Addiction Recovery: Illegal Drugs

Illegal drugs such as meth, cocaine, and crack can not only land users in trouble with the law, but also put their lives at risk.

While many drugs have the ability to lead to drug addiction, and the corresponding problems that arise from abusing them, there are certain substances that are forbidden by the law. These dangerous drugs are made and distributed through illegal means, the cost of which can lead to heavy fines, arrests, and even incarceration.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), illegal drugs and/or illicit drug use can include opiates/narcotics (heroin), stimulants (cocaine, meth, crack), depressants (GHB, Rohypnol), hallucinogens (MDMA, LSD, mushrooms, peyote, marijuana), steroids (anabolic steroids), inhalants (solvents, aerosol sprays, gases), and designer drugs (bath salts).

Those who abuse these substances endure the mental, physical, and emotional impact they cause in pursuit of a “high” that can alter their moods or feelings. The side effects of these drugs can lead to irreversible damage of the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, and overdoses can be life-threatening.

In addition to the dangers these drugs can do to a person’s overall health and well-being, the abuse of illegal substances can lead to jail time, large fines, and a felony record.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), drug-related crimes include using, possessing, manufacturing, trafficking, or distributing drugs classified to have abuse potential. It also applies to crimes (violent or otherwise) that are committed as the result of the effects a drug can have on a person’s behavior.

The production, abuse, and sales of illegal drugs have a profound effect on the country as a whole, costing American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year to cover health care, as well as costs related to crime and work loss.

One of the ways to get illegal drugs off the street and out of the hands of addicts is for those in need of getting clean to get help at a licensed rehabilitation facility. Under the care, guidance, and expertise of trained medical professionals and specialists, a person can successfully detox from harmful substances in a safe and secure setting. They’ll also be given the support and tools necessary to achieve the goal of lifelong sobriety.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help with drug addiction, call 1-800-RECOVERY now.

Meth Addiction

Methamphetamines, or meth, is a drug that has ravaged entire portions of the country and altered lives forever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2014, meth was one of the top ten deadliest drugs abused in the United States, leading to 3,728 deaths.

A highly potent drug that’s made from a combination of cold medication ingredients and toxic chemicals, meth works as a stimulant that increases the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the brain. Meth is a white powder that users swallow, smoke, snort, or inject.

Meth gives users a first big high (producing a feeling of euphoria for some) but it quickly goes away. Because the drug taps into the part of the brain that gets stuck in the reward loop, it rapidly causes the addiction to take hold.

The telltale signs and symptoms of meth addiction are similar to that of cocaine or amphetamine addictions and can include increased physical activity, extreme weight loss, sleeplessness, paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, violent behavior, tremors, intense itching, dental problems, increased blood pressure, depression, sweating, nausea, and headache.

Meth addicts are also at high risk for the drug’s possibly deadly side effects, such as seizures, elevated heart rate, respiratory problems, and overdose.

In addition, meth abuse can impact a person’s judgment and lead to risky behaviors with dangerous consequences (including sharing infected needles or engaging in unprotected sex), and the long-term effects of meth addiction can leave irreversible damage on the brain, kidney, heart, and other vital organs.

In order to break the addiction to meth, it’s urged that a person detox with the help of medical professionals in a certified rehabilitation center. Withdrawal from meth can include severe depression, psychosis, anxiety, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and intense cravings. Enduring these symptoms without the guidance of professionals can not only be detrimental to a full recovery, but can be life-threatening as well.

Meth addicts who check themselves into Recovery Centers of America, will first undergo detoxification in our safe, secure, 24-hour monitored facility. Our highly trained staff of doctors, nurses, specialists, and therapists will be on hand to help patients with all of the mental and physical side effects of the detoxification process. Detox from meth can take between 4-7 days, but may be longer or shorter depending on the severity of the addiction.

Once the drug has been fully removed from the patient’s system, they’ll enter inpatient and outpatient treatment (for 30 days and 60 days, respectively), where they will take part in various therapies and groups that are specifically designed to give them the tools and methods they need for lifelong sobriety.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is an illegal drug that causes many abusers to face major health, legal, and financial consequences.

Its draw is potent and its use widespread: as of 2014, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that there were an estimated 1.5 million users in the country.

