Methadone is an opioid medication and also referred as a narcotic. The drug reduces withdrawal symptoms for users undergoing heroin and other narcotic drug rehabilitation treatment. For rehab cases, methadone relieves pain and serves as a part of detoxification process without causing the ‘high’ associated with addiction. Only certified pharmacies can administer methadone for maintenance programs as a part of rehab treatment. Methadone maintenance therapy of MMT is a common type of opiate abuse treatment. One should not compare methadone with mephedrone or methamphetamine, which both drugs are classified under a stimulant type of drug.
History of MethadoneIG Farben, a giant pharmaceutical company first synthesized methadone in their laboratory in Germany in 1939. Some people believed that this was part of Hitler’s plan as an effort to become independent from influences of foreign countries. Initially, German scientists develop the drug because of opium shortage during the World War II. However, despite reports of its side effects, the drug eventually marketed and sales grew within a small span of time. When the war ended, most German patents and important assets were confiscated and distributed to the allies. The US Department of Commerce and Intelligence Division brought the drug to the country. It was later approved as a painkiller in 1947.
What causes methadone addiction?Some people tend to abuse methadone build tolerance rapidly to the drug. Despite the manufacturer’s claim that the drug contains ‘little risk for addiction’, it has the potential for it. People began to use methadone recreationally. In the country, methadone is used for opiate addiction but users soon returned to their addiction once treatment was over. The drug’s properties may not be fully understood until studies show that it can still provide positive effects for opiate users.
Methadone Side EffectsMethadone drastically slows down reactions, one of the main characteristics of its side effects. Users may appear more lethargic and movements look exaggerated. It is a deadly condition as accidents may happen anytime because of the slowed reaction time.
Other side effects include:
Can methadone induce addiction?Some health care facilities use methadone as a treatment for opiate abuse. They need methadone as a substitute drug for users who stops taking their original choice of drug abuse. As a long-acting drug life, methadone is easy to administer and easy to take. Treating patients with drug addiction often require decreasing their intense cravings in continue seeking out their drug of choice. Methadone can help ease those cravings but without providing too much risk. The drug comes readily available and because of its price, it remains as the perfect choice for some rehab centers. However, methadone abuse is still common. Even though methadone does not produce the same intense ‘high’ compared to other opiates, it still has some potential for abuse. Because methadone provides an effect similar to opiates like:
Short-Term Effects of MethadoneIf taken as prescribed by a doctor, methadone is safe. Unfortunately, it made its way as a drug of choice for drug abusers. Once users take methadone, it acts like heroin but with less intense and has a longer-acting drug life. The effects can last up to 24 hours, its effect includes:
Long-Term Effects of MethadoneProlonged chronic abuse of methadone can produce side effects as deadly as heroin addiction provides. Methadone can produce heart problems just like opiates and causes impaired judgment. Other long-term effects of the drug include:
Methadone overdoseAlthough it is uncommon, methadone overdose can occur particularly for users who combine it with other illicit drugs. When combined with alcohol and benzodiazepines, increases the chance for a drug overdose.
Signs and symptoms of drug overdose
Facts about Methadone
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by Jonathan von Breton, CCMHC
This is number 1 of the 3 basic “musts” that cause human disturbance:
Yes, rating one’s behavior as opposed to one’s self is much easier said than done. Yes, our society strongly encourages the opposite. In fact, our society has a vested interest in doing so. I still have a hard time with it myself and I’ve had years of practice.
In general, I find it helpful to rate my behaviors as:
However, those are all behaviors. They aren’t my ‘self’ (whatever that is). The behaviors can be measured and rated, at least to a certain degree. The self can’t even be defined, let alone rated.
To say I’m a success because I succeeded at something, did it well, achieved a goal, is a gross over-generalization. To say I’m a failure because I failed at something is the same kind of over-generalization. That is not to say there aren’t huge advantages to succeeding at things, doing things well, etc. There are. It’s just not a good idea to let them define ‘me’.
So I try to never rate my so-called self. I’m not good or bad, a success or a failure, saint or demon. I rate only my behaviors. That way I can do more of the ones that work for me, are more likely to get me what I want, keep me alive, help me avoid unnecessary pain, and live cooperatively with others. By rating my behaviors, I can also refrain from or do fewer of the ones that don’t work for me.
