Can You Snort Heroin?

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

Is Snorting Heroin Possible?

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

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

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

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

Understanding How Heroin Works

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

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

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

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

How Does Heroin Addiction Happen?

How Does Heroin Addiction Happen

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

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

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

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

What are the Signs of Heroin Addiction?

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

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

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Use

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

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Abuse

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

 

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

What are the Effects of Snorting Heroin?

What are the Effects of Snorting Heroin

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

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

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

The Health Risks of Snorting Heroin

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

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

Health Risks Associated with Injecting Heroin

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

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

Injecting heroin can lead to many health issues, including:

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

Why Do People Snort Heroin?

Heroin Addict

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

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

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

Prevent Contracting Diseases

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

False Belief That It’s Less Addicting

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

The Effect Is More Gradual

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

What Can You Do to Help Someone with Heroin Use?

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

Talk to Them in Private

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

Listen Instead of Lecturing

Help Someone with Heroin Use

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

Encourage Them to Seek Help

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

Support Their Journey to Recovery

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

Find Heroin Treatment at Pathfinders Recovery Center

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

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

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

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

Coke Jaw: Myths and Realities

Coke Jaw

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

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

What Is Coke Jaw?

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

How does it happen?

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

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

When is it not coke jaw?

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

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

The Effects of Coke Jaw

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

Temporomandibular Disorders

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

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

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

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

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

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

Jaw Pain

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

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

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

Coke Jaw vs Coke Mouth

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

Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease

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

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

Dental Erosion/Tooth Decay

Dental Erosion

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

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

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

Palatal Perforation

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

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

Is Coke Jaw Caused by Cocaine Abuse Treatable?

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

Medical Detox

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

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

Inpatient Rehabilitation

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

Support Groups

Cocaine Abuse Treatment - Support Group

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

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab

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

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

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

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center

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

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

Fentapills: Everything You Need to Know

Fentapills

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

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

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

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

What Are Fentapills?

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

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

The Origin of Fake Fentanyl Pills

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

The Appearance of Fentapills

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

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

How to Know if Your Prescription Medications are Fake

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

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

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

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

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

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl or Fentapills

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl or Fentapills

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

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

Is Rainbow Fentanyl a Risk Near Me?

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

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

What Is Fentanyl?

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

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

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

Other Names for Fentanyl Pills

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

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

Can You Get Addicted to Fentanyl or Fentapills?

Fentanyl or Fentapills

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

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

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

How Does Fentanyl Affect Your Brain and Body?

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

Fentapills are known to produce the following effects:

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

Can You Overdose on Fentapills?

Fentapills Overdose

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

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

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

Helping Yourself and Your Loved Ones Get Treatment

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

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

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

Rehab for First Responders

Rehab for First Responders

First responders, including law enforcement officers, search and rescue teams, firefighters, and emergency medical services teams (dispatchers and ambulance workers), are some of the first to step on the scene of disaster, accident, or emergency. These scenes present some of the most dangerous and emotionally demanding situations possible.

As a first responder, you often interact with victims needing immediate care, life support, or urgent medical help. As a first responder, your duty further involves giving emotional support to disaster survivors. In the face of these emotionally draining situations, first responders’ training requires them to maintain composure despite these demands.

A 2018 report on the mental health of responders claims that emergency medical personnel, firefighters, and police officers carry a 70%  higher mortality risk compared to workers who are non-first responders. Due to frequent exposure to work-related traumatic events, first responders are likely to develop mental health issues. Generally, the prevalence of sleep disorders, behavioral health issues, anxiety, and PTSD among first responders is greater than among the general populace.

As a first responder, or with a loved one serving in the role, you may already be familiar with these facts. Now keep reading to find out why Pathfinders should form the front line of your efforts to get lasting relief from alcohol and/or drugs!

Identifying Mental Health Issues in First Responders

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders are often people with high-level self-esteem and are performance-driven. A first responder’s motivation is to do well and get the desirable results.

Some first responders may start to interpret issues with feelings of anxiety, isolation, or flashback as signs of weakness and may feel embarrassed to share these feelings with family or friends. In many cases, they may opt to internalize these feelings, eventually resulting in behavioral health issues. If this goes unchecked, it may lead to increased feelings of depression, leading to burnout on the job.

Here are common mental health issues among first responders:

Depression in Emergency Response Teams

Depression in Emergency Response Teams

Depression is a commonly reported mental illness issue in first responders’ professions. A case-controlled study on medical team workers who responded to the 2011 Japan earthquake indicated that 21.4% of the team suffered clinical depression.

First responders battling depression may experience feelings of sadness. They may find little or no pleasure in jobs they used to enjoy. These emotions can negatively affect their energy levels and overall well-being. Some common signs of depression may include:

1. Extreme fatigue

First responders work long shifts, but extreme fatigue may signify depression. If you’re having trouble remaining awake even after a night of good sleep, it could be depression. The key here is to identify if there’s a pattern linked to this behavior.

2. An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness or sadness

One of the most difficult things to accept as a first responder is a reality that you won’t be able to save everyone. While most first responders come to terms with this reality, those battling depression may have increased feelings of hopelessness or sadness.

3. Loss of Enthusiasm

First responders look forward to making a difference every day. However, depression can turn this enthusiasm into dread. When you find yourself starting to take unplanned off days, enthusiasm may be fading away.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Changes of appetite
  • Unexplained body aches or fatigue
  • Having difficulty making choices or focusing
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Behavioral concerns

 

People that are battling depression experience difficulty controlling negative, repetitive thoughts. The good news is that; depression can be treated. If you or your loved one is struggling with this mental health issue, it’s essential to seek help.

Substance Abuse in First Responder Professions

There’s sadly a close connection between drug and alcohol addiction and the life of first responders. Exposure to traumatic scenes while on duty can lead to the development of behavioral disorders. One such behavioral disorder is alcohol use disorder.

Its reported alcohol abuse among first responders is greater than that of the general population. First responders use alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.

First responders who develop substance abuse might show abrupt changes in their behavior, and these negative changes can impact their self-esteem and motivation.

What are the Warning Signs of Substance Abuse?

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Some of the warning signs include:

  • Unexplained absence from work
  • Inability to focus or forgetfulness
  • Hyperactivity or extreme lethargy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Challenges with physical co-ordination

 

Many first responders suffering from alcohol use disorder experience social stigma. In most cases, they fear being judged if discovered. With the right care and support, sustained recovery is entirely possible.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in First Responders

Considering the severity and frequency of traumatic scenes, it’s not shocking that first responders face a significant risk of suffering PTSD.

Occupational-specific risk factors that contribute to PTSD among first responders include:

  • Hostile occupational environments including risk for physical injury and exposure to excessive smoke, heat, or fire.
  • Traumatic events encountered on the line of duty
  • Types of traumatic events
  • Routine occupational stress
  • Lack of adequate workplace social support
  • Irregular sleep patterns may compromise resilience in the face of a traumatic experience.

 

PTSD is a severe mental health condition that can impact every aspect of a first responder’s life. A Journal of Emergency Medical Services report claims that PTSD is heavily unreported among the first responders’ community because it’s regarded as a weakness.

