Tampa Cocaine Addiction Center

Tampa Cocaine Addiction Center: Your Brain on Cocaine

Many people view cocaine as a party drug, but the reality is there's nothing fun about it at all. Every year, there are thousands of overdose deaths.

While you may take extra precautions to ensure you don't overdose, you may still be doing a lot of damage to your body. In addition to that, your addiction may be affecting your ability to manage your relationships and responsibilities.

This article will explain everything you need to know about your brain on cocaine and a Tampa cocaine addiction center can help.

What Does Cocaine Do to Your Brain?

There are two main ways cocaine affects your brain: physiologically and emotionally.

Physiological Effects

One of the main physiological effects cocaine has on your brain is addiction. With repeated use, your brain chemistry changes, which makes you crave and physically rely on cocaine.

With long-term use, you may start having seizures or seizure disorders. Abusing cocaine can possibly also increase your risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

In addition, cocaine usage can raise the cortisol levels in your brain. This can have a permanent negative impact on your blood pressure and, in turn, damage your cardiovascular system.

Cocaine can cause your brain to literally be eaten away. This condition is called cocaine-induced leukoencephalopathy, and while it's very rare, it can still happen to you.

A more common occurrence is the advanced aging of your brain. A study showed that in people who had either used the drug recently or in the past, their brains were losing double the amount of gray matter per year when compared to non-addicts.

Needless to say, cocaine has only negative effects on your brain, even though using will give you temporary pleasure.

Emotional Effects

While cocaine can make you feel extremely happy and sensitive, these are only short-term effects. You may also feel paranoid, restless, or irritable and you may not feel like eating much either.

Because it also boosts dopamine in the brain (in the beginning), you may feel more energized as well. This is why many people use it to stay up when partying.

However, as time goes on, you'll start suffering from adverse effects regarding your mood. The main problems are anxiety and aggression. As a result, your personality can completely change due to the abuse of cocaine.

Check into a Tampa Cocaine Addiction Center

Cocaine can have a devastating effect on not only your brain, but also the quality of relationships with your loved ones. It can make it challenging to keep up with your priorities, like work, school, or childcare.

Don't miss out on the important things in life. While sobriety can seem like a long and difficult road, you can achieve it. With the proper support and treatment at a Tampa cocaine addiction center, you can get a second chance at a fulfilling and happy life.

Want to address your cocaine addiction and get into recovery? Then get in touch with us now.


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5 Warning Signs of a Possible Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction has been a major public health concern in the United States over the years. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) have found that 1.7 million people age 12 years or older abuse cocaine annually.

This translates to about 1 in 20 young adults using cocaine, a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. The trend in drug abuse is no exception in cocaine use.

Regular use of cocaine can impact a person’s brain, making it challenging to call it quits without help. Cocaine use may have started as harmless experimentation but can quickly turn into a life-threatening addiction. 

Do you suspect your loved one is abusing cocaine? We have compiled the top five warning signs of addiction you should be on the lookout for. Keep reading to find out!

1. Physical Appearance

The terms "cocaine pupils" and "cocaine eyes" have been used to indicate how the eyes of people who take this drug look. Most cocaine users have dilated eyes that are always a giveaway of drug use. 

The eyes usually appear large, and when pupils are dilated, they become sensitive to light. The eyes of cocaine users may also look red or bloodshot as the blood vessels expand.

Besides dilated pupils, other physical signs of cocaine use include:

  • Runny nose and frequent sniffles as a result of snorting cocaine
  • Nosebleeds due to snorting 
  • Track marks as a result of injecting cocaine into the bloodstream and 
  • Burned fingers and lips as a result of smoking cocaine

If you notice these signs, talk to your loved one about getting treatment.

2. Heart Issues

A cocaine user may also show some signs associated with heart complications. Cocaine abuse can increase the risk of certain cardiovascular effects.

