Snorting Xanax

Snorting Xanax | Recovery by the Sea

Last updated on August 12, 2019 – Snorting Xanax – (Alprazolam) is a short-acting benzodiazepine (benzo) medication prescribed to manage symptoms of panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Xanax has anxiolytic effects, meaning it is a minor tranquilizer. As a benzo, Xanax carries a high risk of habit formation and abuse.

Xanax addiction occurs because of its potent effects on the reward center of the brain. A special brain chemical called GABA is responsible for inhibition of the nerves, producing feelings of mental and muscular relaxation and well-being when active. Ingesting Xanax increases GABA concentrations in the brain.

Can You Snort Xanax?

The answer is yes – when prescribed by a physician, Xanax is most often administered orally in tablet form and is, therefore, the most common method of abuse. Nevertheless, another method of abuse consists of Xanax being crushed into a fine powder then snorted intranasally.

After inhalation, Xanax is rapidly absorbed through mucous membranes lining the nasal passages into the intracranial bloodstream next to the brain. Whereas oral ingestion requires digestion first, snorting is a more direct, expedient route.

Snorting Xanax accelerates the onset of its anxiolytic effects on the nervous system, making it ideal for users who want a faster high. Since snorting delivers the most rapid high, the habit of snorting can quickly result in dependency and addiction.

While addiction itself a critical health concern, snorting Xanax also significantly increases the risk of developing nasal infections and can result in damage to the septum, neighboring nasal tissues, sinuses, and lungs.

Xanax Tolerance and Dependence

Long-term use of Xanax can lead to the development of tolerance when the chemical pathways of the brain become increasingly desensitized to higher and higher concentrations of the drug. This results in the need for ever-increasing dosages to achieve and maintain a desired high. Moreover, persistent Xanax use may produce dependence.

As dependency develops, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms ensue if the user attempts to cut back or quit altogether. Withdrawal symptoms reveal that the user’s nervous system has become incapable of normal function in the absence of Xanax. These symptoms may be endured for several days following the last dose, compelling the user into dangerous cycles of consumption to escape the adverse effects.

Withdrawal symptoms from Xanax include the following:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Impaired sense of smell
  • Increased perspiration
  • Diminished concentration
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Seizures

Increasing tolerance in combination with dependency often leads to an addiction and, in many cases, life-threatening complications.

Snorting Xanax and Overdose

Snorting Xanax | Recovery By The Sea

Benzos are not easy to overdose as a stand-alone drug, but can easily prove fatal when used with other psychoactive substances, particularly other central nervous system depressant drugs or alcohol. This is known as combined drug intoxication (CDI).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., and more than10,000 involved the use of a benzodiazepine such as Xanax. Many deaths involving benzos also included the use of an opioid, either prescription (e.g., oxycodone) or illicit (e.g., heroin.)

An overdose of Xanax, especially when used with other drugs or alcohol, is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is currently using or abusing Xanax and exhibiting the following symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed respiration
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Stupor
  • Coma

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Snorting Xanax | Recovery by the Sea

Treatment for Xanax abuse or addiction typically begins with a medical detox or a process in which the patient is monitored 24/7 by professional staff for several days until withdrawal symptoms abate and the risk of complications has diminished.

Following detox, patients are urged to participate in an inpatient rehab program of 30 days or longer at our center. During a residential stay, patients are treated using comprehensive, evidence-based approaches such as behavioral therapy, individual and group therapy, counseling, 12-step programs and holistic activities such as yoga and music and art therapy.

After residential treatment has been completed, many patients choose to engage in intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), which provides many of the same services as residential treatment. However, IOP patients are allowed to live off-site of the center while they continue to participate in therapy and counseling several times per week. The objective of IOP is to ensure that patients receive ongoing treatment and support while transitioning back to the outside world.

Following intensive treatment, patients can benefit from our aftercare planning services, which help would-be graduates of our program locate mental health and supportive service outside of the center to help sustain lasting recovery. Former patients can also participate in alumni activities and enjoy the benefits of long-term peer support and fellowship.

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

How Long Does Xanax Last?

How Long Does Xanax Last? | Recovery By The Sea

The effects last for only about 4 hours. While the average half-life of Xanax is around 12 hours, the drug is no longer effective in the system after 4 hours. For this reason, people who use Xanax may have to take it several times per day, depending on the prescription and severity of symptoms.

Many factors can influence how long Xanax stays in a person’s system, including the following:

  • Age
  • Height and weight
  • Genetics
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Urinary pH
  • Presence of other substances
  • Dosage
  • Frequency of use

Uses for Xanax

Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription benzodiazepine and central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It is most often prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures. Xanax is specifically approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder, though it may be used off-label to treat other conditions.

GAD is characterized by persistent and excessive concern about everyday life, the anticipation of adverse outcomes, uneasiness, and sleep difficulties. Panic disorder is associated with anxiety and occurs when a person encounters sudden panic attacks.

Panic attacks are typically accompanied by several terrifying symptoms, including the following:

  • Changes in heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Fear of losing control or dying

How Long Does Xanax Last? | Recovery By The Sea

Effects of Xanax

Xanax, like all benzodiazepines, works by improving the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA, a neurotransmitter, works to reduce nerve impulses throughout the body, and, in doing so, induces sedation, relaxation, and relief from anxiety. Xanax becomes effective quickly, often producing the desired effects within minutes.

Why People Misuse Xanax

Xanax has been a popular choice for people with substance use disorders or those seeking to self-medicate for emotional problems. Xanax can induce many pleasant and desirable effects, including feelings of deep relaxation and euphoria, detachment from reality, and sound sleep.

These effects compel some people to experiment with Xanax for non-medical purposes for the pleasurable feelings it can provide. And because Xanax also achieves peak blood concentration in 1-2 hours and has a short half-life, this may encourage potential abusers to take doses repeatedly in rapid succession.

