Synthetic Pot Use On The Rise

Synthetic Pot Use on the Rise

There has been a push towards the legalization of marijuana, or pot, in many U.S. states which has brought on much controversy. Some enthusiastically support it while others are strongly opposed. It should not be surprising then, that synthetic pot use has also skyrocketed recently in 2015.

Poison control centers across America have seen a rise in calls regarding synthetic pot (marijuana) and the trend is disturbing. Synthetic pot calls have been up this year (around 3,572 calls so far as of June 2015) and that is up 229% from January to May of 2014. Even more shocking is that the CDC reported that calls about synthetic pot rose from 349 calls in January of 2015 to 1,501 calls in April 2015 (a 330% rise). What is even sadder is that so far in 2015, 15 reported deaths have been due to synthetic pot use.

Lab created pot is not a new concept, but it has risen drastically despite law enforcement trying to stop it.

What You See Is NOT What You Get

Sellers of synthetic pot like to evade law enforcement by selling synthetic pot incognito (as “incense”). Selling synthetic pot is illegal but that does not stop sellers from producing and selling it, or buyers from buying it. But, the concoction of what sellers put into the synthetic pot would alarm anyone. Synthetic pot is also called “spice” or “K2”. It is a concoction of herbs that are sprayed with psychoactive chemicals that mimic the main ingredients of pot (THC or tetrahydrocannabinol). In other words, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen. The products are then mislabeled as “safe” and “natural” by the sellers when in reality they are not. And law enforcement has seen a rise in deaths or severe complications due to this synthetic pot.

There have been many reported incidences of people going to the ER for using synthetic pot. Because the drug is literally a made up, lab concoction and is sprayed with unknown amounts of who knows what (there are 200 variations of synthetic ingredients and counting), it is extremely dangerous to consume, oftentimes binding itself 1,000 times stronger to cannabis receptors than “real” pot itself. It is not safer to use even under the guise of “home-grown”. The chemicals sprayed on the synthetic pot to make it look like real pot are 100 times more dangerous. One bag might consist of a different mixture of chemicals and could make you feel “relaxed”. While another batch from somewhere else could lead to severe hallucinations or even death. It’s a gamble and no matter what, you will always lose in some way. Nobody knows exactly what’s in it. And it’s too inconsistent.

Couch Lock And Other Side Effects

In addition to synthetic pot causing an altered mental state, agitation and possibly even psychosis, there is another term that teens have coined called “couch lock”. Couch Lock is where you are fixated in one spot, you can’t move, but you are still conscious. It’s a state where the individual is so “high” they can’t even get off the couch. And that sounds terrifying.

Users experience vomiting, dizziness, short breath, confusion and altered mental states, increased pulse and many other symptoms when they call poison control centers. Some other side effects can include:

  • Pale skin
  • Seizures
  • Inability to control body movements
  • Sweating
  • Psychosis
  • Dysphasia (deficiency of speech and sometimes lack of speech comprehension)
  • Delusions and/or hallucinations among others
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or actions
  • Intense Paranoia

When the drug is ingested, it only takes about 3-5 minutes for the effects to be felt, but the high can last anywhere from 1 to 8 hours. It is not a drug to be taken lightly, it is highly addictive, and should be avoided at all costs. The best approach right now is to spread education and prevention of the drug.

How Synthetic Pot Came To Be

Synthetic pot use first began in the U.S. around 2008 (although it was produced by scientists around the 1980s to study its effects on the brain) and became available to teens and youth because it was sold at places such as convenient stores and online, until it was deemed illegal in 2012. Congress passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, which banned five different types of cannabinoids found in the spice bags. Synthetic pot has been classified as a “Schedule I Controlled Substance” and put in the same category as “real” pot.

A Schedule I Controlled Substance meets three criteria:

  1. Having no medical reason for the drug whatsoever
  2. Cannot be prescribed by a doctor
  3. Contains addictive properties

Possession of and selling synthetic pot has severe consequences. On a first offense, you could be sentenced up to 5 to 40 years. A second offense could bring you 10 years to life.

