How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in Your System?

How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Amphetamines are a class of central nervous system (CNS) stimulants that include amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine. They are commonly prescribed for the treatment of ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, and sometimes obesity. Amphetamines are scheduled as controlled substances in the United States because they are considered to have a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Amphetamines remain in a person’s system for around 2-5 days. Of note, different amphetamines stay in the body for different lengths of time. 

Amphetamine use can be identified by tests using samples of blood, urine, hair, or saliva. Standard tests, such as those involving urine, can detect amphetamines for up to four days, and hair follicle tests can identify amphetamine use for as long as 90 days. 

Specifically, amphetamine and methamphetamine are detectable for up to three days, whereas methylenedioxyamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine are generally only detectable for two days. Ephedrine/pseudoephedrine can be detected for up to five days.

Some over-the-counter and prescription medications may test positive for amphetamines. False positives are also possible among those taking antihistamines, nasal inhalers, cold medicines, and some pharmaceuticals intended to treat depression.

Drug Testing for Amphetamine

Urine Tests

Amphetamines can be identified in a person’s urine for up to 72 hours after ingestion, depending on urine pH and individual differences. Regular amphetamine users may produce positive urine tests for up to four days after the last dose.

Blood Tests

Methamphetamine will remain in plasma for four to six hours. Blood tests can ascertain the difference between amphetamine misuse or appropriate use as prescribed by a doctor.

When used as directed, levels of amphetamine in the blood range from 0.02-0.05 mg/L and, on occasion, up to 0.2 mg/L. Concentrations higher than 0.2 mg/L reveal a sign of amphetamine abuse, and those higher than 2.5 mg/L can lead to a lethal overdose.

Hair Tests

Depending on hair length, amphetamines can be identified for up to 90 days after the last dose. Hair tests are among the most dependable tests for detecting prior use, although they cannot uncover recent or infrequent drug use.

Drugs go from the bloodstream to hair follicles and can be detected about between 7-0 days after ingestion. Hair structure, rate of growth, melanin content, and cosmetic hair treatment may have an effect on the concentration of drugs in hair.

Saliva Tests

Saliva tests can detect amphetamines from 24-48 hours after use. These tests can detect same-day use in some cases, and are administered using a swab or absorbent pad. 

How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Effects of Amphetamines on the Body

Amphetamines activate neurons in the central nervous system and work to increase concentration and alertness. Compared to the short-lived effects of cocaine, which impacts the body in similar way, the effects of amphetamines can last for several hours after ingestion. Additionally, combining amphetamines with alcohol and other drugs intensifies the effects. Furthermore, amphetamines act on the body rapidly after being used.

Effects of Amphetamines

The speed and intensity of amphetamines are closely related to the method of administration. Oral consumption can take up to 20 minutes to have effects, but snorting can result in effects that onset with 5 minutes. Like other drugs, injecting amphetamines can cause effects that are nearly immediate.

Methamphetamine (meth) converts to amphetamine in the body and can cause agitation, delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, and aggression. Abuse of this drug can result in health problems, including heart disease, stroke, convulsions, and severe tooth decay. Misusing amphetamines also can lead to overdose.

Symptoms of amphetamine overdose include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypertension
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hyperthermia
  • Violence
  • Psychosis
  • Increased heart rate
  • Severe agitation

An overdose of amphetamines is not usually fatal, but it can be. Amphetamine abuse is often following by a period in which the person sleeps for an abnormally long time. Abuse can also lead to other symptoms of withdrawal, such as depression and irritability.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

If you are abusing amphetamines, other drugs, or alcohol, we urge you to seek treatment as soon as possible. Failure to pass a drug test at work or for legal reasons can result in unemployment or incarceration. Furthermore, drug abuse can rapidly lead to other adverse consequences, such as family conflict, financial problems, and an array of health complications, up to and including a lethal overdose.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive, individualized treatment programs that include services found to be beneficial for the process of recovery, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and wellness education
  • Art and music therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Aftercare planning

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, please contact us as soon as possible! We are dedicated to helping those who need it most to recover from addiction and reclaim the fulfilling life they deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Adderall Side Effects

Is Lyrica an Opioid?

Is Lyrica an Opioid? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Lyrica (pregabalin) is not an opioid. It is a prescription medication and anticonvulsant that is indicated for the treatment of certain types of nerve pain, generalized anxiety disorder, seizures, and fibromyalgia. Researchers aren’t entirely sure how Lyrica works in the body, except that it appears to calm hyperactive neurons.

Lyrica is a tablet that may be taken by mouth once a day or throughout the day, depending on the type of pain the person experiences and how a physician prescribes it. When abused, side effects are amplified, which can lead to severe medical issues such as abnormal bruising, bleeding, muscle weakness, fever, or edema in the extremities.

Lyrica is classified as a Schedule V drug because some people may experience mild feelings of euphoria when they use it. It also induces feelings of calmness said to be similar to the effects of Valium (diazepam) or alcohol, which may increase the risk of abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Some people may also encounter severe side effects such as depression or suicidal ideations while using Lyrica, so it’s vital that the drug is taken under the direct supervision of a doctor. Although it is only available legally by a prescription, the medicine may be easily garnered elsewhere as a product of drug diversion.

Lyrica Abuse and Addiction

Although Lyrica is an effective, commonly prescribed medication for relieving nerve pain, it can also be habit-forming for some, especially if it is abused or used in conjunction with another psychoactive medication, such as opioids or benzodiazepines.

Lyrica is designed to consumed orally, and the tablets should not be crushed, chewed, snorted, or injected. However, some people do misuse Lyrica in these ways to induce a high or to magnify the effects of another prescription or illicit drug. Additionally, some people may cut Lyrica tablets, crush them, and snort the residual powder.

