How Do People Use Heroin? How Do People Use Heroin_

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug processed from morphine. In its pure form, it’s a white, bitter powder. The pure form is mainly smoked and snorted, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Powdered heroin is commonly cut, or adulterated, with other substances. When this occurs, the color of the drug changes, taking on a brownish tint.

Heroin is also found in another form called black tar heroin. The appearance is as the name suggests, thick, dark colored and either sticky or hard. The color and form occur from the impurities which result from the manufacturing process. Due to the impurities and lesser quality, many injection drug users choose to inject black tar.

How Does Heroin Work?

Opioid drugs work on your body and brain by attaching to opioid receptors. When this occurs, you experience a pain-relieving effect. Recreational drug users seek to induce another feeling from this chemical brain stimulation. How Do People Use Heroin_ Powdered Heroin

Heroin, like other opioids, creates an intensely pleasurable state of euphoria. It can also create what is termed a rush. Heroin depresses your central nervous system (CNS). This is one reason why it’s such a dangerous drug.

What Are The Signs Of Heroin Use?

Learning the signs of heroin use can help you to identify a person in need of help.

When a person uses, they may experience:

  • A “rush” and sense of euphoria.
  • Decreased pain.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Flushed and warm skin.
  • Heavy limbs.
  • Intense drowsiness and wakefulness (being “on the nod”).
  • Intense itching.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Slowed breathing and heart functions.

If any of these seem familiar, don’t hesitate to speak up. It can be hard to have this conversation, but by doing so, you could be saving your loved one from harm and even death.

The Risks And Dangers Of Heroin Abuse

If you’re a heroin user or know someone who is, it’s pertinent you understand the risks and dangers of abuse. This information could help to save your life.

Here are some general dangers linked to heroin abuse:

  • Addiction
  • Compromised immune system
  • Complications of the lungs, including pneumonia
  • Decreased memory and decision-making skills
  • Endocarditis (infection of the heart’s lining and valves)
  • Impaired verbal and cognitive functioning
  • Poor impulse control
  • Miscarriage
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Withdrawal

Heroin can cause overdose, even on the first dose. Overdose occurs because your CNS becomes severely depressed. This leads to drastically reduced heart functions, blood pressure, and breathing rates. The intensity of these factors can cause coma, permanent brain damage, and may lead to death. The CDC reports that heroin-related overdoses are on the rise. Between 2002 and 2013, they rose 286 percent. How Do People Use Heroin_ 286 Percent

What Ways Do People Administer Heroin And What Are The Risks?

As previously mentioned, people choose to use this drug numerous ways. In addition to the above, each route of administration has specific signs of abuse and unique risks.

Injecting Heroin Intravenously (IV) How Do People Use Heroin_ Injecting

To prepare for injection, the user liquefies and dissolves the heroin by diluting and heating, or “cooking” it. It is then loaded into the syringe. Shared needles increase the risk of transmissible diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C. Injection can also cause abscesses, track marks, and other infections within certain soft tissues.

When many people think of injecting heroin, they are quick to think of intravenous (IV) drug users. This means that the drug is injected directly into the vein. Before a person can do this, they tie off their arm with a piece of rubber tubing or a belt to make their vein bulge. These individuals also inject the drug at various other locations throughout their body, including the leg, neck, feet, and even groin.

Intravenous injection allows any contaminants or cutting agents within the heroin to travel throughout the bloodstream. This can lead to:

  • Clogged vessels
  • Cellular infection or death in certain organs
  • An immune response which can cause arthritis and similar illnesses

According to NIDA, IV heroin abuse can cause:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Scarring
  • Necrotizing fasciitis (sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria) causes tissue death

Heroin can also be injected into into the muscle (intramuscularly) or directly beneath the skin (subcutaneously or “skin popping”).

Smoking Heroin How Do People Use Heroin_ Smoking Heroin

Users place the heroin (typically black tar) on aluminum foil or the top of a pop can and heat it with a lighter. They then inhale the vapors with a straw or hollowed out pen. This is referred to as “chasing the dragon.”

The University of Arizona outlines the following dangers of smoking heroin:

  • Pulmonary (lung) function becomes compromised
  • An uncomfortable shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Severe and repeated asthma attacks (status asthmaticus)

Smoking heroin can also cause leukoencephalopathy, a serious disorder of the CNS’s white matter. A debilitating disease, it causes parts of your brain and spinal cord to deteriorate. This can lead to slurred speech, vision loss, paralysis, and even fatalities.

Sniffing/Snorting Heroin (Insufflation)

These methods are sometimes referred to as insufflation. To prepare, users draw the drug into lines with a razor or credit card on a hard surface like a mirror. They then use a straw, hollow pen, or rolled dollar bill to inhale it into their nasal cavity. This method is very invasive. It can cause great damage to the nose and surrounding areas, including:

  • Bone loss
  • Creating a hole in the septum (area between your nostrils)
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Collapsed nasal passages
  • Constant runny nose
  • Perforation (hole) in the roof or back of your mouth
  • Saddleback nose (a broad, flattened nose)

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), sniffing the liquified version of heroin through a nasal spray bottle is called “shabanging.”

Mixing Heroin With Other Drugs

Heroin is commonly abused with cocaine (including crack). Alternately snorting lines of these drugs is called “crisscrossing.” If a user injects them both at once it is called “speedballing.” Both of these methods are highly dangerous, as heroin is a depressant and cocaine is a stimulant. Because of this, your body and brain are being simultaneously pulled in two different directions. This increases your risk of overdose and death.

As the opioid epidemic increases, heroin is increasingly used in combination with other, more potent, opioid drugs. Responsible for countless overdoses, these deadly concoctions include fentanyl and carfentanil, and as of late, the lethal mystery combination termed “grey death.”

Some individuals purposely seek out these combinations, believing that they will increase their high. Others stumble into using them, as they unknowingly purchase heroin that is cut with these drugs. By either path, these powerful opioids have left a wave of destruction and overdose deaths across our nation.

Start Living A Drug-Free Life

No matter how you abuse heroin, you’re putting yourself at risk for addiction. Is heroin taking over and ruining your loved one’s life? Or maybe you’re the one struggling. Either way, we can help. It is possible to beat a heroin addiction and find sobriety. knows how to find the best heroin rehab centers for your needs. Contact us now.

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “How Do People Use Heroin?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs

Illegal drugs sold on the street are often marketed or discussed under different names. These code names were devised to dissuade authorities (such as parents, police officers, or others) from evidence of drug abuse. Knowing the common street names for illegal drugs can be useful to those who suspect someone they know is abusing drugs. Treatment for illegal drug abuse or addiction requires comprehensive healing plans and professional support.

Have you ever heard a drug called by a name that’s unrelated to the drug itself? Or, maybe you suspect someone you know is abusing drugs, but aren’t sure and would like to find out.

Knowing the common street names for illegal drugs can help you learn how drugs are regarded on the street—sometimes the street name hints at the drug’s intended effects. An overview of street names for drugs can also help you identify them in conversation if someone close to you is at risk of abusing them. Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs_knowing Street Names

The best recourse for abuse of drugs, and addiction to them, is treatment. can connect you with the resources necessary to find treatment that works for you or your loved one.

Why Street Names?

In simple terms, street names were developed for common use in conversation about illegal drugs. What do you do if you don’t want authorities, parents, teachers or others to know about drug abuse? You speak in a sort of code. Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs_Street Names Developed

Some street names may have entered mainstream vernacular (everyday language). Others are used mostly by those abusing or trafficking drugs. Either way, if you suspect someone you know is abusing illegal drugs, it can be useful to know the everyday names for them.

Common Street Names


  • Aunt Nora
  • Bernice
  • Binge
  • Blow
  • Bump
  • C
  • Candy
  • Charlie
  • Coke
  • Dust
  • Flake
  • Mojo
  • Nose Candy
  • Paradise
  • Rock
  • Sneeze
  • Sniff
  • Snow
  • Toot
  • White

Crack cocaine:

  • 24-7
  • Apple jacks
  • Badrock
  • Ball
  • Base
  • Beat
  • Candy
  • Chemical
  • Cloud
  • Cookies
  • Crack
  • Crumbs
  • Crunch and munch
  • Devil drug
  • Dice
  • Electric kool-aid
  • Fat bags
  • French fries
  • Glo
  • Gravel
  • Grit
  • Hail
  • Hard ball
  • Hard rock
  • Hotcakes
  • Ice cube
  • Jelly beans
  • Kryptonite
  • Nuggets
  • Paste
  • Piece
  • Prime time
  • Product
  • Raw
  • Rock(s)
  • Rockstar
  • Roxanne
  • Scrabble
  • Sleet
  • Snow coke
  • Sugar block
  • Topo (Spanish word)
  • Tornado
  • Troop

Depressants (prescription sedatives)


  • Barbs
  • Phennies
  • Red birds
  • Reds
  • Tooies
  • Yellow jackets
  • Yellows


  • Rohypnol (AKA Flunitrazepam):
    • Circles
    • Date rape drug
    • Forget pill
    • Forget-me pill
    • La Rocha
    • Lunch money
    • Mexican Valium
    • Mind eraser
    • Pingus
    • R2
    • Reynolds
    • Rib
    • Roach
    • Roach 2
    • Roaches
    • Roachies
    • Roapies
    • Rochas Dos
    • Roofies
    • Rope
    • Rophies
    • Row-shay
    • Ruffies
    • Trip-and-fall
    • Wolfies

Sleep medications:

  • Forget-me pills
  • Mexican valium
  • R2
  • Roche
  • Roofies
  • Roofinol
  • Rope
  • Rophies



  • Cat Valium
  • Green
  • K
  • Jet
  • Special K
  • Super acid
  • Super C
  • Vitamin K


  • Acid
  • Battery acid
  • Blotter
  • Bloomers
  • Blue heaven
  • California Sunshine
  • Cid
  • Cubes
  • Doses
  • Dots
  • Golden dragon
  • Heavenly blue
  • Hippie
  • Loony toons
  • Lucy in the sky with diamonds
  • Microdot
  • Pane
  • Purple Heart
  • Superman
  • Tab
  • Window pane
  • Yellow sunshine
  • Zen

Mescaline (AKA Peyote):

  • Buttons
  • Cactus
  • Mesc


  • Angel dust
  • Boat
  • Hog
  • Love boat
  • Peace pill


  • Little smoke
  • Magic mushrooms
  • Purple passion
  • Shrooms

Ecstasy (aka MDMA):

  • Adam
  • Beans
  • Cadillac
  • California sunrise
  • Clarity
  • E
  • Essence
  • Elephants
  • Eve
  • Hug
  • Hug drug
  • Love drug
  • Love pill
  • Lover’s speed
  • Molly
  • Peace
  • Roll
  • Scooby snacks
  • Snowball
  • Uppers
  • X
  • XE
  • XTC



  • Air blast
  • Ames
  • Amys
  • Aroma of men
  • Bolt
  • Boppers
  • Bullet
  • Bullet bolt
  • Buzz bomb
  • Discorama
  • Hardware
  • Heart-on
  • Hiagra-in-a-bottle
  • Highball
  • Hippie crack
  • Huff
  • Laughing gas
  • Locker room
  • Medusa
  • Moon gas
  • Oz
  • Pearls
  • Poor man’s pot
  • Poppers
  • Quicksilver
  • Rush snappers
  • Satan’s secret
  • Shoot the breeze
  • Snappers
  • Snotballs
  • Spray
  • Texas shoe shine
  • Thrust
  • Toilet water
  • Toncho
  • Whippets
  • Whiteouts


  • Abyssinian tea
  • African salad
  • Catha
  • Chat
  • Kat
  • Oat


  • Biak-biak
  • Herbal speedball
  • Ketum
  • Kahuam
  • Ithang
  • Thom


  • Astro Yurf
  • Bhang
  • Blunt
  • Bud(s)
  • Blaze
  • Dagga
  • Dope
  • Dry high
  • Ganja
  • Grass
  • Green
  • Hemp
  • Herb
  • Home grown
  • J
  • Joint
  • Mary Jane
  • Pot
  • Puff
  • Reefer
  • Roach
  • Sinsemilla
  • Skunk
  • Smoke
  • Texas tea
  • Trees
  • Weed
  • White widow


