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!

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Image of white powdered drug with spoon and syringe

Heroin is a drug with intense side effects, and it can be difficult to know how long it will stay in your system if you’ve taken it. The answer to how long heroin stays in your system depends on a few factors, including how often you use the drug and how much you use.

This article will explore heroin, its side effects, how long it stays in your system, and how to get help if you’re struggling with addiction.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid drug. It is made from morphine, which is derived from the poppy plant.

Heroin can be injected, snorted, or smoked, producing a powerful, short-lived high. The effects of heroin include a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and sedation.

The drug is highly addictive, and users can quickly develop a drug tolerance. Users will need to take larger doses to achieve the same effects with continued use.

Heroin use can lead to health problems such as collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and lung complications. It can also lead to psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, among others.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

Heroin enters the brain quickly, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. It binds to the brain’s natural opioid receptors, which are involved in pain relief and feelings of pleasure.

It is one of the longest-acting and most potent opioids available, which is part of what makes it so addictive. The effects of heroin can last for four to six hours.

While the effect of heroin is long, it has a short half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. The half-life of heroin is only 30 to 90 minutes. This depends on how quickly the drug is metabolized and how much is taken.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Body

When you are suffering from heroin addiction and desperately need help getting clean, drug tests may be required as part of the admissions process for some treatment programs.

The amount of time that heroin stays in your system depends on how often you use it and how much you use it.

Below are the factors that will affect how long heroin stays in your system:

  • Frequency of use
  • Drug quality (purity)
  • Method of consumption
  • Amount used
  • Metabolism
  • Weight
  • Body fat percentage
  • When you last used heroin

 

Generally, urine drug tests can detect heroin for around 24 hours after the last use. Blood tests and testing of hair follicles can be used to detect heroin for a more extended period.

Drug Testing Methods for Heroin

There are several types of drug tests, each with various detection windows.

1. Urine Test

Urine tests are the most common type of drug test. They are generally accurate and can detect most drugs for up to 24 hours after the last use.

For heroin, a urine test can detect the drug for up to 48 hours after the last use. Some urine tests can also detect heroin use and heroin metabolites for up to seven days.

2. Saliva Test

Saliva drug tests are one of the newest types of drug tests. Saliva tests are less invasive than urine or blood tests but are the least accurate.

A saliva test can detect heroin only 12 hours after the last use. Again, this depends on how much of the drug was used and how often it was used.

3. Blood Test

Blood Test - Drug Testing Methods for Heroin

When you take a blood test, a small sample of your blood is drawn and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Blood tests are the most accurate type of drug test.

A blood test can detect heroin in your system for up to 24 to 72 hours after the last use.

4. Hair Follicle Test

A sample of hair near your scalp is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Hair follicle tests can detect heroin use for up to 90 days, making it the longest-lasting drug test.

While this is the most accurate way to test for heroin use, it is also the most expensive.

How To Get Heroin Out of Your System

If you are trying to get the heroin out of your system, the best thing you can do is seek professional help.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and quitting cold turkey can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, on your own. Many different treatment options are available, and a professional treatment provider will help you choose the one that is best for you.

Sometimes, this may involve detoxification and rehabilitation in a hospital or treatment center. In other cases, it may be possible to find a less intensive outpatient program that can still provide the support you need.

Regardless of your path, getting professional help is the best way to increase your chances of success.

Pathfinders Recovery Centers are a leading provider of drug and alcohol abuse treatment. We offer a wide range of services, including detoxification, rehabilitation, and outpatient care. Our facility also provides various aftercare options to help you stay clean and sober after you leave our program.

Why Rehab is the Best Choice to Remove Heroin from Your System

Trying to get the heroin out of your system is extremely difficult if you have become dependent on the drug. Without professional help, the chances of success are very low.

For example, heroin withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Below are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Fast pulse
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

 

These symptoms can make someone trying to quit using heroin feel very ill. Sometimes, they can lead to backsliding and relapse or hospitalization.

Heroin addiction treatment options are available in various settings, such as inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs.

