What Happens When You Overdose?

What Happens When You Overdose? | Harmony Recovery Center

An overdose on drugs or alcohol can result in life-threatening effects. These effects can vary somewhat depending on the substances used. Still, in general, an overdose will cause confusion and disorientation, profoundly slowed breathing and heart rate, and can result in heart arrhythmia, heart attack, or respiratory arrest that leads to brain damage or death.

There is an unknowable number of substances that can cause an overdose, but we do know that different types of substances have different effects. While hallucinogens and stimulants can contribute to an overdose, the vast majority are not fatal. Currently, most overdoses in the U.S., particularly those that are life-threatening, are related to opioids and other sedatives. Furthermore, many of these overdoses happen when a person combines multiple drugs or alcohol.

Anyone can overdose, and it’s not always easy to tell who is at a higher risk than others. However, there are several sets of circumstances that seem to be thematic when it comes to an overdose. For one, people who have detoxed and returned to drug use may mistakenly believe they can tolerate the same amount they did before. Secondly, people who abuse multiple substances in conjunction are a higher risk of interactions and an amplification of effects. And finally, people who either knowingly or unwitting use incredibly powerful substances, such as fentanyl.

Warning Signs of Overdose

A person who is on the verge of an overdose on depressants may not realize the severity of what is happening despite the many warning signs, which include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Slipping in and out of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slowed or labored breathing
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • A bluish tint to hands and feet
  • Slow and/or weak pulse

What Happens When You Overdose? | Harmony Recovery Center

When a substance is consumed orally, such as a pill or alcohol, it is first filtered through the liver and stomach before it travels through the bloodstream and into the brain. This method of use slows down the process of intoxication, but with repeated use of substances, an overdose can still occur.

When a substance is snorted, smoked, or injected, it travels to the brain much faster and in a higher amount. These methods of administration cause more intense effects and are also more dangerous and likely to lead to overdose. But, as noted, many other factors affect this process.

Eventually, the blood that contains drugs and/or alcohol pumps the substances through the body, where they land on receptors that are responsible for feelings of reward and well-being, such as dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline, or GABA. These neurotransmitters, which occur naturally in normal levels, are given a boost by these substances and produce euphoria, in addition to several other effects.

When the high subsides or as more substances are used, the person affected can start to get very drowsy, and experience altering states of wakefulness and alertness. If a person has combined the used of stimulants and depressants, known as a speedball, this process may take longer. But ultimately, excessive depressants in a person’s system are going to win the battle and can cause confusion, paranoia, heart arrhythmia and heart attack, profound central nervous depression, or death.

A Word on Depressants

When a person uses a high amount of depressants, their breathing and heart rate will begin to slow. At the base of the human brain is a respiratory control center that controls breathing, and reacts to the level of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood to encourage you to breathe. During an overdose, however, the slowed breathing that occurs with opioid, sedative, or alcohol ingestion becomes perilously slow and can lead to a complete stop.

As a person’s heart rate slows, oxygen levels may fall low enough that the heart starts having abnormal rhythms and is not functioning properly. At this point, some overdose victims experience a sudden cardiac arrest.

Those who do not continue to suffer from problems related to having an overwhelming amount of drugs in the brain and the body will stop receiving the correct signals that tell it to breathe. Lungs and heart may be barely working. At this point, the brain can be damaged from a lack of oxygen. Irreversible brain damage can occur after four minutes of oxygen deprivation. If a person receives CPR during this period, brain damage can be limited or reduced.

Then, the victim may foam at the mouth or choke caused by fluid leading into the lungs’ airspaces. This effect can result in aspiration as the body’s natural gag response is suppressed by CNS depression. As the person continues to lose consciously, natural secretions in the back of the throat are not expelled or swallowed. Persons who throw up can also choke on their vomit and die.

An overdose that gets to this point can cause seizures due to a lack of oxygen to the brain, causing further damage. Occasionally, people who have suffered an overdose like this can end up paralyzed and unable to speak.

If administered promptly, a drug known as naloxone (Narcan) can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This drug is widely available and typically carried by first responders. It can also be purchased at most major pharmacy chains without a prescription for around $20. Sometimes overdose sufferers have to be given multiple treatments of Narcan, however, depending on the amount of opioids in their system.

Narcan use should always be attempted if the patient is still alive, and can be administered intranasally or given through an IV. Narcan removes opioids from receptors in the central nervous system and replaces the opioids without activating the receptor. In second to minutes, depression begins to be reversed, and a life can be saved.

A Word on Stimulants

What Happens When You Overdose? | Harmony Recovery Center

As noted, stimulants, such as Adderall, cocaine, or meth, are less likely to cause an overdose, but it can occur. When a stimulant is combined with a potent depressant, conflicting effects on a person’s body can lead to severe complications and heart attack.

When too much of a stimulant or multiple stimulants are used, a person may experience extreme effects that are basically the opposite of an overdose on depressants, which may include the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Hyperthermia
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Rapid pulse
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Compulsive or repetitive behaviors
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Trembling and shakiness

If a person overdoses on a stimulant, the most significant risks to their health are dehydration, hyperthermia, stroke, seizures, and heart attack. Even if the person does not die, they can suffer from long-term problems related to these adverse health outcomes. Like all overdoses, when this occurs, it is considered to be a medical emergency, and 911 should be called immediately.

A Word on Alcohol Poisoning

Compared to other substances, alcohol poisoning unrelated to other drugs is relatively rare. Of the 77,000 overdose deaths identified in 2017, only 2,200 were associated with alcohol use alone. It’s not easy to die from alcohol use, but it does indeed happen. The symptoms of an alcohol overdose are similar to those of other depressants. If a drunk individual is exhibiting them, this is a medical emergency, and professional help should be sought immediately.

Getting Treatment for Substance Abuse

An addiction to opioids or potent sedatives is a very dangerous condition that can cause a myriad of severe health complications, up to and including brain damage and death. We urge those who are suffering to come forward and ask for help before it’s too late.

Harmony Recovery Center offers comprehensive programs and a full spectrum of care, including detox, partial hospitalization, outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment, aftercare planning, and more.

