Arizona Addiction Recovery Center https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:40:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/cropped-aarc-icon-32x32.png Arizona Addiction Recovery Center https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org 32 32 Sublocade: New Opioid Treatment https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/sublocade-new-opioid-treatment/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:37:50 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15352 One of the most commonly abused drugs is opioids. Using opioids, even if it’s a one-time thing, can still be incredibly addictive. Even worse, it can lead to an overdose or death if you are not careful when using it. If you are already using opioids, then you need to stop before you cause some serious damage. In this article, we will break down what an opioid is, its effects, and how you can identify if you are addicted to and how the drug Sublocade can help.

What is an Opioid?

An opioid is a type of medication that is used to help relieve pain. This works by decreasing the number of pain signals that your brain sends as well as changing the way the brain responds to this pain. It is often prescribed by doctors to help patients be relieved from procedures, surgeries, injuries, and chronic conditions that cause pain to a person (cancer). In some cases, an opioid can be an active ingredient in cough medicines which is why there are people who get high just by taking too much of it.

Generally, opioids are harmless and safe when used correctly. Again, only when they’re used correctly! However, those patients who do not follow instructions given by their doctors and misuse the medication tend to become addicts. In short, the addiction is the result of taking the drug illegally or against prescription.

Symptoms of an Opioid Addiction

An addict does not realize they have an addiction until things get ugly. You know you are addicted to these drugs once the signs and symptoms come out. It could behavioral, psychological or physical symptoms but you know you are addicted to opioids when you simply cannot stop using. You could also have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Drowsiness, even when you are fully awake
  • Poor body coordination
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slow breathing rate than normal
  • Poor decision making
  • Constipation is present
  • Easily agitated
  • Slurred speech
  • Little or no motivation to do things
  • Mood swings
  • Abandoning of responsibilities
  • Depression
  • Irritability

If you or any individual exhibits these signs/symptoms, seeing a doctor right away is highly recommended. Once diagnosed, you can then proceed to proper treatment for the addiction.

What is Sublocade?

One medication that has been used for treating opioid addiction is Sublocade, but what is it? How can it treat addiction?

Sublocade, or buprenorphine, is an opioid medication that is known as a narcotic. It is used to treat people, especially adults with moderate to severe opioid use disorder but is not used to treat any pain. It works by preventing cravings and patients may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

It is also a controlled substance which means you cannot buy this over the counter. For first time use, patients must take buprenorphine. This is taken under the tongue or sides of your cheeks. This medication is a partial opioid agonist that helps in controlling the withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms could last for at least seven days and once it settles down, your physician will then prescribe you Sublocade. Sublocade is given via subcutaneous injections and this is done by a health care provider once a month. Counseling and support groups are also a part of your treatment therapy.

Does Sublocade Work?

According to studies, yes, Sublocade does work. It has been found to be effective at reducing the patient’s opioid use. In a study that was done in 24 weeks, 30% of the people with opioid addiction who took Sublocade along with counseling did not use opioids for the last 80% of the study conducted.

It is also under the controlled substance abuse list, in fact, Sublocade Schedule III controlled substance abuse. This means that anyone who misuses it is a high risk of being a dependent user once the drug is abused. Because of this, the United States government released a rule on how this drug is prescribed and dispursed. Doctors must have special training and must be certified by the US government. They also banned this drug in any competitive sport as it could stay in your blood for more than 12 months even after treatment is stopped.

Side Effects of Sublocade

An overdoes of Sublocade is possible even if it is a controlled substance. It can also cause an allergic reaction like itching, severe dizziness, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat. It can slow down your breathing which could lead to death. So in case you find yourself in such a situation, seek emergency medical attention right away. You can also seek your physician once you have noticed the following side effects:

  • A feeling of lightheadedness or a feeling of fainting or passing out
  • Shallow or weak breathing
  • Withdrawal symptoms like shivering, runny nose and eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, increased sweating, goosebumps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine and clay-colored stools
  • Pain in the upper part of your stomach
  • Jaundice or the yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Severe fatigue and weakness

Can other drugs affect Sublocade?

If you are taking other medications along with Sublocade, then you might have to check in with your doctor first. This could affect the potency of Sublocade too. If you are taking some antibiotics, medications for blood pressure or heart, as well as antifungal, seizure medication or other drugs that are used to treat Hepatitis C or HIV, you must inform your doctor about this right away.

While buprenorphine can interact with many drugs, it can cause dangerous side effects too. If you are taking medications for the following conditions, you must inform your doctors about it beforehand:

  • Cold and allergy medications as well as bronchodilators
  • Other narcotic medications
  • Medicines for IBS or motion sickness
  • Sedatives like Valium and others
  • Medications that make you drowsy or sleepy
  • Medications that affect the serotonin levels of your body

Our list could go on and on but if you are indeed taking other medications, it is best to inquire about it first before taking Sublocade. This way, you know which drugs to avoid and which ones you’ll be able to take.

Final Thought

Yes, there are plenty of medications that could counteract your opioid abuse and give you another chance to overcome your addiction. But do you really want to live a life of pill-popping? Of course not, so what do you do? Avoid abusing not only opioids but
ANY
prohibited drugs in general. We could not emphasize this enough, but if you want to live longer and healthier, stop harming your body. We all know the side effects of drug abuse so while you can, say no to drugs.

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Addiction in Athletes https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/addiction-in-athletes/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:30:42 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15350 Professional athletes are faced with bucket loads of pressure like the constant pressing of competition, regular training to maintain excellent form, fear of injuries, and even the fact that they’re always in the spotlight. These and the demands of everyday life create an intense amount of pressure for athletes.

This is one of the reasons many athletes turn to drugs and alcohol, however, there are so many other reasons. Some athletes are genetically prone to addiction while some have an already existing substance use disorder.

Many athletes only started abusing drugs and alcohol after entry into professional sports; some carry a false sense of immunity to the addictive effects of alcohol and drug abuse, but a lot of players who think this way eventually succumb to addiction.

Athletes have lost their careers and even their lives to addiction. We can use Tyler Skaggs as a case study. A pitcher for the Angels who recently overdosed from his addictions. He was addicted to fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol. Medical examiners declared the cause of his death to be mixed ethanol and an overdose of opioids.

The Link Between Athletes and Substance Abuse

There is a connection between athletes and addiction and its due to the unique demands of a sports career. Fortunately, there are effective pathways to recovery for those who have already lost control.

Here are some major reasons athletes abuse substances:

      • Genetic predisposition or family history:

        An athlete can be at risk of substance abuse if he/she has a personal or family history of such. Earlier losses in life, a history of addiction, whether personal or family combined with other factors such as stresses of professional sports can push athletes into substance use disorder.

      • Enhanced performance:

        A lot of professional athletes are under pressure to do better than their peers and even to better their own previous performances. Many athletes turn to performance-enhancing drugs to boost their performances.

