Lean Addiction and Abuse (Purple Drank)

Lean addiction, as shown by cough syrup being poured into spoon

What is Lean Addiction?

While it may not be one of the most well-known drugs of choice, lean addiction is a growing problem in the United States.

Lean is an illicit substance that combines codeine cough syrup with soda and hard candy.

Lean contains codeine, which can be highly addictive, and it is especially abused by young people.

A bottle of cough syrup being poured into a cup, illustrates the dangers of lean addiction

Understanding Lean

When lean was first invented, it was mixed with beer.

Later, lean was instead made with soda with a hard candy for added sweetness.

The drink gained popularity after being mentioned in many popular rap songs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Many rappers have since died after developing a lean addiction. Lean is also called “purple drank,” “dirty sprite,” and “sizzurp.”

Lean’s main ingredient codeine is an opioid. This drug is made from the opium poppy plant.

When you take an opioid, it affects areas in your brain that control your “reward system.” This means that it makes you feel relaxed, happy, and euphoric.

Opioids are also highly addictive. Once you begin abusing lean, your brain very quickly becomes dependent on it and makes you crave it.

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What are the Effects of Lean Addiction?

When taken for short periods of time, codeine cough syrups help you by blocking the urge to cough.

They also make you feel relaxed. However, they can have negative effects even when taken correctly.

These can include drowsiness, confusion, constipation, depression, nausea, vomiting, and slowed breathing.

If you have a lean addiction, these symptoms can become worse over time.

Frequent lean abuse can have even more serious side effects.

One of these side effects called hypoxia is especially dangerous.

Hypoxia is a condition where not enough oxygen reaches the brain and can happen when codeine makes your breathing slow too much.

Hypoxia can cause both short-term and long-term health problems, including brain damage, coma, and even death.

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How Can You Abuse Lean?

Lean is a drug that has no medical purposes. Taking it just once counts as drug abuse.

If you take it frequently or for long periods of time, it is very easy to develop a lean addiction.

If you are not sure whether you are addicted to lean, here are some questions that you can ask yourself:

  • Are you taking larger amounts of lean or using it more frequently than you used to?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop taking lean but find that you cannot?
  • Do you spend a lot of time getting codeine cough syrup to make lean, or dealing with the side effects?
  • Do you crave lean when you are not taking it?
  • Are you having issues at work, school, or home?
  • Have you stopped doing things you used to enjoy so that you can take lean?
  • Do you need to take lean in order to feel happy or relaxed?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking lean?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, there is a good chance that you have a lean addiction.

Now may be the time to consider getting in touch with Pathfinders Recovery Center to learn about our lean addiction rehab options.

Mental Illness and Lean Addiction

Because lean contains codeine, it can have the same negative effects on your mental health that any other opioid causes.

People who have a lean addiction are twice as likely to suffer from at least one mental health condition.

The most common issues are aggression, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and mood swings.

If you had a mental health issue before your lean addiction, you will most likely find that taking lean makes them worse.

People who already have depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of abusing drugs like lean.

This often happens because a person tries to treat their mental health symptoms with lean.

In the short term, this can trick your brain into thinking that you feel better.

In the long run, it just makes your mental health symptoms worse.

No matter when your mental health problems first appeared, it is important that you discuss them with the team at Pathfinders Recovery Center.

Having both your lean addiction and mental health symptoms treated is going to be key to helping you overcome your addiction.

Rows of cough syrup and empty cups show the reality of lean addiction

Withdrawal from Lean Addiction

Having a purple drank addiction means that your brain is dependent on the codeine in this drug.

If you try to take less or stop taking it entirely, you can experience withdrawal symptoms. Much like any other opioid addiction, these symptoms usually come in two parts.

The first part will usually start within a day of stopping purple drank, though for serious purple drank addictions it may start within just a few hours.

The first symptoms can include anxiety, agitation, insomnia, muscle aches, watery eyes, runny nose, or sweating.

The second part of withdrawal then begins in another day or two, and is usually more severe.

They can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, dilated pupils, and goose bumps.

Purple drank addiction withdrawal symptoms usually peak about three days after stopping, and then slowly go away.

The entire withdrawal process usually takes about a week. For people with a very serious purple drank addiction, it can take a little longer.

These symptoms are very rarely life-threatening, but they can still make you feel extremely uncomfortable.

That is why Pathfinders offers a medical detox program. This allows us to help our clients be more comfortable during detox by providing medications to make the symptoms less noticeable and easier to deal with.

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Treatment Options for Lean Addiction

When it comes to getting treatment for your lean addiction, we have a number of different program options for you.

For people who are abusing opioid drugs like lean, our medication-assisted treatment program (MAT) is one of the most effective options.

MAT uses both medications and behavioral therapy to help you get through detox and treat the underlying reasons behind your lean addiction.

The medications we use help to both make withdrawal more comfortable and reduce your cravings for lean.

Therapy, both in individual and group sessions, helps you better understand why you ended up with this addiction.

It also helps give you tools to avoid drug use triggers, and ways to better manage your stress.

Both of these things help you to avoid using lean, and reduce your chances of experiencing a relapse.

Behavioral therapy will also help address any mental health symptoms you have been experiencing.

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Getting the Help You Need at a Quality Rehab Center

We know that no one starts using purple drank with the idea of becoming addicted to it.

Just because you have developed a problem does not mean that you have to live with it.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back from the difficulty of addiction.

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.

We help to ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment.

That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call, and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

A lean addiction is nothing to be ashamed of and seeking help does not have to be a difficult process.

Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.

Contact us today and see the difference stopping your drug abuse can make in your life.

Painkiller Addiction Among Suburban Housewives

Illustration of woman trapped in pill bottle, to show painkiller addiction

Painkiller Addiction Among Suburban Housewives May Be On the Rise

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2 million Americans began abusing prescription painkillers in 2017, which means painkiller addiction among suburban housewives may be on the rise.

Prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet are safe for treating short-term pain, but people may abuse them because they are highly addictive and can make a person feel very relaxed.

Women may be especially vulnerable to the effects of prescription pills used to treat pain because research shows that women are more sensitive to pain than men are, and they are at a greater risk of prescription painkiller abuse.

This means that a woman who is prescribed opiates following surgery or to treat a chronic pain condition can find herself becoming addicted.

People may think that the abuse of prescription pills only occurs in poor, urban areas, but the reality is that painkiller addiction among suburban housewives is a real concern.

