Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.


Latest Posts

Hashish addiction

Hashish is a plant derivative substance, extracted from the trichomes, flowers, and fragments of leaves and stems of the cannabis plant. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the same active ingredients found in marijuana, but at a much higher concentration (up to 15% in hashish as compared to 5% in marijuana). Hash oil is another substance produced by solvent extraction of hashish/marijuana and ends up having even a higher dose of THC.

Based on the way it is prepared, it comes in various forms and preparations. Hash oil comes as a golden syrupy-like substance. Hash is typically consumed by smoking or ingestion, but the effects are much faster and stronger when smoked due to faster entry into the bloodstream through the lungs. How does hashish work? The active substance of hashish, THC acts by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the neurons, which results in physical, emotional, and cognitive effects.

The active substance of hashish, THC acts by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the neurons, which results in physical, emotional, and cognitive effects
While many studies have shown that there are medicinal effects of cannabis products, particularly a substance known as cannabidiol, it should be noted that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still considers cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that it is considered to have no medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.

So what does hash abuse look like? Hashish is typically smoked in pipes or bongs. Some users add hashish to food or brew it in a tea, and other casual ways. However, given the potent concentration of THC present in hashish, it has a higher potential for addiction and more serious side effects as compared to marijuana. The typical signs and symptoms of hash addiction include euphoria, increased relaxation, hunger, sore throat, panic, paranoia, anxiety, tachycardia, hypertension, impaired coordination, lack of motivation, impaired concentration, and hallucinations.

Long-term effects of hash abuse include immunosuppression, respiratory issues from chronic lung damage, sexual dysfunction in males, cardiovascular issues, mental issues, etc. As expected, hashish users face significant social issues as well, such as job loss, financial issues, legal issues, strained relationships with spouses, children, and other loved ones, just to name a few.

The use of hashish among teens is disproportionately high. There are several reasons for that – most of them having to do that mainstream acceptance and legalization (in some states) of marijuana, and coupling hashish with it as a comparable alternative, which of course, it isn’t. There is a tendency is downplay the potential for abuse, physical dependence, and other harmful effects of hashish. The teens are even more susceptible to its deleterious effects because of their greater propensity for the development of a substance use disorder. They are also more susceptible to peer pressure and having an underlying ADHD or conduct disorder which increases their predilection for hashish addiction, further leading to polysubstance abuse.

Health awareness and education play an important role in helping teenagers understand the hazards of hashish use. Preventing hashish addiction can also prevent falling prey to other even more serious drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

The Addiction of Sniffing Glue

Sniffing glue is a dangerous addiction. Glue is easily available and provides a degree of euphoria (feeling high) that gets people, especially younger individuals (teenagers) hooked. Solvent glue is categorized as an Inhalant, among others including aerosol sprays, cleaners, etc. There are various forms of solvent glues available, such as model glue and rubber cement.

While it might appear to be a casual activity, it can actually be life-threatening. But even if the result isn’t fatal, it can still lead to brain damage and serious lung injury. The degree of bodily harm this addictive behavior inflicts depends on the type of glue used and the frequency and amount of it inhaled. Some of the symptoms that can help identify someone who is sniffing glue include the chemical odor on clothes and breath, rash around the mouth, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, mood swings and belligerence, decline in thinking skills, concentration, and decision-making ability, loss of interest in normal activities, lack of interest in personal relationships, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, loss of coordination, fatigue, hearing loss, apathy, impaired judgment, and loss of consciousness.

Inhalants have been known to cause various degrees of brain damage
Some of the most significant organ damage that can result from sniffing glue include:

Lung injury: Sniffing glue can lead to acute respiratory failure, which is a potentially fatal condition. It occurs by direct damage to lung tissue by the chemicals in the glue, which then limits the necessary amount of oxygen being absorbed into the blood. If other substances are being used as well, they can further promote lung damage in these users, and lead to irreversible chronic respiratory failure.

Brain damage: Inhalants have been known to cause various degrees of brain damage. The most widely implicated chemicals are toluene and naphthalene, which can damage the myelin sheath, and cause potentially severe and irreversible damage to brain function.

Cardiac injury: Sniffing inhalants can also cause damage to the heart, specifically its electric circuitry. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia, and can potentially lead to heart failure. There is a condition known as sudden sniffing death syndrome (SSDS), which may occur even after a single use of an inhalant.

In addition to the above, inhalant use can also cause liver and renal damage.

