The Dangers of Injecting Meth

The Dangers of Injecting Meth

Injecting meth can result in a number of medical complications. These are related to both the stimulant abuse and the route of administration. Injuries/illnesses that may be caused by injecting meth include:

  • Track lines/marks
  • Puncture marks
  • Collapsed veins
  • Skin infections
  • Abscesses

Meth users also have an increased risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis. The risk of HIV infection is increased due to sharing unsterilized needles as well as engaging in risky sexual activity, which is not uncommon for those who use meth.

What Is Meth?

Meth, also referred to as Crystal, Ice, and Glass, is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning that it is considered to have limited legitimate pharmaceutical purposes. Indeed, most of the world’s supply of meth is illicitly produced.

Effects and Side Effects of Injecting Meth

Injecting meth causes the drug to reach the brain rapidly, resulting in an intense rush or feeling of euphoria. These effects, however, only lasts for a few minutes, and imminently, more of the drug is needed to continue the feelings of euphoria.

This is why meth is frequently used in a “binge-and-crash” pattern, the user repeatedly injecting over a brief period in an attempt to maintain the high. This behavior can last for several days and is also known as a “run.” Individuals may completely neglect necessary functions, such as sleeping and eating, in favor of using meth.

The intense high experienced by meth users is a product of the rapid release of dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter is involved in feelings of pleasure, motivation, and motor control, and reinforces drug-using behaviors due to the rush of euphoria it induces. Since meth users typically use the stimulant in a binge pattern, repeated exposure and the resulting release of dopamine leads to a profoundly depressive state when the binge ends.

In the early phases of the high, the user feels excited or elated, euphoric, and may experience a flurried thought process that results in rapid speech. The person may have an increased libido during this early stage, as well as impulsivity. Energy and alertness are elevated, and the person may also feel an increase in physical strength.

In the later phases of a meth high, the user may feel restless, nervous, and aggressive, and exhibit psychosis and paranoia. Cravings for meth are likely to manifest in the later phase, as well as depression and fatigue.

Neurochemical Imbalances

Over time, regular meth abuse can alter the user’s brain chemistry. Chronic and repeated use eventually results in tolerance, meaning the user requires ever-increasing amounts of the drug to experience the desired effects. The brain and body become accustomed to the continued presence of meth (dependence), and when the person discontinues use, he or she will most likely suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Among the most problematic meth withdrawal symptoms are intense cravings to use the drug. In addition to cravings, there are several other symptoms associated with withdrawal from meth use. Although withdrawal syndrome isn’t usually life-threatening on its own, there is an increased risk of suicide for those going through withdrawals.

Other withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • The inability to feel pleasure (dysphoria)
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Slowed movement
  • Depression and fatigue
  • Unpleasant dreams and insomnia
  • Increased appetite

Once these withdrawal symptoms subside, cravings could continue for much longer due to the changes in brain chemistry created by prolonged meth use.

Brain Damage

Meth has powerful effects on the brain’s dopaminergic system. As previously noted, using meth produces a surge of dopamine in the brain, which is associated with pleasurable feelings. Repeated use can have brain-damaging effects because the stimulant damages dopaminergic neurons, which results in reduced levels of the neurotransmitter in the brain.

Similarly, Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a deterioration of dopaminergic brain cells, a condition that is responsible for the symptoms of the disorder. Because chronic meth use results in reduced dopamine levels in the brain, a chronic meth user has an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Injecting Meth: Tweaking

“Tweaking” is a stage of meth use that occurs somewhere between 4-24 hours after a meth binge has ended. A meth binge occurs when the user takes repeated doses of the drug in order to sustain the high and can last anywhere as long as several days. Tweaking is characterized by disorganized thinking, paranoia, irritability, hypervigilance, and hallucinations, and occurs before a crash from meth.

Treatment Options for Meth

Fortunately, there are treatment options available to those who are suffering from an addiction to meth – treatments that promote positive change and help individuals achieve sobriety.

Different types of recovery programs include the following:

  • Residential or Inpatient Treatment

Our inpatient programs provide a structured environment in which patients reside at the recovery center for the entirety of their treatment program. This is the best option for those experiencing a severe meth addiction because it offers an escape from the patient’s normal drug-using environment and allows the patient to focus their attention on recovery.

  • Intensive Outpatient treatment

For those who have a milder meth addiction, this type of recovery program provides you with the opportunity to attend outpatient treatment at a facility or hospital while living at home. It is beneficial for those who must continue working, attending school, or taking care of the family.

Although there are no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction, other medications, such as antidepressants, may be prescribed to treat depression as a result of withdrawal or a co-occurring mental health problem.

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be one of the most effective approaches to addiction. During CBT, the therapists will help patients identify dysfunctional behaviors related to substance abuse and help to rectify them using several different strategies.

Our center employs caring medical and mental health staff who provide patients with the tools they need to successfully recover. Through the use of professional, evidence-based treatment, we can help you regain your life and wellness and be free from addiction to drugs and alcohol indefinitely!

Dangers of Mixing Uppers and Downers

Uppers and Downers | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

“Uppers” and “downers” are casual terms that refer to how a specific substance acts on the central nervous system (CNS). Uppers are stimulants, and downers are depressants. Uppers commonly include cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine. Downers include sedatives such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates.

In addition to sedatives, other substances have depressant effects, such as alcohol, muscle relaxers, sleep aids, and opioids. People report using downers to reduce the undesirable effects of stimulant drugs, and a person might take an upper to overcome sedation. Initially, it appears that this could be a reasonable way to relieve the adverse effects of these substances, but, unfortunately, it increases the risk of dire health complications.

What Are Uppers?

Uppers or stimulants act on the CNS to increase blood pressure and heart rate. They also boost the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, two chemical messengers that induce feelings of well-being and reward. Uppers can also increase alertness and focus, extend wakefulness, and reduce appetite.

In addition to illicit drugs such as cocaine and meth, prescription stimulants commonly abused include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta—three medications primarily used to treat ADHD. MDMA (Molly, Ecstasy) is also a stimulant, but it is often placed in its own category due to the hallucinations and altered sensory perceptions it is known to induce.

Other side effects of uppers include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension
  • Jaw clenching
  • Tremors
  • Chest pains
  • Heart palpitations

Combining two stimulants can also be dangerous, as the effects of all the drugs in a person’s system are compounded. A life-threatening overdose could occur that may include aggression, hypertension, dehydration, hyperthermia, heart failure, and seizure activity. Overdose can occur even in first-time users, depending on the amount of drug used in one sitting.

What Are Downers?

Uppers and Downers | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

As the name implies, downers induce the opposite effect of uppers. Downers reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure, as well as impair alertness and focus. Examples of prescription downers include Ambien, Lunesta, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax, among others.

