Prescription Meth

Prescription Meth | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Prescription Meth – Despite the media focus placed on the opioid epidemic in the U.S., according to recent research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there are now more addiction treatment admissions for amphetamine drugs than there are for prescription narcotics.

And according to estimates put forth by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as 30% of illicitly made stimulants in the U.S. are diverted for recreational (non-medical) purposes. This fact is particularly troublesome because Americans use approximately 80% of the global supply of pharmaceutical stimulants.

Prescription Meth: What Is Desoxyn?

Desoxyn is the brand name for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a stimulant medication only available by prescription and indicated for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity. Although it only occasionally has a legitimate medical purpose and is not as popular as other medications such as Adderall or Ritalin, it is still prescribed commonly enough to be of concern. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, an estimated 16,000 prescriptions for Desoxyn are filled annually.

Prescription Meth as a Drug of Abuse

This is Desoxyn’s official product warning: “Administration of methamphetamine for prolonged periods of time in obesity may lead to drug dependence and must be avoided. Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of subjects obtaining methamphetamine for non-therapeutic use or distribution to others…”

Chemically, Desoxyn is nearly identical to illegal street meth. As such, it has an extremely high potential for abuse, tolerance, dependence, and addiction. It can be nabbed from medicine cabinets and sold for its intensely pleasant and stimulating effects.

Most people may think of ADHD as a condition diagnosed primarily among youth, and it frequently develops among adults as well. In fact, as recently as 2014, nearly 58% of prescriptions for stimulants were written for adults.

The abuse of prescription stimulants is more common than one might think, especially among college-aged adults. For instance, 62% of students in their four years at college report, as some point, being offered an ADHD medication for non-medical purposes.

Prescription Stimulant Abuse

Unfortunately, nearly 1 in 3 college students will misuse an ADHD drug at some time during their undergraduate career – and 9 out of 10 who use these medications admit to feigning their symptoms to receive a prescription. This is an enormous problem because the long-term misuse of ADHD medications results in significantly-elevated rates of dependence and addiction.

Most – nearly 90% – of people who take excessive doses of prescription stimulants suffer from withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of the last use, and these uncomfortable symptoms can persist for days or weeks. The desire to avoid withdrawal symptoms often compels users to continue using substances rather than try to quit.

Weight Loss and Desoxyn Abuse

When considering Desoxyn’s potential for addiction, its use as a weight-loss supplement cannot be ignored. Desoxyn is prescribed for obesity, and although it does help some patients shed pounds, it is only slightly more effective than a placebo. In fact, most of the resulting weight loss occurs during the first few weeks of use and then gradually slows thereafter.

The exact mechanism by which Desoxyn appears to foster weight loss isn’t fully understood. Studies have not yet determined if the medication helps merely by suppressing the appetite, or if there is some other property of the drug that plays a role. Because Desoxyn is supposed to be used in conjunction with other health disciplines such as diet and exercise, it could be that weight loss is essentially due to multiple interventional lifestyle changes.

However, some believe that Desoxyn is either primarily or solely responsible for their weight loss, so they ask their physician for more refills or higher doses. This behavior can result in dependence, abuse, and addiction to Desoxyn.

Prescription Meth Can Lead to Illicit Meth

The American Society for Addiction Medicine finds that 80% of heroin addicts began their habit after first misusing prescription opioids. Most of those surveyed stated that they switched to heroin because prescription painkillers were “more expensive and harder to obtain,” and the same could be true for Desoxyn and illegal meth

When a person dependent on Desoxyn is unable to obtain any more refills legally, they may turn to the black market, where the price per-pill can be inexpensive and the supply variable. Conversely, illicit street meth is always available and is remarkably inexpensive.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

If you find yourself grappling with an addiction to Desoxyn, it is critical to seek specialized professional care as soon as possible to improve that person’s outcome and ensure that the condition doesn’t continue to progress.

Meth addiction is a destructive and potentially life-threatening condition that is best treated using a comprehensive approach that includes psychotherapy, psychoeducation, counseling, and group support. Our center offers these services in both inpatient and outpatient formats.

You can reclaim your life and experience the harmony and wellness you deserve! Contact us now to find out how we can help!

Combined Drug Intoxication

Combined Drug Intoxication | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Many people who use drugs and drink alcohol together are unaware of the potentially life-threatening consequences of combined drug intoxication. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, and when mixed with other depressants (i.e., opioids or benzodiazepines) the combined effect can be far more dangerous than the overuse of either substance alone.

Conversely, using alcohol with stimulants can lead to a conflict within the body as it works to make sense of the competing effects. This reaction can put an incredible strain on the heart and lead to arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or sudden cardiac arrest.

Finally, combining prescription or illicit drugs, even without alcohol, can be equally dangerous. Common yet hazardous combinations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Prescription or illicit opioids (heroin, fentanyl) and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan)
  • Prescription or illicit opioids and cocaine, meth, or prescription amphetamines (Adderall, Ritalin)
  • Benzodiazepines and cocaine, meth, or prescription amphetamines

Other drugs that can cause unpredictable effects when used along with substances sans medical supervision include hypnotics, muscle relaxers, and certain antidepressants. The more drugs that are used, the more unpredictable and risky the effects will be.

Opioids and Alcohol

Prescription painkillers and illicit opioids such as heroin are highly addictive and dangerous to overuse on their own. Severe side effects may include slowed heart rate, breathing, and extreme drowsiness. When used with alcohol, the risk of life-threatening sedation and respiratory arrest can be significantly higher.

Other serious side effects of combining alcohol and prescription painkillers include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Severe depression
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Dehydration
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

Cocaine and Alcohol

Cocaine and Alcohol | Midwood Addiction Treatment

When used in conjunction, cocaine and alcohol can prompt the liver to produce cocaethylene, a hazardous chemical that can put tremendous stress on one or more major organs.

This chemical can also produce many life-threatening side effects such as cardiac arrest, brain damage, aneurysms, hemorrhage, and death.

Even without the presence of cocaethylene, combining cocaine and alcohol can lead to other dangerous effects which include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Labored breathing
  • Loss of coordination
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • High heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Coma

Benzos or Opioids and Alcohol

Opioids, benzodiazepines (benzos) and alcohol are all central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and when combined, can lead to oversedation. If this occurs, breathing may be suppressed to the point of respiratory failure and can lead to sudden death.