Xanax Use Disorders

As with many substance abuse disorders, people who use Xanax often do so either out of curiosity or via recommendation from someone else. To obtain it, those without legitimate prescriptions must have access to someone who does or buy it on the black market.

More than half (55%) of recreational users received prescription drugs such as Xanax for free from a friend or relative, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, 17% abused medications that were prescribed by their own physician, 11% bought them from a friend or relative, 5% stole them outright from a friend or relative, and only 4% obtained them from an actual dealer.

Of note, if used chronically, even those with legitimate prescriptions can become dependent on Xanax. For this reason, long-term regular use of Xanax is not usually advised.

Signs of a Xanax use disorder may include the following:

  • Obsession with acquiring and using the drug
  • Using medication faster than prescriptions are ready to be refilled
  • Taking higher doses of Xanax than directed
  • Taking Xanax non-orally, such as by crushing pills and snorting the powder

Xanax Dependence

Dependence on Xanax can manifest in just two weeks, but more often, it will take between 30-60 days. Chemical dependence occurs when the body has adapted to having a certain amount of a drug in the system. Regarding Xanax, the body will stop producing its own GABA in normal amounts, thus relying only on the presence of Xanax for feelings of relaxation and calm.

Dependence is also characterized by the development of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. These symptoms can include rebound anxiety and sleep disturbances, and in severe cases, life-threatening seizures.

Adverse Side Effects

Side effects of Xanax use, misuse, or abuse may include the following:

  • Memory impairments
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Impaired coordination
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Depression
  • Apathy

Also, according to research from Harvard Medical School, people who had taken a benzodiazepine such as Xanax for three to six months raised the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 32% and taking it for more than six months increased the risk by 84%.

Severe interactions with other intoxicating substances can also occur, including those related to alcohol, other sedatives and hypnotics, antihistamines, and painkillers, among others.

Overdoses and fatalities are rare while using Xanax by itself, but the drug is commonly involved in other overdose deaths. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the total number of overdose fatalities in the U.S. involving benzodiazepines rose significantly between 1999-2017, reflecting a ten-fold jump from 1,100 deaths to over 11,000.

How Long Does Xanax Last? | Recovery By The Sea

Why People Are Tested for Xanax Use

People are most often tested for Xanax use as part of a compliance program for those with substance use disorders. Testing may also be conducted if an overdose is suspected or confirmed.

Urine tests are the most commonly used, as they can test for all prescription and illegal drugs. Blood tests can identify everything that urine tests can, but they are more expensive and, thus, less common. Hair testing can be performed for all illicit drugs and some prescription medications—a form of testing mainly used only by the criminal justice system to identify long-term drug use.

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Detox from Xanax should occur gradually using a tapering schedule as directed by a doctor or addiction specialist. Abrupt cessation of prolonged Xanax use can lead to a life-threatening syndrome comparable to alcohol withdrawal, so it should not be attempted without medical help.

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive treatment programs for substance abuse that include behavioral therapy, individual counseling, peer group support, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare planning. Our services are offered in partial-hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient formats.

We employ a team of highly-skilled addiction specialists who render services to clients with compassion and expertise. We are committed to ensuring that every client receives the resources and support they need to be successful at recovery and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

If you or a loved one is dependent on Xanax, other drugs, or alcohol, give us a call now. Find out how we guide people toward an addiction-free life. You are not alone—we can help!

Is Gabapentin Addictive?

Is Gabapentin Addictive? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a prescription medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of seizures, neuropathic pain, and restless leg syndrome.

Gabapentin is not currently scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a controlled substance because research has historically shown that it has little potential for abuse or dependence. Although gabapentin is considered to be a relatively safe drug, especially when used as directed, over the years, research has raised questions regarding the drug safety and potential for addiction.

Gabapentin Abuse

According to research presented at the 2015 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) 26th Annual Meeting, gabapentin abuse is an increasing concern. This concern is primarily due to the fact that the drug has become more and more available, as many doctors consider it a safer alternative to other drugs formerly used to treat some of these conditions, such as benzodiazepines or opioids.

While this belief is, in general, correct, some people who use Neurontin have described experiencing feelings of well-being, which could certainly be appealing to would-be recreational users. Others say that gabapentin enhances the effects of other drugs, including prescription painkillers and alcohol.

According to a report published in Pharmacy Times (2015), 57 million Americans had been prescribed gabapentin. Still, other reports reveal that there are also many people abusing Neurontin illicitly without a prescription. A report in the journal European Addiction Research found that 38% of people in the six substance abuse facilities they studied admitted to misusing either gabapentin or pregabalin (a similar medication) with methadone to experience a high.

Also, in 2004, a study that surveyed patients in a Florida correctional facility found that less than 20 percent of the gabapentin prescriptions given out were in the hands of people who had actually been prescribed the drug. Five of the inmates reported crushing the pills and snorting them, and four of the five reporting experiencing a high similar to cocaine, and all had histories of cocaine abuse.

Risks and Symptoms of Abuse

Gabapentin essentially mimics the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the body, thereby increasing the available amount of GABA to the brain, which in turn, induces relaxing feelings of well-being and anticonvulsant effects. Like any other drug, gabapentin can have adverse side effects, including the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Fever
  • Impaired memory
  • Double vision
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Impaired motor function

In some cases, the side effects of gabapentin abuse can be even more significant. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that any anticonvulsant, including gabapentin, can lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts. Outside of legitimate therapeutic reasons, in most cases, the mild “reward” of using gabapentin does not outweigh the risks associated with abuse.

Is Gabapentin Addictive? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

How Is Gabapentin Addictive?

Whenever a new medication is introduced into the prescription drug market, there are always concerns regarding the drug’s potential for addiction. To determine whether a drug may have such a potential, researchers examine how the drug affects specific nerve receptors in the brain. If it activates these receptors and results in compulsive, drug-seeking behavior, the drug is considered to be addictive. If it does not, it is deemed nonaddictive.

