Do You Know Someone Who is Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

Addicted to prescription drugs

Do you have a friend or family member who is addicted to prescription drugs? Prescription drugs play a vital role in health care, addressing conditions as diverse as high blood pressure, diabetes, and infection, as well as countless others. While there is no doubt that these medications benefit many people, some of these drugs have a downside which is the potential for dependency and addiction. While we do need prescription drugs to manage both chronic and acute pain, some of the more commonly abused medications include prescription painkillers.

As many as 1 in 5 Americans admit to abusing a prescription drug at some point. For some, it is an isolated incident, but for too many, that abuse develops into an addiction. If you know someone who is addicted to prescription drugs, please help them see that they need professional help immediately. Addiction to opioids and opiates (painkillers) is at epidemic proportions in the US today.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Addiction occurs when a person feels compelled to take a drug, even when it will cause them to suffer adverse side effects. The person physically craves the drug and will go to great lengths to obtain it. But how does a person become addicted to prescription drugs in the first place?

Some people start out taking medication for a legitimate medical need, but some people just decide to use prescription drugs recreationally. Many prescription painkillers give the user a feeling of euphoria and well-being.Either way, over time the body becomes accustomed to the drug and becomes tolerant to the current dose. This tolerance requires a higher or more frequent dose to achieve the same effect. The body becomes dependent on the drug, and the user may experience symptoms of withdrawal without it.

Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Prescription painkillers are among the most commonly abused prescription medications. Opioid painkillers, which share the same basic chemical structure as heroin, carry the highest potential for abuse and dependency. They work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to prevent the release of a chemical called GABA. GABA normally regulates dopamine production, so when painkillers block GABA, dopamine floods the brain. This combination blocks pain messages to the brain and produces a pleasurable high.

Because opioids carry such a strong potential for habit formation, it is critical to take these drugs only when necessary. To prevent becoming addicted to prescription drugs, you must follow the doctor’s instructions for timing and dosage. The greatest risk is that an overdose of opioid painkillers can cause coma or even death. Accidental overdose is the number one cause of mortality in prescription drug addiction today.

Dangerous Prescription Drugs of Abuse

Vicodin

Vicodin is an opioid used to manage short-term pain. It is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen (known over-the-counter as Tylenol). Vicodin is a tablet to be swallowed so that it will affect the brain slowly, but abusers may use other means to speed up the body’s reaction. Crushing the pills to snort or mix with water to inject into the veins provides a more rapid but more dangerous high. The most dangerous side effect is death from overdose. Other adverse side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Decreased heart and breathing rate
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgment
  • Drowsiness or loss of consciousness

Long-term Vicodin abuse can also lead to liver failure. Prolonged use of the acetaminophen in Vicodin damages the liver, leading to failure, and that failure can be fatal.

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a highly powerful painkiller, reserved for pain that will not respond to other medications. It is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Physicians prescribe fentanyl under the brand names Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze. As a painkiller, doctors administer it as either an injection, a transdermal patch, or a lozenge, but abusers will modify that form to speed up absorption. For example, an abuser may break open the transdermal patch and directly consume the gel orally or inject it. The fentanyl dose that is intended for slow release over many hours rushes to the brain in a matter of minutes. Because fentanyl is such a potent opioid, rapid absorption can be deadly, and most often is. Fentanyl can lower breathing rate so quickly as to cause instant death.

Choices Recovery can help with prescription drug addiction. Call to speak with a professional counselor if you have a loved one or friend who is addicted to prescription drugs. Don’t wait until it is too late.

Knowing the Basics of Drug Addiction for Rehabilitation

drug addiction

Substance abuse costs Americans more than $700 billion a year in increased health care costs, crime, and lost productivity. Furthermore, it contributes to the deaths of almost 100,000 citizens, tens of thousands of those from accidental overdoses. Drug addiction is so prevalent in our society, it behooves all of us to understand this enemy of prosperity.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the drug addiction definition is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the structure of the brain and how it works. These changes can be long-lasting and can lead to harmful, often self-destructive, behavior.

