Monthly Archives: April 2016

how crystal meth affects the brain

Effects Meth Has On Your Brain

Drug abuse can have a major impact on your life and the lives of those around you. If you’re using methamphetamines, you need to know that this drug can have a major impact on your life in a very short amount of time.

What Is Meth?

Meth is a synthetic drug that is more powerful than the sometimes-used amphetamine, which is a stimulant. As a prescription drug, methamphetamine can be used to treat narcolepsy and to help maintain a person’s blood pressure, if it tends to drop. As a stimulant, meth affects the central nervous system. It is highly addictive.

What Kinds of Side Effects Are Caused By Meth?

When meth is initially taken, it may be snorted, inhaled, smoked, or injected. Sometimes, it can be taken orally.

The first side effects of meth are sensations of happiness or well-being. It may make a person hyperactive or give them energy. That’s why it’s so good for narcolepsy or increasing blood pressure; however, the drug is much more dangerous when taken illicitly. The side effects of meth last for up to 24 hours, although it’s most common for them to last between six and eight hours.

Some short-term side effects of methamphetamine usage include:

  • Decreased fatigue
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Increased respiration
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased activity

meth pipe

Does Meth Lead to Brain Damage?

Methamphetamine can quickly affect your brain. While it initially causes feelings of pleasure or an elevated mood, it also begins to change the overall structure of your brain from the first time you take it.

The good side effects of the drug are attributed to the release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, inside the body. This neurotransmitter is used to motivate individuals; it allows for the experience of pleasure and helps the body’s motor functions.

The problem with methamphetamine is that it releases a shocking amount of dopamine. In fact, it releases up to 12 times the amount of dopamine that sex or other pleasurable activities do. That high is hard to beat, which is why the body reacts so positively to it and craves the drug quickly after the first hit.

The elevated levels of dopamine in the body are not positive. They can be harmful to the nerve terminals in the brain, making it harder for your body to work correctly. The dopamine transporters in the drug user are typically damaged due to drug use, which means that even after stopping the drug, the body may not begin to produce dopamine correctly again. For some, that means that depression or sadness is more likely to take place, since the body can’t use dopamine effectively without the use of the drug.

The brain is chemically and molecularly changed with the use of methamphetamines. Imaging studies have shown that the dopamine system being affected alters the way you learn verbally and impairs your motor skills. Functional changes take place in the areas of the brain that control emotions and memory, which explains why those who take meth for a long period of time may struggle with controlling their emotions or remembering certain events. These effects are often long-lasting and may not heal, although many do after being off the drug for a year or longer.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamines?

The long-term effects of methamphetamines include:

  • Aggressive or violent behavior due to stimulation
  • Mood disturbances, like mood swings
  • Memory loss; you may not remember what happened when you were taking the drug
  • Severe dental problems from smoking or chewing meth crystals
  • Changes in the structure and function of the brain
  • Psychosis, which is recognized by the presence of hallucinations and paranoia
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions, like the feeling that there are insects in your skin or crawling on you

Can a Person Recovery from Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction can be recovered from. It all starts with detox. In fact, in as little as a month, you can begin to see changes in your body and the way your brain begins to function normally again. If a person has struggled with dental problems from the drug, this may need to be treated during recovery to help avoid pain and gun or tooth loss.

How Can I Get Help With Meth Addiction?

Addiction to methamphetamines can be a serious concern. Whether you’re worried about being addicted to prescription methamphetamines or want to know more about how you can get help for a loved one who uses meth, it’s important to reach out and learn about the programs in your area. You can call our helpful 24-hour hotline by dialing 1-866-802-6848, so you can speak to us about the process for seeking the care you need. You can also visit our website online at CoastalDetox.com to find out more about drug addiction and the treatment plans that can help you overcome this struggle.

drug detox hospital

Importance of a Medically Assisted Detox

What Is Detoxification?

Detoxification is a process wherein all the drugs or alcohol a person has been using is purged from the body. Some kinds of detox take only a few hours while others take days or weeks.