Other forms of Lyrica misuse may include the following:

  • Taking someone else’s medication
  • Taking Lyrica longer or more frequently than recommended
  • Using Lyrica with alcohol or other drugs to amplify its effects

Side Effects of Lyrica Abuse

Acute side effects of Lyrica abuse may include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired vision
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Memory problems
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Problematic blood pressure changes

Long-term side effects of Lyrica addiction may include the following:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Tolerance
  • Dependence
  • Addiction

Is Lyrica an Opioid? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Signs of Lyrica Abuse and Addiction

If a person is dependent on Lyrica, he or she may encounter some of the following symptoms:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when Lyrica use is discontinued
  • Trying repeatedly to quit usually Lyrica only to be met with failure
  • Using Lyrica in combination with alcohol or other drugs to deal with emotional pain or stressful life circumstances
  • Continuing to take Lyrica despite adverse effects, such as physical side effects, relationship strain, or problems at school or work

People with a history of substance abuse may be more likely to misuse Lyrica for its sedative and feel-good effects. If you believe that you or a loved one are addicted to Lyrica, it’s vital that you seek help as soon as possible.

Lyrica Detox and Withdrawal

If a person abruptly stops taking Lyrica, they may encounter uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Lyrica withdrawal symptoms typically include the following:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Excessive sweating
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Aggressiveness
  • Diarrhea

A medical detox program can assist in relieving many of the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal and provide medical supervision. A detox program can offer clients safe and effective care without the stress of the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Also, withdrawing from Lyrica at a detox center offers a supportive environment for recovery, which reduces the risk of relapse or a medical emergency. Clinicians can also provide recommendations for ongoing treatment after detox, which ensures that long-term treatment is available to address co-occurring disorders and the precise causes of the addictive behavior.

Lyrica Withdrawal Timeline
Lyrica withdrawal symptoms will usually last between 1-2 days, but some withdrawal symptoms may persist for several weeks following discontinuation of Lyrica. The duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms may be more severe for those individuals who have used Lyrica for a long time or who took very large doses. Other factors may also impact the duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms, including the use of other drugs or alcohol, co-occurring mental illness, or individual biology.

Treatment for Lyrica Addiction

Following detox, people who are recovering from Lyrica abuse or addiction are urged to enroll in a rehab program to receive continued treatment. The efficacy of addiction treatment is conditional on adequate treatment duration, and many people need several weeks or months of treatment to achieve positive and long-lasting results. The addiction treatment process is highly customized, and naturally, results will vary depending on the person.

A treatment program for Lyrica addiction, such as those offered by our center, may include the following:

  • Substance abuse education
  • Intensive group support
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Art therapy and music therapy
  • Daily exercise
  • Nutritious, well-balanced meals
  • Structured daily schedules

Is Lyrica an Opioid? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Continued Care Options for Lyrica Addiction

Continued care is crucial for a full recovery from Lyrica abuse or addiction. Fortunately, there are several options that offer continued support for those in recovery. Sober living facilities and aftercare programs both provide unique benefits that can help people achieve long-term sobriety.

Sober Living Programs

Sober living programs provide safe, clean housing for those in recovery. Sober living homes are often gender-specific and offer group housing with shared room and private room options, as well as shared living areas such as a kitchen, dining room, and living room. 

Many high-quality sober living facilities also provide support services to help maintain abstinence from substances and establish a peer support system. Common support services offered for sober living include the following:

  • Regular drug and alcohol testing
  • Personal monitoring
  • Sober coaches
  • Therapeutic services
  • Employment/education assistance
  • Intensive outpatient programs

The cost of a sober living home will vary depending on the services offered, the amenities, the room options, and the location.

Aftercare Programs

Aftercare programs are specifically designed for people who have completed rehab programs and provide a safe, supportive environment where people in recovery can feel accepted, discuss recovery issues, and work to develop better-coping strategies and prevent relapse. Aftercare programs include regular group meetings at an outpatient location. An addiction treatment specialist facilitates each meeting, and discussion is often related to sobriety challenges, successes, and personal growth.

People in recovery are urged to participate in aftercare to undergo extended treatment and additional opportunities to connect with other persons in recovery. Aftercare also provides a way for treatment alumni to check in with their peers and treatment professionals regularly while preserving a sense of accountability in recovery.

Getting Help for Addiction

Overcoming Lyrica addiction is possible with appropriate treatment and aftercare. Contact us today and get more information about our addiction treatment programs and continued care options! Our caring staff are dedicated to ensuring that our clients are given the very best care available, and have the tools they need to recover fully and foster the happy, satisfying lives they deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Lyrica Drug Side Effects

Staying Sober After Treatment Ends

Staying Sober After Treatment Ends | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Getting sober is an accomplishment worthy of celebration, but staying sober long-term is another challenge in and of itself. Some ways to foster continued sobriety after treatment are to set goals, find or design a trigger-free living environment, and return to old hobbies/activities, or create new ones.

Rehab is a supportive, substance-free living environment that promotes feelings of protection and comfort, making it easier for a person struggling with addiction to remain sober. It offers a firm foundation of security, as well as the tools needed to recover and cope with the outside world after leaving treatment.

Moving on from intensive treatment can be overwhelming, and it may also entail new challenges as one continues to learn how to navigate a new, sober lifestyle. Fortunately, by identifying the temptations you may encounter after rehab, you can also learn how to avoid or handle these triggers, which can make it easier to remain sober indefinitely.

Recognizing Triggers

It is critical to be able to identify situations that trigger cravings for substances because they may lead to relapse after treatment. Creating a list of triggers can help you avoid them or cope with them in effective ways. Triggers may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Stressors and life challenges
  • People with whom you’ve used substances with in the past and/or are using now
  • Residences, neighborhoods, workplaces, bars, schools, and other places where you used drugs or alcohol
  • Situations or thoughts and feelings similar to those you experienced when you used substances, such as certain times of day, emotions, social activities, smells, sights, and sounds
  • Visual triggers in the environment, such as ads for alcohol or television shows/movies in which people are drinking or using drugs

How to Handle Temptations After Treatment

The transition from a supportive setting back to normal life can be tough and fraught with challenges. Upon leaving treatment, you may find yourself in triggering situations, or ones that make you have thoughts of returning to old habits. These may include things such as returning to an old neighborhood or haunts, seeing friends or family members, and encountering certain emotions that tempt you to revert to substance use.

During this time, there are several things you can do to avoid or handle these temptations in daily life after treatment, such as the following:

1) Find a reliable support system.