Common signs of PTSD among first responders include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of interest at work
  • Intrusive dreams, flashbacks, or memories of a specific incident
  • Distancing from family and friends
  • Overwhelming fear
  • A feeling of guilt or self-esteem
  • Inability to focus
  • Increased substance abuse
  • Self-destructive or dangerous behavior

Is Rehab Important for First Responders?

Getting specialized treatment for first responders is essential for recovery. A responder addiction treatment program helps those who have suffered work-related traumatic events quickly get the help they need. The program addresses underlying mental health issues and shapes the path to sustained recovery.

Pathfinders Recovery Centers use an integrated addiction treatment approach that combines licensed professionals from different backgrounds to treat a first responder. These specialists form a multidisciplinary team that meets to discuss patients’ treatment targets and progress and then meets separately with the patient to discuss specific issues during admission process.

The multidisciplinary team can include therapists, counselors, physicians, and other specialists who combine their expertise to offer best treatment for first responders. The drug and alcohol addiction treatment process starts with an overall assessment by trained professionals such as psychologists to evaluate you at all levels, effectively diagnose underlying issues, and develop a holistic addiction treatment for you.

Mental health condition treatment is a long-term commitment, and it’s overall in nature since it addresses your social, psychological, and physical needs. This means that addiction treatment for first responders will often include medications, therapy, family support, and other necessary interventions. For patients with co-occurring PTSD and behavioral health disorders, the first treatment steps would most likely involve using a medical detox program followed by an intensive outpatient or inpatient program.

Using medications for addiction treatment can help the patient get through chronic pain, reduce cravings and manage symptoms like anxiety. However, medications don’t address the underlying causes of first responders’ co-occurring disorders and can’t prepare them for behavior adjustments.

Specific Treatment Goals for First Responders

Treatment Goals for First Responders

  • Helping first responders express their needs in a way that doesn’t make them feel inadequate or exposed
  • The development of interests and hobbies outside of work to help first responders deal with work-related traumatic events
  • The development of a reliable social support system that can assist first responders
  • Continued support after the program enables first responders to identify signs of substance use disorders and traumatic stress.

 

Responders with co-occurring PTSD and alcohol use disorder need to remain in the responders addiction treatment program long enough to attain the necessary skills to avoid relapse. For sustained recovery, it’s essential to identify situations that can increase the possibility of relapse and recognize the signs of relapse.

How Can You Support a Loved One Struggling with a Mental Health Issue?

If your loved one is struggling with one of these first responder mental health issues, you can help them by being there for them.

Here are some tips:

#Tip 1- Listen to Them

Sometimes, your loved ones don’t know if they need help. It’s difficult for most first responders to accept that they have a mental health problem. If your loved one is having a hard time, sit down and listen to them.

#Tip 2 Seek Help

Don’t be ashamed to seek professional help. It’s okay to be uncomfortable when you shift position from a person giving help to one receiving it. If you join our first responders’ addiction treatment center program, you can view it as another professional network designed to help you exceed in your position even more than you currently do.

Start Your Healing Journey Today at Pathfinders

If you or your loved one needs help, Pathfinders Recovery Centers (AZ &CO) is here for you. Our top-notch mental health and addiction treatment center is the right place to start your healing journey. Enjoy a stress-free first responder addiction treatment program as you receive a personalized responders addiction treatment plan.

Contact us today if you’re ready to break free from a dangerous chain of substance abuse. We look forward to welcoming you.

Rehab for College Students

Rehab for College Students

Transitioning into college is a significant life milestone. A student’s life in college or university helps shape the person they become in the future. Going to college usually means separation from home and independence. But living in a new social environment can challenge a person’s values and beliefs.

University and college students in the U.S. face immense pressure to succeed and build a career. Most students get concerned about their academics and experience the stress of meeting new people and trying new things. Striking a balance between all the new events can be difficult, and some students turn to drinking or drug use as a coping mechanism.

Keep reading to find about the reasons why students turn to unhealthy drinking and drug use, and the most effective ways of getting help!

Get Help with Drinking and Drugs on Campus

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over a third of all American full-time college students between 18 and 22 binge drink regularly. The unique circumstances of college students make it necessary for customized addiction treatment programs tailored to meet their needs.

Substance use is among the most severe public health issues for the young American population, causing adverse health and socio-economic impacts for adolescents and their families.

Read on for more info about rehab for college students, and to get help if you are struggling while in college, or have a loved one that might be!

Drug and Alcohol Abuse in College Students

Although some college students abstain from use, most are of legal drinking age and have more independence on campus. This increases the need to set personal goals and boundaries. You might want to unwind from the school week with a pint with your pals to help you relax in social situations. But for many students, the burden of expectations from their families, educators, peers, society, and even themselves only grows heavier during their time at university.

Over 6 million young adults have substance use disorders (SUD). Under competing pressures, college students must learn to live a new lifestyle around factors that can predispose them to college drug abuse. Alcoholic beverages are readily available on college campuses, and students sometimes use drugs to relieve stress or enhance performance. Prolonged drug use may cause the students to develop substance use disorders or alcohol addiction.

One in every five American adults experiences mental health disorders annually. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 75% of mental health illnesses develop by 24 years. Students may experience symptoms of conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD for the first time in college. Survivors of traumatic events like sexual assault are at a high risk of a mental illness diagnosis. Students with mental illness may turn to alcohol and drug use to cope with the symptoms.

Commonly Abused Drugs in College

Commonly Abused Drugs in College

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that drinking alcohol is a ritual that students consider an essential part of college or university life. Although alcohol is the most commonly abused drug by young adults, most students also use:

 

  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy, LSD, and other psychedelics
  • Study drugs and stimulants such as Adderall
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Opioids
  • Prescription or opiate painkiller abuse can cause injury, overdose, and death

Marijuana

Also called marijuana or weed, cannabis is among the most popular drugs on U.S. college campuses. Most marijuana users smoke it, while others incorporate the drug into edibles, like baked products and confectionery. Marijuana’s psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects vary by strain.

Nearly half the college student population reported using marijuana in 2018. Marijuana may not be as harmful as other illicit drugs, but occasional use might become problematic and aggravate a student’s anxiety. Addiction can develop with prolonged usage of this substance. If you suffer from a marijuana use disorder, call us at +1 (855) 728-4363 for confidential advice on getting help.

Cocaine

Despite cocaine’s popularity as a party drug on many universities and campuses, its stimulating effects are not worth the risks involved in using the drug. To feel more energized or productive, some young adults may opt to snort, inject, or inhale the white powdery substance. Others smoke it as crack cocaine.

Cocaine is lethal on its own, but when combined with other drugs commonly found on college campuses, such as Adderall or marijuana, it becomes exceedingly dangerous. Using cocaine has severe effects on mental and physical health. Given these potential long-term effects, helping someone addicted to cocaine could save their life.

“Study Drugs” and Prescription Stimulants

College students often use prescription stimulants like amphetamines to improve focus. Doctors prescribe drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to treat hyperactive issues, major depressive episodes, and irregular sleeping patterns. Some students use these drugs without a prescription as study aids, even though doing so is illegal and dangerous.