  • Boom, Chocolate, Gangster, Hash, Hemp


  • Beanies
  • Brown
  • Crank
  • Chalk
  • Chicken feed
  • Cinnamon
  • Crink
  • Crypto
  • Crystal
  • Fire
  • Get go
  • Glass
  • Go fast
  • Ice
  • Meth
  • Methlies quick
  • Mexican crack
  • Redneck cocaine
  • Speed
  • Tick tick
  • Tweak
  • Wash
  • Yellow powder

Crystal meth:

  • Batu, blade, cristy, crystal, crystal glass, glass, hot ice, ice, quartz, shabu, shards, stove top, Tina, ventana

Over-the-counter drugs

  • CCC
  • DXM
  • Poor man’s PCP
  • Robo
  • Robotripping
  • Skittles
  • Triple C

Prescription opioids (AKA Painkillers)


  • Captain Cody
  • Cody
  • Doors and fours
  • Lean
  • Loads
  • Pancakes and syrup
  • Purple drank
  • Schoolboy
  • Sizzurp


  • Apache
  • China girl
  • China white
  • Dance fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • Tango and Cash
  • TNT
  • Hydrocodone or Dihydrocodeinone:
  • Vike
  • Watson 387


  • D
  • Dillies
  • Footballs
  • Juice
  • Smack


  • Demmies
  • Pain Killer


  • Amidone
  • Fizzies
  • (Mixed with MDMA) Chocolate chip cookies


  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Monkey
  • White stuff


  • O.C.
  • Oxy 80
  • Oxycat
  • Oxycet
  • Oxycotton
  • Oxy
  • Hillbilly heroin
  • Percs
  • Perks


  • Biscuits
  • Blue heaven
  • Blues
  • Heavenly blues
  • Mrs. O
  • O bombs
  • Octagons
  • Stop signs

Prescription Stimulants

Amphetamine (Adderall, Benzedrine):

  • Bennies
  • Black beauties
  • Crosses
  • Hearts
  • LA Turnaround
  • Speed
  • Truck drivers
  • Uppers

Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin):

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic Marijuana:

Synthetic stimulants (AKA Bath Salts):

  • Arctic blasts
  • Aura
  • Avalance or Avalanche
  • Bliss
  • Blizzard
  • Bloom
  • Blue silk
  • Bolivian bath
  • Cloud nine
  • Cotton cloud
  • Drone
  • Dynamite or Dynamite plus
  • Euphoria
  • Glow stick
  • Hurricane Charlie
  • Ivory snow
  • Ivory wave or Ivory wave ultra
  • Lunar wave
  • Mexxy
  • Mind change or Mino Charge
  • Monkey dust
  • Mystic
  • Natural energy powder
  • Ocean snow
  • Purple wave
  • Quicksilver
  • Recharge
  • Red dawn
  • Red dove
  • Rock on
  • Rocky Mountain High
  • Route 69
  • Sandman Party Powder
  • Scarface
  • Sextasy
  • Shock wave
  • Snow day
  • Snow leopard
  • Speed freak miracle
  • Stardust
  • Super coke
  • Tranquility
  • UP energizing or UP Supercharged
  • Vanilla Sky
  • White burn
  • White China
  • White dove
  • White lightning
  • White rush
  • White Sands
  • Wicked X or XX
  • Zoom

Treatment For Addiction To Drugs

Reading this list, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the possibility of addiction in our nation and elsewhere. The important thing to remember is that treatment for illegal drug abuse and addiction is ever-growing.

In fact, treatment for addiction in recent decades has improved. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states, “most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.” Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs_Treatment For Addiction

Treatment works, and getting to treatment could make a vast difference in your life. Methods of treatment are changing, focusing on healing a person as a whole—mind, body, and spirit—rather than just targeting symptoms of addiction.

How To Get Help With Addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to illegal drugs, you may be uncertain about the next step. You can find help and the treatment you need with our help. Contact us today at, and we will help you find a rehab center that fits your needs with a treatment plan that suits your specific goals.

If you or a loved one is battling drug abuse or addiction, please contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Drug Free World—The Drug Facts
National Institute On Drug Abuse—Commonly Abused Drug Charts
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Heroin

What is Alcoholic Hepatitis? What is Alcoholic Hepatitis_

Heavy alcohol use can lead to problems such as liver and kidney failure, alcoholic hepatitis AH, cirrhosis of the liver and even death. Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can lead to jaundice, and is often found with a fatty liver. Over 19,000 people died in 2014 from liver diseases like alcoholic hepatitis—and in severe cases, up to 50 percent of people with AH die within 30 days of being diagnosed. Once diagnosed, quitting alcohol will be essential to recover from liver diseases like alcoholic hepatitis.

Have you ever seen a person with yellow eyes, or yellow skin and wondered why? Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to a variety of different diseases and conditions like cirrhosis of the liver, kidney failure, and hepatitis. Hepatitis of any kind can lead to jaundice; which is yellowing of the eyes or skin. Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and can typically be found along with a fatty liver, and cirrhosis.

Alcoholic Hepatitis Definition

The full definition of alcoholic hepatitis, is “a distinct clinical syndrome caused by chronic alcohol abuse and (often) carries a particularly poor prognosis with a 28-day mortality ranging from 30 to 50 percent. Although alcoholic hepatitis is an acute condition, nearly 50 percent of patients with alcoholic hepatitis have established cirrhosis at the time of clinical presentation” (National Center for Biotechnology).

Alcoholic Hepatitis Prognosis

Since alcoholic hepatitis is an acute disease, the signs and symptoms appear suddenly. The short-term prognosis (or course of the disease) isn’t usually very bad, however once the disease has really set in, the outcome can be worse. With alcoholic hepatitis, a thorough diagnosis and early treatment can be necessary for survival. “About 40% of the patients (with alcoholic hepatitis) are dead within the first 6 months after the detection” (U.S. National Institutes of Health). What is Alcoholic Hepatitis_ 50 Percent

Symptoms of acute alcoholic hepatitis are similar to acute alcoholism and—though “in multiple studies, the strongest factor predictive of short-term mortality was hepatic encephalopathy” (Medscape). Hepatic encephalopathy essentially means swelling of the brain which can cause delirium and altered consciousness.

Symptoms Of Acute Alcoholism

By definition, acute alcoholism is—intoxication resulting from excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. The syndrome is temporary and is characterized by:

  • Depression of the higher nerve centers
  • Impaired motor control
  • Stupor
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Other physical symptoms
    (Medical Dictionary)

Signs And Symptoms Of Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcoholic hepatitis is brought on by frequent excessive alcohol consumption, alcohol use disorders and acute alcoholism. It can lead to jaundice (yellowing of the skin) cirrhosis and even death. The problem with alcoholism is that it’s characterized by a person lacking control of his or her alcohol intake—even when their physical and mental health is deteriorating. Alcoholic hepatitis can also lead to intensified hangovers and withdrawals…

Symptoms Of Alcoholic Hepatitis And Alcohol Withdrawals

Mild to moderate symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia
  • Hand tremors with clammy skin

Severe symptoms include:

Alcoholic Hepatitis Recovery Time

If the symptoms are found early enough, alcoholic hepatitis won’t be fatal, however there’s a 50 percent mortality rate for severe alcoholic hepatitis, which is usually anywhere from 30 to 180 days. There’s hope for treatment, if the disease is discovered soon enough—but drastic changes must be made in a person’s life to ensure that it doesn’t get worse. Hospitalization might be necessary, but not always. What is Alcoholic Hepatitis_ Mortality Rate

First and foremost, alcoholic beverages must be completely cut out of the diet, which can prove to be difficult for a person suffering from a disease like alcoholism. Detoxification, medication-assisted therapy, inpatient rehab, support groups, and other treatment methods might be necessary to keep a person sober.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information NCBI, after cutting out alcohol “many patients continue to have ascites and evidence of significant liver disease; (though) some patients show a dramatic improvement.” So in conclusion—“Continuing alcohol consumption is a major factor that influences the survival of patients with alcoholic hepatitis” (NCBI).

Is Alcoholic Hepatitis Reversible?

“Fatty liver, the most common form of alcoholic liver disease, is reversible with abstinence. More serious alcoholic liver disease includes alcoholic hepatitis, characterized by persistent inflammation of the liver, and cirrhosis, characterized by progressive scarring of liver tissue. Either condition can be fatal, and treatment options are limited” (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Recovery from alcoholic hepatitis is based on an individual basis, and though some people can recover, others have liver disease that’s too advanced to cure. No matter which way you look at it, cutting out alcohol is an absolute necessity.

Alcoholic Hepatitis Vs Cirrhosis

Alcoholic liver disease was responsible for 19,388 deaths in the United States in 2014—which was about 10,000 more deaths than alcohol related fatal car accidents the same year. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC). Both stemming from liver problems, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver have similarities and differences. What is Alcoholic Hepatitis_ 19,388 Deaths

Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver—which is usually brought on by excessive drinking, and is considered to be a medical emergency. Cirrhosis of the liver can be more of a chronic disease, is also brought on by heavy drinking, but characterized by the scarring of the liver tissue. In 2014, cirrhosis of the liver was responsible for 38,170 deaths in 2014 (CDC). So where alcoholic hepatitis can happen more suddenly, cirrhosis is brought on by years of alcohol abuse.

Alcoholic Hepatitis Treatment

There are medical procedures that can aid in the recovery from alcoholic hepatitis. For example, someone with severe alcoholic hepatitis might be given an artificial liver, or a liver transplant to help with liver failure. “Patients with alcoholic hepatitis of mild to moderate severity can be treated in a primary care setting. In general, for patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis, observation by a gastroenterologist or a hepatologist is desirable, particularly if the illness is of sufficient severity or complexity to require intensive care” (Medscape).

Alcoholic Hepatitis—How To Find Treatment

Sometimes quitting alcohol can be difficult to do on your own, and even if health complications like alcoholic hepatitis come up, you don’t have to feel hopeless. Sometimes liver diseases don’t have to be a death sentence, but quitting alcohol will be necessary for getting your health back. If you or someone you care about is having trouble quitting alcohol on your own, Contact Us today at 1-833-473-4227 to talk to someone about alcoholic hepatitis and treatment. Alcohol doesn’t have to run your life anymore…

If you or a loved one is battling alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “What is Alcoholic Hepatitis?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
Dictionary By Farlex – Medical Dictionary
Medscape – Alcoholic Hepatitis Treatment and Management
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Definition, epidemiology and magnitude of alcoholic hepatitis
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Alcohol Alert
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Viral Hepatitis—A Very Real Consequence of Substance Use

What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning? What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning happens all around the United States, and affects high school and college students, and grown adults. When experiencing alcohol poisoning, a person may be incoherent, hypothermic, vomiting, or experiencing seizures. The most likely population to experience alcohol poisoning is men between 35 to 64 years old. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are the largest contributors to alcohol poisoning, and 6 people die each day in the United States by overdosing on alcohol. There is most likely treatment near you.

Not every person gets completely loaded as soon as they’re old enough to (legally) drink alcohol—and not every person who drinks alcohol does it to get drunk; on the contrary, some people only drink to get drunk. Even though 11 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States is by minors, you might be surprised to learn that three in four deaths from alcohol poisoning are people 35-64 years old. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are the biggest contributors of alcohol poisoning—not necessarily inexperience.

What Is Binge Drinking?

Alcohol abuse is better understood as drinking too much, drinking to get drunk, or drinking to cope with certain problems or situations in a person’s life. Binge drinking, on the other hand, has a more definitive meaning, and is the biggest cause of alcohol poisoning. In order to define binge drinking, we must first define a standard drink. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a standard drink is:

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5-ounces of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol content) – (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

For men, binge drinking is 5 or more standard drinks in 2 hours, whereas for women, binge drinking is 4 or more drinks in 2 hours. So binge drinking doesn’t only exist on college campuses, after your best friend’s wedding, or after your high school prom, it can happen with either veteran drinkers or underage drinkers.