      • Accessibility:

        The popularity and wealth that comes with professional sports provide athletes with easy and fast access to drugs. Sports can be so financially rewarding that even college athletes can afford a variety of drugs.

      • Depression:

        This and other mental health problems can push athletes into the abuse of drugs and addictive substances as they try to self-medicate.

      • Injuries:

        Athletes take drugs to speed up recovery after an injury but unfortunately, this can lead to addiction quickly.

      • Stress:

        Some athletes take drugs to relieve emotional and mental stress that comes from a life on and off the field, ring, court, or track and even life after retirement. This raises the risk of being addicted to drugs.

      Types of Drugs Athletes are Addicted to and Consequences

      Anabolic Steroids

      Anabolic steroids are especially used by bodybuilders to reduce body weight, cut down fats and at the same time increase muscle mass. It also increases levels of aggression.

      The drugs work this way because they are derived from testosterone, the male hormone that produces the sexual characteristics in men. Anabolic steroids have legal medical uses but they are not meant to be used in sports.

      This unethical use of anabolic steroids to improve performance and be ahead of peers can cause painful and distressing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are worse if the use of these drugs is unregulated and an athlete suddenly tries to discontinue regular use.

      Athletes who withdraw from steroids experience mood swings, cravings for more steroids, insomnia, fatigue, and a strong desire to continue taking the drugs even when they know the consequences are mounting.

      Male athletes who use anabolic steroids might also suffer erectile dysfunction and even develop small testicles and enlarged breasts because this drug manipulates the production of testosterone in the body.

      Female athletes who take anabolic steroids will develop body hair and deeper voice and they might start having irregular periods. It can also cause low levels of estrogen and this can make their breasts shrink.

      A characteristic of addiction is when they continue taking these drugs despite the psychological and physical damage it’s causing, they are unable to stop because the body reacts violently when the drugs are discontinued.

      Adderall

      Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are consumed by a large number of athletes. The main reason they take it is to excite their central nervous system, and this, in turn, leads to higher levels of energy, increased mental alertness, aggression, and low fatigue.

      Adderall is used in treating ADHD and narcolepsy but it can also be abused because it increases mental focus and awareness, traits every athlete would need to succeed in sports.

      It makes the user feel unbelievably good and gives a burst of superhuman pleasure that hijacks the reward system of the brain and rewrites the neural pathways to make the user want more pleasure.

      The side effects of Adderall and other stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine are sleep disorders, anxiety, and several mood swings that are unpredictable.

      When you stop using these drugs, you will experience withdrawal symptoms such as muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, and psychological problems like depression. Some athletes have depression to the point of considering suicide, this compels them to consume more Adderall.

      Narcotics

      Narcotics are taken by athletes to help them cope with the physical pains that come along with their profession. These drugs are so strong and powerful that they artificially numb the pain of athletes instead of allowing their bodies to recover; they are also addictive.

      Heroin

      Painkillers increase drug addiction, but this advice isn’t usually heeded as many athletes are under pressure to play through pain. Painkillers like heroin have similar effects on the brain as stimulants and many athletes become addicted to these as they try to use narcotics for long-term management of pain.

      These drugs are dangerously addictive and they have ruined many lives and careers, especially so for athletes, considering the purchasing power of professional sportspeople.

      Athletes Who Lost Their Lives Due to Substance Abuse Disorder

      There are a lot of professional athletes whose lives have been cut short due to substance abuse Below are some of their names and the exact addiction/s they suffered from:

      • Eugene Lipscomb, age 31, football, Heroin
      • David Croudip, age 30, cocaine
      • Derek Boogaard, age 28, hockey, prescription drugs and alcohol
      • Andy Irons, age 23, surfing, prescription drugs
      • Don Rogers, age 23, football, cocaine
      • Len Bias, age 22, basketball, cocaine
      • Michael Carl Baze, age 24, horse racing, prescription drugs and cocaine
      • Erica Blasberg, age 25, golf, prescription drugs
      • Edward Fatu (Umaga), age 36, professional wrestling, prescription drugs
      • Christopher Bowman, age 40, figure skating, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs
      • George Best, age 59, soccer, alcohol
      • Scott Charles, 45, professional wrestling, prescription drugs and cocaine
      • Darrel Porter, age 50, baseball, cocaine
      • Chris Mainwaring, age 41, Australian rules football, cocaine
      • Christopher Wiley Antley, age 34, horse racing, prescription drugs
      • David Waymer, age 34, American football, cocaine
      • Paul Hayward, age 38, rugby, heroin
      • Peter Jackson, age 33, rugby, heroin

      Below is a list of some athletes who sought help and were able to overcome their addiction:

      • Ryan leaf, football, prescription drug and alcohol
      • John Daly, Golf, alcohol
      • Diego Maradona, soccer, cocaine
      • Darryl Strawberry, baseball, alcohol and cocaine
      • Michael Phelps, swimming, alcohol
      • Andre Agassi, Tennis, crystal meth
      • Cris Carter, American football, ecstasy, marijuana, crack cocaine, and alcohol
      • Jason Williams, basketball, prescription drugs
      • Gareth Hock, rugby, cocaine and ecstasy
      • Chris Harren, basketball, heroin and prescription drugs

      Unfortunately, some current and former athletes have confessed to continued struggle with addiction, some of them are Oscar De La Hoya (cocaine and alcohol), Mike Tyson (marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol), and Johnny Manziel (alcohol).

      The Tyler Skaggs story

      Tyler Skaggs’ autopsy revealed that alcohol, oxycodone, and fentanyl led to his death by choking on his vomit.

      The 27 years old was the Los Angeles Angels’ starting pitcher. The toxicology report released stated that he had these substances in his body when he was found dead in his hotel room in Texas on July 1st.

      His death was as a result of a terrible mixture of “oxycodone, fentanyl, and alcohol intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents”. This means he choked on his vomit while under the influence of these substances.

      He was found on his bed fully coated without signs of trauma and his death was reported as an accident.

      Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid and it is similar to morphine. When it is taken in uncontrolled amounts or taken by users whose tolerance to opioids has not been increased by long-term use, it is likely to subdue respiration and can kill fast.

      Skaggs was one of the popular players in his club and his death rocked the baseball world.

      Addiction Recovery Options for Athletes

      Athletes who are substance abusers might view asking for help as a weakness, especially when they have a competitive streak. Such athletes need a change in their thinking because substance addiction is a serious health problem.

      In order to beat this, athletes need to realize that addiction is a game that can’t be won by themselves. This is the first and most important step towards recovery.

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Free Will and Addiction: Is it a Choice? https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/free-will-and-addiction-is-it-a-choice/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:00:43 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15346 Drug abuse and addiction are perhaps some of the hardest battles people have ever fought. Some are successful at defeating it but most of the time, people struggle off and on. Think of how many celebrities died because of drug addiction and overdose? Actors, actresses, musicians, artists, and people outside of those careers have their own struggles with substance abuse. So the question remains, is it really their choice to be addicted? Do they have a choice or free will? 

A Choice or a Disease?