I try to apply all of the above to Unconditional Other Acceptance (UOA) as well.
“Stop damning yourself and others by fully accepting the view that wrong, unethical, and foolish acts never can make you or them into bad or rotten people.” – Albert Ellis
This is number 2 of the 3 basic “musts” that cause human disturbance:
“Other people, particularly those I have cared for and treated well, absolutely must treat me kindly and fairly, or else they are rotten individuals who deserve to suffer!” (Leads to) Feelings of strong and persistent anger, rage, fury, impatience, bitterness. … As far as your demanding that other people must incessantly please you, love you, and do your bidding forget it!” – Albert Ellis
Once you damn an individual, including yourself, for having or lacking any trait whatever, you become authoritarian or fascistic; for fascism is the very essence of people-evaluation. – Albert Ellis
Unconditional Other Acceptance means I accept (acknowledge) , the reality of other people and their behavior. I strive to accept that reality, no matter how unfair, rude, obnoxious, immoral, cruel, or evil their behavior is. That doesn’t mean I like it or approve of it. It does mean I stop making myself EXTRA MISERABLE about by demanding it not be so. It also means I refrain from damning them as people and damn only the behavior.
As part of both USA (Unconditional Self-Acceptance) and UOA, I often have to remind myself, sometimes quite forcefully, that everyone is a fallible ****** up human being, nothing more and nothing less. Yes, I most certainly include myself. That means we all act: wisely, stupidly, pettily, nobly, kindly, meanly, jealously, lovingly, charitably, selfishly, generously, greedily, fearfully, bravely, rationally, irrationally, unhelpfully, helpfully, angrily, calmly, heroically, cowardly, and so on. We all do all of those things from time to time. But we are not any of them.
USA and UOA need not necessarily lead to passivity. If I don’t like my own behavior, I can make efforts to change it. If I don’t like someone else’s behavior, I can ask them to change. Surprisingly, that often works. I can avoid them. I can take legal action. I can even take illegal action and hope I don’t get caught. But that is an absolute last resort, only for life and death situations. If I go that route I had better be able to deal with the consequences.
Let me end with this quote. It nicely summarizes how judging oneself and others sets one up for an irrational; and unwinnable game of comparative human worth.
“Unconditional self-acceptance is the basic antidote to much of your depressed self-downing feelings. Self-appraisal almost inevitably leads to one-upmanship and one-downmanship. If you rate yourself as being “good,” you will usually rate others as being “bad” or “less good.” If you rate yourself as being “bad,” others will be seen as “less bad” or “good.” Thereby you practically force yourself to compete with others in “goodness” or “badness” and constantly feel envious, jealous, or superior. Persistent individual, group, and international conflicts easily stem from this kind of thinking and feeling.” – Albert Ellis
To learn more about these and other tools visit a SMART Recovery face-to-face or online meeting.
Jonathan von Breton is a Certified as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) and is certified as an Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ICADC). He is also certified as a clinical supervisor in Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Jonathan has been in recovery for over 31 years and has been involved in SMART Recovery since 1994.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth is a powerful, very addictive drug. As a stimulant, it affects the central nervous systems and alters the brain chemistry. The drug takes the form of a white, somewhat transparent, and bitter-tasting powder. Meth can easily dissolve in alcohol and water
Street names of methamphetamine include:
Medical use of meth
How Meth is usedMethamphetamine, as powerful stimulant comes in various forms and users either:
How fast meth can act on the system
Drug OverdoseChances of drug overdose increase when users fall in this binging occasion. They take too much of the drug in a small span of time. This can create a toxic reaction that leads to serious, more detrimental effects on the users which often results to coma even death.
A drug overdose can lead to:
Methamphetamine Abuse in the country
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A lot of people mix up amphetamine and methamphetamine, no surprises there, as both drugs are similar in several ways. Even if they may sound alike there are huge differences between the two. It is important to understand they the two are not the same drug. Each one affects the body differently and produces different side effects.
AmphetamineAs a central nervous system stimulant, amphetamine affects the brain chemicals and nerves which control hyperactivity and impulse control. The drug has been around for a long time. Doctors prescribed amphetamine to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The drug is also used to treat Narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder.
MethamphetamineMeanwhile, methamphetamine or meth is derived from amphetamine. Over the past years, methamphetamine gained popularity as a recreational drug because of its highly addictive properties and addiction rates.