Alcohol Poisoning Definition

Also known as acute alcohol intoxication and alcohol overdose, alcohol poisoning usually comes without warning. Sometimes it happens after a person decides to sleep off a hard drunk, which can be a pretty common scenario for teens and college students, but it can happen to just about anybody who drinks to excess. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “alcohol poisoning or alcohol overdose is caused by drinking too much alcohol too fast.” What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning_Alcohol Poisoning

By the medical definition, alcohol poisoning is “a condition in which a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time. The affected individual may become extremely disoriented, unresponsive, or unconscious, with shallow breathing. Because alcohol poisoning can be deadly, emergency treatment is necessary” (Medicine Net).

What Are The Critical Signs And Symptoms Of Alcohol Poisoning?

Sometimes alcohol poisoning isn’t obvious—and a person starts off with a slight buzz; then as the night progresses, they become more outgoing; this is often followed by even more boisterous and rowdy behavior if they continue drinking. After that, if they haven’t stopped yet, they may experience a blackout—which doesn’t necessarily mean that they will experience an overdose, but the chances will be much greater.

Here are some of the things to look for to determine alcohol poisoning:

  • Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness
    (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

What To Do In Case Of Alcohol Poisoning What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning_Standard Drink VolumeIf you think that someone might be too drunk, it’s important to keep an eye on them—a lot of people die in their sleep from alcohol poisoning. If your friend is unresponsive call 911, and try to turn them onto their side. Keep them sitting upright if they’re still awake, and get them to drink some water.

You could very well save your friend from death by alcohol poisoning—if you or your friend is a minor, they might get into a little trouble, but getting charged with a minor in possession is way better than being dead. They may wake up with a hangover, and a hazy recollection of the night before, but this is to be expected after binge drinking.

What To Do If I Suspect Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?

  • Know the danger signals—
  • Do not wait for someone to have all the symptoms
  • Be aware that a person who has passed out may die
  • If you suspect an alcohol overdose, call 911 for help

What Can Happen If Alcohol Poisoning Goes Untreated?

  • Choking on his or her own vomit
  • Breathing that slows, becomes irregular, or stops
  • Heart that beats irregularly or stops
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Hypoglycemia (too little blood sugar), which leads to seizures
  • Untreated severe dehydration from vomiting, which can cause seizures, permanent brain damage, and death
    (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

Can You Die From Alcohol Poisoning?

Yes… “There are more than 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths in the U.S. each year—an average of 6 alcohol poisoning deaths every day” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). When someone drinks until they’re wasted, they don’t have the same problem solving skills that they might have when they’re sober. So the most practical answer is just to pass out and sleep it off, right? No. Actually this can be pretty dangerous; sometimes a person can go into an alcohol induced coma—in their sleep.

More About Alcohol Poisoning Deaths In The United States

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “the majority of deaths are among non-Hispanic whites…American Indians and Alaska Natives have the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million people.” What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning_Alcohol Men

Furthermore, 76 percent of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men. States, police, schools, and communities have taken action in spreading awareness to the youth with programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

How Is Alcohol Poisoning Treated

If a person is brought into the hospital via ambulance, they will more than likely be brought to the emergency room, where they will take all necessary precautions. The staff will monitor a person’s vital signs after an alcohol overdose, but sometimes this isn’t enough for complete treatment and further measures must be taken.

Typically, medical professionals will insert a tube into a patient’s throat and down the windpipe to open their airway. In order to keep them from urinating freely, they will also need to insert a catheter into the bladder. To keep a person hydrated, and ensure that their vitamin levels are at a healthy level, a person will also need to be hooked up to an intravenous drip (or IV).

How Long Does Alcohol Poisoning Last?

A person’s body can metabolize about 1 standard drink per hour, but alcohol poisoning is a result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The duration of alcohol poisoning usually varies, and it depends on the severity of and the amount of alcohol in a person’s system and also a person’s metabolism. Sometimes, a person will be hooked up to what is known as a gastric lavage (or stomach pump) which can remove a substantial amount of alcohol much faster than it’s normally digested. Depending on all factors such as further injuries and complications, usually a person will be released from a hospital the next day after being brought in for alcohol poisoning.

Finding Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder And Alcoholism

It’s important to remember that alcohol abuse and binge drinking can lead to more problems than just alcohol poisoning. It can lead to alcohol dependence, alcoholism, injuries, kidney problems, liver problems, brain problems, automobile deaths, loss of job, being kicked out of school, failed relationships, dual diagnosis, or wet brain. Recovery doesn’t stop when you leave the hospital for alcohol poisoning treatment—sometimes that’s only the beginning, and detoxification and inpatient treatment need to be the best next step. It all starts with admitting that you have a problem.

If you’re concerned about alcohol poisoning and ready to quit alcohol, for the sake of someone you love or for yourself, and you would like to learn more. Contact Us today at 1-833-473-4227 to speak to one of our understanding professionals. We can help you get the treatment you need!

If you or a loved one is battling alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Fact Sheets – Underage Drinking
Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Alcohol Poisoning Deaths
Medicine Net – Medical Definition of Alcohol Poisoning
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Alcohol Poisoning: A Medical Emergency
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Alcohol Overdose: The Dangers of Drinking Too Much

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab?

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab_

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year from drug and alcohol overdose–and a tiny percent of people suffering from an addiction ever get the treatment they need and deserve. Those suffering from an addiction might not admit that there is a problem in the first place, because their brain tells them that they are okay as long as they aren’t having withdrawals. Convincing your loved one that they have a problem is the first step, and then you can locate a rehab center. With approximately 15,000 rehab centers in the United States, there is one that’s right for you and your family…

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab-03

Addiction can be terrifying to watch a loved one deal with, and you might not know how to help them get out of it. You certainly don’t want to offend anyone by telling them that they have a drug problem, but you also don’t want to make them believe that there isn’t a problem either. It can be a real catch twenty-two trying to get a person you care about into rehab. The truth is, when someone is in the grips of an addiction, they can feel like the whole world is against them–so it’s important to remember that they are powerless over a substance, but they are still a person. Also remember that they might not be able to singlehandedly stop using drugs.

Once they are free from that bondage of addiction, they will thank you for never leaving their side and for guiding them towards the road to recovery.

Remember That Addiction Is A Disease

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that addiction is a disease, and that when our loved ones are suffering from it, they are not in control. This happens because “repeated drug use changes the brain, including parts of the brain that give a person self-control,” (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Try to keep this in mind if you are considering approaching someone about rehab–they will invariably lie about the problem at first, but if you are persistent, caring, and approach them as a friend and not a judge, they might just listen to you.

The first step of recovery is admitting that there is a problem, so if you can softly convince your loved one that they might have a problem–your chances of getting them into a rehab program will be better.

How Do I Know If My Loved One Has A Substance Abuse Problem?

You would think that if someone has a problem–they will automatically seek help for it. This is usually not the case with a person dealing with substance dependence, because in their mind they’re weak which can cause shame or guilt.. If they still do not admit that they have a problem–sometimes you just have to wait, but don’t ever give up on them; be persistent.

First things first, you must find out if your friend has a substance abuse problem (or addiction). Here are some questions you can ask yourself or your loved one, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
  • Do they want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
  • Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
  • Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
  • Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
  • Do they continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
  • Do they give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because of drug use?
  • Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
  • Do they continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
  • Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
  • Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle—like irritability or nervousness.)

So What If My Loved One Doesn’t Want To Admit A Problem?

It’s hard for anyone to admit a weakness, and we’re all sensitive to criticism. So what happens if our loved one simply does not budge, and stands firm that there is no drug problem? It is best to approach a person suffering an addiction with understanding and not do it forcibly. One step might be to have a drug intervention with your loved one to show them that you “love them, but hate their addiction.”

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab-05

How To Successfully Complete An Intervention

Interventions can show a person suffering from an addiction that a lot of people are worried about them, and boost their self worth. Drug interventions can also give family members, friends, teachers, coworkers, and even the family doctor an opportunity to remind a person (who’s sick with addiction) what they used to be like. Keep in mind that they are suffering from a mental disorder. You may even want to have a group meeting before intervening–to go over some ground rules.

Be sure to leave all of your judgement at the door, because our friend is probably insecure and sensitive–you don’t want to spark any triggers and cause them to use drugs to cope.

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab-04

A person suffering from addiction can feel pretty hopeless, and to them, nobody understands what they are going through. Sometimes having another former drug user there can be helpful, and can let your loved one know that there is hope for them. The person you choose should ultimately be someone who has successfully completed rehab (and is currently in recovery); maybe they’re a family member, or someone else that your loved one looks up to. Now that you have instilled a support system, the next step is to provide them with information about recovery, and to make them feel safe and fully supported.

You Have Planted The Seed, And Your Loved One Is Ready For Rehab… Now What?

If you have successfully helped your loved one to better see their problem with drugs, it is important to come up with a game plan. A good plan involves research and weighing out the options. Here’s a list of things (from the National Institute on Drug Abuse) to remember when you are considering drug treatment:

Drug addiction can be treated, but it’s not simple. Addiction treatment must help the person do the following:

  • Stop using drugs
  • Stay drug-free
  • Be productive in the family, at work, and in society

Successful treatment has several steps:

Medications can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.

Behavioral therapies can help patients:

  • Modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use
  • Increase healthy life skills
  • Persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication

People within the criminal justice system may need additional treatment services to treat drug use disorders effectively. However, many offenders don’t have access to the types of services they need.

Isn’t Rehab Expensive?

Paying for Drug Rehab can seem overwhelming, and most people don’t have a pile of extra money laying around. The plus side? A lot of health insurance plans offer behavioral health treatment (for drug and alcohol addiction). Another option is to apply for a government grant to fund your treatment. “SAMHSA makes grant funds available through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Mental Health Services,” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

Because of the cost of professional treatment, a lot of people end up trying to self medicate–which can be dangerous and often lead to relapse and continued drug use.

We’re Ready For Drug Treatment And Rehab!

Alright so you (and your loved one) have decided that rehab is the right choice. This was not an easy choice to make, but it just might save a life–both physically and mentally. Finding the right treatment facility can be just as difficult–but don’t sweat it. With approximately 15,000 drug treatment facilities nationwide, there’s a good chance that you have an appropriate and affordable option nearby.

You probably have more questions about locating a rehab center, and you may even still have difficulty convincing a loved one that they need treatment. With questions about locating a rehab center, or how to get your loved one into rehab–contact us at Rehab is always a safer bet than living with an addiction… or worse, dying with an addiction.

If you or a loved one is battling heroin or an opioid addiction, contact us now!


For More Information Related to ” How Do I Get My Loved One Into Drug Rehab?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute on Drug Abuse – What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Grants

Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients

Cancer can seem like a losing battle, and then even if you survive cancer, you might become addicted to the medicine used for treatment. Opioids like oxycodone and morphine can be highly effective in treating pain, but are also terribly addictive. Even if a person is taking the prescribed doses of their medication, they can become addicted to it. Addiction treatments are sometimes the only answer, because even though cancer can seem like a losing battle, addiction is a treatable disease. Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients Pain Biggest FearFighting cancer can be a pretty scary business, and the pain it causes can be unbearable; someone who is suffering a terminal illness like cancer is likely to be in unimaginable pain. Pain is actually reported to be the biggest fear of someone suffering from cancer; not death, and not the loss of their life, but pain. For a person suffering with an often incurable condition, sometimes the only thing medical professionals can do is give them painkillers and anxiety medication to help them feel comfortable.

The tragedy occurs, not only when the person has to accept mortality, but when they become dependent on their medication. The list of prescription drugs used to treat cancer patients is astounding. Opioids are the most utilized drugs in treating cancer patients, and though they are highly successful in pain management, opioids are also highly addictive.

Why Are Opioids Used For Treating Cancer Patients?