Encircle yourself with sober friends and loved ones, as well as those who will look out for your best interests and want you to be successful. Locate and make use of a peer support group in your area, such as AA or NA, as well as a sponsor or someone you can call when you are faced with temptations to use drugs or alcohol.

2) Consider recovery housing.

Staying Sober | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Recovery housing offers a substance-free environment in a home or residential complex. It can be a great option for those who have completed treatment (or are undergoing outpatient treatment) but need additional support while becoming accustomed to life after rehab. These programs provide supervision, accountability, and peer support. People living in recovery homes may be encouraged or required to attend group support meetings and get help from community groups that offer employment opportunities, health care, legal or financial support, or social services.

3) Modify your environment. 

If you are not going to a sober living facility or are leaving one, before returning home, you should ask someone you trust to remove any paraphernalia related to substances from your residence. Try to avoid places that may induce feelings of interest in using.

4) Set goals for the future. 

When you establish goals for the future, you will have reasons to handle temptations when they appear more effectively. Having a clear sense of why you want to remain sober, and the benefits you will receive, should make staying on track much easier.

5) Keep follow-up appointments. 

If you have scheduled follow-up appointments with a treatment center, doctor, therapist, or counselor, make sure you make these appointments whenever possible. You may feel the temptation to skip them or believe that you can manage on your own. Remember, though, that it’s easier to avoid or handle temptations when you are actively receiving support from mental or medical health providers.

6) Take a moment each day to be thankful.

By being appreciative of the new life we are carving for ourselves, it’s easier to take note of how much for which we have to be thankful. Consider keeping a gratitude journal, where you write each day about thoughts that make you feel happy, grateful, and accomplished.

7) Return to previously enjoyed hobbies or activities or find new ones. 

Replacing old, unhealthy habits with those that are positive is vital during recovery. Sober activities don’t have to be dull—it’s still possible to have fun and feel fulfilled without drugs or alcohol. Here are a few healthy ways that people can use to keep their mind occupied during the transition from intensive treatment:

  • Exercise and sports
  • Meditation
  • Reading
  • Create arts and crafts
  • Paint or draw
  • Go back to school
  • Learn a new language
  • Plant a garden
  • Join a religious/spiritual organization
  • Volunteer

Staying Sober | Midwood Addiction Treatment

8) Actively foster a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In using a holistic approach to your physical and mental health, you ensure that you are at your best during times of stress. Physical activity is important for overall health and includes any type of exercise, as long as it is not more strenuous than you can handle. It also may include alternative practices, such as yoga or tai-chi.

Holistic wellness is also characterized by eating a healthy diet rich in essential nutrients and avoiding high-fat foods that may create internal conditions that contribute to depression and illness. This may also include supplementation with vitamins, minerals, or herbal remedies.

9) Find supportive community outlets.

Regardless of where you live, there are healthy outlets that offer a sense of community and support during life after treatment. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and hold you accountable by joining a support group and participate in meet-up activities.

Or, become more involved in a religious or spiritual organization, or participate in political or ethical endeavors. Whatever you choose, make sure you will be around people who have a higher purpose for themselves than substance abuse.

10) Have a plan in case of relapse. 

As with most other chronic health conditions, relapse after treatment is always a possibility. It can occur early or even years into recovery. In fact, relapse is considered by many addiction professionals to be part of the recovery process. 

Devise a plan that includes a list of the people to contact (e.g., sponsor or family member) and details the steps you should take to get immediate help from addiction treatment professionals. Having a plan in place can help in quickly locating support and getting back into treatment. 

Getting Treatment for Addiction

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and have not already received treatment or have relapsed, contact Midwood Addiction Treatment center today! We offer comprehensive programs in both partial hospitalization and outpatient formats. Our programs feature therapeutic services and activities clinically-proven to be vital for the process of recovery, including psychotherapy, counseling, and group support.

We believe that every person, regardless of their past or life circumstances, is entitled to receive the best care available. We are dedicated to helping clients be successful in recovery and enjoy long-term happiness and wellness!

What Is Kratom Withdrawal Syndrome?

Kratom Withdrawal Syndrome | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is a plant native to Southeast Asia that is also commonly transported into the U.S. for distribution. At low doses, kratom has a stimulant effect and may induce pleasant feelings and energy. At higher doses, it has a sedative effect and can result in sedation.

Although not technically an opioid, kratom does act on opioid receptors, and its use can result in dependence, which is a condition that will cause withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of use. The withdrawal symptoms associated with kratom may be similar to the flu-like symptoms that occur during opioid withdrawal.

Although medical professionals do not generally recommend it, many people report using kratom as a means to get off of heroin or other opioids. Kratom’s ability to act on opioid receptors is what makes it effective for this purpose. However, persons attempting to stop the use of opioids are urged to instead undergo a medical detox and enter a comprehensive treatment program.

At the time of this writing, the Drug Enforcement Administration categorizes the plant kratom as a “drug of concern.” Efforts to classify this drug as a controlled substance have been met with considerable backlash. As such, it is currently legal at a federal level and is commonly found in tablet or powder form.

Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal

According to the DEA, physical kratom withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Jerky movements of arms and legs
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Tremors
  • Chills and sweating
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Darkening of the skin (e.g., the face)
  • Seizures

Mental or emotional symptoms may include:

  • Hostility and aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

In cases of severe dependence, psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions, can occur.

Like opioid withdrawal, symptoms of kratom withdrawal generally starts within 6-12 hours of the last dose, and they peak at about 2-3 days. Most physical symptoms will have subsided after a week, but emotional symptoms can persist for much longer.

The duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms are closely related to the level of abuse and length of time it has been used. Furthermore, other medical or mental health problems may affect the intensity of withdrawal. Polysubstance abuse (concurrent use of other drugs or alcohol) may prolong or worsen the withdrawal process.

Kratom Withdrawal Syndrome | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Detoxing and Weaning Off of Kratom

Many types of addictive substances, such as benzodiazepines, can be slowly tapered off over time to avoid the potentially severe symptoms and cravings that come with abrupt withdrawal. The goal is to gradually rebalance brain chemistry over time instead of jolting it by suddenly removing the drug.