Drug Addiction Anatomy

All drugs, alcohol included, disrupt the brain’s reward system. Most addictive drugs flood the circuit with dopamine, a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which rewards our natural behaviors, produces the euphoric effects sought by people who use drugs and teaches them to repeat the behavior.

Long-term usage can cause changes that influence the brain’s ability to function, affecting areas that tie to decision-making, memory, learning, and control of behavior.

Drug Abuse vs. Drug Addiction

Substance abuse is the act of either (a) using illegal drugs, or (b) inappropriate use of legal drugs. The latter includes taking prescription medications for recreational purposes such as pleasure, relaxation or altering of reality, using someone else’s prescription, and alternate forms of ingestion, such as crushing and snorting tablets meant for the user to take orally.

Drug addiction occurs when a person cannot control the impulse to use drugs despite adverse consequences—the defining characteristic of addiction. This behavioral change is accompanied by changes in brain functioning, especially in the natural inhibition and reward centers. At this point, drug addiction is a disease.

Dependence vs. Addiction

Physical dependence may occur with regular use or abuse (usually daily) of any substance, whether legal or illegal. It occurs as a result of the body’s adaptation to daily exposure to a substance, resulting in withdrawal symptoms when it is taken away because the body has to re-adapt. It can lead to a craving for the substance to relieve those symptoms.

Addiction will include this physical dependence factor, but there are additional factors, usually psychological.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) lists impairment or distress factors indicating a substance use disorder when occurring within a 12-month period:

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts or for a longer period than intended
  • Unsuccessful efforts/persistent desire to reduce use of the substance
  • Significant time spent in obtaining the substance or recovering from its effects
  • Powerful desire or urge to use the substance (cravings)
  • Failure to fulfill obligations as a result of use of the substance
  • Continuing to use the substance despite its creating or contributing to social or interpersonal problems
  • Abandonment of activities previously held as important
  • Recurrent use of the drug in situations in which it is physically hazardous
  • Continuing use despite knowing it is harming one physically or psychologically
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Treatment

Addiction is a chronic disease, similar to diabetes and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Treatment is possible, and there are many options.

The treatment center must tailor an individual program for each client. Per Wickstrom, himself a recovered addict, founded several treatment centers to help others find their way to rehabilitation.

Note that a relapse does not mean treatment has failed. As with any chronic disease, treatment involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors. Lapses indicate that the client may need an alternative treatment program or need to adjust their current treatment.

What is Alcoholism and How Does it Affect You?

alcoholism

There is always a lot of talk about drug addiction, and rightly so. Drug addiction is one of the single biggest problems in this nation, one of which needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Actually, drug addiction is currently one of the single biggest health-related problems that this country faces. It is also a huge socio-economic problem too. But why do we rarely hear about alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol addiction?

This is a whole different problem here. Alcohol addiction is severely underreported, but it is actually a problem that causes more trouble and worry than drug addiction does, believe it or not. To understand this problem a little bit better, take a look at the following statistics to get a better idea of just how serious alcohol abuse and addiction really is in this country, (Statistics brought to you by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

  • Alcohol abuse kills about sixty-thousand to eighty-thousand Americans each and every year. Drug addiction and drug abuse, while a devastating problem and a socioeconomic crisis of its own, only kills about forty-thousand Americans each and every year.
  • Alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse are a lot more difficult to get rid of than most drug addictions. The true problem is that it is totally legal to consume alcohol. In fact, it is totally legal to consume as much alcohol as you want in the confines of your own home. There is no limit to it. Drugs are illegal and are therefore harder to use, get, keep, and continue to use.
  • Alcohol is more commonly accepted in society, even with the increase in acceptance of drugs. It’s harder to fight a substance that everyone thinks is commonplace.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a dangerous substance that causes a lot of problems and a lot of worries for a lot of people. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse, in general, is a dangerous substance, one of which affects the body severely. Alcohol addiction has now risen to a point of actually being more severe and more concerning than drugs are, and this increase in the problem has led tens of thousands of alcohol addicts and hundreds of thousands of their family members to become very concerned and worried indeed.

