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Why Is Meth So Addictive?

Meth, also known as methamphetamine, crystal meth, ice, crystal, and glass, is a highly addictive drug. Classified as a stimulant, central nervous system, synthetic drug, meth takes control of the brain and the body in a powerful way.

Meth Is A Synthetic

There is no one formula for crystal meth. One thousand or more formulas for meth might exist. Meth is not sourced from a natural source in any way, meaning there isn’t one part of meth that is natural. Heroin, for example, can be filled with chemical additives and other drugs, but will still have at least one part natural opium sourced from the poppy plant which produces it. Meth is a combination of chemicals often referred to as “the kitchen sink”. Since the pursuit of meth is a constant challenge for enforcement agencies, people who manufacture the drug are constantly evading the law. Changing formulas mean that the drug is changing as well. Synthetic substances are unpredictable because of their changing formulas. Volatile chemical reactions to create meth can create even more violent reactions in the person who takes it.

Meth Is A Stimulant

Stimulant drugs speed the brain and the body up to a high pace, stimulating the brain and the heart. Hallucinations, wild imagination, alertness, attention, and endless energy become enticing with meth use. Stimulant drugs produce a high amount of dopamine, the neurotransmitter which is responsible for creating feelings of pleasure. Euphoric sensations are extremely high in meth, and produced at high amounts. After just one or two uses of meth, one can feel effects of withdrawal or cravings. As a stimulant, meth is abused to help people stay awake, sexually active, and productive for long periods of time. Combining the neurochemical response with rewards- whatever is achieved by staying high on meth, makes it a very addictive drug.

Meth Is A Central Nervous System Substance

Central nervous system substances enter into the bloodstream more quickly than other substances because they hit the central nervous system first. Connecting the nervous system throughout the entire body, once meth is ingested it has an instantaneous effect. Getting high in a more impactful way more quickly is alluring to addicts.

Recovery from meth addiction is possible. Meth addiction can feel like a wild roller coaster ride you can’t get off of. If you are struggling with meth addiction, there is hope. Call Enlightened Solutions today for information on our treatment programs for meth addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. 833-801-5483.


Coffee and Caffeine in Recovery

Coffee and early recovery from drug and alcohol addiction seem to go hand in hand. Indeed, almost every gathering for a 12 step fellowship meeting includes the presence of coffee. If there is not a cup of coffee in hand, there is a caffeinated energy drink. Acting as a natural stimulant, coffee helps recovering addicts and alcoholics cope with the absence of other powerful stimuli. For some, however, coffee can be equally as triggering. Those who have abused stimulants in their past are at risk for becoming overly dependent on caffeine, experiencing euphoric recall.

While coffee has many positive benefits, such as being one of the most potent natural antioxidants, it can create adverse effects as well.

Adverse Effects of Coffee

Addictive

Stimulant

Causes exhaustion

Fatigue, Adrenal Fatigue

Heart palpitations

Dehydrating

Interfere with mood

Withdrawal Symptoms

Dependency

Hormone Imbalance

Generally, for recovery, coffee is not frowned upon. However, many residential inpatient treatment facilities will prohibit energy drinks and may even only offer decaf coffee- with or without the availability of sugar. During the first 30 days of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, the brain is at it’s most vulnerable for experiencing cravings and withdrawal. Caffeine can exacerbate this process. Additionally, being reliant upon coffee can prolong the process of being dependent upon external substances for mood, focus, and coping.

Coming Off Coffee

Regular coffee drinkers who are in “need” of that first cup (and afternoon cup) will require a tapering off process to eliminate coffee from their diet. Attempting to remove coffee and quit “cold turkey” can result in symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms from coffee can include: headache, anxiety, cravings for coffee, erratic emotions, confused appetite. Begin by limiting the amount of coffee consumed each day. Gradually, replace coffee with herbal teas like green or black tea. If the goal is to remove the caffeine entirely, switch to non-caffeinated teas or hot water with lemon and honey. Drinking adequate water is critical, helping the body to sustain the ‘detox’ and hydrate it after dehydration. Though the mind might be resting, plan to incorporate extra rest for at least a week. Also include exercise and mindfulness based practices like meditation or yoga. Holistic and alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture can help open the natural energy channels in the body to aid in the flow of caffeine detox.