The dilemma that has been challenging physicians, when it comes to treating cancer patients, is what kind of medication to give them? It’s not a secret to health care professionals that opioids are highly addictive, but sometimes a cancer patient just needs something stronger for pain. Opioid painkillers are “among the most effective drugs for the treatment of pain… Their use in the management of acute severe pain and chronic pain related to advanced medical illness is considered the standard of care in most of the world, (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Cancer patients are likely to experience cancer pain, end of life pain, and severe acute pain–therefore an intervention of opioid painkillers is often necessary for them to feel comfortable. Once it becomes established, opioid addiction can be tough to kick because of the withdrawals and euphoria they create…

How Does One Become Addicted To Opioids

Opioid use over an extended period, can change the way a person’s brain works–the cells become dependent on the drug, and thus, so does the person using them. Addiction is a chronic brain reward pattern, wherein the individual is unable to abstain from a drug, even once it is no longer available. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The nerve cells grow used to having opioids around, so that when they are taken away suddenly, the person can have lots of unpleasant feelings and reactions…” also known as withdrawals. A good sign that a person is becoming addicted to a substance is if they have withdrawals when they stop using the substance or drug. Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients Use To Opioids

Can I Become Addicted Even If I’m Taking The Correct Doses?

Yes, unfortunately, even when taken in the correct doses, prescribed medicine causes addiction. Most people don’t choose addiction–addiction chooses them. Much like the woman coping with the loss of her husband didn’t want to become an alcoholic; the person fighting for their life didn’t expect to beat cancer and then lose to addiction. Addiction occurs when a person continues craving a drug, even when they don’t want to take it… It really comes down to the obsession and compulsion of addiction.

Obsession And Compulsion Of Addiction

Obsession occurs when all a person can think about is one thing–whether it’s their new car, their boyfriend, or in this case opioids. A cancer patient might be lying in their hospital bed watching the clock, because they know that once 4 hours have expired, they are due for another dose of drugs; that is obsession. Compulsion is when a person loses control over an action, they use the drug even though they know they aren’t supposed to–or even if they don’t want to use a drug, but they do anyways.

The point here isn’t to get cancer patients to throw away their oxycodone and go on suffering from pain; it is to inform them of what can happen when they take them regularly–and if an opioid addiction has already taken over, where they can go for help.

Different Approaches For Treatment Of Opioid Addictions Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients Cognitive Behavioral TherapyThe medical fraternity has come a long way in treating an addiction. Sometimes cognitive behavioral therapy is performed by a psychologist to get to the root of the problem, and sometimes partial-opiates like suboxone are issued by a physician to help with withdrawals and craving. The one thing that stands true for all addiction is that a single method of treatment doesn’t work for everyone. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse a successful treatment should include these steps:

Non-opioid (or non-narcotics) like acetaminophen are for treatment of mild to moderate pain. They are non-habit forming and are typically available without a prescription. According to the American Cancer Society, “in many cases, non-opioids are all you’ll need to relieve your pain, especially if you “stay on top of the pain” by taking them regularly.” They go on to say that acetaminophen and other non-habit forming drugs are “stronger than most people realize.” Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients In Many Cases

More On Prescription Medication Addiction

Sometimes we have losing battles in life–we might lose a job or a loved one, but we don’t have to lose to addiction. Prescription pain medication can be highly addictive, and addiction can feel like a complete loss. One thing that always stands true, even though it’s a chronic disease (which means that there isn’t necessarily a cure), addiction is treatable–and there are people who want to help you get there.

Finding Help For An Addiction

If you or a loved one is battling cancer and struggling with addiction or abusing medication, contact us now!

Have you beaten cancer, but lost to an addiction? It should comfort you to know that there are millions of people who were addicted just like you, but have now recovered. If you, or a loved one is battling an addiction to opioids and afraid that there is no hope. Contact us today to find out more information on treating your loved one, or yourself. Sometimes we can be victorious against cancer, but lose the battle to drug addiction in the process… You can beat addiction today!


For More Information Related to “Opioid Addiction in Cancer Patients” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From


American Cancer Society – Non-opioids and Other Drugs Used to Treat Cancer Pain
National Cancer Institute – A to Z List of Cancer Drugs
National Institute on Drug Abuse For Teachers – How Does Someone Become Addicted to Opioids?
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) – Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Cocaine Use And Depression Cocaine And Depression_

Extended cocaine use affects neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The longer the usage, the more these essential neurotransmitters are repressed and impacted. Cocaine alters the brain’s natural reward system, leading to feelings of paranoia, depression, or anxiety. Whether depression came before or after cocaine use, treatment is highly needed to deal with any form of mental illness. Many who face depression turn to drug abuse, and many who suffer from drug abuse form signs of depression afterward. Cocaine And Depression_1 in 10 TeensDrug abuse has the potential to create numerous health effects, both physical and mental, within the lives of those who abuse. When a mental health disorder occurs with drug abuse, the two often worsen each other. Cocaine abuse, especially prolonged use, changes a person’s brain, affecting various chemical components, including certain important neurotransmitters which are critical within regulating a person’s mood. This effect may worsen existing depression or create new symptoms. Together, these disorders require effective substance abuse treatment.

Depression In America

Depression is a disease which is rampant across our country, and receiving the right information can help to greatly improve these conditions. This disorder can become debilitating, changing the way you think, feel, and carry out daily tasks.

In 2014:

  • 1 in 10 teens suffered a period of major depression.
  • 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health problem.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or major depression.

In addition, over 41,000 Americans are lost every year because of suicide.

Two or more illnesses can co-occur with each other in the same individual, such as a cocaine use disorder and depression. These are called co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. Whether it’s happening at the same time or one after the other, this comorbidity (presence of two or more illnesses) can impact each illness and make them both go down hill faster. A person’s normal desires and needs can be greatly impacted by addiction. Compulsive behaviors from drug abuse are comparable to those of mental conditions.

Cocaine’s Effects On The Brain Cocaine And Depression_1 in 25 AmericansWhen using cocaine, there are several things which transpire concerning different aspects of the brain. Various neurotransmitters are affected, including the release of dopamine. When it comes to a sense of well-being, dopamine is the chemical which is considered to bring forth all kinds of pleasure and happy feelings. Dopamine releases when related to pleasure or a feeling of reward when it comes to specific activities in life. If dopamine levels become too high in the brain, they are linked to hallucinations, aggressiveness, delusions, anger, as well as other psychotic symptoms.

Cocaine also increases norepinephrine and serotonin, which are other important neurotransmitters within the body. When it comes to norepinephrine, the body’s “fight-or-flight” mode gets activated, including an increase of heart rate and blood pressure and a person feeling alert. Keeping a balanced mood, sleep, appetite, as well as other behaviors, are all linked to serotonin.

Cocaine kicks these brain chemicals into an instant rush, and over a period of time, these essential neurotransmitters become low and depleted. This can lead to a host of different problems, including depression.

Cocaine And Depression Cocaine And Depression_WithdrawalAfter extreme abuse over a period of time, stopping the use of cocaine can lead to cravings and depression for months. In some cases, suicidal thoughts may also occur. As someone faces withdrawal, the cravings grow more intense, even though the pleasurable effects of cocaine dip way down, instead becoming replaced by paranoia. When someone is facing withdrawal, here are some of the symptoms that may occur:

  • Increased appetite
  • Agitation and restless behavior
  • Slowed activity
  • Fatigue
  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Depressed mood
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams

When cocaine is used chronically, it blocks normal neural functions. It starts to disrupt the brain’s chemical reward areas. The longer cocaine is used, the more neural depression starts to impact emotions, memories, and cognitive functions.

What Happens When You Use Cocaine For A Long Time?

Through tests, it has been found that cocaine, when abused over an extended period of time, creates a decline in neural activity within the motivational and pleasure areas of the brain. Quoted within a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publication on the subject, Dr. Porrino says, “Within the structure called the striatum, the blunting of activity spreads from the nucleus accumbens, a reward area, to the caudate-putamen, which controls behavior based on repetitive action.” Cocaine And Depression_MemoriesMemories and information-processes are highly restricted when someone uses cocaine over the long term. “The reduced activity of the temporal lobe indicates that this structure is somehow compromised,” says Dr. Nancy Pilotte of NIDA’s Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research. “Some of these regions mediate the ability to connect emotionally, and cocaine’s blunting of them may induce a flattened affect similar to depression symptoms that are common among chronic cocaine abusers.”

Does Cocaine Cause Depression?

When it comes to mental illnesses and drug abuse, the two are highly linked. Many people who abuse drugs are also diagnosed with a variety of mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety. When people who are facing troubles turn to cocaine, this drug abuse can also bring out the symptoms of a separate mental illness like depression. A mental disorder can create a need for an individual to self-medicate from the emotional or mental symptoms that they are coming up against. In this case, it could have been depression that caused the drug addiction, or in others, it could be that the drug addiction was the first to show up. It can be tricky to decipher which one occurred first. Regardless of whatever symptoms popped up first, it is important to bring about treatment to mental illnesses.

Reach Out For Treatment Today

If you or a loved one suffer from cocaine abuse and mental health issues, contact us now!

Whether the signs of depression have happened before or after cocaine use, reach out for the help you need today. If you are experiencing depression, suicidal thoughts, or other symptoms of mental illness, there is support for you. Getting the help you need will start your journey upward out of depression and cocaine abuse. Please contact us at


For More Information Related to “Cocaine Use And Depression” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute on Drug Abuse — Long-Term Cocaine Self-Administration Depresses Brain Activity
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Disorders

Substance Abuse and Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_

Substance abuse can lead to anxiety disorders, which are characterized by frequent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden bouts of fear and increased heart rate, or a fear of impending doom. With anxiety disorders–that fear never goes away. Some substances, legal or illegal, can make a person more likely to experience the adverse symptoms of an anxiety disorder. There is treatment available for substance abuse disorders–you don’t have to be afraid anymore. Panic Attacks_20 minutesEvery little kid walks through a dark alley and gets the heebie jeebies, it’s just part of growing up. As they get older and recognize that there is no boogie man there to get them, they relinquish the fear and grow out of it. Some people go through life with that constant fear that something bad will happen. They very well could be suffering from a panic attack, which is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as a sudden attack of anxiety and overwhelming fear. Frequently, though many panic attacks are direct results of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder, in which that fear is constant. Certain drugs can trigger a panic attack in an individual.

Anxiety Disorder And Panic Attacks

As previously clarified, anxiety is a sudden feeling of fear. Anxiety can be a normal reaction to heart wrenching situations–driving a car for the first time, the first day of school, or the moment before a big game. A person suffering from an anxiety disorder can experience this feeling constantly, these bouts of fear are known as a panic attacks. Panic attacks can last for up to 20 minutes. A person with an anxiety disorder also is likely to experience some of these symptoms: (U.S. Library of Medicine):

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing control or impending doom
  • Feeling of choking
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face
  • Palpitations, fast heart rate, or pounding heart
  • Sensation of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Sweating, chills, or hot flashes
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Substance Induced Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks_39%Not every substance will cause a panic attack, however, there are certain drugs that can. Some people suffering from a substance abuse disorder (or better understand by their lack of ability to stop using a drug even when they want to) migh have a delusion that impending doom awaits them if they don’t “get their fix.” A person suffering from a heroin addiction might constantly think about the drug, but if there is none left? Well that’s when the fear of withdrawal, or fear that they won’t get high again might set in. In a study conducted by the U.S. Library of Medicine, “Of 97 individuals with panic, 39% had abused at least one substance.”

Substances That Can Cause Anxiety And Paranoia

The substances associated with panic attacks can vary, but generally, if a drug increases heart rate–it can also increase the risk of a panic attack. Some (but not all) of the different drugs that can lead to a panic attack are: Caffeine; Alcohol; Heroin and other Opioids; Cocaine; Marijuana; Sedatives; Nicotine; and Hallucinogens.

Caffeine Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_CaffeineCaffeine is not always associated with substance abuse; however, it’s still a drug. When caffeine is consumed in heavy quantities, or more than a healthy amount, that’s abuse. Caffeine is a stimulant, and after it’s ingested (whether it’s in a pill form or in a beverage) it raises the heart rate. According to the National Center for Biotechnology information, caffeine is associated with an increased number of panic attacks for people who are predisposed to them.

Alcohol Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_AlcoholAlcohol is a drug which is sometimes referred to as “liquid courage”, because it can cause a person to do things that they might not normally do. Alcohol can lead to mood swings and temper tantrums–a person who abuses alcohol may exhibit bouts of rage, anxiety, and increased danger to his or herself and others. Withdrawal from alcohol can also lead to symptoms such as anxiety and panic attacks, but it can also lead to insomnia, delirium tremens, sweating profusely, depression, delusions, nightmares, and seizures. According to NCBI, “Alcohol-induced deliriums after high-dose drinking are characterized by fluctuating mental status, confusion, and disorientation.”

