Adderall vs Meth – What’s the Difference?

Adderall vs Meth - What’s the Difference

Adderall vs Meth - What’s the Difference?

Adderall vs Meth - What’s the DifferenceAmphetamines are one of the most common drugs in the United States. In fact, in 2021, Americans had some 41.4 million prescriptions for prescription and generic Adderall. That number of prescriptions is at an all time high, up 10% from 2020, and up almost 10 million from 2017. Adderall is also famous as being “just like meth”, and if you or a loved one is using it, you probably have concerns.

However, Adderall and Methamphetamine are very different blends of the same substances. Adderall is a mix of amphetamine salts. It’s identical to Mydayis and a number of generic drugs, which are mostly used to treat ADD, ADHD, and other attention disorders. But, as it’s made up of two of the active ingredients in Methamphetamine, the effects at very high doses can be quite similar. And vice-versa. Methamphetamine is sometimes used to treat ADD.

Today, the widespread availability of Adderall has led to its being abused in recreational settings. People use it as a study drug, with some 4.4% of `12th graders admitting to doing so. Others inject it, looking for the same highs as with methamphetamine. And, some 3.7 million people abuse prescription stimulants like Adderall each year.

What are the Differences Between Adderall and Methamphetamine?

Amphetamines are all remarkably similar drugs and Adderall and Methamphetamine are both amphetamines. This class of drug is made up of active ingredients known as “amphetamine salts”. Here, dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine are the two most common of these salts. Each of these two salts has a different reaction in the brain, meaning that different amounts of each can produce remarkably different results.

Adderall – Adderall is a 3:1 mix of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine. This mix is used in Myadis, Adderall, and Adderall RX, as well as generic versions of each of these drugs. It also balances the effects of each to produce a profile that is tilted towards increasing focus and attention. The effects of amphetamine drugs like Dexedrine and Evekeo, which only use dextroamphetamine, are markedly different. However, that’s not the only difference. All authentic Adderall is made in a lab, under regulated conditions, and packaged in regulated doses of 5-30mg. These pills contain regulated inactive ingredients, most of which are cellulose or sugars or salts. With Adderall, providing you buy authentic pills, you always know what you’re getting and that the other ingredients are safe.

Methamphetamine – Methamphetamine is a 1:1 mix of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine. The higher dose of levoamphetamine adds increased impacts to wakefullness, concentration, decreased appetite, decreased fatigue, and weight loss. For this reason, levoamphetamine is sometimes sold as a narcolepsy treatment. Levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine was also commonly used in nasal decongestants, such as Vicks and Robitussin, meaning that drug-dealers could simply purchase over-the-counter cold medicine, distill it down, and have methamphetamine. Today, these drugs are much more likely to be manufactured separately. They can often be sold as “Adderall” except the pills are made somewhere other than a lab, without regulation, and dosage may vary significantly. In addition, many are made with fentanyl, an opioid with 100 times the strength of morphine, because it’s cheaper.

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woman holding a glass of water taking adderall as medicineDosage – Every Adderall pill contains 25% Dextroamphetamine Saccharate, 25% Amphetamine Aspartate Monohydrate, 25% Dextroamphetamine Sulfate, and 25% Amphetamine Sulfate, with cellulose and salt fillers to increase the size of the pill. A methamphetamine dose is neither predictable nor guaranteed not to contain fillers like chalk or baby powder.

Salt Mix – Methamphetamine is a 1:1 mix of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine. Adderall is a 3:1 mix of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine. Because levoamphetamine is considered to produce more euphoric results, methamphetamine is easier to abuse.

Safety – Adderall is regulated, produced in clean labs, and uses safe fillers. Methamphetamine and fake Adderall pills don’t have that safety guarantee. However, no abuse of an amphetamine is “safe”, it’s just safer to use a drug that you know doesn’t contain toxic additives, other drugs, or a higher dose than expected.

