How to Manage Weed Withdrawal Symptoms

Many supporters of marijuana deny the possibility that you can become addicted to the drug. They’ll say things like, “I used weed every day for 30 years and then quit without any issues. It’s not addictive.” The fact is, research shows you can develop an addiction to the drug and experience weed withdrawal symptoms. Why are there so many misconceptions about weed, and what should you do if you’re unable to stop using it?

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is the street name for cannabis, a flowering plant recognized for its psychoactive properties. The plant has acquired many other nicknames including pot, weed, Mary Jane, ganja, herb, and many more.

The plant contains compounds known as cannabinoids, with the most notable ones being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, influencing a range of physiological functions.

Marijuana’s history dates back thousands of years, with various civilizations using it for its therapeutic properties, from pain relief to spiritual ceremonies. Throughout history, marijuana has faced both acceptance and skepticism in society. Its standing is often influenced by cultural, political, and legal factors. In some cultures, marijuana is revered for its medicinal properties, while in others, it has been stigmatized due to its psychoactive effects. Today, It’s the number-one drug used by Americans. It’s estimated that 55 million people use marijuana, and 4.4 million people suffer from a marijuana use disorder.

Stereotypes surrounding marijuana users have also evolved. From the outdated image of the “lazy stoner” to more nuanced portrayals in media, these views often oversimplify the diverse range of individuals who choose to engage with marijuana.

Is Marijuana Safe?

The safety of marijuana has been a topic of increasing relevance, especially with the changing legal status in various states. Marijuana legalization has created regulated markets, contributing to a more structured and controlled environment. This shift has facilitated research on marijuana, providing a deeper understanding of its effects and potential benefits.

Medicinal Benefits
Marijuana has been recognized for its medicinal properties, offering relief to individuals facing conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, marijuana can help alleviate nausea and vomiting, enhancing their overall well-being. Certain strains of marijuana, particularly those rich in CBD, have shown promise in reducing seizure frequency in individuals with epilepsy. Additionally, marijuana has been explored for managing chronic pain and anxiety.

Modern weed, with its increased potency, presents both opportunities and challenges. The many forms of marijuana, including concentrates, edibles, liquid weed, and vapes, offer unique experiences. It’s important to recognize the potency of today’s marijuana can lead to stronger effects.

The safety of marijuana also depends on individual factors such as health conditions, tolerance, and susceptibility to adverse effects. Some individuals may experience side effects like anxiety, paranoia, or impaired coordination, especially with high-THC strains. If you’re considering using weed, you should consult with your healthcare professional, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns.

Regular and heavy marijuana use can lead to the development of tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the desired effects. Some people combine the prescription drugs with weed for an enhanced experience. For instance, Adderall and marijuana are a popular combination, with users reporting a more intense high.

Is Marijuana a Stimulant or Depressant?

Many people wonder, “Is marijuana a stimulant” or “Is marijuana a depressant?” The drug can act as both a depressant and a stimulant, depending on the strain and the chemical reaction it has in a user’s body.

Stimulant Effects
Sativa-dominant strains are often associated with these stimulant effects. These include heightened energy levels, increased alertness, and enhanced focus. Individual experiences may vary, but users often report feeling more sociable, creative, and motivated after consuming marijuana with stimulant properties. This can make it a popular choice for activities that involve mental engagement and social interaction.

Depressant Effects
Indica-dominant strains are commonly associated with these depressant effects. These include relaxation, sedation, and a sense of calm. Individuals using marijuana with depressant effects may experience a sense of tranquility, making it great for relaxation and sleep-inducing purposes. This makes indica strains popular choices for evening or nighttime use.

Hybrid Strains
Many marijuana strains available today are hybrids, combining characteristics of both sativa and indica strains. Hybrid strains aim to provide a balanced experience, offering users a blend of stimulant and depressant effects.

Is Weed Addictive?

Marijuana use ranges from casual and occasional use to more frequent and habitual patterns. Habitual use implies a regular and consistent engagement with marijuana, often as part of a routine or for recreational purposes. On the other hand, addiction involves a more profound psychological and physiological reliance on a substance. You may experience cravings and an inability to control or stop consumption.

While marijuana is not considered chemically addictive in the same way substances like nicotine or opioids are, it can lead to psychological dependence. Psychological dependence involves a reliance on marijuana to cope with stress, anxiety, or other emotional states. Individuals may develop a habit of using marijuana as a coping mechanism, and breaking this pattern can be challenging.

Are There Weed Withdrawal Symptoms?

Deciding to stop using marijuana can bring about withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms happen as a result of this decrease in your body’s natural cannabinoid level. This imbalance without a substance is referred to as being “physically dependent.” The most typical symptoms of weed withdrawal include:

  • Irritability, anger, or aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced appetite or weight loss
  • Restlessness
  • Depressed mood
  • Stomach pain
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache

Less common signs and symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Racing heart
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose

How Long Does Weed Withdrawal Last?

In general, withdrawal symptoms peak within the first week of stopping and gradually go away over the following weeks. Withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks.

Tips for Managing Withdrawal:

  • Gradual Reduction: If possible, consider tapering off marijuana use gradually rather than quitting abruptly. This can help mitigate the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can aid in flushing out toxins from the body and alleviate certain withdrawal symptoms.
  • Healthy Distractions: Engage in activities you enjoy to distract yourself from cravings and withdrawal discomfort.
  • Seek Support: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your journey and receive encouragement.
  • Professional Guidance: In severe cases, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional or addiction specialist can provide tailored support, weed detox assistance, and more.

Marijuana Treatment at Aliya Health Group

If you or someone you know is struggling with the symptoms of weed withdrawal, Aliya Health Group is ready to help.

There are various treatment options available, including:

  • Partial-care programs
  • Inpatient programs
  • Outpatient programs

Throughout the weed detox process, you’ll work with a dedicated group of counselors, medical professionals, and other personnel. This team is trained to evaluate your symptoms and guide you toward a program that’ll help you refrain from using weed in the future.

Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help.

What Is the Dangerous New Drug Isotonitazene?

In the fall of 2019, a new synthetic opioid made its debut in the U.S. The drug, called isotonitazene (ISO), is as dangerous and deadly as fentanyl, prompting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to send out national warnings nationwide. What exactly is ISO, and why is it such a threat in the world of opiates?

What Is Isotonitazene?

Isotonitazene (ISO) or “new fentanyl,” is one of the newest synthetic opioids gaining popularity within the world of designer drugs. ISO belongs to the benzimidazole class of opioids. Its potency is similar to fentanyl, and it can be found in pill form, powder, and liquid. Isotonitazene was first synthesized in the 1950s as an opioid alternative for medical use and remained in obscurity until 2019 when it was identified by authorities in the Midwest U.S. In 2020, the DEA classified ISO as a Schedule I substance.

The primary source of isotonitazene is China, where it’s manufactured, marketed, and then exported worldwide. It’s typically mixed with other drugs to create a more potent and cheaper end product. In 2022, the DEA reported that most of the ISO they analyzed was in the form of “cheap filler” for other illicit substances, such as heroin, or sold as counterfeit versions of opioids like hydromorphone.

The population that’s likely to abuse isotonitazene appears to be the same as those abusing prescription opioid analgesics, heroin, tramadol, fentanyl, and other synthetic drugs. As with many synthetic opioids, isotonitazene’s effects range from euphoria and numbness to breathing difficulty, coma, and death.

