The 8 Steps America Is Taking to Battle the Opioid Crisis

opioid crisis

What are Opioids?

Opioids and opiates, also known as narcotics, are a class of drugs derived from the poppy plant. They include street drugs, such as heroin, and a variety of prescription painkillers, including:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin)
  • Hydrocodone with acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone (such as Oxycontin)
  • Oxycodone with acetaminophen
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

Prescription opioids require a prescription and carry a high potential for addiction, even when used as prescribed. Whether used illegally or with a prescription, all opioid drugs affect the brain in the same way. They work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to prevent the release of a chemical called GABA, which normally regulates dopamine production. When GABA is blocked, 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 and to follow the doctor’s instructions for timing and dosage.

The Opioid Crisis in America

In recent years, opioid abuse in America has skyrocketed. Since the year 2000, deaths from opioid overdose has tripled; in 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose, and more than 2 million Americans struggled with substance abuse disorders related to prescription painkillers. Clearly, this abuse requires a response as soon as possible in order to prevent more damaged lives and deaths. Here are eight proposed steps to curb this epidemic:

  1. Save lives by reducing deaths from overdose and infectious disease. Overdose deaths can be prevented by increasing the availability of naloxone, a medication that can prevent death in someone who has overdosed on opioids. Needle exchange programs can limit the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
  2. Treat, don’t arrest: allow addicts to ask law enforcement officers for opioid addiction help instead of repeatedly arresting offenders.
  3. Fund treatment: support Medicaid-funded treatment for opioid addiction recovery.
  4. Combat stigma: utilize public education campaigns to dispel myths and promote understanding about opioid addiction so that people will feel more comfortable admitting their problems and seeking treatment.
  5. Support medication-assisted treatment: replacing opioid use with the medically-monitored use of suboxone, methadone, or buprenorphine has been demonstrated to be an effective approach to opiate addiction recovery, yet fewer than one-third of conventional drug treatment centers in America utilize medication-assisted treatment. We should encourage this method of treatment by expanding its availability at federally-funded treatment centers, expanding Medicaid and Medicare coverage, and requiring staff training at federally-funded centers and Veterans Health Administration hospitals.
  6. Enforce mental health parity: strictly enforce the federal mental health parity laws that require insurers who cover behavioral health to offer the same benefits for mental health and addiction as they do for surgery or medical therapies. As many as 50-70% of people with substance abuse problems also suffer from mental health conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  7. Teach pain management: train doctors in the management of prescription opioids and misuse prevention; sadly, many addicts begin using prescription drugs legitimately but segue into abuse.
  8. Start prevention education at an early age: begin to educate children as young as seventh-grade, not just as to the risks of drug abuse, but with the decision-making skills for their teenage years and beyond.

Addiction Treatment and Recovery

While challenging, opioid addiction recovery is possible. Addicts must undergo the uncomfortable process of detox and withdrawal, which can be eased through the use of appropriate medications. With therapy and support, addicts can learn to navigate life without substance abuse. If you or someone you love struggles with opioid addiction, our trained staff can help. Call our toll-free number today.

Drug Epidemic Forcing Businesses to Confront Employee Drug Abuse

drug epidemic

Every year it is true that drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, gets progressively worse and worse. At this point, this is a very well understood issue, one of which needs to be addressed on a more sincere scale. There is a legitimate drug epidemic that we are facing in this country today, and this point has been agreed upon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and countless other official organizations that have also labeled the problem as being a full-on epidemic.

One does not have to look far to see why this issue has been labeled in this way. It is actually pretty obvious. The problem and the crisis difficulties as they stand are very concerning and very incapacitating, and that can be easily proven by going over statistics like the following:

  • In an effort to do something about the addiction problem, a lot of studying has been done on this problem. It was very rapidly realized that if any positive gain was going to be had on the subject of addiction, we needed to understand it better as a nation because far more people were addicted than we thought.
  • Some of the findings have come about from our research and it has been pretty concerning, to say the least. For example, just the sheer number of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and what exactly that means is very unpleasant.
  • Case in point, there are currently about 23 million people in this country who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. That might not seem like a lot but that’s actually 14% of the entire country’s population that is over the age of 13.
  • That means that 13 out of every 100 American teenagers and adults is a drug addict or an alcoholic. When you look at it that way it is easy to see how concerning this issue really is.

