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

What Does Acid Look Like?

What Does Acid Look Like? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

LSD (Acid) can be found on the street as tablets, capsules, blotter paper, and in liquid form. It is a clear or white substance with a mildly bitter taste. Acid is often absorbed into paper (blotter) that is divided into small decorated squares (tabs), with each square consisting of one dose referred to as a “hit.” These tabs may be colorful or have images imprinted on them. They are usually placed on the tongue where they dissolve.

Liquid LSD is clear and is customarily sold in a small tube or flask. It can also be found in flat squares of gelatin. LSD is usually consumed orally, but users may also place liquid drops and gelatin in the eye.

LSD Doses

LSD can induce psychoactive effects at tiny doses of 20 mcg. Because users frequently administer LSD via small pieces of paper, it is difficult to determine what an average dose would be. Compounding this problem is the fact that different people respond to LSD in different ways.

It is essential to understand that using too much LSD can result in feelings of dissociation and isolation. Studies have shown, however, that for most people, 20 micrograms of LSD provides minimal euphoric effects.

Acid Effects and Abuse

Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD or acid, is currently classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This classification indicates that LSD is not considered to have any legitimate medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse.

Acid is a psychedelic hallucinogen that alters perception, sense of time and space, and emotions. There have been documented cases of heavy, prolonged use of acid resulting in adverse side effects such as paranoia and psychosis.

Although LSD is not believed to have the potential for producing chemical dependence, people can become psychologically addicted to the intense effects they experience while “tripping.” Moreover, users can develop both tolerance and emotional reliance on psychedelics like LSD.

LSD is known for inducing intense alterations in consciousness and perception. While tripping on acid, users may encounter a wide variety of effects, including the following:

  • Changes in thought processes
  • Profound emotions
  • New insights and revelations
  • Increase sense of spirituality or connectedness
  • Visual/sensory distortions and hallucinations
  • Synesthesia (e.g., “hearing” colors, “seeing” sounds)

LSD’s effects can last for some time, around 8-10 hours. Peak effects occur at roughly 4-6 hours after ingestion. Common side effects include the following:

  • Delusions
  • Sweating
  • Alienation
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Dissociation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired depth perception
  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks or HPPD

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)

HPPD is a condition in which a person sees odd things that are, in essence, remnants of the past use of hallucinogens. These may include geometric hallucinations, afterimages, flashes of color, and false perceptions of movement. To be considered diagnosable with HPPD, the type of visual phenomena that occurs during an acid trip must include the following three criteria:

1) Spontaneously reappear long after the hallucinogen use has stopped

2) Cause significant distress

3) Not be explainable by any other mental health disorder or medical condition

For many, HPPD is not so much a sudden “flashback” as it is more of a perpetual disturbance in vision.

What Does Acid Look Like? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Acid Tolerance and Overdose

Tolerance to LSD can develop rapidly. If a specific dose is taken each day for three days in a row, little or no reaction will be experienced by the third day. Users who routinely abuse the drug must use doses in increasing potency to achieve the desired effects. This practice is especially dangerous, as when the dosage increases, so does the risk of the user suffering from a “bad trip” and adverse psychological effects.

Experts believe that it is virtually impossible to overdose on LSD to the point of death. However, an “overdose” could entail effects that are extremely dangerous for the person using it and others around him or her. Users may experience lowered inhibitions and engage in risky behaviors. Keep in mind, trips can last for many hours and may lead to self-injury. As a result, the person may also incur social, legal, or other consequences.

LSD is even more dangerous when combined with other drugs, especially anti-depressants. The most severe effects of LSD are likely to happen only after excessive and frequent doses but may have the potential to be life-threatening. These include hyperthermia, suicidal thoughts, and psychosis.

Getting Treatment for Substance Abuse

Although LSD is not addictive on a chemical level, users can become emotionally addicted to the drug’s profound mild-altering effects. As a result, these individuals are at high risk for engaging in dangerous actions, and incurring severe, adverse consequences. If you or someone you love is abusing LSD, help is available.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive, evidence-based programs that feature services vital for the recovery process. Approaches such as psychotherapy help to provide insight into the reasons why people choose to abuse drugs in the first place. Another goal is to help clients develop the coping skills they need to achieve abstinence and prevent relapse long-term.

If you are ready to free yourself from addiction, contact a dedicated treatment specialist to learn about your options today!

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What Are the Different Types of Drugs?

Different Types of Drugs | Midwood Addiction Treatment

There are four main categories of drugs, grouped by their primary effects. These categories include the following:

  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Opioids
  • Hallucinogens

There are also a few substances that don’t fit nicely into the main categories. An example would be MDMA, which is both a stimulant and a hallucinogen.

