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  • 5 Psychological Side Effects of Percocet

    Percocet is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, landing this medication in a family of drugs known as opioids . They're commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain and work by blocking the pain signals sent to your brain. Percocet ...

    ... overused, it fogs your mind as it floods your brain's opiate receptors. As a result, thoughts are unclear and ... rest is important to your overall well-being, this affects other several other aspects of your health. What's ... continue reading
  • 25 Harmful Effects of Morphine

    Morphine is an effective pain reliever. It's administered frequently by healthcare professionals. It's prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain after an accident, post-surgery, or for a chronic condition. It's accepted for common use throughout ...

    ... effects. Effects on Behavior Abuse/Misuse/Addiction - As with other opiates, morphine use comes with the risk ... with our system, our emotions are often erratically affected. Poor Performance - The combination of all the ... continue reading
  • Don’t Be Fooled: Tramadol Abuse Poses Very Real Dangers

    Ultram. Conzip. Rybix ODT. These name brands of tramadol have recently flooded the marketplace with their painkilling properties. Since its approval in 1995, tramadol has become a household name. In 2013 alone, over 43 million tramadol prescriptions ...

    ... tramadol is needed to achieve the mood-altering affects sought by abusers. They become physically dependent ... abuse. Help is available for tramadol addiction . Additional Reading: Opiate Alternatives: Doctor's Got a Brand ... continue reading
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  • Trading Dependencies: There’s Nothing “Mild” About a Kratom Addiction

    Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom, is a large tree in the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asia. It is said that Kratom affects the human brain similarly to an opiate , although there is no conclusive clinical data proving how the ...

    ... Asia. It is said that Kratom affects the human brain similarly to an opiate , although there is no conclusive ... a potential detox aid also make it a potential addiction. In small doses, Kratom causes stimulant effects - ... continue reading
  • How Does Ibogaine Treat Opiate Addiction?

    Holly started using heroin when she was 18 - at 26, she was at the end of the line. Her whole life revolved around getting high. In the past, she had tried 12-step programs, counseling, in-patient rehab, and even drug-assisted therapy…it seemed ...

    ... plant. She knew it affects the brain in some way to help with heroin addiction. Holly discovered Ibogaine has ... and effective alternative for opiate addiction treatment . Additional Reading: Outlook on Opiate Abuse: There's ... continue reading
  • Chicken vs. Egg: Which Came First, Heroin or OxyContin Addiction?

    For centuries, people have debated one age old question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? While both sides of this argument have their valid points, the question itself has evolved, making its way into other areas of society, including the ...

    ... they significantly impact the brain and nervous system. In these areas, opiates generally: Depress breathing ... costs associated with overdoses, opiate addiction is an epidemic that touches and affects everyone. If you or ... continue reading
  • Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

    What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome? Post-acute-withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) refers to a constellation of symptoms experienced by some individuals who are addicted to alcohol or certain drugs after a prolonged period of withdrawal . PAWS is also ...

    ... Insomnia : Many psychoactive drugs and medications affect sleep patterns, and the brain adapts to long-term use. Once these ... with indirectly increasing opiate signaling in patients recovering from addiction with low-dose ... continue reading
  • Cocaine Addiction: Have Scientists Finally Found a Cure?

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports an estimated 1.5 million Americans use cocaine. In 2015, our nation saw more than 6,700 cocaine-related deaths. Research indicates around 40 percent of drug-related emergency department visits involve ...

    ... treatment options for opiate addiction have increased, the same can't be said of other addiction. In fact, ... process didn't affect the mice's interest for other things that stimulate the brain's reward centers. Researchers ... continue reading
  • Prescription Opiates: As Addictive as Heroin?

    According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 21.5 million Americans aged 12 and older met the criteria for substance use disorder in 2014. Of these, 1.9 million were addicted to prescription opiate pain medications and 586,000 ...

    ... avoid these withdrawal symptoms. 2,3 Prescription opiates affect the brain in the same way heroin does , only ... from prescription opiate addiction than heroin addiction . 1 This may be because prescription opiates are ... continue reading
  • Big Pharma: Are They Advertising Addiction?

    Pharmacological companies do not have a good rap. They've been known to bury bad news, which has had an effect on people's health, and therefore their lives. Whether it's not testing drugs properly, as with the case of thalidomide (caused defects in ...

    ... in the brain, and it's hard for the brain to function without ... addiction issues would make a fortune. At the moment, though, these drugs have not been found, although drugs like buprenorphine have come close. Opiates ... continue reading
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  • Taking Action: How to Intervene During an Overdose

    Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accident death in the United States. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 43,982 drug overdose deaths occurred in 2013 across the nation. That's two times the amount of overdose deaths a ...

    ... failure, which could lead to a coma, permanent brain damage and death. Signs of a depressant overdose include ... also a depressant and affects the central nervous system similar to opiates and benzodiazepines. While ... continue reading
  • Mars vs. Venus: How Does Gender Affect Prescription Drugs?

    When the book Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus hit book shelves back in 1992, it was a huge hit. By highlighting the differences in men and women, the book's theory is still solidly ingrained in our culture. Though gender equality has come a ...

    ... responses, we now know how and why these drugs affect genders differently. The Quest for Sleep A prime ... studies have indicated that, if women become addicted to opiate painkillers , they are more likely to relapse. Women ... continue reading
  • 4 Long-Term Effects of Smoking Marijuana

    4 states—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana. With these changes in policy, a big question on everyone's mind is, what are the long term effects of marijuana use? How does marijuana use affect ...

    ... United States, it is a concern that we have relatively limited information about how marijuana affects the brain and a person's susceptibility to psychiatric disorders. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse ... continue reading
  • Record-Breaking Number of Overdoses Traced Back to Bad Heroin

    A dangerous batch of heroin circulating throughout the city of Chicago has caused a record-breaking 74 overdoses in the span of just three days. When the numbers began to climb at such an astonishing rate, medical professionals began to suspect a ...