College students widely use stimulant tablets because of their ability to increase wakefulness and attentiveness momentarily. Examples of other study drugs include Modafinil and Concerta. Stimulant use disorders that involve study drugs require professional addiction treatment. Call Pathfinders for more information on study drug misuse.

Benzodiazepines

Also known as “benzos,” benzodiazepines are prescription drugs commonly used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures. Addiction professionals also prescribe these drugs to relax muscles and promote sleep. They are among the most often prescribed medications in the United States, and college students frequently abuse them for their sedative properties. Examples of benzodiazepines are:

 

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin

 

Benzodiazepines like Xanax are highly addictive and have some of the most dangerous and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms of any form of drug.

The Effects of Drug Abuse on College Students

Substance misuse can have severe implications for college students that extend beyond their academic careers. The following are some of the short- and long-term consequences of drug and alcohol use disorder in college students:

  1. Poor academic performance: Substance misuse can result in reduced study time, missing class, and a lower GPA. Drug use can also lead to falling behind on assignments, dropping out, or being expelled.
  2. Risky behaviors: Drug abuse also leads to risky behaviors like driving under the influence, being involved in an alcohol-related sexual assault, getting into fights, indulging in dangerous sexual practices, and date rape.
  3. Health issues: Substance abuse can cause many physical health problems, including hangovers, sickness, and effects on your immune system.
  4. Social ramifications: Substance abuse can cause losing friends and vital relationships. You may become socially isolated if you spend a lot of time drinking or using drugs.

What are the Warning Signs of Substance Abuse?

Substance Abuse

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse among college students may include the following:

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • A decline in grades and absenteeism  from school
  • Needing drugs or alcohol to unwind or enjoy oneself
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Mood changes
  • People stop engaging in activities they used to enjoy
  • Falsely denying the usage of drugs or alcohol
  • Spending a lot of time using and recovering from the effects of drugs
  • Physical and mental illness
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and cravings
  • Using drugs or alcohol while knowing the risks
  • Legal issues like arrests
  • Substance abuse in potentially dangerous settings like while driving
  • Engaging in potentially harmful activities while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

 

Talking about a drug abuse problem might be a difficult conversation to have with someone who doesn’t believe they do. This conversation is more beneficial in the presence of someone trustworthy, like a professor or counselor.

When talking to a friend or loved one, let them know you’re worried about their health, happiness, and academic progress. If they are unwilling to listen, don’t criticize or blame them; instead, back off and try again later.

It is best to keep the conversation specific and inform them of scenarios you deem detrimental to their health. You don’t have to say everything all at once, but you might want to offer them a list of valuable resources and then follow up with them periodically.

Rehab treatment can help prevent the adverse effects of substance use on your health, academic career, and overall well-being, and there are various ways to get help. These include consulting with the campus health center, speaking with a counselor at your campus counseling center, or checking into a hospital or rehab center.

Treating Addiction in College Students

Some young adults in higher education refuse treatment for substance abuse because they don’t believe they have a problem. Students often avoid discussing therapy because of the stigma associated with drug abuse.

Accepting to get addiction treatment shows that you care about your health and your future. According to research, the sooner someone seeks addiction treatment, the more likely they will recover fully. Most rehabilitation centers cater to the needs of students without interfering with their studies.

Detoxification

Detoxification is often the first step in the rehabilitation process after assessment. During detox, substances like alcohol and narcotics are eliminated from the body. In this period, many addicts suffer from unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Many of these symptoms are avoidable through medical detox.

Since quitting cold turkey can be fatal, medically supervised detox is essential when detoxing from benzodiazepines or alcohol. The average withdrawal periods for various drugs include:

  • Cannabis        – 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol           – 5 to 7 days
  • Tobacco          – 2 days to 2 weeks
  • Cocaine          – 2 to3 days
  • Opioids           – 1 to 4 weeks
  • Benzos            – 10 to 14 days

 

Detox from opioid use disorders varies widely depending on the length of use and method of delivery. Opioid detox patients experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. But they lose tolerance to opioids within days of abstinence.

Overdosing is a potential risk during relapse, which is, unfortunately, rather often. Relapse is avoidable with the help of medication in a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. Those with severe opioid addiction may benefit from starting on MAT for an extended time before attempting to wean themselves off the drugs.

Some recovering addicts think that withdrawal is the most challenging aspect of the process, while others say overcoming cravings after detox is the most difficult.

Behavioral Treatment

Mental health therapy and counseling help treat psychological and behavioral challenges that may have contributed to addiction. Counselors can assist college students in learning how to cope with drug urges and the challenges that might lead to drug usage.

Anxiety

Many college students have a co-occurring disorder that has led to drug use. Treating underlying mental health issues is critical to a successful addiction recovery process.

Common co-occurring disorders that students confront include:

  • Depressive disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bipolar disorder.

 

Most higher learning institutions have on-campus mental health counselors. These counselors assist pupils in coping while keeping confidentiality. At Pathfinders, our comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment programs handle co-occurring mental health problems.

Outpatient Rehab vs. Inpatient Rehab

College students who are addicted to drugs usually require the assistance of a drug rehab facility to recover. Many inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers can help college students achieve sobriety without interfering with their studies.

Inpatient treatment centers provide a distraction-free environment away from campus temptations. College students in rehabilitation improve their grades and overall health. Many inpatient rehab facilities also cater to college students by being close enough to campus for residents to attend class during the day.

For a college student with milder addiction, outpatient rehab is a suitable treatment option. These outpatient centers offer withdrawal medication and counseling while not interfering with the student’s daily routine. Mental health counselors and support groups can help break down addictions psychologically.

How Long Does Rehab Take?

The length and intensity of rehabilitation can change depending on whether you choose inpatient or outpatient care. If you are worried about attending rehab for college students because you don’t want your grades to suffer or you don’t want to fall behind in your education program, consider what will happen if you don’t get help.

If you have to leave school for substance abuse treatment, various mental health resources can help you during and after the process. They include counseling programs, medical leaves of absence, or transition plans that involve modified programs of study. It takes courage to get help for a substance use disorder before your life completely unravels, but it’s admirable that you’re ready to do so.

The average time spent in inpatient treatment is between three weeks and ninety days, while some programs may need a longer commitment. If you choose outpatient care, you may be able to keep up with your daytime classes while receiving therapy in the evenings. Look for a rehab center, such as our programs at Pathfinders, that will work with you to identify the best treatment alternatives for your specific situation.

Rehab can seem daunting or intimidating, but if you don’t want your family or friends to know, no one has to. Taking charge of your life can set you up for a more peaceful, prosperous, and successful tomorrow.

Maintaining Sobriety as an Undergraduate

Rehab for College Students

The next step after finishing addiction treatment is to remain sober while pursuing higher education. Some college rehab programs include sobriety and behavioral contracts to encourage sobriety. The students have to agree to things like going to 12-step meetings, staying away from drugs and alcohol, not engaging in risky behavior, and keeping up with their schoolwork.

Some educational institutions even provide rehabilitation housing for students who are experiencing substance abuse issues. Students in recovery from addiction may benefit from additional peer support from campus-sponsored events.

