Drug Addiction

Mixing any kind of drug with alcohol has its potential health and addiction risks and can even lead to death. In other words, combining alcohol with any drug is a real danger. Even a non-narcotic mixture of antidepressants and alcohol runs the risk of fatal side effects if you take more than prescribed. The combination of baclofen and alcohol is one of many addictive and harmful mixtures. This blog is designed to provide information and warnings about this risky addiction. 

Baclofen: What Is It?

Baclofen is a prescription drug medical professionals prescribe to treat muscle spasms that occur as a result of spinal cord injuries and/or disease and multiple sclerosis. The most common brand names for baclofen are Lioresal and Gablofen.

This drug works as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It is commonly used as a skeletal muscle relaxant to treat medical conditions like spasticity. In more recent times, some European studies have discovered that baclofen can be a powerful withdrawal medication given to individuals going through alcohol addiction detox. 

When people think of prescription pill addiction, what typically comes to mind are prescription drugs like painkillers or opioids. But individuals commonly consider a muscle relaxer like baclofen to be safe.

Baclofen is not a narcotic and it does not act on the opioid receptors in the brain like other prescription pain medication. However, medical professionals may sometimes prescribe it to treat severe pain. But, when combined, baclofen and alcohol, the chances of dependency and/or addiction increase greatly. 

The Baclofen And Alcohol Combo: Why Do People Mix Them?

Baclofen is known to be effective on alcohol withdrawal symptoms because it reduces cravings the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. So, some individuals will choose to take baclofen while still drinking alcohol. 

Baclofen and alcohol are both depressants, which means they lower the neurotransmission levels within the brain. This causes feelings of sedation and relaxation. Most people who develop addictions to baclofen and alcohol express that they like both the depressant effects that alcohol provides and the relief from muscle spasms through taking baclofen. 

The Baclofen And Alcohol Combo: The Side Effects And Risks

When you combine baclofen and alcohol these depressants can cause a troubling effect in the individual upon consumption. The alcohol will enhance the side effects of the baclofen. 

Some of the side effects of combining baclofen and alcohol include but are not limited to:

When someone begins experiencing these side effects from combining baclofen and alcohol, it is considered a “pharmacodynamic interaction” within the medical community. By definition, this means that alcohol heightens the effects of the baclofen within the central nervous system. These interactions can be dangerous and can also lead to addiction or even fatality. 

The Baclofen And Alcohol Combo: Medical Detoxification (Detox) 

Whether or not you will have withdrawal symptoms or if you need medical detox from baclofen and alcohol consumption depends on the length of use or abuse. Everyone reacts differently to various types of drugs and combinations.

Also, with the increase in popularity of prescription drug addiction and the long-lasting prominence of alcoholism, no one really knows how their bodies will react to other prescription drugs and/or substances like alcohol, even simple things such as a daily vitamin.

Medical detox programs exist to help individuals who have physical additions to various types of substances, including baclofen and alcohol. These programs help by reducing painful withdrawal symptoms during the initial detox. 

The Baclofen And Alcohol Combo: What Happens After Detox?

Once people complete a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) detox program, they will either continue with inpatient or an outpatient addiction treatment program. These programs are designed to help those who are facing an addiction to baclofen and alcohol.

Addiction treatment has expanded in the last century to be able to address all individuals in every aspect of their addiction process. Individuals can benefit from unique therapies and treatments that focus specifically on their personal challenges, experiences, and concerns. 

There are various types of inpatient and outpatient treatments available. This is necessary since addiction treatment typically works to meet the individual’s needs, depending on their experiences with substance misuse.

Residential Treatment Programs for Addiction

Residential treatment programs provide continuous access to medical, clinical, and psychiatric care in addition to various holistic treatment services and amenities. These addiction treatment programs typically offer many different forms of treatments and therapies.  

Inpatient residential treatment program therapies include but are not limited to:

Inpatient treatment programs also offer plenty of great amenities! These amenities help to keep individuals comfortable and engaged throughout the addiction treatment process. Residential treatment programs typically involve daily access to holistic treatments, which include:

Outpatient Treatment Programs for Addiction

Some individuals respond well to outpatient addiction treatment programs rather than residential treatment programs. Often, those individuals tend to have a less severe addiction or they may be in the earlier stages of their addiction. As a result, they may benefit more from continuing their regular routines like work and family obligations. This type of treatment works well for those who are ready to modify and change their behaviors and habits. 

Some outpatient programs for an addiction to baclofen and alcohol include but are not limited to:

Will Your Health Insurance Cover Treatment?

The response is usually, yes! However, most health insurance companies request health insurance policyholders to select from an authorized medical provider list. Also, there are often some associated costs with this type of addiction treatment program including addiction detox, like cost-share or co-pay insurance programs.

It is always important to get familiar with what kind of health care insurance policy you have or what exactly is covered or NOT covered. This is imperative, so contact your insurance agent immediately to assist you in determining what you can afford. 

Typically, detox centers and programs have professional staff members who are able to help you deal with health insurance companies. They can answer questions about your healthcare coverage promptly and skillfully assist you with getting the approvals you will require for effective treatment.

Coastal Detox: Helping You Detox From Baclofen And Alcohol

If you need medical detox from an addiction to the combination of baclofen and alcohol or any other substances, you can contact Coastal Detox today. Located in sunny and beautiful Stuart, Florida. 

Their drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs consist of skilled, medical professionals that are intent on helping you detox safely and comfortably from any and ALL substances including baclofen and alcohol. If further addiction rehabilitation is necessary, they will assist you in finding the best kind of drug and/or alcohol addiction treatment program. The team will provide you with a chance at lasting sobriety and an overall improvement in your mental health! 

