What Does Adderall do to a Normal Person?

What does Adderall do

 

What Does Adderall Do? 

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication. What does Adderall do and who is it for? Well, first let’s begin by talking about what it is. This medication is an amphetamine. That makes it a controlled substance because there is a potential for addiction. Amphetamines like Adderall work in part by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. One of the neurotransmitters affected is dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine can cause euphoria among other things. This effect is a large part of what makes these medications addictive.

Medications in this class are usually prescribed for ADHD but also sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. It manifests as excessive daytime sleepiness. The stimulant effect can help people with ADHD focus more effectively. It helps people with narcolepsy avoid falling asleep during the daytime. If you are wondering what does Adderall do, the answer is it depends. The effect on neurotransmitters is more or less the same for anyone who takes it. The difference is in how each person responds to that increase in certain chemicals. A person with a naturally low level of those chemicals who takes Adderall as prescribed will notice a decrease in their symptoms.

 

Who Gets Adderall and what does it treat? 

You may also ask, what does Adderall treat? As we mentioned earlier, amphetamines are stimulant medications most often prescribed for Attention Deficit and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a brain condition which makes it difficult for a person to focus and tune out distractions. Amphetamines like Adderall can help counteract some of the symptoms of ADHD. They do this in part by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Primarily dopamine and norepinephrine. That helps increase activity in the part of the brain that handles executive function, like deciding what to focus on and what to prioritize, for example.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain which relay messages in the brain. Different ones attach to different receptors designed just for them. When they attach, the trigger an action in that particular brain cell. Science is still learning about how the brain works. Much remains a mystery. But we do understand a lot about the effects amphetamines create. When a person with a lower than average level of these brain chemicals takes Adderall, it reverses some of the symptoms of their condition. It helps a person with ADHD focus better, for example. When someone with closer to normal levels takes amphetamines or someone takes more than prescribed, they will have a higher than normal level of these neurotransmitters.

 

More About the Effects of Adderall

Adderall is a powerful medication that has potential for abuse. The positive effects at prescribed doses include greater ability to focus, improvement in short-term memory and reduced drowsiness. Adderall or any prescription stimulant taken without a prescription, or more than is prescribed, can have serious negative effects. In considering what does Adderall do, we must also look at side-effects

Some of the negative effects include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anorgasmia (inability to have an orgasm)
  • Impotence

Side Effects Can Be Serious 

These side effects can manifest even in someone who is taking the medication as prescribed, so it is good to be aware of them. Outright abuse, including overdose of Adderall and medications like it can result in much more serious side effects that can be deadly in some cases. You should never assume a drug is somehow “safe” to use in any quantity or conditions simply because it’s prescribed. If you take Adderall and experience any of the side effects listed above or below, talk to your doctor about them as soon as you can. You should know the answer to the question “what does Adderall do” before taking it.  They may be a sign that more serious adverse effects are on the way.

Here are a few of the more serious consequences of Adderall misuse or overdose:

  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Panic attacks
  • Stomach cramps
  • Cardiac arrest

Conclusion 

We hope this article was informative and answered your questions about Adderall. Like any prescription medication, it must be taken according to doctors directions. Since it is a controlled substance, you should be fully aware it has addictive potential. Your doctor should know if you have any history of addiction before prescribing it. Now you should know the answer to the question “what does Adderall do”.  If you or someone you love is misusing Adderall or another amphetamine, Midwood Addiction Treatment can help. Give us a call at (888) MAT-1110 or reach out to us via our contact page here.

Ritalin vs Adderall Side Effects

Adderall vs Ritalin, what is the difference?

Ritalin vs Adderall: What Is The Difference?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become a very common diagnosis over the past several decades. This condition causes patients to have trouble paying attention, or to display impulsive behavior. As of 2011, approximately 11% of children between the ages of 4-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD. There are several treatment options available. Two of the most popular medications on the market are Ritalin and Adderall. Here, we will answer the following commonly asked questions:

  • Why does ADHD need to be treated?
  • How do Adderall and Ritalin work?
  • What are the side effects of Ritalin and Adderall?
  • How can these drugs be misused?
  • How is SUD from Ritalin and Adderall treated?

 

Why Does ADHD Need To Be Treated?

 ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Typically diagnosed in childhood and often continuing into adulthood. The normal energy levels and excitability of young children are not ADHD. Symptoms to look for include:

  • Excessive daydreaming
  • Pattern of forgetfulness
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Taking careless risks for one’s age level
  • Inability to resist temptation
  • Inability to get along well with others

Scientists are still studying what exactly causes ADHD. Current theories point to genetics as a primary cause. Other potential causes could be environmental factors such as lead exposure or smoking/drug use during pregnancy. Other potential causes could be lead paint exposure, brain injury at an early age, or low birth weight. Contrary to popular belief, sugar intake or early use of TV have not been shown to affect ADHD in children.

