Cocaine Addiction and ADHD: Are They Connected?

Cocaine Addiction and ADHD

How Are Cocaine Addiction and ADHD Connected? 

If you have attention deficit disorder or ADHD, a connection between cocaine addiction and ADHD might not surprise you. Having an adult child with ADHD, you may have even seen addiction become a problem. As a parent of a child with ADHD, this information is relevant to you as well. In this article Recovery by the Sea looks at the possible connections between cocaine addiction and ADHD. We’ll also examine the challenges of ADHD and how they may make someone with it more apt to become addicted to cocaine or other drugs.

 

What Does the Science Tell Us? 

A clinical study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that teenagers with ADHS who took Ritalin but stopped it before they became adults are two times as likely to become addicted to cocaine. While this is only one study, there is plenty of other research and anecdotal evidence that indicates more than a casual connection between ADHD and addiction. The relationship between ADHD and addiction is complicated. It’s not going to be easily unraveled here. What we do know is that science has shown plausible connections.

We also know that ADHD affects impulse control and that people with less impulse control are more likely to become addicted to drugs. Finally, there is the brain chemistry involved. People with ADHD have lower levels of certain neurotransmitters in their brains. Specifically, dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in the transmission of signals in the brain. Certain stimulants help the brain maintain higher levels of these neurotransmitters which helps alleviate ADHD symptoms. That is how drugs like Ritalin and Adderall help. Unfortunately, it’s also part of the reason there may be a connection between cocaine addiction and ADHD.

 

Doesn’t ADHD Just “Go Away” in Adulthood Though?

ADHD isn’t fully understood yet. Science is still discovering more and more about the inner workings of the brain every year. What we do know is that ADHD manifests as difficulty focusing, trouble prioritizing tasks and organizing. It also involves impulse control. It’s not unusual for adults with ADHD to have financial problems due to disorganization or impulse buying. People with ADHD often struggle in school all the way through college and may have trouble in their careers as adults. In the early days of attention deficit research, it was thought that ADHD was something that happened during childhood and that people would just “grow out of it”. We’ve since come to understand that doesn’t happen.

 

What Features of ADHD Might Make Addiction More Likely?

What we were witnessing is people with ADHD developing varying degrees of coping mechanisms to get by in a world that is very distracting. Some do this better than others. They may choose a career that lends itself to the qualities of ADHD (or at least isn’t as threatened by them as some). Others may get on medications and stay on them through adulthood. Still others try biofeedback or even meditation to improve focus. But in every case, ADHD is still present in some form. As of now there is no cure for ADHD, only treatment and intervention. In trying to understand cocaine addiction and ADHD, it’s helpful to know what aspects of ADHD might play a role in development of addiction.

Here are some factors of ADHD which could play a role in developing an addiction:

  • Impulsivity: Research has shown that people with poor impulse control are more likely to become addicts.
  • Risk-Taking: Part of the impulsivity is risk taking behaviors. Many people with ADHD are easily bored and crave stimulation, this is also a risk factor for addiction.
  • Self-Medicating: A person with ADHD will actually get some relief from their symptoms when they use cocaine and other stimulants. This could encourage use.
  • Rebound Effect:   As mentioned in the clinical study above, teenagers who used Ritalin but stopped before adulthood are twice as likely to use cocaine to regain the relief.
  • Depression: People with ADHD are more likely to have a co-occurring disorder such as depression. People with depression are more likely to use cocaine or other drugs to change how they feel.

Conclusion 

There is some evidence of a connection between cocaine addiction and ADHD. We know that people with ADHD are at a potentially higher risk of addiction and high-risk behaviors in general. However, do not let this discourage you. The important thing here is awareness. Knowing that these risk factor exist empowers you to do something to minimize those risks. That may be making sure to manage ADHD effectively. It could also include avoiding all intoxicants and living a sober life, even if you have not had a problem with addiction yet. The main thing is to be aware that the risk exists so you can be proactive about it.

If you or someone you love is struggling with cocaine addiction, Recovery by the Sea can help. Give us a call at (877) 207-5033 or reach out to us via our contact page here.

How Long Does a Meth High Last?

How Long Does a Meth High Last

How Long Does a Meth High Last and Why?

What is Crystal Methamphetamine?

Crystal methamphetamine is an illegally manufactured amphetamine. How long does a meth high last? That depends on a number of factors. The most relevant factor is usually how the amphetamine is consumed. How long a meth high is depends in part on how a person gets the drug into their body in the first place. There are several methods. It is important to note that there is no “safe” way to use meth however.

Anyone who tries to convince themselves that their drug use is somehow acceptable because they “only” snort it instead of smoking or injecting, is lying to themselves. There is no such thing as a “casual user”. Not for long anyway. It isn’t a social drug like alcohol or even marijuana, which some people who are not addicts can use occasionally without nasty repercussions. Make no mistake. Crystal methamphetamine is a very powerful, very dangerous drug manufactured from dangerous chemicals. It is not “safe” to use. If you want to know “how long is a meth high”, the first thing to consider is the route of administration.