    ... it's a concoction that can be deadly. As an opiate, fentanyl produces a state of relaxation or euphoria. It ... matter of fact, many of the 74 Chicagoans recently affected were found with needles still in their arms. Naloxone ... continue reading
  • Opiates, Overdose and Permanent Brain Damage

    Permanent brain damage due to an opiate overdose is a very real, life-altering consequence of opiate abuse . The dramatic increase of opiate-related deaths is now demanding public attention, but the consequence of permanent brain damage remains ...

    ... , it is essential to understand the risks involved with an overdose. How An Overdose Causes Brain Damage Opiates and opioids (heroin, morphine, OxyContin, Fentanyl) are depressants, meaning the drugs slow down your ... continue reading
  • Your Brain on Drugs: Studying Cocaine's Effect on Blood Flow

    Stimulant drugs like cocaine can cause serious blood flow problems within the brain. When there is an insufficient flow of rich, oxygenated blood to the brain, it can result in aneurysm-like bleeding and strokes. Researchers have developed a new ...

    ... Pan and his team of neural experts were able to observe exactly how cocaine affects the tiny blood vessels in a mouse's brain. Cocaine causes the brain to receive a decreased flow of blood, no matter the frequency of use ... continue reading
  • A Look at the Physical Anatomy of an Overdose

    A drug overdose occurs when the body has been overloaded with either prescription medication or an illicit substance. Under normal circumstances, our body's metabolism would be able to detoxify the substance in order to avoid its potentially harmful ...

    ... Vicodin, are psychoactive drugs that directly affect the region of the brain that regulates breathing. Along with respiratory depression, two additional signs of an opiate overdose include small, contracted pupils and ... continue reading
  • Take My Breath Away: A Deadly Warning About Opiates

    You've just taken an opioid painkiller . The medication travels to your brain, making the pain sensations stop. The same opiates also make you feel much calmer, offering up a bonus anti-depressing effect. And that's the good news. The bad news is ...

    You've just taken an opioid painkiller . The medication travels to your brain, making the pain sensations stop. The same opiates also make you feel much calmer, offering up a bonus anti-depressing effect. And that's the ... continue reading
  • 7 Things You Don’t Realize About Teenage Drug Abuse.

    It's difficult to convince adolescents of the harmful and potentially deadly effects of drug abuse. After all, teens have an exaggerated sense of invulnerability: “Nothing bad will ever happen to me, regardless of what anyone says, thinks they ...

    ... have cared much as teenagers, but it's been a well-known fact that drugs affect delicate chemical balances in our brains. Because the human brain doesn't reach full maturity until the mid-twenties , exposure to drugs and ... continue reading
  • Meth on the Mind: It’s a Mental Downhill Slide for Users

    Kim felt dizzy; she was confused and her speech was severely slurred. Her sister thought she'd had a stroke. Kim couldn't focus, had no energy and seemed very sleepy. It's no surprise her sister was worried, but Kim certainly wasn't suffering from a ...

    ... reasoning skills. With a combination of physical and psychological affects, the drug unleashes a host of dangerous effects on the brain, including the following: Aggressive behavior Decreased appetite Increased alertness ... continue reading
  • Welcome to a New Tramadol Nightmare

    People seeking safe opiate detox in Alaska were recently left out in the cold - in more ways than one. Only two state facilities currently offer detox services to Alaskans - and both of them were recently shut down, thanks to one of the DEAs newer ...

    ... Now? The Ernie Turner Center in Anchorage and the Gateway to Recovery Center in Fairbanks offered the only opiate detox beds in the state of Alaska. Staff at both facilities are currently working on plans that will ... continue reading
  • 3 Devastatingly Dangerous Alcohol-Drug Combos

    According to statistics compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 25 percent of substance-related emergency room admissions involve a combination of both drugs and alcohol. Poly-Drug Abuse Although ...

    ... nervous system. When combined, the central nervous is affected twice as hard, which can lead to severe ... risk of overdose and death. Alcohol and Opiates Alcohol and opiates also make for a particularly lethal combination ... continue reading
  • Yes, Suboxone is Sober & The Truth About Suboxone

    In 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription pain medication. During that same time, as many as one in four people who received opioids for treatment of long-term pain in primary care settings struggled with an opioid ...

    ... is a partial opioid agonist. Which means each time Suboxone is taken, it gets “stuck” in the brain's opiate receptors for an entire day, stopping any chance of getting high from its' use. Buprenorphine also blocks the ... continue reading
  • What Does Ecstasy do to Your Mind and Body?

    The night started off exactly like the last few Saturdays…Chloe entered the club with her girlfriends. Soon after, each of them took a bundle of ecstasy. Not long after washing down her dose with water, Chloe felt the familiar effects of the drug. ...

    ... was in full effect. If we could see Chloe's brain, we would see huge amounts of a neurochemical known as ... This is not surprising, since the drug often affects people differently. Ecstasy's ingredients often vary, though ... continue reading
  • DEA: Heroin ‘Probably’ More Dangerous Than Marijuana

    With 23 states and Washington D.C. legalizing medical marijuana and four states legalizing it for recreational use, it's quite possible we'll see a day when marijuana is considered “legal” throughout the U.S. However, the Drug Enforcement ...

    ... those reasons and more, it's crucial that the DEA makes it a priority to learn more about a drug that we're yet to truly understand. Additional Reading: Opiates, Overdose and Permanent Brain Damage Image Source: iStock continue reading
  • DEA Finally Acknowledges the Heroin Epidemic

    According to recent statistics gathered during a detailed research investigation - a project aptly dubbed The National Heroin Threat Assessment - the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) reports that the availability and abuse of heroin is ...

