How Does Crystal Meth Affect Dopamine?

Crystal meth is a stimulant drug that gets its name from its crystalline or crystal-like appearance. Also called ice or glass, crystal meth is usually smoked out of a glass pipe, but can also be snorted or injected. It is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system.

Crystal meth produces an intense euphoric rush when its users take the drug. It creates a false sense of happiness and well-being, confidence, energy, hyperactiveness, and decreases the need for sleep and food. The effects of this drug can last between six and eight hours, but depending on the dose taken may even last for up to 24 hours.

How Does Crystal Meth Affect Dopamine?

Correlation Between Crystal Meth And Dopamine Levels

Crystal meth, like other stimulants, causes extreme amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine to be released when it is taken. This is why a lot of people who have pre-existing and untreated depression will use crystal meth. It produces intense feelings of euphoria, increases energy, and has other psychoactive effects which temporarily take away their depression.

The National Institute of Health The Permanente Journal “The “Party Drug Crystal Methamphetamine: Risk Factor for the Acquisition of HIV” states:

The brains of people addicted to methamphetamine are different from those of nonaddicts. The pleasure center of the brain is the nucleus accumbens, where the active neurotransmitter is dopamine. Both crack cocaine and methamphetamine prevent the reuptake of dopamine, which allows it to collect and thus prolongs and increases its effects…a wide variety of stimuli affect dopamine levels. Natural rewards such as food and sex elevate dopamine output by 150% to 300% above basal output. Stimulant drugs, however, are more efficient than natural rewards at increasing the release of dopamine. Methamphetamine increases dopamine release to >1000% above basal levels within the first hour of taking the drug, with levels returning to basal after three hours. (NIH)

More About How Does Crystal Meth Affect Dopamine

The massive amounts of dopamine that are released once it is taken make the drug so addicting. Users want to continue using the drug to continue experiencing these intense euphoric feelings.

Once a person eventually stops taking the drug, they experience an extreme crash-like effect from depleting dopamine and serotonin levels. This causes extreme mood changes such as depression, apathy, and hopelessness and causes the user to sleep for hours and hours.

Overcome Crystal Meth Abuse at Recreate Life Counseling

Crystal meth can cause a person to become addicted after just their first use. This drug eventually depletes the body’s natural supply of dopamine and can have damaging effects on a person’s brain and body after only brief exposure.

Suppose you have a problem or addiction to crystal meth. In that case, it’s important to get into treatment as soon as possible, as long-term crystal meth use can have devastating effects on a person’s physical and mental well-being. Recreate Life Counseling offers intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization programs. Cutting-edge and evidence-based addiction treatment, we are here to get you moving towards the road to long-term recovery. So call our specialists and let them help you get started on getting your life back. Today is your day to overcome crystal meth addiction.

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

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Suboxone

There are two main phases of drug and alcohol withdrawal – acute and post-acute withdrawal. Post-acute withdrawal is the second phase of drug and/or alcohol withdrawal, and it typically consists of mild and irritating or disruptive symptoms – not potentially dangerous symptoms, as one might experience during acute withdrawal.

The symptoms associated with acute withdrawal can be severe, and they must be treated accordingly in a drug and alcohol detoxification program. These symptoms typically resolve within one to two weeks, and once a client is deemed physically stabilized he or she transfers directly into an inpatient treatment center. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience symptoms of post-acute withdrawal while they are in inpatient treatment. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be extremely disruptive and can hinder the recovery process. For this reason, post-acute withdrawal symptoms must be thoroughly and adequately treated.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Suboxone

What is Suboxone Used For?

Suboxone, a medication that is often used to treat the symptoms associated with severe opioid addiction, can be extremely habit-forming in and of itself. The post-acute withdrawal symptoms associated with Suboxone can be extremely severe and long-lasting. These symptoms will vary depending on the person, the dose of Suboxone that was being abused, and the presence of any pre-existing mental health conditions (along with several additional factors).