Let’s look at the major ways in which people use this drug:

  • Intranasally:   Snorting the powder form.
  • Smoking:   Burning the crystalized/rock form.
  • Intravenous:   Injecting a liquid solution of meth into the veins.
  • Orally:  Swallowing a tablet containing meth or mixing the powder into a drink.
  • Rectally:   Putting meth into the rectum, aka “booty-bumping” (this is much less common than other methods)

How Long is a Meth High?

To answer the question “How long does a meth high last” we need to look at the person and how it’s used. We also need to consider the conditions. How you use the drug also has an effect on how quickly the effects begin and how intense they are. All drugs affect us by entering the brain via the bloodstream. The more quickly a drug enters the bloodstream and the more of it makes it to the brain, the greater the effects. In general, swallowing a drug is the slowest route of administration.

This is because the drug has to make it’s way through the digestive system which takes longer and more of the drug can be “lost” that way. If there is any food present, that can slow absorption further. Snorting or smoking a drug gets more of it into the system more rapidly. The nasal membrane can rapidly get drug into the bloodstream and the lungs oxygenate our blood, so inhaling crystal methamphetamine smoke gets meth into the bloodstream quickly. Injecting is perhaps the most direct method though as you are bypassing other organs and putting the compound directly into the blood.

Understanding What Meth Does to the Body

How long does a meth high last also varies according to the amount, potency/purity and form. It varies from person to person to, because everyone’s metabolism and biology is different. With all that said: How long does a meth high last? Anywhere from 6-8 hours to as long as 24 hours. A person who snorts a very small amount might notice most of the effects wearing off after 6 hours or so. A person who ingests more will feel the effects much longer. Meth users tend to binge.

Ironically, the drug itself induces compulsive behaviors and one of the most common compulsions it triggers is the desire to use more. The meth crash that follows a period of use can be devastating. Most people who use with any regularity are going to use it a lot more than once in a 24 hour period. It is not uncommon for users to go on a “run” that lasts several days. Crystal methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant and users with often go without sleep for days on end. Sleep deprivation by itself can cause irritability and hallucinations. Combined with crystal use, psychotic symptoms are frequently seen on these extended periods of use.

How Long Does a Meth High Last and What are the Long-Term Effects?

Have you ever seen someone who uses meth regularly, or even a photograph of a chronic user?  If so, it’s not surprising to hear that crystal is devastating to human health. There are few drugs which can cause as much physical and psychological destruction as crystal does in such a short period of time. If you use meth or know someone who does, there are more important questions to ask than “how long does a meth high last”. For example, “What are the long-term effects of meth use?” is a much better question. Anyone who uses meth or knows someone who does owes it to themselves to know the answers.

Here are just a few of the long-term effects of crystal methamphetamine use:

  • Memory loss
  • Severe dental problems
  • Unhealthy weight loss
  • Psychosis, including paranoia and hallucinations
  • Permanent changes in brain structure and function
  • Violent or aggressive behavior and mood disturbances
  • How Can Meth Addiction Be Conquered?

We won’t sugarcoat the truth for you. Overcoming meth addiction is hard. The good news is there is hope. Millions of people have recovered from crystal meth addiction. However, it does take some willingness and commitment. Very, very few people can do it alone. Willpower alone is almost never enough. If you or someone you love is struggling with meth addiction, call Recovery by the Sea at (877) 207-5033 or visit our contact page here for other ways to reach us.

Cocaine Detox

Cocaine detox is accessible.

Detoxification from Cocaine

Anyone thinking about quitting cocaine is going to experience cocaine detox. The detoxification process from cocaine can be difficult. How difficult it is depends on how long the person has used, or how much they have been using. When someone has been using frequently, they can expect stopping to be more difficult. This is also true for anyone who uses large amounts. Even people who have only been using a short time may have some symptoms, although they might not require medical cocaine detox. This is because cocaine is such a fast-acting drug. Here’s what to know about quitting cocaine.

What is Detox

When a person uses any drug, it stays in their system. After they stop using, the drug needs time to leave their body. The cocaine detox process is designed to make this more comfortable. Their body also needs time to learn to operate without the drug. This period of time is known as detox, which is short for detoxification. This is the absolute first step in recovery.
During detox a person goes through withdrawal. Withdrawal is what happens when a body becomes dependent on a drug. When that drug is taken away, the person’s body must reach a new state of equilibrium. This means learning to live without the drug.
Detox and withdrawal are typically very uncomfortable. This is because the chemistry of the person’s mind and body are being changed. This discomfort can often lead to relapse. Which is why coping with detoxification is important.