The treatment for inhalant use is emergent. If the user is found to be unconscious, call 911 immediately and remove them from the toxic environment they were found in. The focus of the emergent treatment is to get the person to be stable, followed by rehab therapy. Rehab therapy is focused on identifying factors that led to the use of inhalants, and help address any underlying causes, such as mental health disorders. While the acute rehab treatment is inpatient, the patient is switched to an outpatient setting once stable enough. It should be followed by relapse prevention programs and support groups to help the recovered patient stay away from the conditions that lead to inhalant use through continued support.

Celebrity Addicts

Are celebrities more prone to addictions than the rest of us mortal human beings who must survive everyday stressors like paying our bills and getting that stain out of the carpet? This is a fair question. And we don’t have an exact answer for you.

But one author-therapist spoke up on the topic, stating clearly that celebrity life includes enormous pressures that most people never experience. Yes, we mortals have severe stress points in our lives. And, yes, the frequent lists on occupations and addictions often names doctors, miners, policemen as very vulnerable to alcoholism and drug abuse. Other lists name forest management, farming, fishermen and sales jobs as high on the list of vulnerable occupations. Seldom do you see celebrities on these lists.

But think of the pressure to be a movie actor, especially one who is the star of the show. If the movie bombs, seldom do the newspapers announce the writer’s career is imperiled. But they frequently write, “if the actor doesn’t find a moneymaker soon to put on his or her resume, their career is cooked.”

 

actors are doubly vulnerable simply because they are sensitive, creative and put their creativity out there for the entire world to see

What’s the problem here? Stress is in the eye of the beholder to a certain degree. If you like chaos, then chaos is not so stressful for you. And, where does this leave doctors? If they make a mistake, the results could be life-changing – devastating. Tell me an actor has more stress than that?

Los Angeles-based Dr. Jenn Mann, an author of a book on relationships, says that actors are doubly vulnerable simply because they are sensitive, creative and put their creativity out there for the entire world to see. In addition, companies invest millions, often hundreds of millions of dollars, in that actor or actress, which puts a lot of heavy expectations on the thespian’s shoulders.

Big Time Pressure

“You take that sort of personality that is already vulnerable to these issues and then you put them in a situation where there is enormous pressure to perform,” Hollywood Life quoted Dr. Mann as saying. “That is unbelievable pressure that very few people can even comprehend in the regular world, because a lot of people go, ‘oh, you’re just getting paid so much money, who cares?” But this is also putting yourself out there and your work and your future,” she said.

What about Money?

Ah, remember money? That’s supposed to be the root of all evil and sometimes it certainly is. What do you do if you’re having an anxiety attack because you have to perform at work the next day – as a doctor, an actor or a businessperson? You might have a drink to calm your nerves. This can become a habit with anyone who lets the alcohol begin to take control. There may be genetic factors involved. You don’t need too much of a push before alcoholism can be diagnosed.

The actor that sparked the interview in Hollywood Life was unknown to me and his name is irrelevant, but he was one of the lead actors to a mega-huge television show. The interesting points of his case included his descriptions in previous interviews about how the months when his character was getting tons and tons of media attention were his worse moments on the show.

Wait — don’t actors live for that kind of attention? Well, yes and no. It’s a double-edged sword. The attention means you will be eligible for a part in another high paying show. But it also means your every move is subjected to public scrutiny, both on the screen and off.

Opportunity

Meanwhile, all that money not only represents pressure but an opportunity. Everyone wants to be your best pal, be part of your life, buy you a drink or have you buy them one … money, money, money. When your paycheck has six zeroes on it, temptations are affordable. Do you want to take the edge off? Six zeroes can certainly make that happen.

In fact, as Dr. Mann said, when you reach “a certain level of stardom,” you suddenly become surrounded by handlers, people who want your attention, your signature, your time, your endorsement. Life begins to swirl and drugs and alcohol can certainly make that swirling go away for a while before the swirling becomes spiraling out of control.

Make A Call

Are you or someone you love suffering from addiction issues? If so, professional help is a phone call away. Call Pacific Bay Recovery in San Diego at 858-263-9700. Call soon and break the cycle.

4 Excellent Tips to prevent Alcohol Relapse

Recovery is a long journey, and maintaining long-term sobriety take effort, motivation, and self-control. Here are some highly effective relapse prevention tips that can keep you on your path of recovery.

Know your triggers

Relapse is part of recovery, and it is wise to accept this as normal experience in your life. Relapse presents the opportunity to learn to avoid future mistakes. Developing self-awareness and self-control can help you identify triggers. Once you know your triggers, you will have the power to avoid them.

Go to therapy.

Ongoing counseling and therapy help you maintain sobriety. It can help you resolve any negative feelings and thoughts that push you back towards alcohol use.

Have a relapse prevention plan in place

With your therapist’s help, create a plan that will help you manage recovery, as well as prevent relapse while keeping you on track.

