lean drink

Lean Drink

The use of a substance referred to as Lean drink has become the talk of the town in many circles. This infamous substance has been known to have several negative impacts on those who use it, some cases even including so much as death. What’s worse is that so many rappers and professional athletes endorse its use in one way or another.

Known in hip hop culture as ‘Lean’ or some variation of the phrase ‘Purple Drink’, this drug cocktail is a dangerous avenue some teens are using to get high. The craze surrounding Lean is a fairly recent trend, taking root in the 1990s. Although its use traces back all the way to the 1970s, Lean became popular in the 90s when rap artists began using and referencing it in their music.

As is the case with the vast majority of drugs, it is imperative to familiarize oneself with what Lean actually is. Doing so could save your life, or the life of somebody close to you. This drug, in particular, is not one to mess around with, as its effects on the body could be detrimental to one’s health.

What is Lean?

Lean is the name of a substance containing Sprite (or some sort of soda), Codeine, and candy. Codeine is found in medicine used to treat cold and allergy symptoms and is an Opiate that gives the user a feeling of immense joy or excitement. Most often, the Codeine-containing cough syrup also possesses Promethazine; Promethazine is a sedative. Soda and candy are high in sugar, masking the bitter taste of the cough syrup.

The Effects of Lean 

Some of the most common effects of Lean include the following:

  • Night Terrors
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations 
  • Memory Loss
  • Seizures 

The side-effects of using Lean are frightening and dangerous. In some cases, the drug has even been a cause of death. The Codeine found in the substance is also highly addictive, leading to frequent misuse. Codeine is classified as a Schedule V drug, making it illegal to purchase cough syrups that contain it without a prescription. 

Becoming addicted to Lean does not happen overnight. Instead, like any other drug, it happens when usage is repeated time and time again. There are also other circumstances that influence addiction such as environment, mental health, or genetics. 

Codeine is an addictive pain-killer. Because of this, the excessive use of Codeine can lead to addiction or long-term substance abuse. Before someone becomes an addict, a tolerance is built. It’s because of the tolerance that they keep coming back to the drug to give them a high equal to or greater than the first; no high is greater than the first. Tolerance leads to abuse, and abuse can have several consequences, some even as extreme as death.

What Are My Options?

If you or a loved one are addicted to Lean, or even Codeine itself, there are Addiction Treatment Services available for you. Whether it’s Inpatient Residential Treatment, Outpatient Treatment, or Detox Treatment, we’ve got you covered. It is imperative, no matter how isolated someone feels, to seek help. With the right help from Addiction Treatment Services, you can recover and pursue a life of sobriety and peace.

Why Is Lean So Popular?

Substances like Lean don’t become a popular topic of conversation by merely existing. Drugs like this have an impact on the mind and body, and this grows the substance’s popularity. 

Lean, like any other drug, became popular due to the psychological effects it has on the body. User’s typically feel a sense of euphoria, and this feeling combined with the drug’s sedative nature keeps people coming back for more. 

When drugs are used, the chemical signals tell the body that whatever they’re doing is good. Because of this, people become addicted; they begin to associate the feelings of love, happiness, and any other sort of pleasure with their drug of choice. 

Another reason Lean has become immensely popular is because of its mention by popular hip hop artists. The 1990s were no strangers to drug cocktails. In fact, there was a rise of popularity among them during that period of time. Rappers and hip hop artists alike would feature this substance in their music videos or even in public. The fad began in Houston and spread like wildfire. 

How Long Does Lean Stay in Your System?

Traces of Lean can be found in the body differently through varying tests, which include the following:

  • Urine: Two to three days
  • Saliva: One to four days
  • Blood: 24 hours
  • Hair: Two to three months

Depending on varying conditions, traces of Lean could be detected for either several days or several months. Some of these varying conditions, like any other drug, include volume, age, metabolism, and exercise. However, all of this is not to say estimates cannot be drawn up. 

How To Get Help

Substance abuse, if left untreated for a long period of time could prove itself detrimental to one’s well-being. Admitting that there is a problem is often the first step, but it can be difficult to accept the reality. Often it is easier to put on a smile for everybody else around you, but sometimes the things that are the most difficult are also the most rewarding.

Addiction Treatment Services offer you a lifeline of support. We understand the pain substance abuse can cause, and we want to share that burden with you to help you pursue a life of peace and stability.