When you think about medically assisted detox, you need to understand what it entails. A medically assisted detoxification program uses medications to help balance your withdrawal symptoms, so you can be more comfortable during the detoxification process. Medications may not be able to eliminate your withdrawal symptoms, but they will be significantly less severe than if you tried to detox without them.

Any detoxification program’s aim is to make sure your body no longer depends on the drug or alcohol to function. After that step, it’s important to the facility to make sure you’re no longer being influenced by the drug in your body. Until your body is clean and you can think clearly, you won’t be able to move on to rehabilitation.

Is Detoxification Dangerous?

A medically assisted detox, or one monitored by your healthcare profession, doesn’t have to be dangerous. However, trying to go through detoxification without support can be. For instance, if you stop drinking cold turkey, you could suffer from seizures, problems with your central nervous system, and could even be at risk of death. The same can be said about some drugs, which could result in withdrawal symptoms like shakes, cold sweats, headaches, aches and pains, and others if you don’t stop taking it over time.

What Kinds of Detoxification Are There?

Detoxification is normally done in one of a few ways. The main kinds of detox include:

  • Rapid detoxification
  • Medically assisted detox
  • Tapering
  • Holistic/alternative detox support

With any of these kinds of detox, the goal is to make sure you don’t suffer any life-threatening conditions during the withdrawal process.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detoxification is performed in a hospital or similar setting. It involved putting a patient under general anesthesia and quickly eliminating drugs from the body. This is most commonly used with opiate addiction. The most severe parts of withdrawal will take place as the patient sleeps.

patient in medical detox

Medically Assisted Detox

Medically assisted detox begins with a dose of medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms after a drug or alcohol is stopped. As a patient’s symptoms improve, the medications are tapered and eventually stopped, so they can be free of the withdrawal support that is no longer needed.

Tapering

Tapering methods of detox are popular for prescription medications and other kinds of drug abuse. With tapering, you slowly reduce the amount of a substance you’re taking over time. By reducing the substance slowly, your body naturally goes through only minor withdrawal symptoms, if any.

Holistic/Alternative Detox

Holistic or alternative detox methods often rely on tapering along with the use of alternative and holistic therapies to treat the patient’s symptoms. For example, if a patient is suffering from aches and pains, then the patient may be given a massage or go to an acupuncture appointment to release tension. Natural foods, animal-assisted therapies, and other encouraging methods of relaxation may also be used to help patients sleep, eat, and relax better.

Why Is Medically Assisted Detox Important to My Health?

Medically assisted detox is important for your health because you’re able to be monitored by a medical professional through the worst of withdrawal. You can immediately receive treatment for any severe withdrawal symptoms you may have, and with the right program in place, you can be sure that your withdrawal won’t be as painful or uncomfortable as if you did it alone. You’ll also receive support from your medical team, so you don’t have to feel like you’re going through this alone, even in the worst moments.

Medically assisted detoxification is easier on your body. It helps you clear your mind quickly while not having to have anxiety or fear about stopping the use of drugs or alcohol. With medically assisted detox, any complications that arise can be treated, so you can get back to a more comfortable state of mind and start working towards emotional sobriety.

Where Can I Learn More About Medically Assisted Detox?

If you’re ready to consider going through a detoxification program, you have choices that you can consider. We’re here to help you make the right decision for your body.

Call us today by dialing 1-866-802-6848 to speak with one of our helpful specialists about the programs available in your area or in an area where you’d like to travel. If you’d rather visit us online, you can find our website at www.CoastalDetox.com. Whether you’re interested in a medically assisted detox program or want to learn more about how a recovery program can help you or someone you love, our website has more information about a number of therapies and services you can try.

 

holistic alcohol detox

Holistic Treatment Benefits in Detox

In 2009, there were around 2.1 million hospital emergency department visits resulting from drug abuse or misuse alone. Drug or alcohol abuse are both serious addictions that can affect your life negatively. After being addicted to a substance for so long, detoxification can be a challenge. On top of that, you may fear becoming addicted to a new drug or treatment in your recovery program.