History of the two drugsThe origin of both drugs can people in understanding the difference of amphetamine and methamphetamine.
AmphetamineThe drug was developed during the 1900s but was not used until 1920s. During the early days of discovery, doctors use amphetamines to treat several illnesses like:
MethamphetamineMethamphetamine comes from amphetamine and was discovered in the 1950s. Before reports of its highly addictive properties, doctors used to prescribe the drug as a medical treatment for:
Research shows how dangerous the drug is, these include:
Similarities of the Drug: Deadly and AddictiveBoth drugs are central nervous system stimulants, increasing the user’s ability to stay awake and energy levels. Also, they affect the brain chemicals and functions, resulting in a production of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. This can cause to more psychological problems compared to other drugs.
Other Side Effects include:
Withdrawal symptoms of both drugs include:
Other physical symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal include:
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Cocaine came from the leaves of the coca plant or Erythroxylon Coca. For thousands of years, South American People ingested and chewed coca leaves because of the stimulating effect it produces. Cocaine tops the list as one of the most potent drugs in the world. When a person starts to use cocaine, it is almost impossible to break free from its deadly grip. Cocaine contains properties that can affect both the physical and mental aspects of an individual. Cocaine can over-stimulate brain receptors and nerve endings that can create a euphoric feeling or intense ‘high’. Black market dealers call cocaine in names which include:
Several Uses of Cocaine in the PastPeople use cocaine hydrochloride, the refined chemical form for more than a century. In the early 1990s, several tonics and elixirs contain this drug as their main ingredient. These tonics use to treat several diseases. Back in the days, Coca-Cola used to mix cocaine in their famous drink. Physicians use the drug before the discovery of synthetic local anesthetic to block pain for medical procedures. But over time, studies shows that cocaine contains addictive substances that can affect the structures and the function of the brain if used constantly.
Government Controlled SubstancePresently, the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA labeled cocaine as a Schedule II drug. This means cocaine contains properties that have a high potential for abuse. However, doctors can still use the drug for valid medical reasons like as local anesthesia for ear, throat and eye surgeries. As a recreational drug, cocaine looks like a fine, translucent and crystalline powder.
Types of CocaineUsers misuse two chemical types of cocaine, the freebase cocaine or water-insoluble cocaine and the water-soluble (hydrochloride salt) type. The drug can also take the form of small white rocks. Users process this type of cocaine using ammonia or baking soda to get rid some of the impurities from the drug referred to as “freebasing”. Then they will let the rest of the mixture to dry to rocks. In the black market, these rocks are sold in small bags and smoked. The term crack refers to the crackling sound when users the mixture is heated and smoked. Crack cocaine contains the same addictive properties and side effects but is less expensive than its powdered counterpart. In its powdered form, users snort or dissolved cocaine and inject it into the bloodstream. When consumed, cocaine in this form can cause euphoria, extreme alertness, and energy. Others mix the drug with a flammable solvent which separates the impurities and inhale the vapors. Some users mix it with heroin, a mixture known as a speedball because of the intense rush high that it gives.
A super expensive habitPowder cocaine is an expensive habit, people spends billions of dollar worldwide to funds their addiction. A single user can spend thousands of dollars in a short period of time because the drug can cause binges. Along with cocaine abuse, users may also use other substances and even prostitutes as a part of their high-spending lifestyle. Cocaine does not provide a long-lasting effect; in return, users may take it more frequently to get the desired high effect. This often leads to tolerance and users may need higher doses to get the same effect.
One deadly powderCocaine abuse can cause several deadly effects such as panic attacks, psychosis, hallucinations, and paranoia. Excessive use of cocaine can lead to death because of stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, heart attack and respiratory failure. Even children of cocaine-addicted mothers suffer addiction when they came into this world. The drug can also cause several birth defects if the mother uses cocaine during pregnancy. However, despite the dangerous effect of cocaine, it still prevalent in most areas.