Other adverse side effects of combining alcohol with opioids or benzos include:

  • Mania and delusions
  • Slow reflexes
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe mood swings

Ecstasy (MDMA) and Alcohol

Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or Molly, is a popular drug among teenagers and young adults, especially at parties, raves, concerts, and clubs. Combining ecstasy with alcohol can enhance feelings of energy and euphoria, but can also result in an intense comedown or crash. When using ecstasy, the person may feel as if they can drink more than usual and remain relatively sober – for this reason, however, alcohol poisoning is also more likely to occur.

Other adverse side effects of mixing alcohol and ecstasy include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Risky behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Heart attack
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage

Opioids and Benzos

Combined Drug Intoxication | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Both opioid medications (oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc.) and their illicit counterparts (heroin, fentanyl, etc.) have a high potential for misuse, abuse, and addiction when taken alone. When taken in any combination, all of these risks increase exponentially.

In fact, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, from 1999-2006 there was a 250% rise in prescription opioid-related overdose fatalities in the United States, and over half of those were the result of mixing painkillers with another drug, usually benzos.

This drug cocktail is particularly dangerous because benzos enhance the effects of opioid painkillers. In long-term opioid users, tolerance occurs, which means they no longer experience the same desirable effect from their drug of choice.

But when benzos are added, they may find they can return to that initial euphoria, not realizing that the effects of the two drugs combined increase exponentially and significantly raise the risk of oversedation, respiratory distress, and eventual death by overdose.

Symptoms of an overdose of depressants include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Confusion
  • Reduced reaction to stimuli
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Death

Opioids and Stimulants

Mixing stimulants and depressants such as amphetamines, cocaine, or meth can ultimately result in a tug-of-war in the body as it fights to make sense of the conflicting messages that occur due to the use of a CNS depressant and CNS stimulant.

Moreover, opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, are sending signals to depress the nervous system, while amphetamines/cocaine are trying to accelerate it. This effect can result in a cancelation of some of the adverse symptoms of either drug, and the user may erroneously believe that he or she is merely experiencing a euphoric high, unaware that they have taken a dangerous amount of either drug.

Dangerous symptoms of mixing depressants with stimulants include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of coordination
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death
Getting More Information
We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.


What To Expect During Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient Drug Rehab | Midwood Addiction Treatment

When an individual participates in outpatient treatment, they receive help for their substance abuse problems but are still able to attend to daily responsibilities such as work, school, and family commitments. Although patients are not under strict supervision 24/7, an outpatient drug rehab program can be a very effective way to treat drug and alcohol use disorders.

While each outpatient program provides various services, many include medication-assisted detox, individual and family counseling, and different types of therapies and support groups. A comprehensive treatment plan addresses the needs of the whole person, rather than just the disease. This approach offers the greatest chance for overcoming triggers and achieving long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

What is Outpatient Drug Rehab?

Outpatient drug rehab centers assist people to overcome dangerous drug using or drinking behavior and also learn how to identify triggers and prevent relapse. Many outpatient programs meet daily for the first several weeks or months. Eventually, the number of meetings per week decrease based on how far along a person has come in their recovery program.

Participation in an outpatient drug rehab program can be daunting for some, especially when entering treatment for the first time. During outpatient drug rehab programs, several services are offered to clients from beginning to end.

The most common stages of outpatient drug treatment are listed below.

STAGE 1: Evaluation and Intake

An initial intake assessment or evaluation is conducted prior to a person entering an outpatient drug program. During the assessment, an addiction specialist ascertains the severity of a person’s addiction and may also diagnose co-existing mental disorders, if applicable. An evaluation usually requires some combination of medical history, physical exam, and drug testing. This initial information helps medical staff develop a plan, which is then observed and updated throughout the course of treatment.

Some alcoholics and drug users may need to go through withdrawal under medical supervision before beginning an outpatient program. A medical detox can offer alcoholics and addicts a safe environment, and health care staff can work together to make the withdrawal process more comfortable and intervene in the event of a medical emergency.

STAGE 2: Therapy and Treatment Approaches

1. Individual Talk Therapy

Psychotherapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, are the foundation of most outpatient drug rehab programs. Individuals enrolled in rehab will almost always be required to participate in individual counseling sessions as well as group therapy sessions either daily or weekly. Participation in family therapy and self-help support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), is also highly encouraged.

2. Medications

Some drug users and alcoholics respond well to pharmacotherapy or the use of medication employed to treat their addictions. Various medications indicated to treat substance use disorders can minimize cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, or block the effects of drugs or alcohol upon exposure.

3. Education

Understanding the impact of psychoactive substances on the body and how they affect the brain can help people perceive addiction as less mysterious and glamorous. Because of this, most outpatient drug programs provide educational sessions to their clients. During these sessions, recovering addicts and alcoholics will learn about the disease model of addiction as well as methods they can use to overcome it.

4. Support Services

Outpatient drug rehab programs usually offer a number of supportive services to recovering addicts/alcoholics, both throughout and following rehab. For example, they may conduct group therapy sessions, help with vocational or educational objectives, or even assist low-income individuals to find ways to pay for substance abuse treatment.

5. Holistic Practices and Therapies

Research has shown that certain holistic practices can help improve outcomes after both inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. These include a variety of therapies that are different than talk therapy – they are based in other ways of expressing oneself and include but are not limited to art, music, and gardening therapy.

Also, mind-body connection disciplines such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and exercise have been shown to benefit and help people manage cravings and stay active throughout recovery.

STAGE 3: Aftercare Planning

Aftercare planning is essential for a successful reentry into the community and the prevention of relapse. It helps people apply the lessons learned in treatment to their own lives. Before you complete treatment, you will be asked to design a relapse prevention plan, and connect with outside peer support groups. Also, you will most likely be encouraged to return to the program for regular group and individual counseling sessions.

What To Expect Following The Program

Although a great start, completing an outpatient drug rehab program is only just the beginning. Recovery is a lifelong process, and certain steps should be taken after rehab to guarantee success.

Upon completion of an outpatient rehab program, recovering substance abusers will often work with an addiction specialist to devise an exit plan. This plan usually includes details about where the person will reside and work, what he or she can do to avoid relapse, and what types of treatments in which they should continue to participate.