Licensed medical practitioners will help you through the detoxification process and make sure that you are comfortable and safe.

What is the Heroin Addiction Treatment Process?

Heroin Addiction Treatment Process

Substance use disorder treatment usually follows these steps:

1. A Confidential Assessment for Substance Use

When you seek treatment for an addiction, the first step is always a thorough assessment. This allows the treatment team to get to know you and your unique situation. It also helps them develop a personalized treatment plan.

The assessment process usually includes reviewing your medical history, a physical examination, and a psychological evaluation. You will also be asked about your alcohol or drug use and your family history of substance abuse.

This information will help the treatment team determine what level of care you need and what type of treatment will be most effective for you. If you are ready to take the first step on the road to recovery, call us today. We can help you find the treatment that’s right for you.

2. Medically Supervised Detox for Heroin

Detoxification is the process of ridding your body of toxins, typically from alcohol or drugs.

The severity of detox symptoms depends on several factors, including how often you’ve been using, the type of substances you’ve been using, and your general health and well-being.

Detoxing without medical supervision can be dangerous, so it’s vital to be well-informed before embarking on the process. Some common detox symptoms include shaking, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

For heroin, medications may be used to help with detoxes such as methadone or buprenorphine. These medications can help lessen withdrawal symptoms and make detox more tolerable.

If you’re considering detoxing, talk to a doctor or other medical professional first to ensure it’s the right decision.

3. Inpatient Rehab for a Foundation in Recovery

Rehabilitation is overcoming drug addiction and learning how to live a sober life.

During rehab, you will participate in individual and group therapy sessions. You will also have the opportunity to learn about addiction and recovery and how to manage triggers and cravings.

Inpatient rehab programs offer 24-hour supervision and care, which can be especially helpful during early recovery. These programs typically last 30 days, although more extended stays are sometimes necessary.

Outpatient rehab programs allow you to live at home while attending treatment during the day. These programs are less intensive than inpatient programs but can still be very effective.

4. Aftercare Planning and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare is any care you receive after completing a formal treatment program.

Aftercare can include 12-step meetings, therapy, and sober living houses. Aftercare aims to help you transition back into everyday life and maintain your sobriety.

While most clients will eventually graduate to self-sufficient recovery, some will require more ongoing care. This is often the case for clients with a dual diagnosis or those who have been through multiple treatment programs.

5 Things to Look for in a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

A controlled substance like heroin can wreak havoc on your life, causing problems at work, in your home life, and your relationships. If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, there is hope.

Treatment can help you overcome addiction and learn how to live a sober life. But not all treatment programs are created equal. When looking for a treatment program, you should keep a few things in mind.

1. Individualized Care

Individual Care - Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

One size does not fit all when it comes to addiction treatment. A good treatment program will offer individualized care that considers your unique situation.

This may include factors such as age, gender, the severity of your addiction, and any underlying mental health conditions.

In addition, the best treatment programs will also be flexible, offering different levels of care that can be adjusted to meet your changing needs. Tailoring treatment to your specific situation can increase your chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

2. Evidence-Based Treatment

When looking for a treatment program, you should ensure that it offers evidence-based treatment.

Evidence-based treatments are those that have been proven to be effective in scientific studies. These treatments are based on the latest research and are constantly refined to ensure they are as effective as possible.

Some common evidence-based treatments used in addiction treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational enhancement therapy.

3. Fully Licensed and Accredited

You should also ensure that the treatment program you’re considering is fully licensed and accredited.

Licensing ensures that the program meets specific standards and is run by qualified staff. Accreditation shows that the program has been independently reviewed and found to be effective.

When you’re considering treatment programs, be sure to check that they are licensed and accredited. This will give you peace of mind that you’re choosing a program that is likely to be effective.

4. Comprehensive Services and Dual Diagnosis Programs

A good treatment program will offer a comprehensive range of services that address all aspects of addiction.

This may include detox, medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and aftercare. Those with dual diagnoses may also need additional services, such as psychiatric care.