A lot of people think that being addicted to drugs or alcohol is a choice. Perhaps to a mind that is normal, choosing to do or not do drugs/drink alcohol is an easy choice but do addicts have a choice on whether they take it or not? Is this condition a result of their free will? 

Studies have shown and confirmed that addiction is a long-term brain disease that can happen to all of us. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine and American Medical Association, addiction is a disease caused by a combination of genetics & environmental and behavioral factors. A person’s brain is created and designed to seek out a rewarding experience caused by the chemical dopamine. Because our brains remember these actions, the result is often due to the release of this chemical over and over again. This is also the reason why a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol because these substances often trigger the release of dopamine.

Despite this being proven to be true, a lot of people believe that addiction is a result of weakness or failing and making poor choices. We believe, for a period of time, that we should look at addiction in the same way we look at chronic diseases like cancer or heart problems. If this is the case, then why are those people suffering from such illness not shamed in the same way as someone struggling with addiction is? Why isn’t there a stigma to those diseases like there is around addiction? Of course, this is because addiction is a lot more complicated and it does not only affect the body but it can clearly create an impact on a person’s spirit and soul. 

Being addicted is actually “feeding” the addiction itself. It requires preoccupation on how to get drugs or alcohol as well as other substances that they consume to “feed” such addiction. Addiction is often accompanied by irresponsible behavior as well as deceitfulness that often becomes the subject of most family issues and tolls on relationships. Even work is affected because an addict cannot function normally unless their fix is met. Oftentimes, it is easier to blame the addict about their lying, stealing, cheating or anger rather than pinpointing the real problem and that is addiction is a disease. Addicts are not proud of what they have done but are often shunned by their own family, friends and society make the situation worse. This often results in self-blame and shame to the addict.

There are Changes in the Brain

Addicts were born with lacking dopamine receptors in their brains. This means that these people become addicted to substances because they are not able to experience pleasure naturally and so they search it other less natural ways like drug or alcohol intake. The more  drugs and alcohol a person takes, the more altered their brain’s chemical makeup becomes. For instance, the prefontal cortex, which is responsible for a person’s rational behavior, shrinks once they become intoxicated with drugs and alcohol. And so, addicts have no choice but to keep on drinking, snorting, injecting or doing whatever it takes to consume the substance they are addicted to. Thus resulting in irrational and other disturbing behaviors. It is also why many people who are dealing with mental health issues use drugs and alcohol.

Addiction is a Disease, Not Free Will

We define ‘free will’ as the human ability to make choices that are not externally determined. That being said, addicts are people who do not have the same kind of ability, to make normal choices, as their genetic makeup and brain have been altered in such a way that it does not function normally. Therefore, we can say that addiction is a disease. However, an addict or someone who suffers from addiction does have a choice between getting well or keep drowning in addictive substances. 

Recovering from addiction is a choice, in fact, it is a good choice to do so. Although it is not easy, it is still possible with the right treatment/process. Recovery requires commitment and just like addiction, you have to repeat your healthy choices over and over again. 

Final Thoughts

Being addicted to drugs or alcohol is a hard battle to win. It’s even harder when you find yourself sober for a while then relapse back into the same addictive habits all over again. It’s not only tough on the addicted person but tougher to those who love them. However, we all have a choice, even if you are an addict. You have the choice of whether or not to destroy your life and the lives of the people around you or choose to live sober. 

Getting help and recovering from addiction is not an easy road to take but if it means that you can live longer and make your family or friends happy, you should choose that option. Excessive alcohol consumption destroys your body and drug addiction ruins your life, so before you are entirely destroyed by it, seek out the help that you need. It’s never too late to recover. Speak life instead of destroying it, make the better choice. After all, it’s not too late to make the right decision for yourself!

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Family History With Addiction https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/family-history-with-addiction/ Mon, 09 Sep 2019 04:06:12 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15348 Family is the first unit of the society where love and care are shown, but if the family has a history of being dysfunctional and substance abusers, there’s a big chance that love and affection are not present and the cycle will not end. However, if you already know that addiction runs in the family, there is still something you can do to avoid the same fate as your other family members did.

If you grew up in a family that is addicted to drugs and alcohol, chances are, this could happen to you too, but before that becomes the case, you can still turn your life around and fight addiction. So what can you do? Below are the best guides and tips that you can use to make that change.

The Role of Your Family in Creating Addiction

According to studies, 50% of genetic predisposition coupled with 50% poor coping skills results in addiction. This shows that family history plays a major role in your chances of being addicted in many ways. It has also been discovered that drug and alcohol addiction are “genetically complex” which means that genes also play an important role in whether someone is more susceptible to addiction or not.

Further studies and research showed that numerous genes and variations within these genes are involved in the process of addiction. One of which is how a person’s genes metabolize alcohol while others show how nerve cell signals help others to regulate this activity. It is also believed that these genes can be passed down from one generation to another. So if both your parents have experienced addiction, there is a good chance that it could be passed on to you or your siblings. However, genes are not the only factors that affect the behavior of an individual in their family. Environment factors also play a big role.

There are also several risks related to the family that could increase the vulnerability of an individual in the family to addiction. It could be due to the fact that the family is dysfunctional from the beginning. Conflicts and aggression towards one another are often present in the family. Mental health issues can also trigger addiction; for example, if one of the parents suffer from depression or other psychological issues, this could add to the already predisposing factors of addiction. It could also be due to the fact that one or both parents are active users of alcohol and drugs. All of these things can definitely impact the development of addiction to a child or children within the home setting.

Personal issues, as well as poor social skills, can also contribute to the development of addiction. If the person has limited social skills, someone who cannot function well in a social setting, or has a fragile self-esteem, can trigger addiction later on. A family that does has little or no support system can also develop addicts in the future. People with a history of aggression or difficulty in managing their emotions can also suffer from addiction. A family with a history of abuse and trauma, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders can develop into alcohol or drug abusers.

Can Addiction Be Considered as a Disease?

Let’s say you have cancer, if you already have a genetic history of cancer in the family combining it with poor health choices, like lack of healthy diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, etc. then you can be more susceptible to developing cancer. The same goes for common diseases like adult-onset diabetes or heart diseases. If you are diagnosed with any of these, then you will most likely ask what can you do to overcome this disease, right? This is how you should approach addiction as well because, like any major illness, addiction is curable. Focus on how you can strengthen yourself control the addiction that is controlling you.

You Can Become an Addict

Yes, there is a chance that you will become addicted to something at some point. It could be drugs or alcohol, it will surely develop later on, especially if you have a family history of addiction. If you have one family member that is addicted to alcohol, then you have a chance of developing an addiction of some kind as well. Addictions work in the same part of your brain and when the brain is wired to one addiction, it is possible that you are predisposed to all types of addictions.

This happens mostly to women who have alcoholic members of their family. Most of the time, these women develop addictions that are undetected until later in life. It could be an addiction to pain relievers or eating disorders that are diagnosed too late. All of these happen because one addiction can lead to another.