A Drug With Many Names

In addition to being called “spice” or “K2”, synthetic pot (marijuana) is also sold under many different names. If you have heard a loved one refer to a substance as: “fake weed”, “Yucatan Fire”, “Skunk”, “Moon Rocks”, “Black Mamba” “Bliss” “Bombay Blue”, “Genie”, and “Zohai”, these are all just other names for the same poison. Whatever it might be called, the effects and danger are still the same. Do not be fooled into thinking that synthetic pot is somehow less potent than the “real stuff”. It is not and as mentioned before, is even more dangerous than the “real” drug. It is sold in small silvery bags and does look a lot like potpourri. It is marketed as being, “safe, natural, and legal”. That is all a lie. It is not safe. It is not natural. And it is not legal.

Seek Help Now Before It’s Too Late

If you or a loved one is thinking about experimenting with this drug, reading this blog just might have helped save your life. Never try the drug and never experiment with it. It’s just not worth it. Some people are addicted to it for years and experience all the negative side effects (and have altered their brains and personalities permanently) and others try it one time and are dead. You never know what could happen to you or a loved one.

If you or someone you know has an addiction to synthetic pot or other substances, this is a serious problem. Seek help immediately for you or your loved one because you never know when it might be too late. Reach out to us at today.

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Cocaine And Amphetamines Increase Suicide Risk For Drug Users

Cocaine and Amphetamines Increases Suicide Risk for Drug Users-

The Stark Reality Of Suicide Risk

Most understand the reality that drugs can alter human behavior. However, what happens when drugs have such serious effects that a person becomes depressed or suicidal? If someone uses cocaine or amphetamines, his or her risk for suicidal thoughts increases dramatically. In fact, it has been noted that cocaine and other stimulants are believed to have been active in the systems of up to 22% of suicide victims. Obviously suicidal thoughts or behavior are a serious concern for the drug user or any persons who care about someone struggling with addiction.

Drug History: How Cocaine And Amphetamines Came About

When inquiring about these harmful drugs, one may first consider the origins of amphetamines and cocaine. Coca leaves were chewed and used as a natural stimulant by ancient Inca and Andes populations, but was first introduced to the Western world in 1532. In the late 19th century, a scientist learned how to extract a substance from the coca leaves, producing the drug known as cocaine. Originally popularized for medicinal use, its highly addictive properties were not fully considered. Health risks related to doing cocaine was first recognized in 1905, but the drug still remained in use, even increasing in popularity in the 1970s. In the 21st century it is the second most trafficked illegal drug worldwide.

The history of amphetamines varies greatly from cocaine. Amphetamine is a compound that was first synthesized by a scientist in 1887. Made from a combination of compounds (including ephedrine), then added to the Ma-Huange plant of China, amphetamine is not of natural origin. Amphetamine pills were in widespread use by the 1960s for recreational purposes, and for medical treatments to assist in increasing attentiveness or opening bronchial airways. Since 1965 amphetamines were classified as a prescription-only medication and categorized alongside other drugs with the high potential for addiction, such as opiates. Amphetamine is now most widely used on a legal basis to treat Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD).

The Highs And Lows Of Stimulants

Now that we have covered a brief history of cocaine and amphetamines, let’s uncover how the human body is affected by the drugs. Amphetamines and cocaine are both stimulants that spark the central nervous system and could cause responses that make a person feel the following:

  • A sense of euphoria
  • Increased arousal
  • Speed up behavior
  • Induce a rush or “flash”
  • Mood swings upon withdrawal
  • Frustration and unpredictable emotions
  • Depression

A person feels these spikes in mood and emotion because cocaine and amphetamines each produce a reward by causing the brain to trigger a release of the hormones dopamine and oxytocin. However, this response is unnatural and attributes to less than favorable challenges faced by the person involved in drug use: a rollercoaster of mental and emotional shifts.