There are options available to provide support to those struggling with an addiction to Lean. Whether it’s through inpatient, outpatient, or detox treatments, Addiction Treatment Services has you covered. 

Regardless of where you’re starting from, recovery has a purpose. That purpose can either be forgotten, gathering dust, or it can flourish in the light of glorious pursuit. Every thousand-mile journey begins with the first step.

If you or a loved one are struggling with Codeine or any other addiction, it may be time to seek help. For insight as far as the next steps are concerned, you can contact us here.

what is flakka

Flakka – What is it?

A few short years back, there was an illicit drug hitting the streets that drove people mad. Flakka was its name, and it has since proven itself to have side-effects that turn individuals into a completely different person. Some call it the Zombie Drug due in large part to the fact that those who use it have been known to bite off people’s flesh. The drug seems like something a master villain would think up in a comic book, but this is as real as it gets. That being said, what exactly is flakka?

What Is Flakka?

Flakka is a hallucinogenic drug that causes temporary psychosis to those who use it, and is relatively easy to get ahold of. Also called Gravel or Flocka, Flakka is a combination of Crack Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth; in short, it is a monster drug. 

The nature of drugs like flakka derive from Khat, a plant that grows in East Africa and Southern Arabia. Flakka is an Alpha-Pyrrolidiopentiopenone (alpha-PVP) which leads people to express violence and riot destructively like a zombie. 

This drug is now considered a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, meaning if someone is found possessing or using the drug, they could face up to 30 years in prison. It is so dangerous that the mere use of it can lead to substance abuse.

Flakka can be snorted, swallowed, injected, or smoked. One interesting thing concerning the drug’s make-up is that it is eerily similar to Bath Salts. Some suggest that it is an evolution of the drugs because of the form in which it sometimes is sold: little white rocks, hence the term ‘Gravel’. 

Bath Salts

Bath Salts are classified as Synthetic Cathinones; these are central nervous stimulants used to achieve the same effect as Meth or Cocaine. Bath Salts are often listed as “plant food” or “bath salts”, and labeled “not for human consumption.” These can be found in smoke shops, gas stations, the internet, or adult book stores. Bath Salts, similar to Flakka, can be snorted, smoked, and injected. Users take Bath Salts in order to achieve alertness and euphoria, but, similar to Flakka, they cause people to go psychotic, becoming very aggressive and violent. 

Symptoms of Flakka Usage

Those who use Flakka usually express the following symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Aggression or Violence
  • Delusions of Superhuman Strength
  • Paranoia

In some cases, people have become paranoid to the point of barging into a police station to seek safety from a threat they’d only imagined; others include agitated people running naked in the middle of a busy street. These acts are all a direct result of the influence Flakka puts those who use the drug under.

The Effects of Flakka

The effects of Flakka include the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Aggression
  • Alertness
  • Increased Blood Pressure

Flakka’s effect on the human body is what most people would imagine on the surface. Upon taking it, dopamine rushes to the brain and distorts the pleasure center. This acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and distorts the normal function of processing excitement, allowing the user to experience intensified euphoric emotions. 

Once Flakka runs its course on the body, the mind travels to a state of depression. During this time, users often feel fatigued, a side-effect of depression. This often leads those who abuse Flakka back to the drug to achieve the excitement that it offers them. As a result, a tolerance is built up towards the drug, and because of that, dependance ensues. In some cases, dependence has resulted in overdose and death.

When using Flakka in high doses, the body’s temperature will rise exponentially. This often leads to kidney damage. Despite the extreme dangers of the drug, it is still vastly popular. What’s even worse is that since the drug is relatively new, the long-term effects it has on the body can’t be properly evaluated.

Getting Help

Finding help for substance abuse is difficult for those involved directly and their families as well. For people who are suffering directly from substance abuse, it can be difficult to even admit that they abusing substances, let alone conceding to the acquisition of assistance.

For those who are seeking out help for substance abuse, it’s important that they are approached with understanding and care. This is necessary because, without understanding, they will completely shut people out. It is imperative that they don’t shut people out before you are able to talk about seeking treatment. Every patient who walks through the doors of our treatment facilities will be met with compassion so that they know they’re being well taken care of.

Addiction Treatment Services are available for those who are suffering from substance abuse with Flakka. These options are effective in helping cure even the most harmful of addictions. One of the services that those suffering from the use of Flakka may need is Inpatient residential treatment.

