Most Dangerous Synthetic Drugs in America

 

Drugs such as methamphetamines, marijuana, or heroin have long been a problem here in the United States as the war on drugs continue, even after decades of hard work, policing the illegal manufacturing, distribution, and selling of these products for illicit purposes. Synthetic drugs, however, are a newer problem that has swept across the county in recent history. Synthetic drugs, sometimes referred to as designer drugs or club drugs, are substances designed to mimic the effects of other drugs like marijuana or heroin, and they are chemically manufactured in a laboratory. They can be commercially manufactured for valid medical purposes and then diverted into illegal channels, or more commonly, they can be created in illegal clandestine labs with no chance to regulate the chemicals being used or the ability to determine the strength of the final product.

Synthetic drugs were first spotted here in America in December of 2008 when a large shipment of “Spice”, or synthetic marijauana, was seized and inspected in Dayton, Ohio. The majority of these synthetic drugs are created in foreign countries and then smuggled in through various avenues. The reason why these drugs are more difficult to detect is that many of the chemicals used in the illegal manufacturing process are made to circumvent standard tests for drug detection by law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Foreign manufacturers are often able to alter the molecular structure of these compounds in order to bypass the laws regulating these substances, therefore masking their intended purpose and avoiding enforcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

     The reason why these types of drugs are more dangerous is because most of the side effects are unknown, as the difference in the chemical structure can have varying negative effects on the brain and the behavior of the user who is under its influence. Due to the illegal manufacturing of these drugs, the strength is unregulated and can cause an unexpected overdose as the individual taking them is unaware of how much they are ingesting. Low prices, availability and misconception of the harmless effects of synthetic drugs have likely led to its popularity and subsequent substance abuse problem.

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There are more than 300 newly discovered synthetic drugs on the market, with that number still rising, making it even more difficult to predict the side effects of each one. However, the most dangerous of these designer drugs that have been detected in America are listed as follows;

  • Fentanyl 

     Fentanyl is the highest strength opioid on the market and is often used by dealers to dilute heroin on the streets. It is said to be 80-100 times stronger than morphine, making it a danger to someone who doesn’t know what they are using. It was first created as a skin patch for the pain management of cancer patients but now due to its high strength, it is also being cut down and sold as a super strength heroin. There is a high chance of overdose to unsuspecting users due to its potency and the unpredictable ingredients when manufactured and sold for illegal purposes. 

  • Synthetic Marijuana

     Synthetic marijuana, also referred to as K2 or spice, are chemical compounds created to imitate the effects of marijuana. Synthetic marijuana strains, or cannabinoids, are perhaps the most well known across the country as its negative effects to users received widespread media attention. Made from dried and shredded plant materials that are then sprayed with chemicals, it is often colorfully packaged and sold as “potpourri”, a type of incense. It can be purchased from convenience stores, gas stations or glass pipe shops, making it easy to obtain and very misleading to the user as its readily available. There is a high chance of negative effects after exposure as many of these chemicals go unmonitored for the safety of human consumption. 

  • Synthetic Stimulants

     Synthetic Stimulants, otherwise known as cathinones, are designer drugs like bath salts or molly. These substances were created to mimic the effects of other stimulating drugs such as ecstasy, MDMA, or methamphetamine. Bath salts, not to be confused with epsom salts, are chemically related to cathinone, a stimulating substance naturally found in the khat plant. The khat plant was once used to treat depression, diabetes, fatigue and various other ailments, but has since been banned from production in many countries due to its harmful side effects. Synthetic drugs containing cathinone are more lethal than the natural substance because of its increased potency and highly toxic side effects. Bath salts have been known to produce violent and psychotic behavior relating to self harm and cannibalism.

     Molly is another synthetic stimulant that is more popular within night clubs or with members of the rave community. When the user is unaware of what chemicals are in the compound it becomes more dangerous when consumed with other substances such as alcohol or marijuana, and unfortunately in these settings it most commonly is. Sometimes this combination can even be lethal to the unsuspecting user. What was first confiscated as “pure MDMA”, cops have later found, more often than not, that the substance would test positive for varying amounts of cathinone. Thus, increasing the danger when using this drug.

  • Synthetic LSD

     While LSD itself is chemically derived in a laboratory and induces powerful mood altering changes, there are still designer drugs created to replicate its effects. These chemicals are even more harmful when ingested. Also known as phenethylamine, and called N-bomb or smiles on the street, synthetic LSD has had many negative effects to the user as they are unaware that they are not taking LSD, making it even more dangerous to those who are inexperienced. These drugs can cause hallucinations, anxiety and even death, leading to unwanted overdoses due to the unknown ingestion of these harmful compounds. 

     If you or someone you know is suffering from a chemical dependency to any of these substances listed above or are experiencing withdrawal symptoms of any kind, please contact a medical professional today to get help in managing the heavy detox and withdrawal symptoms. There is always hope for recovery and you do not have to go through this alone.

Who is to Blame for the Drug Crisis?

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If there’s one thing Americans of all backgrounds, religions and political affiliations agree on, it’s that the United States is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic, one that is fueled, largely by opioids. While virtually everyone agrees that losing over 70,000 lives a year to the drug epidemic is a travesty, many people are looking to place blame where blame is due. Complicating things further it is no one person, place or thing that created the opioid epidemic. Many historical, socioeconomic and individual factors play a role in the crisis.

One reason people look to assign blame is they believe (sometimes rightfully so), that finding the one thing to blame is the first step to solving the problem. This may be partially true, but for an honest, successful solution to the drug overdose crisis, we need to look at every possible factor that plays a role in the growing problem. Being honest with the findings is the best way to address the multitude of issues that contributed to the crisis.

Illicit drug dealers and pharmaceutical companies are who most people automatically blame for the drug crisis.

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“Big Pharma” drug manufacturers most certainly played a role in the drug crisis, by overselling the benefits of opioids and downplaying the risks. Yet there are various other factors that contributed to the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Of course the first place people look to when placing blame for the opioid epidemic is the drug dealers and manufacturers. Since President Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971, our strategy for dealing with the problems drugs cause in society was to go after the supply chain. In the nearly 50 years since this war on drugs was declared, we are nowhere close to solving the problems drugs have created in our society.

