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Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or meth, is a powerful stimulant which can be smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed. Meth boosts your mood, increases awareness and alertness, and raises your energy level. Meth has become an extremely popular drug, especially among teens, and can be created in homemade labs, using common, household chemicals. The average meth high lasts between 4-12 hours, and methamphetamines are incredibly addicting. With the drug’s rising popularity, experts have identified some clear signs and symptoms of addiction, based in part on how the drug reacts with the body.
Long term damage from meth use and abuse include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke from damaged blood vessels in the brain, and an increased risk of liver, kidney, and lung damage. Meth users also have higher rates of short term memory loss, extreme mood swings, and an inability to comprehend abstract concepts and ideas.
A recent survey indicated that one out of every 33 teens has tried meth. The drug is cheap, accessible, and offers a long lasting high. Once the signs and symptoms of meth addiction have been recognized, withdrawal is the standard for rehab, often done in tandem with treatment for depression and other mental illnesses. Meth has one of the highest relapse rates of any stimulant, but early intervention is key to a successful recovery.
IF you really want to know, then keep reading.
You may or may not find the answer you want or are looking for. Maybe you will.
If the last 2 sentences sound weird, truth be told, the essence of those sentences describe what thrill seeking actually relates to. It’s the desire for something, yet not knowing what may or may not happen in the end.
The Free Dictionary definition of Thrill Seeking is: An undertaking of a questionable nature; to take a risk; dare.
Let’s go over a few non-drug related addictions and how they can affect you.
Gambling is a strong force. Yet, some people are able to go to casinos, bring in a maximum of $40, and leave when the money is gone. Whether or not they won is not why they have chosen to leave. They just don’t want to spend more money and are using their own ability to choose when it comes to leaving.
However, many others cannot control the urge to continue playing. They have hope that if you put in another $5 you might just win this time around. But the point is – you aren’t sure.
This is where the real thrill comes in. It’s not even about the money – well, except for when you are completely broke, or actually win a lot.
Sex and Pornography addictions are the same when it comes to thrill seeking. You expect to get a natural high, and even though you know the ending, the thrill is still inherent in the action. Your brain is filled with the pleasure chemical called dopamine and it enters your body.
Part of the actual thrill is because you aren’t sure whether the person is going to have sex with you at the end of the night.
If you decided to get married however, it’s more than likely you can have sex when you want. But that’s where part of the problem lies. You may find great pleasure in your loved one, but you already know that it’s going to happen specifically because you are married. This is what kills it for your brain. There is no ‘excitement’ merely because you aren’t taking a risk.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a popular option for those seeking recovery from addictions of all kinds. Even if you have your addictions, it’s possible that you still have underlying behavioral issues that must be dealt with in order to stay clean and sober in body and mind.
The addiction may be different but the behaviors are the same, no matter what type of thrill-seeking you are undertaking. When you give in to your addictions, your brain is now re-wired to certain habitual practices that trigger a dopamine release. If you stop these addictions, the dopamine is no longer present and you experience withdrawal. .
Changing one’s thoughts and therefore behaviors are a part of the process of recovery in order to be set free.
In order to find this new found ‘brain power’, to build ourselves up again after an addiction, and to allow the brain to heal itself and become stronger again, we must make the choice to think different thoughts and take actions that we have never taken before.
If you have seen the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler, then you know what it means to be an addict. Even though addiction was not present in the movie, being on auto-pilot was. He didn’t think about what he was doing. The choices that he made were programmed into the remote control and he continued to do things based upon his previous likes and dislikes.
Do you really want to feel like you are ‘programmed’ to act a certain way for the rest of your life? The truth is, you have the absolute power to change this as long as you no longer dissociate your mind and body from the present moment no matter how painful it is.
Sure, making new choices is not easy, but after you do something for a certain period of time, these new, healthy choices become habits. If you decide to make the same proper decisions over a time period of at least 21 days straight, this would be enough time for your brain to re-wire itself and therefore create new habits.
Peer pressure is a regular experience among adults in this day and age. Everyone everywhere is either partying it up or trying to ‘take a break’ from their hectic lives. A person such as yourself may be trying to get clean for:
No matter what the reason, you may be up against a battle, whether internally against yourself, or externally, against others.
So, what do you do?
Getting out of the house for one day is just not enough and you know it. Focusing on something else for the time being is easy, but finding a permanent way to get away from the peer pressure to keep using isn’t likely.