The Negative Aftermath

Although feelings of extreme happiness may initially seem appealing to a person taking or using a stimulant such as cocaine or an amphetamine, the long-lasting negative consequences of doing the drugs surely eclipse any temporary thrill. Once the effects of a stimulant such as cocaine or amphetamines wear off, a person experiences a drastic crash. In other words, the extreme emotional and mental high caused by the stimulants quickly spirals into a shocking low.

One can imagine that the potential for addiction that pairs with these type of drugs is dramatic. The use of stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamines may have began as something deemed as useful or enjoyable, but a person must continue to take the drugs in order to maintain the euphoric mental state. Without it, a person could become angry, irritable, and/or severely depressed.

Patients trapped in the snare of stimulant dependence often have developed and are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. A drug that once inspired “good” feelings could eventually cause negative behavior or thoughts. A person struggling with addiction might feel out of control, lost, or a sense of hopelessness.

Contact Today

A person reading this may be simply doing research for a friend who is experiencing hardship with addiction, depression, or suicidal thoughts. You may even be reading this and struggling with suicidal thoughts due to the use of a stimulant. No matter the situation, please do not waste any time wondering whether or not you should reach out for help. Research is only the first step of the recovery process. Call 1-833-473-4227  or contact us today to move in the direction of freedom for you or a person you care about.

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ADHD Increases Risk Of Substance Abuse


ADHD Increases Risk of Substance Abuse

A growing amount of research suggests there may be a strong link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and increased risk of substance abuse. For example, a 2013 study by medical researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that among children at age 15, those with ADHD are almost twice as likely as those without the disorder to report using a substance such as alcohol or marijuana. Even more troubling, the study found that 10 percent of children with ADHD qualify as actual, full-blown substance abusers; in kids without ADHD, that statistic is only three percent.

Other studies have revealed similar trends among adults. For instance, according to one survey, 15 percent of adults with ADHD report struggling with substance abuse in the past year, compared to only around five percent of adults without ADHD. Moreover, researchers have estimated that no fewer than 35 percent of adult alcoholics have ADHD, with some studies putting that number as high as 71 percent.

All signs point to a correlation between drug abuse and ADHD. What are the underlying causes?

Underlying Causes

The verdict is still out on this question, but researchers have offered much in the way of speculation. One popular theory is that the symptoms of ADHD—such as impulsivity and sensation seeking—happen to be some of the main psychological features of someone who is likely to abuse drugs. Trouble at school or work caused by an inability to focus is another likely factor that could drive individuals with ADHD to the temporary relief offered by excessive drinking or substance use.

Genetic Predisposition

Another theory is that there’s a possible genetic or biological basis for the connection between ADHD and drug abuse. For example, recent research has found that close biological relatives of individuals suffering from ADHD are more likely to struggle with substance abuse and dependence than in families where ADHD is absent.

A Problem Of Missed Diagnoses

Finally, one last theory has to do with the fact that, while ADHD is fairly easy to detect during its onset in childhood, it becomes much harder to diagnose once the individual reaches adulthood. For this reason, there are probably countless adults who currently have ADHD but who have never been formally diagnosed. Without a proper prescription for Ritalin or some other ADHD medication, many of these individuals are likely to turn to other, harder drugs to relieve the symptoms of their undiagnosed disorder.

Help Is Here

Not everyone who has ADHD is automatically on the slippery slope toward substance abuse. Yet for many, early-onset ADHD could be the telltale sign of abuse and addiction to come.

If you or a loved one has ADHD and is struggling with an abused substance, don’t worry. Contact us today at so we can help find the right treatment option for you.

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Signs Of An Addictive Personality

Signs of an Addictive Personality

You don’t have to be actively using drugs or alcohol to have an addictive personality. In fact, recognizing the traits in an addictive personality is one preventative measure to avoid drug and alcohol addiction.

There are many symptoms of addictive personality disorder overlapping other mental disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression, and borderline personality disorder. These overlapping disorders lend themselves to the recognition that a person’s genetic predisposition, environmental stressors, and mental health play a huge role in a person’s vulnerability to addiction.

