The Relationship Between PTSD and Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you already know how difficult it can be to adapt and cope with your issues. Having PTSD is not just something that military veterans come home with; it’s something that people worldwide struggle with and often have a hard time explaining to others. 

Unfortunately, with all the other struggles that a person with PTSD endures, many will also have to battle a substance use disorder. 

Knowing the signs and understanding how the two work together can help you to find positive coping methods and learn how to control your emotions and triggers to live a more successful and fulfilled life. 

At Soba Recovery, understand that dealing with addiction is hard on its own, and when you have other factors impacting your mental health, it can feel isolating and never-ending. Read on to learn more about the relationship between PTSD and addiction. 

What Is Addiction?

Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a complex condition that changes the way your brain functions. It makes you believe you need the substance to survive. It messes with your perception of reality and can make you act out in ways you normally wouldn’t. When dealing with addiction, you are often trying to escape the reality you are living in due to personal trauma. 

When you are addicted to a substance, you cannot control your urges to use the substance and make poor decisions in favor of the substance. As soon as a substance you are using disrupts your daily activities and you can’t function without it, you have reached dangerous and concerning levels of your substance use. 

Signs of Addiction

Some signs that you or a loved one is struggling with addiction are:

  • Having a disregard for harmful situations, they put themselves or others into.
  • Not being able to go a day without the substance.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
  • Becoming easily angered or upset.
  • Inability to sleep or keep up hygiene.

Calling out signs of addiction with your loved ones can be difficult, but having a conversation about your concerns only shows them that someone is willing to help.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that individuals get diagnosed with after a traumatic experience. People with PTSD might struggle with flashbacks and bad dreams about the event that happened to them, causing them to revert to experience the emotions they had at that moment. It can be debilitating for many and cause severe issues in daily life. 

Things that can cause PTSD are:

  • Military combat
  • Abusive relationships
  • Sexual Assault 
  • Natural disasters
  • Childhood trauma
  • Car accident
  • Death of a loved one
  • Being physically attacked

Often, people with PTSD will avoid certain places, things, songs, and even people to avoid any thoughts or flashbacks. Many people have to fully adapt their lives to live without being reminded of the event, and many have a difficult time coping as it’s like reliving a nightmare over and over. 

People with PTSD can have a hard time separating what’s happening currently with memories, and how their environment is around them in one moment could place them back at the moment they experienced trauma. 

You might notice that someone with PTSD will stare blankly for a while, which can be them rewatching a negative memory unfold and then suddenly snap out of it. 

If left untreated by a treatment program that may include medications and behavioral therapies, occurring PTSD can affect you for a lifetime. 

Symptoms of PTSD

There are a few PTSD symptoms to be on the lookout for; here are some to consider:

  • Having difficulty sleeping due to nightmares or intrusive thoughts.
  • Reliving trauma and experiencing flashbacks and bad memories.
  • Becoming easily irritated or upset.
  • Constant blame on oneself.
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Feelings of irritability. 
  • Suddenly having a blank look in their eyes as they stare off.
  • Avoiding certain people and places or having visceral reactions to objects, sounds, or names.
  • Drug use or they may abuse alcohol.

If you notice someone is dealing with PTSD, the best plan of action is to try to get them help so that they can learn how to cope appropriately. This can be difficult to discuss, but it’s so important and helpful!

How PTSD and Addiction Are Connected

It is actually widespread for someone with PTSD also to have substance use issues. 50% of people who have been diagnosed with PTSD will be diagnosed with substance use disorder. 

People with PTSD often self-medicate because of how frequent and debilitating their symptoms are. Drugs and alcohol might subdue the pain by making you forget the trauma and feel outside of your body for a brief moment, but this is not a good way to cope overall. 

PTSD alters your brain chemistry similarly to addiction, but they work together to justify the behavior. After experiencing a traumatic event, your brain will produce fewer endorphins, and so the way for people to experience those feelings of happiness is through mood-enhancing substances. 

There are many triggers that people with PTSD have that could use substances to combat that feeling.

Both addiction and PTSD are occurring disorders that affect a person’s memory, and when they are combined, they intensify the feelings that one might feel in a situation. Substance use gives people the ability to forget memories that bring them pain, but with the right help, you can find better ways to cope with your trauma. 

Signs of Substance Use In People With PTSD

It can often be hard to see when people with PTSD struggle with substance use because some of the signs are very similar from an outside perspective. Some examples of substance abuse include alcohol and drug abuse. 

There are a few ways you can tell when someone is using drugs or alcohol to a dangerous extent to help cope with their PTSD:

  • If while intoxicated, the person is extremely withdrawn.
  • They experience more depression and anxiety.
  • They might be extremely nervous until they have used a substance.
  • If they are using substances more frequently throughout the day.
  • If they become secretive about what they spend their time doing and withdraw themselves from situations, they are used to. 
  • Arousal and reactivity.

For those dealing with PTSD and substance abuse like drug use or alcohol use disorder, substance abuse treatment, addiction treatment, and counseling may be helpful for your road to recovery. Substance abuse treatments will have you go through a detox period to help you get one step closer to sobriety. While relapse may be a fear, it is less likely to occur with the right program and support. 

Getting Help At Soba Recovery Centers

When it comes to struggling with addiction and PTSD, you are not alone. Soba Recovery is here to assist you through your recovery and set you up for success upon your return to the community. 

Soba Recovery focuses on the individual’s needs, and so for those who have PTSD and addiction, the sessions you attend will be geared towards treating your PTSD as well. We understand that you can’t treat one without treating the other and that success does not happen if you don’t care for all of your needs. 

By evaluating how the two work together for your specific case, we can help to create positive coping methods to practice when experiencing stress. 

Soba Recovery Centers are located in two treatment facilities: San Antonio, TX, and Mesa, AZ; we offer various services, like inpatient, outpatient, and sober living to help assist you through these darker times. You will leave out facilities with confidence that will help you fight back against your addiction and know how to prepare for PTSD episodes. 

There is a treatment option for everyone, no matter what your diagnosis is. Treatment outcomes will vary upon the person and treatment program.

If you have other questions about the services we offer, please reach out to a Soba Recovery Center representative; we are happy to help! 



Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders: Advances in Assessment and Treatment | NCBI

What Is Addiction? | American Psychiatric Association 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction | Dual Diagnosis 

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Your reaction to cocaine can vary depending on multiple factors, like weight, metabolism, age, or even hydration levels, so it’s hard to give an exact answer of how long it stays in your system. Typically, cocaine can test in your system anywhere from two days to several months, depending on what kind of test you are taking. 

It can show up in a blood or saliva test for up to two days, in a urine test for up to three days, and can last for several months when a hair test is done. You might not feel the effects of cocaine for this long of a period, but that doesn’t mean it’s fully flushed out of your system. 

Cocaine is considered a schedule II drug by the Controlled Substances Act because it has a high risk for abuse and dependence. It also has been used in medical settings for treatments, though rarely anymore. If you are someone who has used cocaine recently or uses it chronically and might be looking for some guidance, Soba Recovery Center offers a variety of services to support you! 

When To Expect the Effects of Cocaine

Depending on how you ingest cocaine, you might feel the effects come on at different times. How cocaine gets into your system might also impact the intensity or duration of the high. You can snort, inject, smoke, and orally take cocaine, and each will produce a different onset of the effects

Smoking and injecting cocaine will result in a much quicker onset of the effects, as quick as 5-10 seconds after using, and will last for 20 minutes. Snorting and taking cocaine orally will show the effects of using anywhere from 3-5 minutes after, but the effects can last up to 90 minutes when taken orally. How long it lasts will change depending on who you are as a person, but overall, it doesn’t last long, hence why people use it frequently–to get that sustained feeling of euphoria.