The Different Types of Drugs

Stimulants

Stimulants are addictive drugs that make people feel more energetic, alert, hyperactive, and talkative. However, they can be dangerous in high doses and result in death in some cases. Repeated use can also induce paranoia and psychosis. Withdrawal and “comedown” symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.

Two of the most common stimulants are cocaine and amphetamines. Cocaine (coke, blow) is an illicit drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It is often found in powder form that is snorted intranasally or rubbed onto the gums. Cocaine can also be processed into a rock-like crystal and smoked, commonly referred to as “crack.”

Amphetamines can be found in legal forms, such as Adderall, a medication used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. For a person with a medical need for Adderall, the drug induces a calming, focusing effect when used as directed. Amphetamines also hold the potential for addiction and are frequently abused for recreational purposes. They can make the average user feel more alert and focused, and result in an accelerated heart rate and feelings of increased energy.

Methamphetamine is mostly found illicitly, but it does have a very limited medical use. It most often takes on the form of a rock-like crystal, also referred to as “crystal meth.” It is usually smoked but can be ingested in other ways. Meth is highly addictive, and the chemicals used to produce it are incredibly toxic and highly flammable.

If used long term, cocaine and amphetamines can result in a variety of health problems and adverse consequences, including heart and respiratory problems.

Someone abusing cocaine or amphetamines will likely appear alert, hyperactive, and talkative. The user might also exhibit a loss of appetite and a reduced need for sleep. Drug paraphernalia may include aluminum foil, baggies, vials, rolled-up dollar bills, and pipes.

Different Types of Drugs | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Depressants (Sedatives)

Depressants decrease activity in the central nervous system (CNS) and can make a person feel relaxed, mellow, and drowsy. They can be very addictive and, in high doses, may result in profound sedation and perilously slow breathing and heart rate.

Common sedatives include alcohol and benzodiazepines. Next to tobacco, alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the U.S., as it is legal for persons to consume over the age of 21. It’s also easily accessible, even for those who are underage.

Alcohol is produced through a process called fermentation and comes several forms, including beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol abuse can result in life-threatening health problems and consequences, including liver disease, falls, and auto accidents.

Like other depressants, Alcohol slows down the CNS. This effect can cause feelings of relaxation, confidence, and reduced inhibitions. It can also produce physical reactions, such as impaired coordination, memory, and a decreased ability to make sound decisions.

Alcohol is also a carcinogen, and chronic use increases the risk of a variety of cancers, including those of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon. Many medical professionals contend that any alcohol consumption can be harmful to one’s health.

Benzodiazepines are sedating drugs prescribed by doctors to treat various conditions, such as anxiety and seizures. Common benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium). They are most often ingested in pill form but can be crushed and snorted.

Those who abuse them may do so without a prescription to self-medicate or feel relaxed and sedated. Benzodiazepines are fast-acting and have the potential for addiction. A regular user can develop a tolerance or a dependence upon benzodiazepines rapidly, even if they are not misusing them.

Side effects of benzodiazepines include drowsiness, confusion, and depression. Signs that someone could be abusing them include adverse changes in mood and behavior. The person may seem tired, lethargic, or disoriented, not unlike being drunk. Slurred speech and impaired coordination may also occur.

Opioids (Painkillers)

Opioids and opiates work on certain neurotransmitters in the CNS to reduce a person’s perception of pain. They can cause euphoria and drowsiness. These drugs are very addictive and dangerous to use in high doses and can cause profound CNS depression and death.

Opioids include prescription medications, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin), as well as illicit fentanyl and heroin. These substances are derived from, or chemically similar to alkaloids found in the opium poppy.

Prescription opioids are typically administered as oral tablets if a physician prescribes them. However, they may also come in liquid form, as a transdermal patch, or in a lozenge. When abused, they can be crushed and snorted, smoked, or dissolved in water and injected into veins.

Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the human body and brain, blocking pain. In addition to providing pain relief, opioids produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation—especially when misused (taking the wrong dosage, using without a prescription). Side effects of opioids can include depression, nausea, confusion, and constipation.

Opioids can also cause tolerance to build rapidly as well as physical dependence. These conditions can drive users to take increasingly higher doses to experience relief and avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Signs that someone could be misusing opioids include changes in mood and behavior. A person who is actively misusing opioids may seem drowsy and disoriented. Heroin use often causes an effect known as being “on the nod.” When this occurs, the user goes in and out of consciousness appears to fall asleep while sitting or standing. Slurred speech and sluggish movements are also common effects.

