Tag Archives: Substance Abuse

LSD and Alcohol

LSD and Alcohol

LSD and Alcohol

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD or Acid) is a hallucinogenic drug which is derived from the Ergot fungus. Acid is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance by the DEA which means it has no medically accepted uses and has a high potential for abuse. Acid is available on the street in various forms. It comes in a liquid state, which makes it easy to dissolve into other substances such as sugar cubes or papers where the user would just have to place the lsd-soaked item in their mouth and wait for it to kick in. 

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Despite this categorization, it does have stimulating effects. Alcohol’s stimulating effects are why most people drink. For some, drinking helps them ‘loosen up’ or calm down which can be a highly desirable effect. In high quantities, alcohol exhibits stronger depressive effects such as slowed breathing, slowed brain function and impaired decision making. 

While a lot of research is still needed on what happens when you mix lsd and alcohol, we can better understand the risks by looking at how the drugs work independently.

What is LSD and what does it do to you?

LSD is an extremely potent hallucinogenic drug. The effects of LSD, commonly referred to as a ‘trip’, vary from person to person but generally, users can expect to experience some of the following:

  • Visual effects: vivid colors, distorted shapes, hallucinations
  • Psychological effects: mood swings, anxiety, confusion, dreaminess, euphoria, bliss

LSD and Alcohol

LSD distorts your perception of reality which is the main reason people use LSD. Some believe that it helps them see the real world around them or see things in a different way. However, some users have experienced a ‘bad trip’ where they would experience very negative and sometimes frightening episodes. LSD is a very individualized experience but it’s possible for anyone to experience a bad trip – even regular users. Bad trips can also lead to Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) where a user never really comes out of a trip. This is not the same thing as having acid flashbacks, rather it is a more persistent disturbance. HPPD causes the user to only experience the visual hallucinations of a previous trip and not the other effects.

LSD and Alcohol

How long does LSD last?

Typically, you will experience the effects 20 to 90 minutes after ingesting the drug and the trip will likely last no more than 12 hours- however some users have reported trips lasting nearly a day. This also varies depending on your physical composition and dosage taken. LSD molecules bind to serotonin receptors in the brain harder than the serotonin itself. This is what causes the lengthened experience.

How long does LSD stay in your system?

LSD has a relatively short half-life, which is the amount of time it takes for the drug to reduce to half its ingested concentration in the body. While body composition and usage habits play a role in the duration of effects, you can generally expect LSD to be detectable in

  • Urine for up to 8 hours after ingestion
  • Blood for up to 6-12 hours after ingestion
  • Hair for up to 3 months

The chemicals in LSD may not last very long in the body, but the psychological effects can be long term and can even last years.

Is LSD addictive?

There is a lack of definitive research. Some sources cites it as addictive and others do not. However, some users of LSD may develop a psychological dependence. Also, the effect of the drug lasts longer than most others which reduces the need to purchase as frequently and your LSD tolerance develops after the first use which can diminish the effects of the drug during repeated use. t’s possible someone will increase dosage because of this, which increases the potential for risky behavior. That includes increased consumption of other substances that might be addictive.

Can you overdose on LSD?

There have been no reports of overdosing on the chemical LSD. However, with higher doses comes stronger trips. At a certain point, LSD can cause you to lose touch with reality and essentially feel as if nothing is real. This can lead to extremely dangerous behavior such as self-harm or suicide. While some deaths occur due to behavioral effects from LSD, the substance itself is not known to cause overdose. Further, with impaired judgment the potential for consumption of other dangerous substances is possible. These substances can cause overdose or might be cut with a more dangerous substance like fentanyl.

What happens when you mix LSD and alcohol?

As we mentioned, LSD is a highly individualized experience which makes it even more difficult to predict what would happen when throwing alcohol into the mix. Some studies suggest that alcohol will enhance the effects of LSD but there is no definitive evidence to suggest that. Given that LSD can cause you to lose touch with reality which can lead to dangerous behavior, mixing alcohol (another substance which is known for impairing judgement) should be avoided. With increased dosages, the risk of each substance increases substantially.

Alcohol is a CNS depressant and with enough consumption this results in suppressed breathing that is also known as respiratory depression. Someone consuming LSD might likely fail to recognize when they have consumed too much alcohol. They likely will also fail to recognize serious symptoms like respiratory depression. This often leads to the appearance that someone is sleeping. Often it’s then missed that they are possibly falling into a coma, overdosing or potentially dying. 

Mixing substances heightens the negative affects. With LSD, it’s possible to eventually experience confusion, a fast or irregular heartbeat, or vomiting among other negative side effects. Alcohol often causes similar effects. Mixing LSD and alcohol might heighten these effects leading to a number of negative health effects or irrational or unsafe behavior.

Treatment

LSD does have the potential to be psychologically addictive but recovery is possible with the right help. Alcohol is highly addictive and one of the few substances where withdrawal can be fatal. Even without addiction, abuse of LSD and alcohol is potentially incredibly dangerous. If you or a loved one is struggling with abuse or addiction to LSD or alcohol, please contact us today.

Resources:

DEA – Drug Scheduling

NIH – Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder

Psycho-pharmacology – Gross behavioural changes in monkeys following administration of LSD-25, and development of tolerance to LSD-25

NIH – My Friend Said it was Good LSD

 

Adderall and Weed

Adderall-and-Weed

Adderall

Adderall is the brand name for a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s use is to commonly treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. As a central nervous system stimulant, Adderall increases energy, blood pressure, heart rate and improves attention and alertness- which is why most people use the drug. Adderall use is pretty common in college and academic culture for its ability to boost attentiveness and focus. A study conducted at the University of Kentucky found that 30 percent of its student population had abused a stimulant such as Adderall in order to enhance their studying. Adderall is a schedule II drug as categorized by the DEA which indicates that the drug has certain medical uses but has a high potential for abuse. 

 Adderall boosts the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. Dopamine is commonly referred to as the ‘feel good’ chemical. It occurs in the body when we do something pleasurable, such as eating, drinking or having sex. It is also released synthetically by drugs such as Adderall. Some people experience this also from smoking weed, which is why they might combine Adderall and weed. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone which is typically released in the body whenever we encounter a fight or flight situation. Therefore it is no surprise that the drug boosts attentiveness and alertness. 

Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Adderall abuse is different than addiction. Abuse is generally considered any use of drugs outside of a prescription which includes taking more than the recommended dosage. Whereas addiction is a chronic disease where users experience compulsive desires to take drugs. Adderall abuse is pretty common with college students. They see it as a helpful tool for cramming before exams. 