Painkiller abuse is widespread and can affect anyone.

Close-up of a woman's mouth opening to accept a spoonful of pills, to illustrate painkiller addiction

How Painkiller Addictions Develops

Suburban housewives may begin taking prescription pills for legitimate reasons, such as to treat pain following a surgery or injury, but painkiller addictions develop because of the properties of prescription painkillers.

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription painkillers have a relaxing effect and can make a person feel high, which can lead some people to abuse them.

Painkiller addiction may develop when a person takes larger doses than a doctor prescribes, or when they use prescription pills to get high.

It is also important to understand that prescription painkillers increase the levels of a brain chemical called dopamine, which has a rewarding effect.

Over time, people may also develop a tolerance for prescription pills, meaning they will need larger doses of pills to experience the same effects.

This can cause women to seek out more prescription pills, ultimately leading to painkiller addiction.

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The Dangers of Painkiller Addiction and Abuse

Some people may think that painkiller addiction is not a serious concern since painkillers are prescription pills with legitimate medical uses, but this could not be further from the truth. The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns of the negative effects of painkiller abuse, which can include drowsiness, constipation, confusion, and nausea.
In large doses, prescription painkillers can cause slowed breathing and even cut off the supply of oxygen to the brain. This can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, coma, and even death.
Another consequence of abusing prescription pills is the development of a painkiller addiction, which often requires drug rehab.

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Signs of Painkiller Addiction

When a woman develops a painkiller addiction, an addiction treatment professional will diagnose a substance use disorder, which is the clinical term for an addiction. Symptoms of a substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, include strong drug cravings, being unable to reduce drug use, and using larger amounts of drugs than intended.
Other symptoms can include using drugs even when it causes health problems, continuing to use prescription pills despite trouble fulfilling duties at work, home, or school, and giving up other activities in favor of drug use.
Suburban housewives who find that they are forgoing parenting and household duties or giving up leisure time activities because of drug use, or who are finding that they cannot stop using prescription pills, may have developed a painkiller addiction, even if a doctor is prescribing the medication.

Painkiller Addiction and Withdrawal

Withdrawal is one of the reasons that drug rehab is often necessary for women who struggle with painkiller addiction. Painkiller withdrawal occurs because over time, the body becomes physically dependent upon prescription pills. Once a person stops using these drugs, the body has to adapt and therefore experiences withdrawal symptoms.
Prescription painkiller withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, making it difficult for a person to stop using these drugs. For example, a woman who is a suffering from painkiller addiction may experience sleep disturbances, goose bumps, cold sweats, involuntary leg movements, diarrhea, vomiting, and pain in the muscles and bones when withdrawing from prescription painkillers.
A drug rehab can offer a detox program, where medical staff provide care, support, and supervision to women as their bodies rid themselves of drugs. This can keep them as safe and as comfortable as possible as they go through withdrawal from prescription pills.

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Treatment for Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Since prescription painkillers are so addictive and can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, it is often difficult for women to stop using these pills without going to drug rehab.
If you have been struggling with addiction to prescription pills, a drug rehab program will often begin your treatment plan with a stay in detox to help you through the withdrawal process. According to experts, a doctor working in a drug rehab program may prescribe medications like methadone or buprenorphine to help with drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms as you detox from prescription painkillers.
After completing detox, it is important to continue your drug rehab journey with an ongoing program that includes behavioral treatments like counseling. A type of counseling like cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to cope with triggers and stress that might lead to drug use and teach you healthier ways of thinking about drugs.
A combination of medication and counseling is usually the best approach for treating addiction, so you may continue to take a medication like buprenorphine or methadone while engaged in ongoing drug rehab.

Woman holds up a opioid pill she's taking with a worried look, to demonstrate painkiller addiction

Drug Rehab for Painkiller Addiction in Colorado and Arizona

If you are struggling with painkiller addiction, and you are ready to seek drug rehab, Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in Colorado and Arizona. We are also happy to accept patients from surrounding areas.
Pathfinders offers various levels of treatment, including residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient. We also offer a detox program. If you are living with a painkiller addiction, your treatment journey with us will likely begin with detox, so you can be safe and comfortable while your body goes through withdrawal from prescription pills.
After you complete detox, our team will help you to determine the best type of treatment for your specific situation. We are a premier drug rehab center, and our leadership team has over 25 years of experience in the addiction field, so you can be confident that you are getting the best care possible for your painkiller addiction.
We are also considered a dual diagnosis treatment center, meaning we can treat both addiction and mental illness.

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Paying for Drug Rehab

Once you have decided it is time to go to drug rehab for prescription pills, you have to determine how you will pay for treatment.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer an online insurance verification program so you can find out how much it will cost you to attend treatment.

Simply fill out a form on our website, and a member of our team will contact you to tell you what your insurance covers and how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket.

We can also create a cash payment plan if you do not plan to pay for treatment with insurance.

Contact us today to begin your journey toward sobriety.

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System

A gloved hand dips a test strip into urine, to show 'Close-up of drug testing form, to indicate answers to 'How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System'

If you are undergoing a drug test, you are likely wondering, “How long do drugs stay in your system?”

The answer to this question varies depending upon the type of drug.

For example, as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has explained, drugs stay in your system for different amounts of time based upon their chemical properties, such as the drug’s half-life.

Some drugs may be eliminated from the body more quickly than others.

In addition to variations depending on the type of drug, there are also other factors, such as your personal health and the type of testing used.


Lean (Purple Drank) Addiction and Abuse Pathfinders - A young woman speaks with an addiction specialist during an individual therapy session to discuss her addiction to sipping lean or drinking purple drank to try and determine the best treatment plan for her specific circumstances and needs.

How Long Do Drugs Stay In Your Urine?

Since urine testing is a common form of drug screening, people often want to know “How long do drugs stay in your urine?”

Again, this can vary depending on the type of substance, but the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that most drugs stay in urine for two to four days.

That being said, how long drugs stay in your urine is also dependent upon how long you have been using and how high of a dose you typically use.

Higher doses and more frequent drug use can be detected in urine for longer periods of time, because ongoing drug use causes drugs to build up in the body.

