Risks of Using Imodium for Opioid Withdrawal

Imodium for Opioid Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Imodium (loperamide) is an over-the-counter medication treatment for acute and chronic diarrhea. When used in large quantities, however, Imodium can induce effects similar to opioids, such as euphoria. For this reason, some individuals suffering from opioid addiction abuse Imodium to get high or help manage withdrawal symptoms.

Loperamide works by reducing the flow of fluids and electrolytes into the bowel, effectively decreasing the frequency of bowel movements. The medication can be found in tablet, capsule, or liquid solution for oral consumption.

Imodium Side Effects

Using Imodium can help regulate bowel movements and reduce dehydration in people who are experiencing severe, acute, or chronic diarrhea. However, in addition to these desirable results, abuse of this medication has been associated with a variety of adverse and potentially harmful effects as well. These side effects can vary from mild to severe and may include any of the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Problems urinating

Why Abuse Has Become Prevalent

Like many drugs, the risk that adverse effects will occur is increased when the drug is abused, and an excessive amount is ingested. Abuse of the medication has risen sharply within the past decade, and health officials are blaming the opioid epidemic as the primary catalyst for this problem.

People have discovered that when used in very high doses, Imodium can cause effects similar to those of opioids. The medication is, indeed, believed to be an opioid agonist, and therefore, has the potential to induce euphoric feelings. Due to the drug’s chemical structure, it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier in low doses. Moreover, it will not produce a high unless used in excessive amounts or in conjunction with other drugs.

Also, the drug is widely available OTC at pharmacies and, when compared to both illicit and prescription opioids, it is very affordable. In fact, the cost of 200 capsules of generic loperamide can be as low as $10. People who abuse the drug may take anywhere from 50-400 pills in a single day to experience euphoria comparable to that of opioids like oxycodone and heroin.

Overall, Imodium’s accessibility, low cost, and legal status all contribute to its high potential for abuse. Additionally, many people use loperamide to relieve withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid use. Rather than utilizing loperamide to mimic the euphoric high of opioids, people use the drug to treat physical dependence on opioids. For this reason, loperamide abuse has been referred to as “poor man’s methadone.”

Unfortunately, using Imodium as replacement therapy for opioids also requires the user to take very high doses of the medication, which can result in an overdose. Consuming large and frequent amounts of loperamide places a person at a high risk of developing cardiac arrhythmias and profound central respiratory depression, which can lead to death.

Imodium for Opioid Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Signs of Imodium Abuse and Addiction

There is a popular misconception that because loperamide is available without a prescription, it’s safe to use or abuse. However, this belief is not true and can be dangerous. High doses of any drug that has psychoactive effects can lead to the development of chemical dependence if chronically abused. Even a person who has taken higher-than-recommended doses of loperamide due to gastrointestinal issues or diarrhea can become accustomed to the drug’s effects on his or her system and develop a dependence.

After a chemical dependence has developed, users will encounter unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit using the drug. These symptoms are similar to those related to opioid withdrawal and may include nausea, vomiting, depression, irritability, anxiety, cramps, diarrhea, profuse sweating, and muscle aches and pains.

Addiction is characterized by both dependence and compulsive drug-seeking behavior. People who become addicted will continue using Imodium despite encountering adverse consequences. They may also use it in combination with other substances to achieve a more intense high. Alcohol is often abused with Imodium because each substance amplifies the effects of the other.

Unfortunately, engaging in polydrug use significantly increases the chance of a life-threatening overdose due to the possibility of cardiac problems or profound central nervous system depression.

NOTE: When compared to Morphine, Imodium has been shown to be 40-50 times more effective at producing antidiarrheal and central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects.

Help for Imodium Abuse or Opioid Addiction

All drugs, even those that are OTC, can be hazardous when not used as directed. Using Imodium to get high or to relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms other than diarrhea is a form of drug misuse.

If you are abusing loperamide or are using the drug to treat opioid dependence, we urge you to call Midwood Addiction Treatment as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. We employ a comprehensive approach for the treatment of substance abuse and addiction that can help you get on the path to a clean, drug-free life.

Are you ready to take that first step? If so, we are here to help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Opioid Addiction Treatment

Spice and K2 Effects and Risks

Spice and K2 Effects and Risks | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Spice and K2 are synthetic psychoactive drugs that generally consist of chemicals sprayed onto some type of plant material that is suitable for smoking. K2 is also found in liquid form, so it can be inhaled using vaporizers and e-cigarettes.

Although these substances are commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana, they are nothing like marijuana from a chemical perspective and are, in fact, far more risky and dangerous to use. A Spice/K2 user is much more likely to encounter severe adverse effects than a person who smokes natural cannabis, and these may include psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and paranoia.

Until recent years, K2 was not a controlled substance, meaning it was easy to obtain with little fear of legal ramifications. However, today many of the chemicals typically found in K2 have been classified as schedule I substances, meaning they have no medical purpose and a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Still, there are hundreds of brands of synthetic marijuana on the market, and they can easily be purchased online. Furthermore, drug makers are apt at evading the law by continually altering the chemical compounds in the drug, which may lead to more unpredictable and hazardous mixtures that can result in an overdose.

Drugs like K2 are often touted as a safe alternative to marijuana. However, this is far from being the case.
Packaging often advises that K2 is “not for human consumption,” but users ignore this warning, knowing it is only there to exploit a loophole in substance regulation.

There is a lot of misleading advertising regarding synthetic marijuana, as labeling will often indicate that the packages contain natural material. And while this is true, K2 effects are entirely related to the chemicals that have sprayed onto the dried plant materials. False information is a serious issue regarding these drugs. Because they are relatively new, people, in general, are not as educated on K2 as they may be on traditional illegal substances.

Spice and K2 Effects

K2 binds to the same brain receptors as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. For this reason, the drug is commonly referenced as synthetic marijuana. However, K2’s effects on the brain can be more intense than those of its natural counterpart, making the drug more unpredictable and risky to use.