How To Help Someone In An Outpatient Drug Rehab Program

Outpatient drug rehab is not like inpatient rehab, where clients reside in a facility during treatment. Rather, they are free to come and go as they please. For this reason, visiting someone in an outpatient alcohol program isn’t often necessary. Outpatient rehab programs do encourage the participation of loved ones during the recovery process, however, and this is why many rehab centers permit loved ones to sit in on educational group sessions.

Family members and friends may also be urged to participate in family counseling with recovering addicts and alcoholics. This engagement helps them improve their understanding of alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as help support the person in recovery during this challenging process.

Can You Leave Outpatient Programs Before Completion?

Outpatient rehab is entirely voluntary, and no one is obligated to participate, which means that any person is free to leave a rehab program before completion. Medical professionals and addiction specialists, however, strongly discourage this for several reasons.

Recovering substance abusers who don’t complete treatment have not learned everything they could, and are not always able to deal with life’s stressors and the temptations of addiction. Therefore, they are much more likely to experience a relapse.

Some addicts and alcoholics, however, are ordered by a court to complete an outpatient treatment program. This is often the result of a person being charged with or convicted of an alcohol or drug-related crime, such as a DUI or possession of an illegal substance. If the person does not complete the outpatient rehab program, they could incur greater legal and financial consequences, such as hefty fines or incarceration.

Outpatient Drug Rehab Program Expectations

Starting an outpatient drug rehab program can be frightening for many people. Knowing what to expect, however, can make the process a little less daunting and gives clients the opportunity to ask questions and address concerns.

If you or a loved one has an alcohol or drug problem and want to know more about outpatient programs, please contact us as soon as possible and find out how we can help! You can regain your sanity and restore joy, wellness, and harmony to your life!

What Does Meth Do To Your Body?

what does meth do to your body

Methamphetamine (meth) is found primarily as an illicit drug that is produced using a combination of cough and cold medicine ingredients and toxic chemicals. Meth is a rather inexpensive, addictive drug that delivers a powerful high, and tends to adversely impact nearly every aspect of a user’s health and life.

Regular meth use can cause significant damage to every organ, including the brain, and many of the effects may not be reversible. It also degrades the mental well-being of the user, as well as their physical appearance.

How Does Meth Work?

Meth increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, a chemical involved in body movement, motivation, and the reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. The drug’s ability to swiftly release a flood of dopamine in reward areas of the brain strongly reinforces drug-taking behavior, compelling the user to repeat the experience. This effect is what creates the euphoric high and is also the catalyst for addiction.

Along with feeling euphoric, meth use also increases energy levels, alertness, wakefulness, and often causes the user to be more talkative and hyperactive.

What Does Meth Do To Your Body In the Short-Term?

Short-term effects of meth on the body may include increased body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and decreased appetite.

There’s also a potential for arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) brain hemorrhage, hyperthermia lung collapse, and convulsions upon overdose.

What Does Meth Do To Your Body in the Long-Term?

Long-term effects of meth on the body include the following:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Damage to organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs
  • Damage to nasal passages if snorted
  • Sores, abscesses, and infections if injected
  • Tooth decay
  • Malnutrition

The Effects of Meth on the Heart

Because meth is a stimulant, it can have a profound impact on the cardiovascular system. Meth constricts the veins and blood vessels of the user, which can cause blood clots to form. Meth use can result in chronic arrhythmia and high blood pressure, which can also damage and harden arteries, blocking blood flow to organs.

It puts a strain on the heart due to elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and disruption of normal rhythms, thereby possibly contributing to cardiac arrest.

The Effects of Meth on the Brain

Meth’s effects on the brain tend to be widespread and severe. Among the most dangerous risks meth users incur is an increased chance of stroke, which can result in permanent brain damage, including memory loss, paralysis, loss of speech, and cognitive impairment. Indeed, stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability in the U.S., and in 2015, strokes accounted for nearly 12% of total deaths worldwide.

In the long term, overstimulation of dopamine and serotonin-releasing cells can result in their destruction and an accompanying decline in dopamine levels. This condition leads to greater difficulty experiencing pleasure, which can cause severe depression and anhedonia.

Meth effects on the brain can also contribute to the development of psychosis, with symptoms such as hallucinations and paranoia that are nearly identical to those of schizophrenia. Although these symptoms may resolve within a few months after discontinuing meth use, some users find that they persist longer and recurrence of these symptoms can occur even after a long period of sobriety.

The Effects of Meth on the Respiratory System

Meth use can affect the lungs and respiratory system in a variety of ways. The stimulant properties of meth produce rapid breathing, and possibly lightheadedness and fainting. Smoking meth can also cause the user to cough up blood due to bleeding in the lungs.

Snorting meth can lead to intense coughing and respiratory trauma, such as a collapsed lung and the release of air into the body outside of the lungs. When meth is inhaled, its impurities can accumulate in the lungs, form granulomas, and lead to lung disease.

The Effects of Meth on the Liver and Gastrointestinal System

Meth users sometimes employ needles to inject the drug, and they may also share needles with others. This practice can easily transmit blood-borne diseases from one user to another, such as hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can cause progressive damage and over time, may lead to jaundice, cirrhosis, bleeding, and damage to the central nervous system.

Blood vessel constriction produced by meth use can hinder blood flow to the bowels, potentially resulting in the death of bowel tissue. This condition can lead to perforation of the intestinal wall and peritonitis, a life-threatening infection of the abdominal cavity that can advance into septic shock.

The Effects of Meth on the Immune System

Using meth has the potential to stifle the immune system and reduce the body’s ability to combat disease-causing bacteria and viruses, which can leave meth users vulnerable to various infections.

Worse yet, needle sharing can also transmit HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV damages the cells of the immune system, and eventually, this can further compromise the body’s ability to protect against harmful diseases.

The Effects of Meth on Muscles

Chronic meth use can wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system of the body – among the most troublesome are involuntary myoclonus (muscle twitching and tremors) and repetitive or “stereotypic” movements.