 

How Do Adderall and Ritalin Work?

 Both Adderall and Ritalin are prescription stimulants. For patients with ADHD, these medications provide a calming effect. This helps the patient focus on tasks. This can be especially important for children, as those with untreated ADHD tend to struggle in school. Studies have shown both medications to be effective in lowering symptoms in children. Both medications are typically taken as a pill by mouth, and can come in various dosage amounts.

 

What Are The Side Effects Of Ritalin And Adderall?

 As stimulants, both Adderall and Ritalin blocks the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps the patient focus. The main difference between the two drugs is that Adderall is an amphetamine based drug.  Ritalin is considered by some as a less potent drug than Adderall. However, it still must be closely supervised. Side effects of both drugs include:

  • Increased agitation
  • Sleep problems
  • Nervousness or jitteriness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood swings

 

How Can These Drugs Be Misused?

 Sadly, both Ritalin and Adderall have become popular drugs to abuse. Some teenagers and young adults begin taking stimulants to stay awake longer. Others may believe (mistakenly) that the increased focus makes them “smarter” on tests or schoolwork. When taken outside of a doctors supervision, though, prescription stimulants can hijack the brain’s normal functions. Over time, the brain will send out distress signals for lack of drug. These distress signals are known as withdrawal. Patients may experience the following symptoms during withdrawal:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Fatigue

Continued misuse of these drugs can cause malnutrition, hostility, paranoia, and severe heart problems. This condition is known as substance use disorder (SUD.) If you or a loved one is living with SUD from prescription stimulants, you should seek treatment.

 

How Is SUD from Ritalin and Adderall Treated?

 Facilities like ours treat SUD from prescription stimulants in two step. First, patients will undergo a medically supervised detox. After that, patients enter our extended treatment program.

 

Detox

In detox, the body is given time and treatment to purge unwanted drugs from the system. A medical team may prescribe medication as needed to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. During a full medical detox, patients have 24 hour medical supervision and support. Outpatient detox is different in that patients may either go home or to a sober living facility in the evening. These facilities offer all of the comforts of home, without access to drugs or alcohol.

 

Treatment

After the detox process the patient usually moves into their regular treatment phase at the partial hospitalization level of care. The patient will continue living at a sober living house, and will spend most of the day in therapy. Trained addiction therapists can help patients identify use triggers and develop coping strategies for sober living. Many programs also offer holistic treatment options, such as meditation, art therapy, or job placement services. Patients may also attend 12 step meetings, as well as family therapy sessions for loved ones.

 

Contact Us

 If you are currently living with SUD from Ritalin or Adderall, contact us today. Addiction is a medical condition, not a moral failure. Our team offers compassionate care and will treat you with the utmost respect. We accept most major insurance plans, and can work with you on payment options.

 

Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

A nurse standing.

Is It Common To Abuse Prescription Drugs?

Perhaps this goes without saying. But commonly abused prescription drugs cause a great deal of pain for people who become addicted. As human beings, we do not like pain. We do most anything we can to avoid it. And why wouldn’t we? Pain hurts! Naturally, we want to avoid it. Our brains can even adapt to motivate us to avoid pain. Prescription drugs can (and do!) offer relief from pain. If they didn’t, then people would not willingly break laws to acquire them.

 

In this blog, Midwood Addiction Treatment sifts through the following ideas:

 

  • The necessity of a prescription
  • Defining prescription drug abuse
  • Drugs most often abused
  • Treating prescription drug abuse
  • Getting help for yourself or someone else

 

The Necessity of A Prescription

Have you ever wondered why you need a prescription in the first place? You have ownership over your own body, after all. You ought to have access to the medication that you need…right? Perhaps that idea works in theory. But in practice it would likely prove disastrous.

 

Chemists develop pharmaceuticals in labs. These substances involve different kinds of molecules, compounds, and other chemicals. Before a pharmaceutical company can sell a new medicine, they must test it. But just because the FDA approves a medicine, that doesn’t mean the public has automatic access to it.

 

You’ve no doubt watched television (or your favorite streaming service) recently. You see the ads for new medications. The announcer always goes over the side effects. Side effects can adversely affect your health. Moreover, some medications react poorly when taken together. This can also harm you. For these reasons, we need prescriptions to help keep us safe. And alive. But the most commonly abused prescription drugs are a certain source of harm for many.