Some of the heart problems caused by cocaine use include:

  • Heart attack (Myocardial Infarction)
  • Heart failure due to inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Fast heart rate 
  • Aortic dissection
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke

If not managed, abuse can eventually cause death due to these problems. We advise that you stage an intervention to save your loved one.

3. Deteriorating Mental Health

Using cocaine can also lead to mental complications. Many times, cocaine addicts use the drug in binges. Taken repeatedly at high doses, it can lead to mental health problems. Some of the mental symptoms of cocaine use include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions 
  • Paranoia and anxiety 
  • Aggressiveness 
  • Euphoria 
  • Panic attacks

In addition to drug addiction treatment, users may require to undergo counseling to restore mental health.

4. Behavioral Abnormalities

The behavioral symptoms of cocaine use may be more evident than physical signs. These are signs associated with changes in a user’s personality. Some of the common behavioral cocaine addictions signs include:

  • Excited and fast speech
  • Lying and hiding about cocaine use from loved ones
  • Being unable to limit cocaine use 
  • Engaging in risky behavior such as unprotected sex

Risky behavior exposes one to STIs, especially if they engage in unprotected sex. Talk to your loved one about these consequences so they can see the need for treatment.

5. Withdrawal Signs

Some cocaine users may experience few withdrawal effects. However, there are others who experience devastating cocaine addiction symptoms. Common cocaine withdrawal signs or symptoms include:

  • Slow thought process
  • Increased appetite
  • Cravings for cocaine
  • Fatigue 
  • Extreme depression
  • Mood swings
  • Low energy

Get Help for Cocaine Addiction Today

Cocaine has adverse effects on the health, behavior, and life of the user. Luckily,  it’s never too late to get help for cocaine addicts. 

We know how disheartening it can be to see a loved one suffering from drug use addiction. Reach us today for treatment and rehabilitation solutions to save your loved from cocaine addiction.


Drug Rehab Florida: How to Help a Loved One With an Addiction

Drug Rehab Florida: How to Help a Loved One With an Addiction

Most people never expect to see a loved one struggle with addiction. But addiction is far more common than we tend to believe.

One in seven people will struggle with a substance abuse disorder over the course of their lifetime.

Would you know what to do if a loved one became addicted to drugs? Would you know what drug rehab in Florida to take them to?

Read below to discover how you can help your friend or family member overcome addiction and where to take them for treatment.

Learn About Addiction

Despite the widespread nature of drug addiction, certain stigmas and misunderstandings are still quite pervasive.

Many people believe that an addict can simply stop using drugs anytime they want. In truth, addiction is a complex chemical process that affects the body, mind, and soul. It even changes the brain's chemistry.

The first step in tackling any problem is to understand it.

Research the realities of addiction. Look at the common signs, symptoms, and causes of drug abuse so you can approach your loved one from a place of care and understanding.

Empathize but Don't Enable

Understanding and empathizing are two great places to start. However, that doesn't mean you have to like or even tolerate an addict's behavior.

Empathizing with an addict simply means that you're putting yourself in their shoes. You're doing your best to understand their mindset and the struggles they're going through.

Don't let your kindness become a weakness, though.

If an addict is acting in a dangerous or destructive manner, call them out and stand your ground. You can still be a great friend while hating the disease.

Enabling only makes the situation worse.

Be Honest About Your Loved One's Behavior

Most people don't know how to address addiction. And that's understandable.

It's one thing to read about a topic, but another to experience it firsthand.

As a result, people think that talking with an addict has to be a big, dramatic blowout. On the contrary, talking to someone instead of at them always generates better results.

Be open and honest with your loved one. Let them know how their behavior is affecting those around them.

And don't think you have to wait for an intervention to do so. While interventions are great tools, sometimes a conversation is all it takes for an addict to understand the gravity of the situation.

Research Treatment Options

Whether you choose to host an intervention or hold a one-on-one discussion, you'll want to provide your loved one with treatment options.

