Why a Drug Addict Can’t Love You

There’s nothing more devastating and confusing than watching someone you love struggle with substance abuse.

While the unpredictable nature of addiction can leave you feeling helpless, you might be hoping that you can still maintain a relationship with addiction in the picture.

However, addiction can massively impact the brain and social functions, making it extremely difficult to sustain healthy bonds.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the complex dynamics of addiction and its impact on relationships along with guidance and resources to help you find the right support to navigate this journey.

Addicted love

How Addiction Affects The Social and Emotional Dynamics of the Brain

Understanding how addiction works can help you put together why it can’t coexist peacefully with relationships.

First, you need to know that addiction isn’t just a behavioral issue; it’s a complex brain disorder that fundamentally alters the way we think, feel, and interact with the world.

Addiction starts when a person prioritizes the artificial high associated with a drug and becomes almost completely dependent on a certain substance(s) to maintain balance.

Unfortunately, when this happens, the preoccupation with seeking and obtaining the drug often comes at the expense of everything else, including relationships no matter how close they are.

10 Reasons Why Healthy Relationships Can’t Coexist with Addiction

As difficult as it may sound, the impact of addiction on love is almost inevitable, which is why they can’t coexist with each other. Here are some of the reasons behind this statement:

1. Distorted Brain Chemistry

As discussed earlier, addiction can have a serious impact on the delicate balance of brain neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

While love is such a complex emotion that involves a wide range of neurological and psychological factors, it’s heavily regulated by the balance of these chemicals in our brains.

As a result, the severe imbalance associated with addiction leads to a diminished ability to express love, empathy, and connection, which makes it incredibly difficult to maintain healthy relationships.

2. Prioritization of Drugs and Neglect of Loved Ones

The obsessive focus on obtaining and using drugs is a defining characteristic of addiction. This often leads to the unfortunate reality of loved ones being neglected and their needs pushed aside as addiction consumes your entire life.

As a result, it’s common for a person suffering from addiction to miss all types of events and social responsibilities, whether they’re errands, chores, or other commitments within the relationship.

This is not exclusive to romantic relationships only, as family members suffering from substance use disorder will often miss significant events like family gatherings and birthdays in favor of obtaining or using drugs.

3. Unpredictable Behavior and Mood Swings

The erratic nature of addiction often manifests in its unpredictability, as it heavily depends on the current state of your loved one.

As a result, it’s common to find them excited and energetic at one moment and uninterested at the other.

The sudden alteration of mood and emotional state is often associated with irritability and anger as well as depression in severe cases, all of which heavily strain relationships.

4. Lack of Mutual Trust

The foundation of any healthy relationship is built on trust. Unfortunately, addiction often erodes this trust through various aspects. Of course, the most common example here is broken promises, as they constantly break their vows to quit their drug abuse.

Another pattern of dishonesty that makes it hard to believe anything they say is trying to hide the extent of their addiction.

Additionally, drug use is often associated with stealing, lying, and manipulating situations to fulfill cravings.

This constant break of trust creates a toxic environment with a lack of emotional security for everyone involved in the relationship.

5. Addiction Encourages Selfishness

Another sad reality of addiction is that for an addicted person, almost nothing is more important than substance use.

Since it has become their primary focus, their family members, significant others, friends, and family are always disregarded and neglected.

With time, this sense of self-prioritization becomes even more vicious and puts more strain on relationship dynamics, as the intensity of substance abuse increases.

6. Emotional and Social Isolation

One of the most common symptoms and signs of substance addiction is withdrawal from society and low self-esteem.

This happens because individuals suffering from addiction try to avoid accountability for their actions, especially with the stigmatization associated with abuse.

As a result, they become reluctant to seek professional help to avoid any potential negative consequences. However, this isolation is often interpreted as neglect, especially in intimate relationships.

7. Increased Risk of Co-Existing Mental Health Disorders

Individuals struggling with addiction are at a significantly higher risk of developing or experiencing co-existing mental health issues. These conditions can be a root cause of the addiction or massively exacerbated by substance use.

These underlying issues can dramatically impact their well-being and make fulfilling their duties in a loving relationship even more challenging.

Co-existing conditions and mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

8. Enabling Behaviors

One of the main challenges associated with combining loving relationships and drug use is enabling. This refers to the act of supporting substance use, whether directly or indirectly, even with good intentions.

This can take many forms, including giving them money to buy drugs, taking over their commitments and covering up for them, ignoring the obvious signs, avoiding confrontations, etc.

While these actions may seem helpful in the short term, they ultimately prevent your loved ones from facing the negative consequences of their actions and finding the help they actually need.

9. Potential for Physical and Emotional Abuse

Lastly, as previously established, it’s not uncommon for individuals suffering from addiction to become abusive when it comes to obtaining their fix. Unfortunately, the lengths they could go to in that situation could be a bit extreme, including physical violence or emotional distress.

Additionally, as the effects of drug abuse start to manifest, such as professional decline and financial ruin, increased stress and arguments between loved ones or family members start to arise.

This escalation can lead to extreme tensions and a remarkably high potential for family abuse and domestic violence.

What to Do If Your Loved One Is Struggling with Drug Abuse?

Despite the hardships of addiction, we naturally want to help and support our loved ones. And the good news here is that navigating this problem can be challenging but not impossible. Here are some important notes to keep in mind on what you need to do in that situation:

Understand That Addiction is Treatable

As we mentioned above, addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. And luckily, it’s also a treatable one with the right approach and attitude.

In fact, treating addiction includes a variety of methods, including several scientifically-based techniques. These include:

  • Detoxification: The initial phase of treatment that focuses on safely managing withdrawal symptoms and purging the abused substance from the body.
  • Therapy and Support Groups: Individual and group therapy can help the person address the underlying causes of their addiction and develop coping mechanisms.
  • Medications: Depending on the specific substance, medical professionals may prescribe certain drugs to reduce the risk of relapse.

Set Healthy Boundaries

It’s also important that you don’t neglect your needs and practice setting healthy boundaries. In fact, this is not only for your well-being but also for the success of your loved one’s recovery, as it can limit the negative impact of some aspects like enabling.

Attending therapy sessions and counseling with your loved one during recovery is a great way to get professional help on how to set and communicate your boundaries with your loved ones.

Seek Professional Support and Focus on Recovery

While your love and support are crucial for the success of addiction treatment, you must remember that you can’t single-handedly overcome your loved one’s addiction.

In fact, seeking professional help during treatment is essential to receiving specialized care and setting up a personalized treatment plan that addresses their own challenges and underlying causes.

Professional treatment programs utilize evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and allow for a smoother detoxification process, especially for challenging and intense cases.

Practice Self-Care

Supporting a loved one with addiction can be emotionally draining and take a toll on your own well-being, so it’s important to not forget about your own needs in the midst of all this.

Consider seeking medical support and engage in stress-reducing activities that can help you maintain balance and comfort.

Finding the Best Addiction Treatment in New York

The challenges of maintaining a relationship with individuals suffering from addiction are immense. However, with the right type of help, the chances of achieving lifelong recovery become incredibly higher.

If you or your loved one are struggling with drug use in New York, Long Island Interventions can offer a remarkable variety of resources and treatment options to address the problem. Call now to schedule an appointment and start receiving help from field experts immediately!


Published on: 2024-06-11
Updated on: 2024-06-20

Weed and Sleep

Weed, also known as cannabis or marihuana, is one of the most commonly used psychoactive drugs in the United States. About half the adults in the country reported trying weed at least once, and according to a 2023 survey, 17% of Americans smoke marijuana regularly.

Insomnia is another widely spread issue among people in the US. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. The 2020 CDC report showed that 14.5% of adults had consistent difficulties falling asleep.

These two worlds collide as more and more people turn to weed to help them overcome their sleeping troubles. Between the claims that marijuana can serve as an effective sleep aid and the opinions that go against them, the debate is still ongoing.

Today’s guide offers a closer look at the latest on the weed and sleep connection.

We’ll explain how weed affects alertness and what happens to your brain when you sleep high. We’ll also explore the safety of using cannabis for sleep disorders and share practical tips to limit its side effects.

Can Weed Make You Sleepy?

Weed may be able to help some people feel drowsy and fall asleep.

It’s suggested that cannabis is especially effective in making patients suffering from certain conditions sleep faster and stay asleep longer while sensing relief from their symptoms.

These conditions include anxiety, insomnia, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and RLS (restless legs syndrome).

That said, not everyone struggling with such conditions will experience sleepiness from using weed. Additionally, the effectiveness of weed varies among patients who report falling asleep after using cannabis.

What’s more, there’s growing evidence that frequency of use makes a significant difference in weed’s efficacy when it comes to triggering sleep and the quality of that sleep.

There’s a higher chance of experiencing sleep issues rather than relief in cases of regular use compared to non-daily or occasional use.

How Does Weed Make You Sleepy?

The technicality of how weed can make you fall asleep has to do with the chemicals present in the plant activating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This leads to subduing the brain’s arousal system and raising the levels of the sleep-regulating hormone adenosine.

The chemicals in question are known as cannabinoids, and there are multiple types of them in weed. The main ones responsible for the effects of cannabis are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

CBD is a non-psychoactive substance, which means it doesn’t cause you to get “high”. Some research suggests that CBD promotes sleepiness at larger doses, but boosts alertness at smaller doses.

THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive compound and the primary culprit behind the “high” feeling. However, it also plays the lead role in inducing sleep.

This chemical combo may help some weed users who suffer from chronic conditions feel sedated and fall asleep. Still, the extent of these effects varies depending on factors such as the timing of use and dosage of each compound.

How Does Being High Affect Your Brain While Sleeping?

To understand how a “high” affects the brain while asleep, we’ll dive into the third and fourth stages of sleep. These are known as deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep respectively.

The slow-wave or deep sleep stage is where the body does most of its rejuvenation and restoration. The REM sleep stage is where dreams happen. It’s also important for memory/cognitive development and emotional processing.

Research –although not yet conclusive– tells us that cannabis prolongs the time humans spend in the deep sleep stage and reduces the duration of their REM sleep.

This alteration allows you to wake up feeling more refreshed, especially if your sleep is mostly characterized by unpleasant emotions or traumatic memories.

According to research, consuming marijuana that contains more THC than CBD is preferred in certain cases. Because THC shortens REM sleep, it decreases the occurrence of dreams –or rather nightmares– in PTSD patients.

In the long term though, weed may reduce sleep quality.

Do You Wake Up Not High?

So let’s say you went to sleep high, does this mean the effect of the weed will wear off during sleep and you’ll wake up with a clear mind?

Well, it’s possible, but it’s not the act of sleep that breaks the effect of cannabis – it’s the time passed.

Weed will manifest its effects on the brain as long as it’s in the person’s bloodstream.

The duration it remains in your bloodstream isn’t affected by whether you’re asleep or awake. It has to do with the potency of the weed and the form of consumption.

So, if you happen to sleep long enough until your body eliminates cannabis from your system, you’ll wake up not feeling high. If not, then you’ll wake up still high.

Are There Potential Benefits to Sleeping High?

Weed can alleviate some symptoms of sleep-hindering conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

People suffering from epilepsy, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), multiple sclerosis, and RLS (restless legs syndrome) are also prime candidates for cannabis-induced sleep.

It seems that the ability of marijuana to elicit a state of relaxation and sedation can be regarded as a potential advantage to sleeping high.

What Are the Risks Associated With Sleeping High?

It’s unlikely that using weed to sleep every once in a while will have negative health consequences. There’s no evidence yet that suggests life-threatening side effects from consuming marijuana short-term and non-daily.

The problem, however, lies in the long-term or daily use of weed as a sleep solution. Side effects of such practice include:

  • Poor sleep quality; the consistent shortening of REM sleep can result in reduced brain activity, impaired emotional awareness, and impaired memory.
  • Waking up drowsy and tired. This may be because the weed is still in your system due to consuming high doses. As explained above, sleeping doesn’t affect the duration of cannabis presence in the bloodstream, so you can’t “sleep off” a high.
  • Rebound increase in REM sleep if you don’t continue using weed. This may cause worsening of PTSD symptoms as more vivid dreams take place.
  • Risk of chronic bronchitis and heart problems (when smoked).
  • Risk of developing dependence on weed as you experience sleep problems if you stop consuming it. This also raises the concern for developing a cannabis abuse disorder.

Due to the lack of research on the sleep-related effects of weed, medical professionals generally do not recommend relying on it as a long-term sleep aid.

How To Stay Safe and Get the Best Sleep Using Weed

If you’re considering using weed to aid you in overcoming your sleep issues, certain tips may help you get better results and minimize side effects. So before trying cannabis for a good night’s sleep, consider the following:

  • Talk to your doctor and don’t follow through with the plan unless they approve of using weed to treat your insomnia.
  • Go for a marijuana strain that’s more likely to help you fall asleep. Cannabis Indica is commonly known to be more sedating and relaxing than Cannabis Sativa, which seems to be more effective at boosting energy and inducing alertness.
  • Choose a suitable ingestion mode for your needs. Smoking is the most common way to consume weed and proves to be highly effective.

However, if you don’t want to affect your lungs or deal with the distinct scent of cannabis, you can use a vaping device or consume an edible or sublingual tincture. You should note that non-inhaled marijuana has a lower bioavailability (less amount reaches the bloodstream).

  • Start your intake with a small dose and do it at least one hour before going to bed. This will give the weed enough time to start producing its effects and save you the side effects associated with experiencing a high right as you’re going to sleep. It also lowers the chances of waking up still high.
  • Try to keep the use of weed as a sleep aid to a minimum. In other words, don’t make a habit out of it. The long-term effects of cannabis consumption on physical and mental health can be severe. Not to mention, regular marijuana use may cause you to develop tolerance and impair the pattern and quality of your sleep once you quit.

Conclusion: Know When to Seek Help

If you’re concerned about weed affecting your sleep, it may be a sign you’re struggling with marijuana addiction.

Other symptoms include noticeable persistent eye redness, always feeling exhausted, constant loss of balance, noticeable poor coordination, impaired memory, sleep disturbances, and mood swings.

At Long Island Interventions, we’re committed to helping you take back control over life with effective marihuana addiction treatment programs based on individual needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for more information.

References


Published on: 2024-06-11
Updated on: 2024-06-20

Treatment Center Myths

Substance abuse and addiction are major challenges facing countless individuals and families in the US today. While there’s a growing awareness of these issues, misconceptions surrounding treatment options are still the biggest roadblocks to seeking help.

In an effort to provide a more realistic image of how things work with treatment centers, this article will discuss and debunk 10 of the most common treatment center myths many people believe despite not being true.

This will help you make informed decisions on the path to addiction recovery while also introducing valuable information about the treatment programs offered along the way. Let’s dive right in!

Myth #1: Addiction Isn’t a Disease to Require Treatment

Let’s start with one of the most significant barriers that prevents many individuals from seeking the help they need. A lot of people as well as concerned families think that addiction is simply a matter of lacking willpower or morals.

However, addiction is a well-established and heavily documented medical condition that goes by the scientific term Substance Use Disorder within the medical community.

In fact, there is tons of extensive research done in that regard to show that addiction simply takes over the brain’s chemical balance, completely hijacking its decision-making and reward systems.

Although the nature of addiction is yet to be fully understood, scientific research has already documented some of its common causes, risk factors, complications, and even treatment methods, but more about that in the following sections.

It’s true that some behavioral and psychological issues could lead to developing addiction, such as peer pressure, enabling, lack of supervision, etc. Yet, there are plenty of documented addiction cases that didn’t suffer such issues.

Myth #2: Quitting Cold Turkey at Home Will Do

The idea of quitting an addiction cold turkey at home might seem appealing in its simplicity. You simply stay at home, cease to use any drugs altogether, and power through the urge to reuse.

Unfortunately, as straightforward as it might seem, this approach isn’t only a recipe for relapsing, but it can be an extremely risky gamble.

As you probably know, reducing or ceasing to use an addictive drug usually triggers withdrawal symptoms.

While some symptoms like headaches can be fairly tolerated, others can be quite brutal, ranging from insomnia and severe anxiety to chills and potentially life-threatening seizures (especially in alcohol addiction).

On the other hand, rehab centers always involve professional treatment and medical supervision in the process.

For instance, addiction treatment programs always start with a detoxification (detox) phase. This usually includes medication-assisted treatment where supportive treatments can be used to reduce the impact of withdrawal symptoms.

Severe drug abuse cases may also benefit from the tapering process where medical professionals gradually reduce the dosage to minimize the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Myth #3: Mild Addiction Doesn’t Require Treatment Centers

Another common myth is that drug addiction exists on a spectrum, with only “severe” cases that hit rock bottom needing professional help. This simply isn’t true, and there are various reasons why this theory doesn’t hold water.

Firstly, addiction is a highly progressive disease, so if it’s left untreated, even the mildest of cases can become much worse over time.

Also just because the addiction itself is mild, doesn’t mean that the underlying conditions are also mild.

In that case, even if quitting the drug at home works, recovered individuals may not be able to deal with the root causes behind addiction. As a result, the risk of relapsing becomes much higher.

The good news here is that treatment centers will also address the patient’s mental health and use several evidence-based approaches to help them develop coping mechanisms to avoid triggers and potential relapses.

Myth #4: Addiction Treatment is a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Addiction is a unique condition because each patient has its own causes, risk factors, and triggers.

Combine that with the varying intensities of addiction and personal differences, and you’ll find that each individual case is unique, and what works with one may not necessarily work with others.

Drug use treatment centers perfectly understand that statement, and it’s common for most reputable rehab facilities to prepare a customized and highly personal treatment plan based on each patient’s needs and challenges.