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How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Urine?: Variations Based on Drug Type

As previously stated with urine testing, how long drugs stay in your system depends upon the type of drug you have been using.
Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, cocaine is eliminated from the system pretty quickly, so if you use the drug one time, a urine test will only detect within one day. On the other hand, if you have been using cocaine on a daily basis, it will probably stay in your system for two to three days.
Marijuana tends to stay in your system a little longer, especially if you are a chronic user. With occasional use, marijuana will likely be cleared from your system within three days, but if you are a daily user, it can take five to 10 days for it to leave your body. Furthermore, if you are a chronic marijuana user, it can be detected in your urine for up to a month.
How long do drugs stay in your urine is also applicable to benzodiazepines, a type of prescription drug that people abuse for their sedative effects. With a prescribed dose, these drugs are eliminated from the body in three to seven days, but with chronic use, it can take a month for benzodiazepines to leave your system.
According to a how long do drugs stay in your system chart from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, methamphetamine stays in urine for two to four days; opiates are eliminated in one to three days, and ecstasy is detectable in urine for one to five days

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How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System Using Other Methods?

Urine testing is not the only method for determining how long do drugs stay in your system. Some people also wonder “How long do drugs stay in your saliva?” As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has explained, saliva testing can only detect very recent drug use. Most drugs can only be detected in saliva for 12 to 24 hours after you use them, but marijuana may only be detected in saliva for four to 10 hours after the last use.
Another method for testing for drugs is hair testing. This method is less popular but can detect drugs that have been used in the past four months; however, it can take up to a week after drug use for hair follicles to absorb drugs.

Recap: How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

The answer to the question, “How long do drugs stay in your system?” varies depending upon the type of drug you use, how long you have been using, and what method is used to detect drug use.
For instance, marijuana and benzodiazepines may remain in the system via a urine screen for longer than cocaine, especially with long-term use. In general, drugs will stay in the urine for two to four days and in the saliva for up to one day. Hair testing can detect drug use over several months.
While these are general estimates of how long drugs stay in your system, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains that other factors, such as your general health, metabolism, exercise habits, fluid intake, diet, gender, and exercise habits can affect how long drugs stay in your urine.

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Seeking Treatment For Drug Addiction

If you are asking, “How long do drugs stay in your system?,” chances are that you have been struggling with drug use and might be worried that a positive drug test will get you in trouble or cause you to lose your job. If this is the case, you may have developed an addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the clinical term for a drug addiction is a substance use disorder. Symptoms of a substance use disorder include strong drug cravings, being unable to cut back on drug use, and continuing to use drugs despite serious consequences, such as health problems or difficulty fulfilling duties at work or home.
If you have developed a substance use disorder, you will likely need drug rehab to help you stop using. As experts explain, drug rehab can involve behavioral treatments like therapy in addition to medications that treat addiction.

Crack Addiction in Arizona Pathfinders - A group of individuals attending an inpatient rehab for crack addiction in Arizona are engaging in a group therapy session led by an addiction specialist to discuss healthy coping mechanisms, build sober support systems, and share experiences in an open and safe environment.

Drug Rehab in Colorado and Arizona

Once you realize that you need help for drug addiction, it is time to reach out to a drug rehab center. If you are looking for rehab in Colorado or Arizona, Pathfinders Recovery Center has facilities in both states, and we are happy to provide treatment to patients from surrounding areas.
We are a premier dual diagnosis treatment center, meaning we are qualified to treat both addiction and mental illness. Our leadership team has over 25 years of experience, and we offer various levels of treatment, including detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient.

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Paying for Drug Rehab

You may be worried about covering the costs of drug rehab, even if you know seeking treatment is the best choice.

Pathfinders can take some of the stress out of the equation for you by offering a free insurance verification program.

By filling out a quick form on our website, you can learn how much of your treatment your insurance plan will cover, as well as what you can expect to pay out of pocket.

Even if you do not have insurance, Pathfinders can work with you to develop a cash payment plan.

Reach out to us today to determine how we can help you to recover from drug addiction and abuse.

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Why Does Drug Abuse Affect Our Skin?

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

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

Why Do Drugs Cause Skin Problems?

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

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

Common Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Common Skin Problems Caused by Drugs

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

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

Drug-Related Skin Problems Ranked

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

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

How Drug Abuse Affects Your Lips and Gums

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

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

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

Drug Addiction and Acne

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

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

Scarring and Sores from Drug Use

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

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

Skin Infections from Drug Use

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

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

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

Rapid Aging from Drug Addiction

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

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

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

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

Reversing Addiction’s Effect on Your Skin

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

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

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

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

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

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

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

Cocaine and Bad Breath

Cocaine and Bad Breath

Does Cocaine Use Cause Bad Breath?

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

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

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

Does Cocaine Use Cause Bad Breath

Cocaine and Bad Breath

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

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

Cocaine Effects on the Mouth

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

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

Cocaine’s effects on the mouth include:

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

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

Other Symptoms of Cocaine Use

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

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

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

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

How Addictive is Cocaine?

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

Other drugs in the Schedule II class include: 

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

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

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

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

How to Prevent Bad Breath from Cocaine

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

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

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

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

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

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

What Happens After the Detox?

What Happens After the Detox

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

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

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

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

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

Pathfinders Recovery Center

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

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

Does Drug Use Speed Up Aging?

Does Drug Use Speed Up Aging

Can Drug Use Speed Up Aging?

One of the earliest signs of drug abuse is a drastic change in someone’s physical appearance. From dry skin and wrinkles to rapid weight loss and glassy eyes, many illicit drugs make themselves known through your appearance. 

Drugs and alcohol can alter your appearance in different ways. While the alterations may vary depending on the type of drug, method of use, length of abuse, medical history, and other individual factors, one thing remains the same. 

Individuals who abuse drugs almost always look older than others at the same age. There are a few different reasons and many different ways that drug use speeds up aging.  

Why Do Addicts Age Faster?

Why Do Addicts Age Faster

The three primary reasons that addicts age faster than others include: 

  • Health conditions and diseases induced by drug-related toxicity. 
  • Neglecting your physical and mental health and hygiene due to drug use. 
  • Nutritional and vitamin deficiencies caused by a poor diet and lack of hydration. 

While these are three of the most common ways that drugs can accelerate aging, there are many different causes. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause you to become dehydrated, inflamed, and malnourished. 

They can weaken your immune system, leading to damage on the cellular level, cognitive decline, and other concerning health impairments. Your organs, including your skin, take a hard hit in both short and long-term drug or alcohol abuse. 