What Can You Do?

If you come from a family that has a history of addiction, you are more likely to develop one as well. However, if you can recognize any bad behaviors early one, you can still do something about it.

One way or another, you must decide to make a change. Once you have decided on changing then you must have a specific goal in mind. It’s either quit entirely or quit some substances and behaviors. However, change does not happen overnight. You can start to reduce the spending of money on addictive substances and then reduce addictive behaviors. Setting a clear goal on your mind before putting it into practice can help you in meeting it.

You can also try these to reduce your risk of developing an addiction:

  • Early-onset of alcohol addiction starts at an early age. So avoid drinking and drug use at an early age.
  • Check your alcohol consumption. Try to stay away from alcohol or peer pressure.
  • If you have friends or peers who consume alcohol, avoid hanging out with them.
  • Seek assistance from a health care provider if you are pressured into using or have developed depression and anxiety.
  • Keep yourself busy by participating in work programs or school prevention programs.

In any case that you realize that you are already using or abusing alcohol and drugs, it’s best to seek help from health care professionals. This way, they can provide you with better solutions and treatment programs as listed in the National Institute of Health. Keep in mind that even if you have addiction in your family history, you can still avoid the risks and addiction problem in your own lifetime. In fact, breaking the cycle is the best way to do this. Be proactive and find ways to reduce or eliminate your substance use. Seeking help for your mental health as well as support will result in better choices. History does repeat itself, but that does not mean you cannot alter it for the better.

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Addiction Doesn’t Mean You’re a Bad Person https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/addiction-doesnt-mean-youre-a-bad-person/ Sat, 07 Sep 2019 19:01:55 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/addiction-doesnt-mean-youre-a-bad-person/ Addiction is a complicated and often misunderstood disease. This disease affects every facet of a person’s life, can have life-threatening effects, and even lead to permanent damage. In order to recover from addiction, treatment is necessary. Understanding what makes addiction a disease helps to eliminate the stigma surrounding addiction and can lead to more people getting the help they deserve.

Addiction is a Disease

Addiction is considered to be a chronic and relapsing brain disease. It affects millions of people every year and can lead to devastating effects. It is characterized by changes in the functioning of the brain and body, disrupting areas of the brain responsible for reward, learning, memory, and judgement. There is use of one or more substance and use is compulsive, despite the negative consequences that may have ensued. These changes that occur in the brain and body can persist long after substance use and can even lead to permanent damage.

Once you become addicted, recovery is a lifelong process of dedication and proper mindset. This is similar in regards to other lifelong diseases that require maintenance, such as Type 2 diabetes. If someone with Type 2 does not continue on their regular treatment plan, they will begin to feel adverse effects. Addiction requires continual maintenance in order to stay on the path of sobriety since this disease has the potential to affect every aspect of a person’s life.

How Addiction Affects The Mind

Addiction directly affects a person’s brain. The area of the brain is known as the reward pathway. This pathway helps our brain to register what is beneficial and positive in our lives. It does this by releasing dopamine when we have experienced something “good”. For instance, you may get a happy feeling after you have eaten a delicious meal or while you are watching a movie that you enjoy. When drugs or alcohol enter your system, your body recognizes it as a toxin and works to remove it. However, your reward system is unnaturally affected and releases abnormal amounts of dopamine. This can cause a temporary euphoric feeling.

This euphoric feeling is actually very powerful and is due to chemicals being affected in your brain. Since the brain has registered this action of using drugs or alcohol alongside the feeling of euphoria, a direct correlation has been made. The brain will cause a person to feel compulsive and impulsive, driving them to seek more of the substance. These changes in the brain’s chemical chemistry often causes a person to put themselves or others in harm’s way, among other negative consequences.

How Does Addiction Develop?

Nobody plans to become addicted. Someone may use substances for various reasons and their risk level of developing an addiction varies. For instance, someone may begin using a substance in order to attempt self-medicating or they may feel peer pressured. The way a substance affects a person’s mind and body also varies person to person. As each body is different, no two reactions will be the same. A person’s reaction and risk level of developing an addiction can depend on the environment, genetics, underlying health issues, or medications they are on.

Should Those With Addiction Be Responsible for Their Actions?

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, it is important to know that addiction does not mean that someone is a bad person. It just means that the affected person needs treatment in order to get better. While a person suffering should not be judged or shamed for their illness, this does not mean that they should not be responsible for their actions. Those who are suffering should take accountability, although it is unlikely that they will. To help ease this process, it is important to cease all enabling behavior. This means that you should stop providing your loved one with money and not lie for them to friends and family members.

What is Denial?

Denial is a roadblock on the path to recovery. However, it is very common. This when the person suffering from addiction denies that they have a problem or denies that they are experiencing negative consequences. This can be a confusing and overwhelming time for both the person suffering and loved ones. Denial happens to people who are not suffering from addiction as well and is considered a defense mechanism used by the brain. When the truth is too painful, we will push it aside in the false hopes that it will eventually go away on its own. However, addiction requires treatment.

In order to help your loved one take accountability and recognize they have a problem, it is important that loved ones stick to facts. Do not speak judgmentally or condescendingly. Your loved one will pick up on that and the conversation is unlikely to be productive. Instead of saying things like, “I wish you were a better father to your kids” say things like, “You missed the recital”. Sticking to the facts will make it more difficult for your loved one to argue with you.

The Stigma Surrounding Treatment

There is a stigma that surrounds addiction and addiction treatment. This stigma harms those who are suffering and may even prevent them from seeking out treatment. People who are not well educated on addiction may think that all those who are suffering from addiction should be ashamed, are criminals, or have caused harm on purpose. That stigma is not true and should not be encouraged.

In order to help fight the stigma and help more of those suffering from addiction, seek out educational outlets and be thoughtful when speaking. You may find that your primary doctor has much information to share with you on addiction and may even refer you to a support group for loved ones. Libraries and internet resources can also be valuable, but some of this information may be outdated. When speaking to someone in recovery or someone suffering, always be thoughtful of the disease they are going through and try to not pass judgement.

When to Seek Help

The time to seek help for an addiction is now. It is never too late or too early to begin the road to recovery. Reaching out for help is a monumental milestone and deserves to be celebrated. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center celebrates everyone’s unique journey to sobriety and curates individualized plans for success. Call today to learn more about their treatment programs.

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What to Know About Interventions https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/what-to-know-about-interventions/ Fri, 06 Sep 2019 16:29:47 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15292 Do you have a loved one that suffers from drug or alcohol addiction? Do you want them to go through intervention? If yes, then this article can help you with that as we discuss what it means to have interventions and what you can do to help your loved one. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is an Intervention?

You probably heard about the term intervention but what is it really all about? An intervention is a procedure that involves intervening in the behavior or life of a person with the hopes of changing their behavior as well as the outcome of a person’s situation. Intervention happens when an addicted person’s life is spiraling out of control and they want help. In some cases, an intervention could mean an ultimatum is presented to an addict. An intervention may also involve a professional health worker but in some cases, family members are the ones who do the intervention themselves.

