Drugs And Rehab

Overview

Colorado Drugs And Rehab Information

When we think of drug addiction, what immediately comes to mind for one person might be different from another’s point of view. There is such a broad range of drugs that people can potentially become addicted to, and depending on the individual, the treatments may be as diverse as the drugs themselves.

Not everybody is addicted in the same way, just like not all drugs present the same symptoms in addiction. Because of this disparity, all addiction treatment is addressed individually, and a program developed that is specific to the addiction and the individual in treatment.

Physical, emotional, and mental health issues are part and parcel of addiction

If you are suffering from an addiction, or suspect that you or someone you care about may be addicted to a substance, Peaks Recovery has put together some information to help you find out more about these drugs, how they affect your body and mind, and what you can do to get help in Colorado.

If you fail to see the answers to your questions here, or in any other parts of the Peaks Recovery website, don’t hesitate to call us. We are a judgment-free facility and would love to help.

Alcohol

Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is one of the most common substance abuse issues we see in Colorado and across the country. Since it is legal and widely socially accepted, it is readily available and a common, everyday thing that we see on television and in just about every public place.

While everybody is susceptible to alcohol abuse, the simple act of drinking occasionally does not necessarily put you at risk. However, those whose alcohol use is always to excess are highly susceptible to becoming an alcoholic. Lack of control, even in social situations where everybody is drinking, can be an early indicator of the potential for alcohol addiction.

Alcoholism can present itself in myriad ways. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to diagnose. We might conclude that an individual has an alcohol addiction if:

  • They spend a lot of time drinking alone
  • They need a drink first thing in the morning
  • They don’t necessarily drink every day but indulge in binge-drinking on a regular basis
  • They drink when they are under a lot of stress
  • They hide their drinking
  • They are missing work or school because of their drinking
  • They are getting into trouble with the law because of/as a result of things that they did while drinking

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous legal drugs available. It can cause a person to put themselves or others in danger due to a lack of inhibitions or impulse control. If a person is drinking and gets behind the wheel of a car, there is a danger that they could cause great harm to property, to themselves, or to others.

The unfortunate results of alcoholism are far-reaching as well:

  • Risk of liver disease, leading to a high risk of liver cancer
  • Inability to hold a job
  • Loss of hope, inability to follow through on goals and dreams
  • Mental illness
  • Permanent, irreversible brain damage
  • And a long list of other issues

Click button below for information on alcohol detox and rehab in Colorado or if you are looking to leave your current state for a change of pace and environment, reach out today.

Learn More | Alcohol Addiction

OTC (over-the-counter) Medications

Over-the-counter medications are often overlooked as a source of addiction, quite simply because they are readily available at any pharmacy without a prescription. However, overuse or abuse of OTC medications can lead to very serious side effects as some ingredients can become toxic in your system, leading to organ failure, coma, and death.

The prevalence of OTC medication abuse in Colorado and across the greater United States is simply because these items are widely available – sometimes from a grocery or corner store – so for some children, it is the first line of experimentation.

Some examples of commonly abused OTC medications include:

  • Cough syrups with dextromethorphan (DM)
  • Diet pills (wake-ups)
  • Sleeping pills (Tylenol PM)
  • Dramamine (Gravol, usually taken for nausea)
  • Muscle relaxants (Robax)
  • Allergy medicines containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Abuse of any of these drugs can lead to serious side-effects and systemic toxicity that can lead to:

  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart problems
  • Palpitations
  • Blurred vision
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Inability to speak
  • Memory loss
  • Coma
  • Death

Unfortunately, once symptoms of organ failure begin to arise, it is generally too late to do anything about it. Even a small amount of damage to the liver or kidneys can cause permanent damage.

Though most states like Colorado have laws governing how much of these drugs can be purchased by one person in a given period of time, there is still a risk of the person going to several stores to get what they need.

While the risk of physical addiction is quite low, this type of abuse is often a gateway to using more potent prescription medications and could be an indicator of more serious problems on the horizon.

Stimulants

Stimulants, also known as “uppers”, are a class of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, lending energy, endurance, and over-confidence. They work by producing copious amounts of dopamine, which is the chemical that stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. After continued or prolonged use, the brain will no longer produce this chemical naturally, so the urge to use becomes greater in order to recapture that high.

Tolerance builds up quickly, too, so that more and more of the drug needs to be used to get the same high. For this reason, stimulant abuse often leads to addiction.

Examples of stimulants include:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine (aka crystal meth)
  • Crack cocaine
  • Ice
  • Uppers (bennies, black beauties, truck drivers, wake-ups)
  • “Bath salts”
  • Prescription amphetamines (Dexedrine, Ritalin, Biphetamine)

Stimulant addiction is easy to fall into and can lead to many serious side-effects including:

  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Psychosis (temporary or prolonged episodes)
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Panic attacks
  • Permanent brain damage

The following symptoms are associated with stimulant addiction:

  • Inability to focus
  • Constant state of agitation
  • Nonstop talking
  • Extreme and sometimes violent mood swings
  • Profuse sweating
  • Paranoia
  • Sleeplessness and insomnia
  • Lying or otherwise being dishonest and deceitful
  • Inability to hold a job
  • Sudden and extreme weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

If you would like more information on stimulant abuse and rehab in Colorado or if you are looking to leave your current state for a change of pace and environment, reach out today.

