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Friday, April 16, 2021

What are the Forms of Drug Abuse?

forms of drug abuse

Using and abusing certain substances can be a serious issue, for an individual’s mental and physical health. While there are many terms that are used to describe a person’s problems with alcohol or drugs such as opioids and prescriptions, it is important to understand when use becomes misuse. What are the forms of drug abuse? While they may differ with the individual, all revolve around the addiction that is central to the disorder.

Drug Dependency

When someone is considered to be dependent on drugs, it means that if they stop using that drug their body goes through withdrawal. The individual can then experience physical and mental issues ranging from mild to life-threatening. People who take a prescription drug every day, legally, can become dependent on it. Many of the signs and symptoms of drug dependency are similar to those of addiction, but someone who is dependent on a drug isn’t necessarily addicted.

Substance Abuse

Professionals use the medical term, substance abuse, to describe a problem with drug use that causes significant issues or distress. The individual may miss work or school because of their drug use or they may use the substance in dangerous situations such as when they are driving. Drug use can also lead to legal problems and issues with relationships at work and at home. Substance abuse can refer to the abuse of illegal substances, including cocaine and heroin, or to the abuse of legal substances, such as prescription medications and alcohol.

Drug Misuse

Misuse is one of the forms of drug abuse. When someone takes illegal drugs or takes medications in a manner that was not originally intended by the prescribing physician or the manufacturer, they are misusing those drugs. Drugs that are commonly misused include alcohol, prescribed medications such as painkillers and sleeping pills, inhalants such as solvents and glues, and illegal drugs. Those drugs that have been banned by law are considered to be illegal drugs.

Prescription medications, including steroids and opioids, can lead to drug abuse even though they are prescribed in a legal manner. The misuse of prescriptions includes taking larger doses of the medication than was intended or taking a medication that was prescribed for someone else. Someone might also misuse the prescription by taking it via a different method, one which can cause greater harm, such as crushing and snorting pills rather than taking them orally as intended.

Over-the-counter medicines can also be misused. If they are used for another purpose than they were intended, such as getting high, they can be the source of drug abuse. These medicines could also lead to harmful issues if taken in a different manner than intended, such as being snorted or injected.

Drug Addiction

A form of drug abuse that can be dangerous for an individual’s mental and physical health is addiction. Drug abuse in the form of repeated drug use changes the brain and leads to addiction. Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that can cause someone to continue to take drugs even though they are causing great harm.

Each individual’s reaction to drugs is different, so not everyone who takes drugs will become addicted. Drugs affect the brain and body differently in each person so some may become addicted after a short period of drug use and others may develop an addiction over a longer period. Environmental, genetic, and developmental factors can all contribute to an individual’s drug addiction. 

Signs of Drug Abuse

Most forms of drug abuse can be identified by the signs and symptoms exhibited by the individual who may be misusing drugs or alcohol. The person addicted to drugs might:

  • Lose interest in what used to be their favorite hobbies or activities
  • Not take care of themselves, including keeping up with their personal hygiene
  • Eat more or eat less than normal
  • Be in a bad mood a lot of the time
  • Be more energetic than usual, including talking fast and saying things that don’t seem to make sense
  • Be really tired or sad
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Spend a lot of time by themselves
  • Develop problems at work or school
  • Have problems with their relationships with friends and family members.

Help for Your Addiction

At Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center, we focus on helping you begin your journey of recovery from drug abuse as well as mental health issues. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.

Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients' safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Anxiety During Alcohol Withdrawal

anxiety during alcohol withdrawal

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. One important fact of alcohol use is the dependence that can result from excessive drinking. Alcohol causes changes in the brain that make you crave more and that can turn alcohol use into addiction. Those changes can also cause a number of symptoms affecting your mental and physical health when you decide to quit drinking. Anxiety during alcohol withdrawal is very common, a good reason for detox to be monitored by a healthcare professional.

The Alcohol-Anxiety Connection

You may have started drinking in an attempt to alleviate your stress and anxiety. Alcohol is a depressant and a sedative that affects the central nervous system. However, the more you drink the more your body builds up a tolerance to the destressing effects of alcohol.