Other side effects of downers include the following:

  • Sedation
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired memory
  • Lethargy

Different kinds of downers can impact different processes in the body. As such, they are typically classified into three subgroups: alcohol, opiates/opioids, and sedatives/hypnotics.

Depressants that are prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders are often referred to as sedatives or tranquilizers. Opioids come in both prescription and illicit forms (e.g., oxycodone and heroin, respectively). Opioids are technically categorized as painkillers but also have depressant properties. Furthermore, alcohol is legal to consume in the U.S. for those over 21 years of age and readily available at many stores.

CNS Depression

An overdose of depressants can transpire when a person ingests excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol, and it can trigger potentially lethal CNS depression. Symptoms of a depressant overdose may include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired cognition
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Slow or stopped breathing
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

Alcohol, antidepressants, hypnotic sedatives, sleep aids, painkillers, and other depressant substances can cause CNS depression, especially when multiple types of substances are used in combination.

Risks of Combining Stimulants and Depressants

As noted, many people will use a depressant to come down from a stimulant high or vice versa. They may also be seeking a particular type of high such as that induced by a speedball (cocaine and heroin).

Mixing cocaine, amphetamine, or methamphetamine with opioids such as heroin is extremely risky. Indeed, this speedball combination was reported as the cause of death for actors John Belushi, River Phoenix, and Chris Farley, among others.

But, dangerous drug interactions can also happen accidentally for those who take other medications for pain, depression, ADHD, or anxiety. An adverse interaction is especially likely if a person consumes alcohol while using these drugs. Sometimes people use uppers and downers together oblivious to the dangers of mixing them.

Uppers and Downers | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

In addition to potentially deadly overdoses, upper-downer cocktails have been associated with many other health risks, such as the following:

1) The combined effects is a minimization of the symptoms of either substance, thus creating the illusion that the person is not as intoxicated as they actually are. Stimulant effects may motivate the user to continue partying longer and also underestimate their level of intoxication. Uppers can conceal warning signs that profound CNS depression is occurring while downers might mask a dangerously accelerated heartbeat.

As a result, a person may end up using more of a stimulant substance than intended, especially if it is combined with alcohol. The body’s default reaction to excessive alcohol intake is to induce unconsciousness. Because stimulants prevent this from happening, a person can drink more alcohol without passing out. If other depressants are added, the person faces the risk of slipping into a coma or dying of an overdose.

2) Combining alcohol and cocaine is especially dangerous. Alcohol alters the way in which the body breaks down cocaine, resulting in a chemical called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene is more poisonous than either cocaine or alcohol alone, and it also stays in the body longer. As a result, the heart and liver are subjected to prolonged stress, and sudden death can occur even several hours after using cocaine with alcohol.

3) Stimulants cause dehydration, and this dehydration can be made worse by consuming alcohol. When a person is not properly hydrated, he or she may experience dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, and disorientation. If the dehydration persists, vital organs can be damaged, and death can occur. Dehydration may be further amplified by the physical exhaustion and strain on multiple bodily systems that results from using substances with conflicting effects.

4) The push-pull effects of using opioids and stimulants together can result in an irregular heart rate, heart failure, and death.

These are just a few of the complications that could result from combining uppers and downers. Every person is unique, and some may encounter different side effects than others.

Getting Help for Addiction

A significant risk of using uppers and downers together is that a person may become addicted to multiple drugs concurrently. A person with an addiction to a substance may resort to the abuse of another in a misguided attempt to control the symptoms of the original addiction. However, this never works, and instead can drive a person into a self-perpetuating cycle of substance abuse, making each addiction worse than it would be on its own.

If an addiction to one or more substances occurs, professional treatment offers the most efficient path to recovery. Do not try to stop using any of these drugs abruptly or “cold turkey.” Depending on the substances of abuse, you could experience significant pain and discomfort, and, in some cases, withdrawal can even be life-threatening.

Importantly, rehab centers such as Recovery By The Sea can provide medical and emotional support during detox and will ensure that patients are as safe and comfortable as possible. If you have questions about rehab and treatment, our admissions coordinators are available 24/7 to provide answers and offer guidance.

Please do not continue to make the dangerous decision to continue using uppers and downers—the risks far outweigh any perceived benefits. If you or someone you love are struggling to overcome an addiction, we can help. Call us today and start your journey to a new life without drugs or alcohol!

Signs of Overdose and What to Do

Signs of Overdose and What to Do | Recovery By The Sea

You may have suffered from an overdose or know of someone who has. You may not think that occasional drug use will lead to an overdose, but it can happen to anyone who is abusing drugs or alcohol. Being able to identify the signs of overdose can help save a person’s life.

Overdoses can occur with all types of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. Many overdoses are related to the use of multiple substances that depress the central nervous system (CNS) or have dangerous interactions and compounded effects.

In most cases, overdoses are not intentional, meaning that the person who ingested the substance didn’t intend for effects to be potentially life-threatening. Intentional overdoses are usually the result of someone attempting to commit suicide.

Others who use excessive amounts of substances are addicts who feel apathetic about the outcome. In any case, the losses that family and friends experience when a loved one overdoses are limitless and traumatic.

Common Overdose Symptoms

The exact signs of an overdose will vary between different people and the various substances used. However, common signs that a person is experiencing a drug overdose include the following:

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Increased body temperature
  • Chest pain
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Bluish fingers or lips
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Violent behavior
  • Aggression
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

A person who is overdosing will probably not experience every single one of these signs. However, the presence of even a few of these symptoms may indicate a person is suffering from an overdose.

What to Do If Someone Is Overdosing

If you are present when someone is overdosing, it is vital to remain calm. Panicking will not help the situation. You can assist someone who is experiencing overdose symptoms by doing the following:

  • Calling 911 immediately
  • Ask the person questions and try to keep them awake
  • If they are lying down, turn them on their side
  • Administer first aid and/or CPR as directed by 911 until medical help arrives
  • If they are overdosing on heroin or another opioid, administer Narcan (naloxone) if it’s available

While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, gather as much information as you can about the overdose. This information includes the dosage amount, time of the last dose, and type of drug the person used. Doing so will help first responders treat him or her appropriately.

If prescription drugs or other labeled substances have been used, take the container with you to the ER or give it to first responders, even if the bottle is empty. If he or she is conscious, assure the person that help is on the way.

Heroin and Opioid Overdose Symptoms

Signs of Overdose and What to Do | Recovery By The Sea

Heroin and illicit fentanyl are extremely dangerous opioids that place a person at a high risk of an overdose every time they are used. The excessive use of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone can also result in an overdose.

Signs of opioid overdose include the following:

  • Perilously shallow breathing
  • Nodding off and sleeping
  • Blueish lips or fingertips
  • Weak or undetectable pulse
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Choking sounds or coughing
  • Unresponsiveness

Heroin overdose symptoms can be terrifying and are unquestionably life-threatening. If the overdose progresses without treatment, the person can fall asleep and never wake up, or choke on their own vomit. If a person is overdosing on opioids such as heroin, seek help immediately by calling 911 and administer Narcan (naloxone) if available.