If you are ready to take the first step on the road to recovery, contact us today! We have specialists waiting who can design an effective treatment plan that is right for you!

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Risks of Snorting Adderall XR

Snorting Adderall XR Risks| Harmony Recovery Center

Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is a prescription-only stimulant. As such, it works to increase activity in the central nervous system (CNS). It is commonly used to treat the symptoms of ADD/ADHD and narcolepsy. Using Adderall or Adderall XR in any way other than directed by a doctor is considered abuse, is risky, and is more likely to result in adverse effects, including dependence and addiction.

What Is Adderall XR?

Adderall XR is prescribed as a tablet intended for oral consumption, but when abused, it can be crushed into a powder, and the residual product is then snorted into the nasal passage. This method will deliver the drug rapidly and intensely into a person’s system and causes a massive release of the “feel-good” chemical dopamine that leads to exorbitant energy and euphoria. It is this action that becomes the catalyst for the drug’s psychoactive and addictive potential.

Snorting immediate-release Adderall is risky in and of itself, but snorting Adderall XR may further increase the drug’s dangers and adverse effects. Abusing medication that has an extended-release format, such as Adderall XR, circumvents the manner in which the pill is intended to be released over time, gradually. Instead, it sends the entire dose of the drug into the bloodstream all at once.

When this occurs, the brain will be inundated by the amount of Adderall in its system and may not be able to metabolize it effectively. Seizures, accelerated heart rate, high blood pressure, fever, confusion, and psychosis may be the effects of Adderall overdose. These problems can also result in stroke, heart attack, and death without immediate medical intervention. Combining Adderall with other substances, such as alcohol, can serve to intensify these risks.

Snorting Adderall XR: Addiction

Adderall and Adderall XR both have a high potential for dependence and addiction. Signs of Adderall addiction include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Continued drug use despite the incurrence of adverse effects
  • Lack of interest in activities once considered important or enjoyable
  • The use of Adderall in risky or inappropriate situations
  • Adverse changes in other areas of life such as work, school, relationships, and financial or legal status
  • General malaise or lethargy when not using Adderall

When a person abuses Adderall on a recurrent basis, tolerance and dependence will inevitably begin to develop. Tolerance builds as the user’s brain becomes less sensitive to the drug’s presence, and effects are diminished as a result. This development will require the person to use increasingly higher amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effects to which he or she has grown accustomed.

Snorting Adderall XR: Withdrawal

Over time, the person’s brain and CNS are more or less “hijacked” by Adderall, and become much less able to function correctly without the drug’s presence. Subsequently, attempts to decrease drug use or to stop altogether result in very unpleasant and sometimes painful physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can persist for several days after the person’s last dose, and their severity is influenced by factors related to frequency and duration of use.

Symptoms of withdrawal associated with Adderall use may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Intense and vivid dreams
  • Hunger
  • Memory impairments
  • Drug cravings

Side Effects of Snorting Adderall XR

Snorting Adderall XR Risks| Harmony Recovery Center

Due to the rapid delivery and absorption of an intranasal dose, the risk of addiction and overdose may be substantially higher among people who regularly snort Adderall. Snorting Adderall can also result in frequent infections and injury to the septum and surrounding nasal tissues.

Other possible adverse effects and dangers of snorting Adderall include the following:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Digestive problems
  • Reduced appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Profound fatigue
  • Decreased libido

Adderall Overdose

Snorting Adderall XR, particularly when used in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol, is very risky and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of an overdose on Adderall may include:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Blurred vision
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid breathing
  • Uncontrollable shaking or tremors
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fever
  • Upset stomach and diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches, pains, and weakness
  • Seizures
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death

Why Seek Our Help?

People who abuse prescription amphetamines often erroneously believe they are less dangerous than illicit drugs, such as meth, and underestimate the severity of their addiction. Unfortunately, refusal to seek help can have a long-lasting adverse effect on one’s life, and receiving professional treatment as soon as possible is vital to long-term sobriety.

Harmony Recovery Center offers patients a secure, structured environment and professional staff trained to identify and address each person’s unique needs. Using an in-depth, custom approach to drug addiction and recovery, we provide patients with all the tools and support they need to be successful at long-term sobriety.

If you or someone you love is abusing Adderall, please seek treatment as soon as possible. Call us today to learn about our treatment options and find out how we can help!

Signs of an Opioid Overdose

Signs of an Opioid Overdose | Harmony Recovery Center

Opioid abuse and addiction has been rising steadily since the early 2000s, and as a result, the overdose rate in the United States has also been increasing to epic proportions. For this reason, It’s vital to be able to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose to save a loved one who is using heroin or abusing prescription painkillers from irreversible brain damage or death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 69,000 people globally die from opioid-related overdoses each year. However, through prevention, education, and effective treatment, we may begin to reverse this trend. Being able to recognize an overdose in progress may help prevent those who abuse these drugs from succumbing to the severest of fates.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a category of drugs that include illicit substances, such as heroin and fentanyl, as well as painkillers available legally only by prescription, such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone hydrocodone, and many others.

Due to a high potential for addiction, it’s relatively easy to become dependent on these drugs, especially when an individual is not taking them as directed under medical supervision. Regarding heroin and other illegal opioids, this is never the case. When prescribed, these drugs are given to those who have suffered a severe injury, undergone surgery, or, in some instances, experience chronic pain related to cancer or palliative care.

How Do Opioids Impact the Brain?

Opioids bind to certain receptors in the brain that help block pain signals and produce feelings of relaxation and well-being. Opioids have become a staple of modern medicine and are often indispensable for managing acute pain or help people who suffer from severe conditions to be more comfortable.

Problems can occur, however, when a person uses a drug too much, too often, or for too long. In the very worst-case scenario, a person may begin to use the drug recreationally or for non-medical purposes.

Opioids have depressant properties, and these are what cause an overdose to occur. Opioids can dramatically slow down heart rate and respiration and cause blood pressure and body temperature to drop to a perilously low level.

Signs of an Opioid Overdose | Harmony Recovery Center

Understanding Opioid Abuse and Addiction

The abuse of opioids is not needed for addiction to develop, but it is one major risk factor. A person can become dependent on opioids after using them for a prolonged period, and this can occur even when prescribed correctly by a doctor.