The following are some of the most popular approaches that some high-end rehab centers might offer:

  • Inpatient Treatment: A highly intensive treatment program that involves 24/7 care and supervision in a residential setting. Ideal for patients with severe addiction who need a complete break from their environment to focus on recovery.
  • Outpatient Treatment: This flexible program allows individuals to live at home while attending therapy sessions. Perfect for milder cases with a strong support system at home.
  • Individual Counseling: Tailored therapy sessions to address the underlying causes of addiction.
  • Group Therapy: Incorporates patients in a group setting to share their experiences with individuals who’ll understand the struggle. This helps overcome the sense of isolation associated with addiction and therapy.
  • Sober Living Homes: A transitional controlled environment to prepare recently recovered patients to return back to their daily lives after treatment.
  • Supportive Treatment: A combination of various relaxing and healthy approaches that address the well-being of patients to ensure a long-term recovery.

Myth #5: Rehab Is Expensive and Uncovered By Insurance

It’s true that treatment can be rather expensive and rehab centers can vary in expense depending on the nature of the addiction.

That being said, many treatment centers offer payment plans and accept health insurance with addiction coverage.

In fact, the Affordable Care Act mandates coverage for substance use disorder treatment by most insurance plans.

Check with your insurance provider or explore financial assistance options at treatment centers, as many offer facilitated plans and long-term payment options.

Myth #6: Treatment Centers Use Strictly Religious Methods

Treatment centers cater to a diverse clientele with varying spiritual beliefs. While many individuals do find faith-based treatment methods highly effective, others may prefer a more secular approach during recovery.

Many rehab centers out there can also offer both treatment approaches to provide the optimum recovery plan for patients.

For instance, besides faith-based treatments, they would also include evidence-based approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

Myth #7: You Will Lose Your Job If They Find Out

The choice to go to rehab actually shows immense strength and courage. When an individual fights the urge to keep on using addictive drugs and chooses to go to rehab, they’re trying to retake control of their life and seek help to overcome that difficult challenge.

Of course, there might be some stigmatization about going to rehab due to a lack of awareness in many communities about the struggles of addiction.

Similarly, some individuals might be worried that by going to rehab they might lose their job. However, this is also a common misconception, and there are several reasons to debunk this myth.

For instance, you should keep in mind that addiction, while diverse in causes, has some common signs and symptoms. Among the most common of them is the preoccupation with obtaining and using the addicted drugs.

As a result, as addiction progresses, it becomes much harder for individuals to keep up with their professional and social responsibilities, which leads to job loss and financial ruin.

Luckily, however, there are various legislations and regulations that prevent employers from terminating their employees for going to rehab. On the other hand, they’re allowed to terminate employees who show up to work under the influence of drugs.

Myth #8: Rehab Treats You Like a Prisoner

Rehab offers a structured environment, but it’s not in any way a prison. Of course, there will be rules and boundaries, but they are in place to support your recovery journey, not to punish you.

The restrictive environment provides stability and reduces the risk of relapse by limiting access to triggers that might jeopardize your progress. Also, reputable rehab centers will offer plenty of activities and amenities to keep your mind at ease.

Myth #9: Treatment Centers Are Only for Certain Age or Background

Addiction can strike anyone regardless of age, social/economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, or profession.

Treatment centers understand this and many even offer programs designed to meet the unique needs of different individuals to accommodate their situations while helping them achieve recovery.

Myth #10: All Treatment Centers Are the Same

Lastly, you should know that every treatment center will vary significantly depending on the approach and methods used, the level of services and care offered, qualifications, and even luxury levels.

Make sure that you do extensive research in your region to find the best rehab center for your needs, and always prioritize qualifications and expertise to minimize the risk of relapsing.

Finding the Best Treatment Center in New York

There you have it! 10 common myths and misconceptions about addiction treatment centers busted to help you find out whether it’s the best approach for you.

If you or your loved ones are struggling with addiction or substance abuse in New York, Long Island Interventions can offer a highly individualized treatment plan to help you start your path to recovery.


Published on: 2024-06-11
Updated on: 2024-06-20

Cannabinoid Receptors

The use of cannabis is becoming increasingly common following its legalization in several states across America. While THC use with medical supervision may offer some benefits, its long-term effects and potential for abuse are quite questionable.

If you want to stop using cannabis and you’re wondering how long it takes the cannabinoid receptors to reach a health level again, this guide will have you covered.

Besides answering this question in detail, we’ll also discuss how cannabinoid receptors work and the associated factors that affect the recovery time frame.

Cannabinoid Receptors

A Brief Overview of Cannabinoid Receptors Dynamics and How They Work

Our bodies possess a complex system of receptors that play a significant role in a wide range of physiological and cognitive functions. This system is known as the endocannabinoid system, which functions as a “lock and key” system.

Here, the cannabinoid receptors are the locks, which are a group of receptors found in different parts of the body, including the central nervous system (particularly in the amygdala), that trigger certain functions. They have various types, mainly CB1 and CB2 receptors.

On the other hand, endocannabinoids are the key to that lock. These are naturally occurring molecules produced by the body that bind to cannabinoid receptors to trigger their effects, such as anandamide, which affects and contributes to the following aspects:

  • Mood Regulation: The stimulation of cannabinoid receptors influences the release of various mood-altering brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), mainly dopamine and serotonin. These are responsible for feelings of euphoria and pleasure.
  • Pain Perception: Studies show that cannabinoids also have strong antinociceptive effects that control our ability to feel pain. Stimulating the system can also offer symptomatic relief from chronic inflammation
  • Sleep: Endocannabinoids also stimulate the body to reduce sleep onset latency and prolong the rapid eye movement stage during sleep. In other words, they allow the body to enter the state of sleep faster and remain in deep sleep for longer.
  • Other Functions: Besides the primary functions, endocannabinoids also affect various vital functions and systems, including cognitive impairment, improved immune response, and enhanced appetite.

The primary psychoactive component of cannabis is known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or simply “THC”. This compound has a structure similar to endocannabinoids, which allows them to bind to cannabinoid receptors and mimic their effects.

Combined with other psychoactive components in cannabis, such as cannabidiol or CBD, these chemicals produce the various physiological and cognitive effects we associate with cannabis use.

How Does Cannabis Addiction Develop?

Continuous use of cannabis leads to cannabis tolerance. This happens due to the downregulation process where the body reduces the number of cannabinoid receptors, especially CB1 receptors, after frequent use.

Simply put, the body reduces the number of receptors available for binding in an attempt to adapt to the constant presence of external cannabinoids introduced into the body by cannabis users.

This results in reduced sensitivity where the current dose stops being as effective as it once was.

The rate at which the body develops this form of cannabis tolerance varies depending on frequency and duration of use as well as the dosage and type of cannabis products consumed.

For that reason, continuous use of cannabis can lead to cannabis dependence in which the body develops uncomfortable cannabis withdrawal symptoms and side effects when you cease to use it, including:

  • Cravings for cannabis
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in appetite

Luckily, however, these symptoms are only temporary, as the receptor downregulation is a reversible process that stops shortly after quitting cannabis use. As a result, cannabinoid receptors return to their initial level of sensitivity, and the effects of cannabis are reset.

How Long Does It Take for Cannabinoid Receptors to Return to Normal?

The time it takes for cannabinoid receptors to return to normal after cannabis use varies depending on several factors, which we’ll discuss in detail in the following sections.

However, as a general estimate, it is thought that most individuals experience a significant return to pre-use levels of cannabinoid receptor function within a tolerance break (t-break) of approximately four weeks of ceasing cannabis use.

One thing to note here is that the rate at which the receptors return to normal function also varies. For example, it typically starts at a high rate, allowing your body to reach significant improvement within a few weeks, but then improvements start to slow down later on.

What to Expect During Cannabinoid Dependence Recovery

While performing your t-break, you may experience some short-term symptoms and side effects associated with THC dependence. These side effects include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for cannabis
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Headache and body aches

These withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 1-3 days of quitting and peak around day 3-10. They can last for several weeks, but should gradually decrease in intensity as time passes.

cannabinoids

Factors Affecting the Time Needed for Full Cannabinoid Receptor Recovery

As previously established, several factors can extend or shorten the time needed to restore cannabinoid receptors to their initial sensitivity. Here’s a quick look at those factors and how they come into play.

Frequency of Use

The first and most critical factor when it comes to restoring cannabinoid sensitivity is the rate at which cannabis is consumed.

Regular users typically take around a couple of weeks to achieve massive improvements in Cannabis tolerance levels. In fact, those who use cannabis casually or infrequently may take as little as a few days to reset their cannabis sensitivity.

On the other hand, individuals who use cannabis at a much higher rate not only take longer to restore their cannabinoid receptors to normal levels, but are also at a higher risk of cannabis use disorder (cannabis addiction).

Concentration of THC

Besides being the primary psychoactive component in cannabis and the one responsible for most effects of marijuana, THC is also the compound that causes tolerance to cannabis.

Therefore, cannabis products with high levels of THC can lead to a stronger and longer-lasting interaction with cannabinoid receptors. As a result, it’s only natural for the receptors to require more time to return to normal or pre-use levels.

That being said, not all cannabis products contain high levels of THC. In fact, some of them contain higher levels of CBD or simply low concentrations of THC.

While CBD also affects cannabinoid receptors, its effects are much milder, so recovery is easier and fairly quicker.

Types of Products Used and Method of Consumption

Cannabis comes in a wide range of delivery methods. While the pharmacology of these drugs is usually similar, the route of administration can affect the potential for drug abuse.

For example, smoking and vaping deliver cannabinoids directly to the lungs, which leads to rapid absorption of the drug and a shorter duration of effects.

On the other hand, regular use of edibles can result in a much longer time to achieve cannabinoid receptor recovery.

This is because oral drug use results in metabolizing it, which turns THC into 11-hydroxy THC or (11-OH-THC). This compound is slightly more potent than regular THC, which results in needing a longer period to recover.

Metabolism

Individuals with a faster metabolic rate have the ability to break down and eliminate cannabinoids from their system fairly quickly. This leads to a relatively shorter period of recovery to reset cannabinoid receptors.

On the flip side, individuals with a slower metabolism take longer to process and eliminate cannabinoids, which extends the time needed for receptor recovery.

Body Fat Percentage

Another factor that is often overlooked while estimating the recovery period for recovery is body composition. As a general role, many drugs, including THC, tend to remain stored for longer in fat tissue compared to other types of cells.

For that reason, chronic cannabis users with lower body fat percentages typically eliminate cannabinoids from their system more quickly, especially when compared to those with similar use levels but with lower body fat ratios.

Underlying Health Conditions and Using Certain Medications

Certain pre-existing health conditions can have an impact on cannabis recovery, especially for those who use marijuana medically.

That being said, you should keep in mind that some mental health conditions, such as anxiety and psychosis can increase the risk of abusing cannabis, which can potentially lead to marijuana addiction.

If you’re using cannabis medically, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare/psychiatry professional to ensure your safety during the use of marijuana.

Finding The Best Treatment for Cannabis Addiction in New York

Understanding the process of cannabinoid receptor recovery is crucial for anyone who uses cannabis regularly.

As you can see, regular tolerance breaks are essential to prevent downregulation and avoid the risk of developing substance use disorder, which can lead to a tougher treatment period and a higher risk of intoxication.

However, if you or your loved one is struggling with cannabinoid dependence, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Long Island Interventions offers extensive support and guidance to addiction patients in New York, using a wide range of evidence-based approaches and under the supervision of qualified professionals.


Published on: 2024-06-11
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Urine

Hydrocodone is a prescription analgesic medication belonging to the class of drugs known as opioids.

Unlike morphine and codeine, which are natural opioids, hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid developed specifically for medical use.

Often combined with acetaminophen (paracetamol), hydrocodone is commercially available under several names including Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Hysingla, Lorcet, and Zohydro ER.

This potent pain medication is one of the most commonly prescribed in the US, with one of the most significant abuse rates among patients.

Hydrocodone is categorized as a Schedule II drug, characterized by a high potential for causing dependence, overuse, and addiction.

With such risk surrounding hydrocodone use, understanding how the body deals with it is crucial for both medical professionals and individuals in the context of detox and treatment plans.

This guide explores how long hydrocodone lasts in urine.

Hydrocodone

How Does Hydrocodone Affect the Body?

Hydrocodone is a prescription-only drug used to alleviate moderate to severe chronic pain, such as in the conditions of cancer and arthritis. It’s also sometimes prescribed to treat chronic cough and after major surgeries

Hydrocodone elicits its analgesic and sedating effects by binding to opiate receptors and activating them. This prevents the brain from producing certain chemicals that trigger sensations of pain and irritation, and instead, increases dopamine levels.

As a result, the brain’s reward system is altered, so not only do you experience pain relief but also feelings of numbness, drowsiness, lowered stress, and euphoria.

Hydrocodone is available as oral capsules or tablets, meaning that you’ll only feel the effects of the drug after it passes through your digestive system. It takes about an hour for enough hydrocodone to get into the blood to start relieving pain sensations.

The highest concentration of hydrocodone in the blood occurs about 1.3 hours after ingestion (assuming a dose of 10 mg). But this can take longer in patients who’ve been using the drug for some time.

With continued use, the brain gets used to the presence of hydrocodone and builds tolerance to the drug. Individuals may then resort to taking larger doses of hydrocodone to reach the same effects and function normally.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in the Body?

We can estimate the period that a drug remains in the body by calculating its half-life; that’s the time needed by the body to eliminate half the drug’s dose.

Assuming a standard dose of 10 mg, hydrocodone has an average half-life of approximately 3.8 hours.

The amount of time required to completely get rid of the drug consists of several half-lives, which is roughly five in the case of short-acting hydrocodone.

  • In the case of long-acting hydrocodone, the half-life of the drug is between 7 to 9 hours. As such, eliminating an entire dose would take from 35 to 45 hours.

The body generally clears over 90% of a hydrocodone dose after around 18 to 24 hours. Most people will stop experiencing the effects of hydrocodone at this point even though it didn’t fully exit the body.

Whether or not the presence of hydrocodone can be detected depends on the area of the body that undergoes testing.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Urine?

The estimated detection window of hydrocodone in urine is around 24 to 96 hours. So if you take hydrocodone, it can show in a urine drug test 1 to 4 days after ingestion.

Factors That Affect the Duration of Hydrocodone Detection in Urine

The exact duration that hydrocodone stays in urine varies from one person to another depending on several factors controlling the drug’s clearance rate. Here are the primary factors to consider:

Frequency and Duration of Use

A patient who’s taking hydrocodone multiple times per day will have the drug in his system for longer than a person who only takes a single dose.

Similarly, a patient who’s been taking hydrocodone long-term will require more time to eliminate the drug than someone who’s only used it for a few days.

A higher frequency or a longer duration of using hydrocodone results in tolerance. This pushes people to take more medication to get the desired effect, adding more hydrocodone to their bodies which will extend its stay.

Dose Consumed

When a medical professional prescribes hydrocodone, they calculate the appropriate dosage based on the patient’s overall weight and body fat.

The body composition affects the rate of drug metabolism. If you consume a relatively too large dose, the elimination process will be prolonged and so will the detection window of hydrocodone.

Genetics and Metabolism

The breakdown of hydrocodone in the body relies on certain enzymes that vary in quality and quantity depending on each person’s genes.

The higher the quality of these enzymes and the higher their number, the faster the drug is metabolized.

Age

Generally, younger people have a better capacity for breaking down medication thanks to their faster metabolism. They also tend to have healthier organs, particularly the liver and kidneys, which are vital for elimination processes in the body.

Can You Detect Hydrocodone in the Parts of the Body?

Yes, hydrocodone can be detected when testing other areas of the body. The detection window in those parts varies from urine and from one another as follows:

Blood

The estimated detection window of hydrocodone in urine is up to 24 hours. So if you use hydrocodone, it can show in a blood test the day following ingestion.

Sweat

While hydrocodone and other opioids such as codeine and morphine can be detected in sweat, this method of testing is unreliable. It’s far less sensitive than other tests so it’s rarely accepted.

Saliva

The estimated detection window of hydrocodone in saliva is between 12 to 36 hours. So if you take hydrocodone, it can appear in a saliva drug test 1 to 2 days following ingestion.

Hair

The body area with the longest estimated detection time of hydrocodone is the hair. Traces of the drug can appear in hair tests up to 90 days (3 months) after ingestion.

Can Hydrocodone Give a False Positive in a Urine Test?

Because hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid, it’s only available as a medication. In other words, no plant, food, or beverage contains hydrocodone, so the potential for it to be in your system from a non-medication source is nonexistent.

That said, if you take a urine drug test while using hydrocodone, it may show traces of the following compounds:

  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydromorphone

This is why the patient must report taking hydrocodone as a prescribed medication to the doctor and the laboratory personnel before taking a urine drug test.

This way, the medical professionals will expect the possibility of a positive finding appearing in the result and it won’t be flagged as suspicious.

What To Expect During a Hydrocodone Urine Test

Urine drug tests are the most common way to detect hydrocodone in a patient.

Most of the drug is eliminated through the urinary system where the bi-products of hydrocodone breakdown (nor-hydrocodone) last up to 4 days.

If you’re taking hydrocodone, you must disclose this information to the medical professionals in charge of the testing to avoid suspicion.

What If Hydrocodone Appears in Your Urine Test

You shouldn’t be worried about hydrocodone showing in your urine test as long as you’ve been following your doctor’s prescription for the drug’s use.

If that’s not the case, then this can be a sign that you’re struggling with hydrocodone abuse. This medication is a Schedule II controlled substance, so it has a high potential for developing dependence and addiction.