When a drug substance such as kratom is discontinued abruptly after a person has developed a dependence, the brain may experience a rebound effect, in which it tries to restore balance rapidly, resulting in significant withdrawal symptoms. Tapering down the dosage of kratom can mitigate the side effects of withdrawal, as the brain’s chemistry is given a chance to regain its natural balance gradually.

Moreover, instead of stopping kratom “cold turkey,” tapering down the dosage slowly during detox may be preferable. A detox may include the use of medications or supplements to manage withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, as well. If a rapid detox is warranted, persons are generally advised to undergo a professional medical detox rather than attempt to do so on their own.

Advantages of Medical Detox

A medical detox is performed in a clinical environment and may be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. In either case, a person is provided with consistent access to medical and mental health professionals and medications, if needed. In this setting, patients will be safe and comfortable and may experience a significant reduction in the number of, and intensity of, withdrawal symptoms.

Medications commonly administered to treat emotional withdrawal symptoms may include antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Other pharmaceuticals may also be prescribed to treat physical symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

If other substances have also been abused, other medications may be needed to avoid complications or unwanted drug interactions. It is important to indicate to treatment providers if, in addition to kratom, there may be any other substances in your system so that medications used during medical detox are safe and effective.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers individualized, state-of-the-art detox services and programs designed to treat addiction and address all aspects of a person’s health and emotional well-being. All of our programs feature therapies and activities clinically proven to be beneficial during the process of recovery.

If you or someone you love is addicted to kratom, other drugs, or alcohol, contact us today! We are committed to helping as many people as we can break the cycle of addiction and free themselves from the abuse of substances for life!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

How to Get Meth Out of Your System

How to Get Meth Out of Your System | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Medical detox is considered to be the safest, most effective method of treating methamphetamine withdrawal. If a person is a meth user, detox can play a vital role in reducing unpleasant symptoms and preventing relapse while meth is being cleared from the body.

The duration of detox and withdrawal depends on several factors. These include the person’s “method of choice” when administering the drug, such as by smoking or injecting. The duration and intensity of use, as well as individual biological factors, also play a role.

On average, most meth is naturally cleared from the body in about 72 hours. Long-term or particularly heavy meth users may take longer to get it out of their system. Of note, most drug screens don’t detect meth after this time, but those that test using hair follicle samples can identify its presence for up to 90 days.

Meth has a half-life of about 12 hours, meaning that the concentration of a drug in a person’s body will be eliminated by 50% at that time. This also means that the effects will begin to wear off if they have not already.

At-Home Detox Methods

If a meth user is preparing for a drug test or legitimately trying to abstain, they will sometimes try to do this at home. This approach may include various methods as an attempt to expedite the process. These strategies are not clinically proven to help with meth withdrawal, however, and undergoing detox at home is strongly advised against for a number of reasons.

For one, and perhaps most importantly, meth withdrawal symptoms can be severe and highly uncomfortable. Although they are not generally thought to be life-threatening, there is always a risk for unknown adverse complications. Also, the onset of these symptoms often prompts the person to begin using again to reduce the unpleasant effects and feel better.

Secondly, an at-home detox does nothing to prevent a person from using again. Addiction is a chronic disease, and as such, should be addressed through long-term rehab programs that include therapy, counseling, and other means of support. Without professional treatment, people may not learn about the underlying causes of their addiction or develop the healthy coping skills they need to sustain sobriety for a prolonged period.

That said, there are a few ways that people who do opt to detox at home might find helpful. Keep in mind, however, that there is scientific research that shows these methods are consistently safe and effective.

Increasing Fluid Intake

How to Get Meth Out of Your System | Midwood Addiction Treatment

One method is to increase fluid intake, especially water. Drinking an excessive amount of fluids can help to dilute the meth that is in a person’s body and increase urine output and the excretion of toxins. Some who do this also use herbal supplements or kits that claim they can help a person pass a drug test.

There are, of course, a couple of drawbacks to this approach. One, people who interpret drug test results can often identify if the urine has been diluted. This can happen by accident, but it’s usually intentional. In either case, the person will likely be required to come back and re-do the test again. And of course, there is no guarantee that this will actually work.

Two, it is possible to be overhydrated and develop a condition known as hyponatremia, which can be serious. When this occurs, the level of sodium in the bloodstream becomes low, and cells become waterlogged. This can further result in nausea, confusion, irritability, and lethargy. Death is rare but possible.

Eating Fiber or Taking Supplements or Laxatives

Another way a person might try to purge meth from the system is to excrete it through feces rather than, or in addition to, urine. Eating high fiber foods or taking fiber supplements can help facilitate this process. Laxatives could also be used on a short-term basis.

The main disadvantage of this is that the use of laxatives when there isn’t a medical problem constitutes substance abuse. Moreover, their use is not really necessary and interferes with normal bodily processes.

Abuse of laxatives can lead to severe stomach pain or cramping, as well as rectal bleeding and bloody stools. And once again, like dilution, a person who has to take a drug test should not be confident that this method will ensure a negative result.

Excessive Exercise

The theory here is that intense exercise can help for a couple of different reasons. One, it will cause a person to sweat, perhaps profusely, which is another way to get meth and other substances out of a person’s system. Two, excessive exercise such as running or biking can encourage a person to drink more water, which can also help with the purge, as noted above.

As with these other methods, drawbacks include the fact that this may not be enough to pass a drug test if that is the person’s primary goal. Also, a person who is not used to that intensity of exercise could suffer from dehydration if they don’t drink enough water. They could also experience profound fatigue or other health complications that can be caused by putting way too much stress on one’s body.

How to Get Meth Out of Your System | Midwood Addiction Treatment


Niacin is a b-vitamin that can be bought over-the-counter and is thought to help in flushing out bodily toxins. It is also said to benefit the central nervous system and metabolism.

It’s effectiveness at meth excretion notwithstanding, it’s important to know that niacin, especially when used in an excessive amount, is associated with certain unpleasant side effects. These include flushing, itchy rashes, and nausea and vomiting.

Not everyone who uses these methods does so in the hopes of passing a drug test. As noted, some people are legitimately motivated to recover from meth addiction and want as much help as they can in expediting the process. As a professional addiction treatment center, however, we can not stress enough how important it is to seek expert medical care and emotional support during this time.