Depressants/Tranquilizers/Benzos

Depressants are the polar opposite of stimulants: they slow down the central nervous system and give the user the feeling of calm relaxation. The type of people who are most susceptible to this type of addiction are those for whom anxiety is an ongoing issue.

Different types of depressants/tranquilizers include:

  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Librium
  • Serax
  • Restoril
  • Ambien
  • Tranxene

If taken as directed to treat a condition for which they are prescribed, these drugs are relatively harmless. However, none of them are meant to be taken at a maintenance dose; in fact, they are most often prescribed to be taken on an “as needed” basis. Even on an as-needed dosage, though, these drugs can be highly physically addictive, causing permanent, irreversible side effects that can include:

  • Drooling
  • Uncontrolled mouth movements
  • Shuffling gait
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Worsening of anxiety disorders
  • Withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly
  • Risk of permanent liver or kidney damage, or heart problems
  • Inability to sleep without them

Drugs of this type cause drowsiness and can lead to an inability to concentrate, make decisions or even participate in normal conversations.

Most people start taking depressants when they are prescribed by their doctor. Many are surprised when they try to stop taking them and find that they are addicted.

If you need advice or help with depressive drug dependency in Colorado, find out more about how we can help.

Learn More | StimulantDrug Addiction

Prescription medications

Prescription drugs are a wide classification that runs the gamut of all types of different medications, some controlled substances, and some not. Many types of prescription medications, controlled drugs like pain medicine or tranquilizers, for instance, have a high potential for abuse, but just because a drug is not considered a “controlled” drug does not mean it is harmless.

Antidepressants, for example, are one of the most addictive types of drugs on the market today. Many people need them simply to function in their day-to-day lives, but for others, it was given to them by their doctors to control symptoms of sadness, depression, grief, or anxiety, and once they’ve been taking it for any length of time it’s next to impossible to discontinue use. Some examples of these drugs include:

  • Paxil
  • Zoloft
  • Adderall
  • Wellbutrin
  • Effexor
  • Prozac
  • Celexa
  • Cipralex

When the patient stops taking them, they can experience serious side effects that include panic attacks, brain fog, inability to concentrate, headaches, uncontrollable crying, and more. Many report physical pain and body aches as a result of attempting to stop or wean off these meds, and even after months of not taking them, the symptoms can persist.

Anti-depressants are only a small facet of the prescription drugs that could be susceptible to abuse. Other classes of drugs that could be addictive include opioid pain medications, prescription cough syrups, sleeping medications, and psychotropic drugs. Often, the addiction is not recognized until the individual tries to discontinue the medicine.

Pills and prescription meds are traded and sold on the street as well. Many types of pills can be crushed up and inhaled/snorted nasally, or dissolved for injection. Drugs obtained in this way are most often obtained through criminal activity, either through theft, robbery or with prescriptions obtained under false pretenses.

Children are very susceptible to harm from prescription medication, either stealing it from their parents, or from friends’ medicine cabinets. If you suspect you or your child has a prescription medication addiction, call today to find out what you can do.

Learn More | Prescription Drug Addiction

Opioids

Opioid addiction is at an epidemic level in Colorado and throughout the United States, and some states have even declared it an emergency in order to receive federal funding to combat the problem.

Opioids are a class of drugs that are derived from the opium poppy, which is then processed into hundreds of different drugs. Some are legal and available by prescription and are mostly prescribed for acute and severe pain. Some, like heroin, are highly illegal.

Common opioids include:

  • Heroin
  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Codeine (Tylenol #3)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (Percocet)

There are also synthetic forms of opioids that fall into the same class. These include:

  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Fentanyl
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone

Opioids, whether synthetic or not, are highly physically addictive. The wide availability and the relative affordability of heroin on the street today means that addicts have few barriers to feed their addictions. Many start on prescription pain medicines, possibly after an accident or injury, and when the doctor won’t prescribe it anymore, they turn to the street to feed their cravings.

Opioids work on the pleasure and pain relief centers of the brain, releasing endorphins into the body. With prolonged and continuous use, the body stops producing its own endorphins, and an individual can experience severe pain and other symptoms when attempting to discontinue.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Shaking, tremors
  • Uncontrollable leg movements (kicking)
  • Inability to relax
  • Profuse sweating
  • Intense agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Physical pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe headaches, body aches
  • Emotional trauma
  • Depression, despair
  • And more

These symptoms, however, are just the beginning. Although the detox phase of recovery from opioid addiction may only last for 4 – 7 days, it’s the post-detox recovery that is the most important and often elusive. Opioid addicts have a high rate of relapse, and unless there is a plan in place for after detox is over, it is highly possible that a full recovery will be unsuccessful.

If you or a loved one is addicted to opioids, take heart – there is hope. Call Peaks Recovery today to find out about opioid addiction recovery programs in Colorado and how we can help.

Learn More | Opioid Addiction