Seeking assistance in getting clean from substances like baclofen and alcohol, will be hard and oftentimes even frightening. But you must not be afraid to reach out and seek help! It is difficult enough to deal with abuse and/or addiction. You should not have to handle the pain of detox or have to withdraw from addiction to baclofen and alcohol alone. For more information on how Coastal Detox can help you detox from baclofen and alcohol addiction and/or other abusive substances, please contact us toda

Taking care of your mental health is an important part of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. It is one of the most important items in bringing about long-term sobriety and living a full and happy life during the process. But it should not be confined to one solitary day.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Mental Health Status

Reasons you should be attentive to your mental health during recovery are:

  1. Helps prevent addiction relapse—It seems obvious, but this is the primary reason to take care of your mental health. The connection between mental health-substance use is irrefutable.
  2. Nurtures the relationships you repaired during your substance use disorder treatment.
  3. Reduces anxiety.
  4. Increases self-esteem.
  5. Reduces the risk of depression.
  6. Improves your overall mood.

The Absence of Mental Illness Does Not Equate to Good Mental Health

The lack of mental illness does not necessarily mean that you have good mental health. In this case, mental health refers to the condition of your emotional, psychological, and social frame of mind. It includes the thoughts, feelings, moods, and behaviors that influence your choices and the way you handle stress and relationships with other people. 

3 Simple Tips for How You Can Work on Your Mental Health

Recovery from substance use disorders is a process of change by which people:

To meet these goals, you must take care of yourself. When you have an active substance use disorder, the last thing you care about is your physical and mental well-being. In recovery, it is the first thing.

Taking care of your mental health is a lot more complicated than taking care of your physical health, like washing your hands or taking a vitamin. Here are some suggestions for taking care of your mental health when you’re in recovery:

Keep a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintain a healthy and nutritious diet. Get regular cardiovascular exercise, and try to sleep seven to eight hours each night. 

Common sense advice can be difficult to practice while you are coping with the daily stressors of life. Results of research from addiction science have shown the connection to the advice and also revealed the remarkable extent that sleep, diet, and exercise have on mental health. 

Harvard research has shown that lifestyle changes that make for better sleep can improve mental health considerably.

Deficiencies of certain nutrients like vitamin B1 can have a negative effect on mood and energy levels, which are basic indicators of mental health or lack of it.

The many mental health benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise have now been shown to be true in several studies. The American Psychological Association has encouraged incorporating exercise in corrective interventions. 

Take Medications as Prescribed and Get Regular Checkups

Any co-occurring medical condition, whether it’s an injury or a chronic condition like diabetes or bipolar disorder, can trigger a relapse that can impede or interfere with your recovery.

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 30% of Americans age 18 to 25 who had a substance use disorder in the previous year also had a co-occurring disorder such as anxiety or depression. One of the best ways to protect your recovery and mental health is to stick to your doctor-prescribed medication plan and get regular checkups.

Build Healthy Relationships

Arrange positive and meaningful connections with family, friends, and others in recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s definition of recovery, there are three other components to recovery: home, purpose, and community. Much of what qualifies as good mental health includes relationships. So, be sure to make it a priority!

Benefits of Improving Your Mental Health

self careThe benefits of intentionally practicing to improve mental health are a response to the chronic stress that is part of life every day. Chronic stress has been proven to deteriorate the hippocampus. 

The hippocampus is a part of the brain that is involved in forming new memories and is also associated with learning and emotions. It plays a critical role in the organization and storage of new memories as well as connecting certain sensations and emotions to these memories.

Stress also leads to a decrease in the ability to concentrate, confusion, loss of sense of humor, anger irritability, and fear. Improving your mental health can help reduce the risk. Other benefits include:

A Few Words About Exercise

Improved mental health has been well documented, along with the improved levels of physical fitness. Decades of research results show the benefits of intentionally taking special care of your body.

Recently, the approach to physical and mental well-being has been prevention. Exercise is a preventative activity for both physical and mental health. When you make your body stronger, there is less pain in aging. The same is true for strengthening your mental health.

Research shows that people who have depressive disorders or anxiety disorders benefit immensely from increased exercise activities. 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week is recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce the risk of premature death. Not surprisingly, most of the population fails to meet these guidelines to improve overall well being.

Some benefits physical fitness on mental health include:

The Benefits of Continuing Counseling

For a long time, counseling has had a stigma attached. The medical model was developed to fix what was “broken.” If you are in counseling, you are not broken. People are adaptable and can rewire themselves. Professional counselors can help with this resilience by allowing the release of painful or unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.

Farming for Mental Health and Recovery

Although farming and agricultural activities may not be an alternative to rehab, sometimes rehab facilities integrate farming in their treatment programs. Some even have on-property farms. Other facilities encourage people to take care of animals such as horses or dogs as part of their treatment.

There is a belief that farming can bring about spirituality and provide help with addiction recovery by shifting your focus. Instead of focusing on your problems and addictions, you concentrate on your tasks such as working the soil or taking care of animals.

Seeing something through to the end can increase a sense of purpose, which might help with treatment and ongoing recovery. Physical exertion is beneficial, and the sense of accomplishment is a huge motivational influence.

Journaling for Your Health

Journaling is a powerful tool in many different areas of well being. It benefits not only mental health but also physical wellness. Some research even shows an improvement in breast cancer patient recovery through journaling. 

The use of reflective journaling for adolescents shows increases in self-regulation, self-motivation, and self-effectiveness. It has also been used to benefit individuals working to overcome addiction. Journaling offers a place to let go of inner fears and stress. Reducing stress and negative thoughts are benefits that can be acquired through regular practice. It also improves critical thinking skills.

A study from Canada showed the benefits of journaling as a tool in counseling women with a gambling addiction. Members of the group were instructed on effective journaling in addition to group counseling. The results were fewer relapses and improved growth in areas of overcoming thoughts about the addiction. 

10 Intentional Activities to Improve Mental Health

Engaging in these activities can help to improve mental health. How you approach it is an individual choice but helpful when intentionally focused.

The benefits of mental health outweigh the effort it takes to practice to improve it. All people face difficulties, but the ability to handle them can grow.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month (also called Mental Health Month) has been observed in the United States since 1949. It occurs every May, with local events and film screenings and other media. 

It was started by Mental Health America, which was known as the National Association for Mental Health at that time. Each year, organizations interested in mental health sponsor a number of activities that are based on a different theme each year. The theme for 2020 was “Tools 2 Thrive.” 

