What Is Nodding on Heroin?

What Is Nodding on Heroin? | Recovery By The Sea

A person who is using heroin may seem to fall asleep for a very short time, sometimes only seconds, and then wake up again abruptly. This person may nod off in strange positions, such as with a needle still in the arm after injecting. Nodding occurs because heroin takes effect almost immediately after administration, especially with intravenous (IV) use. This effect is referred to as “nodding,” “nodding off,” or “being on the nod.”

When a heroin user nods off periodically, he or she is almost entirely out of control of their bodily functions and mental capacity. Being in this condition may increase the risk for of accidents resulting in injury or placing oneself in a compromising position.

Why Do Heroin Users Nod Off?

Heroin use can cause a user to nod off because it is a powerful central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Moreover, it can dramatically slow down many life-sustaining functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and respiration.

Heroin also causes levels of dopamine to increase, which reduces anxiety. As CNS activity throughout every region of the body slows down, the user will become drowsy and can fall asleep or lose consciousness completely.

Heroin is a potent sedative that can make it challenging or impossible to remain awake upon administration. Nodding off on heroin is extremely dangerous and may be indicative of a much more severe condition, such as a life-threatening overdose.

The Problem of Escalating Use

Heroin use rapidly leads to tolerance, meaning that a person will eventually need to take increasingly higher doses more often to keep experiencing a high of the same intensity. Increasing the dosage, though, significantly increases the risk of overdose and life-threatening complications.

Once a person has developed tolerance and exhibits signs of addiction, such as compulsive drug-seeking behavior, they may not be able to make rational decisions about their drug use. At that point, they may not even be concerned with the fact that the amount of heroin they consume could kill them.

Signs of Heroin Overdose

When a person nods off on heroin, there is a very real risk that he or she may never wake up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017 alone, more than 15,000 Americans died from an overdose involving heroin. NIDA also warns that every day in the U.S., around 115 people die from an opioid-related overdose.

Heroin can quickly overtake a person’s system. Although being on the nod is a common side effect, an inability to stay awake and loss of consciousness is also a hallmark sign of overdose that can lead to coma, brain damage, or death.

Signs of a heroin overdose include:

  • Shallow or labored breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors or convulsions
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Bluish lips, nails, and skin
  • Profound respiratory depression
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

Heroin use can also result in nausea and vomiting, itching, confusion, impaired reflexes, and uncoordinated movements.

What Is Nodding on Heroin? | Recovery By The Sea

A heroin overdose can be reversed through the prompt administration of the drug naloxone (Narcan), which detaches heroin from opioid receptors in the brain, halting the depressant effects. An overdose of heroin, or any opioid, is a medical emergency that requires swift intervention.

If you suspect someone close to you abuses heroin or another opioid, keeping an eye on them is important. If that person nods off and doesn’t wake up right away, has trouble breathing, or is exhibiting any other telltale signs of a CNS depressant overdose, call 911 and seek help immediately.

NOTE: Naloxone, or Narcan, is actually available over-the-counter as an injection or nasal spray. Having it ready to hand may save your loved one’s life.

Additional Risks

Because heroin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug has no accepted medical use and remains unregulated. As such, its purity level can vary significantly, and it may contain other substances used as buffering agents. For example, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 50 times more powerful than heroin, is frequently laced into the heroin or substituted for it outright.

Various other additives are often used to stretch doses of heroin or increase its potency, and the actual chemical makeup of the drug can vary from batch to batch or from dealer to dealer. This uncertainty makes it nearly impossible to determine how much even a single dose of heroin will impact the user. What’s more, a person may consume the same dose as their most recent use and suffer a more intense reaction due to the higher potency of the fentanyl laced into heroin.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

If you or someone you love is encountering problems related to heroin abuse, such as nodding off, professional treatment is the best option for achieving abstinence, avoiding relapse, and sustaining long-term sobriety.

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive addiction treatment that includes evidence-based services essential to the recovery process, such as psychotherapy, counseling, psychoeducation, group support, and medication-assisted treatment. We employ caring addiction specialists who are dedicated to providing each client with the tools and support they need to reclaim their lives free from addiction to heroin, other drugs, or alcohol.

To discuss treatment options, call us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction so they can experience the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!

Kratom Addiction

Kratom Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Kratom Addiction – Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical, tree-like, plant native to parts of Southeast Asia. In Thailand and other nearby areas, kratom has been used as an herbal remedy for several centuries. Depending on the dosage and potency, kratom can induce both stimulant and opioid-like effects, thereby relieving symptoms produced by a variety of ailments.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that kratom’s ability to increase energy, relieve mild pain, and bind to the brain’s opioid receptors is helpful in reducing opiate withdrawal symptoms. In the past two decades, the use of kratom, both as a recreational drug and for self-medication of opiate withdrawal symptoms, has significantly increased. Nevertheless, medical professionals often warn against the use of kratom for these purposes.

Is Kratom Use Dangerous?

In the Western world, research regarding the effects of kratom or its potential for abuse and addiction is very limited. As of the time of this writing, little experimentation has been undertaken to ascertain if kratom is safe for human use. Most current information we have about kratom is anecdotal, resulting from reports by those who use it, physicians who have witnessed its effects, or based on animal experiments. However, some clinical trials in the United States are anticipated or underway.

At the federal level, kratom is not yet scheduled as a controlled substance. Therefore, in most states, kratom is widely available for purchase via the internet and head shops. Kratom is available in capsule and compressed tablet form, or as chopped loose leaves from which tea can be brewed.

Studies have suggested that kratom contains more than 20 active chemicals, many of which attach to opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). For this reason, the development of physical dependence on kratom is a possibility.

Furthermore, some chemicals present in kratom are known to disrupt the drug-metabolizing activity of enzymes in the liver, so it does have the potential to interact with other substances. As a result, overdoses have been reported, some of which resulted in death.

And despite its long history of seemingly benign medicinal use in Southeast Asia, kratom abuse is also well-known in the region. Because of its potential for addiction, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia have all banned kratom outright.