What are the Effects of Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are “uppers” or “stimulants” which affect the central nervous system. Here, amphetamines affect the central nervous system, dopamine neurotransmitters, and norepinephrine transmitters. Someone taking the drug feels increases in confidence, wakefulness, focus, and attention. Dopamine affects normally result in the person having more motivation to complete tasks, and therefore more ability to focus on them. It also increases body temperature and heart rate, increasing feelings of energy and wakefulness. In high doses, increases in dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain can cause feelings of power, confidence, and even euphoria, making amphetamines extremely popular party drugs.

Of course, those same effects can result in very negative side effects.

Heart Problems – Long-term use of amphetamines in high doses stresses the heart, and can result in heart problems. Someone with a weak heart can have a heart attack.

Exhaustion – People who don’t feel tired don’t rest, and as a result, meth users can stay awake for days. The result is normally crashing for several days at a time when the high wears off. This increases risks of stress and heart attack.

Reduced Dopamine Production – The brain reduces dopamine production to cope with high amounts of dopamine in the brain. The result is that someone who frequently uses amphetamines may feel blunted or unable to feel emotions or motivation when not using.

Paranoia – Increases in dopamine and norepinephrine can cause increases in anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. Heavy users typically become extremely paranoid and may scratch at the skin, believing insects or bugs to be crawling there. However, some people can experience visual hallucinations at even small doses, meaning this drug is never safe to take without medical supervision.

Is Adderall Safe?

More than 40 million Americans have an Adderall prescription, which they use to manage attention disorders. Adderall is an extremely useful drug, which can help people to go about their lives, to go to work, and to focus on school, their careers, and their hobbies. It’s safe to take while you take it in accordance with a prescription. However, even with prescription usage, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting.

On the other hand, Adderall is never safe to take without a prescription. Having medical monitoring is important to ensure there are no negative side-effects, like paranoia, muscle twitches, or addiction. In addition, if you’re sourcing Adderall illegally, you’re exposed to dangerous fake versions of the pills, which may be contaminated with other drugs, which may be contaminated with toxic filler agents, and which may be significantly higher in dose than you expect. In addition, taking too much Adderall can cause significant symptoms of toxicity. People who use large doses of Adderall see constant cold and flu symptoms, muscle shakes, sweating, mood swings, weight loss, loss of interest in relationships and hobbies, and increasing paranoia and anxiety.

There are differences between Adderall and Methamphetamine highs. However, when taken in high doses, those differences vanish and the effects are much the same. Adderall is somewhat safer because it’s unlikely to be contaminated and very likely to be a standardized dose. However, abusing any amphetamine is unsafe, simply because the drug is not safe to use in large doses.

If you or a loved one is struggling, it’s important to reach out and get help. Drug addiction treatment and behavioral therapy can help you to tackle the underlying causes behind drug abuse and to find better coping mechanisms.

If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. 10 Acre Ranch also has specialty tracks like our pet friendly drug rehab and couples substance abuse treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

How to Pass a Drug Saliva Test

How to Pass a Drug Saliva Test

How to Pass a Drug Saliva Test

How to Pass a Drug Saliva Test If you or a loved one is facing a drug test at work or at school, or worse, while on probation, it can be nerve wracking. If you’ve recently used, passing a drug saliva test is likely to be difficult. That’s true whether you’re being tested for cannabis or heavier drugs like opioids or amphetamines. Oral swab tests are popular as “on the spot” tests everywhere because they’re cheap, easy to administer, and almost anyone can give them correctly. In addition, you can use a dipstick test to see results in about 5 minutes – although they’re normally sent off for lab analysis, which is more accurate and more specific. So, your employer or your parole officer could spring them on you and you might see results in as little as a few minutes, giving you very little time to prepare.

Still, if you’ve recently used, you likely want to know how to pass the test without being flagged as not being clean. Unfortunately, that can be complicated and there’s no guaranteed way to pass the test other than to not use long enough in advance. However, there are some methods you can use to try to get a false negative result.

Steps to Take to Pass a Drug Saliva Test

If you’ve smoked cannabis or used another drug in the last 24-48 hours, passing a saliva drug test is very likely to be a problem. Depending on the drug and your habit of use, you can expect saliva tests to show positive for 1-3 days following your last usage.