Drug paraphernalia can include vials, needles, rubber tubing, and burnt spoons. As noted, when someone ingests opioids in high doses, their heart rate and breathing may become severely depressed. They may eventually stop breathing altogether, which, if left untreated, will result in death. Symptoms of overdose may include pinpoint pupils, unconsciousness, and respiratory depression.

Different Types of Drugs | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are substances that are mostly illegal and can produce mind-altering effects and visual and auditory disturbances. A person may feel a sense of depersonalization and detachment from his or her environment. They may also have vivid hallucinations, delusions, an altered perception of space and time, and spiritual experiences.

The use of these drugs can also cause nausea, paranoia, panic, and psychosis. Hallucinogens are not widely considered to be addictive in the chemical sense, but they may be habit-forming. Common hallucinogens include LSD, ketamine, psilocybin mushrooms, and peyote.

Depending on the substance, hallucinogens can be swallowed as a pill, placed on the tongue (e.g., blotter acid) or consumed in a liquid form, such as being brewed in a tea. They can also be snorted, injected, or inhaled. A person using hallucinogens may appear to be experiencing visual disturbances, paranoia, mood disturbances, hallucinations, and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers customized, comprehensive programs that feature services essential to the process of recovery. These services include psychotherapy, counseling, group support, substance abuse education, medication-assisted treatment, aftercare planning, and more.

Contact us today if you or a loved one is ready to break free from the cycle of addiction and reclaim the satisfying life you deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: What Are Opioids?

How Long Does it Take to Get Sober?

How Long Does it Take to Get Sober? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

An average liver can process approximately 1 unit of alcohol per hour. This means that if you drink 12 units, it’ll take you roughly 12 hours to fully sober up. People who start drinking never do so with the express purpose of developing alcoholism. Often, what begins as casual or occasional binge drinking morphs into a dangerous habit over time.

When a person drinks excessively, intoxication occurs. The liver processes only about 1-2 standard drinks per hour. Anything beyond this causes a person’s blood alcohol concentration to rise significantly. Depending on how much a person drinks and other factors, it can take hours for a person to completely sober up.

One standard drink is defined as the following:

  • 12 oz. of beer at about 5% ABV
  • 5 oz. of wine at about 12% ABV
  • One shot of liquor at about 40% ABV (80 proof)

While the length of time a person remains “drunk” varies, the average, moderately-intoxicated person will probably be sober in 6-8 hours. If it takes much longer than this, the person should be (or should have been) hospitalized.

Charts such as the one seen here can help a person gauge what their blood alcohol concentration will be over the next few hours after consuming a certain number of drinks.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Charts

Image via University of California: https://safeparty.ucdavis.edu/watch-your-bac

Alcohol Withdrawal

Binge drinking or long-term drinking can lead to highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. But, a person doesn’t have to be an alcoholic to encounter severe alcohol withdrawal. In fact, if you’ve never experienced it, this can be quite frightening, especially for those who don’t realize how intense these symptoms can be.

The duration of alcohol withdrawal is different for everyone. Nonetheless, according to the National Library of Medicine, this process usually begins within about 8 hours after the last alcoholic drink is consumed, but it may take longer. Acute symptoms, which are the most worrisome, tend to peak within 24-72 hours, then subside for the next few days. Emotional symptoms, however, may persist for much longer.

Determining Factors

Many factors can play a role in the number of hours a person remains intoxicated, as well as how long and intense the withdrawal process will be. These factors include the following:

  • Amount of alcohol consumed
  • Length of time the person has been drinking
  • How frequently the person has been drinking on a regular basis
  • Nutritional considerations
  • Amount of food consumed before or during drinking
  • Weight, age, and sex (male or female)
  • Other substances ingested, such as prescription or illicit drugs
  • Presence of co-occurring physical or mental health conditions

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin within hours of an excessive drinking episode. It is essential to realize that alcohol withdrawal syndrome is potentially life-threatening if not addressed medically.

A person who has been drinking a large amount of alcohol or for a long time (i.e., regularly, every day) will develop a physiological dependence. When this occurs, their brain has become accustomed to the presence of alcohol.

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, meaning that it inhibits the effects of certain chemical messengers in the brain. When alcohol is removed, a rebound effect occurs, not unlike a spring bouncing back. This effects can result in many adverse complications, including anxiety, accelerated heart rate, and even seizures.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may also include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Dangerous dehydration
  • Shakiness
  • Tremors
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

In many ways, these symptoms are the exact opposite of those that a person experiences when intoxicated. Many people enjoy the feelings that alcohol induces, and this can compel them to drink repeatedly and to excess. The discomfort of withdrawal often drives people to drink again to prevent it—a vicious cycle.

How Long Does it Take to Get Sober? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

The Importance of Professional Help

If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it’s critical to seek medical care. If delirium tremens develops, the possibility of death skyrockets.

