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How Long Can You Be on Methadone?

For many people dealing with opioid addiction, methadone is a life-saving treatment. This medication can be a very effective way of managing cravings and preventing withdrawal. However, it’s still a fairly misunderstood substance. Many people who hear about methadone wonder things like, “Will I have to use it forever?” and “Can it trigger another lengthy bout of addiction?”

We’re here to help address some common questions about methadone and explain how treatment works. Keep reading to learn how long the average methadone treatment lasts and whether or not long-term use comes with any side effects.

Understanding Methadone Treatment

Methadone is a type of medication known as a long-acting opioid agonist. This means that it binds to opioid receptors in the brain for several hours at a time. Methadone is most commonly prescribed as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program designed to help manage an opioid use disorder.

The Effects of Methadone

Due to the way it impacts the brain, methadone helps to reduce opioid cravings and prevent withdrawal symptoms. It also causes your body to develop a tolerance, so taking other opioids like heroin will not have as noticeable of an effect. Despite being related to opioids, methadone does not cause a rush of euphoria or other intensely mind-altering substances. Instead, it just has a mildly sedative effect.

Methadone Withdrawal Treatment

In some cases, methadone is a short-term treatment used to temporarily help patients detox. People can use it to avoid the vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, and mood swings that are common when they quit abusing opioids.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment

During methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), patients are given regular doses of methadone to help them fight cravings for other opioids. After starting off with a very low dose to test their reaction, their doctor will gradually increase the dose until it’s at a level that helps patients manage their symptoms. Once you find your ideal dosage, you take methadone every day or two indefinitely.

How Long Does Methadone Treatment Last?

Since MMT needs to be individualized for each patient, there is no strict rule for how long it lasts. Some people only take methadone for four weeks. Others may continue to take a daily dose of methadone for the rest of their life.

There are many different factors that go into determining the duration of methadone treatment. A healthcare provider will need to consider a patient’s overall health, duration of addiction, and severity of addiction before making a recommendation. They will also monitor patients during treatment to consider whether the patient is responding well to treatment or not.

2003 research on the subject of treatment duration suggests that risks of relapse are lower if patients take at least two years of MMT once they decide to get sober. However, some data suggests even longer periods provide even more benefits. The longer patients are on MMT, the lower their risk of getting needle-related diseases like HIV and hepatitis C and the lower their risk of being arrested for crimes.

Risks and Considerations for Long-Term Methadone Use

While research shows longer periods of MMT are very useful for managing addiction, it’s still understandable to be wary of committing to taking a medication for long periods of time. Here are some things you should know if you’re thinking about long-term MMT.

Is Long-Term Methadone Use Safe?

Doctors started prescribing methadone for addiction in the 1960s, so there are decades of data suggesting it can be used safely. Some research shows people can use it for at least a decade without any damage to their heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys. However, 2006 research suggests that taking higher doses for long periods of time can lead to higher risks of heart arrhythmias. There is also data suggesting methadone can decrease fertility.

Other Considerations of Extended Use

In addition to health concerns, there are also a few other things people will need to think about before they try MMT:

  • Methadone is only legal with a prescription, so it requires a willingness to see a doctor regularly.
  • Since methadone reacts poorly with many other medications, you might need to discontinue MMT while treating allergies, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, or some other health conditions.
  • There is some stigma associated with MMT, so using it may disqualify you from certain professions and licenses.
  • Methadone does have a potential for misuse, so some people may find that taking it makes other drug addictions worse.
  • It may be hard to find insurance companies that will cover ongoing MMT.
  • Some locations will not give you a prescription you can take at home, so you might need to regularly travel to a clinic to receive your doses.
methadone treatment

Choosing Between Short-Term and Long-Term Treatment

When you’re considering methadone therapy duration, it’s important to take your individual needs into consideration. Some patients do better with a long-term treatment plan while others do better with a short-term treatment plan. Here are some things to think about as you make your decision.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Treatment

Short-term treatment can be very useful for people with mild opioid addiction who are worried about withdrawal. By taking methadone for a few weeks, they can safely taper down usage until it’s safe to stop.

However, keep in mind that short-term treatment has a higher risk of relapse. It might not give you enough time to address the mental side of addiction before you quit using methadone.

Pros and Cons of Long-Term Treatment

Long-term MMT has been proven to be very successful at helping people overcome opioid addiction. It gives you space to recover and heal your mental health without dealing with constant cravings. Studies have shown long-term treatment is safe and greatly lowers risks of relapse.

However, the logistics of managing and paying for long-term treatment can be challenging. Furthermore, many people who are tired of dealing with addiction don’t like the idea of being reliant on any medication no matter how benign it is.

Explore Your Options at Recreate Life Counseling

Ultimately, methadone is a very effective and versatile way of managing opioid addiction. Some patients prefer to keep using it for years while others only need it for a few weeks. At Recreate Life Counseling, we can help you find the perfect methadone treatment duration for your needs. Our personalized opioid addiction treatment programs provide custom care that addresses your unique challenges.

We also provide a variety of other inpatient, outpatient, detox, and sober living services in Florida. To learn more about your treatment options, contact Recreate Life Counseling now.