Certainly, drug dealers and big pharma have played a major role in creating the drug crisis in the United States. Many companies (including, most notably Purdue Pharma), have been found in court to have lied about the safety and efficacy of their prescription drug products. In the late 1990’s, Purdue aggressively marketed Oxycontin to doctors, claiming the extended-release of opioids would prevent misuse of the drug. This formula allowed the giant pharmaceutical company to receive FDA approval to put more opioids in each pill and we all know how that turned out.

The reality of Oxycontin was that it is much more prone to be abused or misused. People who developed a dependency to opiates found that the extended release formula could be bypassed by crushing up the pills and either snorting the powder or injecting the drug directly into their veins with intravenous needles. Because the oxycodone pills are so powerful, an addiction to opioids could develop very fast. Once the prescription ran-out, the addicted patients were forced to move on to street drugs like heroin, just to avoid the excruciatingly painful opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Even when someone successfully quit using opioids, they are highly prone to experience a relapse. A 2016 study found that people who are in recovery from opioid addiction experienced at least a 30% to 70% relapse rate within the first 6 months of their recovery. Fortunately, as a response to this contributing factor, the same pharmaceutical companies developed medications to help treat opioid addiction. Medication assisted treatment (MAT) can greatly help ease painful withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction and they can greatly lower the rate of further relapses into substance use.

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Are doctors, physicians and other medical professionals to blame for the drug crisis? While some doctors ignored the warnings others may have been intentionally misled.

Doctors who overprescribed opioids and other painkillers are also rightfully to blame for the drug crisis in the United States.

While it is certainly easy to blame drug dealers and multi-billion dollar corporations for the opioid epidemic, the problem equally rests in the interpersonal and professional relationships of patients and doctors in their local communities. A 2016 survey found that about as many Americans blame doctors for overprescribing opioids (34%) as they do the patients who abuse prescription painkillers themselves (37%).

Illicit drug dealers market street drugs like heroin, counterfeit versions of prescription opioids and various forms of fentanyl. However, according to SAMHSA data, fewer than 10% of prescription opioids are obtained from drug dealers or other strangers. Over 50% of the misused or abused pills come from family members or close friends, while only 25% are obtained with a prescription from a doctor or physician. While the problem of patients receiving multiple prescriptions from different doctors, this only represents 3.1% of the opioids obtained for non-medical use, whereas over 22% receive prescription opioids from only one doctor.

Our overall approach to pain management drastically changed in the 1970’s when pain became the “fifth vital sign”.

Before the 1970’s, the medical profession virtually ignored the importance of pain management in a patient’s medical care. The inclusion of the question: “was your pain adequately treated” on patient surveys brought about a sort of preoccupation within the medical community on how to provide adequate pain management. Pain became the “fifth vital sign” along with body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate.

As a doctor, you certainly don’t want to see your patients suffer with pain symptoms. With a newfound focus on pain management, physicians and hospital administrators began aggressively treating pain symptoms, which led to a massive increase in opioid prescriptions.

We have to admit that opioids do serve as effective pain relievers and, when used appropriately, they can benefit the overall quality of health care services available in our society. Opioids do serve to benefit people who have recently undergone surgery, experienced a major bone fracture, cancer patients and other severely painful medical events. We cannot simply prohibit doctors from prescribing them appropriately.

Various forms of alternative pain management techniques are available, yet many doctors aren’t taught them in medical schools. The pharmaceutical industry provides massive funding to most of the medical schools in the US. This problem is compounded by the health insurance companies’ reimbursement policies. These policies make prescription opioids a much cheaper option for patients than other, alternative approaches to pain management, such as acupuncture, physical therapy or chiropractic techniques.

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Opioid manufactures, over-prescribing doctors, insurance policies and patients themselves have all played major roles in the drug overdose epidemic. Now that we know, it’s time to start fixing the problem.

While it is easy for people to simply blame “big pharma” as the culprits of the drug overdose crisis in America, we think that is simply just the tip of the iceberg. Of course the Sackler family from Purdue Pharma, along with other pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson seriously downplayed the risks associated with their products.

Currently, over 2,000 court cases against opioid manufactures are pending in the US. These cases rightfully assert that “big pharma” may have intentionally misled doctors into prescribing more opioids, which most certainly played a role in the creation of the opioid epidemic. Yet opioid misuse is a much more complicated issue than that.

Drug abuse typically coincides with strong feelings of hopelessness, depression and despair. The states that are the worst-hit by the opioid epidemic also suffer from the highest rates of joblessness and economic turmoil. Until we address all of the underlying causes of the current drug crisis in America, we are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Overcoming an addiction is never easy, yet there are people who do it every day. 10 Acre Ranch offers a full medical detox and recovery program that can help you, every step of the way.

Please call us today to speak with one of our addiction specialists and we can get you, your family member or loved one the help they need right away. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call now:

 

877-228-4679

 

 

The Importance of Peer Support Systems in Addiction Recovery

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When someone enters our residential addiction treatment facility in Riverside, California, we strongly emphasize a ‘social model’ of recovery. Our treatment program is unique, in that we strive to help our patients get ready for life outside of a professional addiction treatment program. Our residential, inpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs immerse the individual in a community of fellow people who have just began their road to recovery. This experience with peers in a supportive, compassionate environment helps our patients learn new skills to cope with emotional and social stress. The reactions to these situations are guided in a social atmosphere and are crucial to help our clients avoid potential relapse triggers that may occur later in their journey towards sobriety.

12 step programs and support groups still play a major role in modern addiction treatment.

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In recovery from substance abuse, 12 step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous or Narcotic’s Anonymous help create relationships, most importantly the relationship with a sponsor. This relationship will allow for a continuation of care and community support following a formal drug rehab program. These types of support structures help welcome newcomers and guide them through the early, sometimes turbulent stages of recovery.