Quitting Cocaine

Cocaine addiction can take many forms. The more severe the addiction, the harder it will be to quit. For instance, those who smoke crack or inject cocaine will have a harder time stopping. This is because their body is used to a purer, more concentrated form of the drug. Those who typically snorted cocaine will face a slightly easier path. Either way, most of the withdrawal symptoms will be the same. They will simply be more severe in people who used more intense forms of the drug.
Here are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal to expect:

• Intense cravings for cocaine.
• Depression and anxiety.
• Sweating and shaking.
• Paranoia
• Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
• Irritability and agitation leading to hostility.
• Lower activity levels along with slower thinking.
• Poor concentration.
• Vivid dreams and nightmares.
• Seizures.

These symptoms can start just an hour and a half after the last use of the drug. They typically go on for 3 to 5 days. However, they can last a week to 10 days.
Cocaine withdrawal is uncomfortable, but it is one of the better types of withdrawal out there. Withdrawal from alcohol can be fatal. Quitting opioids can be extremely painful. By comparison, cocaine is physically easier. However, because cocaine provides extreme highs, the cravings are often worse than with many other drugs.

Coping with Quitting

There are numerous ways to deal with quitting cocaine. Here are a few simple steps to take to make the process easier:

• Check into a medically-assisted detox facility.
• Join an outpatient detox program.
• Consult with a physician to get medication to assist with withdrawal.
• Take time off work or school so that your body has time to rest.
• Speak with a counselor or therapist to help cope with uncomfortable emotions.
• Go to support group meetings for input from others on how to cope. Also to gain support.

Though stopping cocaine is not fatal itself, it is still dangerous. There are many side-effects that can lead to death. This is especially true in long-term users. Anyone who has used cocaine for more than a year is considered a long-term user. Quitting is likewise extremely unpleasant. In order to reduce the problems, it is best to work with an official detox facility. They can often provide medication to ease the difficulties. They can also monitor your health. Doing this ensures that any potential problems are addressed before they become serious. Doing it alone is not only harder, it is more dangerous.
If you’re considering stopping cocaine, the more help you have, the better. The psychological symptoms are often as hard to deal with as the physical ones. With assistance, you can treat both the body and mind. This will make quitting that much easier. It will also help prepare you for living sober, which usually requires a lot of help to do successfully.

When You’re Ready to Stop

If you’ve reached the point where you’re ready to quit cocaine, then reach out to us for help. Our program includes medical detox for cocaine. We monitor each person closely and provide them with all the tools they need to quit with the least amount of pain. We help treat the mental and physical parts to help prevent relapse. Once the medical detox is over, we create a personalized program for each person. These programs address all of their needs and help them learn to build a sober existence. Don’t let cocaine steal another day from you. Call us today and let us help you reclaim your life!

Benzos and Alcohol

Benzos and alcohol are a deadly combination.

Benzos and Alcohol

The combining of benzos and alcohol is more common than you might imagine. Each of these substances can be dangerous on its own. However, they are even more hazardous when taking them together. People who have an alcohol and benzo addiction are at greater risk of dying from respiratory arrest than someone who uses only one or the other. The main reason for this is because both these substances depress the central nervous system and in combination they amplify each others effects. This makes accidental overdose far more likely because the results can be unpredictable.

Whether you are the person mixing these substances or it is someone you care about. Dependence on both alcohol and benzos is a behavior that must not be ignored.

 

Defining Benzodiazepines

Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines to treat mental health conditions such as PTSD or anxiety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe them for physical conditions such as cerebral palsy or seizures, as well.

There are several different benzodiazepines that people abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Xanax

If someone takes these medications exactly as their doctor prescribes them, they should be safe as long as they are never combined with alcohol. However, if someone abuses benzos, a dangerous addiction could develop quickly.

Adding alcohol to the mix can make things even worse. The damage to the body and mind can be severe, so it is crucial to get into a treatment program if you are abusing these substances.

 

Side Effects of Benzos and Alcohol

The combination of two powerful depressants like benzos and alcohol amplifies the effect. The impact can be unpredictable and sadly overdoses where the user simply stops breathing are more common than you think.

Most of the time, even if someone is only abusing one of these, they can still have severe consequences. Some side effects of mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines include:

  • Slower breathing
  • Depression of the immune system
  • Impaired cognition
  • Organ failure
  • Losing consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

These are some of the more severe side effects. By the time these happen it may be too late. Get treatment before things get worse.

 

Other Dangers of Alcohol and Benzo Addiction

Some people have fatal consequences due to an alcohol and benzo addiction. The truth is that no one can control the side effects they get from medications. The effects from each of these substances on their own can be harmful enough. Mixing them amplifies the impact and can lead to the following:

  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Bodily harm
  • Hurting others
  • Losing coordination
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Stroke
  • Permanent brain damage

Alcohol and benzos damage the immune system, central nervous system and many organs in the body. Depending on how much of these substances you use and how often you use them, organ failure can happen in a few years. If you take too many benzos with alcohol, you could have a fatal overdose. Even if you don’t consider the risk of death, the harm done to the body is very serious. Stopping benzos and alcohol abruptly without a medical detox can also lead to deadly seizures. You should never attempt to quit alcohol or benzos “cold turkey”. It can be incredibly dangerous.