During your high, you might feel:

  • Overly confident
  • Hyper-stimulated
  • Alert
  • Aroused

But the high will come to a crashing end, where you will end up experiencing quite the opposite feelings and symptoms, like:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Dilated pupils and rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

People might try to skip out on these dark feelings by continuing to gain that euphoria once more, only assisting in the development of a dependency to the drug. 

Overdosing on Cocaine

Prolonged and excessive use of cocaine can result in a condition called cocaine intoxication, which can be very painful and dangerous to experience. You might be able to determine if you think you or a loved one is experiencing cocaine intoxication due to the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Agitation and confusion
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Hyperactivity
  • Kidney damage
  • Stroke 
  • Tremors and intense sweating
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Psychosis

If you or anyone you know is experiencing these systems, contact a medical professional immediately to get help. Being monitored by trained professionals is a way to increase your risk of recovery and safety, which is why inpatient treatments are extremely beneficial. 

How Long Will The Effects Last?

Typically, cocaine might affect a person for around an hour, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer. Many factors influence how long it will last in your system. After an hour, cocaine will have eliminated about half of itself from the bloodstream, as it is a fast-acting drug. 

Cocaine will have been metabolized by enzymes rapidly in the liver and blood, which would not be detectable in a drug test. The drug tests screen for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine that is detectable for longer than cocaine. So, if you use cocaine once, you will probably only feel its effects for the next 24 hours, including the comedown. If you are using cocaine daily and frequently, you might have longer-lasting side effects, followed by more dramatic crashing feelings. 

Depending on how you test for cocaine, your results may vary. Different tests can detect either cocaine or benzoylecgonine in your system on different timelines:

  • Blood: A blood test can detect cocaine in your system for up to 12 hours and benzoylecgonine for up to 48 hours. 
  • Saliva: Like a blood test, saliva helps to detect benzoylecgonine in your system for up to two days.
  • Urine: A urine test will probably be the most accurate test you’ll take and can detect benzoylecgonine in the system for up to 72 hours. If you are a frequent and heavy user of cocaine, urine tests can show it in your system for up to two weeks
  • Hair: A hair test can show benzoylecgonine in your system for several months, but that might vary depending on where the sample is taken from. 

Factors that influence the length it lasts

Several factors can influence how long cocaine stays in your system and how long the effects last. These factors are different for everyone, making it hard to say an exact time that cocaine’s effects will last.

  • Frequency: Some studies have shown that the more frequently and the more cocaine you use, the longer that benzoylecgonine will remain in the system and be detected. There will be higher amounts of cocaine in your system if you use it daily, making it harder to flush out.
  • Hydration levels: Water speeds up the excretion process of cocaine, so if you are dehydrated, it may stay in your system for longer.
  • Alcohol consumption: Alcohol can bind to cocaine and slow the excretion process down.
  • Body fat: Benzoylecgonine can be stored in fatty tissue, so if you are someone with more body fat, it might stay in your system for longer as it builds up in the fat
  • The method used: The faster that cocaine gets into the system, the faster it gets out, so if you are smoking or injecting it, it will enter your system and get out quicker than snorting or orally ingesting. 

Getting Cocaine Out of Your System

There are no tricks or tips about how to get cocaine out of your body quickly. Some people claim that drinking copious amounts of water, taking natural antidotes, or eliminating caffeine and alcohol can help to flush it from your system. While the idea behind it might seem somewhat reasonable, cocaine is not impacted by any of these brief and unsubstantiated claims. 

If you are looking to get cocaine out of your system, the only fool-proof way to do so is to quit using it so that it can thoroughly flush out of your body. Your body needs to metabolize and discard benzoylecgonine before it can be free of the drug fully, but if you continue to use it, it will never actually go away. 

Getting Help at Soba Recovery Centers

Quitting any drug means a long and difficult path towards recovery, but it’s always worth it in the end. Cocaine is no different from alcohol or heroin in the way that it can create long-term and short-term issues for those who use it, damaging relationships and putting health and stability at risk. Sometimes recovery means asking for help outside of your inner circle and putting your health in the hands of trained professionals.

Inpatient services offer 24/7 monitoring, different therapy methods to try, and a community of people who want the same thing: sobriety and control of their lives. At Soba Recovery Centers, we create personalized treatment plans that will enable you to become who you deserve to be. You can jump right into inpatient treatment or start with outpatient group therapy. 

Speak with a Soba representative to learn about our many treatment services and what we think would be best for your journey to recovery. Don’t waste another day wondering how you can overcome your addiction. Get started at Soba Recovery!



Drug Fact Sheet: Cocaine | Drug Enforcement Administration

Cocaine Drug Facts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Metabolic Enzymes Of Cocaine Metabolite Benzoylecgonine | NCBI

A Sensitive Assay For Urinary Cocaine Metabolite Benzoylecgonine Shows More Positive Results And Longer Half-Lives Than Those Using Traditional Cut-Offs | Wiley Analytical Science

Cocaine And Metabolites Urinary Excretion After Controlled Smoked Administration* | Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Inpatient vs. Outpatient: How Do They Differ?

When you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, it can be overwhelming to navigate the multiple kinds of treatment services that rehab facilities offer. If you aren’t familiar with rehabilitation facilities and their processes, you might leave your search feeling more discouraged than you anticipated. 

When it comes to finding what you need at a trusted rehabilitation center, the main thing to know is that they will offer two primary services: inpatient and outpatient.

No matter what services you end up signing up for, know that you are completing one of the hardest parts, and that’s asking for help.  

The Main Similarities

The main similarity between both inpatient and outpatient care is behind their intentions. Both treatments are there to help you or your loved ones become healthier and overcome their addiction. 

In many cases, inpatient and outpatient services will be recommended for you to partake in, with outpatient coming after you have participated in inpatient. This has to do with the severity of the substance use that is being treated. 

Both inpatient and outpatient treatments offer multiple services, from personalized therapy, group therapy, detoxification, or medication; all are meant to help overcome addiction. When it comes down to it, the main difference between the two is that you are admitted into a stay at the facility with an inpatient. With outpatient, you will be traveling from your home or sober living situation into the center for care. 

Knowing the differences between inpatient and outpatient makes it a lot easier to decide which form of care would be best for you. As always, if you are not sure and want to speak to a medical professional more about your specific situation, call someone at Soba Recovery Centers to learn more.

Inpatient Care

When you decide on inpatient care, a huge team of supporters might be behind you that helped you get to this decision. It’s not easy to get up and press pause on the life that you live to focus on your health. Inpatient care means that you take a step back from your responsibilities to focus on recovery fully. 

With inpatient care, you are provided around-the-clock close monitoring because it will benefit you the most. The path to recovery is best done with support and care. 

Inpatient care will provide you with round-the-clock care from highly trained medical professionals who, trust us, know what they are doing! While you are undergoing care, you can feel safe knowing that the people taking care of you are trained to do so. Allowing yourself to be taken care of and helped is essential in the recovery process!

The last thing you want to do is relapse, and what goes hand-in-hand with relapse is a lack of self-care and focus. Being inside a recovery center whose main goal is to get you better, you have your full focus directed on yourself and your needs. 

We get that being a spouse, sibling, parent, employee, caretaker, whatever it may be, can be emotionally and physically taxing. You need to focus on yourself to move forward in your recovery, and inpatient care is there to help.   

How To Prepare

When you are preparing to enter an inpatient treatment facility, you should understand that you will be putting your life on pause. You have to make arrangements for anyone you care for, whether it be children or pets, to be taken care of. 

Anything that you are in charge of, you need to find someone to cover for you so that when you come back from the center, you aren’t placed directly back into chaos, expecting to take care of yourself and all your overdue tasks.

It can be difficult, but communicating with the people around you about your situation can help you prepare. You can release some of the stress you build up by simply telling people where you will be and what your goals are. This can help get some additional support from those around you, so they know why you might be asking for a bit more help. 