Low-dose Effects of Kratom

At low dosages under 5 grams, the principal effects of kratom tend to be stimulant-like. On average, effects take about 10 minutes to onset and last approximately one or two hours. While the majority of reports by users contend that kratom’s effects are pleasant in general, a minority of users report having experienced feelings of anxiousness, uneasiness, and agitation.

The stimulant-like effects of kratom are comparable to those of amphetamine, albeit much weaker, and include the following:

  • Suppressed appetite
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced alertness
  • Improved sociability
  • Amplified libido

Moderate- to High-Dose Kratom Effects

Kratom Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

The opiate-like effects onset at dosages between 5-15 grams and these effects can last for several hours. Like opioids, the “high” experienced at this dose is characterized by feelings of well-being and relaxation, although less intense. Also, a minority of users report having encountered discomfort, as well as dysphoria and depression.

Moderate to high dosages of kratom may induce the following opiate-like effects:

  • Analgesic pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Dreamlike thoughts
  • Cough suppression
  • Relief from opioid withdrawals
  • Profound sedation (at doses > 15 g)
  • Loss of consciousness (at doses > 15 g)

Side Effects of Kratom

Kratom use is associated with a wide variety of side effects, which vary in intensity from barely perceptible to life-threatening, depending on the dosage and potency of the kratom consumed.

Side effects of kratom are comparable to those of opiates and stimulants and include the following:

  • Constricted pupils
  • Flushed face
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Tremors
  • Impaired motor coordination

Although uncommon, severe toxic reactions have been reported, but information regarding these incidents is scarce. For this reason, it is difficult to identify the actual dangers that an overdose of kratom might pose to a user. Toxic reactions are said to have sometimes caused seizures, supposedly as a result of binges in which doses exceeding 15 grams are rapidly-consumed.

Kratom Addiction

Kratom is perceived by the average user as an herb, and understood as such, therefore evading the common association of addiction that pharmaceutical pills and other drugs carry. Still, kratom’s chemical action may lead to dependence and addiction with repeated use.

Kratom is anecdotally known to relieve opiate withdrawal symptoms and is believed to accomplish this by attaching to opioid receptors. Because of this property, there is an ongoing discussion among experts regarding kratom’s similarity to opiates by nature.

Kratom Addiction Treatment

Kratom use is a very new trend in the United States. Regardless of its prevalence, though, detrimental use of kratom can be classified just like any other substance abuse disorder. Patients who are seeking help for kratom abuse or addiction are urged to enroll in a comprehensive treatment program that includes behavioral therapy.

Here at Recovery By The Sea, we are dedicated to providing clients with the tools and resources they need to fully recover from addiction, prevent relapse, and enjoy long-term wellness and sobriety. Contact us today to find out how we can help!

 

What Are Track Marks?

Track Marks | What Are They? | Recovery By The Sea

When a person shoots heroin, track marks, which are essentially scars, begin to develop around an injection site. Prolonged and repeated use at the same site increases the risk of a track mark forming. Injecting heroin intravenously is also called shooting.

When heroin is injected into a vein, its effects onset more rapidly and intensely than ingestion by other methods such as snorting or smoking.

Peak opioid effects occur within just seconds after administering the drug, but the duration of effects that result from this type of use are shorter-lived than with other methods.

When heroin is injected, use can also cause sores, abscesses, and holes at the injection sites. In severe cases, veins collapse from excessive use, increasing the chance that a needle will be injected into a muscle instead. This mishap can result in other complications, such as fibrous skin lesions around injection sites.

Recognizing Heroin Use

There is unique paraphernalia related to this type of heroin use, including hypodermic needles, cotton balls, or a spoon for liquefying the drug. Heroin injectors also use something that can function as a tourniquet and be wrapped around an extremity, such as a rubber band or piece of cloth, used to make the vein more obvious.

In addition to track marks, injection increases the risk of other serious complications. Because heroin also often contains adulterants and toxins, this can result in residue in the blood vessels upon injection. This buildup of toxic residue can induce damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys, and liver.

As noted, there are different ways heroin can be administered. Snorting or smoking is also popular among users, but, ultimately, many people who start out ingesting the drug in these ways advance to injecting it for the more intense high it provides.

Without a doubt, any use of heroin is dangerous, but intravenous use comes with the most risks by far. Heroin track marks are the scars that remain long after someone has shot up heroin or another drug, and they are often the result of chronic drug abuse in the same spot over and over again.

What Do Heroin Track Marks Look Like?

Track Marks | What Are They? | Recovery By The Sea

Recently developed heroin track marks appear as fresh lesions, and they resemble a standard puncture wound. They may also present as bruises or scabs. Most often, heroin marks manifest in the crook of the arm, but there are other places where heroin track marks may be spotted, including legs, feet, hands, and the groin area.

When heroin marks are found on the arm, they are frequently on the non-dominant arm, because its often easier for the person to administer the drug this way. However, if the person has someone else inject the heroin for them, the track marks could also be on their dominant arm.

Hands and feet have shallower veins and arteries than other areas, and these can be easily damaged, and scarring may be more likely. A person may sustain a lot of damaged or inflamed tissue or collapsed veins in the arms or their preferred injection sites.

At this point, they may resort to injecting in a variety of other locations around the body. People may also choose different places to administer heroin because it allows them to conceal the track marks more easily.

Older heroin track marks may begin to appear as discolored, raised, plague-like scars. Even after someone stops heroin use, scars of track marks may remain indefinitely. In some instances, there may also be infections at the site and ulcerous sores or holes.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

The presence of track marks are a tell-tale sign of drug addiction and injection, and heroin is the drug that people most often administer in this manner. Heroin addiction is a devastating, life-threatening disease that is best treated by medical addiction specialists in a safe clinical environment.

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive treatment for addiction in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. Our programs are designed to meet the unique needs and goals of each client and include research-based services vital to the recovery process, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, and more.