Detoxing under the supervision of medical professionals ensures a person’s safety, reduces the likelihood of relapse, and increases their comfort. What’s more, medications can be administered to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, and staff will ensure the patient receives adequate nutrition and is well-hydrated.

Note that alcohol detox is not the same thing as a complete, comprehensive rehab program. Therefore, once detox is completed, patients with substance abuse issues are should enroll in further treatment.

Most people who struggle with alcoholism are unable to remain sober long-term. For this reason, extended therapeutic care is usually needed to help those suffering prevent relapse and find healthier ways of dealing with negative emotions and stress.

Get Treatment

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers evidence-based treatment programs that are customized to each individual’s unique needs. In addition to outpatient detox, we offer programs in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient formats.

Our therapeutic services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Substance abuse education
  • Peer support groups
  • Health and wellness
  • Holistic therapies
  • Aftercare planning

Contact us today if you are ready to break free from the chains of addiction for life! We are committed to helping our clients succeed at recovery and reclaim the healthy and happy lives they deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Alcohol Detox Symptoms

Alcohol Intoxication

Alcohol Intoxication | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Alcohol intoxication is a temporary condition caused by consuming alcohol, usually in an attempt to experience euphoria or as a social lubricant. Severe alcohol intoxication is commonly referred to as alcohol poisoning and is potentially life-threatening.

Alcohol intoxication is most commonly the result of ethanol contained in commercial or homemade alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and liquor. However, there are several other types of alcohol that be found in a variety of sources that include methanol, isopropanol, and ethylene glycol. These poisonings are uncommon are not addressed in this article, but more information including individual effects and treatment can be found here.

Alcohol consumed orally is absorbed into the blood through the small intestine and the stomach. Because the body absorbs alcohol faster than the liver can metabolize or eliminate it, blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) continue to rise with consumption and peak between half an hour and ninety minutes thereafter.

Increasing levels of blood alcohol can eventually cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and the characteristic changes in speech and motor skill impairments that are closely associated with drunkenness.

Risk of Alcohol Intoxication

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which is a type of substance that decreases activity in the brain and can reduce the body’s reaction time. The absorption rate of alcohol and risks related to alcohol intoxication depends on a number of factors, including the amount and percentage of alcohol consumed, the period of time in which it was ingested, presence or absence of food in the stomach, and individual factors including tolerance, weight, sex, and other substances in the person’s system.

For example, individuals who do not drink alcohol often tend to get more intoxicated more quickly and more intensely than those who drink alcohol regularly—although this is not always the case. Also, women and younger adults may become drunk more easily than men, due to differences in body size and fat composition and variations in each person’s system’s ability to process alcohol.

Binge drinking is the most common cause of alcohol intoxication and alcohol poisoning and is defined as drinking 4 or 5 units of alcohol in a two-hour time frame for women and men, respectively. In the U.S. one unit of alcohol is considered to be approximately one ounce of liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Intoxication

Early effects of alcohol intoxication may include accelerated heartbeat, feelings of confidence and well-being, facial flushing, and impaired motor coordination.

Symptoms of worsening alcohol intoxication include:

  • Reduced inhibition
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced attentiveness
  • Slurred speech
  • Impulsive movements
  • Sleepiness
  • Stupor
  • Blackouts
  • Loss of consciousness

People with very severe intoxication may also become very cold, dehydrated, and suffer seizures.

Levels of Alcohol Intoxication

Because everyone processes alcohol differently, the amount of alcohol it takes to cause each individual to exhibit the numerous degrees of intoxication also varies. However, the levels of alcohol intoxication can generally be grouped as follows:

Mild Alcohol Intoxication

Alcohol Intoxication | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Symptoms of mild alcohol intoxication, which is typically reflective of a BAC of between .02-.05%, may include talkativeness, feelings of relaxation and sedation, and minor impairments in fine motor coordination.

Moderate Alcohol Intoxication

Moderate alcohol intoxication, which is typically a BAC of between .05-.20%, may include the following symptoms:

  • Poor fine motor coordination
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Clumsy and unsteady gait
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Altered sense perception
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in personality
  • Uncharacteristic behavior
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Memory impairment

Severe Alcohol Intoxication

Symptoms of severe alcohol intoxication are typically associated with a BAC of greater than .20% and may include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Problems speaking
  • Double vision
  • Amnesia
  • Delirium
  • Feeling very cold
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Stupor
  • Coma
  • Death

In people who do not regularly consume alcohol, a level of .40 or above may be lethal—an event better known as alcohol poisoning. People with alcoholism can usually drink more alcohol than others and therefore have higher blood alcohol levels without exhibiting symptoms of intoxication as intensely. Nonetheless, alcohol poisoning can result in sudden death due to respiratory depression and heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