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

Alcohol, although legal, is a very dangerous depressant that comes with life-threatening symptoms. An alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, can be incredibly hazardous for the person who is experiencing it.

Signs of alcohol overdose include the following:

  • Increased aggression
  • Motor skill dysfunction
  • Severe speech impairment
  • Blackouts/memory loss
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow heart rate
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Dulled responses to pain
  • Impaired gag reflex
  • Inability to remain conscious
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Low body temperature
  • Bluish skin
  • Pale or clammy skin

Many signs of alcohol poisoning, such as confusion or motor skill impairment, may begin gradually. But as the overdose progresses and the person’s system continues to process the existing alcohol, symptoms can get worse. If a person continues to drink after they begin to overdose on alcohol, the situation can become dire rapidly.

For the record, it is actually quite difficult to fatally overdose on alcohol. Around 2,200 people do so each year, but that’s a fraction compared to the tens of thousands who overdose on opioids annually.

Despite this fact, you should never assume that someone in this state will just sleep it off. If you have any question as to their safety and health, you should call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.

Signs of Cocaine Overdose

Cocaine is a stimulant that comes with its own set of dangerous overdose symptoms. Regardless of the method of administration, cocaine and crack overdose symptoms may include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Kidney damage
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Delirium

When these symptoms are present in a person, as with all drug overdoses, it’s vital to seek medical help. A cocaine overdose can be reversed by medical providers who will administer the necessary medications to address life-threatening symptoms.

When to Call 911

Signs of Overdose and What to Do | Recovery By The Sea

When you or another person is exhibiting the signs of overdose, you may be concerned that you’ll get into trouble as a result of doing so. Although it’s illegal to use and possess many drugs, paramedics and law enforcement are or should be more concerned with saving the life of the person overdosing. This means that calling 911 when an overdose occurs may provide you with relief from prosecution for drug use or possession—this is especially true in states with Good Samaritan laws.

How to Intervene

Understanding what to do if a person is overdosing can help save a life. More Americans are dying from drug overdoss more often than car accidents, making overdose one of the most avoidable causes of death in the U.S.

During an overdose, bystanders can intervene by seeking emergency medical attention. If a person is overdosing on opioids, administering naloxone can save their life. Also, make sure the person who is overdosing stops using drugs or alcohol immediately.

When an overdose is occurring, you should always call 911 promptly, especially if the person is experiencing extremely slow or shallow breathing or an obstructed airway. If they are turning a bluish color, making choking or gurgling noises, or if they are completely unresponsive, call 911 immediately. If you are driving the person in a car, however, it may be faster to take them to the nearest emergency room.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

If you or someone you know has overdosed, this is a definite sign that abuse or addiction has become an enormous problem. The only way to avoid another overdose in the future is to get clean and prevent a relapse from occurring.

Research has shown that long-term comprehensive professional treatment increases the likelihood that a person will recover and remain free from the abuse of substances. Recovery By The Sea offers evidence-based programs and services, such as psychotherapy, that are intended to achieve this goal.

Contact us today if you are ready to break free from the cycle of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose. We are here to help those who need it most recover and foster healthier, more fulfilling lives!

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Meth Comedown and Addiction

Meth Comedown | Recovery by the Sea

Meth Comedown and Addiction – Methamphetamine (meth, speed, glass, ice, crystal) is a white crystalline drug with stimulant effects that is administered by snorting, smoking, or injecting. Regardless of method, however, all of those who use meth illicitly will develop a strong desire to continue using it due to the drug’s addictive properties.

When consumed, meth produces a false sense of happiness and well-being, beginning with a rush of confidence, hyperactivity, energy, and decreased appetite. These effects generally last from six to eight hours but can persist for up to a full day.

What Is Meth? How Does It Work?

With the rare exception of Desoxyn, meth is an illicit, Schedule II drug in the same class as cocaine and other dangerous street drugs. The most common method of meth use is inhaling or smoking it using a pipe, tin foil, and lighter. It can also be administered orally as a pill, or dissolved in water and injected into the veins. It can be found as a powder or in a whitish-blue rock-like form known as crystal meth.

Meth use increases the production of dopamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of well-being and reward – by some estimates, production can be accelerated 1,000 times more than normal, resulting in a euphoric rush.

Unfortunately, however, that feeling only lasts a short time. The rush is followed by hyperactivity, talkativeness, and seemingly boundless energy that upon cessation, often compels users to repeat use in a binge-style fashion to avoid the comedown, tweaking, and withdrawals.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Meth

Short-term effects of meth use include the following:

  • Appetite loss
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Pupil dilation
  • A sudden surge of energy
  • Euphoria
  • Heavy sweating

Prolonged use can result in a myriad of other problems. Long-term effects of meth use include:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Dry skin
  • Severe breakouts
  • Tremors
  • Damaged brain
  • Weakened state
  • Compromised immune system
  • Suicidal and homicidal thoughts
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Bad breath
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Paranoia and psychosis
  • Loss of focus or disorientation

Also, when sharing contaminated needles, those who inject are vulnerable to hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HIV. It’s also not uncommon for addicts to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

Meth Comedown | Recovery by the Sea

Over time, the damage done to the brain of someone who uses meth may be equivalent to that of Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke. In fact, long-term, frequent meth users may never be the same again after brain damage has occurred.

There is also the possibility of an overdose, which can lead to death. One serious side effect of meth is hyperthermia dangerously high body temperature) which can cause kidney failure. An overdose of meth is considered to be a medical emergency and help should be sought immediately.

Other symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Poor motor control
  • Extremely painful headache
  • Tremors
  • Unrestrained jerking

Meth Comedown

Initially, the euphoric effects of meth will last up to eight hours or longer, but this interval often becomes shorter with prolonged use. It’s not uncommon for addicts to seek another hit after 2-3 hours to avoid a comedown.

A meth comedown is a period in which the effects of the drug wear off and the user begins to “crash.” This is not the same as withdrawal syndrome, and it actually a bit more akin to an alcohol hangover.

Symptoms of meth comedown:

  • Deep sadness
  • Lethargy
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain due to clenching
  • Intense cravings

The comedown stage will last until the next fix or until the user’s body begins to go into full withdrawal.

What Happens During a Meth Comedown?

Effects of meth typically last from 4-12 hours. A meth comedown will begin to occur almost immediately afterward. Feelings of euphoria and energy gradually turn to tiredness, anxiety, irritability, and sometimes erratic behavior. Headache, increased hunger, and concentration difficulties frequently ensue. Users may want to sleep excessively or may not be able to sleep at all.

Meth Comedown and Tweaking

Meth Comedown | Recovery by the Sea

One particularly dangerous aspect of a meth comedown is referred to as “tweaking.” Tweaking generally occurs after a binge, when a person has been using continually for several days. Binging is a means to avoid a comedown, crash, withdrawal symptoms, what have you.