We are dedicated to providing clients with the resources and support they need to achieve a full recovery, prevent relapse, and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness! If you or someone you love is suffering from heroin addiction, contact us today to find out how we can help!

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

how long does meth stay in your system

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System? Meth has a half-life of about 12-34 hours, meaning that within this time, the concentration of meth in the blood is reduced by about half. So how long does meth stay in your system? Meth can be detected by urine tests for three days after the last use, but depending on individual factors, such as the following, this length of time will vary:

  • Personal rate of metabolism
  • Frequency of use
  • Amount last used
  • Purity/potency of drug used
  • Kidney and liver functionality

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System: How Meth is Metabolized

How Long Meth Stay in Your System

When a person uses meth, the body starts to process it immediately as it circulates through the blood. Some of this is converted into pure amphetamine.

After a few hours, the body begins to metabolize both the meth and amphetamine and the substances start their journey through the liver and kidneys, soon to be partially excreted through urine.

Some research has shown that as much as half of a meth dose can be eliminated from the body in its original form – moreover, not having been metabolized, nor the user having experienced any effects at all from this portion.

Meth Side Affects
In addition to desired effects of increased energy and euphoria, meth users may experience the following adverse symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Diminished appetite
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Itching
  • Disordered thoughts
  • Dry mouth
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea Paranoia and delusions
  • Hallucinations and psychosis

Long-term meth use can also increase the risk of heart disease, cognitive defects, neurotoxicity, and early death. Meth use also significantly raises the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, even in young people

Meth use also wreaks havoc on oral hygiene and many long-term meth users end up with tooth decay from dry mouth and even dentures.

Snorting meth, like cocaine, also increases a user’s risk of nosebleeds, infections, and irreversible damage to the nasal septum and surrounding tissues.

Injecting meth, on the other hand, can result in damage to the skin and veins, including abscesses and infections.

Signs of Meth Use

If you suspect someone you know is using meth, look for the following warning signs:

  • General hyperactivity
  • Skin picking
  • Meth sores (from picking at skin)
  • Meth mouth (severe tooth decay)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Uneven sleeping patterns that can include periods of being awake for days or even weeks following by long bouts of sleeping
  • Twitching, facial tics, jerky movements, and exaggerated mannerisms
  • Talking constantly
  • Outbursts or mood swings
  • Paranoia

Also, people using meth frequently may have an unkempt appearance and tend to neglect critical personal responsibilities such as child-rearing, housekeeping, and employment.

Polysubstance Abuse

Many meth users also use other drugs or alcohol, which is far more dangerous than abusing meth alone. For example, using meth in combination with another stimulant can lead to sudden death by heart attack. Using meth in conjunction with a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, on the other hand, can lead to unpredictable and possibly life-threatening complications such as respiratory arrest.

It’s also becoming increasingly common to find meth on the streets that is tainted with other drugs, such as fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller similar in effect to heroin, but far more potent. This is especially troubling because the user often does not know that fentanyl is present, and often has little or no tolerance for opioids.

While overdosing on meth is rarely fatal, overdosing on fentanyl-laced meth can cause death when the primary effects of meth wear off and fentanyl is still active in the body.

Treatment for Meth Abuse

Unlike other substances such as opioids and alcohol, there is no medication-assisted treatment for meth withdrawals. However, undergoing a medical detox offers patients a clinically-supervised withdrawal period in which vital signs can be monitored for complications.

After a short detox period, patients should participate in one of our addiction treatment programs, either on a partial hospitalization or outpatient basis. Both programs offer vital therapeutic elements needed for recovery, including psychotherapy, individual and group therapy, counseling, and holistic practices such as meditation and art therapy.

After treatment has been completed, patients can still participate in an aftercare program in which aftercare planning specialists help them locate therapeutic support services in their area such as ongoing behavior therapy, counseling, and peer group meetings.

We Are Addiction Specialists
Our staff includes addiction specialists and other healthcare providers trained to enact individualized programs that treat the symptoms of addiction and withdrawal. We are dedicated to providing clients with the tools, support, and care they so desperately need to achieve a full recovery and begin to experience long-term wellness and sobriety.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse such as meth, please seek contact us as soon as possible to discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction for life!

The Dangers of Mixing Molly and Alcohol

Molly and Alcohol | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

The Dangers of Mixing Molly and Alcohol – Combining any drug with alcohol is risky, but using Molly (MDMA) while also consuming alcohol is especially dangerous. It can result in severe dehydration and increase the risk of organ damage as well as the potential for risky behaviors, such as drunk driving or engaging in unsafe sex.

Both Molly and alcohol use alone can lead to dehydration, especially when used in the typical club/rave environments where people are dancing and sweating profusely. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and MDMA is a stimulant with mild hallucinogenic properties.

Moreover, these substances induce contrasting effects, and the use of MDMA can mask alcohol’s sedating properties. This effect can result in the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol, which may, in turn, lead to acute alcohol poisoning.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol and Ecstasy?

Molly is commonly found at electronic dance music festivals, concerts, and in the rave scene. Because alcohol use is prevalent at such venues, the combining of the two substances is common. Some people use both substances to enhance the euphoric effects of Molly, and research has provided a good explanation for why this occurs.

A study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from 2002 examined the interaction between MDMA and alcohol. Investigators found that the concentration of MDMA in the subject’s blood increased 13% after they drank alcohol. And although the MDMA-alcohol cocktail actually reduced blood alcohol concentration by up to 15%, study participants experienced a euphoric high that lasted longer than when they used either substance alone.

The study also revealed that while MDMA decreased alcohol’s sedating effects, it did not reduce levels of intoxication. Furthermore, the researchers concluded that this overall effect could have dangerous consequences, as an individual might feel much less intoxicated than they actually are. This outcome could increase the chances of impaired driving and other risk-taking behaviors.

Fortunately, the risk of MDMA addiction is low. But, because combining Molly and alcohol induces a longer-lasting high, researchers have theorized that mixing the substances could result in higher abuse potential than using just MDMA alone.