Some things you should add to your to-do list to prepare for inpatient care:

  • Make sure that children and pets have someone to take care of them.
  • Consider the price you will have to pay for the treatment and talk with providers to understand the financial obligations.
  • Speak with your employer about your situation and being off work while you are in the facility.
  • Pay any bills or meet due dates before entering the facility. 
  • Know what you can and can’t take with you to your rehab facility.
  • Know the rough estimate of how many days you will be away.
  • Find someone that can take you to and from the recovery center.
  • Make sure you give contact information to your family so they can reach out to you at the center and vice versa.
  • Bring a journal or pad to write in; it can help the time go by when you are without your loved ones. 

Everyone will have a different experience when it comes to their recovery and the treatment they undergo. Inpatient is meant to curate a recovery plan specific to your needs so that you will be successful. Not everyone will benefit from the same activities, procedures, medications, etc. 

While all treatment plans usually become individual as you make changes and adapt to your own needs, inpatient care wants to prioritize you from the start so that you have the full support needed to overcome addiction. 

What To Expect

When you arrive at inpatient treatment, there are a few things that you might expect to see: all white everything, sterile labs, metal beds, people in hospital bed gowns, and very harsh lighting coming from the ceiling. 

Wrong! An inpatient treatment facility is nothing like that of a horror movie hospital. Most facilities want to capture the feeling that you’re at your home-away-from-home. You should be comfortable at your inpatient facility because the goal is to provide professional treatment that will help you get out and live your best life. 

You should expect to be on a strict schedule, with around-the-clock care. That means that no matter what kind of care you need—physical, emotional, or psychological—you can get it at any point. You won’t be left alone if you don’t want to be. The staff is trained to work with your needs to make a recovery as easy as possible. 

Things you should be prepared for when at inpatient treatment are:

  • A strict schedule: Most of your days might seem rigid, but staying occupied can help when trying to overcome a substance use disorder. 
  • Daily, if not multiple, visits from professionals: Whether it be in individual or group therapy, you will see psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors throughout your day to monitor your progress and assist you in any way you need emotionally and mentally. Everyone serves a different purpose, and collectively they are essential in your recovery process. 
  • Medically assisted detoxification: The process of detoxing from a substance can be terrifying to think about going through alone, but with inpatient care, you are monitored and taken care of throughout the process. This helps to alleviate stress and make sure that you stay safe. 
  • Speaking with your loved ones: When you go to inpatient treatment, you aren’t cut off from your loved ones. You can carve out time to talk with them and see them (especially if you are there for long periods).

How Long It Will Last

Depending on your individual needs, you could be at inpatient treatment anywhere from several days to six months. The severity of your substance use disorder will affect how long you stay. 

Everyone’s journey is different. It’s hard to say exactly how long you will be there, so that’s why planning is important!

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is often the next step you take after completing inpatient care. Hopefully, the rehab center (like here at Soba) you are coming from after inpatient will have outpatient services, so it’s easier to make the transition. Outpatient services don’t require you to be at the facility but allow you to come back onto the campus and receive continued care during your recovery.

This way, your transition back into the community isn’t abrupt and harsh. Going back into an environment that you relate to your addiction can be challenging and triggering. Having the ability to go to and from your recovery center for services allows you to hold yourself accountable while also understanding that recovery is hard and the urges will be there. Having somewhere that you feel safe going back to will be essential in your recovery.

For some, though, going into outpatient care does not come as a result of finishing inpatient treatment and is the first step that someone takes in their path to recovery. Typically outpatient services are more affordable while still offering professional and good quality treatment. 

Suppose you can’t stop working altogether or don’t have the ability to have your children watched for weeks. In that case, outpatient allows you to take the time to better yourself while also allowing you to maintain everything you need at home. We want you to succeed in all aspects of life, and these services may help you achieve your goals!  

Preparing For Departure From Inpatient

If you are coming to the end of your stay at an inpatient treatment facility, you might still feel like you aren’t ready to dive back into normalcy. Having somewhat of a buffer between leaving the facility and being on your own can help you build better habits with the help of counselors and psychologists. 

This kind of treatment is less time-consuming than inpatient, but you should still expect to see somewhat of a schedule and have a time commitment to it. Sometimes you can reach between 10-15 hours a week spent at the facility, not including time traveled to get there. 

Outpatient treatment does not offer 24-hour support and assistance, so you must have other people, whether a trusted loved one or a sponsor, available to you when you need help. Being monitored closely to having free will is sometimes enough to trigger a relapse, so outpatient helps monitor your progress and sobriety. 

Starting Off With Outpatient Care

If you have finally decided to seek help with your addiction, outpatient care can help by providing monitored detoxification, group and individual therapy sessions, and planning. 

You might be nervous to show up, but you take a step towards your recovery each day that you do. Outpatient care staff are trained professionals who show up every day to help you throughout your recovery, so take advantage of all the support you can get from us!

What To Expect

When you begin the outpatient treatment, you learn ways to cope with your addiction. We know that we are sending you back off into the community at the end of our sessions, where we can’t keep an eye on you. Outpatient services often offer various learning opportunities surrounding addiction, relapsing, coping mechanisms, and more so that you are better equipped to be on your own afterward.

With outpatient services, you can maintain your normal lifestyle of spending time with your family, attending work or going to school. You can learn ways to incorporate what you’ve learned at outpatient into your everyday life in what some might feel is a more organic way. You are never entirely taken out of your life and placed in a facility. Therefore you still have to take care of your everyday obligations. 

With outpatient services, you should also accept early mornings or late nights. Many of the meetings and events will happen at “off” times to accommodate work and school schedules. Staying committed and having the support of those around you can help you to be successful throughout your outpatient services

Comparing the Two

With both outpatient and inpatient services, you will find personal advantages and disadvantages that you may find. It’s good to understand how they compare so you can figure out which service will benefit you most. 

Of course, speaking to a professional who works at one of these recovery centers, like Soba Recovery Centers, is another way for you to gauge if inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for you.


There are many advantages to both inpatient and outpatient, but if you are someone who likes to see it spelled out clearly in a listicle, this is for you:

Inpatient Treatment

  • 24-hour professional assistance.
  • Set a schedule for activities and sessions.
  • Ability to see your family and speak to them frequently.
  • Personalized treatment that can be monitored.

Outpatient Treatment

  • Less of a time commitment.
  • Can be more affordable.
  • Ability to stay at home and work while in treatment.
  • Teaches coping and integration through your current experiences.


Like all services, you might find that some advantages are disadvantages, and that’s okay. You must do what’s best for you, so understanding what you want from your treatment can help to make that decision easier. 

Inpatient Treatment

  • Being away from your family and friends for long periods.
  • Explaining your absence to your employer, which can be very stressful.
  • It can become expensive.
  • Often encourages outpatient treatment services after the fact to help with transitioning back to normalcy.

Outpatient Treatment

  • You have times where you aren’t being monitored, which can cause anxiety for some.
  • Your home life might not be helpful in your recovery as it could be triggering.

Get Help At Soba Recovery

The first step towards recovery is asking for help. We know how hard it can be to get there, and we here at Soba Recovery Centers want to ensure that we make it as easy as possible for you to get the help you deserve.

We offer inpatient services and intensive outpatient and outpatient services in San Antonio, TX, and Mesa, AZ. Our staff are trained professionals who want to help you, so don’t be afraid to give us a call with any questions.

No matter which services you end up taking part in at Soba, you can feel good knowing you’re in the right hands.



Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness of Four Treatment Modalities for Substance Disorders: A Propensity Score Analysis | NCBI

Types of Treatment Programs | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence | NCBI

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, which comes from the seed pod of poppy plants. It is illegal in the United States and many places worldwide because it is hazardous, sometimes causing overdose and often addiction in those who use it. It’s not usually a drug that people choose to start using and is classified as a Schedule I drug. People often work their way up to it, finding it very hard to quit using and recover. 

