Crystal Meth

The Dangers of Crystal Meth: Crystal Methamphetamine Causes the Most Disturbing Side Effects

More stimulating than cocaine, crystal meth addiction is increasing.

Slowly becoming as popular as cocaine, crystal methamphetamine is one of the most stimulating drugs on the illicit market. Crystal meth is more stimulating than cocaine, and it brings with it more severe consequences. For those people who have succumbed to the crystal meth addiction, they suffer from numerous side effects in multiple organs including what is called “meth psychosis” which leaves the meth addict with delusions of grandeur.

Crystal Meth Effects on the Brain

Crystal meth is reportedly one of the longer euphoric highs from all the illicit drugs. Methamphetamine gives the drug addict a sudden feeling of wellness and happiness for six to twelve hours. Unfortunately, this feeling is not attainable with initial levels of crystal meth, so the drug addict needs to increase the dosage continually to get high.

The reason for the euphoric effects of crystal meth is its increased levels of dopamine release in the brain. Normal exercise and activity gives the human brain 100 to 200 more units of dopamine. In comparison, use of crystal meth gives the human brain up to 1,200 units of dopamine release giving the drug addict the most euphoric feeling of any other drug including cocaine. Unfortunately, after long term use, crystal meth destroys the dopamine release transmitters in the brain, so increased degradation of judgment and motor coordination is seen that is similar to Parkinson ’s disease.

Prolonged crystal methamphetamine use switches the euphoric feeling to psychosis and violent behaviors that leaves the drug addict in harm of himself and others. Crystal meth causes the drug addict’s brain to release epinephrine, or adrenaline, which is the body’s “fight or flight” hormone. The release is detrimental for the health of the drug addict and the people with whom he comes into contact.

Visible Side Effects of Crystal Meth

The signs in Las Vegas of the “Faces of Meth” victims are only too true for those who have been through the devastating effects of crystal meth. Crystal meth lowers the drug addict’s appetite which leaves his body looking worn. The sunken cheeks of a crystal meth addict are indicative of the poor diet from the drug. Crystal meth keeps drug addicts awake for days, and they feel no desire to eat. The poor diet takes a direct toll on their skin, hair, and especially the teeth.

The common “meth mouth” is because crystal methamphetamine lowers the secretion of the saliva in the mouth. The decreased amounts of saliva allow the acidic components in the mouth to chew away the crystal meth addict’s enamel in his teeth which causes them to rot and decay.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

If you believe your loved one is addicted to crystal meth, it’s imperative that you help him seek treatment. Crystal meth addiction is a serious disease that can cause numerous, irreparable side effects that need medical attention. Additionally, there is a psychological addiction that crystal meth addicts need to face, so they need the help of a psychologist to assist them.

teen addiction

Types of Drug Treatment Centers for Teens: Selecting the Right Rehab Center for Your Addicted Child

Once the family has decided to make an intervention in a teenager’s abuse, different programs include medical, mid-level behavioral, residential and correctional.

One of the hardest choices facing a family is the intervention and treatment of a teenager who has an alcohol or drug addiction issue. The adolescent’s level of addiction, attitude toward recovery and the family’s resources will help guide the family through the options of drug treatment programs available.

In making the selection, it is important parents keep in mind addiction to drugs and alcohol is first and foremost a medical condition. Other areas including social, educational and economic concerns may be critical in the treatment of the condition but they did little to contribute to the addiction. Therefore, parents need to make selections, free of guilt but guided by concern for the best interest of the teenager, within family resources.

The Centers for the Study of Addiction and Recovery in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University suggests the following categories in its training curriculum of Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors.

Medical Condition and Treatment

Depending on how long the teen has been addicted to the substance, different levels of medical intervention will be necessary. This will need to be done at a hospital, generally a psychiatric ward or specific drug recovery program. The first step of treatment is known as detoxification. The goal of detox is to rid the body of the abused substance and allow the patient’s body to return to normal chemical levels. In addition, medication will be used to make withdrawal as comfortable as possible.

Short Term Behavioral Modification

These programs are designed to primarily detoxify abusers and introduce them to behavior modification recovery programs such as Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These programs are likely to be offered at any major hospital and stays typically last 3-7 days, depending upon the amount of medical intervention program. Expect costs to run between $500 to $1500 a day. Extremely motivated patients may succeed in recovery by immediately finding a sponsor in AA or NA and attending 90 meetings in 90 days. Long term efficacy is about 20% lifetime recovery.