But as the binge continues, the high becomes less and less intense. With each repeated use, the effects become weaker. Tweaking occurs when the addict can no longer produce a high. The body and mind simply won’t react to smoking meth anymore, and the person is desperately tired from a lack of sleep and may enter a mental state that is borderline psychotic.

Despite the user’s cravings, he or she can no longer achieve a high so eventually has no choice but to enter the “crash” stage in which the body shuts down and sleep is finally induced – a sleep that can last for several days while the person’s body attempts to recover from the binge.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Meth addiction is a serious, life-threatening condition that has significant health and social consequences for the person suffering. It is most effectively treated through participation in a residential (inpatient) program followed by intensive outpatient treatment.

Our center offers both formats which include psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, and group support. Our medical and mental health staff specialize in addiction and can provide clients with the tools they need to achieve sobriety and enjoy long-lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Snorting Adderall

A Person Snorting Adderall

Snorting Adderall – Stimulants like Adderall are subject to abuse. Some people may crush these drugs and snort them as a method of consuming a lot of Adderall very quickly. Snorting drugs also gets them into the bloodstream faster, so they bind to brain receptors more rapidly.

Adderall is a prescription amphetamine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Adderall is prescribed as a tablet intended for oral use, but when abused for recreational purposes, it can be crushed into a powder and the remaining product snorted into the nasal passage.

It is classified as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and is often abused due to its cocaine-like effects such as increased energy, attention, alertness, and euphoria. For Adderall abusers, intranasal use is sometimes preferred due to the especially intense, fast delivery to the brain. Here, Adderall works on neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) such as serotonin and dopamine.

Rapid absorption then results in a massive release of “feel good” chemicals that lead to excessive energy and euphoric-like effects. It is this action that essentially becomes the catalyst for the drug’s psychoactive and addictive nature.

Snorting Adderall: Tolerance, Dependency, and Addiction

Adderall, like all amphetamines, has a high potential for abuse, dependency, and overdose. Signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Continued drug use despite undesirable physical and psychological effects
  • Loss of interest in activities and interests once considered enjoyable
  • The use of Adderall in dangerous or improper situations
  • Adverse changes or problems in other areas of life such as work, school, relationships, and financial status.
  • General malaise, lethargy, or sedation

When Adderall is abused on a continual basis, tolerance and dependency start to develop. Tolerance increases as the user’s brain becomes less sensitive to the drug’s presence and potential for impact. As a result, the user then requires increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired feelings to which he/she is used.

Over time, the person’s central nervous system is “hijacked” by Adderall, and is much less able to function normally without drug use. Subsequently, efforts to decrease drug use or to stop using altogether result in extremely uncomfortable and sometimes painful physical and emotional side effects, also known as withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of withdrawal can linger for several days after the user’s last dose, their severity affected by factors related to the user’s frequency and duration of use.

Snorting Adderall | Why It's So Dangerous | Recovery By The Sea

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Insomnia, followed by hypersomnia
  • Vivid drug-related dreams
  • Hunger
  • Memory impairment
  • Drug cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Because of the rapid delivery of an intranasal dose and its absorption into the mucous membrane, the risk of addiction and overdose may be significantly higher among those who snort Adderall. In addition to dependency and an increased risk of overdose, snorting Adderall can result in frequent infections and damage to the nasal septum and surrounding tissues.

Other possible side effects and dangers of snorting Adderall include:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches
  • Digestive issues
  • Reduced appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Pounding or rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Changes in libido

Snorting Adderall and Overdose

Snorting Adderall, especially when combined with other drugs or alcohol is exceptionally risky and life-threatening.

Symptoms of an Adderall overdose include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Blurry vision
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid breathing
  • Uncontrollable shaking/tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Upset stomach and diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Fainting, loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death

Getting Help – From Detox to Addiction Treatment and Beyond

Getting Help – From Detox to Addiction Treatment and Beyond

People who abuse prescription amphetamines often falsely believe that they are less dangerous than illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and minimize the severity of their addiction. Failure to seek help, however, can be life-threatening and receipt of treatment as soon as possible is critical to long-term sobriety.

Detox

Professionally-supervised treatment for Amphetamine use disorder starts with our detox program, a clinical process in the which the individual is monitored 24/7 and medication is rendered to reduce some symptoms of withdrawal.

Following discharge, patients are encouraged to seek admission to one of our addiction treatment programs, which include both inpatient and intensive outpatient (IOP) therapy formats.

Treatment for Adderall Addiction

Persons who choose to remain long-term in one of our treatment programs will receive the very best, state-of-the-art therapeutic services and support. We use a comprehensive approach to drug abuse and addiction that is intended to treat all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health and well-being.

Why Seek Our Help?

Adderall addiction is a dangerous, potentially fatal condition that requires treatment in the form of long-term therapy, counseling, and support. There is no cure for Adderall addiction, but those who seek treatment are given the opportunity to regain their lives and live in peace and sobriety.

Recovery By The Sea

Our addiction treatment center offers patients a secure, structured environment and professional healthcare staff who are trained to identify and treat the unique needs of each individual using an in-depth, custom approach to drug addiction treatment and recovery.

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Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells?

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells? | Recovery By The Sea

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells? – Marijuana intervenes with how neurons in the brain send, receive, and process signals through neurochemicals. Marijuana use has also been associated with some functional abnormalities in the brain. But does marijuana kill brain cells? What is the risk of incurring adverse effects on mental health and cognitive ability?

How Marijuana Interferes With The Brain

Experts do not believe that marijuana use damages or destroys brain cells. However, marijuana effects on the brain can be many, including the inhibition of short-term memories, distorting the perception of time, and regulating appetite. THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, interferes with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

After a user ingests marijuana, it’s chemicals make their way into the bloodstream, which carries these different substances throughout the body. Also, cannabis contains molecules that are similar to those produced in the brain, known as cannabinoids. Once THC reaches the brain, it binds to these receptors, which are then directly affected by the chemical.

Short-Term Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

Memory Inhibition

One of the most notorious short-term effects of marijuana on the brain is that chronic marijuana users may find it hard to recall certain recent events. The reason for this is that marijuana has an inhibitory effect on the hippocampus, a region of the brain.

The hippocampus is responsible for the formation of memories. THC comes into contact with the hippocampus and disrupts activity, which can result in short-term memory problems.

Distorted Perception of Time

One of the most commonly reported effects that marijuana has on the brain is a distorted perception of time. This phenomenon occurs because of marijuana’s impact on the cerebellum and altered blood flow to that region of the brain. The cerebellum is located in the lower back portion of the skull, which controls, among other functions, the internal timing system.

Appetite Regulator

Marijuana is known to increase appetite dramatically, also referred to as “the munchies.” Marijuana impacts the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates appetite.