This happens because the drugs bind to the molecules in the saliva, normally from the saliva production glands in the cheeks. For this reason, swabs normally swab the back of the cheek where the saliva glands are. This also limits the efficacy of using a gum, drinking, or brushing your teeth to remove chemicals left by drug use.

However, there are a few methods you can try:

  • Brush your teeth well, and often, leading up to the drug test. E.g., every 2-3 hours before the test
  • Chew on gum the full day before the drug test 
  • Use mouthwash, especially a medical or dental mouthwash after brushing your teeth 
  • Don’t drink anything to dehydrate your body to decrease saliva production 
  • Decrease saliva production in another way, such as by eating spoonful’s of peanut butter just before the test 
  • Eat fatty foods before the test. E.g., thc and some other drug molecules bind to fat, which means less will be in your mouth. A burger or similar fatty meal will likely help. 
  • Drink soda with bubbles which could bind to the drug residue and move it out of your mouth faster

Unfortunately, none of these options are guaranteed to work. You could chew gum all day and still come up positive for a test. In addition, chewing a spoonful of peanut butter right before a mouth swab might be a lot suspicious – and it still might not help you pass the test.

There’s also another tactic that some people use. Here, you leverage a false positive to try to hide the actual positive. This also might not work and it might backfire, because the person doing the test might decide for a more intensive blood or urine test. However, it might help.

  • Take ibuprofen every few hours before the test (marijuana, benzodiazepines)
  • Use hay fever remedies or nasal decongestants (amphetamines)
  • Start taking diet pills (amphetamines)
  • Bring poppy seed snacks to work (opioids)
  • Bring hemp products to work (marijuana)

Depending on where and why you’re being tested, a false positive might result in a more intensive lab investigation. However, if your workplace is doing a quick check without lab intervention, you might be able to use your false positive to get around having a “true positive”. Still, you’re likely to get caught if the test ends up going back to the lab.

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Do Detoxes and Special “Toxin Clearing” Gums Work?

man doing toxin clearing gums and mouthwashes to use before taking a testYou can often buy detoxes and “toxin clearing” gums and mouthwashes to use before taking a test. Do these work? They might, but not any more than using any of the options listed above. For example, mouthwashes normally contain fat and acids, which are intended to remove all of the detectable THC or other drug residue from your mouth immediately. In addition, because it’s intended to be done just before a test and typically includes something like 9 minutes of rinsing your mouth, it can be effective. On the other hand, there are no tests showing that you won’t get the same results by eating a bag of potato chips and then rinsing your mouth with normal mouthwash for the same period.

Other cleanses are detoxes intended to flush drugs from your system over a period of several days. These are less useful for saliva tests, which are usually given by surprise or “next day”. They can also include diuretics, intended to force liquids through your system faster to clear up your saliva. Here, you might use a diuretic in combination with a large quantity of water to attempt to “flush” your system. There’s also no evidence that these work any better than drinking a larger amount of water or soda in the period – which isn’t a tactic that works – although it can help.

How Long Do Drugs Show Up on a Saliva Test?

If you’re taking a saliva test, it’s important to understand when you’re likely to test positive. Most roadside, workplace, and police tests check for marijuana, methamphetamine, and opioids. Some will also check for other drugs like MDMA and LSD. However, drug tests can show:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines (including meth)
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, etc.)
  • Cocaine
  • THC
  • Opioids (pain pills, fentanyl, heroin)
  • PCP

For any of these substances, an oral swab test shows positive results for 5-48 hours after the last use. In addition, duration of positive results depend on where in the mouth is swabbed. E.g., swabbing the saliva glands may produce positive tests for longer as does swabbing the tongue, but many people administering tests are not experts.

Eventually, if you’re facing a drug test and you don’t think you’ll pass, it’s probably a problem. That’s not just because it may affect your driver’s license, your career, or your probation. Instead, if you’re using a substance when you know that it can endanger things you care about, you’re prioritizing that substance over your life. That may mean you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, that you’re using substances to deal with your life, or that you’re at risk for addiction. It’s important to reach out, talk to your doctor about substance use, and to make informed decisions about continuing substance use. If you’re struggling, there is help.