By offering a comprehensive range of services, treatment programs can address all factors contributing to addiction.

5. Experienced and Qualified Staff

The staff at a treatment program can make a big difference in your recovery.

Look for a program that employs an experienced and qualified staff dedicated to helping you recover. The best staff will be compassionate, understanding, and firm in their commitment to helping you achieve sobriety.

With us, you will find a team of highly qualified and experienced staff who are devoted to helping you recover from addiction. Our staff includes doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors committed to helping you achieve lasting sobriety.

If you’re looking for a heroin addiction treatment program that offers individualized, evidence-based care, look no further than our treatment center.

Further Resources on Heroin

If you’re looking for more information on heroin addiction treatment, here are some of the resources you may also want to check:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC offers information on the risks of heroin use and how to prevent heroin addiction.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a government organization with helpful information on the latest heroin addiction and treatment research.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is a government organization that offers resources on finding treatment for substance abuse disorders. They also have a helpline that can connect you with treatment providers in your area.

 

Forums and support groups like Narcotics Anonymous can help find treatment and support.

Our heroin addiction treatment program can help you achieve sobriety and live a healthy, happy life. Contact us today to learn more about our program or to schedule a consultation.

Find Your Path to Sobriety and Recovery Today

Drug tests are a reality of life for many people.

With heroin, how long it stays in your system depends on various factors, but generally speaking, it can be detected for up to 3 days in urine, up to 90 days in hair, and up to 14 days in blood.

If you’re concerned about drug testing, the best thing you can do is seek out treatment for your addiction. Contact Pathfinders Recovery now to help you get started on the road to a healthy life, without the worries of drug testing or being dopesick!

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.

Signs of Heroin Use

Heroin addiction

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug that acts primarily as a central nervous system depressant. Heroin is a Schedule I substance in the U.S., meaning that heroin use has no currently accepted medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse. Knowing the signs of heroin use can be vital if you believe a friend or loved one is using it.

The raw material that becomes heroin, morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin can be white or brown powder or a black sticky substance. There are many street names for the drug, one of which is “black tar heroin”.

Keep reading to find out the ‘red flags,’ that will let you know someone may be using heroin and how to get them effective help!

Heroin addiction – the facts

Heroin addiction is a growing problem in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that nearly half a million Americans have used heroin at least once in their life, and an estimated 23 percent of people who use heroin develop an addiction to it.

When this illegal drug enters the brain, it binds to opioid receptors, which are located throughout the brain and spinal cord. This causes them to release dopamine (a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure) and produce a rush of good feeling — also known as a “high” — similar to what occurs when someone takes cocaine or prescription painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone, according to NIDA.

Understanding heroin addiction requires knowing how substance abuse generally works. Over time, the more heroin that is used, the more there starts to be a physical dependence and a psychological dependence on the drug. The body becomes physically dependent on the substance is a result of it becoming used to the presence of the highly addictive drug in its system. This can result in incredibly potent and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when heroin users quit.

The psychological dependence is also of note as its implications for mental health are staggering. Some of the effects of heroin addiction as it relates to mental illness involve the exacerbation of mental health disorders and can even lead up to suicidal ideation.

How does heroin abuse affect your body?

Heroin addiction can affect the body to a staggering degree. Most people suffering from substance abuse, heroin specifically, cannot fathom how the uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviors of that addiction can affect their bodies.

The truth is, that prolonged heroin use can have an enormous impact. Read on for some of the short and long-term effects of heroin abuse on the human body. We’re going to divide some of the more common effects of heroin abuse into both short-term and long-term effects.

Short-Term

 

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sedation (drowsiness)
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • Small pupils (black centers) in the eyes
  • Involuntary muscle spasms.