Dependence is chemical condition caused by the repeated use of a substance such that the person’s body begins to rely on the presence of a substance to function normally. Dependence does not equal addiction, but addiction always includes dependence.

Addiction is also characterized by tolerance, a condition in which the body responds to repeated use of a substance by diminishing it’s effect. This results in the person needing increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the desired results, be it pain relief or to induce a high.

Addiction is also further hallmarked by the compulsive need to seek and use drugs or alcohol to the detriment of oneself or others. A person who has become dependent on opioids will likely stop at nothing to obtain them, and this may include stealing from others or even prostituting themselves in order to get their next fix.

Finally, opioid addiction results in withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to quit or can no longer obtain their drug of choice. These symptoms are often severe and painful and flu-like, causing nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and body aches and pains.

Although not generally life-threatening, these effects are often enough to compel the person to start using again, and for this reason, it is highly advisable that a person attempting to quit undergo a medical detox. During this process, the patient can be administered medications to minimize symptoms and reduce cravings, and be monitored for complications, should any arise.

How to Identify an Opioid Overdose

There are several hallmark signs that a person is having an opioid overdose, including the following:

  • Slowed, difficult, or stopped breathing
  • Bluish fingernails or lips (cyanosis)
  • Vomiting
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Very slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Uncharacteristic paleness
  • Confusion or drunken-like behavior

If you witness a person experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately or visit the nearest emergency room because this person’s life is in imminent danger. An opioid overdose can rapidly result in death and every second counts.

How to Help a Person Who Is Having an Overdose

Signs of an Opioid Overdose | Harmony Recovery Center

After calling 911, there are several steps you can take to help the person stay safe until emergency services arrive. If the individual is unconscious and cannot be wakened, roll him or her on to one side. By doing this, you can prevent the person from inhaling and choking on their own vomit while he or she is unconscious.

If the person is conscious, try to keep him or her responsive. Because these drugs impair breathing functions, allowing a person who is experiencing an overdose to fall asleep can result in the life-threatening central nervous system (CNS) depression.

Also, never leave the person alone if at all possible. A conscious person having an overdose will be incoherent and likely to place themselves in danger, and an unconscious person may stop breathing altogether. Moreover, if you leave the person alone, you won’t be able to administer rescue breathing if they need it.

Fortunately, there is a medication known as naloxone (Narcan) that can very effectively reverse an opioid overdose. This has been used for years by first responders. Due to the prevalence of overdoses in the United States, this drug has become available over-the-counter without a prescription for about $20 in most major pharmacy chains.

Naloxone can be found in the form of a nasal spray or injectable liquid. It can offer a person an hour’s reprieve from opioid overdose symptoms, which usually buys him or her enough time to be taken to the ER. This action does not entirely stop the overdose permanently, so despite having administered it, it is vital to contact emergency personnel who can apply additional life-saving medical treatment to the person.

In the aftermath of an overdose, the person will likely benefit from professional addiction treatment to help prevent further abuse of heroin or other opioids.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is an incredibly destructive disorder that harms a person’s health and mental well-being, and profoundly affects those close to him or her. Fortunately, opioid addiction is very treatable, and long-term, comprehensive approaches are considered to be the most effective according to clinical research.

Harmony Recovery Center offers evidence-based therapy that includes services essential for recovery, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, psychoeducation, and group support. These services are facilitated by caring staff who specialize in drug abuse and addiction and provide clients with all the tools and support they need to remain sober and enjoy long-lasting happiness and wellness.

Let us help you reclaim your life, free from the use of drugs and alcohol, so you can begin to experience the harmony and happiness you deserve! Contact us now to find out how we can help!

How Long Does Suboxone Block Opiates?

How Long Does Suboxone Block Opiates? | Harmony Recovery Center

A single, effective dose of buprenorphine, as found in Suboxone, can last between 24-60 hours, with an average of around three days. Most doctors and addiction specialists direct patients to take the drug once daily. A person’s individual factors, such as weight and metabolism, can prolong or shorten the action of Suboxone. 

Suboxone includes buprenorphine and naloxone, which are both opioid drugs. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it attaches to receptors in the brain that opioids do, only it does not activate them to the full extent of say, heroin. Naloxone is a full agonist and is included as an abuse-deterrent measure because it works by actively reversing the effects of other opioids.

Treatment for opioid addiction often includes the use of medications like Suboxone, as it can reduce symptoms of withdrawal and promote abstinence from opioid use. While Suboxone mimics some opioid-like effects, it simultaneously diminishes the brain’s need for a true opioid drug.

About Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Opiates and opioids are medications intended to block pain signals sent to the brain. These drugs include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, and many other similar substances. While these medications are frequently prescribed for pain, they are sometimes used illicitly as a product of drug diversion. Other opioids that are commonly found in illegal forms are heroin, fentanyl, and U-47700.

In addition to pain relief, opioids can induce drowsiness, impair thinking, and depress the central nervous system (CNS), lowering heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Due to their effect on regions of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, they also can produce feelings of euphoria. This effect can encourage people to repeatedly abuse the drugs or use them in ways not prescribed.

Some people will develop dependence or addiction to opioid drugs. Dependent occurs when the body adapts to a drug’s presence and then begins to require it in order to function normally. This condition results in highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the person quits using or dramatically cuts back on use.

Addiction may include physical dependence and also tolerance. Tolerance builds because our brains have a propensity to reduce the effects of certain substances through repeated use. Addiction is also hallmarked by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

Abuse of opioids can have detrimental effects on brain structure and function. It can lead to respiratory arrest and cerebral hypoxia, or an inadequate amount of oxygen reaching the brain that may result in brain damage, coma, or death.

Opioid Withdrawal

How Long Does Suboxone Block Opiates? | Harmony Recovery Center

As noted, because opiate use can lead to dependence, when the amount of the drug in the body diminishes, symptoms of withdrawal will start to manifest. The amount of time needed for a person to develop a dependence varies between individuals. When discontinuing or reducing the use of opioids, the body requires time to recover and revert to a state in which it is no longer reliant on the drug’s presence. Because opioid withdrawal tends to be very uncomfortable, medical detox may be vital for many people to prevent relapse.