If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. 10 Acre Ranch also has specialty tracks like our pet friendly drug rehab and couples substance abuse treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Immune System?

a woman drinking alcoholic breverage

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Immune System?

a woman drinking alcoholic breverageAlcohol is one of the most common intoxicants on the planet. In fact, 65% of all Americans over the age of 21 drink regularly. But, alcohol, like other drugs, is actually bad for you, and even in minimal doses, can cause significant damage to your immune system, your gastrointestinal system, and your energy levels. However, the more you drink, the worse those side-effects get.

Alcohol will almost always affect your immune system, because it is, in essence, a very mild poison. Alcohol toxicity happens when you drink too much, and that means that at any dose, alcohol is toxic. Let’s go over the details and the science in the article below.

What is the Immune System?

The immune system is comprised of white blood cells and immune cells spread throughout the body – especially in the lungs and the gut. This system responds to and fights off infection, disease and toxins.

It also comprises two parts, including the innate immune system, or the cells that directly respond to attackers and the adaptive immune system, which remembers previous infection and responds to that. So, the innate immune system always responds, but after you catch a cold, your body responds to that mutation of the virus and may prevent you from getting it or reduce the effects of catching it the next time.

Drinking affects both of these systems. For example, it impacts the innate immune system directly. Your body responds to the toxics that are alcohol by inflaming. That’s why many people experience stomach upset after drinking. It’s also why you may feel fluish the day after binge drinking.

It also affects the adaptive immune system, because your body remembers the last time you drank alcohol and produces an immune system response. This means your body is put to work every time you drink – and your immune system is less prepared to fight off an actual infection. And, there’s nothing you can do to stop this process.

Immune System Suppression

Drinking alcohol suppresses the immune system over the short-term. In fact, drinking 5-6 alcoholic drinks in a single session will suppress the immune system for up to 24 hours after the last drink. This happens because alcohol is a toxin and it directly inflames the intestines and the immune system. This means your immune system is less prepared to react to a virus or another illness. You drink, your immune system responds by inflaming and activating cells, and then your immune system is not prepared to fight off another attacker. In addition, you’re likely under slept, undernourished, and possibly even dehydrated after a night of drinking. All of that adds up to make you significantly more susceptible to getting sick than you would normally be.

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Immune Cell Damage

man drinking alcoholPeople who drink frequently start to experience immune cell damage, especially in the gut and in the lungs. This happens because the immune cells constantly inflame and are exposed to toxins. The result is that they can experience irreparable damage, meaning that your immune system is permanently worsened. For this reason, people with alcoholism are more likely to develop inflammatory bowel diseases such as Chron’s, IBS, and etc.

You’re also more likely to develop chronic lung conditions, as damaged immune cells are ill-prepared to fight off attacks in the lungs. This means that heavy drinkers are significantly more likely to develop pneumonia and bronchitis, even from a normal head cold infection. Here, you are likely more vulnerable to a first infection, or what is known as a head cold. However, you’re significantly more vulnerable to a secondary infection, where the cold moves to the lower respiratory system of the lungs and bronchial tubes – which can be a significant and serious condition.

Of course, “more likely” does not mean “guaranteed”, but it does significantly increase risks. And, the more you drink and the more often, the greater those risks become. Most studies indicate that heavy drinking increases risks of lower respiratory infections by 3-7 times.

Long-Term Immune System Damage

The more and more often you drink, the larger the impact to your immune system will be. That will impact your life and your quality of life. A weakened immune system means:

  • Illnesses, even the common cold, last longer
  • You get sick more often and illness is more severe
  • You’re more prone to infection and may need special care after surgery
  • You’re more tired or fatigued when sick and may not be able to do anything at all while sick
  • Small cuts and scratches are more vulnerable to infection and may require medical attention
  • You’re more prone to stomach upset, diarrhea, and stomach inflammation

Those issues can be significant, especially when you do get a major illness.