This can leave you feeling and looking far older than you are. 

Drug Abuse and the Skin

How does drug use speed up aging? Drug abuse can cause dehydrated, dry, patchy, flaky, or scabbed skin. Sores are also common in certain types of drug abuse. This is due, in part, to the tendency of drug-addicted individuals to pick or scratch at their skin. 

Skin picking is a side effect of several different illicit drugs. The feeling that something is crawling all over you can lead you to scratch away at your body’s outer defensive layers. Other effects of drug abuse on the skin include: 

  • Rashes and other irritations.
  • Color changes. 
  • Dry, swollen, inflamed, or cracked lips. 
  • Gum and tooth decay. 
  • Dry, red, itchy, and inflamed skin patches. 
  • Extreme acne breakouts. 
  • Open sores. 
  • Scarring after picking at the skin or sores. 
  • Skin infections. 

No one wants to age faster than we already are. We worry about skin damage and fret over our appearances, but we forget that what we put into our bodies is often more important than anything else in the aging process. Here are the facts about how drug use speed up aging.  

Drugs and alcohol can age you far faster than normal and cause far more extensive damage than everyday wrinkles. These side effects may start as mild irritations or causes of lost confidence, but they can escalate into health concerns that are far more troubling. 

Over time, open sores and skin infections can take a toll on your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off common illnesses and diseases with long-term impacts. 

Nutritional and Vitamin Deficiencies in Addicts

When it comes to the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse, nutritional and vitamin deficiencies are common concerns. Prolonged abuse can deplete your body of the essential vitamins and nutrients that it needs to function properly. 

Without these essential vitamins and nutrients, your body has trouble with certain functions. Cellular growth, rejuvenation, and repair are three functions that suffer and will worsen the aging effects on the skin. 

But these deficiencies do not only impact your skin. These effects can also damage your bones, organs, and brain. With a weakened immune system, it is harder for your body to heal and renew itself. You become more prone to get sick and to stay sick for longer. 

Drug Abuse and Your Teeth

Speaking of bones, let’s talk about the toll that drug abuse can take on your teeth. Among drug users, decaying, broken, or missing teeth are common. Drug abuse can also cause dry and cracked lips and damaged gums. 

Oral health issues are particularly common among meth users. That is where the term meth mouth comes from. One study of nearly 600 meth users revealed that the majority had oral health issues. More specifically, 96% had cavities, 58% had untreated tooth decay, and 31% had six or more missing teeth. 

The risk of dental and periodontal diseases is higher among drug-addicted individuals because drugs are linked to dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. Others are acidic, which wears away at the tooth’s enamel, while others make you crave sugar, grind your teeth, or clench your jaw.

Drugs like meth also cause bouts of unconsciousness, which makes it easier to lose track of time. After waking up, it is more likely for a user to go back for more than to get up and brush their teeth. Each of these effects can wreak havoc in and around the mouth.  

Drug Abuse and the Brain

If you think drug use speed up aging only, then you are wrong. The impacts of drug abuse aren’t limited to the skin, bones, body, or mind. Drug and alcohol abuse can affect a person from head to toe. But some of the most concerning side effects are the ones that affect the brain. After all, our brains are what keeps us functioning every day. 

Drug and alcohol abuse can age our brains, causing memory impairments or loss, inability to concentrate, overall cognitive decline, and permanent brain damage. Confusion is also common. These impairments can range from mildly distracting to crippling. 

Drug and alcohol abuse can also impact our brains in another way. Common mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, are intrinsically linked to these types of abuse. And they can occur in either order. 

Some people develop mental health disorders after abusing drugs or alcohol. Other people abuse and end up addicted to drugs or alcohol to cope with the overwhelming symptoms of an untreated mental health disorder. 

Whichever condition comes first, this combination can create a vicious and crippling cycle. We can help you break it. 

Drug Abuse and Your Physical Health

Depending on the drug, method of use, frequency, medical history, and other individual factors related to the user, drug abuse can cause a wide variety of physical health impairments. One of the most common is the heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Many different types of cancer, strokes, and heart attacks all occur at higher rates among drug and alcohol addicts, as well. People who regularly abuse drugs or alcohol often show and feel pronounced signs of physical decline. 

From memory loss and wrinkles to heart attacks and overdoses, there are many different reasons to quit using drugs. There are no positives to long-term drug abuse. When you are in it, it may seem like there is no way out. But we are here to show you the light. 

Pathfinders Recovery Center

Pathfinders Recovery Center

Getting help for drug addiction is easier than it has ever been. With proven and personalized programs in our safe and convenient facilities in Arizona and Colorado, we make it easy to get the help you need when and where you need it. 

We offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient programs, proven and holistic treatments, and personalized guidance to ensure that you have access to everything you need on your recovery journey. Why wait another day to see the difference a Pathfinders approach can make? 

Call our addiction counselors today at 866-576-4892.

Drug Addiction and Hair Loss

Drug Addiction and Hair Loss

Is There a Link Between Drug Addiction and Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a natural part of life. We lose hair as we age, from genetic conditions, and under high levels of stress. But not all causes of hair loss are natural ones. Alcoholism and drug addiction, for example, are two conditions that few people know may also cause hair loss. 

How Does Drug Abuse Cause Hair Loss?

How Does Drug Abuse Cause Hair Loss

For many years, experts have examined the link between drug addiction and hair loss. While there aren’t many studies that prove a direct link, there are studies that show a connection. The connection lies with drug use and the body’s production of adrenaline. 

Adrenaline, in turn, affects the hair growth cycle. This is proof that drug addiction does not just impact one aspect of your life or another. It impacts all of them. Your mental health, physical health, relationships, career, and even criminal record can all be impaired by drug addiction. 

What to Know About Drug-Related Hair Loss

It is far more common to talk about the health impairments of drug abuse. Conditions like lung disease, liver damage, and problems with our mental health take priority, as they should. Our health should always be more important than our looks. 

But that does not mean that cosmetic issues are easy to ignore. Drug-related hair loss can damage your self-esteem and confidence. It can also be triggering for individuals who have or are prone to depression or anxiety. 

In turn, these negative feelings can lead you to continue abusing drugs to cope. It is the same with drinking to ease anxiety. Sometimes, we drink to feel better or boost our moods. But over time, drinking often does the opposite. 

So, we drink more to improve our moods. And as the alcohol impairs our moods rather than improving them, we come back around for another drink. On paper, these cycles are illogical. But they are much harder to identify and avoid when you are in them. 