It was chosen because of the anxiety caused by the global pandemic and to focus on the mental health needs of everyone. For a person in recovery, every month should be mental health month. 

You learned valuable skills to help you handle anxiety, stress, and depression while in treatment. Taking care of your mental health needs should become as natural as combing your hair and brushing your teeth.

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

Are you in recovery and finding it difficult to stay abstinent? If the stresses of life have become too much for you, I have laid out some strategies for you to use. If you need help figuring it out, we can help at Coastal Detox. 

Have the stresses of life in recovery gotten to be too much, and you had a relapse? You may need to go back to treatment and tweak your recovery plan. Have you never been to treatment, and made the difficult decision to try? In any case, you don’t have to do it alone. 

We have an experienced, professional staff you can trust to help you with your condition. You can contact us here. 

What is Fentanyl and How Does It Work?

Fentanyl is a drug classified as an opioid, like morphine and heroin. Opioids are all drugs that come from the opium poppy plant. While some of them can be made from opium poppy directly, others are manufactured in labs. 

Opioids act directly in the opioid receptors, which are responsible for managing how we feel pain and pleasure. These drugs then help release chemicals that make the user feel relaxed. These substances also affect people’s sensibility to pain. Prescription opioids are mainly used for pain management for individuals who have chronic pain or are undergoing procedures like chemotherapy.

It is possible to safely use opioids when prescribed by a doctor, as long as the instructions are followed correctly. However, these drugs are meant to be short-term prescriptions, used only for a few days. Long-term treatment with opioids can be risky and is only recommended for extreme cases. With time, the body can grow accustomed to the rush of chemicals released by opioid use, which can cause chemical and neural imbalances.

That is why many government agencies have made efforts to better control the frequency of prescriptions. Many states have done their best to keep the number of prescriptions as low as possible. The reason for that is because the U.S. is currently going through what is considered an opioid crisis – and the current main culprit is fentanyl. But this issue has gone beyond prescription opioids and has worsened due to illegal versions and analogs.

Fentanyl can also be prescribed legally, and it is often used to treat severe pain associated with advanced cancer. Usually, it is prescribed as a patch or as lozenges, and it can also be injected or used as an oral or nasal spray. But the drug has been diverted since becoming more popular and consumed illegally, often mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine. It has been known to be crushed as a powder to facilitate substance abuse.

The Effects of Fentanyl and Addiction

Fentanyl itself acts just like any other opioid – by attaching itself to the opioid receptors, which control pain and emotion. Once it’s done that, it increases dopamine release. This, in turn, affects the brain’s reward center, bringing on a sense of euphoria and relaxation.

The reason why people become addicted to an opioid is that, with time, the brain becomes used to its presence. After prolonged use, it needs the effects generated by fentanyl use to even function properly. Addiction to opioids affects judgment, decision-making, self-control, and other behaviors. For all of these reasons and more, the medical community has come to agree that addiction is a brain disease.

The difference between fentanyl and other legal drugs like morphine is its potency. Compared to morphine, legal fentanyl is around 100 times more potent. This means users have a higher chance of overdosing on it. And what’s worse: fentanyl analogs tend to be even stronger, and since they’re not controlled substances, it’s harder to predict the outcome of use.

Even when using the drug correctly, there are possible adverse side effects. So, naturally, abusing fentanyl can bring on serious issues. The most commonly reported symptoms by people who have used it are:

These, however, are not the only possible issues, and they can get more and more intense. With time, people have reported suffering from arrhythmia, along with chest pains. Others have also had both vision and auditory hallucinations. Slowed breathing, however, can lead to shallow breathing, and some fentanyl users have even stopped breathing while asleep.

This slowed breathing can also lead to another life-threatening issue, called hypoxia. This condition is characterized by lowered levels of oxygen reaching the brain. Hypoxia can cause serious, permanent effects, such as brain damage, comas, and even death.

Other issues not related to side effects might arise from fentanyl use. Those who inject the drug and might share needles can contract diseases like HIV and hepatitis. Clouded judgment during the high can lead to risky behavior, such as unprotected sex, putting users at risk of contracting STDs. Kidney and liver complications might be triggered by prolonged use as well. Fentanyl is metabolized in the liver and then broken down in the liver, so it can overwork both organs. 

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

The presence of a drug in the system depends on what is called elimination half-life. In simpler terms, it is the amount of time the body takes to process and eliminate half of the original dose of the drug. Fentanyl is considered a fast-acting opioid, so it might start metabolizing quicker than long-acting ones.

Different possible tests can be done to detect fentanyl in the system: blood, urine, and hair. It is hard to predict the exact time it will take for it not to show up in these tests, but there is a general average:

Blood – anywhere between 5 and 48 hours after the last dose.

Urine (most commonly used by employers) – anywhere between 24 and 72 hours after the last dose.

Hair – up to about 90 days after the last dose.

*It is important to know that there is a possibility for a false positive in case you’ve taken Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Since Benadryl can trigger a false positive, you should inform the lab and/or testing agency in case you’ve taken it before testing.

The reason why you can only get an average of fentanyl half-life is that there are many variables in the equation. In order to know how long fentanyl will stay in the system, a few factors need to be taken into account:

Dose – Since half-life is about half of the original dose taken, the total amount of the drug in the system will affect how long it can be detected. The bigger the dose, the longer it will take to be flushed out completely. 

Metabolism – While there is no “speed” rate for metabolizing drugs, people with impaired renal or liver function will take longer to metabolize it. That is because fentanyl is initially metabolized into norfentanyl in the liver, which is then broken down in the kidneys. Anything that might slow down the metabolism will affect half-life.

Source of pain – For those taking it for pain management, the source of pain will “use” fentanyl at different rates. Those with severe burns, for instance, may experience faster clearance of the drug. This is because of cardiac output and hepatic blood flow, which speed up the process. 

How to Get Fentanyl Out of Your System

Unlike substances like alcohol, fentanyl won’t get out of your system if you drink more water, exercise, sweat, etc. And even after being metabolized, fentanyl leaves detectable metabolites in the system long after being processed. The only way to flush fentanyl out is to stop taking the drug completely. Beating a test is only possible by genuinely not taking the drug.