The effects of alcohol are often understated and swept under the rug, partially because alcohol is such a big industry and such a huge cash-flow for thousands of Americans. So what is alcoholism, and what are the effects of it?

Alcoholism is the addiction to alcohol or the continuous, compulsive use of alcohol in spite of reasons not to. Alcohol addiction is truly an addiction. A person cannot stop drinking the stuff, no matter what. Alcohol addiction is an ongoing habit, wherein a person will compulsively drink alcohol over and over again, year after year, either until they kill themselves with it, or until they get help.

The effects of alcohol could be an entire essay in and of itself.  For a quick look at some of the effects, consider the following:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Reduction in brain activity
  • Bad reflexes
  • Lower inhibition
  • Having respiratory issues
  • Vision blurry
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Violent tendencies
  • Bad decisions

If you are seeking help for yourself or a loved one struggling with an alcohol addiction, call Choices Recovery today. We can be reached at 1-844-288-9127. Addiction is tough and a difficult problem to say the least, but it does not have to be the end of it all. Call today.

Can an Individual Build a Tolerance to LSD?

Tolerance to LSD

When abusing a substance, it is possible for tolerance to build before you know it. Some questions you may ask yourself might be, does it take more for you to get the effect you want? Do you feel more of a need for the substance? Building a tolerance to LSD is a sure sign of bigger issues to come down the path of addiction.

What is LSD?

LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic drug manufactured from lysergic acid. Lysergic acid is a chemical derived from a particular type of fungus. It is often sold on blotter paper, although it can also be in tablet form, made into thin gelatin squares, or soaked into sugar cubes. It has no legitimate medical use, so all use is illicit.

Building a Tolerance to LSD

LSD dependence is typically psychological, not physical. While the drug does not cause physical cravings, individuals who take it often associate it with people and circumstances. They make a habit out of using the drug whenever they are in social situations. This type of use can make quitting difficult, since it may require that the user stops associating with friends who use LSD. Users may develop a tolerance to LSD, which means that they require increasingly more of the drug each time to achieve the same effect. Higher doses carry an increased risk of harmful side effects, so increasing the dose can quickly become dangerous. Not only do you now have a tolerance to LSD, but you are also in danger every time you use the drug.

Effects of LSD Abuse

Different people experience different effects from taking LSD, depending on the dose and the individual’s body chemistry. Even the same person may experience different effects from using LSD at different times. Most people experience some form of mood change when taking LSD. This attitude change can include feelings of euphoria, depression, anxiety, or peacefulness. The user might also cycle between different moods. A high dose of LSD can produce hallucinations, delusions, or changes in the way the user perceives sound, color, movement, and touch.

Some users experience “crossing over,” a state in which senses are confused, such as when color is perceived as sound or taste. In some cases, the user may experience feelings of terror or panic. Physical effects include dilated pupils, nausea, loss of appetite, a rise in body temperature, sweating, a rise in blood sugar, an increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure, dry mouth, sleeplessness, and tremors. These effects typically begin within 30 to 60 minutes after taking LSD, and they can last for up to 12 hours.

More on The Effects of LSD Abuse

The effects of LSD are the result of the drug interrupting the regular interaction between brain cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin.We do not completely understand the full interaction between the drug and the serotonin system in the brain. Coming down from LSD is typically a gradual process as the drug filters out of the body. There is no hard crash after using LSD. The user’s perceptions of the world just gradually return to normal. LSD can create long-lasting after-effects in some people.

Users may experience flashbacks days or months after the initial use. These flashbacks come on without warning, so a user may experience them at school, work, or during routine activities. There is no way to predict, prevent, or stop a flashback. Long-term users of LSD may also develop depression or schizophrenia. Another problem with LSD use is that users may put themselves into dangerous situations while in an altered or hallucinatory state. For example, the user may perceive a flat walking surface when faced with what is actually a steep incline or stairwell, a situation that could easily lead to serious injury.

If you or someone you love is abusing LSD do not hesitate to call for help today!

 

 

Is There a Difference in Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?