Sure, the physical aspect of your life will keep you busy. But all the while you will feel lonely and separated from your old friends. So, what are you going to do?
This loneliness can eat you alive from the inside out. At times, you may even trick your mind into saying that peer pressure would be welcomed at that point so that you can do what you want and blame someone else for the choices you make.
Going to an AA/NA meeting won’t help you and you probably already know that. People reminisce about their old lives, they get all wild and crazy while rehearsing the past, and most of all, and it will bring you back to those memories that only tempt you to go 2 steps back instead of 1 step forward.
You will be tempted to say, “Hi, my name is… and I’m an addict.” Are you still an addict if you aren’t using? Even if you are using, is it your own personal choice to use, or did you become inflicted with the unknown disease of addiction? How funny does that sound?
Let’s say for a moment that addiction really is a disease (and it’s not!). If you or anyone had a disease of addiction, wouldn’t you rather say something like, “My body is being inflicted by the disease of addiction”, instead of saying, “I have the disease of addiction and I will never be cured”???
Yeah, that’s what we thought too.
The disease of addiction does not ‘run in your bloodstream’ and is not passed down through biology and genetics.
Do you want the real truth?
Overcoming a drug addiction is a slow process that involves retraining your brain to cope without drugs. While you’re going through drug addiction rehab, it’s important to keep in mind that experiencing strong cravings is common, especially at first. You can help lower your risk of having these cravings by staying away from things that trigger them. You’ll also need to know how to deal with these triggers if you do run into them.
People who become addicted to drugs sometimes do so from using them to deal with negative emotions, such as anger, stress, anxiety, depression, frustration and loneliness. While going through rehab, you’ll be learning new ways to handle these emotions in a healthier manner, such as turning to meditation, breathing exercises and physical exercise. You’ll also learn how to recognize negative thoughts associated with these emotions and redirect or change them to more positive ones.
When you experience cravings due to a negative emotion or stress, try doing one of the following for immediate relief:
The physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal that occur during drug addiction rehab can trigger powerful cravings. Common symptoms include anxiety, trembling, nausea, irritability, headaches, insomnia and fatigue. Instead of turning to drugs to alleviate these symptoms, use all resources that are available to help you get through this difficult time, such as support groups, family and counseling.
Hanging around with people you used to do drugs with can trigger strong cravings? It’s important to distance yourself from friends and acquaintances who still use drugs, since you might be tempted to join them. They also might not be understanding about how rehab works and how important it is for you to not be around those who use drugs during this time. Find supportive friends and acquaintances to spend time with instead, and turn to family members who know and understand what you’re going through. Building a strong support network is a good way to help you cope with triggers and cravings that occur while you’re trying to get better.
Don’t go to certain locations or put yourself in situations that your mind associates with using drugs, such as a club or party. You should also avoid going to bars or any other places where you might end up drinking, since alcohol will have a negative impact on your judgment and could lead to drug use. When you go out to eat or attend a social function, such as a wedding, don’t order any alcoholic beverages, even if you don’t have a drinking problem. During drug addiction rehab, it’s important to stay focused and keep your mind as clear as possible, so you can make sound judgments. Drinking alcohol directly interferes with this and could cause a relapse.
Certain types of prescription drugs, including sleeping pills and painkillers, can lead to addiction. If you’re seeking medical care for something that might require a prescription, make sure your healthcare provider knows that you are going through rehab. They should be able to suggest alternative forms of treatment, prescribe a lower dose of prescription medication or prescribe medication that doesn’t have as much potential for abuse. Don’t be hesitant about switching healthcare providers if your current one is not understanding about your situation.
If something triggers strong cravings that you aren’t able to resist, don’t give up hope on getting through rehab. Instead, turn to your support network for help in becoming sober again as quickly as possible. Relapses can happen even years after you’ve gone through rehab, but recognizing and doing what you can to avoid your triggers can help prevent a relapse from happening.
Recovery from an addiction is hard. It is hard for the person who is addicted and it can be hard on those around them. Making the process even more difficult are the myths regarding recovery. Frequently ideas and suggestions for tips on recovery are merely myths that have no documented foundation or proof but somehow manage to be regarded as fact. These myths can be very detrimental for the person in recovery as family and friends offer advice or help based on information that is completely untrue.
A person who is addicted is not a bad or evil person. They are simply a person with an addiction that they are trying to overcome. Addiction does not discriminate. People who are addicted come from all walks of life: mothers and fathers, doctors and lawyers, pastors and teachers… struggle with addiction. Believing that a person is bad and should be punished because of their addiction can keep them from seeking or succeeding in recovery.