Marijuana Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_MarijuanaMarijuana can be smoked, consumed, or “dabbed”–the highest dose of tetrahydrocannabinol THC which can be abused. THC is the primary compound found in marijuana, and it can have serious affects on the mind of a person using it. Abuse of marijuana can lead to lack of motivation, mood swings, anxiety, and panic attacks. The U.S. Library of Medicine found that a lifetime of marijuana is significantly related to a lifetime of panic disorder and panic attacks. Not only that, they found that people who abused marijuana in the past year, and currently use marijuana, are more likely to be diagnosed with lifetime panic disorder as well as current panic attacks.

Cocaine Abuse And Panic Attacks

Cocaine is a drug which can be snorted, injected, laced with other drugs, and more. It give a person a false feeling of power, and can lead to behaviors like violence and promiscuity, it can also cause paranoia. Cocaine is a stimulant, and can be extremely dangerous for the heart, it can also lead to severe anxiety and panic attacks. Cocaine abuse often leads to manic behavior and delirious speech. Overdose from cocaine killed approximately 7,000 people in 2015, and withdrawals (often referred to as “a crash”) can lead to depression and craving more of the substance. Panic Attacks_7,000

Heroin, Opioid Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_HeroinOpioids such as heroin are characterized by spurts of intense euphoria and well-being. Abusing drugs like heroin can lead to anxiety, severe depression, and insomnia. Even after a person stops using opioids, the withdrawals can start after a couple hours and last for several weeks–withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly dangerous and sometimes include paranoia, anxiety, panic, and seizures. With the prolonged withdrawals associated with opioids, relapse is more likely to occur to avoid further withdrawals.

Hallucinogen Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_HallucinogenHallucinogens can give the user visual and mental delusions–or hallucinations. A person who is abusing hallucinogens (such as LSD, Peyote, PCP, and Psilocybin Mushrooms (or Shrooms)) can become dangerously antisocial. They might experience bouts of laughter, which can be followed by unexplainable crying. A person using these kind of drugs can very quickly slip into a drug induced panic attack, or lapse into paranoia. Withdrawal from some hallucinogens can be feeling of emptiness, prolonged trip (or “permi-trip”), inability to eat, anxiety, and fatigue.

How To Tell If Someone Is Abusing Drugs

Someone who’s abusing drugs might not be easy to pick out in a crowd, drug abusers may have a lot of practice hiding their addiction. A person who is abusing drugs or hiding an addiction may:

  • Spend a lot of time alone
  • Lose interest in their favorite things
  • Get messy—for instance, not bathe, change clothes, or brush their teeth
  • Be really tired and sad
  • Be very energetic, talk fast, or say things that don’t make sense
  • Be nervous or cranky (in a bad mood)
  • Quickly change between feeling bad and feeling good
  • Sleep at strange hours
  • Miss important appointments
  • Have problems at work
  • Eat a lot more or a lot less than usual

(According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse)

What To Do For Treatment Of A Substance Abuse Disorder

Experts suggest the following tips for avoiding panic attacks: Abstaining from alcohol, a healthy diet, exercising often, getting enough sleep, or reducing (or avoiding) caffeine, certain cold medicines, and stimulants.

If you or a loved one suffer from substance abuse or anxiety, contact us now!

Though sometimes putting an end to substance abuse is more difficult–especially when trying to do it alone. The withdrawals from heavy use of drugs like alcohol can lead to death if not treated by a professional. You might be concerned about your substance abuse problem and panic attacks, if so, you can reach out to us at, or you can call to speak to a professional at 1-833-473-4227. All calls are confidential, and our main goal is to help you in your steps to recovery. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.


For More Information Related to “Substance Abuse and Panic Attacks” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From


National Institute on Drug Abuse – Signs of Drug Use and Addiction
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Overdose Death Rates
National Center for Biotechnology Information – 9 Substance-Induced Disorders
National Institute of Mental Health – Anxiety Disorders
U.S. Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health – Relationship Between Substance Abuse And Panic Attacks
U.S. National Library of Medicine – Panic Disorder
U.S. Library of Medicine – Marijuana Use and Panic Psychopathology Among a Representative Sample of Adults

Getting Help After Getting A DUI/DWI Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI

While many people understand the dangers associated with operating an automobile after consuming alcohol or drugs, far too many individuals still engage in this risky behavior. For many, receiving a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) due to this choice is the beginning of a lengthy process.

These charges may result in a variety of court sentencing restrictions and requirements, including mandated 12-step group attendance, alcohol or drug education classes, and/or substance abuse treatment. While the alcohol or drug abuse that resulted in these charges may have been recreational or a one-time event, for many, it can serve as an opportunity to get them the effective treatment they don’t yet know they need, offering them a chance at sobriety and a better life. The court may require you attend certain facilities, in other instances you may have to choose on your own; in this case it is very important to consider your specific life circumstances and concerns to ensure the best type and level of care.

Getting Help After Getting A DUI/DWI Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-03Despite its legal standing, prevalence, and acceptance within numerous social spheres, alcohol is not a benign drug. One of the most common and destructive ways in which this occurs is within circumstances regarding an individual driving after they have been drinking. In decades past, this behavior was more commonplace and even somewhat socially acceptable. Fortunately now, with the advent of more strident rules and social perspectives, this behavior has declined, as evidenced, in part, by statistics presented by the National Institutes of Health who reports that since “Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half with the greatest proportional declines among persons 16-20 years old.”

Despite this apparent decline, many individuals throughout our nation make the ill-fated decision to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming some measure of alcohol or drugs; for many, this results in an arrest and charges of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In either instance, you may encounter legal troubles, resulting in mandatory obligations regarding drug and alcohol education or treatment. After this occurs, it is important that person fully understand their options and the ways by which they can obtain help.

What Are A DUI/DWI And What Happens When You Get One?

Laws regarding these charges vary state to state. Those under 21 may face a zero tolerance law. Some states have a zero tolerance for individuals over this age, meaning that any amount of substances over the legal limit (0.08 BAC) constitutes a singular offense, whereas some offer a distinction, with a lesser charge of driving under the influence (DUI), and a more severe charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Either of these charges may potentially stem from drug or alcohol use or a combination of both. Regardless of the distinction, to get there, a person had to have been using, and possibly abusing, either drugs and/or alcohol.

Prior to the official judgement, or included within the sentencing, a DUI/DWI offender may be required to have a substance abuse assessment and go to a treatment facility. This may occur in varying forms and length, depending on the results of the assessment and the sentence, which may be based on your blood alcohol content, any prior offenses, if anyone was injured or killed in the event, and past participation in a program. This may be part of a suspended sentencing arrangement or a condition of probation. Additionally, in some instances, a person may be required to attend 12-step meetings, group counseling sessions, or alcohol or drug education classes.

How Do I Begin To Get Help?

After receiving a DUI/DWI a person may be very affected emotionally and mentally, as the situation in its entirety can be very overwhelming and strenuous. Faced with court and legal costs, the stigma attached to the arrest and sentencing, and the impact on your family or career, you may be overcome and not know where to turn. In the case of certain legal directives, such as counseling or a alcohol or drug education class, the court will likely require that you enroll within a certain facility for these sessions, taking the guesswork out of it. If you’re required to attend 12-step meetings, they will likely supply you with a list of current and local groups. If you’re required to attend treatment, things may not be as cut and dry. Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-04

With less severe offenses, you may only be required to attend outpatient treatment, a form of treatment which allows you to remain at home, while traveling to the facility for a limited number of sessions within a set period of time. In more severe cases, such as in those with multiple offenses, a person may be required to attend inpatient drug rehab, most typically for 30 days. An inpatient program is residential based, meaning that you live on site for the duration of the treatment. The theory behind this is that multiple offenses speak to an ongoing problem or chronic abuse of drugs or alcohol, as could be characteristic of an addiction, a circumstance which often requires intensive care. Typically, in situations regarding rehab, a person is responsible for finding and paying for their own treatment.

What Are The Benefits Of Getting Help?

Firstly, in some cases, seeking and obtaining help or treatment on your own may signal to the judge your readiness to change and your recognition of the detriment of your ways. Secondly, in instances where treatment, counseling, and/or education classes are mandated as part of sentencing, the penalties for your DUI or DWI, such as court fees, a suspended license, or any jail time, may be reduced or eliminated should you attend. Should your license be revoked, successful completion of either of these things may allow for your driving privileges to be restored. On the other hand, should you negate these rulings, or fail to fulfill all the requirements, your license may not be reinstated and/or you may be required to appear in court again and suffer further legal repercussions.

Alcohol or drug education classes will not only educate you on the risks and dangers of substance abuse, but help you to learn better decision making skills, while putting the use and abuse of these substances within the context of your life. Perhaps you made a series of bad decisions within a single night, culminating in your getting behind the wheel. In this instance, any education or counseling you receive, should be viewed as a protective or preventative measure, staving off further, and more serious, instances of risky behaviors (such as operating a vehicle while using), abuse, or addiction.

On the other hand, many individuals who face charges do suffer from instances of abuse or addiction. This may force you to get help you might not yet realize you need. The good news is that a person doesn’t have to readily choose treatment for it to be effective. The National Institute on Drug Abuse comments on this, asserting that “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from…the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.” Though you may not have choose this path, enrolling in a treatment program may help to protect your life; your health, both physical and mental; and benefit you in countless other ways.

Are There Programs Specifically For DUI/DWI Offenders? Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-05Yes. While you will likely be able to choose most any program, there are certain programs that are especially designed for DUI/DWI offenders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “The N-SSATS Report,” outpatient DUI/DWI treatment programs may be shorter than their traditional counterparts. Despite this shorter length, the report notes that these programs may be successful and that “Research has demonstrated that DUI/DWI programs that combine educational programs with evidence-based therapeutic approaches—such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention—are effective in facilitating and maintaining behavioral change.”

The report outlines the availability of these programs, based on 2012 findings on the then available 10,144 outpatient-only facilities. It found that:

  • One percent treated only these clients
  • 36 percent offered care to these and other clients
  • The remaining 63 percent did not offer specialty services for these concerns.

While this is a starting point, there are yet other factors to consider when seeking treatment.

What Other Elements Should I Consider?

It is especially pertinent that those individuals with true concerns of substance abuse and addiction fully consider their options against their unique needs, so that they not only fulfill their sentencing requirements, but take advantage of the opportunity by receiving individualized and effective care. Other factors to consider are:

  • Finances
  • Employment status/obligations
  • Family situation and obligations
  • Current and past health and medical conditions
  • Severity of abuse/addiction
  • Presence of any co-occurring disorders
  • What your support system is like

Oftentimes, in cases of drug and alcohol abuse or addiction, a person may have a co-occurring mental health disorder. The SAMHSA report speaks of this, “Studies of this population show that DUI/DWI offenders are at high risk for having comorbid psychiatric disorders, multiple substance abuse problems, and among repeat DUI/DWI offenders, neurocognitive impairments.” Taken into consideration, this makes clear the imperative for effective dual diagnosis care that can treat a person’s co-occurring disorders. Fortunately, the aforementioned treatment modalities have all been proven to be effectual in this capacity. Whatever the specifics of your life, strive to view this circumstance as an opportunity for positive change.

Find The Road To Treatment

If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

Whether you’re looking for a program only to satisfy court requirements, or if you’re doing this alongside of a genuine need for addiction treatment, our staff at can help direct you towards the resources and options you need to make the best decision. Contact us today.