Although gabapentin has been found nonaddictive according to scientific research, anecdotal evidence has raised concern. For example, one report in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice highlights a case of gabapentin abuse, in which the person suffered from “toxic delirium, intense cravings, and a prolonged post-withdrawal” similar to withdrawal from benzodiazepines. A severe withdrawal period can drive a person to continue using gabapentin even if they attempt to quit, a result that indicates drug dependence has indeed developed.

Gabapentin withdrawal can be highly unpleasant, and symptoms may include nausea and fatigue. If people are using the drug for seizure control, they can expect to encounter an increase in seizure activity if they discontinue use. Most patients choose to taper off the drug under the care of a medical professional to mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

It’s also important to note that any substance has some potential for psychological or emotional dependence, even if a true chemical addiction is not present. Issues that can manifest as a result of psychological dependence may include drug cravings, anxiety, agitation, and depression associated with the use of the drug of choice.

Treatment for Gabapentin Abuse and Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling gabapentin abuse, it is vital to seek professional help. If a person is abusing gabapentin, it is very possible that they are using it with other drugs or alcohol, which is another issue that deserves to be addressed in its own right.

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized addiction treatment center that offers integrated, evidence-based approaches that include psychotherapy, psychoeducation, counseling, peer support, medication-assisted therapy, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you know needs help overcoming substance abuse or addiction, contact us today. Discover how we help people break free from the vicious cycle of addiction for life!

Cymbalta Withdrawal

Cymbalta Withdrawal | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Cymbalta Withdrawal – Cymbalta (duloxetine) is an SNRI antidepressant used to treat a variety of conditions, including major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, neuropathy, and fibromyalgia.

Although Cymbalta is not classified as an addictive substance, patients who use Cymbalta are likely to encounter withdrawal symptoms, also referred to as “discontinuation syndrome” when they stop using it. These symptoms vary in type and intensity, with some people experiencing them for a few weeks and some for up to several months. For this reason, it is vital not to stop taking Cymbalta abruptly or without medical direction.

Symptoms of Cymbalta Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms associated with Cymbalta are common and can be severe, so much so that Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome is a well-documented problem with a significant history of controversy. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in 2017, there were 888 reports of negative effects from Cymbalta discontinuation, the highest number for any antidepressant that activates serotonin receptors. A 2005 study on generic duloxetine also revealed that 44% of users encountered withdrawal symptoms.

Following a 2009 investigation, the FDA found that the withdrawal symptoms of duloxetine were much worse than the manufacturer (Eli Lilly) had suggested on their product label and through marketing. Also, a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2012 against Eli Lilly that was driven by the claims of several people who claimed that the intensity of the withdrawal effects they could experience from discontinued use of the drug had been misrepresented.

The Cymbalta label states that the following symptoms may be encountered when discontinuing the use of Cymbalta:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paresthesia
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Cymbalta Withdrawal | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Cymbalta users have also reported additional withdrawal symptoms, including vertigo and nightmares. Several people have reported suffering from “brain zaps”—painful headaches that feel like electric shocks transmitted along the spine to the base of the skull, often occurring with dizziness and nausea.

Finally, Cymbalta is also labeled with a black box warning regarding the potential for suicidal thoughts, as this notification is required for all SSRI and SNRI antidepressants. Some patients using duloxetine have reported increased suicidal ideations during withdrawal, and these medications are more likely to cause such thought in children, teens, and young adults.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Duration of Symptoms

It is not possible to establish an exact timeline for withdrawal symptoms, as they tend to vary depending on the patient’s unique circumstances. Some people will encounter moderate symptoms for several weeks, while others will continue to experience the more intense symptoms for months following cessation.

A popular method to avoid withdrawal symptoms is through the use of a tapering schedule during which the patient gradually reduces their dose under the direction of a doctor. Most of the time, weaning from Cymbalta will continue for a month or longer to keep the decreases progressive for a prolonged period. Many patients report feeling better within a month of stopping entirely, and even those for whom it takes longer will eventually begin to experience a dramatic improvement.

Managing Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms

As noted, the best way to manage Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome is by gradually reducing the dose under the direction of a doctor. Withdrawal symptoms may still occur, but they will likely be less severe than what would normally transpire if the medication was stopped abruptly.

Some doctors have reported improved outcomes by prescribing (Prozac) fluoxetine to patients for a few weeks. By doing this, the tapering time can be reduced, and the overall process may be smoother and more comfortable for the patient.

NOTE: Please do not, under any circumstances, attempt to switch or transition medications without the help of a doctor or addiction specialist.

Getting Treatment for Drug Dependence

Duloxetine is not commonly known to be a chemically addictive substance, despite its high potential for withdrawal symptoms. So, you should make sure any recovery program from which you seek help can assist in the withdrawal from antidepressants. Also, the program should be able to address any mental health needs that benefit from the use of such medication, including anxiety or depression.

Although Cymbalta is not known to cause physiological dependence, any psychoactive substance can result in psychological dependence. People who are seeking to discontinue the use of Cymbalta for whatever reason may be able to benefit from behavioral therapy, counseling, and other services that help people identify the reasons behind their substance dependency and compulsive need to use.

Recovery By The Sea offers an integrated approach to substance abuse treatment that includes evidence-based therapies, health and wellness programs, medication-assisted therapy, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is attempting to discontinue the use of any substance, please contact us today. We are dedicated to helping people break free from the cycle of addiction for life!

Is Xanax a Barbiturate?

Is Xanax a Barbiturate? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Is Xanax a Barbiturate? – Xanax (alprazolam) is not classified as a barbiturate. Rather, Xanax is in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines (benzos). Benzodiazepines and barbiturates are similar-acting central nervous system (CNS) depressants—they both induce drowsiness and are used to treat insomnia and seizures.