We create these detrimental cycles for ourselves. And the longer we allow them to continue, the harder they become to break out of. From top to bottom, drug addiction can change you. But once you choose to live a better way, we can help you find it. 

Ways Addiction and Hair Loss Are Linked

We mentioned earlier that hair loss is triggered by an increase in adrenaline. Additionally, drug users regularly add harmful toxins to their bodies that may prevent them from getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. 

And when they do get the nutrients they need, the drug use may interfere with the way the body uses them. Whether the lack of nutrients is from a poor diet or the inability to properly absorb and use those nutrients, drug abuse can damage your appearance, including your hair.

Addiction can cause hair loss or other changes in its growth. In long-term use, drugs can interrupt the hair’s growth cycle, causing them to pause temporarily or stop growing permanently. 

Drugs may enter hair from multiple sites through multiple mechanisms and at different times throughout the hair growth cycle. Strands of hair grow at different rates, and there is no way to tell where on the head or how much hair will be lost due to drug use. Everyone is different.  

How Bad Will Drug-Related Hair Loss Get?

The type and severity of hair loss that you experience can vary depending on many individual factors. Some of these factors include: 

  • The type of drug used. 
  • The frequency and dosages of the drug used.
  • Family history of hair loss. 
  • Other health conditions. 
  • Stress levels and age. 

Family history, certain health conditions, and high stress levels can make it more likely for you to lose your hair prematurely. And age is a factor that affects each of us when it comes to hair loss. 

While there is little we can do about aging or our family history, we can take steps to improve the other areas. Living an overall healthy life starts with ceasing drug abuse, eating nutritious foods, and learning how to cope with stress and other negative emotions. 

We can help you achieve each of these goals in any of our drug addiction treatment programs. We offer full-time and part-time programs, as well as support meetings, to ensure that you have access to the help you need when and where you need it.  

What Drugs Cause Hair Loss

A large number of drugs may interfere with the hair cycle and produce hair loss. Two of the most common and illicit drugs that cause hair loss are cocaine and LSD. One study tested hair samples from users of cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and LSD under electron microscopes. 

In this study, the drug-free hair shafts from the control group were intact, regular, and undamaged. However, when it came time to examine the hair from the cocaine users, the keratinized structures were damaged in 97.2% of the samples. 

And the outer layer of the hair was damaged in 95.8% of the samples, as well. They found that hair shafts from cocaine abusers are very thin and fragile. Meanwhile, the hair samples tested from the heroin and cannabis abusers were intact and regular. 

The LSD samples told a different story. In nearly all the tested samples (97.9%), the cuticle layer was destroyed, and cuticle cells were lifted from the hair shaft. In 95.8% of the samples, the hair was fragile, broken, and detached. 

The hair fibers from the LSD users were very weak and fragile, similar to the results of the tests on the hair from the cocaine users. The researchers who performed these studies maintain that further research and a more comprehensive analysis of hair samples from different illicit drug abusers is necessary to gain more information. 

How Do the Drugs Get to Your Hair?

Illicit drugs, through any method, accumulate in the hair in a few different ways. They may build up there by entering the bloodstream, absorbing through the sweat, or attaching to the strands from smoke vapors. However they get there, it is clear that certain illicit drugs can cause hair loss, no matter what method you use to ingest them. 

Treating Your Addiction to Prevent Hair Loss

Treating Your Addiction to Prevent Hair Loss

Addiction programs like the ones that we offer can help you address and overcome a wide variety of issues. Cosmetic concerns, like hair loss and weight changes, often improve as you work on building an overall healthier lifestyle. 

From there, there are several different options for treatment for hair loss if it is still needed. But one of the best ways to reverse the damage done and prevent further damage is to stop abusing drugs first. As you detox, you flush toxins from your body. 

Your body learns how to find its balance, regulate itself, and return to normal. The effects of building a healthy, sober life will be felt from top to bottom. 

Getting Started at Pathfinders Recovery Center

At Pathfinders, we offer a unique variety of personalized addiction care programs to help you meet your goals and improve your quality of life. With a helping hand, recovery is possible. And a new life is just a phone call away. 

With centers in Arizona and Colorado, we make it easy to get the help you need where and when you need it. Our addiction counselors are available now to answer your questions, perform your intake, or verify your insurance. Call them at 866-576-4892 to get started.

Ways Drugs Are Abused

Ways Drugs Are Abused

What Constitutes Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is not always straightforward. It is not always about illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine. What are the ways drugs are abused? Drug abuse is often more about the method or the approach than the drug itself. Many people are surprised to find how frequently prescription drugs are abused, too.  

For example, prescription drugs like antidepressants that are given by doctors to improve mental health can also be addictive. They have a high potential for abuse due to their powerful side effects and chemical structures. 

Both prescription and illicit drugs are abused every day. When it comes to prescription drugs, what matters more is how and why you take them. But when considering illicit drugs that have no approved medical uses in the United States, any use constitutes abuse. 

Methods and Ways Drugs Are Abused

Methods of Drug Abuse

Whether illicit or prescription, there are many methods of drug ingestion. Some are more common than others. The most common methods of drug administration include: 

  • Injecting
  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Swallowing 

Now, let’s talk about which methods are the safest and which carry the most risk. 

Taking Drugs Orally

Swallowing pills, tablets, capsules, or other forms of medication is the most common way to take drugs. When you swallow something, it must pass through the stomach before absorbing into the bloodstream. 

This gives your body time to gradually absorb and disburse the ingested drug rather than flooding the bloodstream with it right away. For this reason, oral ingestion of drugs is generally considered to be the safest method. 

Requiring a pass through the stomach before entering the blood also gives your body the chance to rid itself of substances that it does not agree with. The digestive system will reject substances that do not belong or substances that belong in smaller quantities. 

This reflex is the reason why we vomit when we drink too much alcohol or eat spoiled foods. As a defense mechanism, purging helps keep the body safe and avoid poisoning the blood. As such, swallowing drugs also decreases the likelihood of an overdose. 

Although, that does not mean that it is not possible. With a high enough dose or a history of certain health complications, swallowing drugs can still be problematic or even fatal. While it is the safest method of ingestion, it is still important to only take drugs orally when they are prescribed and at the times and quantities that they are prescribed. 