References

  • https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682134.html
  • https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/methadone
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310658/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/
  • https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/182898

Published on: 2024-01-30
Updated on: 2024-03-26

When to Walk Away from Someone with Mental Illness

If you’re struggling to maintain a relationship with someone who has a mental health condition, you’re not alone. More than 50 million Americans were known to struggle with a mental illness in 2023. That number is likely much higher if you consider that many adults never report their mental struggles, and more than half of all adults with a diagnosed mental illness never seek mental health professional help and were not able to protect their own needs, own life, and well-being.

In fact, not admitting to a mental disorder like bipolar disorder or anxiety disorder and refusing to seek help from a mental healthcare professional or mental health treatment is a big factor in loved ones walking away from those with mental illness. If you’re at or close to your limit with someone suffering from a mental disorder, you’re likely questioning if it’s time to bring the relationship to a close.

It’s a tough decision that requires an incredible amount of strength and clarity of thought. We have some advice that may help you decide if that’s the right move for you at this point in the relationship, including the mental health services interventions.

SIGNS IT’S TIME TO WALK AWAY FROM A LOVED ONE WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS

There is no single sign that indicates you need to walk away from a relationship with someone who has a mental disorder. The circumstances of your relationship are unique, but the dilemma of loving someone with a mental illness is not.

The best you can do is tap into your gut instinct, consider the true reasons you feel this way, and then consider the top reasons that others have walked away from similar relationships. We’re going to walk you through that process right here and show you how to prioritize self-care and your own well-being, set boundaries–health boundaries and treatment options- so keep reading and do some deep thinking as we move along.

Step 1: Tap Into Your Gut Instincts

Stop for a moment and ask yourself one question, paying close attention to the thoughts that cross your mind immediately after:

“Is it time to walk away from this relationship?”

You know in your gut if you need to step away from the situation. It’s difficult to act on that gut instinct, and we’re not suggesting you do that at this moment. Just pay attention to those immediate thoughts.

Try saying out loud, “I’m going to end this relationship.” Do you feel a sense of relief? Do you break down crying with a broken heart? Pay attention to that feeling and proceed to the next step in this process.

Step 2: Get Honest with Yourself

It’s time to think about the specific reasons you feel it’s time to step away from this relationship. Here are some possible reasons to consider:

  • You’re emotionally exhausted
  • You feel physically threatened
  • You know you’re enabling bad behavior and don’t know how to stop
  • Your presence and support stops your loved one from seeking professional help
  • The relationship stops you from caring for yourself
  • The relationship is a distraction from your work and other responsibilities
  • Your loved one is refusing to help themselves and isn’t trying to get better

It may help to set a timer for 30 or 45 minutes and simply write about this issue. Allow your thoughts to pour onto the page with no censorship. No one has to ever see what you write. This process often allows buried thoughts and emotions to climb to the surface.

When you’re clear on at least some reasons you believe it’s time to walk away, move on to the next step in this process.

couples fight

Step 3: Consider the Most Common Reasons Others Walk Away

When is it time to walk away from a loved one with a mental illness? You’ve spent some time unraveling your own motivations. It’s now time to consider some of the reasons others have decided to end relationships with loved ones suffering from mental illness. How many of these resonate with you?

“The relationship is impacting my own mental health.”

If you’re starting to struggle with any of the following, perhaps it’s time to protect your own mental health:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Negative thinking

Relationships that involve mental illness are incredibly stressful. When emotional abuse is involved, you may even start to struggle with low self-confidence and fatigue. To stop the deterioration of your own mental health, you may need to find a way out of the relationship.

“This relationship is challenging my sobriety.”

The stress from your relationship may contribute to potential slips as you continue your own journey for sobriety. If your loved one also has an addiction, then they may offer you substances that directly challenge your sobriety. Saving yourself may require you to step away from the relationship.

“I feel unsafe, threatened, or have been physically harmed.”

If your loved one is physically abusive or threatens physical harm, it’s time to at least distance yourself as a form of protection. Sacrificing your own safety or putting your life on the line doesn’t make you brave or strong. You have the right and duty to protect yourself.

“This person is no longer safe around my children or other loved ones.”

Would you leave your children or an elderly parent alone with this person for a weekend? You may say no if you don’t trust your loved one to stay sober or fear they will slip into a destructive mental state. These concerns are glaring signs that your loved one is no longer safe in your life if you have the responsibility to protect others.

“Anger, bitterness, and resentment are overcoming my compassion and patience.”

Loving someone with a mental illness often requires self-sacrifice. Over time, that can start to eat away at your compassion and strength. You likely aren’t getting back as much as you’re putting into the relationship. The good times may no longer make up for the bad times. That’s when you may need to walk away to stop your own anger and resentment from making matters worse.

“I don’t see any way to create a happy, fulfilling future with this person in my life.”

Everyone deserves a bright, happy future filled with love, respect, and personal satisfaction. If a relationship is standing in the way of that, then it may not make sense to continue. If you have tried everything you know to do but still see no way to find happiness in this relationship, walking away may be the only option to build a good life for yourself.

Hopefully, this process has taken you closer to a decision on this matter. Let’s discuss the steps you should take if you decide walking away is in your best interests.