Mid-Term Behavioral Modification Programs

In addition to short term medical program interventions, these programs include intensive patient education, behavioral modification, intense counseling and personal therapy and, again, introduction to AA/MA type programs. These are offered at specialty hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Programs of this type may last up to 90 days and costs vary widely. The National Institutes of Health maintain a list of accredited facilities.

Residential Programs

When extensive addiction has been present or when other modalities have failed, parents may need to consider residential programs. These programs offer services beyond short term and most mid-term treatment programs. Essentially, residential care is like sending your teenager to boarding school. Here teenagers will receive medical treatment, ongoing counseling, ongoing behavior modification, extensive AA/NA opportunities as well as educational services. Prices for these programs are prohibitively expensive for most families without the family taking out loans or second mortgages. Efficacy of successful treatment of these programs may be as high as 80% life time recovery.

Correctional Facilities

If your teenager has been convicted of a crime involving drugs or alcohol, it is likely the judge will be very interested in how the family intends to approach the treatment of the addiction. If the family has limited resources or if the adolescent has been in trouble before, the judge is likely to commit the adolescent to a correctional rehabilitation program with a sentence length in line with the level of crime. While it can be overwhelming of thinking about your teenager enduring correctional programs, they can be very effective. The teen will continue to receive medical, psychiatric, behavior modification and educational services.

Some schools and cities offer “scared straight ” classes for first time offenders where they are taken through the booking process of going to jail and are allowed to talk with inmates. This can be an effective deterrent for some teenagers.

If your teenager needs treatment, it is important to remember he or she has developed a medical condition. It is necessary to take time to select the right rehab center and approach. Universally, all programs offer medical intervention to detox the patient and then some type of behavioral modification. Rehab choices depend on the degree of the addiction, financial resources and whether or not the courts are involved in the process.

alcohol use

Alcohol Use in Diabetes and Prediabetes: Risks, Issues, and Effects

According to the American Heart Association there are around 59 million people in the United States alone that have what is termed “prediabetes”. While diabetes isn’t reversible, prediabetes can be reversed and never fully develop into diabetes with proper control and diet. It is where the blood glucose, or blood sugar, is still a little higher than what is normal but not so high that it is in the diabetic ranges yet.


Prediabetes is also the condition that is called IGT (impaired glucose tolerance) or IFG (impaired fasting glucose). These terms show it in a more complex manner. Prediabetes just is a simple way to say it is a developing condition to diabetes, while IFG or IGT shows the correct condition of the body not being able to process glucose as fast as should be. The impaired fasting glucose name shows that patients usually have a slightly higher than normal waking blood sugar.

Risk Factors

Alcohol and its consumption is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Heavy use makes the risk go even higher. Other risk factors include a family history, hypertension, and being overweight for your height. Race is a factor as people of color have a higher risk. The older you get the more your risk factors go up, along with any smoking or gestational diabetes history.


Use of alcohol increases a diabetic’s risk of going into hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, the liver starts to clean the blood of alcohol before it can send out glucose again. When this blood sugar starts to dip it can fall at a rapid pace and affect the diabetic severely. As little as two drinks when there is not food to help dissipate the alcohol can make a diabetic go into low blood sugar.

Medication Issue

There are several diabetic medications on the market that will be affected with any alcohol use. Medications such as Micronase and DiaBeta will lower the amount of glucose in the blood. Combining those medications with alcohol (that keeps glucose from being sent out from the liver) can develop a potentially deadly case of hypoglycemia.

Weight Gain

There are many types of alcoholic drinks that are seeping in calories. For a pre-diabetic getting this additional calorie intake can lead to weight gain which can go against everything a pre-diabetic needs to do to keep from getting diabetes. While one smart drink every so often will be fine, as long as you do so while eating and limit it to one, having several can lead to complications.

detox florida

Alcohol Drug and Substance Abuse: Getting Familiar with Common Terms and Language

Getting confused between abbreviations like AODD, ACOA, AlAnon, and AA? Need help understanding the difference between enabling and codependence?

To help those new to the alcohol & drug addiction recovery world become versed in some of the frequently used language, here are some of the more common terms and their meanings within this context. With the rise of attendance in addiction treatment centers being at an all time high, we felt it was time for a post on helping people decipher the shortened versions of these terms.

AA – Alcoholics Anonymous; Worldwide fellowship from which all 12-step “programs” have stemmed.