Long-Term

 

  • Needle-sharing. Sharing needles can lead to infection at injection sites with hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases.
  • Heart problems. Long-term heroin use can increase the risk of heart disease by damaging the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle.
  • Infections. Tissue damage from poor nutrition and lack of cleanliness can cause abscesses (pus-filled pockets) in the skin, lungs, liver, and other organs.
  • Liver disease. Heroin use can cause liver failure, especially when users inject it into their veins because this type of injection bypasses most of the body’s natural filters for removing toxins from the bloodstream before they reach the liver.
  • Lungs and respiratory system damage. The chemicals in heroin are harmful to lung tissue and can cause coughs or wheezing that won’t go away, fever, chills, and breathing problems such as pneumonia or lung abscesses (lung infections).

Signs and Symptoms of heroin abuse

Symptoms of heroin abuse

Heroin addiction can be fairly easy to spot if you know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Let’s go over some of the more common signs and symptoms of heroin addiction that you should be aware of if you are concerned for a loved one. Heroin abuse signs and symptoms can range from physical to behavioral symptoms.

  • Needle tracks or injection marks on the body
  • Finding IV drug paraphernalia (like needles) hidden or even in plain view
  • Trouble breathing
  • Deterioration in personal habits including grooming and hygiene
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Constricted pupils
  • Massive change to sleep habits (either huge increase or decrease)

Both physical and behavioral symptoms can affect a person negatively, and recognizing these signs early forms a top way of preventing drug abuse from getting worse.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms

Drug use has massive implications for one’s life, but what about heroin withdrawal? The severity of withdrawal symptoms is actually one of the most commonly cited causes of relapsing disease as it relates to heroin.

At times, the physical symptoms can be so debilitating that they act as a motivator for people to either avoid quitting or relapsing back into the habit despite the fact that they might deeply desire to stop. For the most part, these unpleasant symptoms begin developing for the heroin user within a few hours of them taking the last dose.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of alcohol withdrawal, but they can be more severe. Some common symptoms of heroin abuse can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Goosebumps (piloerection)
  • Chills or shivering

The risk factors for heroin addiction

Heroin abuse is considered an epidemic. The causes and risk factors of addiction are varied and don’t include just any one thing. However, there are some factors that make someone more likely to become addicted to heroin than others. These include:

  • Genetics. Genetics may play a role in people who end up abusing drugs, but it’s not the only factor. Where there is a family history of drug abuse, there may be an increased risk. You can inherit certain traits from your parents, such as how easily you become addicted or how quickly you develop tolerance to drugs. But you do not necessarily have to inherit this trait from your parents for it to affect your risk for addiction.
  • Environment. Your environment can also affect your risk of becoming addicted to heroin or other substances. For example, if you live in an area where there are many people who use heroin, there’s more than a good chance that you will meet them and try heroin yourself at some point in time during your life. This increases the likelihood that you’ll become addicted at some point in time during your life — especially if you try it with friends who already use it regularly.
  • Co-occurring disorders. Persons who have experienced active trauma and have post-traumatic stress disorder or behavioral health issues and mental health issues are at increased risk of falling prey to a physical dependence on heroin or other drug use. This includes anxiety, depression, or even certain forms of neurodivergence. All of these are risk factors for, potentially, heroin abuse. Co-occurring disorders may happen alongside addiction treatment.

Heroin overdose – the facts

Heroin overdose

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin overdose causes more than 8,200 deaths each year in the United States alone. That’s why it’s important that you know what to do if someone you love has overdosed on heroin. The effects of heroin that are often responsible for overdoses are centered around the drug’s effects on respiration, which can slow down or stop completely over time. This can be deadly because it makes it harder for your body to get oxygen into its bloodstream and keep vital organs like your brain working properly.

No matter what, an overdose should be considered a medical emergency and can be life-threatening. It should be treated as such. Knowing the physical symptoms that are a result of a heroin overdose can help prevent death. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Slowed breathing or shallow breathing
  • Shallow or slow heartbeat
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Blue lips, nails, and fingertips (cyanosis) due to lack of oxygen in the body

Take back your life from heroin addiction today!

The intervention of a high-quality treatment center can be life-saving. A good treatment center features experts in behavioral health who are trained to aid with the symptoms associated with overdose, withdrawal, and addiction to heroin in general. Also, they will be well equipped to treat the co-occurring disorders that may have led to the addiction in the first place.