Both medications affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that nerves use to communicate with one another. GABA works to control the stress response and reduce activity in the CNS.

Benzodiazepines vs. Barbiturates

In addition to insomnia and seizures, benzos are also used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, nervousness, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, and as sedation during surgery. Barbiturates are also sometimes used to treat headaches.

Common benzos include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). Common barbiturates include secobarbital (Seconal), thiopental (Pentothal), and pentobarbital (Nembutal).

Side effects unique to benzos may include changes in appetite, constipation, unplanned weight gain, dry mouth, decreased libido, and fatigue. Side effects unique to barbiturates may include dizziness, headache, and abdominal pain. Side effects shared by both benzos and barbiturates include confusion, lightheadedness, drowsiness, impaired coordination, impaired memory, nausea, and vomiting.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can onset when a person abruptly stops using benzodiazepines or barbiturates.

Common withdrawal symptoms for benzos may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and stiffness

Common withdrawal symptoms for barbiturates may include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Tremors and weakness
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Substances That Interact with Benzos and Barbiturates

Combining alcohol with a benzo or barbiturate is very dangerous. People who consumed alcohol while taking these medications will feel the effects of alcohol more rapidly.

Moreover, it’s never safe to drink alcohol or take other depressant drugs that have similar effects on the CNS in conjunction with benzos or barbiturates. This is because these substances can amplify the effects of one another and result in profound, possibly life-threatening respiratory depression.

Opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone, produce depressant effects that can increase the risk of severe respiratory depression when combined with benzos or barbiturates. Respiratory depression can lead to slow, shallow, or labored breathing that is inadequate for supplying oxygen to the brain and body—this can result in death. Other sedatives that intensify the effects of other depressants include sleep aids, such as zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta).

Is Xanax a Barbiturate?: Overdose

Is Xanax a Barbiturate? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Death from overdose is among the highest risk associated with the use of barbiturates or benzos.

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Impaired judgment
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

The risk of overdose is generally considered to be higher for barbiturates than for benzos, but excessive use of either type of drug, especially when combined with other CNS depressants, can result in serious complications which can be life-threatening.

Is Xanax a Barbiturate?: Addiction

Both benzos and barbiturates are habit-forming and have the potential for abuse and addiction. If these drugs are used for a prolonged period, tolerance can develop. As tolerance develops, the person will need increasingly higher doses of their drug of choice to treat the targeted health condition or achieve the desired effects.

Often, people abuse drugs such as Xanax to experience a “high.” They are commonly abused by teenagers and young adults who do so by crushing the pills and snorting the powder. Benzos are sometimes abused by older adults who are more likely to receive a legitimate prescription and develop dependence over time.

Abuse of these medications may result in sleep disturbances and nightmares, fatigue, irritability, hostility, and memory impairment. Signs of addiction might also include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and bone and muscle aches.

It is very difficult to recover from an addiction to benzos, such as Xanax, or barbiturates because these drugs alter brain chemistry. Quitting abruptly, or “cold turkey,” is not recommended as it can induce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms similar to those of alcohol.

Doctors or health providers who treat addiction can design a tapering schedule to wean a person off the medication slowly. Likewise, they can mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings during treatment.

Treatment for Addiction to Benzos or Barbiturates

Although barbiturates are not as readily accessible and abused as they were a few decades ago, addiction is still possible. Benzos abuse and dependence are nevertheless much more common because these drugs can be habit-forming even after a relatively short period of use.

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized recovery center that offers a comprehensive approach to drug and alcohol abuse. We employ a variety of clinically-proven treatments, including behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, counseling, peer group support, and medication-assisted treatment. Our compassionate, highly-skilled staff are dedicated to providing each client with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to recover and sustain long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction to Xanax, other benzos, or barbiturates, contact us today! We help people free themselves from the cycle of addiction so they can reclaim the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!

Related: Snorting Xanax

What Are Roxies?

What Are Roxies? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

What Are Roxies? – “Roxies” is the slang name for Roxicodone, a brand name for the prescription opioid oxycodone. Physicians may prescribe Roxicodone for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, abrupt breakthrough pain, or prior to surgery. Similar to other narcotics, Roxicodone can be addictive when used for a prolonged period.

Over time, the use of Roxies can lead to the development of tolerance, a condition that is a byproduct of the body’s propensity to reduce the effects of certain substances upon repeated exposure. This effect may compel some people to increase their dosage due to the diminished response.

Dependence, which is another possible consequence, is a condition that occurs as the body adapts to the presence of a substance. If the person then tries to discontinue use, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will onset as a result.

Roxicodone Effects

The Mayo Clinic has published a list of symptoms that can manifest in association with the abuse of opioid painkillers. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone you know who is taking Roxies, this may indicate that addiction has developed:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of motivation
  • Profound sedation
  • Stupor
  • Slowed or labored breathing

If you identify these symptoms and suspect that you or a loved one may be addicted to Roxicodone, you are urged to seek professional help as soon as possible.

What Are Roxies?: Roxicodone Addiction

In addition to physical signs, addiction results in behavioral changes becoming increasingly noticeable. Addicts often engage in “doctor shopping,” which is the practice of visiting multiple doctors or pharmacies in an effort to obtain new prescriptions. Persons suffering from addiction may also lie to their doctors about having symptoms that need pain treatment or exaggerate existing ailments.

They may also ask family members for access to unwanted medications, or manipulate other family members into lying to physicians to receive prescriptions for their own use. If these efforts are unsuccessful, addicts may resort to obtaining drugs from dealers, the Internet, or outright theft.

An addiction to Roxies can wreak havoc on a person’s physical and mental well-being. When used exactly as prescribed, side effects associated with this medication may include sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and more.