Learn to cope with cravings and triggers

Understand that your cravings and urges are normal in early recovery. When you repress them, they become stronger. Learn how to take control of your thoughts and emotions.

Avoid high risk situations with alternative strategies. Here are some useful tools to prevent relapse –

  • Develop a hobby, sport or other activity
  • Encourage yourself with positive self-talk
  • Use meditation as a healthy way to cope with stress and relax
  • Learn anger and depression management
  • Reduce your list of daily responsibilities

 

Is your Oved One Addicted to Opiates?

If a loved one is addicted to opiates, you obviously want to help them quit the drug. But to help the person do so, you first need to understand how addiction works.

What is Addiction?

The foremost thing you should understand is – Addiction is NOT a choice, it’s a disease. Initially, a person takes drugs to experience a high but with repeated use, their brain and body develop a necessity for the drug, in order to feel normal again.

The cycle of addiction begins with the first use. Opiates, like heroin, morphine, or codeine create a sense of euphoria. People want to continue feeling good and go back for more. Over time and with repetition, the brain adapts and now needs the drug to feel normal. Meanwhile, the body begins to deteriorate. The time, it takes to become addicted, varies from person to person.

A person is dependent on the drug when they miss a dose and experience withdrawal symptoms. With time, the person needs more of the drug to feel the same effects. This is tolerance – another brain adaptation.

To tell if your loved one is addicted or dependent, consider the following questions.

  • Are the person’s responsibilities at risk due to opiate use?
  • Does the person crave opiates?
  • Does the person end up in dangerous situations due of opiate use?
  • Does the person spend a great deal of time thinking about, obtaining, or using drugs?
  • Has your loved one continued using opiates despite work, health, or relationship problems?
  • Has the person ever tried to quit but failed?

If the answer to any of these questions is a ‘yes’, addiction may be present.

Address denial

Most addicts deny addiction and fear quitting because –

  • they fear withdrawal
  • they are scared of dealing with pain

Opiates are the most addictive drugs known and most addicts began taking opiates to combat chronic pain.

The first step is to seek medical help. Without professional help of a reputable treatment program, it may be difficult to detox and achieve long-term sobriety.

To talk to your loved one, about seeking professional help, here are some critical things to consider –

  • get some advice before you begin
  • plan communication in advance
  • prepare as if anything can happen
  • provide a solution for recovery
  • follow through

Detox

Medical detox is the first step in treatment. During detox, opiates leave the body.

While unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may occur but they can be treated as they occur. In fact, doctors can manage the withdrawal symptoms with medications and psychological support.

Treatment

Treatment begins with assessment of the extent of addiction, the overall health condition and history of addictive behavior. The addiction professional will then create an individualized treatment plan ideal for the person’s needs.

The treatment of opiate addiction may include pain relief without the use of opiates, psychotherapy, counseling and life skills training.

What is Social Detox?

Social detoxification is a non-medical type of detox program and involves the individual stopping the use of the drugs entirely while under the care of treatment professionals. While being a social method, it involves professionals providing the patient with emotional and psychological support throughout the withdrawal process without any therapeutic intervention.

This method has shown some degree of success but it’s not without its challenges. There remains a significant potential for a withdrawal syndrome and given the lack of a proper setting, may be difficult to manage. The spectrum of withdrawal symptoms varies depending on the specific drug and can be severe and potentially life-threatening. Furthermore, there is a chance that a user who is going through detox in this method may relapse in an effort to relieve their symptoms and cravings for the drug. What’s worse yet is that these individuals have a propensity to overdose when relapsing, making it an even more critical situation.

These management programs can handle serious conditions such as seizures, which is a withdrawal symptom for a number of commonly abused substances
Another aspect of substance use disorder recovery management to keep in mind is that significantly long period of abstinence leads to a marked decrease in the patient’s tolerance level, which can be extremely dangerous as it predisposes to inadvertent potentially lethal overdosing.

Social detox approaches are also poorly equipped to address potential development of psychological issues over the course of withdrawal. These include mental health issues such as depression, suicidal ideation or attempts, anxiety, delirium, and insomnia. Apart from psychological issues, medical complications may also arise during withdrawal. Therefore, it is not advised to perform social detox for the management of withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or opioids.

Conversely, these patients need to properly diagnosed and a personalized detox and recovery program needs to be designed keeping their personal, medical and social needs in mind. Medical detox provides patients with a structured environment, proper medication and full ancillary support to address all aspects of substance use disorder recovery. These management programs can handle serious conditions such as seizures, which is a withdrawal symptom for a number of commonly abused substances. Furthermore, if the patient were to become delirious you are able to provide optimal care right away. Confused, agitated states can lead to accidents, erratic behavior, and possibly violence. Being unsupervised in social settings while in that condition is dangerous.