You will probably find that drinking can actually make your stress and anxiety even more difficult to cope with, as the alcohol itself starts producing symptoms such as blackouts and loss of memory. Alcohol affects your brain function by changing the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which in turn can worsen your anxiety.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Your body becomes used to the alcohol you’ve consumed in heavy amounts or over a long period of time. Your brain’s function can be seriously affected by alcohol use and then even more so by your withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can appear just a few hours after you take your last drink and can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms are headache, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate, agitation, nightmares, excessive sweating, and anxiety.

More severe withdrawal symptoms are referred to as delirium tremens (DTs). DTs can be life-threatening and include seizures, hallucinations, elevated blood pressure, severe tremors, extreme disorientation, and increased body temperature.

Nervous System Hyperactivity

Alcohol use over the long term affects brain receptors. When you drink excessively or over an extended period, your brain receptors undergo adaptive changes as they attempt to maintain their normal function. These changes involve a decrease in a neurotransmitter known as GABA and the activation of glutamate systems. When you stop drinking, these changes lead to nervous system hyperactivity when your brain is no longer processing the alcohol.

GABA and the neurotransmitter dopamine are affected with chronic alcohol use. These changes affect your level of excitement as well as your sense of reward. The production of these neurotransmitters is affected when you stop or significantly reduce your alcohol intake, which causes the brain to readjust, which leads to withdrawal symptoms. The excitation, in particular, can lead to tachycardia, tremors, and anxiety.

Symptoms of Anxiety

When you experience anxiety, you can have symptoms that range from a feeling of butterflies in the stomach to symptoms so severe that you can no longer function. The body reacts in a very specific way when you are anxious, going on high alert, looking for potential danger, and activating your “fight or flight” response. Common symptoms of anxiety include feelings of danger, dread, or panic; a rapid heart rate; weakness and lethargy; difficulty focusing or inability to think clearly about anything other than the focus of your worry; insomnia; restlessness, nervousness, or feeling tense; digestive issues; and rapid breathing or hyperventilation.

Supervised Detox

Deciding to give up alcohol is a great first step toward your recovery from your dependence or addiction. Knowing that there can be serious symptoms of withdrawal, including the anxiety associated with alcohol use and withdrawal, it is wise to engage a healthcare professional when deciding that you need to quit drinking.

As your body rids itself of all the alcohol in your system, you could experience issues with your mental health as well as your physical health that will need to be carefully monitored so you can heal properly. However, after you complete the detox phase successfully, under the supervision of a professional, you will be ready to move forward with treatment and recovery.

Help for Your Addiction

At Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center, we focus on helping you begin your journey of recovery from substance use and mental health issues. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.

Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients' safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Can Adderall Cause Liver Damage?

can Adderall cause liver damage

The prescription drug Adderall is typically used for medical purposes, to stimulate the central nervous system. Primarily prescribed for younger individuals who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the drug also has a history of being abused by those people who take advantage of its key ingredient, amphetamine. Overuse of Adderall can cause serious health conditions, though, including possible liver damage.

Unintended Use

Adderall and other central nervous system stimulants have been proven effective in the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, and other disorders. Adderall, a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, helps the individual improve their ability to focus and pay attention and to control behavior. The drug is usually prescribed for school-aged children.

However, there is an increasing trend among college students and adults in their 30s and 40s to use Adderall and similar drugs to help them perform better mentally. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that full-time college students are twice as likely as non-students to use Adderall in a way that was not intended. These students are also more likely not to have a legal prescription for the drug.

In addition to using Adderall for purposes of doing better on tests and papers, individuals also report drinking alcohol to offset the effects of the drug. These individuals may drink more alcohol when taking Adderall, which can cause significant health issues, including damage to the liver and alcohol poisoning.

Adderall and Alcohol

People who use Adderall for non-medical purposes and drink alcohol put themselves in a dangerous situation. A recent study found that 19 percent of emergency room visits for individuals ages 18 to 25 that were related to ADHD medications also involved alcohol use.