Why Is Isotonitazene Dangerous?

The major concern is that the potency of isotonitazene can—and has—caused deadly overdoses in unsuspecting victims. While there’s still limited study data available because ISO is so new to the scene, overdose deaths involving the drug have been reported in Europe, Canada, and the midwestern U.S.

Because isotonitazene is produced and distributed illegally, many users are unaware of its strength and potential risks. People can unwittingly consume doses that far exceed safe limits, increasing the likelihood of unintentional overdoses and other health risks. The drug acts on the central nervous system, depressing respiratory function. This effect, coupled with its potency, heightens the risk of respiratory failure—a critical factor in each fatal opioid overdose.

Tragically, many overdose victims have no idea they’re ingesting this dangerous and extremely potent drug. According to the DEA, ISO currently can only be properly identified after a lab test, so most people don’t realize they’re buying it until it’s too late.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Synthetic Opioid Abuse?

Identifying the signs and symptoms of isotonitazene abuse is important for early intervention. Synthetic opioid abuse can cause:

  • Respiratory Distress: Users may experience noticeable respiratory issues, such as shallow or labored breathing. Severe cases may result in respiratory arrest.
  • Psychological Disturbances: Users may have heightened anxiety, paranoia, or hallucinations, reflecting the impact of synthetic opioids on mental health. These psychological symptoms can create erratic behavior and impaired decision-making.
  • Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Persistent nausea, vomiting, and digestive issues can contribute to malnutrition and overall physical deterioration.
  • Skin Abnormalities: ISO can cause skin issues such as itching, rashes, or noticeable changes in complexion.
  • Social and Occupational Dysfunction: Individuals struggling with isotonitazene abuse may experience a decline in social relationships and occupational functioning. This could include isolation from friends and family, job loss, or academic difficulties.

Recognizing these signs is crucial for healthcare professionals, friends, and family members to provide timely support and intervention for individuals grappling with isotonitazene abuse.

What Is Isotonitazene Treatment Like?

It’s important to note that seeking professional help is non-negotiable for effective isotonitazene addiction treatment. Anyone struggling with ISO abuse requires a comprehensive and tailored approach to treatment, involving:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

Choosing the Right Opioid Rehab Center

It’s best to choose a rehab center that offers a full continuum of care for opioid addiction treatment. At Aliya Health Group, our treatment centers provide that and more. To treat opioid addiction, our clinical team offers unique levels of care, including:

Medical detox: Before you can move on to a brighter future, you must remove all the opioid drugs from your system. Medically supervised detox is a safe and effective way to treat withdrawal symptoms and make detox as comfortable as possible.

Residential treatment: Inpatient recovery involves living full-time at our rehab center while you undergo treatment for synthetic opioids. The structure of inpatient programming allows you to focus your entire attention on getting sober and overcoming mental health issues. Our team of clinicians creates a personalized treatment plan that best suits your needs. An integrated approach to treatment offers both evidence-based and holistic recovery practices.

Partial hospitalization program (PHP): PHP is a more flexible treatment option that still offers structure for recovery. You attend therapy five days per week while you live at home or in one of our sober living centers. The goal of a PHP is to build on the skills and tools learned in residential treatment to begin the transition back to normal life.

Intensive outpatient program (IOP): Another step down in intensity from a PHP, an IOP involves regular treatments and meetings at a rehab center, but usually fewer days per week and for a shorter duration. The focus is on preparing you to re-enter your normal life free from the pitfalls of substance abuse.

Outpatient program: Outpatient rehab is one of the last steps in recovery. It’s considered a step down from intensive outpatient treatment. This level of care involves building on all the tools and coping skills learned throughout rehab. It ensures you have what you need to remain sober and keep your mental health on an even keel after completing rehab.

Aftercare: Aftercare is for those who have completed opioid addiction treatment. It helps you maintain your sobriety, build a support network, and address ongoing challenges related to addiction.

If you or your loved one are struggling with synthetic opioid abuse, don’t wait. Call Aliya Health Group today to take the first step toward a brighter future.

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

Drug addiction is a far-reaching and complicated issue that affects millions worldwide. In 2021, 46.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year, including  24.0 million who had a drug use disorder and 7.3 million people who had both an alcohol use disorder and a drug use disorder. Understanding drug addiction and why some get caught up in its drip leads to a commonly asked question: What is the most addictive drug?

What Is Drug Addiction?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. While people can become addicted to many substances from coffee to gambling, drug addiction (or substance use disorder) can be difficult to overcome.

Gettig hooked on drugs like marijuana, nicotine, or heroin, is like a sickness that messes with your brain and behavior. It often starts when someone tries a recreational drug in social situations, just to see what it’s like. But for some, especially with opioids, things escalate and become more regular. With opioids, it can even start when someone takes prescribed medicines or gets them from others who have prescriptions.

Different drugs have different risks, and some, like opioid painkillers, can get you hooked faster than others. So, it’s important to be aware of the risks and how quickly addiction can happen.

Understanding the neurobiology of drug addiction is important. The most dangerous drugs impact the brain’s reward system, creating a cycle of cravings and compulsive use. This leads to a cycle of addiction and the need for a professional treatment program

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction?

  • Behavioral Changes: Abrupt mood swings, irritability, or a decline in personal grooming habits.

  • Physical Changes: Unexplained weight loss, bloodshot eyes, or a noticeable decline in coordination.

  • Social Withdrawal: Isolation from friends and family, forsaking previously enjoyed activities.

  • Financial Issues: Frequent requests for money with no clear explanation, stealing, or selling personal belongings.

  • Tolerance and Withdrawal: The need for increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect and experiencing physical or emotional symptoms when not using.

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

Determining the single-most addictive drug is a challenge due to individual susceptibility, method of use, and the presence of other substances. Nonetheless, certain drugs are notorious for their addictive potential.

  • Alcohol: Many people wonder, “Is alcohol a drug?” Yes, it is, and despite its legal status, alcohol ranks high in addictive potential, impacting the brain’s reward system. Long-term use can result in severe health issues, including liver damage and cognitive impairment.

  • Cocaine :A powerful stimulant derived from the coca plant, cocaine increases dopamine

levels, leading to intense pleasure. Short-term effects include heightened alertness and energy, but long-term use can result in severe cardiovascular issues and addiction.

  • Benzodiazepines (benzos): Prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders, benzos can be highly addictive. Prolonged use can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, requiring careful tapering under medical supervision.
  • Methamphetamine (meth)
    Another powerful stimulant, meth triggers a surge of dopamine, creating intense euphoria. Chronic use can lead to severe dental problems, weight loss, and mental health issues.
  • Opioids: Prescription painkillers and illicit drugs like heroin fall under the category of addictive drugs. They also bind to receptors in the brain. Opioid addiction can lead to respiratory failure, contributing significantly to the ongoing opioid epidemic.
  • Nicotine and Cannabis (marijuana): Substances like nicotine and cannabis, perceived as less harmful, can also lead to dependence and addiction.

While these substances are known for their addictive nature, it’s crucial to acknowledge individual responses, understanding that any drug has the potential to lead to dependence.

Who Can Help with Drug Addiction?

Overcoming drug addiction often requires professional help. Treatment centers provide crucial support and guidance on the path to recovery from addictive drugs. While each treatment center offers different programs, they usually include variations of the following:

Detoxification:

  • Medical supervision during the initial withdrawal phase helps manage potentially dangerous symptoms.
  • Detox is the first step in breaking physical dependence.