Also linked to meth use is a serious and painful condition called rhabdomyolysis, which is characterized by the rapid destruction of muscle tissue and a potentially toxic release of the contents of the compromised cells into the bloodstream. Meth-induced rhabdomyolysis can lead to widespread muscle pain, extreme fluctuations of serum electrolytes, and if not caught and treated early enough, irreversible kidney failure.

The Effects of Meth on Teeth (Meth Mouth)

Meth is infamous for its visibly destructive effects on oral health, as several factors work together to produce this damage. The destruction meth use can invoke on the teeth is so far-reaching that “meth mouth” has become a common term for meth-induced decay.

More specifically, meth use can cause dry mouth, and a lack of saliva can lessen the body’s ability to fight off cavity-causing bacteria. It can also lead to a compulsive grinding of the teeth, which over time, can wear them down. When combined with nutritional neglect and poor oral hygiene due to being high, meth users can often suffer from severe tooth decay, cracked teeth, and tooth loss.

This damage isn’t just limited to the teeth, either – the gums can incur extensive erosion and recession as well.

The Effects of Meth on the Skin

Meth use can compel people to pick at their skin compulsively due to psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and the feeling that bugs are crawling under their skin. Recurrent scratching of the arms and face can cause open sores to develop, which can then become infected.

An appearance of premature aging can also occur as a result of severe acne, loss of skin elasticity, and the development of leather-like skin texture. Severe weight loss due to appetite suppression can also cause the user to look emaciated and malnourished.

All of these factors can result in meth users exhibiting the characteristic “faces of meth” appearance – a complexion that appears unhealthy and deteriorative.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Meth addiction is an incredibly destructive disease that can cause extensive damage to the human body, resulting in significant health problems, mental illness, and even death.

Those addicted to meth are encouraged to participate in a long-term addiction treatment program on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Our center offers comprehensive, evidence-based services that include psychotherapy, psychoeducation, counseling, group support, and more.

We employ caring medical professionals with expertise in addiction who provide clients with the support, knowledge, and tools they need to succeed at recovery and enjoy long standing wellness and sobriety.

We can help you restore yourself to sanity and regain the life you deserve! Contact us now to find out how!

Alcohol Intervention

Alcohol Intervention | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Helping a Loved One Get Treatment – It’s often challenging to convince a loved one struggling with an addiction to seek treatment. Sometimes a direct, personal conversation can prompt the person to start down the path to recovery. But most often, the loved one with the problem doesn’t acknowledge it, and a more focused approach is needed. At this point, you may wish to band together with others and take action by staging a formal intervention.

People who suffer from addiction are frequently in denial about their situation and reluctant to seek treatment. They may not fully recognize the adverse effects their behavior has had on themselves and others around them.

An intervention offers your loved one a structured opportunity to make a change before things get even more severe, and compel him or her to seek and accept help.

What is an Alcohol Intervention?

An intervention is a strategically planned process that is usually conducted by family and friends, in collaboration with a professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or professional interventionist. It often involves others, just as friends and family members, who care deeply about the person suffering from addiction.

During the intervention, people assemble to confront the loved one about the consequences of their addiction and urge him or her to consider seeking and accepting treatment.

The intervention should:

  • Provide specific examples of harmful behaviors and their effects on the person with the addiction as well as family and friends.
  • Offer a prearranged treatment plan defined with clear steps, objectives, and guidelines.
  • Spell out precisely what each person will do if the addicted individual refuses to accept treatment.

How Does a Typical Alcohol Intervention Work?

An alcohol intervention usually includes the following steps:

Making a Plan and Consulting a Professional

A family member or friend suggests staging an intervention and begins to gather a planning team. At this point, it’s best to consult a qualified professional substance abuse counselor, therapist or addiction interventionist to help organize an effective intervention. An intervention can be a profoundly charged situation with the potential to cause anger, resentment, blame, shame, and possibly a sense of betrayal.

When planning, an addiction professional will consider your loved one’s particular circumstances, recommend the best approach, and help decide what type of treatment and follow-up plan is likely to be the most effective.

Loved ones can conduct Interventions without a professional, but having help from an expert is often preferable. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to have the intervention occur at the professional’s office – an action that may drive home the point that the problem is indeed quite serious.

Gathering Information

The person(s) responsible for organizing the intervention digs in to identify the extent of the loved one’s problem, research alcohol addiction, and appropriate treatment programs. The intervention organizer may then make arrangements to enroll the person in a specific substance abuse treatment program.

Forming the Intervention Team

The intervention organizer will identify and gather the team that will participate in the intervention. Team members schedule a date and location and collaborate to present a harmonious, shared message and a structured plan. Often, non-family members of the team help sustain the discussion’s focus on the facts of the problem and shared solutions rather than overwhelming emotional responses.

Note: The loved one should not know what you’re planning until the intervention begins.

An intervention team typically includes four to six people who are influential in the life of the loved one — those he or she loves, likes, and respects. These people may include parents, children, siblings, a best friend, and adult relatives. An intervention professional can help you identify and arrange appropriate members of your team.

Deciding on Consequences

Before the intervention takes place, each team member needs to decide the actions he or she will take if the loved one doesn’t accept treatment. For example, it may be appropriate to force the loved one to move out, and refuse to enable that person further, either physically, emotionally, or monetarily.

Take Notes on Dialogue – What to Express

Each person on the team describes specific events where the addiction caused problems, such as emotional, legal, or financial issues. Discuss the impact of your loved one’s behavior while continuing to display concern and compassion, and express the expectation that he or she can and should make a healthy change.

Moreover, ensure that your loved one can’t dispute facts or your emotional response to the problem. For example, one may begin by saying “I was upset and hurt when you drank…”

The Intervention Meeting is Held

Without disclosing the reason, the loved one with the addiction is directed to come to the site of the intervention. Team members then take turns expressing their concerns and feelings. The loved one is offered a treatment option and asked to accept that decision on the spot. Each person will state what specific changes will be made if the loved one doesn’t accept the plan and receive treatment.

Note: Whatever you do, don’t threaten the person with a consequence unless you’re 100% committed to following through with it.

Following Up

The direct involvement of family members, a spouse, or others is critical to help someone with an addiction remain in treatment and avoid relapse. Actions may include changing patterns of everyday living to make it easier to prevent destructive behavior, offering to engage in counseling with the loved one, seeking your own personal therapist and support, and knowing what actions to take if a relapse does occur.