Inpatient Residential Treatment

Inpatient residential rehab is a treatment option that does particularly well for those suffering from the use of Flakka. This specific method is used in cases of severe substance abuse habits. Ranging anywhere from 28 days to six months, this treatment allows patients 24/7 access professional medical personnel. They also have access to professional psychiatrists and therapists throughout the days spent in recovery. Patients using this recovery method stay within the care of an Addiction Treatment Services facility. 

ATS Can Offer You Help

For those suffering from intense substance abuse such as the excessive use of Flakka, there are recovery options that can go a long way in helping them. Some people don’t want help, most often because they are either ashamed to admit, or denying the fact that they’re dealing with a serious health problem. Addiction Treatment Services are available for them to pursue a life of stability and sobriety. For more information, you can contact us here.

bath salts

Not for Human Consumption: The Dangers of Bath Salts

The bath salt abuse trend seems to have come out of nowhere. It caused 23,000 emergency visits in 2011! Even today, bath salts have a widespread effect— especially on younger people.

Don’t underestimate the dangers of bath salt abuse. Read on to learn more about the basics of bath salts, the dangerous side effects they carry, and how to find help if you’re struggling with addiction.

What Are Bath Salts?

Synthetic cathinones, or “bath salts,” come in a crystallized powder that resembles Epsom salt, hence the name.

Bath salts are a “designer drug,” or a synthetic version of a controlled substance. These particular drugs produce short-lived but extreme highs due to their highly concentrated ingredients.

The lab-grown nature of these drugs is also cause for concern. Not only are synthetic cathinones highly addictive, but factors like ingredient impurity, lack of lab sanitation, and the addition of other chemicals like detergent pose a threat to users.

Ingredients in Bath Salts

The main ingredient of this drug comes from the khat plant, an herb native to parts of Arabia and Africa. The plant contains cathinone, a natural amphetamine stimulant.

Alone, khat plants and cathinone can pose a number of health risks due to the presence of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). However, lab-generated cathinone is far more powerful. In fact, synthetic cathinone shares a similar chemical makeup to methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA. Some people even call it “fake cocaine.”

Street Names for Bath Salts

All things considered, these drugs are relatively new to the United States. But since their introduction, they’ve garnered a lot of (mostly negative) attention.

The U.S. government even signed an emergency federal ban on the drug within a few months of its stateside appearance.

However, as a result of the ban, the drug gained a number of additional street names, including:

  • Bliss
  • Sextasy
  • Plant food
  • Meow meow
  • Phone screen cleaner

Of course, “bath salts” is still the most popular street name for synthetic cathinones.

Bath Salts Side Effects

The use of this drug can bring about a number of dangerous side effects. The results can land users in the hospital, cause permanent damage, or even prove fatal.

Here are a few of the more common side effects:

Euphoria

The most common effect of this drug is the extreme and sudden sense of euphoria, not unlike that experienced with similar drugs like cocaine.

But the high itself isn’t the greatest cause for concern. Rather, it’s the sudden start followed by an almost spontaneous crash three to four hours later. This can put an enormous strain on the body.

Confusion or Memory Loss

Many bath salts users reported feeling a sense of confusion, almost like amnesia. They forgot who they were, where they were, and why they were there. Although this side effect tends to lessen over time, it is possible for a user to never fully recover.

Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Many people who use bath salts report a massive surge in energy after ingesting the drug. This exhilaration is partially due to an increase in blood flow to the heart.

This may seem harmless, but make no mistake: increased heart rate can be one of the most dangerous side effects of drug use.

In one case, a 27-year-old man was hospitalized after ingesting the drug. Doctors noted that although the man was healthy by all accounts, he now exhibited signs of cardiomyopathy and cardiogenic shock.

Increased heart rate isn’t the only cardiovascular risk of bath salt abuse. Elevated blood pressure is also a major threat. A sudden spike in blood pressure increases a person’s chance of succumbing to a stroke or heart attack.

Liver Damage

Our bodies are not designed for filtering toxins like the ones found in bath salts. As a result, a user may experience extreme liver damage, not unlike an alcoholic.

Seizures

Up to 9% of all epileptic episodes are caused by drug abuse. A single seizure is dangerous enough, but prolonged bath salt abuse can cause repeat incidents, leading to permanent brain damage.

Extreme Mood Swings

One of the most well-known symptoms of bath salt use is the erratic mood swings that make for unpredictable behavior. Other symptoms include extreme paranoia and anxiety that can last for days after ingestion.