Addiction to heroin or other drugs is not just a physical issue. The underlying mental illnesses that predispose persons to become heroin users require intervention. If you have noticed signs or symptoms of heroin abuse, or any other drugs in a loved one, reach out to us at Pathfinder’s today and let us provide the help they need. Our expert team is standing by to help.

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!

Al-Anon 12 steps

Al-anon 12 steps

Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics that was established in 1951. Sixteen years after her husband created Alcoholics Anonymous, Lois Wilson (often known as Lois W.) created Al-Anon. She founded the group after experiencing firsthand the challenges faced by those who care for a family member or friend with an alcohol use disorder.

Support for Al-Anon comes solely from member contributions. Even if the addict in your life hasn’t yet found sobriety, you may still find support and learn how to best assist them by attending a meeting. Al-Anon’s goal is to help its members feel less alone by showing them they aren’t facing their problems alone.

Keep reading to find out more about the steps involved in Al-Anon and what you can do to help both yourself and a loved one who is struggling with alcohol and/or drug use.

Addiction and Alcoholism as a Family Disease

Because of the devastating effects, alcoholism can have on both the alcoholic and their loved ones, Al-Anon approaches the problem as one that affects the entire family. Recuperating successfully requires a strong network of loved ones and friends.

Some loved ones may place the blame for their alcoholic relative’s drinking on themselves, or they may not comprehend why their relative isn’t making recovery a top priority. These topics are discussed at meetings, along with the concept of alcoholism as a genetic disease and its effects on family members.

While technically Al-Anon is centered only around those whose loved ones have issues with drinking and does not encompass drug use, in reality there is not a clear distinction for most Anon groups.

If your loved one tends more toward drug use, and your area has Nar-Anon meetings, these can be another helpful resource for support, while still firmly based on the twelve step philosophy.

What Happens at a Meeting?

Anyone who another person’s drinking or drug use has harmed is welcome to attend Al-Anon sessions. Al-Anon is there to support you if you are concerned about an alcoholic or an alcoholic’s lifestyle affecting you.

Due to uncertainty about the nature of the initial gathering, some potential attendees may be unwilling to show up. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about going to a meeting:

  • Firstly, Al-Anon is a completely confidential organization.
  • Every individual attending an Anon meeting has been directly or indirectly impacted by drinking or drug use by a loved one/
  • It is recommended, but not needed that everyone stands out and shares their struggles.
  • Various kinds of gatherings exist. It’s possible that some will be more useful to you than others.
  • The fellowship as a whole, known as Al-Anon, has no religious affiliations. However, the basis is on a type of spiritual awakening or acceptance of a higher power being in control. There is certainly a primary spiritual aim regarding the 12-Step Program.
  • The meetings are based on Al-Anon’s twelve steps.

Participants in Al-Anon sessions are encouraged to “take what you want and leave the rest.” Instead of lecturing attendees on what they should do, meetings become opportunities to reflect and commiserate on how best to remain healthy while dealing with a loved one’s drinking.

What Are the 12-Steps?

What Are the 12-Steps

These are the steps, word-for-word, from the original and official 12-Steps of Al-Anon:

  1. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” —You must learn that alcohol abuse is a disease that ran your life.
  2. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” —Participants drive themselves to the breaking point trying to change something in a loved one’s personality. When you admit you’re powerless, your higher power will bring you back to sanity.
  3. “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” —You must learn to let go and accept in order to heal.
  4. “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” —You must make a list of things you’ve done to harm family and friends. This is done through a deeply personal self-assessment.
  5. “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” —Each member must dive into their memory bank and analyze every act of wrongdoing.
  6. “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” —This step is very important, as it is the full acceptance of the recovery process supported by a Higher Power.
  7. “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” —This part of the 12 Steps helps members understand how they may have been controlling or judgmental toward an addict and how that is counterproductive.
  8. “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” —Oftentimes, making amends starts with yourself. Many people blame themselves for their loved one’s addiction. They must be willing to forgive themselves and make amends. In the future, when wrong, promptly admitted mistakes and slipups lead to less damage.
  9. “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” —After you are willing to make amends, the next step is to take action.
  10. “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” —Going through the 12 Steps is a process that takes time. Although members have already made an inventory, slipping up is normal. Step 10 recognizes this is an ongoing process.
  11. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” —This is a personal, spiritual step that encompasses acceptance and comfort amid the stress of recovery.
  12. “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” —The last step is a realization that the member’s journey is not over. Members are then encouraged to support other members with what they’ve learned by passing their knowledge on during future alcoholics anonymous meetings.