The following are common withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence:

  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils

Although the symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, they are not usually life-threatening. The symptoms will eventually decrease as the body reacclimates and returns to normal functioning without the addictive substance.

How Suboxone Works

As previously noted, Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone helps to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings by inducing a manageable amount of opioid effects in the brain. Although buprenorphine can cause effects such as mild euphoria, the effects are much more limited than those related to full opioid agonists, such as heroin. Buprenorphine has a high affinity for opioid receptors, and, once attached, it prevents other opioids from latching on. 

Suboxone treatment generally occurs in three phases: induction, stabilization, and maintenance

The induction phase starts between 12-24 hours after a person has used their last dose of an opioid. Treatment should begin during this early stage of withdrawal—if it is started during later stages, this can result in a worsening of symptoms.

The stabilization phase starts when the person is experiencing few symptoms or cravings. During this phase, the frequency of use and the dosage of Suboxone use will be adjusted (probably lowered) to meet the person’s individual needs.

The maintenance phase consists of a steady dose of Suboxone over time, eventually tapering off to a very low dose until it is no longer required. 

Common side effects of Suboxone may include the following:

  • Headache
  • Stomach pain and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Blurred vision
  • Itchiness

More severe side effects may occur, including difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face or extremities, or profound tiredness. If you experience any of these side effects, contact a doctor or addiction specialist right away.

Effectiveness of Suboxone

How Long Does Suboxone Block Opiates? | Harmony Recovery Center

Buprenorphine, one of the main ingredients in Suboxone, was approved for medical use in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration. The medication is different than methadone in that it can be prescribed in a doctor’s office, while methadone is only available through specially licensed facilities. For this reason, a greater number of people can receive medication-assisted treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

Of note, despite Suboxone’s increased safety and reduced potential for abuse, methadone is still often used for the treatment of particularly severe opioid addictions. A 2004 study by the Taylor and Francis Group found that Suboxone could be administered safely and in unsupervised settings, was well-tolerated by most patients, and was effective at promoting abstinence from opioids. The administration of Suboxone in non-inpatient treatment settings makes this medication highly beneficial because it is one of the few addiction treatment remedies that can be self-administered without much concern.

According to the Journal of Addiction Medicine, in a study that evaluated the effectiveness of Suboxone, compliance with treatment was outstanding. An overwhelming majority of study participants were successful in abstaining from opioid use during treatment. No safety issues or abuse of Suboxone was identified during the course of the study. A variety of benefits over other similar medications have been reported, which has made Suboxone an increasingly attractive choice for treatment centers and healthcare providers. In fact, its use has steadily increased since it was first introduced.

While Suboxone may be more easily obtained and administered than methadone, it is still highly regulated and somewhat challenging to acquire. Because Suboxone mimics some of the effects of opiate drugs, the medication is sometimes sold illicitly as a product of drug diversion. Concerns such as this have led to strict regulations for the attainment and use of the medication.

Getting Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Harmony Recovery Center offers medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction in the form of Suboxone and naltrexone. Suboxone can begin to be administered in our outpatient detox program and throughout the treatment process, which can include partial-hospitalization and outpatient treatment programs.

If you are suffering from an addiction to opioids, other drugs, or alcohol, call us today! We are ready to help you reclaim your life so you can experience the long-lasting health and well-being you deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: How to Get Clean and Sober

Should I Use Kratom for Opiate Withdrawal?

Should I Use Kratom for Opiate Withdrawal? | Harmony Recovery Center

Kratom (mitragyna speciosa), a tropical plant from Southeast Asia, is becoming well-known as a potential treatment for opioid dependence. In low doses, it acts as a stimulant, and in higher doses, a sedative. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, its effectiveness and safety regarding addiction treatment lacks concrete evidence and has been associated with some serious risks. 

Kratom has been used by people for centuries as a stimulant and pain reliever. The leaves of kratom, which are from the same family as the coffee plant, can be chewed, dried and smoked, or brewed into tea or placed into capsules. Kratom is structurally different than opioids, but it acts on the same receptors, thereby inducing some opioid-like effects. For this reason, it has found useful by some to reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with cessation of heroin use and other opioids.

Can Kratom Assist in Drug Addiction Treatment?

There is anecdotal evidence that kratom can help in the treatment of opioid addiction by relieving withdrawal symptoms. Kratom’s effects include mild euphoria, sedation, reduced anxiety, and pain relief. These effects make it a potentially helpful tool for opioid dependence. Because kratom works on the same brain receptors as opioids, it can alleviate withdrawal symptoms that result from discontinuation of opioid use. 

However, kratom activates a different class of opioid receptors than heroin or prescription painkillers do. Therefore, it does not induce the same high as many of these other drugs do. Although there is significant anecdotal evidence that suggests that kratom may be an effective tool in treating opioid use disorders, research addressing the scientific validity of kratom’s use in opioid addiction treatment is scarce or nonexistent.

Are There Risks?

Despite the many proponents for kratom’s ability to help with opioid withdrawal, there is still some concern regarding its own addictive properties. While some could argue that this is harm reduction par excellence, experts now believe that kratom does, in fact, have the potential for abuse and addiction following a prolonged period of use. What’s more, because kratom is not regulated by the government or administered by medical professionals, people who choose to use kratom for this purpose are more or less left to their own devices (except for anecdotal information) in figuring out how much to use and how long to use it.

Without regulation, the risks of kratom use may also include the consumption of unintended adulterants. Furthermore, there appear to be some serious side effects associated with kratom use, including paranoia, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, and in some cases, liver damage. 

There is also the risk of legal repercussions of importing or buying kratom. While it’s legal on a federal level and throughout most of the U.S., it is currently illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Vermont, and Wisconsin. In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced it was planning on banning kratom but later withdraw this action, saying that more research and time to consider public comments was needed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved kratom for any legitimate medical use and has warned people to avoid its use.

Should I Use Kratom for Opiate Withdrawal? | Harmony Recovery Center

Is Kratom Overdose Possible?