Beginning 12-Step participation while in treatment, especially at group meetings held at the treatment program, and 12-Step attendance at the same time that one is enrolled in specialty treatment, are associated with better outcomes.”- NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Consistent participation is the key when it comes to any attempt at alcohol or drug rehabilitation. Addiction is a disease and just like any other disease, addiction can be treated with both psychological and medical treatment methods. While evidence based medical approaches to care have advanced the addiction treatment industry into the 21st century, a strong foundation of interpersonal support is still a critical component in helping people abstain from further substance use. Ongoing, consistent social support is essential to a successful recovery.

Peer support and 12 step groups are most effective in helping people recover from addiction when coupled with behavioral therapy and applicable medical treatments as determined by a medical doctor. Long-term sobriety should be the ultimate goal of any reputable treatment program. While some people’s lives have been saved through the tenants of 12-step programs, it doesn’t always work for everyone, in every situation. A custom, personalized treatment plan should be developed on an individual basis to ensure the best results. Most often, these plans of action will incorporate a variety of treatment methods to address the unique needs of each of our patients.

Peer support is available, outside of traditional 12-step program environments.

In many ways, recovery is a very personal experience that is different for each individual. Upon entering a drug rehabilitation program, you begin to notice your inward reasons for using drugs and alcohol, while finding ways to rebuild your life into the one you want from sobriety. Although much of your recovery is dependent on your personal willingness to change, the benefits of outside social support should not be underestimated.

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Support groups will help you continue your recovery from addiction outside of a treatment center.

Your family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors can be helpful in your recovery, but it is important to sever ties with those who may have had a negative influence on your life. This can often be the most difficult part of recovery for many people. Finding supportive, understanding, compassionate peers and family members to help you through your recovery is important. Many proclaim this as one of the primary benefits of 12 step programs. Surrounding yourself with positive peer influences can greatly help you navigate through early relapse triggers and develop appropriate responses to challenging situations. 12 step programs are a valuable resource that can help you find positive social contacts who understand your situation.

While unhealthy people and situations contributed to and helped enable your substance abuse, positive, healthy relationships can help create a sort of positive peer pressure to help you overcome your addiction. It is very likely in a support group to find others who have been where you are and they may be able to offer advice on your journey to stay clean.

Addiction can be an isolating experience. Know that you are not alone in your recovery. 

Talking about your life, your choices and experiences with like-minded individuals can greatly help you overcome the underlying reasons you developed an addiction in the first place. Cognitive behavioral therapy, relapse prevention and other types of individual and group therapy sessions will allow you to talk through your problem and find solutions in a typical drug rehab setting. It is important to continue this work for a long period after you leave the care of an addiction treatment center. Research has shown a significant decrease in the risk of relapse among people who participate in peer support programs.

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Support groups in recovery from addiction can play a vital role in your successful sobriety.

Holding yourself accountable is another very important aspect of healing that will greatly lend to your sobriety. A support network can also help hold you accountable to your goals in recovery. These connections can be incredibly helpful through the everyday challenges you will face while attempting to maintain your sobriety. It should be very easy for you to be open and honest with your sponsor and other peers from a 12 step program. They will not approach your situations and challenges with judgment, so you can usually trust them. Even in the event of a relapse, your support group won’t give up on you. Relapse does not mean that you have failed at recovery. Addiction and mental health specialists now consider relapse to be a completely normal part of recovery from an addiction.

Finding professional help is a great first step towards a new life. Call us today to discuss your options and begin your journey. We are open 24/7 to take your call:

 

(877) 228-4679

LGBTQ Addiction Treatment in Riverside, California

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The LGBTQ community has been historically under-represented in addiction recovery services and substance abuse research for decades. For people who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or queer, a negative social stigma and intense discrimination have been the unfortunate norm that sadly differentiates them from the “normal” heterosexual population. Due to the deeply-rooted social discrimination against the LGBTQ community, sexual minorities are also more likely to be at risk for a variety of other behavioral health issues besides just the addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to experience issues with mental health and substance abuse than the heterosexual population, on average.

While sexual orientation is by no means a new concept, federally-funded research has only begun to look at trends and statistics affecting the LGBTQ community. In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) included 2 questions on sexual orientation for the first time, which made it the first nationally-representative survey of substance use and mental health trends ever collected. The study found that sexual-minorities were more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to experience substance use and mental health issues. This trend appears to be true across all different subgroups, regardless of variables like age group or gender identity.

Trauma is an important factor concerning substance abuse for any group of individuals and the LGBTQ community is no different. People who identify as LGBTQ often exhibit a pattern of significant and seemingly frequent experiences with early childhood trauma, school bullying, family conflicts and even something as awful as hate crime. Because addiction is a mental disease, coping or self-medicating for instances of trauma and stressful experiences through using alcohol or drugs are frequent occurrences.  All of these factors tend to correlate significantly with an increased rate of drug or alcohol abuse.

Being “different” can be a difficult and traumatic experience, especially for teens and young adults. Social acceptance and inclusion tend to be a major factor affecting the mental health of human beings. People who identify as LGBTQ often face social challenges on a daily basis. It is therefore completely understandable when they attempt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to compensate for internal and external feelings of prejudice or negative judgments.

Anxiety and loneliness are feelings commonly experienced within the LGBTQ community as a result of the negative stigma and discrimination that is projected upon this already vulnerable group of people. Sometimes, internalized homophobia or self-hatred is experienced by individuals who are uncomfortable or have not yet fully-accepted themselves and their own personal, sexual preferences. This can all cause an increase in the likelihood of problems, including mental health issues and substance use disorders.

Fear of rejection is major contributor to the development of emotional and behavioral disorders, including addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Depression, anxiety disorder, high levels of stress, tendencies to induce self-harm and even suicidal thoughts are all common experiences for individuals who identify as LGBTQ. These mental health issues are often compounded with the variety of physical conditions that are more common in the LGBTQ community. These physical conditions include: sexual assault, HIV, sexual dysfunction or compulsive sexual behaviors. All of these can induce greater levels of stress and self-doubt for individuals, all of which may cause them to be more prone to develop an addiction to a wide variety of legal and illicit substances.