Not all rehab facilities are the same. Location plays a huge role in a person's recovery.

Beachside recovery programs, for instance, allow an addict to recover in a relaxing, peaceful environment. On the other hand, many rehab facilities may feel colder or impersonal, making the addict's recovery process even more difficult.

Help Your Loved One With Drug Rehab in Florida

To sum things up, addiction is a complicated illness. However, it's possible to overcome addiction and live a rich, full life.

If you'd like to learn more about drug rehab in Florida, be sure to contact us today.

We'd love to explore treatment options with you and outline our one-of-a-kind program.


Cocaine Rehab in Florida: Cocaine Addiction Signs and Symptoms

Cocaine Rehab in Florida: Cocaine Addiction Signs and Symptoms

You've probably heard by now that drug abuse and addiction is an epidemic in this country. Almost half of all Americans have a friend or family member who is or was an addict.

On a brighter note, abuse rates of some drugs are falling. Among them is cocaine. Less than one million people in the US are believed to be addicted to cocaine.

What do you do if you think someone you love is using cocaine? How can you be sure?

We'll tell you about some signs in the paragraphs below. If you can, and happen to live nearby, convince your loved one to go to cocaine rehab in Florida.

1. Excitability

One of the first things you may notice when looking for signs of cocaine us is increased energy and excitement. This is owing to the effect cocaine has on the dopamine levels in our brains. Dopamine is a chemical that regulates our sense of joy and reward.

Cocaine is a stimulant, meaning that it causes these levels to elevate. Other, legal drugs, such as caffeine and antidepressants, function the same way.

However, these substances are differents in a few key ways. Antidepressants work over the course of several weeks, giving the body time to adjust. Caffeine works almost immediately, but isn't strong enough to cause a high.

A cocaine high is quick and intense. The user may be overjoyed and hyperactive. In some cases, they may have some twitches or tics.

2. Dilated Pupils

You may have heard that drugs do really strange things to the pupils of out eyes. This is true, but the whole story is a bit weirder. Some drugs will shrink our pupils while others will make them expand.

This has to do with how drugs affect our brain. For instance, stimulants, such as cocaine, often make the pupils expand.

Before you check anyone into cocaine rehab, in Florida or elsewhere, it should be said that dilated pupils are no guarantee. Cocaine can cause your pupils to expand,, but so can other substances, many of which are perfectly legal.

For instance, a person on SSRI's, a form of antidepressant, might show the same symptom. The original function of pupil expansion is to absorb light in darkness, causing our eyes to adjust, so you should also make sure the person hasn't just walked out of a dark place.

3. Strange Sleep Patterns

It's not uncommon for people with cocaine addiction to stay awake for long periods of time. If the person you're concerned about seems to be developing a sudden case of insomnia, they may have a cocaine problem.

Again, insomnia by itself doesn't mean anything, but coupled with some of the other sympoms, it should raise a few alarms.

Cocaine Rehab in Florida

There are a lot of potential symptoms that could indicate cocaine use. We didn't have time to go over all of them, so we encourage you to do more research on your own. Everybody presents a little differently, so don't dismiss suspicions just because one of them isn't there.

If you ever need to help someone struggling with addiction, please look into rehab. Cocaine rehab in Florida is some of the best out there, if you're willing to go there.

We at Transformations By The Gulf are big believers in boating therapy. Believe it or not, it really works, and you can learn more about it on our website.


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Tampa Alcohol Recovery Center: 5 Telltale Signs of Alcoholism

Drinking is a very large part of American culture. Companies rake in billions of dollars every year on alcohol sales, marketing, and consumption, and it's hard to walk down a city street without seeing a bar or two in your path.

In the wake of all of that, it's easy to feel like drinking should be something you do without thinking about. People go out for a drink, you join, you feel like part of the group. It makes sense when you put it that way.

At the same time, there's a huge underside of drinking. The activity that's promoted and praised by our culture can actually turn out to be life-ruining and extremely harmful.