Some of the reported desirable effects of synthetic cannabinoids include improved mood, altered perceptions, and relaxation. However, these are not the only effects that can occur, as users also commonly report experiencing the following psychotic effects:

  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Profound anxiety or paranoia

 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that K2 remains in a person’s system for a prolonged period, and the long-term effects of drugs such as this are still not fully known. People who have used K2, however, have exhibited more severe short-term symptoms than mentioned above and have gone to an ER related to serious problems, including the following:

  • Violent behavior
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Repeated vomiting

Spice and K2 Effects and Risks | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Moreover, while some effects of K2 are comparable to those of marijuana, many do not simulate marijuana use at all. Such effects can lead to risky behavior, and people under its influence may put themselves in dangerous situations. Like all synthetic drugs, users don’t always know what they are ingesting when they use substances such as these.

Synthetic cannabinoids have been found to be up to 100 times more potent than marijuana and highly addictive, which can result in withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of use. Withdrawal from these substances has been associated with the following:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tremors and shakiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nightmares
  • Severe drug cravings

Withdrawal is an especially unstable time for a person with a physical dependence on a substance, and relapse is an imminent possibility, so medical supervision is highly recommended.

Getting Help for Drug Abuse

With the widespread legalization of marijuana, it would seem that more dangerous, synthetic drugs such as Spice/K2 would be waning in popularity. Unfortunately, this is not the case, especially among teenagers and young adults. What’s more, Spice/K2 is actually much more addictive than marijuana, so users may, therefore, be more likely to benefit from professional, intensive treatment.

At Midwood Addiction Treatment center, we focus on treating the individual and their unique needs instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach. We understand that no two people face the same challenges in sobriety and mental health, and our objective is to go the extra mile for each client and help them foster happy and fulfilling lives.

If you are ready to take the first step toward a life of sobriety, and wellness, contact us today! We can help you reclaim your life, free from the abuse of drugs and alcohol, one day at a time!

How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?

How Long Does THC Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can be identified in bodily fluids for 1-30 days after last use. As with many other substances, it may be detected in hair follicles for several months.

Upon inhalation, active THC can be detected in the bloodstream in just seconds and in plasma for several hours. According to a 2004 study, the plasma concentration of THC is highest in just 3-8 minutes after inhalation and decreases rapidly with a half-life of only 30 minutes. The study posits that THC can be identified in blood for around five hours, but the THC metabolite THC-COOH has a detection window of up to 25 days.

Moreover, although the active form of THC doesn’t stay in the bloodstream for very long, THC metabolites can still be detected in the body several weeks after use.

Marijuana detection times can vary between individuals, however, and depends on the amount ingested and the frequency in which it’s used. Higher doses and daily use are associated with a more prolonged period of detection. In regular users, THC use can be detected for many months after the last use using a hair follicle test.

Drug Detection Windows

Drug screens check for the presence of THC and its by-products, known as metabolites.

Urine Tests

The Mayo Clinic states that THC can be found in the urine for the following periods after last use:

  • Occasional users (who ingest it three times per week or less): three days
  • Moderate users (who ingest it a few times per week): 5-7 days
  • Long-term users (who ingest daily): 10-15 days
  • Heavy, chronic users (more than once per day): more than 30 days

Unlike other water-soluble drug metabolites, THC metabolites attach to fat cells in the body. As a result, it can take a prolonged period for them to be cleared from a person’s system.

Blood Tests

THC can be found in the blood seconds after inhalation and for up to two days. However, in some instances, it’s metabolites have been identified for several days 25 days or longer. Long-term heavy use prolongs the length of time that it can be detected.

For this reason, blood tests are only useful to reveal relatively recent marijuana use. Urine tests are used more often, however, because they are less invasive.

Saliva Testing

Marijuana can be identified in saliva for the following periods after the last use:

  • Occasional users: 1-3 days
  • Chronic users: 1-29 days

THC can enter the saliva through smoking or smoke exposure. Its metabolites are only present in saliva when it has been smoked or ingested in another way. In areas where marijuana has been legalized, saliva or mouth swab tests may be used by law enforcement for roadside testing.

Hair Follicle Tests

Hair follicle tests can identify marijuana use for up to three months. After use, marijuana reaches hair follicles through small blood vessels. Trace amounts may remain in the hair. Because hair grows about 0.5 inches per month, a 1.5-inch hair sample taken near the scalp can provide a detection window of THC use for the past 90 days.

Metabolization Time and Factors That Influence It

How Long Does THC Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

THC is absorbed into the blood after being ingested and some is stored in fatty tissue and organs. It is then processed by the liver, that this results in over 80 metabolites. THC-COOH is inactive and highly fat-soluble, so, as noted, it can remain in the body much longer than active THC itself.

Several factors can affect how long THC and its metabolites stay in a person’s body. These include age, sex, weight, and body mass index. These aren’t associated with marijuana use itself, but rather how each person’s body processes and metabolizes it.

Other factors are related to marijuana itself and how it is normally used. Frequent use and ingesting higher doses will likely prolong the amount of time for THC metabolites to be eliminated from a person’s system. More potent marijuana strains that are particularly high in THC may also stay in the body for a more extended period. Likewise, marijuana that is ingested orally may remain in the body for longer than that which is smoked.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot a person can do to expedite this process. Once in the blood, the body requires time to break THC down and excrete it. Exercise and staying hydrated may help, but there is unlikely to be a drastic difference in the detection timeline.

There are many marijuana detox kits available that typically require a person to drink a copious amount of water to dilute urine. These often include vitamin or herbal supplements, such as vitamin B12, to conceal the dilution. In general, these kits are not found to be very reliable.

Time to Experience Effects

The effects of THC may onset rapidly, often within 15-30 minutes after inhalation. When ingested orally, it usually takes longer, perhaps even 1-2 hours after consumption.

Common effects of marijuana use include the following:

  • Euphoria or sense of well-being
  • Relaxation
  • Slowed time perception
  • Humorousness
  • Talkativeness
  • Altered sensory perceptions

Other short-term effects may include the following:

  • Impaired focus and concentration
  • Increased appetite (the “munchies”)
  • Impaired coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure, dizziness
  • Feeling faint or fainting

In rare instances, high doses of marijuana can induce hallucinations and delusions. These reactions may also occur in individuals who are predisposed to them, such as those with psychotic disorders.

Ingesting marijuana every day can have other effects on the brain and body. People who do may be at a higher risk of cognitive, learning, and memory impairments, although these are believed to be mostly reversible after cessation of use.