Why Medical Detox Is Vital

By choosing to undergo medical detox, patients are ensuring their safety and improving their comfort. In an inpatient setting, persons are supervised around-the-clock and can be administered medications to ease many of the worst symptoms of withdrawal.

Complications can be addressed as they arise, and relapse is virtually impossible. In an outpatient environment, the above also applies, except that patients return to their homes rather than remain overnight in a facility.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

After detox, patients are urged to enroll in a comprehensive addiction treatment program, such as those offered by Midwood Addiction Treatment. Services include outpatient detox, psychotherapy, counseling, and much, much more.

Meth addiction is a devastating, lifelong disease, and those who suffer deserve to receive the very best care available. If you are struggling to stop using today, you owe it to yourself to make sure you never go back to using again.

Contact us today if you are ready to reclaim your life, free from the use of meth, other drugs, or alcohol!

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

How to Come Down From Coke Use

How to Come Down From Coke Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

When a person uses cocaine, they will almost instantly experience euphoria, increased feelings of energy, and sometimes even hyperactivity. The effects of cocaine are brief, however, and usually only last about 20 minutes on average. When effects wear off, the person may feel depressed, irritable, fatigued, and generally unwell. This article details the most effective and comfortable way on how to come down from coke use.

What Is Cocaine?

If you’ve come here seeking answers for yourself, you probably don’t need to read long explanations about what cocaine is. If you are here for a loved one, there are a few facts you may need to know.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug derived from the coca plant native to South America. It has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.

It is typically sold on the street in the form of a white powder or as “crack,” which are small rock-shaped pieces. Crack is usually smoked, and powder cocaine powder is most often snorted intranasally.

Crack is more intense and more rapid-acting than cocaine. However, both side effects and withdrawal symptoms remain nearly identical except for factors that are caused by the method of administration (i.e., smoking, snorting, or injecting).

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine’s desired effects are produced because the drug interrupts the reabsorption of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure, reward, and well-being. By blocking these receptors, the brain is inundated with feel-good chemicals that quickly produce a brief but intense euphoric high. After multiple uses, the person can become chemically and psychologically addicted to cocaine.

Also, tolerance to cocaine can develop rapidly, a condition that requires the users to administer increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effect. Dependence, another aspect of addiction, occurs as the user’s brain gradually becomes accustomed to the presence of cocaine. Eventually, the person will become unable to function normally without it. This condition results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to quit or cut back.

When a high subsides, a “crash” or “comedown” occurs that is characterized by mental and physical fatigue and often depression. These feelings commonly lead to more cocaine use to avoid them. Although not life-threatening, the crash and withdrawal period increase the risk of relapse or suicide.

How to Come Down From Coke Use: Assessment

How to Come Down From Coke Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a chronic brain disease that is, fortunately, very treatable using a comprehensive treatment approach. Many patients begin their recovery by undergoing a medical detox, a process in which cocaine and other substances are purged from the system in a safe, supervised, and controlled environment. This process can be conducted by medical professionals and addiction specialists at a specialized detox facility or treatment center.

A comprehensive medical and mental health assessment is essential to determine the best detox and recovery plan for issues related to cocaine abuse or addiction. The process begins with a complete physical, mental, and social evaluation administered by a medical or addiction professional, who will ultimately order the appropriate testing and determine the best course of treatment. A full medical history is required to identify underlying medical or mental health conditions as well as gather information about family history related to these issues.

Co-Occurring Mental Illness

Mental illness and cocaine abuse frequently co-occur, and an estimated 84% of cocaine in the U.S. is used by those who have experienced some type of mental illness within their lifetime. Also, it was found that having a mental health condition increased the likelihood of using cocaine by 27%. Furthermore, a history of mental illness increases the potential cocaine use by 69% over the general population.

For those with a mental health disorder, substance abuse is often a means of self-medication in an attempt to provide temporary relief. Unfortunately, substance use can and often does make mental illness worse, exacerbating symptoms, and conflicting with mental health treatment. 

The Restoration of Physical Balance

The primary goal of detox is physical restabilization. Stimulant drugs increase heart rate, energy, blood pressure, body temperature. They also can suppress appetite and decrease the need for sleep. Cocaine abuse can be particularly damaging to the heart, and also alters chemical functioning in the brain that often takes time to reverse. 

During and following a chemical detox, the body will need to stabilize physically. For example, cocaine use can reduce a person’s appetite and result in dramatic weight loss. For this reason, some people in recovery may need to follow a diet plan that can help restore them to a healthy body weight. 

Physical exercise is a boon during detox, as it releases some of the same natural feel-good chemicals as cocaine and increases strength and stamina. Yoga and meditation have been clinically shown to help reduce stress and increase energy and focus, as well.

Cocaine Withdrawal

How to Come Down From Coke Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Cocaine has a short half-life, which is the time it takes for the drug’s presence in the blood and urine to be reduced by half. It is estimated that cocaine’s half-life in the blood is about 1.5 hours, and once this occurs, users may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.

The duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms are dependent on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Amount of the drug that was regularly used
  • The physical form of the drug and its potency (e.g., crack vs. powdered cocaine)
  • Method of administration (e.g., snorting vs. smoking)
  • Duration of abuse
  • Level of physical dependency
  • Individual physiological factors (e.g., metabolism rate)
  • Concurrent abuse of other drugs or alcohol

Cocaine withdrawal typically occurs in three phases: the crash, withdrawal period, and extinction. During the crash phase, users often require more sleep than usual and also experience an increased appetite. They may also encounter fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and dysphoria during this initial period. For this reason, offering healthy meal options and routine sleep schedules can help to regulate the body.

The middle phase consists of drug cravings, difficulty concentrating, and sometimes prolonged feelings of irritability, depression, and lethargy. Relapse prevention methods and psychotherapy are critical during this phase. Extinction is the last phase, and occasional drug cravings can be managed through therapy, counseling, and support groups.

The Use of Medications

At the time of this writing, there are currently no medications approved for the treatment of cocaine addiction. However, several medications to help with emotional issues may be beneficial during detox, such as antidepressants and other mood stabilizers.

Getting Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Many people who come down from coke use are not regular users and do not necessarily in need of treatment. However, people who use cocaine regularly (e.g., every day) probably have a substance use disorder and should seek professional treatment.