Therapy and Counseling:

  • Individual and group therapy address the psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Identifying triggers and developing coping mechanisms are key components.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT):

  • Combining medications with counseling, MAT is effective, especially for opioid and alcohol addiction.

Aftercare and Support:

  • Ongoing support is important. Aftercare programs, support groups, and counseling can help you maintain recovery.

Comprehending drug addiction and substances with high addictive potential is crucial for prevention and treatment. If struggling with addiction, seeking professional help is the initial step toward a healthier, drug-free life. The journey to recovery is challenging, but with the right support, it’s a real possibility.

Drug Addiction Treatment at Aliya

At Aliya Health Group, our drug addiction treatment centers draw on a blend of evidence-based traditional therapies, and experiential and alternative approaches. We also offer medication-assisted treatment programs. Our programs are tailored to help you effectively recover from alcohol and drug addiction, ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the healing process.

Our nationwide rehabilitation centers offer evidence-based treatment programs for those struggling with drug addiction. To successfully treat alcohol and drug abuse, we provide a full continuum of care across our treatment center locations. Our addiction treatment programs include:

  • Medical detox program
  • Residential treatment program
  • Partial care (PC) program
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient program (OP)

Our inpatient programs, including detox and residential care, provide round-the-clock medically supervised support, along with holistic therapies. All therapies are conducted in the peaceful environment of our your own treatment residence, which allows us to maintain a focused and personalized approach to treatment. Whether on an individual basis or in small groups, our addiction treatment programs are designed to meet the unique needs of each client.

After completing inpatient treatment, clients can transition through PC and IOP to continue receiving comprehensive support to ensure the best possible outcomes. Following aftercare, clients can also participate in our customizable outpatient treatment programs for ongoing support and guidance.

At every step, we create personalized treatment plans to guide our clients throughout their addiction recovery journey. If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, contact us today.

References:

  • https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt39443/2021NSDUHFFRRev010323.pdf
  • https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm

What Do Crack Pipes Look Like?

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What do crack pipes look like?” or perhaps discovered a strange item among a loved one’s possessions? If so, you’re not alone. From the ins and outs of crack itself to what a crack pipe actually looks like, we’ll provide the insight you need to build a better understanding.

What Is Crack?

 Understanding crack requires exploring its origins, production, and how it differs from its powdered counterpart, cocaine.

Origins and Production

Crack is a crystalline form of cocaine, originating from the coca plant. Indigenous people in the Andean region of South America had been using coca leaves for centuries, and these leaves were traditionally chewed or brewed into tea for their stimulant effects.

In the late 19th century, cocaine gained popularity in Western medicine and was used as an ingredient in various tonics and elixirs. Sigmund Freud, the Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, even praised the drug for its stimulating effects. However, by the early 20th century, concerns about its addictive nature and harmful effects began to emerge, leading to legal restrictions on its use.

The 1970s saw a surge in the recreational use of cocaine in its powdered form. It was associated with the party scene and glamorized in popular culture. However, the transformation of cocaine into crack cocaine can be traced back to the early 1980s.

The development of crack cocaine is often linked to changes in the drug market and the efforts of drug traffickers to maximize profits. Crack cocaine is created by converting powdered cocaine into a smokable form by mixing it with baking soda and water. This process produces small, solid crystals or “rocks” of crack cocaine, which can be smoked. Smoking crack delivers the drug to the brain more quickly than snorting powdered cocaine, producing a more intense and immediate high.

Distinguishing Crack from Cocaine

While both substances share a common origin, crack and cocaine differ significantly. To create crack, cocaine hydrochloride undergoes a chemical process, usually involving the addition of baking soda or ammonia. This transformation results in small, rock-like crystals. Cocaine is typically in a powdered form, meant for snorting or injecting. In contrast, crack, the freebase form of cocaine, is ideal for smoking. The rapid onset of effects distinguishes crack, providing a quicker and more intense high compared to its powdered counterpart.

Slang and Nicknames

Crack goes by many different slang terms and nicknames, with “rock,” “hard,” “base,” or simply “crack” being commonly used. Local lingo may introduce additional street names, making it important to stay informed about regional terminology.

What Does a Crack Pipe Look Like?

Identifying a crack pipe becomes crucial if you’re concerned about a loved one’s potential use of the drug. Crack pipes, with their unique characteristics, come in various shapes and sizes.

A typical crack pipe is a small, cylindrical tube, often made of glass. The color may vary, with a clear or rose crack pipe being most common. You’ll notice the distinctive bulbous end where the crack is heated and vaporized. This end, referred to as the “rose,” is a key feature in identifying a crack pipe.

What Is Crack Paraphernalia?

Crack use is often accompanied by specific paraphernalia. Steel wool or Chore Boy, used as a filter in the pipe, is a telltale sign. Lighters with sooty residue and small plastic bags may also be present, further indicating crack use. Recognizing these additional items can provide crucial confirmation.

Alternative Names for Crack Pipes

While “crack pipe” is the commonly recognized term, other names exist in street culture, including, “stem,” “straight shooter,” or simply “pipe.”

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Smoking Crack?

Individuals under the influence of crack cocaine may show a range of physical, behavioral, and psychological indicators.

Physical Signs of Crack Addiction:

  • Dilated Pupils: Crack cocaine often causes pupils to dilate, resulting in noticeably larger-than-usual eye size.
  • Increased Energy: Users may display heightened energy levels, restlessness, and hyperactivity.
  • Weight Loss: Persistent crack use can lead to a significant decrease in appetite, resulting in weight loss.

Behavioral Signs of Crack Addiction:

  • Erratic Behavior: Under the influence of crack, individuals may display unpredictable and erratic behavior, characterized by impulsivity and poor decision-making.
  • Financial Strain: Maintaining a crack habit can lead to financial instability, with users constantly in need of funds.

Psychological Signs of Crack Abuse:

  • Intense Euphoria: Crack induces a powerful sense of euphoria, often accompanied by increased confidence and talkativeness.
  • Paranoia: Users may experience heightened paranoia and anxiety, leading to social withdrawal and isolation.

Physical Signs of Crack Abuse:

  • Burns on Fingers or Lips: The process of smoking crack involves applying direct heat to the pipe, potentially resulting in burn marks on fingers or lips.
  • Respiratory Issues: Chronic crack smoking can lead to respiratory problems, including coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

Crack Addiction Treatment at Aliya Health Group

Recovery from crack addiction recovery is possible. At Aliya Health Group, we’re ready to support you or your loved one using one of our addiction treatment programs. Everyone is different, so recovery timelines vary, too. Detox is the first step, and it typically lasts a few days. Things that impact that time include:

  • Length of time crack is used
  • Amount crack taken each time
  • Frequency of use
  • Method used to take crack
  • Presence of underlying medical or mental health issues
  • Other drug abuse or alcohol addiction

The first step in treatment is usually detox, which can last for several days to a week. During detox, you’ll typically experience withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, fatigue, and depression.

After detox, therapy begins, which may last for several weeks to months. Therapy focuses on identifying the underlying causes of addiction and developing coping skills to deal with triggers and cravings. In addition, you’ll participate in group therapy sessions and may receive medication to help manage your symptoms. After completing treatment, it’s best to continue attending support groups and meeting with your therapist on a regular basis to prevent relapse.