Powerful Hallucinations

Bath salts are psychoactive substances. The intense chemical reactions they cause in the brain can result in any number of auditory or visual hallucinations. This side effect can be particularly dangerous when combined with mood swings.

The most infamous case of bath salt abuse involving this particular side effect took place in Florida. A homeless man high on bath salts attacked and began cannibalizing another homeless man. He was subsequently shot and killed by police officers. The victim lost 75 percent of his face, but survived.

Treatment Options for Bath Salts Addiction

It’s important to note that, like methamphetamine and cocaine, bath salts are extremely addictive. In fact, studies show that they may actually be more addictive. It doesn’t take much for a user to become addicted.

Bath salts addiction is a scary, eye-opening experience. It comes with a wide array of physical and mental consequences, all of which require professional help.

With that said, if you or a loved one are dealing with bath salts addiction, the battle is far from over. Detoxification, residential treatment, and outpatient treatment are all quality, affordable forms of addiction care. They work even better together.

Enrolling in rehab will give you or your loved one the opportunity to address the addiction as well as learn life-changing coping skills through various intensive therapies.

Contact Us Today for More Information

Bath salts are dangerous substances with frightening side effects and medical consequences. Using these drugs even once can put you at great risk.

Please remember that help is out there.

Reach out today to discover rehab centers in your area that can help you get your life back.

what is dabbing

What is Dabbing and is It Addictive?

You may have heard of friends giving up on their green for the new craze. While 22.2 million Americans have used marijuana in the past month, they decided they needed something stronger.

That’s right. Dabbing is making its way into the mainstream for the pot industry, but what is dabbing? Is it safe? Is it addictive?

Let’s talk about dabbing, the risks involved, and what you can do about it.

What Is Dabbing?

Dabs, hash oil, wax, glue, or whatever you want to call it, has been around since the mid-’90s.

As you may know, dabs are a wax comprised of concentrated THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.

The process of extracting THC wax can be as simple as using a hair straightener and some wax paper to remove some of the THC from the cannabis plant.

The term for actual “dabs” refers to butane hash oil (BHO). Yes, the butane used in blow torches is used in the extraction process.

Some people have used more effective and different ways of extracting the THC, but no matter how it is done, the potency can be high.

Marijuana can be as high as 20% THC depending on the strain and how it is grown. However, dabs can range between 70-90% THC, making them a lot stronger.

Methods of Use

Dabs can be used in a number of different ways.

Some people who use them will bake them into food or candies and eat them. Edible dabs are fairly popular, as the effects last much longer and they are easier to cook with than marijuana.

Others use dab pens, vaporizers that are made specifically for wax. These will have either an exposed coil that you put the wax on, or it will be a regular vape pen with thinner dab liquid.

The most popular form of dabbing involves a torch and some glass. This can be damaging for your lungs, as the method of doing this involves heating up a “nail” made of glass or quartz with a blowtorch until it is glowing red from heat. Once it is heated up, a piece of the was is placed onto the nail and inhaled.

Types of Addiction

Addiction does not come in one simple form. It can look different for every different user with every different substance. However, we can break the types of addiction down into two different umbrellas.

Physical Addiction

Physical addiction develops after your body adapts to a new substance. People who smoke cigarettes become physically addicted to nicotine because their brain cannot produce the same compound itself, and it grows a dependence for it.

People who are physically addicted to a substance will suffer withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the substance.

Psychological Addiction

Contrary to what you may believe, psychological addictions are the stronger of the two. If you are physically addicted to something and you choose to stop, you have that ability.

However, if you are psychologically addicted to a substance, you need to change your entire mindset about it to stop.

Psychological addictions also make it more difficult to believe that there is no need to quit. Think about it. If you do not feel any withdrawals after stopping for a couple of days, it’s easier to justify to yourself that you aren’t addicted.

On the flip side, if you believe yourself to be addicted and accept it, that can be a hard sell to fix.

People can struggle with both types of addictions simultaneously, or one without the other. However, it is certain that a combination of the two is the most difficult to overcome.

Find out more about the difference between these types of addictions to better understand them.

Is Dabbing Addictive?

In short, yes. People can become psychologically dependent on it with regular use. It can get to the point of believing that you can’t function normally without it.