In addition to these consequences, if you mix alcohol and benzodiazepines, your inhibitions will be lower. Lower inhibitions mean you will be more likely to engage in riskier behaviors. If you take part in risky behaviors, that could damage your relationships with friends and family members. It could also put you in a dangerous situation, such as driving while under the influence.

Getting Treatment for Alcohol and Benzo Abuse

It is dangerous to mix alcohol and benzos. The dangers don’t just extend to you. You could be putting others at risk due to your actions while under the influence. You are more likely to act without inhibition. This can lead to serious injuries or reckless sexual behavior that results in an STD, rape or unwanted pregnancy.

If you or someone that you know is abusing these substances, now is the time to stop. It takes courage and dedication to quit any addiction. However, we are here for you.

We want to note again, that it could be hazardous to detox on your own at home. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can be not just highly uncomfortable but fatal. In addition, many people who try to detox at home often relapse. They crave drugs or alcohol so badly that when they use again, they take a lot. The increased amount is one reason why so many people have a fatal overdose.

Willpower is vital for recovery from benzos and alcohol, but it isn’t enough by itself for most people. However, it is helpful to have people by your side helping you through the detox and recovery process. Rehab center professionals know all about substance use disorders and the treatment for them. They will look at your case and create an individualized treatment plan for you.

With the treatment program at Recovery by the Sea, you will get the compassionate, understanding and helpful recovery services you need to move through to the path of healing.

 

Contact Recovery by the Sea today to start the detox process from benzos and alcohol.

 

Crack vs. Cocaine: What’s the Difference?

The difference between crack vs cocaine.

Crack Vs Cocaine: Aren’t They The Same?

Crack is a product made from cocaine. So, crack and cocaine have the same source. The similarities between them outnumber the differences. Cocaine and crack addiction continue to plague our nation. In 2019, over 16,000 people died by cocaine overdose. Furthermore, a global pandemic continues to afflict the world. One should not feel dismay that people seek relief via cocaine and crack.

 

In this article, Recovery By The Sea examines the following topics:

 

  • A little history on cocaine and where it came from
  • What kind of drug cocaine is and what it does to the body
  • The differences between cocaine and crack
  • Crack vs. cocaine: consumption and side effects
  • How to get help for cocaine vs. addiction

 

A Little History On Cocaine And Where It Came From

Cocaine originates in South America, particularly the area of the Andes mountains. It is a byproduct of the coca plant, which grows there natively. The indigenous Inca people had incorporated the coca plant into their faith traditions. They also used it for medicinal purposes, like easing pain. An Incan amauta, or spiritual teacher, might use the coca leaves to divine the fate or future of a person.

 

What Kind Of Drug Cocaine Is And What It Does To The Body

Researchers classify cocaine as a stimulant. This means it “stimulates” the brain and body. Our brain and spinal cord connect to form the central nervous system (CNS). First, the brain sends out an electrical impulse. That impulse travels down the spine. From there, it goes into the nerves. This process controls much about how we think, feel, and act. Cocaine makes these nerve impulses move much faster.

A Closer Look At Cocaine In The Brain

The brain’s messages are called neurotransmitters. Cocaine effects one very important neurotransmitter: dopamine. Dopamine influences our mood. It motivates us to pursue what we want. Once we achieve what we want, dopamine rewards us with good feelings. Cocaine makes our brains produce more dopamine. But, it also prevents dopamine from being reabsorbed. This means that dopamine remains active in our brains for too long.

 

The Differences Between Cocaine And Crack

On the street, one will find cocaine as a white powder. However, dealers may mix cocaine with other substances. They do this to supplement their amount of cocaine. Ergo, they can make more money. But, purchasers end up paying the price (in more ways than one). If one buys cocaine on the street, one has no way of knowing what’s been mixed with it.

 

Dealers might mix cocaine with things like:

 

  • Opioids: painkillers like heroin, codeine, opium, and fentanyl
  • Talcum powder
  • Amphetamines: speed and uppers
  • Flour

 

Crack

Cocaine in the form of crystalline rocks is known as “crack.” The name comes from the sound that it makes when heated. Crack found its way into parts of the US around 1980. Throughout the 80s, it spread across large metropolitan areas. Dealers could make it on the cheap. And, crack isn’t hard to make. Dealers can make massive profits with it.