It's important to keep an eye on your drinking. We're going to give you some of the most common signs of alcoholism.

5 Clear Signs of Alcoholism

You don't have to have all of these to consider the idea that you might have a problem. Additionally, there are more signs that aren't covered on the list to look out for.

1. Are You Very Tired?

Drinking excessively entails that you're up and at em' most nights, going to the bars and staying out late. Most alcoholics don't register the idea that they should stop drinking, only look to the clock to see how much more time they can spend at the bar.

This results in a lack of sleep, poor sleep, and a very tired person the next day. Over time, those effects amplify and bring someone to a state of extreme tiredness.

2. Can You Stop Once You've Started?

Alcoholism usually comes along with an inability to slow down or stop drinking. This, in part, is because alcoholics have higher tolerances to alcohol.

Additionally, they don't want to stop or even think to. If you're drinking more volume for a longer time than your friends, it may be time to seek out help.

3. Are You Making Excuses to Drink?

It should be a red flag if you're drinking throughout the day. That means bringing alcohol to work and outings that don't really entail drinking. You may also find that you're the only one drinking while everyone else decides to refrain.

Not all social gatherings need to involve alcohol, and those who don't have a problem with alcohol will recognize this.

4. Sacrificing Responsibilities

An alcoholic might incorporate drinking into their normal routine. Drinking during things like picking up a child from school, going to work, or running errands should be an alarming sign.

Further, you might push these responsibilities aside altogether and drink in place of them.

5. Financial Troubles

If you're facing trouble financially, you should be able to cut out alcohol in order to take care of the more important issues at hand. Whether or not alcohol is the issue at that caused financial troubles, it will certainly contribute to them if they already exist.

It's easy to use alcohol as an escape from these problems. If you're spending money you shouldn't on alcohol, it's a good sign that it is a problem.

Are These Signs Familiar to You?

If you resonate with these signs of alcoholism, you should seek out help as soon as possible. Whether it's you or a loved one that has signs of alcoholism, it's important that it's addressed in a responsible way.

Contact us to see how treatment can help you or a loved one move forward.


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Alcohol Addiction Treatment In St Pete Beach, Florida

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

The party life in Florida isn’t always as enjoyable as it looks on television. There are many people challenged daily by alcoholism, and they may not be familiar with all of the alcohol addiction treatments that are available to them. The idea of going “cold turkey” might be romanticized by some, but the reality is that no one should ever try to face the difficulties of addiction alone. There are many alcohol addiction recovery centers available, but not all alcohol rehabilitation centers are the same. You’re always welcome to contact us at Transformations By The Gulf to see what we have to offer to help you on your journey to wellness. You still have options available, and there are some alcohol addiction treatment centers that are well-equipped and prepared to aid you in your recovery.

Help for Alcoholism, FL: Nearly 14 million Americans abuse alcohol. Three out of every ten adults live in a home that has, in some way, been negatively affected by the use of alcohol.

At Transformations By The Gulf, we understand how alcohol addiction can affect your life. We tailor individual, an innovative treatment that will address your needs – body, mind, and spirit – so you can get your life back on track. Your individualized drug treatment program might include outpatient detox, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and a wide array of adjunct treatment services designed to ensure you receive world-class addiction treatment and achieve sustained recovery.

How Alcoholism Can Happen

Although alcohol is considered a legal substance, it is the primary drug of choice in our society because of its widespread availability. Alcoholism has no social, economic or cultural boundaries. Nearly 14 million Americans abuse alcohol, and 3 out of every ten adults live in a home that has, in some way, been negatively affected by alcohol.

The pervasive effects of alcohol abuse can manifest to varying degrees on a physical, psychological, and behavioral level. While often used initially as a means of coping with stress or the emotionally challenges in one’s life, over time alcohol can cause the reverse effect as the ability to function becomes more and more impaired.