Health Effects of Combining Molly and Alcohol

Mixing ecstasy and alcohol can lead to significant health complications, including dehydration and organ damage. According to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA, 2003), there were more than 10,000 MDMA-related ER visits in 2011, nearly 30% of those visits also involved alcohol consumption. News reports of young adults being hospitalized after combining Molly and alcohol at electronic dance music festivals and raves are common.

Molly and Alcohol | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Overheating and Dehydration

As noted, Molly overdoses are often associated with overheating (hyperthermia) and severe dehydration. Reportedly, some people’s body temperatures have climbed as high as 110 degrees, often after dancing and being hyperactive for hours on end, and not drinking enough water to compensate for lost fluids. Alcohol, which is a diuretic, can exacerbate Molly-related dehydration, leading to heatstroke, kidney failure, and death.

Organ Damage

If used independently, Molly and alcohol can both cause damage to the brain and liver. Mixing Molly and alcohol together further increases the risk of brain and liver damage. Studies on rats have suggested that combining alcohol and MDMA may also adversely impact the heart. A study from 2015 published in the journal PLOS One revealed that using the two together increased stress on the rodents’ hearts at the cellular level.

Other Effects

Research from 2011 published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that adolescent mice who were administered MDMA and alcohol appeared anxious and depressed, and exhibited impaired movement. The animals also showed brain inflammation upon autopsy.

Like many drugs, Molly causes an unnatural spike in the body’s feel-good chemicals, and as a person comes down from the drug, the brain is depleted of serotonin, a neurotransmitter related to feelings of well-being. Thus, negative feelings such as anxiety and depression may manifest as the drug is gradually eliminated from the system.

If a person combines alcohol and Molly, his or her mood is probably not going to be any better during withdrawal. This consequence is due to alcohol’s own effect on chemicals in the brain vital for mood regulation.

Treatment for Addiction

MDMA has a low potential for addiction, but there is some evidence that people may develop a psychological dependence. Alcohol is, of course, highly addictive, and alcoholism is among the most common and devastating diseases in the world today. Using the two substances together even once can be extremely dangerous, and people who use them in conjunction on a frequent basis may experience even more unhealthy long-term complications.

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized addiction treatment center that provides support and care for both alcoholism and drug abuse. Using evidence-based services vital to the recovery process, we provide our patients with the knowledge, support, and tools they need to fully recover and begin to experience a healthier, more fulfilling life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction and/or is abusing prescription or illicit drugs, please contact us as soon as possible. Discover how we help people free themselves from the grip of addiction and learn how to maintain long-lasting wellness and sobriety!

What is Molly?

What is Molly? | Recovery By The Sea

What is Molly? – Molly is a recreational “club drug” that traditionally contains a psychoactive substance known as MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.) Molly is essentially the powder/capsule form of MDMA, versus Ecstasy, which also includes MDMA but is more widely available in tablet form.

MDMA (Molly) is a synthetic drug that has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. There is still some debate as to whether MDMA should be classified as a hallucinogen with stimulant effects, vice versa, or a drug class entirely all of its own.

In any case, the desired effects of MDMA or Molly include feelings of high energy and euphoria, hallucinations, as well as increased extroversion, sociability, emotional warmth, empathy, and sexual desire.

But What is Molly, Really?

Although Molly is often touted as being “pure” MDMA and more potent than its counterpart Ecstasy, the reality is entirely different.

Moreover, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently stated that only about 13% of the Molly seized in New York, for example, actually contained MDMA. Even then, Molly frequently contains other drugs, including Methylone, MDPV, 4-MEC, 4-MMC, MePP, and Pentedone.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that initially, tablet and powder forms of MDMA were 30-40% MDMA, while the rest of the substance including cutting agents to boost dealer profits. NIDA says that currently, Molly, as sold on the street, is probably even less pure, and can contain any number of synthetic and illicit drugs such as synthetic cathinones (bath salts), crystal meth, cocaine, ketamine (Special K), and over-the-counter medicines.

A Brief History of MDMA

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by a German company, purportedly for use as an appetite suppressant. It was later employed in the psychiatric community in the 1970’s as an aid to psychotherapy.

As noted, MDMA is considered to be party or “club drug”, and indeed, it is probably the drug most synonymous with this designation. The drug’s popularity peaked in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, typically used among teenagers and young adults in large group social settings such as parties, raves, clubs, festivals, concerts, etc.

The DEA classifies MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that the drug has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and has no legitimate medical purpose.

How Molly Works

What is the drug molly? | Recovery by the Sea

Molly affects three main brain neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals hijack the brain’s reward center and can cause dependence – a condition that results as the brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence and is unable to function correctly without it.

After Molly has been metabolized from a person’s system, an effect known as a “crash” is likely to follow – a condition caused by a marked drop in feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. This can result in psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and emotional withdrawal.

Side Effects of Molly

Short-term Side Effects of Molly include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
  • Increasing body temperature
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)

A Word on Overdose

Hyperthermia, in addition to dehydration, is one of the most dangerous complications of Molly abuse and can result in seizures, heart problems, heat stroke, and other life-threatening complications.

While overdoses are rare, they can and do happen – especially considering that drugs purchased as Molly probably actually contain other toxic substances. Also, many people who use Molly are also under the influence of other drugs or alcohol that can result in unpredictable effects and complications.

In January, A&E’s television series “Storm Chasers” co-star Joel Taylor died on a cruise ship. The cause was later revealed to be an overdose of MDMA, and also found were “traces” of ketamine in his system.

Long-term Side Effects of Molly

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Damage to liver and kidneys
  • Mood swings, depression, and anxiety
  • Apathy and dysphoria
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Increased aggression
  • Impaired attention and memory
  • Dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which also include fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances.

Treatment for Molly Addiction

What is Molly? | Recovery by the Sea

Treatment for an addiction to Molly or MDMA should begin with a medical detox to rid the body of toxins in a supervised environment. Residential addiction treatment in our center should shortly follow for at least 30 days.