Getting Help

There is no safe amount of alcohol consumption that does not disrupt the immune system. However, drinking fewer than 10 drinks per week and no more than 4 in a setting, or preferably no more than 1.5 servings of alcohol per day for women and 2 servings of alcohol per day for men will reduce risks as much as possible – except for not drinking at all, which is, by far, the healthiest option. But, if you’re drinking every day and drinking more than four drinks in a sitting, your risks are significantly higher. In addition, heavy alcohol consumption increases your risks of organ damage, including to the liver and kidneys, as well as to the intestines, all of which will go on to affect the immune system further.

If you or a loved one is drinking heavily, there is help. That help can range from strategies to reduce drinking with support. It can also include rehab and behavioral therapy to help you develop new coping mechanisms or healthy alternatives to drinking. And, if you try to cut back or to stop drinking and find that you can’t, that therapy and help is necessary.

Alcohol is everywhere and most of us drink at least occasionally. But, that doesn’t mean it’s safe and it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have side effects. Alcohol can significantly impact every aspect of your health, mental health, and your life, so if you’re struggling, it’s important to get professional medical help

If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

My Loved One Refuses Addiction Treatment. Now What?

loved ones holding each other's hands discussing about going to addiction treatment center

My Loved One Refuses Addiction Treatment. Now What?

loved ones holding each other's hands discussing about going to addiction treatment centerIf your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you’re not alone. Today, an estimated 46.3 million Americans have a substance use disorder, meaning that almost 1 in 4 of us has a close friend or family member with a substance abuse problem. When your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, getting them into addiction treatment is a logical first step. But, what happens when they don’t want to go? Or if they won’t go?

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that just 4.1 million people, or less than 10% of the total number of people with a substance abuse problem, received addiction treatment in 2021. Most people aren’t getting help – although reasons for not getting help are diverse. Understanding some next steps, you can take will allow you to continue supporting your loved one and hopefully eventually get them into treatment as well.

Be There for Them

It’s important to try to avoid enabling behavior, such as paying for your loved one’s rent, lying to their boss, or otherwise making decisions that are likely to enable them to continue using. It is true that any kind of support and care will do this to some extent, however, you can be there for someone to help them stay safe without helping them to use.

Being there for someone might look like:

  • Picking them up at any time of night, no questions asked, providing they sleep on your couch after
  • Giving them access to sleep on your couch or in a guest room if they have to
  • Taking time to listen and offering emotional support
  • Offering to help with things like cleaning up (rather than doing it for them)
  • Offering to go to the doctor, to AA or NA meetings, and to other treatment

If you live with someone, it’s important that you don’t take on all of their responsibilities. However, you can offer to help, you can listen to them, and you can try to make it known that you’re trying to support them without overloading yourself.

Keep Learning

Addiction is a complicated behavioral disorder that can stem from a vast number of causes and vulnerabilities. Taking time to learn about addiction, doing so with your loved one where possible, and discussing what you learn with them can be helpful. For example, you can learn the basics of how addiction works, you can read books about recovery, and you can read about different types of therapy and treatment. You might not be able to get through to your loved one in this way. However, you will show them that you care, that you’re continuing to invest time and energy into them, and that you want what is best for them.

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Be Nonjudgmental

 a couple holding hands on top of the mountainBeing nonjudgmental can be extremely difficult. Most of us are raised with old-fashioned ideals about addiction as a personal failing, as poor choices, and as a disease, which is incurable. None of these ideas are correct. Instead, addiction is a behavioral disorder that’s often complicated and very often resulting from a complicated range of addiction risk factors including mental health, social situation, physical health, social standing and social behavior, stress levels, epigenetics, genetics, and other factors. People become addicted for a variety of reasons but it’s never a choice.

Understanding that your loved one isn’t flawed and that they can get better is an important part of approaching addiction nonjudgmentally. However, it’s also important to let go of what other people might think, to show concern for your loved one and not for other people’s opinions, and to invest in your loved one’s health not in whether or not they drink or use drugs. That can take a significant mindset change from you as well because you may have to let go of bias you might not even realize you have.

Why should you work on being non-judgmental? It will help your loved one to realize they can still have a relationship with you, that they have people who believe in them and continue to believe in them, and that they are more than an addiction.