After finishing a college student rehabilitation program, the next step is to receive aftercare support. This is of utmost importance for those in recovery while attending college. Most universities provide their students access to outpatient treatment and recovery support groups. Getting sober takes effort, but it’s feasible to maintain that effort for the rest of your life.

Get Help Now and Keep Pursuing Your Degree

Pathfinders Recovery Centers are addiction and dual diagnosis treatment centers that offer cutting-edge drug addiction treatment services. If you are battling substance use, connect with us for a solid foundation for starting the journey to recovery.

Reach out now to our Admissions team and discuss the process of Admission and how we can best help you to get sober and get to the podium to celebrate your graduation!

Can You Overdose on Meth?

What are Methamphetamines

Meth is a substance that many people are familiar with. It has been used recreationally for a long time. It’s among the most affordable and accessible drugs on the market. But this accessibility has the unspoken side effect of making it easy to take as much as you want. Meth overdoses are shockingly uncommon, and they have spiked recently. Methamphetamine deaths due to overdose more than tripled between 2015 and 2019.

Read on to learn more about protecting yourself from meth overdose, and how to find effective forms of treatment that can help you put aside crystal for good!

What are Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamines, also known as crystal meth or “meth” for short, is a powerful stimulant that can be harmful to the user and those around them. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant or controlled substance. This means it has a high potential for abuse and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Methamphetamine has no accepted medical use in the United States. It affects the central nervous system and increases energy and alertness. Other effects include irregular heartbeat and blood pressure, fast breathing, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, irritability, and mood issues.

Meth and Substance Abuse: Proven Risks

Methamphetamine can cause serious health consequences and even death. It is highly addictive and can cause permanent brain damage, cardiac arrest, liver failure, increased blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, kidney failure, memory loss, anxiety, and depression. In addition, meth users are at high risk for other serious consequences such as hepatitis B or C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay (this is also colloquially known as “meth mouth”).

Methamphetamine and other drugs like it also change how the body makes serotonin – a chemical that regulates moods – which can lead to violent behavior and hallucinations. Methamphetamine users who use it as a recreational drug will often become paranoid and aggressive when they use the drug because their bodies do not produce enough natural serotonin anymore. This may make them behave violently toward others or themselves (e.g., suicide attempts).

The truth is that drug abuse in and of itself is commonly viewed as a public health problem. The health risks and mental degradation that often accompanies long-term drug use often can be life-threatening and result in permanent damage.

Without the intervention of treatment and professional medical attention, these dangerous chemicals can be fatal to persons who find themselves unable to halt their usage.

Who is At Risk of Meth Addiction?

Methamphetamine is an incredibly dangerous illicit drug that can lead to addiction very quickly. Abuse of this stimulant drug causes mental and physical changes that make it difficult for users to stop meth use without help.

What are the risk factors for meth addiction? Knowing them may allow for early intervention when it comes to meth use and being able to spot people most at risk of falling victim to this illicit substance.

Genetic History – A family history of meth use, or even other stimulants, can make a person further down the genetic line predisposed to addiction. This is one of the most statistically trackable risk factors. Much the same way that a person with a family history of heart failure is genetically more at risk for that condition, a family history of crystal meth can render generations down the road at risk.

Co-Existing Conditions – Persons with co-existing mental health conditions are often at risk of falling into drug abuse. People with chronic anxiety and depression are chief in that category. This comes from a desire and an aim to try to self-medicate.

Often these people are simply trying to address the pain of their existence at the moment and are not thinking of the other health effects that accompany the drug use. Neurodivergent persons may fall into this category. However, it must be stated that, specifically with regard to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, there is a false belief and stigma associated with medication subscribed for ADHD.

The typical stimulant which is medically associated with that condition, methylphenidate, is commonly associated with being equivalent to methamphetamines. It is not. This stigma, ironically enough, can result in neurodivergent persons seeking to medicate appropriately and safely running into logistical or societal blockades.

Environmental Factors – This can be anything from the physical environment, to stress factors, to isolation. Factors in one’s life and environment can push persons towards seeking, in extreme cases, intense forms of escapism in the form of a drug habit. From a socioeconomic point of view, it is important to keep in mind that research has shown that regions with lower-income, poverty, and economic/environmental hardships also correlate with increased drug consumption.

What are The Signs of Meth Addiction?

Signs of Meth Addiction

Meth causes the brain to release abnormally high levels of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation, pleasure, and reward. When this happens, users experience feelings of euphoria and energy.

At first, meth tends to make people feel more alert, energetic and sociable. But it also makes them anxious and paranoid. After a while, they may develop sleeping problems or lose interest in eating or having sex. They may have trouble keeping up with their responsibilities at work or school and begin to neglect family members or friends.

Meth Addiction Symptoms at a Glance

Some of the signs of meth addiction, at a glance, are:

  • Psychotic symptoms, in the form of violent episodes, including threatening people and breaking things in the home
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of interest in appearance or hygiene
  • Irritability, restlessness, and anxiety or panic attacks
  • Insomnia (sleeping too much) or hypersomnia (sleeping too little)
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite) or bulimia (binge eating followed by purging)

Methamphetamine Overdose: The Facts

A meth overdose occurs when someone uses too much of the drug and has life-threatening symptoms that are severe enough to risk or cause death. Drug overdose is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose deaths have increased every year since 2002.

Meth Overdose by the Numbers

In 2016 alone, more than 63,600 Americans died from drug overdoses — up from 52,400 in 2015. These numbers include both prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin. Methamphetamine use and, subsequently, methamphetamine overdose has been rising in recent years, partially because it’s easy to find and cheap compared to other drugs like cocaine or heroin. The possibility of meth overdose depends on many factors, including the person’s approximate age and amount of the drug taken.

Methamphetamine is also dangerous because too much meth can cause an increase in body temperature and heart rate, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. In fact, according to a study published by the CDC in 2018:

  • People who use meth are over three times more likely than non-users to die prematurely from any cause other than injury or homicide
  • The odds of premature death by meth overdose are even higher when you look only at deaths due to cardiovascular disease
  • Meth users are twice as likely as people who don’t use meth to die from cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure or heart attack

 

What are the warning signs of meth overdose, then? How can you notice when this might be about to happen, to take action? Meth overdose symptoms may include:

  • Tremors or twitching
  • Rapid or Irregular heartbeat
  • Acute memory loss
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation or aggression
  • Seizures

 

If you believe you’re witnessing a meth overdose or are about to witness one, the first step would be to call the emergency services and get urgent medical help. Stay with the overdose victim and keep them calm to prevent injury until emergency care arrives.

The Benefits of Getting Addiction Treatment for Meth

Addiction Treatment for Meth

Meth overdose is an acute risk of the substance, but that aside, the havoc the habit can wreck on a person’s life, as well as other health consequences associated with it, are enough to justify aggressive medical treatment for the habit. Addiction treatment is perhaps the most important thing that can be done to avoid the risk of meth overdose for someone struggling with the habit.

The treatment process can help with a myriad of health issues. More importantly, overdose is not something to take lightly. If not handled correctly, an experience like that can be final, fatal, and tragic, with no way to walk away from it.