They may also be more likely to have a stroke or develop heart disease and respiratory problems such as lung infections or bronchitis if they commonly smoke. Mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, may also be more likely to occur.

Timeline for Effects

How Long Does THC Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

THC’s short-term effects generally start to wane after 1-3 hours. Some effects, however, such as memory problems or difficulty sleeping, can persist for several days.

Researchers aren’t entirely sure how long the effects of chronic marijuana use can last. Because the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, funding for research is scant. However, it appears these effects may persist for days, weeks, or months after marijuana use has been discontinued. It is possible that, in some cases, consequences may be chronic or even permanent.

Getting Treatment for Marijuana Abuse

Due to the psychoactive chemical THC, marijuana is a substance with a high potential for abuse, albeit with a low potential for dependence and addiction. Although it is a relatively mild drug in terms of effects, use can lead to adverse health consequences, at least in the short-term, and can affect performance at work or school and cause conflict in relationships.

Marijuana’s ability to lead to physical dependence may be up for debate, but the truth is, for many, it can be a tough habit to break. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive programs designed to treat all aspects of substance abuse and mental health.

Our services include those clinically-proven to be very useful in the treatment of addiction, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, peer support groups, substance abuse education, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is struggling to quit using marijuana or other substances, contact us today and find out how we can help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: What Is Marijuana Withdrawal?

Risks of Combining Downer and Upper Drugs

Upper Drugs and Downer Drugs | Midwood Addiction Treatment

“Downer” and “upper” drugs are casual terms that refer to how different substances act on the central nervous system (CNS). In short, downers are depressants and uppers are stimulants. Downers commonly include sedatives and tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Uppers include drugs like amphetamine, methamphetamine, and cocaine.

In addition to sedatives, many other substances have depressant effects, such as alcohol, opioids, and muscle relaxers. Anecdotally, many people report using downers to diminish the undesirable effects of stimulants, and conversely, a person might use an upper to reduce sedation. At first glance, it appears that this approach could be a reasonable way to mitigate the adverse effects of these substances. Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of severe health complications and overdose.

What Are Downers?

As the name implies, downers depress the CNS and can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and cause sedation and impair cognition. Examples of prescription downers include sedative/hypnotics such as Ambien and Lunesta, as well as benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax, among others.

Side effects of depressants may include the following:

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

Different types of downers can affect various processes in the body. For this reason, they are usually classified into three subgroups: alcohol, opioids, and sedatives/hypnotics.

Depressants that are prescribed for anxiety, panic, or sleep disorders are generally referred to as sedatives or tranquilizers. Opioids can be found in both prescription and illegal forms (e.g., oxycodone and heroin, respectively.) Opioids are technically classified as painkillers but can also have potent depressant effects. Finally, alcohol is legal to drink in the U.S. for those over 21 years of age and is readily available in most areas of the country.

Upper Drugs and Downer Drugs | Midwood Addiction Treatment

CNS Depression

An overdose of depressants can occur when a person consumes excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol, and it can cause profound CNS depression that is potentially life-threatening. Symptoms of a depressant overdose include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired cognition
  • Impaired vision
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Slowed, labored, or stopped breathing
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma and death

Alcohol, hypnotic/sedatives, sleep aids, painkillers, and other downers can cause profound CNS depression, especially when multiple substances are used in combination.

What Are Uppers?

Uppers or stimulants work on the CNS to increase activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and boost energy levels. They also increase the production of dopamine and adrenaline, two chemical messengers responsible for feelings of reward and well-being. Uppers can also improve alertness and focus, reduce appetite, and extend wakefulness.

In addition to drugs such as cocaine and meth, which are usually found in illicit form, prescription stimulants commonly misused include Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin. These are medications most often used to treat ADHD and sometimes narcolepsy. MDMA (Ecstasy) is also a type of stimulant, but it is sometimes placed in its own category due to its potential to induce hallucinations and alter sensory perceptions.

Side effects of stimulants may include the following:

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

Mixing two stimulants can also be risky, as the effects of all substances in a person’s system are amplified. A life-threatening overdose may occur that can include aggression, dehydration, hypertension, hyperthermia, heart failure, and seizures. Overdose can occur even in a first-time user, depending on the amount of drug ingested in one episode.

Risks of Combining Depressants and Stimulants

As noted, many people will use downer drugs to mitigate undesired effects related to upper drugs or vice versa. They may also be seeking to experience a particular type of high such as that produced by a combination of a potent stimulant and depressant. This cocktail is traditionally cocaine and heroin, otherwise known as a speedball.

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

Unfortunately, dangerous drug interactions can also occur unintentionally for those who take other medications for depression, anxiety, pain, or ADHD. An adverse reaction is especially likely if an individual consumes alcohol while using these drugs. Sometimes people use uppers and downers together, unaware of the dangers of using them in conjunction.

Upper Drugs and Downer Drugs | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Health Risks

In addition to potentially lethal overdoses, the upper-downer combination has been associated with several other serious health risks, including the following:

1) The combined effects of these opposite-acting substances can result in minimization of the symptoms of either, thus creating the illusion that the individual is not as intoxicated as they really are. Stimulant effects can motivate a user to continue partying and engaging in substance use longer while underestimating their level of intoxication. Uppers can dull warning signs that profound CNS depression is happening, while downers might mask a perilously accelerated heart rate.

As a result, a person may use more of a stimulant substance than initially intended, especially if it is combined with alcohol consumption. The body’s default response to heavy alcohol intake is to induce unconsciousness. Because stimulants can prevent this from occurring, a person might be able to consume more alcohol than they otherwise could without passing out. If other depressants are added into the mix, the person faces the risk of slipping into a coma and death.

2) Combining cocaine and alcohol is particularly dangerous. Alcohol changes how the body metabolizes cocaine, and this results in the development of a chemical byproduct. Also known as cocaethylene, this metabolite is more toxic than either cocaine or alcohol on their own and remains in the body longer. As a result, the liver and heart are placed under undue, prolonged stress, and death can occur just a few hours after using alcohol with cocaine.

3) Stimulants cause dehydration, and this can be made worse by drinking alcohol. When a person is not well-hydrated, he or she may encounter dizziness, disorientation, diarrhea, and vomiting. If dehydration persists, vital organs can be damaged, and death can occur.