What Are Roxies?: Roxicodone Overdose

What Are Roxies? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

When misused, abused, or combined with prescription drugs or other substances, Roxicodone can result in profound central nervous system (CNS) depression. This condition is hallmarked by problems with breathing and severe drowsiness. Other CNS depressants, such as sedatives or alcohol, can be especially dangerous because their effects amplify those of Roxicodone.

The following are tell-tale signs of an overdose, which can be life-threatening:

  • Vomiting
  • Body is very limp
  • Skin is pale or clammy
  • Bluish lips and fingertips
  • Irregular or slowed pulse
  • Absent pulse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Stupor
  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory distress
  • Choking or gurgling sounds

What Are Roxies?: Consequences of Addiction

As with other addictions, a person’s values, priorities, and inhibitions may change as he or she grows increasingly preoccupied with obtaining and using the substance.

Common problems experienced by persons addicted to drugs or alcohol include the following:

  • Multiple arrests and jail time
  • Neglect of children and other important family responsibilities
  • Aggressive behavior and domestic violence
  • Strained relationships and isolation from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in other activities once considered enjoyable
  • Intense cravings for the substance of choice
  • Engagement in increasingly dangerous activities and drug-seeking behavior
  • Development of toxic relationships with others who engage in or condone substance abuse

Moreover, a person’s life can become unstable and overwhelmed by negative effects. As his or her substance of choice gradually begins taking priority in life, the addict will eventually begin to disregard family, school, or work obligations in favor of drug use.

People suffering from addiction often lose jobs, experience financial distress, and neglect the upkeep of their appearance and basic personal hygiene. They may also manipulate and alienate doctors and loved ones in their crusade to get possession of more drugs.

Seeking Treatment

Admitting that you have a serious addiction is the first step in finding the help you need to conquer it. Very few people are able to end an addiction to narcotics without external treatment and support from a variety of sources. The safest and most effective method of overcoming an opioid addiction is to participate in a comprehensive program in a specialized treatment facility.

Recovery By The Sea employs highly-skilled addiction professionals, and we firmly believe that a person’s recovery depends on our commitment to success. You have the opportunity to experience the best outcome when you choose our center.

We equip you with the tools, resources, and support you need to free yourself from the chains of addiction for life. We offer integrated, research-based services clinically proven to be essential to the process of recovery, including behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Discover how we help people overcome addiction and begin to enjoy the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!

Related: Snorting Xanax

Is Lyrica Addictive?

Is Lyrica Addictive? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Is Lyrica Addictive? – Commonly referred to as the “new Valium” for its ability to promote a relaxed and peaceful state similar to that of other sedatives or alcohol, Lyrica (pregabalin) has also been abused for the mild high it can induce.

Lyrica is a prescription drug indicated for the treatment of nerve pain. It is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule V controlled substance due to its relatively low potential for abuse and addiction. Despite this, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, an estimated 2 million Americans reported misusing the medication at the time of the survey.

This drug has the potential for addiction, as it alters brain chemistry and interacts with motivational and reward pathways. With regular, long-term use of Lyrica, physiological dependence can develop, which is a key component of addiction. Addiction is hallmarked by the inability to control substance use and compulsive drug-seeking behavior, in addition to the onset of withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.

How Addiction Develops

Pregabalin, the active ingredient in Lyrica, works to relieve nerve pain by blocking the transmission of excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain and increasing levels of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). This combined effect makes the user feel mellow and relaxed, and it’s responsible for Lyrica’s abuse potential.

GABA is one of the brain’s primary neurotransmitters that help to control anxiety and stress response. Elevated levels of GABA help to suppress some functions of the central nervous system (CNS), reducing activity such as heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure, all of which are increased by stress.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that a high dose of pregabalin might induce effects comparable to those associated with diazepam (Valium), which is another common drug of abuse. The high may be mild when taken alone, but Lyrica is frequently abused with other drugs, including opioids and alcohol.

Lyrica can be misused by taking the drug too frequently, in higher doses than required, or without a prescription or for any non-medical reasons. In addition to swallowing a tablet, Lyrica can be crushed and ingested by snorting it.

Lyrica Abuse and Addiction

Repeated, long-term use of Lyrica can result in the development of tolerance, which means the person will need to take increasing amounts of the drug for it to induce the desired effects. The way Lyrica interposes and interacts with chemical messengers in the brain can result in physical drug dependence in addition to psychological dependence.

Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, and for those enduring this process, more drug use often seems desirable. Continued use and escalating dosages can rapidly lead to addiction.

As noted, addiction occurs when a person is no longer able to control the frequency and/or dose of the drug they are taking and can be difficult to stop using the drug without professional help. Drug use becomes compulsive and adverse consequences, such as those related to work or family, begin to manifest in a person’s life.

Is Lyrica Addictive? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Is Lyrica Addictive?: Statistics

NSDUH reported that in 2016, more than 600,000 persons in the U.S. struggling with an addiction involving a tranquilizer.

Gabapentinoids, which include pregabalin and gabapentin, are considered to have a relatively low addiction potential when used at prescribed doses. This means that if a person takes Lyrica as directed for legitimate medical reasons under doctor supervision, they are much less likely to struggle with dependency issues or addiction than those who intentionally abuse it.

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is also a nerve pain medication and anticonvulsant, similar to Lyrica. However, pregabalin is more potent, has higher bioavailability, and absorbs more rapidly than gabapentin.

Is Lyrica Addictive?: The Risks

Lyrica is generally considered to be less addictive as other CNS depressants drugs such as Valium and other benzodiazepines, which are classified a bit higher as Schedule IV drugs. However, it still comes with the potential for addiction.

Although there is some risk of drug dependence from the long-use of Lyrica, dependence does not equate to addiction, which is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking. A medical professional or addiction specialist can devise a schedule to taper the dosage safely, mitigate withdrawal symptoms, and minimize the potential for escalating use into misuse and addiction.

