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. 

Detoxification

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. 

Inpatient

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.

 

Sources:

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. 

Detoxification

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. 

Inpatient

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. 

 

Sources:

10 Facts About Methamphetamines | Drug Policy Alliance

Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Methamphetamine and Other Stimulants | Minnesota Department of Health

Drug Cocktails: What Is It And What Are The Risks?

For people who use substances regularly, there comes a time when you begin trying out new ways to feel high or intoxicated. You might use marijuana and alcohol simultaneously or cocaine and Xanax just to see what it might feel like. Mixing substances can be extremely dangerous because you never know how the combination of the two substances will react to each other. There is a risk for fatality when combining substances, so it’s not recommended to partake in.

What Is A Drug Cocktail?

A “drug cocktail” is when a person begins using more than one substance simultaneously to achieve a greater high. Drug cocktails can be a combination of many substances, including prescribed medications. You never know how the combination of two drugs will react to one another. For example, taking marijuana can induce anxiety, while cocaine can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Most fatal overdoses are caused by the use of more than one substance. It’s unclear how the mixing of two substances will affect each individual’s body. This can cause many different problems for a person. Not being in control is one thing, but knowingly adding other substances to the mix is looking for a problem.

Risks of Combining Drugs

The major risk of combining drugs is death. While some mixtures have known side effects because they are commonly used, you can’t be sure that you won’t have a very negative reaction to the combination. Because illegal drugs are not intended to be mixed, there is less understanding of how they react to each other. Because each individual is different, you might react differently than someone you know using the same combination.

Many combinations can occur like some in the below list:

Alcohol and Marijuana

With the increased legalization of marijuana in the United States, more research is beginning to be done on the effects of mixing both marijuana and alcohol together.

Some of the side effects that come from combining the two include:

  • Suffering Alcohol Poisoning or Overdosing: An overdose from alcohol can be severe and sometimes fatal. There is an increased risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning or overdosing when using marijuana and alcohol together.
  • Decreased Judgement: When under the influence of one substance, your judgment is impaired. Mixing two substances such as alcohol and marijuana can reduce one’s ability to reason.
  • Inability to Vomit: Marijuana works as an antiemetic, which is a drug that is effective in reducing nausea and limiting vomit. This means that when combined with alcohol, it is harder to expel the alcohol in your system through the act of vomiting.
    When experiencing an alcohol overdose or high level of intoxication, it can be helpful to vomit to get some of the alcohol straight out of your system. Mixing the two substances can limit your ability to do this.

Alcohol and Cocaine

Mixing alcohol and cocaine brings two different kinds of feelings into effect. Cocaine is a stimulant drug, and some effects of it are:

  • High energy and mental focus
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Insomnia and restlessness

Alcohol is a depressant that is used for opposite effects of cocaine, such as:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Sleepiness and confusion

These drugs can be used together to “cancel” each other out. Someone who is a user of alcohol might want to boost their energy for the night and sees cocaine as a quick way to accomplish this. Using cocaine and alcohol creates cocaethylene (CE), which is a product that is stronger than cocaine and alcohol alone. Cocaethylene increases toxicity to the liver and heart and can cause a sudden stroke.

Cocaine and Marijuana

The combination of cocaine and marijuana can cause a heightened feeling of euphoria. Using marijuana and cocaine together increases the risk for an accidental cocaine overdose. This is because cocaine constricts blood vessels while marijuana prevents blood vessels from constricting, which means that cocaine will enter the blood much faster.

Using marijuana can slow down time and make you forgetful, so you might end up taking more cocaine than intended. This means you will end up consuming dangerous amounts of cocaine because you have less control over yourself and your decisions.

Heroin and Cocaine

This combination of heroin and cocaine together is also known as a “speedball.” This is said to elicit a more intense feeling of intoxication. People believe that using them together will negate the other, but this is false. Mixing these two is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Some side effects you might experience when “speedballing” are:

  • Confusion or incoherence
  • Mental impairment
  • Uncontrolled sporadic movements

More severe side effects are:

  • Stroke
  • Aneurysms
  • Respiratory failure

How To Get Help If You’ve Mixed Drugs

Using multiple drugs at once is more likely to result in overdose or death. If you or a loved one is using multiple drugs at one time, you are putting yourself at serious risk. Dealing with the side effects that mixing drugs come with by yourself can induce anxiety and paranoia and be potentially fatal. If you have mixed substances and you do not feel well, you should seek medical attention. Let those around you know that you are struggling so you can not suffer alone.

Drug Cocktails With Soba Recovery

If you or a loved one are at risk for mixing substances, you should seek help at Soba Recovery Centers. Soba Recovery offers individual recovery plans so that your specific needs are met. Whether you need to go through a detoxification program or if you would like to learn more about sober living, we have what you need.

We want to offer you the best care possible. We start with an intake to see where you stand with substances and to help determine what kind of help we can provide you with. For some people, their living situation does not have an environment that supports the healing process and would need to remove themselves entirely. We offer  inpatient residential programs so that you can be monitored and cared for around the clock by medical professionals. If you feel you can’t commit to inpatient care, we offer intensive outpatient programs tailored to your individual needs. And you don’t need to worry about leaving your family or home to move forward on your path to recovery.