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kratom was found to be a cause of death in 91 overdoses from July of 2016 to December of 2017. In seven of those deaths, kratom was the only substance identified in a toxicology test, although the CDC stated that they couldn’t emphatically rule out the presence of other substances.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

As the U.S. confronts a devastating opioid epidemic, Harmony Recovery Centers stays current on all of the possibilities that may make opioid addiction treatment a more successful and comfortable experience. Although anecdotal evidence shows some promise for kratom’s ability to be beneficial in opioid addiction treatment, there is little scientific evidence to support up these claims. As such, we do not suggest using kratom for this purpose. Instead, we encourage individuals to undergo long-term, intensive treatment, and different forms of medication-assisted treatment, such as Suboxone and naltrexone therapy.

We offer comprehensive programs in both partial hospitalization and outpatient formats that consist of evidence-based services that are essential for the process of recovery. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Peer group support
  • Health and wellness education
  • Substance abuse education
  • Treatment for co-occurring conditions
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Art and music therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Aftercare planning

If you or someone you love is battling an addiction to opioids, we urge you to contact us today! We ensure that our clients receive all the tools and support they need to reclaim their lives once and for all, free from the use of drugs and alcohol!

Signs That a Loved One Is a Crack Addict

Signs That a Loved One Is a Crack Addict | Harmony Recovery Center

Crack is widely regarded as the most addictive form of cocaine. Rather than being snorted intranasally, however, crack is typically smoked. A crack “rock” can be found in various forms, many of which appear as a crystalline compound. 

Once consumed, crack induces a short burst of euphoria that lasts just a few minutes, and is generally shorter than a traditional cocaine high. Due to its extremely brief but intense high, crack is believed to be even more habit-forming than regular cocaine, as users looking to maintain a high must accelerate the cycle of use. This binge-crash pattern can persist uninterrupted for days on end. 

Signs of Symptoms Commonly Exhibited by a Crack Addict

Effects of crack use generally include the following:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Increased alertness
  • Excited state
  • Elevated mood
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Intense cravings for more

The initial euphoria induced by crack use can quickly devolve into feelings of depression and paranoia when the initial rush subsides. A person on crack or coming down from it may falsely believe that someone is trying to attack them and engage in aggressive and risky behavior.

Side Effects

A crack addict will also likely experience a litany of adverse side effects, which may include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coughing/wheezing (“crack lung”)

Signs That a Loved One Is a Crack Addict | Harmony Recovery Center

General Signs of Drug Addiction

The following are signs that a person is suffering from drug addiction:

  • Needing increasing amounts of a substance to achieve the desired effects (tolerance)
  • Experiencing adverse effects or withdrawal symptoms when the drug’s effects wear off (dependence)
  • Continuing to use a drug despite the negative impact it has on one’s life, health, family, and friends
  • Spending a significant amount of time thinking about obtaining and using a substance
  • Being frequently unable to control the use of a substance, such as using more or for a longer time than originally intended
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were formerly enjoyed or important
  • Neglect of everyday responsibilities, such as work, school, and household chores or personal hygiene
  • Driving or engaging in other risky behavior while intoxicated
  • Borrowing or stealing money or other items to get cash to buy drugs
  • Other are complaining that there has been a noticeable negative change in one’s behavior
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Unkempt appearance or uncleanliness, such as not showering for days or weeks
  • Socializing with others who do drugs

Crack Cocaine Overdose

Many believe that the use of crack and crack cocaine is not the problem that it once was as everyone is focused on the opioid epidemic. However, cocaine in its various forms is involved in thousands of overdose deaths each year, and many of these fatalities are also related to opioids and other substances. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, among all 2017 overdose fatalities, 13,942 (19.8%) involved cocaine, and 10,333 (14.7%) involved other stimulants.

Crack overdose symptoms are very similar to those induced by traditional cocaine use. However, these symptoms may onset more rapidly. They include the following:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid pulse even while resting
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Hallucinations
  • Weak pulse and low blood pressure
  • Decreased respiration rate
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Vomiting in excess or retching
  • Hyperactivity
  • Confusion
  • Trembling and fidgeting
  • Uncontrollable energy or mania
  • Severe agitation
  • Angry or violent behavior
  • Paranoia or abnormal thoughts
  • Excessive itching
  • Feeling of bugs under skin
  • Coma

An overdose of cocaine is a potentially life-threatening event, and if you or someone you know appears to be experiencing an overdose call 911 immediately.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Fortunately, a crack addict can be treated through the use of a comprehensive, customized treatment plan. As part of our treatment programs, Recovery By The Sea offers clinically-proven therapies and services, including behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and much, much more.

Recovery from addiction can be a lifelong process, but no one should have to battle it alone. Participation in evidence-based treatment has been shown to improve outcomes and help people sustain long-term recovery. A person who attempts to quit the use of crack abruptly and without help is much more likely to experience intense feelings of severe anxiety and depression, as well as suffer a relapse.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to cocaine, contact us today! Discover how we help those who need it most overcome substance abuse and reclaim the healthy, fulfilling lives they deserve!

Cocaine Detox

Cocaine Detox | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

While cocaine detox may not be as intense as withdrawal from other drugs or alcohol, it does come with its own set of challenges. Detoxing from some substances, such as alcohol, can cause severe or even life-threatening physical symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal, however, leads to mostly psychological or cognitive symptoms.

Symptoms of cocaine detox may include the following:

  • Impaired concentration
  • Slowed thinking
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Diminished libido
  • Anhedonia
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Increased appetite
  • Drug cravings

When Is a Cocaine Detox Necessary?

A detox for cocaine may be administered on an outpatient basis, but an inpatient medical detox may be the wisest choice in some cases. If relapse was a problem during a previous attempt to detox, around-the-clock supervision offered by a medical detox may be beneficial. Moreover, if a person has a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, medical detox is usually recommended to ensure that the person is safe and supported emotionally during the process of withdrawal.

If the person using cocaine also suffers from any co-occurring mental health disorders, a medical detox should be immediately followed by comprehensive treatment. Both the symptoms of withdrawal and mental health issues should be treated simultaneously.