With the unique factors associated with addictive disorders affecting the LGBTQ community, it is of utmost importance to address these within the addiction treatment programs for members of this population. No one person is the same, so any effective addiction treatment should be administered from an individualized, personal approach. Using this culturally-sensitive approach to substance abuse treatment can greatly benefit members of the LGBTQ community.

A co-occurring disorder may be present in people from the LGBTQ community, requiring a dual diagnosis focused treatment program.

Although society as a whole has come a long way in accepting members of the LGBTQ community, discrimination is definitely still a common factor for these individuals. This will often lead to the individual feeling the need to live a “closeted life”. While we now see LGBTQ characters in film and television as our “normal” counterparts in society, many are still very afraid to completely be open about who they truly are inside. This can cause someone to live a sort of double-life, hiding their true identity from others as they attempt to navigate interpersonal, family, work or other social relationships. Again, keeping your identity as a secret from others can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s individual mental health.

All of this can lead to a variety of predominant, underlying mental health issues, that when combined with a substance use disorder become much more difficult to treat. When you are looking for a treatment program to address your substance abuse, you should consider a facility that includes a dual-diagnosis treatment option. Research has shown that treating both the mental health issue, along with the addiction is the most likely option to generate a successful recovery.

10 Acre Ranch serves the diverse needs of LGBTQ individuals with our social-model of addiction treatment.

While members of the LGBTQ community exhibit a higher rate of substance abuse than those of the heterosexual population, there are surprisingly few addiction treatment programs focused on their unique needs. A negative stigma also surrounds individuals who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. This all has created a culture of fear, which can likely prevent them from asking for the help they so desperately need.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we employ a social model of addiction recovery, which helps us create a nurturing, understanding community within the confines of our treatment center. Our addiction treatment programs are all focused on compassion and healing, which can help our clients rebuild their lives, free from the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you or someone close to you is experiencing an uncontrollable addiction to drugs or alcohol and they want help, look no further. The experts at 10 Acre Ranch are a compassionate, caring community who are focused on helping individuals achieve a lifetime of sobriety.

Give us a call today! Our addiction helpline is completely private and confidential and we are available to help you 24/7, or whenever you are ready.

(877)-228-4679

What is Kratom? Cutting Edge Treatment, or Addictive Drug?

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As the opioid epidemic rages in the United States, the Food & Drug Administration has issued new warnings about kratom. Many people have begun talking about this widely used, natural supplement and its benefits and potential risks. Native to Southeast Asia and a member of the coffee family, kratom is seen by many as an all-natural supplement to help in a myriad of physical and mental ailments. Some of the purported uses include treatment for:

  • Pain-management
  • Opioid withdrawal symptom relief
  • Depression
  • Obesity & high blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • As an energy boost
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Is kratom dangerous? Many scientists and government agencies say yes.

But many scientists and the FDA disagree with these claims. In a statement from September 11, 2018, FDA chairman Scott Gottlieb, M.D. claims:

Science and evidence matter in demonstrating medical benefit, especially when a product is being marketed to treat serious diseases like opioid use disorder (OUD). However, to date, there have been no adequate and well-controlled scientific studies involving the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use withdrawal or other diseases in humans. Nor have there been studies on how kratom, when combined with other substances, may impact the body, its dangers, potential side effects, or interactions with other drugs.”

While there may have not been adequate study to substantiate either side of these claims, many leading scientists and addiction specialists are championing the concerns as expressed by the FDA.

To begin, the agency claims that kratom contains opioids, which is not entirely true, yet the relationship is virtually undeniable. Mitragyna speciosa is a tree related to the coffee plant, which is not from the poppy family, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some compounds found in kratom affect opioid receptors in the brain. Perhaps this is why many sufferers of opiate addiction swear by its usefulness in helping manage their withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, the reasons for this are certainly indicative of the strong potential for addiction to kratom. Because kratom affects the same brain receptors as opioids do, it is essentially like substituting one opioid addiction for another one.

Kratom exhibits a high potential for abuse and can lead to further opioid addiction.

In a study published by Addiction Biology in June of 2018, one of the two psychoactive compounds in Kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine (or 7-HMG) has a “high abuse potential that may also increase the intake of other opiates”. The study showed that the other of the 2 psychoactive constituents, Mitragynine (MG) does not have a high potential for abuse and can actually decrease subsequent opiate intake. Since kratom is a plant, certain strains can be bred to intentionally have more 7-HMG than occurs naturally, so someone that uses kratom should be warned. The harvesting and extraction of the plant before it is packaged can also be adulterated to some extent. This could pose dangerous consequences to unsuspecting users of kratom extracts and supplements.

The safety of kratom is a major concern that has been taken into account by the FDA. In November 2017 the FDA claimed that kratom was responsible for 44 deaths since 2011. These reports hold true the assessment that kratom is an addictive drug, with a high potential for abuse that can create various health problems, including death.

These same government agencies are also warning that kratom can deter people from seeking medication-assisted treatment (MAT) such as buprenorphine, naloxone and methadone. These substance abuse treatment medications are scientifically proven to reduce opioid dependence in addicts:

“Patients who were using opioid agonist medications at the 18-month interview were more than twice as likely to report abstinence as those who were not (80.0 percent versus 36.6 percent).”National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

With this evidence aside, many people are currently using kratom as a self-administered, step-down treatment for opioid dependence. They might think this will help them steer away from opioid drugs like heroin, yet there is no research-based evidence to back up these claims.

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Many people claim an array of benefits from kratom, yet the research is limited.

 

Kratom is fairly unregulated in the US and as a result potential dangers associated with the product certainly do exist. For instance, nine of the 44 kratom-related deaths the FDA claims in their report, were from a string of overdoses in Sweden, where a mixture of kratom and tramadol (4) was the culprit.