LEVELS OF WALKING AWAY

The term “walking away” brings the image of completely turning your back on someone, but it doesn’t have to play out that way. Accepting that it’s no longer safe or smart to continue the relationship as it stands today leaves you with a few options:

  • Keep them in your life, but at a distance. For instance, you may decide that you will continue the relationship with a parent who has a mental illness, but you will no longer live in the same house with them. The goal is to create some distance so that you can breathe easy while remaining available to some extent.
  • Continue to help through a barrier of protection. Maybe you provide food and financial support for a grown child with mental illness by passing items through a mutual friend or trusted relative. The goal is to provide some support without direct contact.
  • Cut all ties to your loved one. In other words, go “no contact.” This is the literal translation of walking away from someone with mental illness. It’s also the most heartbreaking option. Unfortunately, there may come a time when it is no longer safe, productive, or smart to continue the relationship, even from a distance or through a protective barrier.

You may need to move through these steps, gradually stepping away from a relationship that has a negative impact on your own mental health. Alternatively, you may know that your own mental and physical health require you to completely step away from the relationship at once.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WALKING AWAY?

If you know it’s time to completely walk away, there are some things to keep in mind. For starters, you aren’t a bad person for walking away from someone who has a mental illness. You aren’t weak for not sticking it out. You aren’t selfish for thinking of yourself. There is no shame in protecting yourself, even if others are hurt in the process.

Also, remind yourself that walking away from a toxic situation is often the stimulus for positive change in a person with mental illness. When they lose a loved one, they have to face what their behavior is doing to those they love. It could be what turns someone you love in the direction of counseling, addiction treatment, or other forms of help.

Everyone Needs Someone to Talk To

Walking away from a loved one with mental illness is incredibly stressful. The process requires an extreme level of strength and can send you through a hurricane of raging emotion. The best thing you can do for yourself is seek help from a trained therapist.

As you walk away from the relationship, you can also recommend that your loved one seek help as well. If substance abuse is also an issue, ask them to seek treatment. Instead of simply walking away silently, you can point them in the direction of help and recovery.

Note: You don’t want to tie recovery or therapy to a restoration of the relationship with you. It’s usually not a good idea to say that you’re ending the relationship or distancing yourself until they seek help. You’re walking away because it’s the right thing for yourself. They need to seek help because it’s the right thing for themselves.

You can always point your loved one toward Recreate Life Counseling in Boynton Beach, FL. With a comprehensive range of mental health and drug or alcohol rehabilitation services, we’re ready to help your loved one push toward positive change. We can help with cognitive behavioral therapy and treatment for a wide range of addictions and mental health disorders. Call us today to learn more.


Published on: 2024-01-12
Updated on: 2024-02-01

Does Xanax Abuse Cause Weight Gain or Loss?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a powerful benzodiazepine medication that can be used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It works by decreasing the amount of activity in a person’s central nervous system, which can have calming effects on those suffering from anxiety-related mental health conditions.

Unfortunately, Xanax is also frequently abused and can become habit-forming. This can lead to some unpleasant physical side effects, including changes in weight.

weight loss

How Using Xanax as Prescribed Can Impact Weight

When used as directed, Xanax is generally safe and effective. Side effects, such as weight changes, tend to be minimal and manageable. However, understanding how Xanax abuse can cause weight changes starts with looking at how the drug works in therapeutic doses and the potential weight-related effects of taking it as prescribed.

Reduced Physical Activity

For starters, taking Xanax in therapeutic doses can cause weight gain in some people. This is because of the drug’s effects on an amino acid called gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which acts as a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are responsible for transmitting messages throughout the nervous system, and GABA’s primary job is to reduce excitement and arousal in the brain and body.

Benzodiazepine medications like Xanax increase the activity of GABA — that’s what makes it such an effective anti-anxiety medication. However, greater GABA activity can also have a sedating effect, causing drowsiness, slowed cognitive processing, and decreased motivation. Because of these effects, some people taking Xanax may be less physically active than they otherwise would be, leading to fewer calories burned and potential weight gain.

Changes in Emotional Eating Habits

People who struggle with anxiety often overeat to find comfort or distraction from their symptoms. As a result, some people who take Xanax as directed may find that their emotional eating habits change for the better in response to the medication. This may lead to a decrease in their overall caloric intake, which can result in weight loss.

Appetite Suppression

Aside from reducing anxiety-related eating habits, Xanax can also directly suppress appetite. This is likely due to the drug’s effects on GABA activity. In addition to controlling activity levels, GABA also plays a role in appetite regulation by helping to regulate hormones that stimulate hunger and fullness. More specifically, GABA blocks the hunger signals in the body when it detects that it has had enough food.

When GABA is increased due to Xanax use, this process is enhanced, leading to appetite suppression. Decreased appetite is one of the most common side effects of taking Xanax, so even people who don’t have disordered eating habits may find that their desire to eat has decreased. In most people, however, this effect is mild and may only result in a small amount of weight loss when Xanax is taken as prescribed.

Reasons for Weight Changes Caused by Xanax Abuse

Taking Xanax in higher doses or without a prescription can lead to more pronounced physical side effects. Changes in weight are not uncommon, and they can be significant and sometimes life-threatening.

Lethargy

Abusing Xanax can cause even more prominent sedation than that experienced at the therapeutic dose. Due to the drug’s effects on GABA activity in the body, people who abuse Xanax tend to experience extreme lethargy. Some may regularly black out for periods of time, while others may sleep for days on end. Even those who remain conscious may have trouble with basic motor functions, making it difficult to engage in physical activities.

This can be particularly troublesome for individuals who have been taking the drug in higher doses for an extended period of time. In addition to the other risks associated with this level of sedation, it can also lead to weight gain in some people due to low levels of physical activity and decreased caloric expenditure.