After discharge from inpatient treatment, clients are encouraged to participate in intensive outpatient treatment, which offers continued therapy and support while the client transitions back into society.

Both inpatient and outpatient formats make use of behavioral therapies, counseling, 12-step-programs, and activities complementary to treatment such as yoga, meditation, and music and art therapy.

Outpatients attend sessions at the center several times per week but live at a private residence or sober living home. During this phase of treatment, clients have the flexibility to attend work or school and interact with family, friends, and peers.

After addiction treatment at the center is completed, former patients can take advantage of our aftercare planning services and alumni activities.

Want to learn more about getting help for substance abuse? We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

Effects of Drugs

Effects of Drugs | 5 Commonly Abused Substances | Recovery By The Sea

Effects of Drugs: 5 Commonly Abused Substances – Worldwide, millions of people use drugs or drink alcohol every day. This use can range from a glass of wine or two during dinner to a line of cocaine to experience a boost of energy and euphoria. Unfortunately, the use of substances such as these can eventually develop into an addiction, as they are causing the mind and body to operate in unhealthy ways.

Effects of Drugs on the Brain and Body

Here is a look at a few of the most commonly abused substances, and how they impact the brain and body when consumed.

Alcohol

Despite being legal and widely accepted in many countries (or perhaps because of it), research has found that alcohol is actually the most lethal substance on the planet. The intoxicating effects of alcohol are implicated in more deaths than the effects of drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Over three million fatalities are related to alcohol abuse each year.

Alcohol consumption initially increases levels of the feel-good chemical dopamine in the brain, inducing effects that make people feel happy, less stressed out, and even elated. For this reason, many people erroneously believe that alcohol is a stimulant. It is not, however—it is a central nervous system depressant and a potentially powerful one in high doses.

In fact, despite the short burst of elevated mood, slowed thinking and a depressed breathing and heart rate onset within a short time after consumption. The liver can only process the equivalent of one standard drink of alcohol per hour—this drink can be one shot of liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine. Drinking alcohol at a faster rate than that can quickly and dangerously increase one’s blood alcohol concentration, leading to moderate to severe impairments in cognitive functioning and motor skills.

In those who drink excessively over a long period, up to 90% will develop fatty liver disease which can result in fatigue, weight gain, and chronic pain. Also, frequent consumption can induce damage to the links between neurons in the brain, which affects the ability to process information. Alcohol consumption also reduces inhibitions and can create a feeling of fearlessness which can lead to risky sexual encounters, accidents, physical fights, and injury.

And, as with any intoxicating substance, there is always a risk for dependence and addiction. When dependence develops, the brain has become accustomed to the constant presence of alcohol and is thus unable to function correctly without it. This state results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms upon cessation and contributes to the development of addiction, which is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

Opioids

Effects of Drugs | 5 Commonly Abused Substances | Recovery By The Sea

Opioids are painkillers that include prescription medication such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and fentanyl, as well as the illicit street drug heroin. In addition to pain relief, opioids also have properties that mimic a CNS depressant, and in high doses, can result in respiratory arrest and death. Opioids bind to certain receptors in the brain and alter pain signals.

Opioids also reduce the amount of GABA in the brain, which in turn increases the amount of dopamine. Opioids have a high potential for dependence and addiction. Constipation and other gastrointestinal issues are also common for opioid users.

During an overdose, a person can completely stop breathing, causing brain damage, coma, and death. This effect may be accompanied by gurgling or choking sounds (death rattle) and bluish skin on the lips and fingers (cyanosis). Acute opioid intoxication is a life-threatening emergency. If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately.

The effects of drugs such as opioids are all similar, although the presence and severity of each symptom depends on the drug itself, the amount that was taken, and how it was administered. Effects generally last between 4-12 hours.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerful CNS stimulant that boosts dopamine and serotonin, resulting in a brief but elated feeling of well-being, confidence, and energy. Over time, these feelings may turn into irritability, anxiety, or paranoia.

Because cocaine’s high is so brief (usually less than a half hour), people frequently use it in binges to avoid the unpleasant comedown after the high begins to subside. Cocaine begins affecting the brain within moments, causing an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Snorting cocaine on a routine basis can cause frequent nosebleeds and the formation of holes in parts of the nose, often the septum. Smoking cocaine can irritate the lungs, sometimes resulting in permanent lung damage. Injecting cocaine frequently leads to damaged veins and the possibility of contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV when needles are shared.

Cocaine also constricts arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. Cocaine is highly addictive, and the binge-like fashion in which it is often used contributes to its addictive potential.

Methamphetamine (Meth)

Like cocaine, meth is a highly addictive stimulant that can be extremely detrimental to a users physical and emotional well-being. It is most often smoked, but can also be injected, snorted, or swallowed. Crystal meth presents as small crystals or glass shards that are light blue to white in color. Meth use induces a sense of euphoria in users, which is the primary reason people use the drug.

The effects of meth may differ, depending on how it was administered. Initially, the user will feel like they have improved concentration and may feel a rush of euphoria or a large burst of energy—this is known as a “rush.” This effect is short-lived, but other sought-after effects of meth, such as increased energy and elevated mood, will persist for hours.

While these euphoric feelings are being experienced, the CNS is working overtime to produce dopamine and other neurochemicals important for maintaining a stabilized mood. Moreover, meth use interferes with these chemicals, and research has shown that a person’s mood and behavior can be dramatically altered when under the influence of meth.

Other adverse effects of meth use include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, as well as agitation, paranoia, and odd, erratic, or repetitive behavior. Like cocaine, users often binge on meth for days at a time to avoid the unpleasant feelings of coming down.

MDMA (Ecstasy)

Effects of Drugs | 5 Commonly Abused Substances | Recovery By The Sea

MDMA is a synthetic “club drug” that has both stimulating and hallucinogenic properties. MDMA, as taken in tablet form, is popularly known as “Ecstasy.” There is little evidence that Ecstasy has the potential for chemical dependence, but it can be habit-forming, and in rare cases, death may occur, primarily due to dehydration or overheating.