Facts about Cocaine:
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A lot of people are saying that stopping addiction or drug addiction is not possible if the person will not undergo rehabilitation. However, few people still believe about quitting addiction without rehabilitation. Recovery from such challenges is still possible and many succeeded going through this road less traveled. Let’s try to explore on the thought of stopping addiction without going through rehabilitation. One of the main ingredients or components in wanting to stop addiction without going through any drug rehabilitation center is YOU. A lot of health experts and physicians would say that in order for an addict to stop, they must first be willing to stop. So the key to your rehabilitation without being confined to any rehabilitation facility is yourself. Psychologists would often say that addiction is caused by the person’s inability to cope with different situations in their life, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and problems. If the key factor to stopping addiction is yourself, you may need to bear the following things in mind:
Your reason to change.The hardest and greatest motivator is your reasons to change. The most successful people are those who are able to discover their deepest WHY? Questions like: Why do I want to stop using drugs? Why do I want to change? This is a major factor that would determine your success in quitting the addiction. Knowing your deepest why and having that motivation of wanting to do whatever it takes in order to change your life and stop using drugs totally would be the best start to stop addiction without rehabilitation.
Set your goals.If you really want to change, you need to set your goals and determined to finish it. In setting your goals, you have to bear in mind that your goals should be: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Setting your goals would give you a roadmap of how things are going to be. Goal-setting is essential because this is the blueprint of what you want to happen in your life. As successful people often say, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
Focus.Just like in any other goal, you have to focus. There might have been previous attempts where you failed, previous scenarios when you said you want to quit, but then, when you start doing it, you slide back. If you focus on your goal of really wanting to quit, no matter how many times you slide back, you would always get back on your feet and try again.
Change your environment.One of the things that often let you slide is due to the environment that you have. If you keep living in an environment that lures you into using drugs, then the tendency is that you would go back into using it. Changing your environment includes changing your friends. If your friends are the ones influencing you to use drugs, then take them out. Changing your environment means changing the people you interact with, changing the places that you go to, and totally removing all the stuff that would remind you to go back to use drugs again.
Have a Support Group.Having a support group is essential if you would want to stop your drug addiction and resolve not to go back into it. Your support group can be your family, your best friend, or a colleague who has your best interests in mind. You should let them know of your desire, and keep an open communication with them so that during times when you feel like you want to go back into using drugs, they can provide you the appropriate support that you would need to prevent you from going into a relapse.
Know your triggers.In every feeling, scenario, or moments when you wanted to use drugs, there will always be triggers. The important thing in your journey towards a drug-free life is knowing what triggers you to think of going back into the use of drugs. Knowing your triggers would allow you to avoid falling into those triggers. This can be associated with the previous topic where you would need to change your environment. Knowing what your triggers are would allow you to include this in the things that you need to change in your environment.
Therapy.Therapy is also one effective solution to stop drug addiction. Since experts say that addiction is something that is triggered by our mental state, the best way to be able to fight it is through different therapy sessions. Some psychologists would even recommend going into hypnotherapy just to help a person remove their dependency on drugs. Some even state that drug addiction is just like an alcohol addiction or smoking addiction. People tend to use drugs because of some wrong belief or conception which should be changed and the only way to change it is through therapy. There are several other types of treatment that one can explore and find out about. There is no single treatment applicable for each drug dependent who wants to change and thus, it would be wise for one to explore his options in terms of seeking treatment, whether it be a medical treatment or psychological treatment. Last, there are several reasons that would want you to stop your addiction and dependency on drugs so just think of the positive impact it can have in your life, such as:
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Definition of CocaineCocaine is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as a smoke, or as a solution injected into a vein. Historically speaking cocaine is being used as a topical anesthetic in eye and nasal surgery. Also as a result of improper use, one of the major disadvantages of the drug can cause vasoconstrictor activity. As well as a threat for a potential for cardiovascular toxicity. To control cravings of cocaine, Western medicine has long since replaced it with synthetic local anesthetics such as:
Duration of Cocaine in our SystemCocaine is a very fast-acting central nervous system stimulant that produces an intense but short-lived euphoric high, lasting for only 15 minutes to an hour. Usually, cocaine levels peak in the blood about 30 minutes after in gestation. However, this depends largely on how it’s taken.