    ... reformulations and stricter prescription drug policies, heroin, in many cases, is now cheaper and easier to obtain than opiate pain pills ever were. In 2013, a report by SAMHSA showed that roughly four out of five new ... continue reading
  • Could This Inexpensive Medication Reduce Your Withdrawal Symptoms?

    Withdrawal. It's a huge hurdle on the path to recovery. Those struggling to leave opioids behind know they'll eventually have to face the intimidating mental and physical effects of withdrawal. It's a powerful and frightening thought. Some of the ...

    ... is also located throughout the human body, including the brain and spinal cord. After identifying the cause of these ... aspect about their findings: the medication didn't affect an opioids' ability to relieve pain. Previous ... continue reading
  • Do Women Pay a Higher Price for Smoking Weed?

    Tetrahydrocannibinol, better known as THC, is the most potent component of marijuana. It's the chemical that causes feelings of euphoria and makes users feel “high.” When someone uses marijuana, THC quickly travels into the bloodstream, through ...

    ... the bloodstream, through the lungs, and on to the brain. This process is completed within a few minutes, but ... for several hours. Though you might think THC affects everyone the same, research has proven otherwise time ... continue reading
  • True or False: Ready to Put Your Fentanyl Knowledge to the Test?

    Fentanyl. This potent opiate has added a whole new level of danger to the opioid crisis, causing a staggering number of overdoses and deaths. Part of its overall threat is the lack of public knowledge and awareness. So, how much do you know about ...

    ... strong, it has been responsible for a rising number of deaths. From 2014 to 2015, deaths involving synthetic opiates such as fentanyl increased by almost 75 percent. True or False: Fentanyl can't be absorbed through your ... continue reading
  • New Study: Amphetamine Abuse and This Old Heart

    It's called speed for a reason. Amphetamines, like Ritalin or Adderall, accelerate your heart rate. They send your nervous system into overdrive. Guess what else it speeds up? The aging process. That's right. Pumping your system full of amphetamine ...

    ... blood as well as it used to. Since amphetamine affects the entire cardiovascular system, arteries also lose optimal performance ... and stroke. Stroke: If blood flow to the brain is interrupted, a stroke may occur. This can ... continue reading
  • Is This New Drug the Holy Grail of All Pain Relievers?

    Millions of Americans suffer daily from chronic pain. Factor in all the people managing temporary pain after accidents or surgeries and you have a massive number of people on prescription painkillers. Abuse of morphine, an extremely powerful and ...

    ... thousands of overdose deaths each year. Like other opiates, morphine has its drawbacks. In fact, the ... has over 25 official side effects that impact our behavior, brain, body, psyche and sexuality. It can even be lethal ... continue reading
  • Drug Abuse: The Oral Health Kryptonite

    It's February and we've all celebrated Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day and even President's day. So, that's basically it for February, right? Well…actually it isn't. February is also National Dental Health Month, making this a great time to promote ...

    ... severe tooth decay, jaw-clenching and dry mouth. Heroin: Heroin belongs to the opiate drug family and it has an indirect negative affect on teeth. Heroin actually causes an immense craving for sugars like candy and soft ... continue reading
  • Popular Drugs By Demographic

    Drug use is a growing problem in America and a concern that affects various demographics. In fact, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2011, about 8.7 percent of Americans 12 years and older-22.5 million people-participated ...

    ... , 6.5 percent smoke marijuana on a daily basis, a figure up from 5.1 percent in 2007. In addition to affecting perception and good judgment, THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, has recently been found to negatively ... continue reading
  • CDC Issues Urgent Call for More Needle Exchange Programs

    The controversy over needle exchange programs is nothing new. It's been debated for decades. What's new is the CDC's latest report that shows a change in trends. According to the recent report , new HIV infection numbers are growing and we don't ...

    ... put rural white communities “at much greater risk of new HIV infections than ever before.” In fact, the opiate crisis has had such an impact on these communities that whites who inject drugs now have more HIV diagnoses ... continue reading
  • Can’t Sleep? Try Putting Down the Marijuana (Seriously)

    For as long as she could remember, people told Sue that marijuana helped you sleep. So once she started having problems catching z's, she decided to give weed a try. Sue smoked pot every night for nearly three months, but for some reason, the ...

    ... to researchers, since insomnia is typically more common in females and past studies have shown marijuana use affects women's neurological tasks more than men's. Anxiety-Related? So why are daily marijuana users losing ... continue reading
  • Fentanyl: The Newest Lethal Injection Ingredient

    Fifty times stronger than heroin , the synthetic opioid fentanyl is flooding the drug market - and heightening the danger of overdose. In search of cheaper mixes and stronger highs, dealers now lace heroin and cocaine with this potent drug. We've ...

    Fifty times stronger than heroin , the synthetic opioid fentanyl is flooding the drug market - and heightening the danger of overdose. In search of cheaper mixes and stronger highs, dealers now lace heroin and cocaine ... continue reading
  • First Responders Worry About Accidental Fentanyl Exposure

    Fentanyl. It's known to be 50 times more potent than heroin, and a speck the size of a few grains of salt can kill. By now, you've probably heard of this beast and the toll it's taken on so many lives around the country. A whopping 5554 people ...

    Fentanyl. It's known to be 50 times more potent than heroin, and a speck the size of a few grains of salt can kill. By now, you've probably heard of this beast and the toll it's taken on so many lives around the country. ... continue reading
  • Don't Overestimate Your Heroin Tolerance - It Might Be the Last Thing You Do

    You may have heard about fentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to morphine. What you may not have heard about, however, is the ultra-potent concentrated version of it: carfentanil . What We Know About Carfentanil Developed in the mid-1970s as a ...