During an intervention, family, friends and professional workers gather together to confront the addict or patient about the consequences of their addiction. They will then ask him or her to accept the treatment that they see fit. 

The Intervention Team

So before an intervention is done, a team must be first formed. There are at least four to six people involved in this group. It should also be people who are important in the life of the patient. This could be their best friend, parents, adult relatives or a member of the same faith. A health care professional is also an important figure in the team. 

Don’t involve people who the addict dislikes. Someone who has mental health issues of their own or an addict themselves should not be included in the group. Don’t involve anyone who does not go through what was agreed on during the initial meeting as this could sabotage the intervention. If the person is someone who has the potential to create issues rather than help during the intervention, best to leave that person out. 

How Does an Intervention Work?

There are seven (7) steps in an intervention. In order to make the intervention successful, all steps must be done accordingly. Here’s what you need to know:

  • First of all, make a plan – one of the first things that a family member or friend does is propose an intervention and form a group that will start the planning. If a qualified health professional is available, consult them first. It could be an addiction professional, a mental health counselor, psychologist or social worker that can help organize the intervention. A health care professional is an important member of the group as interventions usually cause anger, a sense of betrayal or resentment from the addict towards the people who are trying to help. Having a health worker on board can help in case the going gets tough.
  • Gather all the information needed – once the problem is pointed out, group members will then research the treatment program needed as well as the condition of the patient. It is also the group who kick starts a program or arranges it to enroll their loved ones into a specific program to help treat the addiction. 
  • Create the intervention team – this means that the group will personally participate in the intervention needed. They will be the one to set a location, date and the work that needs to be done. It should be a consistent, structured plan and rehearsed message that they should deliver while the non-family member is responsible for helping the team keep the discussion focused on the facts of the problem at hand. He or she should also help in the solutions rather than responding emotionally. Basically, the group should not let their loved one know what they are doing until intervention day comes.
  • Establish boundaries – in case your loved one refuses the treatment, members of the team or group must decide on what the action they will take as the consequence of their refusal. Let’s say, the group can decide on asking the patient to move out of the house but that doesn’t always have to be the consequence. The group must be creative with the outcome and must decide as one.
  • Take note of what to say – describe the incidents where addiction caused the problems and be specific about it. It could be something to do with financial issues or emotional scarring. Discussing this with the addicted loved one while expressing their care as well as their expectation for them to change is important. 
  • Call an intervention meeting – it is important not to tell your loved one that you are inviting him or her to an intervention meeting as you make a call for one. Make sure that the members of the group take turns in expressing their concerns as the group present the treatment option and ask the patient to accept the option on the spot. Each member of the group will then say specific changes they want to do in case the patient does not accept the plan. DO NOT THREATEN the addict with a consequence.
  • Make a follow-up – it is a known fact that an addict can relapse. That is why it is important that the group involved in the intervention does a follow up. This will ensure that your loved one stays in treatment and avoids relapsing from the same problem. This could be as simple as giving them a call or visiting them at a treatment facility. Counseling, seeing a therapist, going to therapy groups or recovery support can always help too. 

In order to have a successful intervention, it should be carefully planned and that plan should be stuck to. If an intervention is poorly planned, the situation can and could worsen the problem. Even worse, your loved one may feel more attacked and may not trust you in the end. 

When The Help Is Refused

Unfortunately, there are cases when the intervention does not work or the patient relapses and goes back to taking drugs and alcohol all over again. In some cases, patients just simply refuse to take the treatment plan. Most of the time, anger and resentment are the immediate reactions of the patient towards the people who are trying to help them, so it is important that you prepare yourself emotionally for such reactions. In case they don’t follow through the treatment, prepare yourself to follow through the changes and consequences that you have laid out. It is best to remove yourself from a destructive situation rather than staying and watch the abuse spiral down. 

Intervention is a good way to show that you care for your loved ones but in reality, this isn’t always accepted. If you want to really help and if all interventions did not go as planned, calling in the professionals to do the intervention themselves is the last resort. It may be tough love but it will save their life. 

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War Veterans and Substance Abuse https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/war-veterans-and-substance-abuse/ Fri, 06 Sep 2019 03:47:39 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15297 A person who isn’t involved in a war (non-military people) probably can’t comprehend how emotionally scarring it is to be sent to one. The sound of guns, bombs and the scary life-threatening situations a soldier goes through can affect them greatly once they go back home. This is why there are more and more reports/cases every year of war veterans using drugs and abuse alcohol.

Substance Abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Among Veterans

A study shows that there is a significant correlation between PTSD and substance abuse among people who have served in the military. While some people try to cope with PTSD, symptoms will still follow. The use of drugs, excessive alcohol consumption and even smoking too much are among the most common habits soldiers with traumatic stress pick up. Although this is a big issue among military people, the American government offers a series of programs, treatments, and therapies to help address these problems. This way, veterans can get back on their feet again once they are not active and back into their civilian life.

Facts About PTSD and Substance Abuse in Veterans

In America, about 3.5% of the adult population or about 8 million Americans are affected with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has been reported that 37% of those people with PTSD have severe symptoms, which has affected both men and women who were in the military.

  • It is reported that more than 2 out of every 10 veterans who have PTSD also suffer from substance abuse.
  • About 1 out of every 3 veterans who are seeking treatment for drug abuse claim to have PTSD.
  • Veterans with PTSD smoke twice the amount of cigarettes compared to a veteran who was not diagnosed with PTSD.
  • It is common for veterans with PTSD to binge drink in a short span of time.
  • About 1 out of every 10 veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have alcohol and drug problems.
  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD.

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or most commonly known as PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that happens to a person who has witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. This could be a serious accident, natural disaster, war/combat, terrorist act, rape, as well as other violent personal assaults. It has also been known by many names such as “shell shock”, which was a popular term during WWI and in WWII, PTSD was called “combat fatigue”. It affects not only veterans, but common people as well. It can affect all types of people regardless of age, nationality, ethnicity or culture.

Intense feeling and disturbing thoughts are common for people who suffer from PTSD, even after the traumatic experience has ended. Flashbacks and nightmares are common among patients with this. Intense anger, sadness, and feelings of being detached or estranged from other people are also among the many symptoms that these people exhibit. This is also most common among war veterans who have suffered severe traumatic experiences during their deployment. Often, they avoid situations, people, and even events that could remind them of their experience. They also have strong negative reactions to simple or ordinary noises or even accidental touching.

Substance Abuse in the Military

About one-fourth of all war veteran deaths are related to substance abuse and has been a growing problem in the US military. Because of stress, the military lifestyle, and exposure to the war and combat zones, many military men and women turn to drug abuse. Besides drugs and alcohol, prescription opioids are also among the most abused substances among war veterans. It has been reported that from 2006 to 2009, 45% of 397 non-combat related deaths were related to drugs and alcohol overdose.