Adderall-and-Weed

So is Adderall addictive? It can be. Typically the addiction stems from a previous history of abuse. If the abuse is to achieve a recreational high, the body will build a tolerance to the drug which will require the user to up their dosage. At a certain point, their body will begin to crave the amphetamine. Without the drug, people who are addicted may feel like they lack focus or attentiveness at which point could be characterized as an addiction.

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Adderall has a half life of 9 to 14 hours. This means that it takes around 9 to 14 hours for the drug to reduce to half of the initially ingested dosage. Generally, Adderall will clear out of your system completely in 3 days; however, traces of the drug can last well past that. Certain drug tests can discover Adderall use such as:

  • Saliva tests can detect Adderall from 20 minutes to 48 hours after ingestion
  • Blood tests can detect Adderall from 12 to 24 hours after ingestion
  • Urine tests can detect Adderall from 4 to 7 days after ingestion
  • Hair follicle tests can detect Adderall from a week to 90 days after ingestion

What is marijuana?

Marijuana- also known as weed- is derived from the dried flowers of the cannabis plant. It contains hundreds of chemicals, some of which have psychoactive mind-altering properties such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other non-psychoactive chemicals such as cannabidiol (CBD). Marijuana is one of the most abused illicit drugs in the world, but it can be used to treat some medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, cancer, and mental health issues such as PTSD or schizophrenia to name a few. Marijuana is a very popular recreational drug as it can relieve anxiety and reduce pain depending on the strain taken.

There is a lot of debate over whether marijuana is harmful, and how harmful if so, and whether it is even addictive. Research is limited as marijuana is illicit in most countries, until a few countries and states within the U.S. legalized use in recent years. While marijuana use it not going to lead to addiction that looks like meth or heroin addiction, there is always the potential for someone to abuse it just as with any other substance. Certain studies have shown possible negative effects from chronic, long-term use, though those may also be tied to users smoking tobacco which is known to be very harmful. Further, it’s possible for illicitly obtained marijuana to be laced with other substances which is where significant danger can come in.

Why do people use marijuana?

Many perceive marijuana as a ‘safe’ drug with no harmful impact on the body. While it is much less harmful than most other schedule I drugs, it still has some negative side effects and is illegal in some jurisdictions even for medical purposes. So why do people smoke marijuana? Well, surveys show that “relaxation” is the biggest reasons people smoke weed. Further a study reported that “cannabis significantly reduced ratings of depression, anxiety and stress.”

How long does marijuana stay in your system?

It is hard to pinpoint exactly how long traces of weed will stay in your system as that is largely circumstantial. In general, weed will show up in a drug test via:

  • Saliva up to 48 hours after use
  • Urine up to 21 days after use 
  • Blood up to 36 hours after use
  • Hair up to 90 days after use

This varies by individual factors and length of use.

Mixing adderall and weed

Adderall is a stimulant. However, weed’s properties and varying effects on individuals makes it harder to characterize. For example, some people may feel more relaxed and calm after smoking which presents more depressant effects. However, others may experience paranoia, increased heart rate or anxiety after smoking. Weed can also be characterized as a hallucinogen given the altered state of mind one will experience. While many characterize it as such, some people do not experience such effects. The effects of marijuana use vary widely and this also varies by method of consumption (e.g., smoking a joint, using a pipe, using a bong, eating edibles, etc.).

Adderall-and-Weed

So what would happen if you mixed Adderall and weed? It’s hard to say for the reasons listed above. Some users will mix the drugs in hopes that the Adderall will negate the depressive effects of the marijuana. It’s best to avoid the mixture. Effects can produce harmful outcomes such as shallow breathing and increased heart rate. Further, the mixture of a stimulant and marijuana can alter your state of mind which could encourage users to take risks or express behaviors which could be dangerous. Overdose is unlikely unless the Adderall dosage is high enough or other substances are mixed that interact dangerously with Adderall.

Treatment for Adderall and Weed Abuse and Addiction:

Treatment for Adderall or weed  abuse addiction can be tricky to tackle individually. Both drugs have different effects on the body and mind. Further, both are abused for different reasons and there is no one-size fits all treatment plan. Therefore we recommend contacting us for professional help and treatment if you or a loved one are dealing with abuse or addiction.

Resources:

CNN – College students take ADHD drugs for better grades

The Washington Post – 11 Charts that show marijuana has truly gone mainstream

Journal of Affective Disorders – A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis

 

Adderall and Xanax

adderall-and-xanax-fight-addiction-now

Mixing Substances – Adderall and Xanax

With substance abuse and addiction, it is common for people to use multiple substances. It’s possible for this to include someone using their own legally prescribed drugs, as well as many people illicitly using legal and illegal drugs. Abusing three or more is polysubstance abuse. Often, mixing substances heightens the negative effects of the other. In particular, if two substances are sedatives where side effects are commonly slowed or suppressed breathing this is especially dangerous. It’s important for people to always communicate with their medical providers any substances they are taking to be as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, many people abusing multiple substances do not communicate with medical professionals nor do they fully understand the risks of combining substances. A number of people use substances as a way to cope with problems or to chase a certain “high” they get, and possibly both. Adderall and Xanax are some of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs. They are also frequently abused, with many people dealing with unintended consequences.

Xanax: Xanax Recreational Use and the Xanax High

Xanax is one of the brand names for the drug alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. It’s primary use is to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This is accomplished through suppression of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in the body and it is part of reward and motivation; Xanax works to increase levels of dopamine in the body. Subsequently, people are able to feel calm and peaceful. Many people feel a heightened sense of euphoria, or the “Xanax High”. This feeling is something that a lot of people want to recreate to the point where they begin to misuse Xanax. 

Xanax is a fast-acting drug: it’s processed quickly and leaves the body quickly. The Xanax High that users feel will not last long, which will leave them needing more, increasing the dosage, to continue feeling the same euphoria. It’s possible for addiction to set in quickly with Xanax, even under proper medical supervision. Dr. Philip R. Muskin states that addiction is possible within even the first week of use. According to one study, in 2013 there were 48 million prescriptions of alprazolam dispensed, despite most prescribers considering the misuse liability to be high. Furthermore, the study reveals that withdrawal is severe, even following guidelines, and is more severe than other benzodiazepines. Because of the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, many people are unable to stop use without professional help.

Adderall

Adderall is a stimulant made from amphetamine, which is the parent drug of methamphetamine. It primarily treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It helps people concentrate, and is often abused by people seeking to use it to enhance concentration and performance. Like Xanax, people misuse it for the ability to experience a euphoric feeling. As with a number of prescription drugs, people make the assumption that misuse isn’t that bad if the drug is legal. According to Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, use “…can also cause sleep disruption and serious cardiovascular side effects, such as high blood pressure and stroke.” Adderall should only be used when prescribed and under medical supervision. 