Detaching with Love

Detaching with love is the process of stepping away from over-investing in someone who doesn’t have the capacity to give back or to not hurt you because of your investment. It does not mean dropping your loved one or cutting them out of your life. Instead, it means to expect nothing and to accept failure. That might mean refusing to stay up or hold dinner for someone who is habitually late. It might also mean expecting that your loved one will be drunk, even if you don’t think they have alcohol. It might mean expecting that they won’t come up with their portion of the rent, or that they will slack at their chores.

If you understand that someone is going to fail at their obligations and responsibilities, you can better prepare yourself for that. And, it’s also important that you don’t take up the slack for them, that could increase stress and push you to burnout. However, it is important that you don’t invest in your loved one changing, in them doing the things they say, or in things suddenly improving. If you can’t accept your loved one as they are now, you should probably be stepping further away until you can.

Continue Working Towards Addiction Treatment

Just because your loved one won’t go to addiction treatment now doesn’t mean that they will never go to addiction treatment. Instead, it means they have to have the motivation, the understanding of why they are going, and they have to be ready for change. Building those may require understanding that people in their life are there for them and they have a reason to get better. It may require understanding that addiction isn’t permanent, and they can change. It may mean learning about how addiction works. It might also be about them understanding that addiction treatment is about them, their health, and their future and not about their family and what their family thinks.

Over 10% of the U.S. adult population needs addiction treatment. Most of us never get that help. Still, it’s important to work with your loved one and continue to ask them to move into recovery, to get better, and to work on getting their life back. It might not succeed immediately or at all, but you can help your loved one to find motivation to get their life back.

If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

The Benefits of Pets in Addiction Recovery

a young man with his pet during his breakfast at an addiction treatment center in the riverside california

The Benefits of Pets in Addiction Recovery

a young man with his dog during his addiction recoveryIf you or a loved one is recovering from a substance use disorder or an addiction, it’s a long journey. For many of us, addiction recovery is a process that takes years. But, whether you’re just getting out of rehab or have been in recovery for some time, you’ve likely heard that pets can be a great call.

This is very true. Research consistently supports that there are many benefits to having pets as part of medical interventions including addiction recovery. Having a pet can boost your mood, improve your habits, and change how you respond to yourself and others. However, it’s also important to go into something like pet ownership when you’re ready and not immediately when you get out of rehab.


Different kinds of pets offer different levels of companionship. However, your pet does give you a companion. That’s true whether you pick a rat, a snake, a bird, or a cat or dog. You’ll have someone to talk to, someone to share your space with, and something to be there. While that can be tangential and you won’t likely feel like you have very much of a companion if you opt into pet fish, it can make a big difference in how you feel. Studies show that pets actively provide companionship, although it’s important to note that pets also have negative emotional and practical burdens as well.

Building Habits

Pets require a sometimes-significant amount of care. If you choose something like a cat, you’ll have to clean up after it every single day. If you choose a dog, you’ll have to walk it every day, sometimes for several hours a day – depending on the breed you choose. That responsibility can be significant. In addition, pets typically require regular food and water, regular care, and attention in order to be healthy. That can force you to invest in building habits like getting up at X time to walk the dog, going for walks every day, building discipline to care for something else, etc.

Importantly, if you’re not ready, those responsibilities can be stressful and may have a negative impact. If you don’t have room to add on more things that you have to do, it’s not yet time for you to get a pet.

Good Responsibilities

Getting a pet means taking on financial and emotional responsibility. For many people, that can seem insignificant upfront. However, it means you’ll have to work, take care of yourself, and take care of your responsibilities to your pet simply because that pet depends on you. Again, depending on where you are in your recovery journey, that can feel like stress and can feel extremely negative. If you’re ready, it can give you the push you need to improve how you take care of yourself. It may also boost your self-esteem – giving you the opportunity to feel good about yourself, to actively build on your self-image as someone who takes care of the things you love, and to get started with social responsibilities in a relatively low-stress environment.