While the FDA tries to classify kratom as an opiate, they may be only partially right. Compounds in the plant affect the same areas of the brain as poppy-based opiates do. The compounds in the plant have been shown to trigger respiratory depression, much like opioids do. This affects the brains’ ability to tell the lungs to breathe and is ultimately how many people die from opioid overdoses. They simply quit breathing, which can result in their untimely death.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with kratom further prove its addictive properties.

Just like most other drugs, kratom can result in a chemical dependency, when taken over a period of time. When a person quits using kratom, they can experience painful withdrawal symptoms. The side effects of kratom withdrawal can include: anxiety, aggression, nausea, vomiting, irritability, depression and even seizures.

Kratom is an absolutely harmful drug whose dangerous risks far outweigh any perceived benefits. Poison control center calls concerning kratom increased ten fold from 2010 to 2015. Just like other drugs, kratom must be taken in higher and higher doses to produce the desired effects over any period of use. Your body can develop a tolerance to kratom much like it can for opioids.

Since the market is relatively unregulated, different batches of kratom can be wildly different from the next, even when it comes from the same brand. This is why many kratom consumers themselves, actually advocate for better regulation of the supplement. They want whole, pure leaf supplements that are not adulterated with other compounds, as these mixtures can be extremely dangerous.

While kratom exhibits a potential for abuse and addiction, many people still make illegitimate claims on the benefits of the plant. Some people are led to believe that it can help treat opioid addiction, then they find themselves addicted to kratom. Hopefully with more research being done, we can fully understand the potential dangers of this natural supplement.

5 Bible Verses to Help People who are Struggling With Addiction and Substance Abuse

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As you or someone you know may have struggled with long term addiction, alcoholism or substance abuse, the bible can offer a source of light in an otherwise dark and lonely world. Many have struggled to find sobriety and many have received a helping hand through their own spirituality with a personal connection to Jesus Christ.

God is love and the bible promises that god is always with us. Through our faith in God we will receive help when we are weak, god will forgive our sins and heal our hearts. In the darkness of addiction we shut ourselves out from the rest of the world. When we lead a lifestyle controlled by alcohol or drugs, we avoid our family, our friends and we ultimately disconnect ourselves from God’s unconditional love.

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God’s unconditional love can be a beacon of light while recovering from an addiction.

Many people in recovery have been greatly helped by a “higher power,” a personal relationship to God with the benefits of forgiveness, healing and hope. This personal relationship can give a person the motivation to stay on track towards recovery and sober living. Many people claim that once they surrendered themselves to God, they found their commitment to real recovery. These experiences are exemplary of various biblical scriptures that anyone in a substance abuse treatment program can relate to.

  1. Corinthians 10:13

    No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

    This verse has long been cited in the field of addiction recovery and sobriety. In this verse, Paul warned us about being overconfident. Thinking we are stronger than we actually are can cause us to be vulnerable. The real promise of hope in this verse is the fact that God will always provide us with the strength to say no. God’s strength is our strength to bear.

  2. Corinthians 6:12

    All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

    This verse is generally associated with sexual temptations and immorality, but you can apply the greater psychological concept towards any form of negative temptation. You may have the lawful right for instance, to consume any substance you could imagine but not all things are going to be helpful to you. Other things like alcohol or illicit drugs have the ability to dominate you and turn you into someone who you truly are not. Paul seems to preach moderation here but the point is that while all things could be legal, not all are beneficial to you. Ultimately, you should not allow yourself to become a slave to your own personal liberties

  3. Corinthians 15:33

    Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.

    The moments in life where we find ourselves swayed by bad influences are always much easier to identify in hindsight. We are always vulnerable in life and our experience reacting to these vulnerabilities can potentially make us stronger or weaker. Here, Paul warned about false teachers leading people astray from the teachings of Jesus Christ. But this is pertinent to patients in recovery, as addicts may have been led astray by their dark lifestyle that surrounded them during their period of substance abuse.

  4. James 5:15-16

    And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

    For anyone in recovery, hope is a cornerstone in the path towards sobriety. This verse is a lovely reminder that God can heal you, forgive you and give you the strength to carry on. When you are going through drug or alcohol rehab, temptation can seemingly lurk around every corner. While attending a Christian rehab center, God’s word reminds us to be honest and good in personal character. Through God’s watchful eye, we can maintain a constant vigilance to keep us in the light and away from the darkness.

  5. Romans 5:3-5

    More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

    Everyone in this world will experience trials and tribulations. God knows that we can become stronger through conflict. God’s ultimate love is our redemption from the suffering we experience as we navigate through the difficult times in our lives. Our moment of rejoice comes when we realize that no matter how bad our lives became, no matter how long we were addicted, there is always hope and a chance for a new life. God’s love is always there and we can find hope, courage and strength throughout our recovery if we remember this one simple fact.

    alcohol-drug-rehab-for-Christians-Riverside-LA-CA

    Addiction can be a struggle for your loved ones. Substance abuse is not a moral failing. Help them find God’s light again.

2019 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Saturday, April 27th. Find a Collection Site Near You.

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On Saturday, April 27th, 2019 the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is hosting the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This event aims to provide for the safe and confidential disposal of any unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs that you may have in your home medicine cabinet. Collection sites will be fully operational between 10am and 2pm.  The collection is completely confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked.

Besides removing drugs from potential abuse, the program aims to help to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. On the DEA’s website for National RX Take Back Day, you will find a national list of collection facilities available in California for Saturday, April 27, 2019.  There is also a link to find year-round collection sites in your local area.

Prescription drug abuse is a major concern across the United States as many communities are struggling with the ongoing opioid epidemic. In August of 2018, the Centers for Disease Control released their annual summary of drug overdose deaths in the US. In the report, the CDC shows that over 72,000 people have died in the US from a drug overdose in 2017.  This is the largest number of recorded overdose deaths ever. Factor in the other 630,000 people who have died from a drug overdose since the late 90’s, and we see a growing problem that shows no signs of slowing down. Since the late 1990’s, pharmaceutical companies have been aggressively marketing prescription opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet, codeine and even fentanyl. This major problem for many Americans begins as a medication, prescribed by a doctor and in several cases turns into a heroin addiction.