Effective intervention requires careful planning because a poorly executed intervention can exacerbate the situation – the loved one may feel threatened and become more isolated and resistant to treatment.

Finding a Treatment Program

Support Group At Midwood Addiction Treatment

An assessment by an addiction professional can help determine the scope of the problem and identify suitable treatment options.

Treatment options range in intensity and occur in a variety of environments. Options can include brief early intervention or intensive outpatient treatment programs. More severe problems may warrant admittance into a structured residential treatment program, facility or hospital.

Moderate to severe alcohol use disorders are often best treated beginning with a clinical detox program. A supervised detox ensures that the patient is safe and that 24/7 treatment and emotional support is available during the withdrawal process, which is often both mentally and physically vexing, and in some cases, can be life-threatening.

Following detox, patients begin treatment in a program that uses a comprehensive, integrated approach that includes evidence-based services such as behavioral therapy, counseling, education, and group support. Our center offers these treatments in both inpatient and outpatient program format.

Also, our center employs caring, professional health providers that equip patients with the tools and resources they need to achieve abstinence and sustain long-term sobriety and wellness.

Even if an intervention isn’t successful the first time around, you and others involved in your loved one’s life can make changes that help. Ask others connected to the situation to avoid enabling the vicious cycle of behavior and take action that promotes positive change.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, contact us today and find out how we can help!

What is Fentanyl?

What is fentanyl? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. The effects of fentanyl are similar to that of other particularly strong opioids such as heroin. The drug is among the most dangerous and prevalent in the United States, currently believed to be involved in as many as half of the drug-related deaths in the country.

Forms of Fentanyl:

Medically-approved fentanyl is found in hospitals and occasionally available in prescription forms. In a hospital setting, it is frequently used for the treatment of severe injuries or as general anesthesia for surgeries. Due to fentanyl’s potency, prescription forms are typically designed with extremely slow administration properties, such as that which is found in transdermal patches and lollipops.

Where Street Fentanyl Originates:

Illicit fentanyl s not usually found as a product of drug diversion, but instead, illegally made in China and trafficked through Mexican cartels into the U.S. Sometimes it’s bought and sold on the Internet via the Dark Web.

Fentanyl is commonly laced into heroin or substituted outright for it, in counterfeit pills labeled as other substances, such as Xanax (an anti-anxiety medication) or Vicodin, a prescription analgesic (painkiller.) For this reason, fentanyl users are frequently unaware of its presence, therefore further increasing the risk of an overdose.

Moreover, fentanyl is easier and less expensive to make than heroin, which translates to popularity among dealers to maximize profits.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

Fentanyl, like other psychoactive substances, affects neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feelings of reward and well-being. As a depressant, fentanyl slows activity in the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in desirable effects such as euphoria and relaxation.

Some Of The Side Effects:

Excessive use, however, can lead to the following adverse effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme drowsiness and oversedation
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Slowed respiration or respiratory distress
  • Slowed heart rate

High Potential For Overdose:

Fentanyl use can also result in life-threatening effects as it has a high potential for overdose. Potentially fatal complications of fentanyl abuse include unresponsiveness, coma, respiratory arrest, and death. This condition is especially risky for persons who have not developed a tolerance to the high potency of the drug, which often includes regular heroin users.

If you suspect that you are witnessing an overdose, please call 911 immediately. First responders frequently save lives using naloxone (Narcan), a drug that can reverse opioid-related, life-threatening CNS depression and overdose.

Chronic Abuse, Tolerance, and Dependence:

Long-term fentanyl use can impair judgment and memory. Regular abuse often results in adverse life consequences, such as legal problems, strained relationships, loss of employment, and worsening of underlying mental health conditions such as generalized depression or bipolar disorder.

Tolerance occurs when the body becomes used to the drug’s presence, and increasing amounts of the drug become necessary to achieve the user’s desired effects. The development of tolerance often causes the person to use excessive amounts, thus substantially increasing the risk of an overdose.

Dependence occurs because, over time, the body’s central nervous system becomes unable to function properly without drug use. Upon cessation, users experience highly unpleasant withdrawal effects as their body struggles to regain equilibrium.

Some Withdrawal Symptoms:

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms occur when the individual abruptly stops using the drug. Adverse symptoms may manifest within 24 hours after the last dose, and acute withdrawal usually subsides within a week.

Withdrawal symptoms related to prescription fentanyl can be managed through a physician who can devise a tapering or weaning schedule to reduce the severity of symptoms over a defined period of time.

Many fentanyl users, however, choose to undergo a detox program in an addiction treatment facility, which instead involves constant medical supervision and sometimes medication-assisted treatment such as methadone or suboxone.

Withdrawals, although not typically life-threatening, can be very unpleasant and are one of the primary contributors to relapse.

Withdrawal symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Excessive yawning
  • Excessive sweating or chills/shivering
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Tearing up
  • Runny nose and flu-like symptoms
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Generalized body aches in muscles and joints

Getting Help for Fentanyl Addiction

Whether inpatient or outpatient, treatment often consists of individual and group therapies, counseling, and holistic practices such as mindfulness meditation and nutritional education. Patients are taught how to improve their coping skills and management of reactivity to triggers and stressful life events.

Fentanyl addiction is a lifelong condition, and usually requires long-term support from loved ones and peers. Also, aftercare options include twelve-step meetings such as Narcotics anonymous, sponsorship’s, and drug treatment alumni programs that are often beneficial for this reason.

Takeaways: Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid with a high potential for addiction and overdose. Fentanyl dependence is most effectively treated under the supervision of a qualified detox/addiction treatment facility to avoid relapse, as well as prepare patients for reentry into society and future sustainment of a drug-free lifestyle.

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We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.


Amphetamine vs. Methamphetamine

Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Amphetamine and methamphetamine (meth) are both stimulant drugs with similar chemical structures, effects, and health risks. Each drug produces a euphoric high, though meth is more potent and lasts longer than amphetamine. As such, meth has a higher potential for addiction and abuse than amphetamine.

What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamines belong to a class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, which have psychoactive properties.

Amphetamine is produced legally in the United States as a medication indicated to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and, in some cases, obesity.