Heroin is a fast-acting drug, meaning that sometimes it’s not so easy to detect it if it hasn’t been consumed recently. The effects of using heroin can last up to 30 minutes. The drug and its metabolites can stay in your system for up to 4 days. Of course, depending on the test you are taking, you might be able to detect the metabolites in your system for up to 90 days. So while heroin itself will break down, the metabolites will store themselves in your body for longer. 

Quitting heroin can be extremely difficult and dangerous to do on your own, so understanding the drug’s risks can help you make more informed decisions. Monitoring a loved one trying to detox from heroin can be challenging, so placing them in inpatient care is often an easy way to feel more comfortable about their condition. At Soba Recovery, we want to help you understand and learn how to support those struggling with addiction.

Feeling Heroin’s Effects

When people use heroin, they experience a rush of euphoria that is unlike anything else. This sense of euphoria is often unable to be reached without the drug, making it easy to become addictive. Once heroin enters your brain, it is converted to morphine and binds to opioid receptors

Along with an intense feeling of euphoria, side effects of heroin include flushing of the skin, dry mouth, nausea, severe itching, and “heavy” in the arms and legs. During the comedown after using heroin, you will feel slow. You might be drowsy, have a clouded mental state, and your heart rate and breathing slow. 

It doesn’t take long to feel the effects of heroin, and depending on how you have ingested it, the timeline could change. The euphoric feeling will last for up to a few minutes, followed by other peak effects for 2 hours. After 3-5 hours, the high will wear off, but the comedown then ensues. Once the high is gone, you are left to feel very tired. 

Overdosing on Heroin

Street heroin is often combined with other drugs like cocaine or ketamine and poses a severe risk for those ingesting it. The risk of overdosing on heroin is too high, considering that the mixing of drugs, which is very likely, could cause even more of a lethal combination. Heroin will depress the respiratory system and slow the heart rate down, leading to serious side effects like comas. 

If you are someone who uses heroin frequently, you might take more of it when it’s not yet out of your system, causing an accidental overdose. Some symptoms of an overdose are:

  • Very shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Discoloration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Confusion and delirium
  • Coma
  • Tiny pupils

If you have come across someone who seems to be overdosing, call an emergency medical professional immediately if you don’t have Naloxone, which will help reverse the effects of opioids. 

How Long Heroin Lasts in Your System

Heroin is a very rapid-acting drug, which enters the body and exits the body pretty quickly. It metabolizes into 6-acetyl morphine and morphine, which enter the brain and act on receptors that are related to pain suppression, euphoria, and dysphoria. Typically, heroin is only detectable for a few days after the last use of it, but it really depends on the kind of testing you are getting done. 

  • Blood: The 6-AM assay test allows for heroin metabolites to be detected in the blood, though this is mainly useful when testing people who have recently passed or been in accidents to determine if street heroin was used or prescribed opioids for pain
  • Urine: Urine tests are most frequently used when trying to test for heroin in the system. Heroin will be detected in a urine test for up to 4 days after last use, and in some frequent users, it could be for longer, depending on how much heroin has built up in their system.
  • Saliva: Saliva tests are very accurate, but only if you are using them very soon after the last usage. It might not be as useful to use a saliva test if you are testing for a timeline of a few days.
  • Hair: If you are tested for heroin in your system using a hair test, it will show in the results for up to 90 days after last using it. If you are a constant user, it might show up in your hair for much longer than 90 days.

Factors that affect how long heroin lasts

Heroin is often pushed out of your system through your kidney in the form of urine, but it also exits through sweat, saliva, and even feces. Your weight, body mass, and metabolism will impact the rate at which heroin is pushed out of your body and for how long you might test positive for it. If you are unwell, you might take more time to get the heroin out of your system, making you test positive for it for longer.

  • Frequency: How long heroin will be detectable is determined by how much heroin was actually taken. If it’s your first time using it, you won’t have high amounts of it in your system, so it should flush out within a few days if you don’t take it anymore. If you are a chronic user, it can last for a week or more in your system and be detectable by a test.
  • Drug interactions: Heroin is often mixed or cut with other drugs, like fentanyl, cocaine, or ketamine. This can create a drug cocktail of sorts that could be extremely dangerous, especially if you are unsure what the heroin is mixed with.
  • Drug Purity: With street heroin, the purity level you are getting with some doses could end up being stronger than others. These levels will impact how long the drug stays in your system. 

Getting Heroin Out of Your System

Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the process of heroin elimination. The only way to get heroin out of your system is to stop using it. Your body needs to flush out those toxins naturally, and if you keep taking more, you will never be free from addiction. The best way to get heroin out of your system is to join a detox program and ask for support from your loved ones. 

It’s almost guaranteed that they want to see you get healthy!

Get Help with Soba Recovery

For monitored, professional, and dedicated help, visit us here at Soba Recovery Centers. When you struggle with an addiction to heroin, you know just how hard it can be to ask for help, let alone get it. We want to offer you personalized care to fit your needs and help you in your path to recovery. 

Soba Recovery Centers are located in San Antonio, Texas, and Mesa, Arizona, where we have various treatment options, from partial hospitalization, inpatient care and sober living. There’s something for everyone here, and if you are serious about wanting to get help, we will get you to where you want to be! We want to help you, so feel free to reach out to a representative if you have any questions or concerns.



Heroin Drug Facts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

What Are The Immediate (Short-Term) Effects Of Heroin Use? | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Naloxone Drug Facts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Clinical And Forensic Diagnosis Of Very Recent Heroin Intake By 6-Acetylmorphine Immunoassay Test And Lc-Ms/Ms Analysis In Urine And Blood | NCBI

How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?

People who use heroin know of the effects that this opiate has throughout the body, but the effects on their brains might not be so well understood. 

Heroin is a central nervous system depressant that, when snorted, injected, or smoked, enters the body and attaches itself to opioid receptors that work to alter your brain’s reward system. You might get a rush of euphoria when you first use heroin, as it attaches to cells that impact pleasure and pain.

This Schedule 1 drug is highly addictive, and while it gives you many short-term physical side effects, it also has a long-lasting impact on your brain’s chemistry and ability to function.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid that is created when morphine is taken from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. This drug needs a warmer climate to thrive in, so it’s often grown in places like Colombia, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia. 

Heroin can look like a white or brown powder, or it can be black and sticky, which is known as black tar heroin. No matter the kind or form of heroin you find, it will have lasting effects that are hazardous to the longevity of your life.

Signs of Heroin Use

It’s easy to tell whenever someone isn’t really acting like themselves. If you suspect that a loved one might be using a drug like heroin, there are some signs that you could look at. 

Often it is hard for someone who uses heroin to speak up about their struggles because, 1. they might not necessarily want to stop using, and 2. It can be extremely scary to admit that you need help.

If you notice some of the following signs, it might be time to talk to them about what you can do to support them:

  • Depression and euphoria; severe mood swings
  • Hostility, agitation, restlessness, and irritability towards others
  • Possession of burned tools, like needles, spoons, and syringes
  • Missing shoelaces or belts
  • Wearing long pants and shirts during warmer weather
  • Extreme itching and scabbing of the skin
  • Chills, goosebumps, or sweats
  • Regular nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Track marks on their arms and legs

How Heroin Affects Your Brain

Your brain naturally produces and releases opioid chemicals that help to relieve pain. They aren’t going to be strong enough to help stop chronic pains but these bursts of opioid chemicals when you’re in pain help to take some of the discomforts away. 

Heroin is the stronger version of these opioid neurotransmitters. When it binds to these receptors, it releases a surge of dopamine that helps to calm you and make you feel better. 

Once your brain has gotten a slight taste for this influx of happiness, it becomes harder for your brain to release natural opioid chemicals, making it essential (to your brain) that you consume more drugs to achieve this feeling again.