Women in the Military and Substance Abuse

Combat stress and trauma may vary depending on the gender. Studies show that military women are less likely to be reported as heavy drinkers when compared to military men, but the use of drugs and tobacco is more likely. It has also been discovered that women who abuse drugs or are likely to so because:

  • They have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, or trauma/fear of being sexually assaulted by their coworkers.
  • They are known to experience depression more often than men.
  • Military women are reported to have PTSD even before entering military service.
  • Women have experienced more stress due to gender differences in terms of their coping mechanisms.

Effects of Substance Abuse in Veterans

The ill-effects of these substances have proven to be fatal to many US troops. In 2009, it was reported that alcohol and drug abuse is one of the primary causes of hospitalization among many war veterans in the country. Besides the given side effects of alcohol and drugs in the body, it can also affect their mental health and physical greatly.

Treatment for Addicted Veterans

It is a known fact that plenty of returning men and women in the military suffer from PTSD, major depression, traumatic brain injury, mental health problems, and suicidal thoughts. Over the last two decades, more than 2 million American soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. As assistance, the VA (Veterans Affairs) provides care and other helpful services to those who have served in WWII, Vietnam, Korea, and the Persian Gulf War. While this has proven to be a great help to many veterans, only 50% of them were given the appropriate care and treatment for mental health conditions. This is also due to the fact that not many American veterans actually ask for help. Most of them are hesitant to ask for advice on what to do because of the following reasons:

  • Longer waiting periods.
  • Accessibility and affordability of the case.
  • Feeling of shame or embarrassment when one seeks out treatment for mental health issues.
  • The stigma associated with addiction and other disorders.
  • Lack of eligibility for the program.
  • Lack of quality care by the VA.
  • Demographic barriers like gender and age.

Help for War Veterans with Substance Abuse

For those who are seeking assistance or treatment on this matter, you can ask for assistance and guidance from the following:

  1. The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center – commonly known as VA, is the medical center for SUD and it offers a variety of treatment programs war veterans. They have trained professionals who can treat PTSD and provide veterans with the best treatment programs that could help them give up drinking and drug abuse. In order to avail of this, a veteran must first be enrolled in the VA health care system to benefit from it.
  2. Addiction Counselors – help veterans by identifying the best program or course of treatment. Some patients are placed in a detoxification program before they can enter a rehabilitation center.
  3. Private Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers – if you are a veteran and want a more private treatment, this is the best place to go. You can choose from private inpatient or outpatient facilities who can hold your anonymity and safeguard your confidentiality.
  4. Mental Health Counselor – veterans who are suffering from mental disorders are welcomed in facilities like this. They provide the right treatment for mental health issues and PTSD in order to avoid SUD.

It is always a hard place to be when you are a war veteran suffering from substance abuse and PTSD. As challenging as it is, it can still be treated and through behavioral therapies, correct pharmacological treatments, our military men and women can be reintegrated into society comfortably. If this is your case right now, it’s best to get the treatment you need immediately. Help is readily available to you if you choose it. Start a new life, good luck!

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Dangers of Fentanyl-laced Crack https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/dangers-of-fentanyl-laced-crack/ Tue, 03 Sep 2019 04:53:43 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15288 “Crack”, is a street name that has been given to cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a ready-to-use free base for smoking. Rather than requiring the more volatile method of processing cocaine using ether, it is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water heated to remove the hydrochloride, thereby producing a form of cocaine that is available for smoking. Crack is a mixture of cocaine and other ingredients, to make it smokable. The additives also ‘stretch’ the cocaine (induce a longer-lasting high) and increase a dealer’s profit. The term “crack” originates from the sound heard when the mixture is heated, presumably from the sodium bicarbonate.

Usage of Crack Cocaine

Injection or ingestion of crack occurs, but it is rare. Smoking crack is the most common way of consuming it, due to the rapid and potent absorption of cocaine that can intoxicate within seconds. Smoking crack delivers a large quantity of cocaine into the lungs, producing effects comparable to that of intravenous injection. These effects are felt almost immediately, very intense but are short-lived. Cocaine is the most potent stimulant of natural origin, and it is a bitter addictive anesthetic (pain blocker) that is extracted from the leaves of coca shrub (Erythroxylon coca), indigenous to the Andean highlands of South America. Crack, as it is processed cocaine is highly addictive, and the desire to smoke more (in terms of frequency and amount) increases quickly, resulting in binge use.

The risks associated with the use of cocaine are great, whether the drug is ingested by snorting, injecting or smoking. Evidence suggests that users who smoke or inject cocaine may even be at a higher health risk than those who snort it. Compulsive cocaine use may develop even more rapidly if the substance is smoked rather than snorted. Excessive doses of crack cocaine may lead to death from cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding into the brain), stroke, heart failure, respiratory failure, or kidney failure.

Crack Cocaine Overdose

There is no specific antidote for a cocaine overdose. Treatment for crack overdose is dependent on the severity of the symptoms of overdose. Heart functioning and respiration are the primary concerns with prolonged and strenuous resuscitation efforts. Sedatives are frequently deployed as a de-escalation for elevated vital signs and psychological calming. As a method of cooling the body, injections and IV therapy are common.

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid analgesic- excellent for the control of serious pain, but also with great abuse potential. Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than heroin, and an amount equivalent to the size of a rice grain can kill. Fentanyl may be smoked, snorted, injected or used orally. No method of the use of fentanyl is safer than the other. Fentanyl can be severely harmful or even fatal, with death usually resulting from respiratory failure. Having such huge potency, Fentanyl administration is frequently reserved for patients that are already opioid-tolerant – those that have already grown tolerant to a therapeutic dose of some other opiate. In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by names such as: Sublimaze, Duragesic, Actiq, Durogesic, Subsys, Nasalfent, Lazanda, and Fentanyl citrate. Anyone who uses fentanyl and does not have an opioid tolerance is risking his/her health. In other words, a first time user who decides to “experiment” or use Fentanyl recreationally places himself/herself in extreme danger of overdose. A potentially lethal dose of fentanyl could be the size of just a grain of salt. The minimum lethal dosage of fentanyl is estimated to be around 250 micrograms.

In the United States in 2017, fentanyl was responsible for 59 percent of opioid-related deaths, compared to 14.3 percent in 2010. The street names for illegally used fentanyl include China Girl, China White, Apache, Dance Fever, Goodfella, Murder 8, Friend, Tango & Cash, Serial Killer, Drop Dead, Shine, TNT, Percopop, and Jackpot. The illegally made fentanyl, mostly associated with the overdose, are made in laboratories. This synthetic fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, made into pills to look like prescription drugs, and put in nasal sprays or eye drops.

The short-term effects of Fentanyl are:

  • Reduced feeling of pain
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

Those seeking the above effects will often abuse Fentanyl by taking it without prescription, using high doses or mixing with other drugs; all of which can turn fatal.

