule your first visit and experience our approach to overcoming addiction.

How Long Does a Heroin High Last?

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

Heroin is one of the most dangerous opiates on the market today. Usually found as a powder, many individuals use it as a recreational drug. In the past, opiates like heroin used to be used as painkillers. However, doctors realized that these substances have undesirable side effects like addiction with time. Heroin is a fantastic painkiller. It inhibits signals from reaching the brain, dulling the feeling of pain that may occur within the body.

Alongside this beneficial painkilling aspect, heroin also produces a sense of euphoria as it causes the body to dump a lot of dopamine into the brain. Dopamine is the chemical that makes a person feel good about accomplishing something. Unfortunately, this dopamine rush causes the brain to change itself to cope with it, leading to dependence and addiction.

The Stages of a Heroin High

Heroin highs happen in two different stages. In the first stage, there is a feeling of warmth, happiness, and euphoria that is associated with the spreading of the drug into the brain’s regions. This may only last a few minutes, and it’s the feeling that many heroin users yearn for. The second stage lasts a bit longer and is characterized by extended mild euphoria, sleepiness, relaxation, and pain relief.

This second stage of high lasts for between two to five hours. Eventually, the feeling dissipates, and the user starts feeling the need to use it again to chase that feeling. Why exactly does heroin do this to a person, and how does it work on a person’s brain and body?

What Does Heroin Do to You?

The brain is a mass of chemical interactions. The transmission lines for these interactions are known as receptors. The brain typically sends information between receptors by chemicals known as neurotransmitters. One set of these receptors is designed to accept chemicals like heroin, known as opiates or opioids.

Once a person takes an opiate-like heroin into their body, these receptors start collecting the molecules inside the bloodstream. The opioids are pain-blockers, making it harder to get a pain signal through to the brain. Unfortunately, the side effect of these opioids is a massive flood of dopamine, as mentioned before.

How does Heroin Work in the Brain?

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

This dopamine flood is far in excess of anything the brain usually has to cope with. As a result, it needs to adjust itself and reorient to deal with the new situation. It starts rewiring itself to function normally with such a large volume of dopamine in the body. This rewiring results in the body needing more dopamine to get the same effect, an adaptation known as tolerance.

A person who is tolerant to heroin needs more of the drug to get the same high they rode previously. The rewiring of the brain creates physical dependence on the drug, meaning that the brain can no longer operate normally without it in the bloodstream. Dependence is the first step towards addiction. The term addiction refers to a brain disease where a person’s dependence on a substance affects their ability to make cognitive decisions.

What Opioids Are Similar to Heroin in Effect?

Drugs produced from opium or the poppy plant itself are called opiates. Synthetic drugs that try to mimic the chemical properties of opium and its derivatives are known as opioids. Both of these types of drugs interact with the same systems in the brain. Their impact is similar to a great extent. Among the opioids that produce a similar effect as heroin when taken are:

  • Fentanyl: Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine, the precursor to heroin. It typically appears as pills, and gel capsules, resembling legitimate pharmaceuticals. Fentanyl is sometimes combined with other drugs, but it can kill on its own. It’s among the most dangerous synthetic opioids currently available.
  • Prescription Drugs: Drugs such as codeine and oxycodone are synthetic opioids that have a similar action to heroin. These drugs were initially thought to be safe to use, leading to doctors prescribing them for chronic pain control. Thanks to this recklessness, there is a rising opioid crisis in the US as many of those prescribed developed an addiction.
  • Morphine: Before heroin was discovered, the painkiller of choice was morphine. It was used to significant effect as a painkiller and featured as a staple in the second world war as a painkiller on the front lines. Unfortunately, its addictiveness made it unsafe for use, and it was quickly phased out, forcing individuals addicted to it to find another drug to use.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Heroin doesn’t have a very long life within the body. Some experts agree that heroin’s half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the substance to be used) is about thirty minutes in an adult. While the drug is quickly in and out of the body, the effects that it produces can linger for hours. The initial hit, as explained above, brings that feeling of euphoria, with the secondary high and painkiller functionality coming later.

Concerns in Drug Testing for Heroin

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

Tests for heroin typically avoid looking for the drug in the bloodstream since it’s metabolized so quickly. However, it does linger in the body in the urine. If a person uses heroin, it may be present in trace amounts in their urine for up to two days afterward, although sometimes it may be excreted within six hours.

Urine is the most convenient test to find heroin over a period, but hair follicles can be just as helpful. If a person takes heroin, it can be detected in a hair follicle for up to three months after their last use. Newer tests have built upon these successes and can see heroin use in a person longer than three months, possibly up to six. This makes it extremely difficult to get away with taking the substance recreationally.

