drug cocktail

Cocktail Recipes That Spell Rehab

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Drug Cocktail – Dabbling with one type of drug on a regular basis is moving a person towards dependence. What begins as occasional use can very quickly move up a gear to twice or three times a week and before a user knows it they are finding any excuse to use daily.

Doubling dependence – Doubling the risks:

It is very common for users to mix substances in their search for a higher “high”, but entering the world of drug cocktails is a very dangerous thing to do. Drugs are loners by nature. They do what they are supposed to do on an individual basis and are not made to mix with others.

Those amateur mixologists who search for heady formulas and tinker with any illegal substance at hand really need to understand what a mixture of substances taken together can do to a person.

Commonly mixed substances:

The imagination of those mixing drugs is enhanced by the range of substances, chemicals and additives available, but there are some mainstays that many drug users see as a normal part of the social scene.

These include Marijuana, Amphetamines, Ecstasy, Cocaine and Heroin, and to make matters worse, many taking drug combinations wash them down with alcohol. This really is asking for trouble. If you are determined to use drugs, or to have a night out where excess alcohol will be consumed please don’t combine the two.

A legendary drug cocktail:

We will mention one drug cocktail that many see as the ultimate high. While this may be the case for some it also spells the end of the line for others as their final destination is the morgue!

Speedball:

There are a number of variations and ways to administer this long-established cocktail, but the most powerful and potentially lethal combination is the mixing of cocaine and heroin taken by injection. Although it is true that some users still stick by the original ‘recipe’ which is cocaine and morphine delivered in the same way.

Most speedballers will mix the 2 drugs together, a drug cocktail in one syringe for shooting up, but the more extreme user will fill one syringe with heroin, the other with cocaine and then empty both syringes into the arm simultaneously.

What makes this combo so effective?

The effects of this combination are so telling because the individual drugs come from opposite ends of the spectrum. Cocaine is a stimulant, Heroin a depressant. The dual result is an extremely intense, ultra-charged euphoria that takes the user into their own world, but it must be clearly understood that the dangers of overdosing on such a combination raise the stakes when it comes to a user being taken out of this world permanently.

Addiction at the double:

The other thing that must be realised in terms of cocaine and heroin is that on their own they are highly addictive substances. Once regular use of either becomes commonplace the person concerned is heading towards addiction. To use the two together really is doubling that date with addiction and the very real possibility of suffering a fatal overdose.

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LGBTQ Drug Abuse

The LGBTQ Community And Dependence

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

LGBTQ Drug Abuse – LGBTQ is a bit of a mouthful, but it is an abbreviation that has been in regular use since the 1990’s. Here’s what it stands for and some details on why the LGBTQ community and dependence issues are far more prevalent than amongst other social groups.

LGBTQ:

The origins of the abbreviation stem from the 1990’s when the need for a more inclusive term was needed for “the gay community”. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (and/or Questioning) Individuals or Identities.

Challenges that create high addiction rates:

Those individuals belonging to this global community face several challenges in life that have shown they face a higher risk of addiction than others.

To highlight the increased risk, it is estimated that while 9% of the general population abuse illegal substances this figure more than doubles amongst the LGBTQ community with estimates placed at between 20 and 30%.

LGBTQ Drug Abuse – The additional social pressures that are placed on those in this community prove overwhelming for many. Examples of what many struggle to come to terms with include:

  • Their sexual orientations
  • Stigmatisation
  • Discrimination
  • Open ridicule
  • Public humiliation
  • Threats of a violent nature that include hate crimes
  • Abuse – This is both emotional and physical
  • Rejection by family and friends
  • Work discrimination as well as unequal opportunities in the workplace.

Specific treatment programs are required:

With any addiction there is a need to get to the root cause of problems that have caused the dependence in the first place. When those belonging to the LGBTQ community look for treatment they need counsellors who fully understand the pressures their life-style brings.

Many try to hide their sexual preferences which only adds pressure to daily life. Counselling and treatment needs to be of a specific nature and must focus on helping the person concerned to come to terms with what they are, to embrace this and move on with their lives while leaving behind the stigma they and others feel about their sexual preferences.

An additional reason for specific treatment is that many from this community are suffering with more than one disorder.