Other Al Anon Groups

Additional Al Anon Groups exist that practice Al Anon’s twelve steps or focus on addiction treatment. Through these al anon meetings, family members and other individuals, such as the children of those going through alcohol abuse, may participate and maintain personal anonymity.

Meetings are also crafted for adolescents, known as Al-A-Teen, are al anon meetings for teenagers and young people to take personal inventory of where they stand in addiction treatment and gauge the exact nature of their alcohol abuse challenges. These additional al anon entities are a part of a broader family known as Al Anon Family Groups.

What can you expect from an al anon meeting? In the section below, you’ll find example topics of discussion during a normal al anon meeting.

All Our Affairs: Topics of Al Anon Meetings

Topics of Al Anon Meetings

Topic discussions are the norm in Al-Anon Family Group and standard Al-Anon sessions. This implies the meeting’s chairman will select a subject matter linked to their own personal experience coping with an alcoholic loved one. It is not uncommon for the chairman to solicit ideas for topics from the audience.

Participants in the meeting can then share their knowledge, courage, and optimism about the chosen topic.

The Reasons For and Causes of Alcoholism

Realizing that alcoholism is a disease helps shed light on the alcoholic’s repeated attempts to kick the habit, only to relapse a few days later. Learn more about it.

Dealing With Anger at an Alcoholic

You and your family members may receive conflicting messages on handling rage. Do certain family members get to let off steam, while you’re admonished to keep your cool? At Al-Anon, you learn that anger is a natural and normal emotion. It’s fine to feel rage; the important thing is to figure out how to channel it constructively.

Altering Perspectives on Alcohol

In the Al-Anon meeting’s opening statement, “So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to set our issue in its real perspective, we discover it loses its ability to dominate our thoughts and lives.” Which mindset is ruling your daily activities?

Enabling Alcoholic Behaviors

It’s possible that your well-intentioned attempts to aid the alcoholic instead encourage the person to keep up their destructive patterns.

Confronting Uncertainty

The ideas discussed and practiced in Al-Anon Family Groups can be useful for adapting to the inevitable and, at times, dramatic shifts that occur in everyone’s lives. You may not be able to change the conditions much, but you can change your attitude about the problem.

Detachment with Compassion

It might be challenging to master the art of detachment. Do you want to be the one to step in and rescue the day when a person with alcohol use disorder has a crisis? This could be the last thing you should do if you want that individual to finally ask for assistance.

Unrealistic Expectations and Managing Them

When dealing with a loved one with an alcohol use issue, are your expectations too high? If you don’t learn to adapt your expectations to be more aligned with reality, you may end up feeling disappointed and frustrated.

Powerlessness Over Alcohol

Powerlessness Over Alcohol

You may have joined Al-Anon believing the entire time that there was something you could do to make the alcoholic realize there was a problem and seek help. The first step is realizing you can’t control your drinking.

Mind Your Own Business

In Al-Anon, members are reminded that they are not responsible for the drinking habits of their loved ones. Embarrassment and humiliation are not yours; they are theirs to bear because of their actions. It is not a reflection on your worth as a parent, friend, husband, or sponsor if they make “poor” decisions.

They should be allowed to learn from their own errors. You can only contribute effectively by speaking up and sharing your wisdom, fortitude, and optimism when the time is right.