People observing a person at this level of intoxication may notice the following signs:

  • Strong alcoholic breath
  • Vomiting
  • Slow breathing
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Flushing of the face
  • Disorganized speech
  • Incoherence
  • Lack of alertness
  • Semi-consciousness
  • Stupor
  • Unresponsiveness

When to Seek Medical Help

Some complications from alcohol poisoning require immediate emergency medical attention, including breathing problems, uncontrollable vomiting, chest pain, and seizures. If a person becomes semi-conscious or unconscious and is experiencing severe vomiting, it is important to monitor them to minimize the risk of inhalation of vomit. Aspirated vomit can result in death by suffocation, or can cause a bacterial infection in the lungs.

To reduce the risk of vomit being inhaled, place the person on their side, facing slightly downwards, supported by bent limbs. A person in this condition must be closely supervised, and their caregivers should seek emergency medical help for them immediately. Tragically, people who binge often drink rapidly—that is, those who consume very large amounts of alcohol in a brief period risk drinking a lethal amount of alcohol even before signs of intoxication become evident.

Alcohol Intoxication | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Treating Alcohol Intoxication

Treatment of alcohol intoxication primarily involves the administration of fluids and the management of nausea and vomiting. People who are mildly to moderately intoxicated will eventually process the alcohol without significant complications and improve with time. People with severe alcohol intoxication, however, often need medical evaluation or hospitalization to receive fluids intravenously and to manage complications such as seizures or difficulty breathing.

Those in the presence of someone who is drunk should take steps to make sure that they are safe, conscious, and are not vomiting uncontrollably or showing signs of having difficulty breathing. If the person is unresponsive, unconscious, and vomiting or exhibiting signs of respiratory distress, seek medical care immediately, especially if the person’s condition worsens or does not show any improvement in a reasonable amount of time.

Other Serious Complications of Alcohol Intoxication

Hyponatremia (severe sodium imbalance in the body) is a potentially life-threatening condition that may occur in those who vomit uncontrollably and cannot keep down electrolyte fluids or food.

Dysrhythmia is a condition in which the intoxicated person experiences heart arrhythmias after binge drinking.

Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by severe inflammation of the pancreas and can manifest soon after binge drinking. Acute pancreatitis can be deadly and is considered a medical emergency.

A lack of coordination and slowed reaction time increases an intoxicated person’s risk of injury from falls, burns, car accidents, stunts, etc. If a drunk person becomes belligerent and aggressive, which is common, this can lead to heated arguments, fights, and assaults that injure either the intoxicated person or those around him or her. In turn, these drunken actions can lead to legal ramifications.

Treatment for Alcoholism

People who become intoxicated often and find it difficult to control their drinking should seek professional help as soon as possible. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a comprehensive approach to substance abuse that includes therapeutic services vital to the recovery process, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and more.

If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Discover how we help people free themselves from drugs and alcohol once and for all!

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

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

Adderall has a half-life of 9 to 14 hours, which means that, after this time, only about half of the drug remains in the body. Adderall will completely clear from a person’s system in 3 days. However, this can vary based on several factors.

Testing can be conducted using urine, hair, saliva, and blood. Detection times for Adderall varies depending on the source that is analyzed:

  • Urine, Adderall can be detected for up to 4-7 days.
  • Saliva, Adderall can be detected 20 minutes after use and up to 48 hours.
  • Hair, Adderall can be detected about one week after use and up to 90 days.
  • Blood, Adderall can be detected 12-24 hours after use and can be identified for 24 hours.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is an amphetamine and central nervous system stimulant. It is commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition in which people find it difficult to focus on a single task and may act impulsively. Individuals with ADHD use the medication daily on a fixed therapeutic regimen, and it induces a calming effect, allowing them to concentrate on tasks at hand.

Because it is a stimulant such as meth or cocaine, Adderall boosts dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward and attention. When stimulants are introduced into the body, they increase the amount of dopamine, but they also impair the body’s ability to make its own dopamine after extended use and can cause many side effects.

How Is Adderall Misused?

Like many psychoactive drugs, Adderall can be misused and become addictive. When used in a way other than as directed, Adderall can rapidly increase the amount of dopamine in the brain and produce feelings of euphoria. To continue achieving this effect, the amount of medication used must be increased over time as the brain adjusts to the drug’s presence and reduces its response accordingly (tolerance). This effect can initiate a cycle of abusing Adderall that eventually results in full-blown physiological dependence.