The Treatment Options for Meth Abuse

The addiction treatment process is critical, not just for those at risk of a chronic methamphetamine overdose but anyone suffering from the habit. Treatment starts with detox to rid the body of the dependency on the substance, thus dramatically cutting the risk of overdose to virtually zero. From there, treatment includes therapy to deal with the underlying issues that led to the addiction in the first place.

Much of the drug dependency can be down to feelings of isolation which is why support groups are often heavily utilized in addiction treatment. These support groups can erode much of the stigma persons struggling with drug habits may feel.

Seek treatment for meth addiction today!

If you or a loved one are struggling with a meth or substance abuse habit, contact Pathfinders Recovery Centers! The risk of meth overdose is not something to take lightly.

Reach out to our Admissions staff today, our professional team is standing by and ready to help you take that first step away from addiction and the risk of overdose. Give yourself the break you deserve and reach out now!

Meth Comedown

Meth Comedown

The intense effects of methamphetamine have made it a popular drug of abuse. But the high from the drug does wear off eventually and is followed by what is called a “crash” or “comedown.”

What happens during a meth comedown and withdrawal, how long it lasts, and whether or not the unpleasant and sometimes hazardous symptoms may be lessened are all covered here.

Keep reading to find out how to best manage the crash after meth use, and find out more about effective forms of treatment as well!

What Is the Meth Comedown?

When the effects of a methamphetamine high wear off, those who are dependent on the substance may experience severe withdrawal, commonly known as a “comedown,” characterized by strong dysphoria, anxiety, and agitation.

“Binging,” or obsessively consuming meth repeatedly every several hours for 3-15 days at a time, is one way that many meth users try to prolong their high and delay the onset of their comedown. High-dose, frequent users have developed a high tolerance and may have switched to an administration method that produces an effect more quickly (i.e., smoking or injecting).

Extreme crystal meth use may lead to suffering from more severe withdrawal symptoms that persist for weeks. A person who has formed a dependency on meth will experience significant feelings of withdrawal when they ultimately quit usage, making the inevitable “crash” considerably worse than with infrequent or intermittent use.

After a binge lasting two or three days, the person will likely feel weary, dejected, and sleep for forty-eight hours. There may then be a time of chronic anhedonia or dysphoria, as well as a period of hunger and drug seeking. In addition, paranoia and irritability might occur at times.

What Are Crystal Meth Comedown Symptoms?

Crystal Meth Comedown Symptoms

Meth addiction has a very prolonged withdrawal process. Meth comedown symptoms and intense cravings follow periods of extended substance abuse. In many cases, meth addiction treatment is required for users experiencing worst-case scenarios.

The meth withdrawal phase typically lasts between two and three days. Anxiety, despair, weariness, and a general state of restlessness that may remind one of a hangover are all possible comedown symptoms for someone who has recently stopped using meth.

Meth addiction is notoriously difficult to break without medical assistance. Because of the brain’s chemistry changes to depend on the drug for dopamine, the comedown is mentally taxing.

Meth withdrawal has two distinct phases: the crash phase, which lasts just 1-3 days, and the acute phase, which lasts 7-10 days. When you stop using meth, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as extreme cravings for meth, changes in appetite, aches, pains, weariness, lethargy, disorientation, irritability, mood swings, sleeplessness, nightmares, anxiety, melancholy, and paranoia.

Meth Addiction: A Cycle of Binging and Crashing

After the effects of the first high wear off, users will often continue to take meth every few hours in an effort to recapture that original sensation of euphoria. Someone who uses meth on a regular basis may do so anywhere from once per day to six times per day.

This substance gets so addictive because, with each usage, there becomes less and less of a rush until soon there will be no rush at all. The binge stage of meth usage can last up to 15 days, and during that time, many users do not eat or sleep.

Meth usage progresses through a series of stages, the final one being the crash before the user enters the withdrawal phase. During this time, the person will experience tremendous fatigue and may need up to three days of sleep.

The Meth Addiction Withdrawal Timeline

Meth withdrawal has a chemical impact on the brain and body. Repeated usage over time can cause permanent changes in the brain’s biology, ultimately leading to physical dependence on the drug.

However, meth users can develop both physical AND psychological dependence on the drug. In other words, people may come to believe that they need to consume meth to maintain a healthy body or a level head.

If you’ve developed a physical tolerance to meth, you may have kept using it to avoid uncomfortable emotions. However, if you’re ready to kick your meth habit for good, you’ll need to quit ingesting the substance and seek addiction treatment services such as those at Pathfinders Recovery Centers.

Substance abuse and meth addiction treatment centers help users treat the factors behind abuse issues, finding the driving factors are often mental health disorders.

Immediately After Stopping Meth Use

This will initiate a period of physical and mental adjustment as your body adjusts to life without meth. The physical and emotional symptoms of this change can be terrifying. However, if you truly want to rid your life of meth, this is a crucial step.

The effects of meth can be felt for up to 12 hours after use. After 12 hours, your body will likely start experiencing withdrawal symptoms from meth. There are several stages to a meth comedown that can last anywhere from a few days to a week as your body readjusts to life without meth. What follows is a brief overview of the typical stages of the crystal meth withdrawal timeline:

24-Hours After Last Use

Your energy levels will be low, and you’ll feel fatigued and listless. You’ll probably sense a shift in mood, maybe bordering on irritation or agitation.

Second and Third Days

The worst of the withdrawal symptoms from meth typically occur during these days. Despite no longer being exhausted, your irritation level is certainly rising. Since your body is not used to functioning without the substance, huge chemical changes are going on within the body and mind.

You may have trouble focusing, have emotional ups and downs, and experience cognitive dissonance. While experiencing the worst effects of a meth comedown, people have trouble concentrating and remembering new information.

Days 4-7

In most cases, a week is all it takes to recover from a meth high. Physical withdrawal symptoms should ease, but psychological desires may linger for a while. People will still feel physically less anxious, but they will be more exhausted mentally due to sleep and appetite difficulties.

Post Acute Meth Withdrawal: After One Week

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

Meth withdrawal and recovery are extremely challenging for a number of reasons. After a week of comedown, most people experience a “crash.” This implies they are not just tired, but also devoid of any positive emotions.

Depression and anxiety can be particularly intense during this post-comedown period, and people may have to fight off intense urges to use the substance they know would help them feel better.

It’s not uncommon for meth users to have unpleasant dreams during the comedown. However, how long someone has been using meth, how often they use, and how much they use all contribute to the severity of the comedown.

Long-term users will have the most difficult comedowns since their bodies will go through severe withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop using the substance.

Luckily, certain evidence-based practices and remedies exist to help you recover and make it safely through the comedown process. Whether at Pathfinders Recovery Centers or another facility, make sure you take guard against relapse after detoxing from meth by using these measures as effectively and completely as possible.

Tips for Managing the Meth Comedown Period

Stay clean and off meth if you want to avoid the agony of withdrawal and comedown after meth usage. But desires and cravings for meth can be strenuous and demanding, especially in the initials days and weeks of stopping use.

However, with the correct support, such as that offered at Pathfinders, you should be able to get through the initial stages of withdrawal and remain drug-free, ultimately achieving full recovery.