Factors That Affect a How Long A Heroin High Lasts

No two people who take heroin get the same feelings. Each person’s brain is built differently, but the brain structure isn’t the only thing that affects how long a heroin high lasts. Several factors can affect the length of a high, including:

  • Method of taking the drug: Injecting the drug into the bloodstream is the fastest way to get high, but it also results in the quickest removal of the drug from the bloodstream. Snorting or smoking the drug has a more extended high but takes longer to get there and back.
  • How potent the drug is: Most manufacturers of heroin these days are illegal labs with no quality control. The drug batches they produce will vary in concentration, which affects the intensity of a person’s feelings.
  • Amount of drug taken: The more drugs a person takes, the more intense the high is and the longer it lasts. Taking higher doses leads to more extreme highs but also runs the risk of overdosing on the drug.
  • Tolerance: As mentioned before, tolerance impacts the feeling of euphoria. The more tolerant to the drug a person is, the more difficult it is for them to get high from it.
  • Combination with other substances: Using heroin alongside other drugs can increase the feelings of euphoria, but it could also increase the risk of the body failing. Polydrug use carries a severe risk of life-threatening malfunctions and potentially death.

What Does It Feel Like When Heroin Wears Off?

How Long Does a Heroin High Last

Heroin is an addictive substance, and addiction stems from dependence. When someone uses the drug and comes off it, they immediately want to use it again. Part of that reason is because of the withdrawal symptoms that are typical of heroin and opiate use. Withdrawal symptoms are the body’s way of convincing a person to keep using the drug because the brain needs it to remain functional. Withdrawal occurs when a person cannot get the drug. The longer they go without it, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms get. However, the only way to break the physical dependence on the drug is to go through withdrawal.

Controlled Withdrawal through Heroin Detox

It is best to enter a facility that deals specifically with detoxification if you intend to quit using the substance. Heroin detox is a controlled form of withdrawal, usually monitored by medical health professionals. In some rare cases, heroin withdrawal can severely impact the body and lead to life-threatening situations. While these incidents are rare, it’s always better to have a trained team present to deal with complications if they arise.

Those who aren’t dependent on the substance will likely feel a bit tired when the drug finally wears off. Heroin promotes sleepiness and relaxation in a person, so it takes some time for their brain to recover and return to normal functioning. A non-dependent person won’t have withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug, and they can quit any time they feel like it. However, just because they’re not dependent on the substance doesn’t mean they won’t want to use it again. Addiction is not just dependence, which is a physical condition. Addiction also has a psychological component that pushes a person to use it.

Long Term Effects of Chasing A Heroin High

Chasing a heroin high can profoundly impact a person’s personal and professional life. Among the most impactful effects that chasing heroin can have on a person are:

  • Legal costs: Heroin is a controlled substance in many countries worldwide. If held with the substance, a person will face legal charges and require a lawyer to represent them. Additionally, public legal records will indicate their drug use, which may impact their chances of landing a job in the future.
  • Destruction of relationships: Heroin dependence can lead to someone neglecting their family. A person addicted to heroin will seek out the drug above all other responsibilities, including those of a family. This inevitably leads to relationship disintegration and loss of trust within the family unit.
  • Physical and medical issues: Heroin can lead to several physical and mental problems. Using the drug often can have side effects, including collapsed blood vessels, insomnia, liver and kidney disease, and heart infections, to name just a few.
  • Potential overdose: As mentioned above, a person who is tolerant to the drug will need to take more of it to get the same high. Unfortunately, this usually means that there’s a real danger of overdosing on the drug.

Heroin is a dangerous substance, not just because it can lead to death but also because of the other related damages it can cause to a person’s life. In many cases, a person recovering from heroin addiction has to rebuild their life all over again.

Helping Someone Seek Treatment for Heroin Use

Sometimes, a person may not even be aware that they’re addicted to the substance. Typically, these people mention that they can stop anytime they want, even though it’s evident that this isn’t the case. In such a case, the person’s loved ones may need to step in and help them understand they have a problem.

Heroin use can be easy to hide, but a person dependent on the substance starts showing obvious signs of addiction over time. Behaviors such as avoiding social events, becoming reclusive, and no longer enjoying hobbies that they used to are good signs that they may be hooked on drugs.

Interventions are a dangerous way to approach helping someone with heroin addiction. In some cases, however, it may be the only way. The more viable method of helping someone is to guide them towards understanding they have a problem. They need to decide that they want to quit, or else rehab and recovery won’t be able to help them.

Treatment For Heroin Abuse and Addiction at Pathfinders

Pathfinders Recovery has helped hundreds of people recover their lives from heroin and opioid addictions. Our well-trained staff is knowledgeable in treatment options and can help you find a course that’s right for your problem.

Communal areas for detox and inpatient/outpatient treatment allow us to cater to a wide range of clients. Our flexible payment options ensure that no one is left out. If you or your loved one needs the support and care of a rehab facility, contact us today. We’d be more than happy to lend a hand.