 

Crack Vs Cocaine: Consumption And Side Effects

One difference in crack vs cocaine is the ways in which users take the drugs. With cocaine, users will typically consume cocaine in one of four ways:

 

  • Insufflation: snorting or inhaling through the nose, sometimes via a straw
  • Inhalation: heating and smoking it in a pipe
  • Injection: Mixing cocaine with a liquid and puncturing the skin with a needle
  • Rubbing into the gums: often leads to numbness in the mouth, tongue, and jaw

 

Because crack comes in a solid rock form, users will usually inhale or smoke it.

 

Side Effects

Remember that cocaine is a stimulant. It speeds up the pace of neurotransmitters. This means that normal things the body does will happen faster too. Cocaine gives you energy. As a result, it disturbs your sleep. It can also cause nervousness, anxiety, and paranoia. Cocaine also elevates the heartrate and blood pressure. Consequently, it can cause cardiovascular problems. And even death.

 

But crack is more potent than powder cocaine. As a result, a person may crave more of it as soon as the first dose wears off. Crack is therefore more addictive and habit-forming than cocaine. Moreover, crack impacts the mood and temperament. Consistent crack users may have severe shifts in their feelings and affect. Crack can also lead to nausea and vomiting. It can damage the heart even faster than powder cocaine. Crack can also lead to extreme symptoms of psychosis. Users may experience delusions and hallucinations.

 

How To Get Help For Cocaine Vs Crack Addiction

In this article, you learned about where cocaine came from. We examined what effects crack vs cocaine have on the body. We looked at similarities and differences between crack and cocaine. Finally, we perused through symptoms and side effects.

 

If you or someone that you know struggles with addiction to crack vs cocaine, call Recovery By The Sea now. Or, fill out the contact form.

 

5 Signs of a Cocaine Overdose

cocaine overdose is incredibly dangerous

The Social Consequences of Cocaine Overdose

Drug overdose deaths skyrocketed in 2020. Cocaine overdose deaths have risen in a short time. Over a period of 5 years (2013 – 2018), cocaine overdoses tripled. Cocaine overdose deaths continue to increase across all age groups. In 2020, 4.1% of 12th graders said they had used cocaine at some point during their lives. 2.9% of that group admitted to consuming cocaine within the last month.

 

Cocaine overdose brings consequences both to society and to the individual. As members of that society, we must equip ourselves. We owe ourselves such preparation. And we likewise owe it to those around us.

 

In this article, Recovery By The Sea examines the following:

 

  • What exactly is cocaine and where does it come from?
  • How does cocaine effect the body?
  • What are the signs of a cocaine overdose?
  • How can long-term cocaine use effect one’s life?
  • What if I want help for cocaine use?

 

What Exactly Is Cocaine And Where Does It Come From?

We can trace cocaine’s historical origins to the Incan people of South America. These ancient peoples chewed the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine as we know it came about in 1860. German chemist Albert Niemann gave us the synthetic form in use today. After Niemann, scientists continued to experiment with cocaine. Eventually, they introduced it into the field of medicine.

 

One form of cocaine looks like a white powder. Consumers of this form will inhale or snort it. Or, they might rub it into their gums. Another form of cocaine, referred to as “crack,” gets heated and then smoked. Crack purports to be even more potent than powder cocaine.

 

How Does Cocaine Effect The Mind?

We classify cocaine as a stimulant. This means that it acts on the processes of the brain. Cocaine makes these processes run faster. Our brains create a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine helps us feel good when we get something we want. Our bodies may make it when we eat, when we achieve a goal, or when someone praises us. Cocaine causes us to retain too much dopamine in our brains at one time.

 

A cocaine high makes a person more awake and aware. They may feel a surge of confidence. Alternatively, they may also experience heightened senses of fear and hypervigilance. Cocaine increases anxiety.

 

How Does Cocaine Effect the Body?

In addition to the mind, cocaine also wreaks havoc on the body. It causes the blood pressure to rise. Cocaine also raises the body temperature and heart rate. For these reasons, cocaine can cause lasting damage to the heart and lungs. It can even induce a heart attack.

 

What Are the Signs of A Cocaine Overdose?

Most cocaine overdose symptoms will likely originate in the heart. Cocaine interferes with proper oxygen flow in the heart and lungs. It also disrupts proper blood circulation. Someone experiencing an overdose may complain of tightness or pain in the chest. Their breathing may appear shallow, quick, and ragged. Likewise, look for dizziness, vomiting, and tremors.

 

In extreme cases, someone overdosing may experience a condition called cocaine-induced agitated delirium. This phenomenon remains rare, but it happens very quickly. Cocaine-induced agitated delirium causes the heart to beat erratically (or not at all). An extremely high fever, called hyperthermia, can become fatal if not addressed properly.

 

What Should I Do If I Believe Someone Has Overdosed On Cocaine?

If you believe that someone near you has overdosed on cocaine, remain calm. First and foremost, you must steady yourself. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Make sure you know the address of your location. If not, provide the 911 dispatcher with the nearest intersection.