Holistic therapies can be combined with modern medicine to help you overcome addiction more easily without the use of traditional medications in some cases. Detoxification can be a difficult process both mentally and physically.

With the right combination of treatments, you can overcome your detoxification and work through withdrawal without the severe symptoms you may fear. Holistic therapies can be combined with traditional treatments, which is why they are sometimes called complementary therapies. These combination treatments can work to benefit each other, helping you work through minor withdrawal symptoms or medicate for severe symptoms as needed.

The Main Benefits of Holistic Treatment

There are a few major benefits of holistic treatments. These include things like:

  • Improvement of health in general
  • The quick relief of pain
  • Assistance with a well-balanced lifestyle
  • The application of natural methods of treatment including nutrition, exercise, and non-invasive treatments
  • Awareness of environmental safety and health
  • The use of natural herbs and medicines

For instance, those who receive these treatments may benefit from reduced stress or anxiety thanks to human touch during a massage or the increased circulation in the body following an acupuncture session. The quick relief of pain can sometimes be attributed to increased circulation and the release of tension with massage.

Natural herbal treatments, like with the use of aromatherapy, can help lower stress and stimulate the body. For instance, peppermint or spearmint is known to help open the airways and increase circulation to the skin.

Exercises like yoga or stretching can help reduce tension and anxiety as well, benefitting patients who may not want to take medications or who want to learn to work through side effects or withdrawal symptoms.

women practicing yoga

How Do Holistic Therapies Help During Drug Rehabilitation?

Holistic treatments help patients focus on proper nutrition, good physical health, and strong mental and spiritual health. Spiritual counseling can help a person feel more connected to himself and others, while exercises help reduce physical stress. Proper nutrition can help give patients the energy needed to overcome some symptoms of detoxification while making sure they get the nutrients they need.

Complementary therapies can provide many benefits, including:

  • Reducing pain or relieving pain
  • Improving circulation
  • Providing time to relax
  • Providing relief from stress, anxiety, or stress
  • Improving your emotions or moods
  • Boosting your immune system
  • Improving the speed at which the body removes toxins

What Are Some Holistic Therapies Available?

Some commonly used holistic therapies include:

  1. Holistic Massage
  2. Aromatherapy
  3. Manual lymphatic drainage
  4. Acupuncture

Holistic massage focuses on the needs of the patient. The patient may want a light touch or firm pressure. Certain parts of the body may be massaged, like the shoulders or neck, to release tension in that specific area. Holistic massage’s purpose is to introduce not only a massage that reduces pressure and tension but also to put the body at ease with human touch and compassion.

Aromatherapy uses scents to address stress, tension, and anxiety. Essential oils are created from many natural plants, seeds, bark, roots, and so on. The oils can be blended into a scent that the individual likes and they can also be mixed into massage creams. The room may be fragranced with the essential oils or diluted to use on the body.

Manual lymphatic drainage is a gentle method of massage that helps improve the flow of the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes contain white blood cells, so massaging the nodes can help drain the nodes of the toxins that may have accumulated. During the massage, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, helping promote recovery and growth. The muscles are calmed, immune system strengthened, and lymphatic flow improved.

Acupuncture, another kind of holistic therapy, is used to stimulate the skin, muscles, and body’s circulation. Small needles are inserted around the body to stimulate the nerves and release tension and anxiety.

How Can I Get Started With a Holistic Drug or Alcohol Treatment Program?

You can get started with a holistic drug or alcohol addiction treatment program easily; whether you’re ready to move away for treatment or want to look at outpatient programs near you, our helpful specialists can help you locate a program that will benefit you. Call us today by dialing 1-866-802-6848 to speak with someone now, or visit us online at www.CoastalDetox.com. We can help you find the kind of holistic program you want, whether you want to focus on a program without traditional medications or one with combination therapies.

how to detox from alcohol

What Happens When You Detox From Alcohol

Detoxing from alcohol can be a strenuous act. It can’t be stopped all at once without triggering withdrawal, which is why many patients don’t complete detoxification without help from a professional.