    You may have heard about fentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to morphine. What you may not have heard about, however, is the ultra-potent concentrated version of it: carfentanil . What We Know About Carfentanil ... continue reading
  • Teen Drug Abuse: The Warning Signs

    It is never easy to find out your teen is using drugs. Communication is a powerful tool for reducing and preventing teen drug abuse. Talking to your teens about drug use can help them make the decision not to use in the first place or to stop using ...

    ... (to cover up track marks). Burns on fingers or lips (from joints). Pinpoint pupils (a common sign of opiate use). Smelling like drugs, alcohol, or other unusual odor. Other Signs to Look For There are several other ... continue reading
  • Methadone Programs: A Bad Treatment Plan for Addicted Parents?

    When it comes to the negative effects of substance abuse , addiction casts a wide net. Addicted parents, in particular, are faced with a unique set of challenges, as an opiate dependency ultimately affects the whole family. For thousands of parents ...

    ... negative effects of substance abuse , addiction casts a wide net. Addicted parents, in particular, are faced with a unique set of challenges, as an opiate dependency ultimately affects the whole family. For thousands of ... continue reading
  • Social Drug Use is Like Kryptonite to Healthy Relationships

    Heather always feels awkward at parties. She's quiet and shy. She never knows what to say and finds it hard to interact with people in these intimidating settings. To help her “loosen up,” she tries smoking pot before going to a party. Once ...

    ... (delta-9-tertrahydrocannabinol), affects how the cells of the brain communicate. It slows ... relationships, not connect. Continued use leads to reliance, then addiction …and this cycle does not encourage intimacy. Quite the ... continue reading
  • What Drugs Cause the Most Insane Behavior?

    Many substances that are addictive cause mental changes or unusual behavior. Even if a substance does not inherently have mind-altering properties, people who are addicted to it may display strange behavior if they need the drug are unable to obtain ...

    ... is a serotonin-norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which is one reason why it is very addictive. Cocaine affects the nervous system and can make users feel euphoric. It can also cause paranoia, anxiety, tremors ... continue reading
  • Study: Medical Marijuana Cuts Use of Prescription Drugs

    A recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, revealed medical marijuana users take fewer other medicines - such as opiates. Researchers monitored the use of prescription medication by participants enrolled in ...

    ... prescriptions medications used to treat her medical conditions. She stated, “Medical cannabis is the reason I'm opiate free now…it really gave me my life back and makes my pain manageable, without inebriating me or ... continue reading
  • Wait…Marijuana Can Increase My Risk of Alzheimer's??

    Meet Bill. Bill smokes marijuana every day - a lot of it. From blunts and bowls to bongs and wax, there's barely a waking moment Bill isn't high. Meet Bill's Brain As we travel through Bill's cranium, we see the blood flow (in nearly all areas of ...

    ... Raji admitted the results even surprised their team. They didn't suspect “just how much marijuana use affected brain blood flow.” Raji stated in an interview, “Prior papers have suggested that marijuana can damage the ... continue reading
  • I’m Having Opiate Withdrawals – Am I Addicted?

    Shelly's knee surgery went great. The doctor said she'd be running again in no time. Before she'd be ready for her next 5K, she'd have to endure some fairly intense pain and a lot of physical therapy. While in the hospital, Shelly received regular ...

    ... the withdrawal symptoms kick in as your body and brain try to restore balance without the medication. Like Shelly ... dependence gets worse. The Withdrawal-Addiction Cycle While opiate withdrawal certainly isn't pleasant, ... continue reading
  • More Working Class Americans Hooked on Cognitive-Boosting Drugs

    I had just started studying for the Bar Exam when I realized the extent of legal information I'd have to retain wasn't humanly possible. Terrified of failing, I sought outside help in the form of a small white pill: Adderall . Within minutes of ...

    ... is modafinil safe in the long-term? Doctors are unsure how chronic use of this “smart drug” will affect healthy brain function down the road, but do agree that it has mild side effects and low abuse potential. But they ... continue reading
  • The Vicious Attack Against Suboxone Continues

    Buprenorphine, the generic name for Suboxone, is a medication used to treat opiate dependence - it helps minimize withdrawal symptoms. It's often an essential part of a person's recovery plan, mainly due to its accessibility. Users can attain it ...

    Buprenorphine, the generic name for Suboxone, is a medication used to treat opiate dependence - it helps minimize withdrawal symptoms. It's often an essential part of a person's recovery plan, mainly due to its ... continue reading
  • You’ve Gotta Dig In: Brain Health and Drug Abuse

    While battling chemical dependency , your brain is robbed of a lot of its essential nutrients - and that causes damage. By eating the right “brain power” foods, you can repair this damage and prevent further deterioration. Mood, memory, ...

    ... and prevent further deterioration. Mood, memory, decision-making, impulse control and behaviors are all affected by how well the brain functions. A healthy diet is necessary to restore proper chemical balance. What Your ... continue reading
  • 15-Minutes of Narcan Internet Fame Leaves Permanent Scars

    Imagine overdosing in public, prompting police officers to administer Narcan - the powerful opiate antidote - to save your life. Now imagine this entire experience being captured on video and streamed across the Internet. Strangers witnessing your ...

    Imagine overdosing in public, prompting police officers to administer Narcan - the powerful opiate antidote - to save your life. Now imagine this entire experience being captured on video and streamed across the Internet ... continue reading
  • Countering the Myths About Methadone: Is it Right for You?

    Methadone maintenance has been around for years as an effective treatment for opioid dependency . Yet, its use remains controversial, and there's seemingly no end to the myths and false information aimed at discouraging anyone from using it as a ...