Here are the most effective methods we know of to help you recover from meth abuse disorder and handle withdrawal and the meth comedown.

Get Professional Help

Effective Drug Treatment

Meth withdrawal symptoms are severe. Consult an addiction expert or a doctor if you have any doubts about your capacity to do it and succeed on your own.

With the guidance of a professional, someone going through meth withdrawal can learn to cope with the powerful and unpleasant sensations that arise during this time.

Be Sure to Eat and Stay Hydrated

One of the most crucial aspects of preparing for a meth comedown is maintaining a proper diet and hydration. Because meth can reduce appetite, long-term users may be malnourished and underweight.

Eat a healthy, balanced meal rich in calories, essential nutrients, and water to keep yourself healthy and hydrated.

Dehydration is a common symptom of meth comedown since meth is a diuretic, and staying hydrated can help mitigate other comedown symptoms, including headaches, exhaustion, and lethargy.

Regular Sleep Patterns

It is common knowledge that meth disrupts people’s sleeping patterns by its very nature as a powerful stimulant drug. Many people use it explicitly to remain up all night and to feel energized without the need for sleep. Restoring regular rest habits should be a priority as you begin the process of quitting drugs. Create a routine for your bedtime and commit to following it.

The ability to think clearly and actively engage in life increases with enough rest. Getting adequate sleep during meth comedown will help you resist the temptation to give in to cravings or relapse since well-rested people have superior impulse control.

Remain Occupied with Tasks and Activities

No matter what you do, the withdrawal symptoms from meth will be unpleasant. After the worst of the withdrawal symptoms have passed, keeping yourself occupied helps ease the remaining discomfort.

Making arrangements to see loved ones or work associates will help you forget about the pain you’re in temporarily. In contrast, allowing yourself to feel bored may trigger a need, so keeping your mind active with other people or activities will help you avoid thinking about, desiring, or returning to use.

Effects of Long-Term Crystal Meth Use

Effects of Long-Term Crystal Meth Use

Meth use can be attributed to a wide range of causes. Many people find that it helps them stay alert and concentrate better. Some people like the high it gives them since it’s enjoyable and euphoric. Some users enjoy the drug’s euphoric effects, while others appreciate how it reduces anxiety and opens them up to trying new, sometimes dangerous activities.

Meth may have various devastating effects on the body and the brain, but many individuals continue to use it despite this knowledge. Meth addicts often exhibit risky conduct. Those who use it may act violently or become enraged. Long-term addicts may also suffer paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and severe depression due to the drug’s effects on the brain.

Meth-induced psychosis is one of the worst mental side effects of long-term abuse. Individuals experience severe hallucinations and delusions. These may be auditory and visual in nature.

Physical dangers of long-term abuse include heart-related issues, stroke, blood pressure issues, and challenges related to blood vessel weakening. However, with the right treatment program, most of these symptoms may be reversed.

Long-Term Meth Recovery Is Possible at Pathfinders

With the right treatment team and a driven attitude towards sobriety, long-term recovery from meth comedown is possible. The final element in this equation is a strong support system, which can be achieved through support groups and the assistance of family post-treatment.

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we provide users with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery from meth abuse disorder. Through a combination of treatment solutions and preparation for post-rehabilitation, our clients are well-prepared to battle the triggers that normally cause relapse and possess the proper knowledge and awareness to recognize the mental health disorders and symptoms that manifest and lead to potential failure.

With the help of our treatment team and their support system, most of our client’s successfully complete treatment and experience extended recovery. To learn more about our programs, contact a member of our admissions staff today!

 

PPO Insurance Rehab

PPO insurance rehab

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) forms of insurance is widely recognized as a superior alternative to health maintenance organization (HMO) and exclusive provider organization (EPO) plans.

In most cases, a referral from your primary care physician is not necessary when using a PPO health insurance plan to see a specialist. In other words, if you have PPO insurance, you can go to whatever doctor or “PPO insurance rehab” you like as long as they accept your plan.

Read on to learn why it’s important to take advantage of your PPO policy’s coverage for addiction treatment and how to do it in a way that protects your privacy and your health.

Will PPO Insurance Cover Substance Abuse Treatment?

PPO insurance plans, like those from most other carriers, often include coverage for a variety of drug and alcohol rehab centers. The reason for this is the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2006.

As a result of this legislation, mental health and substance abuse services are required to be included in health insurance plans. In most cases, your health insurance will cover a wide range of alcohol and drug rehab programs and levels of care. This includes medically-assisted detox, inpatient residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs, and partial hospitalization programs.

Although PPO plans may not provide complete coverage for an extensive rehabilitation stay, they can still help you save money and provide you more flexibility in choosing your healthcare providers and the course of treatment you want to follow.

Why Is PPO Coverage So Efficient for Substance Abuse Coverage?

Substance Abuse

People with substance abuse problems benefit greatly from the 24-hour supervision and rigorous program structure offered by inpatient and residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

By entering inpatient treatment, patients are shielded from the stresses and temptations of the outside world, which may otherwise threaten their sobriety. They will have a much lower chance of relapsing and will have an easier time recovering if this choice is made.

This level of drug and alcohol treatment will likely also include different behavioral treatments and holistic recovery services for people battling an underlying mental health challenge, as well as give a holistic approach to therapy for clients who wish to participate in a more natural option.

Many insurance companies, including a Preferred Provider Organization that yields PPO plans, will provide less coverage for inpatient treatment in light of these supplementary benefits. This implies that if you want to rehabilitate in a residential treatment center, you may have to pay more money out of pocket.

Does PPO Cover Outpatient Treatment?

A lot of people who are trying to overcome their addiction prefer to do it through outpatient programs. While less intensive and organized than inpatient treatments, PPO coverage expands with outpatient care, reducing the client’s out-of-pocket costs.

In addition, as you won’t have to relocate to attend treatment, you’ll be able to keep up with your obligations at home, work, and school while still getting the help you need for your substance abuse issue.

Group therapy, recovery support groups, and skill-building programs are common components of outpatient treatment plans. Care at this level may still need some out-of-pocket expenses, but it will be far more cost-effective than hospitalization.

How Long of a Stay Do PPO Plans Cover During Rehab?

PPO Plans

How long someone stays in rehab for substance abuse depends on several variables. Possible factors that may impede a person’s ability to recover from addiction include the severity of their condition, the nature of the treatment program, and any barriers they face on a personal level.

Many people lack the resources (both time and money) to get the help they need for their drug use disorder, which places them in a position where they cannot recover fully from their addiction. This might discourage people from getting help from professionals to solve their substance misuse problems.

Inpatient care typically lasts between 30 and 105 days, whereas outpatient programs often last around 120 days. Some patients, in their search for the most appropriate degree of care, go to both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers.

If the healthcare practitioner providing the therapy is not part of the insurance company’s network, the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses will likely exceed the maximum amount that the insurance company would pay. Insurance companies that operate on a PPO model may be more accommodating when it comes to covering addiction treatment.

In some cases, PPO insurance carriers will pay for detox, inpatient, and outpatient services from non-network treatment facilities, even if the patient’s private insurance company would not.