Short-Term Effects

Shortly after using heroin, the main thing you will notice is how you physically feel. You may feel warmth under your skin or heavy in your arms and legs. Some short-term effects of heroin on your brain are:

  • Drowsiness and fogged memory: For several hours after using, you might be quite drowsy and tired. You might also struggle with some mental clearness which can feel like brain fog.
  • Slowed breathing: This change in respiration can be extremely dangerous, as if there is a lack of oxygen getting to the brain, it could lead to severe brain damage.
  • Depletes attention: Constant usage of heroin can easily lead you to be very inattentive. You might struggle with paying attention or participating in conversations as you cannot listen to what they are saying.
  • Confusion: When you use heroin, you won’t be coherent. It might be difficult to converse with others, and you might not understand what is happening.  

Long-Term Effects

When you use heroin for a long period of time, it eventually begins to take a toll on your overall well-being. 

Long-term effects of heroin include: 

  • Blood clots
  • Lung infections like tuberculosis or pneumonia
  • Collapsed veins and abscesses
  • Damage to the blood vessels that lead to the liver, lungs, and kidneys
  • Infectious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV
  • Fatal overdose

Issues in the brain and cognition can also be a long-term effect of heroin abuse. Lasting effects on your brain of using heroin are:

  • Cognitive impairment: When you have used heroin long-term, harmful proteins begin to build up inside the brain.
    Heroin use creates inflammation in the brain which can cause structural changes that will cause you to experience mental decline, memory loss, confusion, and personality changes similar to those in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Deteriorates white matter: White matter, which is essential in communication between the brain and spinal cord, starts to deteriorate when you use heroin for extended periods of time.
    This then impacts your memory and focus negatively and can make things a lot harder to function. Less white matter in your brain can make regulating your emotions, behavior, and stress very difficult.
  • Long-term imbalances: The physical shape of your brain will alter with long-term heroin use. This throws off many functioning systems in your body. Neurological imbalance can cause strokes, infections, dementia, and seizures. 
  • Respiratory suppression: This is when your brain is not getting enough oxygen, leading to brain damage

Treatment For Heroin Overdose

There are ways to help you and your loved one in the case of an overdose. Understanding how to react when an overdose is happening around you could help save a life. 

Having Naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an overdose. Narcan is fast-acting and works by binding to opioid receptors in your brain, preventing heroin from activating them.

Narcan is great to have, but heroin addiction treatment is going to be what truly saves you. Getting help at a recovery center will provide you with the best treatment and set you up for success further down the line of your recovery. 

Getting Help At Soba Recovery

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, you are not alone. You must know that there are ways for you to get help. Soba Recovery Centers, located in Mesa, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas, are here to make things easier. 

The hardest step in your recovery is going to be the one where you ask for help. 

Soba Recovery offers many different addiction treatment programs and services for every kind of individual. Our treatment is meant to be personalized to you and your substance use to make sure you get the help you need. 

Everyone deals with their substance use differently, so it makes sense that treatments for people will vary. We work with you to provide the best treatment possible for you, so if you need to ask a few questions first, just reach out to a Soba representative!

We offer inpatient and outpatient services for our patients at Soba Recovery. You are welcome to stay with us for as long as you need at our inpatient to become a healthier you and those who struggle with using heroin. It can be difficult to deal with the effects of withdrawal, and we offer detoxification services so that you don’t have to go through it alone. 

Getting help can mean you have a chance at living the life that you deserve. 



Heroin Drugfacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

How Does Heroin Affect The Brain?: Heroin’s Effects On The Mind | American Addiction Centers

Brain White Matter Integrity In Heroin Addicts During Methadone Maintenance Treatment Is Related To Relapse Propensity | NCBI

Xanax And Addiction: What You Need To Be Aware Of

Xanax has become more prevalent in recent times, becoming a hot topic in pop culture music and circulating more around the younger, unprescribed crowds. When misused, the drug Xanax can become extremely dangerous and have significant complications. A person who begins to misuse Xanax could become addicted to it quickly, leading to severe issues, such as death.

For those prescribed Xanax, it’s important to recognize the signs of addiction and make sure that you are communicating with people you trust if there is ever an issue. Xanax can be useful in treating you if you are in need, but there are rules to follow to ensure proper use. 

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a drug classified as a benzodiazepine that is often prescribed to help treat panic disorders and anxiety. When consumed, it helps to relax the brain and produces an overall calming effect on your body. Xanax, when appropriately used, can be really helpful in aiding in anxiety and panic attacks, but there is a major warning on its addictive capabilities. Using Xanax that is not prescribed to you can result in addictive and reliant behaviors, resulting in major health-related issues.

Side Effects of Xanax

When you take Xanax, it does not give you a euphoric feeling, but it is meant to relax you. When you take Xanax improperly, it can lead to drowsiness, increased fatigue, memory problems, insomnia, slurred speech, impaired vision, and muscle weakness. It can become dangerous if used when operating vehicles or if you are supposed to charge anything. It limits your ability to function correctly and can be very debilitating if you develop an addiction to it. 

Other side effects include:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Increased irritability

How Addictive Can Xanax Be?

If you are using Xanax over a very long period of time, it can become highly addictive. Like other benzodiazepines, Xanax carries a high risk of becoming addicted to it as long-term use lessens its effect on you. Once you build up a tolerance to the drug, your body will need more of it to achieve the same level of calmness. 

Xanax is one of the most prescribed psychiatric medications in the United States, making it easily accessible. It can be easily prescribed to those who have panic disorders, and if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could be misused. People will go to great lengths to achieve the same feeling that Xanax brings. 

Signs of Xanax Misuse

If you aren’t sure whether or not a loved one is misusing Xanax, there are a few signs that can help to tell. Of course, it might be easier to tell if they are struggling if you know that they are prescribed it, as some people will just buy Xanax off of others without a prescription. Some signs that someone is misusing Xanax are:

  • Obsessing over obtaining Xanax and being in control of the substance at all times.
  • Loss of interest in activities they once loved.
  • Continued use after the need for using it is over.
  • They are acting confused, are extremely tired, or are not making sense.
  • If they use Xanax and drive at the same time.

People are putting themselves and others in danger when they misuse Xanax, and regardless of a prescription or not, it should be taken properly to avoid potential risks and harm to others. 

Risks of Using Xanax

If you have prescribed Xanax, you need to make sure that you are taking the proper amount and following the directions on how to take it. It’s possible to develop a dependency and if you misuse the prescription by not following the procedure, you can then gain a tolerance to the drug. Misuse can happen if you take more than the amount you are prescribed or begin to mix it with other drugs to feel the effects. 

If you have not prescribed Xanax and find yourself taking it, multiple pathways could bring you to addiction. This typically happens in a setting where the point is to become high and feel the effects of various drugs; it’s not usually taken with the hopes that it will help your anxiety. First, using an unprescribed stimulant is never a good idea. Second, mixing drugs that you aren’t aware of the reactions to can lead to negative side effects, including overdose. 

The Road to Recovery

Trying to recover from Xanax dependency can be hard and make you feel alone. We here at Soba Recovery understand that there is nothing scarier than thinking that you are alone, and when you struggle with addiction, being alone is the last thing you want.

Asking for help is the first step towards recovery. You have to reduce the amount of Xanax that you consume in order to not quit “cold turkey” and experience the withdrawal symptoms. Doing this on your own can be really difficult, as you will crave more of the drug, and it can be hard to overpower that craving. Recovery centers are made to help you overcome the addiction in a protected and safe environment by providing multiple treatment options, so you won’t feel alone, and you will have access to trained medical professionals. 


As mentioned above, the first step is to reduce your Xanax intake and go through a detoxification process. This will help you to wash out all the drugs in your system and start fresh. This process can be taxing when done alone, so you will be in the best hands with our services. 