  Side effects can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feveradderall-and-xanax-withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Body aches

 

 

Mixing Adderall and Xanax

For some, their Adderall and Xanax use might start out with a prescription and then turn to Adderall or Xanax recreational use. For others, they only ever use it illicitly and may do so desiring to feel the Adderall or Xanax high. 

Often, people snort substances to feel the effects faster and stronger. With recreational use, snorting Xanax is something some turn to in order to feel it faster and attain a stronger high. However, snorting Xanax, or any substance, is harmful to the human body. According to Time, “Snorting powder of any kind can lead to inflammation of the nasal lining, infection in the lungs and blockages of respiratory tracts and nasal airways.” Just as with Xanax, snorting Adderall is something that users will do to drastically increase one’s performance and concentration. Snorting Adderall may also increase the euphoric feeling (“Adderall High”) that some users seek.

stimulants-and-depressants

Stimulants and Depressants

Adderall and Xanax on their own, used under medical supervision, are meant to help. Still, even used properly they do have a high risk of misuse. It’s important for patients and their providers to take this into consideration. Misuse of substances is more likely to lead to tolerance, where someone then needs more of the substance to feel the same effect. With increased use, this is where someone is at risk for dependence, addiction, and overdose. Mixing substances heightens the negative effects of each substance. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), mixing stimulants and depressants can increase “…risk of death from stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, or respiratory failure.” Furthermore, with illicit use there is a high possibility substances are mixed with unknown substances. In recent years, there has been an increase of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, which further increases the risk of overdose and death.

Treatment

Both Adderall and Xanax have a high risk for misuse and addiction. While severity will vary, it’s important to seek professional, medical help. Withdrawal can be severe, which makes it difficult to do so without proper help. After continued misuse, someone will likely be increasing the dosages to maintain the same effects which leads to more dangerous consequences. A lot of people use Adderall and Xanax, legally or illegally, intending often to feel the benefits like less anxiety or increased concentration. Not everyone understands the inherent risk of using each drug, even with proper use. Because of this, they may find themselves dealing with abuse and addiction without realizing it.

If you or a loved one needs help, reach out today.

FAQs

How long does Xanax stay in your system?

Xanax is a short-acting drug, which means it will enter the body quickly and leave quickly. The effects of Xanax are immediate and can last up to 11 hours. This can vary depending on the prescription and amount taken. It’s possible to detect Xanax through testing for up to a week after use, though this can of course vary depending on length of use, dosage, and other factors unique to each person. The type of testing will also determine whether it’s possible to detect it.

Can you overdose on Xanax?

Generally, overdose on Xanax alone is not common. However, increased dosage or mixing substances does increase the risk, which varies depending on what the effects of other substances are. Alcohol and Xanax, for example, are both depressants that can suppress breathing which is incredibly dangerous. It’s important to discuss with your care provider about how substances interact with Xanax.

What does Xanax feel like? What is the Xanax High?

Xanax works to depress an over-excited central nervous system, which is why it’s so effective in short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. It also increases dopamine, which provides what many call the “Xanax High”.

How to taper off Xanax –

If you or a loved one is using Xanax legally, it’s incredibly important to follow a medical professional’s instructions for tapering off. Even if someone is using it in a recreational manner, it’s still best to seek professional help. Suddenly stopping use can cause severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to quit on one’s own.

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Generally, the effects of Adderall last for up to 6 hours, though extended-release can last for up to 12 hours. It’s possible to detect anywhere from a few days up to a week, depending on the type of test used. This can also vary for a variety of factors including dosage, length of use, and other aspects unique to each person.

Meth vs Adderall: Are they the same? Are they related?

Adderall is an amphetamine, the parent drug of methamphetamine (meth). They are both stimulants and have been used to treat similar health issues like ADHD. However, meth carries a much higher risk for addiction. Because of this, medical use is strictly monitored and infrequently prescribed.

Can you overdose on Adderall?

With proper use, an Adderall overdose is not likely. However, misuse and increased dosage raises the risk. Furthermore, mixing substances is potentially dangerous as they tend to heighten negative effects of the other. Anyone with a prescription should be sure to communicate with their provider if they use any other substances, legal or illegal.

What is the Adderall comedown like?

It’s important that anyone with a prescription does not suddenly stop without a medical professional’s care and instructions. Anyone using illicitly may also likely need professional help. Sudden cessation can cause withdrawal symptoms that include: anxiety, cravings, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

Can Substance Abuse Lead to Hormonal Imbalance – and Vice Versa?

Hormones And Addiction Hormonal Imbalance - Fight Addiction Now

Any form of substance abuse can have profound effects on the human body. While some may recover from the effects of an addiction completely, others may contend with long-term issues or permanent damage.

One of the most overlooked consequences of drug addiction is hormonal imbalance. The human body’s hormonal (endocrine) system regulates many physical and psychological functions, and it is crucial to address the relationship between hormones and addiction in recovery.

How Substance Abuse Causes Hormonal Changes

Homeostasis is a term referring to the state of balance and stability in the human body. The many hormones in the human body all strive to keep the body in homeostasis. Different types of stimuli produce various hormones to achieve this.

The body essentially responds to changes in the environment and a person’s actions. For example, high-stress work environments may lead to higher-than-usual levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Meanwhile, a warm embrace with a loved one may cause a surge of oxytocin, the body’s natural “happiness” hormone.

When a person has an addiction, his or her substance of choice will interfere with the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. Symptoms directly related to medical conditions and diseases are common indicators of a body that has fallen out of homeostasis.

The body must adapt to changing circumstances and foreign substances, sometimes producing unpleasant effects. Substance abuse enhances this problem and interferes with the body’s natural ability to maintain homeostasis.

Eventually, addiction will progress to the point where the person must have the drug in his or her system to feel balanced. This is untenable and invariably leads to severe physical and psychological damage.

Which Substances Are Most Dangerous?

Different forms of substance abuse will affect the body’s hormonal system in unique ways. Hormones and addiction also vary from user to user, so it is difficult to predict exactly how a person will experience the hormonal effects of an addiction.

Drugs that Affect Serotonin

Some substances affect the body’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is the “pleasure” hormone that creates pleasant feelings in response to certain stimuli. When a person artificially produces a serotonin surge by using hallucinogens or antidepressants, the body starts to lose the ability to manage serotonin levels on its own.

Drugs that Affect Dopamine

Many drugs interfere with the body’s dopamine levels, as well. Dopamine creates “reward” sensations, and many people struggling with addiction come to depend on the dopamine surge they feel after dosing.

Cocaine and heroin cause an intense surge of dopamine, and this naturally encourages addiction because of the surge of the “reward” hormone; the individual will seek out more doses to continue feeling the flood of dopamine. Eventually, they will start to only feel dopamine surges after using drugs, because the body grows accustomed to this cycle over time and starts to expect it.