ACOA – Adult Child Of Alcoholic

Addiction – A physical and/or psychological need to continue to use the substance in question

Al-Anon – 12-Step based fellowship of family, friends, and those affected by alcoholism and addiction

Alcoholism – A condition where the consumption of alcohol has caused disruption in one or many areas of a person’s life, including family, employment, psychological state, health, spirituality, or other areas important to the individual.

AODD – Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence; abbreviation often used clinically but also in chat rooms and discussion boards as a way for individuals to quickly indicate that they are addicted to all drugs of dependence.

Codependent – Coined originally to describe the relationship between an alcoholic and their partner. Now used more loosely to describe actions of enabling, lack of self esteem, and an unhealthy need to “fix” another person.

Comorbidity – when more than one “disorder” or illness exists; most often used when describing the presence of addiction alongside one or more mental health disorders (depression, bipolar, panic disorder, etc).

Dependence – Commonly used to describe the physical aspect of addiction after chemical changes have caused the body or mind to feel discomfort if the substance is not present (i.e. withdrawal symptoms, or “I cannot handle my anxiety level going outside unless I am stoned”)

IOP – Intensive Outpatient Treatment; common as next step for those leaving inpatient treatment, or alternative for those who cannot leave work or afford to go to residential treatment facilities for their alcohol & drug abuse issues. Provides auxiliary or alternative support to AA, NA, and other self-help groups.

Addiction Treatment: The Right Cure Is Complex But Possible

Is there REALLY a cure for addiction and alcoholism?

It is easy to find medical treatment and therapy for a number of diseases. However, others like cancer and addiction are both at the same level in terms of the “right” treatment. For years, finding the right remedy has been extremely hard for the suffering individual.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a cure is something (drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes one healthy once again. For addiction, a cure is definitely available; however, this kind of disease needs a behavioral approach.

An individual who is into substance abuse needs to retrain his or her brain functions to once again  become “normal.” A successful treatment program’s aim, therefore, is for the individual to acquire an improved social behavior and a life that is not dependent on drugs or alcohol. Don’t think its just hard drugs or alcohol as well. This article, shows that there are big time dangers in abusing prescription drugs.

Brain retraining, more than anything else, is important to control addiction. While there is no definite cure for addiction or alcoholism, there are still ways or methods that will help improve the addictive person’s behavior.

Here are some effective steps in managing addiction and alcoholism:

The Individual Admits His Or Her Problem

The first thing that an individual who is into substance abuse must do is realize that he or she has a problem with addiction. This is, first and foremost, an essential step towards recovery. If he or she continues to be in denial, any treatment will be worthless. These people should be able to learn about the nature of their addiction to be able to completely understand that they need help as soon as possible. If they are educated, for sure, they will be open to treatment.

The Addict Undergoes A Detox Phase

Addicts need to go through detoxification. Time frames for detox vary. Cocaine is one of the longer detox periods, but it also depends on your body and how long you were addicted. By far, this is the most difficult part because physical withdrawal effects can take place anytime. Typically, this phase should be completed in a registered medical facility. However, the option to do it at home can be done with strict supervision. The process of detoxification is done for the body to get rid of all the toxins brought forth by the drug or alcohol.

Physical withdrawal symptoms during the detox phase can range from simply uncomfortable feelings to life-threatening ones, such as delirium tremens. Medications are sometimes prescribed by physicians to alleviate the physical discomforts.

Loved Ones And Substance Abuser Decides For The Right Treatment Option

This stage can be decided before the actual detoxification stage takes place. The choice for treatment varies according to age, gender, and types of addiction. There are facilities that offer services for all kinds of dependency, but others specialize in one particular field of addiction.

The treatment options can also vary in terms of location. There are treatment programs that should be offered in an inpatient facility, while a few others provide lenient programs that exercise patient’s choices. The bottom line is that a lot of factors should be considered in choosing the best treatment option for the addictive person, the family can help in the decision process along the way.

Sobriety is a personal choice, especially after treatment. The success of the treatment is often determined in the person’s coping skills post-treatment program. Hence, a post-treatment plan should be established to keep him away from going back to his old habit.

How Addictive Is Heroin?

Noticeably, when more than 400,000 people are admitted to the health care center in the United States every year, it is basically due to their addiction to heroin. At least 86% of any treatment related to opiates has been due to the addiction to heroin. Unfortunately, looking at the statistics, one will come to the conclusion that heroin is pretty addictive, and has led to the drastic rise in the popularity of this drug over a considerable period of time.