This can be dangerous for their health, especially if they are using the torch method, but it is dangerous in other ways as well. Regular and consistent dabbing can be destructive financially, socially, or professionally.

For very frequent users, people can actually become physically addicted to dabbing as well. While physical addiction from THC may not be as strong as some other substances, withdrawal symptoms can occur once the user has stopped using the drug for a while.

Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, depression, loss of appetite and trouble with sleep.

Many people use marijuana as a sleep aid and they become dependent on it, making insomnia one of the most common symptoms of withdrawal.

What Should You Do?

If somebody is using marijuana or hash oil in a way that is negatively affecting their life, or the lives around them, then it should be treated as an addiction.

If you feel as if you cannot function without the drug, it may be time to quit. Those feelings will not go away with more use of the drug, and physical withdrawal symptoms will only become worse with longer, sustained use.

Even though the popular belief is that marijuana is not addictive, it can be for some. If it is hurting them or their loved ones, then it is just as serious of a problem as it would be with any other substance.

If it is time to address the issue, find out how to do an intervention the right way.

What Else?

Ignore anybody who says that marijuana or dabbing is not dangerous, and find out if you or a loved one are addicted to it.

If you feel as if somebody you love is addicted to dabbing, talk to them about it and intervene if necessary.

Now that we’ve answered the question “What is dabbing?”, determine if treatment is necessary and check out our services.

References:

know before taking Xanax

An Antidote and a Problem: 11 Things You Need to Know About Xanax

About 5% of American adults suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Chronic insomnia, restlessness, irritability, lack of focus and pain from prolonged muscle tension is enough to wear anyone into submission.

If you’re suffering from these symptoms, taking Xanax might seem like a good idea. But, recent scientific findings reveal that Xanax might be worse for your long-term well-being.

In this article, we’ll reveal eleven things you should know about Xanax. We’ll also talk about where you can find relief from addiction.

#11: Xanax Has Short Term Side-Effects

The short-term side effects of Xanax include: decrease or loss of physical coordination, slowed breathing, heart palpitations, stuffy nose, sweating, chest pain, blurred vision, upset stomach, and swelling of hands or feet.

Meanwhile, psychological side effects of Xanax can include irritability, dizziness, loss of focus, sleeping problems, memory loss/difficulty, and fatigue.

These might seem like a fair trade to relieve the symptoms of generalized anxiety. But there’s much more to consider whether Xanax is the best option.

#10: Xanax Can Be Both an Antidote, and a Problem

Taking Xanax People with GAD want to enjoy life again. They want freedom from the creeping worries, the “adrenaline bleed” and the feelings of impending dread. This is perfectly reasonable considering these statistics about Xanax use in America:

  • 77% of Americans regularly experience the physical symptoms of stress.
  • 73% of Americans regularly experience the psychological symptoms of stress.
  • 33% of the American population lives with “extreme stress.”

So, if you’re experiencing extreme stress, you’re not alone. Plenty of people start taking Xanax during a stressful period of their lives, but they stop before the habit becomes an addiction.

But for others, the desire for temporary relief leads to long-term dependency. This is because, while Xanax “turns down the volume,” on GAD symptoms, it doesn’t eliminate the cause.

Instead, it slowly makes your body dependent on the drug, which is the first phase of addiction. The more dependent you become on Xanax, the further you get from learning to cope with the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

In a 2015 study, only 16% of American adults reported that their stress had decreased over the previous year.  Meanwhile, 48% of American adults reported an increase in stress symptoms.

Doctors across America write about 50 million prescriptions for the family of drugs (benzodiazepines, or “benzos”) to which Xanax belongs. Xanax is one of the top ten best-selling (prescription) drugs in America and the 5th most prescribed drug.

Xanax prescriptions have also increased since 2008-averaging about a 9% increase every year. All these statistics reveal two important things about Xanax use in America:

  1. Xanax is becoming more popular.
  2. Stress is becoming more common.

This suggests that Xanax is not the long-term answer to treating America’s growing epidemic of stress and anxiety. But that’s not all.

#9: Xanax Use Has Been Linked to Depression Symptoms

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults (18 or over) in the United States. That’s 18.1% of the population, making anxiety the most common mental health issue in North America.

What most people don’t know is that nearly half those diagnosed with anxiety disorders are also diagnosed with depression. Xanax is a tranquilizer. On the streets, it would be called a “downer.”