Day by Day: The Only Way to Live

The tagline “one day at a time” may sound like just another overused adage, yet it has a lot of insight in its reminder to focus on the now rather than dwelling on the past or imagining the future.

Find Lasting Addiction Recovery at Pathfinders

If you are looking for a treatment center that can support your loved one in addition to getting help from a 12-Step Al Anon program, look no further than Pathfinders Recovery Centers in Colorado and Arizona.

Pathfinders takes a different approach to healing and believes that alcohol and other substance abuse issues are best treated through evidence-based avenues, the treatment of underlying mental health disorders, and a holistic healing environment.

Contact a member of our warm and welcoming Admissions team today to learn more about how we can help your loved one begin a lasting recovery journey of their own!

 

Friends of Bill W

Friends of Bill W

In the early stages of your sobriety journey, you may decide to enroll in a 12-step fellowship, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. There is a whole new way of thinking and making decisions that come with recovery, and there is also what may seem like a whole new language to learn: “AA jargon,” like the term ‘friends of Bill W.’

William Griffith Wilson, also known as Bill Wilson, or “Bill W.,” and co-founder Bob Smith, or “Bob,” are the originators of several AA terminologies, sayings, and expressions. Since the group’s inception, several idioms have emerged, including the association with Bill W that has become synonymous with membership, especially as shorthand on cruise lines and ships.

Keep reading for our guide to what 12-step programs offer as well as a helpful resource for the AA jargon often used by members.

What Is AA Language?

Many expressions and idioms associated with sobriety may be found in AA and NA literature. They might be used by other 12-step groups that follow the AA paradigm. The AA jargon originated for several causes.

Phrases like “it works when you work it” is meant to serve as reminders of basic ideas for the group. Following the AA Traditions, the organization chooses to use phrases like “Friends of Bill W.” to ensure that its members’ anonymity is maintained.

You may learn the language of the organization and its members by looking at some real-life instances of the most popular AA jargon, and you may even be familiar with some sayings like, “One Day at A Time.’

Taking the Next Right Action

Participating and working the 12 Steps and regularly attending AA groups is known as the “Right Action.” More specifically, attending an AA meeting and participating with the help of a sponsor is considered the right action. At any given meeting, you’ll find many participants attending with their sponsors, who are in recovery themselves.

“Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Over a Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism” is the basic text of AA and is usually referred to as “The Big Book.” There are many inspiring accounts of AA members’ journeys to sobriety outlined within its pages.

Actions that are “correct” for AA members are those that are accomplished via working the steps. Following the Steps is meant to help one develop a more positive outlook on life, other people, and the recovery process as a whole. In an effort to alter a substance-abusing lifestyle, a shift in outlook and approach is essential.

Friends of Bill W. and Cruise Ships

Friends of Bill W. and Cruise Ships

The term “a friend of Bill W.” used in AA does not relate to anyone you may know in real life. Instead, it is a code term used to conceal the identities of the group’s participants. Why do individuals in recovery value anonymity so highly, and what does it entail exactly?

The anonymity of its members is one of AA’s core tenets. In a word, anonymity in AA meetings implies that everyone there will respect your privacy and keep whatever you say to themselves.

You may be asked if you know Bill W if you are seen loitering around the meeting place and peering through doors or windows.

The person asking you this code word is trying to determine whether you are truly seeking the AA meeting in a method that keeps your identity secret.

Originally, the term “friends of Bill W.” was used as a cruise compass to find meetings onboard cruise ships where members wanted to stay completely anonymous on vacation but still sneak in a meeting or two. Signage that indicates a meeting for ‘friends of Bill W’ can still be seen on cruise lines around the world, though the term is used somewhat less as many people proudly acknowledge their recovery and membership, even in otherwise Anonymous 12-step programs.

The Importance of Anniversaries and Birthdays in Sobriety

All recovery steps are celebrated as successes in AA and other 12-step programs. When a member of AA or NA reaches certain sobriety milestones, such as 30 days, 90 days, six months, etc., they get a “chip” as a physical reminder of their accomplishment.