Fortunately, various treatment options are available for hydrocodone addiction.

Substance abuse treatment typically starts with detox to rid the body of any trace of the drug. This is done gradually –and often medication-assisted– to minimize painful and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Once the detox stage is over, patients are placed on a treatment plan that specifically addresses their problem. The type of treatment program used in each plan depends on the patient’s requirements and recovery goals.

Treatment programs for hydrocodone addiction include:

A wide range of therapies is also incorporated into treatment plans to help patients overcome their dependence, maintain their recovery, and avoid relapse. These include:

Conclusion: Seeking Help

If you or your loved one is struggling with hydrocodone addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Long Island Interventions, we’re committed to helping you get back on track with effective opioid addiction treatment programs tailored to your needs and goals.

References


Published on: 2024-06-06
Updated on: 2024-06-20

Codependency and Enabling

Substance dependency is linked to various mental and emotional issues. But even if you’re not the one abusing drugs, you can still suffer from many psychological and physical problems.

As a matter of fact, studies show that drug and substance abuse leads to many relationship issues, including couple burnout when caretaking turns into codependency.

Being close or in a relationship with someone struggling with addiction can negatively impact your emotional and mental health. It also leads to codependency and enabling issues.

As the person becomes dependent on a drug, their relationships start to collapse. Family, friends, and co-workers hurt to see someone suffer, but they might not know the best way to help them. Offering help in the wrong way can lead to enabling behavior in codependent relationships.

This article will explain the meaning of codependency and enabling behaviors, why they happen, and how to overcome them. So, let’s dive in.

enabler

What is Codependency?

Codependency is a pattern that characterizes unhealthy and abusive relationships. In codependent relationships, one person prioritizes the needs of the other in a harmful way.

It’s not like caring for someone, because in a codependent relationship, one person will sacrifice their well-being, neglect their desires, and even harm themselves. At the same time, they’ll feel responsible for the other person’s happiness and comfort.

Codependency often leads to resentment. One person initially attempts to help the other but ends up losing themselves trying to meet their desires while neglecting their own needs.

When they feel that their efforts aren’t appreciated, they might resent the codependent person. Moreover, the person receiving help might demand more support and eventually take this support for granted.

What is Enabling?

Enabling behavior happens when one person wants to help another, but instead, reinforces an unhealthy behavior. These actions unintentionally support problematic behavior, although usually done in good faith.

Instead of helping someone overcome an issue, an enabler usually impacts their ability to recover. The person with the substance or behavioral problem doesn’t face the consequences of their actions and might not seek help.

What is the Relationship Between Codependency and Enabling?

Enabling is a sign of codependency. In a codependent relationship, one person can’t survive without the other. The person becomes an enabler when they try to find excuses for the person with behavioral issues or suffering from a substance abuse disorder. This behavior creates an environment where a codependent relationship can flourish.

Codependent relationships might not be related to substance abuse, but occur when one person needs more support. For example, a person with mental issues like bipolar disorder might get into a codependent relationship where their partner or spouse handles more responsibility.

Living with someone who has a substance abuse issue doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in a codependent relationship. Many people can escape codependency when they know how to draw healthy boundaries. However, partners with low self-esteem might get into a vicious abuse cycle.

What are Signs of Codependency?

A codependent relationship is an unhealthy interaction, where one person compulsively tries to meet the needs of the other. In the beginning, one person might try to do this to make the other happy, but it can lead to resentment and stress when the recipient keeps asking for more.

If you know someone who has a substance abuse problem, you might be in a codependent relationship if you display any of the following patterns.

  • You always put the other person’s needs above yours.
  • You have no friends or hobbies away from them. In some cases, they’re the only friend you have.
  • You don’t mind dropping and losing everything for them, even if it involves harming you.
  • You don’t hold the person accountable for their problematic behavior.
  • You ignore your partner’s problematic behavior.
  • Your relationship lacks healthy boundaries.
  • You feel angry when the other person ignores your offers of help.

What are Signs of Enabling?

Enablers usually mean to help but their actions can hinder healing and recovery. For example, a partner who makes excuses for an alcoholic partner or someone who abuses drugs won’t encourage them to seek help.

Codependency and Enabling

Instead, they might show them that there’s nothing wrong with their behavior. As a result, the person with the issue will continue to abuse drugs or drink in excess.

If you know someone who has a drug or alcohol problem, you might be an enabler if you display any of these behavioral patterns.

  • You don’t communicate openly with the person abusing drugs or alcohol as you try to avoid problems.
  • You try to cover up their addiction.
  • You hide their substance abuse from authority figures and family members.
  • You make excuses for their behavior.
  • You avoid having conversations with them regarding their substance or alcohol consumption.
  • You blame others for the person’s substance abuse issue.

How Can You Break the Cycle?

Codependency and enabling will harm both parties involved in a relationship. One person will become too wrapped up in meeting the needs of the other, and the person with a behavior or substance abuse problem won’t get the help they need.

If you’re an enabler or in a codependent relationship, you might feel guilty if you try to break the cycle. You somehow feel responsible for the other person’s issues, and the extreme guilt and anger will prevent you from seeing the relationship for what it is.

A person with destructive behavior like substance abuse won’t seek recovery or help when they have a family member, partner, or friend who is always defending their behavioral issues.

Are You Helping?

As someone who lives with a spouse, partner, child, or sibling who deals with substance abuse, you might feel obliged to help them. People with addiction issues are more likely to recover in a supportive environment. But you should understand the difference between helping and enabling.

Defending a person with substance abuse, helping them blame others, and ignoring their responsibility is hindering their recovery.

In most cases, a person who has an alcohol dependency or drug abuse issue will suffer with their personal and professional relationships. They might drop out of school, quit work, become unable to pay bills and lose the support of their family and friends. These stressful situations encourage you to help them get their lives back together.

Yet, you should be aware of the risk of developing a codependent relationship, where the other person won’t try to put in any effort to fix their own problems. In this case, you become an enabler who is worsening their condition by preventing them from realizing the consequences of their behavior.

Understanding Your Responsibility

If you aren’t sure if you’re helping or enabling, you need to take a moment to think.

Are you defending wrong behavior?

Are you handling another person’s issues?

Are you not prompting them to seek help and recover because you’re worried about their reaction?

You should understand that abusing drugs isn’t your fault. The person with an addiction problem might try to blame you but this isn’t true.

As a result, fixing the problem isn’t in your hands. A person with a substance abuse problem won’t recover if they don’t want to. They have to actively seek professional help to be able to overcome their addiction.

You don’t want to turn your back on someone who is struggling with substance or alcohol abuse, but you need to draw clear boundaries between their life and yours. You can encourage your friend or family member to seek help and manage their problem instead of enabling their abusive issues.

Having healthy boundaries doesn’t mean abandoning a loved one they’re hurting themselves. You can seek professional intervention if they can’t take the step as this will help them get their lives back on track.

For example, if they’re threatening others or talking about suicide, you should call professionals to help this person before it’s too late.

What Should You Do?

Things can become too stressful when you’re close to someone with a substance or alcohol abuse issue. Yet, there are several things you can do to support them during their recovery journey.

  • Understand the meaning of addiction and how it affects the brain and behavior.
  • Know that you can’t control addiction because it’s a disease, but you can help someone recover by supporting them.
  • Establish healthy boundaries within the relationship and learn to say no to the other person.
  • Be consistent with your boundaries and rules, even if the other person pushes too hard.
  • Don’t hold yourself responsible for the other person’s actions if you’re the caregiver during their recovery period.
  • Don’t interfere with the other person’s legal or behavioral problems with others, if possible.
  • Talk to the person about therapy and explain that the sooner the better.
  • Make sure that you don’t get tempted to abuse illegal substances or alcohol yourself.
  • Prioritize self-care for a healthy relationship.
  • Try to remove any drugs or substances that might worsen addiction.
  • Seek therapy to help you and the person with the substance abuse issue. Family therapy can help families overcome addiction issues successfully by addressing some problems that might trigger substance abuse.

Wrap Up

Living close to someone with a substance abuse problem can take its toll on you. Although you want to help this person recover, you must understand that their addiction isn’t your fault.

Codependency and enabling are common when you’re dealing with someone with a substance abuse problem. These behavioral issues usually start when you try to help them, but setting boundaries is essential. It’s also important to differentiate between offering help and becoming an enabler in a codependent relationship.

References


Published on: 2024-05-07
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Side effects of Liver Detox

Wellness gurus often toss around the idea that the liver needs detoxing, and a clean liver sounds like a good thing. After all, the liver is the body’s largest solid organ and a serious multitasker. As Columbia University Irving Medical Center indicates, it is involved in hundreds of essential functions, including regulating blood clotting, maintaining blood sugar levels, aiding digestion, and cleansing the blood of troublesome toxins.

liver detox

However, doctors urge anyone considering helping this hardworking organ with a detox to beware. Many popular liver detox practices, even the ones that promise that they are backed by science, can have serious side effects.

Learning a Little About Your Liver

Before you explore the pros and cons of liver detoxes, it helps to know a bit about your liver. For starters, the liver is a cleaning expert, according to UW Medicine. It does not just clean the blood; it also cleans itself.

Exploring the Promises of Liver Detoxes

Liver detoxification products and practices vary slightly. However, proponents of liver detoxes tend to advertise the same types of benefits. They suggest that their products or methods will help you be healthier by supporting your liver’s efforts to clear away toxins, especially if you’ve overdone it with alcohol, food, or other indulgences.

This is because excessive alcohol consumption may lead to serious effects on the liver, including liver damage that leads to cirrhosis and exacerbated symptoms of hepatitis, whether it’s hepatitis b (a mild condition) or hepatitis c (a life-threatening one)

Many hint that the products can also help you heal or safeguard your health. The idea that you might lose weight is also common.

Discovering Common Types of Liver Detoxes

What is involved in a liver detox? According to Medical News Today, most popular liver detoxes ask participants to do one or more of the following things:

  • Use enemas to clean out the colon and gut.
  • Follow a restricted diet that contains “liver-friendly” foods and drinks, such as green tea or dandelion
  • Complete a juice fast.
  • Take dietary supplements and liver cleanses.

Discussing a Medical Professional’s Perspective on Liver Detoxes

Dr. Paul Kwo tells WebMD that people often feel safe trying a liver detox without mentioning it to their doctors because the products are marketed as natural. They mistakenly assume that natural equals safe. “As I tell every patient in clinic, a great white shark is natural, a scorpion is natural, and so is a hurricane,” says Kwo. “So just because they’re natural doesn’t mean they’re safe.”

Doctors say that anyone considering trying a liver detox should speak with their provider first. After all, everyone’s health situation is unique. You can make a better decision when you know what the potential risks and benefits are for your situation.

Evaluating the Potential Side Effects of Liver Detoxes

Being aware of the potential side effects of liver detoxes can help you evaluate these practices. The possibilities vary depending on what type of detox you choose.

Enemas

Enemas are used to prepare for surgery and various medical procedures. They can also deliver medicine and treat constipation. However, there’s no evidence that they are useful in cleansing the body of toxins, and the procedure is not without risks. As Cleveland Clinic explains, risks include pain, infection, colon punctures, rectal tears, and electrolyte imbalances.

Restrictive Diet

With any restrictive diet, there is a chance that you will miss out on necessary nutrients, according to Medical News Today. Keep in mind that the target here isn’t weight loss or countering obesity, so it’s not the same as consuming a balanced diet with exercise.

The danger increases when someone is limiting their diet without input from a nutritionist, as it may compromise the immune system. That’s why it’s essential to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional while going on a detox diet to ensure your well being and maximize the health benefits.

Juice Fasting

As WebMD indicates, not all products sold for liver detox juice fasts are safe. Unpasteurized juices can endanger your health, and extended use can lead to issues with malnutrition and bloating. For some, fasting may cause health problems like weakness, dehydration, and headaches.

Supplements

Amazon’s 10 top-selling liver supplements bring in roughly $2.5 million each month, according to WebMD. Not one contains ingredients that liver specialists in the U.S. or Europe recommend. The supplements, like all supplements, are also unregulated. This means buyers have no way to be truly sure that they’re getting what they think they are.

Some supplements could offer the right candidates a potential benefit if they are taken in the proper amount. Which ones? Forbes reports these ingredients might support liver health:

  • Milk thistle: Silymarin, the active compound in milk thistle, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A review indicated that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease treated with it had improved liver enzyme levels.
  • N-acetylcysteine: NAC has been studied as a treatment for liver toxicity. A 2022 study demonstrated that it may reduce liver cell damage and improve survival rates after an acetaminophen overdose.
  • Turmeric: This bright orange spice is often touted for its anti-inflammatory powers. Research suggests the liver may benefit from reduced inflammation and oxidative stress. Another review showed that patients with liver conditions like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease had better enzyme levels after being treated with the substance.
  • Vitamin E: While a high dose is known to be risky, research suggests vitamin E might improve liver function.
Detox Liver

Reviewing Who Needs to Pay Special Attention

It’s always wise to approach liver detox products and practices with caution. However, certain people should pay special attention. If you already have liver or kidney disease, it is especially important that you speak with your doctor first. These medical conditions can impact the way your body processes medications, including herbs and supplements. People with diabetes or other metabolic conditions should also speak with their doctors before altering their diets.

Determining Alternate Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy

If you want to support your liver’s ability to clean itself, there are alternatives to a liver detox. As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains, there are several ways to help maintain a healthy liver:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do not drink alcohol excessively.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid risky behaviors like unprotected sex or illicit drug use.
  • Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and screening for liver disease.

The liver is a vital organ, so taking care of it is crucial. While over-the-counter liver detox products may seem like a way to do that, the chance for harm is very real. If you have concerns about your liver health, talking with a medical professional is vital. At Long Island Interventions, we know that keeping up with your overall health is a journey, and we’re ready to help you with the steps that you need to take. Reach out to us for assistance today.

References:


Published on: 2024-01-30
Updated on: 2024-05-09

M367 Hydrocodone: Risks of Addiction and Abuse

Pill identification is a critical aspect of harm reduction, so every prescription medication is imprinted with a specific code that provides information on the drug, dosage and manufacturer. For instance, the code “M367” indicates a generic 10 mg hydrocodone tablet produced by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. However, this still leaves many vital questions unanswered. Whether you’ve found these tablets in your home or received them from the pharmacy, understanding the uses, risks and safety considerations of M367 hydrocodone can help you make safer, more informed decisions.

M367 Hydrocodone

What Is M367 Hydrocodone?

M367 pills are easily identified as white, capsule-shaped tablets with “M367” imprinted on one side. Each pill contains a mixture of 10 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 325 mg acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid pain reliever derived from codeine, a naturally occurring alkaloid from the opium poppy. Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol or APAP, is the active ingredient found in Tylenol and similar over-the-counter medications.

In combination with acetaminophen, hydrocodone is the most commonly prescribed opioid medication in the United States for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Unfortunately, it’s also the most widely abused. While M367 hydrocodone is a generic drug, it’s frequently referred to by well-known brand names like Vicodin, Norco and Lortab. Other manufacturers produce equivalent generic versions of this drug bearing their own unique imprints, including:

  • Amneal Pharmaceuticals: IP 110
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals: WATSON 853
  • Rhodes Pharmaceuticals: R P H10/325
  • Qualitest Pharmaceuticals: V 36 01
  • Novel Laboratories: n 358 10

With 10 mg of the primary active ingredient, M367 tablets are among the most potent hydrocodone formulations on the market. Hydrocodone tablets are also available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 7.5 mg strengths, many of which include acetaminophen dosages ranging from 300 mg to 750 mg. These pills often appear very similar, so it’s important to double-check the imprint code to verify the exact strength.

Dosage and Administration

Because M367 pills contain a relatively high concentration of hydrocodone, they should always be taken exactly as directed. Never self-medicate with hydrocodone or take more than prescribed without first consulting a physician. In general, the recommended dosage is one tablet every four to six hours by mouth. Your doctor may increase the dose as needed, but the total dosage typically shouldn’t exceed six tablets per day.

Unless directed otherwise, swallow each tablet whole with plenty of water. M367 hydrocodone may cause nausea when taken on an upset stomach, so it’s best to eat a meal or snack before each dose. If you continue to feel ill, it can be helpful to lie down and keep your head still until the feeling subsides.

Indications and Effectiveness

As perhaps the most well-known and widely used opioid analgesic, hydrocodone has been a staple of pain management for decades. The combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen found in M367 tablets is more potent than either drug alone, providing analgesia nearly equivalent to morphine. This makes it a reliable and effective therapeutic tool for controlling moderate or severe pain that can’t be adequately managed by over-the-counter drugs. In particular, it’s frequently prescribed for patients with traumatic injuries, postoperative pain and chronic illnesses like cancer.

Hydrocodone primarily works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, disrupting pain signals within the central nervous system. While this may not eliminate pain entirely, it can substantially reduce the perception of painful stimuli. As with other opioids, this mechanism of action also produces feelings of euphoria and sedation. These effects usually begin within 20 to 30 minutes and wear off within four to six hours.

Legal Status of M367 Hydrocodone

Like other prescription drugs, M367 hydrocodone is regulated under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Though originally labeled as a Schedule III substance, federal authorities reclassified it as Schedule II in 2014 in response to the growing opioid crisis. Schedule II substances are considered to have a high potential for abuse and a risk of severe psychological or physical dependence. As such, hydrocodone prescriptions cannot be refilled and are limited to a maximum 30-day supply.