In case you’re researching this because you’re afraid you might have overdosed, you need to seek medical attention. The only drug administered during an overdose is called naloxone. It does not remove the toxins from the system, it just blocks opiate receptors in the body. They are administered by trained professionals once they get on the scene. 

Naloxone only acts for about 30-90 minutes after being administered. By that time, however, opioids might still be active in the system. It is only an immediate measure to be taken in an emergency, but it doesn’t clear the system of opioids. That is why you must call for help in case of an overdose, as naloxone is only a temporary solution.

Blocking opiate receptors instantly means that you will go into withdrawal, and may start experiencing its symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is vomiting. That said, if the person is unconscious, they should be put in a safe position to avoid vomit aspiration. Another reported symptom is dope sickness, which will also be temporary.

Get Rid of Fentanyl Dependence Safely At Coastal Detox

Fentanyl is currently one of the biggest menaces in the U.S. for drug and alcohol addiction. Thousands of families have been impacted by its devastating effects. But luckily, the medical and psychiatric community has been learning and preparing for it, coming up with ways to overcome this addiction. 

At Coastal Detox, we are proud to be a part of the solution, designing programs made to help those addicted to fentanyl to get clean and healthy again.

We have designed programs to suit everyone’s needs, no matter the level of addiction. Our addiction treatment pairs medical and psychiatric knowledge and supervision with holistic techniques. All treatment sessions are done at our unit in Stuart, in state-of-the-art facilities, with a team prepared for any emergencies.

If you or a loved one are in dire need of help, contact us today via telephone or online. Our team will be able to answer any questions you might have and provide all the information you need. We’ll be happy to tell you more about our multiple treatment programs and the possible solutions to your problem. You can even schedule a tour of our facilities to see how you feel. We hope to be the ones to guide you in your path to recovery, and we hope you’ll start today.

Illegal and legal drugs work on the brain in a variety of ways. One of the ways they work is they change the way that neurotransmitters work in the brain, which changes the user’s emotions and, ultimately, the way they think and behave. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that are sent between brain cells that relay information. They are not permanent parts of the physical brain like brain cells. Often the brain reabsorbs neurotransmitters. 

We at Coastal Detox are committed to not only educating our patients on the effects of substances but also educating the general public in hopes that people will be able to be better prepared for their fight against the drug addiction epidemic.

What Do Neurons Do?

They send messages through chemicals released from the synapses in the brain. Brain cells (also known as neurons) do not touch each other. The synapse is the part of the neuron that is closest to the other neuron. Neurotransmitters can also signal the brain cells do certain things, producing feelings like anger, joy, anxiety, and in people with substance abuse disorder, substance cravings. 

Drugs such as heroin, Zoloft, alcohol, and other substances affect the neurotransmitters in the brain, producing a pleasurable high and often undesirable side effects like depression. In some cases, they produce psychosis, and, ultimately, addiction.      

Neurotransmitters also help the neurons regulate:

  • Mood
  • Coordination
  • Breathing 
  • Heart rate
  • Ability to learn
  • Emotions
  • Physical sensations 

And almost anything else that goes on in the body and the brain. 

Do Brain Cells Affect Neurotransmitters?

When someone uses a substance such as ketamine, opioid-like oxycodone, alcohol, or methamphetamines, the effect is determined by which neurotransmitters they affect. Most of these substances bind to the neurotransmitters directly. Many substances affect multiple neurotransmitters at once. There are dozens of neurotransmitters that scientists have identified, and our understanding of how the brain and neurotransmitters work and their different parts is continually growing.

What is Dopamine?

Dopamine is used by the body to regulate:

  • Learning
  • Motivation
  • Kidney function
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Happiness
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness 
  • Attention
  • Pain processing
  • Control of nausea and vomiting

Dopamine is one of the most famous neurotransmitters.

How Do Substances Affect Neurotransmitters?

Drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, prescription opioids, alcohol, and many more affect the brain’s use and output of neurotransmitters. Some substances speed up the production of neurotransmitters, others slow down productions, and some even mimic neurotransmitters. The way that the neurotransmitters speed up or slow down the production of other neurotransmitters is that they bind to or mimic other neurotransmitters in a way that sends a signal to the brain cell to tell that brain cell to produce more or less of another neurotransmitter.

What Will Your Brain Do If You Stop Taking Substances?

Depending on the substance and length of abuse, it can take days to years to regain normal neurotransmitter production in your brain. 

Some substances, like heroin, affect the brain in the same way that a natural neurotransmitter would and stimulate the neuron it bonds to make it produce other neurotransmitters like dopamine. All substances, both legal and illegal, change the way that the brain operates.

For example: if someone takes a drug like methamphetamine (also known as meth or ice), the brain will stop producing some of its own neurotransmitters (dopamine). After taking meth in high doses for an extended period of time, dopamine production can severely slow down the brain’s natural production for up to 4 years. 

Is Dopamine the Only Thing That Causes Addiction?

While dopamine and its production in the brain are important to how an addiction is formed, progresses, and how sobriety can be found it is not the only element in the process. Some scientists now think that dopamine has more to do with reinforcement than reward. However, dopamine is still is thought to help produce a pleasurable effect.

Can I Get Dopamine Supplements?

There is no over the counter supplement version of dopamine. However, there is a prescription version known as Inotropic. This medication is only available by a doctor’s prescription. 

Inotropic can have serious side effects even when a doctor is closely monitoring the patient. Online sources of Inotropic and other prescription dopamine products are not advised and are often unregulated. This means that they might be contaminated or even a different substance than advertised. There is no way to verify what you are buying. 

Incorrect usage of synthetic dopamine can cause:

What is Serotonin? 

The second most famous chemical in the brain is serotonin. There is some debate among scientists about whether serotonin is a neurotransmitter or a hormone. Hormones, like neurotransmitters, are also signals that the brain cells produce to coordinate their behavior with each other and with the body in general. Like dopamine, serotonin has a huge effect on the brain, serotonin effects:

  • Moods including
  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Happiness
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness 
  • Confusion
  • Self-esteem
  • Bone density
  • Blood clotting abilities
  • Control nausea and vomiting

In other words, serotonin affects a lot of the same cells in the same ways that dopamine does as well as some others. The brain is very complicated. Similar does not mean the same. 