Nausea and Vomiting

Taking any drug in higher-than-prescribed doses can cause nausea and vomiting — and Xanax is no different in this regard. Nausea and vomiting are possible side effects of therapeutic doses of Xanax, but they become even more likely — and intense — when the drug is taken in excess or in combination with other substances such as alcohol.

While a few bouts of nausea and vomiting are unlikely to have a dramatic impact on weight, the habitual abuse of Xanax could lead to significant weight fluctuations. Frequent vomiting prevents the body from properly digesting and absorbing nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition and significant weight loss over time.

Withdrawal

There is hope for people who have experienced weight changes due to long-term Xanax abuse. The physical effects of Xanax abuse can often be reversed, but abruptly stopping or significantly reducing a long-term Xanax habit without proper support could worsen the weight changes among other symptoms.

When someone stops using Xanax suddenly after having taken it in high doses for a long period of time, the body needs time to adjust to the sudden change. This period of adjustment, also known as withdrawal, can last anywhere from a few days to a year, with the worst of the symptoms happening around one to two weeks after the substance has left the body.

While each individual experiences withdrawal slightly differently, it is often associated with the following symptoms:

  • New or worsening anxiety or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Hypersensitivity to stimuli
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Palpitations
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry wrenching and vomiting
  • Bloating and constipation
  • Loss of appetite

The biggest weight-related risk when it comes to withdrawal is weight loss. While some of these symptoms, such as bloating and constipation, may result in minor weight gain, the combination of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea often leads to significant weight loss. And in people already at risk for malnutrition due to long-term Xanax abuse, this can be particularly dangerous.

Despite the potential risks of withdrawal, it is possible to safely and successfully overcome a Xanax dependence. However, it’s always best to do so under the supervision of a medical professional. Treatment centers and addiction counselors can provide the support and guidance needed to safely transition off of the drug, and doctors may be able to prescribe medications that will help lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Take the First Step Toward Recovery

If you or someone you love is struggling with Xanax abuse or addiction, recovery is within reach. Here at Recreate Life Counseling, we’ve seen firsthand how the right substance abuse treatment can help people reclaim their lives. And because we take a personalized approach to treatment, we address the underlying issues that often fuel substance abuse, rather than just managing the symptoms.

Mental health issues and substance use disorders often go hand-in-hand, so if mental health issues are also a factor in your situation, our dual diagnosis treatment programs in Boynton Beach, Florida, can provide the multilayered support you need to address both simultaneously. We’ve helped countless individuals find hope and healing, and we’d love to help you do the same. Contact us today to get started.


Published on: 2022-12-30
Updated on: 2024-02-01

Coke Jaw

Cocaine abuse is fairly easy to spot. Dilated pupils, excessive sweating, grumpiness, and unusual behavior are telltale signs that someone has been using.

Coke jaw is another dead giveaway. It is one of many consequences of cocaine use that impact the mouth, which is very noticeable.

coke jaw

Unfortunately, the way it looks is the least of your worries. If cocaine use is serious and prolonged, coke jaw can do serious damage inside your mouth. Educating yourself about coke jaw and other mouth conditions will improve your chances of beating this addiction for good.

(If you are worried about a friend or loved one, we’re glad you’re here. This is a great discussion to “listen in on.”)

What Is Coke Jaw?

A number of cocaine-related problems affect the mouth. Effects of cocaine use range from temporary dry mouth to chronic gum disease and eventual tooth loss. As a whole, oral problems are referred to as coke mouth. The severity of coke mouth usually depends on the severity of the addiction.

More specifically, coke jaw falls under the umbrella of temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. That is a fancy term for a wide range of jaw problems that cause jaw pain. Examples include difficulty opening and closing the mouth, jaw popping or clicking, and facial palpitations. People who don’t use cocaine can have one or more symptoms of TMD, but users have more instances of TMD and more pronounced symptoms.

Coke jaw is marked by the tightening of the jaw or by erratic, uncontrollable jaw movement, typically from side to side. People with coke jaw also clench and grind their teeth, often without being aware of it.

This is one of those unpleasant side effects that might have you asking yourself if cocaine is worth it.

For one thing, coke jaw is painful. The human jaw is not constructed to move from side to side. The unnatural movement can cause serious headaches and much worse.

sore jaw

What Causes It?

Stimulants like meth, ecstasy, and coke cause just about every process in the body to fast forward. The explosive burst of energy might feel like a good thing at first, but it is short-term and quickly starts to overwhelm. Cocaine is notorious for making people tense, anxious, grouchy and paranoid. People who are tense, anxious, grouchy and paranoid tend to clench their jaw and grind their teeth. You can sometimes even see their jaws working back and forth or their jawbones “knotting” under the skin.

Users who rub the drug directly into gum tissue are more likely to develop coke jaw.

What Other Problems Does It Lead To?

Most people are aware of the damage that coke can do in the brain, various body systems, and vital organs. The potential long-term damage of coke jaw and other mouth issues is not talked about as much. It should be.

Cocaine abuse creates a perfect storm for all sorts of oral problems, and one bad symptom or disorder usually triggers or exacerbates others. That is often the case with substance use disorder. For example, depression and anxiety usually go hand in hand with a drug habit. It is the same way with coke mouth — if you have one issue, like coke jaw, you typically have several.