Depending on the quantities involved, possessing M367 tablets without a valid prescription may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Even if you have a prescription, selling hydrocodone under any circumstances is a felony that could lead to a significant prison sentence. Likewise, writing or obtaining a hydrocodone prescription under false pretenses is also a crime that may be subject to felony charges.

Side Effects and Contraindications

Although M367 hydrocodone is generally safe and well-tolerated in therapeutic doses, it’s not without risks. The most commonly reported side effects are typically mild and short-lived, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching

In rare cases, hydrocodone can cause more serious and potentially life-threatening adverse reactions. Seek medical attention right away if you or someone you know is experiencing:

  • Slow, shallow or labored breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  • Acute upper right abdominal pain
  • Confusion or loss of motor control

Taking more hydrocodone than prescribed increases the likelihood of serious complications, as does combining it with alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. It’s also important to avoid products containing acetaminophen while taking this medication, which can be toxic to the liver in large doses.

Dependency and Addiction Potential

While severe side effects are unusual with M367 pills, dependency and addiction are not. Like many related opioids, hydrocodone hijacks the reward pathways that are naturally activated in the brain when you engage in various positive or beneficial activities. This produces strong feelings of pleasure and euphoria, causing the brain to seek out these rewards again and again. Over time, however, progressively larger and more frequent doses are needed to achieve the same effects.

As the brain gradually adapts to the effects of prolonged hydrocodone use, it becomes unable to function properly without it. This physical dependence triggers unpleasant withdrawal symptoms whenever the user stops taking opioids, compelling them to do whatever is necessary to continue using. The resulting condition, known clinically as substance use disorder (SUD), may render the person unable to stop using or engaging in drug-seeking behaviors regardless of the possible consequences.

Opioid addiction, like other substance use disorders, is a complex condition that manifests in many different ways. This can make it difficult to recognize the problem, especially when it’s affecting someone you love. Some of the most common signs to watch for include:

  • Unusual changes in mood or appearance
  • Missing money or medications
  • Unexplained loss of appetite
  • Disconnected, non-responsive behavior
  • Growing problems at work or school
  • Increased isolation or apathy
  • Careless or reckless decision-making

Safe Use and Alternatives

Despite the risk of overdose and addiction, M367 hydrocodone remains a valid and essential option for pain relief. The key to safe and effective hydrocodone use lies primarily in working with a trusted healthcare provider. In addition to strictly following your prescribed dosage, it’s important to be honest about both your pain management needs and any history of drug abuse or addictive behavior.

Whenever possible, hydrocodone should only be used for as long as necessary and only at the lowest dose that offers adequate relief. Consider asking your doctor about alternative pain management treatments like non-opioid medications, topical analgesics, physical therapy and other interventions. If you have remaining pills that you no longer need, contact your nearest drug take-back facility to find out how to dispose of them safely.

Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

Regardless of age, gender or background, the sad truth is that anyone can fall victim to substance abuse. It’s an insidious disease that wrecks lives and imposes an immense burden on everyone involved. If you or a loved one are struggling with hydrocodone addiction, you don’t have to carry that burden alone. Real and lasting recovery is possible, but it starts with the right treatment plan.

Seeking the help of qualified professionals is the critical first step in your rehabilitation journey. The road may be filled with unpredictable twists and turns and bumps along the way, but drug rehab specialists can offer the resources and support you need to ensure you reach your destination. There are many evidence-based tools and programs available to aid in breaking the cycle of hydrocodone addiction, including intervention, opioid detox, counseling, residential treatment, sober coaches and more.

Conclusion

For those suffering from chronic and severe pain, the potent analgesic properties of M367 hydrocodone can offer profound relief and a restored quality of life. Given the very real dangers of overdose, dependence and addiction, however, it demands thoughtful consideration and a firm understanding of how to mitigate the potential risks.

Once hydrocodone has tightened its grip, it can feel almost impossible to escape. At Long Island Interventions, we’re here to show you that it’s not. If you or someone you love is battling opioid addiction, give us a call today to see how you can get the help you need to break free and start navigating the road to recovery.

References and Further Reading


Published on: 2024-01-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How to Get Meth Out of Your System for Good

Methamphetamine use can have a number of serious health effects that might take months or years to recover from. Furthermore, it may be harder to get a job, retain custody of your kids or otherwise lead a normal life if you cannot pass a drug test. Therefore, it’s important to understand why meth is a stimulant drug, how to get it out of your system and what you can do in an effort to get past your substance abuse.

Meth

What Makes Meth Addiction Hard to Get Past?

Meth is one of the most addictive drugs that you can take because it significantly effects your central nervous system, increasing the dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine is what is responsible for causing you to feel good after a workout, getting a promotion at work or some other pleasurable experience in your life. However, you will get so much of this chemical after taking meth that you can’t possibly recreate how you feel with normal everyday experiences.

Therefore, you feel resigned to using again, however, as with any other drug, your body builds up a tolerance for long term use. This means that you have to resort to snorting more each time to get the same high, and after too long, it can be difficult to function without at least some meth in your system.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your Body?

You’ll generally notice the effects of meth use wearing off about seven to eight hours after you ingest it. Its half-life ranges from 10-12 hours. However, it will remain in your bloodstream for up to a week after you take it. The exact amount of time it takes to clear your system depends on a number of factors such as how much you ingested, the quality of the product you used and your overall health.

Meth is filtered out of the body through the liver, which means that it may take longer for it to exit if yours is damaged in any way. There is also circumstantial evidence to support the notion that meth takes longer to leave your system as you age. Finally, your eating, drinking and exercise habits may also play a role in how long meth takes to leave your system.

Tips for Getting Meth Out of Your System Faster

There are a number of steps that you can take to help get meth out of your system in less than the seven days it typically stays inside of you. For instance, drinking extra water helps the body get rid of waste in a more efficient manner. Exercising may allow you to sweat out the toxins associated with crystal meth, which could make them harder to detect on a drug test. Eating a balanced diet can also be useful as it can promote digestion and other processes needed to return your body to a healthier state.

The Benefits of Getting Meth Out of Your System

You will likely see a drastic improvement to both your physical and mental health after going through meth detox. This is because your brain will begin to unwind the changes it went through after you started using it. If you can refrain from using meth for several months, it may be possible for your brain to fully unwind all the changes it made during your period of dependency.

In other words, it would almost be like you never used it in the first place. Of course, you will still have to deal with the meth withdrawal symptoms, such as teeth rot, meth mouth, weight loss, or increased blood pressure. However, with the proper medical detox, it may be possible to overcome those issues as well, which can increase your confidence and make it easier to function in society.

The ability to remain mentally alert may make it easier to find and retain a job in your chosen field. You may also find that you are allowed to receive security clearances or otherwise make yourself a distinguished member of your company or profession in general.

While on amphetamines, or during meth withdrawal, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a relationship with your kids. This is because you may be unable to do anything other than search for your next fix instead of focusing on the needs of your kids. However, getting off of drugs means that you may be allowed to have supervised visitation that could escalate to unsupervised visits or formal custody.

You Don’t Need to Overcome Dependency by Yourself

It’s important to understand that you don’t need to overcome a dependency on meth by yourself — many treatment options are available. If you need to start detoxing today, there are inpatient programs that you can enroll in to start the process in a safe and controlled manner. During your stay, you will be monitored by medical professionals who can provide mental and physical health resources such as therapy or medication.

Therapy and medication may be able to help you work through the short and long-term ramification of detox such as heightened anxiety or hallucinations. Instead of hurting yourself or others, your addiction treatment will be in an environment where you’ll get the help that you need to get past a manic episode, withdrawal symptoms, and detoxification challenges.

Outpatient programs are also available if you just need help staying sober once you’ve cleared your system. These types of programs feature group and individual therapy sessions at churches, rec centers and other locations within the community. You may also be able to obtain assistance taking medications to manage tremors, nausea or other side effects of your quest to get sober.

Generally speaking, you can enroll in a rehab program or get addiction treatment without fear of losing your job. Typically, employers are required to hold your job open or offer you a similar position upon your return. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll be paid while you are away or that your employer will pay for your rehab. It’s possible that your health insurance policy will cover some or all of the costs associated with seeking help.

How to Minimize Your Risk of a Relapse

Enrolling in an outpatient program is one of the ways in which you may minimize your risk of a relapse. It’s not uncommon for those who are in recovery to attend meetings for the rest of their lives. This is because doing so helps them to remain accountable for their actions as well as remember that they are never truly in control of their addiction.

Therapy may also help you identify the cause or the triggers associated with your dependency and drug use. Understanding your triggers may help you avoid them or cope with the stress that they may bring. For instance, if you know that stress is a trigger, you should look into changing jobs, exercising more often or taking other proactive steps to reduce or manage your stress.

You may also be able to minimize your risk of relapse by choosing something more important than yourself to live for. If you have kids, you may decide that being in their lives is more important than a drug addiction that destroys your physical and mental health. Alternatively, you may decide that you want to be around long enough to see the birth of a grandchild or to travel the world.

Whatever you choose to live for, having a goal can give you purpose and something to focus on that isn’t using meth. Over time, you may start to realize that you don’t even think about using meth or have trouble avoiding the people or places that enabled your previous lifestyle.

If you are ready to stop using meth or other drugs for good, the accredited team at Long Island Interventions is here to help. We can also assist family members of those who are dependent on meth or other substances learn how to get their loved ones the help that they need. You can get in touch with our treatment center by phone or online right now to learn more about our services or how to start a treatment program today.

FAQ

  • How to get Meth out of your system fast?

Published on: 2024-01-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Ketamine therapy side effects

Ketamine is a therapeutic medication that has been used since its discovery in Belgium during the 1960s as an anesthetic. It is also a recreational drug with a highly addictive nature and increased potential for abuse.

Ketamine therapy

Recently, however, Ketamine infusion has been used therapeutically for chronic pain and depression that’s proven resistant to other treatments. Interest in it for this purpose has grown in recent years, although it is important to remember that, like most medications, ketamine treatment does have side effects.

Understanding Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine is a synthetic compound derived from phenylcyclohexyl piperidine, more commonly known as PCP, as the severe hallucinations caused by PCP make it undesirable as an anesthetic. For mental health purposes, ketamine therapy has recently been used to treat chronic pain or treatment-resistant depression.

Glutamate is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that regulates mood and is absorbed by the brain’s NMDA receptors. However, in some people’s brains (particularly those with depression), those receptors either aren’t working as well as they should or in some cases not at all.

With those patients, ketamine therapy can “re-wire” the brain by fixing those receptors that help regulate moods and can help the patient overcome their depression. The treatments do wear off after time but additional doses of ketamine can be administered as needed for maintenance.

It has multiple routes of distribution, including intranasal (through the nose), oral (through the mouth), and intravenous. The intranasal form is, strictly speaking, a related compound called S-ketamine or esketamine. The most common nasal spray brand is called Spravato and, unlike injections for ketamine, is FDA-approved to treat depression and mood disorders.

Common Side Effects of Ketamine Therapy

Therapeutic ketamine users may experience certain physical side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, increased blood pressure, headaches, heart palpitations, bladder pain, and excessive sweating, among others.

It also includes psychological side effects, like aural or visual hallucinations and dissociation. These can be particularly powerful and lead to an experience where the user feels their consciousness separate from their physical body. Recreational users refer to this feeling as “the K-Hole” and for them, it is less of a side effect and more of the intended result, although they generally require much higher doses than the standard therapeutic amount.

These unintended effects can begin during the treatments or shortly after they’ve concluded. They can vary in intensity depending on various factors and may last up to two hours after treatment is administered.

Long-Term Side Effects and Risks

As ketamine has existed for less than 60 years and used therapeutically for an even shorter amount of time, the full extent of its long-term effects is not well-known or understood at present.

However, it is known that long-term use (or abuse) can decrease cognitive function and lead to memory loss, as well as potentially damage the liver or kidneys. As ketamine infusion “reshapes” the brain by reactivating potentially damaged neural pathways, there is always the possibility that it can also eventually change other parts – and not always for the better.

Due to the nature of the drug, there is a heightened risk for dependency and abuse. Users who receive therapeutic low doses may also have the out-of-body experiences that recreational users find appealing and seek out higher doses on the street to have a more intense “trip”.

Managing Side Effects

Some of the mild or moderate side effects experienced during ketamine infusion therapy can be managed or mitigated, especially the physical ones. The good news is that, unlike some treatments or medications that “build up” side effects over time, there is no evidence that ketamine therapy will lead to more severe adverse effects as the number of sessions increases.

Before the first session begins, patients should seek the medical advice of their doctors to make sure that they don’t have any risk factors for certain side effects, list all medications and supplements they’re currently taking, and ask for guidance.

A health care professional may also prescribe medication to preemptively stop side effects before they start. For example, a patient who already suffers from mild bladder pain could end up with significantly higher levels of pain after treatment as bladder pain is a possible side effect. The doctor could then prescribe medication designed to treat bladder pain before the therapy session begins, which would prevent the patient’s pre-existing condition from worsening.

After treatment, the doctor may similarly prescribe additional medication or painkillers in case side effects arise. Some of the psychological side effects, like anxiety or a feeling of emotional emptiness, are less common but are still a possibility. Having a friend, relative, or therapist to speak to may not prevent these feelings from occurring but can help manage them before they spiral into something worse.

Patient Selection and Contraindications

Suitable candidates for ketamine therapy include those with chronic pain or major depression that hasn’t responded to anti-depressants or other medications. Many ketamine clinics require that the patient not only take antidepressants before therapy begins but that they continue taking the medication afterward.

However, it is contradicted in some situations and may not be advisable for patients with heart problems, specific angina, substance use disorders, or those who have previously experienced psychosis, as ketamine can exacerbate these conditions.

Prospective ketamine therapy patients must undergo a thorough medical evaluation before their treatment begins. This can help prevent complications or more severe side effects by identifying patients more susceptible to them.

Comparative Analysis with Traditional Treatments

The side effects of traditional antidepressant medications or medical treatments generally include increased suicidal thoughts, erectile dysfunction or other sexual issues, nausea, weight gain, trouble sleeping, tremors, and others.

By comparison, ketamine therapy’s side effects are relatively mild or moderate in most cases, although both treatments can have life-threatening or life-altering side effects under certain circumstances.

Patients and their health care providers should consider a risk-benefit analysis before choosing ketamine therapy. If potential side effects could pose a serious risk, if treatment may not be effective for a patient’s particular situation, or if other short-term issues are present, it’s important to identify them before treatment begins.

Patient Experiences and Perspectives

Ketamine therapy has famously been used by celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Lamar Odom, and Elon Musk, among others. Sharon Osbourne told The Times of London that she used it to treat her depression and, as a result, she was finally able to “relax” despite her depression and personal issues. Many others have echoed these claims and stated that they believe ketamine therapy should be more common.

A clinical trial conducted at Yale University in 2018 revealed no long-term effects suffered by the sample group. However, the study does note that those effects may simply not have presented within the timeframe and there’s always the possibility that long-term effects may eventually appear in ketamine therapy patients.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Legally speaking, ketamine is considered a Schedule III drug on the federal level and is only to be administered by a qualified physician. It is legal for therapy purposes in all 50 states and is an approved drug by the FDA, although it is not specifically approved to treat depression, making any use of this sort “off-label”.

For this reason, many insurance companies won’t cover the use of ketamine therapy for depression or chronic pain, which can lead some people who suffer from these conditions to seek it out illegally. However, medications containing the derivative S-ketamine like Spravato are FDA-approved and are billable through insurance. These prescriptions can also be more difficult to obtain, as they require a specific treatment and risk-management plan before the drug can be administered.

However, regardless of its legal status, there are certain ethical considerations to be taken into account as well. Because of its high potential for abuse, patients with a history of substance use disorders may become addicted more easily and begin using it recreationally, which can present a major problem that physicians must weigh before any treatment begins.

Conclusion

Ketamine therapy is a relatively new style of treatment for chronic pain and treatment-resistant depression, among other conditions. However, it can be dangerous for some patients due to its high potential for abuse.

It should only be taken with proper medical supervision and with the full informed consent of the patient. If they understand the risks, are medically cleared to begin receiving therapy, and make an informed decision about beginning treatment, it can provide fantastic results where other medications fail.

However, it can also become quite addictive and result in the patient being in a worse spot than they were before treatment began.

If you or someone you know has used ketamine therapeutically or as a street drug and you think you may have become addicted, Long Island Interventions may be able to help. Their experts can help you choose the right course of action to help you overcome this problem. Call or visit their website to set up an appointment today.

References:

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30063304/
  • https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/what-does-ketamine-do-your-brain
  • https://www.webmd.com/depression/side-effects-antidepressants
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/k-hole
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34363603/
  • https://www.spravato.com/#important-safety-information
  • https://www.natlawreview.com/article/key-legal-considerations-relating-to-ketamine-behavioral-health-platforms
  • https://pagesix.com/2022/04/25/sharon-osbourne-underwent-ketamine-therapy-after-the-talk-exit/
  • https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/living-well/ketamine-for-treatment-resistant-depression-what-you-need-to-know/

Published on: 2024-01-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Speed vs. Meth

Many people believe that speed and meth are the same drugs. However, there are some clear differences between the two. Both types of drugs are stimulants, which can be used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), narcolepsy, and other disorders. Methamphetamine is an illicit type of amphetamine. To more effectively compare speed and meth, you should first understand how amphetamines and methamphetamines differ.

Speed vs. Meth

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are stimulants that include prescription drugs and illegal substances. The main form of amphetamine that’s illegal is methamphetamine. While standard amphetamines are meant to be prescribed to people who suffer from ADHD or similar disorders, they are often taken by college students to boost their alertness when studying. It’s also common for students to take these drugs because of their ability to suppress appetite and sleep.