Factors that Influence How Long Adderall Stays in Your System

  • Body Composition

Body composition can influence the length of time it takes for a person’s body to eliminate Adderall. Height, weight, body fat percentage and muscle mass all play a part in this timeline. Surprisingly, a person with low muscle mass and high body fat will probably clear Adderall faster than someone with high muscle mass and less fat, because having more muscle means an individual has more water in their body. Because the ingredients of Adderall are hydrophilic (having a tendency to mix with or dissolve in water) this allows it to circulate in the body for a longer period.

  •  pH Levels

The pH levels in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts may influence how long Adderall remains in the system. If a person has a high pH level, the kidneys will take longer to process Adderall. Those will a lower pH level are likely to eliminate the drug more rapidly because the drug is able to remain in a hydrophilic state. These levels may be affected by the consumption of food and drinks.

  • Food Intake

Food consumption can affect how rapidly the body is able to eliminate Adderall. When food is in the system, the body will be working to breakdown the food as well as the medication, meaning it may take longer to complete both processes.

  • Organ Function

Organs such as the liver and kidneys play a vital role in ridding the body of many potentially toxic substances, including Adderall. When an organ does not function optimally, these metabolic processes are slowed. If kidney function or liver function is not normal, the drug may stay in the system longer than it should—or even be recirculated.

  • Dosage Amount

The drug dosage can also significantly affect how long it takes to clear the system. The more Adderall someone has consumed, the longer it will take for the body to eliminate it since there is more of the drug in the system to metabolize.

  • Frequency of Use

The bodies of those who have been using Adderall regularly for an extended period will probably take longer to clear it in comparison to persons who have only used the drug occasionally. When the drug is used daily, it can accumulate in the body, and, in turn, it will take the body longer to break down all of the drugs in the system.

Treatment for Adderall Abuse

The longer a person has been misusing Adderall, the more intense an addiction can become. Withdrawal symptoms that manifest shortly after discontinuing can make it very difficult for users to quit on their own.

Fortunately, Adderall abuse and addiction is very treatable, and there are many effective options available. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a comprehensive approach to substance abuse that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and much more.

If you need help overcoming an addiction to Adderall, please contact us as soon as possible. Discover how we can help you free yourself from the chains of addiction and recover for life!

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
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.

888-MAT-1110
⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Adderall Side Effects

What Is Carfentanil?

What Is Carfentanil? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What Is Carfentanil? – Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid comparable in effect to heroin, but it is, incredibly, up to 5,000 times more powerful. It is an analog of fentanyl, another potent painkiller used to treat severe pain and in hospital settings for general anesthesia.

Unlike fentanyl, however, carfentanil is not approved for use in humans. In fact, it is only commercially used to sedate very large animals, such as elephants.

Carfentanil was developed in the 1970s by scientists at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. It is currently classified as a Schedule II substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Carfentanil is so powerful that those who handle it are required to wear protective clothing to avoid incidental skin contact. Indeed, human exposure to even a minuscule amount can easily prove fatal. Carfentanil has been related to hundreds of overdose deaths in the U.S. in recent years, due to dealers combining it with heroin and other drugs.

Of note, it is possible for a person to build a tolerance to opioids high enough to sustain the use of carfentanil. However, most who ingest it are unaware that this lethal substance has been mixed with or substituted for their drug of choice. The presence of carfentanil in illicit street drugs such as heroin and cocaine is an increasingly worrisome problem.

Side Effects of Carfentanil

Due to its potency, the most common and tragic effect of carfentanil use is death. Those who use carfentanil and do not die will encounter effects similar to those associated with heroin or fentanyl.

Besides a brief euphoric high and sedation, side effects of carfentanil may include the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impaired memory
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Depressed respiration
Street Names for Carfentanil
  • Apache
  • China White
  • China Girl
  • Drop Dead
  • Gray Death
  • Goodfella
  • Serial Killer
  • Tango and Cash
  • TNT

Carfentanil Addiction

What Is Carfentanil? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Carfentanil has a high potential for addiction when used. Addiction is hallmarked by tolerance and dependence, two conditions that develop over time with abuse.

Tolerance occurs because, with regular abuse, the brain stops responding as intensely at it once did—repeated exposure = diminished response. As a result of this reduction in effects, users are forced to consume an increasing amount of the substance to achieve the desired experience. For this reason, those who develop a high tolerance are also at a much greater risk of overdose and death.

Dependence occurs when the brain becomes used to the presence of a drug. When this happens, it can no longer function normally without it, and highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms onset when the person tries to quit. These withdrawal symptoms are not usually deadly, but in the most extreme cases, they can be.