We also offer those that have gone through detoxification the ability to join our inpatient programs. These programs help you to enter back into normal life and rejoin society. You receive therapy, both cognitive and behavioral so that you can prepare yourself for the pressures of relapse outside of the protection of the recovery center. 

This is an important process that we offer so that people aren’t shocked when they have to reenter the community and enter spaces that might trigger them. Our goal at Soba Recovery is to set up each patient for success when they leave our premises.

In Conclusion

Fighting a Xanax addiction is hard. It’s easy to get a hold of, it is commonly prescribed to people, and it allows people to relax. While it can be helpful to those who deal with anxiety and panic disorders, the margins for misuse are so small, and it’s easy to build up a tolerance if it’s not used properly. 

You are not alone if you are struggling with a Xanax addiction. The best thing for you to do is to reach out to one of our representatives to find out how we can help you. Whether it be inpatient services, outpatient treatment, or just by providing some resources, we want to make this journey easier for you.



Alprazolam (Xanax) | National Alliance on Mental Illness

A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal | NCBI 

Side Effects of Xanax (Alprazolam), Warnings, Uses | RxList

Why Meth Is So Addictive?

Trying to get ahold of methamphetamine is not that difficult of a task. It’s a substance that can be made inside home labs and distributed rather consistently, making it available and easier to become addicted to. When the supply is there for the demand, it becomes harder to avoid and say no to. Doctors can prescribe controlled methamphetamines, but illegal versions still exist.   

You might be wondering: What is crystal meth? Why is a version of methamphetamine still able to be prescribed to some as a treatment method? What makes meth addictive? 

We get that there is a lot of stigma around terms like ‘meth’ and ‘crystal meth,’ so read on to learn more! 

What Is Meth?

Methamphetamine, commonly called meth, crank, crystal meth, crystal, or tina, is a stimulant that is highly addictive and affects the central nervous system. Meth comes from the parent drug, amphetamine, which helps treat narcolepsy, ADHD, and Parkinson’s, but differs due to its higher potency and ability to last longer in the body. This is caused by meth passing through the brain faster than an amphetamine would and producing quicker effects. 

Crystal meth produces feelings of euphoria and heightened energy, which in the short term, might make a person feel like they are on top of the world. People use it for many reasons, like to help with confidence or if they are dealing with depression and other mental health issues. Over time, those who use meth learn to love the feeling it gives them, and they don’t want to lose the euphoria. 

Prescribed Methamphetamines

There is an FDA-approved version of meth that helps to treat different conditions and illnesses. The drug is called methamphetamine hydrochloride, otherwise known as Desoxyn. This is a tablet that is taken orally and only prescribed in very particular circumstances. It also follows a strict set of rules on how to consume it properly, and there are never refills allowed because the risk for abusing it is so high. 

Desoxyn helps people with ADHD by boosting attention and reducing hyper behavior. It can help with muscle control which is used for those with Parkinson’s. It’s important to note that while this variation of methamphetamines is legally allowed to be prescribed, this is not what is circulating in those that use meth. Still, it can be dangerous to use this medication if you or anyone in your family has struggled with substance use problems. 

What Makes Meth Addictive?

When you use meth, you get a boost of dopamine that is released to your brain. Dopamine works to help control movement, zero in and focus, feel pleasure, and help find things enjoyable. The dopamine rush heightens these abilities, and that feeling is not one a person ever wants to lose. 

It’s hard to achieve this unnatural feeling of happiness, euphoria, and focus when not using meth, and so to achieve this feeling again, you have to continue using the drug. When you’ve experienced the feeling of meth, you begin to want it again and again, which then leads to major complications.

When you begin using meth frequently, it alters the decision-making part of your brain. At first, your choice to use meth is one you have to make on your own, but after a while, it becomes almost natural, like blinking or breathing. You use more and more meth because your body gets used to its effects, and you cannot achieve that initial euphoric feeling that you got the first time. Like all substance use disorders, it requires a lot of determination to recover, and you often need lots of support behind you to make it through, but it can be hard to ask for help.

Symptoms of Using Crystal Meth

You may be able to tell that someone is struggling with a crystal meth addiction if you witness the following signs:

  • They have become very thin, very fast. Meth decreases your appetite and increases weight loss.
  • They are constantly itching, and scabs and sores have developed on their body. 
  • They are becoming paranoid, easily irritated, and often confused.
  • They are acting extremely happy and overly secure in their invincibility. 
  • Their teeth may begin to rot.

If you or a loved one is struggling with meth use, don’t be afraid to speak up and get up.

How To Get Help

Not everyone who overcomes a methamphetamine addiction will get help from medical staff during their process, but the benefits of receiving help from trained professionals are apparent. The hardest part about getting help is asking for it. Once you ask for help, you are showing that you truly want to change and improve your health. 

There are addiction recovery centers all over the country that help with overcoming addiction safely and effectively. At Soba Recovery, we want to ensure the utmost care for you and your loved ones. 

Meth Addiction Treatment at Soba Recovery

Currently, no medications can be prescribed to help combat the side effects of a methamphetamine withdrawal. Instead, it’s encouraged to join behavioral and cognitive therapy sessions and join groups with others who struggle with meth use. Soba Recovery offers patients multiple kinds of treatment methods to help overcome their drug addiction. 


The first step in overcoming addiction is by detoxing from using that drug. For those who use meth, withdrawal symptoms could look like extreme cravings, paranoia, lethargy, and depression. The safest place to be during a detox is with trained medical professionals. At Soba Recovery, we ensure that you are safe and taken care of while you experience withdrawal symptoms so that you have additional support for the duration of your detoxification. 


Soba Recovery offers residential inpatient care that happens for 30-days so you can focus on your recovery with additional trained support systems. After residential inpatient, we offer partial hospitalization, which helps ease you back into everyday life after staying inside a facility for so long. The process of recovery from meth addiction will be difficult, but you should take advantage of the good support systems that Soba Recovery offers. We want to help you!

Outpatient and Sober Living

You can also use the outpatient services that Soba Recovery offers for those who have completed inpatient care. Our emphasis is on the continued care that you receive from us to help guide you through recovery. We also offer sober living homes so you can stay accountable for your actions while surrounded by a community that wants the same as you.

In Conclusion

You don’t have to fight your meth addiction alone, and if you have a loved one who needs assistance, just know that asking for help is the best thing you can do for them. Soba Recovery wants to help you because we understand how addictive meth can be and how disruptive it is to your life. 

We also know that using drugs is not the end for you. We want to help give you a second chance by overcoming your substance use disorder and getting back on track. You can take back your life from meth and seek out a brighter future with our help! Reach out to a representative if you or a loved one could benefit from our services. 



10 Facts About Methamphetamines | Drug Policy Alliance

Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Methamphetamine and Other Stimulants | Minnesota Department of Health

How ADHD Is Linked To Addictive Behaviors

Whether undiagnosed or not, those dealing with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can find it difficult to find a way to cope with the symptoms properly. This especially happens for those who are not on medication for their ADHD and can result in self-medication or drug abuse by using substances such as marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine. 

ADHD is considered a mental health disorder that can be diagnosed as childhood ADHD or adult ADHD. Some kids and teens with ADHD can be diagnosed at an early age, while some people, including young adults, won’t be diagnosed until full-on adulthood. Depending on ADHD symptoms, some can be harder to diagnose than others.

People with ADHD are more likely than others to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives since there is an increased risk of substance abuse.  Some believe that using substances will help subdue some of the side effects of having ADHD, so it’s their way to cope with their unwanted symptoms. So what exactly links ADHD to addictive behaviors? Read on to learn more! 

Overview of Addiction

A person struggling with addictive behaviors is no longer consciously choosing to give in to their addiction. They are past the point where it’s a choice and instead rely on the substance to function. Addiction is a complex disease that alters your brain and makes it difficult to quit, regardless of the negative consequences it brings to your life.