Improved Emotional Health

a young man with his pet during his breakfast at an addiction treatment center in the riverside californiaPets have been linked to improved outcomes, decreased loneliness, and increase in motivation in several studies. While that will sometimes depend on what kind of pet you have, it is often the case that pets give you an outlet, someone to share with, and will offer positive mood input. In one study, pet owners showed reductions in loneliness, improvements in ability to interact with others, and to focus on the now rather than living in your head or being stressed.

Here, most studies track the effects of dogs and other animals that actively engage with people and as parts of their lives. For example, dogs naturally increase social interaction by forcing you to go out and to be at the same dog parks as other dog owners. However, they may also provide a positive influence to mood by being positive and by showing affection for you. There are fewer studies showing the same results around guinea pigs, snakes, or cats – and those animals will not provide the incentive to go walking, which means you may want to choose a dog if you’re hoping to be more social.

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Decreased Stress

a young man playing with his in addiction treatment center in the riverside californiaCompanion animals have been shown to reduce stress in several ways. Here, the most consistent way is that sitting down and petting an animal showing you affection does decrease stress and improve mood. For many people, once you establish a bond with a pet, simply sharing contact and petting the animal can improve your mood. However, in other cases, pets can act to reduce stress in other ways. For example, giving you something to take care of can reduce stress by giving you a short-term sense of purpose.

That’s especially true if you’re still in the early stages of recovery and have to build up to moving back into the workplace and everyday responsibilities. Dogs can also help you to exercise more, which will decrease stress because exercise reduces stress. More importantly, they increase the amount of light exercise you do, which offers benefits like improved blood circulation and energy increases without increasing exhaustion and muscle soreness, which can help you to feel a lot better than spending several hours at the gym. Of course, you can get those benefits without a dog, but dogs can help you to build the discipline to do that walking which you might not be able to do on your own.

Don’t Start with a Pet

It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t get a pet until you’re ready to get a pet. Even small pets are a significant amount of emotional and financial responsibility. Forgetting to feed your caged pet will mean that they get sick or die. If you’re still in an area where you’re in a high danger of relapse, you probably don’t want a pet yet. Many rehab experts suggest that people leaving recovery start out with something small and simple, like a potted plant. Once you learn to care for and keep a plant alive, you can move on to something that requires more time, more daily investment, and offers more reward for that investment.

Pets can be a great choice as part of your recovery. They can help you to feel better, to reduce stress, and to boost your mood. They can also be significantly stressful if you’re not up for the responsibilities – e.g., are you ready for the dog to chew up the carpet, a cat to spread litter everywhere, or a snake to escape and force you to find it? – but they can also provide significant benefits in terms of companionship, responsibility, and comfort.

If you or your loved-one struggles from substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?

man sitting on a couch thinking about the Effects of Ketamine

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?

Drug addict young woman with syringe action in dark roomKetamine is a club drug, popular as a “safe” alternative to other “uppers”. For many people, it’s considered a non-addictive alternative to drugs like LSD and even cocaine. That leads to significant use in clubs, where people assume that its low addictive profile means the drug is safe to use. Still, for heavy users, ketamine can cause significant damage to the body and can even result in behavioral addiction. And, if you’re facing a drug test at work or at school, ketamine will show up and you can get in trouble for it.

In fact, ketamine is a Schedule III controlled drug, meaning that it’s illegal to use it without a prescription and medical supervision. It’s been illegal since the 1970s, because of its high potential for psychological addiction.

How Long Does Ketamine Show Up on Tests?

Ketamine can show up in a drug test for up to 30 days in a urine test. However, it will show up for different amounts of time depending on your age, metabolic rate, health, and even sex.

In addition, the type of drug test you’re taking will impact whether or not ketamine shows up in your system.

  • Saliva/ Mouth Swab – 18-24 hours on average
  • Blood test – 24-72 hours
  • Urine test – 14-30 days
  • Hair test – 4 months

Most workplace drug tests are either mouth swab and saliva tests or urine tests. This means that if you haven’t used ketamine within 24 hours and you have a saliva test, it won’t show up. On the other hand, a blood test will show ketamine usage from up to 3 days ago. Most people will show traces of ketamine usage in the urine for up to 14 days after usage. However, if your liver or kidneys are damaged or you have a high amount of body fat, which stores metabolites from ketamine, it could show up as much as a month later.