Recovery itself is a lengthy process. Many people consider it a lifelong endeavor. That’s why most treatment professionals recommend ongoing therapy, peer support, or groups. If you’ve found a crack pipe in a loved one’s possessions or you’re needing help yourself, Aliya Health Group is here for you.

References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4838786/
  • https://psychcentral.com/health/freud-and-his-biggest-addiction
  • https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine

Is the Drug Ketamine an Opioid?

When it comes to medications and their classifications, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of pharmaceutical terms. One question that has been gaining attention is, “Is ketamine an opioid?”

What Is Ketamine? 

Ketamine is a powerful drug with a number of medical uses. Originally used as anesthesia during surgery, ketamine is now used in hospitals for pain relief, as a sedative, and as a promising antidepressant. The medical use of ketamine is approved by the FDA, and these days, ketamine therapy is considered safe and effective. While ketamine has an impressive list of benefits and potentially lifesaving uses, many people abuse it without medical supervision.

When used recreationally, ketamine (slang terms include cat valium, K, special K) is a dissociative analgesic. This refers to its pain-relieving qualities, as well as the “out-of-body” effect some users experience. Ketamine can induce a state of sedation (feeling calm and relaxed), immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia (no memory of events while under the influence of the drug). Because of its sedative effects, many people use it as a date-rape drug.

Like many recreational drugs, ketamine can cause specific changes in your brain chemistry that may lead to misuse, abuse, or addiction. Because of its addictive nature and effects on brain chemistry, ketamine is now classified as a Schedule III controlled substance. It can be found laced in weed, as a powder, and as an injection.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?

If you’re wondering, “How long does ketamine last?” you have to look at its half-life (the time it takes for the body to get rid of 50 percent of the drug). The half-life of ketamine can range from 45 minutes to four hours. Ketamine usually clears from the body within one to three days. The exact time it takes your system to eliminate ketamine depends on a variety of factors, like:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Body mass
  • Metabolism
  • Drug dosage

Is Ketamine an Opioid?

The clear-cut answer is no: ketamine is not an opioid. Despite being used for pain relief and having sedative properties, ketamine works differently from opioids. Opioids primarily bind to mu-opioid receptors, altering the perception of pain and often leading to euphoria. In contrast, ketamine targets NMDA (N methyl D aspartate), blocking the activity of glutamate. Opioids act as central nervous system depressants, creating a sense of relaxation and euphoria. Ketamine, on the other hand, induces dissociation and alters sensory perception.

Why Is There Confusion About Ketamine vs Opioids?

In 2018, an article was published about using ketamine in combination with an opioid receptor blocker also known as naltrexone. Researchers found that patients given ketamine with naltrexone had less of an antidepressant effect. From
this, people presumed that since ketamine’s effect was decreased with an opioid-receptor blocker, then it must be an opioid.

However, another pilot study that looked at the combination of naltrexone and ketamine found that pre-treatment with naltrexone had no effect on ketamine’s antidepressant effect. Instead, they found it may actually be a benefit for those who have a combined alcohol use disorder with depression.

Because the overwhelming evidence shows that ketamine works primarily on the NMDA receptor, then it is not a true opioid.

Is Ketamine Addictive?

Like many addictive recreational drugs, ketamine can cause specific changes in your brain chemistry that may lead to misuse, abuse, or addiction. That said, evidence suggests that ketamine has a low potential for addiction compared to opioids.

Studies indicate that Ketamine users are less likely to develop a dependency on the drug. The dissociative and hallucinogenic effects may deter recreational use, reducing the risk of habitual consumption. However, after prolonged misuse of ketamine, users develop tolerance. When you develop a tolerance for ketamine, you end up needing more of the drug to get the same effects. After continued use of ketamine, you can develop a strong psychological dependence on ketamine.

A ketamine high is short and can end abruptly. Thus, ketamine users often take the drug in a binge pattern to maintain the high over a long time. This can lead to building tolerance quickly. When stopping ketamine use, ketamine withdrawal symptoms begin—typically around 24 hours after your last dose. Frequent ketamine users report trying but often failing to stop using ketamine, so medical supervised detox is recommended.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Actor Matthew Perry’s tragic death from “the acute effects of ketamine” raised many questions about the drug. But the truth is ketamine therapy — a treatment Perry was receiving under medical supervision — is an exciting frontier in mental health treatment. This innovative approach involves the controlled administration of ketamine to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Unlike traditional antidepressants, Ketamine often delivers rapid relief, making it a promising option for individuals who haven’t responded well to other treatments.

In 2021, international group of experts on mood disorders published a paper on the current evidence of two forms of the ketamine — a nasal spray called esketamine and intravenous ketamine — for managing treatment-resistant depression. They noted that the drugs offer “opportunity and hope” to patients, but that there is an “urgent need to clarify the long-term efficacy of these agents as well as significant unanswered questions with respect to safety.” A trusted physician or mental health-care provider should be consulted and present if ketamine therapy is a treatment option for you.

The Experience: Does Ketamine Therapy Get You High?

An intriguing aspect of ketamine therapy is an altered state of consciousness. Patients may experience a “K-hole,” characterized by profound dissociation and introspection. However, it’s essential to distinguish this from the typical notion of getting high. The therapeutic effects of Ketamine are rooted in its ability to reset neural pathways, offering a new perspective to those struggling with mental health challenges.

Candidacy Considerations

While Ketamine therapy holds promise, it’s not suitable for everyone. Ketamine treatment, in general, is for people suffering from serious mental illness who have tried other medications with little or no relief. It has been most widely studied in people with treatment-resistant depression and acute suicidality. It may also benefit patients with conditions such as PTSD, OCD, bipolar depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?

People with certain conditions such as psychosis generally are not candidates for therapeutic ketamine.

Ketamine Addiction Treatment at Aliya 

If you or a loved one are struggling with ketamine use, Aliya Health Group’s treatment programs are here to help. Detox is the first step on your path to recovery. Medical detox provides a highly structured care plan, including 24/7 monitoring. It’s a way to safely and effectively begin treatment for drug addiction. You’ll have high-quality support as you go through ketamine withdrawal.

Your medically supported detox will cater to your unique treatment needs. That’s why medical detox begins with a comprehensive assessment. You’ll meet with a medical doctor and discuss your medical and psychiatric history. Then licensed professionals will assist you with an individualized plan.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Transportation aid
  • Skills to manage cravings
  • Aftercare referrals

Treatment does not end with medical detox. After reaching stability, you will need aftercare support for your psychological well-being. This is crucial to addiction recovery. Our team will work with you to create a specialized treatment approach to support your full recovery from ketamine addiction.

Treatment after detox includes:

  • Relapse prevention
  • Therapy
  • Medical support
  • Mental health support
  • Life-skills training

While it can feel scary to begin the detox process, the prognosis for recovery from ketamine abuse is very good. And you don’t have to do it alone. Allow us to help you take your first step on your journey to recovery.

References:

  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ketamine-for-major-depression-new-tool-new-questions-2019052216673 
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32084352/
  • https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18020138
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439824/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21777321/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022395622002394
  • https://me.lacounty.gov/2023/press-releases/cause-and-manner-of-death-determined-for-matthew-langford-perry/
  • https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20081251

What Is Super Meth and How Dangerous Is it?

