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.

Signs and Symptoms of a Cocaine Addict

cocaine addict

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that can result in an overdose with just one use.  Or, it can lead to a lifelong addiction to the drug. Sadly, cocaine addiction remains a serious problem in the United States, affecting more than one million Americans and their loved ones. If you or someone you know is addicted to cocaine, don’t hesitate to contact Choices Recovery for help. With guidance from Choices’ addiction recovery experts and the aid of the rehab’s innovative treatment programs, you can develop the skills you need to overcome your cocaine addiction and finally begin on the path to recovery.

How is Cocaine Abused?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that is most often found in powdered form.  It is known as “coke” or “blow,” or as a solidified, rock-like substance known as “crack cocaine.”  Powdered coke is consumed by snorting it or dissolving the powder in water to be injected, Crack cocaine is used by heating the rock crystal in a pipe and inhaling the vapors this process produces. The most dangerous thing about cocaine is that a person can overdose on the first use or anytime thereafter.  Obviously, there is no “safe” way to use the drug. A cocaine overdose occurs when the person uses too much of the drug. This causes a toxic reaction that can result in serious adverse health consequences or death.

How to Recognize a Cocaine Addict

Cocaine has become the drug of choice for individuals looking for a rush of pleasurable feelings, called a “high,” which is a result of changes in the way the brain functions. The intense euphoric feeling users get from cocaine occurs because the drug affects the central nervous system  It increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for regulating feelings of pleasure. Over time, cocaine abuse interrupts the natural process of dopamine production in the brain.  It prevents the chemical from being recycled back into brain cells causing a build-up among nerve cells. As a result, users develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring more and more cocaine to produce those same feelings of euphoria. This possibly leads to a cocaine dependence and addiction. Some common signs of a cocaine addict include:

  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Euphoria
  • Feelings of superiority
  • Irritability
  • Nosebleeds
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Long-Term Cocaine Effects

Because the high associated with cocaine use only lasts for a short period of time, people abusing the drug often fall into a binge and crash pattern, where they repeatedly use cocaine to experience those euphoric feelings brought on by the drug, and to avoid the depression, exhaustion and other negative symptoms brought on by a crash. Sadly, frequent cocaine abuse can result in a cocaine addiction, which can have an adverse effect on the individual’s body, mood, and personal relationships. Some possible long-term cocaine effects may include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Coma
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic headaches
  • Tremors
  • Overdose
  • Death

Contact Choices Recovery for Help

According to national statistics, 1.9 million people use cocaine each month, with the highest rate of use occurring among adults 18-25 years of age. Unfortunately, many users don’t realize that cocaine is highly addictive, and by the time they begin to experience adverse cocaine effects, they may already be addicted to the drug. If you or a loved one is facing an addiction to cocaine, the addiction recovery experts at Choices Recovery can help. The founder and CEO of Choices Recovery, Per Wickstrom, struggled with an addiction to cocaine and other drugs for more than 22 years before getting clean and is now committed to helping others do the same. Contact Choices Recovery today at our toll-free number to speak to a certified substance abuse counselor about your addiction.

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.

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.

Recovery from Heroin Addiction

heroin addiction

The history of heroin’s use in America traces back to the opium dens of the 1800s. The opium poppy has been cultivated for more than five thousand years for a variety of medicinal uses. From opium, morphine was derived, a naturally occurring opiate extracted from the seedpod of certain varieties of poppy plants. Named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, for its euphoric side effects, morphine was an effective painkiller and considered a wonder drug. Its addictive properties became alarmingly clear with the American Civil War when tens of thousands of soldiers being treated for war casualties became addicted.

Heroin

Heroin was first synthesized from morphine in 1874. For 12 years Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, marketed it under the trademark name Heroin as a cough suppressant and as a non-addictive morphine substitute, until it was discovered that it rapidly metabolizes into morphine.

The number of Americans using heroin has increased 75% in the past 5 years, and in that same time, heroin-related seizures have increased 50%.