Drugs that Affect Epinephrine

Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is the “fight or flight” hormone that floods the bloodstream in response to dangerous or extreme situations. Many people enjoy thrill-seeking activities like bungee jumping and skydiving to experience adrenaline rushes, but some illicit drugs can also cause a surge of adrenaline.

Eventually, an individual with an addiction may start to rely on regular epinephrine doses for a boost, while feeling drained without it. This ultimately interferes with the body’s ability to naturally regulate fight-or-flight feelings.

Dangers of Substance Abuse-Fueled Hormonal Imbalance

Drugs affect hormones in many significant ways, and it’s essential to acknowledge the risks of hormonal imbalance from addiction.

Some of the most significant symptoms of hormonal balance include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Moreover, these symptoms may cause an individual to delve deeper into addiction or explore “harder” substances for a bigger boost.

Hormonal imbalance can also lead to low sex drive, fatigue, sleep problems and problems digesting food. Over time, a hormonal imbalance will only worsen until the individual seeks substance abuse treatment.

There are many techniques that substance abuse recovery professionals can use to track at-risk patients and limit the risk of relapse. Additionally, substance abuse treatment is the time to address issues like co-occurring mental health disorders that may contribute to addictive behavior.

How Hormonal Imbalance Can Lead to Substance Abuse

While hormonal imbalance is a common symptom of substance abuse, it is also possible for a hormonal imbalance to lead to addiction. Some individuals struggle with hormonal disorders or may experience symptoms from required prescription medications.

Unless they address these hormonal issues, they may try to cope with illegal drugs or alcohol. For example, people who suffer from depression are at a generally higher risk of abusing drugs that boost dopamine and serotonin levels. An individual with depression may also self-medicate with alcohol to quell unpleasant feelings and to enjoy brief stints of artificial happiness while drunk.

Hormones and Relapse

Many people who struggle with addiction contend with the long-term health effects of substance abuse for several years after recovery. In some cases, hormonal imbalance also increases the risk of relapse.

An individual who recovers from addiction may need to stabilize his or her hormone levels with prescription medication or simply by avoiding illegal drugs and/or alcohol. A sudden change may cause hormone levels to go into flux, and the unpleasant side effects of this may be enough to encourage a relapse into substance abuse.

Treatment for Imbalanced Hormones and Addiction

During substance abuse recovery, a patient should not only receive treatment for his or her addiction, but also the physical and psychological effects of that addiction. This may include nutritional support, family counseling, holistic physical therapies and a host of other treatment methods.

Addressing a hormonal imbalance may be as simple as prescribing a hormonal replacement for some patients. Ultimately, the goal of any substance abuse treatment plan should be to address the patient as an individual and develop a long-term plan that limits the chances of relapse.

Fight Addiction Now is a community of people who have experienced substance abuse firsthand and want to share their stories and experiences with others who are going through similar challenges. Visit our online forum to connect with these individuals and see how you can contribute to the discussions. If you’d like to read more about keeping relapse at bay, click below.

See Our Relapse Prevention Tip Sheet

Stimulant Abuse: When Users Take Bath Salts Instead of Cocaine or Meth

Bath Salts Addiction Stimulant Abuse - Fight Addiction Now

The United States has witnessed the rise of several “designer drugs” in recent years – synthetic compounds used to create specific effects. One of the most dangerous of these is bath salts, a crystalline substance that resembles large salt crystals. They can contain several different chemicals, including mephedrone and other synthetic cathinone substances. Bath salts can produce profound symptoms, and cause a host of severe medical problems.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has identified many of the active ingredients in bath salts and banned their sale in the United States to help curb the number of bath salts-manufacturing operations in the country.

What Are Bath Salts?

The term “bath salts” applies to any of the synthetic stimulant drugs containing cathinone, a stimulant compound commonly found in khat plants – which grow in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.). Bath salts are structurally similar to other mainstream stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine and can cause similar effects. They can also produce hallucinogenic effects like ecstasy does.

A bath salts user may:

  • Ingest these drugs orally,
  • Inhale them in a manner similar to snorting cocaine, or
  • Melt the crystals down into a liquid and inject them into the bloodstream (for a fast-acting, concentrated effect).

Brief History of Bath Salt Use in the U.S.

Drug dealers sell bath salts under several street names, including (but not limited to):

  • Drone
  • Meow
  • White Lightning
  • Bliss
  • Super Coke
  • Zoom

The United States poison control centers received 304 calls about bath salts in 2010. In just the first four months of 2011, they received more than 1,700 calls and more than 6,000 by the end of 2011.

This jump indicates the spike in popularity of these drugs between 2010 and 2011. In fact, bath salts were the sixth-most used drug in the U.S in 2011. Most of the calls to poison control centers originated from southern states (Florida, Louisiana, and Kentucky, primarily), but now at least 33 states have been affected.

Several major news stories about the disturbing effects of bath salts abuse may have helped quell the sudden surge of interest in them. Poison control centers in the U.S. saw a noticeable drop in the number of bath salts-related calls in recent years. In 2012, there were 2,691 calls, and then “only” 996 in 2013.

Bath Salts Side Effects and Overdose Symptoms

Bath Salts Side Effects Overdose Symptoms - Fight Addiction NowLike any stimulant, bath salts are profoundly addictive. A person who uses a stimulant will generally feel a rush of positive feelings, including increased energy, higher alertness, improved mood, and euphoria.

However, most stimulants are fast acting, but not long lasting, and the user will experience a severe crash once the effects of a dose start to fade.

Symptoms of bath salts use generally include:

  • Sexual stimulation
  • Feeling of increased focus
  • Hyper-alertness
  • A few hours of increased energy

Depending on how a person ingests bath salts, he or she may experience severe medical complications. For example, inhaling the drug produces a more intense “high,” but it also affects the body more acutely in a shorter time.

Some of the most dangerous side effects of bath salt stimulants use can occur after inhaling or injecting the drug. Side effects typically include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Agitation
  • Fever

However, these side effects may increase dramatically or evolve into worse symptoms such as seizures, cardiac arrest, brain swelling, liver failure, and intense hallucinations.

‘Replacing’ Cocaine or Meth with Bath Salts

Some people mistakenly believe that bath salts are a safer alternative to cocaine and methamphetamine with similar effects. Some drug users choose bath salts because they believe they are essentially the same thing as other, more expensive stimulants such as cocaine and meth. However, this is not the case, and although they may produce similar effects, bath salt stimulants are not safer than any other drug. In many ways, bath salts are far more dangerous than the more recognizable illegal stimulant drugs.