Working with Addicts

Not a lot of people realize it but workplace addiction is a real concern and something that need to be more thoroughly addressed for all of us. Working with addicts can be a tough thing to do. Addiction in the workplace often results in accidents, injuries, even deaths, and a whole lot of collateral damage!

When people end up working with addicts, they actually risk their own livelihood too. They are taking on a whole lot of unnecessary risk as well, and this is what needs to be addressed. The end result here is that a lot of times businesses will actually have to seriously confront their employees who are using and abusing drugs and alcohol. This is often the only way to effectively and stably address this problem with any kind of efficacy or distinction.

The ultimate solution here, of course, is that the family members and loved ones of the addicted person step in along with the addict’s co-workers and supervisors to all intervene on the addict to try to get him or her to go to rehab. If this is correctly done, then people will be able to take this problem down a notch. For help, call Choices Recovery today at 877-474-7021. Call today to take the first step towards a better life and a more stable future for yourself, your family, and for your place of employment as well. Sobriety is a phone call away!

What is Fueling America’s Opioid Crisis

opioid crisis

There is no doubt at this point that drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse as a general crisis factor in this country is definitely a growing problem of the very worst kind, one of which only seems to grow and gain momentum with each passing year.

What has people probably the most worried about this issue is the simple factor of deaths and prevalence that comes with drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse. Basically, we now have a problem that twenty years ago was manageable. Now it is anything but manageable. Now, it is a huge crisis factor in this country that is a viable fear and concern for our nation.

  • Currently, there are more than twenty-three million Americans who are addicted to drugs and alcohol in this nation. Going forward from that, that is about thirteen percent of the entire American population that is over the age of twelve.
  • With a huge percentage of people in our country addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is not hard to imagine then what drug and alcohol addiction really is doing to our family members and loved ones. As it pans out, people almost always just think about the family members and loved ones of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and all of the other problems and crisis issues that come with it. Basically, with twenty-three million people addicted, there are about one hundred million Americans who are closely connected to someone who is seriously connected to someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol.
  • Currently, about eighty thousand to one hundred and twenty thousand Americans who are addicted to drugs and alcohol end up dying from their habits. As it stands, substance abuse is the third leading cause of preventable death in this nation, killing tens of thousands of Americans annually. This has been a skyrocketing problem that has caused nothing but huge difficulties and issues for all who are involved with it. The death toll has now passed all other causes of death other than smoking and obesity.

Why are Opiates Addictive?

An addiction to opiates is definitely a very real thing, yet people wonder why these drugs, pain drugs, that are supposed to help people actually end up hindering people greatly. So why are opiates addictive? When people are addicted to opioids, they get into a situation where they do not know exactly how they are going to kick the habit, and they do not know how they are going to stop using them.

Opiate pain reliever drugs end up creating very devilish and very upsetting and harsh and difficult addiction problems for those who take them, and for those who get into a habit with them. Though beating addiction is definitely a concerning and unpleasant issue, it is something that can and should be worked through in such a way that they can find their freedom from this habit. People become addicted to opiate pain pill drugs in such a way that these individuals end up getting hooked on the pills. The morphine and opium chemical bases of these drugs are addictive as they open opioid receptors in the brain and cause a rush of euphoria and a dulling of pain and the senses. People get addicted to this phenomena.

Choices Recovery can help people to find their peace of mind and their freedom from even the most unpleasant and even the most difficult of substance abuse habits and issues. This is a treatment center that can help anyone who is addicted to anything. For more information on how Choices Recovery can help people, call Choices Recovery today at 877-474-7021.