Alcoholism is usually predicated on a pattern of drinking in excess to the point of intoxication. Compulsive drinking on a regular basis eventually creates a chemical dependency, causing the body to crave alcohol. The individual then becomes unable to control the desire or need to drink, despite the consequences.

Harmful Effects of Alcoholism

Physically, alcoholism can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, or severe liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation of the digestive system, impotence, and malnutrition. It increases the risk of cancer of the larynx, liver, esophagus, or colon. Alcohol also alters the transmission of nerve impulses so that users can experience a loss of balance, numbness of the hands and feet, and tremors.

Although initially used as a stimulant, alcohol can depress the activity of the control center of the brain. The prolonged use of alcohol disrupts the brain’s chemistry to such a degree that the person’s cognitive abilities are severely impaired, resulting in a loss of judgment, slowed reaction time, and unpredictable or erratic behavior.

The vicious cycle of consumption and craving also includes the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. One can experience anxiety, irritability, palpitations, tremors, insomnia, and depression, all of which can lead to the desire for more alcohol to relieve these symptoms.

Over-consumption of alcohol over a short period of time can lead to blackouts. This condition, called Anterograde Amnesia, is the inability to recall recent events. When blood alcohol concentration increases rapidly over a short period of time, it blocks the brain’s ability to retain short-term memory during that time.

Such impairments are generally the cause of alcohol-related deaths, whether it’s drunk driving or other accidents or injuries to oneself or others. Statistically, alcoholism is the cause of nearly 40% of all unnatural deaths.

The impact of alcoholism is not only disabling to one’s health, but it also affects personal relationships with loved ones, professional performance, social interactions, and the ability to manage the responsibilities of daily life. Because many people who are dependent on alcohol are unable to recognize that they have a serious problem; the initial, and probably the most important, step in treating alcoholism is admitting that the problem exists. Let's chat now (866) 335-2962


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Barbiturate Addiction Help In St. Pete Beach, Florida

At Transformations By The Gulf, we understand how barbiturate addiction can control your life. We tailor individual, an innovative treatment that will address your needs – body, mind, and spirit – so you can get your life back on track. Your individualized drug treatment program might include outpatient detox, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and a wide array of adjunct treatment services designed to ensure you receive world-class addiction treatment and achieve sustained recovery.

How Barbiturate Addiction Can Happen

Prescription drug addiction is a serious and growing concern in the U.S. It is estimated that nearly 20% of this country’s population is using prescription drugs for nonmedical use. A contributing factor to this problem is the increased availability of certain drugs from online pharmacies.

Barbiturates are the most commonly abused prescription drug. Classified as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, they were first used by physicians as a treatment for insomnia, anxiety, epileptic seizures, or to help people relax before undergoing surgery. Commonly prescribed barbiturates are Phenobarbital and Secobarbital.

Some people become dependent on barbiturates during the course of medical treatment. The use and eventual abuse of the drug can begin with occasionally taking a hypnotic at night to aid symptoms of insomnia. However, if taken daily for more than a month, the brain becomes chemically dependent on the drug. Barbiturate addiction induces not only a physical dependence but also a psychological need. The regular use of even a small dose can lead to a psychological dependency.

Barbiturates can be injected or taken in pill or liquid form. Pills are the most common recreational form. The street names for barbiturates refer to the color of the pill, like Reds or Blues; the drug’s effect, such as Downers or Goof balls; or are derivatives of the brand name, like Nembies which is Nembutal.

The drugs depress the sensory cortex and decrease motor activity, resulting in an almost hypnotic state, which is why they are called “downers.” The dose determines the length of the effect, which can range anywhere from a few moments to a few days. Small doses can make the user feel drowsy, intoxicated, and uninhibited, whereas higher doses can result in slurring of speech and confusion. The quick-acting hypnotic barbiturates are most liable to be abused and cause dependence. However, any use of barbiturates without a doctor’s supervision can be extremely dangerous because an overdose can result in a comatose state or even death.