Enlightened Solutions offers a program based in holistic healing as a mind, body, and spiritual approach to treating drug addiction and alcoholism. Recovery is about freeing yourself from all aspects of suffering in your life. Find hope and a solution for the problem of addiction with us. For more information call 833-801-5483.


Commonly Abused Substances

Synthetics

Synthetic drugs are the most difficult to regulate by law enforcement officials, medical doctors, and psychologists. Synthetic drugs are not traceable to a plant or particular chemical like many other drugs. Instead, synthetic drugs or “designer” drugs are made, quite literally, with everything under the kitchen sink. As a result, determining how the drug will effect the brain and body is unpredictable. Synthetic drugs are powerful stimulants, creating a fast and furious high and almost instantaneous dependency. Generally the effects and symptoms of Synthetic drug abuse include:

Paranoia

Rapid heart rate

Overheating

Slurred speech

Irrational thoughts

Fear of being chased by evil forces

“Superhuman” strength

 

Methamphetamines

Crystal Meth is a highly abused stimulant and synthetic drug. Also known as “ice” or “glass” the crystal like shards are smoked or injected. Meth is abused for its stimulant properties, causing people to stay awake for as long as ten days. Effects and symptoms of meth abuse include:

Dilated pupil

Suppressed appetite

Erratic behavior

Insomnia

Focus on picking the skin

Paranoia

Rapid weight loss

 

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance, contributing to high numbers of death and alcohol-related injury each year. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks per sitting, which is about two hours. Drinking abusively can impair basic cognitive and motor functions, judgment, and thinking. Alcohol damages the liver, brain, and body. Effects and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

Incoherence

Blackout

Slurred Speech

Poor Judgment

Vomiting

Imbalance, or stumbling

Needing more alcohol or not knowing one’s limits

 

Stimulants

Cocaine is the most popularly abused stimulant drug. Crack and other amphetamine drugs like Adderall and drugs used for studying are popular as well. Stimulant drugs work with the central nervous system, quickly accessing the brain and putting into hyper speed mode. Cocaine can cause in overdose with just one hit while other amphetamines taken in large quantities can cause heart complications. Effects and symptoms of stimulant abuse include:

Hyper focus

Ability to stay up all night

Maximized productivity

Jittery behavior

Suppressed appetite

Irritability

Aggression

 

Opioids

In 2014 approximately 28,000 Americans died from overdose on opioids including heroin and prescription painkillers. Opioid overdose is caused by respiratory depression, the slowing of the heart until it stops. Opioids are highly addicting, but through subtle means like chronic pain treatment. Opioids create euphoric sensation through muscle relaxation and feelings of warmness. Dependency on opioids result in brutal withdrawal symptoms, causing a need to continue using the drugs just to avoid the withdrawal. Effects and Symptoms of opioid abuse include:

“Nodding out” or falling asleep frequently

Slowed movement, or doing nothing at all

Rapid weight loss

Change in skin pigment and elasticity

Irritability when not on the drug

Constipation

“Pinholed” pupils

Severe symptoms of withdrawal

 

Benzodiazepines

Introduced in the 1950’s as “mommy’s little helper” benzodiazepines became famous for “taking the edge off”. Famous brands like Valium and Xanax are prescribed to help cope with anxiety. Though marketed as non-dependency forming, regular users of these drugs experience immediate symptoms of withdrawal when they miss a dose. Abusing Xanax can result in euphoric sensation similar to opioids. Effects and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse includes:

Slow movements

Shallow breathing

Loss of judgment for physical pain

 

Enlightened Solutions offers hope and healing for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our doors are open to men and women seeking holistic, 12 step based treatment. If you are concerned you or a loved one are suffering from problems with drugs or alcohol, call us today. We have a solution. 833-801-5483.