Those dealing with addiction often struggle with mental illness, are dealing with personal and familial stressors, or have undergone intense trauma in their life that has led to using substances. Addiction can also be related to addictive behaviors such as gambling or betting. Regardless of what it is you are addicted to, the effects of substance abuse can be detrimental to both your health and your relationships.

What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a very common mental disorder that affects people’s focus, activity levels, and impulsivity. It’s often diagnosed as one of three kinds of ADHD: inattentive type, hyperactive or impulsive type, or a combination of the two types.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD that are considered inattentive include trouble paying attention, difficulty listening, can’t stay focused during school or work, having a difficult time organizing tasks, and being very forgetful or losing things frequently. Hyperactive or impulsive ADHD is diagnosed when a person has difficulty staying still, talks a lot, often interrupting others and finishing their sentences, and fidgets frequently. These types of ADHD can be extremely difficult to cope with, especially when they go undiagnosed. 

There is no direct test you can take to know if you have ADHD; it takes filling out checklists, letters from teachers and close friends, medical evaluations, and blood work to complete a diagnosis. For many, obtaining a diagnosis requires a lot of time and money, making it inaccessible to everyone. If people can’t get medication or proper therapy treatment to help with their symptoms, turning to substances that are easier to get a hold of is the next step. 

What’s the Link to Addictive Behaviors?

People struggling with ADHD have an influx of impulsivity and activity which can lead to boredom, restlessness, and anxiety. People with ADHD have problems regulating dopamine and norepinephrine, so it’s possible that turning to substances is a result of that. Seeking out substances as a way to self-medicate and subdue some of the symptoms is typical, especially for those who have undiagnosed ADHD. 

When you mix self-medicating with boredom, this is where addiction can become an issue. For those with ADHD, finding themselves to be bored can be highly anxiety-inducing, and using substances is one way to calm the nerves and become distracted. Over time, a person’s body will not function without the substance, and the addiction will become an issue. 

ADHD and substance use disorder tend to run in families, so if there are others in your family with either of the disorders, you are more likely to develop one of the two in your lifetime. 

On top of genetics, the medication prescribed for many people with ADHD is thought to have an additive effect on people because it is a stimulant. If you take ADHD medication as it is prescribed, you should have no problems developing an addiction. It becomes a problem when you are taking more prescribed medication, if you are using these drugs and do not have ADHD, or are taking them in ways that don’t involve orally swallowing them. People have been known to abuse the commonly prescribed ADHD medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin. 

If you are someone who needs to be treated for ADHD, know that taking these medications as they are prescribed can only help you. Don’t be afraid of talking with your doctor about what it would take to get prescribed medication!

How To Avoid Developing Addiction

The main thing to understand about developing an addiction is that it happens once you no longer control what your body thinks it needs to survive. If you have been prescribed medication for ADHD, the best thing to do is take it correctly. This will allow for the effects of the medication to successfully work for you without feeling the urge and need for substances. Some examples of prescriptions for ADHD include amphetamine, atomoxetine, methylphenidate,  among many others.

Making sure that you communicate with your doctor and loved ones about how you are doing helps hold yourself accountable. Going to regular check-ups with your doctor can help to keep you on track.

The most clearcut way to avoid developing substance abuse as someone with ADHD is to access treatment as early as possible. If you are receiving proper care for your ADHD, you’re less likely to develop substance abuse because you will be less likely to experiment with substances at a young age. Making sure that someone can adequately medicate can help to steer clear of self-medicating later on in life. 

Get Help With Soba Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we at Soba Recovery Center want to help you. We understand that there are layers to recovery, and making sure that your physical, mental, and emotional health are in a good place makes all the difference in your path to recovery. Whether you want to help treat ADHD or stop alcohol abuse, we can help with it all. By seeking help, you can also prevent later substance abuse.

While there are other treatment options and resources out there, include stimulant medications, interventions, stimulant treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and counseling; Soba Recovery Centers has everything you need when it comes to your recovery journey. 

Soba Recovery Centers offer several treatment services, like detoxification, inpatient, sober living, and group therapy sessions. We have two locations in the United States, one in Mesa, Arizona, and the other in San Antonio, Texas. Both are equally qualified in treating your addiction and helping you recover.

To become sober, you need to make sure that you are dealing with your individual needs. For those with multiple disorders combined, like ADHD and addiction, you cannot work on one without working on the other. Whether with intense group therapy, medication, or inpatient services, we want to make sure that you find what works best for you. 

Reach out to one of our representatives to see how we can help you through these times. Your addiction is not the end of your life. You deserve a second chance, and we want to give you that! 



Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Relation to Addictive Behaviors: A Moderated-Mediation Analysis of Personality-Risk Factors and Sex | NCBI 

What Is ADHD? | American Psychiatric Association

The Complicated Relationship Between Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Use Disorders | NCBI

Connection Between Trauma And Addiction

Most people who struggle with addiction also struggle with mental health disorders that have heavily impacted their drug use. If someone is experiencing emotional or mental distress, they might turn to drugs to cope, stemming from trauma. Trauma and substance use often go hand-in-hand, as trauma informs how you handle emotional and mental stress. 

If you have experienced more wrongdoings and trauma throughout your life, there is a chance that you didn’t learn how to properly cope with adverse events as a child. These events can lead to a person self-medicating, which is when they attempt to feel better through substances. Most substances allow a person to “get away” from the reality of their situations, which for some is how they learned to cope with emotions.

It’s essential to recognize how trauma and addiction work together so that you can offer proper treatment to those in need.

What Is Addiction?

Substance use disorder (SUD) is what an addiction stems from. Abusing substances daily, even though they are causing rifts in your life, is what classifies an addiction, especially when you cannot control your usage of it. A person’s brain structure will be altered when they have an addiction, causing intense cravings, abnormal movements, and personality changes. 

You become somewhat obsessed with the substance you are using, unable to stop yourself from using it, and not function without it. Your brain and body will adjust to the substance and accept it as normal so that when you go without it, you will begin to feel ill. Addiction is a vicious disease that controls your behaviors and limits your ability to succeed. Those who struggle with addiction often need support as it’s challenging to recover from substance use disorder alone.

Many things can lead to addiction, making it more likely that you suffer from it. Addictive personality behaviors can run in families, so if you have a loved one who struggles with substance use disorder, you might be at a higher risk of abusing substances you use. Some people become addicted to substances after being prescribed medications like opioids for pain. There doesn’t have to be trauma to have substance use disorder, but it’s often found linked together, which is important to know when understanding you or a loved one’s addiction. 

Let’s Talk About Trauma

When we think of trauma, we often think about a really horrific, gory, close-to-death experience that someone might have. This can indeed be an example of trauma, but trauma doesn’t have to be so dramatic for it to have a long-lasting negative effect on a person. 

Trauma is an emotional response to a horrific event. Different individuals will have a different definition of what “horrific” is. Some people will experience shock, denial, and confusion immediately after the event and might experience panic attacks. In addition, they may experience flashbacks, emotional distress, headaches, or insomnia. You can experience a traumatic event at any point in your life and then develop different issues because of it. No two people will experience the same trauma as well as have the same reaction to it. 

Some ways you can develop trauma are:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Verbal abuse
  • Parental neglect
  • Chronic disease

People learn to cope in different ways, and not all of them are healthy. Finding comfort in substances is often one method of coping that works for those who are dealing with a lot of emotional distress. At least 62% of people have experienced a traumatic childhood event. Still, those who have trauma after trauma piled on top of them are more likely to develop a substance use disorder as there is never any moment for peace to reestablish and recuperate from the last event. 