If you receive a prescription for amphetamines, it will come in the form of a pill. When people misuse an amphetamine, they might inject, smoke, or snort it, which ensures it has a more potent effect. While prescription amphetamines can be abused, these drugs are different from meth.

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that’s classified as an amphetamine. It’s a drug that can’t be obtained via a prescription because of its extremely high potential for substance abuse. Between 1930-1971, meth could be obtained with a prescription. It was used to treat everything from ADHD and obesity to asthma.

Once the U.S. banned the drug from being available through prescription in 1971, it became a highly popular street drug. When taken, meth produces a strong stimulation within your central nervous system. The side effects people often experience when using meth include the following:

  • Lower appetite leading to weight loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased excitement and alertness
  • More energy
  • Elevated blood pressure and body temperature
  • Euphoria
  • Increased breathing rate and heart rate

Methamphetamine works by increasing concentrations of serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Each chemical can have a potent effect. Dopamine is directly involved with helping people feel more motivated and satisfied. When the brain contains a higher level of dopamine, these feelings increase.

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for a person’s fight-or-flight response. When there’s a higher concentration of these chemicals in the brain, you might feel more alert. However, maintaining elevated levels of these chemicals for an extended period can cause more stress.

As for serotonin, it impacts a person’s mood. When your serotonin levels are high, you’ll feel good. It’s believed that people who suffer from depression have lower serotonin levels.

Methamphetamine Types

There are two specific forms of methamphetamine, which include l-methamphetamine and d-methamphetamine. While both drugs are comprised of the same chemicals, the arrangement differs. Keep in mind that L-meth existed first, which is why it’s considerably less potent than D-meth. It’s estimated that D-meth is two times as strong as L-meth. The production method is also much simpler.

The majority of methamphetamines are available in the form of crystal meth. When the drug is in powdered form, people will resort to dissolving or snorting it. When meth is in powdered form, it’s often referred to as speed. While crystal meth has a potency of 80%, the potency of the speed version of meth is just 20%. Keep in mind, however, that the more traditional type of speed isn’t meth.

How Amphetamine and Methamphetamine Differ

While methamphetamine is a type of amphetamine, not every amphetamine is meth. These drugs are much different regarding, potency, overdose risk, and duration.

Addictive Properties

Because meth is a stronger version of amphetamine, it’s more likely to be abused by people who take even a small dose. A single use of this drug can make your body dependent on it. In comparison, the addictive properties of prescription amphetamines aren’t as strong. If you follow the dosage instructions on your prescription amphetamine, it’s unlikely that you’ll become dependent on it.

While prescription amphetamines aren’t as addictive, you can become dependent on them if you take the drugs without a prescription. People who receive a prescription may become addicted if they take a higher dose than prescribed.

Potency

The primary difference between meth and standard amphetamines involves potency. Meth is much stronger. If you take the same dose of these two drugs, the effects would be four times stronger with meth. Even though both drugs increase neurotransmitter levels, meth boosts dopamine levels around five times more than Adderall or a similar amphetamine.

Potential for Overdose

Since methamphetamine has a higher potency than amphetamine, the risk of an overdose is higher as well. Keep in mind that overdosing on the drug is more likely after you’ve detoxed from it. Let’s say that your body became dependent on meth, which pushed you to receive treatment. During treatment, people go through detox to ensure the drug is out of their system before they proceed to therapy. If you try to take the same amount of meth after detox, the results could be fatal.

The risk of an overdose is also higher because of how it’s manufactured. Meth is made by criminals and is often cut with other harmful drugs. By mixing other compounds with meth, drug dealers are able to increase the potency and reduce their costs. In comparison, prescription amphetamines are produced by pharmaceutical companies.

Duration of Effects

Because of how strong meth is, it usually lasts longer than the majority of prescription amphetamines. If you take a prescribed dose of amphetamines, the effects will likely only last for around four to six hours. While some extended-release amphetamines can last for up to 10 hours, meth usually lasts for longer.

The amount of time meth produces effects depends on how the person takes it. When someone snorts or ingests a normal amount of meth, the effects may last for around six to eight hours. However, taking a high dose of the drug might cause it to remain in your body for around 24 hours. The same is true if you smoke or inject meth into your body.

Is Speed the Same as Methamphetamine?

Meth isn’t speed. While some types of meth are called speed, this term is most often used as a representation of all types of amphetamines. Since speed can refer to prescription amphetamines, it’s considered less potent than meth.

As touched upon previously, the people that mention “speed” as a type of meth are referring to the powdered form of the drug. Meth is snorted, which is a route of administration that makes the drug weaker than crystal meth.

The term “speed” was first coined because of the stimulating effects that occur in a person’s body and brain. People who take prescription amphetamines or meth feel more alert and display a higher level of physical activity.

Identifying Withdrawal Symptoms

Whenever you stop taking any drug that you’ve been misusing, you’re likely to encounter withdrawal symptoms. The types of withdrawal symptoms that commonly occur with meth and various prescription amphetamines include:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Body chills
  • Memory issues
  • Vivid nightmares or dreams
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • Jittery feelings
  • Depression
  • Increased appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Lower heart rate

During the withdrawal phase, you’ll likely experience intense cravings for the drug. In this scenario, you’re at a higher risk of relapsing. People who go through withdrawal from speed or meth often have thoughts of suicide. However, the severity of the symptoms you encounter depends on how much and how long you’ve used the drug. Misusing uppers like meth for a lengthy amount of time can result in a more intense withdrawal process. This process usually lasts for anywhere from two to seven days.

Possible Treatment Options

Several different types of addiction treatments are administered to people who are addicted to speed or meth. The most effective treatment programs use a combination of detox and therapy. If you go through detox at a medical or inpatient facility, you’ll be able to get the drug out of your body in a safe and structured manner. Before the detox program begins, you’ll take part in a medical assessment to determine the severity of your withdrawal and how much of the substance is still in your system.

While some people attempt to quit cold turkey, this isn’t a good idea. Stopping usage of the drug immediately increases the likelihood that you’ll have severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include everything from seizures and psychosis to cardiovascular arrest.

Once the drug is out of your body, you can progress to treatment. Substance use treatment helps patients learn how to manage their addiction and avoid relapsing. Treatment can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

Speed and meth are two drugs that have a lot in common. However, while speed can be prescribed in the form of Adderall or a similar medication, meth is too potent to be used safely or legally. If you’re suffering from a substance use disorder, call Long Island Interventions today to take the first step on the road to a long-term recovery.


Published on: 2024-01-17
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Huffing & Chroming – Social Media Trend

Huffing and chroming are different terms for the same concept. While people, especially young people today, used to refer to this action as huffing, it is now known as chroming. No matter what you call it, this activity involves inhaling hydrocarbons and dangerous chemicals. In addition to destroying the mind, chroming can have long-term effects on your body as well due to its toxic chemical that could harm your body. So, in this article, we will talk about the effects of chroming, particularly on someone’s mental health,  central nervous system, physical conditions, and different volatile substances that are prone to inhalant abuse.

huffing & chroming

How Huffing and Chroming Work

When someone or adolescents engages in chroming, they are basically inhaling gas vapors to get high. This may be done through sniffing, bagging, or huffing. While sniffing involves inhaling vapors straight from the container, bagging is when someone sprays the chemical into a bag. Then, they inhale the fumes from the plastic bag or paper. With huffing, the individual soaks a fabric in gasoline or another fluid before they inhale the fumes.

Unfortunately, chroming can be done with many different products. Air freshener spray, spray paint, hairspray, deodorant,  nail polish remover, lighter fluid, chrome-based paint, paint thinners, aerosol cans, and gasoline are all popular choices. Because all of these fumes are more concentrated when they are in a bag or fabric, huffing and bagging can cause a higher level of intoxication than other administration techniques.

Why Do People Try Chroming?

From 2007 to 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that more than 1.8 million people over the age of 12 abused inhalants. Out of this number, 700,000 inhalant users were between the ages of 12 and 17. Right now, there are a number of factors contributing to the popularity of this dangerous trend.

Huffing has been common among teenagers for years, but social media has caused it to become increasingly popular. On TikTok, a new chroming challenge has taken off, and it is incredibly dangerous. In March 2023, a 13-year-old girl in Australia died from chroming.

While TikTok made this trend famous, its popularity may also be attributed to a misperception about inhalants. Because many of these products are available over the counter, some teenagers wrongly think that they are safer than street drugs. Unlike street drugs and prescription drugs, it is easy to buy inhalants. There are no age restrictions or regulations involved, which makes these products extra appealing to some users.

The Short-Term Side Effects of Huffing and Chroming

Inhalants can cause a range of effects. You may experience different effects based on the type of inhalant or the amount you use. However, almost all solvents can cause loss of sensation and unconsciousness if you inhale a sufficient quantity of them.

The following symptoms are commonly associated with chroming and huffing.

  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Disinhibition
  • Agitation
  • Excitation
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Belligerence
  • Apathy
  • Impaired judgment
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Depressed reflexes
  • Lethargy

The initial effects feel like drinking alcohol. You may become excited at first and then feel drowsy after a little while. High doses can lead to confusion and delirium. Because inhaled nitrates can dilate your blood vessels, they can also cause a sensation of heat and a higher heart rate. You may also feel flushed or dizzy.

The Long-Term Side Effects of Huffing and Chroming

When someone uses inhalants over an extended period of time, they are more likely to experience mild withdrawal symptoms when they stop using these drugs. In the long run, some people will develop kidney damage, limb spasms, and liver damage. Often, individuals will suffer from coordination issues and delayed behavioral development.

One of the biggest issues with using inhalants is that you can overdose at any moment. If this happens, you may experience a seizure. Your heart can also stop beating from inhalant use. In both of these cases, the result can be deadly.

When someone is chronically exposed to inhalants, it has an incredibly toxic effect on their body. It causes long-term damage to the nervous system and brain. In fact, toluene and similar drugs can harm the sheath around your nerve fibers in the same way that multiple sclerosis does.

Over time, inhalants can damage your brain in a variety of ways. This can cause negative changes to your vision, hearing, and cognition. If you have been huffing for an extended time period, it can even cause severe dementia.

Sudden Sniffing Death

There is a specific syndrome that can happen with inhalant use that is called sudden sniffing death. Even a single session can lead to death in a healthy individual. While this syndrome can occur with any type of inhalant, it is especially common with propane, butane, and aerosols.

There are a few complications that can lead to sudden sniffing death. Asphyxiation, coma, fatal injuries, seizures, and suffocation can occur because of huffing. For instance, seizures can happen because of abnormal electrical pulses in the brain. Meanwhile, suffocation can occur if someone tries to inhale fumes from a bag that has been placed above their head.

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

If your loved one is using inhalants, there are some common symptoms you may notice. Often, they will have an unusual amount of inhalant material nearby. For example, they may have extra paint cans and compressed air dusters.

In general, chroming won’t make someone hyper. Instead, its effect will be similar to alcohol. The individual may seem disinhibited or drowsy.
Unlike some drugs, inhalants act incredibly fast. The effects can appear quickly, so it is important to be wary of sudden episodes of unconsciousness. In some cases, these episodes could be a sign of an overdose.

If you notice some of the following symptoms, your loved one may be suffering from an inhalant addiction.

  • Slurred speech
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Paint stains on their hands, face, and clothes
  • Empty solvent and paint containers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Inattentiveness
  • Disoriented appearance
  • Coordination issues
  • Irritability

Prevention Options

One of the best ways to prevent inhalant use is by talking to your kids about chroming. Education can teach vulnerable groups that inhalants are not a safe alternative to drug use. Instead, chroming can be dangerous and addictive.

You can also prevent this issue by ensuring that huffing materials are locked away. If you don’t need paint anymore, you should make sure it is thrown away properly. In addition, you should voice your concerns if you notice signs of huffing abuse, like metallic paint on someone’s hands.

Some studies also show that life skills training can prevent huffing. This kind of training helps to boost the child’s communication abilities and self-esteem. In addition, life skills training can help students enjoy less anxiety and better personal relationships.

Treatment and Recovery

If you or a loved one has an addiction to inhalants, you don’t have to deal with this problem alone. There are many treatment programs available that can help you manage a substance use disorder. Before taking part in a treatment program, you should talk to a medical specialist about which treatments are best for your unique situation.

Family Counseling

Addictions tend to affect the entire family, so it is important to treat the family holistically. Family therapy can help boost communication and improve relationships. It can also help you understand how family dynamics and behaviors impact your substance abuse disorder.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

With CBT, you can learn how to manage stressful situations. CBT teaches you how to spot the emotions and feelings that trigger different behaviors. Then, you can stop unwanted behaviors before they happen.

Support Groups

Support groups and 12-step programs are popular options for treating substance use disorders. These programs allow you to get feedback from people who are going through the same issues. In addition to helping you prevent a relapse, these programs can be a source of moral support during your long-term recovery.

Motivational Interviews

When someone is ready to make a change, motivational interviewing can help. This technique utilizes open questions that help the individual understand their thoughts and feelings. Through this process, they can gain a better understanding of why they want to make a change.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

At the start of your treatment program, you will likely be offered a choice between inpatient and outpatient treatment. While inpatient programs require you to live and sleep at the treatment center, an outpatient program may only take a few hours each day. Because of this, inpatient rehab is often recommended for severe, long-lasting addictions.

Get the Help You Need for a Substance Use Disorder

Long Island Interventions is known for being able to help a variety of substance use disorders. In addition to our intensive outpatient programs, we also offer evening programs, residential treatment, and partial hospitalization. Clients can enjoy getting customized help through our sober coaches. Additionally, we offer group therapy, individual therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.

No matter what kind of treatment you need, we can help you begin your sobriety journey. You don’t have to suffer from a substance use disorder forever. To learn more about how Long Island Interventions can help, talk to one of our team members today.


Published on: 2023-12-29
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How Long Does it Take to Rewire the Brain After Addiction?

With chronic use of drugs and alcohol, the brain changes. It programs itself to make getting and using your number one priority. You don’t have to think about it; the behavior is automatic.

rewire brain
How Long to Rewire Brain from Addiction

If you are just beginning your recovery journey, you might be wondering how long it will take for the brain to be rewired and if you’ll ever feel comfortable in your own skin.

When you stop ingesting substances and start getting help, you are launching a new program in the brain, one that is diametrically opposed to the program you were running while using.

It’s natural to find this process uncomfortable and even unpleasant at times, especially if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. You might feel like you don’t know what you’re doing or even who you are anymore.

As the brain rewires itself, a new program of recovery develops, and it slowly becomes a habit. In the best of worlds, the brain is rewiring itself to make recovery your number one priority.

The time required to rewire the brain and implement a new cognitive program can vary substantially among individuals. According to evidence-based studies performed by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, it takes between 18 and 254 days for a new behavior to become automatic. The average length of time is 66 days.

Neurogenesis and Neuroplasticity

Neurogenesis is the creation of new brain cells in the central nervous system (CNS). Neuroplasticity, on the other hand, is the ability of the brain to customize the baby brain cells as they grow in response to new demands from within the body and from the environment.

Neuroplasticity is what allows the brain to rewire itself as new information is introduced, new learning takes place, or in response to an injury, disease or trauma. It can improve cognitive functioning, help the brain adapt to new conditions and assist the CNS in developing new habits and behaviors.

The evidence supporting this claim is limited but promising. Researchers have learned that parts of the brain can regrow. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the new neurons can restore functions that appear to be lost.

Neurogenesis and Neuroplasticity in Brain Rewiring After Addiction

Scientists at the NIH have demonstrated that substance use disorder is a brain disease that’s long-lasting, difficult to treat, and highly complex. Fortunately, neuroplasticity allows the brain to rewire itself after detoxing from a damaging substance.

Because of the brain’s inherent ability to change, adapt and heal, existing treatments for addiction can help recovering people to reduce cravings and sidestep relapse.

Until recently, scientists believed that humans got all of their brain cells at birth. Any brain cells that die along the way are lost forever. However, recent evidence suggests that we can grow new brain cells as adults. These fresh cells make brain rewiring possible regardless of the damage caused by addictive substances and alcohol.

If brain rewiring in recovery is possible, and new brain cells are being born, than it would make sense to feel like you don’t know who you are or what you’re doing. It suggests that the rewiring process is underway.

Neuroplasticity

Encouraging Neurogenesis

Researchers now believe that not only can you grow new brain cells and rewire your brain for recovery, but you can also partake in activities that stimulate new cellular growth.

The treatment programs discussed below are thought to not only fuel the birth of new brain cells and help the brain heal, but also to protect existing cells that have remained undamaged.

Daily workouts

Exercise is the most effective way jump start the growth of new cells that aid in rewiring the recovering brain. It’s especially healing for those recovering from opioid and opiate addiction. Regular workouts are good medicine, whether they’re aerobic or muscle building. Here are just a few of the many benefits that working out regularly has to offer:

  • Reduces the incidence of chronic disease
  • Lowers anxiety levels
  • Decreases symptoms of anxiety like breathlessness, palpitations and sweating
  • Mitigates the effects of mental health issues
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Improves quality of life
  • Increases ability to manage stress
  • Helps with depression
  • Reduces cravings
  • Improves active coping ability
  • Helps to regulate emotions

In animal studies, University of Chicago researchers found that exercise increased cell production in the brain as well as the amount genetic information encoded. Brain function improved, and the cells were better equipped to store information for learning and memory.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that aerobic exercise increased the size of the brain by two percent while reversing age-related cell loss by one to two years.