Alcohol abuse and addiction

Many people ask the question, “Is there a difference in alcohol abuse and addiction?” The answer to this question is yes, but they are very similar, and alcohol abuse can quickly turn into alcohol dependence.  Abusers are typically heavy drinkers who continue drinking regardless of the results. Alcohol can be an addictive substance. Not everyone who consumes alcohol will become addicted. However, certain people may be more susceptible to addiction than others.

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction are Not the Same

Everyone should note that alcohol abuse and addiction are not the same. It’s important to understand the facts on alcohol abuse. Alcohol addiction refers to a psychological and physical dependency on alcohol. Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction may build up a tolerance to the substance, as well as continue drinking even when alcohol-related problems become evident.

Alcohol abusers are not necessarily addicted to alcohol. Abusers are typically heavy drinkers who keep drinking regardless of the results. Abusers of alcohol may not drink on a consistent basis. For example, an individual who abuses alcohol may only drink once a week. However, when that person drinks, he puts himself into risky situations or drinks enough to cause problems, such as alcohol poisoning. Certain individuals who abuse alcohol may eventually become dependent on it.

What is Alcohol Dependence?

Alcohol dependence the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Symptoms include repeated alcohol consumption despite related legal and health issues. Those with alcoholism may begin each day with a drink, feel guilty about their drinking, and have the desire to cut down on the amount of alcohol.

Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) consists of four symptoms:

  • Craving: a strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
  • Loss of control: the inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.
  • Physical dependence: withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety occur when one stops alcohol use after a period of heavy drinking.
  • Tolerance: the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get high.

Severe dependence can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms including convulsions, starting eight to twelve hours after the last drink. The delirium tremens (DTs) begin three to four days later when the person becomes extremely agitated, experiences shakiness with hallucinations, and loses touch with reality.

The Differences in Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Someone who has alcohol addiction needs it to get through the day. They also have a high tolerance, needing increasingly more drinks to feel any effect. Alcoholics also suffer from withdrawal and will drink to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal, which include anxiety, tremors, sweating, insomnia, nausea, depression, fatigue, headache, and irritability.

Tolerance and withdrawal are very telling signs of alcohol addiction. There are others too, which include:

  • Losing control – you cannot stop yourself from drinking too much and too often, no matter how hard you try.
  • Drinking despite the legal, financial, and personal problems that it is causing you.
  • Allowing alcohol, drinking, and thinking about drinking to dominate your day-to-day responsibilities and activities.

The difference between alcohol abuse and addiction is a matter of degree. If you are abusing alcohol, but are not yet addicted to it, you may experience a little bit of tolerance or a small level of withdrawal, but nothing as severe as what an alcoholic experiences.

As an abuser, your first signs will more likely be neglecting responsibilities so that you can drink. For instance, you must call in sick to work often because of hangovers, or you don’t spend enough time with your kids because you feel the need to go out drinking with friends.

Other signs of abuse include:

  • Taking serious risks while drinking – maybe you drink and drive, or you mix alcohol with prescription drugs to enhance your high.
  • Continuing to use alcohol even when you get sick or hurt from drinking.
  • Your drinking is attached to emotions, such as drinking because of stress or to cope with feelings of depression.

Although alcohol abuse and addiction are very similar, there is a difference between the two and alcohol abuse can very quickly turn into alcohol dependence. It is imperative to seek help right away if you or someone you love may think a problem is developing.

 

 

When to Get Help for Drug Addiction

Help for Drug Addiction

Getting help for drug addiction takes a lot of courage. Before wanting to seek help, a person must first realize they have a problem. A lot of people who have an alcohol or substance abuse problem are in denial and do not believe they have an issue. They may think they are not dependent but unbelievably they most likely are. Not everyone is able to realize they have a problem right away, it can and may take some time. It could be while they begin receiving help and they realize they do have a problem and that they are doing exactly what they should be doing, getting help!