Addiction also leads to many adverse behaviors that reflect its true nature. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences
  • Stealing or borrowing money to support one’s habit
  • Neglect of important obligations associated with work, school, or family
  • Engaging in drug-related criminal activity and encountering legal issues as a result
  • Financial problems
  • Family conflict and interpersonal problems

Overdose

A carfentanil overdose can only be effectively treated with Narcan (naloxone). This remedy is an opioid antagonist that reverses the drug’s effects and halts life-threatening central nervous system depression.

Signs of an overdose may include the following:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Shallow or stopped breathing
  • Slow, erratic, or absent pulse
  • Pale or bluish skin and nails
  • Snore-like gurgling noise
  • Vomiting
  • Limpness
  • Clammy or cold skin

Treatment for Carfentanil Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers professional, evidence-based services for substance use disorders. Treatment for carfentanil abuse usually begins with a medically-supervised detox. During this process, the patient is monitored for several days to ensure his or her safety. Medications, such as Suboxone, can be administered to minimize withdrawal symptoms and ease drug cravings.

After completing detox, patients are encouraged to enroll in a comprehensive treatment program. During this time, they will receive corrective interventions, such as psychotherapy and counseling. Treatment also usually includes 12-step group meetings and holistic practices, such as yoga and meditation.

Many individuals begin treatment in our partial hospitalization program, then proceed to intensive outpatient treatment. Some reside at their private residence, and others choose to live at sober living homes while they visit our center several times a week to continue recovery.

After discharge, aftercare coordinators help the patient find other resources, such as counselors, psychiatrists, and group support programs.

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
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.

888-MAT-1110
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What Are Opioids?

What Are Opioids?

What are Opioids? Why are They So Dangerous? Opioids are synthetic drugs designed to replicate the effects of natural opiates (i.e., opium and morphine) from which they are partially derived. They are indicated to treat moderate-severe acute pain, such as after injuries and surgeries.

Types of Opioids
Opioids are commonly prescribed legally by health care providers and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • codeine
  • fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, etc.)
  • hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER)
  • hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Norco, Vicodin)
  • hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • meperidine (Demerol)
  • methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  • morphine (MS Contin, Morphabond)
  • oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet)

How Opioids Work?

Opioids are chemicals that contribute to pain relief by attaching themselves to corresponding receptors in the brain cells of animals. Once bonded, the cells transmit signals that stifle feelings of pain and increase feelings of well-being.

However, opioids alter one’s perception of pain more than they actually numb or block it. This effect can lead to increased sensitivity to pain, also known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia.

Other possible side effects and dangers of opioid abuse include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Heavy sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Skin rash

Tolerance, Dependency, and Addiction

What are Opioids? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Opioids have a high potential for misuse, dependency, and overdose. Their psychoactive properties impact a number of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine that produce euphoria and feelings of reward.

Signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Continued opioid use despite unwanted physical and psychological effects.
  • Lack of interest or enjoyment in activities once considered important.
  • The use of opioids in dangerous or inappropriate settings.
  • Negative changes or problems in other areas of life such as work, school, relationships, and financial status.
  • General malaise, lethargy, or sedation.

When used long-term (more than a few days) opioids can become addictive. Addiction is fueled by dependency (withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation) and tolerance (increasing amounts of the drugs are needed to achieve the same effect.)

Dependency decreases one’s desire to quit or cut down, due to the unpleasant effects of withdrawal. The onset of withdrawal symptoms is a tell-tale sign that the user’s system has become compomised and less capable of functionally properly without the drug’s presence. These mental and physical symptoms often persist for several days after the user’s last dose.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal may include but are not limited to the following:
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Appetite changes
  • Tremors
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Chills and shivering
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Fever
On the other hand, tolerance drives users to take higher doses, which can lead to potentially life-threatening central nervous system (CNS) depression, a condition characterized by slowed breathing and heart rate.

Also, when combined with the use of alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other CNS depressants, an opioid’s impact is exponentially greater than when used alone. The effects of other substances can be enhanced as well, meaning the risk of overdose and death is significantly higher.

Opioids and Overdose

Opioid misuse, especially in combination with other drugs or alcohol, can lead to life-threatening central nervous depression, overdose, and death.

Symptoms of an opioid overdose include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Restricted pupils
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pale, blue lips and nails
  • Limp body
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Respiratory distress
  • Seizures
  • Extremely slow heart rate
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma and death

From Detox to Addiction Treatment and Beyond

Despite the dangers of opioid addiction, may who misuse prescription painkillers such as oxycodone downplay the seriousness of their condition. Refusal to seek help can result in chronic, life-threatening effects. Conversely, receiving treatment at any stage of addiction is absolutely crucial to long-term sobriety.