Treatment for Addiction

People who abuse or become addicted to drugs such as Lyrica routinely abuse other more dangerous substances, and commonly suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Recovery By The Sea offers integrated treatment for substance abuse that includes research-based services essential for recovery from addiction. Our therapeutic modalities include psychotherapy, counseling, and group support delivered in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats.

If you or someone you love is abusing Lyrica or other substances, contact us as soon as possible! We are dedicated to helping people unchain themselves from addiction by providing them with the tools and support they need to achieve sobriety and experience long-lasting happiness and wellness!

Methadone Addiction

Methadone Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Methadone Addiction – Methadone is a long-acting synthetic opioid commonly used for the treatment of heroin addiction or dependence on more powerful, potentially more dangerous opioids. When used as directed, methadone can be very effective at treating opiate addiction, but as an opioid itself, still has the potential for addiction.

When used to wean patients off other narcotics, methadone doses are closely supervised by medical and addiction professionals. However, due to methadone’s relatively low cost when compared to other traditional prescription opioids, doctors have also been commonly prescribing methadone for the treatment of chronic pain for some time.

This trend appears to be helpful for some but has also allowed more people access to methadone than before, including a number of people who might not have used opioids in the past. These additional exposures have contributed to increasing addictions to methadone, as well as making methadone more readily available as a recreationally used substance.

Methadone acts on the brain by attaching to the same receptors as other opioids like heroin or oxycodone. Because methadone remains in the system for an extended period—from one to three days—it works to block the euphoric effects of other opioids as well as mitigate painful symptoms of withdrawal associated with these drugs.

Who Becomes Dependent on Methadone?

Since the 1970s, methadone clinics and methadone maintenance programs in the U.S. have been touted as ways for people with heroin addiction to avoid the worst symptoms of withdrawal while preventing relapse. Today, methadone is still used for this purpose under close medical supervision.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, there were as many as 3,400 overdose deaths related to methadone in the U.S. As noted above, doctors sometimes prescribe this drug to treat chronic pain due to conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, or injuries. Legitimate prescription drug use can turn into abuse as tolerance develops, however, and once abuse begins, dependence and addiction may shortly follow.

Importantly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved methadone for the treatment of these types of pain, yet physicians wrote more than four million prescriptions for methadone in 2009. The increase in methadone prescriptions for use as a painkiller is due to methadone’s lower cost when compared to other popular opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Fortunately, however, according to a 2018 report from The Pew Charitable Trusts, methadone prescriptions intended to manage pain were found to have declined by 26% nationwide between 2013-2016 following efforts by U.S. states to reduce the use of the drug.

Recreational Methadone Use

As methadone has increasingly been prescribed to treat pain and not just opioid addiction, more of this opioid has become accessible to people who engage in drug abuse. Much like the wide availability of hydrocodone, people who abuse opioid drugs can more easily obtain methadone by pilfering it from friends or family, or by purchasing it illicitly.

The illegal selling of prescription medication is called drug diversion, and it is considered to be the leading cause of the opioid drug epidemic in the U.S. When a person uses methadone for non-medical purposes, the person faces a much higher risk of developing an addiction or experiencing an overdose.

Methadone Side Effects

Methadone Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Methadone’s side effects are comparable to those associated with other opioid drugs. These include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired cognition
  • Confusion
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired coordination

Withdrawal

Methadone was originally devised for the treatment of heroin addiction because its symptoms of withdrawal are less intense and do not onset as quickly as with many other opioids. This difference is because methadone remains in the body in some form for up to three days. Though less severe, withdrawal symptoms related to methadone are comparable to withdrawal symptoms from other opioid drugs.

Methadone withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Fever and chills
  • Sweating
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Rapid heart rate

Methadone Overdose

Methadone Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Because methadone is a long-acting drug intended to relieve symptoms in those addicted to heroin, it can accumulate rapidly in the body and stay in the bloodstream for some time. It is critical that people with methadone prescriptions use this medication precisely as directed and do not modify their dose without a doctor’s recommendation and oversight. It is relatively easy to overdose on methadone due to the potency of a single dose.

Methadone’s half-life ranges anywhere from eight to 59 hours, depending on the dose while the painkilling effects last only up to eight hours. The long half-life is beneficial for those in recovery from addiction to other narcotics, as it remains in the body for an extended period to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

However, this also means it is less useful for the treatment of chronic pain related to diseases such as cancer because the analgesic effects do not persist as long as the drug remains in the system. As a result, people who use methadone as a painkiller can place themselves in danger of an overdose if their pain returns and they decide to take another dose before it is safe to do so.

Symptoms of overdose include:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Clammy, cold skin
  • Bluish lips and fingertips
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Stupor
  • Convulsions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Coma
  • Death

Combining methadone with other prescription or illicit drugs or alcohol—especially other central nervous system depressants—can increase the risk of overdose, and lead to serious heart problems as well. These complications range from arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) to heart attack.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Many people who struggle with methadone addiction also suffer from co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. People who experience mental health conditions may attempt to self-medicate to relieve their symptoms, often with substances such as alcohol, painkillers, marijuana, or cocaine. For these people, methadone addiction may also develop following attempts to overcome other opioid addictions.

Psychiatric and medical professionals who treat drug addiction work to identify underlying mental health conditions that might have compelled the person to self-medicate away symptoms in an effort to feel better. Comprehensive care that addresses co-occurring disorders is needed for the patient to achieve a full recovery from methadone addiction.

Treatment for Methadone Addiction

Whether a person starts misusing methadone against a doctor’s orders or as part of an opioid addiction treatment program, treatment for addiction usually requires both medical detox and comprehensive therapy. In some cases, patients may be gradually tapered off methadone, and others may be switched to another opioid medication, such as Suboxone, that has an even lower potential for abuse and addiction.

Recovery By The Sea offers medication-assisted therapy to help persons addicted to methadone recover while reducing cravings and relieving the worst symptoms of withdrawal. In addition, we employ other evidence-based services essential to the recovery process, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning.