The Side Effects of Oxycodone Use

opioid prescription drugs

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid prescription drug, also known as Percocet or Oxycontin, used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is an opiate, meaning that it is synthetically made but shares the same basic chemical structure as heroin and other opiate painkillers such as codeine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Even though it is a prescription medication, oxycodone is highly addictive. When taking oxycodone for pain management, it is critical to follow the doctor’s instructions as to how often and how much oxycodone to take. Even when taken as directed, it is possible to become addicted to oxycodone. If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has developed a dependency on oxycodone, seek treatment from a drug rehab like Choices Recovery.

How does Oxycodone Affect the Brain?

Oxycodone interferes with pain messages from the body to the brain, making it an effective medication for pain management. It binds to pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord to prevent the release of a chemical GABA. GABA signals the brain to stop production of dopamine, a chemical that produces feelings of pleasure. When a person is hurt, GABA production prevents dopamine release, creating pain. Oxycodone reverses this sequence and floods the brain with dopamine, preventing feelings of pain and producing a euphoric high sought after by abusers.

Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone is extremely addictive because of the way that it interacts with the brain to create such feelings of pleasure. The user becomes tolerant to the drug over time, meaning that a larger or more frequent dose is needed to produce the same effect; the current treatment will no longer work. Dependence begins when the body physically requires the drug and without it, the person will experience extreme cravings for oxycodone and may feel symptoms of withdrawal. Addiction can drive people to behave outside of their typical character, even going so far as to steal the drug or request multiple prescriptions from different doctors to obtain more oxycodone. Because people with an opioid prescription drug addiction tend to take a higher dose than a doctor would prescribe, the risk of overdose is even greater than with someone using it as directed.

People can become addicted to oxycodone when using it for a legitimate medical need or as a recreational drug. Between 21 and 29 percent of individuals using opiate painkillers medically misuse them, and 8 to 12 percent become addicted. These people are at greater risk to become heroin users because heroin is cheaper and easier to obtain. About 80% of heroin users began abusing prescription opiates.

Side Effects of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is very effective as a painkiller, but unfortunately, it comes with a host of side effects. The greatest danger is an overdose, which can be fatal. Oxycodone can cause breathing rates so slow as to cause death. Thankfully, there is a medication available, naloxone, which can reverse overdose when administered in time. Other short-term side effects of oxycodone include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Appetite loss
  • Mood changes

Long-term abuse can have a lasting, negative impact on the body, such as:

  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Brain damage

Chronic overuse of acetaminophen (Tylenol) damages the liver, so people who abuse use oxycodone with acetaminophen have a greater risk of liver failure.

Treatment for Addiction to Opioid Prescription Drugs

Treatment for oxycodone addiction begins with detoxification at a drug addiction rehab center. Treatment can be either inpatient or outpatient and may use medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms, which can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle aches

After detox, it is easy to relapse, especially if oxycodone is readily available. The support of a rehab center can help during this difficult time. Call Choices Recovery today if you need help for an addiction to opioid prescription drugs or if you would lilke more information about the side effects of oxycodone.

The Signs and Effects of Vicodin Abuse

signs of vicodin abuse

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is a prescription painkiller, typically prescribed for short-term pain management. It is a combination of the opiate painkiller hydrocodone and acetaminophen (known over-the-counter as Tylenol). Often, people mistakenly think that medications prescribed by a doctor must be safe, but Vicodin is highly addictive and one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Addiction can begin with a valid medical need for a strong painkiller that develops into dependence and addiction. For this reason, it is critical to use Vicodin under medical supervision. Only take it at the prescribed dose and frequency.

How Does Vicodin Affect the Brain?

The hydrocodone in Vicodin blocks pain messages to the brain. It binds to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, preventing the release of a chemical called GABA. GABA normally regulates dopamine production, so when GABA is blocked, dopamine floods the brain. This dopamine rush “kills” the pain while at the same time producing a euphoric high. The acetaminophen increases the effect of hydrocodone on the brain. This combination makes Vicodin highly addictive (http://drugabuse.com/library/vicodin-abuse/).