Excessive teeth-grinding, a disorder known as bruxism, is a common complaint with coke jaw. It can lead to a world of hurt in both the dentist’s chair and your bank account. Grinding your teeth can result in worn-down tooth enamel, cavities, and brittle or broken teeth. Dental remedies are not cheap.

Cocaine users also have to watch out for dental erosion. Have you ever heard about the effects of lemon or other acidic foods on your teeth? Well, cocaine powder is like lemon juice on steroids. It almost immediately starts eating away at tooth enamel and mouth tissue, especially the tissue between teeth. Once that is gone, painful mouth sores, infections, and missing teeth could be in your future.

If the cocaine is cut with other substances, which it almost certainly is, the risk for exposure to acidic materials and bacteria is even greater.

Rubbing cocaine into your gums puts you at high risk for bone loss and chronic gum diseases like gingivitis. Smoking crack cocaine — or smoking anything — also does extensive damage. The bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place recede and wear away; having no anchor, teeth start drifting and eventually fall out.

jaw x-ray

As for dry mouth, not taking it seriously is a mistake. Dry mouth occurs when cocaine use disrupts the flow of saliva. Tooth decay, bleeding gums, and gum disease are likely without saliva.

Cocaine constricts blood vessels, which cuts off the oxygen supply to cells. As a result, when snorting coke becomes a habit, the cells in the nasal cavity start dying off. Since the nose and mouth are so closely connected, tissues in the soft and hard palates gradually deteriorate. The resulting perforations, or holes, make it hard to talk, swallow, and eat.

In addition to causing serious problems inside the mouth, coke jaw and other issues take a heavy toll on self-esteem. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. The condition of your teeth and gums can make or break your mood, confidence, and motivation.

Some side effects, like a runny nose, nosebleeds, or dilated pupils, go away when cocaine is out of the system. However, in severe cases of addiction, coke-related dental issues could be around for a while.

How Is It Treated?

Coke jaw is not a dental problem. It’s a substance abuse problem.

Drug use is the greatest obstacle to good oral health. Aside from the direct damage cocaine can do, people who use it are less likely to eat well, stay hydrated, and practice good hygiene.

doctor

Fortunately, when a problem from cocaine side effects is caught and treated early on, the likelihood of long-term damage from coke mouth is small. When the drug is withdrawn and detox, many issues start to self-correct right away. Also, the best treatment programs incorporate nutritional advice and hygiene tips to restore a winning smile.

If more help is needed, dentists and periodontists have the advanced technology to practically work miracles these days. The number of options in restorative dentistry — like implants, dental bridges, and partial dentures — keeps growing all the time.

Again, though, when the effects of cocaine is the main problem, staying on top of dental issues and other health problems is all but impossible. When one complaint is temporarily resolved, another crops up in its place.

Treating symptoms, like coke jaw or any other from drug abuse, is never a long-term solution. We must get to the root of the problem and call it what it is: Addiction is a chronic disease just like diabetes or high blood pressure. There is no cure, but it can be managed. With the help of experienced professionals and proven treatment methods, people with substance use disorder live productive, rewarding lives.

Help for Addiction at ReCreate Life Counseling

If you are struggling to quit cocaine, we understand how you got here.

People start using coke for the intense euphoria it provides. Almost immediately, users feel happier, more energetic, and more confident. For those reasons, cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. Every day, someone who intended to use it only occasionally or even just once becomes hooked. The allure is powerful, but we have powerful weapons.

Since no two drugs, no two people, and no two addictions are alike, we tailor our treatment plans to individual needs. Your highly personalized care might combine several of these proven methods:

Coke jaw is merely a symptom. ReCreate Life Counseling centers are safe places to work through underlying issues. Reach out now by phone or chat to speak with a caring, experienced counselor. We’re eager to set you or someone you love on the path to healing.

  • What is coke jaw?
  • How long after using cocaine is coke jaw visible?

Published on: 2022-08-30
Updated on: 2024-04-02

What Is the Most Expensive Drug in the World?

When people think of paying a lot for drugs, they typically pay large amounts for illegal substances like cocaine, which can be pretty pricey. However, the ten most expensive drugs in the United States are all prescription medications.  According to an article published by Becker’s Hospital Review, the most expensive drug in the United States is Zolgensma, a drug used to treat spinal muscular atrophy.

People who require this medication pay over $2 million a year out of pocket. After this medication, Zokinvy is the most expensive, costing those who need it over $1 million every year.  

Zolgensma As a The Most Expensive Legal Drug in The World

Unfortunately, major pharmaceutical companies monopolize on the needs of people with rare illnesses who require medication to survive. What makes these medications so expensive, and are there any alternatives that people in need can reach if they are in lower or middle-income brackets? Zolgensma does not currently have any alternatives.

It is used to treat a rare motor neuron disease that leaves children with a slim chance of survival if they don’t have access to the medication before they turn two years old. This drug is only available in the UK, and it is roughly 1.7 million pounds for a single dose. 

The Most Costly Illegal Drug on The Current Market

Of course, medications like this are an absolute necessity, and those who use them will never abuse them simply because they are so unobtainable and expensive. But which illegal drugs on the current market are the most costly, and which expensive drugs are abused the most frequently?

What Is the Most Expensive Drug in the World?