What Is Alcohol?

Although it’s not often considered to be one, alcohol is a drug. It’s classified as a depressant, which means it slows the vital functions in the body. If you drink, you may have some side effects, like slurred speech or lowered inhibitions.

Even though alcohol is a depressant, it does give an initial stimulating effect. However, if a person drinks more than his body can handle, then the depressant effect can come into effect and result in the body reacting with physical symptoms of drunkenness.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?

There are some signs that a person is being affected by alcohol. Some common side effects include:

  • A loss of coordination
  • Feeling stupid or having trouble putting together thoughts
  • Unsteady movements
  • Slurred speech
  • Disturbed perceptions
  • The inability to react quickly

Alcohol enters the body through the mouth, enters the stomach, and then is absorbed into the bloodstream from the walls of the stomach and small intestines. It takes only minutes for the alcohol to travel from your stomach to your brain; people with low tolerances may be affected quickly while others may need more alcohol before they begin to feel the effects.

When the alcohol reaches the brain, it begins to slow the reactions of the nerve cells. As alcohol continues through the body, it passes through the liver to be metabolized. At this stage, it’s converted into a nontoxic liquid. If this doesn’t happen or if the liver is too overwhelmed, it’s possible to feel drunk or eventually be poisoned.

If alcohol poisoning starts to take place, the body’s respiratory system slows down and can even begin to shut down. This can lead to breathing slowing down or stopping. When this happens, the brain can’t get oxygen, and comas or death are possible.

brain behind shot of whiskey

What are Some Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Severe alcohol withdrawal can be deadly. Some signs that a person is in withdrawal include:

  • Agitation or aggression
  • Fever or sweating
  • Hallucinations, or feeling or seeing things that aren’t actually present
  • Severe confusion
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Clammy skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Delirium tremens
  • Pallor
  • Headaches

If a person is suffering from delirium tremens, this can be a fatal form of withdrawal that needs immediate assistance. Delirium tremens causes seizures, confusion, fever, and hallucinations.

Why Is It Important to Detox From Alcohol Correctly?

Detoxing from alcohol correctly is vital to your health. If you stop “cold turkey,” then it’s possible that you could suffer seizures or even die from the side effects of withdrawal.

Some of the symptoms that can be treated in detox include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shaky hands
  • Night terrors
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia

guy passed out with beer in hand

Detoxification programs focus on reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms, preventing complications, and then providing the therapy needed to abstain from drinking in the future. There are two kinds of detoxification, inpatient and outpatient.

With an inpatient program, patients with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal receive treatment for moderate-to-severe withdrawal symptoms. Medications can be used to prevent or treat seizure activity, help maintain the person’s respiratory control, and to maintain other functions. During the inpatient treatment, the patient’s body temperature, blood pressure, blood levels of various chemicals in the body, and heart rate are monitored. Dehydration is prevented through IV and medications may also be injected via IV. If needed, sedation medications can be used until withdrawal is complete.

Outpatient programs are different because they are used for those with mild-to-moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Someone must stay with the person detoxing at all times, but other than that monitoring, the patient only has to go to the outpatient facility on a daily basis to check the symptoms of withdrawal and the process of recovery. Some kinds of treatment may include blood tests, patient and family counseling, and sedative drugs, which can help reduce withdrawal symptoms.

How Can I Get Started With Alcohol Detoxification?

If you’re ready to work on your alcohol addiction and want to learn more about the detoxification process, our helpful specialists are standing by to take your call. Call us by dialing 1-866-802-6848, so you can speak to us about the process and the symptoms you currently have. You can also visit our website online at CoastalDetox.com, where you can read more about alcohol addiction and recovery, the types of treatment available to you, and how living a sober life is possible with help from the right facilities. Your addiction doesn’t have to control you, so if you’re ready to abstain, we can help you move forward toward your goal.