In many of these settings, pharmacologic intervention is necessary, whether it is for the pain, other symptoms or for choosing a drug of lesser strength to avoid a dangerous withdrawal syndrome. This is true for heroin addiction for which methadone is used. Methadone is a full opioid agonist that attaches to and activates opioid receptors in the brain, which decreases cravings and reduces unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This requires careful monitoring and assessment on a regular basis and can only be dispensed by opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Buprenorphine is another such example where a partial opioid agonist is given to produce a less pronounced opioid effect than a full agonist, such as methadone. Suboxone is a formula containing a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, a medication that blocks opioid effects.

Using these therapeutic options can be necessary for the right patient given his/her situation and administering these drugs requires a controlled environment and supervision by experienced staff, none of which a social detox method provides.

Methods of Drug Detox

There are various types of drug detox programs depending upon the drug or substance of use. These methods can be very effective if chosen for the right condition. In addition to the type of the drug of abuse, other factors that play a role include the dose taken at the time the patient starts detox, the duration of addiction, and if there is polysubstance abuse determine the most appropriate type of detox. Some of the detox methods include “Cold-Turkey” detox, short-term medicated detox, long-term medicated detox, etc.

The “cold turkey” detox method entails stopping the use of all drugs with no pharmacologic assistance and with only medical care available for emergency situations. These patients experience the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms with no help from supportive therapy. That makes it a feasible option for less intense addictions but for the rest, the cold turkey detox is not suitable and can be counterproductive, in fact dangerous.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed
Medical detox, on the other hand, is different because patients who opt for medical detox stop taking their substance of use but as they experience withdrawal symptoms, they are able to take certain medications for a limited period of time to ease discomfort. This is why this program is better tolerated and can handle slightly more intense forms of addictions. It is important to note that the medications administered/prescribed in this program are primarily for symptomatic relief, such as non-addictive sleep medication for insomnia or anxiety. The main idea is to minimize the degree of discomfort as these patients are detoxing.

If an alcoholic is undergoing medical detox, they are commonly given benzodiazepines to alleviate anxiety, jitteriness, insomnia, and to treat or prevent seizures, and they have a cross-tolerance with alcohol. However, in order to treat the use of opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, these medications have to be taken longer-term, especially partial agonists, such as methadone or the drug combination buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone). But over time, as the detox continues, they’ll often require lower doses of medication until they’re eventually drug-free.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed, then the right type of detox program is chosen. Regardless of the type of detox program chosen, it has to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Both these detox types can be carried out with the patient being at home, but it may not be the best option. The reasons for that are that it may not be entirely safe, given the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse with an overdose. It is also less effective given the higher chance of noncompliance. Overall, professional detox is safer, better tolerated and more effective in the end. Choosing the right professional detox is key, however. And at Pacificbayrecovery.com, we provide highly professional, evidence-based care to these patients.

Drug Detox for Women

While it is true that men in the United States report higher rates of drug abuse (7.7% of American men vs. 5% of American women), substance use disorder is a significant problem for women as well. A woman goes to the emergency room after abusing prescription painkillers every 3 minutes in the USA. There are approximately 15.8 million adult women per year reported to be using illicit drugs. The most commonly used substance is alcohol (33.3%), followed by heroin (15.3%), marijuana (14.6%), prescription painkillers (13.8%), cocaine (9.3%), methamphetamine/amphetamines (8.6%), etc.

Women have a different clinical presentation of their substance use disorder. They tend to have a shorter history of abusing alcohol and drugs than men, yet they are likely to develop more severe physical, emotional, behavioral, and social problems compared to men. The spectrum of symptoms and signs may also differ between women and men in any given substance use disorder. Women are also more likely than men to suffer from comorbid mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, eating disorders and particularly polysubstance abuse. It has also been noted that many women begin abusing drugs as a means of self-medication for these disorders.

Women with substance abuse problems may be more susceptible to rape, given their vulnerable state overall
All patients of substance use disorder, regardless of their gender, suffer from social problems, financial issues, mental and behavioral health disorders, malnutrition, hepatitis, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, female patients have these additional unique challenges, including having a higher rate of adverse physical effects on their cardiovascular system. They are also more likely to overdose and more sensitive to certain substances. Women with drug and alcohol addiction may be more likely to face certain financial and legal problems. This becomes even more problematic when they have children. Women with substance abuse problems may be more susceptible to rape, given their vulnerable state overall. A recent study reported that approximately 73% of female drug abusers that were surveyed had a history of rape, of whom 35% were raped while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To makes matters worse, women engaging in substance abuse may face unplanned pregnancies as a result of poor safe sex practices due to lack of awareness/resources or while under the influence.