What are the Main Substances That Interact With Neurotransmitters?

There are seven types of drugs, and they interact with neurotransmitters in different ways.

Central Nervous System (CNC) Depressants

Also simply known as depressants, these drugs include:

These are just a few examples of depressant substances. Most of these substances are commonly abused, especially opioids. These substances depress the brain cell’s actives causing relaxation, sleepiness, euphoria, increased confidence, mood swings, vomiting and/or nausea, unconsciousness, coma, and sometimes death. Depressants work by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This reduces brain activity and makes the heart and other organs slow down.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Stimulants

CNS Stimulants vs. Depressants

Stimulants have the opposite effect of depressants. They increase alertness, attention, and energy. They increase the amount of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. The feeling that the abuser of stimulants gets is an energetic, euphoric rush. Some users of stimulants have been known to stay awake for days at a time.

Some examples of stimulants are:


Hallucinogens produce varying effects on a person. Often people hallucinate or see, hear, and touch things that are not there. The effects of hallucinogens vary according to the person, their mood, what other substances they are taking, and other factors. In other words, it is hard to tell how a hallucinogen will affect any particular person at any particular time. Having a bad reaction to a hallucination is known as a ‘bad trip’. 

Cross Tolerance in Hallucinogens

Cross tolerance is when a person has a tolerance to one substance and it heightens the tolerance to another substance at the same time. Tolerance is when someone needs to take more of the substance, they are abusing to get the same pleasurable effects. One example of cross-tolerance is that many hallucinogens such as peyote and Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) may produce a tolerance to each other as well as a tolerance to psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms.

How Do Psychedelic Substances Disrupt Neurotransmitters in the Brain?

Mood altering drugs like LSD heighten serotonin levels significantly. All hallucinogens stimulate serotonin production. Serotonin is another famous neurotransmitter. In particular, they stimulate 2A receptors. This can cause the neurons to fall out of sync with each other to some degree.  

Dissociative Anesthetics

Dissociative anesthetics inhibit the sensation of pain and can cause the user to feel dissociated or disconnected from the world around them and/or themselves. People often make bad decisions because their brain cells are disturbed by drugs. 

Ketamine Use and How It Affects Neurotransmitters

One of the drugs, ketamine, has been used as an anesthetic for people undergoing surgery and has also used in veterinary practices. Ketamine is also used as an antidepressant for people with hard to treat depression. It affects the GABA, glutamine, and serotonin neurotransmitters. It causes a rapid surge in both glutamine and GABA. Ketamine can also affect a person 24 hours after they take it. This means that a ketamine high is long-lasting. Some of the effects of ketamine when used at too high of a dose, which is easy as it is so strong.

Ketamine abuse can cause:

Narcotic Analgesics or Opioids Effect on Neurotransmitters

These drugs stimulate dopamine production in the brain and prevent dopamine from being reabsorbed by the brain, causing an extremely pleasurable experience. Narcotic analgesics are drugs like heroin, opium, methadone, and heroin. Opioids bind to specialized opioid receptors in the brain and physically change the brain.

Opioids Produce Dopamine

Opioids are very commonly abused because they also make the brain produce more dopamine and stop it from being reabsorbed by the brain. Several opioids have medical uses, including fentanyl and methadone. 

Fentanyl is used in a medical setting for people who are expecting extreme pain like late-stage cancer patients. Not only is methadone used to taper people off other opioids medically, but methadone, although it is an often abused opioid, is also used to help wean people off other opioids such as heroin as well as alcohol. 

Inhalants Effect on Neurotransmitters

Most inhalants slow down the brain, and the effect that people notice is similar to alcohol, such as slurred speech, euphoria, lack of coordination, and dizziness. Inhalants are, like the name suggests, drugs that are generally inhaled rather than snorted, injected, or taken orally. Some common inhalants are paint thinner, hair spray, nitrates (prescription medication for chest pain). 

Cannabis (Marijuana) and It’s Effect on Neurotransmitters

Cannabis is the scientific name for marijuana. Cannabis use to thought to permanently change the chemical and physical makeup of the brain. The full effects of cannabis are widely disputed.

Alcohol and It’s Effect on Neurotransmitters

Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in the world. 61 million people in the United States abuse alcohol by binge drinking, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 16 million people reported to be heavy alcohol uses, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as well.

Why is Alcohol Addiction Hard to Treat?

Alcohol substance abuse can be hard to treat because part of the treatment plan for continued sobriety is avoiding places where you used to abuse the substance. For some people, the presence of alcohol alone could trigger the person with substance abuse at the beginning of a person’s road to recovery to crave alcohol. This makes it hard if not nearly impossible for someone to stop abusing alcohol on their own if they have an addiction. It is very important to get clinical help for any substance abuse problem you might have, including alcohol abuse.  

How Alcohol Affects Equilibrium in the Brain

The brain tries to maintain a certain balance or equilibrium in its neurotransmitters. Substances like alcohol shift the brain’s equilibrium by making the brain give out certain neurotransmitters like GABA. Over a long period of time, the brain starts to try to combat this slow down by giving out neurotransmitters such as glutamate to try to speed itself back up and put itself back in a healthy equilibrium. This does not protect the brain very much from the negative effects of alcohol. 

Does Alcohol Create Dopamine?

Another reason that alcohol is so addictive is that it stimulates the production of dopamine from the brain cells at a higher rate than the brain cells would naturally produce dopamine on their own. Many substances abused provide a change in dopamine levels. Some prevent the brain from reabsorbing dopamine. 

What is Naltrexone, and Can It Help Reduce Alcohol Cravings?

Alcohol dependence can be eased with naltrexone. Naltrexone helps people gain their sobriety by helping suppress their urge to consume alcohol. Naltrexone is also used in medical tapering for opioid dependence. Methadone, a well-known opioid that is often abused, is also used to help people taper off alcohol.