 

Defining Prescription Drug Abuse

Abuse constitutes breaking a boundary. To properly define it, we must understand these boundaries. Consider a person who visits their doctor for a certain problem. The doctor prescribes medication. The person must stick to the directions of their prescription. They ought to take the exact dosage on time. One must never exceed one’s dose. Also, your prescription belongs to you. Never give away or sell a prescription. When the prescription runs out, get it refilled. Take your medicine, and only your medicine. Anything beyond these guidelines becomes abuse.

 

Ways to abuse prescription drugs:

 

  • Taking more than the recommended dose
  • Giving someone else your medication
  • Selling your medication
  • Mixing your medication with alcohol or other drugs
  • Using your prescription recreationally, i.e. to have fun or get high
  • Consuming medication not prescribed to you

 

Drug Most Often Abused

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these categories make up the most commonly abused prescription drugs:

 

 

Opioids

Opioids come from the opium poppy. Historically, ancient societies used the “gum” from the poppy as a painkiller. In our era, we have derived medications from this plant. When reading opioids, you may also come across the word “opiates.” These words do have different meanings. “Opiates” specifically refers to natural substances: opium, codeine, and morphine. “Opioids” includes both natural opioids (“opiates”) and synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioids include drugs like fentanyl, heroin, Demerol, hydrocodone, etc.

 

CNS Depressants

Our brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). Brain impulses travel down the spine. From there, they venture out into the nerves. Then, our bodies respond. For people who struggle with anger, anxiety, or panic, this process happens very quickly. CNS depressants slow this process down. Benzodiazepines represent a frequently abused CNS depressant.

 

Stimulants

Stimulants have the opposite effect of depressants. Rather than slowing things down, stimulants add speed to the brain’s processes. For this reason, “speed” has become a common slang term for stimulants. You may also hear the term “uppers.” Stimulants decrease the appetite and provide energy. This excess energy usually leads to insomnia or other sleep disturbances.

 

Cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine represent common stimulants. However, everyday substances like caffeine, tobacco, and chocolate also belong to this category. We might also include alcohol as a stimulant. Depending on the circumstance, alcohol can also act as a depressant.

 

Treating Prescription Drug Abuse

Science has given us different treatment options for prescription drug abuse. Sometimes that treatment might include changes to one’s medication. Consider opioid use disorder. Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) provides a possible treatment. MOUD can help mitigate cravings.

 

While medication gives us a valuable tool, one cannot merely medicate a problem away. All treatment plans ought to include some form of therapy or counseling. A counselor can give a client an outside perspective. They can offer observations that the client might not see. Then, the client can explore possible remedies to their unique situation.

Getting Help For Yourself Or Someone Else

Perhaps you struggle with addiction to prescription drugs. Or, maybe you care about someone who does.  Reading this article represented something new for you. Navigating to this page means you’ve come to a pivot. And now, you need to take action.

 

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction to prescription drugs, call Midwood Addiction Treatment now. Not ready to talk? No problem. Fill out our contact form instead.

Can You Snort Cyclobenzaprine?

Can you snort cyclobenzaprine?

Can You Snort Cyclobenzaprine?

Can you snort cyclobenzaprine? This is something many people who want greater effects from this drug want to know. It is very harmful to snort Flexeril. Learn more about this drug and its side effects today.

 

Cyclobenzaprine, or Flexeril, is a muscle relaxant medication. Doctors often prescribe it to people who have muscle spasms and pain. Most of the time, doctors also order the patient to attend physical therapy. The combination of these treatments can help to reduce the patient’s pain.

 

Flexeril is a central nervous system depressant. It helps to relieve pain without causing the euphoric sensations that opioids provide. Most people who take this medication feel drowsy. Cyclobenzaprine slows down body functions, as well.

Flexeril Side Effects When Abusing It

What is Flexeril for? This drug is usually not the primary drug choice when people want to relieve pain or get high. However, most people can get a prescription for this medication easier than with opioids or other pain medications. When taking cyclobenzaprine properly, the user can have increased energy, better sleep and better overall quality of life.

 

The problem is many people will abuse cyclobenzaprine. When doing this, many adverse side effects may occur. Some of these side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Odd taste in the mouth
  • Increased weakness

Have you been abusing cyclobenzaprine, whether by taking more of it orally or snorting it? If so, there are treatment programs to help you stop doing this.

Snorting Flexeril is Dangerous

Certain circumstances may cause a person to have adverse side effects when taking Flexeril. The primary cases in which this occurs is when someone snorts Flexeril or uses it in addition to other drugs such as benzodiazepines, opioids or alcohol.