It doesn’t take a medical degree to figure out that downers are the last thing a depressed person needs. Of course, you might be one of the 10% of Americans who suffer from anxiety, but not from depression.

But we’ll explain later how taking Xanax over a long enough time period could change that. For now, you should know that 33% of long-term Xanax users report an increase in depression-like symptoms.

#8: Xanax is Highly Addictive

Alprazolam, a member of the benzodiazepines drug family, is the generic name for Xanax.

Like other benzodiazepines, alprazolam calms your brain and central nervous system by enhancing the effect of a naturally occurring neurotransmitter called “GABA” (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid).

Your body releases GABA to calm you when you’re anxious. GABA then binds to receptors, which transmit a “message” to your central nervous system, sending a wave of calm throughout your body.

The problem is, if your GABA receptors are overloaded, they become less sensitive to these “chill out” messages. This means, your brain has to send more GABA neurotransmitters to get the same message across to the rest of your body.

To put this into perspective, imagine trying to shout instructions at a group of people. Every time you shout for new instructions, the people lose a little bit of their hearing. You have to shout louder, and louder, and louder until you can’t shout any louder.

This is essentially what benzodiazepine addiction does to your brain and nervous system. The more Xanax you take, the more you have to take. This is why people who start taking just a few Xanax a day eventually find themselves swallowing them like tic tacs.

#7: Xanax Addiction Literally Rewires Your Brain

Modern neuroscientists have discovered that your brain can “rewire” itself in response to your behaviors and your environment.

Norman Doidge, M.D. (author of “The Brain that Changes Itself”), writes about stroke patients who regained their power of speech and a woman with literally half a brain who lived a perfectly normal life.

How is this possible? Because the neural networks in your brain are not static. They can reorganize themselves to compensate for brain function lost through injury or disease.

This is called “neuroplasticity,” and the brain can perform this function at any stage of life. But, when it comes to addiction, neuroplasticity has a dark side.

To paraphrase a statement from a 2012 addiction study conducted at the Centre for Neuroscience Research at the University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia:

“Addiction is a long-term and recurring brain disorder where compulsive patterns of drug use and drug seeking eclipse other activities. As the behavior goes from casual to compulsive, the potential for relapse is underpinned by neuroadaptations in brain circuitry, similar to those at work during long-term memory formation.”

In other words, drug addiction “programs” your brain for dependency. While the brain can heal by reprograming itself, it takes time, energy and proper conditioning.

People who go to rehab have a fighting chance at making this change. But, since 95% of people who need specialty substance abuse treatment don’t get it, it’s easy to see why so many people become slaves to addiction.

Thankfully, there is a way out of this tangled web of dependency. But it takes more than willpower. We’ll talk about that later.

#6: Xanax Abuse Can Lead to Other Types of Drug Abuse

By now, you know that addiction changes your brain and its interaction with your nervous system. But if your neuro-receptors are “numbed” to one neurotransmitter (such as GABA), you can still get a similar effect by switching to a different drug.

Many of the people who come to us for Xanax addiction treatment are combining it with alcohol or other illicit drugs. Also, since Xanax users report an increase in depression symptoms, some of them use stimulants to treat the depression.

In fact, 86% of people who seek assistance for Xanax problems admit to taking Xanax as a secondary drug. Again, this is because addiction changes your brain’s wiring.

Once these changes happen, addiction becomes less about one particular drug and more about the general use of mood-modifying chemicals.

#5: Taking Xanax Puts Others in Your Life at Risk

About one in twelve high-school seniors self-report to having abused Xanax at some point. Seven out of ten of them admit to getting the pills from their parents’ medicine cabinet.

The same sources reported that half of these teens believe that using prescription drugs for recreation is safer than using illegal drugs. But again, addiction changes your brain in a way that makes you highly vulnerable to other types of drug abuse, including illegal drugs.

In 2009, sixteen million Americans over the age of twelve admitted having used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Nearly half of teens who take Xanax will take it with at least one other drug.

So, if you’re a parent taking Xanax, it’s worth considering whether your teen will become one of these statistics.

#4: Xanax Withdrawal is Physically and Emotionally Stressful

An addict who decides to quit has no choice but to go through withdrawal. Sometimes, the fear and dread of withdrawal is so severe, it stops the addict from getting help.

Friends or family members who call our addiction intervention specialists understand this. They see their loved ones trying to quit, or cut back, only to be beaten into submission by the physical and emotional stress of withdrawal.