How Does Vicodin Affect the Body?

As a painkiller, Vicodin is meant to produce changes in the body by:

  • Lowering pain
  • Suppressing cough
  • Creating feelings of euphoria, calm, and relaxation

However, as with any drug, it can also produce adverse side effects. These side effects can occur whether the Vicodin is taken as prescribed or when abused. They include:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Decreased heart and breathing rate
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgment
  • Drowsiness or loss of consciousness
  • Liver damage or failure

Long-term Vicodin abuse can lead to liver failure by two different mechanisms. The first is that the acetaminophen in Vicodin causes liver damage over time. The second is that abusers may use intentionally couple Vicodin with alcohol for a greater effect, but that combination is especially damaging to the liver. Either way, the liver damage may be irreversible and cause to liver failure.

A Vicodin overdose can cause death. More than 15,000 people die each year from an overdose of prescription painkillers, including Vicodin.

Tolerance and Addiction

Vicodin tolerance occurs when the current dose no longer produces an effect on the body, whether that effect is pain management or an intentional high. To achieve the desired result, the user will need to increase the dosage or the frequency of Vicodin use. Addiction occurs when the user experiences negative side effects from Vicodin use but continues to use it anyway. People addicted to Vicodin may feel so compelled to use it that they will go to great lengths to obtain it, such as “doctor shopping” by requesting prescriptions from multiple different doctors, or even stealing it.

Signs of Vicodin Abuse

Signs of Vicodin abuse can be physical or behavioral. Physical symptoms include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Behavioral changes that indicate Vicodin abuse include:

  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Loss of focus
  • Obsessive focus on obtaining and using Vicodin
  • Using it for non-medical reasons, such as emotional escape or to feel normal
  • Mood swings

Withdrawal

A person who stops taking Vicodin will experience symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms can begin within 6 to 24 hours of the last dose and may last for a few weeks. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle pain
  • Poor sleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression

Addiction Treatment

Treatment for Vicodin abuse can be outpatient or residential, depending on the individual’s needs and situation. A blend of behavioral and medical treatments will address both the physical drug dependence and the emotional cause underlying the addiction. Call our toll-free number to seek help for Vicodin abuse.

Which are the Deadliest Drugs for Americans Today?

Which are the deadliest drugs today

What does the phrase “deadliest drugs” mean to you? You might think of street drugs such as cocaine or heroin, or highly addictive prescription painkillers such as OxyContin. Alcohol and tobacco might not come to mind at all. In truth, legal or illegal, prescription or recreational, all of these drugs can be deadly. Many times, the deadliest drugs are not those we hear about the most.

Some of the Deadliest Illegal Drugs

Cocaine

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant which dealers sell on the street as a fine white powder. Users snort cocaine, rub it on their gums, or mix it with water to inject into the bloodstream. Crack cocaine is a crystallized form that users smoke.

However it enters the body, cocaine increases dopamine levels in the brain, creating a “high” feeling of happiness, alertness, and high energy. Adverse side effects include paranoia, irritability, and hypersensitivity to light, sound, and touch. As a stimulant, cocaine causes increased heart rate, restlessness, and muscle twitches. A cocaine overdose can cause death by heart attack, stroke or seizure. Cocaine users are also at risk for infection with HIV and hepatitis C.

Heroin

Heroin is an incredibly addictive illegal street drug derived from morphine. Alarmingly, more than 2000 people die each year from heroin use. It sells on the street as either a brown or white powder or black tar heroin. Users smoke, inject, or snort it. The body converts it to morphine, which binds to receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Dopamine then floods the brain, blocking pain messages and producing a pleasurable high.  A heroin overdose causes hypoxia or reduced breathing rate, which deprives the brain of oxygen, leading to death, coma, and brain damage.