Barbiturates are also commonly used to counteract the over-stimulation caused by other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines.

The Effects of Barbiturate Addiction

Addiction to barbiturates is characterized by extreme mood swings, lack of judgment, memory lapse, anger, depression, and severe fatigue. The impairment of normal mental and emotional abilities can lead to a decrease in social and recreational activities, and the inability to fulfill normal responsibilities, such as work.

Stopping the drug without supervision can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, insomnia, agitation, high fevers, hallucinations, delirium, and eventually seizures. If a pregnant woman becomes addicted to barbiturates, not only is there the potential for the baby to be born an addict, but the newborn may also suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Let's chat now (866) 335-2962


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Benzodiazepine Addiction Help In St Petersburg, Florida

At Transformations By The Gulf, we understand how benzodiazepine addiction can take over your life. We tailor individual, an innovative treatment that will address your needs – body, mind, and spirit – so you can get your life back on track. Your individualized drug treatment program might include outpatient detox, individual therapy, group therapy, boat therapy, family therapy and a wide array of adjunct treatment services designed to ensure you receive world-class addiction treatment and achieve sustained recovery.

 

How Benzodiazepine Addiction Can Happen

Benzodiazepines (a.k.a. “benzos”) are considered the biggest selling and most frequently prescribed drugs in history. Approximately 20% of the world’s population – and at least 4 million people in the U.S. – use tranquilizers or sleeping pills on a regular basis. They are quickly becoming the most heavily abused prescription substances in the country.

Benzodiazepines are readily available. Not only are they frequently prescribed by physicians, but they can also be purchased online without a prescription. Derivatives of benzodiazepines can also be found in popular over-the-counter sleep aids.

Benzodiazepines are a psychoactive/psychotropic drug used for treating, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and abnormal sleep patterns, seizures, muscle spasms, and alcohol addiction. They are also frequently used for dental procedures and pre-surgery sedation. By slowing down the activity of the brain’s neurotransmitters, the drug induces a sense of calmness, providing relief from various forms of anxiety. Like all addictive substances, with repeated use the body develops a tolerance to the drug, thereby triggering the physical and psychological dependency cycle of addiction.

 

Personality Changes from using Benzodiazepines

 

Benzodiazepines (or “Benzos” or “Bennies,” as they are called on the street) changes the brain chemistry to induce a sense of fearlessness, which can cause the user to take more risks or engage in more dangerous activities than they normally would. This behavior can result in serious accidents, lead to financial complications, and damage relationships. It is estimated that 40% of impaired drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents show traces of tranquilizers or sedatives in their bloodstream.

Other adverse personality changes that a user may exhibit include lack of interest in daily activities, rage, increased anxiety, depression or feelings of worthlessness, and in the most severe instances, suicidal ideations.

 

Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be very challenging and may last for weeks or months. Withdrawal symptoms include violent mood swings, insomnia, paranoia, disassociation, agoraphobia, and hallucinations. One should never discontinue the use of these drugs without medical supervision. Let's chat now (866) 335-2962!


Co-Occurring Disorders in St Petersburg Florida

Co-Occurring Disorders: It has been estimated that 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one other serious psychological or emotional problem. When a person has a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis, it generally means that they are suffering from addiction and an emotional/psychiatric disorder that may include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, personality disorders, mood swings, trauma, sexual compulsivity, and more. To recover fully, the person needs treatment for both.

At Transformations By The Gulf Florida Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rehabilitation Center for Women and Men, we understand that not every set of problems fit into a diagnostic pigeonhole or category. For instance, we know that some people with methamphetamine abuse have underlying attention deficit disorder. We have learned that some people with chronic alcohol abuse struggle with social phobias or interpersonal anxiety. We know that some people with marijuana abuse are attempting to deal with chronic pain or ease the distress of chronic depression.