4) The counteraction of using opioids and stimulants in combination can result in heart problems, heart failure, and death.

Getting Help for Polydrug Use and Addiction

A significant risk of using downer and upper drugs in combination is that an individual can become addicted to multiple drugs at the same time. A person with an addiction to one substance may turn to the abuse of another in an attempt to manage the symptoms of the original addiction. However, this approach almost never works, and instead, can force a person into a self-perpetuating cycle of substance abuse, making each addiction more dangerous and intense than it would be on its own.

If addiction to one or more substances develops, professional treatment offers the most effective path to recovery. You should never try to discontinue the use of any of these drugs suddenly or “cold turkey.” Depending on the drugs of abuse, you could encounter significant pain and discomfort, and, in some instances, withdrawal can even be life-threatening.

Importantly, rehab centers, such as Midwood Addiction Treatment, can provide medical and psychological support during withdrawal and can ensure that clients are as safe and comfortable as possible. Following detox, clients are urged to continue intensive treatment that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support.

Please do not continue to make the risky decision to continue using upper and downer drugs—the dangers of doing so may be far greater than any perceived benefits. If you suspect that you or someone you love are struggling with addiction, we can help. Call us today and start the path to a new life without the use of drugs or alcohol!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: What Is a Speedball?

Dangers of Snorting Suboxone

Snorting Suboxone Dangers | Midwood Addiction Treatment

As an opioid used to manage opioid dependence, Suboxone is similar to methadone. However, whereas methadone is tightly controlled and only available at specialized treatment centers or maintenance programs, Suboxone is available from doctors who are authorized to prescribe it.

Suboxone includes two substances: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that activates receptors in the brain similarly to other opioids such as heroin to mitigate cravings. It activates these receptors to a lesser extent, however, so the user will not experience the intense high associated with full agonists.

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that is used to reverse overdoses and is included in Suboxone as an abuse-deterrent measure. It only becomes active when the drug is crushed or otherwise subject to tampering, and it mitigates most of the effects of buprenorphine. However, in some cases, the presence of naloxone may not wholly dampen the effects of manipulated Suboxone.

According to a study from 2016, however, found that intranasal buprenorphine/naloxone does have deterrent properties related to transient withdrawal effects. For this reason, it’s desirability for misuse compared to buprenorphine alone is decreased. Suboxone is available in sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue or films that are placed between the gums and cheek.

Risks of Suboxone

Despite its relatively low potential for abuse, the use of Suboxone can still be risky. Opioid abusers may take Suboxone in excessive doses, without a prescription, or using alternative methods such as snorting or injecting in an attempt to experience a high. Snorting any drug can lead to an increased risk of side effects, dependence, and addiction, as well as damage to the septum and surrounding nasal tissues.

Does Snorting Suboxone Cause a High?

Despite the aforementioned risks, individuals continue to abuse opioids by tampering with the medication and administering it in a manner other than prescribed. People may snort Suboxone in the hope of producing a stronger high, and dissolvable tablets that go under the tongue may be more likely to be abused by snorting.

With many substances, including opioids, altering the route of administration will cause differences in the effects. A person that crushes and snorts an opioid pain pill will likely feel the effects more rapidly and more intensely than someone who consumes it orally. This key difference has to do with the drug’s ability to enter the bloodstream and brain directly rather than be metabolized by the liver.

Methods of administration that cause drugs to reach the brain faster, such as snorting, smoking, and injecting, will typically produce a shorter, more intense high. Routes of administration that result in the drug being processed more slowly and take longer for it to reach the brain result in more gradual, less intense, and more prolonged effects.

As noted, people may attempt to snort Suboxone to produce a high, but naloxone is included as an abuse-deterrent because of its opioid receptor blocking capabilities. When used as prescribed, the presence of naloxone means little to the user. However, when Suboxone is tampered with, the naloxone is released. This generally discourages abuse and essentially neutralizes the pleasant effects of the buprenorphine.

Although Suboxone’s formulation is intended to reduce the potential high and, therefore, it’s abuse potential, abuse does still occur. People that abuse Suboxone report that they will swallow, snort, and inject the medication in attempts to enhance the effects.

Suboxone is more likely to be misused by people addicted to relatively small doses of other opioids. So, although naloxone should make abuse less likely, it does appear that Suboxone has some potential to induce a high when snorted. That said, any kind of rewarding feelings may be more likely to result in people who are opioid-naive, or who don’t regularly use opioids and don’t have a tolerance to them.

Side Effects of Snorting Suboxone

Snorting Suboxone Dangers | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Suboxone is typically safe when used as prescribed, but as with most other medications, there are potential side effects, which may include the following:

  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Back pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual side effects

Suboxone, especially when used in combination with other substances that affect serotonin, can also trigger severe mental and physical health complications related to a condition called serotonin syndrome. These include the following:

  • Extreme agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Muscle twitching
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Shivering and chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Impaired coordination

The naloxone in Suboxone may also abruptly elicit symptoms of opioid withdrawal when the drug is tampered with and snorted, smoked, or injected. These unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperreflexia
  • Increased sweating
  • Muscle spasms
  • Goosebumps
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and bone aches

Snorting an opioid medication is also associated with numerous other harmful effects, including the following:

  • Bloody nose
  • Nasal congestion or drainage
  • Oral ulcers
  • Facial and ear pain
  • Edema in the face
  • Trouble speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Damage to mouth and nose

Can Snorting Suboxone Cause an Overdose?

Snorting Suboxone Dangers | Midwood Addiction Treatment

When using Suboxone, it is vital always to use the medication as directed by a physician. Though overdoses are rare due to the drug’s ceiling effect, they are possible. This is especially true when Suboxone is used with other intoxicating substances, such as sedatives or alcohol.

Signs of an overdose related to Suboxone include the following:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Severe dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Vision problem
  • Profoundly depressed breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness or coma
  • Death

Opioids generally come with the risk of profound respiratory depression when used in excessive doses. However, as a partial agonist, buprenorphine has a ceiling effect in which the risk of respiratory issues and other problems will not increase correspondingly as the dose increases. Instead, these effects peak at a certain point, making overdose much less likely for this drug.