Similarities Between Cocaine and Bath Salts

When it comes to bath salts vs. cocaine, both drugs pose serious risks. As with any illegal drug purchase, there is no way for a person who buys these drugs to know the quality or purity of what they are buying.

Some illegal drugs pick up harmful substances like mold during trafficking, and some dealers may add other substances to their drugs to make them more potent and addictive. Since there are several cathinone compounds used in bath salts production, there is simply no way to tell what exactly a dose contains.

Similarities Between Meth and Bath Salts

The question of bath salts vs. methamphetamine is a similar issue. Meth can produce intense effects very quickly that result in a crash after a few hours. Bath salts also result in a crash and can produce psychological symptoms often observed in individuals struggling with meth addiction.

One major similarity between meth and bath salts is their ability to produce intense hallucinations. There have several documented incidents of people under the influence of bath salt stimulants engaging in extreme violence against others, self-harm and even cannibalism during their delirium.

Understanding Stimulant Abuse

Any type of addiction is destructive, but stimulant abuse often causes the most destruction in the shortest amount of time. A person with a stimulant addiction may have begun their use by looking for a boost to get through a stressful day or to overcome fatigue. As this type of use becomes a habit, the person will start relying on the stimulant more and more until the body starts craving it just for normal functioning.

What started as an occasional habit can easily escalate into full-blown addiction in a very short time.

The destruction stimulants can cause on the human body also happens very quickly. With some addictions, an individual can recover from most of the effects over time. However, stimulant abuse can lead to serious injuries that may entail permanent damage. Bath salts addiction also causes profound psychological damage, which may lead to long-term mental health difficulties.

Learn More About Bath Salts Abuse

Long-term stimulant abuse of any kind can cause serious deteriorating effects on the mind and body. For example, a person who experiences bath salts addiction may suffer organ failure and deep psychological stress under the influence of these dangerous drugs. There is also a very high risk of overdose. Bath salts are powerful synthetic drugs, and users who choose to inhale or inject these drugs are at a very high risk of fatally overdosing.

One of the biggest dangers of designer drugs in America is the perception that they are somehow safer than cocaine, ecstasy or meth. It’s crucial for everyone to know the risks of stimulant abuse and the dangerous effects these drugs can have.

Are You Addicted?

Fight Addiction Now is a community of people with firsthand experience with addiction. Some members have been living sober for years, while others are still early in their path to recovery. Others have seen friends and family battle through addiction and recovery and want to offer support to others in similar circumstances. Their paths all cross in our online forum.

One of the most important elements of bath salts treatment is identifying the problem in the first place. If you think you or someone you know is struggling with bath salts addiction or any other type of drug abuse, try our free quiz to see if seeking treatment is the best next step to take.

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Nicotine, Caffeine, and Adderall: Mixing Multiple Stimulant Addictions

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Nicotine, Caffeine, and Adderall: Mixing Multiple Stimulant Addictions

Thanks to a long history of evolving federal policies and a new health crisis in the form of the nationwide opioid epidemic, more Americans are wary of the dangers of drug abuse than they have been in decades. Despite this increased awareness, however, many have taken for granted that their homes are stocked full of dangerous, addictive chemicals.

This problem is particularly deceptive when it revolves around stimulant drugs. While stimulants like cocaine are highly regulated and difficult to obtain, many legal stimulant drugs, like caffeine, are widely available to the average American. Take a closer look at the data:

  • More than 40 million Americans smoke cigarettes, a regular source of nicotine.
  • More than 80 percent of Americans consume caffeine daily, and many of those individuals report that caffeine improves their mood.
  • Over 1 million Americans are currently abusing prescription stimulant drugs, such as those prescribed for ADHD.

These are just a small sample of the alarming statistics that point toward another potential epidemic of drug use. Yet, this one revolves around legal, yet addictive, stimulants that many people assume are mostly harmless.

Even worse, those who are addicted to these substances don’t have a space to be open about their addiction. If no one acknowledges that these problems exist, those dealing with them won’t feel empowered to seek treatment.

What’s the best way to avoid another national health crisis and help friends and families in need? Getting informed about the reality of legal stimulant abuse and how to treat it is a great first step. This comprehensive resource acts as a helpful starting point for your research.

Prescription Stimulant Addiction on the Rise

Nicotine, Caffeine, and Adderall: Mixing Multiple Stimulant AddictionsA number of clinically tested stimulants approved by the FDA are prescribed to patients as medication. More often than not, these drugs are prescribed to treat types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or given to patients dealing with chronic sleeping problems.

When taken as prescribed by a doctor, stimulant drugs can be extremely effective. However, these drugs also contain “feel good” chemicals like dopamine, which means they have a high potential for becoming addictive.

The most commonly prescribed (and abused) stimulants include:

  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine)
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)

Misinformation is part of why ADHD medication and addiction so often go hand in hand. These drugs are prescribed by a doctor, leading to many people not being fully aware there is any potential to becoming addicted.

As a result, patients are more likely to take more than they are prescribed, allow friends to borrow or try their prescription, or become lax about keeping their medication out of the hands of family members.

The severe symptoms and signs of prescription stimulant abuse include:

  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Nerve damage
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps

Prescription Stimulant Abuse Starts Young

Parents and family members who are prescribed stimulant drugs must be diligent about keeping an eye on their prescriptions. Among the most common ways a person starts to abuse and become addicted to stimulant drugs is by stealing them from their own home.

A closer look at stimulant abuse statistics reveals just how serious the problem has already become:

  • According a survey by Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 1 in 7 young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 abuses stimulant drugs to stay awake, either to study or for recreation.
  • Research contained in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that those between the ages of 16 to 19 are the most likely to start abusing stimulant drugs.
  • Adderall abuse is the most common in young men, while young women tend to abuse prescription diet pills.

Caffeine Addiction Is Real

Though not as immediately addictive or potentially dangerous as abusing ADHD medication, caffeine is another stimulant that is more widely abused than many people might believe. Caffeine abuse is particularly nefarious because the drug is so easy to consume, especially in our food, and most assume that there is no such thing as “too much” caffeine.

These assumptions are incorrect. Most people can consume up to 300 milligrams (about three cups of coffee) per day without developing negative side effects. Those who consume more on a regular basis are more likely to develop physical symptoms and a psychological need for caffeine.

As daily caffeine intake begins to rise and become habitual, so too does an individual’s risk of developing any of the following health problems:

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Additional withdrawal symptoms

The Dangers of Nicotine Addiction

Many recognize the lung and heart dangers of cigarettes and chew while overlooking the threat posed by the stimulant properties in tobacco products. Chief among these is nicotine. In addition to being incredibly addictive, nicotine’s properties as a stimulant make the drug exceptionally threatening in terms of long-term health problems.