Thankfully, Xanax withdrawal is temporary, and there is freedom on the other side. But Xanax detoxification should happen under intense medical supervision.

It’s also best followed up by an intensive drug rehab program to ensure long-term success. But if you, or someone you love, is headed towards Xanax addiction, it’s important to know that Xanax withdrawal can be more stressful than the anxiety it’s supposed to treat.

#3: Xanax Addiction Can Erode Your Relationships

The average person with a Xanax addiction will take between 20 and 30 pills a day. The more Xanax you take, the more likely people are to get worried. If they think you’re losing control, they’ll try to either distance themselves or to help.

In many cases, people who want to help can be the hardest people to deal with. If you have any experience with addiction, you’ve probably heard them say things like:

  • “Why don’t you just stop?”
  • “You’re going to kill yourself.”
  • “You can stop if you really want to.”

If you’re suffering from anxiety and/or depression, you don’t want to be around people who make you feel worse. This is why addicts often distance themselves even from the people who are just trying to help.

People who suffer from depression and anxiety have less frequent social interactions. Considering how hard it is for non-addicts to understand addiction, it’s easy to see why. Addicts also retreat from relationships due to feelings of shame or inadequacy.

#2: Benzodiazepine Related Deaths Are On the Rise in America

Every day, about 115 Americans die from overdosing on opioids. Over 30% of these overdoses involve benzodiazepines. But that’s not all.

Since 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported a consistent rise in opioid deaths involving benzodiazepines.

In 1999, the average death count ranged between 5,000 and 10,000. By 2015, that number had exploded to between 30,000 and 35,000. Other commonly abused benzodiazepines include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam).

Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults fulfilling these benzodiazepine prescriptions increased from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. That’s a 67% increase.

Benzodiazepine purchase sizes are also on the rise. The average (out of 100,000 adults) quantity of benzodiazepine obtained has risen from 1.1 kg to 3.6 kg lorazepam-equivalents.

In 2016, the CDC issued new guidelines for opioid prescription in an attempt to slow the rising death toll. The guidelines recommend clinicians to avoid prescribing benzodiazepines along with opioids.

The FDA also issued a “black box” warning to warn of the dangers of using opioids and benzodiazepine together.

However, this growing trend of Xanax addiction and regulatory pressure has also created a black market for Xanax. Underground Xanax dealers sell pills for $1 and $10 a piece (depending on dose size).

This trend has turned Xanax addiction into an expensive habit and Xanax addicts into criminals.

#1: Good News: Xanax Addiction is Treatable

How do you know if your Xanax habit has become an addiction?

The World Health Organization (ICD-10) and the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV), has set six qualification standards for answering that question:

  1. Withdrawal: physical and/or emotional.
  2. Limited control: regrets about dosage size or frequency.
  3. Lifestyle consequences: negative impact on your relationships, career or physical health.
  4. Neglect of activities: putting off or neglecting social, career or recreational activities.
  5. Wasted time and/or energy: excessive time spent hiding or indulging the habit.
  6. The desire to stop: multiple failed attempts to quit or cut back.

If you, or someone you love, meets three or more of these qualifications, it’s time to get help. The good news is that a personalized Xanax addiction treatment plan can be very successful.

The problem is, only one out of ten addicts actually get help. You can make a choice today to escape this grim statistic and find freedom.

Stop Taking Xanax and Start Your Recovery Today

Xanax isn’t the only alternative for treating stress and anxiety. In fact, 90% of patients who take Xanax alternatives claim to do just as well as those taking Xanax.

This is good news. And the sooner you get into a personalized and professional treatment plan, the sooner you can be free of Xanax addiction.

Just call us or fill in our contact form to get started right now.  Our benzodiazepine addiction treatment programs typically start with drug detoxification, followed by intensive inpatient or outpatient rehab programs.  Talking to an intervention specialist is the first step to discovering which program is best for you.

Isn’t it time to break the cycle? Contact us right now, and let’s put you on the road to recovery.

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Young People Who Witness Substance Abuse More Likely to Engage in Antisocial Behavior

devpsychpathA new study of a group of teenagers found that they were much more likely to participate in destructive actions on the days when they witness substance abuse. While it has been known that active substance abuse occurring in the environment of young people can have a negative impact on their lives, this is perhaps the first set of data that was able to look at specific actions and record the evidence more precisely and efficiently.