What Affects How Long Ketamine Shows Up on Drug Tests?

Drugs stay in your body based on diverse factors like metabolism, liver health, body fat, age, health, and sex. Here, the most important factors are metabolism and body fat.

Why? Your age, health, sex, and body fat percentage all impact your metabolism. The higher or “faster” your metabolism, the faster you metabolize ketamine. That won’t have a huge impact on how long drugs show up but it can make the difference of a few days. For example, people under 27 normally have a faster metabolism, people who are physically active tend to have faster metabolisms, people with more muscle have higher metabolisms, and people with higher testosterone production tend to have higher metabolisms. 

Body fat is also a major consideration. That’s because when your body breaks ketamine down or metabolizes it, it creates “metabolites”. These metabolites are stored in the fat until they move to the liver and quite often stay there for a long time. People with very low body fat are more likely to immediately process metabolites (which stresses the liver more) but it means that they’re less likely to show a positive result on a drug test. That’s also true in the liver itself. If you have more fat in your liver, such as from a high body fat percentage or if you drink a great deal or even if you take a lot of acetaminophen, your liver might retain metabolites for longer. This could mean ketamine is detectable in your urine for up to two weeks longer than if you had a healthy liver.

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How Long Do the Effects of Ketamine Last?

man sitting on a couch thinking about the Effects of KetamineKetamine has a half-life of 2.5-3 hours, meaning that you will normally metabolize about half of the ketamine in your system by that time. Afterwards, the high will start to go down, usually peaking at around 2.5 hours and then declining. However, when you “come down” depends on several factors, such as whether you took more doses after the first and how much you took. Half-life means that you metabolize the drug at a set rate of half per 2.5-3 hours. So, at 2.5 hours, you have half of the original dose. At 5-6 hours, you have a quarter of the original dose. Chances are, you won’t have taken enough for the half-life amount to still make you high.

However, the hallucinatory effects normally only last 30-60 minutes depending on the dose and your metabolism. That doesn’t mean it will be safe to drive a car after or that people won’t notice you’re high, just that your body is no longer responding to the hallucinogenic.

It also depends on how you take the dose:

  • Injection – Onset of 2-3 minutes, and then 20-30 minutes of anesthesia
  • Orally – Onset within 20-30 minutes with highs lasting 60-90 minutes
  • Intramuscular Injection – Onset within 10-15 minutes with highs lasting 30-120 minutes.

Most people who abuse ketamine take it orally. Here, it’s often sold as a powder which can be drank, swallowed, or even snorted. Here, it’s metabolized more quickly than other routes, because ketamine is very easily digested in the intestine.

Can You Be Addicted to Ketamine?

Most people view ketamine as a safe alternative to other party drugs. To an extent it is, it has a low physical dependence risk. However, it has a high psychological addiction risk. As a result, it can have a significant risk factor for psychological dependence and addiction – to the point where several thousand people using ketamine have to go to rehab each year.

Here, signs and symptoms of ketamine usage are almost entirely behavioral. For example:

  • You can’t stop using despite having tried to quit or cut back
  • You recognize ketamine is harming your personal, social, or work life and yet continue using
  • You cannot afford ketamine but keep buying it
  • You hide usage from close friends and family members
  • You disassociate
  • You spend a significant amount of time looking for, thinking about, or planning to use ketamine

Most people with significant habits will also see increases in physical symptoms. For example, ketamine causes side-effects like drowsiness or lethargy. You might also start experiencing insomnia with regular and heavy use. Many people who use daily will start to experience incontinence. And, it’s not uncommon to develop skin rashes.

Getting Help

Ketamine is a controlled substance for a reason, it can be dangerous and it can result in addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can ask for help. That’s even more important if you’re combining ketamine with other drugs or alcohol, which increases risks. Substance use disorders are legally listed as temporary disabilities. If you go to rehab, you’re protected, you’re entitled to help, and depending on whether your premium supports the rehab facility you go to, your insurance has to cover at least part of the care.

Ketamine is less dangerous than many other drugs, but like any other drug, it can be addictive. If you need help, that help is there.