Ecstasy increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, causing users to feel elated more social, and experience an increased level of empathy towards others. It also enhances sensory perception and can produce mild hallucinations. Effects typically last between 3-8 hours.

Negative effects of drugs such as MDMA also include the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) which can result in insomnia for a day or so following use. During this time, the user may also feel depressed, irritable, and fatigued.

Getting Help for Addiction

All of the aforementioned drugs produce an excessive influx of dopamine in the brain, which can eventually result in addiction. Most medical professionals now consider addiction to be a chronic disease that should be treated using a combination of psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and other therapeutic modalities.

Recovery By The Sea offers these services in partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. Our caring addiction specialists are dedicated to providing clients with the resources, tools, and support they need to recover and free themselves from the grips of addiction indefinitely.

If substance abuse is causing adverse consequences in your life and you have found that you are struggling to quit using a drug on your own, please contact us today for a free consultation with an addiction expert!

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: Detox Timeline

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Detox Timeline | Recovery By The Sea

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: Detox Timeline – Methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth, or ice) a very potent, highly addictive synthetic stimulant drug that has become increasingly popular with drug users in recent decades. Meth typically presents as a crystalline powder or as small bluish/whitish rocks or shards of glass, and is typically snorted or smoked, but can also be diluted with water and injected.

This drug can be manufactured in small clandestine labs with simple ingredients available at pharmacies and stores that carry common household chemicals, such as ammonia and paint thinner. It has also become increasingly accessible through larger foreign manufacturing sources, especially from Mexico.

Meth Comedown

When meth is administered, the drug reaches the brain where it prompts the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals in turn increase alertness, energy, and sociability. Meth’s effects may continue for up to eight hours, but once the drug begins to wear off, comedown effects can cause the person to feel very ill.

A comedown is a bit different from withdrawal, but there are a few aspects and effects of the process that are similar. Meth comedown symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Jaw clenching
  • Muscle pain

Comedown symptoms may persist for a few days after excessive use, especially any mental health changes that have occurred, such as depression and anxiety. If the person abstains from further meth use, these symptoms will resolve on their own.

Meth Binges

Many people who abuse meth take more to forestall the unpleasant comedown symptoms as they appear. Because the comedown is inevitable, the person repeatedly uses meth in a binge pattern that can last for days at a time. Such particularly bad binges are referred to as “tweaking.” The longer a person binges, the worst the side effects become once they discontinue use or finally “crash.”

After several days of binging, the body no longer sustains a high due to the brain’s propensity to diminish effects in response to repeated exposure. Tweaking occurs when the person engaging in meth abuse does not sleep for several days, experiences intense paranoia, and develops various degrees of temporary psychosis.

Moreover, the initial euphoria from meth no longer occurs after a few doses. However, the person still struggles with all the other effects of meth, including hyperactivity, overheating, dehydration, loss of appetite, physical pain, anxiety, irritability, and aggression.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Detox Timeline | Recovery By The Sea

While tweaking, the person will develop obsessive or repetitive behaviors, like taking objects apart and putting them back together or compulsively cleaning. And because they lack sleep and their brain is under so much stress, the person may also experience hallucinations and delusions, leading to psychotic behavior, not unlike that of schizophrenia.

Formication is another effect of tweaking that is characterized by hallucinations that mimic the effect of bugs crawling on or under the skin. This symptom causes sufferers to repeatedly scratch or pick at their skin, which can lead to tissue damage and infection.

A meth binge can result in profound mental and physical exhaustion. A person may experience malnutrition and appetite suppression and is likely to sleep for several days. Repeated attempts to avoid a comedown after binging can lead to dependence and addiction.

Withdrawal from Meth

There is a significant amount of research that has documented the effects of withdrawal in chronic meth users. The timeline for meth withdrawal is relatively consistent and offers some insight into what medical personnel and those in recovery can expect.

Withdrawal symptoms from meth are primarily emotional with various associated physical effects. The withdrawal process from meth does not appear to be as consistently severe as withdrawal from alcohol or opioids. Any associated symptoms are probably not going to be physically damaging unless the person tries to detox alone and becomes emotionally unstable, which can lead to self-harm and suicidal behavior.

Meth has a relatively short half-life (around 10 hours) and is a fast-acting drug. According to research, the timeline for withdrawal from meth remains relatively consistent among users:

  • Withdrawal symptoms onset within the first 24 hours of abstinence.
  • Symptoms reach their peak within the first 7-10 days following cessation of drug use, and there is a constant decline in the severity of symptoms following this peak.
  • Prolonged emotional symptoms have an average duration of about 14-20 days, but most commonly end after about two weeks.

According to research, primary symptoms during this withdrawal period typically include the following:

  • Feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and excessive sleepiness
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Episodes of jitteriness

Also, a significant number of people report feelings of depression or apathy, which tend to decline gradually throughout the withdrawal period. These depressive symptoms can be serious, however, and may be associated with thoughts of suicide. Extreme cravings for meth can also occur during the withdrawal process but have been observed to decline over time.

Psychotic symptoms including paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations also occur in many people. These symptoms need to be addressed and treated in a clinical environment. Research has indicated that the most dangerous symptoms associated with meth withdrawal tend to be severe depression and the potential to develop psychosis.

Also, some research has suggested that individuals who engage in meth use for a prolonged period may exhibit some cognitive impairments in the areas of mental processing speed, memory, attention, and planning that are not fully restored within six months of abstinence.

Medications for Withdrawal

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Detox Timeline | Recovery By The Sea

Although there are currently no pharmaceutical treatments approved by the FDA for use during meth detox, there are several medications that can help to manage some of the symptoms that manifest during the process of withdrawal:

Wellbutrin (bupropion)—An antidepressant, which according to research, may be useful in relieving some of the symptoms of withdrawal in people who have abused meth. It can reduce drug cravings, and appears to be more suitable for light to moderate meth use disorders.