Why Smoking Drugs is More Dangerous Than Swallowing Them

Drugs enter the body’s system faster than they are smoked rather than swallowed. Instead of traveling through the digestive system, they enter the lungs and quickly move into the bloodstream. This makes it a more dangerous method of drug ingestion than swallowing. 

Smoking also carries the additional risks of certain cancers, including lung cancer, throat cancer, and cancer of the mouth. Some other common health conditions associated with smoking include: 

  • Heart disease
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Chronic bronchitis 
  • Emphysema 
  • Stroke 

Not all drugs are smoked. Some of the most commonly smoked drugs are marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and opium. Smoking either prescription or illicit drugs can cause addiction, long-term or permanent damage to the lungs and various other health complications. 

Snorting Drugs to Get High Faster

When you begin to develop a dependence on drugs, you may feel the need to push for more frequent or intense highs. Many drug abusers start by taking prescription drugs through the appropriate methods. 

Some studies found that nearly 80% of heroin users reported using prescription opioids first. Powerful prescription drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines are often gateways to more dangerous drugs and methods. Therefore, it is critical to follow prescriptions closely. 

Over time, prescription drug users may become addicted and desperate for more. They take higher or more frequent doses, mix them with alcohol or other substances, or find ways to intensify their highs, boost their moods, or relieve their pain. 

Snorting drugs is one way that drug abusers try to achieve these goals. Heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, and ecstasy are some of the most frequently snorted drugs. When you snort a substance, it enters your bloodstream through the mucus membranes in your nasal passages.

Through this method, side effects typically begin to appear around 15 minutes after ingestion. Nasal ingestion is a method that is only recommended for certain prescription or over-the-counter medications, such as allergy sprays. 

Snorting drugs can deteriorate the nasal cavity lining, leading to significant and permanent nasal damage. It can cause swelling of the nasal lining, lung infections, nasal blockages, and compromised respiratory tracts. 

Another danger of snorting drugs is that powdered drugs are often tainted with other substances. Impurities like talcum powder and caffeine may be mixed with certain drugs without the user’s knowledge. 

This is a common practice among drug producers and dealers looking to increase their profits. And sharing tools to snort drugs with can cause the transfer of additional conditions like HIV and hepatitis C. 

Why Injecting Drugs is the Most Dangerous Ingestion Method

Of all the ways people take drugs, this is the fastest method for producing a drug high. Injecting drugs puts them directly into your bloodstream. The effects are almost immediate. Because it enters your bloodstream so quickly, it also moves to the brain quickly. 

This rerouting allows the drug to avoid your body’s natural defense mechanisms. Injecting drugs causes many preventable drug overdose deaths. It may also cause infections at the injection site, HIV or hepatitis from shared needles, collapsed veins, or arterial damage. 

Drugs should not be injected unless recommended by a medical professional. Certain prescription medications may involve injections. But these should either be administered by a doctor or nurse or under the guidance of one. 

What Other Ways Are There to Abuse Drugs?

What Other Ways Are There to Abuse Drugs

Outside of ingestion methods, two of the most common ways to abuse drugs are to take more than you are supposed to or take them more frequently than you are supposed to. These two methods are particularly common with prescription drugs. 

When a medical professional prescribes medication after an accident, for chronic pains, or to reduce the symptoms of a mental health disorder, their guidelines should be carefully adhered to. They will tell you how and how often to take your medication to achieve the best results. 

They will tell you what can be taken with this medication and what cannot. Despite popular belief to the contrary, prescription drugs can be highly addictive and dangerous. Following professional medical guidance can help mitigate these risks. Avoiding illicit drug use can do the same. 

Finding Treatment for Drug Abuse and Addiction

It is easy to give in and consider the outcome bleak, but hope is not lost. Addiction is a treatable disease. And recognizing that you have a problem is truly the first step toward recovery. The team at Pathfinders Recovery is uniquely qualified to offer a compassionate and well-rounded approach to addiction recovery

We will work with you to determine the best treatment plan based on your unique addiction and needs. Everyone is different. Our one-on-one approach ensures that you get the type and level of care best for you, not what might be best for someone else. 

Call our addiction counselors today at 866-263-1808. Someone is available 24/7 to provide insurance verification, guidance on choosing the right program, and answers to common questions. Today is a good day to get the help you need and deserve.

What Is a Luxury Detox Center

What Is a Luxury Detox Center

Evidence-Based Care in Luxury Settings

If you are starting your journey to sobriety, you may want to consider enrolling in a luxury detox center. This is the name for a drug or alcohol detoxification program that provides added amenities. Extra comfort during the recovery process may seem unnecessary. However, when facing the challenging task of halting substance use, even small benefits can go a long way. 

No matter how many amenities are available in detox, you must also have expert medical care. Today, there are evidence-based methods for detoxing from all major substances. Use of these methods keeps you safe during your treatment. It also increases the odds that you will successfully complete detox and continue your recovery. For this reason, the best luxury treatment centers near you will feature evidence-based care.  

Why Is Detox Necessary

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, your brain has undergone some significant changes. First, you have become physically dependent on the substance that is causing you problems. This means that your brain has come to rely on its presence. You have also become psychologically dependent. This means that you have lost control over some of your behaviors. As a result, you compulsively seek out sources for more drugs or alcohol.  

At this stage, you cannot halt your substance use without facing certain physical and emotional effects. Together, these effects are known as substance withdrawal. Each major substance category produces its own typical withdrawal symptoms. For example, someone withdrawing from alcohol may experience things such as:

  • An anxious, depressed or agitated mental state
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tremors

In a worst-case scenario, you may also experience:

  • Major or grand mal seizures
  • The dangerous state known as delirium tremens, or the DTs

In contrast, someone withdrawing from opioid drugs or medications may experience symptoms that include:

  • Cramping or achy muscles
  • Stomach cramps
  • Repetitive yawning
  • High output of mucus, sweat and tears

In all forms of withdrawal, you may also feel the psychological effects of intense substance cravings.

The symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal may be mild, moderate or severe. Even at their mildest, the feelings you experience may tax your ability to cope. And if you go through moderate or severe withdrawal, the challenge of coping will only grow. Many people find it impossible to deal with their symptoms on their own. In the absence of professional help, they abandon their quest for sobriety and return to substance use. 

In some cases, the effects of withdrawal may do much more than make you fell uncomfortable or emotionally distressed. In fact, certain forms of severe withdrawal can endanger your life. That is especially true for people heavily addicted to alcohol or tranquilizers. 

