Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.


Drug Rehab Center

The Dangers of Abusing Prescription Stimulant Drugs

 

The most commonly abused prescription stimulant medications include amphetamines (Dexedrine and Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta).

The amphetamines and methylphenidate are used to manage medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and works by changing the amounts of specific neurotransmitters (hormones) in the brain. The medication’s function then is to:

  • Help increase an affected person’s ability to pay attention.
  • Control behavioral problems.
  • Allow the patient to stay focused for a longer period of time.
  • Reduce daytime fatigue and for this reason, is also indicated for those patients who struggle with narcolepsy.

Methylphenidate can also be prescribed off-label to help manage treatment-resistant cases of:

  • Major depression.
  • Bipolar mood disorder.

Use by Students

These prescription stimulants are sometimes used by students to help enhance their mental abilities in order to improve their concentration for purposes of studying. There are individuals who state that denying these students the medications, who are essentially not struggling with any conditions that the medications are indicated for, would be denying them the opportunity to better themselves academically.

However, if one is to prescribe individuals who do not exhibit any pathology medications that alter their brain chemistry, then one is bound to expose them to certain adverse effects.

Dependence and Addiction

Psychological dependence and addiction to amphetamines and methylphenidate are possible, especially if taken at high doses as a recreational drug. As with all addictive drugs, dependence on prescription stimulants causes changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels and this leads to addictive behavior.

Overdose

Addiction can lead to an overdose of prescription stimulants. This can result in central nervous system overstimulation which can cause issues such as:

  •        Agitation.
  •        Tremors.
  •        Vomiting.
  •        Muscle twitching.
  •        Euphoria.
  •        Increased reflexes.
  •        Confusion.
  •        Delirium.
  •        Hallucinations.
  •        Hyperthermia.
  •        Flushing.
  •        Sweating.
  •        Headaches.
  •        Heart palpitations.
  •        Rapid heart rate.
  •        Abnormal heart rhythm.
  •        Elevated blood pressure.
  •        Dry mucous membranes.

A severe overdose which will require immediate medical attention may result in the following problems:

  •        Increased core body temperature.
  •        Paranoia.
  •         Convulsions.
  •         Repetitive movements.
  •         A severe drop in blood pressure.
  •         Rapid muscle breakdown.
  •         Sympathomimetic toxidrome or an adrenergic storm which is a rapid increase of epinephrine levels in the body which causes the heart rate to spike and possibly become abnormal.

Fortunately, a prescription stimulant drug overdose is rarely fatal if one receives the appropriate medical care.

Rehabilitation

Becoming addicted to prescription stimulant drugs can become problematic, especially when the medication is taken in higher than required dosages as this can lead to the above-mentioned problems.

There are rehabilitation centers available where inpatient rehabilitation is offered. This will be beneficial to patients who are addicted to prescription stimulant drugs as the following services will be made available to them:

  • Safe withdrawal from the stimulant drug.
  • Management of any underlying mental health issues or stressors.
  • Psychological counseling to aid in the development of coping skills.
  • Time and study management or any other advice regarding everyday tasks and functions so that one doesn’t have to rely on taking stimulant drugs on a recreational basis.

 

Withdrawal Symptoms Caused by Stopping Addictive Substances and How to Manage Them

Substance dependence occurs when an individual who is using addictive substances such as alcohol, narcotics, prescription medications, or other illegal drugs experiences withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the product. The body becomes used to the substance to the point that it needs the product in order to function adequately.

Drug Addict Going Through Addiction CrisisOnce the substance is discontinued, the body will experience the following general signs and symptoms within a few hours:

  • Excessive yawning.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Muscles aches and pains.
  • Increased agitation or anxiety.
  • Mood swings.
  • A runny nose and teary eyes as well as other flu-like symptoms.
  • Cravings for the addictive product.
  • Difficulty with getting to sleep (insomnia).

These are not life-threatening issues but they can make the affected individual very uncomfortable which is why they rather choose to continue using the addictive substance.

Certain withdrawal symptoms may also specifically occur when discontinuation the following substances:

  • Depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol – agitation, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and seizures.
  • Narcotics such as opioid pain medications and heroin – Bone, joint, and muscle aches, gastrointestinal issues, and increased pain sensitivity.
  • Stimulants such as the amphetamines and cocaine – anxiety, aggression, depression, sweating, fevers, stomach aches, and tremors.
  • Bath salts – paranoia, tremors, depression, and sleeping difficulties.