 

If the overdosing person remains conscious, do your best to keep them calm. An overdosing person may panic. Do not attempt to restrain them. Doing so may put you in harm’s way. When paramedics arrive, recount everything you saw the person do prior to the overdose.

 

How Can Long-Term Cocaine Use Effect One’s Life?

Cocaine interrupts how our brains experience stress. When faced with stress, long-term consumers tend to retreat to it. Long-term use of cocaine also short-circuits our prefrontal cortex. This part of our brain governs our decisions and our ability to change our behavior. Consumers of cocaine experience severe anxiety. Cardiovascular problems tend to develop as use continues.

 

Prolonged cocaine use damages the mouth and nose. Nosebleeds become common. The inner tissue of the nasal passages deteriorates over time. Long-term consumers of cocaine may have trouble tasting or smelling.

 

What If I Want Help For Cocaine Use?

As we have observed, cocaine can have debilitating effects on the body and the mind. Together, we can prevent cocaine overdoses and deaths. Recovery By The Sea exists to see people liberated from addiction.

 

If you or someone that you love struggles with cocaine addiction, act now. Pick up the phone and call us. Or, send us a quick email.

 

Cocaine Addiction Treatment in FL

cocaine addiction treatment

The Best Cocaine Addiction Treatment In FL

You arrived here for a reason. You have been looking for cocaine addiction treatment in FL. Perhaps you seek treatment for yourself. Or, you have had an up-close-and-personal look at someone else suffering from cocaine addiction. You have had enough. Decided that the time has come for something to change. Welcome to next step in your journey.

 

Recovery By The Sea will give you some of the answers you look for. Here, we will consider these items:

 

  • Where did cocaine come from?
  • Short-term effects of cocaine use.
  • Long-term effects of cocaine use.
  • What is cocaine addiction treatment like?
  • More information about cocaine addiction treatment.

 

Where Did Cocaine Come From?

Ancient civilizations chewed the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca). Beginning in the 1860s, chemists isolated cocaine from the coca plant. The following decades saw cocaine introduced into the medical industry. Slowly but surely, it gained acceptance among physicians. Sigmund Freud, an important figure in the development of psychology, battled cocaine addiction himself.

 

How Do People Use Cocaine?

As a powder, people typically inhale or snort cocaine. Or, they might rub it into their gums. Cocaine also comes in a crystal variety. We refer to this form as “crack.” Consumers of crack will melt it and then smoke it. Crack cocaine tends to have greater strength than powder cocaine. On the street, people may refer to cocaine as:

 

  • Snow
  • Flake
  • Icing
  • Pearl
  • Coke

What Does Cocaine Do To The Mind?

Researchers designate cocaine as a stimulant. This means that it causes all the body’s processes. Under the influence of cocaine, anything the brain does will speed up. For this reason, people tend to become more alert and on edge. They may experience sensory date more quickly or more intense than when sober. Cocaine works by manipulating the absorption of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

 

What Are The Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?

Dopamine rewards us when we get something good. It makes us feel pleasure when we meet a goal. If you eat your favorite meal, your brain makes dopamine. When you speak to a loved one, your brain churns out dopamine. Cocaine causes dopamine to remain in the brain for too long. People on cocaine can become irritable and angry. They may exhibit fear, anxiety, or paranoia.

 

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?

If a person continues to consume cocaine, they risk cocaine use disorder (CUD). Cocaine use disorder represents a particular substance use disorder. If a person compulsively consumes cocaine, particularly when stressed, they may have cocaine use disorder. Currently, no medications exist to specifically treat CUD.

 

Long-term cocaine use can devastate the body. Cocaine wears away the skin of the nose and mouth. Consequently, consumers of cocaine can lose their senses of smell and taste. Further prolonged use can wear away these tissues. Nosebleeds afflict both short-term and long-term consumers. If left without medical attention, this can lead to “coke nose.” Smoking crack can destroy the lungs. Long-term consumers of cocaine also risk exposure to HIV and hepatitis.

 

Cocaine And The Cardiovascular System

Cocaine increases the heart rate. It also raises the temperature and blood pressure. This can lead to conditions like hyperthermia. Hyperthermia involves a remarkably high fever that becomes difficult to control. Conditions like these put cocaine consumers at risk for decreased blood and oxygen flow. As a result, long-term consumers expose themselves to heart attacks.

Cocaine Overdoses

Between 2013 and 2018, cocaine overdoses tripled. Cocaine overdoses also increased in 2020. Because of its effects on the cardiovascular system, cocaine brings the dilemma of overdose. An overdose occurs when a person consumes too much of a substance. Their bodies cannot adequately deal with the stress the substance causes. Overdoses can stop the breath, and cause loss of consciousness.

What Is Cocaine Addiction Treatment Like?