Drug Addiction Is a Very Expensive Habit 

Even people who use easily accessed drugs and relatively easy to afford, like methamphetamine and crack cocaine, often find themselves in a very bad financial place.  This is not only because the chemical substances themselves are expensive but also because people grappling with substance abuse disorders are rarely able to hold down a job and financially support themselves. As a result, they often resort to stealing money from relatives and friends, pawning valuables, and engaging in other illegal activities to support their habit. 

The Most Commonly Abused and The Most Expensive Drug in The United States Is…

 Interestingly enough, the most commonly abused and the most expensive drug in the United States (outside of the prescription medications we previously mentioned) is tobacco. The National Institute on Drug Abuse  Found that tobacco costs American citizens roughly $295 billion every year.  Outside of that, tobacco costs $130 billion alone in health care costs like cancer treatments and the treatment of emphysema and other smoke-related issues.

Alcohol As a Second The Most Expensive Drug in The Country

As one might imagine, the 2nd most expensive chemical substance throughout the country is alcohol, which costs Americans roughly $224 billion every year.  Think about it. If you go to the bar and purchase three alcoholic beverages, you probably spend around $30 every time.  

If you go to the bar 5 times a week, That’s roughly $150 that you would otherwise be saving.  Prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone also cost Americans a significant amount of money, including cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.  If you have been struggling with a drug addiction of any type or severity and you take the time to do the math, you will be amazed at how much you spend on an annual basis.

Get Help For Drug Dependence at Recreate Life Counseling

At Recreate Life Counseling, we do more than provide our clients with a comprehensive addiction treatment program. We understand that active addiction strips people of their ability to control their finances adequately. We offer life skills training services that focus on budgeting and regaining financial independence.  We take the time to show each of our clients how much money they will save long-term should they maintain sobriety.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug addiction recovery program or get started with our simple admissions process. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you get started on a path that is undeniably much better than the path you are on now.

FAQ

  • How do drugs compare in cost compared to drug rehab and jail time?

Published on: 2021-08-13
Updated on: 2024-04-18

Does Ritalin Show as Amphetamines on Drug Tests?

Ritalin, the brand name for a commonly prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), has garnered attention regarding its potential impact on drug screens, particularly in relation to amphetamines. Methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Ritalin, operates as a central nervous system stimulant, enhancing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain to ameliorate attention deficits and hyperactivity.

When individuals undergo urine drug testing, concerns may arise regarding the potential for Ritalin to yield false-positive results for amphetamines. Understanding the pharmacokinetics and metabolites of methylphenidate is crucial in deciphering its implications on drug screens. While methylphenidate shares structural similarities with amphetamines, it typically does not cross-react with amphetamine assays commonly employed in drug screens. However, rare instances of cross-reactivity have been reported, necessitating a nuanced approach in the interpretation of test results.

Ritalin

Healthcare professionals often employ various methodologies in drug screening, including immunoassays and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), to accurately discern the presence of substances. Immunoassays, commonly utilized due to their rapidity and cost-effectiveness, may exhibit limitations in specificity, potentially leading to false-positive results. In contrast, LC-MS offers enhanced sensitivity and specificity, enabling precise identification and quantification of substances present in urine samples.

Clinicians must consider factors such as the patient’s medication regimen, dosage, and timing of administration when interpreting drug test results. Extended-release formulations of Ritalin may exhibit distinct pharmacokinetic profiles compared to immediate-release formulations, influencing the detection window and potential for cross-reactivity in drug screens.

Moreover, the presence of other substances, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, or cannabinoids, in urine samples may further complicate the interpretation of test results. Clinicians must remain vigilant to the possibility of false-positive or false-negative findings, employing comprehensive clinical judgment in conjunction with laboratory data.

Research published on platforms like PubMed underscores the importance of continued investigation into the pharmacology and toxicology of methylphenidate, particularly its implications in urine drug screening. Additionally, advancements in toxicological methodologies and assay technologies contribute to refining the accuracy and reliability of drug screening procedures.

Remember, while methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Ritalin, may share structural similarities with amphetamines, it typically does not produce positive results in amphetamine screens. However, rare instances of cross-reactivity may occur, emphasizing the need for meticulous interpretation of test results by healthcare professionals. Continued research and advancements in toxicology are essential in elucidating the complexities surrounding drug screening in individuals prescribed medications like Ritalin.

How does Ritalin Affect Your Body?

Ritalin can produce a euphoric feeling and can make people who don’t have ADHD feel more productive when taking Ritalin and more capable of taking on day-to-day tasks. This can lead to psychological dependence in a short matter of days or weeks.

Many people consider this drug a “study drug”, along with other drugs that are used to treat ADHD, like Adderall or Concerta. This is because high school and college students tend to take these medications before big exams or while completing term papers. After all, they increase their alertness and make them more capable of working for long hours.If a person has been struggling with a substance abuse disorder and is diagnosed with an attention-related issue, he or she will generally not be prescribed a drug like Ritalin because of its high propensity for abuse. While this medication is significantly stronger than caffeine, it is not as strong as amphetamine – but this does not mean that it doesn’t show up on drug tests.

Drug Test

Does Ritalin Show Up On Amphetamine Drug Tests?

Depending on the type of drug test and what they’re looking for, methylphenidate may show up and cause a positive result for Amphetamine. For that reason, it may be necessary to inform testers that you’re taking a methylphenidate prescription. If you’re taking it illegally, you’ll need to stop before taking the test.

Ritalin is detectable on drug tests for a relatively short amount of time, but the actual length of time depends on the drug test that is being administered and the severity of the Ritalin abuse disorder.