Fact: Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs!

Why are drugs popular and why are people getting addicted?

Between the years of 2000 to 2004, there was a ramp up in the shipment of heroin among smugglers, and could lead to enormous amount of sales within the age category of 13 to 18. These are alarming statistics that not only tell you the grim reality in the use of heroin, but also why most of the growing population seems to be stunted in their brain development. If there is a dependency on heroin, it is likely going to act as an indicator on what the future generation is going to think.

For the people struggling with mental illness, they are also looking at ways to get rid of their inability to mingle, which is the reason why they prefer to go for heroin abuse. Moreover, due to the highly addictive nature, it has also lead to bigger problems for the people with such mental illness. Approximately about 50% of people that have illnesses such as Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been making use of heroin. They normally account for 53% of the drug addicts that are addicted to heroin use exclusively.

Some symptoms of heroin addiction

  • Constant trembling
  • Restlessness
  • Financial troubles
  • Incessant mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Fluctuations in the weight
  • Stomach cramps
  • Extremely poor hygiene

When you stumble upon syringes, pipes as well as aluminum foil lying around in your neighborhood; it is a potential sign of a heroin addict living nearby.

The main purpose of heroin is to flood your mind with dopamine, thereby limiting any kind of positive brain activity. It shall dull your mind, producing a certain sense of nausea that is not going to work towards any positive output of your brain. Thereby, when you feel that euphoria, you have an everlasting attempt to remain in that particular state of mind. Hence, there is a constant craving for heroin, and the everlasting trap of financial debt creeping up on you. Heroin is a costly drug, and maintaining a lifestyle while at the same time ingesting harrowing can prove to be a big financial hurdle for you.

In the end, every other hard-core heroin user either goes through a detox program, or they are dead. In order to look at a better future, it would be a good thing for drug addicts to go for detox programs. At least 23% of the heroin users in the past have managed to maintain sobriety after they have gone through the detox programs. That is a wonderful statistic which is otherwise normally filled with the grim reality of heroin addiction.

Most Addictive Drugs

In the world of addictive drugs, there are always some which are more addictive than the other. Getting addicted to drugs is not a pretty sight, and you lose a lot more than what you gain with using drugs. There are health risks as well as risks in the financial as well as family matters. So, why do people primarily make use of drugs? Well, it is mainly to remain in a state of euphoria, and to mask the pain that they are going through on a daily basis.

Based on a dependency ranking, here are some of the most addictive drugs in the market:

  1. Heroin: Notably the undisputed king of all narcotics, heroin is also responsible for at least 50% of all deaths as a result of drug addiction. It is the ability of heroin absorption of the human body that makes it a very potent drug in the heady mixture of drug addiction. Moreover, heroin can also act as a stimulant to extracting the maximum euphoric feeling in a person before the withdrawal symptoms take over.
  2. Cocaine: In its purest form, cocaine, or rather crack cocaine is also pretty potent as a drug. It can activate various parts of the brain that cause the excessive release of dopamine which is responsible for the feeling of pleasure in human beings. Similarly, smoking crack, or even snorting it can result in an immediate high that can last for at least half an hour.
  3. Nicotine: Commonly found in cigarettes, nicotine is also responsible for maximum deaths pertaining to lung cancer. At least 35 million people want to quit smoking every year, but somehow most of them relapse within a week or so.
  4. Methadone: Coming from the opiate family, methadone is commonly used as an alternative for morphine or heroin addiction. Within the clinical setting, it is a wonderful drug and considered to be pretty beneficial. However, excessive use of methadone has led to the drug addiction in the first place.
  5. Crystal Meth or Methamphetamine: Dopamine and Norepinephrine are the two hormones released with the use of methamphetamine. It provides for a sense of alertness as well as excessive energy, and one can confuse it easily with adrenaline. Crystal meth can produce at least 10 times more the levels of dopamine, producing an artificial high that lasts for a considerable period of time. However, it is highly addictive, and has resulted in a lot of fatalities in the past few years.
  6. Amphetamines: Although not as addictive as crystal meth, amphetamines also have their own brand of fan following. Men have been known to cause intense cravings in people, and they are also associated with a lot of attractive side effects like euphoria, weight loss, and a growth in confidence.
  7. Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines commonly known as Valium, Xanax are the common prescription drugs available in the market. Known for releasing GABA hormone, it builds up the tolerance level of the body to this drug pretty quickly, thereby resulting in overdose.