Signs that Your Loved One Needs to Get Help for Drug Addiction

As you probably know, it can be very difficult to recognize early on that your friend or family member is involved in drugs or another addictive behavior. You should also know that your loved one is unlikely to admit to a problem. Addicts tend to cover their tracks. But there are a variety of signs that you might be seeing now, even ones you may have brushed aside, not wanting to believe that an addiction could be at play. See how many of these common warning signs of addiction that your loved one may have:

  • A shift in mood, attitude, and motivation
  • New friends and new hangouts
  • Poor performance at school or work and/or being absent
  • Secretive behavior such as lying
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • A sudden, unexplained increase in spending
  • Bloodshot eyes or enlarged pupils
  • Giving up once-favorite pastimes and hobbies
  • Strange body odors; trembling hands
  • Unusual changes in sleeping patterns or schedule

In addition, you may notice that your loved one now has angry outbursts and is more volatile or unpredictable. He/she may be inattentive and not follow through on assignments or obligations on time, or at all. You may find your loved one making secretive, unexplained phone calls or cash withdrawals, concealing what’s on his/her computer screen, or creating new bank or online accounts. His/her schedule may change frequently, often without your knowledge. Your loved might also be sleeping more or suffering from insomnia, choosing to wear sunglasses often, trying to cover up unusual breath or body odors. They, in general are changing in ways you cannot explain, excuse, or understand.

It’s also possible that your loved one is not paying their bills, asks to borrow money, or is taking or stealing money from you and others. You may notice your partner, friend, or relative feeling more melancholy and depressed (these can be psychological symptoms of withdrawal). And then, there are common physical symptoms when an addict tries to quit a substance; these withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, vomiting, sweating, trembling, fever, insomnia and diarrhea.

What to do When You Realize your Loved one has an Addiction

If simply talking to the person with the problem doesn’t work, a group intervention is an effective next step. Interventions also show addicts how their actions affect those they care about. The goal is to help the person struggling get into addiction recovery and rehabilitation. It can be hard to approach someone struggling with addiction. Although friends or loved ones mean well, they might not know what to say. The addicted person might also deny that they have a drug or alcohol problem, making open conversation difficult.

But it is very important they realize that they need to get help for drug addiction right away. The sooner a person receives help for drug addiction, the better. That does not mean it is ever too late. a fatal overdose is possible at any time and unexpected, but it does happen.

If you or your loved one have an addiction problem, do not hesitate to call for help today!

 

Is There Such a Thing as a Functioning Addict?

A functioning addict carrying out daily responsibilities

We often think of addicts as not being able to function in normal society. They may be considered thieves, homeless, or otherwise at the fringe of mainstream society. Believe it or not, there are addicts in places such as hospitals, law offices, and teachers’ lounges. Addicts are frequently highly ambitious people who seek extremes in life. They may perform surgery and then step out for a shot of heroin. A person may not remain a functioning addict for very long. If they don’t get help for their addiction, it will only get worse until they become non-functioning.

How Would You Define a Functioning Addict?

A functioning addict is most likely a person whose drug or alcohol use hasn’t caught up with them yet. It’s a person who can hide the severity of their addiction to the people close to them, often at tragic costs. A functioning addict can fulfill obligations while being addicted to drugs or alcohol. They can go to work, pay their bills and still handle living expenses, provide necessary care for their families, and stay away from criminal activities.

Today, people view an addict as a person who cannot control their addiction, an individual who steals, lies and no longer cares about their well-being. It is not often you know of someone who is an addict that still properly functions for their welfare. For a while, addicts can maintain their lifestyle and obligations while being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Sometimes the addicted person can continue to carry out daily responsibilities for several years until the addiction becomes more severe. Eventually, they become less and less able to balance their obligations with the growing compulsion to seek and abuse mind-altering substances.

Functioning addicts are often able to perform their tasks in a daily manner, but there can be tell-tale signs. Some of these signs include making excuses for their behaviors while trying to justify their drug use. The people they hang out with says a lot as well. If all their friends are using drugs or alcohol or they don’t want to attend events unless drugs or alcohol is there, that’s also a sign of a bigger issue. And if they suddenly lose interest in their hobbies, the addiction could be starting to take over their life.

What Allows an Addict to Be Functional?