Detox is a process during which the addicted person abstains from the substance that they are addicted to, thereby ridding the body of the toxic substances. Detox is just one step on the road to recovery. It is difficult to go through detox but it is just a beginning. Addiction needs to be controlled throughout the person’s life time.
Though the way it affects a person is not a choice; the use of any substance, alcohol or drug, is a choice. Categorizing addiction with such conditions as cancer and other serious medical issues creates a disservice to both those suffering from actual diseases as well as addicts; and does not lend to proper treatment. While recovery is much more than just exercising willpower over the addiction; it is important the addict adopts the concept of personal responsibility and that they have the power to change and be in control of their life.
Professionals across the board agree that addiction should be treated, not punished. Studies have shown that using shame based methods for recovery, not only add a stigma to the recovering addict, but, also, that people who are shamed during recovery are actually less likely to continue treatment and far more likely to relapse.
While many 12-step programs want you to accept a “higher power” to help you with the addiction, being sober does not require you to be religious. In fact, many new non-12-step programs focus more on how the dependence is learned and reinforced inside the brain rather than an innate problem.
Again, overcoming the addiction is a positive first step. But with addiction, the recovery is an ongoing journey. People in recovery need to recognize the reasons for the addiction and will have to work to deal with these issues and problems in the future.
In truth, there are many different ways to help people recover from addiction. There is no one way that works for everyone. The idea that everyone should use the same process to recovery is no longer accepted by professionals in the field. The person seeking recovery should look for the program that best suits their needs.
Recovery can be very difficult. It is important for everyone to know the facts and be able to distinguish them from the pervasive myths that surround and undermine the recovery process.
Drug addict is an ugly term that is generally associated with “junkies” on the street looking for a fix. The truth is that drug addiction also comes in the form of prescription drug abuse. According to a January 2012 report by the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. Prescription medications are also the second most abused drugs after marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and physicians and pharmacists want to change this statistic.
Other prescription drugs that are often abused include cough medicines and tranquilizers.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the abuse often begins as improper use, like taking someone else’s prescriptions or taking prescribed drugs when they are not needed. Improper use may lead to taking the pharmaceutical in higher quantities or in ways that are not prescribed, which can lead to abuse.
Physicians and pharmacists are on the frontlines to help identify, manage and stop prescription drug abuse and misuse. Here’s how:
The most effective prescription drug abuse prevention strategy is to help individuals develop the skills to make healthy decisions and be in an environment that supports their intentions. If you are ready to make a positive change and eliminate your dependence on prescription drugs, right now is the perfect time to reach out for help.
Battling with an addiction? Or do you have a loved one who is struggling to beat their addiction? There are plenty of options out there to help you or your loved one receive some help to fight the battle and win. Choosing between a 12-Step program and a Non-12 Step program may not have been a consideration years ago, but now there is more data, more information and more options to help you decide what program will work best. Whether you want to meet with a group and follow a structured plan or you want to be empowered to overcome the addiction, there are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right program for you. Here’s an inside look at the difference between 12-Step and Non-12 Step programs and the success rates for staying sober and clean.
Prescription drug addiction transcends the boundaries of class, race, age and family background. It’s an addiction of opportunity that often starts with a perfectly legal, safe treatment for a painful injury or after an invasive surgery. That means it’s a snake in the grass for friends and family members who, at first, have no reason to challenge an addict’s continued use of painkillers.
Regularly prescribed narcotics with highly addictive properties include:
These medications are effective because they target specific areas of the brain so effectively to reduce or eliminate pain. That also makes them very dangerous on a long-term basis.
An emergency room morphine drip can trigger a dependency that leads to a long-term addiction, while a stressful week of class and a friend with a broken leg can lead to a college student’s downward spiral. Painkillers are commonly prescribed for a huge range of symptoms and pain levels, but most of them are highly addictive, so it’s important to stick within the recommended doses and wean oneself as early as possible.
Doctors treat a whole host of short- and long-term conditions by prescribing strong painkillers, but they can’t always follow up with their patients, especially those who aren’t honest about their previous struggles with addiction. While the majority of the medical community is here to help you, there are also doctors and “pill mills” who will prescribe painkillers that their patients don’t actually need.
If your loved one is visiting more than one doctor, paying cash for additional painkillers or otherwise veering off the originally prescribed course, it’s time to take stock of their situation.