Suboxone and Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms

At Recreate Life Counseling, we pay special attention to symptoms associated with Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) involving Suboxone and treat them as soon as they arise. We understand that a common symptom of PAWS can negatively affect the ability to stay sober long-term. The most common symptoms include:

  • Irritability and agitation
  • Severe mood swings
  • An inability to concentrate
  • A lack of motivation to complete daily tasks
  • An inability to fulfill personal responsibilities
  • Tiredness, fatigue, and inexplicable physical exhaustion
  • Sleep-related issues
  • Depending on the substance, gastrointestinal issues (like chronic constipation)
  • Lack of a sex drive
  • A lack of enthusiasm regarding activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Mild depression
  • Mild anxiety

More About Suboxone and PAWS

At Recreate Life Counseling, we treat the symptoms of Suboxone-related PAWS as soon as they arise. We understand the negative impacts that these symptoms can have on the recovery process when they are not adequately treated, therefore we prioritize providing the medical and psychological care necessary. If you have been abusing Suboxone either on its own or along with another chemical substance, we are available to help.

Opioid Treatment at Recreate Life Counseling 

Recreate Life Counseling offers comprehensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization services in Boynton Beach, Florida. Our recovery program is located in the heart of Southern Florida, an area that has long-since been considered the “recovery capital” of the country. This is not only because of the sunny, relaxing, and coastal location lends itself to long-term healing, but because there are innumerable recovery-related resources available throughout this specific region.

If you have been suffering at the hands of an opioid addiction of any type or severity, we are available to help. Simply give us a call and our admissions counselors will set to work developing a viable intake plan. We understand that choosing the right treatment center can be an overwhelming process, and for this reason, we are available to assist you every single step of the way. As soon as you decide to reach out, we will conduct a no-obligation insurance benefits check to determine how much of your treatment experience is covered by your current provider.

Dealing with the financial component of clinical care can be stressful – for this reason, we work with many major regional and national providers to ensure that the highest level of addiction treatment is easily accessible to all those who need it. To learn more, give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you more and answering any additional questions you might have.


  • How does anesthesia assisted detox return receptors to PRE-dependence state?

Published on: 2020-11-10
Updated on: 2024-04-18

What Does Ativan Feel Like?

Ativan is a benzodiazepine that relieves feelings of anxiety but also can lead to addiction and dependence. Getting off Ativan safely after abusing it for a long period is not recommended and requires a medical detox.

The National Institute of Health, NIH, describes Ativan also known as Lorazepam as an anxiolytic. It has a chemical formula of 7-chloro-5-(o-chlorophenyl)-1,3-dihydro-3-hydroxy-2H-1,4-benzodiazepine-2-one. It is a practical water-soluble and virtually white powder. These orally ingested tablets have 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg of lorazepam. Lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium are the dormant elements present.

With no significant impact on the respiratory or cardiovascular systems, solo elevated quantities of Ativan have a tranquilizing action on the central nervous system. With an indisputable bioavailability of 90 percent, Ativan is instantly absorbed.

Within 2 hours of being consumed the highest amounts of intensity take place in the plasma. That high amount of intensity from a 2mg dose of Ativan in plasma is about 20 ng/mL. 12 hours is the average half-life of unconjugated Ativan in plasma and is 18 hours approximately for its foremost metabolite, lorazepam glucuronide. Studies show that its effects can last about 20% longer if injected with no regard to the age of the subject.


How Does it Feel to Use Ativan?

The indicated use of Ativan is meant to combat anxiety disorders that stem from depression and short-term relief from the symptoms of anxiety associated symptoms. The stress or anxiety from a regular daily routine is not to be treated with an anxiolytic such as Ativan. Short-term relief is under 4 months of use. When a patient using Ativan consumes it as prescribed under the close supervision of a physician, they will not be feeling high as the drug directly serves one purpose and that is to balance out the previously unbalanced nervous system.

When comparing the high of Ativan, it can be directly correlated to that of Xanax as they are both used to treat anxiety, though Ativan leaves the central nervous system more quickly. If a person takes a high dose and is not suffering from some form of anxiety or depression stemming from anxiety this subject can get the euphoric sensations to peak within 30-60 minutes of using. That high can last between 5-8 hours where the subject will experience feelings of an amplified sedation effect.

Is Ativan Addictive?

Though Ativan is not a narcotic it can have the same adverse effects which can cause addiction and chemical dependency. When taken over long periods it can cause mental health troubles and cognitive issues. When abused the person will begin to risk issues of memory the ability to speak properly. It has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The reason its maximum prescription term is 4 months is due to its extremely addictive properties.