If you or someone you love is addicted to methadone, please contact us today. We are dedicated to helping people free themselves from the shackles of addiction so they can begin to experience the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!

The Dangers of Combining Oxycodone and Alcohol

Oxycodone and Alcohol | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

The Dangers of Combining Oxycodone and Alcohol – Combining alcohol with any other intoxicating substance can be dangerous and result in unpredictable side effects. However, mixing oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, with alcohol can result in some unique problems. Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic indicated to treat moderate to severe pain, and it is often combined with acetaminophen in brand-name drugs (e.g., Percocet).

Oxycodone and Alcohol

When used as directed, oxycodone is effective at treating pain after an injury, surgery, or illness. Oxycodone is intended for short-term treatment, and due to its high potential for addiction, this drug should not be used to treat chronic pain, except in cases involving cancer or palliative care.

Because oxycodone reaches the bloodstream rapidly and effects abate within four to six hours, the use of this drug often triggers abuse, dependence, and addiction. People who misuse oxycodone may also drink alcohol in an attempt to intensify the effects of the opioid. Importantly, however, combining opioids and alcohol can result in a life-threatening overdose, and in the case of Percocet, mixing alcohol and acetaminophen can quickly lead to liver damage.

Increasing Risks When Combining Percocet and Alcohol

Both oxycodone and alcohol can produce feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Alcohol compounds the sedative effects of oxycodone, and this can be very hazardous, as the person could pass out, resulting in physical injury from a fall. They could also vomit while unconscious, causing the person to choke and possibly aspirate on their own vomit.

However, because they are both central nervous system depressants, the primary cause of complications when oxycodone is used in combination with alcohol is respiratory depression. If this occurs, the person’s breathing will slow, become very shallow, labored, irregular, or even stop entirely. This causes oxygen deprivation, and without immediate medical treatment, organs begin to fail, eventually resulting in death.

Symptoms of Oxycodone and Alcohol Use

The combined effects of alcohol and oxycodone are comparable to mixing alcohol with other opioids. Both drugs slow breathing, can result in drowsiness, and impair coordination. People who abuse alcohol and oxycodone simultaneously also exhibit impaired judgment and may be a danger to themselves and others. Furthermore, the presence of opioids reduces a person’s tolerance to alcohol.

A person who combines oxycodone and alcohol may appear as if they are just extremely intoxicated, but the two substances intensify the effects of one another and can cause complications that are much more dangerous.

Effects of concurrent oxycodone and alcohol use include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Poor focus or concentration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart attack
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Death

Oxycodone and Alcohol | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Treating an Opioid Overdose

Naloxone is a medication that is vital for treating individuals who are overdosing on opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that around 115 people die of overdoses related to opioids in the U.S. every day. For this reason, first responders and caregivers are increasingly carrying naloxone in case they need to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose to save someone’s life.

Naloxone is effective at reversing opioid overdoses but may be less effective when other substances are in a person’s system. Moreover, combining oxycodone and alcohol will make treating an oxycodone overdose more difficult.

Percocet and Alcohol

As noted, oxycodone is commonly used in formulations that include acetaminophen. In recent years, medical professionals have voiced concern over the number of overdoses related to acetaminophen use. While it is not easy to accidentally overdose on acetaminophen on its own, it can be found in a number of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as cold and flu formulations, headache treatments, allergy medications, and even sedatives used to help with sleep.

Not very many OTC medications contain more than 325 mg of acetaminophen in each recommended dose, and these doses are spaced out as directed to avoid liver complications or an overdose. When a person combines medications such as cold and flu drugs with OTC painkillers, however, they are more likely to intake more than the recommended maximum of 4,000 mg per day without being aware of it.

Unfortunately, accidental acetaminophen poisoning can result in liver damage or even liver failure. Alcohol itself is notorious for its association with liver disease, so combining large amounts of alcohol with acetaminophen dramatically increases the likelihood of damage to the liver.

Treatment for Oxycodone and Alcohol Abuse

When a person is abusing two or more substances, this is referred to as polysubstance abuse. Conditions related to both substance must be treated in conjunction to achieve the best outcome for the person suffering.

Polysubstance abuse is most effectively treated using an integrated approach to addiction that includes evidence-based services vital for long-term recovery, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support.

Recovery By The Sea employs compassionate addiction specialists who deliver these services to clients with care and expertise. If you or someone you love is abusing oxycodone and alcohol or any other substances, contact us today to discuss treatment options. Discover how we can help you reclaim your life from addiction!

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Prescription drug abuse occurs when a patient takes too much medication too frequently, or a person uses the medication illicitly without a prescription. Continually abusing the drug over an extended period or increasing the dosage often leads to the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Tolerance is a physiological condition characterized by the diminished effectiveness of a drug and the user increasingly requiring larger dosages to experience the desired effect. Along with tolerance, dependence on the drug can occur as the body gradually becomes accustomed to the drug’s ubiquity and unable to function without it. When the user attempts to quit, consequences include the manifestation of highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

In addition to tolerance and dependence, the essence of addiction is the onset of compulsive drug-seeking behavior. At this point, abuse has become an ingrained necessity and can be very challenging to overcome. Abuse and addiction to prescription drugs can result in severe long-term outcomes, including physical injury and mental health disorders, and also affect interpersonal and professional relationships.

What Are Prescription Drugs?

Prescription drugs include any form of pharmaceuticals that cannot be legally obtained without a prescription dispensed by a licensed health care provider. Because prescription medications require a doctor’s signature to receive, they can be misused/abused in various ways, including the following:

  • Obtained from a family member or friend who has a prescription
  • Purchased illicitly on the black market
  • Taken in larger doses or more often than directed by a doctor
  • Acquired by doctor shopping, or the practice of visiting multiple doctors or pharmacies attempting to obtain more drugs

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Many prescription drugs are not misused or abused as often as others due to the different effects of each drug. Psychoactive prescription medication that has a significant potential for abuse is classified in distinct groups according to their properties.