Among the more problematic effects associated with stimulant withdrawal are severe depression and an increased risk of suicide. Persons who abruptly stop using cocaine use after addiction has developed can experience depression and extreme mood swings, including suicidal ideations and behaviors.

These effects can occur because the brain will have grown accustomed to elevated dopamine activity caused by regular cocaine abuse. Over time, the brain’s pleasure and reward centers are basically hijacked, and tolerance and dependence will develop as a result.

By this point, the cocaine user will often require increasing amounts of the drug to experience the desired effect. Without it, they are apt to feel extremely depressed and unsatisfied with life. 

Cocaine Detox | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

Withdrawal Timeline

Acute cocaine withdrawal symptoms tend to subside by around 7-10 days. As with many substances, however, cravings may persist for an extended period and could onset suddenly, even years after a person has entered recovery.

Cocaine has an extremely short half-life, and for those who are dependent, symptoms of withdrawal can occur as quickly as 90 minutes after the last use. The timeline and duration of withdrawal symptoms, however, can vary depending on individual factors.

Some key factors that affect the cocaine detox timeline and withdrawal symptoms include the following:

Duration of Use and Typical Amount Administered

Those who use cocaine for a relatively brief period may encounter withdrawal symptoms that are also short in duration. On the other hand, those who have abused cocaine for years may experience withdrawal symptoms that persist for weeks, in part due to the vast accumulation of the drug in their system.

Also, people who have cocaine in excessive amounts may experience more intense withdrawal symptoms than a person who has traditionally administered lower doses.

A Word on Polysubstance Abuse and Dependence
A person who has developed a dependence on two or more substances may encounter withdrawal symptoms associated with both. This may complicate the withdrawal timeline and make the experience more unpleasant and dangerous for the person who is detoxing, especially if they do not seek medical help. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to abuse cocaine in combination with alcohol, and alcohol withdrawal itself can be life-threatening.


If cocaine was being used as a means of escaping from a particularly stressful environment, additional stress might lead to the desire to use it again. Moreover, environmental factors that provoke stressful feelings, such as relationship problems or work challenges, may induce intense cravings for more cocaine. This added stress can hinder the emotional process of withdrawal.

Co-occurring Medical or Mental Health Disorders

If a person experiences co-occurring medical or mental health conditions, the cocaine withdrawal process may be more severe and complicated. Mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, may be likely to intensify and will require additional treatment by professionals who can offer help and support.

Treatment for Cocaine Withdrawal

Unfortunately, there are no prescription drugs currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cocaine detox. However, there are a few medications that may help people by relieving both the acute and long-term symptoms of withdrawal. For example, medications indicated to treat depression and anxiety disorders may be helpful for those going through cocaine withdrawal, as they are often effective at stabilizing a patient’s mood and improving outcomes. 

After detox, patients are urged to enroll in an intensive addiction treatment program, such as one offered by Harmony Recovery Center. In doing so, patients can take advantage of integrated, evidence-based modalities, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, and aftercare planning. 

You can restore harmony and well-being to your life, free of drugs and alcohol! Contact us today and learn how we can help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Methadone Detox

Subutex Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox

Subutex Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox | Harmony Recovery Center

Many individuals who have a dependence on opioids are sometimes prescribed Subutex (buprenorphine) to treat their addiction, but this drug itself also has some potential for abuse. While symptoms do vary in intensity and duration, regarding buprenorphine withdrawal, it’s helpful to know what, on average, a person can expect.

Subutex is the brand name for buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist. As such, the drug’s activation of opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system (CNS) is minimal compared to full opioid agonists, such as heroin, fentanyl, and hydrocodone. Subutex is administered sublingually (placed under the tongue), where they then dissolve.

When a full opioid agonist binds to a receptor, it activates the receptor to the fullest amount possible and induces euphoria and pain relief rapidly. This mechanism renders full opioid agonists effective but also very addictive.

A partial opioid agonist, such as buprenorphine, does not work in exactly the same way. Opioid receptors are only minimally activated, so all effects are reduced. As a result, the euphoria is not as profound as that associated with heroin. A person may not experience as much pain relief, and the time of onset is significantly more gradual. 

This limitation of effects is purely by design. Because Subutex is a partial opioid agonist, this reduces the risk of being abused in the same manner in which full opioid agonists often are. This limitation is also the reason why it is used to treat opioid addiction.

Moreover, Subutex facilitates a switch to a less addictive opioid, while still satisfying a person’s craving for opioids without the use of more potent substances, such as heroin. Another benefit is that physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that can occur upon discontinuation of use are not as intense as they would be with full opioid agonists. Thus, cravings for buprenorphine will likely be easier to manage.

Subutex vs. Suboxone

Another brand name medication that includes buprenorphine is Suboxone, which contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning that it completely blocks receptors by preventing other opioids from attaching using a method known as competitive binding.

As noted, however, when buprenorphine is used by itself, it still has the potential for abuse. This drug has been misused both by legitimate patients and those who do so for recreational purposes. People have experienced overdoses as a result of misusing Subutex, such as by dissolving the film strips in water and then injecting the solution into veins. In doing so, the digestive system is bypassed, and the opioid is sent directly into the bloodstream.

Indeed, some medications used to treat opioid addiction can have a dark side. Many who have been prescribed them for this purpose misuse them, believing that it is safer than abusing the other drugs in which they received treatment. While it’s true that when used as directed, buprenorphine is most certainly safer than heroin or fentanyl, but when misused, it still has the potential for addiction and overdose.

Subutex Withdrawal: Timeline and Effects

Subutex Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox | Harmony Recovery Center

As an opioid, buprenorphine can induce withdrawal symptoms, not unlike those of heroin and other more potent opioids. In general, however, symptoms tend to be significantly milder in nature. These may include the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose and teary eyes
  • Fever, sweats, or chills
  • Body aches and pain
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

During buprenorphine withdrawal, the first symptoms are usually not encountered until after about 30 hours of the last dose. This is a much longer time to onset when compared to 6-12 hours for heroin or oxycodone. At this time, people will typically experience muscle pain, teary eyes, runny nose, and other flu-like symptoms. Psychological symptoms can include agitation, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety.