Heroin users can also suffer from:

  • collapsed veins
  • liver and kidney disease
  • other infections

Deaths From Prescription Painkiller Overdoses

Prescription Drugs

A common misconception is that medication prescribed by a doctor must be safe, but even prescription drugs have the potential for abuse. Opioids affect the brain in the same way as heroin and carry the highest risk of abuse and dependency. Common opioid painkillers include:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin)
  • Hydrocodone with acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone (such as OxyContin)
  • Oxycodone with acetaminophen
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

The greatest risk is that an overdose of opioid painkillers can cause immediate death from hypoxia. Furthermore, long-term use or abuse can lead to bowel problems, liver damage or failure, kidney damage or failure, and heart damage. Opioid abuse is on the rise, with deaths from overdose increasing each year. In 2015, more than 33,000 people died from opioid use. Opiates and opioids are today the deadliest drugs in the US.

Legal but Two of the Deadliest Drugs

Alcohol

While legal for adults over the age of 21, alcohol causes serious adverse side effects, including death, when used to excess. The liver metabolizes alcohol but can only process a certain amount at a time. Whatever the body cannot process goes directly into the bloodstream.  Alcohol acts as a depressant to the brain and central nervous system, impairing reaction time, motor skills, balance, and judgment. Death can result from:

  • Car accidents
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Drowning
  • Falling
  • Violence

Long-term alcohol abuse can also be fatal by leading to chronic illnesses such as:

  • Liver cirrhosis and failure
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer

Deaths resulting from alcohol total 80,000 per year.

Tobacco

Like alcohol, tobacco use is legal for adults, in this case, adults over the age of 18. Tobacco use, whether it is cigarettes or chewing tobacco, causes many illnesses leading to disability and death. Nearly every organ in the body is affected, causing diseases such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Lung cancer
  • Oral cancer
  • Lung diseases
  • Diabetes

These effects are not limited to the user. As a matter of fact, secondhand smoke causes roughly 41,000 deaths per year among non-smoking adults and 400 deaths in infants.

Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery

While addiction to any of these substances is a challenge, recovery is possible. Choices Recovery can help. Call for yourself or someone you care about.

The Dangerous Effects of LSD on the Body

lsd effects

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: a familiar refrain from one of the most iconic bands of the flower generation, the lyrics evoking whimsical images of a dream-like journey. It is commonly believed that this song was inspired by an LSD trip. So much so, in fact, that the song name has become a slang term for the drug, despite the songwriters asserting that the inspiration was not drugs, but a childhood drawing.

What Is LSD?

In 1938, Albert Hoffman, working for the Swiss chemical company Sandoz, was seeking to synthesize a compound that would stimulate the respiratory and circulatory systems. A fellow scientist had isolated an active substance called ergotamine from ergot, a fungus found in tainted rye that had been used as a folk medicine for generations. Ergot, in its natural form, was a deadly poison, though, in small doses, the muscle- and blood vessel-constricting properties of ergot could be useful to hasten childbirth and staunch bleeding after delivery.

Hofmann developed a synthetic process to build the ergot compounds from their component chemicals. The 25th compound he created, reacting lysergic acid with diethylamine, a derivative of ammonia, was known as LSD-25 for the purposes of laboratory testing. This compound proved disappointing for medicinal purposes; it was by accidental absorption that he discovered its hallucinogenic properties. The drug was then produced for further testing, and ultimately exploded into the counter-culture of the 1960s, its hallucinogenic properties ostensibly providing a means to find spiritual enlightenment. The widespread abuse of the drug resulted in its being banned as a threat to public health.

How Do Hallucinogens Work?

Classic hallucinogens are thought to produce their perception-altering effects by acting on neural circuits in the brain that uses the neurotransmitter serotonin. Specifically, some of their most prominent effects occur in the prefrontal cortex—an area involved in mood, cognition, and perception—as well as other regions important in regulating arousal and physiological responses to stress and panic.

LSD effects may include altered awareness of the surroundings, perceptions, and feelings as well as hallucinatory sensations and images. Adverse psychiatric reactions such as anxiety, paranoia, and delusions are possible.