Opioids

Opioids are prescription drugs which bind to the opioid receptors in the body’s central nervous system (CNS) and work to diminish moderate to severe pain.

Because opioids have a high potential for abuse and addiction, they are not available without a prescription. Some of the most common opioid prescription painkillers include the following:

  • Oxycodone (Percocet and OxyContin)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Morphine (MS Contin)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Codeine (Tylenol 3 and 4)
  • Hydrocodone (Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone

When used as directed by a physician, opioids can be very effective at relieving pain. The use of opioids can improve the quality of life for those who suffer from acute or chronic pain following surgery, injuries, as well as during cancer treatment or palliative care.

Opioid tolerance and dependence can develop quickly, however, and addiction can form within just two weeks of regular use. If people increase their doses too much due to tolerance and/or concurrently abuse other drugs or alcohol, they run the risk of experiencing severe complications. Taking too many opioids can put an individual in imminent danger of respiratory depression and death.

Prescription Drug Abuse | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Stimulants

Stimulant medications are usually only prescribed to those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, or obesity. They can increase energy and alertness, elevate blood pressure, and suppress appetite.

Stimulant prescription drugs are usually consumed orally in pill form, but some can be delivered through the skin as a patch or a liquid. Stimulants vary on the duration of effectiveness and include three categories: short-acting, intermediate-acting and long-acting.

The most popular short-acting stimulant prescription drugs include the following:

  • Adderall
  • Focalin
  • Dexedrine
  • ProCentra
  • Zenzedi
  • Ritalin

Intermediate-acting stimulants are effective for a longer period than short-acting ones but still require a regular dosage to work properly. The most common include the following:

  • Evekeo
  • Ritalin SR
  • Metadate ER
  • Methylin ER

Long-acting stimulants do not require dosing and can continue to be effective for hours, or even days. The most common include the following:

  • Adderall XR
  • Adzenys XR-ODT
  • Concerta
  • Daytrana
  • Focalin XR
  • Metadate CD
  • Quillichew ER
  • Quillivant XR
  • Ritalin LA
  • Vyvanse

Central Nervous System Depressants

Depressants function by reducing activity in the brain and central nervous system and include subcategories of drugs such as benzodiazepines, hypnotics, and barbiturates. Most depressants work by controlling the release of GABA, a brain neurotransmitter also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA reduces brain activity and leads to feelings of relaxation and drowsiness.

Depressants are frequently prescribed to those who suffer from sleep disturbances or anxiety/panic disorders. The most frequently used prescription depressants include the following:

  • Barbiturates
  • Antipsychotics
  • Benzodiazepines (benzos)
  • Sleep medications such as Ambien and Lunesta

Among the most commonly prescribed benzos are diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin). These are typically prescribed to treat panic attacks and reduce anxiety. However, if used long-term, people can develop tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Sleep medications include eszopiclone (Lunesta), zolpidem (Ambien), and zaleplon (Sonata). They act on the same receptors as benzos but have less potential for abuse and dependence.

Barbiturates include drugs such as phenobarbital (Luminal Sodium), mephobarbital (Mebaral), and pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal). Once widespread, they are now prescribed much less often than other sedatives due to their higher potential for overdose.

Prescription Drug Abuse | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Antipsychotics

Antipsychotics are prescription medications that treat mental health disorders such as schizophrenia or symptoms related to bipolar disorder or Tourette’s syndrome. Commonly used antipsychotics include the following:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Amisulpride
  • Clozapine
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Flupentixol
  • Haloperidol
  • Levomepromazine
  • Olanzapine
  • Perphenazine
  • Pericyazine
  • Quetiapine
  • Risperidone

Other Pain Medications

There have been a number of reports of people abusing some non-opioid pain relievers, such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), although this is much less common that opioid abuse. These drugs are indicated for the treatment of conditions such as nerve pain, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy.

Prescription Drug Abuse

The development of addiction to prescription drugs is not always, but frequently the result of the misuse or abuse of opioids, stimulants, or benzodiazepines.

Some people may be more predisposed than others to develop an addiction to prescription drugs, and this may involve several factors, including the following:

  • Height, weight and other personal characteristics
  • A family history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • The prescription drug they are currently taking
  • Whether they are being treated for a mental health disorder or acute or chronic pain
  • Past or current addictions to other substances, such as tobacco, other drugs, or alcohol
  • Exposure and vulnerability to peer pressure or an environment where drug use is acceptable or encouraged
  • Accessibility to prescription drugs, such as having them present in the home

While some face an increased risk, it is important to stress that anyone can develop an addiction to prescription drugs over time if they misuse or abuse the drug for a prolonged period. Although there have been numerous reports of people who have developed tolerance, dependence, and addiction to a drug while taking it as prescribed by a physician, this occurs less common than as a result of misuse or abuse.

Medical Consequences

Potential complications of prescription drug abuse are numerous. Opioids can cause a blood pressure drop and breathing to be reduced, and misuse increases the risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

Benzos and sedatives have been associated with memory problems, low blood pressure, and depressed breathing, and an overdose can lead to coma or death. Sudden discontinuation of these medications can also induce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that may include nervous system hyperactivity, seizures, and in some cases, death.

Stimulant abuse has been associated with dangerously high body temperature, heart problems, high blood pressure, seizures, tremors, aggressiveness, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

An addiction to prescription drugs can be life-threatening. Those who suffer are encouraged to seek professional treatment as soon as possible.

Recovery By The Sea offers a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment and is comprised of therapeutic services vital to the recovery process, such as psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, group support, and aftercare planning.

We provide clients with the resources and support they need to achieve abstinence and experience long-lasting sobriety and improved well-being. Contact us today and discover how we can help you reclaim your life and experience the happiness and harmony you deserve!

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