As mentioned earlier, no prescriptions exist to treat cocaine use disorder. However, research into effective cocaine treatment continues. Cocaine does not just influence dopamine. It also acts on other neurotransmitters like:

 

  • Norepinephrine: motivates the brain and body to act
  • Serotonin: influences how we feel, learn, and remember
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid: slows our brains down
  • Glutamate: tells nerve cells to communicate with other nerve cells

 

Scientists have begun studying medications that act on these neurotransmitters. Some of them may help reduce relapse in those suffering from cocaine use disorder.

What If I Want More Information About Cocaine Addiction Treatment?

Recovery By The Sea offers evidence-based, research-backed treatment for cocaine addiction in FL. Remember that hope exists. If you struggle, you do now struggle alone. If you know someone who struggles, do not allow them to feel isolated.

 

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Why is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. Like other opioids, it has a legitimate medical use: easing pain. Opioids work by changing how the body responds to and deals with, pain. Fentanyl’s original purpose was to abate pain in cancer patients (1). Doctors will prescribe fentanyl to patients recovering from surgery, or to those experiencing chronic pain. Prescription fentanyl may appear under brand names such as Duragesic, Subsys, Ionsys, Actiq, and Sublimaze. These prescriptions may take the form of a dermal patch on the skin, an injection, or even lozenges.

Without A Prescription

On the street, fentanyl might be known as Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, Tango and Cash, or TNT (3). Since fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine (2), a little goes a long way. For this reason, dealers will mix fentanyl with other drugs. It’s not unusual to see it combined with ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. Buyers have no way to determine how much fentanyl is in their supply. Therefore, overdoses can be very common.

Where Is The Danger?

As with other opioids, fentanyl alters how our brains respond to pain. A person under the influence of fentanyl might feel relaxed and mellow. They could experience some drowsiness and be sluggish. Fainting, nausea, and seizures are frequent side effects. Users often experience shortness of breath and can stop breathing altogether. Subsequently, the blood is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen, a condition known as “hypoxia” (3). If a person remains in this state for too long, they could become comatose. During the COVID-19 pandemic, opioids like fentanyl have caused a tremendous spike in overdose deaths (4).

Is Treatment Available?

Absolutely. No two recovery journeys are exactly the same. Different treatments provide different results for different people. But recovery is always possible.

One option, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), is a two-pronged approach to recovery. MAT combines the use of medication with counseling. In conjunction with medication, therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide a person with a holistic path to recovery (5). Another alternative might be partial hospitalization (PHP), a semi-structured method of recovery that allows for plenty of outside activities. However, a recovering person might require less regimented options. Intensive Outpatient (IOP) programs could involve extended group meetings, taking place either in the morning or evening. Recovering persons might opt for family therapy, or nonverbal therapies like art, music, or yoga. For a person interested in learning more about aftercare, resources on future relapse prevention are readily available.

Recovery Is A Lifestyle

Outpatient (OP) treatment might involve a once-a-week commitment to group meetings, individual meetings with a therapist, or life-skills training. Continuing support is available from aftercare options like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous. Other alternatives include Rational Recovery and faith-based programs like Celebrate Recovery. Recovery doesn’t end with the completion of a program. Or even several programs. Recovery never ends; it’s a lifestyle.

What’s Next?

If you or someone you love is struggling with fentanyl addiction, contact Recovery By The Sea now. Hope is real, and recovery is possible. Call us at 877-207-5033 now.

Sources
(1) https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/fentanyl
(2) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl#ref
(3) https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/drug-street-names/
(4) https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p1218-overdose-deaths-covid-19.html
(5) https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment

Can Heroin Withdrawal be Fatal?

heroin needle, spoon, and pill bottles on a table

Any person who has been addicted to opioids for a while is well-acquainted with the fear of withdrawal symptoms. Nearly everyone knows that heroin use is inherently dangerous. The specter of overdose and withdrawal are constant companions. Many are aware that withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines can result in deadly seizures. What is not as clear is whether or not heroin withdrawal can be fatal. The answer is a bit complex, but it is safe to say that overdose presents the greatest risk of fatality for any heroin user.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include cold chills, muscle spasms, vomiting, and diarrhea. While these symptoms typically are not fatal a great deal depends on the person and the circumstances. Someone caught in the throes of heroin addiction generally is not taking good care of their health. This puts them at greater risk for any number of complications. Vomiting and diarrhea are both ways the body tries to rid itself of toxins. However, the side-effects of those symptoms include severe dehydration and higher blood sodium (hypernatraemia). Those conditions can lead to cardiac arrest and heart failure. (1) While deaths from heroin withdrawal are uncommon, they aren’t unheard of. Withdrawal puts extraordinary stress on the body. Combined with poor nutrition, personal hygiene and a lack of self-care makes it worse. Add just one more element like a congenital heart condition or a propensity for seizures and it is quite possible that heroin withdrawal can be fatal.