In the world of illicit substances, a new term has surfaced causing concern and raising questions: super meth. What is super meth, and how does it differ from regular meth? More importantly, what makes it so dangerously potent? Here, we delve into the shadows, shedding light on the origins, consequences, and treatment options for this new super meth substance.

What Is Super Meth?

When U.S. drug legislation moved ephedrine and pseudoephedrine behind pharmacy counters in 2006, meth cartels completely reinvented their processes. The result was a more potent, accessible, and affordable version of standard methamphetamine: super meth. Originating primarily from unregistered super meth labs in Mexico, this variant’s potency surpasses that of regular meth, posing heightened risks to individuals and communities alike.

While regular methamphetamine is already a highly addictive and harmful stimulant, super meth takes these dangers to a new level. Super meth is at least 93% pure and the high can last up to 24 hours. Some users add fentanyl to try and balance out their high, but that combination makes it more deadly.

What Makes Super Meth Dangerous?


The danger of super meth lies in its strength and the covert nature of its production. Unlike regulated pharmaceuticals, Mexican super meth is manufactured in an illicit, unregistered super meth labs. Each super meth lab operates outside the bounds of safety regulations, leading to an unpredictable and hazardous final product.

The increased potency of super meth intensifies the risks associated with its use. Users are exposed to elevated health risks, including severe cardiovascular issues, neurological damage, and a higher likelihood of addiction. The unregulated production process also introduces the potential for harmful contaminants, making the health hazards associated with this new super meth even greater.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse?

Individuals under the influence of meth can exhibit various physical, behavioral, and psychological.

Physical signs of meth addiction include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Skin sores because of picking at skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Burns on lips or fingers resulting from holding red-hot pipes or smoking from them
  • Poor dental hygiene, known as “meth mouth”
  • Chest pain
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Flushed skin
  • Raised body temperature
  • Drug cravings
  • Long-term physical signs of meth addiction include:
  • Heart disease
  • Rotten teeth
  • Respiratory issues
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Premature aging
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Malnutrition

Behavioral signs of meth addiction include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities, such as work or school
  • Spending more time with new friends
  • Losing interest in or giving up previously enjoyed activities
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Eating less – Meth suppresses the appetite.
  • Picking or scratching at skin – Meth creates the sensation of bugs crawling on the skin, causing itchiness.
  • Sleeping less – People using meth can go several days, or even weeks, without sleeping.
  • Aggression
  • Acting suspiciously and secretively
  • Long-term behavioral signs of meth addiction include:
  • Disrupted sleep schedule
  • Loss of friends and disconnection from loved ones
  • Stealing or borrowing money
  • Legal trouble resulting from violent behavior

Mental and emotional signs of meth addiction:

  • Euphoria (intensely pleasurable feelings of excitement and happiness)
  • Hyper alertness
  • Bursts of motivation to complete tasks
  • Paranoia
  • Anger
  • Delusions (beliefs that are not grounded in reality)
  • Hallucinations – Seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things that are not there

Understanding these signs helps friends, family, and community members to identify potential cases of meth abuse, prompting timely intervention and support for those in need. Overdosing on meth is extremely dangerous and can lead to multiple organ failure, so immediate action is essential.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

As meth use continues, the body becomes more tolerant of the drug. The user will need to consume higher doses to get the same effects. Once you stop taking meth, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts to functioning without it.

Meth withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Intense cravings for meth
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Psychosis (a break from reality)
  • Seizures

Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to cope with, and they may last for weeks or even months. Many people who try to quit meth on their own relapse because the withdrawal symptoms are so uncomfortable. This is why it’s so important to seek help from a reputable addiction treatment center.

How Is Meth Addiction Treated?

Addressing methamphetamine addiction requires a multifaceted approach. The treatment process typically involves several key components:

Detoxification

The first step is often detoxification, where the body is cleansed of the drug. Medical supervision may be necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure a safe transition to sobriety.

Therapy

Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), are instrumental in addressing the psychological aspects of addiction. These therapies help individuals understand and modify destructive patterns of thinking and behavior.

Support Groups

Support groups provide a sense of community and understanding. Connecting with others who have faced similar challenges can be a powerful motivator for those on the path to recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications, when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, can support individuals in their journey to recovery.

Aftercare

Aftercare is a crucial component of long-term recovery. It may involve ongoing therapy, support group participation, and strategies to prevent relapse.

Meth Addiction Treatment at Aliya

Whether you’re addicted to meth or super meth, or care about someone who is, Aliya Health Group is here to help. It can be difficult to seek treatment on your own and just as hard to confront your loved one you suspect is using meth. It’s important to face the issue before you or your loved one fall too far into meth addiction.

Aliya Health Group offers different levels of care are available depending on how severe the meth abuse is. Our meth addiction treatment options include:

  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Outpatient rehab
  • Aftercare planning
  • Sober living environment

We offer evidence-based treatment for meth abuse that includes approaches like:

  • Individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to meth addiction
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), focusing on mindfulness and emotion regulation to cope with difficult situations and triggers
  • Motivational interviewing (MI), to explore uncertainties about change and develop the motivation to recover
  • Alternative therapies like art therapy, music therapy, and biofeedback
  • Co-occurring disorders treatment (concurrently treating anxiety, depression, etc.)
  • Specialized trauma treatments like EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)
  • Holistic approaches like yoga, art therapy, fitness, and nutrition counseling
  • Aftercare planning, such as connecting you with community resources
  • 12-step groups and alternatives

If you’re looking for more information about our meth treatment programs or would like a confidential consultation, contact us today.

What Does Methamphetamine Look Like?

Methamphetamine (meth) is a strong stimulant that’s become a major player in the world of substance abuse. One of the key questions that arises is, “what does methamphetamine look like?” From the physical characteristics of meth to its various forms and the broader impact of its use, understanding this dangerous drug can save lives.

What Is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth (methamphetamine) is a potent and highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. Some slang terms you might hear for methamphetamine are meth, chalk, crank, crystal, glass, tweak, ice, or tina. Originating from illegal labs, crystal meth is a man-made drug derived from amphetamine, a synthetic mood-altering stimulant.

A Japanese chemist first synthesized meth in 1893. In 1919, the chemist Akira Ogata streamlined the manufacturing process. He created crystal meth by combining phosphorus and iodine. Today, meth is typically made by combining over-the-counter medications and toxic chemicals. The process is dangerous, leading not only to the production of the drug but also hazardous waste.

The production, sale, and use of methamphetamine are illegal in most places due to its high potential for abuse and severe health risks.

What Does Meth Feel Like?

Methamphetamine greatly increases the release of dopamine in the brain, resulting in intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Smoking or injecting meth puts the drug very quickly into the bloodstream and brain, causing an immediate, intense “rush” or “flash.” This lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or oral ingestion produces a euphoric high, but not an intense rush. Snorting produces effects within 3 to 5 minutes, and oral ingestion produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes.

How Long Is Meth in Your System?

Many people wonder: how long does meth last? The effects of meth can last anywhere from around 8-24 hours, depending on how much is taken, the time of day, how it was administered (IV, oral, etc.), how well the kidneys and liver are functioning, and your unique body chemistry. The physical consequences of meth use can be severe, including dental issues (often referred to as “meth mouth”), skin sores, and mental health deterioration.

Startling Meth Statistics

Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, about 2.5 million people reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months. Statistics also indicate a disturbing rise in methamphetamine-related incidents. In 2021, approximately 32,537 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine).