 

Some of the dangerous effects that may occur under these circumstances include:

  • Losing consciousness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Jaundice and liver damage
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Facial/ear swelling or pain
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Nasal septum damage
  • Voice changes
  • Hoarse throat
  • Overdose

It is imperative not to mix Flexeril with other depressant medications. If you have difficulties not doing this, you can contact us for help today.

Cyclobenzaprine Overdose Symptoms

Flexeril won’t usually lead to an overdose or any life-threatening issues when taken correctly. However, there are times when people have pre-existing heart problems or they use this drug with other central nervous system depressants. When doing this, an overdose can occur.

 

Some of the symptoms of overdose with Flexeril include:

  • Flushed, hot, or dry skin
  • Decreased or increased body temperature
  • Restlessness or nervousness
  • Stiff muscles
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Lethargy
  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Death

If you have been abusing cyclobenzaprine, don’t wait for an overdose to occur before you get treatment. The longer you wait to get into treatment, the more likely it will be for you to have an overdose. You can enroll in a treatment program today.

Detox and Treatment for Cyclobenzaprine Abuse

People who use cyclobenzaprine recreationally may experience mild to severe symptoms. These symptoms can range anywhere from tiredness to seizures or even death. While death is very rare with Flexeril abuse, it can happen. It is even more common when someone abuses this drug along with other drugs that depress the central nervous system.

 

If you have been abusing this drug, don’t wait until more severe side effects occur. You can enroll in a detox program right away. The detox program professionals will help get your body to a healthier state, manage your withdrawal symptoms and help you feel better. Once you get through your detox program, you can move on to the next stage of your recovery.

 

The second stage of recovery can be different from one person to the next. Some people who are more dependent on Flexeril or other drugs may need inpatient drug treatment. However, if you have a mild addiction or haven’t used this drug for long, you may only need outpatient treatment. There are programs in between these two that provide varying levels of care.

Get Help for Cyclobenzaprine Addiction

Have you been abusing cyclobenzaprine? Maybe you are starting to wonder if you can snort cyclobenzaprine because taking it orally doesn’t provide the effects you want anymore. Reach out to us today, so we can help you overcome a cyclobenzaprine addiction.

What is Doctor Shopping?

doctor shopping

Have You Heard About Doctor Shopping?

People go into the medical field to help those who suffer. But often, others exploit that desire to help in the form of doctor shopping. Believe it or not, some people go from doctor to doctor looking for something specific. They do not need medical attention. Rather, they are “shopping” to find one or more who will nurture their addiction.

In this article, Midwood Addiction Treatment attends to the following matters:

  • What is doctor shopping?
  • How is doctor shopping different from prescription drug use?
  • Why do people shop for doctors?
  • How does doctor shopping relate to opioid abuse?
  • What if I want more information?

 

What Is Doctor Shopping?

Doctor shopping refers to filling prescriptions from more than one healthcare provider. Or it might look like filling the same prescription at the same provider. A person could fake an illness and then visit a doctor. Next, the doctor writes the person a prescription. The person fills the prescription. After that, they visit a different doctor. Then, the entire process repeats.

 

Granted, one should seek out the best physician to fit ones’ needs. Not every doctor provides a good fit for every person. But doctor shopping to fuel an addiction makes a different matter. If a doctor refuses to fill a prescription for you, they likely have a good reason for doing so.

 

How Is Doctor Shopping Different From Prescription Drug Use?

Doctors intend for prescriptions to help you. You know how visits to the doctor’s office go. You bring a symptom to their attention. They may (or may not) prescribe you medication to help with that symptom. If you do get a prescription, take it per the label directions. Take the exact dosage with the directed frequency. When the prescription runs out, refill it if needed. That constitutes legitimate prescription drug use.

 

Good Doctors Ask Questions

But, a good doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms. Good questions about what else might be contributing to your illness. They might ask you about recent stressors in your life. They might grill you about how you eat, and how often you exercise. If you’re thinking about asking for a specific medication, ask yourself a few things:

 

  • What consequences will I face if I do not have access to this medication?
  • What non-medicinal changes could I make in my life to help with this problem?
  • Why do I want this specific medication?
  • Are my symptoms pointing to a deeper problem that I need to address?
  • What will this medicine add to my life that I don’t have right now?

 

Why Do People Shop For Doctors?

We understand that sometimes people might opt for a different doctor. But when people doctor shop, they do it to access drugs. Prescriptions can provide legitimate medicines for legitimate needs. But some people use this legitimate means for illicit purposes.