When Suboxone is used in conjunction with other substances, especially those that depress the central nervous system, a higher risk of a life-threatening overdose occurs. These substances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Alcohol
  • Other opioids
  • Tranquilizers

Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction

Given buprenorphine’s delayed onset, mild effects, and relatively long duration cycle, the effect on the brain’s reward system is believed to be minimal, as is its potential for addiction. As noted, however, Suboxone abuse may lead to physical dependence and addiction more rapidly than if it is used as directed.

When a person becomes dependent on Suboxone, their body has become accustomed to its presence and will not be able to function correctly without it. Once dependence has developed, full-blown addiction may soon follow, which is characterized by compulsive-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of negative consequences.

Getting Help for Suboxone Addiction

If you or a loved one is abusing Suboxone, seeking professional help is a vital step to take to stop using the drug most safely and comfortably possible.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive programs facilitated by caring addiction professionals that include essential services such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

People struggling with the abuse of Suboxone or addiction may face a challenging battle, but fortunately, assistance is available. If you are seeking help for yourself or a loved one in your life to overcome Suboxone abuse, call us today to discuss treatment options and find out how we can help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Methadone Withdrawal and Detox

What Is Cocaine Cut With?

What Is Cocaine Cut With? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What is cocaine cut with? – Cocaine, as found on the street, is typically cut with a variety of adulterants, including, but not limited to, caffeine, creatine, laundry detergent, local anesthetics such as benzocaine, lidocaine, and novocaine, fentanyl, boric acid, mannitol, levamisole, and phenacetin.

Currently, it is very difficult to find 100% pure cocaine. Most of the time, cocaine, as purchased on the street, is cut with many adulterants. This technique is often used to expand the product and increase the profits of dealers. Cocaine itself is very dangerous, but many of the agents used to cut it have adverse effects of their own, many of which can be life-threatening.

Common Adulterants in Cocaine

There are a variety of additives that may be cut into cocaine, and some are more harmful than others. Common cutting agents that are relatively benign include caffeine, creatine, laxatives, and laundry detergent.

While some are not particularly dangerous, these agents can make a user more anxious, especially caffeine, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. When combined with cocaine, this can lead to intense feelings of unease, anxiety, and panic.

And unfortunately, some cutting agents are much more dangerous and can be very toxic. When cut into coke, these drugs can cause an adverse reaction in many users, some of which have the potential to result in death.

Benzocaine

Benzocaine is an anesthetic used by dentists and is commonly used as a cocaine cutting agent because it has a similar numbing effect, and it is relatively inexpensive. It is also found in the form of a white powder, so it is easy to lace into cocaine.

Those who ingest coke cut with benzocaine are at risk for severe health complications. These include a life-threatening disorder known as methemoglobinemia. This condition involves the incurrence of abnormal levels of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. As this occurs, less and less oxygen becomes available to various tissues, and eventually, the tissues will begin to die.

If hemoglobin levels rise above 15%, the individual will encounter cardiac and neurological symptoms. The condition becomes fatal if levels reach 70% or higher.

Boric Acid

Like benzocaine, when mixed with pure cocaine, boric acid enhances the drug’s anesthetic effects. It also looks like cocaine crystals, so it’s easy to conceal its presence. But boric acid is a dangerous toxin, and in fact, it is sometimes used in the manufacturing of ant and rodent pesticides.

Due to its poisoning nature, the ingestion of large amounts of boric acid can result in death. It can cause many neurological and physical disorders and is considered to be one of the most hazardous cutting agents to be found in cocaine.

Fentanyl

What Is Cocaine Cut With? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a highly-potent opioid up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Its use has been related to thousands of deaths in the last few years, as it’s commonly found combined with heroin, meth, cocaine, and other drugs.

Illicit fentanyl is quite inexpensive to manufacture and obtain, and for this reason, it has become extremely popular with dealers intent on increasing profits. Unfortunately, a tiny amount can result in a life-threatening overdose. When fentanyl is combined with cocaine, the latter is probably the least of a user’s worries.

Levamisole

Levamisole is prescribed by doctors and veterinarians to kill parasitic worms. Levamisole may be used as a cutting agent because it increases dopamine levels in the brain, thus enhancing the overall euphoric effects of ingesting cocaine.

However, this drug can also cause agranulocytosis, a disease that will destroy all white blood cells in the body. Without these vital blood cells, the body becomes very vulnerable to a wide variety of adverse effects and disorders. When faced with this condition, death can occur from even minor injuries or infections.

Lidocaine and Novacaine

Lidocaine and novocaine are common local anesthetics, and its numbing effects have made it an ideal cutting agent for cocaine. Unfortunately, cocaine and lidocaine tend to amplify the effects of each other and can result in acute toxicity, convulsions, and seizures.

Cocaine, when combined with either lidocaine or novocaine, can also cause heart problems, such as arrhythmia, as well as confusion and drowsiness. Users may also encounter blurred vision. Some of these symptoms are temporary, but their intensity can become worse over time with continued cocaine abuse.

Mannitol

Mannitol can be used to cut both heroin and cocaine. It is a diuretic commonly prescribed to reduce swelling and pressure inside the eye or around the brain. It is also an anticaking agent that can keep substances in a powdered form. It can be dangerous and addictive, however, and can lead to health complications in those who are allergic to it or have a history of heart disease or failure.

Phenacetin

Phenacetin was once a popularly used painkiller but was removed from the market due to reports of adverse effects and reactions. Most significantly, it has been found to be a carcinogen and can lead to loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, heart failure, and death.

Pure Cocaine and Its Effects

What Is Cocaine Cut With? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

As noted, it is not easy to find 100% pure cocaine on the streets. Those who do succeed are probably going to pay double or triple the price of adulterated cocaine. Because it is more potent, pure cocaine is also more dangerous and more likely to cause an overdose or heart damage.

Indeed, users who ingest pure cocaine when they accustomed to using adulterated drugs may be more vulnerable to overdose. Moreover, their tolerance level isn’t enough to handle the additional potency, and this can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

But regardless of whether a user is snorting pure or buffered cocaine, either scenario can be extremely dangerous. The chemical effects of either form can cause permanent damage to the body, especially when it is ingested for a prolonged period. Long-term addicts will also likely encounter more intense withdrawals and more severe side effects.