Co-occurring disorders:

Classification of a co-occurring disorder is when a person suffers 2 or more disorders. An example is for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and are also suffering with a psychological disorder. Common examples of such disorders within the LGBTQ community include:

  • Acute depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Excessive stress levels
  • Self-harm and suicidal tendencies

It is absolutely vital that anyone from the community is comprehensively assessed to establish exactly what addictions and disorders they are suffering from.

To treat an addiction whilst ignoring a disorder, or to treat a disorder while not also fully focusing on the addiction concerned can be self-defeating. Treatment of one addiction or disorder while ignoring another makes it highly unlikely that long-term recovery will be achievable.

Do not be afraid to seek help:

LGBTQ Drug Abuse – There are organisations and voluntary groups that have been established to help those belonging to the LGBTQ community. Those looking for assistance should seek these out to understand what rehabilitation treatment and counselling options are available.

The LGBTQ community and dependence ratio is something that must be addressed. Anyone currently suffering should not keep things to themselves or hide their sexuality. By doing so they are piling personal pressure on; a pressure that often leads into spiraling addiction and the raft of physical and psychological problems this creates.

There are professional rehab personnel as well as recovering addicts who are ready and willing to assist. If you are in need of assistance please reach out now and you will realise how many care.

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Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Drug withdrawal symptoms present addicts with a two-pronged fear factor that many find easier to ignore than face up to. Turning their backs on this fear allows them to continue drug abuse and avoid the reality of just how serious their situation really is.

The intensity of these fears will vary from person to person but it will always come wrapped with uncertainty. This uncertainty relates to their need and desire for drugs and how they will possibly cope without them if they commit to addiction treatment. Such a conundrum is the reason behind why so many addicts have false or delayed starts before any true healing process can be put into place.

Here are the two sides of fear that addicts experience and which cause them so much angst.

Fear of withdrawal:

It is totally understandable that fear is a major factor for those who have finally ended their denial relating to just how dependent on drugs they have become. To compound matters this fear comes in two very different forms and it is debatable which is the most daunting.

Fear of going without their substance of choice:

Whatever substance a person is addicted to it will be an integral part of their daily routine. They will have been using for varying lengths of time and it goes without saying that the longer they have been addicted the more attached they have become.

To realise that withdrawal and treatment mean they will not be able to rely on those much needed ‘hits’ is a fear that many do not wish to face. They cannot comprehend how they will possibly get through life without the supportive crutch of drugs. This is the first major reason why so many addicts shy away from seeking much needed treatment.

Fear of the withdrawal process:

The withdrawal process is not a pleasant one. The constant and sustained abuse of drugs affects a person both physically and mentally and if use is suddenly ceased the mind and body react with painful thoughts and feelings. The fear of this pain is also a huge barrier preventing many addicts from kicking their habit.

Withdrawal is manageable:

What addicts need to understand is that while drug withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant they are also manageable. These symptoms will vary in severity and length dependent upon such things as a person’s physical and mental health, the drug they are addicted to and how long they have been addicted, but there are common symptoms that most will experience. These include:

  • Stomach pains
  • Nauseous feelings
  • Vomitting
  • Headaches
  • Hot sweats and cold shivers
  • Aching muscles
  • Rising levels of stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia or uneasy, erratic sleep patterns

Help is on-hand:

Those addicts who have made the brave decision to quit drugs should avail themselves of professional rehabilitation assistance. By doing so they will have qualified staff on hand to explain the procedures and projected timescales involved while also offering reassuring words of advice and re-emphasizing that while drug withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant they are certainly manageable.

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Drug Withdrawal

Drug Withdrawal

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Drug Withdrawal is no easy feat, but it is important to understand that millions before you have managed it and millions more will continue to do so.

Let’s take a look at the issues which surround drug withdrawal and how best to achieve a life of continued sobriety.

When withdrawal begins:

Once a person forms a dependence upon a substance it means they cannot do without it. From the moment they cease use withdrawal symptoms will follow. It is important to understand that different drugs will have differing withdrawal symptoms and timespans. This is dependent upon how they interact with your brain and bodily functions.

When taken, drugs are absorbed and remain active in the body for differing amounts of time. You will often hear this being referred to as the drug’s “half-life”. This is in relation to the different withdrawal time periods for each substance.