For More Information On Alcohol Abuse And Addiction, Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — The NSSATS Report: Types of Services Provided by Programs for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired Clients

Co-Occurring Disorders: Autism And Addiction Co-Occurring Disorders- Autism And Addiction

Autism is a disorder which affects three million Americans, and tens of millions worldwide, according to Autism Speaks. With one in 68 children in the U.S. identified as having an autism disorder every year, much research has been focused on finding ways for those with autism to cope. Some of this research has shown that those with autism are more likely to become addicted to substances. As found in one study reported by Psychology Today, people with autism symptoms are no more likely than those without autism to abuse drugs or alcohol. But if they are already abusing drugs or alcohol, autistic people may be more likely to form addiction.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a disease which may be characterized by troubles with social interaction, difficulty with verbal and/or nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Autism was previously identified by many offshoots of the disorder, each with its own name, but now all autism disorders are known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Each disorder is somewhere on the autism spectrum. Due to the characteristics of ASDs, autism may also be associated with intellectual disabilities, troubles with motor coordination or attention, and physical health issues. Some health issues include issues with sleep and disruption of the gastrointestinal (digestive) system. However, those with ASDs may also see exceptional performance or success in other areas, such as art, math, music, and visual skills.

Who Does Autism Affect? Co-Occurring Disorders- Autism And Addiction One of 68 ChildrenAutism is much more common today than it was in past decades. The current number of children affected by autism is a ten-fold increase from forty years ago, according to Psychology Today. Research suggests autism gets its start in early brain development; one of the suggested ways to prevent autism for pregnant mothers is a diet high in folic acid. However, autism may be diagnosed in children two to three years of age—when symptoms tend to become obvious. Autism is also more common in boys than in girls.

How Is Autism Linked To Addiction? Co-Occurring Disorders- Autism And Addiction When Two DisordersAutism is not typically associated with alcohol or drug abuse. Psychology Today explains that people with autism are traditionally not drawn to alcohol abuse because they tend to have a “preference for low risk and avoidance of social situations.” But the newest findings point to a heightened risk of addiction for those with autism. When two disorders occur together, they are called co-occurring disorders. People affected by an ASD may fall victim to addiction simply because of the symptoms of their disorder. If a person with autism begins drinking or abusing drugs, he or she will have a high likelihood of repeating that behavior, fostering addiction. Also, autistic tendencies may be a risk factor for developing substance abuse disorders, such as avoidance of social interaction and communication difficulty.

How Is Autism Treated?

Treating autism helps lessen the severity of some of the symptoms, which could lessen the likelihood of developing an addiction. Early prevention efforts work to dispel some of the more severe behavioral characteristics. Treatment of autism involves family support, professional interaction, and therapy. As children grow, different levels of treatment may aid for their differing developmental needs. With early prevention, adolescents and adults who have autism may have established a set of treatment methods which work to target their specific symptoms.

Treating Autism And Addiction Co-Occurring Disorders- Autism And Addiction Inpatient ResidentialThe goal for those with autism is often to move them into a manageable state of the disorder, and some reach this level. For those who don’t, and who develop addiction to drugs or alcohol, treatment is the best help available. Inpatient residential treatment at a rehab center may be the most beneficial for those with autism and addiction. Treatment centers which recognize a person’s co-occurring disorders may provide the best chance for recovery.

Treating co-occurring disorders such as autism and addiction requires a comprehensive treatment plan. Treatment approaches must address the symptoms of both disorders, while still attending to the patient’s overall needs. Some methods for treating autism are similar to those for addiction, such as counseling, therapy for the individual, family, or group, and behavioral therapy.

Treatment approaches for co-occurring disorders in the past have often fallen short; usually one disorder is properly diagnosed and treated while the other is left untreated. As Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains, “the consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated co-occurring disorders can lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing homelessness, incarceration, medical illnesses, suicide, or even early death.” With adequate treatment for both sides of a co-occurring disorder, a person can begin to heal.

How To Find Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders

If you or a loved one suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, contact us now!

One out of 42 boys and one in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism every year in the United States. Autistic tendencies may make a person more susceptible to addiction. Treatment is the most effective way to help a person recover from co-occurring disorders, and we at have the resources you need to get help for your loved one. To learn more about treatment options and to have your concerns heard, call us today.


Autism Speaks—How Is Autism Treated?
Autism Speaks—What Is Autism?
Psychology Today—Autistic Symptoms Make Higher Risk For Substance Abuse
Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration—Co-Occuring Disorders
Washington University In St. Louis—People With Autistic Tendencies Vulnerable To Alcohol Problems

Bone Marrow Suppression from Alcohol Abuse Bone Marrow Suppression from Alcohol Abuse

Bone marrow is responsible for producing red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Bone marrow suppression can be a direct result of alcohol abuse and causes anemia, leukopenia, and low platelets. Alcohol abuse is associated with killing off the blood cells that are responsible for keeping a person healthy.

Have you ever wondered how substance abuse can cause complications in the human body? Or more specifically, how alcohol plays a role in the immune system? Alcohol has potential for damage to the liver, brain, and heart, but did you know that alcohol affect your body right down to the blood cell? It’s true, and the toll that alcohol abuse has on the body can be detrimental.

Alcohol Abuse and Blood Cells Bone Marrow Suppression from Alcohol Abuse Red Blood CellsThere are two different kinds of blood cells; white and red. White blood cells are essential for a body’s resistance to infection, and red blood cells are vital for energy and transporting oxygen. It is the bone marrow which is responsible for creating white and red blood cells. Alcohol abuse interferes with the bone marrows abilities to produce those cells, leaving a person tired, weak, and vulnerable to infection.

At the same time, excessive drinking can cause destruction of both white and red blood cells. In addition the bone marrow creates platelets which are responsible for blood clotting. Blood clotting is the reason that you stop bleeding when you get a bloody nose. This effect can put a person at risk for excessive bleeding and strokes.

Anemia And Other Illnesses Linked To Bone Marrow Suppression Bone Marrow Suppression from Alcohol Abuse 30 Different AlcoholBone marrow suppression from heavy alcohol abuse can be linked to various diseases such as: Myelodysplastic Syndrome- which is characterized by mutated cells, Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria- or blood in the urine and is fatal to 50% of people who are diagnosed. Anemia is also a result of bone marrow suppression. Anemia is a low red blood cell count, and since red blood cells carry oxygen to a person’s organs, it should be cause for concern if you or someone you love abuses alcohol.

Alcoholism probably is the leading cause of thrombocytopenia.” NIAAA In another study by the National Institutes of Health found that, of 30 different alcohol dependent people brought in for detox, bone marrow damage was typical; however, it is reversible. With the proper treatment this can be a thing of the past.

Symptoms Of Anemia–Low Red Blood Cell Count

  • Fatigue
  • Pale Skin
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fast Heart Beat

Symptoms of Leukopenia–Low White Blood Cell Count

  • Fever and Chills
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen Glands

Symptoms Of Low Platelets

  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding Gums or Mouth
  • Easy Bruising
  • Tiny Red Spots on The Skin

A Closer Look At Alcohol Abuse Bone Marrow Suppression from Alcohol Abuse 10 % Of Adult MenSo what do we know about Alcohol Abuse? A person who abuses alcohol might drink alcohol daily and completely lose control each time, or only get drunk on the weekend. It doesn’t make a difference, they are both forms of alcohol abuse.

A study by Harvard University describes alcohol use disorder as “when a person’s drinking causes stress or harm.” In that same study, they reported that 10% of adult men and 5% of adult women have an alcohol use disorder. This gets pretty close to home for a lot of us, especially because alcohol is the second most abused drug in the United States and approximately 88,000 people die an alcohol related death each year.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse and Other Related Disorders

To paraphrase what the NIAAA had to say about bone marrow suppression, a person who abuses alcohol over a period of time can reduce blood cell counts and beat down their immune system response. If you are concerned about the adverse affects of alcohol and would like to know more about bone marrow suppression, we can help. There are 17 million people over 18 who struggle with alcohol addiction and abuse alcohol.

For more on alcohol abuse, contact us today!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at, if you or someone you know may be struggling with a substance problem. We can get you the help you need. To speak to a person who can help, call anytime at 833-473-4227




Harvard Health Publications – Alcohol Abuse
Medscape – Bone Marrow Failure
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – The Hematological Complications of Alcoholism
National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism – Alcohol And The Immune System
US Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – Alcohol induced bone marrow damage-A bone marrow study in alcohol-dependent individuals

Prescription Drug Abuse Support Groups Prescription Drug Abuse Support Groups

For people newly recovering from drug abuse, one of the best things they can do to continue their recovery efforts is to join a support group. As explains, “groups are very helpful, not only in maintaining your own sobriety, but also as a safe place to get support and discuss challenges.” Finding people who have shared your same struggles, who are experiencing similar feelings and thoughts, may be helpful both in the early days of sobriety and for years to come.

Prescription drug Prescription Drug Abuse Support Groups In 2012 The Number Of Deaths Attributed is an epidemic that affects thousands every year in the United States. In 2012, the number of deaths attributed to prescription drug overdoses was nearly 17,000, according to the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD). Further, many people who first abuse prescription drugs tend to later abuse heroin. When people seek treatment for this abuse, the focus is largely on detoxifying the body from the effects of abuse, undergoing therapy, and building a life free from substance abuse.

But what happens when treatment is completed? What about aftercare? This is where support groups may step in. Though people who have been treated for prescription drug abuse may continue receiving some forms of therapy, counseling, or even medication, joining support groups can be a great way to ensure support for long-term recovery efforts. These meetings offer mental motivation for continued abstinence, accountability, and a way for members to share similar experiences and coping methods.

Support Groups

There are different types of support groups available for those recovering from prescription drug abuse, including 12-step programs and those that follow various other approaches. The following programs adhere to the 12-step model:

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Prescription Drug Abuse Support Groups Narcotics AnonymousThis program is perhaps one of the better-known support groups for people recovering from substance abuse. It is open to people who are victims of any substance abuse. The 12 steps of the program help guide participants through recovery by asking them to uphold principles. Some of these include committing to a healthy lifestyle, putting faith in a higher power (defined at will), and engaging in self-love and self-awareness.

Members are also responsible for choosing a personal sponsor, or a person who formerly struggled with addiction and who has entered sobriety. The sponsor has generally spent a length of time sober and offers support and guidance to help you remain dedicated to your recovery.

The program is conducted through meetings, held at a specified time, usually weekly. Members participate in group listening, may participate in a prayer, and can share if they are ready. The group is free to all members, and any information shared within the group is confidential.

Pills Anonymous Prescription Drug Abuse Support Groups Pills AnonymousPills Anonymous is a support group dedicated to members who want recovery from prescription drug (pills) abuse. As described on the organization’s web page, this program, “is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from pill addiction.” The group does not have any ties to religions, political parties, etc. Members attend meetings, participate in a 12-step program, and work to help others achieve long-term recovery success.

Dual Recovery Anonymous

This program offers support for people who are suffering from more than just substance abuse. Dual recovery covers support for persons with a dual diagnosis or who have been diagnosed with more than one disorder, such as substance abuse and mental health conditions. Struggling with one disorder is difficult but struggling with two may make basic life functions difficult. Different disorders require different types of treatment, targeting separate symptoms. Successful treatment may require aftercare and this support group could help with that process. Dual Recovery Anonymous is structured through a 12-step program, similar to NA.

Other Approaches

Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS)

This international organization approaches support from a scientific outlook. It focuses on self-empowerment fostered by abstinence from substances. The program offers meetings which promote the alternative recovery method, as well as the self-empowerment goal. Meetings are led with the core belief that a person’s sobriety should be separate from his or her spirituality or religious beliefs. Consequently, the program encourages people to remember that they have reached sobriety, free from the influence of a higher power.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery adopts four key principles which help participants, “change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions; and to work towards long-term satisfactions and quality of life.” The program operates a Prescription Drug Abuse Support Groups Smart Recovery4-point program adapted from a scientific approach. The four points include:

  1. Motivation—both how to build it and how to maintain it
  2. Learning how to deal with cravings/urges
  3. Learning how to handle one’s emotions, behaviors, and thoughts
  4. Creating a new lifestyle that has balance and is free from substance abuse

SMART Recovery employs several methods and tools to help individuals through the program. These may include worksheets which help people weigh decisions, help with idea creation, role-playing as therapy, and more.

Find The Support You Need Today

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.