For those who experience co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse and a mental health condition, such as depression, a dual diagnosis treatment plan offers the highest rate of success. Programs, such as those offered by Harmony Recovery Center, use an integrated approach that treats both disorders simultaneously. In doing so, we address all aspects of a person’s well-being to ensure they have the best chance of sustaining long-term abstinence and good mental health.

You can regain your life and enjoy the happiness and wellness you deserve! Please call us as soon as possible to find out how we can help!

What Is Ritalin Withdrawal?

Ritalin Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a prescription central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It is most often prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and, less commonly, for narcolepsy. It can induce effects similar to meth or cocaine when abused and has a high potential for dependence. Discontinuing Ritalin after prolonged use can result in highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which, if left untreated, may lead to relapse.

Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms

Common Ritalin withdrawal effects include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sleep
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Vivid dreams
  • Nightmares
  • Cravings
  • Inability to feel pleasure

Ritalin withdrawal symptoms vary in severity depending on individual factors, such as biology and how long and at what intensity Ritalin was being used or abused.

Ritalin Withdrawal Timeline

Ritalin withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The duration largely depends on the severity of the dependence or addiction. However, the Ritalin withdrawal timeline typically unfolds as follows.

In the first day or two, withdrawal symptoms onset and may include fatigue, nausea, mood swings, and cravings. Over the next few weeks, depression or anxiety may develop. The former user may also experience sleep disturbances and increased appetite. 

By week 4, withdrawal symptoms should be significantly reduced or have stopped altogether. The person in recovery may still struggle with drug cravings after this time, however, and may still be at risk of relapsing.

Ritalin Withdrawal Risks

Ritalin withdrawal is not by any means life-threatening. That said, withdrawal effects can be both physically and emotionally uncomfortable, and users may feel compelled to relapse to relieve these symptoms. People may experience depression and even suicidal thoughts when undergoing withdrawal from Ritalin.

Ritalin Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Causes of Ritalin Withdrawal

Most people who have been prescribed Ritalin for a legitimate medical purpose do not misuse Ritalin. Instead, it is more often abused by students trying to excel academically or athletes seeking to improve performance. It is also abused to help those who work long shifts, such as truck drivers, to help them stay awake and alert for long periods.

The reason for this is because people who use Ritalin without ADHD experience increased energy and concentration. It can also induce euphoria, and some people abuse it solely for the high they experience. Users may binge on Ritalin over the course days or engage in long-term, daily use.

People who misuse Ritalin can develop tolerance, meaning that they will require increasingly higher amounts of the drug to experience the desired effects. This repeated, escalating pattern of use can rapidly result in physical dependence and addictive behaviors.

Treatment for Ritalin Withdrawal

A Ritalin Detox from Ritalin can take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis. A professional detox in a clinical environment, such as a treatment center, reduces the risk of relapse using medical intervention and emotional support. Most often, patients can be administered medications to relieve many of the worst side effects of withdrawal.

Detox is only the beginning of the recovery process, however. People who have developed substance use disorders tend to be the most successful at recovery when they receive long-term treatment in the form of psychotherapy, counseling, and group support.

In addition to detox, common treatments for Ritalin use disorder include the following:

12-Step Programs

Twelve-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous, offer a one-step-at-a-time process of recovery that is bolstered by the support of peers who are coping with similar addictions. While most of these programs focus on giving one’s will over to a higher power, non-12-step programs, which take on a different approach, such as SMART Recovery, are also available.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Treatment for co-occurring disorders addresses the underlying causes of addiction, as well as any existing mental health disorders that may be intertwined with substance abuse. For those persons with ADHD who do end up misusing Ritalin, it is not uncommon for their treatment program to include ADHD behavioral counseling and therapy as well. Therapists are sometimes able to help those in recovery learn how to better manage ADHD without using stimulants like Ritalin.

Therapies used to address an addiction to substances include the following:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)—Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people recognize how their thoughts and feelings contribute to their behaviors. It teaches strategies for coping with cravings and adopting new, healthier habits as an alternative to substance abuse.

Individual Counseling—Individual counseling can help people come to terms with their drug use and also address any co-existing psychological issues that are linked to their addiction.

Group Counseling—As the name implies, group counseling allows people to investigate the psychological and social aspects of their addiction within a supportive group environment. Many addiction professionals regard group therapy as a vital component of the recovery process.

Treatment for Ritalin Withdrawal and Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive programs that address the symptoms of withdrawal and teach people how to navigate through life without the use of drugs or alcohol.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to Ritalin, contact us as soon as possible! Discover how our programs help those who need it most reclaim the healthy and happy lives they deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Combined Drug Intoxication

Hazards of Using the Spice Drug

Spice Drug Hazards | Midwood Addiction Treatment

The Spice drug (also known as K2, among other names) is a psychoactive substance referred to as a synthetic cannabinoid. It is much more powerful and dangerous than marijuana. Spice can cause severe anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and, occasionally, even death. This substance has the potential for addiction and can result in highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the user attempts to quit.

People who use the spice drug can also experience extreme agitation, vivid hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and destructive behaviors. It can also cause a variety of other side effects, including nausea and vomiting and severe organ damage.

What Is the Spice Drug?

Synthetic cannabinoids don’t actually contain marijuana. Instead, they include a wide variety of human-made chemicals designed to simulate the effects of THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.

Synthetic cannabinoids attach to the same brain receptors that THC does. However, as noted, they are much more potent than marijuana, and use can result in profound mental and physical effects.

Spice is usually sprayed or sprinkled onto dried plants or herbs and smoked. Spice looks like marijuana, and can also be found as a liquid that can be vaporized.

Synthetic marijuana is usually sold in colorful pouches or plastic bottles embellished with catchy names. Spice and K2 are two of the first brand names for synthetic marijuana, but hundreds of brand names now exist.

To evade investigation by law enforcement, makers of synthetic marijuana often falsely market their products as incense or potpourri. The packaging often states that the product is not for human consumption.

How Addictive Is the Spice Drug?