Health Hazards

Under the influence of LSD, the ability to make sensible judgments and see common dangers is impaired, making the user susceptible to potentially fatal personal injury. After an LSD trip, the user may suffer acute anxiety or depression, and may also experience flashbacks, which are recurrences of the effects of LSD days or even months after taking the last dose. A flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning.

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) describes a post-LSD exposure syndrome in which LSD-like visual changes are not temporary and brief, as they are in flashbacks, but instead are persistent, and cause clinically significant impairment or distress. HPPD differs from flashbacks in that it is persistent and apparently entirely visual (although mood and anxiety disorders are sometimes diagnosed in the same individuals).

LSD may trigger panic attacks or feelings of extreme anxiety, known familiarly as a “bad trip.” Review studies suggest that LSD likely plays a role in precipitating the onset of acute psychosis in previously healthy individuals with an increased likelihood in individuals who have a family history of schizophrenia.

Bad trips and flashbacks are only part of the risks of LSD use. LSD users may also manifest relatively long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression.

LSD is not addictive, but it does produce tolerance, so users need to take progressively higher doses to achieve the same state of intoxication. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug.

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.

What are the Different Types of Hallucinogen Drugs

Types of hallucinogen drugs

Hallucinogens are drugs that when used, cause hallucinations. Users see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem very real but do not exist. Although there are different types of hallucinogen drugs, some produce sudden and unpredictable changes in the mood of those who use them which can be dangerous for the user as well as others. They can be addictive just like any substance that individuals abuse, such as cocaine or heroin. With repeated use of these drugs, the user can begin to get used to the feeling they receive, and the body can start to crave it and develop an addiction where the users then believe the hallucinogens are needed to function.

Different Types of Hallucinogen Drugs

As a group, all types of hallucinogen drugs distort a person’s perception of reality in one way or another. Various types of hallucinogens distort a person’s perception in different ways. These distorted perceptions result from alterations in the brain’s chemical processes and functions. Each type of hallucinogen targets certain specific chemical processes, which accounts for the different “trips” or “highs” users experience.

Overall, three types of hallucinogen drugs exist:

  • Psychedelics
  • Dissociatives
  • Deliriants

Psychedelics

Under normal conditions, the brain uses a selection process that determines how a person perceives his or her surroundings. In effect, this process filters out certain aspects so a person can attend to a task or activity. Psychedelic hallucinogens strip away this selection process, so users experience everything in their surroundings. Drugs belonging to this type of hallucinogen include:

  • LSD
  • Peyote
  • Mescaline

When “high,” users experience an overwhelming sense of expansion where colors, sounds, smells, and textures become worlds of their own. Seeing visions and hearing voices are also common.

Dissociatives

The brain’s ability to translate sensory perceptions enables a person to experience his or her immediate environment. Dissociative hallucinogens create a state of sensory deprivation where the mind is free to create its internal environment and perceptions.

Drugs belonging to this type of hallucinogen include:

  • Magic mushrooms
  • PCP
  • Ketamine
  • DXM

While drug effects can vary from dose to dose and drug to drug, dissociative effects produce an “out-of-body-type” experience that leaves users in a trance state.

Deliriants

Unlike the other two types of hallucinogens, deliriant drug effects create false perceptions that have no basis in a person’s internal or external reality. Users enter a stupor-like state of confusion.

Deliriant type drugs include:

  • Datura
  • Deadly Nightshade
  • Jimson Weed

A person may start to hold conversations with imaginary people or go through the motions of completing a complex task, like getting dressed, without ever having picked out the clothes. In effect, deliriants create a psychotic state of mind where users can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy.

Hallucinogen Effects on The Brain

Hallucinogen effects target serotonin chemical processes in the brain. Serotonin acts as a vital neurotransmitter chemical that regulates some functions, some of which include:

  • Ability to control one’s behavior
  • Muscle movement controls
  • Emotional state
  • Feelings of hunger
  • Sensory perceptions
  • Sexual drive

Serotonin also interacts with two other key neurotransmitter chemicals known as dopamine and norepinephrine. Different types of hallucinogens may produce varying effects regarding how serotonin influences dopamine and norepinephrine secretions.