What Does Methamphetamine Look Like?

Because methamphetamine can be produced using many different methods, its appearance can vary dramatically. In its purest form, meth is a white crystalline powder that’s odorless, bitter-tasting, and dissolves easily in water or alcohol.

Depending on how the meth was made, it can come in a variety of hues, including brown, yellow-gray, orange, blue, and pink. Meth manufacturers have been known to add food coloring or dye to batches of meth to help sell their product. Meth producers will often cut real meth with other substances, or sell counterfeit powders to pass it off as what looks like meth.

Meth can also be compressed into pill form or a less-common waxy, gooey oil called meth base.

People use methamphetamine in several ways. Some smoke it, some snort it, and others inject it. The way it’s consumed can affect the intensity and duration of the drug’s impact.

Meth’s Portrayal in Society and Media

Often depicted as a destructive force, methamphetamine’s impact on individuals and communities has been showcased in many documentaries, TV shows, and movies. Characters struggling with addiction are portrayed as erratic, desperate, and sometimes violent. These portrayals serve as cautionary tales, aiming to highlight the dangers of methamphetamine abuse.

It’s essential to recognize that media portrayals can sometimes oversimplify the complex issue of methamphetamine addiction. While they shed light on the negative aspects of the drug, they may not capture the underlying factors contributing to addiction, such as socioeconomic challenges, mental health issues, and lack of access to proper treatment. The media’s portrayal can also contribute to the stigmatization of individuals facing methamphetamine addiction. This stigma can hinder their willingness to seek help and perpetuate misconceptions about the nature of addiction.

Depictions of meth use and distribution can also have a real-world impact. Several years ago, for example, meth manufacturers started adding blue coloring to the drug to mimic the supposedly pure-blue meth featured on the TV series Breaking Bad.

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of meth abuse is crucial for early intervention. Here are some key indicators:

Behavioral Signs

  • Hyperfocus and repetitive behaviors, like constantly picking at the skin or compulsively cleaning
  • Social isolation
  • Strained relationships

Psychological Signs

  • Cognitive impairment, including memory issues, limited attention span, poor decision-making abilities, impaired judgment
  • Mood swings ranging from extreme euphoria to intense irritability, are common
  • Hyperactivity, talkativeness
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Aggression

Physical Health Signs

  • Cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and increased risk of heart attack
  • Tooth loss and decay (known as “meth mouth)
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Acne

Environmental Clues

  • Presence of paraphernalia, such as pipes, syringes, or small bags with crystal-like residue, can indicate meth use

How Is Crystal Meth Addiction Treated?

Addressing crystal meth addiction involves a comprehensive approach that considers an individual’s physical, mental, and social aspects. Treatment typically includes:

  • Detoxification under medical supervision to safely remove methamphetamine from the body
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, support groups
  • Medication to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings


Meth Treatment at Aliya Health Group

A meth addiction is difficult to overcome, but possible with the right treatment, support, and motivation. Aliya Health Group offers evidence-based substance abuse and mental health treatment that addresses the root causes of methamphetamine addiction.

Our holistic approach to addiction treatment teaches you healthier ways to cope without the drug and helps you begin repairing the mental and physical effects of meth abuse. Our tailored treatment programs encompass:

Detox Services: Medically supervised detoxification to ensure a safe withdrawal process.

Therapeutic Approaches: To address the underlying causes of addiction, including trauma, a dual-diagnosis, and other challenges

Aftercare Planning: Continued support and resources for a successful transition back to daily life

If you or someone you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, seeking help is the first step towards a healthier future. Aliya Health Group is here to support you on that journey.

What Are Heroin Track Marks?

What Are Heroin Track Marks?

Heroin is a dangerous and deadly drug that claims thousands of lives every year. While some users attempt to keep their heroin use a secret, it’s difficult to hide the telltale sign that it can leave on the body. Commonly known as “heroin track marks,” this physical consequence of addiction can remain years after an individual stops using the drug, yet it’s not always enough to make them stop.  

What Is Heroin?

Heroin, derived from morphine, is an extremely potent and addictive opioid drug made from the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin was first synthesized in 1874. The Bayer Pharmaceutical Company, one of the largest drug companies in the world, began manufacturing it commercially in 1898.

Bayer marketed heroin as a cough suppressant. At first, physicians didn’t recognize the potential for heroin misuse, so some prescribed it to their patients. But by 1924, all heroin use became illegal under federal law, leading to its classification as a Schedule I substance. This means it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses.

Common street names for heroin include:

  • H/Big H
  • Black/Black Tar/Black Pearl
  • Smack
  • Dope
  • China White/White Stuff/White Lady/White Girl/White Boy
  • Brown/Brown Sugar/Brown Tape
  • Snow
  • Chiva/Chiba
  • Dragon
  • Scag
  • Mexican Mud

Some people turn to tianeptine as a heroin alternative, or to self-treat anxiety or depression. Tianeptine has opioid-like effects and is falsely marketed and sold across the country in gas stations as a dietary supplement. Common names for tianeptine include “gas station heroin,” “ZaZa Red,” or “Neptune’s Elixir” (among others). Tianeptine use can lead to serious health complications and even death, prompting the FDA to issue national warnings about the supplement.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

Heroin comes in many forms, including a white powder and a sticky, dark substance known as black tar heroin. This dark color comes from different processing methods for black tar heroin than for pure heroin. While the powder can be snorted or dissolved and injected, the tar form is typically dissolved and injected directly into the bloodstream.

Most heroin is bitter, but different mixtures can produce different tastes. For example, heroin cut with sugar can taste sweet. Heroin can be completely odorless. When mixed with other substances, it can smell like various chemicals, cat urine, or even chocolate. Smoked heroin can smell sweet — like sugar, coffee, or licorice — but it can also smell like burnt food.

Why Is Heroin So Addictive?

From 2019 to 2020, heroin usage has increased among all people aged 12 or older. A large majority of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids.

  • 902,000 Americans use heroin annually
  • 25 million Americans will use heroin at least once in their lifetime
  • Heroin makes up 4.5% of all illicit drug use in the lifetime of Americans aged 12 or older
  • Heroin makes up 1.5% of all illicit drug use annually among Americans aged 12 or older
  • 103,000 Americans first start using heroin annually
  • 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids

The addictive nature of heroin stems from its ability to enter the brain rapidly and bind to opioid receptors. This interaction creates feelings of euphoria and pleasure, creating a powerful desire for repeated use. Over time, the brain adjusts to heroin requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects. Many users find themselves chasing the high and doing what they can to acquire more heroin, leading to addiction.

Heroin addiction symptoms may include:

  • Lung complications
  • Abscesses
  • Infections in the heart lining and valves
  • Collapsed veins
  • Hepatitis C
  • Cognitive imbalances

How Do People Use Heroin?

Heroin can be consumed in various ways, each carrying its own set of risks. Injection, one of the most dangerous methods, delivers an immediate and intense high. This is associated with a higher risk of overdose and transmission of infectious diseases. Intravenous (IV) heroin use is what causes track marks to form.

Heroin has a rapid half-life of just two to six minutes. This refers to how long it takes for the amount of heroin in your body to decrease by one half. The drug stays in the blood for up to six hours and in urine for up to three days. It can be detected in a hair-follicle tests for up to 90 days after the last use.