The chemicals in Adderall and alcohol affect the central nervous system differently. While Adderall increases the effects of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the areas of the brain that improve alertness and focus, alcohol decreases the effects of those neurotransmitters, slowing down mental function and certain bodily processes.

While alcohol is usually a depressant, when consumed in moderate to large quantities, it can act as a temporary stimulant in smaller doses. When someone has one or two drinks and also takes Adderall, the effects of the drug may be intensified and the stimulation effect lengthened. The sedating effects of larger doses of alcohol can also be delayed or masked, causing the individual to potentially drink more than they would otherwise.

As a result of consuming larger amounts of alcohol, the liver can be overwhelmed which could lead to an alcohol overdose and liver damage. The impact on the liver is also felt when drinking and taking Adderall, as both require the same liver enzymes for digestion. Depending on which is processed quicker by the liver, the effects of either the alcohol or the Adderall may be felt more intensely than usual.

Adderall and Liver Damage

Even without the addition of alcohol, Adderall has been known to lead to liver damage. While acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure, accounting for 39% of the cases in the US, amphetamines are also known to cause liver damage, although more rarely. Even though liver damage occurred in 13% of those cases, there is an important connection between liver health and the use of the drug.

Adderall needs the liver to metabolize in the body. The drug is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, is broken down by the liver, and then leaves the body through urine. Depending on the individual’s weight, height, and body fat, body composition has an impact on how long Adderall may remain in the system. Larger people tend to take larger doses so it may take longer to leave the body’s system.

There is also evidence that Adderall may clear from the body quicker in people who have more body fat or who weigh more. Metabolism is a key factor since the enzymes in the liver break down drugs such as Adderall in the body. The size of the liver decreases with age, which could also mean that an older individual would have a more difficult time fully breaking down the Adderall.

Hope by the Sea is Here to Help

The professionals at Hope by the Sea are focused on helping you begin the journey of recovery from mood disorders and addiction. A southern California mental health and addiction treatment center, we specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible. When you need help treating your mental health or substance use disorder, we offer the dual diagnosis treatment program you need. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Staying Sober Quotes: Inspirational Quotes for Recovery

inspirational quotes for recovery

Words can be powerful. Kind and empathetic words can lift up an individual, especially one who is struggling with addiction treatment and recovery. Inspirational quotes for recovery can help you or your loved with staying sober. Read them, repeat them, post them up on a wall, and remember that, as the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

Inspirational Quotes from People in Recovery

Many actors and musicians have faced the reality of their addiction. After completing treatment and moving forward in their recovery, they have some words of wisdom to share about their experiences that may help others moving along the same path.

“Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest.” – Robert Downey Jr., actor

“My recovery from drug addiction is the single greatest accomplishment of my life… but it takes work — hard, painful work — but the help is there, in every town and career, drug/drink freed members of society, from every single walk and talk of life to help and guide.” – Jamie Lee Curtis, actress

“I’ve been sober for 18 years now. It wasn’t like you flick a switch, and you’re sober. It takes a while. You have to learn how to do everything all over again. There is life after addiction, and it’s really good. If I had known, I’d have stopped earlier.” – Joe Walsh, musician

“One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.” – Demi Lovato, singer

From People Who Write Words of Inspiration

Writing inspirational words is part of what some people do, whether they are writing novels, non-fiction pieces, or empowering speeches. Their words can help you or your loved one push through the everyday challenges of staying sober and staying in recovery after addiction treatment.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus, French philosopher

“Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and good things never die.” – Stephen King, author

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe, author

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling, author

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli, speaker, best-selling author, and behavioral science academic

“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” – Brian Tracy, self-development author

From People in the Midst of Challenges

People who have faced seemingly insurmountable struggles in their life still found the inspiration to go on and, often, to accomplish amazing things. These people share inspirational words that can also help people in recovery as they struggle with staying sober.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela,  anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford, inventor

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoléon Bonaparte, French military and political leader

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, activist, and former First Lady of the United States

Help for Your Addiction

At Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center, we focus on helping you begin your journey of recovery from substance use and mental health issues. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.

Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients' safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

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