For individuals with ADHD, amphetamine improves their ability to focus and control impulses. If an individual without ADHD takes amphetamine, it results in an energized, euphoric high.

Some medications that contain amphetamine include the following:

  • Adderall
  • Adzenys
  • Dexedrine
  • Dyanavel
  • Evekeo
  • Mydayis
  • ProCentra
  • Vyvanse
  • Zenzedi

Short-term amphetamine use may result in:

  • Suppressed appetite
  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy and talkativeness
  • Headache
  • Increased libido
  • Hypervigilance
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea
  • Elevated body temperature and blood pressure

Long-term amphetamine use may result in dizziness, fatigue and muscle weakness, skin/complexion problems, difficulty breathing, gastric ulcers, malnourishment, psychomotor tics, impaired coordination, tachycardia, and mental health disorders

Chronic, excessive use of amphetamine can also lead to heart problems, convulsions, coma, and death.

What Is Methamphetamine?

On the street, methamphetamine is more commonly known as “meth,” “crystal” or “crystal meth,” “glass,” or “ice.” Meth has a limited medical use but is primarily produced illicitly and consumed recreationally. Indeed, the only legal, medicinal version of meth is an ADHD medication called Desoxyn.

Short-term effects of meth are like those produced by amphetamine, and may include:

  • Suppressed appetite
  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy and talkativeness
  • Bruxism (excessive jaw clenching and teeth grinding)
  • Headache
  • Profuse sweating
  • Increased body temperature, blood pressure, and libido
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Hostility and paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Twitching

Excessive short-term meth abuse may induce seizures or sudden death.

Long-term meth use may result in anxiety and paranoia, dental degradations, hypertension, cardiac infections, organ damage/failure, heart attack, stroke, and brain damage.

Likewise, long-term meth use can cause an individual to become emotionally dysregulated, violent, suicidal, or even homicidal.

Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine: A Comparison

Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Higher amounts of meth end up in the brain than amphetamine when ingested in comparable doses because meth appreciably crosses the blood-brain barrier, inducing a stronger euphoric reaction.

Indeed, this action makes meth more chemically enticing and is the primary reason why meth is the more potent and addictive of the two. Amphetamine and meth both affect the production and reuptake of a few neurotransmitters in the brain associated with energy levels, executive function, mood regulation, and feelings of reward.

The euphoria induced by both substances is primarily the result of dramatically increased concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Despite both drugs elevating dopamine concentrations, clinical research indicates that, in similar doses, meth produces a greater amount of dopamine. In fact, one study found that meth was as much as five times more potent than amphetamine. This is another reason why meth proves to be more addictive than amphetamine.

Because meth use results in greater stimulation of the CNS, it also creates more stress than amphetamine. However, amphetamine has been shown to stimulate the peripheral nervous system and cardiovascular system more than meth.

Given amphetamine’s comparably lesser potency and potential for addiction, clinicians are much more willing to prescribe amphetamine vs. methamphetamine for ADHD. For ADHD treatment, meth is generally only prescribed when patients don’t respond well to amphetamine-based approaches.

The prescription versions of these substances, particularly amphetamine, are routinely utilized as performance-enhancing drugs due to their energizing and motivating effects. Athletes, students, high-stress professionals, and individuals working long hours, such as nurses or truck drivers, have all been known to abuse these stimulants to get an edge on their competition or ward off fatigue.

Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine | Midwood Addiction Treatment

The pill form for either substance may be swallowed orally, but may also be crushed and snorted, smoked, or dissolved in water then injected intravenously. Meth is most readily available in its illicitly-produced, crystal form, and as such, it is most often smoked through a glass pipe, while amphetamine is most often taken orally as a pill or crushed and snorted.

Both drugs are often used in binge patterns, meaning that large quantities are consumed repeatedly for hours or days. Particularly bad binges may turn into “runs,” in which a person in the throes of a binge continues getting high for several days, taking the drug every couple of hours throughout that time. During a run, an individual may neglect eating or sleeping, and may even begin to “tweak,” which is a state of heightened irritability, anxiety, and paranoia.

Following a binge, a person’s body and brain crash. A crashing individual often becomes very fatigued, anxious, and depressed. Because a crash is so unpleasant, a person may re-engage in the binging cycle to alleviate side effects. Unsurprisingly, binging either drug skyrockets the likelihood of an overdose.

Long-term, chronic abuse of either substance may lead the user into a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia. This psychosis is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and sometimes paranoia, as well as meth’s hallmark symptom tactile hallucinations (feelings of bugs crawling on the skin.)

If a user becomes chemically dependent on either substance, they will experience a variety of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to quit or cut back.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Increased appetite
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Head and body aches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia
  • Hallucinations

Individuals suffering severe withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit amphetamine or meth may require the support of a residential treatment program. A supervised medical detox ensures that the patient is safe and is as comfortable as possible while experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and is effectively prevented from relapsing.

Getting Treatment for Amphetamine or Methamphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Amphetamine and methamphetamine addictions can rapidly destroy a person’s life. As abuse accelerates, a person’s mental and physical health will suffer. Without professional help, these adverse effects could continue to the point of overdose.

Treatment gives a person’s mind and body the opportunity to heal, emotionally and physically. Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications for these types of addictions, but this does not mean that these addictions cannot be treated using a comprehensive, evidence-based approach.

Persons who suffer from an addiction to amphetamines, meth, other drugs, or alcohol should first undergo a medical detox, followed closely by a transition to inpatient rehab treatment. Our center offers behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support, which is providing by caring staff who specialize in the treatment of addiction and mental health conditions.

You can reclaim your life and experience the wellness, happiness, and harmony you deserve! Contact us as soon as possible to find out how we can help you on the road to recovery!

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Tramadol High

Tramadol High | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Tramadol (brand names Ultram, Ultram ER, ConZip, Rybix ODT and Ultracet) is a prescription drug and an opioid-like analgesic, meaning that it treats pain and works on the brain and body much like an opioid. When originally marketed, tramadol was promoted as having a lower potential for abuse than other prescription analgesics, but in recent years, an increasing amount of evidence has suggested that this may not be entirely correct.