The client may be responsible for paying any additional fees that aren’t covered by insurance. Still, this will be far less expensive than providing healthcare with less adaptable insurance or no healthcare financing at all.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Coverage with a PPO Plan

Dual diagnosis therapy, or the combination of several behavioral and holistic treatments, is a crucial part of addiction treatment, as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

This paves the way for healthcare practitioners to adopt a holistic view of their drug and alcohol addiction therapy, treating not just the addiction but also the factors that led to it.

Essential health benefits, such as dual diagnosis services and access to select deluxe treatments, may be included with these suppliers under a PPO insurance plan. These facilities will, of course, charge more than average for rehabilitation services.

This is because they will provide extra luxuries that may not be available through other treatment programs, such as diverse sporting services and facilities, equestrian therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, and spa services.

While obviously more tempting and pleasant than other treatment centers may seem, luxury rehab facilities are not a necessary level of care for addiction recovery. Those without the financial means to pay for these luxuries can get by just fine with the basic levels of care.

Paying for Services Not Covered by PPO Insurance

Services Not Covered by PPO Insurance

Sadly, many alcoholics and addicts won’t get assistance because they can’t afford it. For this reason, a solid health insurance plan might be crucial to a person’s chances of beating their addiction for good.

However, it’s possible that some people won’t ever be able to afford dependable insurance. Fortunately, there are a number of options for covering the cost of professional substance misuse treatment that do not involve insurance or supplement what insurance does not cover.

Installment arrangements are by far the most common. These allow those in recovery to spread out the cost of their therapy over time, rather than having to come up with the full amount at once. This may be a huge relief to many people’s wallets as they attempt to pay for rehabilitation.

Another option is to ask close friends, relatives, or other loved ones to help out financially. A tight network of people who care about the individual’s well-being can lessen the financial burden of necessary medical care.

Having confidence in your ability to afford expert help to overcome drug and alcohol dependence by knowing what kinds of addiction treatment services are covered by your PPO insurance plan and how much coverage you will actually be able to obtain is crucial.

Getting Started With Insurance Coverage for Rehab

While each insurance provider has its own set of rules that must be met before they can issue a policy, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of being accepted.

If you do not yet have a PPO policy, the Affordable Care Act and the ACA Marketplace can be a good starting place for your search. When searching, remember that PPO insurance coverage is generally the best option for both in-network rehab options as well as an out of network provider.

Consult Your Physician

You can avoid unnecessary bother with your insurance provider by requesting a reference from your primary care physician to the institution of your choice.

Check Your Insurance

Although most rehabilitation centers take all major PPO plans, you should double-check that the facility you’re considering is indeed an in-network provider with your insurance company to avoid any unwanted out-of-network charges.

Even if rehab is not in your insurance network, you may still be eligible for some financial assistance. Your out-of-pocket costs can be determined with the aid of customer support.

Contact the Help Desk

Reviewing your documents alone may not always help you understand what is and is not covered. In this situation, feel free to call your insurance provider and ask any questions you may have, and remind them you would like to attend Pathfinders and find out any associated costs.

Our Admissions team is also always happy to assist with questions about your PPO insurance coverage and can let you know out-of-pocket costs within minutes.

Important PPO Insurance Coverage Terms to Remember

You should be able to grasp the language used by insurance companies in order to understand how to use your insurance to assist pay for rehabilitation treatments.

To help you better understand discussions regarding insurance, we’ve included definitions of several often used phrases below.

Deductible

You will have to pay this amount out of pocket before your insurance company begins paying anything. Payment of this amount is required in addition to your regular premium; your regular premium will not be deducted from this total.

In most plans, once you’ve met your yearly deductible, your insurance will begin paying a certain percentage of covered expenses.

Premium

This is the regular payment you make to keep your insurance in force. No, it won’t affect your deductible at all, as we’ve already established, but a PPO plan premium can tend to be a bit higher than other sorts of coverage.

Copay

A copayment, or “copay,” is a modest, predetermined sum of money that is due at the time of service. Depending on your insurance and the service you’ve requested for your visit, the fee might be anywhere from $5 to $75.

As with your premium, this contribution will not be applied to your yearly deductible.

Co-insurance

After your deductible is met, your insurance company will reimburse this amount. While some plans cover all of a patient’s expenses, others may only pay for a certain percentage, leaving the patient to foot the bill for the rest.

In-network

PPO Insurance Coverage Terms to Remember

Providers who are “in-network” with your insurance plan have bargained for lower fees on your behalf. In most cases, you may save the most money on medical treatment by sticking with providers that are part of your insurance network.

Out-of-pocket

You will frequently hear this as either “out-of-pocket expenses” or “out-of-pocket maximum.”

The term “out-of-pocket expenditures” describes the amount of money you will have to spend out of cash for medical treatment.

The greatest amount you’ll have to spend out of cash for medical care is known as the “out-of-pocket maximum.” After this limit is met, your PPO will pay 100% of the covered expenses.

An Addiction Treatment Center Made for Your Lasting Recovery

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, our program is covered by most major PPO providers. In addition, we also take a large range of different insurance plans, so we’re likely to cover the cost of your treatment.

For more information regarding coverage of your stay or to speak with our admissions team, contact Pathfinders Recovery today!

 

What Does Meth Look Like

What Does Meth Look Like

Identifying the Signs of Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamine, or meth, is one of America’s most notorious addictive substances. Use and manufacture of the drug are depicted in TV shows and movies with some regularity. These portrayals sometimes take a romantic or glamorous form. However, there is nothing glamorous about meth use. Anyone who consumes the drug can suffer a variety of serious health harms. Those harms include addiction and overdose. They also include other kinds of potentially lasting damage to your mental and physical functions.

Concerned that someone you know is using meth? Awareness of what the drug looks like can help you spot a potential problem. Knowledge of meth’s characteristic odors can also be important. The same holds true for the settings in which manufacture and use of the drug often occur. If you notice any signs of meth consumption, it might be time seek help for your affected friend or loved one.

What Is Meth?

What is meth? In other words, how is meth categorized and classified by scientists and doctors? Methamphetamine belongs to the amphetamine family of substances. Like all amphetamines, meth is a stimulant. This means that it speeds up the usual rate of activity in nerve cells in your:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord

Together, these two structures form your central nervous system. Meth also speeds up the activity rate in your sympathetic nervous system. This system triggers involuntary activation of your “fight-or-flight” response. Things affected by that response include your:

  • Heart rate
  • Core body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Digestive system
  • Level of sweat production

The vast majority of the meth distributed and sold in America is made illegally. A small percentage of the drug is sold legally as the medication Desoxyn. Today, most meth comes from Mexico. Hidden or clandestine labs also operate in various parts of the U.S.

What Does Meth Look Like

Not all methamphetamine looks the same. Instead, there are three common forms of meth: powder, base and crystal. Meth powder, sometimes referred to as speed, typically has a whitish or off-white color. It can be compacted under pressure to form pills.

Methamphetamine base is a brown, yellow or white substance with an oily or damp texture. Even excluding differences in color, batches of this substance are not uniform in appearance. Instead, base may look waxy or paste-like. Crystal gets its name from its crystalline or rock-like appearance. This form of meth is often translucent, which means that light passes through out. Crystal meth may also have a more solid, whitish color.