The brain benefits from mental exercise as well. Seeking out stimulating new environments and doing at least one new thing every day helps to maintain optimal brain function regardless of age.

workout

Stress management

Both chronic and acute stress reduce neurogenesis in adult brains. Although chronic stress cannot kill you, it can wear you down so much that new problems take hold. Chronic stress can cause structural changes in the brain that reduce the brain’s ability to function optimally while overwhelming the immune system in the bargain.

A 2021 literature review revealed that mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain correlate strongly with chronic stress. Physical conditions associated with stress include digestive disorders, memory disorders, diabetes, heart disease, heart attack and cancer, especially in the breast.

Protein molecules that are tasked with helping brain cells to grow and develop decrease when exposed to chronic stress and restrict neurogenesis in adults. Healthy coping strategies like meditation, physical exercise, spending time with loved ones, adequate sleep, a positive attitude and having fun can all reduce stress levels and make you feel better.

Getting plenty of sleep is especially important while the brain is in rewiring mode. Sleep is restorative. It supports health, strength and a feeling of well-being. Sleep is also when the brain releases toxins so they don’t build up and negatively impact the rewiring.

One of the best forms of stress management treatments for individuals suffering from addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This one fosters impulse control by fixing the behavioral pattern that leads to drug use, which also encourages the creation of positive neural pathways.

Additionally, other addiction treatment methods can also help significantly when it comes to long-term addiction recovery, such as support groups, positive interventions with a healthy support system, and of course, medical detoxification

Balanced nutrition

Rewiring the human brain after it has been damaged by drug addiction can be mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally exhausting. A healing brain needs the best nutrition it can get. Here are some foods that have restorative properties and can help with healing an injured brain:

  • Avocados
  • Tuna and other oily fish
  • Dark chocolate
  • Eggs (organic are best)
  • Coffee
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Berries, especially blueberries
  • Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts

Brain Dysfunction Caused by Alcohol and Drugs

People who are recovering from addiction have decreased frontal cortex activity, according to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse. A compromised frontal cortex can keep you from getting professional help, even if the consequences of not doing so are life-threatening.

Dr. George Koob, director of NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, adds that “The brain actually changes with addiction, and it takes a good deal of work to get it back to its normal state. The more drugs or alcohol you’ve taken, the more disruptive it is to the brain.”

Researchers now believe that addiction hijacks key areas of the brain. It takes over the prefrontal cortex, which is designed to preserve survival by making life-affirming decisions, and starts making death-affirming decisions instead.

As an addiction progresses, it takes over the pleasure and reward circuits by flooding them with chemicals until your only source of satisfaction becomes the drug. Choices made under the influence of substances are all about feeding the beast.

Regardless of an individual’s drug of choice, the addictive process is always the same. When satisfaction levels drop, the withdrawal symptoms will keep you coming back for more. If you’re lucky enough to find what you want, you’ll get a few hours of peace and quiet before the beast is hungry again.

Dopamine

When Does Dopamine Production Resume After a Brain Injury?

It’s different for everyone. A little more than two months is average. Some people recover faster than others. The best way to get dopamine production back on line is with behaviors that support neuroplasticity and by participating in the recovery process. If it takes longer to feel the effects of dopamine, don’t despair. Healing will come as long as you don’t give up.

Are Endorphins the Same As Dopamine?

Dopamine and endorphins are both neurotransmitters, and although they are related, they have somewhat different functions. High dopamine levels activate feelings of joy, love, empathy and fulfillment. Dopamine boosts motivation, and it stimulates the brain’s reward system.

Endorphins also generate positive feelings, and high endorphin levels stimulate dopamine production. But endorphins provide pain relief too, and they reduce the effects of stress.

They are released during exercise and pleasurable activities like eating your favorite ice cream or having sex. Additionally, endorphins can strengthen the immune system, increase feelings of self-esteem, relieve pain, banish depression and anxiety, sharpen memory and maintain cognitive health.

People recovering from an opiate and opioid addiction may be especially sensitive to the effects of low endorphin levels while the brain is in the rewiring process. Low energy levels can be especially debilitating.

Exercise may be the most effective way to increase endorphin levels, especially aerobic exercise such as running, walking and dancing. Laughing can raise endorphin levels and have other welcome effects on the body.

Recovery can be uncomfortable in the early stages when you don’t know which way is up. Nevertheless, as long as you stay on track, neurogenesis and neuroplasticity will be working in your favor. The more energy you invest in the recovery process, the more peace of mind you will enjoy.

You can achieve long-term recovery from any addiction, and we can help you do it. Just one phone call to a reliable treatment center can open the door to a miracle.

FAQ

  • Can your brain recover from drugs?

References

  • https://psychcentral.com/health/what-is-neuroplasticity
  • https://newsinheahttps://www.verywellmind.com/adult-neurogenesis-can-we-grow-new-brain-cells-2794885lth.nih.gov/2015/10/biology-addiction
  • https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2015/10/biology-addiction
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/adult-neurogenesis-can-we-grow-new-brain-cells-2794885
  • https://jamesclear.com/new-habit
  • https://study.com/academy/lesson/neurogenesis-definition-research.html
  • https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain-basics/brain-physiology/what-neurogenesis
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631114/
  • https://psychcentral.com/stress/is-stress-the-number-one-killer
  • https://www.castlecraig.co.uk/addiction-resources/rewiring-your-brain-after-addiction/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-endorphins-5025072
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320839
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320839#low-endorphins

Published on: 2023-12-29
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How to Heal Hole in Nose from Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine has many adverse side effects (which may also cause long-term effects on your health), one of which is a perforated nose! Even if it’s sporadic, people who snort cocaine are at risk of nasal problems, including infection, collapse, and a perforated septum.

The most drastic way to heal a perforated septum is through reconstructive surgery. However, if the issue doesn’t affect normal respiratory functions, you might just apply topical treatments to promote healthy healing.

coke nose

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about perforated septums and how to heal a hole in the nose from coke.

What Is Cocaine Nose?

A cocaine nose hole is nose damage caused by a low blood supply to the tissue located in the septum, which is the part that separates the nostrils.

Unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of abusing cocaine is a puncture inside the nasal cavity and sinus infections, otherwise known as nasal septal perforation and nasal septum.

Snorting, in particular, can result in numerous nasal issues. Not only does the powdered cocaine come into close contact with the nasal tissue, but this tissue is highly vascular.

This means that snorting even a tiny bit of cocaine and other substance use will likely damage the inner lining of the nose, which may also affect you or your loved one’s sense of smell and causes other serious problem.

How Cocaine Use Affects the Nose

The reason cocaine causes septal perforation is that it cuts off the blood supply to the nasal tissue because it’s a potent vasoconstrictor. So, your nose goes from having a high blood supply from all the small vessels surrounding it to almost none.

Hence, nose tissue will weaken and be more susceptible to injuries due to reduced circulation. Moreover, this insufficient supply of blood might lead to the death of some parts of the nasal tissue.

Over time, the dead tissue will open up, causing a hole. In addition, the septum might even collapse and deviate to one side, plugging one of the nostrils.

How to Heal Cocaine Nose

Unfortunately, a hole in the nose won’t heal on its own. After all, there likely isn’t any healthy tissue to recover in the first place. Also, if the damage covers a large area. There’s no way to treat cocaine nose without a graft.

Heal Cocaine Nose

On the other hand, if the hole is small, it’s less likely to cause functional problems. So, you’ll only need to try any of the topical treatments mentioned below to prevent further damage.

It’s worth mentioning that if you leave cocaine nose untreated, it might result in the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain
  • Foul smell
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis

For this reason, it’s crucial to heal the perforated septum by using any of the following methods:

Topical Treatment

A topical treatment is the first step in healing a hole in the nose. While these superficial measures won’t completely treat cocaine nose, they’ll prevent its progression and reduce the risk of other infections.

Even if you get surgery to treat the perforated septum, you’ll still need to regularly clean your nose and apply ointments to your nose to promote healing.

The topical treatments include the following:

Sinus Flush

A sinus flush can be uncomfortable. However, it can significantly improve the cocaine nose due to drug abuse or other substance abuse.

That’s because flushing removes any excess cocaine that might be left after snorting. It’s also a sure way to remove dirt, dust, pathogens, and any dead tissue from the perforated area.

Sinus Flush

You can simply do a sinus flush at home by following these steps:

  1. First, get an over-the-counter saline solution from your local pharmacy.
  2. You can also make your own solution at home by mixing warm, sterile water and salt.
  3. Next, stand over the sink and tilt your head to one side.
  4. Use a syringe or a squeeze bottle to pour the saline solution up one nostril.
  5. Hold the saline solution for five seconds while breathing through your mouth.
  6. Then, allow the solution to pour out of the other nostril into the drain.
  7. Repeat the steps once or twice, alternating nostrils.
  8. Lastly, gently blow your nose to clear out any mucus.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly, or Vaseline, is an ideal topical treatment. It locks in moisture and protects the skin from further injury.

Moreover, petroleum jelly can significantly soothe a perforated septum. This reduces inflammation and pain while promoting healthy healing of the hole.

That said, this ointment has been linked to certain types of pneumonia. That’s why you should be careful when applying petroleum jelly to your nose.

Using the tip of your finger, lightly apply a small amount of Vaseline just outside your nose. You might also apply a small amount just inside your nose. However, avoid going deeper or applying the ointment directly to the septum.

Vitamin E

If you don’t have petroleum jelly on hand, vitamin E might be the next best thing. This vitamin is rich in antioxidants which are vital for healthy skin and reducing inflammations.

The reason is that they prevent cellular degeneration and damage from free radicals. Simply put, antioxidants can significantly slow down the death of the nasal tissue!

Several studies show that vitamin E can boost wound healing and protect against resistant strains of bacteria.

Antibiotic Ointments

Antibiotics are a must when it comes to treating cocaine nose. That’s because an infection can reduce healing and might even further damage the nasal tissue.

Then, as the blood supply decreases, so does the ability to fight pathogens. Naturally, you’ll need to apply an antibiotic to fight and reduce the buildup of bacteria in the nasal passage.

In this case, Neosporin would be ideal, as it’s a broad-spectrum topical antibiotic that can treat cuts in the nose. You can also apply it after nasal surgery.

Surgical Intervention

If the hole in the nose causes major obstruction, the most effective course of action would be reconstructive surgery to close the hole by rearranging the nasal tissue.

In severe cases, a skin graft might be used to close the hole. Then, after one to two months, the nasal septal perforation will have healed completely.

Conclusion

So, how to heal a hole in the nose from coke use?

One of the effects of cocaine (cocaine abuse) is it severely limits the blood flow to the nasal tissue, leading to cell death and even holes. Hence, a perforated septum is one of the most common adverse effects of snorting coke.

If the hole is small enough, doing sinus flushes and applying healing ointments should be sufficient to contain the damage to the coke nose.

However, if the perforated septum obstructs breathing and airflow results in a nasal or saddle nose deformity or collapse of the nose, healthcare should be prioritized, a treatment option like surgical intervention might be necessary to avoid further damage. In this case, nasal reconstructive surgery or plastic surgery can close the hole.

FAQ

  • How to heal a nasal septum perforation at home treatment?

Published on: 2023-03-07
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Does Xanax Lower Blood Pressure?

Xanax is a popular anxiety medication known for its ability to induce feelings of calm and tranquility, sometimes even drowsiness if taken in large enough doses.

It’s also used to treat panic and anxiety disorders by stabilizing the heart rate. This might lead some to wonder: Does Xanax lower blood pressure?

Xanax

The quick answer is yes. Xanax significantly slows down brain activity, allowing you to feel less stressed. Since your brain controls the rest of your body, your blood pressure will also drop!

In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how Xanax works and how it affects blood pressure. We also have some essential tips you need to consider before taking the medication.

Let’s jump in.

Does Xanax Lower Blood Pressure?

Xanax is an anxiolytic and a mild tranquilizer. Additionally, it lowers blood pressure!

It’s true that anxiety and stress don’t result in long-term hypertension. However, severe stress might cause your heart to beat faster, resulting in a sudden rise in blood pressure.

Additionally, when you panic, your brain activates its fight or flight response, causing blood pressure levels to spike. Even low levels of stress that last for prolonged periods might contribute to increased blood pressure.

So, it’s no surprise that Xanax might be considered a mild antihypertensive.

How Does Xanax Lower Blood Pressure

The active substance in Xanax is alprazolam. This chemical is a GABA receptor agonist. In simpler terms, it enhances brain receptors, allowing you to feel more relaxed.

Then, once your nervous system slows down, so will the rest of your body. The fight-or-flight response that occurs when you’re anxious or stressed disappears, and your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.

In large doses, Xanax might cause blood pressure levels to drop significantly. Yet, this only lasts for a short time.

Xanax might also cause orthostatic hypotension, which is a drop in blood pressure levels when you stand up suddenly. Consequently, older people, or anyone at risk of falling, are advised not to take Xanax without supervision.

Blood Pressure

Can Xanax Help Treat Hypertension?

While Xanax can lower your blood pressure for a short period, it won’t completely treat hypertension.

In fact, Xanax doesn’t even act on the blood vessels or the heart. So, it’s not considered the go-to treatment for those suffering from chronic hypertension.

Additionally, the FDA only indicates that Xanax is for treating anxiety and panic disorders. However, there’s no approval for Xanax as an antihypertensive medication.

Having said that, stress episodes can greatly increase the risk of hypertension and heart disease. Thus, Xanax might be an excellent option for managing stress for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

What You Should Know Before Taking Xanax

Xanax is a controlled medication, which means you can’t take it without a doctor’s prescription. So, it’s important to educate yourself about this controlled drug and what to expect when taking it.

Side Effects

Like all drugs, Xanax has a number of side effects. Since this medication acts on the brain, the adverse effects might be difficult to describe and intense.

It’s important to understand that side effects can change according to the dose. Additionally, different people can have different reactions to this medication. So, you might experience distinct effects depending on your age, sex, and other medications you’re taking.

Here are some side effects of Xanax:

  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor coordination
  • Changes in appetite

Dependency

Xanax is a highly addictive drug that makes people feel calm and relaxed, which is why they keep taking it. Another reason is that your brain can get hooked on Xanax in as little as three to six weeks!

As if that wasn’t enough, Xanax gives its desired effect rapidly, but the effect goes away just as fast. So, the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects increase, especially for people who take high doses.

As a result, many individuals find themselves abusing Xanax to experience its calming effects. Some may even take it to alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms can begin after only 24 hours of taking the last dose and can last for weeks. They include the following:

  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping problems
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasms
Blood Pressure Monitor

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some questions you might have about Xanax and blood pressure:

  • Can I take Xanax when my blood pressure is low?
  • Can Xanax raise blood pressure?
  • Can I take Xanax with blood pressure medication?

Conclusion

Does Xanax lower blood pressure?

Yes, but only in certain cases. Xanax is an anxiety medication that can cause the entire body to relax, slowing down your circulation in the process.

Additionally, doctors only prescribe it for anxiety and panic disorders. So, if your anxiety significantly impacts your blood pressure, it might help.

However, this controlled substance has no significant impact when it comes to the treatment of high blood pressure. Its numerous side effects and withdrawal symptoms also prevent it from being used in treating this long-term condition.


Published on: 2023-03-07
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Why Do Stimulants Calm Me Down?

Is your doctor prescribing stimulants rather than sedatives for a calming effect? This can be a little confusing, as you’d think that stimulants will only lead to more hyperactivity.

So, you might find yourself wondering, why do stimulants calm me down?

Stimulants are perfect for calming down people who have ADHD! If you have ADHD or other attention-deficit disorders, stimulants are the first-line treatment. They increase your ability to concentrate and might help you stay calm.

Stimulants

Keep on reading to find out exactly how stimulants work and how they affect ADHD brains!

Why Do Stimulants Calm Me Down?

Stimulants can calm you down if you have ADHD. While these excitatory drugs can arouse most brains, they have a paradoxical effect when it comes to ADHD.

Stimulants actually excite your brain cells if you have ADHD. You may think this would lead to even more hyperactivity and loss of focus. However, in this case, stimulants lead to enhanced brain function and help you relax.

What Is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that results in impulsivity, short attention span, and difficulty regulating emotions. The most common drugs that help regulate ADHD are stimulants.

Before understanding how stimulants can calm you down, you should know how your brain works.

Neurons (brain cells) communicate with each other in an incredibly complex way. The neurons aren’t connected to each other. Instead, there’s a junction between them called the synapse.

For the nervous system to properly function, each neuron releases chemicals into the synapse, interacting with the following neurons. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.

While scientists have yet to discover the exact cause of ADHD, the two main chemicals that affect people with ADHD are norepinephrine and dopamine.

You probably know these two neurotransmitters are the fight-or-flight and happiness hormones. ADHD brains don’t produce enough hormones or lack the genes allowing them to respond to dopamine.

In other words, the neurons of people with ADHD are constantly under-stimulated, which is why they respond well to stimulants!

Stimulants and ADHD

Now that you know why stimulants calm you down, you might want to learn how they do so!

ADHD

There are two main types of stimulant drugs used in managing ADHD: methylphenidate and amphetamine. They help improve your attention span and reduce any behavioral problems associated with ADHD. Each one might affect you differently, depending on the severity of your ADHD.

Here’s how each of them works:

Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate is a norepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). It restricts the reuptake process of the hormones by the neurons.

In simple terms, this stimulant suppresses nerve cells’ ability to absorb the hormones after they’re released. This way, both chemicals remain in the nerve junction for longer. Then, they’ll continue arousing the under-stimulated neurons.

Typically, methylphenidate is available under the trade names Ritalin and Concerta. The chemical is milder than amphetamine, so it’s the first-line choice for ADHD in children.