One of the main differences between an addict who is high-functioning and one who’s not is in the perceptions they have of their substance use. For the high-functioning addict, the abuse of alcohol or drugs is usually still seen as a reward or a way to unwind after a long day. A functioning addict might not see that they have a problem because they can function the way they should.  For these individuals, there will occasionally be times when they cannot justify alcohol or drug use, especially when it would prohibit them from fulfilling some obligation, so they refrain from using in those instances. On the other hand, addicts who aren’t high-functioning don’t need to justify their substance abuse because it has taken the central place in their lives. Alcohol and drugs have already become more important than a career, relationships, and other such things.

A Few Things a Functioning Addict May Experience

  • Denial

High-functioning addicts and alcoholics must live in a world of denial to keep their ruse afloat. Addicts often think that if they drink fine wines, beers, and liquors that they must not be alcoholics. They believe alcoholics only drink bottom of the barrel liquor. They may also rationalize their substance abuse by pointing out that they have important jobs, despite the fact that they experience blackouts on a regular basis. However, they are often only fooling themselves. The people who see the truth of the situation, often those closest to them, must endure the wild mood swings, frantic lifestyle, and continued instability of life with an addict.

  • Confinement

A high-functioning heroin addict is often confined to a set routine. He needs his fixes at certain times of the day, and he has to rely on his dealer being available when he needs to score. High functioning heroin addicts often are loath to travel, because any time away from their fix will mean dope sickness (early withdrawal) and a frantic search for more. A high-functioning alcoholic may not own a car for fear of DUI charges, despite having a license and even driving a company car during working hours. The alcoholic might also attempt to cover daytime drinking with breath mints or other ineffective methods. Prescription drugs and high functioning addiction often go hand-in-hand. Many people think they are functioning ‘just fine’ since their drug of choice is prescribed to them.

  • Double Life

High-functioning alcoholics and addicts often need to lead a double life to satisfy all of their needs. They cannot afford to have one life spill into another and so may go to great lengths. Some will find bars on the other side of town from where they live in hopes of not running into any ″straight″ friends or colleagues. Others will hide in shame of their drug addiction and may disappear during off-work hours, only to reappear at home or work appearing frazzled, tired, and bleary. Family members might look for signs such as mysteriously disappearing funds, extra credit cards, and even secret bank accounts.

Are you a functioning addict or know someone who is? The first step is realizing you have a problem and that you need help. Do not hesitate to call for help today; there is help for everyone.

Long Term Effects Caused by LSD Abuse

What is LSD?

LSD is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in the ergot fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It is one of the most potent, mood changing chemicals. It is produced in crystal form in illegal laboratories, mainly in the United States. These crystals are converted to a liquid for distribution. It is odorless, colorless, and has a slightly bitter taste.  LSD Is known as “acid” and many other names. It is sold on the streets in small tablets, capsules, or gelatin squares. Sometimes it is added to absorbent paper, which is then divided into small squares decorated with designs or cartoon character. No matter the form it is abused in, the same affects still take place and gives the user a serious disconnection from reality.

Short Term Effects of LSD

The way that LSD affects an individual can vary from one person to another. It is highly unpredictable, and the effects can depend a lot on the person’s mood or attitude at the time of use. Because LSD is placed on blotter papers, it is often hard to tell exactly how much of the drug is taken at one time. During manufacture, it may be difficult to determine an exact measurement of the drug. The slightest deviation can affect the way the drug reacts. The drug itself is not addictive, but an individual can develop a tolerance to it, which can lead to addictive behaviors.

The most common short-term LSD effect is a sense of euphoria. This is often described in terms of trips. If an individual has a good experience while taken the drug, it is referred to as a “good trip.” If the individual has a particularly bad episode, it is referred to as a “bad trip.” The trips can vary from day to day in the same individual. On one day, a person may experience an overwhelming sense of happiness. On another occasion, the same individual may experience scary images and feelings of danger. The goal is to have as many good trips as possible.