The duration, intensity, and severity of withdrawal symptoms will depend on the following factors:

  • The length of the addiction to the substance.
  • How much of the substance is in the individual’s body when they discontinue the product.
  • How many different substances are used by the individual at the same time.
  • If there are any physical or mental disorders present.
  • How long it takes the substance to be eliminated from the body (half-life of the product).

Medical detox

  • Medical detoxification (detox) is a therapy used to help addicts to go through the withdrawal process with as little discomfort as possible.
  • Alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs use applicable medications with appropriate dosing regimens to help reduce the duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms when the offending substance is discontinued.
  • This is performed on an inpatient basis so that the patient can be monitored by healthcare personnel in order to provide the correct level of care to the patient and so that any emergency situations may be dealt with properly.
  • Admission to inpatient substance rehabilitation centers is the safest way to detox, especially when co-morbid mental health disorders affect the patient. Psychological counseling and psychiatric consultations are offered to these patients to help address mental health problems.
  • There are various methods of medical detox including the “cold-turkey” method (meaning stopping the medication with only medical supervision), short-term medicated detox, and long-term medicated detox.

The following medications are prescribed for patients to help reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with the respective addictive substances:

 

  • Short–acting benzodiazepines – used in those who use stimulants such as alcohol as well as in marijuana users.
  • Desipramine – used in long-term stimulant users.
  • Disulfiram – prescribed for users to prevent them from using alcohol. The medication causes a metabolite of alcohol to build up in the body causing moderate to severe gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Methadone or buprenorphine – used in addicts of narcotics such as heroin and opioid pain medications.

Outpatient Rehab – Is it Right for Me?

For those whose lives still remain functional, outpatient rehab may be an option to consider. With this type of program, you see a counselor locally and work with therapy groups, attend AA/NA meetings, and complete assignments to help you with becoming drug- and/or alcohol-free. While you do have the freedom to live your life, random drug/alcohol tests are likely with this type of program, and you must be willing to submit to them, especially if it is court ordered outpatient care.

Addictive Medications and Minor AddictionsMinor Addictions

If you have trouble removing drugs and/or alcohol from your life, outpatient treatment may be right for you. This is especially the case if your life does not revolve solely around drinking and using drugs.  When you blow off friends, family, or general adult responsibilities to bar hop, consume an entire 12-pack of beer or bottle of alcohol, it’s time to get help. If you’d rather sit and completely lose your mind to get high instead of cleaning the house, grocery shopping, or spending time with your kids, it’s time to get help. This might be the right situation for you since you’re still able to function in daily life.

Remain in your Own Home

When attending outpatient rehab, you don’t have to deal with the stress of being in a strange place with conflicting personalities or those that are near death from their addictions. Being able to stay home with your family or in transitional housing while getting treatment has proven higher success rates. You have to take this program just as seriously as you would an inpatient center.

The transitional housing idea is to keep you in a dry household with others that are also in recovery. You still go to work, pay your bills, and have some freedom. There are curfews and some house rules to adhere to while seeing your counselor, participating in maintaining the home, and attending group sessions.

Live Normal Life without Drugs or Alcohol

In an outpatient program, you learn how to live life and make use of the extra time that you’d normally spend drinking or getting high. Some counselors suggest taking night college courses, painting, cooking, or taking up a hobby. It’s also an open invitation to get more involved with your spouse and children. Taking a more active role in your family is healing in itself and has plenty of benefits. You’re treating the addiction with your family, rather than being separated from them and feeling awkward returning home in a sober state.

Outpatient programs don’t work for everyone. This is the case with addicts where the only method of detection is by a blood sample or spinal tap. These expensive procedures have to be paid for by the patient and most cannot afford them. For those that recognize their problem and cannot afford inpatient care, this is a good place to start. It can be considered as temporary treatment while you look for financial aid or “scholarship” funds to get clean and live a healthy, substance-free lifestyle again.

How to Detox Your Liver From Alcohol Without 30 Day Rehab Programs

Detox Your Liver From AlcoholIn the past few years, more and more scrutiny has been placed on America’s addiction to short rehab programmes. Countless articles have why the current 30-day trend is outdated, expensive and has poor rates of return. Some estimate that only 10% of addicts going into a 30-day rehab programme will stay sober.  In an interview with Slate magazine, one Outpatient clinic owner noted: “You don’t treat a chronic illness with 30 days of intensive rehab – that’s absurd”. He’s got a point. The real question is what’s the solution? Luckily there are other options on how to detox your liver from alcohol.