Severity and duration:

The severity and duration of drug withdrawal is certainly influenced by the level of a person’s dependency on that particular substance as well as other factors which include:

  • The length of time you have been abusing the substance
  • The type of substance being used and abused
  • The favoured method of drug taking – This relates to whether you snort, smoke, inject or swallow the drug
  • Amount of the substance taken for each “hit”
  • Genetic makeup and family history
  • Medical factors that include the state of your physical and mental health

It stands to reason that the longer you have been addicted, the more pronounced the withdrawal symptoms will be.

Timeline examples of drug withdrawal:

The following information is a general overview and will not be specific to all. Some will feel withdrawal symptoms for a shorter period of time, others longer.

  • Heroin: Withdrawal begins within 12 hours from last dose, peaks between 24-48 hours and can last between a few weeks and a few months
  • Prescription opiates (e.g. methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin and morphine): Withdrawal starts within 8-12 hours for the majority of prescribed opiates, peaks between 12-48 hours and lasts 5-10 days. Methadone withdrawal is the exception. This begins within 24-48 hours, peaks in the first few days and lasts between a fortnight and one month.
  • Benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan): Withdrawal generally begins within 1-4 days and peaks during the first two weeks. It is possible that this group of drugs can cause protracted withdrawal lasting months.
  • Cocaine: Withdrawal starts within hours of the last dose, peaks in a few days and lasts between 1-10 weeks.
  • Alcohol: Withdrawal generally begins between 8 hours and a few days from the last drink, peaks within 24-72 hours and lasts a few weeks

Overcoming drug addiction is achievable:

While the above does not make particularly pretty reading, the fact is that the time spent going through withdrawal is nothing compared to the length of time you will have been addicted. As we stated at the beginning, drug withdrawal can be achieved. With strong will-power, determination, courage and self-belief you can kick your habit and look to a far better future.

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Rehab Aftercare

Why Aftercare Must Never Be An Afterthought

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Rehab Aftercare – It cannot be stated too strongly to those who have successfully finished a stint in rehab just how important it is to continue with aftercare treatment and therapy.

Rehab is just the beginning:

Those recovering from addiction have taken 2 major strides.

  • Ended denial: They have quit denial, admitted that their substance of choice currently has the better of them and sought professional assistance.
  • Completed inpatient rehab: They have been through an extended stay as an inpatient at a rehab clinic where their treatment and healing has begun and progressed. Counselling has helped them to understand the root cause of their problems and given them the physical and mental ‘tools’ to help maintain sobriety.

Continuous care required:

While most addicts are fully aware that their challenges do not end with a successful rehab stint, many fail to understand the importance of continued, regular counselling and therapy.

This is known as Rehab Aftercare and it should never be an afterthought.

Here are 3 of the many reasons why aftercare is such a crucial part of the continuous journey of recovery:

Transition from rehab to a home environment:

Remaining sober during your time as an inpatient is relatively easy. This is due to the blanket-ban on substance use and the fact that you have every resource required to help with recovery.

Moving from this protective environment into reality can be a shock to the system. This is one of the major reasons so many recovering addicts relapse during the early stages of recovery.

A key way to avoid negative thoughts and temptations is to fully lean on the rehab aftercare services that should have been arranged before you left rehab.

Please understand that you cannot really have too much aftercare during the initial stages of your homecoming.

Achieving a program for success:

We have already mentioned the huge step taken in accepting and doing something about your addiction. This impetus needs to be maintained, and a solid, sensible, aftercare program can help achieve this.

Aftercare provides a path that can be followed for the long-term future. There will be different branches of this path to travel, such as the one that helps maintain a safe distance between you and your old addiction, and the ones that help you understand, achieve and surpass the goals your purposely set.

The important thing to remember about aftercare is that there are many different flavours and there will certainly be one that is to your liking.

Helping to create a new social network:

Your old social network is likely to be littered with those who continue to use and abuse substances. While this social network needs to be left behind, it is important that some type of social network is established and maintained.

By taking advantage of a comprehensive aftercare programme and availing of the services that best fit your needs means you are opening new social network doors.

New friendships will be formed with those who are also striving to maintain sobriety and these relationships will give added impetus to your determination in maintaining sobriety.

The key to continued sobriety:

Committing to a comprehensive aftercare programme means a recovering addict is committing to a life of sobriety. They are giving themselves the best chance of a future free of substance abuse and the issues it brings.