Provigil (modafinil)—A prescription drug and stimulant that is used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. The mild stimulant properties of this medication can help to reduce disruptive sleep patterns and may also help those in detox temporarily experience increases in energy and improved concentration, which may be critical components when moving forward into recovery.

Paxil (paroxetine)—A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which is an antidepressant medication that has been found in some studies to reduce cravings in abstinent meth users going through withdrawal.

Remeron (mirtazapine)—An atypical antidepressant that can help to prevent relapse during withdrawal.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

If a person discontinues meth use and encounters intense withdrawal symptoms, this is a surefire indication of a chemical dependence, which is a significant component of addiction. Persons who undergo detox in either a clinical environment (recommended) or at home are urged to seek comprehensive treatment at a specialized facility such as Recovery By The Sea.

We employ a highly-trained team of health professionals and addiction specialists who collaborate to assess each client and develop customized programs. Our evidence-based services include psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to meth, please contact us today. Discover how we help our clients free themselves from the grips of addiction and reclaim the fulfilling lives they deserve!

Signs of Cocaine Use

Signs of Cocaine Use | Recovery By The Sea

It requires diligence to recognize a cocaine problem in a loved one, and knowing what signs to look for is critical to identifying an addiction. The side effects and signs of cocaine use and abuse will become more evident and severe gradually over time as the person descends further and further into addiction.

Warning Signs of Cocaine Use

The initial signs of cocaine use are often subtle when compared to full-blown addictive behavior. Indeed, the physical and psychological signs of cocaine use become more severe in proportion to the behavioral effects of addiction. Therefore, it’s much easier to defeat a cocaine habit in the early stages, because once a strong addiction sets in, the process of recovery can take months or years.

Behavioral Signs of Cocaine Use

There are a number of signs that may indicate the presence of a substance use disorder involving cocaine, including the following:

  • Peculiar or abnormal behavior
  • Impulsiveness
  • New or worsening financial issues
  • Consistent secretiveness or providing suspicious answers to questions
  • Leaving early from, being late to, or avoiding gatherings or obligations
  • White powdery smudges on clothing, belongings, or nose

Compared to many drugs, cocaine is quite expensive. Therefore, a cocaine habit may require the person to engage in extreme actions and risky behaviors to afford it, including the following:

  • Selling drugs
  • Taking side jobs
  • Selling personal possessions
  • Repeatedly asking to borrow money
  • Stealing from friends and family
  • Taking out loans, or taking funds out of savings account, 401K, or retirement

A cocaine habit often one-tracks the user’s mind into engaging in persistent drug-seeking behavior, producing adverse life-changing consequences. These behaviors should be regarded as red flags, and may also include the following:

  • Extreme debt or bankruptcy
  • Strained or failed relationships
  • Legal trouble or incarceration
  • Being suspended or dropped out of school
  • Quitting or getting fired from a job
  • Not participating in activities once enjoyed

Psychological Symptoms of Cocaine Use

Cocaine use can also cause psychological and emotional distress that requires emergency department visits, hospital stays or psychiatric intervention to address. Some common symptoms related to this include the following:

  • Insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Increased anxiety and isolation
  • Reduced attention span
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe mood swings
  • Hyperstimulation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Euphoria and elevated mood
  • Hypervigilance and paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Due to the chemical instability caused by cocaine, random and explosive mood shifts are common among users. When a loved one develops a cocaine habit, they may act cold or aloof, nearly unrecognizable from the person they used to be. When this occurs, it often makes it more difficult for loved ones to recognize the nuances in behavior as they transpire, and the more these changes increase, the more urgent the problem becomes.

Signs of Cocaine Use | Recovery By The Sea

Physical Symptoms of Cocaine Use

Physical symptoms caused by cocaine use may vary from mild to very severe. Because every person’s body is unique, cocaine doesn’t impact everyone in the same way. Nonetheless, whether these symptoms are mild or severe doesn’t make the cocaine problem any less concerning.

Common physical symptoms associated with cocaine use include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive sniffling
  • Runny or bloody nose
  • Hoarseness
  • Twitching or shaking
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Infertility

Cocaine Withdrawal

Once a person is physiologically dependent on cocaine, withdrawal effects manifest if the dosage is dramatically reduced or discontinued. Withdrawal effects from cocaine may include the following:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Intense cravings for cocaine
  • Long periods of deep and interrupted sleep

Cocaine is a remarkably powerful substance with side effects that may vary markedly depending on how much of the drug was used, the user’s body chemistry, or other chemicals present in the system in addition to it. Cocaine may also be combined with harmful adulterants that can contribute to overdose or sudden death.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

The longer cocaine abuse continues, the higher the risk of severe adverse effects on the brain’s ability to function and physiological health. Treatment specialists must often battle a myriad of other problems experienced by individuals newly admitted to rehab.

Sometimes, outside assistance from physicians, other specialists, and therapists is needed to treat chronic cocaine users effectively. And, unfortunately, some of the negative consequences produced by cocaine use are permanent.

Long-term health effects may include the following:

  • Reproductive complications
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing and lung damage
  • Chronic, recurrent nosebleeds
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Damage to septum, nose, and nasal tissues
  • Reduced or loss of sense of smell
  • Extreme weight loss and malnourishment
  • Sexual dysfunction or impotence
  • Gastrointestinal problems and bowel deterioration
  • Movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease

In general, the more a cocaine habit becomes entrenched in a person’s psychology, the more dangerous his or her lifestyle will become. As such, cocaine use may result in additional health risks, including the following:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Cocaine exposure in unborn babies
  • Blood-borne diseases from sharing dirty needles (HIV and hepatitis B and C)

Every year in the U.S., there are an estimated 750,000 cocaine-exposed pregnancies. Cocaine use throughout pregnancy can lead to spontaneous miscarriage, a complicated delivery, or a number of other adverse health outcomes before and during birth.