 

Symptoms of Detox

Detox can be a painful process. Not only are symptoms of withdrawal severe and often very unpleasant, chronic alcohol abuse and addiction is a long built habit that takes time, effort and a certain amount of skill to break. The most obvious negative to alcohol detox is the withdrawal symptoms. Patients get a number of symptoms including:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusions
  • Seizures
  • Death

That final one is the biggest takeaway. Detox can be dangerous. In some ways, the 30-day alcohol detox rehab programme made sense when it was first invented. Get the addict safely off alcohol without some of the more severe side effects and back to their family sober. But the more we learn about addiction the more we learn this just doesn’t work. Here’s why:

  • Addiction isn’t just withdrawal. Whilst addicts don’t want to stop because they fear the withdrawal – this isn’t the only reason they are addicted.
  • Old habits die hard. How long does it take to make or break a habit? If you took up a new hobby would 30 days of doing that hobby count as a new habit? No. People take much longer, up to 90 days to make habits.
  • Addiction takes time to open up to. Often 30 days isn’t long enough to build trusting therapeutic relationships with the staff at these clinics
  • The addicts don’t want to be there. It’s no surprise that family members and loved ones want alcoholics to seek help. But often convincing them to go to a 30-day programme won’t be enough. They have to make a long-term commitment to change and signing up to 30 days isn’t a big enough commitment. Longer treatments take dedication and real willpower – the exact characteristics an alcoholic needs to overcome their addiction.

 

Unrealistic Expectations – Outpatient or Longer Stays are the Only Way

As we’ve seen – 30-day alcohol detox programs aren’t working. The success rates are low, sometimes lower than 10% completing and continuing the programme. There are, however, a number of solutions. One alternative is longer residential programmes. Those deeply ingrained habits, that have years and years of history are far more likely to be broken by much longer stays, perhaps 3 or more months. Many recovery practices do offer this service and it typically has a much higher rate of success (up to 2 or 3X higher than the best 30-day programmes). Another option is outpatient recovery, with skilled doctors prescribing the best medications to guide a person through the process and stop dangerous withdrawal. In fact, studies have shown for all substance abuse, including alcohol, that longer stays in rehab simply work better.

 

 

Addicted to your Pain Medication?

If you are struggling with a problem related to prescription pain medicine, you are not the only one.

Many people start taking opiates or pain medication under prescription but slowly, the addiction may outweigh the benefits of the medicine.

If you wish to know whether you or a loved one has developed an addiction to opiates, read on.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are psychoactive drugs that have been derived from extracts of the poppy plant – morphine and codeine. The best known opiates include heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Some opiates are prescribed for the medical treatment of pain.

Opiates are safe and can alleviate pain if used as directed by a pain management doctor. Painkiller abuse can cause dependence and addiction.

Types of Opiates

The most widely used opioids (generic and brand names) are –

  • Codeine
  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza, MS Contin)
  • Diphenoxylate (Lomotil)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon)

Signs of Opiate Addiction

There are signs to tell if you or a loved one has a problem with opiate drugs. The biggest sign of opioid addiction is continuous use opiates despite negative consequences.

Here are some of the key ways you can recognize a problem with an opiate.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

  • Abusing opiate medication
  • Signs of use include dilated pupils, sedation, or slowed breathing
  • Craving for opiates
  • Increasing dose amounts or frequency to get the same initial effect
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms

  • Running out of medications much before refill date
  • Visiting different doctors just to obtain prescriptions
  • Drug use takes priority over home, work, school responsibilities
  • Buying opiates through illegal means, online or on the street

Holistic Rehab – It Isn’t just Crazy Talk

What is Holistic RehabA holistic approach to rehabilitation (rehab) for addictions might seem crazy, but the truth is, it works. These programs are based upon the premise that natural elements remove negative energies and toxins from the body to reduce the “need” for drugs and/or alcohol. Consider it as being a realist’s way of healing. Look into these programs and view the success rates–you may be shocked.

Natural Cleansing Remedies

Connecting with nature and natural elements help to detoxify the body naturally, removing toxins that aid in your dependency on drugs and/or alcohol. What this does is create natural endorphins, which are what creates happiness and energy.  When your body rids itself of negative feelings from positive reinforcements, such as a happy life, a tranquil environment, and a great support group, you can be on your way to embracing a natural lifestyle. This holistic approach may seem absolutely nuts to some, but it isn’t harsh on the body at all. It’s actually quite refreshing.