What Is Addictive Personality Disorder?

There is no one clear definition for what makes up an addictive personality disorder, though many common factors arise. A person who demonstrates frequent impulse-driven behaviors, or compulsivity, combined with sensation-seeking behaviors is more likely to encounter trouble with “vices” or addiction and may be coping with an addictive personality disorder.

Someone who exhibits these symptoms may be labeled a “workaholic” or they might be seem obsessed with some area of their lives like fitness. They often become addicted to nicotine, coffee, and other substances (polysubstance abuse is common), food, gambling, and exhibit other vices or habitual behaviors. Often these individuals also suffer from higher rates of anxiety, insecurity, and even paranoia. As a result, they may appear antisocial on some level, preferring to be alone or limiting their interactions with others.

Despite some of the issues associated with addictive personality disorder, these individuals appear often to have strong leadership skills. Probably based on apparent decisive attitudes and their ability to absorb risks.

Signs and Symptoms of Addictive Personality Disorder

  • Exhibits sensation seeking behaviors
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Antisocial personality
  • Suffers from feelings of abandonment
  • Insecurity or paranoia
  • Forms co-dependent relationships
  • Substitutes one “vice” or addiction for another
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Past trauma or ongoing significant stress

Not everyone who demonstrates addictive tendencies will exhibit these behaviors with severity. In some cases, a person may be aware of an internal struggle and have some of the outward symptoms under control. However, the biochemistry of the brain associated with these traits appears linked to a higher risk for drug and alcohol addiction, and those who cope with these issues can benefit from awareness of the risks.

What The Research Tells Us About Addictive Personality Disorder

What current research reveals about addictive personality disorder is that the common core factors of sensation-seeking, impulsivity, and compulsivity, when occurring alone do not lead to addictive behaviors, but where all three traits are seen, addiction to one or more substances is likely.

Even someone addictive personality who has never tried drugs or alcohol behaves in similar ways to the drug or alcohol addicted individual, seeking out new experiences or sensations to fuel their euphoria. They also demonstrate a similar lack of control over their behaviors, and compulsively seek out their next adventure or high, despite known physical or emotional tolls. These individuals cannot wait for delayed reward and will seek out immediate gratification, often without regard to consequence.

Stress factors play an important role in the severity of symptoms that manifest with addictive personality disorder. Someone experiencing or recovering from severe trauma or stress may distract themselves with symptom-related behaviors. Not unlike someone with OCD who begins hand-washing obsessively after a bad car accident or stress at work, a person with addictive personality disorder, may push harder, seek a greater thrill, or work out obsessively to lessen the effects of trauma and stress.

Treatment Of Addictive Personality Disorder

Someone with signs of an addictive personality disorder will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy over medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an ideal form of therapy to help a person assess and address feelings associated with compulsivity and impulsivity, and alter their response to situations that trigger those behaviors.

Someone with moderate symptoms can still benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy in addressing stress and encouraging proactive coping strategies. This can turn something like awareness of a disorder into a powerful preventative tool.

A co-diagnosis of addictive personality disorder along with a drug or alcohol addiction will both need to be addressed if seeking drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Failing to do so may lead to relapse as a someone with an addictive personality might very well substitute one addiction with another.

Recovery From Addiction Is Possible

Even if you are told you have an addictive personality, or are currently struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery is possible. is an online resource connecting you with the professional support and evidence-based, comprehensive treatment options available to meet your individual needs.

Contact us and speak to someone today to discover a more rewarding life in recovery.

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Scholarships And Grants To Cover Costs Of Drug Rehabilitation

Scholarships And Grants To Cover Costs Of Drug Rehabilitation-01

In this past year alone, approximately 23 million Americans abused alcohol or other drugs. Fewer than 10 percent of these people will receive any form of rehabilitation, and an even smaller percentage receive evidence-based treatment for their addiction. One of the primary barriers many people face in seeking recovery is the high cost of treatment.