Therefore, excessive eating after the ingestion of marijuana should not come as a surprise to those who are using. However, how the drug is consumed also affects how much a person’s appetite will be affected. For example, those who know how to make marijuana tea properly can help control their appetite.

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells? | Recovery By The Sea

Talkativeness and Laughter

Talkativeness and an enhanced sense of humor are common after marijuana use. During a marijuana high, the brain releases dopamine, which is associated with feelings of well-being and reward. Due to these effects, laughter and sociability may become more natural.

Drowsiness

One of the short-term effects of marijuana is drowsiness. It has an impact on cannabinoid receptors in the brain and can result in the promotion of sleep. As with most other effects, THC is what causes this feeling of drowsiness.

Coordination and Reaction Time

Marijuana can adversely affect both the coordination and reaction times of its user. This effect occurs because THC impacts both the cerebellum and basal ganglia, meaning brain signals are affected similarly to when a person is drunk. This is one reason why driving under the influence of marijuana is prohibited, just like with alcohol.

THC makes the user less coordinated in nearly every aspect, and properly walking and talking may become challenging. Research has also found that marijuana users were unaware of their coordination problems and mistakes made while they were under the influence.

Long-Term Effects Of Marijuana On The Brain

An increasing number of studies in humans reveal the potential long-term effects of marijuana on the brain. Although cannabis use doesn’t appear to produce structural damage, a marijuana overdose can result in a reduction in mental focus over time.

In 2001, Harvard University researchers examined the cognitive performance of persons that had ingested marijuana and also after they stopped. The study revealed that marijuana use does not create permanent mental impairment. A study by the University of Colorado Boulder (2015) also found that people who used cannabis did not show signs of physical changes in the vital brain regions.

Instead, marijuana’s long-term effects on the brain may include the following:

Decline in IQ

Research has suggested that smoking marijuana can irreversibly lower IQ, and may be one of the most detrimental effects of cannabis on adolescents. Excessive marijuana users may incur an average of an 8 point reduction, and this may be enough to have an adverse impact on a person’s life.

Much-publicized research related to a study of 1000 young people in New Zealand yielded this result. For the analysis, subjects were given IQ tests in early adolescence and again when they were 38 years old.

Researchers discovered that those who were dependent on marijuana by their 18th birthday, and also continued to use excessively, had on an average loss of eight IQ points by the time of retesting.

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells? | Recovery By The Sea

Addiction

The development of problematic use, often referred to as marijuana use disorder, is one of marijuana’s many effects on the brain. In severe cases, it can result in the development of addiction. Moreover, when a person cannot stop using marijuana despite the adverse affects their life, addiction has manifested.

The reward system in the brain consists of neural structures that are responsible for emotions, pleasure, and reward. Marijuana activates the system by reinforcing stimuli, leading to repetitive use and addictive behavior.

Mental Health Risks

The use of marijuana does come with some mental health risks. Indeed, research has revealed a clear link between marijuana use and mental health. A person who starts using cannabis at an early age is more likely to experience mental health difficulties. Some of the mental health conditions that have been associated with the use of marijuana are anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Regions of the Brain Affected by Marijuana

The amygdala is a region of the brain that is affected by marijuana. This effect can play a role in feelings of unease, irritability, and anxiety. These can occur even after a cannabis high subsides. Substance abuse makes this part of the brain increasingly sensitive.

The basal ganglia plays a crucial role in pleasure and other forms of motivation. Marijuana’s impact on the brain causes this reward circuit to adjust to the presence of marijuana. This effect results in reduced sensitivity to other potential rewards and makes it difficult to feel pleasure from other activities that don’t involve marijuana use.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for essential abilities, such as thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-control. The effect of weed on this circuit results in increased impulsivity, which can lead to risky, poorly-planned decisions.

Treatment for Marijuana Abuse

Recovering from marijuana dependence is best achieved with professional help. Recovery By The Sea is a specialized and accredited addiction treatment facility that is warm, comforting, and supportive of the recovery process. Our programs feature evidence-based services, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

Our center is located just minutes from the beautiful beaches of Stuart, FL, which was recently voted among the top 50 most beautiful small towns in America.

If you are ready to break free from the vicious cycle of substance abuse, contact us today to discuss treatment options!

⟹READ THIS NEXT: Cons of Marijuana Use

Cons of Marijuana Use

Cons of Marijuana

Cons of Marijuana Use – Marijuana is the dried and ground or shredded leaves, stem, flowers, and seeds of the cannabis plant. As with other substances, marijuana use can result in both positive and adverse effects.

Many of marijuana’s effects are acute, meaning that they last for only a brief period. Other effects are longer-term and may not manifest for some time.

Traditionally, marijuana is ingested by smoking. However, cannabis can also be used in the following ways:

  • Vaping
  • Used as part of an oil
  • Brewed as a tea
  • Cooked into food such as brownies

Many people use marijuana for medicinal purposes, either legally or illicitly. However, no drug comes without risks, and there are cons of marijuana use that, for some, may outweigh the benefits.

Physical Effects of Marijuana on the Body

Some of the most common physical health effects from marijuana use include the following:

  • A higher likelihood of developing a cough with phlegm and bronchitis from smoking
  • Lung irritation from irritants including some carcinogens
  • A weakened immune system caused by the effects of THC
  • Accelerated heart rate by up to 50 beats per minute
  • Red eyes from increased blood flow
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing lung conditions, such as asthma
  • potential interference with tumor growth
  • Interference with fetal development during pregnancy
  • Interference with brain development among adolescents

When people use it for medical purposes, marijuana may be beneficial for the following:

  • Reducing pain and inflammation associated with certain medical conditions
  • Helping with glaucoma
  • Reducing nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy

Cons of Marijuana Use | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Marijuana Effects on Brain and Body

Some of the most common effects associated with marijuana include the following:

  • Dopamine induced feelings of pleasure
  • Increased appetite and thirst
  • Increased or reduced depression symptoms
  • Increased or reduced anxiety symptoms
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making
  • Memory impairment
  • Symptoms of withdrawal after long-term use
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Temporary paranoia and hallucinations
  • Dependence and addiction, in some cases

How Marijuana Can Affect Youths

Children and teens are much more susceptible to the potential adverse effects of marijuana. For example, when a mother uses marijuana during pregnancy, the baby may develop memory and concentration problems as they grow.

Breastfeeding mothers who use marijuana may be exposing their baby to potentially harmful effects. For these reasons, women should avoid using marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Marijuana can also impact the brain development of older children and teenagers. This effect can result in memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and impaired problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, research suggests that, for those under the age of 25, marijuana use may impair memory and learning.

Long-Term Marijuana Effects

The long-term effects of marijuana use depend on several factors, including a person’s age when they begin using and the frequency and amount of use.