Nicotine is particularly dangerous because of the carcinogenic and other organ-damaging effects of using tobacco products. When someone stops smoking, it’s the nicotine, not the toxic additives and chemicals, that draws the smoker back to their vice of choice. That’s why nicotine’s nature as an addictive legal stimulant must be recognized.

Notably, the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting tobacco products are generally associated with nicotine addiction. These symptoms include:

  • Cognitive problems
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular appetite
  • Debilitating cravings
  • Irritability

These withdrawal symptoms begin almost immediately after the last cigarette smoked, reflecting the powerful and dangerous properties of nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal also makes a person more likely to abuse other addictive drugs.

Real Solutions for Stimulant Abuse

Fighting off the dangers posed by stimulant drugs means calling out an addiction when it happens. It can be hard to admit that you or a family member has a problem with dependence. It can even feel silly to look at something you feel is harmless, like caffeine, as an addictive substance.

However, Americans face critical health problems caused by nicotine, caffeine and prescription stimulants every day. Turning around this downward spiral around will take patience and willingness to confront the issue head-on.

Before you leave, we’d like to hear your thoughts on a couple of questions we have:

  • Which of the substances listed in this article should someone quit first? Or should they quit them all at once?
  • If you’ve used all three of these types of stimulant substances before, which was/would be the hardest to quit?

Please answer these questions in the comment section below, or head to our forum to discuss stimulant abuse further.

See Our Nutrition & Wellness Tip Sheet

Can You Take Kratom While on Suboxone?

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Can You Take Kratom While on Suboxone?

There has been a lot of talk lately about using kratom much like an opioid-based drug – either for pain management or for reducing withdrawals from opioid drugs. Since there isn’t a lot of good information about kratom, or its uses, we wanted to research this even more.

What is Kratom?

Kratom – as it is commonly known – comes from mitragyna speciasa, and evergreen tree related to the coffee family. The plant is indigenous to Southeast Asia – specifically the nations of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea.

Kratom for Opioid Withdrawals

Even though the FDA doesn’t see much potential for the use of kratom to relieve withdrawals from heroin and other opioids, there are many people that stand by their claims that kratom is a safe alternative to opioids.

In fact, the use of kratom as a substitute for opioids (simply “opium,” at the time) can be traced back to Malaysia in 1836. It was also used as an opium substitute in Thailand throughout the 1800s. So why is it not widely recognized as a substitute today, when so many are struggling with chronic pain and dependency to opioid prescription painkillers?

There are a lot of opinions as to why the FDA seemingly has a grudge against this plan, but the fact remains that there have been no clinical trials for kratom at all in the United States. Even though no clinical trials are on the records, there are many that have decided to try it for themselves. The results are that many who have tried using kratom as a substitute for opioids and heroin have found it to help them immensely.

Does Kratom Work When You Are On Suboxone?

Kratom users that utilize the plant for opioid withdrawals have clearly stated that it does help to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs like heroin, OxyContin, and other prescription opioids, but what about using it to get off of strong opioid replacement drugs like Suboxone or methadone?

A cursory web search on this subject only yielded warnings from the FDA about kratom use and its possible dangers, but some further digging led to more conversations from people who have used kratom and Suboxone. First, many wondered if kratom would even have any effect on a person using Suboxone due to the naloxone being an opioid antagonist – meaning negates the effects of opioids on the receptors.

The opioid antagonist concern was quickly dismissed because the naloxone in Suboxone is not activated when taken orally. The naloxone is added to buprenorphine in Suboxone as a safety measure to prevent misuse of the drug – primarily, crushing it up and shooting it intravenously. So, theoretically, kratom should work (or at least will have some effect) even if you have Suboxone in your system.

Buprenorphine MU Receptor Affinity and Kratom

The second concern that arose, was that buprenorphine – the active opioid in Suboxone – has an extremely high affinity for MU receptors in the brain. This means that that buprenorphine has a strong pull to the MU receptors, sticking to them tightly. Many felt that the affinity was so high, that the receptors would collect only the buprenorphine first, and not leave room for the kratom to attach to the receptors.

The high affinity of buprenorphine, it seems, is what led to so many mixed reviews and opinions as to whether kratom would have any effect on a person who was already on buprenorphine. In short, most “low grade” forms of kratom had virtually no effect, as the buprenorphine had the stronger of receptor affinity.

The kratom and Suboxone experiences related by individuals who used incredibly potent and high-grade strains of kratom, however, show that the kratom did have an effect. Without a clinical study, it would be difficult to give a definitive answer, but it seems that some strains of kratom have compounds with a high enough affinity to bind to receptors alongside buprenorphine.

Does Kratom Help with Suboxone Withdrawal?

From the opinion of those who have tried kratom when having Suboxone withdrawals, yes kratom does reduce symptoms of withdrawal from opioids, even Suboxone. However, kratom too can be addictive, and cause withdrawals as well. So, it would seem that kratom may stave off withdrawal symptoms in the short term, but you are still physically dependent on opioids. Even with kratom, you are still left with the same 2 options as with suboxone or methadone – use the drug for opioid replacement, or use it to taper down to eventually quit completely.

Learn More About Addiction Detox

The Dangers of Taking Suboxone and Kratom at the Same Time

Now that we have figured out how Suboxone and kratom can both actively work on brain receptors, we need to go over the standard “be smart, be careful” verbiage. Drugs are bad… and very dangerous. Not recognizing the risks and dangers of using drugs is what led to addiction and dependency in the first place – so don’t mess around with chemicals and your brain lightly.

Second, the FDA has made their stance on kratom very clear. There not any current FDA-approved kratom-based treatments for opioid use disorders and dependency. If you are looking to get off opioids, use an addiction treatment program that utilizes MAT (Medications Assisted Treatment) with the goal of tapering you off the opioid replacement drugs as soon and as safely as possible.

Beware of opioid maintenance programs that only have the goal of giving you high doses of buprenorphine or methadone for long-term periods, with no intention of tapering doses or getting 100% clean in the end.

Have you had experiences with kratom? Do you have an opinion on the FDA’s stance toward kratom and kratom users? Share your opinions with others in the Fight Addiction Now community either on our forum, Facebook group, or the other platforms for our growing community.

Get Answers To More FAQ’s

How Beer Fits into Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Beer And Alcoholism True Stories Of Alcoholics - Fight Addiction Now

The most common type of alcoholism is not a sensational, docudrama-worthy lifestyle. It is the average beer-drinking Joe who dulls his psychological pain one can at a time, functioning but eroding.