Fentanyl Side Effects

Fentanyl affects everyone differently. The experienced effects depend on the size of the individual, weight, the amount taken, overall state of health, whether the fentanyl is combined with other drugs, and whether the person is used to taking opioids. The side effects of Fentanyl include:

  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Flushing
  • Stiff or rigid muscles
  • Confusion
  • Slow breathing rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Altered heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Tight feeling in the throat
  • Itching skin
  • Sweating
  • Constricted pupils
  • Seizures

Fentanyl Overdose

The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases the risk of an overdose, especially if the drug user is unaware that a powder or pill contains it. The person can consequently underestimate the dose of the opioid, thereby resulting in an overdose. The following are the signs and symptoms of Fentanyl overdose:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Severe confusion
  • Severe sleepiness
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Shallow, difficult breathing/respiratory arrest
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Trouble talking or walking
  • Obtundation (altered level of consciousness)
  • Non-responsiveness to painful stimuli

Naloxone is a medicine that can be administered to a person to reverse a fentanyl overdose. Due to the potency of fentanyl, multiple doses of Naloxone might be necessary to wear it off.

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

Several states in the United States have shown a growing number of recorded cases in which fentanyl is found to be used to lace cocaine. Some states are witnessing an increase in the number of deaths due to overdose, associated with both cocaine and fentanyl. In Connecticut, the number of fatal doses involving cocaine and fentanyl rose by 420 percent in three years. The number of fentanyl-laced cocaine samples that were seized in Massachusetts tripled in just a year. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported that seven percent of all the seized cocaine in New England was noticed to have contained fentanyl, more than double from 2016. In just a single weekend in June 2018, 15 people in Philadelphia overdosed on crack cocaine laced with fentanyl, and most told doctors after being revived that they were just using crack cocaine and had no prior idea it included an opioid. The nature of crack cocaine makes its use dangerous. The constituent ingredients are unknown to the user, as in their quantity and potential for toxicity.

Cocaine-related deaths rose by 52 percent across the country from 2015 to 2016. At the beginning of 2016, 37 percent of cocaine-related deaths due to overdose in New York City involved fentanyl. By the end of the year 2016, fentanyl had involvement in almost half of all overdose deaths in New York City. The combination of cocaine and fentanyl has been a considerable driving force of the rising death toll since 2015, and opioid-naïve cocaine users are at an exceedingly high risk of unintentional overdose on an opioid. If your laced cocaine contains just two milligrams of fentanyl, there is a high probability that you will not wake up from it.

It is not the intention of every crack user to have their cocaine laced with fentanyl, but those who purposely combine the two drugs do so for the purpose of “speedballing” as seen in the case of heroin and cocaine combination. Cocaine is a stimulant, while opioid is a depressant, and both provide a sense of euphoria. The idea of combining them is to get a greater high with the rush from cocaine and for the depressant effect of the opioid to minimize jumpiness and anxiety. The practice of combining both has been in existence for a long time with cocaine and heroin, but it is very dangerous with fentanyl because of its high potency. Cocaine can disguise the dangerous side effects of fentanyl abuse, and mask an overdose even while it is occurring. A person can even go into respiratory failure from the intake of fentanyl but not know until the effects of the cocaine wear off.

Cocaine and fentanyl are drugs that are chemically opposite in nature. The two drugs are consumed by two totally different demographics. Cocaine is known for its quick, energizing and euphoric effects, and thereby used in party scenes. On the other hand, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug, known for an intense high that relaxes and numbs the body, often used as alternatives to prescription painkillers and even heroin. Cocaine, being a “party drug” is not usually mixed with an opioid. Fentanyl-laced cocaine, has an entirely new population exposed to the addictive properties of opioids, without them even knowing. There is a risk of tolerance, abuse, dependency, and addiction associated with the use of fentanyl. Remember that a Detox in Scottsdale is always recommended before entering treatment.

There is evidence that much of the current mixing of cocaine and fentanyl is actually accidental. Researchers are finding that rather than an intentional combination, the mixing of cocaine with fentanyl may be due to poor packaging and the contamination of illicit drugs. Some experts, with the inclusion of doctors and law enforcement officers still believe that lacing cocaine with fentanyl (an opioid) is an intentional act, thereby suspecting the drug cartels for such act; in order to get occasional and recreational cocaine users hooked up on opioids, in a bid to extend the market. The truth behind it being an intentional act from the drug cartels cannot be proven.

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Club Culture & Substance Abuse https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/club-culture-substance-abuse/ Mon, 02 Sep 2019 16:08:43 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15290 We live in a society where people work 9 to 5 so they can live it up on the weekend. Oftentimes, people ‘live it up’ in the clubs or at parties on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. People meet up with friends to go dancing and have a good time together. Though there is nothing wrong with dancing and having fun with friends, there is a problem with substance abuse. The problem with the club/party culture is that it essentially promotes substance abuse. Though clubs do not directly encourage people to drink or do drugs, the atmosphere and people in it have developed an unhealthy habit of substance abuse in order to have a good time. Alcohol and drug abuse is a rampant issue that is alive and well in the club and party culture. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing club culture and the growing substance abuse problem that is surrounding it.

Club Culture

The club scenes are typically something for younger adults (21-35 years). College students, newly graduated adults, and hard-working young adults typically make up the majority of the population demographics at nightclubs. The club scene is centered around the idea of ‘losing yourself’ and having a good time, by whatever means necessary. Most of the time, this means drinking a good amount of alcohol to get comfortable with losing yourself. That way, you can comfortably dance, talk to whoever, and “enjoy yourself”. However, it does not stop at alcohol. Unfortunately, people implement drugs into this scene as well, but this is not such a new thing. When nightclubs started to take off in the 60s, it quickly became a scene for people to openly and actively abuse substances. Since then, substance abuse has become a huge problem in the nightlife scene.

Over time, clubs have evolved into much more than they originally were. Now, people go to raves and EDM festivals for an even more lively experience. Dark rooms, flashy visuals, and loud music make an ideal environment for someone that is under the influence. Now that we’ve defined what the club culture is and what it’s like, let’s discuss what substances are actively being abused in these environments.

Alcohol

Alcohol is probably the widely abused substance in the nightclub scene. In a study done in 2015, 26.7% of people ages 18 or older admitted to heavy drinking at the time or at some point in their life. Considering the statistics and the fact that most nightclubs serve only alcoholic beverages, it’s easy to assume most people in these clubs are under the influence of it. Many of these people who are looking to truly lose themselves drink to the point of not remembering anything, or otherwise known as blacking out. This is not an uncommon occurrence in these types of scenes, it’s something that’s even joked about quite frequently in pop culture (songs, literature, movies, tv, etc.) But alcoholism is not a laughing matter. Alcohol is a depressant and it can give a person a feeling of being loose, free, and relaxed. It provides a sense of euphoria, but not the same type of euphoria a drug like cocaine would.