    ... that people have used it as a treatment modality for decades without harm. However, methadone - like any opiate - can be dangerous if taken inappropriately. Myth #4 - Methadone Rots Your Teeth According to Dr. Edwin ... continue reading
  • Gabapentin: New Drug of Abuse for People in Treatment? Risk vs Reward

    According to the latest Census in 2015, the United States has a total population of 321 million people. In the same year, 57 million prescriptions for gabapentin were written. Gabapentin, or its brand name Neurontin, is an anti-seizure medication ...

    ... and restless legs, both of which are associated with opiate withdrawal. Risk vs Reward In recent years, gabapentin has ... depression, ADD, bipolar disorder, and even cocaine addiction . Some of the common side effects of ... continue reading
  • Smoking Can be a Serious Pain…in the Back

    If you have chronic back pain and are a long-time smoker, the latter may be causing the former, according to a study released by the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. A New Worry for Smokers The study, which was published in ...

    ... quickly escalate from regular use to dependency and addiction if not closely monitored. Back pain is one ... are a smoker who's been relieving chronic back pain with opiate medications, it's not a good idea to simply quit the ... continue reading
  • 5 Naloxone Myths Debunked

    Naloxone History Lesson Naloxone is not a new medication. In fact, emergency responders have used the medication since the 1960s. Today, worried parents keep naloxone on hand, law enforcement officers carry the medication in case of life-threatening ...

    ... community outreach programs now provide access to naloxone. If you or someone you know struggles with opiate addiction, help is available. Start by learning more about the latest treatment options . Image: HarmReduction ... continue reading
  • Heroin Use Increasing Across New Demographics, Study Finds

    The face of heroin in the US is changing. As the drug becomes more commonly abused among new racial, geographic and socioeconomic groups, the profile of those users is also evolving. The change is, in part, because heroin is becoming more ...

    ... in large urban areas. Opiate Painkiller Addiction Holds Strong Despite the spike in heroin addiction, painkiller abuse is still ... group. Additional Reading: Opiates, Overdose and Permanent Brain Damage Image Source: iStock continue reading
  • Cocaine Could Mess With Your Brain's Ability to Recognize Sadness and Fear

    Cocaine is a stimulant drug with a reputation for making people more social, but in reality, it tends to make users paranoid and insufferable. And according to a new study , this may be in part because people who use cocaine are less capable of ...

    ... the Schedule I drug, even just once, may affect your ability to recognize other people's negative emotions, ... . “There are many mental illnesses in which our brains' ability to recognise the emotions of others are impaired ... continue reading
  • Don’t Do Me Any Favors: When Sharing Means Anything But Caring

    Tom fell off a ladder and hurt his back. His doctor gave him a prescription for Percocet , a powerful opioid painkiller. He only took a couple and now he's got ten pills left over in a bottle sitting in his medicine cabinet. If this scenario (or a ...

    ... believe that it's safe, it's a terrible idea. Opiates are very potent painkillers and, when misused, can result in ... . They may have other health concerns that will be affected by the pills. They may simply take too many, ... continue reading
  • Newsflash: Tramadol Really is an Opiate

    For years, tramadol was thought of as a safe alternative to opiates . It was viewed as less habit-forming and easier to tolerate than its “stronger” counterparts like oxycodone. Doctors handed out free samples of Ultram (tramadol's brand name), ...

    ... tramadol to anyone suffering from depression or at risk for addiction. But this wasn't enough. In fact, 2011 ... use and abuse of this drug. Public awareness of this opiate must increase if we are to decrease the numbers at ... continue reading
  • Dying to Get High: Half of 2014 U.S. Drug Deaths Caused By Opiates

    It's well-documented that heroin and prescription painkiller abuse are two of the biggest drug problems in the U.S., but a new report from the Drug Enforcement Administration highlights just how serious the problem is. Shocking Death Rate Chuck ...

    ... prescription drugs in 2013. Benzos were responsible for the other 7,000 deaths. The Hold of Opiates Findings released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also highlighted why prescription ... continue reading
  • Outlook on Opiate Abuse: There’s Good News and Bad News

    It's no secret that the abuse of prescription opioid painkillers, like OxyContin and Percocet , has reached epidemic levels in the United States. But a recently published study highlights a strange trend: Non-medical use of opiates has decreased, ...

    ... rise in opioid misuse and disorders related to opiate abuse suggests more patients are progressing from prescribed ... center treatment options. Treatment of opioid addiction frequently requires medication, like the opioid ... continue reading
  • From Snort to Synapse: We Map Out Cocaine's Trip in Your Brain

    The powder is perfectly lined on the table. With no straw handy, you roll up a Washington and seconds later, the snow is gone. Inhaled into your nostril, this stimulant drug has started a trip that will change your brain…forever. What does this ...

    ... Researchers have intently studied this coke trip under the microscope; they tell us a single dose of cocaine changes your brain's reward center. And that's partly why it's so easy to get hooked. In the end, the high you ... continue reading
  • Heroin Facts – Because Knowing is Half the Battle

    “Smack” - “Junk” - “H” Heroin is a drug that goes by many names. But no matter what you call it, it's still the same potent, potentially deadly drug. While its name really isn't that important, knowing some basic facts about heroin can ...

    ... term euphoric effect, binding to opioid receptors in the brain and depressing the central nervous system. After the initial ... of heroin abuse is directly related to painkiller addiction . In fact, doctors wrote 259 million ... continue reading
  • Vivitrol's New and Controversial Role in Prisons

    When I was in prison, the majority of inmates struggled with substance abuse. And because the prison system did very little (if anything at all) to rehabilitate us, it wasn't unusual for those who were released to almost immediately overdose or ...