Contrary to popular belief, many of the cases of severe alcohol abuse and alcoholism do not involve hard liquor or spirits of high alcohol content. Instead, it’s beer. In fact, alcohol abuse is more common with beer than with any other form of alcohol.

True Stories of Alcoholics

Older than the year on his birth certificate, alcohol had robbed the gray-haired man of time. Before he slept in the alley, he had a job, a family, a life. His penchant for mixed drinks graduated to straight liquor right out of the bottle. Now with sallow cheeks and a few missing teeth, the gray-haired man doesn’t think about that life or life at all. All he thinks about is getting more sauce.

Is that the picture you have of an alcoholic? It is the way many people view alcoholism. But this gray-haired man is one of the least common types of alcoholics.

The alcohol in hard liquor is no more intoxicating than that of wine or beer. A standard size drink contains half an ounce of ethanol no matter the type of liquor.

Why Beer Is the Most Abused Drink

Dating back to ancient Egyptian times, beer has been brewed and shared throughout civilizations. It’s an inexpensive form of alcohol and promoted everywhere from sports stadiums to tourist activities. Brewery tours, beer festivals, restaurants, gas stations and poker nights all tout the stout.

Beer Has Fewer Side Effects than Other Beverages

The alternatives – wine and hard liquor – have harsh side effects such as:

  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Irritation to the gums, stomach, intestines, liver and throat

Comparably, beer has relatively mild side effects. When an alcoholic wants to keep the alcohol levels in their body comfortable, the side effects from wine and hard liquor can be a nuisance. For heavy drinkers, this can be especially disconcerting.

Beer Is Easy to Drink

The carbonation in beer is appealing in the way people enjoy soda. Drinking beer can be a pleasurable experience. It goes down easier with fewer irritants and settles the stomach from the negative repercussions of alcohol. The pleasurable feelings and enjoyable taste of the average ale or lager makes drinking for long periods easy to most.

A study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in 2013 showed the flavor of beer alone increased the production of dopamine (the feel-good chemical) in the brain. The taste of beer significantly increased the all-male study participants’ desire to drink.

Beer Is Habit Forming and Contains a Lot of Liquid

Contrasted with wine and shots, beer contains more liquid and can be consumed for lengthy periods without getting as drunk as fast. We’ve all seen people who can sit around and nurse can after can slowly and maintain whatever level of intoxication they desire. Beer is the closest beverage you can find to straight water and alcohol.

Compared to 1.5 ounces of vodka or 5 ounces of Merlot, the equivalent serving size of 12 ounces of a lager dilutes the same amount of alcohol content. For someone with a dependence on alcohol, beer feels weaker and makes it easier to control intoxication levels, maintaining an equilibrium of drunkenness when necessary.

However, beer affects the neurotransmitters in your brain, hence why you lose your balance, slur words and have impaired judgment.

Like other alcoholic beverages, a pilsner or ale would be poisonous to the body if the liver didn’t break it down to useable substances. The liver contains an enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, which does this job. Women are reputed to have less of this enzyme. Additionally, women have less muscle tissue than men. Therefore, they get drunk faster on less alcohol than it takes for men.

Sipping Away to Insobriety

Drinking And Driving United States Statistic - Fight Addiction NowAlcohol abuse is more common with beer than any other beverage. This process usually starts off innocently enough. Beer can be brewed in different ways, but on average it is comprised of 95 percent water and an alcohol content of 5 percent.

Because beer has a relatively mild ratio of alcohol to water and is easily consumable, it is easy to fall into a habit of frequently drinking your favorite brew. Even before the dependency on alcohol develops, the taste of beer can influence people to keep a can or bottle around to sip on all evening.

According to happiness guru Gretchen Rubin, a bad habit can develop in as short as two occurrences, while good habits can take daily effort for 66 days. So, very quickly can people develop a beer habit and spend their evenings nursing the bottle.

As is the way with addictive substances, a tolerance ensues and the individual is drinking more and more to achieve their first feelings of pleasure. Dependency is not far behind.

And when left unchecked, addiction and loss of sobriety become a way of life.

Recovery from Beer Addiction

Through many addiction recovery stories, we have learned that the psychological addiction to beer often lingers long after the chemical dependency is halted. Recovering alcoholics don’t usually have a hard time in sobriety going without shots of hard liquor or mixed drinks. Even cravings for the taste of wine are not as significant as those for beer, recovering addicts say.

In contrast, those who become addicted to beer struggle longer with significant psychological withdrawal. For people addicted to drinking beer, the habit has become second nature like drinking water.

Alcoholics learn in rehab to replace their former alcohol habit with drinking Gatorade or mineral water. However, for former beer drinkers, replacing that beer they always had in hand is much harder to do. The need to have something to drink always at one’s side is a much stronger urge.

Avoiding Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium

An addiction to beer can sneak up on you. Additionally, many people view beer as something different from alcohol, causing heavy beer drinkers to insist they are addicted to beer and not alcohol.

However, addiction to beer is just as dangerous as other types of alcohol addiction. In some ways, it can be more dangerous because of its subtle nature and attributed societal paradigms. Heavy beer drinkers can suffer from alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), a condition causing severe side effects when beer use is abruptly stopped.

To avoid the serious symptoms of AWD, hospitals and surgeons often administer beer to their patients before the patient undergoes surgery or other medical procedures. Many hospitals keep beer on hand to stabilize the alcoholic patient and to prevent tremors and stave off major withdrawal symptoms of AWD.

Doctors sometimes choose to administer beer for the same reasons those dependent on alcohol drink it:

  • It’s easy to monitor and control the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Beer is best for setting tapering schedules.
  • It does not cause many of the negative side effects of other alcohols.
  • It is as close to water plus alcohol as can be found in a drink.

Although it is dangerous for heavy drinkers to do on their own, there are many ways to taper off alcohol addiction using beer. Medical supervision is recommended since alcohol withdrawal is potentially fatal.

Connect with Our Online Community

Do you have addiction stories to share about beer and dependence? How have you or a family member broken the habit? Want to read or share true stories of drug addicts or alcoholics? We invite you to head over to our forum to discuss these and similar topics now.

See Our Alcohol Addiction Fact Sheet

Signs of Codependency, Substance Abuse and Enabling Addiction

Codependency, Substance Abuse and Enabling Addiction - Fight Addiction Now

What Is Codependency?

It might seem terribly unromantic, but Valentine’s Day is a great time to evaluate the health of your relationship. One aspect that can be especially important to those struggling with addiction is codependency and enablement in relationships.

Codependency is defined as an imbalance of power in a relationship, to the point where one person does not have a sense of identity. He or she will blindly support the other person and rarely, if ever, give any criticism.