When a co-occurring disorder is assessed, we are careful to treat the addiction and the underlying issue because not doing so would put the person at risk for relapse. Our highly experienced team of clinicians and staff work with the addiction while treating the underlying issue to decrease the risk for relapse. There is no rigid algorithm or formula which we follow. We remain open, personal, flexible and dynamic in our approach. The key is to treat the whole person and all of the conditions inherent in their addictive behavior so that they can achieve complete and lasting recovery.

 

Don’t Wait. If you feel ready, Get Help Now.

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Why Transformations?

  • Accredited by The Joint Commission
  • Gender Specific treatment with mixed gender interaction
  • Holistic practices woven into traditional therapies to enrich the experience of recovery
  • High standard of compassionate care in a small boutique style facility
  • 3:1 client to counselor ratio for more individualized treatment
  • Well appointed, gender-specific residences that are located on award-winning St. Petersburg Beach, FL  “Top 10 beaches in the US”
  • Family Inclusion
  • Comprehensive Continuing Care

Let's talk now, contact us at (866) 335-2962

 

 


Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment in St Pete Beach Florida

Methamphetamine Addiction- St Pete Beach Florida

At Transformations By The Gulf, we understand how methamphetamine addiction can control your life. We tailor individual, an innovative treatment that will address your needs – body, mind, and spirit – so you can get your life back on track. Your individualized drug treatment program might include outpatient detox, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and a wide array of adjunct treatment services designed to ensure you receive world-class addiction treatment and achieve sustained recovery.

How Methamphetamine Addiction Can Happen

The number of illegal methamphetamine labs in the country is currently at an all-time high. Known as a “party drug” or “club drug,” the popularity of methamphetamines continues to grow.

Methamphetamine is an addictive central nervous system (CNS) stimulant known as “meth,” “speed,” “uppers,” or “chalk.” It is a white, bitter powder that can be taken orally, snorted, or intravenously injected. Methamphetamine hydrochloride, called “ice” or “crystal meth,” is a clear, crystallized form smoked in a glass pipe or injected. Methamphetamine is closely related to amphetamine, but the effects on the central nervous system are far more damaging.

Methamphetamine can be produced from pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, the active ingredients in many over-the-counter decongestant cold medications. As a result, pharmacies across the country are now enforcing restrictions on the distribution of these medications.

Users can initially experience a “rush” of heightened energy, increased libido, and elevated self-confidence. However, the rush passes quickly, inciting the need to use again. Chronic use can lead to binging, where the abuser goes for days without food or sleep. This vicious cycle can drive one farther and farther away from normal life, as the need to use becomes the primary concern. Eventually, the initial euphoric feelings can be replaced by aggression, irritability, paranoia, and, in some cases, hallucinations.

Neurological and Psychological Effects

Methamphetamine has a neurotoxic effect on brain cells. Once it enters the bloodstream, the drug releases high levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which stimulate the brain cells responsible for our moods and body movements. Eventually, not only is the brain no longer able to produce the same euphoric feeling that the drug has synthetically induced, it interrupts the brain’s production of these neurotransmitters to such a degree that the user experiences involuntary body movements and tremors similar to Parkinson’s disease. If the drug use continues, the effect may be irreversible.

Long-term use can also cause permanent cognitive damage, resulting in a loss of memory and attention span, and may even result in psychotic episodes resembling schizophrenia.

Physical Effects of Methamphetamine

Even using small amounts of methamphetamine can result in symptoms including frenetic physical activity, appetite suppression, hyperthermia, dizziness, insomnia, confusion, anxiety, and palpitations. With increased use, it can damage the kidneys, liver and cardiovascular system, and cause elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, convulsions, and stroke.

The withdrawal symptoms from methamphetamines include severe depression, inability to feel pleasure, extreme fatigue and lack of energy. In addition, the intense craving to use the drug again combined with deep depression can sometimes lead to suicide. Let's talk- contact us (866) 335-2962