And although tramadol is less potent than morphine, when misused, it can produce a high, which means there is also a potential for further abuse and even addiction.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a prescription opioid that can be administered to patients for the treatment of moderate-severe acute pain. As the brand name Ultram, it’s also available in an extended release version so it can also be used by patients suffering from chronic pain who require around-the-clock relief.

Tramadol High | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Tramadol is taken orally, and doctors will often start patients on a low dose treatment plan and increase the dosage if needed. As an opioid analgesic, Tramadol works by reducing activity in the central nervous system and alters the manner in which the brain senses and reacts to pain. Tramadol is different from most other opioids because it also increases levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain.

Common conditions that tramadol is used to treat include back pain, migraines, nerve disorders, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Can Tramadol Be Abused?

As noted, when tramadol was initially introduced, it was lauded as a safer opioid option with lower abuse potential. However, in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration and Ultram’s manufacturer modified the warning label for this medication, informing doctors not to prescribe it to patients who are at risk for addiction, thus implying there was a potential for abuse.

Doctors are also urged not to prescribe tramadol to patients with a history of substance abuse, and it is not recommended for those who are suicidal or take certain other medicines such as sedatives or antidepressants.

Due to concern about the possibility of abuse, the prescribing and usage patterns of tramadol were monitored for several years after it was initially marketed. After three years, rates of abuse were reported as being fewer than two patients per 100,000 – a statistic that suggested that tramadol abuse was not a significant concern.

However, despite early evidence that hinted tramadol was not addictive, many experts remained unconvinced because nearly all known narcotics that activate the µ-opioid (mu-opioid) receptors in the brain had eventually been shown to be addictive.

According to the following statistics, these concerns were not unfounded:

  • In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that two million Americans age 12 or older reported using tramadol for non-medical purposes.
  • In 2010, emergency department visits related to effects of tramadol had risen to nearly 26,000 – more than 2.5 times the number of visits in 2005.

For these reasons, the Drug Enforcement Administration classified tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance in July 2014.

Can a User Experience a Tramadol High?

Tramadol High | Midwood Addiction Treatment

As with any opioid, tramadol use, particularly abuse, can result in a high. There are several ways people seek to intensify the desirable effects of tramadol, such as by chewing versus swallowing, crushing the tablet and smoking, snorting, or injecting the resulting powder, and taking tramadol in higher doses and/or more often than directed.

The effects of tramadol can also be amplified when used in conjunction with another substance such as alcohol, other opioids, or benzodiazepines. When someone uses tramadol along with another psychoactive substance, this combination may result in the intensification of pleasurable feelings, but can also raise the risk of dangerous and even fatal side effects, including slowed respiration and overdose.

When someone abuses/misuses tramadol using any of the aforementioned methods, they are taking the drug into their system more rapidly and at a higher concentration, thus increasing the effects. One of the most popular ways tramadol is abused is by snorting it, a method that enables the drug to enter the bloodstream almost instantaneously. Side effects incurred by snorting tramadol include breathing problems, hallucinations, seizures, cardiac arrest and coma.

For patients who use tramadol precisely as directed, less than 1% will experience a high, and instead, side effects may only include dizziness or nausea. Moreover, under normal circumstances, a tramadol high will not occur, and if a person takes the medication as directed, the chances of experiencing feelings of euphoria are improbable.

Treatment for Tramadol Addiction

Treatment for tramadol abuse or addiction usually begins with a medical detox, a process aimed at helping patients stop using tramadol as safely, comfortably, and quickly as possible.

After detox, patients are urged to undergo long-term inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, which can also help address underlying mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression. Our center employs certified, professional staff who specialize in addiction and deliver evidence-based services such as behavioral therapy and counseling.

Comprehensive, integrated treatment has been shown to be the most effective approach to addiction and provides clients with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve abstinence, avoid relapse, and enjoy long-lasting wellness and sobriety. Please call us as soon as possible – we can help.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Alcohol and Sleep: A Bad Mix

Alcohol and Sleep | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Anyone who consumes alcohol probably knows that it can cause drowsiness. Indeed, as many as 20% of Americans report using alcohol to help them fall asleep. But while alcohol, a depressant, can aid in falling asleep faster, it also contributes to a poorer quality sleep later in the night.

The Role of Sleep

The activities that we engage in before bedtime and can either help or hamper our ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Although scientists do not entirely understand why sleep is so critical to mental and physical health, they do know that it has a direct effect on brain function.

Research has shown there is a direct correlation between diminished memory, cognitive functioning, ability to learn new skills, focus, glucose levels, and endocrine functioning when a person does not receive an adequate amount of quality sleep.

Sleep Health

According to the University of Maryland’s Medical Center, sleep disorders are among the most prevalent problems that affect our society – “We stay up too late and get up too early. We interrupt our sleep with drugs, chemicals, and work, and we overstimulate ourselves with late-night activities such as television.”

The Stages of Sleep

Alcohol and Sleep Health | Midwood Addiction Treatment

A person’s natural sleep pattern occurs in multiple phases throughout the night. The two most significant phases, however, are known as slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM.) SWS, which is the sleep stage in which people spend the most time, is characterized by a deep slumber and the slowing of heart rate and brain waves.

The second primary sleep stage is referred to as rapid eye movement (REM). In this phase, eyelids twitch and the person begins to dream. Heart rate and respiration both increase during REM sleep, which can last anywhere from 10 minutes at the beginning of the sleep pattern to 90 minutes toward the end of a cycle. In sleep experiments, REM stage deprivation has lead to the deaths of animals.

Diseases that are linked to aging can affect a person who is deprived of sleep. Sleep is a critically dynamic time in which the brain reorganizes and the body increases its ability to heal, think, feel, handle stress, maintain a healthy metabolism and heart function, and promote hormone balance and blood cell count.

Eleven Habits That Promote Sleep

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and stimulating substances, especially later in the day

Create an environment favorable to sleep (e.g. quiet and dark)

Follow a pre-sleep routine, such as showering or reading

Sleep when you are tired, but avoid late afternoon naps

If you can’t sleep, don’t watch the clock, get out of bed and do a quiet activity until sleepiness onsets

Allow sunlight into rooms early in the day

Keep a regular sleep and waking routine

Eat the last meal early in the evening and stick to light snacks if you must eat late at night

Hydrate throughout the night if you must, don’t drink too much before bed

Avoid exercise within three hours before bedtime

Check with a physician if you are disturbed at night by snoring, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, or other conditions related to sleep disorders

Drugs, Alcohol and Sleep Disorders

Per the National Center on Sleep Disorder Research, “all psychiatric and substance abuse disorders are associated with sleep disruption”. Occasionally, sleep deprivation can result in the onset of psychiatric disorders or substance abuse, or substance abuse can result in sleep deprivation.