A powerfully addictive stimulant found in both rock and powder form, cocaine is either snorted or injected by users. Cocaine can give users a feeling of euphoria and energy as it stimulates the brain’s dopamine system, creating a reward loop that results in bingeing and crashing.

Because the perceived “positive” effects of cocaine happen almost immediately and then quickly wear off, those who become addicted continually up their intake in order to try and hold on to the high for longer periods of time.

The effects of cocaine addiction can have both short- and long-term physiological, psychological, and physical effects. Some of the signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse include restlessness, anxiety, irritability, panic, nausea, abdominal pain, tremors, vertigo, nosebleeds, collapsed nose, headaches, extreme weight loss, slow reaction times, memory loss, and engaging in erratic and/or violent behavior.

Cocaine abuse and addiction can be deadly; in 2014, over 5,000 people died as a result of its use. Overdoses can cause cardiac arrest or seizures, and cocaine abuse can make addicts susceptible to other life-threatening dangers, including HIV and Hepatitis-B, as a result of sharing infected needles or engaging in unprotected sex while under the influence.

Withdrawing from cocaine is necessary for a user wishing to recover from an addiction, but it should only be done under the supervision of medical professionals at a certified rehabilitation facility, in order to accommodate the addicts’ needs. For instance, cocaine addicts can experience serious symptoms of withdrawal, including depression, fatigue, muscle aches, sleeplessness, chills, confusion, lack of pleasure, nerve pain, increased cravings, and suicidal thoughts or actions, making it imperative that an addict seek treatment rather than try to detox at home.

Recovery Centers of America treat cocaine addicts by starting them in the detoxification process, in order to get their mind and body clean from the substance. Detox can take between 4-7 days, but may vary depending on the severity of the addiction and how much cocaine is in the patient’s system. During the detox process, a patient will be monitored around the clock in our safe, secure facility, where they will receive proper care from our highly trained staff of doctors, nurses, therapists, and specialists.

Once the patient is fully detoxed from cocaine, they’ll enter inpatient and outpatient care (for 30 days and 60 days, respectively), where they will partake in various therapies and care programs that give them a better understanding of their disease, information on how to manage their recovery, and help in achieving the goal of lifelong sobriety.

Crack Addiction

During the 1980s, the use and abuse of crack cocaine was nothing short of a deadly epidemic. It led to a wave of crime, including homicides, largely in U.S. cities, and deeply impacted African American communities. Over the course of 30 years, crack continues to wreak havoc on the lives of those it affects.

Crack is powdered cocaine that is mixed with water and baking soda, which makes it into a “rock”-like substance. Crack is smoked and delivers the stimulant directly into the user’s lungs, where it takes effect almost immediately.

The powerful stimulant gives users the same effects as the cocaine (feelings of euphoria) from which it’s derived, but the high is not only quicker, it is often stronger and longer lasting. Because users can get such a potent high from crack, and because it takes hold of the central nervous system and the brain’s dopamine, there is a great risk for abuse and addiction.

Once crack takes hold, it becomes increasingly difficult to slow down use, and the symptoms of addiction begin to show. Some of the common signs of crack addiction include excessive energy, trembling, nosebleeds, red eyes, fatigue, unpredictable mood swings, violent tendencies, difficulty speaking or swallowing, depression, drastic changes in appetite, irritability, hallucinations, and paranoia.

The intense side effects of crack can lead to an overdose, which can have fatal consequences, such as seizures, coma, and death. If an addict shows signs of an overdose, it’s vital that they receive emergency medical care.

Addiction (including addiction to crack) is a disease that cannot be cured, but it can be treated. In order to get the best possible treatment and recover from crack addiction, a person should go to an accredited rehabilitation facility.

A major reason for this is to help with the possible withdrawal symptoms that may occur when ridding the mind and body of crack. These side effects can include agitation, nausea, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, intense cravings, and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Under the care and supervision of medical professionals, an addict will be able to safely and securely detox. At Recovery Centers of America, patients will have around-the-clock care from our expert team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and specialists.

The detoxification phase can last 4-7 days, but may be longer or shorter depending on the extent of the addiction and how much of the drug is in the patient’s system. Once the patient is free of the drug, they will enter inpatient and outpatient care for 30 days and 60 days, respectively. Inpatient and outpatient care consist of proven therapies that educate, empower, and give patients the tools they need to achieve their goal of a sober life.

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