Synthetic marijuana is considered to be highly addictive, and those who use it regularly may encounter withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly continue use. Withdrawal symptoms tend to resemble those of marijuana, including depression, anxiety, headaches, and irritability. Those who are addicted to the Spice drug may also experience intense cravings, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, increased blood pressure, and insomnia.

The manner in which synthetic marijuana interacts with brain chemicals likely accounts for why it’s so addictive. Studies have shown that the drug attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain up to 100 times more tightly than THC does.

The addictive potential of synthetic marijuana and the severity of its effects have caused many people to state that it is more closely comparable to crack or meth

Effects of Spice

Spice Drug Hazards | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Adverse reactions to synthetic marijuana are not uncommon. Overdosing on the drug can cause psychosis and irreversible organ damage. Knowing the signs and symptoms of synthetic marijuana abuse may help identify when someone you love is abusing or addicted to this drug. 

Common side effects of synthetic marijuana include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Anxiety and severe agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal ideations/actions
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Bruising and bleeding

Also, reports of overdose and death have transpired each year since Spice first became available. It’s tough to predict the consequences of using this drug because each batch is different, and each individual can experience a unique reaction. Even just a single dose of Spice can be lethal. Combining the drug with alcohol or other drugs is even more hazardous.

Long-Term Effects

Since the drug is relatively new, not much is known about the long-term effects of abusing the Spice drug. However, the drug’s diversity in ingredients poses health risks for those who experiment and take the substance on a regular basis. 

Irreversible brain damage, kidney damage, psychotic events, and hallucinations are some of the likely side effects caused by abusing this drug over a prolonged period. Other side effects that could develop into chronic conditions and health problems for people who use Spice include depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Long-term effects of Spice may also include cardiovascular, neurological, and mental health problems, all of which may be permanent. 

Treatment for Spice Drug Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a comprehensive, research-based approach to the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. Our programs are customized to meet each individual’s needs and goals. We provide the services necessary to ensure that our clients receive all the tools and support they need to recover and experience long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

Our skilled and caring staff are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the most effective treatment available. Treatments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Music therapy
  • Health and wellness education
  • Aftercare planning

If you are prepared to take back your life and free yourself from the shackles of addiction once and for all, contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options! We help those who need it most get on the path to a substance-free life and foster the health and satisfaction they deserve!

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Poisoning | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol during a period of time that is not long enough to safely metabolize it. Without treatment, organs will begin to shut down, and the person may die. Those that recover may also continue to suffer long-term from complications such as brain damage.

Alcohol poisoning is one among the many risks involved with excessive drinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 2,200 deaths due to alcohol poisoning each year in the United States, which equals an average of six fatalities every day.

Of these deaths, more than three-quarters (76%) are between the ages of 35-64, and alcohol use disorder is a factor in nearly one-third (30%) of all fatalities. A binge-pattern of drinking is most often responsible for alcohol poisoning, which is defined as more than 4-5 drinks per occasion for women and men, respectively.

What are the Critical Signs of Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency. If someone exhibits symptoms of alcohol poisoning, please call 911 immediately.

The most common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Confusion
  • Stumbling or falling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Choking
  • Irregular or slow breathing
  • Bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Low body temperature
  • Passing out/fainting
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness

If you are questioning whether a person has alcohol poisoning and needs medical attention, use the CUPS acronym:

  • Cold or clammy, bluish or pale skin
  • Unconscious or unfocused
  • Puking uncontrollably, suddenly, or often
  • Slow or shallow, labored breathing

How the Body Processes Alcohol

Alcoholic Liver Disease

The liver can only process about one serving of alcohol per hour. A typical serving includes 12 ounces of beer (5%), 5 ounces of wine (12%) or 1.5 ounces of liquor (80 proof.)

Consuming one serving of alcohol per hour will increase a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but generally not to any impaired extent. Drinking more than this can raise a BAC to .08%, an amount widely considered to be a level of impairment in which operating a motor vehicle is illegal.

Above a BAC of .08%, significant cognitive and motor impairments can begin to occur, and a BAC over .3 can be life-threatening among those without a fair tolerance for alcohol. A BAC of .4% or higher is considered a fatal amount for about half of all humans.

In some cases, people with an extremely high tolerance have survived BAC levels at .5% and above, but these are rare.

Depending on other individual factors, such as age, gender, weight, and overall health, alcohol poisoning can occur at lower levels of consumption. On average, however, a man weighing 160 pounds will probably experience alcohol poisoning after drinking about 15 shots of liquor in under four hours, whereas a woman at 120 pounds will suffer the same effects after just nine shots in roughly the same period.

How Long Does it Take to Get Alcohol Out of Your System?

Certain tests, such as those that assess blood or breathalyzer can only detect alcohol in a person’s system for up to 24 hours. Saliva and urine tests, however, can identify the presence of alcohol for as many as five days. Hair follicle tests, though rarely used, can reveal alcohol consumption up to 90 days after use.

Over time, the body breaks down alcohol for elimination by using several processes, the main one involving two enzymes, ADH and ALDH. ADH produces a toxic metabolite called acetaldehyde, which is then broken down to another byproduct known as acetate, which is further metabolized to carbon dioxide and water for elimination.

Excessive alcohol use during an insufficient time period for processing results in alcohol continuing to enter the bloodstream even after drinking has stopped. Binging on alcohol can lead to a rise in BAC for up to 40 minutes after the last drink, as the liver is still processing alcohol already consumed.

Alcohol consumption that results in alcohol poisoning will stay in the body for several hours and will continue to wreak havoc on the brain and vital organs during this time.

How to Help a Person Suffering from Alcohol Poisoning

It is critical for the survival of a person experiencing alcohol poisoning to not assume he or she will simply sleep it off. Symptoms will likely worsen, and he or she faces a high risk for vomit inhalation and choking, respiratory suppression or arrest, seizures, coma, and death.

If you are in the position to care for a person who is suffering from alcohol poisoning while waiting for first responders to arrive, you can help him or her in the following ways:

  • Try to keep the person awake if they are conscious.
  • Keep conscious persons in an upright position.
  • Encourage them to drink water to avoid worsening dehydration.
  • Do not let them use more alcohol or other drugs.
  • Position unconscious persons in the recovery position.
  • Stay close to them until emergency personnel arrives.