Some side effects of taking methylphenidate include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Tingling
  • Frequent tics

Amphetamine

Amphetamine is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). It also works by increasing the duration of norepinephrine and dopamine in the nerve synapse.

Yet, amphetamine does this by preventing the degradation of the hormones. For this reason, it’s a much more potent drug and should be used carefully.

Since amphetamine is highly efficient and fast-acting, Adderall, which contains amphetamine, is one of the most popular stimulants for ADHD on the market.

It does come with some side effects, though, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Blurred Vision
  • Hallucinations

What You Should Know Before Taking Stimulants

Even though stimulants are excellent for controlling ADHD, you must only use them under your doctor’s supervision. Additionally, a combination of both medication and therapy is the best option for treating ADHD.

doctor’s supervision

Before taking stimulants, it’s important to realize that they can have severe side effects. For example, Adderall might cause minor growth suppression in children.

In some extreme cases, stimulants might significantly impact your health.

Dependence

Stimulant dependence is a pretty common problem. After all, these ADHD medications enhance dopamine levels, causing euphoria and addiction.

In addition, taking stimulants for a long time might cause tolerance. The brain basically adapts to the extra hormones. This means that for the drugs to work again, increasing the dosage would be necessary.

This vicious cycle results in many people misusing and depending on stimulants. Some people can even go as far as taking stimulants just to study and improve their concentration.

That’s why it’s crucial to monitor how the stimulants affect you. You should also report any change in symptoms you might experience while on ADHD drugs to your doctor.

Serotonin Syndrome

Stimulants, particularly Adderall, might result in serotonin syndrome. The reason is that amphetamines don’t just reduce the metabolism and degradation of dopamine, but they also impact other chemicals, such as serotonin.

You might think serotonin is just another happiness hormone. Yet, this chemical plays an important role in regulating muscles, blood pressure, and memory.

Serotonin syndrome can happen if you overdose on Adderall or take other antidepressants. You should consult your doctor immediately if you suspect an overdose.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors and twitching of muscles
  • Loss of coordination
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Generally, stimulants are safe if prescribed by a doctor. Still, studies show that children taking Adderall should be carefully monitored for any cardiac event.

That’s only natural, as Adderall interferes with hormones other than dopamine and norepinephrine. In fact, even an increase in norepinephrine can raise heart rate and blood pressure.

So, doctors usually modify the dose of Adderall in children and avoid using the extended-release formulation.

Conclusion

Why do stimulants calm me down?

Stimulants might be ideal for calming you down if you have ADHD. This seemingly paradoxical effect is due to the ADHD brain being constantly under-stimulated!

Particularly, people with ADHD lack the excitatory effect of dopamine and norepinephrine. That’s why stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamines (Adderall), can balance the brain’s chemicals, leading to relaxation and enhanced concentration.

All medications have side effects. Unfortunately, the side effects of stimulants can be extreme. Stimulants should only be taken under the supervision of a professional to reduce the risk of dependence, serotonin syndrome, and cardiac arrest.


Published on: 2023-03-06
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Gabapentin and Tramadol: A Deadly Combination

Mixing gabapentin and tramadol in one prescription can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, the combination would be an effective way of managing intense chronic pain. Yet, the main drawback is that this co-prescription comes with a high mortality risk.

Read on to learn about the dangers of using opioids like tramadol with gabapentinoids.

Gabapentin

Why Would Someone Take Gabapentin and Tramadol Together?

Before we dive into how dangerous this combination can be, let’s first consider why someone might take tramadol and gabapentin at the same time.

It’s not always due to drug abuse; they could be legitimately co-prescribed together.

Tramadol’s Action

Tramadol is often prescribed as a post-op or postoperative pain management medication. In these cases, it’s a short-term solution but could also be used to manage chronic pain. That’s because it blocks the opioid receptors on nerve cells, successfully reducing the ache sensation or nerve pain. Also, this drug has been used as an antidepressant

Gabapentin’s Action

Meanwhile, most of us know gabapentin as an anticonvulsant (antiepileptic drug). Generally, it has been used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain by modulating certain neurotransmitters in the brain. So, people use it to help with neuralgia and restless legs syndrome.

Co-Prescriptions

Together, gabapentin and tramadol might be prescribed for patients with severe pain that doesn’t respond to safer alternatives, like NSAIDs.

After all, studies show that the combination has higher analgesic effects than tramadol alone.

Why Is Mixing Gabapentin With Tramadol Dangerous?

Both drugs have a wide range of unwanted effects, and you can expect anything from double vision to tremors. However, none of the common side effects are the reason why this combination is considered so dangerous.

Instead, the top two concerns are how the co-prescription affects breathing and how easy it is to get addicted to the mix.

Let’s take a closer look at each of those concerns.

They Can Lead to Fatal Respiratory Depression

Respiratory depression is a common risk with opioids, in general. Unfortunately, when gabapentin is added to the mix, side effects of gabapentin will cause a bigger problem.

One study looked at this aspect. Interestingly, the results point out that combining the drugs makes patients 49% more likely to die from opioid-related complications compared to using tramadol alone. That’s all based on “exposure” doses, too.

When you are about to have high doses of these medications, from mere exposure to moderate or high, the risk jumps to 60%.

Why is that? There are two angles to consider here: additive effects and pharmacokinetic interactions.

For one, both drugs have a respiratory depressing effect, meaning that they slow down the breathing rate. Of course, lower breathing rates mean less gas exchange. Ultimately, carbon dioxide will build up inside the body, which can be fatal.

Together, gabapentin and tramadol create what health professionals call “additive respiratory depression.”

The second factor that could explain this increased mortality rate is a pharmacokinetic interaction. Without digging deep into scientific jargon, let’s just say that your body actually absorbs more of the gabapentin dose when you take it with tramadol.

Aside from respiratory depression, one of the effects of tramadol and gabapentin is it can also cause central nervous system (CNS) depression, which can be life-threatening. Both drug interactions highlight the importance of using these drugs only as prescribed and under the supervision or drug administration of a healthcare professional to minimize the risk of severe complications. If you have concerns or experience adverse effects, seek immediate medical attention or medical advice.

They Increase the Patient’s Potential for Addiction

Addiction is yet another concern that makes the gabapentin-tramadol co-prescription drugs dangerous.

Although tramadol isn’t as potent as morphine, it can still be addictive.

When someone misuses tramadol, their body builds up a degree of tolerance. Soon, they have to consider high doses, which puts them at risk of seizures and comas, among other side effects.

On the other side of the co-prescription, we have gabapentin. Technically, it isn’t a narcotic or a scheduled substance, unlike its sister drug, pregabalin, which is a Schedule V controlled substance. Yet, some people abuse gabapentin to induce euphoria.

The situation is even worse when the two drugs are mixed together; the person becomes even more likely to overuse gabapentin!

This effect isn’t just limited to the gabapentin-tramadol combination. Pretty much any opioid and gabapentin would lead to similar results but with varying intensities.

Who Is at Risk?

Anyone who takes gabapentin and tramadol at the same time is at risk of respiratory depression and addiction. That’s why doctors tend to avoid prescribing those two drugs together unless there’s absolutely no other option.

That said, some people can be considered more susceptible, such as:

  • Older people
  • People who suffer from chronic lung diseases
  • Renal insufficiency patients

So, age, metabolism, and lung performance are the main factors that affect the respiratory depressant effect, but what about the addiction risk?

Well, if someone already has a history of polydrug abuse, they’ll be more likely to get addicted to the pain-killing combination.

Of course, doses of gabapentin and tramadol also plays a role in how far the concomitant use which can affect a person’s well-being.

How Can You Reduce the Risks?

Doctors won’t always be able to avoid prescribing gabapentin and tramadol together. However, the FDA did release an announcement regarding the interaction.

So, physicians already know that the guideline is to start at the lowest possible doses and keep an eye on the potential side effects.

If you’re wondering what you can do on your side of the equation, consider the following safety tips:

  • Never use opioids or anticonvulsants without consulting your physician.
  • Stick to the prescribed dose and ask the physician about gradual tapering as soon as possible.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol with all drugs that have a CNS depressant effect.
  • Let your physician know about any other medications you’re on.
  • Consider alternative co-prescriptions if you have a history of chronic lung diseases.
  • Watch out for the warning signs (difficulty breathing, disorientation, blueish skin, etc.)
  • Don’t try to operate any heavy machinery after taking your doses.

Final Words

In some cases of severe chronic pain, using gabapentin and tramadol concomitantly is unavoidable.

Still, patients and healthcare providers are often not-so-eager to use the combination as a painkiller. After all, both gabapentin and tramadol can cause shallow, slow breathing that can lead to death if not caught early. That’s one serious side effect!

Plus, there’s also the substance abuse addiction aspect to worry about, which may affect your mental health, leading you to undergo treatment options and other programs to help you handle your withdrawal symptoms. Mixing opioids with gabapentinoids is a common and potentially fatal form of polydrug misuse. Unfortunately, the gabapentin-tramadol combination is no exception to the rule.

All in all, you’ll need to have a prolonged discussion with the prescribing physician about the best way to handle these risks and taper off the drugs with as few side effects as possible.

FAQ

  • Can you take gabapentin and tramadol together?

Published on: 2023-03-06
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Combining Cyclobenzaprine and Ibuprofen: Is It Worth It?

Drug interactions of both cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and ibuprofen are valid options for muscle pain management, but would it be wise to combine them?

Before mixing over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers with skeletal muscle relaxants, you need to evaluate whether this combination yields better results with fewer side effects than a single drug.

Cyclobenzaprine

As it happens, the cyclobenzaprine-ibuprofen mix is, more often than not, a fruitless combination.In this post, we’ll go over why you might want to avoid mixing the two drugs. Then, we’ll see what alternatives are there to consider.

Co-Prescribing Cyclobenzaprine With Ibuprofen

Generally speaking, a co-prescription of cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen is common in medical condition cases of neck and acute low back pain interventions. That’s because the former is a relaxant that eases muscle spasms, sprains, and pain, and the latter is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works as a general analgesic.

Plus, there are no reports of major interactions between them.

Of course, we can’t say there’s a 100% safe drug (or combination therapy) out there. However, the gist here is that these two are considered generally safe to be taken together.

So, it’s not unheard of for an orthopedic doctor to co-prescribe both drugs in an attempt to give the patient short-term pain relief. However, the combination doesn’t always work as planned.

Downsides of Using Cyclobenzaprine and Ibuprofen Together

Just because the cyclobenzaprine-ibuprofen combination isn’t dangerous doesn’t mean that it should be the first step in treating neck and back pain.

A couple of drawbacks keep physicians from prescribing the two drugs together.

It’s Often a Fruitless Combination

Although it would be nice to have a painkilling co-prescription that gives the patient better results than single-drug therapies, research proves that isn’t always the case with cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen.

For one, a randomized trial proved that cyclobenzaprine alone calms neck and back spasms just as well as a cyclobenzaprine-ibuprofen combination.

Interestingly, those results were based on a low muscle relaxant dose (5 mg) three times daily with 400–800 mg of the NSAID, also three times per day.

painkilling

That’s not to say that ibuprofen is the weak link in this situation.

In fact, a Cambridge University Press trial proved there’s no point in adding cyclobenzaprine to ibuprofen, either. That’s not all. A review by NEJM Journal Watch confirms the same results; the NSAID works fine without the added help.

So, it’s less about which drug is more potent and more about the fact that mixing them is just not rewarding enough in many cases.

That said, it’s always possible that your treating physician will have a different perspective on the matter. So, don’t be shocked if they ask you to take ibuprofen and cyclobenzaprine. Every patient is a unique case, after all!

It Can Magnify Side Effects

Not only is the combination not very fruitful, but it can also come with some unpleasant effects.

Although ibuprofen acts peripherally to reduce inflammation, it also acts inside the brain to provide pain relief.

As you might have suspected, cyclobenzaprine’s muscle-relaxing effects start in the central nervous system (CNS).

So, you can only expect some side effects on the central nervous system, like drowsiness. However, the combination makes these side effects even more common somehow.

Don’t just take our word for it; one randomized, double-blind clinical trial found that 42% of patients taking cyclobenzaprine with ibuprofen reported CNS side effects within 24 hours.

That’s a huge gap when you consider that this percentage was only 18% in patients on ibuprofen alone!

Alternatives to the Co-Prescription

There are some alternative combinations to try rather than the cyclobenzaprine-ibuprofen mix.

Just remember to talk to your physician or seek medical advice from a healthcare provider before you stop the current prescription and move on to a different treatment plan.

Physical Therapy

Cyclobenzaprine With Physical Therapy

It’s pretty much common practice to recommend rest and physical therapy for patients on cyclobenzaprine. This should help control the pain without the need for NSAIDs, but it’s not clear how much it helps (in percentages).

However, physical therapy can also help reduce the risk of tolerance to cyclobenzaprine. After all, the muscle relaxant is supposed to be taken short-term only.

All in all, you’ll want to stop cyclobenzaprine in 2–3 weeks and rely on physical therapy sessions to control the pain in the long term.

Ibuprofen With Caffeine

A cup of coffee, on its own, won’t do you much good if you’re looking for painkilling effects.

However, caffeine’s power shines when it’s taken with other drugs since it’s known to boost the painkilling action of other analgesics. That includes ibuprofen.

Plus, in this case, you can use lower doses of the NSAID—which is always good—without compromising the net analgesic effect.

The main drawback here is that large amounts of caffeine can do a number on your stomach, but you probably already know that if you’re an avid coffee drinker.

Considering that ibuprofen and all NSAIDs eat away at the stomach lining and form ulcers, you might be adding insult to injury if you overdo the doses.

Ibuprofen

Drugs to Avoid With Cyclobenzaprine or Ibuprofen

Although there are no serious interactions between cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen, that doesn’t mean that the same applies to any co-prescription that has one of the two drugs.

If you’re on cyclobenzaprine, you’ll want to avoid the following medications or take them with caution:

  • Cetirizine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Duloxetine

Meanwhile, any of the following drugs can be considered risky for patients using ibuprofen:

  • Aspirin
  • Drugs with gingko biloba
  • Escitalopram
  • Duloxetine

Note that while both cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen interact with duloxetine, it’s for a different reason in each case.

With the muscle relaxant, duloxetine can lead to what healthcare professionals refer to as “serotonin syndrome.”

That’s not the same concern people have about mixing ibuprofen and duloxetine. Instead, we’d be more worried about the bleeding risk.

Final Thoughts

Many patients won’t benefit from adding cyclobenzaprine to their ibuprofen prescription (or vice versa). Additionally, the combination can increase the patient’s odds of showing CNS adverse effects.

Overall, we’d recommend that you avoid mixing OTC analgesics and muscle relaxants without discussing the potential benefits and risks with your physician first.

FAQ

  • Can you take cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen together?

Published on: 2023-03-06
Updated on: 2024-06-21

3 Day Adderall Break (Adderall Crash): Symptoms, Side Effects, and Treatment

According to a study published by the Journal of Pharmacy Practice, Adderall is misused by at least 10% of adolescents and young adults with a prescription. This makes it one of the most addictive prescription drugs on the market.

People who abuse Adderall may take numerous doses in a specific time frame to maintain the stimulant effects of the drug before a crash happens. When they fail to take the drug within the designated time, they may experience a “crash.” The crash follows unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, trouble sleeping, sluggishness, and others.

Here’s what you should know when taking a 3-day Adderall break and what you can do to feel better. 

withdrawal

What Is the Adderall Comedown and Why Does It Happen?

A “comedown” is a term used to describe unwanted withdrawal symptoms after a user stops taking a stimulant—in this case, Adderall.

The reason behind the crash is simple. Stimulants like Adderall trigger the release of feel-good neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, which not only boosts energy but also increases feelings of euphoria, sharpens attention, and reduces the need for sleep.

But when the drug wears off, the opposite happens. The brain won’t release as many neurotransmitters, causing you to feel fatigued, depressed, and unable to concentrate. This can induce a rebound effect, forcing you to take more of the drug to recapture the effects you experienced after taking the drug.

When a person regularly takes certain drugs, their brain may begin to adjust to the presence of these substances. As the brain gets used to the substance, it’ll start to depend on it to function and feel “normal.”

In people who develop significant levels of dependence, a crash is often inevitable. Withdrawal symptoms may develop if the person quits “cold turkey” or substantially reduces how much they’re using.

During withdrawal, the body attempts to reach a new state of normal as it tries to get rid of the lingering effects of the substance in question. This can result in temporary disruptions in brain chemistry, which are often accompanied by mental and physical health repercussions.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall’s effect lasts no more than a few hours, but it lingers in the system for days and sometimes even months after the last use.

drug tests

Adderall has a half-life of 9 to 14 hours. To the uninitiated, “half-life” refers to the amount of time it takes for half the amount of a drug to be eliminated from the body.

In the case of Adderall, a 20 mg dose taken at 10 am will reach its half-life at around midnight, leaving 10 mg of Adderall in the body. At 2 am the next day, 5 mg will remain in the body. This means that the drug will leave the body completely after around five half-cycles or three to four days.

Adderall can be detected in the urine for 48 to 72 hours after last use, saliva for 20 to 50 hours, blood for up to 46 hours, and hair for up to three months. The period of detection is influenced by several factors, including frequency of use, urine pH, dose, last use, metabolism, and weight.

The drug is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and either eliminated in the urine or deactivated by the liver. Approximately 25% is converted to metabolites like benzoic and hippuric acids.

How Long Do the Effects of Adderall Last?

The effects of Adderall last between 4 to 12 hours.