 

Often, those abusing opioids will doctor shop. You may know that opioids work as painkillers. Naturally occurring in the poppy plant, opioids have become susceptible to high rates of abuse. Opioid abuse can cause a person to descend into opioid use disorder (OUD). For a person suffering from OUD, doctor shopping appears as a tangible solution to a problem.

 

How Does Doctor Shopping Relate To Opioid Abuse?

This study showed a positive correlation between doctor shopping and opioid abuse. What does that mean in everyday language? People addicted to opioids become more likely to look for a doctor who will cater to their demands. And they exhibit a willingness to travel in order to get their fix.

 

What Consequences Exist For Doctor Shopping?

Tennessee requires prescribers to report patients who drift from place to place. The state considers doctor shopping as a form of fraud. Therefore, the state could severely punish someone convicted of doctor shopping. If convicted, a judge might sentence a person to jail. Such a sentence might incarcerate someone struggling with opioid use disorder. Some forms of MOUD (medication for opioid use disorder) exist in prisons. Unfortunately, less than 1% of jails and prisons provide MOUD.

 

What If I Want More Information?

Perhaps you know someone who struggles with opioid use disorder. Maybe you’ve discovered them shopping for doctors. This person experiences quite a bit of pain. Additionally, they may also endure a mental illness. People with both ailments have become common. Researchers call this comorbidity – when a person has both a substance use disorder and a mental illness.

 

Please know that hope exists for you. It likewise exists for your loved ones. Doctor shopping, and its underlying illnesses, need not be a lifetime practice. You can break these kinds of cycles.

 

If you or someone you know may be doctor shopping to support an addiction, you are welcome to give us a call for advice and guidance. All calls are completely confidential. Midwood Addiction Treatment can help. 

Benzodiazepine Addiction – How It Looks Today

benzodiazepine addiction

Benzodiazepine Addiction Considered

 

Many people have a benzodiazepine addiction. Benzodiazepines are anxiolytics or sedatives. This type of prescription is for panic disorders, anxiety disorders and some other disorders. Some doctors will prescribe benzodiazepines for muscle relaxation and seizures, too. Unfortunately, some people develop an addiction to this medication.

 

How do you know if you have a benzodiazepine addiction? Keep reading to find out more about the signs of benzo dependence and other information regarding this type of addiction.

 

Most Common Signs of Benzo Dependence

 

Many doctors, therapists or other professionals will diagnose someone with benzodiazepine addiction. There is a benzo addiction diagnosis if there is a minimum of 2 out of 11 symptoms within 12 months.

 

The most commonly found signs of benzo dependence include the following:

  • Taking benzodiazepines in a higher dosage or for longer than the doctor prescribes them
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using and recovering from using the drug
  • Experiencing benzo withdrawal symptoms when you aren’t taking the drug
  • Needing more benzodiazepines to achieve the same effects you originally got from the drug
  • Experiencing performance issues at school, work or home because of the medication use

If you struggle with any of these signs of benzo dependence, be sure to ask someone for help. Some programs are available to help people recover from benzodiazepine addiction.

 

Due to the nature of this medication, along with addiction-based chemical properties, some people abuse them. Some people need to take benzodiazepines for a medical condition. However, when a doctor prescribes this medication, they should watch their patient closely. If signs of addiction occur, the doctor should help the patient get resources to overcome their addiction.

 

Psychological and Physical Benzodiazepine Abuse Symptoms

 

You read about the common symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction. There are also psychological and physical symptoms associated with this type of addiction. Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Physical weakness
  • Confusion
  • Lack of motor coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Making poor decisions
  • Poor judgment
  • Not being able to defend oneself
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Worse anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Headaches
  • Memory issues

If you experience any of these psychological or physical signs of benzodiazepine addiction, make the call to a treatment center today. Don’t keep using the medication. Continuing to abuse benzodiazepines could lead to a coma or even death from an overdose.

 

Behavioral Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

 

An addiction to benzodiazepines may come up over time. You may not realize you have an addiction to this drug until more symptoms occur. Substance abuse can be sneaky like that. When you feel the need to use this medication all the time, have cravings for it or experience symptoms related to addiction, it is time to get help.