Hallucinogens, in general, come from plants, mushrooms and synthetically made formulas all of which contain different consistencies of the drug. As a result, any one type of hallucinogen can produce one or more of the following effects:

  • Rapid changes in mood
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Tactile hallucinations

Abusing hallucinogens can become very dangerous, and a lot of people who abuse them do not realize what they could be getting themselves into. If you or someone you love may be abusing hallucinogens, do not hesitate to call for help today!

Dangers of Long Term Oxycodone Abuse

oxycodone

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a prescription opiate analgesic or “painkiller” that works by changing the way that the brain responds to pain. It is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, and commonly supplied under the brand names OxyContin and Percocet. Oxycodone has a high potential for abuse. When prescribed the medication users begin to get used to the euphoric feeling that they receive.

Even taking this medication as prescribed can be a big risk for addiction. The more it is used a tolerance is built up and they will eventually need more to get the effect that is needed to help with pain. Once they medication is no longer supplied and the user stops taking it they may experience withdrawal symptoms. At this point the user turns into an abuser and tries to get the medication anyway possible. Oxycodone can produce intensely positive feelings and rewarding sensations in the user. As such, it has a high potential for abuse. When used recreationally, there is a high risk for overdose, as recreational methods of ingesting it often accelerate the absorption of large, dangerous amounts of the drug.

Oxycodone can come in liquid or pill form (with immediate and controlled-release variations), and is often prescribed as a combination product with other drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, with each combination having a different brand name. Brand names include OxyContin, Roxicodone, Percocet, and Percodan. Street names for oxycodone include “oxy,” “kickers,” “blue,” and “hillbilly heroin,” among others.

Short-Term Effects of Oxycodone

When taken as prescribed, oxycodone can bring about the following desirable feelings:

  • Euphoria
  • Extreme relaxation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Pain relief
  • Sedation

Oxycodone Side Effects

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid painkiller. Its positive, pain-reducing effects can also come with several unwanted side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Mood changes

These side effects can make the user uncomfortable, and tend to get worse as the dose increases. Other side effects can be much more serious and may require immediate medical help:

  • Irregular heart rate and/or rhythm
  • Chest pain
  • Hives, itching, or rash
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Postural hypotension
  • Lightheadedness

Some of the most dangerous side effects of oxycodone use are associated with the breathing problems that it may create. A markedly slowed respiratory rate can quickly turn life-threatening, especially in overdose situations.

Long Term Effects of Oxycodone

When using Oxycodone for a long period of time it can affect everyone differently. For some Oxycodone, can be very affective for help with severe chronic pain. Even using it as needed it is not safe to depend on it and use it more often than directed by the Dr. Oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning that it has been determined to have highly addictive properties and a high potential for dependence.

Oxycodone dependence can be both psychological and physical:

  • Psychological dependence often stems from the feeling of euphoria that users experience at first. Users want to continue feeling as euphoric and relaxed as their early use, sometimes even seeking higher doses in hopes of amplifying the effects.
  • Physical dependence on oxycodone involves adaptation to a persistently heightened presence of drug in one’s system. After some duration, certain physiologic processes are impeded when the drug isn’t available. Additionally, tolerance can quickly develop a phenomenon that means you will eventually need more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same effects.

Oxycodone use has been found to be associated with kidney and liver failure, as well as a reduction in the brain’s ability to adapt to new input, which may account for the shift from controlled to compulsive use. Combination products present even further risk. Chronic or extended use of any medication combining oxycodone and acetaminophen may result in severe liver damage. This risk is profoundly increased when an oxycodone/acetaminophen combination drug is abused simultaneously with alcohol.

It is very common when prescribed Oxycodone or any opiate that is a narcotic to become dependent on it. An addiction can be developed with no thoughts about it ever happening. If you or someone you love has developed an addiction and are unsure what to do, do not hesitate to call for help today, there are people ready to help with any questions and get you pointed in the right direction.