The most common short-term effects of LSD use include, but are not limited to:

  • High-blood pressure
  • Hallucinations; an individual may taste, smell or see things that are not there
  • Becoming out of touch with reality
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sleeplessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia

LSD users can quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. This leads to LSD addiction, which can have long-term effects on the individual. Some of the long-term LSD effects are:

  • Drug tolerance
  • Flashbacks
  • Delusional behaviors
  • Vision problems
  • Lack of motivation to participate in daily activities
  • Lack of enjoyment in things that once caused pleasure
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to communicate well with others
  • Irrational thinking
  • Difficulty in distinguishing reality from hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Extreme feelings of depression
  • Overwhelming feelings of anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
  • Inability to cope with life circumstances
  • Problems in relationships
  • Lack of success and motivation in work or school
  • Promiscuous behaviors
  • Criminal charges
  • Accidents
  • Pregnancy
  • Violent behaviors

Dependence to the medication can lead the individual to react in much the same way as a meth addict. The individual will spend much of their time trying to figure out how to get more of the drug. Their main goal in life may seem to revolve around taking the drug or finding more. They lose any interest in relationships and those who are closest to them.

Individuals who develop a strong tolerance for LSD are usually so out of touch with reality that they may end up in serious accidents or compromising situations. The drug can intensify feelings of belonging, and an individual may feel that they love everyone. This can lead to increased sexual activity.

If you or someone you love has developed a dependence to LSD it is important for them to get help right away. Do not hesitate to call for help and more answers to your questions today. Even if someone is using LSD recreationally and here and there for fun, they need to seek help before unwanted dependence develops.

Finding a Healthy Balance – Cassie Jackson at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Overcoming Addiction -Sundance - Cassie Jackson

When addiction takes control over someone’s life, the effects are widespread. Drug and alcohol abuse affects the individual physically, causing toxic damage to the body and brain and affecting eating habits and sleeping routines. It also warps a person’s perception of the world around us and alters thought processes, reducing their ability to think logically and rationally about things. Addiction also has devastating effects on an individual spiritually, causing isolation from others and a sort of selfish and self-serving lifestyle. Overcoming addiction is not always easy, but it’s worth the effort.

To be perfectly clear, when we speak of spirituality, we are not talking about religion or any particular religious dogma. We understand that all of our patients come from unique backgrounds, and there are many different belief systems in our world. When we look at spirituality, we view it more as an understanding of the role we fill in the lives of others and our connection to the world around us. We don’t ask our patients to adhere to any form of spirituality that they are not completely comfortable with, and we do not base our treatment strategy in any particular religion.

One of the biggest parts of overcoming addiction is realizing how those personal connections have been damaged, straining friendships and damaging family bonds as the person places themselves and their addiction more and more at the center of the universe. When we realize that, we can begin to work on repairing those bonds wherever possible, and how to form new healthy and functional relationships that are not centered around drug or alcohol abuse. As we progress on the path to recovery from addiction, we begin to realize how important it is to share this message with others who may be struggling with substance abuse, to provide hope and inspiration and maybe even to save a few lives in the process.

That mission took us halfway across the country to Park City, Utah where the 2017 Sundance Film Festival was underway. We teamed up with our good friend Debbie Durkin of Durkin Entertainment, the leading producer of sustainable product placement in television and film, as a sponsor of the EcoLuxe Lounge, a special red-carpet event that she organizes at various awards ceremonies and festivals throughout the year. Showcasing some of the world’s top providers of holistic and eco-friendly goods and services, the 2017 Sundance EcoLuxe Lounge was held inside The Blue Iguana in Downtown Park City.

We were joined in the Choices Recovery Media Center by another good friend of ours, Gretchen Rossi of reality TV show “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” She filled the role of special guest host, spending her time speaking with dozens of the entertainment industry professionals and Hollywood insiders that stopped by The EcoLuxe Lounge that day. Among those guests was Cassie Jackson, a rising young actress, and daughter of Shar Jackson, another acting professional who had spoken with Gretchen earlier in the day.

Cassie talked about her experiences with substance abuse and how she was able to maintain friendships without getting caught up in that hectic and dangerous lifestyle. “I see what drugs have done,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to bring that into my life for the sake of the people around me. Everything that you do affects those around you, so I just try to keep that in mind whenever I make my decisions.” Far too many young people have this idea that they are not affecting anyone else when they make the decision to use drugs or alcohol, but they’re only fooling themselves. The consequences of their actions and decisions affect everyone else around them, too.