 

In addition to the symptoms above, you may experience behavioral signs of benzo dependence or addiction. Some of these signs include the following:

  • Withdrawing from your family and friends
  • Not completing your obligations or attending to your responsibilities
  • Fearing that you won’t get the medication anymore
  • Always making sure you have a plan for when to pick up your prescription well ahead of time
  • Ensuring you always have some of the medication on you all the time
  • Stealing, borrowing money, draining your savings or using credit cards to pay for the medication
  • Buying this drug off the streets in addition to getting a prescription from your doctor
  • Continuing to find and use the drug after you no longer have a prescription for it
  • Spending a lot of energy and time obtaining the drug
  • Exhibiting a reduction in maintaining grooming or hygiene
  • Being secretive about what you are doing
  • No longer attending social events so people can’t see you are high
  • Experiencing personality and mood changes
  • Seeing multiple doctors so you can get a prescription for this drug
  • Taking similar OTC medications when you can’t obtain this one
  • Begging other people to give you some of their benzodiazepines
  • Manipulating loved ones into getting a prescription for this drug so you can have it

It is important to remember that not everyone experiences all these symptoms. You might have any number of these symptoms. There may be other things you have going on with this type of addiction, as well.

 

In addition to these symptoms, if you are cooking, injecting or crushing benzodiazepines to get a stronger high, this signifies addiction. You can reach out to an addiction treatment center for help today. In the treatment program, you can get many services to help you overcome benzo dependence and addiction.

Handling an Addiction to Benzodiazepines

 

Do any of the symptoms you read here today ring a bell? Have you been experiencing one or more of these symptoms? If so, you don’t have to struggle with benzodiazepine abuse any longer? You can talk to addiction recovery professionals to get the help you need.

Handling an addiction to this drug can be challenging. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. In addition, everyone’s addiction history, family history and other life factors are different. Individual needs are why we recommend that everyone who needs to stop taking benzodiazepines have professional help. We can get you set up in a detox center. This way, doctors can wean you off benzodiazepines safely.

 

You may not know if you have a benzodiazepine addiction. It is perfectly normal to be unsure. You may have been taking your medication according to the prescription label. However, this does not mean you don’t have an addiction. If you can’t stop using benzodiazepines without withdrawal symptoms, it might be time to get addiction help. With professional help, you can finally stop letting this drug take over your life. You can finally start a recovering lifestyle that suits your needs and wants.

 

Contact us today to start receiving treatment for benzodiazepine addiction.

Chasing The Dragon: Pain Pill Addiction

chasing-the-dragon-pain-pill-addiction

An Introduction To Pain Pill Addiction

Pain pill addiction is a major problem in the United States. Most pain pills are opioids.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70% of the drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2019 were from an opioid. Over the past 20 years, pain pill addiction and overdose deaths seem to increase each year.

As restrictions tightened access to prescription opioids, some people turned to heroin, another opioid, to manage their pain. When synthetic opioids became more available, such as illicitly produced compounds like fentanyl, sometimes people who struggle with pain pill addiction turn to these options because they are more accessible. 

Despite being a major public health problem in the U.S. that affects a significant number of people, there are many misconceptions about pain pill addiction. In this article, learn more about pain pill addiction and its impacts on those that “chase the dragon.”

Types of Pain Pills

Opioid pain pills, sometimes called narcotics, come in a variety of options that doctors may prescribe for severe chronic pain or for short-term use after a surgery or injury. Popular opioid-based pain medications include:

  • Methadose and Dolophine (methadone)
  • Kadian and MS Contin (morphine)
  • Codeine
  • Olynvik (oliceridine) 
  • Hysingla and Zohydro ER (hydrocodone)
  • Fentora and Abstral (fentanyl)
  • Dilaudid and Exalgo (hydromorphone)
  • Demerol (meperidine)
  • OxyContin and Percocet (oxycodone)
  • Naloxone 

How Pain Pill Addiction Occurs

Prescription opioids are strong pain relievers that can offer a tremendous amount of relief in cases of severe pain. The problem arises with tolerance, when you may need to take higher doses of the pain medication more frequently to have the same pain relief. The longer you take opioid medication, the more likely you will experience dependence and will face adverse physical reactions if you stop taking the medication. This is called withdrawal.

People taking legally prescribed opioids are at risk of addiction because of how highly addictive these medications are. These narcotics cause people to feel pleasure when taken, as opposed to pain, by stimulating parts of the brain that release the neurotransmitter dopamine. This process can act as a reward system that encourages you to continue to take the medication. This can make it even more difficult to stop.

This unfortunate cycle can lead someone without a history of substance use or criminal behavior to take illegal actions to get more opioids to manage their pain. In some cases, this causes them to seek other strong opioids like heroin. 

Signs of Pain Pill Addiction

The signs of pill addiction are sometimes not obvious to friends and family members. In some cases, these signs resemble other acute medical conditions that might trouble a loved one. However, as the dependence on these medications and tolerance, more noticeable signs might be obvious.