For all of these reasons, there is a pressing need for supervised substance detox. In a supervised program, you do not have to go through withdrawal on your own. Instead, you benefit from:

  • The oversight and care of trained medical professionals
  • A safe and supportive treatment environment
  • Expert help in dealing with the effects of withdrawal
  • Immediate assistance for treatment complications and emergencies

These benefits make it much easier for you to quit using drugs or alcohol. They also help ensure your health and well-being throughout the withdrawal process. And in an emergency, supervised detox could very well save your life. 

Standard Supervised Detox Vs. a Luxury Detox Center

Standard Supervised Detox vs Luxury

Standard Programs

Today, there are well-established guidelines for effective drug and alcohol detox. These guidelines state that detox has three main goals:

  • Evaluating your situation and choosing an appropriate detox option
  • Stabilizing you while you go through drug or alcohol withdrawal
  • Getting you ready to enter a rehab program after you complete detox

All high-quality programs follow these basic principles. This is true for both standard detox facilities and a luxury detox suite. In addition, all effective rehabs customize their treatments to meet your unique needs. This customization takes two main things into account:

  • The specific substance you are addicted to
  • Any personal details that may have an effect on your treatment

Such details include the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. They also include your medical history.

All customized detox programs include something called supportive care. This is the name for the basic steps taken to protect and nurture your health during withdrawal. Common supportive actions include:

  • Taking steps to keep your vital functions stay in a healthy range
  • Providing you with healthy food and any necessary supplements
  • Maximizing your general comfort throughout withdrawal

There are also additional treatments available for withdrawal from certain substances. For example, people detoxing from alcohol may receive a tranquilizing medication. People detoxing from opioids commonly receive a temporary dose of a safer opioid substitute. This approach is used to protect you from experiencing severe opioid withdrawal while proceeding toward sobriety. 

Luxury Detox Centers

The steps taken to support and help you in standard detox are extensive. Still, some people choose to enroll in a luxury rehab instead. Why? Luxury treatment centers near you go beyond the basics of standard care. They do so by adding perks or amenities to their range of services. The specific perks and amenities available to you may vary from center to center. However, the list of options often includes such things as:

  • A spa-like environment
  • Spacious, private rooms or suites
  • Made-to-order food
  • Private dining
  • Expansive, landscaped grounds
  • Scenic locations
  • A secluded treatment setting
  • Extensive recreational programs

Complementary treatments are also common at a luxury detox center. Examples of such treatments include:

  • Acupuncture or acupressure
  • Yoga therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Art therapy
  • Herbs
  • Music therapy

Why Go to a Luxury Detox Center

There are multiple reasons why you might choose a luxury detox center over a standard program. Sheer comfort sits high on the list of motivations for many people. That may seem unnecessary or even indulgent, but in fact, it can be quite practical. 

Comfort and stability are known to be beneficial for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. That is true because the more comfortable you are, the easier you may find it to stick with substance detox. In turn, by making it easier to stick with detox, you make it more likely that you will complete the process. 

Completion of detox is vital. Why? That is the only way to fully prepare yourself for enrollment in primary substance treatment. By maximizing your level of comfort, a luxury detox center may ultimately increase your odds of achieving lasting sobriety. 

But comfort is not the number one motivation for everyone in luxury treatment centers near you. Some people choose luxury detox because of the privacy it provides. In some cases, increased privacy is just a personal preference. However, in other cases, it may be essential to protecting your job, relationships or personal reputation. 

You may also be motivated by dietary considerations. Some people do not focus too much on food and will not mind eating a standard diet. In contrast, others are food-centric. If that is true for you, eating tasty meals that suit your preferences may be a major perk.

Complementary treatments are important to many people entering detox. These treatments are not designed to replace your main detox plan. Instead, they work alongside that plan. The general goal of complementary care is to add an extra boost to your health and well-being. By doing so, this care may put you in a better position to cope with the rigors of substance detox. And even small increases in your coping ability can benefit your overall detox results. 

Where Can You Find a Luxury Detox Center

There is a pretty good chance that you will find luxury treatment centers near you. This is especially true if you live in a mid- to large-sized metropolitan area. A quick Internet search will give you a good idea of your basic options. But before you begin your search, you should keep a couple of things in mind.

First and foremost, luxury alone is not enough to help you make it through substance withdrawal. You also need effective, evidence-based treatment provided by skilled experts. It is the combination of these two things that makes a luxury detox center truly valuable. For this reason, focus on find a luxury detox center that follows current, recommended detox guidelines.

It is also important to know that not all luxury treatment centers near you will provide detox services. Instead, some centers only offer primary substance treatment. This means that you will have to go through detox at another facility. You may find it more convenient to find a luxury center that provides both detox and treatment services. 

Learn More About Luxury Detox Centers

Luxury detox treatment may play a vital role in helping you halt your substance use. This is crucial to know, since most people with drug or alcohol problems never seek expert care. The availability of a luxury option may be just want you need to begin breaking the painful cycle of addiction. 

Want to learn more about what to expect from luxury treatment centers near you? Contact Pathfinders today. We are more than happy to help guide you toward options that suit your particular needs. Pathfinders also offers well-appointed detox services for all kinds of substance problems. At all times, we combine evidence-based medical care with close attention to your comfort and well-being. In this way, we help you overcome the many challenges of quitting drugs or alcohol. Pathfinders is also your source for customized, evidence-based primary treatment. 

What Are Some Substance Abuse Resources

What Are Some Substance Abuse Resources

Ways to Get Help for Substance Abuse

Substance abuse resources are an absolute necessity for many people across America. You may need these resources if you are suffering from a drug or alcohol problem. You may also need them to find help for a loved one with a serious substance issue. In either case, access to reliable help may be a literal matter of life or death.

Fortunately, there are trustworthy resources available for all major topics related to substance abuse and addiction. That includes information on the basic nature of these problems. It also includes the steps taken to diagnose drug- and alcohol-related illnesses. In addition, you will find many resources that focus on what is needed for effective treatment. No matter where you start out, the right substance abuse resources will help you escape the grip of substance problems.  