Detox

Treatment for opioid use disorder starts with our medical detox program, a process in which health care providers monitor patients around the clock and administer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as needed to lessen cravings and mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. MAT is a therapy that makes use of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of opioid use disorders, such as methadone and suboxone.

Upon discharge, most patients seek admission to one of our treatment programs, which include both inpatient and intensive outpatient therapy (IOP).

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Persons who choose inpatient treatment stay reside in our center 24/7, ideally for 30 days or longer. Those who require more freedom due to school, work, or family responsibilities can opt for IOP treatment, a program that requires the attendance of several scheduled sessions per week while the patient lives independently outside of the center.

Why Seek Our Help?

Opioid use disorder is extremely hazardous and even life-threating. It is an incurable disease that is best treated through ongoing therapy, counseling, and support. Those who receive treatment are given the opportunity to regain control of their addiction and well-being while enjoying long-term sobriety – hopefully for the rest of their lives.

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
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.

888-MAT-1110

Signs of Meth Use

Signs of Meth Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methamphetamine (meth) is an illicit stimulant similar to amphetamine, a prescription drug used to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and narcolepsy. Meth is typically more potent than other amphetamines, however, and is only rarely used (i.e. Desoxyn) for any legitimate medical purpose.

Meth is usually obtained illegally – “cooked” at home, or bought from a dealer. On the street, meth is also known as crystal, glass, ice, and crank, among other names. It generally appears as a crystal/rock-like substance that is clear, semi-transparent, or bluish in color, but occasionally can be found in a powdered or tablet form.

Signs of Meth Use

1. Changes in Lifestyle

Meth abusers are often secretive and try to disguise their use. However, over time, it will become increasingly difficult to hide their habit, as they continue to spend an escalating amount of time and money obtaining and using the drug.

As meth use becomes more central in a user’s life as a priority, they will often fail to live up to obligations at work, school, and home. For example, expenses surrounding drug making and/or using may cause financial difficulties, and binges are often followed by long periods of inactivity in which child-rearing and other critical responsibilities are neglected.

2. Mood Swings and Mental Health Changes

Like other psychoactive substances, meth use causes the brain to release massive amounts of dopamine. Over time, the brain becomes less able to produce dopamine on its own terms (without meth.) This effect can leave the user with depression, anxiety, and other adverse feelings during periods of abstinence.

Long-term meth use can also lead to paranoia, delusions, and even psychosis. Users may suffer from irrational fears and adverse mental/emotional effects that persist long after meth use has ended. Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are common among chronic meth abusers when they try to quit or cut back.

3. Behavioral Changes

Because meth is a powerful CNS stimulant, increased activity in the brain and body results in feelings of euphoria and high energy. Users are often extraordinarily talkative and hyperactive and may engage in obsessive and repetitive activities such as cleaning.

Meth users can also experience tactile sensations that cause itching or the feeling of bugs crawling on their skin, leading to compulsive scratching and tell-tale sores from pruritis.

Finally, long-term use typically results in appetite suppression, and thus profound weight loss. Over time, users begin to look malnourished and gaunt from poor eating and sleeping habits.

4. Physical Signs

In addition to itching, non-healing sores, weight loss and a generally run-down appearance, long-term meth users also experience “meth mouth” – a loss of tooth enamel due to poor hygiene and dry mouth, which leads to tooth decay.

The method of use can also affect a meth user’s physical symptoms. For example, people who smoke meth face a higher risk of bronchitis, pneumonia, and other infections, and may suffer from coughing and congestion. And snorting meth, like cocaine, can lead to frequent nosebleeds and permanent damage to the nasal septum and surround tissues.

Finally, injecting meth, not unlike heroin, can lead to open wounds and sores on the skin (track marks) as well as vein damage.

5. Meth Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia for using meth may include any of the following items:

  • Razor, mirror, rolled paper, hollow tube for snorting
  • Glass or metal pipe, bong, foil, light bulb with a hollow tube attached for smoking
  • Spoon, lighter, syringe, surgical tubing for injection

Signs of a Meth Lab

Not all meth users, by any means, cook their own meth. However, the following includes signs that may indicate someone you know is operating a meth lab:

  • Extensive or threatening home security measures such as “Beware of Dog” or “Private Property” signs, fences, or over-the-top alarm systems, etc.
  • Concealment features such as blackened windows, drawn curtains, high fences, etc.
  • Chemical smells are detectable around the home, garage, or yard
  • Garbage contains a number of suspicious bottles, containers, coffee filters, or sheets stained from filtering chemicals
  • Evidence of dumping chemical waste such as burn pits

Treatment For Meth Addiction

Signs of Meth Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
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.

888-MAT-1110
⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Crystal Meth Effects