“Past research has shown that children who grow up in families, schools and neighborhoods where alcohol and drugs are frequently used are at risk for behavioral problems later in life, but our findings demonstrate that these effects are immediate,” said Candice Odgers, associate professor in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.

The full results of the study appear in the journal Development and Psychopathology. One of the interesting things about this particular study is how they collected the data – via mobile devices. Rather than doing and end-of-the-day recap like other similar research, they were able to have the adolescents record their thoughts, actions and events real time via their cell phones.

It was also noted that teens with the genotype most common for ADHD diagnosis were more susceptible to acting out following the influence. Impulsivity combined with the exposure made for a difficult situation for these kids to deal with, resulting in the antisocial behavior.

“A series of studies has shown that consuming alcohol before age 15 predicts a wide range of later problems including substance dependency, involvement in criminal behavior and health problems. Our findings suggest that we may also need to prevent exposure to others using substances during this period,” Odgers said.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse or alcoholism, Addiction Treatment Services can help you find the best possible treatment. For more information, contact us.

Link Between Marijuana and Prediabetes

diabeticjournalResearchers have found that there is a link between marijuana use and prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar is chronically high but has not reached levels where type 2 diabetes is caused. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if this condition goes unchecked.

One of the biggest problems with the legalization of marijuana is that there is not enough information about how long-term drug use affects users. This is one study that indicates that marijuana’s medical properties may not be as beneficial as previously assumed.

In the past, physicians theorized that an increase of diabetes cases among marijuana users could be due to the tendency to eat more after consuming marijuana, with the extra calories leading to elevated blood sugar levels. However, researchers are beginning to think that there is a component within the actual drug that may be putting users at risk for prediabetes. In order to determine what the causes are, researchers agree that more studies need to be performed.

Coming to the conclusion that prolonged marijuana use can cause prediabetes required a significant amount of work. Researchers gathered information from an ongoing study called CARDIA, or Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults. This study gathers medical information from participants in four cities throughout the country over a period of 25 years. The initial data was taken when most of the participants were around the age of 30. After answering a questionnaire, the researchers were able to determine that 625 of the participants had never smoked marijuana, while 1014 participants were considered heavy marijuana smokers, using the drug at least 100 times in their life. Generally, those who abused marijuana in this age bracket were healthy and even more fit than those that were not abusing the drug.

Next, researchers looked at the smoking and physical habits of the participants 18 years later. Interestingly, even though previous examinations showed that the heavy marijuana users were healthy, by the time they reached the age of 50 they were 40% more likely to have prediabetes.

More research needs to be done as to why this occurs, however, it is clear that medical complications from long-term use of marijuana are serious problems that more people are likely to encounter.

Study Shows Memory Problems Linked to Marijuana Use

weedmemoryIn another effort to understand how marijuana affects the developing brain, a study conducted in Chicago explored the drug’s impact on memory. The results were not favorable for teenagers and young adults who used the drug.

One possibly surprising aspect of the study was that many of the youth who were tested had quit using marijuana, yet still exhibited problems with after their last use of the drug. The study was conducted by researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and published in the journal Hippocampus. What was found will hopefully go a long way in educating adults and children more about the dangers of marijuana abuse on the brain.

The hippocampus is a section of the brain that is responsible for allowing a person to remember daily things. For instance, a conversation that a person may be having can be recalled by using the hippocampus later on in the day. This region of the brain is also essential for remembering things that were discussed at school or on the job. Researchers noticed that the hippocampus seems to be directly affected by marijuana usage.

During an interview, Matthew Smith, PhD. pointed out an image of a hippocampus. He indicated that this particular image showed red colors, which meant that the region was inflamed. He also pointed out blue and purple clouds of color on the hippocampus which indicated that the hippocampus was shrinking. This was an image taken of teenagers that stopped abusing marijuana two years prior to the MRI scan of their brain.

“So what the findings suggest is there may be a sustained effect of marijuana on the brain. I think one of the main implications; if you introduce a drug into the brains of adolescents the adolescent brain is maturing and doing a lot of things to prepare for adulthood. That can alter the development of the adolescent brain,” explained Smith.

This is one of the first studies that examined the physical effects of marijuana after two years of abstinence. There is a misconception by some people in society that marijuana is relatively harmless, however, studies like the one performed at Northwestern Medicine, illustrate just some of the crippling side effects of heavy marijuana use.