The insidiousness of heroin lies in the fact that not only does it create an intense rush that the user longs for even thereafter, but it alters the brain’s chemistry, training the body to crave it. Heroin addiction withdrawal symptoms are intense and can include: cold sweats, depression and anxiety, loss of appetite, unstable moods, muscle cramping, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

Seeking Help

For any addict, admitting there is a problem and seeking help are sometimes the most difficult first steps. If someone you love is addicted to heroin, it’s essential to take that brave step of confronting them about it. However, realize that drug addiction is stigmatized to such a degree that any anger or accusation element introduced into this conversation will be counter-productive. It’s important to come from a place of care and loving support, with an ongoing reassurance that you are there for the person.

The challenges can be significant even when the situation is approached with the best intentions and utmost care. There is professional help available. Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is a resource that teaches family and friends effective strategies for helping their loved one to change and for feeling better themselves. CRAFT works to affect the loved one’s behavior by changing the way the family interacts with him or her. According to their website, it is designed to accomplish three goals:

  1. When a loved one is abusing substances and refusing to get help, CRAFT helps families move their loved one toward treatment.
  1. CRAFT helps reduce the loved one’s alcohol and drug use, whether or not the loved one has engaged in treatment yet.
  1. CRAFT improves the lives of concerned family and friends.

Hope for the Future

While the facts and figures relating to addiction can be horrifying, there is hope. The plus side of those daunting numbers is that a great deal of research, study, time and effort has gone into finding solutions for heroin treatment. People are different, and addicts differ greatly in their underlying causes for addiction, which means there is no one-shot treatment that will be effective for everybody. Many approaches are available, many options for seeking a full recovery. One such option is Choices Recovery Program, founded by Per Wickstrom, himself a rehabilitated addict. Mr. Wickstrom believes that no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past and no matter what your age is, you can overcome anything, be successful and lead a healthy life. Mr. Wickstrom was able to do this himself after he had suffered from addiction for over 22 years.

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!

 

 

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.

Dangerous Effects to Your Baby When Abusing Drugs During Pregnancy

Dangers of Abusing Drugs During Pregnancy

When pregnant, everything that goes in the mother’s body affects the health and well-being of the baby. It is always very important to be careful of what goes in the body but even more important when carrying a baby. Everything the mother does will influence the baby. When abusing drugs during pregnancy, you are abusing your unborn child in the worst way. Abusing drugs during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, low birth weight, premature labor, placental abruption, fetal death, and even maternal death.

The Effects of Abusing Drugs During Pregnancy

Marijuana

What Happens When a Pregnant Woman Smokes Marijuana?

Marijuana crosses the placenta to your baby. Marijuana like cigarette smoke contains toxins that keep your baby from getting the proper supply of oxygen that he or she needs to grow.

How can Marijuana affect the baby?

Smoking marijuana increases the levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the blood, which reduces the oxygen supply to the baby. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature births, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning problems.

Cocaine

What happens when a pregnant woman consumes cocaine?

Cocaine crosses the placenta and enters your baby’s circulation. The elimination of cocaine is slower in a fetus than in an adult. This means that cocaine remains in the baby’s body much longer than it does in your body.

How can cocaine affect the baby?

During the early months of pregnancy, cocaine exposure may increase the risk of miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, cocaine use can cause placental abruption, which can lead to severe bleeding preterm birth, and fetal death. Babies born to mothers who use cocaine throughout pregnancy may also have a smaller head and be growth restricted. Babies who are exposed to cocaine later in pregnancy may be born dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. Defects of the genitals, kidneys, and brain are also possible.

Heroin

What happens when a pregnant woman uses heroin?

Heroin is a very addictive drug that crosses the placenta to the baby. Because this drug is so addictive, the unborn baby can become dependent on the drug.

How can heroin affect the baby?

Using heroin during pregnancy increases the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar, bleeding within the brain, and infant death. Babies can also be born addicted to heroin and can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, convulsions, diarrhea, fever, sleep abnormalities, and joint stiffness. Mothers who inject narcotics are more susceptible to HIV, which can be passed to unborn children.

What if I am addicted to heroin and I am pregnant?

Treating an addiction to heroin can be complicated, especially when you are pregnant. Your health care provider may prescribe methadone as a form of treatment. It is best that you communicate with your health care provider, so he or she can provide the best treatment for you and your baby.