Why Cocaine Is Addictive

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant derived from the coca plant native to South America. When ingested, it increases the feel-good chemical dopamine in the brain, resulting in increased energy, euphoria, and feelings of reward and well-being. Over time, repeated use result in the brain’s inability to produce dopamine on its own without the presence of cocaine. Extended abstinence from the drug, however, will usually reverse this problem.

Due to cocaine’s brief effects, users often consume it in a binge-like fashion. This pattern of use will eventually result in increased tolerance and some level of chemical dependence that results in withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of use. When these conditions manifest, a person will be vulnerable to losing all control over cocaine use and will continue to do so despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction

An addiction to cocaine can be devastating to a person’s life and can lead to overdose and other life-threatening complications. Fortunately, this disorder is very treatable, and many people have overcome their need to use cocaine and have gone on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive treatment programs tailored to each person’s individual needs. We provide a wide variety of therapeutic services, including behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, and experiential activities such as art and music therapy.

Are you struggling with a cocaine use disorder, or does someone you love suffer from this condition? If so, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options and take the first step in seeking long-term recovery.

We are dedicated to helping each person who is suffering from addiction to reclaim the life they deserve and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: How to Come Down From Coke Use

How Long Does Liquor Stay in Your System?

Liquor is a distilled form of alcohol with an average alcohol per volume of 40%, or 80 proof. Liquor, otherwise known as spirits, can found in several different forms, including vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, tequila, and many more. The body processes liquor in a manner similar to all other forms of alcohol, such as beer and wine.

On average, a normal functioning liver can process about ten grams of ethyl alcohol, or one standard drink, per hour. Shortly after consuming alcohol, about 20% will travel through blood vessels on the way to the stomach and then to the brain. The rest to sent to the small intestine, where it is gradually absorbed into the bloodstream. After this, alcohol is moved to the liver, where it is processed and metabolized.

Alcohol in a person’s body is at its peak, and BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is highest just before metabolization begins. When a person consumes more than one alcoholic drink in an hour, the liver gets backed up and cannot process the extra alcohol in the bloodstream. This excess alcohol causes intoxication as well as many mental and physical impairments.

Testing for the Presence of Alcohol

There are a few different tests for alcohol that may be used by law enforcement, the legal system, or employers to determine if a person is intoxicated or has consumed alcohol in the recent past.

Breathalyzer – A breathalyzer is an instrument commonly used by police law enforcement to determine if a driver has consumed too much alcohol before operating a motor vehicle. A breathalyzer is a kind of apparatus in which a suspected drinker must blow a puff of air. The device estimates the person’s BAC as grams of alcohol per mL of blood. 

Blood Tests – Alcohol can be identified in the blood for up to 36 hours after the last drink, but it detects most accurately between 6-12 hours. Blood tests are not used as often as breathalyzers because they are more costly and invasive, but occasionally they will be ordered for legal purposes. However, testing for alcohol using blood is considered to be the most accurate method available.

Urine Tests – Alcohol can also be detected in urine from between 8-80 hours. Again, urine tests are not usually administered by employers because alcohol is legal, and a person may have consumed alcohol several days before the test. They also are not good for on-the-spot testing if a person appears to be intoxicated. Urine tests are most likely to be required for legal purposes, such as for people on probation.

Saliva and Hair Tests – Occasionally saliva swabs are used, and they can detect alcohol for up to 24 hours. Hair follicle tests are rare, but when used, they can detect alcohol for up to 90 days, perhaps longer.

Rate of Intoxication

Several factors influence the rate at which an individual will become intoxicated. Alcohol is metabolized at about the same rate for most people, assuming they have a healthy liver, and their overall health is stable. Other factors that may affect a person’s level intoxication include the following:

  • Age and sex
  • Ethnicity
  • Weight and body fat percentage
  • Duration and amount of alcohol use
  • Amount and fat content of food in the stomach
  • Other substances in the body
NOTE: A standard drink of alcohol is defined as 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1 oz. of liquor.

Effects of Alcohol

How Long Does Liquor Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

For many, the effects of alcohol begin as rewarding, relaxing, and pleasurable, which is the primary reason people enjoy drinking it. Nevertheless, there are a litany short- and long-term adverse effects and very few, if any, positive long-term consequences of alcohol use. Alcohol’s short-term effect on the body is closely related to a person’s BAC.

Short-term effects include the following:

At 0.03–0.12% BAC:

  • Enhanced mood
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Impaired attention span
  • Flushed face or skin
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Impaired decision-making and judgment

At 0.09–0.25% BAC:

  • Sedation
  • Impaired memory
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensory impairments
  • Impaired balance and motor skills
  • Reduced ability to react to stimuli

At 0.25–0.40% BAC:

  • Amnesia
  • Staggered movements
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Incontinence
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Transient consciousness or unconsciousness

At 0.35–0.8% BAC:

  • Loss of pupillary light reflex
  • Profound respiratory depression
  • Perilously slow heart rate
  • Weak pulse
  • Acute liver failure (rare)
  • Coma or death

A BAC of 0.40% or above is considered to be life-threatening in many instances. Depending on an individual’s level tolerance, when this BAC is reached, coma or death may be imminent. 

Alcohol Poisoning

If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol poisoning, please call 911 immediately. If you are watching over a person suffering, do not let them “sleep it off” and do not leave them alone until emergency medical help arrives.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Profoundly impaired coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures (uncommon)
  • Stupor or unresponsiveness
  • Low body temperature
  • Cold clammy skin
  • Bluing of the skin (cyanosis)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Profoundly depressed breathing

Chronic Alcoholism

Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia (lack of iron)
  • Interrupted brain development
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Loss of brain cells
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Memory impairments
  • Reduced attention span
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Cirrhosis and other liver diseases

Moreover, chronic, excessive alcohol use increases the risk of cardiovascular problems and stroke, as well as several forms of cancer, including the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophageal breast, and gastrointestinal system.

How Long Does Liquor Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Tolerance, Dependence, and Withdrawal

The more often a person consumes alcohol, the higher their tolerance will become. Tolerance is a condition that develops in response to repeated, heavy alcohol use. It occurs because the body adapts to its presence and dedicates more enzymes to break it down more efficiently. This reaction leads to a reduced response to alcohol as a result of repeated exposure.