    ... Prison System Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain, preventing an euphoric high. Approved by the ... on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Those who do use it six months are much less likely to be opiate positive, ... continue reading
  • Study Indicates Pot Really Can Lower Your IQ

    This is your brain on pot: A new study has found that regular marijuana use is linked to both lower IQ scores and impaired decision making skills. It's All in Your Mind The findings from the University of California Davis Centre for Neuroscience ...

    ... users in adolescence had permanent damage in the brain's sub-cortical regions, which are primitive structures that ... in Chicago. “And if you throw stuff into the brain that's not supposed to be there, there are long ... continue reading
  • Joints vs. Edibles: How Marijuana Affects the Body

    The primary psychoactive component of marijuana (cannabis)—what deliver the “high” in other words—is the substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 1 THC's powerful, mind-altering effects derive from its interaction with and activation of the ...

    ... and touch. However, THC can also adversely affect short-term memory and coordination and can bring ... into the bloodstream, which quickly carries the chemical to the brain. 8 By smoking a joint, an individual is able to ... continue reading
  • The Dangerous (and Deadly) Effects of Spice

    Natural ingredients, legal use, lower cost…it must be healthy, right? The deadly misconception above has led to a growing number of fatalities brought on by synthetic or “designer” drugs. Use of synthetic marijuana - sold under names like ...

    ... smoked, produce effects similar to THC, the active compound found in marijuana. Attaching to the same brain receptors as cannabis, they create similar mental effects (but with higher risks.) Labeled as an herbal mixture ... continue reading
  • Psychedelic Drugs and Prayer Have Similar Effects on Brain

    When it comes to “out-of-body” experiences, plenty of people have reported having them during both religious awakenings and while tripping on psychedelic drugs. Although these two experiences may seem completely opposite to each other, one ...

    ... kind of experiences [with drugs] are not artificial or false, but really enable a person and a person's brain to experience the world in a much more fundamental way.” Making Smart Choices If it's true that both methods ... continue reading
  • Opana: The New Opiate of Choice Among Addicts?

    In 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the opioid OxyContin for treating chronic pain. The drug netted a quick $45 million in sales its first year on the market. Ten years later, sales of OxyContin ballooned to $3.1 billion and the ...

    ... : What You Need to Know Interacting with the brain's opiate receptors, much like morphine or heroin , Opana ... so many others, should be a reminder of opioid addiction's devastating consequences. Although Opana may not be a ... continue reading
  • How Concerned Should We Be About Opiates?

    Opiates are a group of drugs that manage pain by depressing the central nervous system (CNS). There are two different kinds of opiates: natural and synthetic. Natural opiates come from the dried “milk” of the poppy plant and include opium, ...

    ... also naturally produced (in small quantities) by the human brain. When not used as directed for the treatment for ... ease to abuse.” 13 Ignoring the Addiction Epidemic? In addition to opiates already on the market, a number ... continue reading
  • An Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Dangers of Spice

    “It's not bad for you, dude. It's all natural. It's just plant materials, so it can't hurt you,” a friend whispered in Dave's ear. Unfortunately for Dave, he believed his friend and they spent the next hour smoking Spice . The seizure Dave ...

    ... blood flow - a condition that's directly responsible for strokes. High blood pressure can also weaken your brain's blood vessels and trigger strokes. Heart attack: Spice may also be more than your heart can handle. The ... continue reading
  • The Harmful Effects of Drugs and Alcohol

    It should come as no surprise that drugs and alcohol can have negative effects on your life. Although sometimes it may be difficult to imagine, the abuse of these substances can change everything from your body to your bank account. This can include ...

    ... reach for that bottle or that pipe, don't forget about these harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. Brain Chemistry The human brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Although it may weigh less than 3 pounds, it ... continue reading
  • Heroin's Death Toll Hits an All-Time High in New York

    New York City has a serious heroin problem on their hands and new data released by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reveals just how deep the issue goes. In fact, more people died from unintentional heroin overdoses in New York ...

    ... NYC police officers are being armed with portable pocket-size devices that inject naloxone. Known as the opiate antidote, naloxone saves lives by reversing the effects of heroin. Learn more about the dangers of heroin ... continue reading
  • Suboxone Debate: What Is the Big Problem with Buprenorphine?

    When it comes to this nation's chemical dependence, few drugs have achieved the notoriety and reputation of opioid drugs. In fact, things have spiraled so far out of control that opiate addiction is now considered an epidemic. Despite leaving a ...

    ... spiraled so far out of control that opiate addiction is now considered an epidemic. Despite leaving ... even years); during that time, the patient's severely damaged brain chemistry is given the chance to heal. It turns out ... continue reading
  • Shocking Threats Swirl Around Tramadol Abuse

    Though Tramadol hasn't yet achieved the publicity other opioids have in the states, it sure is making waves abroad. Earlier this month, it was revealed that tramadol, an addictive synthetic painkiller believed to be as powerful as morphine , is ...

    ... (WHO) - something that's helped spread abuse and addiction among developing and developed countries alike. The Spread of Tramadol and Violence Tramadol is a prescription opiate medication, but it's regularly sold as an ... continue reading
  • Closing Candy Land: Our Vets are Stuck in the VA’s Revolving Door

    Across our nation, the brave men and women who defended its freedoms are suffering. The burden they bear isn't regret, loss, emotional trauma or illness…even though all of these things may be present. No, the cargo many of them carry is the weight ...

    ... the decision was made to wean hundreds of vets off opiate painkillers - a choice that was made for them , ... Period. Even the vets who lacked a history of addiction received letters in the mail, informing them they would ... continue reading
  • Intoxicated Pilots Gamble with the Lives of Holiday Travelers

    Now that the holiday season is upon us, the roadways and skies are crowded with travelers. This massive surge of activity serves as a catalyst for travel-related accidents. And while the public is well aware of drug- and alcohol-related driving ...