Some symptoms of pain pill addiction include:

  • Constipation
  • Sleepiness
  • Changes in sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Cravings
  • Confusion
  • Poor coordination
  • Stumbling
  • Euphoria
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Poor hygiene habits
  • Slow breathing
  • Mood swings
  • Poor executive decision making
  • Additional emergency room or doctor visits
  • Doctor shopping
  • Increased pain levels
  • Arrests for theft, possession, or intent to sell

Risk Factors

Any patient prescribed opioid pain pills is at risk of becoming addicted. Some factors may increase the likelihood of addiction. According to the peer-reviewed research publication Anesthesia & Analgesia, patient risk factors include: 

  • History of substance use
  • Family history of substance use disorder
  • Easy access to opioid prescriptions
  • Not knowing about opioids and risks
  • Untreated or undiagnosed psychiatric disorders
  • Social environments that encourage misuse
  • Young age

Long-Term Effects of Pain Pill Addiction

Unfortunately, pain pill addiction can cause long-term effects that are adverse, such as low blood pressure. With opioids, in particular, tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal are serious, long-term consequences that should never be minimized. 

Additionally, overdose and death are concerns with the ongoing use of opioids, even after seeking professional treatment or detox. If you go back to taking the same dose as you did before stopping the medication, your body may not be able to handle the drugs in the same way. This puts you at an increased risk of overdose because you take more than your normal dose and it ends up being too much.

Pill pain addiction can also cause non-medical consequences that can cause even more challenges for everyday living. This includes:

  • Use of other recreational substances
  • Criminal activity
  • Car accidents from being under the influence
  • Difficulty keeping or getting employment
  • Relationship and family challenges
  • Failing out of school
  • Financial losses
  • Homelessness

Statistics

Pain pill addiction can often be a precursor to substance use disorder. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 86% of the people that end up struggling with heroin reported a prior history of taking pain relievers nonmedically. They often access medications through prescriptions or from friends and family. Well-intentioned loved ones can accidentally start a person toward this cycle.

Prescription pill addiction is very common. The American Society of Anesthesiologists reports that nearly 2 million people abused or depended on opioid-based pain relievers in 2014. Most Americans know someone that faces pain pill addiction, whether or not they realize it. If you struggle with pain pill addiction or have a family member that shows the signs, you are not alone. 

Pain pill addiction can have a serious impact on your life and the people around you. It can be difficult to get the pain relief that you need from the original condition that led to your doctor prescribing opioid medication and to stop taking the pain pills on your own. We are here to help using evidence-based methods. Contact Midwood Addiction Treatment to speak with a representative to learn how we can help you along your journey to recovery. We are here to help you through every step of the way.

The Most Common Forms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse

The Most Common Forms of Prescription Drug Abuse

We’ve dealt with a lot of uncertainty over the last year. Mental health suffered and prescription drug abuse elevated. Many still seek gainful employment. If people can’t work, they can’t pay mortgages or rent. COVID-19 presented those struggling with opioid addiction with additional stressors.

We can find a way forward through the pandemic. And we can heal from prescription drug abuse. But before we do, we’ll have to understand what we’re up against.

In this article, you will learn:

● What is drug abuse?
● What is prescription drug abuse?
● What are the most common forms of prescription drug abuse?
● What are the consequences of prescription drug abuse?
● How can a person struggling with prescription drug abuse get help?

What Is Drug Abuse?

In recovery circles, you’ll hear the terms abuse and addiction frequently. While they can be part of the same problem, they have different definitions. Addiction refers to the process of feeling compelled to use a certain substance. And also being unable to stop using it. But abuse means using a substance for something other than its intended purpose. So, you can abuse a substance without becoming addicted to it.

Here are a few examples of abusing substances:

● Consuming a substance because it makes you feel good
● Consuming a substance to escape problems
● Taking too much of a substance
● Mixing a substance with any amount of another substance (i.e. alcohol)
● Using substances that you know are illegal

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Abuse is using a substance for something other than its intended purpose. But what about prescription drugs? Can you abuse your own medications? Yes. Absolutely, you can. Many 2020 overdose statistics indicate that COVID-19 contributed to an astronomical increase in drug overdose deaths. The reason? A rise in the availability of prescription opioids.

Opioids include drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, and morphine. They work as numbing agents for pain. If a person experiences severe pain, as many people have in the last year, that person will seek relief. Is it any wonder so many have turned to opioids to ease their agony?