The next set of symptoms will have manifested by around three days into withdrawal and can include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, stomach cramps, profound depression, as well as intense cravings for more buprenorphine or other opioids.

Physical withdrawal symptoms for buprenorphine should subside after about one week. However, psychological symptoms can endure for much longer, often for weeks or possibly months. It is during this time that people are at a high risk of experiencing intense cravings for buprenorphine or opioids, and without further treatment, relapse is an unfortunate possibility. 

For this reason, it is vital that people seek the help of a professional addiction treatment center to address withdrawal symptoms, receive support, and identify the underlying causes for the continued drug abuse. Moreover, completion of the acute withdrawal process does not necessarily indicate a person will experience prolonged success at recovery. People with opioid addictions should undergo long-term therapy and counseling to address the mental health effects of opioid abuse.

Treatment for Subutex withdrawal can be performed in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Which option is most appropriate will largely depend upon the severity of drug abuse or addiction. If the person is using buprenorphine to treat a pre-existing opioid addiction, the health provider might recommend a tapering schedule in which they are gradually weaned off buprenorphine. In doing so, the person’s body is given time to adjust to the reduced opioid presence. 

Conversely, those who were abusing buprenorphine for non-medical or recreational purposes might be advised to undergo a full detox. In either case, naltrexone, a non-opioid treatment for opioid dependence, may be administered once the body is free of opioids to help reduce cravings and facilitate this process.

Subutex Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox | Harmony Recovery Center

Getting Treatment for Opioid Addiction

As the treatment process continues, patients will be encouraged to meet with more addiction treatment providers to further address their mental and emotional health as well as other factors that contributed to their addiction. Such treatment programs have been clinically proven to be extremely beneficial for patients in promoting sustainable, long-term recovery.

Without comprehensive treatment, the chance of a person reverting back to the abuse of buprenorphine or other opioids increases significantly. Rehab can be challenging, but the support it provides can help people control their addictive behaviors for years to come.

Harmony Recovery Center offers different forms of support to help our patients continue the challenging work required for recovery. We teach people how to use healthy coping mechanisms that can effectively prevent relapse and help them to identify triggers and make better decisions in their lives.

Our comprehensive treatment programs are customized to meet each individuals’ needs and goals, and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive and regular outpatient programs
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Art, music, and adventure therapy
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Aftercare planning

This multifaceted approach may seem overwhelming to some, but it is critical to understand it’s long-term value. The use of a variety of approaches and a long-term plan for ongoing aftercare support can help individuals learn how to handle stress better while they focus on their recovery.

Contact us today if you are ready to reclaim your life and break free from the cycle of addiction, once and for all! We are dedicated to providing our clients with the tools and support they need to sustain long-term recovery, health, and wellness!

Dangers of Shake and Bake Meth

Shake and Bake Meth | Harmony Recovery Center

Reports have surfaced that meth users across the U.S. have begun to make “shake and bake” meth. Named for the simplicity in which it is prepared, this method of making methamphetamine is easy and quick, but also extremely dangerous.

Using the typical method, the process for producing meth includes cooking the ingredients to extremely high temperatures. The “shake and bake” process doesn’t require any heat, however. 

Also, to create a useful and profitable batch of meth, the makes would need to buy many packages of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Buyers would have to visit a multitude of stores to evade the federal regulations on how many products an individual may purchase. The “shake and bake” method uses much less pseudoephedrine, so a meth producer can buy it without drawing attention to themselves.

The Risks of “Shake and Bake”

In conventional production labs, the risks of making meth include explosion and fire. This new method poses an even greater risk of life-threatening fires and burns due to the way that it is mixed. The toxic chemicals and pseudoephedrine used to make meth are placed in a two-liter plastic soda bottle. The ingredients are then shaken instead of being cooked to produce a crystalline powder that can be used in the same way regular meth is used.

If you have ever shaken a bottle of soda by mistake, you would know that when you open the lid, the pressure inside produces an explosion of foam. The same physics applies to “shake and bake” meth. Pressure inside the bottle accumulates as the chemical reactions occur, and dangerous effects that are possible. 

If oxygen gets inside the bottle, the contents may explode. This can happen if the lid is removed too soon or too rapidly or the plastic is perforated, and it can cause a potentially lethal reaction.

In addition to the possibility of injury or death caused by the chemical reactions, the residual materials from successful batches of meth are considered to be poisonous. Instead of disposing of them, drug users often leave these toxic residues where anyone (even children) can be exposed to them without being aware of it.

The Ultimate Price of Using Shake and Bake Meth 

The ingredients and method employed to produce shake and bake meth are incredibly dangerous, and many individuals have been injured. According to a 2012 report from NBC News, medical treatment for severe burns that a person can sustain from one these them explosions is upwards of $6,000 per day. Depending on the duration of the stay, a patient may incur $130,000 in treatments, which is much greater than the amount that other burn victims’ treatments cost.

From the report:

“It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment—a burden so costly that it’s contributing to the closure of some burn units.”

In addition to the cost of medical care to the oft uninsured meth makers, there is the cost of combatting the illicit activity and removing the noxious mess that is leftover. According to reports, unfortunately, the number of meth labs is growing throughout the U.S., and many of them are adopting the shake-and-bake method.

Burn experts report that the yearly cost to taxpayers is into the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. However, it is not possible to determine an exact number due to so many meth users and producers lying about the circumstances that caused their burns.

Symptoms of Meth Use

Shake and Bake Meth | Harmony Recovery Center

Regardless of the method used, meth abusers may exhibit many different physical or behavioral symptoms. The most common signs of meth abuse include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Facial tics and twitching
  • Jerky movements
  • Hyperactivity
  • Skin sores
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Burns on lips or fingers
  • Odd sleeping patterns
  • Rotting teeth or “meth mouth”
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Tweaking 

Treatment Is Available for Meth Addiction

No matter how much or how long a person has been using meth, help is available. You or your loved one can halt the impact of meth on your life, even if you have not hit “rock bottom”—you must do this before it’s too late.