PCP and LSD

What happens when a pregnant woman takes PCP and LSD?

PCP and LSD are hallucinogens. Both PCP and LSD users can behave violently, which may harm the baby if the mother hurts herself.

How can PCP and LSD affect the baby?

PCP use during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight, poor muscle control, brain damage, and withdrawal syndrome if used frequently. Withdrawal symptoms include lethargy, alternating with tremors. LSD can lead to birth defects if a person uses it frequently.

Methamphetamine

What happens when a pregnant woman takes methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is chemically in the same family as amphetamine, which causes the heart rate of the mother and baby to increase.

How can methamphetamine affect the baby?

Taking methamphetamine during pregnancy can result in problems like those seen with the use of cocaine in pregnancy. The use of speed can cause the baby to get less oxygen, which can lead to low birth weight. Methamphetamine can also increase the likelihood of premature labor, miscarriage, and placental abruption. Babies can be born with methamphetamine addiction and suffer withdrawal symptoms that include tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. Some experts believe that learning difficulties may result as the child gets older.

Not only are there the horrible physical effects that can occur when abusing drugs during pregnancy, but legal matters can occur as well. If you or someone you love is abusing drugs during pregnancy or not it is important to get help right away!

Past Underage Drinking: Can it Affect an Adult’s Success Later in Life?

underage drinking

Underage drinking is a major concern for the United States. Some research suggests that one in ten high school students drank in excess during their time between the ages of 14 and 18. Furthermore, some reports state that children as young as eight have even tried alcohol. Many of these individuals have admitted to consuming alcohol at family events. Binge drinking is a huge problem for communities across the country. All things considered, It is dangerous to simply shrug these statistics off as a part of adolescents or teenagers being teenagers. Commonly, many parents today do not consider it to be a problem because they drank alcohol during their high school years. Can past underage drinking affect an adult’s success later in life?

Underage Drinking and Danger

The risk in underage drinking is evident. Moreover, the age restrictions for consuming alcohol is set to provide a safety net. Young adults are not mature or responsible enough to drink alcohol. They do not understand the repercussions of their decisions and can seriously injure themselves or someone else. The combination of inexperience, understanding and smaller stature is a recipe for disaster. Young adults can become intoxicated with relatively little alcohol and create danger.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol was a factor in the over 4,000 deaths of kids younger than 21.  Motor vehicle accidents, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, falls, burns, and drownings were the cause of these deaths. The damage does not always end in fatality. Other injuries and concerns caused by underage alcohol consumption include serious injury, impaired judgment, increased risk of physical or sexual assault, damage to a developing brain, and increased risk of developing an addiction.

Underage Drinking Statistics

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the United States. By the age of 15, 33% of teenagers have had at least one drink and by 18 that increases to 60%. In 2015, 7.7 million Americans between 12-20 stated they drank alcohol, beyond a few sips, within the last month. Eleven percent of the alcohol consumed in this country is done by those who are between the ages of 12 and 20.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released alcohol-related statistics:

  • 1,580 motor vehicle deaths
  • 1,269 homicides
  • 245 poisonings, falls, burns, drowning
  • 492 suicides

Underage Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as drinking four or more drinks in one hour. The body is incapable of metabolizing the alcohol and the result is drunkenness. As a matter of fact, teenagers consume 90% of their alcohol by binge drinking. The consequences of underage binge drinking are severe. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report, 5.1 million teenagers had binge drank within the last month and 1.3 million reported binge drinking more than five times in the past month.

Does Underage Drinking Lead to Alcohol Addiction Later in Life?

Can underage drinking affect an adult’s success later in life? Absolutely! Besides the irreparable damage that underage drinking can cause, there are more effects that can damage the success of an adult. More alarmingly, those who continue to abuse alcohol can easily become addicted. Usually, using alcohol to alter a mood is an easy sign that alcohol abuse and addiction are present. Anyone suffering from alcoholism or recognizes it in someone else should seek professional help, like the experts at Per Wickstrom’s rehab centers. Their experience with substance abuse and addiction is key to their understanding of recovery. Alcohol abuse can damage social life, family life, finances, cause legal trouble, and impede with careers. The damage alcohol can cause to an adult’s success is real.