Someone that has used Ativan longer than the 4 months it’s supposed to be used can expect liver damage. The enzymes in the liver will increase causing it to inflame and in turn damage the tissue of the liver. Once jaundice begins the eyes and skin frequently begin to turn a yellowish color. When you stop using Ativan after a long period, painful withdrawal symptoms can develop that often last weeks.

How Can Recreate Life Counseling Help You?

Recreate Life Counseling is a drug and alcohol rehab center that is prepared to help with Ativan addiction. We take delight in our personalized treatment programs that are tailored to meet the needs of men, women, and families affected by addiction. Our Delray Beach or Boynton Beach, Florida locations, offer partial hospitalization which is a day and night treatment with community housing and we also offer intensive outpatient therapy. It is our purpose to bind the client’s support to rebuild their natural life.

We are dedicated to assisting the habituated individual start off and continue in the recovery route. We will construct a treatment schedule in a way that is beneficial to the vision you or your loved one has for a dependency-free life. Neither you nor a loved one must be addicted to Ativan. Call now to speak with one of our experts or come in for a tour.

Published on: 2020-05-13
Updated on: 2024-04-18

How Long Before an Alcoholic Has Liver Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a complication of many liver diseases characterized by abnormal structure and function of the liver. The diseases that lead to cirrhosis do so because they injure and kill liver cells, after which the inflammation and repair that is associated with the dying liver cells cause scar tissue to form. The liver cells that do not die multiply to replace the cells that have died.

This results in clusters of newly-formed liver cells (regenerative nodules) within the scar tissue. There are many causes of cirrhosis including chemicals (such as alcohol, fat, and certain medications), viruses, toxic metals (such as iron and copper that accumulate in the liver as a result of genetic diseases), and autoimmune liver disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the liver.

How Long Before an Alcoholic Has Liver Cirrhosis?

What are the Stages of Liver Cirrhosis?

Stage 1 cirrhosis involves some scarring of the liver, but few symptoms. This stage is considered compensated cirrhosis, where there are no complications.

Stage 2 cirrhosis includes worsening portal hypertension and the development of varices.

Stage 3 cirrhosis involves the development of swelling in the abdomen and advanced liver scarring. This stage marks decompensated cirrhosis, with serious complications and possible liver failure.

Stage 4 cirrhosis can be life-threatening and people have developed the end-stage liver disease (ESLD), which is fatal without a transplant.

How Long Before an Alcoholic Has Liver Cirrhosis?

It may take 10-30 years for cirrhosis to develop. Liver cirrhosis is one of the leading causes of death in the US and chronic alcoholism is one of the main leading causes of cirrhosis. Initially, individuals suffering from chronic alcoholism are often not aware of liver damage as they are asymptomatic in the early stages. Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease and usually takes years to develop. The development of cirrhosis differs from person to person and depends on various factors such as genetics, individual metabolism, food habits, and other health conditions. 10-20% of patients with chronic alcoholism develop cirrhosis.

What are the Symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis?

According to NIH, you may have no signs or symptoms of cirrhosis until your liver is badly damaged. Early symptoms of cirrhosis may include feeling tired or weak, poor appetite, losing weight without trying, nausea and vomiting, and mild pain or discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen. As liver function gets worse, you may have other symptoms, including bruising and bleeding easily, confusion, difficulties thinking, memory loss, personality changes, or sleep disorders, swelling in your lower legs, ankles, or feet, called edema, bloating from buildup of fluid in your abdomen, called ascites, severe itchy skin, darkening of the color of your urine, and a yellowish tint to the whites of your eyes and skin, called jaundice.

How can Recreate Life Counseling Help with Alcoholism?

At Recreate Life Counseling treatments are designed with respect for our client’s core values. We understand that believe in our clients and we help with the journey of recreating themselves and their lives. Here in Boynton Beach, Florida, we will create an individualized treatment program that meets the needs of each client so that the vision they have for their lives can become a reality. We are constantly updating our theories and methods to avoid ineffective methods from the past.

Our outpatient and partial hospitalization rehab will accommodate the daily responsibilities of our clients without interfering with their work, school and family obligations. Our clients will be able to discuss rehab options that best fit their needs. We walk them through the entire recovery process. We don’t just treat the addiction because we assess the person a whole. We encourage that you talk to one of our team experts in substance abuse to answer all your questions about getting help for yourself or an addicted loved one.


  • How Long before an Alcoholic has Liver Cirrhosis?

Published on: 2020-02-04
Updated on: 2024-04-18