Female patients are also prone to pregnancy complications, leading to negative outcomes for both the mother and the developing baby. These women who abuse drugs during pregnancy are more likely to experience high blood pressure, migraines, and seizures. Their fetuses are prone to having low birth weight, birth defects, developmental delays, etc. There is a 2-3 times higher risk of stillbirths in these cases.
All of these problems are made worse by several barriers to treatment faced by women. To begin with, women are generally less likely to seek treatment than men, which may be in part due to social stigmas, childcare responsibilities, financial difficulties, transportation issues, lack of interpersonal or familial support, just to name a few.

Special care should be provided to female patients in order to improve compliance, comfort and overall chance of recovery. Some female-specific supportive approaches include onsite childcare, parenting classes, special care for pregnant/nursing mothers or those who are victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. In addition, vocational training, income support, housing assistance, social services, family and couples therapy are also very useful in helping these patients.

3 Must Know Truths about Sobriety

Many people decide to get clean only after they hit rock bottom.

And the first, most important, step on their journey to recovery is to admit they can’t control or manage their addiction and to ask for help.

While this is a defining step in the recovery journey, there is a lot ahead that you should know if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.

Here are a few truths that you should know, about recovery and sobriety.

Recovery is HARD WORK

While people entering a drug or alcohol rehab already know that quitting is going to be tough, detoxing from drugs or alcohol is riddled with uncomfortable, even fatal symptoms, that affect both the body and the mind.

These are withdrawal symptoms and may include –

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache and Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tremor
  • Fever
  • Seizures

Mental Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Excitability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social phobia
  • Perceptual distortions
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Intrusive memories
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Obsessions

Recovery without Professional Help is a BAD IDEA

With the right treatment and support, the journey to recovery can be smooth. But without the right kind of help, quitting may even prove life-threatening, in some cases.

Brutal withdrawals, accidental overdose, and dangerous complications can cause serious problems if you are not at a good rehab or addiction treatment center.

Recovery DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

There is a reason recovery is called a ‘journey’. There is no cure for the disease that is addiction BUT a lifelong practice of sobriety, including behavioral changes and mental adjustments, can help the person lead a sober life forever. The best addiction recovery programs, such as ta Pacific Bay recovery in San Diego, will help you create a sober life for yourself, based on strong foundations. But it requires commitment to your own well-being. That is why good rehabs offer a medical detox followed by an inpatient rehab and later support by outpatient rehab, to ensure you stay clean and sober.

To learn more, call one of the most trusted intensive outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery at 858-263-9700 Today. Pacific Bay Recovery offers both inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment in San Diego.

5 Things you MUST Know if your Son or Daughter is an Addict

As a parent, you want to shield your kids from pain and you do your best to do so. But when your child is a victim of the disease of addiction, it seems you are completely powerless.

Fortunately, if you have a son or daughter who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is hope. Here are 14 things that you should know about children and teens who are addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Addiction is a Brain Disease

Addiction is a brain disease – a complex one that deeply affects those who are addicted to a substance. This may be a tricky concept to wrap your mind around but it is TRUE.

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) defines addiction “as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.”

Addicts are Sick, NOT Wicked

You may feel very angry with your child because of his/her addiction. Most parents condemn it.

The substance abuse may be affecting him/her as well as the rest of your family and you may witness examples of BAD behavior in action. But, that is all addiction, not your son or daughter.

Addiction is a failing of a person’s character. It is a DISEASE.

Addiction is Not a Choice

Understanding that addiction is a disease, and NOT a choice, is hard for many parents. Your child is not CHOOSING to use drugs. S/he may have chosen to do it the first time, but once the addiction is in control, s/he is powerless over the disease. The drugs run the show.

Addiction disrupts the brain’s function of critical thinking and decision making, rendering the addict powerless to exert free choice.

NO ONE wants to be an Addict

Yes, it is true – no one wants to be an addict. No one wants to become hopelessly addicted to a substance, let it ruin their lives and destroy them.

Many people try drugs and move on. However, for those predisposed to the disease of addiction, the brain clings to the high and never wants to let go. Once addiction sets in, the addict is robbed of all free will.

Your Child’s Addiction is NOT your Fault

Many loving parents start blaming and beat themselves up for the mistakes they made as a parent, when they discover that their child is addicted to a substance.

Remember that you don’t cause it or control it. It is not your fault. But you can help your son or daughter get help at a professional rehab and help him/her lead a life of sobriety, doing all they dream of.