    ... Concerns Abound Results of the study's findings showed the most common ingested drug that could potentially affect a pilot's job function was diphenhydramine, a sedating antihistamine, found in 10 percent of those tested ... continue reading
  • Legalizing Marijuana Decreases Fatal Opiate Overdoses, Study Shows

    According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. In an effort to relieve that constant pain, the number of opiate prescriptions has nearly doubled over the last decade. Today, opiates like ...

    ... has nearly doubled over the last decade. Today, opiates like hydrocodone , oxycodone , and morphine flood the streets, driving up addiction rates and fatal opiate overdoses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... continue reading
  • Dangers of IV Drug Use: What You Need to Know About Track Marks

    Certain drugs can be injected into the muscle, under the skin, or directly into a vein. The later is the most popular method, as the intense effects of the drug occurs very quickly. Those that use this method will begin to show marks on their body ...

    ... up” or “slamming” and is typically identified with the use of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates. Usually found on the forearms, fresh track marks are identified as non-healed puncture wounds. Continued ... continue reading
  • Mother of Newborn Arrested After Failing Drug Test

    There has been an enormous amount of debate and passion as of late - all of it spurred on by one question: what should happen to mothers who give birth to addicted children. Alabama came up with its own solution that involves jail time and bringing ...

    ... Timeline of Events Authorities in Etowah County said that Courtney Starr Hyfield-Parker, 26, tested positive for opiates shortly after giving birth to twins - one of whom was stillborn. Her child that survived the ... continue reading
  • Yay or Nay: Is the Opioid Epidemic a Conspiracy?

    'Epidemic': Affecting a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population. Opioid Epidemic Statistics Each day, 2.1 million people in the U.S. abuse opioids. The CDC reports that 165,000 Americans died from prescription ...

    'Epidemic': Affecting a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population. Opioid Epidemic Statistics ... of non-cancer patients on opiates show signs of addiction and that opiates aren't an effective method ... continue reading
  • Let’s Clear the Air About Secondhand Marijuana Smoke

    Picture this : You're at a friend's house and someone lights up a cigarette. Sitting next to her, you inhale the secondhand smoke for one minute. Over the next half-hour, your blood vessels are affected by the smoke, impaired as they recover from ...

    ... next to her, you inhale the secondhand smoke for one minute. Over the next half-hour, your blood vessels are affected by the smoke, impaired as they recover from the exposure. Now picture this : You're at a friend's ... continue reading
  • Anxious About Anxiety: Why We Reach for Xanax

    We're an anxious nation. According to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States. (The fact that we have an association devoted to anxiety says something about us, ...

    ... health bill. Clearly, this is a widespread problem. It has even trickled down to kids, with anxiety disorders affecting about 12 percent of our nation's young people. What Have You Done for You Lately? As a society ... continue reading
  • Police Are Gearing Up to Face Down a Couple of Killers

    Guns won't help. A bullet-proof vest won't cut it. No badge, baton, hat, or handcuffs will stop the threat. The latest danger faced by law enforcement officials is a class of drugs that can kill on contact. Standard-issue equipment is no longer ...

    ... powerful drugs have taken lives in many areas of the country. From 2014 to 2015, deaths involving synthetic opiates such as fentanyl increased by almost 75 percent. And here's the kicker; fentanyl and carfentanil pose a ... continue reading
  • You’re Not a Victim: 5 Ways to Break Out of This Role

    When struggling with substance abuse , it's tempting to feel like the victim. Things are rough. Your life is probably in shambles. Your loved ones have likely distanced themselves from you. Things are falling apart. The question is - how do you ...

    ... , start with these steps: Get Outside Your Own Head As a victim, your default setting is self-centered thinking. How does this affect me? How do I feel? What can I get out of this? What am I going to do next (or what is ... continue reading
  • “But It's Legal Now!”: How to Talk to Kids About Marijuana

    Barry Lessin, MS, is a licensed psychologist who has been serving the Philadelphia region for over 40 years. In his practice, he helps youth and families avoid the harms of drug use and build stronger relationships. He's also co-founder, along with ...

    ... people to use any substance with a still developing brain. Through education and offering activities and young people ... any kind of substance that can impair their brain development.” Education, open dialogue, and parents ... continue reading
  • 9 Mind-Blowing Facts About W-18

    Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse than fentanyl … The street-drug market has a new player - and it's even deadlier than previous killers. W-18 won't deliver a great high; it will, however, deliver death. Introducing W-18 Here are ...

    ... fentanyl. Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine . This makes W-18 10,000 times stronger than classic opiates. Contact Kill: “You only need a tiny speck of W-18, which can cause respiratory depression and can kill ... continue reading
  • Injecting Drugs: 9 Hidden Dangers

    Did you know that injecting drugs into your body can increase your risk for a number of health problems? Additionally, did you know that injection-related injuries not only include bruising, scarring, and venous injury, but also infectious diseases ...

    ... HCV)? Unfortunately, persons who inject drugs (PWID) are at risk for a number of unwanted health issues that affect their bodies and their overall health. And because of the illegal status of most drugs that are injected ... continue reading
  • Methadone and Suboxone: What’s the Difference Anyway?

    An estimated 1.9 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioid drugs. Although there is no magical drug to treat opiate addiction, as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) approach, there are a handful of treatment ...

    ... Although there is no magical drug to treat opiate addiction, as part of a medication-assisted treatment ( ... . How Do They Work? Methadone changes the way the brain and the nervous system respond to pain in the body. ... continue reading
  • Neighborhood Watch: Drug Sales Drive Drug Use

    Community prevention organizations have known for many years that one of the best predictors of drug use is what's known as “perception of risk.” In general, the higher the perceived risk for a particular drug, the fewer teens and young adults ...