There is No Miracle Cure to Addiction

As you are starting your road to sobriety, please do not be tempted to take quick fixes or miracle “cures” of any sort. These are dangerous. Unless something is prescribed or recommended by a licensed medical professional that specializes in addiction treatment, it is important not to do it. The brain is very complex, and something that might seem common sense on the surface might actually be very, very bad for you. It could even be deadly.

Professional Care is Important During Detoxification

These symptoms are another reason that it is important to have professional care while you are going through detoxification for alcohol abuse. Detox can be safe, but it is important to have professional care. The brain reacts like this because the neurotransmitters it was using to try to combat the effects of the alcohol have not yet had time to readjust themselves and that can be hard for the brain to deal with.

Can Abusing Substance For Too Long Cause Permanent Damage?

Abusing substances for a long period of time has very negative consequences for the user’s brain and body. The human body was not meant to use these substances at this level for very long, if at all. 

However, many effects of these substances can be reversed over a long period of time. These positive changes are called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is when the brain makes new connections and pathways around the damaged parts of the brain. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain will be able to enjoy things that it used to enjoy before the substance abuse disorder developed. 

How Can I Recover?

There is no quick fix for addiction recovery. However, your road to recovery will become valuable to you. You will form new, strong friendships. Your family will start to want to spend time with you. And you will not have to constantly worry about where you are going to get your next dose of substances from or be afraid of the violence that is usually part of that world. You will get your life back. 

When you are ready for help for your substance use disorder, please contact us.











The simple answer would be that yes, addiction is a disease – and not just drug addiction. That is a question many people ask, in fact. But the main problem is that most people seem to fail to properly understand addiction and why it is a disease. It is a complex issue, with many different factors to be considered. 

At least 24 million Americans have used drugs at some point in their lives. You, or someone you love, may be battling with drug addiction after casual use spiraling out of control. You might not quite get how it escalated, what are the long-term effects, or what to do next.

While some people think of drug addiction as a choice, the medical community has an entirely different take on it. And the only way to overcome it is by understanding it and taking the right course of action.

Habit and Addiction: Is Drug Addiction A Choice?

We all know people who have posted on social media shaming drug addicts who have died from drug use. They may say that precious resources are wasted on them because they think drug addiction is a choice. You may know someone in your life who has asked why you or your loved one can’t just quit drugs. These people think that drug abuse is only a matter of choice, or that relapse is easily preventable.

These and many other statements are made due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of addiction. This is born from years of prejudice and taboo around the subject, too. While it is a delicate subject to discuss, not talking about it only makes matters worse. 

According to experts, drug addiction is, in fact, a disease, also called a substance use disorder. It is not the same as casually drinking or using drugs here and there, and most people don’t understand that. An addiction has pushed someone beyond their boundaries. Abusing substances is no longer pleasurable for the person who is addicted at this point.

A mere habit can get worse and worse, making someone lose control over their lives. And they might not be concerned about the consequences anymore. This is when drug use can become classified as a disease.

Why Is Drug Addiction Categorized As A Disease?

For those who believe drug addiction is a choice, it may be difficult to comprehend why people continue to abuse drugs. This is especially true for people who have used drugs a few times, but did not become addicted. 

Drug addiction, or any substance used disorder, can start with just casual use of drugs. In many ways, an addict might not have become a drug addict if they had not been introduced to drugs in the first place. Still, most drug addicts have underlying issues that precede substance abuse and that make them do it. They could have relied on other destructive behaviors to cope with their circumstances had they not been introduced to drugs.

Drug use becomes an addiction, or a disease, when the person feels the need to use drugs just to function normally, even when there is little pleasure in it. Substance use affects the production of hormones and chemicals in the system, causing an imbalance that takes time to compensate. Prolonged periods of this imbalance is what makes it harder for the brain to properly work without the substance. Soon, the cravings start, and their behavior will start to change.

Those who take drugs may feel incredibly high the first few times they take it. But as they continue to take the drug repeatedly, they need more and more to achieve that same feeling. This is because they’ve developed a tolerance to it, which builds up with every dose. They’ll use a little more every time, and the constantly increasing dosages cause more and more damage to the brain.

Multiple areas of the brain become damaged by drug addiction with time. That includes areas responsible for decision-making, judgment, self-control, and behavior. And this is one of the reasons why an addict’s behavior is hard to predict – and hardly something they can control. 

Once someone becomes pathologically addicted, if they do not continue to use drugs, they might go into withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms can happen quite early on and can happen even when someone is trying to get clean. In fact, for those without the resources to detox in a safe environment, it can be incredibly difficult, and in some cases, life-threatening.

Why Does Addiction Start And How Is It Developed?

There are many, many reasons for someone to seek drugs. And there are many more reasons why someone might become addicted. Long-term drug use does cause addiction, but the way that will start depends on each person. And sometimes, it is much more complex than just saying no to drug use in the first place.

For instance, many people can diet and lose the desired amount of weight without developing anorexia or bulimia. Some people, however, might starve, and even go so far as binging and purging. They might start out trying out healthy ways to improve their weight and end up exercising and dieting compulsively. While they are different mental diseases, eating disorders and addiction have that element in common – it might start out innocently.

Just as it is with a drug habit, a person with an eating disorder continues their toxic behavior long after the reward. They might no longer have a reward or an end goal they are trying to get to. For eating disorders, it starts with a weight number. For drugs, it is the feeling of pleasure, or feeling good. In both cases, it becomes chronic and compulsive, and the person feels no sense of accomplishment or pleasure. And yet, they continue doing it.

Potential drug addicts might take drugs or drink occasionally without knowing they’re taking a risk. Few people start out with illicit, hard drugs, and they might not take them at all, maybe even only gateway ones. They might be completely unaware that their actions might result in addiction. 

Addiction can start with casual drinking, and evolve into alcoholism with time. For others, it might be narcotics they took for pain management, and became hooked. It does not all start with recreational use or what some might consider “irresponsible substance misuse”.