Long-term cocaine use is also related to profound psychological distress, such as paranoia or hallucinations. Some research has suggested that cognitive functions such as memory and motor control may be adversely affected by prolonged abuse. Furthermore, cocaine use is strongly linked to heart failure and premature death.

Signs of Cocaine Use | Recovery By The Sea

Tolerance and Overdose

Signs of cocaine use can be tricky to spot at first but will eventually become too blatant to ignore. Cocaine tolerance initially arises during the early stages of use and builds over time. Tolerance means that abusers of coke will need higher and higher doses to achieve the desired effect.

Although cocaine can be perilous at any dose, the drug’s hazardous potential increases dramatically at very high doses. The addictive nature of cocaine makes it easy to disregard the excessive amounts one is using to maintain a high. Once the stimulation becomes too great for the body, a life-threatening overdose can occur.

The amount of cocaine needed to overdose fluctuates based on a number of factors, including a person’s unique physiology and other substances that are involved, including prescription or illicit drugs or alcohol. An overdose is considered to be a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

Symptoms of a cocaine overdose may include the following:

  • Panic
  • Delirium
  • Delusions
  • Hyperthermia
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Heart failure
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Shock
  • Stroke
  • Coma

If not addressed promptly, the risk of heart failure and death significantly increases. Statistics also show a strong association between cocaine overdoses and toxic interactions with other substances.

In 2015, for example, more than half of known overdoses related to cocaine in the United States also involved opioids. Indeed, more than one-third (37%) of these fatalities involved heroin—combining heroin and cocaine produces a very potent and deadly mixture known as a speedball.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction is most effectively addressed through admission to a comprehensive addiction treatment program. During this time, the person receives customized, evidence-based treatment that consists of services vital to recovery, such as psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, group support, and aftercare planning.

Recovery from addiction can be a challenging lifelong endeavor, but you don’t have to do it alone. We can help you reclaim your life and begin to experience the wellness and happiness you deserve!

What Is the Mojo Drug?

Mojo Drug | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

“Mojo” is the name of a relatively new group of drugs sold as synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids, also referred to as “spice” and “K2.”

These drugs are made of natural herbs or plant matter, which are sprayed with synthetic chemicals that distributors claim resemble the effects of real marijuana when they are consumed or inhaled. The chemicals used are designed to be similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Many people may be fooled into thinking that synthetic marijuana is not as harmful or dangerous as the real thing. In fact, the Mojo drug and other synthetic marijuana products are often sold as a legal alternative to marijuana and are packaged in vividly colored wrappers, similar to children’s candy. In actuality, this synthetic drug produces effects that are much stronger than marijuana, often more unpredictable and in some cases life-threatening.

The Legality of The Mojo Drug and Synthetic Cannabinoids

While the Drug Enforcement Administration has attempted to regulate the manufacture and distribution of synthetic cannabinoids, its biggest hurdle has been staying ahead of the various compounds that are used to create the drug. Ingredients with names such as JWH-018, JWH-073, and HU-210 have been generated nearly as quickly as law enforcement can outlaw them. Moreover, by slightly modifying the chemical structure, synthetic cannabinoid distributors have been able to circumvent drug laws and continue selling this dangerous drug.

Synthetic marijuana is sometimes sold in gas stations, head shops and on the Internet. Despite evidence suggesting otherwise, it is often touted as a safe and legal alternative to organic, natural marijuana. These drugs may also be labeled “not for human consumption” and marketed as incense or potpourri.

This loophole in marketing allows the substance to be sold legally. Because the chemicals used in these drugs have no medical benefit and a high potential for abuse, the DEA has made it illegal to sell, buy, or possess some of these chemicals. However, manufacturers are continually attempting to evade these laws by modifying the chemical formulas in their compounds.

The packaging, name, and ingredients of synthetic cannabinoids are inconsistent and vary widely between sellers. For this reason, the drug is a moving target for both health officials and law enforcement hoping to crack down on its adverse effects.

Synthetic Marijuana Abuse Side Effects

Because synthetic cannabinoids are not formally intended to be smoked or consumed, using them in this way is considered to be abuse. Many adolescents are drawn to synthetic marijuana because they erroneously believe it is safer than marijuana, or more importantly, that they won’t get in trouble for using it because it can be bought legally. What’s more is that synthetic marijuana isn’t identifiable on most drug tests, making the drug an ideal choice for those concerned about getting caught using.

In truth, the effects of synthetic cannabinoids are in many ways comparable to those of marijuana and can be magnified when mixed with other substances. These include altered perception of reality and feeling relaxed and euphoric. The actual ingredients in synthetic marijuana vary from batch to batch, however, and the chemicals used to generate the substance’s effects were originally developed to be used as in such products as fertilizers and cancer treatments.

It is important to note that many of these chemicals have not been approved for human consumption, and there is no way to know what adverse reactions a user may encounter. Mild side effects of synthetic marijuana resemble those of real marijuana. However, there have been several accounts of severe side effects from the use of synthetic marijuana, including death.

Mojo Drug | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Side effects of synthetic marijuana may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Confusion
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Kidney damage

Signs of Mojo Drug Addiction

Repeated use of synthetic marijuana can result in the development of both psychological and physiological dependence. There are 11 signs of addiction defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Someone experiencing a synthetic marijuana addiction may want to quit using it but continue anyway, or use it in inappropriate or even dangerous circumstances.

As with any psychoactive drug, it is possible to abuse and even become addicted to synthetic cannabinoids. Habitual users may encounter withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop, and these effects prompt many to relapse. Some of the withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing synthetic marijuana after sustained abuse include nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, and cravings.

Treatment for Synthetic Marijuana Addiction

Overcoming an addiction to synthetic marijuana can be achieved through the use of evidence-based behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and other proven treatments. Recovery By The Sea offers a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment that includes these services essential to recovery, and much, much more.

If you or someone you care about is abusing synthetic marijuana, we urge you to seek our help as soon as possible. It only takes one call to begin your new life in recovery!

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