    ... ' drug sales will hopefully reduce peer approval, and subsequently illicit drug use,” Duncan said. Additional Reading : Your Brain on Drugs: Studying Cocaine's Effect on Blood Flow Image Credits: Instagram/themathhattan continue reading
  • Everything You Need to Know Inhalant Abuse

    A new study has found an unusual link between inhalant abuse and head injuries, mental illness and traumatic experiences. The findings of this new study, published in the latest issue of the journal PLOS One , came from a joint research project ...

    ... consequences that can include: Hearing loss Optic nerve damage Liver damage Muscle atrophy Heart irregularities Brain damage Death Treatment for Inhalant Abuse Getting medical help to treat an inhalant abuse problem ... continue reading
  • Detour: Teens in Rural Areas More Likely to Abuse Painkillers

    When you think about the drug trade in America's big cities, it seems like it might be easier for teenagers to abuse drugs like prescription painkillers. With the massive amount of drugs flowing in and out of large cities, there's certainly no ...

    ... painkillers than teens living in big cities. Small Town Addiction Sociologists at Penn State looked at the 2011 and ... death from these opioids.” The Rise of Rural Opiate Dependency One reason for the rising rate of opioid ... continue reading
  • IV Drug Abuse: 3 Potentially Deadly IV Injection Sites

    The dangers of intravenous drug use are well documented. Although most available information focuses on the very high risk of overdose and the diseases associated with sharing needles (both very real dangers), injecting drugs can also be incredibly ...

    ... . In addition, if you hit an artery in your neck, the injecting chemicals will shoot directly into the brain, potentially causing a range of neurological problems or a stroke. Due to the high risk of overdose and the ... continue reading
  • A Dangerous Trio: Skipping Dinner, Binge Drinking and Overeating

    In today's culture, binge drinking is becoming more and more prevalent. This is especially true on college campuses, where a lot of partying takes place and many students spend their nights at clubs and bars, rather than in the dorm studying. Today, ...

    ... an apertif - an alcoholic drink before a meal - stimulates appetite and heightens activity throughout brain regions that mediate reward and regulate feeding behavior. The result, in most cases, is increased consumption ... continue reading
  • Occasional IV Heroin Abuse Worsens HIV Symptoms

    It's common knowledge that injecting drugs like heroin poses a huge risk for transmission of the HIV virus. In fact, around 30 percent of all HIV infections worldwide (outside sub-Saharan and African areas) occur through this method. But a new study ...

    ... of informational materials and providing IV drug users with “risk reduction” supplies in the form of things like condoms and bleach. Additional Reading: Mind Over Matter: The Psychological Grip of Addiction . continue reading
  • The Great Debate: Alcohol vs Marijuana

    You may have had the debate yourself—what's worse? Alcohol or marijuana? With new studies coming out, more laws legalizing the recreational, and medicinal use of marijuana, the conversation seems to come up again and again. Even though we may all ...

    ... impairments of learning and memory. But studies have demonstrated that these types of changes in the brain may increase the risk of psychological difficulties later in life. Controversy remains over what percentage of ... continue reading
  • New Bone Loss Study Points the Finger at Marijuana

    “We have known for a while that the components of cannabis can affect bone cell function, but we had no idea up until now of what this might mean to people who use cannabis on a regular basis.” - Prof. Stuart Ralston , Centre for Genomic and ...

    “We have known for a while that the components of cannabis can affect bone cell function, but we had no idea up until now of what this might mean to people who use cannabis on a regular basis.” - Prof. Stuart Ralston , ... continue reading
  • What We Learned From SAMHSA's 2015 Prescription Drug Study

    The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides national and state-level data on the prevalence, patterns and consequences of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use in the U.S. It's sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health ...

    ... strategies in order to produce more effective outcomes. What did you learn from NSDUH's 2015 survey? How does it affect your view on drug abuse in our nation? Additional Reading: Can a Label Really Stop the Abuse of Some ... continue reading
  • Who's Smoking Weed These Days? You Asked, the CDC Answered

    Close your eyes. Picture someone smoking pot. What do they look like? Most importantly, how old are they? Did you drum up an image of a teen experimenting with drugs? A college student? If so, your image needs some updating. The Centers for Disease ...

    ... of marijuana may be working. We know that heavy (or frequent) marijuana use negatively impacts brain development during adolescence. It also impairs academic achievement and poses other health risk behaviors among teens ... continue reading
  • Hitting the Grass Ceiling: 6 Surprising Ways Weed is Sexist

    Estrogen, testosterone and THC: What do these three things have in common? Apparently, not much. Studies reveal that THC (the active chemical in marijuana) interacts differently with these three hormones. What's the result? Men and women experience ...

    ... researchers continue to explore these differences, it's important to keep in mind gender can greatly affect your experience with marijuana - for better or worse. Additional Reading: Weed: The Vocabulary Killer Image ... continue reading
  • Ice Bugs: Don’t Scratch That Phantom Itch!

    Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant that causes irreversible harm to the body. Manufactured from a toxic concoction of chemicals, it damages blood vessels in the brain, destroys teeth and causes severe impairment in memory, judgment ...

    ... harm to the body. Manufactured from a toxic concoction of chemicals, it damages blood vessels in the brain, destroys teeth and causes severe impairment in memory, judgment and motor coordination. And the consequences don ... continue reading
  • Let’s Talk Truth: Exactly How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

    If you throw back a beer on Friday night, it's out of your system by Monday morning. But, what about other drugs? Most drugs linger a bit longer than alcohol. In fact, some of them stick around for a long time. This slower processing can surprise ...

    ... screen. One night, her cousin offers her some ecstasy . She has never tried it before and asks how long it will affect her. With the next day off work, she's assured it will be long gone by the time she starts her next ... continue reading
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