Typically, codependent people are raised in dysfunctional families in which one or more members are suffering from mental or substance abuse issues. Unlike healthy families, dysfunctional families refuse to discuss feelings, show emotion, confront issues or develop trust. These characteristics make relationships one-sided, creating codependency.

The family member with the mental health or substance abuse issue becomes the energy focus of the family, while the codependent member will do anything in his or her power to take care of them. They are always “coming to the rescue.”

How Does Codependency Support Addiction?

Codependency and Enabling Quote Bryant McGill - Fight Addiction NowCodependency becomes a larger issue when perceived helpful behaviors become enabling to addicts. Since there is no frame of reference for “normal,” co-dependents do not know the best way to help someone. If a family member or significant other is struggling with addiction, he or she will do all they can to prevent that person from feeling the consequences of their actions.

Protecting someone from his- or herself is supporting and enabling addiction. A common example: Child Protective Services visits the home of a family with an abusive person suffering from alcoholism, and the entire family denies the presence of a problem. The person at fault is not held accountable for his or her actions.

Denying there is a problem inadvertently gives a person struggling with addiction permission to continue the destructive behavior. It provides them no incentive to seek treatment.

In romantic relationships, it is important to keep each person accountable for their actions. When you catch yourself making excuses for your loved one’s behaviors, you may need to ask yourself some difficult questions.

8 Signs You Are Codependent

Read through these descriptions and see if any apply to your family or romantic relationship situation:

  • Have a history of living with abusive or addicted people
  • Have a hard time saying “no”
  • Low self-esteem that results in severe indecisiveness
  • Feel guilty when you need to stand up for yourself
  • Fear of being alone or abandoned
  • Poor communication skills
  • Belief that others’ lives or opinions are more important than your own
  • Avoiding conflict like at all costs

OK, Yes, I’m Codependent: Now What?

The first and most important step is recognizing your problem. Secondly, do your research. Changing unhealthy behaviors or lifestyles is possible when you understand why it’s happening. This may involve therapy on your part to understand how you have developed this trait.

If you are currently in a codependent relationship, whether it is familial or romantic, you may need to seek therapy with the other person. With the aid of a therapist, you can recognize patterns in your life, change them and create your own healthy “normal.”

Unfortunately, you can only control yourself. Accepting this fact is a hard pill to swallow for people who are codependent. While you may be willing to acknowledge the changes that you need to make, the other person may not.

When you do begin the journey toward change, you need to make the other person aware. Whether they agree with it, they need to know you are making changes and the status quo will be different. People do not like change, so expect them to be nervous or even defensive.

5 Codependent Habits to Change Right Now

Get started by following these directions:

  • Stop enabling: Encourage treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues.
  • Don’t cover for other people: They must take ownership of their actions.
  • Understand, don’t deny problems: Research, research, research.
  • Stand up for yourself: Express your concerns and your emotions.
  • Stop placing blame: Everyone has their own burdens to bear.

Coming to the realization that you are in a codependent, enabling relationship can be difficult. It is important to understand the problems so you and your significant other can work through them to build healthier habits.

Share your experiences with us in our online forum, where you can discuss codependency, substance abuse and enabling addiction.

Are you codependent? When did you first realize it?
How have you dealt with enabling in your relationships?
Please comment below.

What Do People Worry Most About in Life? Are Drugs and Alcohol the Answer to Any of These?

Are Drugs and Alcohol the Answer to Our Worries - Fight Addiction Now

Drugs and Alcohol and Anxiety

Anytime we as humans are under stress, we look for relief. Some people choose different outlets – exercise, for example. Some of us choose to turn to drugs and alcohol during periods of anxiety.

Shutting Off Your Emotions and Natural Reactions

Using drugs and alcohol doesn’t really help worries; it just helps you shut off your emotions. Most of us already know the reason we drink or do drugs is to escape our feelings and our realities. But deep down, we also know that it only makes things worse in the long run.

What People Worry About

According to psych experts and the studies, here are some of the top things people worry about in life:

  1. Money, Money, Money

Financial worries are a major source of stress for most people. Money is one of the top three things couples fight about. And being broke, wondering how you’ll pay your bills each month, doesn’t leave much dough for fun and entertainment.

“Crap, how am I going to afford that trip to Ireland with my friends on this budget? But I soooo wanna go!”

  1. Sex and Relationships

Arguing about it, getting enough sex, satisfying our partner, fantasizing about what we really want and more – all of these things can cause anxiety. When we’re unfulfilled or rejected, we want to turn to our drug of choice.

“Can I find a boyfriend/girlfriend? Am I with the right person? Will I ever get married? Why do we argue so much? Is my significant other happy?”

  1. Health and Your Body

Body image is a big deal for most people, no matter what age. Women are a little more obsessed, but guys feel it too.

Beyond looks, if you have a health problem, it automatically comes with a great deal of stress. Additionally, there is anxiety in worrying about potential health problems, waiting for medical tests or having a condition that can lead to something worse.

NUTRITION AND WELLNESS PLAN FOR 30 DAYS

  1. Finding the Right Career or Being Stressed on the Job

It’s a common worry that we will never find the right career for us. Most high school graduates aren’t sure what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

We spend most of our week at our job(s), and if it’s not something we enjoy, then most of our life is not as happy as we’d like.

What about the people we work with? Do you have a Frankenboss?

  1. Missing Out on Something

It’s a phenomenon: fear of missing out (FOMO) on something…Valentine’s Day, not going out on a Saturday night, not being invited to a party not getting whatever “everybody else” is getting.

There is a principle called sunk cost fallacy that we all fall victim to. As humans, we have a natural aversion to loss that is much stronger than our desire to acquire gains. This loss aversion makes it harder to abandon something — fixing up a house, playing a progressive video game, staying in a long-term relationship — the more you’ve invested in it emotionally or financially.

So, for fear of missing out on something in our long-term investment — losing rewards in a game, for example — we make decisions that may not be in our best interests. We worry about what we’ll lose if…

The Takeaway on Worries

How can drugs and alcohol really help with any of these things? Sure, there is a momentary reprieve from our feelings, but as soon as the high is over, the same problems are staring back at us – with the added burden of the consequences of a substance abuse problem.

Other Solutions Instead of Turning to Drugs and Alcohol

Here are a few tips for when your worries have you in a rough spot and you’re tempted to reach for drugs and alcohol as relief:

  • Realize you’re not alone! If these are the top things people worry about, it’s happening to a lot of people.
  • Talk it out, write it out, pray it out.
  • See a psychologist.
  • Exercise for anxiety.
  • Make time for yourself. Do something fun that you can afford, like a hobby or hanging out with friends.

You Are Invited!

You are invited to join the discussion! Tell us what you worry about most in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your views on drugs and alcohol and how they relate to anxiety and worries. Get commenting now!