Cassie also spoke about the importance of setting personal boundaries. “If someone’s influencing someone negatively to do something that they’re uncomfortable with, definitely get away,” she advised. “My friends don’t try to pressure me into anything, but if someone’s trying to make you do something that you don’t want to do, eliminate them from your life.” Cassie’s message and advice is extremely valuable, especially in the modern age of constant influence through television and other media.

In overcoming addiction, finding harmony and balance in life is vital, and this will often require getting rid of our old “friends” that we used to use drugs or get drunk with. Even though we may miss them and the times we used to have with them, we must realize that our sobriety takes priority, because our decisions affect so many more people than just us.

Looking for Signs – Janell Flack in the 2017 Sundance EcoLuxe Lounge

Sundance - Janell Flack substance abuse

Addiction is not Always Easy to See, Especially when it’s Someone We Love.

Addiction is very sneaky. People who are struggling with substance abuse often become very good at hiding their drug or alcohol use. They can become very good at manipulation, and lying can become very natural. There is no end to the excuses that they can come up with for using, for ignoring their responsibilities, or for their broken promises. Denial is a very powerful thing.

Denial isn’t just limited to the person who is using, either. Many times, close friends and family members will also struggle with denial about the substance abuse of a person they care about. This is just as dangerous. It can enable their addictive behaviors, and in many cases will lead to avoiding reaching out for help. This is the most dangerous of all because sometimes we don’t realize just how badly someone needs help until it is too late.

Raising awareness about these issues and helping people identify when drugs or alcohol have become a problem in their life or in the life of someone that they care about is a big part of the fight against addiction that faces our society today. While the main role that Choices Recovery fills in that fight is offering effective treatment programs for those struggling with addiction, we understand that this is just one part of a much bigger picture. We understand that there is much more that we can and should do to be a strong force in this battle.

Our commitment to being a source of hope and inspiration for those struggling with the effects of substance abuse in their lives took us to Park City, Utah during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a sponsor of The EcoLuxe Lounge, a red-carpet event that makes appearances at various awards ceremonies and festivals throughout the year. Organized by Debbie Durkin of Durkin Entertainment, the top producer of sustainable product placement in film and television, the EcoLuxe Lounge gathers some of the world’s leading producer of holistic and eco-friendly goods and services.

Inside the Blue Iguana in Downtown Park City, where the EcoLuxe Lounge was held, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” co-stars Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley spent the day hosting the Choices Recovery Media Center, chatting with dozens of the entertainment industry professionals who stopped by to visit. But producers, actors, and directors aren’t the only people who had stories to share with us. We also spoke with Janell Flack, a young lady who was working with the EcoLuxe as a Guest Ambassador.

Janell had heard why we were there as a sponsor of the EcoLuxe, and she wanted to tell us about her own personal experience with a loved one who was struggling with addiction. Having been adopted, she was very close in age with her brother, and they were basically raised as twins. The story she told us was about him.

“I knew that there was an issue going on,” Janell shared. “Me and my brother were best friends. We grew up as twins. After high school, he got a really good job and had all this money. As a 19-year-old, you don’t make the wisest of choices. It was very evident in his life that’s what was happening. It was very hard to see. It grabbed him so fast, I don’t think he saw what was happening.” Her story shows quite clearly the importance of knowing how to identify when someone that we care about is falling down the slippery slope of addiction – even when they are trying to hide it from us.

A few of the things we can look out for include:

  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Abrupt weight changes
  • Irritability
  • Changes in attitude/personality
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Sudden changes in friends
  • Dramatic changes in habits or priorities
  • Financial or Legal problems

Choices Recovery is committed to helping in the fight against addiction in any way that we can. Knowing the signs and symptoms of substance abuse can help us to know when someone we care about is struggling with addiction and may need help. If we have suspicions, it’s always better to engage them than to sit in denial until it’s too late. Every day that passes in addiction is a gamble, but if we can identify the problem, we can work towards a solution. We can find a path out of darkness to a brighter, healthier, and more positive future.