Aromatherapy for Trigger Reduction

Triggers and temptation cause a general unsettled feeling in the body. Aromatherapy counteracts it. There are different scents that every person finds relaxing. It is important to work with your counselor to find the perfect combination for your unique situation. For instance, someone who becomes angry when their drug of choice is not available may enjoy warm scents such as cinnamon, chocolate, or fresh baked goods. Those that get anxious when they need a fix typically enjoy eucalyptus or fruit scents.

What this type of therapy does is teach you how to take those feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety in combination with a relaxing scent and allow the negative energy to leave the body. The counselor will instruct you to use these scents, and fresh air to calm these unwanted feelings.

Creating Positives Out of Negatives

For every negative in life, there are several positives that will follow. It is important to learn how to take bad feelings, cravings, and triggers and turn them into something constructive. This can mean building something, painting, a new hobby or even going for an evening walk. It’s very cleansing to concentrate these feelings into something constructive to create feelings of accomplishment and happiness. Yoga is peaceful and helps to relax both the mind and body at the same time. Other ideas to consider are learning to cook, taking classes to learn a new trade, joining a walking club, or even just taking walks in nature on your own.

Holistic approaches aren’t for the birds. The body reacts to natural stimulation in a positive manner. Negative energy by allowing life’s stresses and tragedies to take over is what often leads society to dangerous addictions. Those with serious addictions may take longer to benefit from this approach and it may be very hard on the body in the beginning. Once you go through the program and see just how fresh and happy you feel, you’ll see that the tough road was all worth it and you’ll be more motivated to maintain the lifestyle.

Not-so-Obvious Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addicts often don’t want help. They hide their problem as well as their struggle. Hiding allows them to go on drinking. Without professional help, the drinker can go on for long till s/he hits rock bottom. The longer they drink at dangerous levels, the higher is their likelihood of addiction.

So, how can you know if a loved one is hiding a drinking problem?

While denial is common among alcoholics, a person with a drinking problem will often rationalize the amount they drink; convincing themselves and others that it is no more than a drink now and then. When someone drinks in unhealthy amounts and pattern, it can involve clever ways to obtain and hide alcohol, including

  • travelling to places they may not be recognized, to buy alcohol
  • hiding alcohol around the house or office, for example, in non-alcoholic drink containers
  • using a hip flask
  • mixing alcohol in soft drinks

Hidden Signs of Alcoholism

There are various signs that may indicate a drinking problem.

  1. Denying or lying about the amounts they are drinking
  2. Drinking heavily while alone
  3. Passing out due to too much drinking
  4. Neglecting personal and professional responsibilities as a result of drinking
  5. Drinking alcohol first thing in the morning
  6. Experiencing cravings for a drink that affect mood or concentration levels

If you recognize these signs in a loved one, seek professional help so that they can work towards the best possible solution.

Techniques for Dealing with Mental Urges

Mental Urges - Heroin Drug RehabEvery person who is recovering from addiction will experience uncomfortable urges and cravings for his/her drug of choice. This is normal recovery behavior. Fortunately, these cravings usually pass with time. When you are first starting rehabilitation, these things are normal, so expect them. We offer some helpful techniques you can use to deal with mental urges.

Number 1:  Learn to Resist Cravings

For many individuals carvings and urges to use or drink will trigger automatic responses. These are unconscious thoughts and feelings. Learn to say no to these ingrained, intense desires. With the SMART Recovery Program, there is an easy to remember acronym DEADS. Each letter stands for one technique. These include:

D: Delay – Because mental activities associated with urges and cravings disappear over time, delay these thoughts and maintain your attention. With time, they will run their course and just go away. If you don’t feel they are gone in 15-30 minutes time, call someone in recovery or talk to a counselor. The best way to delay urges is to deny them and do something else.

E: Escape – Simply leave or go away from the urge or situation. Leave the bar, leave the market where wine is displayed, or turn off the television where you see something that triggers your urge to use again. Escaping the trigger gets your mind focused on something new. This, in turn, quickly lessens the urge to relapse.

A: Accept – You need to put your cravings and urges into perspective understanding they are normal with recovery, and will soon pass. When a recovering addict learns the process of addiction and accepts this discomfort, he/she can refrain from drug use. You understand that these feelings won’t kill you, and before you know it, they are gone.