Another risk associated with withdrawal comes from the psychological effects. The physical agony is not the only potentially dangerous symptom of heroin withdrawal. Anxiety, depression, and anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure) can be intense during and following heroin withdrawal. Combined with the physical discomfort it can be too much to bear for some, making it a risk factor for suicide.

There is reason to be hopeful, however. The opioid use epidemic in the U.S. has led to innovations in treatment and an increase in accessibility of care. Tens of thousands of people recover from opioid addiction every year in this country. Regardless of how awful your story may be, there are people out there who will genuinely understand and are willing to help. Turning the corner from heroin addiction starts with the addict themselves though. It takes willingness and courage in equal measure to admit you have met your match and you no longer want to live that way.

A range of options awaits anyone who is ready to give up the fight and get off of heroin for good. The ideal for most people is to start with an inpatient medical detox. This is generally the safest and most comfortable way to begin. After detox, it’s best to attend a residential program for at least 30 days if possible and follow that up with a stint in a sober living of 6 months to a year. The ideal protocol may not fit everyone’s life or means, however, and there are choices to be made. Outpatient detoxes and Medication Assisted Treatment have grown in popularity recently and make recovering from heroin addiction within reach for even more people.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with heroin addiction, pick up the phone and give us a call. We are happy to provide information about treatment options or just advice on how to proceed.


Sources
(1) https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/blog/yes-people-can-die-opiate-withdrawal

How is Heroin Addiction Treated?

man outside searching on his phone for how heroin addiction is treated

The Heroin Epidemic

It’s no secret that heroin addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the United States over the last couple of decades. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found heroin overdose deaths increased by almost 50% since 2010. (1) There were 14,996 OD deaths from heroin in 2018 alone. That’s not including OD deaths attributed to fentanyl, which have skyrocketed to over 30,000 since 2014 alone. The positive side to these grim statistics may be that more people are going to treatment for heroin addiction than ever before. Demand for effective heroin addiction treatment has also driven innovation in care.

The Front Line Assault

The initial approach to anyone entering treatment for heroin addiction is medical stabilization. Anyone who has endured opiate withdrawal knows the terrible physical and mental discomfort it entails. Job number one is getting a patient stable and as comfortable as possible. This is ideally accomplished in an inpatient detox setting. Opiate detox protocols have become increasingly targeted and effective in recent years. Someone who detoxed years ago may well have an obsolete idea of what the process is like in the present day. A new class of medications is being deployed in an evidence-based model that delivers results. Buprenorphine (Subutex®) is part of most detox protocols, but only a part. Long-acting medications like IV Vivitrol may be used. Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that has been found to reduce adrenaline. By subduing the body’s “fight or flight” response, a patient can be made calm and more comfortable. Lofexidine is another non-narcotic medication that has proven effective at relieving heroin withdrawal symptoms. Certain antidepressants including Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Venlafaxine (Effexor) can also produce positive results. In some cases, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medications may be used. (2)

Supporting Early Recovery

After the initial week or so of heroin detox, most patients are ready to phase out of the medical detoxification portion of treatment. Research has shown dramatically better long-term outcomes for patients who remain engaged in treatment beyond the detox phase. (3) The options here vary from a longer inpatient stay to Partial Hospitalization (PHP, Intensive Outpatient (IOP), or a combination of these. An old adage in the treatment field says that there is no such thing as too much help for a problem, there is only ‘not enough’ and the research supports this idea. Heroin addiction is about more than chemical dependence. It is a complex ailment that involves the mind as much, or more than, the body. In order to have a fighting chance at recovery, a heroin addict must learn entirely new behaviors. These must become ingrained as habits they can sustain for a lifetime. Modern medicine has made total recovery more accessible than ever before. But there is no ‘easier, softer way’ that doesn’t involve dedicating oneself to a lifetime of recovery.

Holistic Recovery for Heroin Addiction

The term holistic is often misunderstood. This may be especially true as it relates to recovery. Simply put, holistic means treating the entire person, rather than just the symptoms. The detox phase of treatment is about relieving symptoms and allowing the body to rest. Little else can happen until a person is well enough to engage in therapy and activity. Effective heroin addiction treatment is a transformative experience. The detox phase is only the beginning. Assessments and accurate diagnosis of any co-occurring disorders usually follow. Then the real work begins. Individual and group therapy. Reading. Working on yourself becomes your primary purpose. Overcoming heroin addiction for a lifetime is a process. Luckily, many have followed the path before and they know the way.

The results any person gets from addiction treatment are proportional to the degree of dedication they apply. Change isn’t easy, but you don’t have to go it alone. Call us at Recovery By The Sea to discuss your options for care. A new way of living is just a phone call away.

(1) https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4014033/
(3) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment

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