As opioid prescription rates are currently in decline, the problem of misuse of prescription drugs is constant and the health risks are dangerous and deadly. It is estimated that last year nearly 11.5 million Americans used a controlled prescription drug without a prescription from a doctor, according to the DEA. This study states that 40% received the pills from a family member or friend. Sometimes this occurs by the person visiting your home and raiding your personal medicine cabinet. Medicines that are accessibly placed in a bathroom or other location are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

This seemingly innocent accessibility of drugs at home or in garbage bins can be very dangerous when they sometimes find their way into the wrong hands. This certainly is a huge contributor to substance abuse in your community. The DEA’s National Take Back Day is a way for you to turn in your unwanted and unused drug prescriptions in a safe, confidential way. National Take Back Day is the perfect opportunity to clean out your home medicine cabinet and be assured that your old medications and pills are disposed of safely and securely with the expert help of the proper authorities.

Some facts about prescription pharmaceutical drugs:

  • -Prescription drug abuse causes more than half of the deaths from overdose in the US.
  • -Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is the second most abused illicit substance, close behind marijuana.
  • -It is unsafe to simply throw prescription meds away in the trash. This makes it very easy way for people to steal them and sell them on the streets of your local community.
  • -The majority of teenagers in the United States who abuse medications and prescription drugs, get them from the medicine cabinets of their own home, or the homes of family members and close friends. 
  • -Pharmaceutical prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit street drugs when taken without a medical doctor’s supervision.
  • -Flushing unused prescription drugs down the toilet is a very bad idea.  It can contaminate rivers and streams and your local community’s water supply. Proper disposal helps to protect the environment and it could help save someone’s life.
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In October of 2018, at a prior RX Drug Take Back Day, collection sites received over 450 tons of prescription meds from 5,839 locations nationwide. This is the agency’s 8th year of the program. The DEA will be holding these events twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

If for any reason you are unable to make it to the National RX Drug Take Back Day, or the event has already passed, click this link to find out where you can find other, year-round disposal sites for your expired, unused or unwanted prescriptions:

On Saturday, April 27, 2019 the DEA is hosting an anonymous, confidential and safe way to dispose of your unused prescription medications. Participants are asked to remove labels or black out personal information before you drop them off at a collection facility. Find locations in California and more information on year round sites here:

https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/NTBI/ntbi-pub.pub?_flowExecutionKey=_c2D824ED8-7C29-BCF5-325E-6D874980C592_k91966A3B-739F-8010-46B0-CE524C868467

If you do not find your area listed at the link above, contact your local law enforcement officials to see if they participate in the event.

What is Inpatient Drug Rehab?

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Inpatient drug rehab is a popular option for many Southern California residents who are struggling with addiction and want to get help. Inpatient drug rehab means a residential living arrangement where addiction recovery treatments and therapies take place. When you finally get sick and tired of carrying on the daily routine of doing drugs, finding money for drugs, lying to your friends and family about drugs, then maybe it is time to seek professional help to overcome your addiction. With literally thousands of treatment options for drug rehab in the Los Angeles area alone, it can be difficult to find the right facility, which is best prepared to treat your substance use disorder.

Any stay at an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility typically begins with a full medical detox. The detox process helps people when they first stop using drugs or alcohol by medically supervising their progress. This ensures a safe, comfortable experience through the sometimes painful, early withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing from certain types of drugs, like heroin and opiates can cause deadly side effects, such as seizures, a coma and even heart failure. Because your body had developed a chemical dependency on the drugs or alcohol, it is highly recommended to go through the early detox phase under close medical supervision. This will ensure a safe first step on your road to recovery from addiction.

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) and evidence-based drug rehabilitation

In the detox and early inpatient drug rehab process, certain addiction types are greatly helped with the assistance of medication. Particularly for alcohol and opiates like Oxycontin or heroin, medication assisted treatments have been shown to significantly help patients recover from their addiction. MATs also have shown a statistically-lower rate for relapses later on throughout their recovery. These medications will ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms to the point where they will become manageable for most patients.

Buprenorphine is used to ease the withdrawal symptoms of an opioid dependency. It has been shown to significantly reduce death rates from opioid addiction, yet many drug rehabilitation programs still won’t use it. While some consider these medications to be simply just a replacement addiction, the effects of buprenorphine do not produce a euphoric “high” feeling like street drugs would. Plus, using MATs in a medical setting, on a set schedule is much different from compulsively using the drugs because you’ve become physically dependent on them.

Medication assisted treatments can reduce cravings and the inevitable relapse that follows those cravings. The medication doses are tapered-off slowly, over time to help the patient steadily kick the habit and lead to a full recovery. Remaining in a treatment program is extremely beneficial to the ultimate goal of sobriety. An inpatient drug rehab program will help you build the foundation of your recovery by giving you the tools to survive once you reintegrate into society.

What is inpatient drug rehab?

As an effective form of addiction treatment, inpatient drug rehab is intended to help individuals stop the often destructive, compulsive behavior of abusing drugs and alcohol. Inpatient drug rehabilitation involves living at a residential addiction treatment center, over a period of time. The average stay at an inpatient treatment center typically lasts from 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of the addiction.

Ongoing treatment is essential to help ensure a full recovery from the devastating grip of an addiction. Living in an inpatient drug rehab center is a good opportunity for a patient to get out of their daily routine. This allows them time and space to focusing on what should be the most important thing to them at this moment: staying free from drugs and alcohol. Inpatient rehab will focus on the psychological and behavioral changes necessary to maintain a lasting sobriety. Individual, group and family therapy sessions will all be guided to address the issues that led to your substance use disorder and how to overcome them. Relapse prevention strategies are a crucial component of inpatient rehabilitation programs. These techniques will come in handy when you first go back into your daily routine of going to work or school, handling your relationships and day to day activities.

Most inpatient rehab programs utilize the ‘social model’ of recovery from addiction. Since you will be living inside a treatment center for a period of time, you will encounter other people who are also struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. Working together, in a group setting has advantages that can be felt long after you leave the constant care of an inpatient drug rehab facility. Working together in a group setting helps you learn how to deal with people (and your reactions to them) without using drugs or alcohol. Odds are, if you had been using for a period of time, you may have forgot basic life skills like dealing with other people in a natural, healthy way.