Drug addicts do not start taking drugs with the intention of becoming addicts. Just as people with anorexia do not go on a diet with the intention of becoming anorexic. Instead, they are diseases developed over time, triggered by decisions that many people take every day, and turn out fine.

What Are The Signs of Addiction?

One of the main signs is the previously mentioned loss of control – both self-control and of their lives. But this is just one of many reasons for concern, and it might be one of the later symptoms. The earlier addiction is detected and treated, the better the chances of recovery.

The early signs of addiction will depend on multiple factors, such as the dosage or the type of substance a person is using. While withdrawal symptoms might be different from person to person, some red flags are common to addiction in general. Some of the ones to look out for are:

As for withdrawal symptoms, this would depend on the drug. However, there are some that are frequently reported by people addicted to different substances. The timeline of symptoms also varies, but they can start as early as 6 hours after the last dosage. People often manifest symptoms such as:

While a few of these signs and symptoms shouldn’t be cause for concern, multiple at once can be a bad sign. Some people can easily be in denial about their condition, or not even be aware of it. It might take a loved one’s input for them to realize this might be more than just a habit.

Why Do Some People Become Addicted And Others Do Not?

First, people who suffer from mental disorders have a bigger chance of developing a drug addiction. They may use unhealthy methods to cope during particularly difficult moments in their lives. More often than not, drug misuse takes place as a form of self-medication. Experiencing both addiction and a mental disorder is called a dual diagnosis, and it is quite common. About 60% of people who suffer from addiction also deal with a psychiatric disorder.

As we said, some people can take drugs or drink without developing an actual addiction. Other people cannot – and they might not know beforehand. It is also useful to note that some people can do so at different stages in their lives, though they will likely always struggle with thoughts and temptations. Multiple factors that precede drug abuse are what might make someone more likely to become addicted.

Drugs, or any other destructive behavior that becomes addictive, have the power to mitigate mental disorder symptoms. So while alcohol might make someone feel relaxed, for instance, the substance can make them more depressed or numb. The two disorders affect and feed off of each other, like a vicious toxic cycle.

Next, there is the genetic factor of addiction. A person with a family history of addiction could have genes that make it more likely to happen. Studies prove that there is a link between addiction and certain genes. However, family history does not have to be a life sentence – not everyone with addicted relatives become addicted themselves. It is just a factor to take into consideration when making certain life choices.

Another potential trigger for addiction, and it is a main one, is trauma. Though the previous factors can be things to look out for, trauma is what can make someone start using. A traumatic experience can be abuse, natural disasters, divorce, unemployment, or any stressful event. Even with the aforementioned issues, a person might only truly start using drugs once there is a trigger, a final push towards it. And trauma might be just that.

Drug abuse grows from a lack of healthy coping mechanisms to deal with external stressors. That, added to any of the issues mentioned, can be enough for the development of drug addiction. 

What Do I Do If I Or Someone I Love Suffer From A Drug Addiction?

Admitting there is a problem might be the first step – but it is only the beginning of the journey to recovery. If you or someone you love is suffering from drug addiction, it is time to move forward and away from it. Quitting with the support of the right team can make recovery easier and help prevent relapse. And we at Coastal Detox hope to be that for you.

Contact us to learn more about your options and know what the next steps can be. We have a staff of trained professionals who are not only caring and compassionate, but who also understand that addiction isn’t a choice. Whether it is detox or drug treatment, we provide multiple services that can fulfill your needs.

Drug addiction can be overcome, even if there have been a few bumps on the way. While it is a disease, it is possible to live a healthy life, free of drug abuse.

What Is Enabling?

Enabling happens when a person supports someone’s addiction through their thoughts or behaviors. This can be done by a parent, a significant other, relatives – anyone that is part of an addict’s life. In a way, an enabler protects the addict from the consequences of their addiction and/or tries to justify their behavior. And while it is important to try to understand what an addict is going through, understanding their reasons should not be the same as justifying their actions.

Enablers are people who usually have good intentions, but don’t realize that their actions further encourage an addict’s behavior. By shielding them from facing the facts, it stops them from realizing just how dangerous and toxic what they’re doing is. This, in turn, makes them not want to seek help or even realize that they need it. Considering how many addicts are in denial about their condition, all an enabler does is support that denial.

Being an enabler might seem like you are helping by not being harsh on then, not adding to their probably already rough reality. However, as the addict prolongs their exposure to the substance, they become more and more addicted and out of control. And what’s worse, the damage being done is also getting more intense – and before too long, it might become permanent.

Confronting someone with an addiction is rough, and it won’t be easy. But in the long run, it is what is best for them. The more you enable them, the more they will lose respect for themselves and faith in themselves. And those feelings will slowly transfer to those who have enabled them.

In order to stop enabling, you must first recognize the cycles of enabling. Then, understand the difference between helping an addict and enabling them. And finally, break the cycle and start acting.

Signs of Enabling

In The Family

A parent or a spouse might have a harder time saying no or confronting their loved one about addiction. But that is not just because talking about it is difficult. Some of them might feel like they might be a factor that pushed them into addiction. They might blame themselves for the addiction somehow – either by thinking they caused it or because they feel like they could’ve done more to stop the substance abuse.

Actions and words send out messages to people suffering from addiction, even when we don’t realize it. Enabling can be subtle, but enough for someone abusing substances to continue doing so. Some of the most common ways families enable their loved one not to face their addiction is:

Some of these behaviors might seem like an attempt to help the addict be safe. Others might seem like well-intended “tough love”. But they all either allow them to continue abusing or just make things worse. At their core, they are all ways to avoid getting proper, professional help for addiction recovery. 

At School And/Or The Workplace

As previously mentioned, enabling is not something that only family members or friends might do. Many professional or academic institutions might have policies against drinking or using drugs on the grounds. However, only forbidding it is not all that a teacher, a mentor, or a boss can do. In fact, by avoiding an obvious case of someone in need of help or covering for them, they might also be enabling them. Even if they might seem ok, they might need help.