Long-term effects depend on several factors, including the following:

  • Method of use (e.g., smoking)
  • How often it is used
  • Amount used
  • The potency of THC in the marijuana ingested
  • Existence of mental health disorders
  • The age of the person using it

Some potential long-term effects include the following:

  • Focus and memory impairment
  • Chronic lung irritation
  • Exacerbation of other lung conditions
  • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome

Marijuana Use Disorder

Regular marijuana consumption can result in the development of problematic use, also known as a marijuana use disorder. In extreme cases, this can take on the form of addiction. Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use marijuana may suffer from some degree of marijuana use disorder. Young people who begin using marijuana before age 18 are up to 7 times more likely to experience a marijuana use disorder than those who do not use until after adulthood.

Chronic marijuana abusers often report experiencing the following:

  • Irritability and agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Decreased appetite
  • Drug cravings
  • Restlessness

These symptoms begin within 2-3 days, peak within the first week after quitting, and may persist for up to 2 weeks. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “marijuana dependence occurs when the brain becomes accustomed to large amounts of the drug by reducing production of and sensitivity to its own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters.”

Marijuana use disorder has developed into an addiction when the person cannot stop using the drug despite its interference with many aspects of life. Estimates of the number of those who are addicted to marijuana remain controversial, however. This is because studies related to substance use often use the concept of dependence interchangeably with that of addiction, although it is possible to be dependent on a substance without becoming addicted.

That said, studies suggest that 9% of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it. This number increases to about 17% among those who start using in their teenage years.

In 2015, around four million people in the U.S. met the diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder. Of those,138,000 voluntarily sought treatment for their marijuana use.

Cons of Marijuana: Withdrawal

Cons of Marijuana Use | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Although some believe that marijuana dependence is not possible, studies have proven that it is. However, it does have a much lower occurrence rate than with many other drugs of abuse.

Marijuana use disorders are often linked to dependence. Dependence results in the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the person stops using the drug. The younger a person starts experimenting with marijuana, the more likely they are to become dependent upon it.

Some symptoms of marijuana withdrawal syndrome include:

  • Headaches
  • Chills and fever
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Shakiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Daytime tiredness

Cons of Marijuana: Overdose

An overdose of marijuana is not thought to have the potential to be fatal. However, excessive use can result in severe symptoms. Some people who have a mental illness or are ingesting other substances, such as heroin, alcohol, or cocaine, may also have a higher risk of experiencing extreme effects.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Very elevated heart rate
  • Severe headache
  • Pale skin
  • Paranoia and panic attacks
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Fainting

Symptoms like the ones mentioned above should not be disregarded under any circumstances. Do not let the fact the symptoms originated from cannabis dissuade you from seeking help for yourself or someone else.

Of note, a New Orleans coroner recently made the news, stating that he determined that a 39-year woman, who died in February 2019, succumbed to the first-ever marijuana overdose reported in the U.S.

The official cause of death was THC. In an autopsy report, Coroner Dr. Christy Montegut claimed that THC was the only drug in the deceased woman’s system. Montegut explained that “her autopsy showed no physical disease or afflictions that were the cause of death” and that “there was nothing else.”

Skeptics, such as University of Toronto professor Bernard Le Foll, disagreed. He argued that the THC levels recorded were “not very high” and hardly a fatal dose.

Treatment for Marijuana Abuse

Although addiction to marijuana may be relatively uncommon, there is no question that many people find themselves in its grips and unable to quit. For some, professional treatment may be the best option.

Recovery By The Sea offers specialized treatment for marijuana abuse and addiction. Our comprehensive programs include psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and aftercare planning. Our treatments are aimed at treating the whole person, not just the addiction itself.

If you or someone you know is struggling to stop using marijuana, contact us today! We can help you free yourself from the chains of addiction for life!

How Long Does a Marijuana High Last?

How Long Does a Marijuana High Last? | Recovery By The Sea

How Long Does a Marijuana High Last? – A typical high caused by smoking marijuana lasts about two hours. Ingesting marijuana, however, can trigger a high that lasts longer, perhaps up to 6 hours. Either way, psychomotor impairments may persist after the initial effects have subsided. These include altered perception of time, impaired hand and eye coordination, and gaps in memory.

The effects of smoking marijuana are usually noticeable within a few minutes after the first use, and peak after about 30 minutes. Most effects of marijuana will return to normal within five hours after the last use, but particularly potent strains may induce effects for up to 24 hours.

The duration of the high hinges on several factors, including tolerance. For example, a person who uses marijuana daily will not experience a high for as long as someone who uses it only occasionally.

Effects of a Marijuana High

Various effects can occur during a high, which vary in their intensity and nature. Among the most common effects of marijuana is an increase in sensations and clarity of perception. Visual perception can be altered, colors appear brighter, and patterns are more easily recognizable.

Other possible effects of a marijuana high include the following:

  • Increased appetite
  • Changes in pain perception
  • Altered time perception
  • Intensified sense of taste, smell, and hearing
  • Greater sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure receptors
  • Objects appear more visually well-defined

How Does Marijuana Act on the Brain?

How Long Does a Marijuana High Last? | Recovery By The Sea

The active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive agent that induces marijuana’s effects. THC achieves this by attaching to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. Once there, it interferes with chemicals involved in cognition, motor skills, and other physiological processes.

Certain regions of the brain, including the hippocampus, the cerebellum, and the cerebral cortex, have higher levels of cannabinoid receptors. When a person uses marijuana, the following functions may be affected:

  • Concentration
  • Coordination
  • Memory
  • Pleasure
  • Sensory information processing
  • Perception of time

Additionally, a person using marijuana may also become hyperaware of regular, automatic movements, as well as motor control processes. However, the effects of cannabis on a person’s mood can vary from person to person and will depend on the strain.

In general, emotions may be muted or exaggerated, which can cause the user to act inappropriately or strangely in otherwise normal situations.

Mental Effects

Marijuana effects are dependent on several factors related to the method of administration and the drug’s quality in general. For example, if marijuana is consumed orally, effects will be milder but will persist for several hours. Keep in mind that a first-time marijuana user may not experience the same effects as a chronic user.

Common mental effects of THC include the following:

  • Mood changes
  • Impaired memory
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired coordination and motor skills

High dose THC strains may also induce hallucinations and delusions—psychosis. In fact, chronic marijuana use has been associated with mental illness among some users, with effects such as transient hallucinations, paranoia, and a worsening of symptoms in users with schizophrenia.

Furthermore, marijuana use has been linked to other mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Whether use itself causes or exacerbates these problems is not clear.

Physical Effects

Acute physical effects of marijuana use include accelerated heart rate and either elevated or lowered blood pressure. These symptoms occur because, within a few minutes after marijuana is inhaled, a person’s heart rate speeds up, and the breathing passages loosen and become enlarged. The heart rate may increase by 20-50 beats per minute or more. Additionally, blood vessels in the eyes dilate, making them appear bloodshot.