Immediate-release Adderall is distributed in the bloodstream within three hours, with effects that last between four to seven hours. Extended-release Adderall, like Adderall XR, is distributed within seven hours, with effects that last up to 12 hours.

Some medications affect how quickly or slowly Adderall is released into the body. Vitamin C supplements and medications that increase the acidity of stomach contents, like guanethidine and reserpine, can decrease the length of time it lasts in the body.

On the other hand, gastrointestinal alkalinizing agents like sodium bicarbonate, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like linezolid and isocarboxazid, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like as omeprazole or pantoprazole can increase the absorption of Adderall.

Some doctors recommend taking Adderall before breakfast as food, which can affect how long it takes for Adderall to reach maximum blood levels. Taking Adderall with food will extend the drug’s efficacy by one to two hours, but its onset may take longer, and feel weaker.  

Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Comedown

Adderall remains in the body for up to three days, but a crash can occur within hours of the last dose.

Headache

When the body has become physically dependent on Adderall, it’ll experience symptoms of drug withdrawal. These symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to severe and painful, depending on the dosage, how long the person was abusing the drug before deciding to stop, genetics, metabolism, and several other factors.

Physical symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Severe dehydration
  • Temperature regulation issues, i.e., chills
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irregular breathing
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Difficulty sleeping

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Intense craving for Adderall
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Feelings of depression
  • Feelings of worthlessness or despair
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Increased/decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams 

Adderall withdrawal can last anywhere from days to weeks. In cases of severe addiction, it may linger for months.

3 Stages of Adderall Withdrawal

Adderall withdrawal usually falls into three-stage categories:   

Stage 1: Acute Withdrawal Period

During this period, symptoms are at their most intense. They can last anywhere from a couple of days to a week.

Withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as six hours after the last dose.

In the first three days of withdrawal, the patient may find themselves feeling depressed, fatigued, and unable to sleep. These symptoms peak after three to five days, with intensity ranging from mild to severe depending on the factors mentioned above.

Symptoms felt during this period include irritability, anxiousness, and restlessness, as well as insomnia, headaches, increased appetite, nightmares, and difficulty concentrating.

Stage 2: Symptoms Decline in Intensity

Most physical symptoms subside after the first week of withdrawal. However, psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as moodiness, craving, and depression, may linger. This period may last anywhere between a week to several months.

Stage 3: Post-Acute Withdrawal Period

The post-acute withdrawal period, also known as the protracted withdrawal period, may appear weeks or months into recovery.

During this time, patients may experience symptoms similar to those found in mood and anxiety disorders, including insomnia, mood swings, and increased levels of anxiety even without external stimuli.Around 90% of recovering opioid users experience the symptoms brought about by the post-acute withdrawal period. Patients in this stage should practice self-care and seek help to reduce the chance of relapse.

Hydrated

How to Cope With Adderall Comedown

Withdrawal is one of the toughest aspects of addiction recovery. If you’re experiencing Adderall comedown, here are some ways to help you cope:

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Withdrawal can cause people to sweat, vomit, and have diarrhea, which can trigger dehydration. Thus, it’s crucial to keep yourself hydrated during a comedown.

Water not only replenishes lost fluid in your body but also helps you flush out the toxins from your system. In this way, it acts as a means of hydration and detoxification.

You can also take Gatorade and other sports drinks, but be mindful of their salt content. Don’t drink more than one bottle of sports drink a day.

Consume a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet

Even if you don’t feel like eating, it’s important to consume at least two to three meals a day during and after the recovery period.

Avoid heavy and/or rich foods with lots of salt, as well as sugary, spicy, and acidic foods, as they can irritate your stomach and bowels. Instead, consume simple light foods like soups, fruits, vegetables, and meat.

If your stomach can’t handle solid foods, use meal replacement/supplement shakes. They’re palatable and easy to digest but shouldn’t replace solid foods completely.

Manage Stress

Withdrawal heightens feelings of stress and anxiety, so try to avoid places and situations that may worsen them.

Indulge in relaxing activities to help you unwind, such as taking warm baths and massages, doing yoga, reading a good book, and other activities you find rejuvenating.

Treat yourself with kindness and understanding; don’t be too harsh on yourself when you fail to clean the house or complete a task. 

Exercise

Exercise and physical activity boost the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine, which can help ease some of the symptoms associated with Adderall withdrawal. Exercise also allows you to get some much-needed fresh air and Vitamin D, improving your mood even further.

Cut Back on Other Stimulants

Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and other stimulants can worsen your withdrawal symptoms. They can likewise promote stress and anxiety. Thus, they’re best avoided during recovery.

If you can’t cut out caffeine from your diet, alternate between decaf and regular, then gradually taper off regular coffee. 

Fix Your Sleep Schedule

Insomnia is a common symptom of Adderall withdrawal. Combat insomnia by proactively taking steps to improve your sleep quality.

Sleep Schedule

Here are some tips to help with sleep:

  • When in bed, try not to watch TV or use your smartphone, as it can stimulate your brain for several hours 
  • Try not to nap during the day. If you must, keep it for 30 minutes or less and not too close to bedtime 
  • Turn on “do not disturb” mode on your phone before going to bed
  • Keep your room dark and comfortable cool
  • Let yourself wind down for 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed
  • Practice yoga and meditation during the evening

Remember Why

Withdrawals can sometimes feel all-encompassing. During times of helplessness, it’s important to remind yourself why you’ve cut back on Adderall in the first place. Keep those reasons close and never let go.

While you’re at it, remind yourself of how far you’ve come and how capable you are of continuing. Your symptoms are temporary; the longer you stay away from the drug, the less potent your symptoms will become. 

Get Treatment

Treatment is especially crucial for long-term Adderall users. Without the help of treatment programs and therapy, there’s a high chance of relapse.

Treatment programs can help you manage and push through withdrawal symptoms. Plus, it might give you some comfort knowing that you’re not alone. Seeing other people experience the same challenges may encourage you to do your best. 

Addiction is a chronic condition, and like other chronic conditions, treatment is necessary. Therapy is an essential part of the recovery process. It’ll help you cope with cravings and establish a supportive recovery network.

Furthermore, therapy can help you explore and tackle triggers, motives, and warning signs for substance abuse that you may not have been aware of.

Types of addiction therapy include:

Follow Your Doctor’s Advice and Prescriptions

Follow your physician’s instructions and treatment plan in the letter. Doctors want the best for their patients, so following their advice can lead to the best possible recovery.

Patients who struggle with withdrawal may be given certain prescription medications to alleviate symptoms. Some of these include Provigil for lethargy, Topamax and Neurontin for cravings, and Baclofen for stress and anxiety. 

Final Thoughts

As with some other medications, Adderall may change the brain chemistry over time as the brain becomes used to it. Although it may help with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication (ADHD medication), it is prone to misuse. This can lead to addiction.

Those who have developed a dependence on Adderall feel tired and mentally foggy without it. The symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include mental health conditions such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety, among others.

If you’re suffering from Adderall use or Adderall addiction and want to get out of it for your wellness, remind yourself that you don’t have to do this alone–your friends and your loved ones can help you push through the tough moments of your Adderall withdrawal symptoms. 

You may also find treatment centers or healthcare facilities for drug use to check the best addiction treatment options suited to your needs.


Published on: 2023-03-06
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Trazodone and Ambien: Similarities, Differences, Uses, and More

If you’re like millions of other Americans, you may have sleeping difficulties or insomnia, to which your doctor may prescribe Trazodone or Ambien. While these two medications are FDA-approved and they’ve been used to treat insomnia for some time, it’s okay to be skeptical about what you’re taking.

In this guide, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about Trazodone and Ambien including what they are, how they work, and their side effects. We’ll also uncover their similarities and differences and help you decide which one suits you better.

sleeping pills

Trazodone: What It Is and How It Works

Trazodone is a generic term for Desyrel and Oleptro, a drug blend that was primarily used to treat depression as it boosts the serotonin in the body. While it’s been FDA-approved as an antidepressant, you can still use it off-label at lower doses to treat insomnia.

The reason why Trazodone doubles as an effective sleep loss medication lies in the amounts of serotonin that it promotes in the brain. Besides being one of the “happy hormones,” serotonin also helps you get better sleep.

Usually, the right dosage of Trazodone as a sleep booster is 50 to 100mg before going to bed. However, that amount may be slightly higher or lower, varying from one case to another. So, it’s best to consult your doctor about the best way to take Trazodone to reap all of its benefits.

In most cases, the effects of Trazodone kick in an hour after swallowing its pill. Still, it may take you anywhere from one to six weeks until you notice an impactful change in your sleeping patterns.

Keep in mind that going beyond the recommended amount may have unsavory side effects like an upset stomach.

Ambien: What It Is and How It Works

Despite being also used as a treatment for insomnia, Ambien works differently than Trazodone.

First off, you should know that its scientific name is zolpidem, which has been developed specifically to help individuals overcome sleeping difficulties.

Second of all, Ambien promotes better sleep by slowing down brain activity. It’s a non-barbiturate hypnotic that impacts the receptors in the brain, gradually helping it calm down and relax enough for you to fall asleep.

Ambien should be taken as a 5mg or 10mg tablet before going to bed, making sure you allow around eight hours for the medication to do its work efficiently.

However, the thing about Ambien is that you shouldn’t take it as a long-term solution for insomnia. It’s only designed as a short-term treatment, so it’s not recommended to exceed ten days of use to avoid troublesome side effects.

Prolonged use of Ambien may lead to drowsiness, dizziness, and even diarrhea.

Trazodone and Ambien: Similarities

Trazodone and Ambien share two similarities.

The first one is that they’re both pretty effective in treating insomnia, no matter how different they do their work. Trazodone is an antidepressant with a sedative side effect, while Ambien is a trusted sleep aid.

The second point that they both have in common is that they do their job efficiently at small doses. This goes for Trazodone because its sedative side effects are so potent that only a little amount of it does wonders to help you sleep faster and better.

Similarly, Ambien is formulated in a way that allows the smallest doses of it to travel fast through the body, thus working in a very short amount of time.

Trazodone and Ambien: Differences

Unlike their two similarities, Trazodone and Ambien have many more differences. Their most important one is how they work.

Trazodone has sedative effects, while Ambien is a downright sedative. As we previously mentioned, Trazodone helps people sleep by boosting serotonin levels in the body. On the other hand, Ambien slows the activity of the brain’s neurons to calm it down.

Another major difference is that Trazodone doesn’t have as many side effects as Ambien since it isn’t a sedative. As a result, you can use it for a longer period of time, not to mention that it may be more suitable for elderly people.

Lastly, Trazodone is somewhat more affordable than the generic version of Ambien. Still, since both are taken in very small doses, the difference in price tends to be minuscule.

Trazodone and Ambien: Drawbacks to Consider

Just like all drugs you decide to take, Trazodone and Ambien have their fair share of negative points that you must take into account before consumption. Of course, they’re primarily safe, but they may not be in certain situations, as we’ll highlight right below.

Trazodone Downsides

Despite being effective as a sleeping aid in many cases, Trazodone may not work for everyone. It might simply be too weak for some people, which will lead them to take a higher dosage, resulting in a higher probability of side effects.

Plus, if you take Trazodone as a depression treatment, its sedative side effects will be more powerful since it must be taken in higher doses. Again, that may not work well for people who need to stay active after waking up.

In addition to that, people who rely on Trazodone for a long time may be prone to erectile dysfunction and suicidal thoughts. Just like most antidepressants, Trazodone must be used with care with adolescents and young adults, as it can affect mood and cause negative thoughts.

Trazodone might also develop other side effects, which we’ll discuss shortly in the next section.

Ambien Downsides

The thing with Ambien is that people who get used to its soothing effects may easily become dependent on the medication. This might cause them to take higher doses as they develop a high tolerance to Ambien quite fast.

What this means is more side effects like drowsiness, parasomnias, and even addiction the longer they keep increasing their doses.

Also, keep in mind that Ambien isn’t suitable for people with a history of the following diseases, as it might make their symptoms worse:

  • Depression
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver conditions
  • Respiratory diseases

Trazodone and Ambien: Side Effects

Because of their antidepressant and sedative nature, respectively, Trazodone and Ambien have a range of side effects that every user must know about before taking either.

Trazodone Side Effects

  • What’s known as the “Trazodone Hangover”—dizziness, headaches, and fatigue
  • Blurred or unclear vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach issues
  • Dry mouth
  • An increased risk of serotonin syndrome when taken with other medications that boost serotonin levels in the body
  • Low blood pressure, especially when standing up suddenly
  • A painful, prolonged erection
  • May affect thinking and motor skills
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you don’t gradually decrease your intake until you stop

Ambien Side Effects

  • Complex sleep behavior (sleep-walking, sleep-eating, sleep-driving, etc.)
  • Drowsiness, decreased level of consciousness, or blurry vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions like vomiting, swelling of the tongue or throat, and shortness of breath (rare)
  • Behavioral changes like aggressiveness and agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • May cause suicidal thoughts or higher depression levels in people who already have depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly

Trazodone and Ambien: Which One Is Right for You?

Generally, Ambien is the better choice in terms of effectiveness.

In a study conducted on people with insomnia, participants tolerated both drugs with very few side effects. They were able to sleep peacefully throughout the first week of taking both medications.

However, in the second week, only Ambien had a significant impact on the quality of their sleep, which led scientists to believe it was a more effective sleeping aid. As a result, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released the following guidelines regarding the use of Trazodone and Ambien:

  • Ambien: “We suggest that clinicians use zolpidem as a treatment for sleep onset and sleep maintenance insomnia (versus no treatment) in adults.”
  • Trazodone: “We suggest that clinicians not use trazodone as a treatment for sleep onset or sleep maintenance insomnia (versus no treatment) in adults.”

Still, since these two statements aren’t backed up with deep research or studies, they’re classified as weak. They require further research to prove their accuracy.

Our piece of advice to you as a person who’s suffering from insomnia is to always go to a doctor first. Sometimes, an underlying health issue may be causing your sleeping problems. So, getting the right diagnosis and treatment could alleviate your insomnia in this situation without needing sleeping aids.

If that isn’t the case, your doctor will still be able to recommend the best drug to take for your insomnia, whether it’s Ambien or Trazodone. After checking your medical history, they’ll match you with the right fit with minimal side effects.

Trazodone and Ambien: Signs of Misuse and Abuse

Unfortunately, both medications can be abused if taken for a prolonged time, as they both develop some sort of tolerance and even dependency.

It’s important to note any changes in your behavior—or whoever is taking these drugs—to act immediately if you suspect there’s drug misuse going on.

Signs of Trazodone Drug Misuse and Abuse

In adolescents:

  • Lack of interest in hobbies or sports that a teenager normally practices and enjoys
  • Low personal hygiene (disheveled hair, untrimmed facial hair, undesirable body odor, dirty clothes, etc.)
  • Problems with friends or family members
  • Skipping school
  • A decrease in performance at school

In adults:

  • Missing work or being constantly late
  • Problems with coworkers, family members, and friends (especially when asking for money over and over)
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, recreational activities, etc.
  • Being secretive about daily habits and whereabouts

These symptoms are surely troublesome, but they’re usually the result of short-term Trazodone misuse. If there’s long-term drug abuse, you’ll have to watch out for the following signs instead:

  • Instances of memory loss and blackouts
  • Foggy brain
  • Severe emotional and behavioral shifts
  • Difficulty speaking or talking very slowly
  • Involuntary movements in the eyes
  • Overdosing on Trazodone

Signs of Ambien Drug Misuse and Abuse

Sadly, Ambien is a lot more likely to develop an addiction straight away if a person misuses it or overdoses on it, as is the case with most sedatives.

Therefore, in this case, you must be looking for signs of addiction from the get-go, which we’ll approach below.

Trazodone and Ambien: Signs of Addiction

Continuing to misuse either drug might inevitably cause addiction, especially Ambien. On the other hand, it’s a bit harder to become addicted to Trazodone, but individuals who overdose on it to achieve a certain “high” are more prone to end up addicted to this drug.

Signs of Trazodone Addiction

  • Trying to buy Trazodone using illegal routes or without a prescription
  • Taking higher doses of Trazodone to get high instead of to treat depression or insomnia
  • Persuading different doctors or clinics to prescribe Trazodone
  • Combining the drug with other medications or even alcohol to reach a higher sensation
  • Neglecting responsibilities in a person’s life such as work, school, hobbies, etc.
  • Increased tolerance for Trazodone
  • Suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms as soon as a person stops taking Trazodone

Signs of Ambien Addiction

  • No way to sleep without taking Ambien
  • The inability to cut down or stop Ambien intake
  • Displaying strange or risky behavior as a result of misusing Ambien (like sleep-driving or sleep-cooking)
  • Still using Ambien anyway despite the dangerous effects it has on a person’s behavior
  • Spending a lot of money trying to acquire Ambien
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop taking the drug
  • The negative effects of Ambien interfering with life, work, relationships, etc.

Treating Trazodone or Ambien Addiction

If you notice the previous symptoms in someone you care about, it’s time to take the first step in the treatment path and get in touch with a recovery health center.

The journey will start with an addiction treatment specialist assessing the case to determine the best treatment plan to suit the person’s needs. Then, the patient will have to go through three more steps, which are detoxification, treatment, and aftercare.

Final Words

Trazodone and Ambien are both great options for people suffering from insomnia, and they’re generally safe if you stick to the recommended dosage.

However, you should keep in mind that drug abuse and even addiction are still possible. So, you should be responsible when taking either medication.

If you notice any troublesome symptoms or side effects, seek professional help at once.


Published on: 2023-02-26
Updated on: 2024-06-21