What Does Meth Smell Like When Smoked

What Does Meth Smell Like When Smoked

Meth powder and base are not typically smoked. However, users can smoke the crystal version of the drug. What does meth smell like when it’s smoked? There is no single answer to this question. Why not? Meth labs can use a variety of chemicals to manufacture the drug. In turn, these chemicals have an impact on how it smells when burned.

Meth smoke can have a non-specific chemical-like odor. It may also smell more specifically like household cleaning products. In addition, meth smoke can have an odor similar to burning or burnt plastic. No matter the particular odor you smell, one thing is certain. Burning meth has a strong scent that will likely stand out and grab your attention.

What Does Meth Taste Like

Meth can also vary substantially in its taste. Some users of the drug describe its powder or pill form as tasting bitter. All forms of meth may also taste like the chemicals used to make them. In addition, flavoring agents are sometimes added to the drug. These agents help reduce the unpleasant taste of methamphetamine. They may also be used to help the drug seem more generally appealing.

What Does Meth Paraphernalia Look Like

When it comes to drugs, paraphernalia is a term with multiple meanings. It can refer to the equipment involved in the manufacture of illegal substances. It can also refer to anything used to hide illegal substances or consume them.

What does meth paraphernalia look like? Perhaps the most well-known item is a metal or glass pipe used to smoke the crystal form of the drug. You may also notice glass bongs that serve the same purpose.

A wide range of paraphernalia are associated with making meth in clandestine labs. Common examples include:

  • Respirator masks
  • Rubber gloves
  • Various kinds of glassware
  • Hoses made from rubber or plastic
  • Lithium batteries

 

A wide assortment of chemicals are also used to make illegal meth. The list of these chemicals includes things such as:

  • Hydrochloric, muriatic or sulfuric acid
  • Camping fuel
  • Pseudoephedrine- or ephedrine-based cold tablets or capsules
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Lithium extracted from batteries
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lye
  • Ether

All of these substances have a legal, legitimate use. It is only their use in meth manufacture that makes them illegal.

How to Recognize the Signs of Meth Cooking

How to Recognize the Signs of Meth Cooking

Clandestine meth labs are makeshift facilities designed to produce, or cook, illegal forms of the drug. These labs can be set up anyplace where there is room for them to fit. No matter where you live, you may find one on your street or in your neighborhood or area.

What are the signs of a meth cooking operation? Depending on your situation, you may notice any number of things. One potential telltale sign is a smell in the air that resembles rotten eggs, cat urine or ammonia. You may also notice a house or shed with covered or blacked out windows. Yard or vegetation damage caused by the burning or dumping of chemicals is another possible indicator.

Many meth labs are protected by multiple layers of security. Measures in place may include “No Trespassing” signs and strategically located outdoor cameras or monitors. In addition, they may include high fences and/or guard dogs.

Certain kinds of trash can also point to the presence of a meth cooking operation. Items you may spot include:

  • Large numbers of cold tablet packages
  • Coffee filters that are stained or coated in a powdery substance
  • Broken-down lithium batteries
  • Piles of empty chemical containers
  • Plastic bottles with holes punched into them
  • Used rubber gloves
  • Discarded pieces of hose or plastic

 

Tweaking and Other Meth Warning Signs

Even without smelling anything or seeing actual meth, you may be able to tell if someone is using the drug. One classic sign is “tweaking.” This term refers to a grouping of symptoms that can occur after a period of heavy meth use. Such symptoms may include:

  • Temporary loss of the ability to experience meth’s typical drug effects
  • Extreme agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • A powerful urge to use more meth
  • Violent outbursts
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusional thinking

 

The signs of tweaking overlap in many ways with the effects of meth withdrawal. Other potential signs that someone you know is withdrawing from the drug include:

  • A depressed, irritable or anxious mental state
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of physical energy
  • Unusual slowing down or speeding up of their physical or mental reflexes

 

Withdrawal is just one sign that a person who uses meth has become addicted to the drug. Other indicators of addiction include:

  • Losing control over how much meth they use, or how often they use it
  • Having a routine that revolves around obtaining meth, using it and recovering from
  • Turning down other activities in favor of using meth
  • Not halting a pattern of meth use that clearly causes them significant harm
  • Developing a rising tolerance to meth’s stimulant effects

How to Help a Loved One Using Meth

How to Help a Loved One Using Meth

The best thing you can do for a loved one using meth is encourage them to enter a treatment program. This is not always easy to do. Many people who regularly use the drug have undergone profound mental and emotional changes. These changes may leave them unable to think clearly or rationally. A long-term user of meth may also be paranoid, delusional or violent. In addition, like anyone else affected by addiction, they may be in denial about their condition.

Try to approach the topic of seeking treatment as gently as possible. It helps to plan this kind of conversation in advance. It also helps to seek the advice of addiction specialists or intervention counselors.

Forms of Effective Treatment for Meth Addiction

Effective treatment for meth addiction is psychotherapy-based. The treatments of choice are behavioral therapies. Therapies of this type help your loved one change behaviors that support ongoing addiction. One option, cognitive behavioral therapy, is specifically known to help people with meth-related problems. Other therapies used to treat stimulant addiction in general include:

  • Contingency management
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • The Matrix Model

 

Family therapy may also be used in the treatment of all forms of substance addiction.

Each form of therapy provides its own treatment benefits. The right combination of options can help your loved one do things such as:

  • Reduce their cravings for meth
  • Cope with stressful situations that may increase their cravings
  • Stay sober during and after treatment
  • Add a self-help group to their larger meth recovery plan

Learn More About Meth and Effective Addiction Treatment at Pathfinders

If you think someone you know is using meth, you may have a number of pressing questions. For example, what does meth look like? What does it smell like? How can you tell if some is cooking meth? What are the signs of meth addiction?

Get answers to these important questions at Pathfinders. With our help, you can detect the potential signs that your friend or family member is using meth. Pathfinders is also a premier provider of treatment for methamphetamine addiction. No matter the extent of your loved one’s addiction symptoms, we offer customized recovery options that suit their needs. To learn more about our comprehensive meth program, call us today.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

The Duration of Adderall’s Beneficial and Potentially Harmful Effects

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

What Is Adderall

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

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

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

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

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

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

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

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

How Long Does Adderall Show Up On Drug Tests

How Long Does Adderall Show Up On Drug Tests

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

What Affects How Long Adderall Stays in Your System

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

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

 

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

Are There Side Effects to Taking Adderall

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

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

 

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

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

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

What Is Considered Misuse of Adderall

Misuse of Adderall

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

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

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

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

When Does Adderall Misuse Become Adderall Addiction

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

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

 

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

Factors Affecting Your Addiction Risks

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

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

 

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

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

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

How Many People Are Addicted to Adderall

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

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

Treating Adderall Addiction

Adderall Detox

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

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

 

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

Primary Adderall Treatment

Primary Adderall Treatment

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

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

  • Goods
  • Services
  • Food
  • Entertainment passes or vouchers

 

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

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

Get Effective Help for Adderall Abuse and Addiction at Pathfinders

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