Methylphenidate is a short-acting stimulant with a duration of action of 1 to 4 hours and a pharmacokinetic half-life of 2 to 3 hours. Maximum drug concentration after oral administration occurs at about 2 hours.

People who are consuming a higher dose of Ritalin daily would have the medication in their bloodstream for longer. Studies show that some people excrete up to 97 percent of the drug in between 24 and 48 hours, whereas other people only excrete 78 percent of the drug throughout the same two-day time period. Methylphenidate may be detectable in urine up to two days after use.

The severity of the substance abuse disorder is not the only contributing factor when it comes to how quickly the body processes Ritalin and other similar medications. A person’s body weight, metabolism, and age affect how quickly drugs are processed, as well as what state the kidneys are currently in (all drugs filter through the kidneys, which is why kidney disease is such a common side effect of substance abuse).

Test TypeDetection TimeNote
Urine Test1-3 daysRitalin can sometimes cause false-positive results for amphetamines due to its effects.

Recreate Life Counseling and Prescription Drug Addiction Recovery 

At Recreate Life Counseling, we offer comprehensive prescription drug addiction recovery services geared towards helping men and women who have been struggling with prescription drug addiction go on to lead the healthy and substance-free lives they deserve. We understand how difficult it can be to come to terms with prescription drug addiction because, in many instances, the person who ends up abusing the drug was originally prescribed the medication for a legitimate medical reason.

However, because so many people take Ritalin and other similar medications, it is also not uncommon for a person to find an unused or forgotten prescription in the medicine cabinet of a family member or close friend. Regardless of how you started down the path of substance abuse, we are available to help.

Our admissions process is simple and uncomplicated and is geared toward taking as much stress off of you and your loved ones as possible. Simply give us a call to get started or to learn more about our program of prescription drug addiction recovery.

FAQ

  • Is Ritalin habit forming?
  • Does Ritalin Show as Amphetamines on Drug Tests?

Published on: 2021-05-31
Updated on: 2024-04-14

Is Ritalin More Addictive Than Concerta?

Ritalin and Concerta are CNS stimulant medications that are used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Both of these medications contain the same active ingredient, methylphenidate. They work by increasing brain activity, specifically the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervous system. Ritalin and Concerta produce unnaturally high levels of dopamine. Dopamine occurs naturally in the body; it is the body’s natural feel-good chemical that creates a rewarding effect.

Both Ritalin and Concerta increase energy, increase the user’s ability to stay focused, pay attention, and can help to control behavior problems. Ritalin and Concerta may also help reduce symptoms such as fidgeting, improve listening skills and help a person to organize their tasks. Both drugs are also sometimes used to help those with sleeping disorders to stay awake.

The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry says:

Many children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD can benefit from the therapeutic effects of methylphenidate with minimum side effects. The most common side effects are insomnia, stomachache, headache, and anorexia. When these side effects do occur in treatment, they usually can be managed effectively or diminish in severity with time to a tolerable level. This stimulant medication is generally safe when used as prescribed; it produces few serious adverse events when used orally in therapeutic doses. However, the entire therapeutic profile starts to change when it is abused. (NIH)

Ritalin and Concerta are listed as Schedule II Controlled Substances by the DEA. This means the drugs do have medicinal benefits, but both have a high potential for abuse, and a person can develop a physical dependence.

Is Ritalin More Addictive Than Concerta?

What Is the Difference Between Ritalin and Concerta?

Ritalin and Concerta contain the same active ingredients, both medications work in the body in the same fashion and produce the same results, but they do have their differences. Concerta is a long-acting drug. It causes a steady increase in dopamine, and it is taken once a day. Concerta last for between 10 to 12 hours.

Ritalin is a short-acting drug, which means it works quickly and increases dopamine and norepinephrine levels immediately. It is taken 2 to 3 times a day and is effective for people that need immediate relief. Ritalin does come in a long-acting form, but its effects only last about 8 hours.

Is Ritalin More Dangerous Than Concerta?

Both Ritalin and Concerta are very addictive prescription medications, but Ritalin has an instant release formulation that could be more dangerous. Ritalin could be more addictive due solely to the fact that its effects work immediately. Especially if the drug is crushed and snorted or used IV. However, any drug that is abused by being crushed and snorted or used through an IV will produce intense, immediate effects. When addicts are looking to get high, more often than not they are looking for immediate “relief”.

Treatment for Stimulant Abuse

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling offers evidence-based addiction treatment. Our cutting edge addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer. Call us today for more information on our stimulant addiction treatment programs.


Published on: 2021-02-12
Updated on: 2024-04-18

Mixing Buprenorphine and Ultram

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist used to treat those with opioid use disorder or opioid dependency. It does provide mild pain relief and can cause a slight euphoria, but it also has a ceiling effect. Once you get to a certain dose, taking more of the drug will not increase the high you experience.

Ultram is a medication, similar to opioid analgesics, used to treat moderate to severe pain. It acts on the central nervous system to promote relaxation and feelings of well-being. It is a narcotic and is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means it does have medicinal benefits, but it can also be addictive.

Mixing Buprenorphine and Ultram

Dangers of Mixing Buprenorphine and Ultram

It is dangerous to mix any drugs, period, and mixing buprenorphine and Ultram can have deadly effects. Taking two opioids at the same time can increase the risk of an overdose. Also, using buprenorphine together with Ultram can significantly increase the risk of seizure activity.