How to Identify Heroin Track Marks

A visible consequence of chronic heroin use is the development of track marks — scars or bruises resulting from repeated injections. These marks are primarily found on the arms but can appear on other body parts.

Identifying track marks involves recognizing small, puncture-like wounds or discoloration on the skin. While not inherently harmful to health, untreated track marks can lead to severe complications. Seeking medical attention is crucial for managing potential infections or complications that arise.

What Is Heroin Addiction Treatment Like?

First, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease. It’s not a choice or a moral failing. Addiction often results from dramatic changes in brain chemistry.

Breaking free from heroin addiction is an achievable process with the right support. Heroin addiction treatment typically involves a combination of medication, therapy, and support groups.

There are several components to heroin addiction treatment and recovery. They include things like:

  • Evaluations
  • Medical detox
  • Withdrawal management
  • Long-term therapies
  • Aftercare

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
Often, people start using heroin to self-medicate conditions like anxiety and depression. This is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Dual-diagnosis treatment helps by combining medication and therapy to treat both the addiction and mental health disorder. Without addressing both issues, it can be difficult to achieve lasting recovery.

Behavioral Therapies
A behavior-therapy program is an important part of addiction treatment that helps you change your behavior and adopt new, healthier coping skills. Common types of behavioral therapy used at addiction treatment centers include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivational interviewing (MI). Each of these therapies has been shown to be effective in treating heroin abuse.

  • CBT helps you identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to drug abuse
  • Contingency management provides rewards for abstaining from drugs
  • MI helps you explore your motivation for change.

These therapies can work together to help you develop the skills to abstain from heroin and lead a drug-free life.

Relapse-Prevention Training
Relapse prevention training helps people in recovery learn to identify and manage triggers that could lead to a return to heroin use.

Medications
Prescription medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, aid in managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Heroin Addiction Treatment Options at Aliya

Embracing a holistic approach to heroin treatment, considering both physical and psychological well-being, is crucial for success on the path to recovery. That’s exactly what you’ll find with Aliya Health Group.

During your initial assessment, we’ll work with you to determine whether you need inpatient or outpatient treatment. Many people require residential treatment for early recovery because heroin is such a powerful addiction.

Our heroin treatment programs include:

Inpatient Treatment: Also known as residential rehab, inpatient treatment is required for medical detox. It allows you to get necessary medical treatment and isolate yourself from potential triggers with 24/7 medical support and care. The length of treatment ranges from 28 to 90 days, depending on the severity of your addiction.

Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient care gives you more freedom, but you need a safe home environment and a strong support system in place. If you don’t have these things, you can stay in a sober living home while undergoing outpatient treatment. The different levels of outpatient rehab include:

  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) – intensive, comprehensive care during the day or evenings, involving:
    • Group therapy sessions
    • Individual counseling
    • Skill-building workshops
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) – structured program that allows you to continue working or going to school while receiving help for heroin addiction. These programs typically meet three to five days per week for three to four hours each day. Includes a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and meetings
  • Outpatient programs – weekly treatment while you continue to live at home and go to school or work. These programs typically involve meeting with a counselor or therapist on a regular basis, attending group meetings, and participating in individual and/or family therapy. These can also be a good step down from an inpatient program for people who have completed detox and treatment and are ready to start rebuilding their lives.

Some people continue with therapy or peer-led support groups for several years. Even after you leave treatment, your sobriety will benefit from continuing care. Peer support and continuing to learn will help you maintain a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, don’t hesitate to seek professional help and embark on the path to a healthier, drug-free life.

References:

  • https://methoide.fcm.arizona.edu/infocenter/index.cfm?stid=174
  • https://drugabusestatistics.org/heroin-statistics/#:~:text=Heroin%20Usage%20Statistics&text=902%2C000%20Americans%20use%20heroin%20annually,Americans%20aged%2012%20or%20older
  • https://www.samhsa.gov/co-occurring-disorders
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633201/

Is It Safe to Buy Crystal Meth Online?

In the vast expanse of the internet, where convenience often collides with danger, a critical question arises: Is it safe to buy crystal meth online? While it may be possible to buy illegal drugs like meth online, the consequences associated with doing so far outweigh any benefits.

What Is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth, a shortened term for crystal methamphetamine, is a powerful and highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. Classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, it shares its legal status with drugs like cocaine and morphine. The crystalline form of methamphetamine is illegal, and its production, sale, and use are strictly prohibited.

Commonly referred to as “meth, “crystal meth blue,” and other slang terms, crystal meth has left a lasting mark on popular culture through various media portrayals. This infamous drug has gained popularity due to its potential to provide intense euphoric effects, increased energy, and heightened alertness.

Some meth abusers say crystal meth produces a high like none other. The drug works by flooding the brain with extremely high amounts of dopamine. The high is quick and strong. Very high levels of dopamine can make you feel euphoric and invincible. Users can quickly develop an addiction to meth and tolerance to its pleasurable effects.

Crystal Meth vs. Crack

Crystal meth often is compared to crack cocaine. The drugs produce similar physiological effects, are highly addictive, and typically are smoked using a glass pipe. When not using a crystal meth pipe, meth can also be injected. Immediately after smoking or injecting crystal meth, people experience a brief rush that’s followed by a high that may last 12 hours or more. Crack users experience the same effects, but only for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Startling Statistics on Crystal Meth Use

According to recent statistics, crystal meth abuse has seen a concerning rise, with alarming rates of addiction and related crimes.

  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 0.9% (or about 2.5 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months (2021 DT 1.1).
  • That same study showed that among people aged 12 or older in 2021, an estimated 0.6% (or about 1.6 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder in the past 12 months (2021 DT 5.1).
  • In 2022, an estimated 0.2% of 8th graders, 0.3% of 10th graders, and 0.5% of 12th graders reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.
  • In 2021, approximately 32,537 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine).

While online sales are only a small fraction of the total global drug trade, the impact is widespread. For example, according to a 2016 study, recreational and pharmaceutical drugs were the most popular products sold through online marketplaces. Illegal drug sales generated approximately $27 million between December 2013 and July 2015 in the U.S.

Can Someone Get Addicted to Meth?

Yes. Crystal meth is highly addictive, both psychologically and physically. The drug stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, creating a sense of euphoria and pleasure. However, over time, the brain becomes less responsive to normal levels of dopamine, setting off a vicious cycle of increased drug use to maintain the desired effects. When you’re addicted to crystal meth, your brain begins depending on the drug to function normally. When you try to stop using crystal meth, dopamine levels drop, and your brain sends your body into withdrawal in an effort to restore chemical balance.

The addictive nature of meth often leads to severe health issues, including cardiovascular problems, dental decay (often referred to as “meth mouth”), and mental health disorders. Moreover, the impact on one’s personal and professional life can be devastating.

It’s Never a Good Idea to Buy Crystal Meth Online

While it’s possible to buy illegal drugs like crystal meth online, these transactions are usually hidden on the “dark web,” an unmonitored internet underground and a home for criminal activity. Some individuals may be tempted to buy crystal meth online due to the anonymity it provides or the misguided belief that it’s a safer option. But when it comes to substances like crystal meth, the stakes involved with buying online are much higher.

When you get crystal meth from the internet, you never know what you’re really getting. There’s no oversight to ensure the purity or safety of the product. Individuals who attempt to purchase meth online may find themselves getting fake meth that’s tainted or an entirely different substance altogether. This lack of quality control and regulation means you may unknowingly receive a product full of harmful chemicals, making the already-severe health risks even worse.