Recovery may be your hardest-attained goal, yet it can be so worthwhile when you have finally achieved it. Success in the long term may require continued care, or at least support, and substance abuse support groups are there to help you along the way. To learn more about these groups or others, to learn more about a prescription drug abuse prevention plan, or to get in contact with professionals about prescription drug abuse treatment, contact us today at


Center For Lawful Access And Abuse Deterrence — Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics — Self-Help Groups For Drug Addiction
Pills Anonymous — About
Smart Recovery — Introduction

Can You Be In Remission From Drug And/Or Alcohol Addiction?

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction

Addiction has not always been viewed as a disease or brain disorder. In fact, it used to be viewed as a war of only willpower against which we needed to fight. Now, we know that people make the initial choice to abuse substances, but over time abuse changes the brain, making it continually crave substances. Chronic abuse can become a disease of the mind if it develops into an addiction, one which makes a person fight daily to avoid further use, and one which requires treatment for a person to recover.

Since addiction is a disease, can a person be in remission from it? To answer this question, it is first important to understand how addiction as a disease affects you.

Addiction: A Brain Disorder


First, it is necessary to comprehend how the brain functions. The brain essentially works by utilizing brain cells (neurons) to send messages to other brain cells by releasing a chemical (neurotransmitter). As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “drugs are chemicals that affect the brain by tapping into its communication system and interfering with the way neurons normally send, receive, and process information.” In fact, the chemicals in certain drugs can actually mimic neurotransmitters and the way they work, effectively tricking the brain’s receptors, which allow the chemicals to attach to and activate the neurons.

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction_Brain Disorder

But the chemicals in these drugs only mimic the way that chemicals in the brain works. In other words, though chemicals from drugs may act like those of the brain, they can only imitate them, and this means they will never function in the same way as the naturally occurring chemicals in the brain. This difference causes the brain’s communication system to transmit messages that do not work like regular ones. As NIDA states, “this disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels.”

Substances do more than just stop the normal communication in the brain, though. They also produce an excess of dopamine, resulting in a feeling of euphoria (reward). It is this euphoric feeling that changes the brain. A person’s body enjoys the feeling of euphoria because the brain enjoys it, even if that feeling is short-lived. That is why a person abusing substances often continues to seek abuse; the brain prompts him or her to seek that euphoric feeling again and again. Eventually the brain struggles to produce its own naturally occurring chemicals and a physical dependence is formed. When this is paired with compulsive drug seeking and other behaviors, an addiction is present.

Can You Treat A Brain Disorder?

To treat an addiction, along with overcoming the physical effects of withdrawal, a person must overcome the effects on his or her brain. At best, a person must train his or her brain to function without substance abuse and retrain the brain to seek rewards through other avenues. It is the reason so many treatment methods involve behavioral therapy or guiding a person to build a lifestyle free from drugs or alcohol.

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction_Remission

As with many diseases, if a person successfully treats substance abuse, that person can be in remission. In fact, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) suggests the term “remission” for addiction, defining it as “a state of wellness where there is an abatement of signs and symptoms that characterize active addiction.” The fact that is important to note is that, as with other diseases, relapse is a possibility. In fact, relapse is highly likely. That is why treatment is so important.

It would not be expected of someone with a mental health disorder to overcome the condition and be cured. In truth, the term “cure” is not commonplace within the treatment of mental health disorders. Instead, treatment focuses on helping a person learn how to manage both the disease and their life more effectively in the long term.

Neither should a cure be expected of substance use disorders. Treatment is effective, and more and better methods are developed all the time to help people overcome addiction. However, ultimately treating substance abuse means building a life in which a person can deal with the long-term effects of drugs or alcohol. These effects may include the changes to the brain. It can often be a daily struggle for years to come, avoiding substances, but it is something that can be worthwhile.

Reaching Remission

With millions of people struggling in the United States every year, it cannot be denied that addiction is a disease which affects many. Yet so few of these people get the treatment they need to free themselves from substance abuse. Any time a person has a health condition, it is best to seek the proper treatment, and this is also true for substance use disorders.

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction_Reaching Remission

As Psychology Today states, “Despite our national obsession with quick fixes, there’s no simple solution to our country’s drug problem. We have to recognize that addiction, like diabetes and cancer, is here to stay. By accepting this fact, we can work to improve addiction treatment rather than waging war against drug users.”

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.If you have been suffering from addiction and are wondering if there is a way you can reach remission, we are here to show you that there is hope. Contact us today at to learn more about treatment options, find connections to resources, and speak to professionals about your concerns.


American Society Of Addiction Medicine—Terminology Related To Addiction, Treatment, And Recovery
National Institute On Drug Abuse—Treatment And Recovery
Psychology Today—Will There Ever Be A Cure For Addiction?

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, among other street names, has become increasingly widespread, as its prevalence has extended across the United States within the past several decades. With this diaspora, a continued pattern of abuse, addiction, and destruction has followed.

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Using this drug, either for the first time, or habitually, as is characteristic of an addiction, can bring great harm to a person, including a high risk of overdose.

Meth’s Background

You may be surprised to know that meth owes its roots to the medical field. Like many illicit drugs, meth was developed for medical purposes, and is yet used, albeit rarely for medical applications. After its creation in the early part of the 20th century, methamphetamine was used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Currently, in the now infrequent times it is used within the medical field, NIDA tells us that it is administered for ADHD or weight-loss treatments.

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment Nasal Decongestants

In order to better understand its potency and addictive potential, it is useful to consider the fact that it is very closely related to another powerful, and also commonly abused stimulant—amphetamine. In fact, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, meth, like amphetamine are both within the amphetamines class of drugs. Due to its strong risk for abuse and dependence, it is classified by the DEA as a Schedule II drug.

How Meth Affects Your Body

People may choose to administer meth several ways, each of which alter the effects and risks a meth abuser incurs. Meth, like various other illicit stimulant drugs, may be smoked, snorted, injected, or more rarely, taken orally. Each of these ways exposes a person towards to the potential of overdose, which in some cases, may be fatal.

Before we speak of this risk, and the subsequent treatment, we will speak in brief of the drug’s effects on a user. Being able to understand the signs and symptoms of meth abuse and addiction may give you a greater awareness that could be helpful towards initiating the help that may avert an overdose in someone you love. Prevention is key in protecting someone from use that accelerates from abuse to addiction, and subsequently the attributed risks. When someone uses meth, they may, in the short term:

  • Become excessively talkative
  • Exhibit a more focused state of attention
  • Experience decreased fatigue
  • Have a diminished appetite
  • Exhibit signs of increased respiration (taking breaths in a greater frequency or speed)
  • Complain that their heart rate is rapid
  • Become too hot (hyperthermia)

As with any drug of abuse, as use progresses, a person is apt to exhibit more serious effects, with meth, these long-term signs of abuse may be:

  • Tolerance (a person needs more to achieve the same effect)
  • Anxiety
  • A confused state
  • Mood changes, including violent behavior
  • Psychotic tendencies (paranoia, and seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • Believing that bugs are crawling on, or beneath the skin
  • Intense itching or damage to the skin from the above notion
  • Significant weight loss
  • “Meth mouth,” a variety of dental issues due to the drug’s damaging effects
  • Marks from needle use
  • Infections at injection sites
  • Wearing long sleeves to cover up the latter two signs

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment History

In addition to these symptoms of use, meth can also damage a person’s physical and mental health, including an increased risk of various transmissible diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C and B; cognitive decline, complications during pregnancy, and damage to the heart, to name some. Two of the greatest risks are addiction and overdose.

Signs Of An Overdose

If the above signs become apparent in someone close to you, and you believe there may be concern of meth abuse, or addiction, seek treatment immediately—it may mean the difference between an overdose occurring down the road, and even life and death. Being preemptive may help a person to avoid such dire circumstances if their drug use continues unchecked.

Unfortunately, people’s drug habits are not always caught in time, and an overdose may still occur. There are even more imminent signs that may further point to more serious straits, such as those which precede an overdose. As extracted from MedlinePlus, if a person has consumed large amounts of meth, such as that which may cause overdose, they may exhibit or experience the following:

  • Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment SymptomsAgitation
  • Chest pain
  • Coma or unresponsiveness (in extreme cases)
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular or stopped heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Very high body temperature
  • Kidney damage and possibly kidney failure
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Stroke

Please, we urge you, if you witness any of these conditions call emergency medical assistance immediately, your call has the potential to save a person’s life. Should you even begin to think that a meth overdose may be occurring, or that a person even be at risk of experiencing one, seek medical attention immediately. In these critical conditions, every minute manners, and the sooner you get your loved one, or yourself help, the sooner a medical intervention can work towards improving the odds that it does not result in a fatality.

As these individuals may become violent or aggressive please proceed with caution around them. If a person is seizing, do not attempt to hold down their limbs, or attempt in any other way to stop the movement. Instead, if they are experiencing a seizure, the only thing you should do is to lightly cradle their head, to help protect it from harm. If you are able, roll them off their back and onto their side, preferably the left, so that they don’t aspirate their vomit should they get sick.

Lastly, MedlinePlus urges that if you witness an overdose, to prepare crucial information for the medical support team, as much as you may know, including:

  • How much they weigh and also their age.
  • What amount of drug did they take, and in what frequency?
  • How did they administer the drug? Did they inject it, take it orally, etc?
  • When did they take the drug?

Also, if the person took any other drug(s), either prescribed or illicit, including alcohol, please make certain to tell the responders this, as this may change the course of treatment. This can be a very overwhelming and frightening situation, but remember, try to keep your head clear and stay calm so that you may assist them in getting the help they need.

Should An Overdose Occur

Again, we must remind you that a person may conceivably overdose on meth the first time they try it, or at any point along the spectrum between abuse and addiction. When this overdose happens suddenly, it is called an acute methamphetamine intoxication. In an instance that an overdose does occur, what follows are measures of treatment that will be initiated in an attempt to moderate the severity of various facets of the overdose in attempt to save the person’s life.

Foremost, when a person is overdosing on meth, due to the at times extreme impact that it can have on a person’s psyche, the medical staff will ascertain a person’s psychological standing. Within this period of time, they will also be establishing a person’s vitals. In most severe cases, a person’s mental state may be evident as extreme psychosis manifests by delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. This is often accompanied by aggressive or violent behavior.

For the safety of both the individual and hospital staff, in these cases, the person will likely be restrained and sedated intravenously. This not only protects all parties involved, but allows for the emergency department (ED) team better, unobstructed access to be able to administer critical, and what could be lifesaving, measures. A Medscape article specifies on medicines that may be used, nothing that “Benzodiazepines diminish methamphetamine-induced behavioral and psychiatric intoxication. This class of drug is also used to terminate methamphetamine-induced seizures.”

Another medication-based approach that may be used is also outlined by Medscape, “Treat hyperactive or agitated patients with droperidol or haloperidol, which are butyrophenones that antagonize CNS dopamine receptors and mitigate the excess dopamine produced from methamphetamine toxicity.” However, they do note that despite the clinical success of these drugs in studies, some places will not use them because of a Black Box warning due to the cardiac risks of “QT prolongation and the potential for torsades de pointes.”

Within this process, as soon as they’re able, the medical staff will do a toxicology screening to confirm the presence of any other drugs that were reported and to identify any that were not. A person may also be intubated so that they can receive oxygen and breathing support through the aid of a machine.

Currently, meth, like many other stimulants has no FDA-approved treatment for addiction. Similarly, because of its stimulant nature, medical means to treat meth overdose varies from other approaches that use overdose-reversal drugs. For this reason, when a person encounters a meth overdose, the emergency department instead focuses their predominant attention on treating the physical and psychological symptoms of the meth overdose instead of an actual reversal of the drug itself.

At this point, once the situation is under control, the ED staff will begin assessing a person’s vitals more completely to determine the next measures of medical attention. As we noted above, meth may cause a person’s temperature to rise to sometimes drastic heights, a condition that is called hyperthermia. Combined with other risks—high blood pressure, increased or irregular heart rate, increased respiration, and convulsions, a person is at risk of losing their life.

To counter these risks, as explained by The Endowment for Human Development, a person may receive anticonvulsant drugs or be put into an ice bath to cool down their internal temperature. Hyperthermia may impact not only a person’s body, but also their brain, causing their brain’s temperature to rise to the point great damage may occur.