Addiction and Trauma Working Together

Those that have experienced lots of trauma throughout their lives often experience more emotional distress that they don’t know how to deal with. These emotions can be overwhelming and lead to different mental disorders that require treatment but can be hard to get. When you experience trauma, how the situation is handled afterward can also impact the way that you learn to cope. Finding a way to feel pleasure when much of your experience is related to pain and trauma can relieve and allow people to escape their reality. 

Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of these horrific events. People with PTSD experience flashbacks, panic attacks, and other physical symptoms when reminded of their trauma. It’s believed that if you have PTSD, you are three times as likely to abuse substances than someone without it. 

This is why many people who have experienced trauma end up misusing substances. The momentary pleasure that using drugs has on people is much greater than what they are used to feeling. For some people, using substances is a way to forget about the trauma they have experienced, and for others, it’s to achieve a certain level of happiness that they aren’t used to. No matter why someone uses it and no matter what they’ve gone through, they deserve to get better and receive help for their disorders. 

How To Treat Addiction and Trauma

When it comes to treating trauma-related addiction, you cannot treat one without the other. The two are working together, constantly encouraging the other. Professional addiction treatment is recommended for those struggling with trauma and substance use disorder because they need to be treated together. There needs to be a more personalized approach to the treatment. 

For you to work on your substance use disorder, you must heal from past traumas. This doesn’t mean forgetting they ever happened and moving on from them, but instead finding ways to cope with their reality. By going through cognitive and behavioral therapy programs, you can begin to unpack the traumas in your life and figure out how to make changes. Once you have dived into your past trauma and understood them better, with the help of professionals, you can look into the intersection of addiction.

Everyone experiences trauma and is impacted by substance use disorder differently. Finding a recovery center that works with you can be difficult. Soba Recovery can help make an individualized approach to treatment, offers detoxification methods, group therapy sessions, and provides unconditional support that will genuinely benefit you in the long run. We have everything you need to be successful in dealing with your trauma and your addiction.

Soba Recovery Centers

Soba Recovery Centers are located in both Mesa, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas. We offer detoxification, inpatient, outpatient, sober living programs to people dealing with substance use disorder. We want to pinpoint exactly what impacts your addiction so that we can efficiently treat you

We offer group therapy, individual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and physical activities like yoga and meditation to help treat your individual needs. At Soba Recovery, there is something for everyone. Your trauma should not hold back on progress to be made on your addiction, and they should be dealt with at the same time.

Consider reaching out to a representative to talk about how Soba could be right for you!



What Is Addiction? | American Psychiatric Association

Trauma and Shock | American Psychological Association 

What is Trauma? | Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center

PTSD & Addiction | PTSD Alliance  

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System?

Alcohol affects everyone differently and can stay in the body for different periods depending on what your body can process. The average adult can metabolize alcohol at one drink per hour, but that can fluctuate depending on several factors. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t speed up the process of feeling intoxicated with sleep, coffee, or water. Your body doesn’t consider any of those when metabolizing the alcohol you’ve consumed. The metabolism process requires time to work itself out ultimately.

Alcohol Metabolism

Just like all toxins, alcohol can’t stay in the body forever and must be eliminated. The body does this through sweat, pee, and your breath. Alcohol first enters into your digestive system after being consumed. Twenty percent of the alcohol will go into your blood vessels and your brain, and the other 80% goes into the small intestine and your bloodstream. 

The liver is primarily responsible for processing the alcohol in your blood. It helps to detoxify your body. This happens when the liver produces alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks alcohol into ketonesーalternative fuels that help restore energy when depleted. When you begin to consume more alcohol than your body can properly metabolize, your blood alcohol content (BAC) will rise, and the more you will feel the effects of intoxication. Similarly, the more you drink, the longer it takes to sober up.

Factors That Affect Alcohol Metabolism

Everybody metabolizes alcohol at different rates. There are many factors that contribute to how people are affected, so no two people’s experiences will be the same. Some contributing factors to how you might metabolize the alcohol you are drinking are:

  • Your Gender: Women have fewer enzymes that break down alcohol in the stomach, leading to an overall faster rate of intoxication than men.
  • Your Age: Body composition affects the absorption and effect of alcohol, and as you age, your lean body mass decreases, making you more susceptible to intoxication.
  • Your Weight: Weight is very impactful to the distribution of alcohol throughout your body. Those who weigh more have more space for the alcohol to travel to, which means they will have a lower concentration of alcohol in their system.
  • Your Medications:  There are certain medications that you are not meant to take while drinking, and there are others that warn you of possible side effects from drinking while on them. There is a possibility for adverse effects when mixing a prescribed medication with alcohol, so make sure you’ve consulted with your doctor about the impact alcohol has on it.
  • Full or Empty Stomach: Drinking on an empty stomach means that you will absorb the alcohol at a faster rate than if you had food in there to soak it up. Eating foods high in protein while drinking helps slow the rate of intoxication.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Due to the factors listed above, a person’s blood alcohol content will vary depending on who they are and how much they’ve had to drink. To find blood alcohol content, you need to know how much alcohol someone has consumed.

You can measure your blood alcohol content by doing the following equation, where “r” stands for the gender constant (r = 0.55 for females and 0.68 for males):

[Alcohol consumed in grams / (Body weight in grams x r)] x 100 = BAC

This equation will give you your estimated BAC, but other tests, such as blood tests and breathalyzers, can test for your exact blood alcohol content. Using a breathalyzer is the most common method for police officers because it instantly gives results and is portable. These tests are accurate enough to measure someone’s BAC but aren’t as specific as blood tests. 

Blood tests are the most accurate way to measure someone’s BAC. When in a medical facility, it’s much easier to get an accurate number and cooperation. 

How Long Does Alcohol Take To Go Through Your System?

Depending on who you are as a person and how much alcohol you’ve consumed, it will stay in your body for a different amount of time each time you drink. Different kinds of alcohol can also take longer to break down and metabolize, so a large glass of wine will take longer than a small shot of liquor. 

Blood tests can detect alcohol in the system for up to 6 hours; in urine, and saliva from 12 to 24 hours; and in more extreme cases, in hair for 90 days. Hair follicle testing is highly accurate. This kind of testing is mainly used in court settings. 

If you struggle with alcohol use disorder or binge drinking, alcohol may not thoroughly be flushed out of your system for up to a week after taking your last drink. You have to go through alcohol detoxification for the alcohol to be flushed out of your system. 

Effects of Alcohol Detoxification

The range of alcohol detoxification symptoms goes from mild to severe, and it gradually worsens as each day passes. It can be hard to avoid drinking when your body is craving alcohol so badly that it makes you sick. Symptoms can begin up to two hours after your last drink and last for up to a week, depending on your dependency on alcohol. When going through a detox, you might experience:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Body tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings and distress
  • Fevers and sweating
  • Seizures

Going through detox is not fun. It’s challenging, and without proper support and medical assistance, it can be dangerous to do alone. Someone going through a detox is not in the right mind to properly take care of themselves. The pain and anxiety that come with flushing out your system can be unbearable. 

To protect yourself, seeking medical help is critical during this time. There are places you can go to be cared for and monitored while you detox. This is especially recommended for heavy drinkers because the side effects could be much worse as it might put your body into shock.

Getting Help with Soba Recovery

If you or a loved one require assistance to help flush the alcohol out of your system safely and responsibly, consider getting help with Soba Recovery Centers. At Soba we offer individualized recovery plans to help get you to live a happy, substance-free life. Asking for help can be intimidating, but we want to make it as easy as possible. We offer in-patient residential programs, detoxification programs, outpatient programs, sober living, and group therapy, so you’ll be sure to find the right program for you. 

Our locations are in Mesa, AZ, and San Antonio, TX. Reach out to a representative today to learn more about how we can be of service to you. You deserve to get the help you need!




Factors That Affect How Alcohol is Absorbed & Metabolized | Stanford University

Widmark Formula: Steps for Calculating BAC | Wisconsin State Public Defenders