The passage of another year signifies the occurrence of a “birthday.” The moderator of a meeting may inquire if someone is honoring one of these dates. At an alcoholics anonymous meeting, a “10th yearly birthday” is the anniversary of a person’s sobriety rather than their actual birth date. Thus, it’s understood that the individual has been sober for 10 years.

Importance of Anniversaries and Birthdays in Sobriety

In the Eastern part of the United States, anniversaries are more common than birthdays, so you might not hear much about a person’s “anniversary” instead of their “birthday.” Biological anniversaries are sometimes referred to as “belly button birthdays” to avoid confusion.

Old-Timers and The Traditions of the 12 Steps

The phrase “old-timer” is commonly used among AA group members, but you might be startled to learn that the person being referred to as such is actually rather young. That’s because the only factor that matters for determining whether or not someone is an old-timer in AA is how long they’ve been attending meetings and maintaining continuous sobriety.

A long-term AA member is a veteran of the program. These people may take up roles as meeting facilitators, sponsors, or event volunteers within the organization. Some long-time members can even recite large chunks of The Big Book verbatim.

Of course, there will always be some “old-timers” who have “been around the block,” so to speak, when it comes to AA recovery, so you might encounter an “old-timer” who is actually older. In such an instance, “a seasoned AA member” could be the most accurate description.

A Dry Drunk and the Importance of Active Participation

Addiction recovery communities outside of AA may find the phrase “dry drunk” unpleasant because it is not a clinical word. This word describes a person who has abstained from substance use but has taken no further measures toward recovery.

In an AA context, this might signify that the individual has ceased working the 12 Steps and attending meetings.

A “dry drunk” is someone who has stopped drinking or doing drugs but hasn’t changed their outlook on life or the way they think about things. When someone is in this mental state, they may have feelings of nostalgia, fixation, and a desire to reexperience the euphoric benefits of drug or alcohol usage.

Clinical research has confirmed that this is a real phenomenon that can occur during either the emotional or mental relapse stages. According to the research, when alcoholics relapse, it is a slow process that typically begins with thoughts and feelings of obsession with drugs or alcohol.

It Works If You Work It

Setting up chairs for AA Meeting

The “work” of AA revolves around the 12 Steps, a set of recovery principles. Using the AA fellowship, going through the 12 Steps, and living by the 12 Traditions of AA are all examples of “working it,” and the statement “it works if you work it” describes this process well. The “work” of AA includes not just meeting with other members but also performing acts of service to the community. Examples of this service include the following:

  • Community service (e.g., setting up chairs, making beverages, or other tasks required for a meeting)
  • Reaching out to fellow 12-steppers to aid a struggling newbie.
  • Meeting leadership
  • Accepting and supporting newcomers via sponsorship
  • Putting in a request to share your AA success story as a speaker

Step 13: A Step Better Left Alone

If you’re lucky enough to avoid having to go through Step 13 during your time in recovery, the expression simply refers to a sexual relationship between a seasoned AA member and a newcomer to the fellowship who has just discovered meetings.

Suffice to say, when you’re first becoming sober, it’s not a good idea to jump into a new romantic relationship.

Friends of Bill W. and Methods of Celebrating Fellowship

Whether it’s friends of Bill W. or another type of lingo used at get-togethers, if there’s one thing this “secret code” does besides maintain anonymity, it also promotes a higher level of support by creating a camaraderie. This gives people who join a new type of hope and a sense of accountability, as there’s a distinct feeling that they’re a part of something unique and special.

At Pathfinders Recovery, we use a similar mindset, organizing get-togethers in the form of a 12-Step Meeting, giving clients a chance to bond with peers, in addition to taking part in some type of spiritual or holistic experience.

Not only does this give clients a chance to bond with peers, but there’s additional expert advice available via group meetings you wouldn’t otherwise have access to with counselor meetings.

We would love to get you on board with our groundbreaking treatment program! To find out how we can help you on your path to recovery and lay a strong spiritual foundation, contact a member of our admissions team today.

 

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!