Beyond the social aspect of inpatient drug rehab, your addiction treatment program should focus heavily on individualized treatment. Individual cognitive behavioral therapy sessions (CBT) will help facilitate a lifestyle free from drugs and alcohol. Changes in your attitude and behavior are important to achieve when you’re trying to stay sober for the long term. All of these therapies should help you develop stress management and coping skills that help you avoid some common relapse triggers.  

Many of your daily activities will consist of various different forms of therapy and other activities which are designed to teach you how to live a sober lifestyle. Many clinics offer meditation, yoga, art classes and different group activities.

How long should treatment at a drug rehabilitation center last?

The amount of time it takes someone to complete an alcohol or drug rehabilitation varies greatly, depending on the individual patient’s needs and circumstances. Studies have shown that the longer someone stays in treatment will have a greater likelihood for positive results. For a patient who had a chemical dependency on multiple substances, or someone who had an co-occurring mental health issue, inpatient drug rehab could last well over 90 days. There is no one, single path to recovery. Each person is different and the results will vary depending on the treatment program you decide to attend.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we have helped thousands of patients come clean from drugs and alcohol. We use an evidence-based approach in substance abuse treatment and aftercare. To speak with a certified addiction specialist, call us today. We are available 24/7:

(877) 228-4679

 

Are There Any Rehab Facilities For Teens?

SoCal-addiction-treatment-rehab-facility-teens

Coming to terms with the fact that your child or teenager may be experimenting with drugs or alcohol is very difficult for any parent or guardian to go through. Maybe you found out your child wasn’t just “experimenting” with alcohol or drugs, but they have developed an addiction or chemical dependency to the substance. While it may seem that this lifestyle has consumed every aspect of their lives, there is still hope. Many parents and teens face this problem, so please know that you are not alone. Addiction is a disease, and just like any other disease, addiction is a treatable one. Finding the best rehab facilities for teens is a great first step to take when your child’s health and safety is your primary concern.

Communication is a helpful tool for parents of teens who are experiencing a problem with substance abuse.

Let’s face it. It is highly unlikely that your son or daughter will come out and admit they have a problem with substance abuse and they need to go to rehab. At some point in their young lives, a conversation with your child about the dangers of alcohol and drug use should take place. As you watch your teens grow into young adulthood, you want them to have all the opportunities and experiences possible, to help them have a brighter future. When a teen starts abusing alcohol and drugs, those opportunities can become greatly diminished.

The good news is that, according to the NIDA’s “Monitoring The Future Survey,” overall substance abuse amongst teens has significantly decreased over the last decade. Yet, there are still reasons to warrant major concern. A lot of teens and young adults will try drugs and alcohol. For a younger person, this experimentation can quickly turn into a loss of self control, as the compulsion to “get high” overwhelmingly guides their behaviors.

Teens and young adults are much more vulnerable to addiction than adults are. Since the human brain doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25, experimentation with illicit substances can lead to an addiction much faster than for a typical adult. Teens experience a much stronger emotional response in their thinking patterns. When a teen begins using drugs or alcohol before their brain is fully developed, a chemical dependency or addiction can develop much sooner. This condition will only get worse, the longer the problem goes without treatment. Early detection is crucial to helping your child leave behind the destructive lifestyle that is commonly associated with substance abuse.

So how do you talk to your teen about alcohol & drug abuse?

If you suspect that your teen may be using drugs or alcohol, the best time to talk with them is right now. Some of the recent changes you may have experienced in your household with your teenager could be the result of their problems with substance abuse. These behaviors can become increasingly self-destructive for your child and the entire family. Sadly, when you try to confront them about their drug or alcohol use, it only seems to make things worse. Somewhere deep-down, you know these changes are not just the typical growing pains in adolescence.

When you approach your teen about their substance abuse, it is important to come from a foundation of understanding, love and support. If you make them feel like they’re in trouble, or that you are mad at them, they will likely try to continue hiding their substance abuse. The negative stigma surrounding addiction has prevented many people from seeking help on their own. This is especially true for teens. Nobody ever wants to admit that things have gotten out of control. Most teens will hide their substance abuse for as long as possible for fear of repercussions they face if they happen to “get caught”.

In modern American culture, experimentation with drugs and alcohol seems like a rite of passage for many teenagers. Many kids are simply reacting to peer pressure and other social stimuli when they begin to experiment with legal and illegal drugs. Substance abuse and addiction should not be considered a moral failing of your child.

When a child or teen chooses to “get high,” it does not necessarily mean that they are bad kids. A lot of people who start using drugs often times are trying to self-medicate for feelings of low self-esteem, depression, social anxiety or family problems. Some kids are prone to experiment with drugs because they might be experiencing symptoms of an underlying, undiagnosed mental illness. When addiction is present along with another co-occurring mental health issue, the need for a dual diagnosis treatment strategy may be necessary to fully help your child recover.  

If you have experienced any of the symptoms or signs that your child might be abusing drugs, finding a reputable drug rehabilitation facility for your teen should be the top priority. The best time for your teen to get help with their substance abuse is right now. Remember that addiction, when left untreated, will only get worse over time.

Teen drug abuse will lead to more problems later in life. Finding drug rehab facilities for your teen is their best hope.

If you suspect your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, consider scheduling an intervention to help confront their substance abuse. This shouldn’t be viewed as an attack on them personally, but rather as an offer to get them the help they need. Most teens and young adults will not think they need the help of a professional alcohol and drug rehab facility. This is why it is important to approach the conversation about their drug use with an understanding, compassionate heart and mind.

Hopefully, your conversation will go well and your teen will accept the help you are offering them. If this is the case, you should have already made a decision on which rehab facility can best suit your child’s individual needs, so they can begin the recovery process as soon as possible.