So where do you draw the line between use and abuse? If you suspect a loved one of growing dependent on prescription pills — or if they have a chronic condition that includes daily use of a particularly addictive drug — you should always be on the lookout for a few key warning signs that their use has spiraled out of control.
While confrontation is always uncomfortable, your concern could be exactly what your friend needs to see themselves and their habit from a new perspective. If you approach him or her about their prescription pill use and they get defensive or combative, take it as one more sign that you’re doing the right thing. The highs and side effects of pharmaceutical drugs often cause paranoia, delusion and a quick temper, all of which are trademarks of addiction itself, so this fight can be particularly difficult on family members. However, it’s important not to take anything personally and to focus on fighting this addiction together.
Alcoholism can devastate families, break apart relationships, and ruin career opportunities. While social drinking can be a normal part of life, it can also easily devolve into alcohol dependency. This transition often happens slowly over years of social drinking, so the line between social drinking and alcoholism is blurred. What is the difference between a healthy relationship with alcohol and problem drinking? Here are several clues to help you recognize the signs and symptoms of alcoholism:
This may sound simplistic, but the easiest way to tell the difference between social drinking and alcoholism is that healthy social drinkers are social! Many people drink socially because it helps them feel more outgoing or friendly in social settings, but problem drinking can cause just the opposite to happen. Wine with dinner or a few beers with your buddies can gradually turn into an alcohol problem. You may notice your relationships beginning to break down or dissolve completely. Your friends may not want to hang around anymore, because you drink too much and are out of control. You may even end up drinking alone because you’ve alienated your friends and family with your heavy drinking. What started as social drinking is now very antisocial behavior.
A typical social drinker may have a hangover now and then, but drinking alcohol would almost never impact their work or home life. Alcoholics experience a myriad of negative consequences as a result of their drinking. Unfortunately recognizing the connection between negative consequences and heavy drinking can be difficult for alcoholics. As social drinking transforms into problem drinking, the negative impacts will also worsen. Getting into alcohol-related car accidents or needing to call into work sick due to a hangover are two examples of the negative effects alcohol dependency can have on your life, but there are many negative consequences of alcoholism that may be less noticeable.
Some social drinkers find that alcohol helps them unwind after a tough day at work. Social drinkers recognize that alcohol may relieve some stress, but they don’t rely on alcohol as their main outlet for stress relief. Drinking to relieve stress is one of the most common reasons people start drinking heavily. Emotional drinking is yet another sign that you may have an alcohol dependency. If you drink to escape from your problems or to numb your pain, you probably have an alcohol problem. Those who have an alcohol dependency also tend to have trouble finding other coping mechanisms. Alcohol becomes their main strategy for dealing with sadness or stress.
Social drinkers don’t drink to get drunk; they are able to moderate and plan ahead when it comes to drinking alcohol. This is a major difference between social drinkers and alcoholics. Those who are dependent on alcohol may find themselves routinely having many more drinks than they had originally planned. They may also feel the need to become intoxicated every time they drink. An inability to practice moderation and routine binge drinking are two major signs that you may have a drinking problem.
If one or more of these signs sound familiar, it’s time to get the help you need now. Don’t let alcoholism destroy your life. A non 12-step rehab program can help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction so you can take responsibility and overcome your alcoholism. Contact a professional counselor today to start your journey toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Prescription drug use, and abuse, is an increasingly growing problem in America. Often people don’t see their abuse as a problem because the drugs were prescribed by a doctor to address legitimate health concerns. However, as tolerance builds for the prescription drug and dependency develops, the drug take over the user’s life and becomes the focus rather than the more important aspects of social, business and family relationships. The cycle continues as the user becomes more withdrawn thereby relying more on the drugs and becoming more removed from healthy interpersonal relationships.
Another scenario would be someone taking prescription drugs for which they don’t have a prescription. This usually begins with a friend giving someone their prescription for a headache, insomnia, a painful but minor injury, or possibly just for recreational use. Upon realizing the perceived benefits and pleasurable feelings associated with the drug, the person begins asking for more or buying it illicitly on the black market. Again, it doesn’t seem like a problem because the drug is legal, although it isn’t legal when used this way. The user thinks it would be simple to ask their doctor for a prescription, but much like other forms of drug abuse, a sense of shame comes with the addiction preventing the user from admitting they need the drug or asking for a prescription.
There are a few things you can do to address this issue, starting at home. These become harder as addiction sets in, so it’s important to do these as early as possible.