While these might not be close friends or be a part of their personal lives, they can still see and do something. Teachers are responsible for the well being of their students. Managers and bosses need to be on the lookout for their employees. Coworkers and colleagues might be as close as friends, and as such, they are close enough to help. Either way, it is possible to indirectly or even directly enable them in many ways, such as:

While they might not be the ones fully responsible for their students or coworkers, they can still act responsibly. If not for the sake of the addict, then at least for the safety of those around them. Many of these institutions have counselors, HR reps, and other people who might help them in some way.

learn to say no

Risks of Enabling

As substance abuse becomes the root of toxic behavior, being around someone engaging in it might drive someone to behave negatively as well. Things are bound to go downhill relationship-wise because substance abuse leads to negative, sometimes risky behavior. When people are in a situation where they are pushed to their limit, it is hard to predict how they’ll behave. 

Eventually, abusive behavior, such as verbal or physical aggression, might take place. These altercations and fights might not just affect those directly involved, but those around them as well. That is especially the case for children who might become equally traumatized by witnessing this experience. Parental substance abuse can create trauma in many ways.

In fact, kids and teenagers might also be at risk of becoming influenced by that. This influence can go beyond perceiving and learning toxic behaviors. When growing up with an addict, children and teenagers might be influenced to abuse substances as well. It might happen as early as in their teens or later in life. 

Younger members of the family might also engage in what is called role-reversal. This takes place when the children take on the roles of their parents. They might start working at an early age to support the family because their parents can’t keep a job. They could start raising their siblings on their own or take on duties that a parent is meant to have at the house. This leaves emotional scars and can lead to emotional problems in the future.

A common problem among family members dealing with addiction is codependency, and it presents itself in many ways. Essentially, it happens when two people rely on each other in a dysfunctional way. In the case of addiction, it is a behavioral condition where a person enables another’s addiction, irresponsibility, and/or under-achievement. After some time, the addict will become too dependent on their loved ones, and their loved ones might take on their suffering and responsibilities as if it were their own.

How To Stop Enabling

First and foremost, truly helpful behavior should be about getting help for rehabilitation and getting rid of addiction. Not through force, threats, insults, fights, ultimatums, or punishments. Getting treatment should be the basis and the motive behind everything you try to do for an addict. By keeping that in mind, you can remember and understand better how to help rather than enable.

If you have enabled them so far, that does not mean all hope is lost. There is a lot you can start doing right now in order to lead them to seek help for their addiction. 

Set boundaries – these are meant to be for you, not for the addict. You cannot control their behavior, but you can decide the role it will have in your life. You need to explain these boundaries and stick to them as well clearly. Things like “not using my car to go to bars”, “not using at the house”, “not taking my money to buy drugs or alcohol”, etc.

Do not make excuses for them – understanding why they might be abusing substances is one thing (a divorce, unemployment, depression, anxiety, etc.). Saying that is it ok to use drugs or drink because of it, however, is enabling. Do not justify their abuse, do not cover, and/or lie for them.

Talk to them about their addiction – It might seem difficult, but there has to be a calm, objective talk about the problem. An intervention organized by someone who can properly lead one is a great option.

Encourage them to seek treatment (on their own) – Tell them you support them and that you can help them seek treatment. However, make sure they are taking action towards recovery and do not baby or do it for them. They should be the ones researching, visiting centers, finding support groups, etc.

Participate in family activities – Whether it is support groups or at the rehab center, taking part in the recovery process is important. Many centers provide family therapy, which is a way of working on the dynamic of the family, providing information, and making family members understand how they can truly help.

Not enabling is not just about the well-being of the person suffering from addiction. It is also about your own health and that of your family. By neglecting them through enabling their behavior, you are also neglecting yourself and other loved ones. Addiction can take a toll on those who are not engaging in substance abuse, too. 

Get The Help Needed At Coastal Detox

The first step towards recovery might seem big and scary, both for an addict and for those who care about them. We all want the rehabilitation process to be as smooth and painless as possible – and Coastal Detox can provide that. 

Our facility is located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, and it is the perfect setting for those who want to start over, free from addiction. Patients have the best-quality accommodations and can try chef-prepared meals. Our Stuart, Florida center is committed to your safety, comfort, and privacy as you receive treatment.

Besides medical and psychiatric help, we have many additional services that have therapeutic properties. From holistic treatment to trauma therapy and relapse prevention, we go above and beyond. And we have services that suit the needs of many for every step of the way, including detox, inpatient treatment, and even a program for working professionals.

Coastal Detox accepts most major insurance providers, and we have partnered up with many of these insurers in order to make treatment more affordable to patients. If you need help, we can clarify any doubts and concerns regarding insurance coverage or payment options.

If this seems like what you or your loved one might need, do not hesitate to contact us. We can give you all the information you need so that you can choose the option that fits your needs. It doesn’t matter how bad things are – everyone deserves to get help, and it is not too late.

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  • Thank you Costal Detox, 9 months sober now and loving every bit of it! I hate how mean I was while detoxing but then again it’s all part of the process. The staff were so caring and kind - helpful in so many ways! The environment was so comfortable and pleasing to be in!

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    Addison R.
  • This facility is amazing.I would highly recommend it to anyone struggling with addiction.The entire personnel from Judy,the director to Annie,the outreach coordinator will facilitate a smooth intake process.Your recovery journey awaits you with an on-site therapist in sight .All the tools are here for your ample needs.The techs know directly who to refer you to.,especially Tony and Karen. Confidentiality and professionalism are their top priority. Take the step

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    Joan C.
  • My loved one went to went to Coastal Detox and did awesome there. Great clinical and BHT department. Staff is wonderful as well as the food. Every client gets one on one attention from staff members. The holistic services are very effective. Highly recommend Coastal Detox.

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    Haley O.
  • Coastal Detox is an amazing facility. Caring and professional staff available 24/7. I was dreading going. Now I only wish I had not waited so long. Top shelf facility and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking freedom from any form of addiction.

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    Lindsey H.
  • Coastal detox has an amazing clinical and BHT department offering the best care around Martin county. All the staff going above and beyond to assist their patients and families. They always have something different on the menu to serve and it’s always delicious. If you or someone you know if looking for help do not hesitate and call coastal detox.

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