D: Dispute – You now need to dispute these irrational mental urges. Keep telling yourself that you are in recovery and going to beat the addiction. Dispute these urges when they occur, and this will help them pass by more quickly.

S: Substitute – When you get a mental urge to use, substitute an activity or thought that is more fun or beneficial. This includes walking, hiking, and swimming, going to a movie, or taking a scenic drive. The possibilities for substitutions are endless, and these things lessen cravings. Before you know it, you won’t crave drugs at all.

Number 2:  Keep a Record of your Cravings and Urges

Many recovering addicts find it beneficial to write down the circumstances that led to the urges and cravings. Make a note of what you were doing when the urges hit, and what you were feeling and thinking. By documenting these things, you may see a pattern emerge. This way, in the future, you will know how to avoid this.  

Recording your cravings and urges may help you recognize the origins of your addiction, which is one of the first steps to identifying coping mechanisms. When an urge to drink alcohol or use drugs strikes, note the intensity of the urges and which coping behaviors helped you get over it. Before you know it, you will not only be able to bypass these cravings but will understand how to avoid them.

Number 3:  Make a Guideline to Use 

In a small notebook, use the following format to make a guideline for documenting your cravings and urges.

  • Date and time – While tedious and time-consuming, this will help you record any patterns that emerge.
  • Situation – Includes environment and situation. This way you have your feelings and thoughts associated with the actual situation.
  • Craving intensity – On a 1-10 scale, document how strong the cravings and urges were.
  • Coping behaviors – Note which strategies you used to help cope with the mental urges. If the strategy helps, note effectiveness.

Number 4:  Try Urge Surfing

Urge surfing is a technique many people in recovery use to cope with their mental urges. This involves gritting the teeth and letting the cravings pass. Some urges are overwhelmingly strong, particularly when you first go into your old using situation or environment. This technique is called urge surfing because the urges feel like ocean waves you must surf through.

Like ocean waves urges start small and then get larger, gathering momentum until they break or crash on the shore. With urge surfing, you simply tough it out and allow the cravings to pass by. The basis of this technique is similar to many martial arts techniques. You first overpower an opponent by going with the force of an attack. Then, you redirect your energy to your advantage.

The Relapse Prevention Plan

People who have a history of alcohol or drug addiction know that getting clean is tough, but staying sober tougher. Addiction affects 23 million Americans, and it costs society billions each year. Because returning to the addict way of life is a possibility, you should plan specific ways to prevent relapse. This involves understanding the challenges you face. Find out why the relapse prevention plan is one of the most crucial components of recovery.

When you make a relapse prevention plan, it is important that you recognize and respond to the early warning signs of relapse. Before things spin out of control, you can stop relapse quickly. Statistics show that two-thirds of people who finish rehab and attempt recovery will relapse. This does not mean that rehab has failed, however. When in recovery, you should address your problems and devise a plan. This way, you can better face the cravings and urges when they do occur.

How to Create a Plan

A relapse prevention plan is a vital part of addiction treatment, and it is also used in 12-step groups and support groups. Counselors and rehab workers will help you go through the planning process because others may see things you do not realize about yourself. Other people are a good source of support during addiction treatment. A written relapse prevention plan can act as an inspiration and guide as you go through addiction treatment. The plan can be shared with other recovering addicts and is a valuable tool when you feel like you are on the verge of relapse.

Here are the steps to creating the relapse prevention plan:

  • Examine your use history and previous relapses – Once you are sober and stabilized, start the relapse prevention plan by looking at every stage of your life. Examine patterns of using alcohol and drugs, examine your compulsive behaviors, and consider consequences. It helps to identify why you relapsed, so you can feel more in control of your recovery.
  • Know warning signs and ways to manage them – The warning signs of relapse are red flags to you. These are signs and symptoms that occur right before actual physical relapse. These include anxiety, moodiness, fantasizing about drug use, loneliness, feelings of hopelessness, sadness, not going to meetings, avoiding clean friends, seeking out using friends, and planning your drug use. It often starts with subtle warning signs, but then, full-blown drug use occurs.
  • Have a support network – If you don’t have supportive people in your life, get some. Build a team of people you can depend on, vent to, and discuss your problems. These could be family, friends, counselors, therapists, support group members, or clergymen. It is important that you remove yourself from people that trigger drug use.
  • Have an emergency relapse plan – This involves a detailed plan for yourself when you feel like using drugs and/or alcohol. Strategies include authorizing someone to step forward and place you into treatment should you relapse. This could include daily 12-step meetings, talking with counselors, or starting outpatient therapy.
  • Prioritize your overall well-being – Make yourself a priority. Plan lifestyle changes that will improve your mental and physical health. Start exercising, learn to prepare healthy meals, and add yoga or meditation to your daily routine. These things help to control stress and combat boredom. Many mental health problems often co-occur with substance use, so see a therapist to work through your problems.