Prescription drug abuse, like the above opioid example, occurs in a few different ways:

● Taking more than the prescribed dose
● Mixing a prescription with another drug (called polysubstance abuse)
● Taking someone else’s prescription, with or without their knowledge
● Consuming a prescription in a way other than the method prescribed (i.e. snorting, injecting, etc.)
● Selling your own prescriptions, or portions of your prescriptions, to others

What Are The Most Common Forms Of Prescription Drug Abuse?

The three most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids, benzodiazepines, and central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

Opioids

At root, opioids work as painkillers. You may hear the terms opioids and opiates used. Like abuse and addiction, they have some similarities. But they do not mean precisely the same thing. Opioids is a very broad term, including both natural and artificial substances. But the term opiates specifically refers to natural substances.

Some examples of natural opioids (opiates) include codeine, morphine, and heroin. Synthetic opioids are made in labs. These include oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and fentanyl. Though these drugs do have legitimate medical uses, they accounted for about 75 percent of all drug overdose deaths during the pandemic.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines (benzos) help offset insomnia, seizures, and anxiety. Benzos work by stimulating the production of a neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). Our brains produce GABA to help reduce stress and get us to sleep. You may hear the term sedative used when discussing benzos. Benzos can cause intense feelings of relaxation.

Several common benzodiazepines include clonazepam (Klonopin), alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and iorazepam (Ativan). Though benzos can provide help and relief, they do cause physical dependence. Often, this dependence becomes so severe that the medical community coined the term benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

Your brain and your spinal cord comprise your central nervous system (CNS). Any signals from your brain travel through your nerves. Your brain bears numerous responsibilities. It stores your memories, influences your emotions, helps you make decisions, and controls your habits.

CNS depressants work similar to benzodiazepines. They increase the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA, which slows down your brain’s processes. While benzodiazepines have this effect, CNS depressants include other drugs. Sedative hypnotics (sleeping pills) like zolpidem (Ambien) depress the functions of the CNS. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499875/ like phenobarbital (Luminal) also make up part of this group.

What Are The Consequences Of Prescription Drug Abuse?

For prescription drug abuse, consequences abound. First, there are the consequences to one’s physical health. Some side effects of abusing prescription opioids include constipation, nausea, and drowsiness. Opioids can also slow down your breathing. When too little oxygen reaches your brain, you experience hypoxia. And hypoxia can be fatal.

Second, consider the ramifications of benzodiazepine dependence. Quitting cold turkey can be lethal. Anyone wanting to reduce their dependence on benzos should consider tapering.

Abusing prescription drugs places you at risk for addiction. Substance use disorders (SUDS) can aggravate pre-existing mental health issues. Even if you’re taking your own prescription for improved mental health, abusing that drug places your mind (and body) in jeopardy.

How Can A Person Struggling With Prescription Drug Abuse Get Help?

Not everyone’s journey involves addiction. Remember, abuse and addiction have differences. If you’ve taken more than your prescribed dose, that counts as drug abuse. If you’ve taken something not prescribed to you, that also counts as drug abuse.

If you’re struggling with the temptation to abuse prescription drugs, help is available. It will take work. It will involve increasing your awareness of your own life. Your habits. Your processes. It will take sacrifice. But treatment plans exist that can help you live a life free of prescription drug abuse.

Help means admitting that you have a problem. It means contacting Midwood Addiction Treatment now. Once evaluated, you’ll meet with a doctor or therapist. There, you’ll learn about a treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific circumstance.

Don’t wait any longer. Call Midwood Addiction Treatment now at 888-MAT-1110.

Risks of Using Imodium for Opioid Withdrawal

Imodium for Opioid Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

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

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

Imodium Side Effects

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

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

Why Abuse Has Become Prevalent

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

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

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

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

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

Imodium for Opioid Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Signs of Imodium Abuse and Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

Help for Imodium Abuse or Opioid Addiction

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

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

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

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Opioid Addiction Treatment

Dangers of Snorting Suboxone

Snorting Suboxone Dangers | Midwood Addiction Treatment

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

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

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

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

Risks of Suboxone

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

Does Snorting Suboxone Cause a High?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Side Effects of Snorting Suboxone

Snorting Suboxone Dangers | Midwood Addiction Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Snorting Suboxone Cause an Overdose?

Snorting Suboxone Dangers | Midwood Addiction Treatment

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

Signs of an overdose related to Suboxone include the following:

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

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

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

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Alcohol
  • Other opioids
  • Tranquilizers

Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction

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

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

Getting Help for Suboxone Addiction

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

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

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

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Methadone Withdrawal and Detox