Harmony Recovery Center is a specialized treatment facility dedicated to helping people break free from the chains of addiction and foster healthier, more satisfying lives.

Treatment can be challenging, but it is worth the effort to ensure that you or your loved one is safe and healthy after overcoming this horrible disease. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the tools and support they need to recover and maintain long-lasting sobriety.

If you or your loved one are prepared to take the first step in reclaiming your life, contact us as soon as possible. We can help you break free from the cycle of addiction and steer you toward a more fulfilling life!

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Adderall Crash

Adderall Crash | Harmony Recovery Center

Adderall Crash: Coming Down From a Stimulant – Adderall is a prescription medication that includes a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is primarily used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant classified as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Schedule II drugs have some medical purposes but are also considered to have a high potential for abuse and dependence.

The effects of this stimulant will begin to subside after six or more hours after intake, resulting in a crash or come down. A person will then start to experience what, in many ways, is basically the opposite of the drug’s desired effects. They may encounter anger, rage, irritability, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and fatigue.

Adderall crash is not the same as Adderall withdrawal. Nonetheless, symptoms related to either condition can become present several hours after the last dose has been ingested.

Abuse of Adderall

While there are numerous medical uses for stimulant drugs, they are also abused by many people. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 18.6 million Americans aged 12 and older used prescription stimulants in the past year.

These included both those who were given prescriptions by physicians and those who obtained them through other avenues. Of those more than 18 million users, around 5.8 million reported misusing prescription stimulants in the past year.

Misuse or abuse includes using the drug in higher amounts, more frequently, or for longer than instructed by a doctor. It also includes using it in other ways in which it was not intended, such as crushing the powder and snorting it. Finally, using Adderall without a prescription is also considered to be abuse.

Abuse of Adderall and other stimulants is especially prevalent among young adults. In fact, it is estimated that more than 2.5 million Americans aged 18-25 misused prescription stimulants in the past year, reflecting about 7.4% of that specific age group.

Who Abuses Adderall?

People may misuse prescription stimulants in numerous ways. Some people consume them orally, some dissolve the powder in water after crushing tablets and then injecting it, and others smoke or snort the powder.

One of the primary reasons a person may misuse stimulants is because they erroneously believe that it will boost their cognitive abilities. Students may abuse them to help them study, cram for tests, work on projects, or otherwise try to improve their academic performance.

Other reasons may include to increase one’s energy and/or to lose weight. People who work very long shifts, such as truck drivers, have also been known to abuse stimulants like Adderall.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2006-2007), students in college full-time between ages 18-22 were more than twice as likely to have abused Adderall in the past year as those of the same age who did not attend college full-time.

Also, those who misused Adderall tended to engage in other forms of substance abuse. For example, these full-time students were five times more likely to have misused prescription opioids and eight times more likely to have abused prescription sedatives or cocaine. They were also three times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year, and nearly 90% had binged on alcohol.

Dangers of Adderall

Coming Down From An Adderall Crash | Recovery By The Sea

There are many risks associated both with proper prescription stimulant use and abuse. Common side effects of Adderall include the following:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation

Severe side effects of Adderall may include:

  • Aggression
  • Psychosis
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizure
  • Death

Misusing Adderall is particularly dangerous for several reasons. When a person receives an Adderall prescription, the prescriber should carefully monitor the person for any adverse effects. However, if the person obtains Adderall illicitly, they are using it without vital medical supervision.

Also, a person who is misusing Adderall may be taking much higher doses than prescribed, and therefore increasing the risk of dangerous effects. High doses of stimulants can cause heartbeat abnormalities, heart failure, dangerously high body temperature, seizures, and overdose.

Abusing prescription stimulants can cause extreme anger, paranoia, and psychosis. Furthermore, a person who has obtained Adderall from an illicit source may unknowingly be ingesting a different drug or Adderall laced with another substance. Thus, they may be at an increased risk for unpredictable, dangerous effects.

Adderall Overdose Symptoms

Possible signs and symptoms of an overdose of a prescription stimulant include the following:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Overactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Panic
  • Confusion
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Coma and death

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have overdosed on Adderall or another stimulant, please call 911 immediately.

Experiencing the Adderall Crash

Coming Down From An Adderall Crash | Recovery By The Sea

The abuse of stimulants can lead to the development of a substance use disorder. Using stimulants for a prolonged period, even when using them as directed, can lead to the development of tolerance. As tolerance builds, the person will need to use more of a drug to achieve the desired effect.

A person may also develop dependence, which is a condition in which their body depends on the drug to function normally. If a dependent person abruptly stops taking prescription stimulants, they will encounter withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Lack of motivation

Withdrawal Medications

Certain medications may be helpful when a person is withdrawing from Adderall. Importantly, however, these should only be used only under the supervision of a medical provider or addiction specialist. These medications can be administered in either an inpatient or outpatient setting and may include the following:

Modafinil – a mild stimulant that can reduce the fatigue that may be encountered during withdrawal.

Propranolol – a beta-blocker that can relieve anxiety associated with withdrawal.

Bupropion – a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) that can reduce unpleasant mood symptoms that may occur during withdrawal.

For most people with a stimulant use disorder, discontinuing drug use, and going through detox is not enough to promote lasting recovery. Anyone with a substance use disorder should, therefore, seek professional treatment.

Getting Treatment for Adderall Addiction

Treatment can help with the development of coping techniques and relapse prevention plans. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can teach a person how to alter unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This therapy can help individuals addicted to stimulants better manage stress and triggers and change their expectations about drug use and related behaviors.

It is essential to remember that the Adderall crash a person may encounter after discontinuing use is temporary. However, even after withdrawal symptoms subside, a person may still have cravings, especially when they encounter triggers. For this reason and others, it is imperative to enroll in a treatment program that helps people develop coping skills and prepares them for long-lasting recovery.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers comprehensive, evidence-based treatment programs in both partial hospitalization and outpatient formats. We know how challenging it can be for people to get clean on their own, and we believe that those who suffer from addiction deserve the very best treatment available.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the abuse of Adderall, other drugs, or alcohol, contact us today! Find out how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction and foster healthier, more fulfilling lives!