What to test in order to obtain if someone has used or using cocaine?Cocaine can also be detected in the blood and saliva for an average of 12-48 hours after last use. Unlike many other intoxicants, cocaine will stay in a person’s sweat for an extended period of time, up to several weeks. It can also be found in a user’s hair for years after an individual stops taking the drug. However, urine is the most preferred method of testing for most medical facilities and in any legal situations. Anyone who regularly needs to be tested for cocaine is likely to have an addiction disorder. After a single use of cocaine, metabolism creates agents of the drug which are detected in a person’s urine for 2-4 days. However, for some chronic users, or if it follows a heavy binge, cocaine can be detected in urine for up to 12 days. The length that urine tests are effective also depends on the size of the dose and the purity of the substance. Extremely high doses can cause cocaine metabolites to be detectable for up to 3 weeks. If you’re wondering how long after last using cocaine that a drug test will be able to detect the drug in the body, the answer to that will depend on:
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The key player in addiction
Yes, there really can be too much of a good thing. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain that relays feelings of pleasure to the brain when we engage in an enjoyable behavior or activity. While human beings inherently rely on dopamine to reinforce survival behaviors such as eating and procreating, this brain chemical also happens to be the key player in addiction.
Out of Control Dopamine
Activated by such things as eating certain foods we love or engaging in romance, dopamine signals the brain that a reward is on its way. When we engage in these pleasurable activities, dopamine sends its chemical message to the brain — the association between the stimulus and the reward become hardwired, a process called conditioning. This stimulus and reward pattern allows the human species to survive.
But when it comes to drug or alcohol use, dopamine levels are released at five to ten times the normal level, flooding the mood center of the brain. The user’s brain associates the extreme rush resulting from the spiked dopamine levels with using the drug of choice, reinforcing the desire to repeat using it. Ultimately, the brain requires more and more of the alcohol or drug to achieve any feelings of pleasure at all, resulting in compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.
Dopamine and Addiction
Most drugs target the brain’s reward system, activating a surge of dopamine that overwhelms the brain. In response, the brain produces lower levels of dopamine and reduces the number of brain receptors.
Ongoing drug or alcohol use will eventually impact the brain circuits and neurons, potentially causing permanent damage in the brain. The user will attempt to achieve feelings of pleasure at any cost, ramping up dosage levels and frequency of use, further cementing the drug dependency. The increased tolerance to the drug and the elevated level of addiction can become life threatening.
Overcoming Addiction and Healing the Brain
Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain enables it to change and rewire itself. Just as addiction produces unhealthy brain pathways through the dopamine-driven reward system, new neural road maps can be developed using holistic methods such as mindfulness training and meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Basically, retraining the brain to respond differently to thoughts or triggers can, in time, change brain chemistry.
Changing ingrained neural pathways takes effort and patience. New behaviors have to be practiced and learned. New thought processes take time to become routine. Learning how to be present and utilize new relaxation tools takes practice. Over time, the pathways that were once active during addiction will wither up as new pathways are formed.
SMART Recovery meetings can teach you self-empowering tools and techniques that will help you to maintain the motivation to make the changes you choose in your life, while you also learn how you can control your urges.
Brain health can be improved concurrently with therapy by embracing a healthy diet that feeds brain cells. A strong association exists between nutrition and brain health, including cognitive functioning and mental health. Centering the diet around lean proteins like fish and turkey, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and pasta, nuts, and seeds will help restore brain health at the cellular level.
About the author: With 35 years of experience working in the behavioral health field, Shelly Tichelaar understands the needs of her clients. Shelly is the C.E.O. and Executive Director at Ranch Creek Recovery, a non-12-step, residential addiction recovery program in California. She provides high-quality treatment by keeping client caseload low, offering holistic and experiential therapies, and working closely with a highly experienced treatment team.
Drug Relapse: Ways on Preventing ItRelapse is one of the common challenges people who want to stop their drug addiction habit. Wanting to stop drug addiction takes time, patience, and practice. Often than not, people who have undergone drug rehabilitation slide back and go back to their drug addiction. Relapse though does not mean that the rehabilitation failed or that their stint did not work. Relapse is sure to happen when the same triggers of addiction re-appear. Relapse does not happen automatically and people who want to stop addiction should understand that prior to relapse, they undergo several stages. There are three (3) stages of drug relapse, namely:
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Hi my name is Anna. I got into cocaine and later heroin when I got into the club scene. My friends and I had a great time in our late teens and 20's. However things took a turn for the worse after I was not the cute young girl in the club anymore. I decided I did not want to be defined by drugs or the clubs. I have been living for Jesus ever since. Sharing my struggle and my glory which is revealed in him.