The American Journal on Addictions says:

Drug interactions are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Methadone and buprenorphine are frequently prescribed for the treatment of opioid addiction. Patients needing treatment with these medications often have co-occurring medical and mental illnesses that require medication treatment. The abuse of illicit substances is also common in opioid-addicted individuals. These clinical realities place patients being treated with methadone and buprenorphine at risk for potentially toxic drug interactions.

Furthermore, when mixing Ultram or any other opioid with buprenorphine, most likely you will not feel the effects. Buprenorphine has a higher binding rate than Ultram, and it occupies the opioid receptors in the brain.

Dangers of Mixing Suboxone and Ultram

Another thing to note here is that there is a huge difference if someone were to mix Ultram with Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination medication used to treat opioid use disorder or opioid dependency. Suboxone contains two ingredients, buprenorphine, and naloxone; the naloxone in Suboxone reverses the effects of opioids.

You can take Ultram after you have taken Suboxone, however, if you take Suboxone after taking Ultram or any other opioid, you will most likely experience precipitated withdrawal symptoms. The naloxone in Suboxone would reverse the effects of the Ultram, and the buprenorphine would dislodge the Ultram or opioid from the receptors and replace it. Precipitated withdrawal is a very awful experience.

One last thing that I think is important to note. Buprenorphine or Suboxone are both 50 times more potent than Morphine, so if you have been taking either medication for a length of time, your opioid tolerance is going to be high. If you are trying to achieve a high by mixing the two drugs, it would take very large doses of Ultram, and that high of a dose would likely be extremely dangerous.

Treatment for Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling offers evidence-based addiction treatment. Our cutting edge addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer. Call us today.


Published on: 2021-01-05
Updated on: 2024-04-18

What Are the Street Names for Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a synthetic drug chemically similar to hallucinogens and stimulants. It has a similar structure as methamphetamines and is a derivative of amphetamines. Ecstasy alters an individual’s mood and perception and also produces feelings of extreme pleasure, increased energy, distorted time and sensory perception, and emotional warmth.

Ecstasy used to be a legal medication. It was developed in 1912, by the Merck pharmaceutical company. The original form of the medication was called “MDMA”, and in 1953 it was used by the US Army in psychological warfare testing. In 1960, “MDMA” was used as a psychotherapy medication to lower inhibitions, and by the 1970’s it was being used as a party drug.

In the 1980s MDMA was the most popular drug for weekend parties. In 1984, it was sold under the brand name of “Ecstasy”, and in 1985 it was banned due to safety concerns.

According to the National Institutes of Health:

MDMA was initially popular in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties (“raves”), but the drug now affects a broader range of people who more commonly call the drug Ecstasy or Molly. People who use MDMA usually take it as a capsule or tablet, though some swallow it in liquid form or snort the powder. The popular nickname Molly (slang for “molecular”) often refers to the supposedly “pure” crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold in capsules. However, people who purchase powder or capsules sold as Molly often actually get other drugs such as synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) instead. Some people take MDMA in combination with other drugs such as alcohol or marijuana.

Ecstasy usually comes in the form of a pill, but it can also be injected or taken as a liquid; the liquid form of the drug is called GHB. GHB is a central nervous system depressant, and it is a very dangerous form of the drug. There have been many instances where GHB has been unknowingly slipped into people’s drinks. They are then lured away from their original location and will wake up the next day without having any recollection of what happened to them.

What Are the Street Names for Ecstasy?

What Are the Street Names for Ecstasy?

Ecstasy has many different street names. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has many alternative ecstasy names listed in their database because drug dealers often change the street names to try and confuse law enforcement.

Known as a party drug, ecstasy comes in pill or powder form; the pill has a variety of logos and colors. The street names put together by the DEA include:

  • Adam
  • Beans
  • Biscuit
  • Clarity
  • Disco Biscuit
  • E
  • Eve
  • Hug Drug
  • Lover’s Speed
  • MDMA
  • Peace
  • STP
  • X
  • XTC
  • Molly

There are also some other street names of ecstasy: Cadillac, California Sunrise, Essence, Elephants, Love Drug, Love Pill, Molly, Roll, Scooby snacks, Snowball, and XE.

Side Effects of Ecstasy Use

Ecstasy affects three different chemicals in the brain, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Its effects can give the individual a greater sense of well-being, emotional warmth, enhanced sensory perception, and increased empathy towards others. Some of the side effects of the drug can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Attention problems
  • Decreased libido
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Memory problems
  • Impulsiveness

The onset of Ecstasy is about 45 minutes after a dose is taken, and the duration is usually between three to six hours.

Dangers of Ecstasy Abuse

Just like a lot of heroin, cocaine, and other substances in this country are being mixed with fentanyl, Ecstasy can also have a lot of additives. A person may purchase a pill that they believe to be pure Molly, but much of the time it is mixed with cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, bath salts, and/or over-the-counter cough medicine. You do not know what you are buying these days, and any of these substances can be extremely dangerous especially when mixed with MDMA.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling provides cutting edge addiction treatment. We tailor our programs to meet the individual needs of each person suffering from addiction. We offer a variety of different treatment programs to help recreate your life and get you on the road to a lasting recovery.

FAQ

  • How long does Ecstasy stay in your system?

Published on: 2020-10-14
Updated on: 2024-04-18