Cocaine

Cocaine, otherwise known as crack, blow, or coke, it is another widely abused substance in night clubs. It is a powerful stimulant that comes in a powder form which is often inhaled through a user’s nostrils, rubbed on their gums, or injected into the bloodstream. Once the substance hits the person’s brain, they quickly get a sense of euphoria. Other side-effects of the drug are increased alertness, paranoia, increased energy/happiness, hypersensitivity to all senses, and irritability. This drug is powerful, but the effects are short-lived. People will often use cocaine to create a more energetic club experience. The problem is that the effects are short-lived and users are then prompted to use more in order to keep a continual euphoric high. This can quickly lead to addiction as well as other major health concerns.

MDMA (Ecstacy/Molly)

A drug that has been growing in popularity at nightclubs, dance clubs, raves, and concert festivals, MDMA is a synthetic drug that creates powerful, euphoric, and hallucinogenic experiences for the user. MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy/molly, is a mixture of a stimulant and a hallucinogenic. It alters a person’s mood, feelings, and perception of reality. This drug has quickly been labeled the “rave” drug due to its overwhelming presence at EDM festivals and rave concerts. This drug usually comes as a tablet that people put on their tongue and ingest orally, similar to LSD. This drug increases the amount of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine released in your body. The release of these hormones causes the user to have increased energy, heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, emotion, and sexual arousal. A person loses a lot of control when they are on this substance, they become something they otherwise would not be. Though this drug creates a very powerful high for the user, the cons far outweigh the pros. An MDMA user should expect to experience depression, insomnia, anxiety, decreased appetite, decreased sex drive, irritability, and aggression.

Though there are more substances that are abused in the club scenes, these three are the most prevalent. Alcohol is the only legal substance that can actively be abused in nightclubs, while cocaine and ecstasy are illegal substances being abused. Each of these substances has its own set of short-term side-effects that may be appealing to users, but none of them are without their own alarming long-term side-effects. Continual abuse of these substances can result in a wide range of health issues ranging from anxiety/insomnia to vital organ failure/death. Most of the people that are active in the nightlife scene do not realize the consequences of their actions because they have not been properly educated on them. With information like this, we hope to spread the word on substance abuse and the dangers that it can have on a person’s health when they get addicted. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to any of these substances or other ones not listed, get help today!

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Wasp Spray. An Alternative To Methamphetamine. https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/wasp-spray-an-alternative-to-methamphetamine/ Thu, 29 Aug 2019 03:49:41 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15282 Wasp hotshots are a new addition to the drug market and are illegal. The existence of wasp and hornet killers is not news, as they’ve been known for several years. But, this chemical is fast becoming a very dangerous novel method of getting high. Several individuals have found out that when one injects anti-wasp spray to the body, the high experience is similar to what a person gets from using methamphetamines. People are making a synthetic type of amphetamine out of wasp spray. On the streets, it is known as “wasping” and its emergence as a new drug trend raises concerns. Some users combine the wasp spray with meth while others get high on the spray itself, using it as a substitute to meth.

How Wasp Sprays Emerged as a Drug Trend

Hotshot is the brand name of a common wasp and hornet killer aerosol spray which is known to kill insects as soon as it touches them. Several incidents in the US  revealed the creation of concoctions with methamphetamines combined with the hotshot chemical bug sprays. Ironically, “wasp hotshot” is also a term used to refer to any form of narcotic which is injected into the blood for a rapid hit. Although the high will likely not last for a long time, its bodily damage can last throughout one’s lifetime, and can even cause death. According to law enforcement bodies, injecting wasp spray causes psychotic behavior. Monroe County Mission Sheriff, Cecil Cantrell, recalled his personal experiences while handling individuals who are influenced by wasp hotshots. “They’re ruined. Ruined for life… a person will stand at a jail cell door, slobber like a mad dog, wanting to fight.”

Wasp Spray Doses Provoke Violence

Just a few months ago, another scenario involving wasp spray was centered around an individual known as Danny Hollis. The man broke into his apartment after he had smoked a mixture of meth and bug spray. He caused a lot of damage inside his own house. At a point, he even tried to cut his own throat before his family. When the police got to him, he had already stripped himself naked and climbed on a tree. Nevertheless, when the effects of this drug died off, he could not remember anything about the incident.

Why are People Resorting to Wasp Hotshots?

Below are some of the reasons people get into the use/abuse of wasp sprays:

  • A need to cover existing mental illness.
  • An escape from tough realities.
  • A dare.
  • A method of numbing pain.
  • A quick fix.
  • It’s easy to buy. They can get it on the internet, probably order it on eBay or Amazon and get it delivered to their house.
  • It’s not illegal.
  • It doesn’t change drug test results so people can resort to this since they don’t want to get fount out, they happily ignore the risks and embrace the “high” wasp sprays provide.

The Director of Indiana Poison Center at IU Health, Dr. Daniel Rusyniak, says the biggest problem is how easily accessible bug spray is to anyone at any age.

Harmful Effects of Wasp Spray on Humans

Ingesting chemicals as deadly as wasp spray can and will change the chemical composition of your blood. Anything that kills wasps and hornets while they fly must be deadly for human consumption and can lead to disastrous health conditions

Some effects of using wasp sprays are:

  • Catatonic State
  • Inability to Walk
  • Inability to Breathe
  • Barely Able to Speak
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Severe Headache

Meth Use and Mental Health

Drug addicts look for an escape and reality for several reasons. It’s usually a case of mental health problems, which are pre-existing, but there can also be a decline in mental health following the onset of addiction. It is quite unfortunate that crystal meth and methamphetamine addictions arrive with a substantive detriment to mental and physical wellness. Due to the fact that these drugs are very addicting, it can take several months for adequate detoxification from them.

Over 20% of meth addicts who are recovering (for a minimum of six months) grow a form of psychosis-like schizophrenia, which doesn’t respond to treatment well.

The more the individual addicted to meth avoids treatment and continues to abuse the substance, the more life-altering damages they’ll experience. Ultimately, this will result in death.

Being addicted to meth can also result in a psychotic disorder like:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Individuals in the U.S., and all over the world, can lose all they have to substance abuse. The person who is addicted becomes so dependent on the drug that they lose every sense they have of themselves and their responsibility. Addiction does ruin not only the life of the addict but also the life of the people around the person.

A report came out recently that says poison control centers average 90,000 calls a year about exposure to pesticides. Over time, long-term exposure can cause nerve and organ damage, cancer and congenital disabilities. But those drug abusers who are desperate for a cheap fix are presumably not calling poison control, and they’re also probably not considering the risks. A great drug rehab in Scottsdale can help you with your addiction.

What can you do to guard yourself and your family?

This drug trend is far more widespread than we think. Instead of hoping none of our loved ones, especially teenagers, are involved, we need to take radical steps to make sure they aren’t. Parents must be extremely vigilant when it has to do with the activities and welfare of their children. Be in acquaintance with their friends, discuss with their teachers, and ensure that they are comfortable with telling you about their whereabouts. This also goes for friends and family. Be very mindful of the health state of the ones you love, and get in touch with them anytime you feel like.

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