Soba Recovery Center has two locations: Mesa, Ariz., and  San Antonio, Texas. Reach out to a Soba representative to learn how we can help you. Everyone deserves the help they need, and if you’re struggling, asking for it can be the hardest part. Just know that at Soba Recovery, we’re dedicated to improving your health and helping you gain control of your life for ultimate happiness.

 

Sources:

Forensic Drug Profile: Cocaethylene | NCBI

Dangers Of Mixing Drugs | Government of South Australia

What are the effects of mixing marijuana with alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs? | CDC

How Your Eyes Look on Drugs

Substance abuse impacts your eyesight and vision.

Alcohol and Cocaine, THC, hallucinogens and a myriad of synthetic drugs have been scientifically documented to cause nausea, moodiness, sleepiness, unsteadiness, and aggression. They are also harmful to your eyes too. The abuse of these substances has scientifically proven to cause eye strain, cataracts, vision blurriness, in addition to temporary and permanent blindness, induce nausea, moodiness, sleepiness, unsteadiness, and aggression.

Cigarette Smoking

Cigarette smoking can injure your cataracts which affect the crystalline lenses of your eyes. Your Cataracts is a space of your eye that makes up 1/3 of the images that the brain develops by focusing light onto the retina.

How your eyes look on Dextromethorphan

The abuse of Dextromethorphan can cause you to display symptoms of drunkenness. The extended abuse of this drug can cause sporadic eye movements known as nystagmus. Dextromethorphan is an ingredient commonly used in cough, cold and flu medicines.

How your eyes look on Cocaine

Physicians can utilize cocaine in a medical facility as an eye anesthetic.  On the contrary, if someone offers you cocaine outside of a medical facility you should not take it; you should decline on the grounds that they are not a licensed physician. Cocaine abuse artificially affects your eyes react to light for abnormal periods of time. There are many ophthalmic side effects relating to the improper use of cocaine; you might be unable to sense any extensive injuries right away. However, over time, lesions on the retina and corneal ulcers can occur. Prolonged abuse of cocaine can also cause pain, fuzzy vision and permanent blindness.

How your eyes look on Heroin

Individuals who experience heroin addiction and drug abuse may display symptoms of having hard and constricted pupils. Typically their pupils will not react properly to lower levels of light, which can impair their vision. In addition, prolonged constriction of their arteries or blood vessels can lead to temporary blurred vision or permanent vision loss.

How your eyes look on Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, chemicals within alcohol and drugs can produce a subtle misalignment of your eyes.  This can enhance the feeling of nauseousness and lightheadedness; which could also lead to vomiting.

Red or Bloodshot eyes are a prevailing symptom of intoxication from Alcohol abuse. Blood vessels spread from the ophthalmic artery curving in a pattern to cross over the optic nerve. They penetrate the back of the eye and run medially near the  Choroid and Sclera Blood vessels which can swell and become enlarged. There are around 6 to 12 Blood vessels for each eye. Symptoms of nausea in the eyes can include variation in the eyes, abnormal pupil diameter, irregular eye movement, and the discoloration of the iris can be used to help one gauge whether another person is inebriated.

Inhalants that cause brain and eye damage

Paint thinner, glue, or nitrous should not be inhaled. These substances can cause brain damage as well as eye deterioration. Abusing these inhalants can cause you to feel intoxicated and light-headed. The inhalation of these substances will cause the eyes to water and change to a reddish color.

Methamphetamine and eye damage

Methamphetamine abuse can cause the eyes to move in irregular motions. In fact, the movements can be almost ten times faster than your normal eye movement. These irregular movements can damage and strain your eye muscles over time.

How your eyes are affected using legal and illegal narcotics

The abuse of legal narcotic drugs such as hydrocodone, fentanyl, and morphine has the potential to damage your eyes at high doses because they can constrict the pupils. Illegal narcotic drugs such as crack cocaine can also constrict the pupils. As extended abuse occurs symptoms of an overdose will be evident because the pupils will not properly respond to changes in light.

How your eyes look on Phencyclidine or PCP

Phencyclidine, otherwise known as PCP, has a pungent chemical taste. PCP can be ground into a white crystalline powder that can be dissolved into alcohol or water. In this form, the drug can easily be applied to leafy plants like mint, marijuana, parsley, and oregano. The powdery form makes it easier for the body to quickly absorb the substances into the bloodstream. Phencyclidine or PCP can cause a user to experience rapid eye motions that the user cannot control.  On the other hand, a person who uses PCP can develop an expressionless stare for 4-6 hours. During this time they might not respond to direct visual cues. The tablet forms can be mixed easily with colors. The idea is to make the drug look like legitimate medicine. If it looks like a tablet it will be easier to distribute.

In conclusion.

The chemicals in the aforementioned drugs can cause addiction because they will compel you to feel carefree, elated or just upbeat; they manage the neurotransmitters in your brain. These chemicals have the ability to affect several physiological functions in your body including the muscles in your eyes. Vision is a crucial role in our ability to balance, adjust our bodies in space, and observe the pattern or movement of variables within our surroundings. If you are taking any of the aforementioned drugs, you should seek medical assistance right away. The prolonged usage of these drugs can ultimately cause you to lose your sight.