The drug and alcohol rehabilitation for teens at 10 Acre Ranch is well-known for laying the foundation to a successful recovery from addiction. We employ a ‘social model’ approach to addiction recovery, which helps structure and monitor the success of our treatment services. This helps our patients learn the skills to stay sober, long after they leave our rehab facility. Please call us to speak with a certified addiction counselor. We are available 24/7:

(877) 228-4679

What Happens to Me When I Use Meth?

what-happens-when-I-use-meth-rehab-California

Methamphetamine, crystal meth, ice, speed or whatever you want to call it, is a powerful, highly addictive drug with deadly consequences. A very potent high is the reward for people who choose to use this deadly drug. Although the destructive potential in meth use has been widely discussed and publicized for decades, many communities around the globe still struggle with the problem of meth addiction. As a highly powerful stimulant, this illicit drug can cause serious, long-term detrimental mental and physical effects for anyone who decides to use meth. Some of the damage it causes can become permanent. It is cheap and relatively easy to make, so its use has continued to be a common problem across the United States.

The history of meth abuse.

Meth abuse across the United States exploded in the early 1990’s, though it has been around for much longer than that. Methamphetamine was first synthesized in Japan in 1893. It was widely used during World War II, where both sides of the conflict would administer high doses to their troops to keep them awake. After the war, methamphetamine was easily available in the US through the 1950’s and 60’s. Meth was even prescribed by doctors for weight loss and depression. Meth became popular with college students and truck drivers, helping them stay awake for long periods of time.

The US government made methamphetamine illegal in 1970.  After this, biker gangs controlled most of the production and supply of methamphetamine in the US. Because it was much cheaper than cocaine, many people in poor, rural communities were using the powerful stimulant. This continued until the 1990’s, when Mexican drug cartels began producing it in California and Mexico in large laboratories. The number of people who use meth grew to epidemic proportions in the US, with small home-based labs popping up all across the country.

What happens to your mind and body when you use meth?

There are numerous negative physical and mental health consequences when a person decides to use meth. The intense high someone experiences when they first use meth can rapidly lead to addiction. Meth use can cause feelings of dominance and superiority. This sudden rush of confidence can make the person seem more confrontational or argumentative. Many users feel that meth gives them an edge, helping them accomplish more over a short period of time. Dopamine floods the pleasure center of the brain during the rush or high rapidly after ingesting the substance.

The typical high from methamphetamine can last for a very long time. Unlike crack cocaine which only lasts about 5 to 20 minutes, a meth high can last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Many people who abuse meth will go on binges for days or weeks, constantly ingesting the drug without eating or sleeping for days on end. This long binge on methamphetamine is often referred to as “tweaking”. When a person can no longer feel the effects of taking a dose of meth, they will typically crash as their body and brain virtually shut-down. Constant itching is common, as some people strongly believe that bugs are crawling under their skin. Due to this, many meth addicts have skin sores all over their face and body as they are trying to pick out the bugs under their skin.

Dramatic weight loss is another common physical effect of methamphetamine abuse. Meth will completely eradicate a person’s appetite. Someone who suffers from addiction to meth will typically not eat very healthy, if they eat at all.

Psychosis and vivid hallucinations are common for someone who has been on a long-term meth binge. People who enter this stage of drug abuse are likely to be completely detached from reality. Self harm and suicidal thoughts are a possible for someone coming down from a long-term meth binge.

Meth is primarily ingested by snorting, smoking or injecting the substance into the body. Each method of use has distinct differences in the effects felt by the user. Those who use meth are typically looking for a quick acting, almost instantaneous high. Either method of use will produce rapid effects and can quickly become habit forming.

The dangers of snorting meth.

Most people begin with snorting meth through the nose. This can cause severe damage to the sinus cavity. The dangerous chemicals are absorbed by the mucus membranes in the nose. Nosebleeds and regular sinus infections are some of the common side effects of snorting meth. Over a period of long term meth abuse, a hole can eventually form in the septum, resulting in permanent and irreversible damage. Snorting, or orally ingesting meth generally does not produce as intense of a high as smoking or injecting meth.

Smoking meth is highly addictive.

The more a person uses meth, the high will become shorter and less intense. Smoking meth produces a faster, shorter duration high and is the most likely form of use to cause addiction. As a person smokes meth, a tolerance to the drug will quickly develop. This will lead the user to smoke more and more over time, creating drug dependency. Smoking meth has serious consequences to the health of the mouth, throat and lungs.

Rapid tooth decay from smoking meth is a condition commonly referred to as “meth mouth”. The corrosive chemicals in meth break down the structure of the teeth and gums due to the high acidity of the drug. Clenching and grinding of teeth are a common side effect of meth use. This action further deteriorates the integrity of the teeth, causing many to fall out or rot away completely. Gum disease and mouth sores are also common for people who smoke meth. If gum disease goes untreated, it can lead to major heart problems.

Injecting meth and the dangers of intravenous drug use.

Injecting meth is arguably the most dangerous form of use. The effects of shooting up are immediate and especially intense. Sharing needles carries many negative health effects, let alone the dangers of the methamphetamine itself. Intravenous drug users commonly share needles with others when getting high. Sharing needles greatly increases the risk of contracting deadly diseases such as HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C. Repeated use of needles can lead to collapsed veins, infections at the injection site and other types of blood diseases, such as sepsis.

Common withdrawal symptoms for meth addicts.

When someone who has used meth for a long period of time suddenly stops, very intense painful withdrawal symptoms are likely. While withdrawal from stimulants is relatively harmless, many people who quit using meth can have severe drowsiness, violent mood swings, anxiety and depression. The emotional effects of meth withdrawal can put people at a high risk for self-harm and even suicide.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we take methamphetamine abuse very seriously. When you use meth, you do so much damage to your physical and mental health it is important to complete a comprehensive drug rehabilitation. We look at the individual needs of each and every one of our patients and formulate a plan for a successful recovery from addiction. Beginning with a full medical detox, our drug rehab facility in Riverside, California is among the best in the nation. If you or someone you love has been using meth, we can help. Please call us right away, we are open 24/7 to help you get the treatment you need.

877-228-4679