Actions That DO NOT HELP Recovery From Alcohol Poisoning

Common myths and misconceptions about helping a person sober up include the following:

  • Drinking coffee – this can contribute to further dehydration.
  • Sleeping it off. People who are experiencing alcohol poisoning may go to sleep and never wake up.
  • Walking it off. Forcing someone to walk increases the risk o falls and injuries.
  • Exercising it off. This can actually cause the BAC in people suffering from alcohol poisoning to rise.
  • Taking a cold shower. Alcohol poisoning can cause low body temperature (hypothermia), and cold water can increase this effect and result in shock.
  • Taking medication. Do not give the person anything other than water. Medicines and drugs can adversely interact with alcohol and lead to vomiting, choking, and further poisoning and intoxication.

Treatment for Alcoholism

How Long Does Alcohol Poisoning Last? | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

Experiencing alcohol poisoning is a tell-tale sign that treatment for alcoholism is needed. Problem drinking includes binge drinking, daily drinking, and any level of drinking that negatively affects one’s health, family, social interactions, and quality of life.

Our staff includes addiction specialists and other healthcare personnel trained to enact customized programs that treat the symptoms of addiction and withdrawal and help people embark on the path to recovery.

Treatment using begins with detox, a medically-assisted process in which the patient is supervised 24-7 for several days to ensure that life-threatening complications do not occur and that symptoms of withdrawal are managed.

Long-term treatment then continues in our rehab center, which includes behavioral therapy, individual and group therapy, counseling, support groups, and ongoing aftercare. Ideally, patients should consider intensive treatment for not less than 30 days, either on an inpatient or outpatient basis as prudent.

Behavioral therapy helps alcohol abusers develop healthier coping mechanisms and replace negative thoughts and feelings with more constructive responses.

Medication-assisted treatment can also be very beneficial for reducing cravings, and pharmaceutical drugs such as naltrexone have been shown to help problem drinkers enjoy long-lasting sobriety.

Support groups such as 12-step programs are helpful for maintaining long-term abstinence, and ongoing treatments such as psychiatric services and counseling are also recommended. Also, after discharge from treatment, clients can participate in our aftercare program and alumni activities.

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 contact us soon as possible.

What Is Methanol Poisoning?

What Is Methanol Poisoning? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methanol (wood alcohol, methyl alcohol) is a type of alcohol that is primarily used to produce fuel, antifreeze, and solvents. It is a colorless liquid that is volatile, flammable, and also used to create a number of other chemicals, such as acetic acid.

Unlike ethanol, methanol is toxic for humans to consume. The symptoms of methanol toxicity include a decreased level of consciousness, impaired coordination, vomiting, stomach pain, and a unique smell on the breath. Impaired vision may begin as early as twelve hours following consumption. Long term outcomes may include kidney failure and blindness.

Toxicity and death are possible after consuming just a small amount. Indeed, when ingested, as little as 10 mL of pure methanol is metabolized into formic acid, which can cause irreversible blindness by destroying the optic nerve—and just 15 mL has the potential to be fatal.

Methanol Poisoning

Methanol poisoning is most often due to unintentional or purposeful ingestions, as well as accidental poisonings due to distilling and fermenting errors and alcoholic beverage contamination. It can also occur after the consumption of windshield wiper fluid.

Cases of methanol poisoning may be accidental or done intentionally in an attempt to commit suicide. Less commonly, toxicity may occur inadvertently through skin exposure or breathing in the fumes.

However, most acute cases of methanol toxicity are caused by accidental ingestion. Methanol itself is not particularly toxic to humans, but it is broken down in the body to the metabolites formaldehyde, formic acid, and formate, which are toxic. These hazardous byproducts can cause metabolic acidosis, blindness, cardiovascular problems, and death.

Early treatment increases the likelihood of a good outcome in cases of methanol poisoning. Treatment includes stabilizing the person, followed by the administration of an antidote known as fomepizole.

What Is Methanol Poisoning? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methanol Outbreaks

Outbreaks have occurred related to contamination of what would normally be considered consumable alcohol. This phenomenon is more common in the developing world, but it has happened in developed countries, as well. Those affected are typically adult males. In 2013, more than 1700 cases were documented in the U.S.

In January 2016, the consumption of a mixture of Mountain Dew and methanol (Dewshine) caused the deaths of two Tennessee high school students. The methanol was believed to have come from racing fuel.

In December 2016, at least 75 people in Irkutsk, Russia, fell ill and died after consuming a counterfeit body lotion that primarily consisted of methanol, rather than ethanol as it was labeled. Prior to this event, the body lotion had been used as a low-cost alternative to vodka by the impoverished people in the region. This event occurred despite warnings on bottles that it was not safe for consumption and long-standing problems with alcohol poisoning across Russia.

In February 2019, 100 people in the northern India states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand died by drinking toxic alcohol. Days later, 156 people, mostly tea plantation workers, died in Assam state.

In August 2019 it was announced that authorities in the country of Costa Rica had confiscated thousands of containers of alcohol and also shut down some businesses that serve liquor. This action occurred in response to the more than two dozen deaths related to methanol poisoning that happened tragically over the summer.

The country’s Health Ministry stated that 59 people had been hospitalized in association with tainted alcohol. Of those, 25 died. Although Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination, the Health Ministry noted that nearly everyone who has been affected had been a resident of Costa Rica. Most of the poisonings were reported in the capital San Jose and in Alajuela and included 19 men and six women.

It’s been reported that methanol will sometimes be added to liquor to increase the volume of the drink. Ethanol is sometimes adulterated and made poisonous by the addition of methanol.

NOTE: Alcohol poisoning of any kind is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical assistance. If you suspect that you or someone else is a victim of methanol poisoning, please call 911 immediately.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Those who have consumed methanol either accidentally or intentionally may be suffering from a substance use disorder and should seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive programs in partial hospitalization and outpatient formats. All of our programs are comprised of evidence-based services essential for the process of recovery, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Individual/group counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Health and wellness education
  • Substance abuse education
  • Art and music therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Sober living/housing
  • Aftercare planning

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism and is ready to break free from the chains of addiction, contact us today! Discover how we help those who need it most achieve abstinence and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Alcohol Intoxication