The main body effects of marijuana include:

  • Head rush or dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Slowed digestion

Long-term effects include problems related to the cardiovascular system. For example, marijuana raises the heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking. This effect increases the risk of a heart attack. Older people and those who have heart problems may be at a higher risk.

Other problems related to long-term marijuana use may include:

Breathing Difficulties

Marijuana smoke irritates lungs, and people who smoke marijuana chronically can have similar breathing problems as those who smoke tobacco. These problems include persistent cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and an increased risk of lung infections.

Intense Nausea and Vomiting

Although rare, marijuana can cause a condition known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. This condition is characterized by regular cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. If severe enough, this condition may require emergency medical attention.

How Long Does a Marijuana High Last? | Recovery By The Sea

Factors That Influence Effects

One major factor that will influence the effects of marijuana is the strain used. Some strains affect the brain and body more than others. Still, the way cannabis affects a person will largely depend on individual factors, both physical and psychological, including the following:

  • Age, height, and weight
  • General health status
  • Amount of THC in the dose
  • Level of tolerance
  • Presence of other substances
  • Environment
  • Method of administration
  • Personal expectations
  • Previous marijuana use

Time in the Body

THC reaches the bloodstream quite rapidly after marijuana is smoked. If marijuana is consumed orally, it takes longer to be absorbed into the blood—usually from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Once in the blood, THC is rapidly broken down into dozens of molecules known as metabolites. The majority of THC (65%) is excreted through feces, while over 30% leaves the body through the urine.

In urine, THC can be detected up to 3 days after the last dose of marijuana.
Chronic use, however, can be detected weeks or months after last use. As with other drugs, the time that marijuana can be detected in hair follicles is a minimum of 90 days.

When marijuana is ingested, some of the marijuana metabolites are stored in the fatty tissues. This effect is why marijuana use can be detected for more extended periods in chronic, regular users. Rather than being highly water-soluble, the metabolites remain in fat cells and are slowly released over time.

Consequences of Marijuana Abuse

Compared to individuals who don’t use marijuana, those who frequently smoke marijuana in excessive amounts report lower overall life satisfaction, more relationship issues, and poorer mental and physical health in general.

Marijuana users also report poorer academic and career success. For example, marijuana use has been associated with a higher likelihood of dropping out of school. And, it has also been linked to more job absenteeism, accidents, and injuries.

Signs of Marijuana Use Disorder

One of the first signs of a problem is dependence. Many people who use marijuana for a long time and attempt to quit report withdrawal symptoms that discourage them from stopping. These symptoms include the following:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia and nightmares

Another sign is that a person can no longer control their use. It’s estimated that nearly one-third of regular users are at least psychologically addicted.

Treatment for Marijuana Abuse

In general, marijuana abuse and addiction aren’t considered to be as serious as many other substance addictions, such as cocaine, heroin, or meth. That said, marijuana use can be harmful to one’s health and well-being. It can also cause other problems in life, such as relationship strain and difficulties with work or school.

If you believe you have an addiction to marijuana and find it difficult to quit on your own, contact us today to discuss treatment options! We can help you stop the cycle of drug abuse and foster the fulfilling life you deserve!

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Cocaine Drug Test

Cocaine Drug Test | What You Need to Know | Recovery By The Sea

Taking a Cocaine Drug Test: What You Need to Know – After the last dose has been administered, cocaine can remain in a person’s body anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. Also, cocaine use produces a metabolite called benzoylecgonine (BE), which can take up to two days to be completely cleared from the body.

Dose and Delivery Method

As a general rule, the higher the dose, the more time it will take for cocaine to be eliminated from a person’s system, and the longer it will be detectable on a cocaine drug test. The method by which the drug is administered is also a significant factor.

Injecting cocaine will produce a fast, more intense high, but it also clears the body more rapidly. The half-life for this delivery method is only around five minutes, and it fully clears the system in about a half an hour.

Snorting cocaine usually leads to a high that continues for 10-30 minutes, and it takes no longer than three hours to be eliminated.

Smoking freebase cocaine extends the half-life to around 45 minutes, and it can take as long as four hours for the drug to be expelled.

Oral consumption can delay the onset of the high for an hour or so, and effects can persist for around two hours thereafter. For this route of administration, the half-life is around an hour, and it may take longer than five hours for the drug to be fully cleared.

Duration of Use and Purity Level

Long-term users often have a tendency to retain cocaine in their bodies for an extended period, where it has accumulated in fatty tissues. For this reason, withdrawal can take longer, and associated symptoms are often more intense.

Moreover, the longer someone uses cocaine, the more challenging it becomes for their body to expel it. Over time, the body’s ability to eliminate the drug becomes less efficient, and it may eventually lose this function altogether.

Purity level can also be a factor—the more refined the cocaine, the more powerful the effects will be, and the longer it will stay in a person’s system. Other factors include metabolism, body mass, age, and pre-existing health conditions.

Cocaine Drug Testing

Cocaine drug tests do not reveal how long cocaine stays in a person’s system, but some toxicological methods can detect traces of cocaine for up to three months following the last use. For example, a blood test can identify the presence of cocaine in the body for the first 24 hours, but a urine test can detect cocaine from anywhere between 2-30 days. Hair follicle tests can detect traces of cocaine use for as long as three months.

Cocaine Drug Testing – Cocaine Excretion

Some research has revealed that the amount of the drug consumed can also be a factor in how long cocaine metabolites (BE) remain in a user’s system. Other factors that can impede the excretion of BE include:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Weight/obesity
  • Inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of hydration
  • Excessive caffeine use

Cocaine Intoxication

Cocaine Drug Test | What You Need to Know | Recovery By The Sea

Retention of cocaine in the body causes cocaine intoxication, a condition that can result in negative side effects in addition to its desirable effects. Cocaine use can be deceptive, and users can still experience an overdose even after many of the effects appear to have abated.

Users often take doses in rapid succession, believing that they are safe to use again because the drug’s most pronounced effects have subsided. Unfortunately, using consecutive doses of cocaine places the user at an increased risk for overdose as the drug proceeds to accumulate in the system with each subsequent use.

Using an extreme amount of cocaine or using it in high concentrations can induce the following adverse effects:

  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Chest pain and pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Confusion

A cocaine overdose can also lead to muscle damage, kidney damage, brain hemorrhage, stroke, or sudden death due to organ failure.

If you or someone you know has used cocaine and appears to be suffering from any of the following symptoms, please seek emergency medical help or call 911 immediately:

  • Very high blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Very high body temperature
  • Agitation or confusion
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat

Mental Health Conditions

Excessive doses of cocaine can result in other serious symptoms of mental health problems, including depression, suicidal thoughts, mania, and paranoia. Occasionally, psychiatric symptoms can manifest in those using much lower levels of cocaine. What’s more, street cocaine is often adulterated with other potentially life-threatening substances that can contribute to their own set of symptoms and unpredictable effects.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction can become a potentially life-threatening problem that negatively impacts the life of the person suffering as well as those around him or her. It should be taken very seriously, and if you or someone you know is abusing cocaine, you are urged to seek professional help immediately.