Treatment costs vary by type and facility and can range from a few thousand dollars for outpatient care to tens of thousands of dollars for inpatient or residential care. However, scholarships and grants are available to help individuals with partial insurance coverage, or no insurance. Some of these grants are available through foundations and state-run facilities, while other coverages exist and vary between individual treatment facilities.

How To Apply For A Scholarship To Cover Drug Rehabilitation

Locating treatment facilities within your area and creating a list of those that you prefer is one step toward determining the best course of action in requesting funding. Contact these facilities first to determine whether or not they provide financial aid in the form of scholarships or grants. Some will at least offer a partial match or fully cover your care, others will not.

When you call, ask right away whether scholarships exist to help cover treatment expenses for the under insured or those with no insurance. Be prepared to answer questions related to your current income/work status and insurance coverage, if any. Even if insurance only covers detox or a percentage of your treatment, let the facility know as they may agree cover the remaining balance.

Be committed to your recovery. Money is available to those who are truly ready to apply the program. Ask for help from a family friend or loved one who is equally committed to your recovery, to help you sort out the details.

When seeking scholarships for drug or alcohol rehab:

  • Ask about scholarship options to meet your financial need
  • Be prepared to share financial and insurance information
  • Share your commitment to your recovery
  • Ask for help from friends or family in keeping track of your recovery options

Other options exist for people with no or little insurance coverage, including scholarships from foundations like the Sobriety Optimization League (SOL), who provide aid to the financially disadvantaged suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. Access to money from these foundations may depend on the state where you reside.

Many of these programs offer online forms, for ease of preparation. In some cases, you may need to request a paper application.

State-Funded Detox And Treatment

Depending on where you live, some rehabilitation centers are state-funded. Emergency rooms can also take in those who have nowhere else to go for a hospital detox. However, either option has limitations and requires a significant level of commitment on part of the individual. These treatment programs are often less than 28 days and depending on the level of funding in your state, accommodations vary greatly.

That said, a 28-day program followed up with a long-term plan that includes regular group meetings with organizations like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous are one way to get the most out of the experience. Groups like AA and NA do not require payment for participation and have shown long-term success rivaling other therapies.

Medicaid And Other Options For Drug And Alcohol Rehab

If you are currently uninsured, consider applying for Medicaid coverage. These coverages vary by state, but can reduce overall costs in many cases. Your recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is critical. Seeking help from family, friends, or your employer may be one option to aid in overall costs associated with drug and alcohol treatment, those these debts may need to be repaid. Banks will also offer loans in some cases, depending on a person’s credit. Again, though, these debts must be repaid.

In some cases, paying for drug and alcohol treatment requires creative money management. For example, someone with a college fund may opt to utilize the money for rehabilitation, and then seek out scholarships available for students in recovery.

What If I Can’t Locate Money To Pay For Drug Rehab?

The greatest tragedy in this country is that there will be people who cannot find the financial means to cover their rehabilitation costs. Depending on the severity of the addiction, a hospital or medical detox followed by a long-term commitment to a 12-step or alternative program is one option for those without access to state-funded facilities. These programs have a long-standing history of success and build upon a peer-to-peer network of support to aid individuals throughout their recovery. These programs and individual participants may know of additional funding resources within your greater community.

Options for Financial Aid and Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

  • Scholarships and grants specific to rehabilitation centers
  • Foundation grants and scholarships by state
  • State-funded treatment or hospital detox
  • Medicaid coverage
  • Access support from free 12-Step and alternative evidence-based programs
  • Asking for help from family, friends, employer
  • Bank loan
  • Creative finances

Free Yourself From Drug And Alcohol Addiction Today

Get free from your addiction to drugs and alcohol today. is your online resource, connecting you with the professional support and comprehensive, evidence-based treatment options available in your area. Contact us today and speak with someone in confidence to take that first step away from addiction and toward a rewarding life in recovery.

Contact us to begin a rewarding life in recovery.

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