Tolerance is one of the body’s defense mechanisms that is enacted because alcohol is essentially a poison. In fact, the development of tolerance can effectively reduce an individual’s risk of alcohol poisoning. There have been cases of people surviving unbelievably high BAC levels that would have killed the average person at a much lower BAC.

Dependence is hallmarked by the brain’s having developed a need for alcohol to function normally, as well as the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to stop drinking. These symptoms can range in intensity from mild-severe, and, in extreme cases, result in life-threatening complications and death.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Shakiness and tremors
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Racing heart or palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired mental functioning
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

Treatment for Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a chronic, life-long disease, and, unfortunately, no one cure will work for everyone. Very few alcoholics will ever be able to return to ‘normal’ drinking or fully reclaim their lives while they are engaging in any level of alcohol use.

Fortunately, alcohol dependence is very treatable. Modern treatment approaches typically feature services clinically-proven to be effective at improving patient outcomes long-term. These services may include psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, group support, and medication-assisted treatment. 

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers these services in partial-hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient formats. We provide clients with the tools, skills, and support they need to experience a full recovery and enjoy long-lasting, fulfilling lives.

If you or someone you love is struggling to overcome an alcohol addiction, please contact us today to discuss treatment options. We are committed to helping those who need it most make their lives better so they can look forward to a healthy, happy future free from the use of drugs and alcohol!

How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Crack cocaine is a powerful stimulant that produces a brief high, with a half-life of only around 15 minutes. There are, however, several factors that can affect how long crack cocaine can be identified in a person’s system using the following drug tests:

Crack can be detected in the blood up to two to 12 hours after use. This is the drug screening method least likely to detect crack use unless blood is tested within a few hours of use. 

Crack can be identified in hair follicles for up to three months after use, sometimes longer. Because hair grows slowly, crack and its metabolites can be detected in follicles for a prolonged period after the use. 

Crack cocaine can be detected in the urine between 1-4 days after use. In some cases, it may be detected several weeks after its use if a person has been using it for a prolonged period.

Crack can be identified in saliva for up to 24 hours after use. Like blood testing, saliva samples yield a relatively short window of time for detection. 

Powdered cocaine is a very dangerous drug, but crack, a less pure form of cocaine, has the potential to pose even more problems for users. The drug induces a rapid and intense high but can cause addiction and remain traceable in the body for a prolonged period. 

What Is Crack?

Crack is a form of cocaine in which the hydrochloride is removed, causing the drug to become more potent and take on a rock crystal form. Crack is also known as freebase cocaine, and it is typically smoked through a pipe. When heated, the rock produces a cracking sound, and this is the reason its name. As noted, crack is a stimulant, that, when used, increases activity in the central nervous system (CNS) and leads to heightened energy and euphoria.

Crack’s Effect on the Body

Like all addictive drugs, crack works by interfering with neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Using crack causes dopamine to accumulate, which will result in the user experiencing pleasure rapidly.

Over time and with repeated use, the body will become dependent on crack. Once dependence develops, the person will experience highly unpleasant symptoms when they try to quit. For this reason, many users find it nearly impossible to quit and will relapse to avoid withdrawal. 

This is why drug use tends to escalate and frequently becomes out of control. What’s more, the user will find that he or she needs to use the drug in increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect—a condition known as tolerance.

As a stimulant, crack causes body mechanisms to accelerate. People under the influence of crack tend to speak rapidly and appear to be animated, jumpy, and twitchy. The drug also affects the speed of a person’s heart rate, which can be dangerous. As the body begins to rid itself of crack, the user often experiences a “crash” or “come down” and becomes depressed, agitated, and tired. 

How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Crack produces a number of acute effects, which also includes impaired judgment, hallucinations, and sleep disturbances. However, long-term crack use can also lead to many chronic health conditions, such as cognitive decline and damage to the CNS.

Since crack is usually smoked, it is rapidly absorbed into the lungs. The high that crack produces is sometimes only five to 10 minutes long, and its half-life (the time required for the body to eliminate half of the drug) is also brief. However, the duration that crack and its metabolites remain in the body is influenced by several factors, including the following:

  • Liver function
  • Duration of use
  • Average amount of drug used
  • Food and water consumption
  • Use of other drugs or alcohol
  • Overall health
  • Height and weight
  • Body fat percentage

Since each individual who uses crack has unique factors and differing histories of drug use, it is not possible to determine precisely how long the drug can remain detectable. For this reason, the above factors need to be taken into consideration.

Getting Help for Addiction

An addiction to cocaine or crack cocaine can be a very severe and life-threatening condition. It is very treatable, however, and many people have gotten help and gone on to lead healthy and productive lives. Our centers offer integrated, personalized programs, therapies, and activities clinically-proven to be indispensable for the recovery process.

Using approaches such as behavioral therapy and counseling, clients are able to uncover and examine the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction. They are also taught how to identify problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and replace them with new ones that elicit positive change.

If you are addicted to crack, please know you don’t have to suffer alone. Contact us today and find out how we can give you the tools and support you need to recover!

Injecting Cocaine: Knowing the Risks

Injecting Cocaine: Knowing the Risks

Injecting cocaine is very risky and can result in a myriad of adverse effects. Although it’s more commonly snorted as a white powder or smoked (crack cocaine), it can be diluted and injected similarly to heroin.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug, meaning that when a person ingests it, he or she will feel energetic, euphoric, and may stay awake for a prolonged period. It is derived from the coca plant native to South America. It has been classified as a Schedule II drug in the U.S., meaning that it has some limited medical purpose but also a high potential for abuse.

Cocaine is also often combined with other substances, which can range from relatively benign household products, like flour or cornstarch, to hazardous chemicals or other substances, such as heroin. Cocaine is often laced with other ingredients because it allows dealers to make a greater profit on a smaller amount of the drug.

When a person uses cocaine, the high is typically intense but also very brief. For this reason, cocaine is often used in a binge-like pattern repeated over the course of several hours in an attempt to sustain the high. Cocaine produces a high by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feelings and well-being, such as dopamine.

There are two main versions of cocaine: water-soluble hydrochloride salt and another called freebase, which is not water-soluble. The hydrochloride salt can be snorted or injected. The base form of cocaine is processed with baking soda or ammonia and water and then heated, which produces a substance that can be smoked—widely known as crack.