Substance Abuse Resources: Basic Information

Knowledge is an important tool for anyone affected by substance abuse or addiction. That is true because accurate information helps you understand such key things as:

  • How drugs and alcohol affect your brain and body
  • The unique effects of specific substances
  • What distinguishes substance abuse from substance addiction
  • The changes in your brain that make addiction a possibility
  • How doctors detect and classify drug and alcohol problems
  • The methods used to treat substance abuse and addiction

By building up your knowledge in these areas, you increase your ability to help yourself or someone else. You also make the process of seeking help less frightening and easier to navigate.

Perhaps the most comprehensive substance abuse resources available in America are offered by the federal government. There are several government agencies that focus specifically on substance-related issues, including:

  • NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • NIAAA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

All three of these agencies provide a wealth of informational resources. For example, NIDA maintains a complete database of drug-related topics. Subjects covered in this database range from the science of addiction to modern methods for effective treatment. 

The NIAA focuses on the effects of alcohol and the ways in which drinking can cause you harm. Their main information page covers topics such as:

  • How to measure your alcohol intake
  • The patterns of drinking that put you at-risk for serious problems
  • How doctors define alcohol-related problems

The page also includes information for specific population groups, including women and underage drinkers. Finally, NIAA provides a detailed breakdown of how to find help for drinking problems.

SAMHSA’s focus is the interaction between substance problems and mental health. The agency has produced hundreds of informational pamphlets that you can access for free. These pamphlets include extensive substance abuse resources. They also cover the full range of mental health topics.

Substance Abuse: Seeking Help

Substance Abuse Resources

If you think that you or a loved one have a substance problem, how can you seek help? A variety of substance abuse resources are available to you. One of the most thorough resources on what to do comes from NIDA. This agency offers a series of step-by-step guides. There are guides on how to seek help for yourself or another adult. If you are a young adult or teenager, you will find a separate guide specifically for you. There is also a guide for the parents and caretakers of young adults and teens. 

Topics covered by the NIDA guides include:

  • Recognizing potential signs of substance abuse and addiction
  • Getting diagnosed 
  • Finding treatment
  • Enrolling in a support group

If you are concerned about drinking problems, you can access NIAAA’s Alcohol Treatment Navigator. This tool is designed for adults who want help for themselves or others. It includes a thorough rundown of everything you need to know about treatment for alcohol problems. It also includes information on how to find providers of effective treatment. NIAA does not currently offer comprehensive substance abuse resources for teens. However, the agency does provide help in accessing such resources. 

Finding a Substance Abuse Hotline

One of the most important tools for finding help is a substance abuse hotline. This option gives you access to needed resources through a simple phone call. No matter where you live in the U.S., you have multiple ways of finding a hotline. Potential resources include:

  • Programs run by your state government
  • A substance abuse hotline provided by your region, county or city
  • Hotlines offered by non-profit organizations
  • A federally sponsored substance abuse hotline

The single best federal resource is SAMHSA. The agency maintains its own a. This resource is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. SAMHSA also sponsors or supports hotlines for issues related to substance problems. Examples of these issues include suicide prevention, help for veterans and help for disaster survivors. 

Substance Abuse Resource: Getting Diagnosed

A crucial step in seeking help is getting a diagnosis for your substance problems. That is because only a doctor can tell for sure if you or your loved one are affected. In the past, only specialists knew how to conduct screenings for drug and alcohol problems. But today, many primary care physicians have been trained to provide this essential service.

If your doctor does not provide substance screenings, do not worry. You still have options. One thing you can do is to ask your doctor to refer you to another primary doctor who does conduct screenings. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a specialist in your area. In addition, NIDA maintains resources for anyone looking for an addiction specialist. 

How Do Doctors Make a Diagnosis

How Do Doctors Make a Diagnosis

If you are affected by substance abuse or addiction, you have something called a substance use disorder, or SUD. All types of SUD are officially defined by the American Psychiatric Association. Under this definition, you can be affected by as many as 11 different symptoms. Some of these symptoms are related to non-addicted substance abuse. Others are related to addiction. 

During an SUD screening, your doctor or specialist will look for each of the possible 11 problems. All it takes is two symptoms within the space of a year to receive a diagnosis. It does not matter if those problems are related to addiction or non-addicted abuse. Depending on your total number of symptoms, your disorder may be mild, moderate or severe. Each individual symptom may also be mild, moderate or severe. 

Substance Abuse: Treatment

Where can you go for treatment of your substance use disorder? If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, a vital starting point is a supervised detox program. This is a place where you can safely halt the cycle of drinking or drug use. It provides the help you need to deal with substance withdrawal. Supervised detox also:

  • Helps protect you from any withdrawal complications
  • Supports your physical and nutritional health
  • Serves as a stepping stone for a drug or alcohol rehab program

Drug and alcohol rehabs specialize in primary substance treatment. High-quality facilities are staffed by trained, experienced personnel who know how to provide effective help. Some rehab programs are inpatient and require you to live at the facility while receiving treatment. Others are outpatient and give you the ability to stay at home. Many rehabs offer both inpatient and outpatient options.

Effective treatments for substance problems are customized in two ways. First, they are designed to deal with specific sources of abuse and addiction. This means, for example, that someone with alcohol problems receives different treatment than someone with stimulant problems. 

Quality treatments are also customized for the individual. This means that not everyone with the same kind of SUD will be helped in the same way. Such targeted treatment is needed to maximize your chances of recovering your health and well-being. 

NIDA provides a complete guide to modern, recommended treatment options for both drug and alcohol problems. Those options include two main categories of care: medications and psychotherapy. Medications are used to treat some forms of SUD, but not all. However, all SUDs are treated with at least one type of psychotherapy. 

Looking for substance abuse resources for treatment in your area? In many cases, your doctor can provide you with a referral. Local addiction specialists are another excellent resource for treatment referrals. You can also turn to local or state agencies, as well as NIDA, NIAAA or SAMHSA for help. 

 Learn More About Important Substance Use Resources

Millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse and/or substance addiction. But the sad fact is that most of these people never seek professional help for their problems. Do what you can to avoid being part of this worrying statistic. Today, there are numerous ways to access substance abuse resources. Regardless of where you live, at least some of these resources are available to you. If at all possible, take advantage of them. By doing so, you may save your own life or the life of a loved one or friend.

Want to learn more about how to take advantage of abuse- and addiction-related resources? Contact the professionals at Pathfinders. From basic information to diagnosis, detox and treatment, we offer a full slate of essential services. Even if you are severely affected by substance problems, we will help you recover your sobriety.