Recovery By The Sea features comprehensive treatment programs that include evidence-based services, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and much more.

Contact us today and end your suffering—or the suffering of someone you love. We are dedicated to helping those who need it most to break free from substance abuse and foster healthy and fulfilling lives!

READ THIS NEXT : Signs Of Cocaine Use

Can You Overdose on Ambien?

Can You Overdose on Ambien? | Recovery By The Sea

Can You Overdose on Ambien? – Ambien (zolpidem) is a prescription sedative and hypnotic. It is commonly used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Ambien helps put the person’s brain into an “in-between” waking and sleeping state sometimes referred to as the hypnogogic state—people who experience sleep disorders, such as insomnia, have difficulty getting to this state.

Some people have reported engaging in hazardous activities after using Ambien, such as sleepwalking and sleep-driving, which have led to accidental deaths. Beyond the potential for a sleep-related injury, another possible consequence of Ambien use is an overdose. Because it is a depressant, Ambien overdoses can occur when the drug is misused at high doses.

Can You Overdose on Ambien?

Whenever powerful sedatives are involved, there is always a risk of dangerous health complications, and Ambien is no exception to this rule. That said, it requires a very high amount of Ambien to result in death. Ambien acts rapidly and remains effective for just a few hours, meaning that very high amounts are needed in a short amount of time to be lethal.

How Many Ambien to Cause Overdose?

Medically prescribed Ambien doses start in the 5–10 mg range. When a patient passes this recommended amount, the potential for adverse consequences increases exponentially.

Recreational users have reported taking doses of 400–600 mg, which will very likely result in an overdose, although not necessarily death. Experts estimate that a fatal amount of Ambien is approximately 2,000 mg. Of note, however, harmful outcomes can occur far before this amount has been reached.

At 2,000 mg, a person would have to consume 200 pills at 10 mg each—so how is overdose possible unless it’s entirely intentional? Well, other unsafe practices regarding drug use can amplify the risk of an overdose, such as tampering with Ambien and taking it in non-directed, abusive ways such as chewing, snorting, or injecting it. In fact, this type of tapering invalidates any innate safeguards, as this rapid-release drug enters the bloodstream abruptly and immediately.

Overdoses are also more likely to occur when Ambien is used in conjunction with other drugs, particularly sedatives, painkillers, or alcohol. Ambien and alcohol is an especially dangerous and, unfortunately, common combination, as is discussed later in this article.

Ambien Overdose Symptoms

Can You Overdose on Ambien? | Recovery By The Sea

Ambien overdose symptoms include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Inability to awaken
  • Confusion
  • Irrational thoughts
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Coma
  • Death

If someone you know appears to be overdosing on Ambien, call 911 immediately.

Ambien Overdose Treatment

In the case of an overdose on Ambien, doctors may administer an antidote called flumazenil to counteract the person’s sedation. If necessary, medical personnel may also choose to remove Ambien from the stomach entirely, but this procedure is typically only necessary in the most severe overdose situations.

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Ambien

Because of the potency of this medication and its potential for chronic abuse, Ambien prescriptions are often limited to 1-2 weeks. During that time, health providers will carefully monitor patients for signs of abuse or addiction. If a person takes Ambien for more than two weeks, tolerance can develop, and it may no longer be effective at the usual prescribed dose.

As noted, many intoxicating substances can interact with Ambien in hazardous ways, and among the most commonly abused is alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption on its own can lead to severe side effects, but when Ambien and alcohol are consumed together, many of the more dangerous side effects of either substance are enhanced. This pronounced effect occurs because Ambien binds to GABA receptors in the brain, acting to reduce activity in the central nervous system, just like alcohol.

Side Effects of Combining Alcohol and Ambien

When used together, Ambien and alcohol can compound each other’s intoxicating effects, and result in the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Impaired cognition
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Sleepiness/drowsiness
  • Sleepwalking
  • Depressed breathing
  • Sleep apnea

According to research, people who combined alcohol and Ambien are more than two times as likely to require intensive care compared to those who took Ambien but did not consume alcohol.

Ambien use alone can result in side effects. For this reason, it is not recommended for people with Ambien prescriptions to use this medication unless they are able to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, which helps relieve some of the next-day aftereffects, such as fatigue. It can be very dangerous for people on Ambien, especially those who have just taken Ambien or who did not get enough rest, to operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery.

These effects are all amplified when a person consumes alcohol and takes Ambien. This combination also increases the risk of an Ambien overdose, and dangerous side effects are more likely to occur when these two substances are used in conjunction.

Behavioral Side Effects of Mixing Ambien and Alcohol

Can You Overdose on Ambien? | Recovery By The Sea

Any time multiple intoxicating substances are combined in the system, severe and dangerous side effects can occur. Somnambulance, or sleepwalking, is one of the most dangerous yet common side effects of consuming alcohol and Ambien together. One study that examined the effects of drugs like zolpidem on driving found that, when alcohol and Ambien were combined, the potential for parasomnia, or performing tasks while asleep, was significantly increased.

The risk of sleepwalking, sleep-eating, and engagement in other somnambulistic activities increases even when small amounts of alcohol are consumed with Ambien. Ambien and alcohol both result in mental and physical impairment, and more than half of emergency department visits involving zolpidem involve other drugs, especially alcohol.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), in 2010, around 57% of ER visits and hospitalizations related to using too much Ambien also involved other substances. Ambien combined with alcohol accounted for 14% of those visits (2,851 total). Also, consuming alcohol with Ambien increased the person’s likelihood of requiring transfer to an intensive care unit due to overdose.

Getting Professional Help

It is vital that people who are using Ambien and consuming alcohol report this behavior to their doctor. Drinking alcohol with Ambien, even a few hours apart, is hazardous and can result in serious, even life-threatening complications.

When used long-term, a person can become dependent on Ambien and tolerance can develop, meaning that they will need increasing amounts of the medication in order for it to be effective. Those who abuse alcohol may also be more likely to abuse other substances, even drugs as relatively benign as Ambien. These factors, when combined, dramatically increases the risk that a person will suffer severe health consequences and possibly place themselves and others in grave danger.

It is crucial that people in this situation seek professional help as soon as possible. Recovery By The Sea specializes in treatment for abuse, dependence, and addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our programs are based on a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery and mental health and include clinically-proven services such as behavioral therapy, peer support, counseling, medication-assisted therapy, aftercare planning, and much more.

We employ skilled, caring addiction specialists who facilitate our services and provide education and support to those who need them the most. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug dependence or alcoholism, contact us today. Find out how we help people break free from the cycle of substance abuse for life!

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