After chronic use of either alcohol or psychoactive drugs, sleep deprivation can continue long after abstinence from substances. Furthermore, some drugs can damage the chemicals that regulate sleep patterns. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine influence sleep states, and many drugs and alcohol impair this mechanism and lead to sleep disturbances and insomnia.

The use of alcohol as a sleep aid may work initially, but later produce sleep disruptions as it interferes with the stages of sleep. Alcohol is also linked to sleep apnea and the narrowing of the upper respiratory passageways, which will cause the person to awaken while gasping for breath.

Also, stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine modify dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is connected to a state of wakefulness, and when someone uses cocaine, SWS and the stages of sleep are reduced. When cocaine effects subside, sleepiness occurs and the person must use more cocaine to stay awake.

Finally, marijuana, opiates and even over-the-counter drugs can all interfere with sleep stages by reducing one or both of the primary sleep phases.

Drug and Alcohol Detox and Addiction Treatment

Detox is the process in which the body is cleansed of toxins and byproducts related to drugs and alcohol. A supervised, medically monitored drug detox is quite often the best option, as a detox from alcohol and certain drugs can be dangerous or compel the person to relapse.

During a clinical detox, physicians who specialize in addiction can help relieve the physical and psychological pain associated with a detox, such as through the administration of non-narcotic medications that mitigate withdrawal symptoms including sleep disorders that develop due to the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Whether the sleep disorder contributed to the addiction or vice versa, substance abuse treatment can help. The underlying cause for the sleep disturbances will be addressed, and through participation in a variety of therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, the patient can learn to manage sleep disturbances without relapsing.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug derived from the coca plant, which grows abundantly in parts of South America. Cocaine works by elevating the concentration of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of euphoria, reward, and well-being. Because this high is so desirable, a cocaine user is at risk of an overdose to maintain it.

Also known on the street as ‘coke’ or ‘blow,’ cocaine resembles a white, talcum-like powder that is either snorted or mixed with water and injected intravenously. Cocaine is often perceived as a drug used by wealthy people, given its steep price.

Nonetheless, cocaine use is pervasive, and, after alcohol, accounts for the second most emergency room visits, eclipsing half a million cases per year.

In recent years, cocaine’s costliness, coupled with the surge in opioid abuse, has caused a decline in cocaine use. However, cocaine overdoses have steadily risen, owing to an increased propensity for drug users to mix cocaine with opioids. Over 7,000 cocaine overdose deaths were reported in 2015, and these numbers are predicted to rise.

A Word On Crack

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Also, there has a been a rise in crack cocaine, a form of cocaine that is usually smoked and is less expensive. Crack is derived from powdered cocaine by diluting it with water and combining another substance, usually baking soda. The mixture is boiled and is formed into a solid, cooled, broken into pieces, and sold as crack.

Crack is found on the streets in a rock-like form that is generally white, cream, tan, or light brown. Crack’s high concentration contributes to its extremely addictive nature. Although relatively rare, it’s possible for a person to become addicted to crack after just a single use.

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

In most cases, symptoms of cocaine overdose are very pronounced versions of the drug’s standard effects. Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system, producing an exhilarating high, and an overdose will amplify effects to a level that the body may not be able to handle. This overstimulation can cause numerous symptoms, including the following:

  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Twitching and tremors
  • Irritability or paranoia
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

The euphoria of cocaine can mask these symptoms, many of which can contribute to permanent damage. Severe cocaine abusers are at extreme risk for heart attacks, strokes, seizures, or even coma.

Cocaine Overdose Signs

If you suspect someone you know is on the verge of an overdose, there are several warning signs to look for, such as the following:

  • Elevated blood pressure and body temperature
  • Talkativeness and hyperactivity
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Excessive teeth grinding or chattering
  • Excessive sweating
  • Respiratory or kidney failure
  • Cerebral hypoxia
  • Cardiac arrest

Cocaine overdoses can devastate the human cardiovascular system. If you notice the aforementioned signs are present following cocaine use, it is critical to seek emergency medical help immediately.

How Much Cocaine is Too Much?

An overdose of cocaine usually transpires either because the user ingests too much in a single dose or because they continually use cocaine to maintain the euphoric high, which lasts less than an hour. The latter cause of overdose is often the most dangerous since the user doesn’t realize how much they’ve consumed until it’s too late.

The exact amount of cocaine required to precipitate an overdose varies depending on several risk factors. For example, if cocaine was taken alongside other substances such as alcohol or heroin, this is a significant factor that could contribute to an overdose, because the depressant effect of such substances can mask cocaine’s stimulant effects. Moreover, combining other stimulant drugs with cocaine only exacerbates cocaine’s adverse effects.

Beyond concurrent substance use, an individual’s body chemistry, tolerance level, and age play a role, as well as the method of administration used and the purity of the cocaine. Mixing cocaine with water then injecting it can produce a fatal reaction from just 20 mg in some cases while snorting the drug nasally usually requires much more.

In Case of Overdose

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms | Midwood Addiction Treatment

If you recognize these warning signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one, call 911 or seek emergency medical care immediately.

Death from cocaine overdose can happen quickly, so time is always of the essence in these situations.

While waiting for emergency help to arrive, there are a few things one can do to help mitigate potentially life-threatening overdose symptoms, including the following:

  • Apply a cold compress to the head and neck to maintain body temperature
  • In case of seizure, clear the area of hard objects or sharp edges upon which the person could injure themselves
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

While there are no medications currently indicated to treat cocaine addiction or withdrawal, it is still a very treatable condition. Frequently, this begins with a clinical detox and is closely followed by a transition to a partial hospitalization, inpatient, or outpatient addiction treatment program.

Our center offers an integrated, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support. Our center employs compassionate medical professionals and certified clinicians who specialize in addiction and provide clients with the skills they so desperately need to recover and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

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!