Purchasing meth online also supports criminals who end up making our communities less safe. Law enforcement agencies actively monitor the internet for drug trafficking, but sometimes these meth suppliers slip through the cracks. When they do, buyers run the risk of severe health complications, legal trouble, and an increased likelihood of addiction.

Where Can I Get Meth Addiction Treatment?

It’s essential to recognize that meth addiction is a treatable condition, and seeking help is a courageous and vital step toward recovery. By reaching out to dedicated professionals and support networks, you can start a journey toward a healthier, drug-free life.

For those who find themselves or their loved ones entangled in the web of crystal meth addiction, there are various treatment programs available that address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction. Recovery from crystal meth addiction typically involves a combination of medical detoxification, counseling, and behavioral therapy. Rehabilitation centers and outpatient programs offer comprehensive support for those looking to break free from the cycle of addiction.

Meth Addiction Treatment at Aliya

 At Aliya, we understand the complexities of crystal meth addiction and offer a range of treatment options to support recovery. From detoxification to aftercare, our programs are designed to address the unique needs of each individual.

Our treatment centers draw on a blend of evidence-based traditional therapies and experiential and alternative approaches to provide clients with comprehensive care that addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual wounds of substance abuse. Specific therapies and approaches vary by treatment program, level of care, and location, but may include some of the following:

Detoxification: Safely manage the withdrawal process under medical supervision.

Residential Care: Intensive support in a structured environment.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Structured treatment during the day with the flexibility to return home in the evenings.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Intensive therapy while allowing individuals to maintain daily routines.

Outpatient Services: Ongoing support and aftercare for individuals managing their recovery.

If you or a loved one is grappling with crystal meth addiction, Aliya provides compassionate and effective treatment to pave the way to a healthier, drug-free life. Seeking professional help is a crucial step toward lasting recovery. Call us at 888-965-3085 or contact us here.

References:

  • https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2021-nsduh-annual-national-report
  • https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html
  • https://monitoringthefuture.org/data/bx-by/drug-prevalence/#drug=%22Methamphetamine%22
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9649405/#CR96

Is It Safe to Buy Xanax From Mexico?

Xanax is the most widely prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. It’s the brand name for the drug alprazolam and belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Primarily prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, It is possible to safely use Xanax, but this means using it according to prescription instructions while under doctor supervision. While effective for its intended purposes, Xanax carries potential risks, including the potential for dependence and addiction.

A total of 30.6 million adults (12.6%) reported past-year benzodiazepine use-25.3 million (10.4%) as prescribed and 5.3 million (2.2%) misuse.

How Does Xanax Work?

Xanax is often prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. It is an alternative to Valium, another kind of benzodiazepine that treats anxiety and panic attacks.

Panic and anxiety are usually caused by excess activity in the brain. Xanax and other benzodiazepines cause you to feel calm because they influence a chemical messenger in the brain, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Xanax causes an increase of GABA in the brain, which elicits a feeling of calm and provides short-term relief from feelings of panic or anxiety. It is normal to start at the lowest most effective dose and work your way up as you build tolerance and as your doctor sees fit. Xanax also works quickly. Some people feel different after 15 to 20 minutes, though it may take up to an hour to feel its effects. Once taken, the effects of Xanax can last up to six hours.

Xanax can also be used as a one-time medication for certain panic-inducing situations, such as fear of flying or the temporary effects of a phobia.

How Long for Xanax to Kick In?

If you are taking Xanax, it will generally take 15 minutes to an hour for the effects to kick in. Within this time frame, you will start experiencing the effects of the drug. Xanax is absorbed by the body very quickly.  You should feel a sedative, relaxing effect within one hour of taking it.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Many people wonder how long it takes for Xanax to kick in and stay in the body. Xanax concentration peaks in the bloodstream 1–2 hours after you take it. It may take your body about five days to fully get rid of Xanax.

How Long Does Xanax Last?

Typically, the body eliminates half of the drug after 11 hours, but this varies between people.

Get the help you need to begin your journey to recovery.

How Much Xanax is Too Much?

Doses of Xanax usually start at 0.25 mg, and most people receive about 2 mg to 4 mg per day. Studies reported by the FDA found that doses ranging from 4 mg to 6 mg per day were safe for up to one month, but study participants developed tolerance to the substances quickly during that period. Xanax was superior to the placebo in each study, leading to zero panic attacks during the trial period, along with reduced instances of phobia. However, reports suggest that taking more than 4 mg for more than 12 weeks leads to tolerance and dependence on the drug.

With regular use, you may become dependent on Xanax. This begins by building tolerance, which means you need higher doses of Xanax to achieve the same effects as before. Xanax drug abuse becomes more dangerous as the individual increases their dose. You may also experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop using Xanax. A Xanax detox center has a dedicated medical team that can help monitor and lessen these symptoms.

How Does Someone Get Xanax?

To legally obtain Xanax, you must follow a regulated process. Typically, this involves consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or psychiatrist, who can assess your condition and prescribe the medication if deemed necessary. It’s crucial to obtain Xanax through legitimate channels, ensuring proper dosage and monitoring. Online prescription services may be available, but a thorough assessment is still essential.

Is It Safe to Buy Xanax from Mexico?

While Xanax may be available at pharmacies in Mexico, purchasing it without a prescription poses serious risks. The production and distribution of pharmaceuticals may not be as strictly regulated as in some other countries. Buying Xanax from Mexico raises concerns about the quality, purity, and authenticity of the medication.

Potential Dangers

Although purchasing Xanax bars from Mexico is much cheaper than in the U.S., there are several potential risks that should be considered.

  • Unregulated Production: Xanax obtained from unregulated sources may be manufactured in facilities with lax quality control standards.
  • Purity Concerns: There’s a risk of receiving a product that is not pure or may be mixed with other substances.
  • Unknown Ingredients: Purchasing from unofficial channels increases the likelihood of unknowingly consuming harmful or counterfeit substances.

It’s crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to legal avenues when seeking prescription medications. Obtaining Xanax without proper oversight jeopardizes your health and well-being.

Where Can I Get Xanax Addiction Treatment?

If you or someone you know is struggling with Xanax addiction, seeking professional treatment is a must. Addiction treatment centers, such as those provided by Aliya Health Group, offer comprehensive support to address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Why Choose Treatment

  • Professional Guidance: Treatment centers provide expert guidance from trained professionals.
  • Customized Plans: Tailored treatment plans address individual needs and circumstances.
  • Therapeutic Support: Therapy and counseling sessions help individuals understand and overcome addiction.

Xanax Addiction at Aliya Health Group

At Aliya, we understand the complexities of Xanax addiction and offer a range of treatment options to support recovery. From detoxification to aftercare, our programs are designed to address the unique needs of each individual.

Treatment Options

  • Detoxification: Safely manage the withdrawal process under medical supervision.
  • Residential Care: Intensive support in a structured environment.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Structured treatment during the day with the flexibility to return home in the evenings.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Intensive therapy while allowing individuals to maintain daily routines.
  • Outpatient Services: Ongoing support and aftercare for individuals managing their recovery.

If you or a loved one is grappling with Xanax addiction, Aliya provides compassionate and effective treatment to pave the way to a healthier, drug-free life. Seeking professional help is a crucial step toward lasting recovery.

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