The Facts on Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a drug that has been around a while, but just now is becoming abused. This drug is a powerful synthetic opioid that is prescribed under the brand names Duragesic, Actiq, and Sublimaze. Here are some facts about fentanyl.

About the Drug

Fentanyl is similar to the opioid morphine, but it is actually 100 times more potent. The drug fentanyl is a schedule II prescription drug that is only given to patients with severe, intractable pain. Street names for fentanyl are GoodFella, Jackpot, Friend, Dance Fever, China Girl, China White, Apache, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango & Cash.

How People use Fentanyl

When prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl is administered via transdermal patch, injection, or in lozenges. However, fentanyl and its analogs associated with overdoses have been produced in clandestine laboratories. Nonpharmaceutical fentanyl is sold as a power, spiked on blotter paper, as tablets that mimic other opioids, or mixed with or substituted for heroin. Because drug dealers are now manufacturing fentanyl, people can snort, swallow, or inject the synthetic drug.

How Fentanyl Patches are Abused

Duragesic patches are abused by people who just wish to get high. People who abuse fentanyl are not in pain. The fentanyl patches contain a gel in a pouch lying between two membranes. The abuser will eat the fentanyl gel, giving them a big dose all at once. Many fentanyl abusers steal the patches from a friend, family member, or person in his/her care, and then apply them to their skin or eat the gel.

Who Abuses Fentanyl

Fentanyl abuse can occur when a person exaggerates his/her pain in order to get a prescription from the doctor. An injured person could pretend to be in great pain just to get fentanyl. Physicians may over-prescribe fentanyl by giving the patient the medication when he/she does not need it, or for longer than he/she requires the drug. In addition, healthcare and pharmacy workers can become addicted to or abuse fentanyl, because they have access to prescriptions and medications.

How Fentanyl affects your Brain

Fentanyl works by binding with the body’s natural opioid receptors, which are located in areas of the brain that control emotions and pain. Like morphine and heroin, fentanyl has a high addiction potential. When opioid drugs bind to the body’s opioid receptors, they drive up dopamine levels in reward area, which produces a state of relaxation and euphoria. The effects of fentanyl also include confusion, nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, sedation, addiction, tolerance, respiratory depression, unconsciousness, coma, and with overdose, death.

What Makes Fentanyl Dangerous

Fentanyl is a dangerous drug when used recreationally. Opioid receptors found in the brain control breathing rate. When fentanyl is consumed or absorbed in high doses, it can cause your breathing to completely stop. This is especially true when a the drug user is not aware of what he/she is taking. Fentanyl sold on the street poses many dangers, as it amplifies the potency of heroin and cocaine.

The Drug Abuse/Use Problem in America

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 39 million people in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. That’s roughly 10% of the entire population. Of those who abuse drugs, teens and adolescents make up 3 million of them.

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

There are a number of signs and symptoms that alert you that someone you know, love, and wish to help is abusing fentanyl. These signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty seeingDetox Center San Diego
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Retention of urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Pin-point pupils (constriction)
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Bad dreams
  • Weight loss

Pacific Bay Recovery is the top drug rehab center in Southern California, offering first rate treatment for both prescription and illicit drugs. Most insurance is accepted at the San Diego drug rehab center, call us today!

Resources

Higashikawa Y, Suzuki S. Studies on 1-(2-phenethyl)-4-(N-propionylanilino) piperidine (fentanyl) and its related compounds. VI. Structure-analgesic activity relationship for fentanyl, methyl-substituted fentanyls and other analogues. Forensic Toxicol. 2008;26(1):1-5. doi:10.1007/s11419-007-0039-1.

Nelson L, Schwaner R. Transdermal fentanyl: Pharmacology and toxicology. J Med Toxicol. 2009;5(4):230-241. doi:10.1007/BF03178274.

Volpe DA, Tobin GAM, Mellon RD, et al. Uniform assessment and ranking of opioid Mu receptor binding constants for selected opioid drugs. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011;59(3):385-390. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2010.12.007.