Injecting Cocaine

Cocaine use in and of itself is risky, but injecting is the riskiest form of abuse. IV drug use is dangerous because it’s more likely that this behavior will develop into an addiction, and it can also lead to severe mental and physical side effects.

When you smoke cocaine, you get the fastest effects, but some people prefer shooting up cocaine because it gives a more intense high. Most people who inject cocaine do so to achieve a more intense high, or they have built up a tolerance to other methods and can no longer experience the effects they once did.

When injecting cocaine, it must first be dissolved in a water solution, and then it can be shot directly into the body, usually into a vein. It can also be injected just under the skin (subcutaneous) but not into a vein, using a method known as “skin popping.”

Some of the psychoemotional side effects of injecting cocaine include aggression, paranoia, depression, fatigue, suicidal ideations or behaviors, and confusion. The high may be more intense and rapid than other methods of administration, but the crash or “come down” is often more severe, as well.

Injecting Cocaine: Knowing the Risks

Other short-term effects of cocaine include the following:

  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Elevated mood
  • Feelings of grandiosity
  • Excited, rapid speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

Although injecting cocaine is the riskiest method, ingesting cocaine in other ways can cause similar side effects. When a person develops a dependence on a drug like cocaine, their brain has adapted to operate normally within the context of the drug’s presence, and discontinuing use abruptly will result in unpleasant withdrawal effects.

When a person injects cocaine, there are other risks in addition to the general risks of the drug itself, many of which are related to administering multiple injections. This can cause blood vessel linings to deteriorate and collapse, as well as skin sores, abscesses, and infections.

Also, when cocaine is acquired on the black market, it often frequently includes adulterants, which can cause residue to accumulate along the blood vessel passages. When this occurs, injecting cocaine can result in cardiac problems, and there is also a risk of encountering infections, such as hepatitis C and HIV, particularly if needles were shared with someone else.

Getting Help for Cocaine Abuse

Using cocaine is never a good idea, and if you are planning on trying to inject it, you should think twice. Injecting cocaine repeatedly will likely lead to increased tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Escalating drug use is not the answer, and if you need help with an addiction, instead you should seek out professional treatment.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a modern, evidence-based approach to the treatment of addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Our programs, which include detox, partial hospitalization, and outpatient treatment, are comprised of a variety of services essential for the recovery process.

Recovery is a life-long endeavor, but thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact us today and learn how we can help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: How to Come Down From Coke Use

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Addiction Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Opioids are a class of drugs that includes both prescription and illegal painkillers. Heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine are a few examples of opioids. Opioid addiction treatment is designed to help the person wean off the drug while working on overcoming the psychological effects of addiction.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

The signs of opioid addiction may be more evident in illicit drug users than in patients dependent on prescription medications. Nevertheless, the signs of addiction are similar for all opioids.

An addict may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Using more of the drug than prescribed by the doctor
  • Crushing pills and snorting or injecting them
  • Track marks or small sores on the arms, feet or other areas caused by injecting opioids
  • Slurred speech, sedation, sluggishness, a slow pulse, and difficulty keeping the head up
  • Complaints of pain and using medication to treat it long after the pain symptoms should have abated
  • Spending a considerable amount of time obtaining, using, and recovering from opioid use
  • Experiencing adverse life consequences related to opioid use, such as legal problems, financial difficulties, and strained interpersonal relationships
  • Refusing to acknowledge that a problem exists despite the aforementioned signs to the contrary.

Physical symptoms may include the following:

  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Breathlessness
  • Bronchospasm
  • Chemical dependence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Respiratory depression

When any of these signs or symptoms of drug abuse are present, it is time to start investigating opioid addiction treatment options.

Help for Opioid Addicts

Regardless of whether it takes place on an inpatient or outpatient basis, opioid addiction treatment begins with detox and addressing the symptoms associated with withdrawal. This treatment involves a process that can last for several days. According to statistical evidence, a detox program provides the best results if medication-assisted treatment is implemented.

All opioid addiction treatment programs should begin with some version of detox. Most individuals suffering from addiction need medical care during the process to prevent relapse, relieve withdrawal symptoms, and forestall any other complications that may occur.

Opioid withdrawal is very unpleasant, and heavy users may encounter the most severe symptoms. Fortunately, detox programs often include medications such as naltrexone and buprenorphine. These are drugs that attach to opioid receptors in the body and reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings without activating them or inducing euphoria.

In limited doses, these drugs help the body through withdrawal with minimal discomfort. Patients will continue the medical treatment through the next stage of recovery and beyond.

Opioid Addiction Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Inpatient Opioid Rehab

Opioid patients, like other drug addicts, receive psychiatric treatment in rehab. This process helps them get to the heart of their addiction, identify alternative ways to cope, and learn the skills needed to prevent relapse in the future.

Exercise, nutrition, mental health evaluations, counseling, and group support supplement the treatment. Medical providers also devise structured pain management programs to help prescription opioid addicts control any ongoing pain that contributed to their addiction.

Inpatient or residential treatment for opioid addiction may go beyond the typical month-long rehab. Opioids take longer to clear the body and require more coping mechanisms and monitoring than many other drugs do. The duration of a patient’s stay depends on the severity of his or her addiction and the underlying factors driving it.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab

People who choose intensive outpatient rehab may still receive medications to prevent withdrawal symptoms and to assist in the recovery process. They reside at home, go to work, and can spend time with friends and family. However, they also have scheduled clinic visits, ranging from daily to twice per week, to receive addiction treatment.

These patients also receive individual and group therapies. They are offered pain management assistance from a doctor and mental health assessments, as well. Individuals in this program can expect to go to the treatment clinic between two and seven days each week for a period ranging from several months to a year.

Aftercare

After completing the program, people can continue treatment with periodic group meetings and visits with a counselor. Some patients choose to stay in sober living homes that provide some level of supervision to help them transition back to society. All patients can take advantage of aftercare planning that will identify local counselors or therapies that can continue their treatment and other resources for long-term support.

Getting Treatment

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids, contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a complete continuum of care from detox to aftercare.

We employ medical professionals who specialize in addiction and are trained to deliver therapeutic services with care and expertise. We aim to provide all clients with the tools and support they so direly need to overcome addiction and experience long-lasting sobriety and wellness!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Benefits of Addiction Medicines