A U.S. National Library of Medicine published study on meth overdose chronicles the danger that this may have, citing that “we demonstrate that acute METH intoxication induces robust, widespread but structure-specific leakage of the BBB, acute glial activation, and increased water content (edema).” The piece continues to say that they are uncertain if these conditions may be reversed, however, that they do know that they contribute to “multiple functional and structural perturbations in the brain, determining its acute toxicity and possibly contributing to neurotoxicity.” Essentially, this means that a meth overdose may lead to brain damage. Hence, it is critical that a person receive care, so that their body and brain can begin cooling as soon as possible to advert as many aspects of damage as possible.

If a person has taken meth orally, MedlinePlus tells us they may receive a laxative and activated charcoal. These help to pass the toxins and cleanse them from a person’s system in a quicker manner than their body would on its own, in order to avoid the drug continuing to wreak havoc.

Once a person is more stabilized and the most imminent risks addressed, other medical tests and procedures may occur to determine the full extent of the damage, so that they may continue to administer even more focused medical care on other serious risks. These may include, as cited from MedlinePlus:

  • Chest x-ray
  • CT (computerized tomography) scan (a type of advanced imaging) of the head, if head injury is suspected
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Other medicines or treatments for heart, brain, muscle and kidney complications

In addition to these measures, a person may receive various other drugs or treatments. As we’ve noted, meth abuse—especially in the larger amounts that would precipitate an overdose—can cause anxiety, agitation, nausea, high blood pressure, and even pain. Once a person’s state is evaluated for these concerns, they may receive a variety of medicines via an IV to address these conditions.

After a person recuperates from this event, they should seek treatment for meth abuse or addiction, in order to further protect themselves against greater risk. In serious cases, inpatient drug rehab may be best, especially programs that employ cognitive behavioral therapy, a method that has shown great success with these concerns.

Prevent The Damage

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.If you or someone you love uses meth, than you are at risk of overdosing. Please, contact us at, so that we may help you to find treatment options that can put you on a path towards sobriety and better health.

Center for Substance Abuse Research — Amphetamines
MedlinePlus — Methamphetamine overdose
Medscape — Methamphetamine Toxicity Treatment & Management
THE ENDOWMENT FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT — Chapter 9: What treatments are effective for methamphetamine abusers?
U.S. National Library of Medicine — Acute methamphetamine intoxication: brain hyperthermia, blood-brain barrier, brain edema, and morphological cell abnormalities.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa And Substance Abuse

Co-Occurring Disorders Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse

Within the world of substance abuse and the subsequent treatment, co-occurring disorders are one of the greatest concerns. A co-occurring disorder is any disorder that exists concurrent, or at the same time as a substance use disorder. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) reports research finding that up to 50% of individuals experiencing an eating disorder also have a substance use disorder.

Understanding Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa (AN) most commonly arises in adolescence or the teen years, and can carry onwards to a person’s adult life. More common in women, it can also affect men. Recently, the criteria as set forth by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has changed, with the publication of their 5th edition. The criteria for anorexia nervosa, as extracted from American Family Physician, is:

  1. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health. Significantly low weight is defined as a weight that is less than minimally normal or, for children and adolescents, less than that minimally expected.
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain, even though at a significantly low weight.
  3. Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

According to NEDA, there are two subtypes of anorexia:

Binge-Eating/Purging Type — If within the last three months, the person exhibited behaviors of binging (eating excessive amounts of food, more than is considered a meal, in a short period of time) and/or purging (a person makes themselves pass food they consumed, either by self-induced vomiting, or by using laxative, dietetics, or other harmful methods.)

Restricting Type — A person’s actions do not involve the above patterns of behaviors.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse Anorexia Nervosa (AN)One of the biggest changes between the DSM-IV and DSM-V criteria, is the criterion that dealt with body weight. Now geared more towards recognizing this eating disorder as a physiological one, rather than only a weight disorder, these new guidelines broaden the scope of access for those who need help.

Signs Someone Has Anorexia And/Or Substance Abuse

When a person suffers from anorexia, they often develop idiosyncratic behaviors surrounding mealtimes and their eating habits. For instance they may exhibit any of the following:

  • Substantial weight loss
  • Loss of period
  • Eating mainly fruits, vegetables, and diet food products
  • Developing food rituals (dabbing excess oils or liquids off food, cutting food into tiny bites, or rearranging food on their plate)
  • Becoming adamant about not eating certain types or groups of food
  • Overly concerned with weight, caloric intake, fat content, and dieting
  • Expressing worry about being “fat,” or about gaining weight
  • Ignoring that they’re hungry
  • Always having a reason to be absent during meals
  • Exercising in an extreme manner in an attempt to offset caloric intake
  • The preoccupation and mindset concerning eating, dieting, food intake, and weight lost shift to a person’s primary focus.

If a person is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you may witness them:

  • Exhibiting secretive behavior, including hiding drugs or alcohol
  • Lying about their drug or alcohol use
  • Becoming unable to stop drinking or using, even if they want to
  • Requiring more and more of the substance to feel the same way they used to feel
  • Letting their responsibilities slip, whether they be work, school, or family related
  • Not taking care of their appearance or grooming
  • Taking risks or doing things they normally wouldn’t
  • Having relationship troubles
  • Continuing to use even when faced with the damaging consequences
  • Exhibiting withdrawal if they stop using drugs or alcohol

Some characteristics or behaviors may be suggestive of either anorexia or substance abuse, such as withdrawing from their family and friends, losing interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, or having mood swings.

The Connection Between Anorexia And Substance Abuse

Eating disorders are widely linked to substance abuse, and anorexia nervosa is no different. Many instances of abuse and addiction arise out of an individual’s desire to self-medicate a variety of symptoms, including mental health needs. As various mental health disorders are common in individuals with AN, they may quickly resort to substances as a means to treat these or for emotional regulation.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse Appetite Suppressants

Caffeine and nicotine are commonly abused substances by individuals who have anorexia, because they are appetite suppressants. People may use amphetamines or methamphetamine to expedite their weight loss, only to find that their abuse becomes an addiction. Individuals who exhibit purging characteristics may abuse laxatives or diuretics to further this behavior. It has been found that alcohol abuse and addiction are more common in AN which exhibits binging and/or purging behaviors. People may use marijuana to cope with the stress they feel from both their lives and this hidden disorder.

One startling practice that is becoming especially widespread in college students, is termed “drunkorexia.” Though not always associated with anorexia, this dangerous habits is sometimes used by those with this disorder. In essence, drunkorexia is essentially the behaviors of anorexia or bulimia combined with alcohol abuse, especially binge drinking. A person may not eat, or exercise excessively, with the knowledge that they intend on drinking heavily in the near future.

Dangers Of These Combined Disorders

Standing alone, these disorders are dangerous in and of themselves, together, the danger skyrockets, leading a person down a path of physical decline. These are some results:

Slowed cardiovascular system — Anorexia causes a person’s heart functions and muscle structure to become altered, leading to decreased heart rate and blood pressure. Various types of substance abuse and overdose can also cause this, further increasing the risk of heart failure that may be present for those with AN.

Malnourishment — Clearly, as a person fails to consume adequate amounts of food, their body struggles to maintain critical body systems and processes as it fails to find the nutrients, vitamins, and chemicals it needs; anemia may occur. Malnourishment is common in most all instances of substance abuse. Alcohol, inhalants, and opioids are examples of drugs that can cause anemia.

Depleted bone density — Because of the malnourishment, a person may get osteoporosis, leading to brittle and dry bones. Heavy drinking may cause this, and research suggests that opiate addictions can as well.

Extreme dehydration — Anorexia can severely dehydrate a person, the extent that they get kidney failure. Many drugs of abuse lead to dehydration, most notably perhaps is an alcohol addiction, which can also cause kidney failure. MDMA (ecstasy) can also lead to these concerns.

Muscle depletion and weakness — Without proper nutrients, a person’s body cannot build and maintain muscle mass. Muscle atrophy can result from an alcohol addiction. Cocaine may also lead a person’s muscle tissue to break down and amphetamines may cause muscle weakness.

Weakness marked by fatigue or fainting — Without caloric intake and the essential nutritional and chemical compounds that are found in food, an individual with AN has little means to make energy. These symptoms are also widely prevalent in many drugs of abuse.

Dry hair and skin — Again, due to a lack of nutrients, a person’s body cannot upkeep itself. A person may even begin to lose hair. Various drugs of abuse may also deplete a person’s body in the way that their hair and skin begin to show wear, especially alcohol abuse.

Body hair growth — As a person loses their critical fat stores, they may grow a downy type of hair called lanugo as their body attempts to warm itself.

Anorexia can be deadly, giving credence to the phrase “starving yourself to death,” a risk that is further compounded by substance abuse or addiction. Reports cite that out of every mental illness, anorexia has the highest mortality rate, finding that 4% of those with this disorder will die due to complications of the disease, whereas others say 20% when including suicide. Due to a reported 56 times greater likelihood of committing suicide, one in five of these deaths is attributed to suicide. Coupled with the toll of drug or alcohol, this risk may be even higher.

How Are Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse Similar?

Why does a person develop an eating disorder? The scientific community recognizes it may be due to several things, including environmental, biological, and psychosocial influences. What is interesting, is that within both eating and substance use disorders, persons may encounter some of the same feelings that lead them to these behaviors/disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Social or generalized anxiety
  • Urge to self-medicate
  • Addictive personality
  • Family dysfunction

Some researchers even suggest that eating disorders are in and of themselves addictions, as explained by an article presented in Psychiatric Times, as these “individuals typically require more of the behavior to produce the same reinforcing effect,” and have been found to have cravings, continue their harmful behaviors despite the apparent danger of their ways, and exhibit significant instances of relapse.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse Exogenous Opiates

These parallels continue on a biological level too—the article notes that “starvation activate the dopaminergic (DA) reward pathway of the brain. The resulting biological events underlie the auto-addiction opioid theory, which proposes that a chronic eating disorder is an addiction to the body’s production of endogenous opioids and therefore is identical to the physiology and psychology of substance abuse in general. In other words, starving, bingeing and exercise all serve as drug delivery devices since they increase circulating levels of -endorphins that are chemically identical to exogenous opiates, and these endorphins are as potentially addictive because of their ability to stimulate DA in the brain’s mesolimbic reward centers.”

Though this might seem overwhelming, these parallels may make treatment for these co-occurring disorders in some ways more efficient as certain modules may work simultaneously and succinctly for certain aspects of both disorders.

Treating These Co-Occurring Disorders

The best rehab facility for these concerns is one that is adept at treating each need. Due to the severity of these co-occurring disorders, generally, an inpatient drug rehab program would be recommend, due the residential format and the longer around of time that it allows a person to receive treatment. In extreme cases, hospitalization or a feeding tube may be required.

During treatment, a person may first receive a medical detox, to rid their body of the drug. Medical supervision is especially important during this time because of the increased fragile nature of their body and mind due to AN. They may then receive nutritional and vitamin supplementation to help them recover from both the eating disorder and the substance abuse or addiction. Treatment may entail individual, group, or family sessions, and various forms of psychotherapies. If a person has any physical health concerns resulting from these co-morbid conditions, these will need to be treated at this time as well.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent, evidenced-based treatment for both AN and substance use disorders. When considering therapy, your support team will also look to any other co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety which may aggravate these disorders, that may need to be treated as well.

Medication-supported treatment can have a crucial role within treatment for both disorders. The Oxford published article, “Recognizing alcohol and drug abuse in patients with eating disorders,” asserts that naltrexone may work for eating disorders and concerns of alcohol addiction, and that some research leads scientists to think that serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also work for both.

We Can Help You On The Path To Better Self-Care And Sobriety

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.We realize that individually, these disorders may be daunting and when combined, they may be hugely overwhelming, however, we also firmly believe that with the proper team behind you and perseverance, you can be treated. If you’re struggling with one or both of these, is standing by to help you find the caliber of care that is best suited to your unique health needs. Contact us for compassionate help today.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders — Eating Disorder Statistics
American Family Physician — Initial Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa
Mirror Mirror — Eating Disorders Statistics
National Eating Disorder Association — Anorexia Nervosa
Social Work Today — Insatiable Hungers: Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse