Wednesday, 21 June 2017

How Cocaine is Made | Okeechobee

Cocaine tops the list as the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States, after marijuana and heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Overdose from cocaine consists of about 10% of the total admission in public-funded abuse treatment programs. However, in a study which the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime conducted, cocaine is one of the most expensive illegal drugs in the black market. In a 2015 Global Drug Survey, a gram of cocaine cost about 80 USD. This will make you wonder what cocaine is made of and how it is made to yield this kind of amount in the market. Before delving yourself in this kind of information, you must first know what cocaine is.


Cocaine is primarily made of extract from coca leaves, native to South America. But it can also contain several ingredients like cornstarch, talcum powder, powdered milk and other substances once it is diluted or “cut.” This drug can over stimulate the central nervous system and contains anesthetic properties.  For hundreds of years, South American people use the coca leaves whenever they need an energy boost. The cocaine plant is relatively harmless but once chemically synthesized it can produce short- and long-term dangerous effects.  Street names of cocaine include Crack, Rock, Coke, Snow, Candy, Blow, Flake and Charlie.

How is Cocaine Made?

After marijuana, cocaine is the most widespread drug in the US but few people understand where it comes from. To make just a kilo of cocaine, coca farmers need to hand pick 1,000 kilos of coca leaves. After harvesting the leaves, they laid it out under the sun. Famers will let the leaves dry in the sun for about half to full day. The leaves will somewhat dry out and ready for the next step. There are two ways to extract cocaine from the basic coca leaf plant, using solvents or using acid-based chemicals.

Cocaine extraction using solvents

Once the leaves are dried out, it is finely chopped and dusted with lime or carbonate salt along with a small amount of water. Some manufacturers will use a weed-whacker to complete this process. Some people may just do it by hand. After the leaves have been cut, makers will sprinkle a small amount of cement powder.  Then ammonia and lime are added to the leaves. Next, they will spray diesel or kerosene over the leaves and strongly stirred up for three days. The process will remove the cocaine from the leaves and into the liquid mixture. The makers may use a washing machine or cement mixer while some poor manufacturers will just do it by hand. The ingredients will help separate cocaine from the leaves.  Manufacturers will heat the liquid to eliminate any wax from the coca leaves. The mixture will then be filtered to separate cocaine from the leafy concoctions.  Initially, the mixture will look like a large amount of liquid mixture. Makers will then add sulfuric acid and re-mix it again. This will transform the cocaine free base to cocaine sulfate. Manufacturers or makers will let the mixture sit for some time. During this process, cocaine sulfate will separate from the mixture. After the separation process, makers will then add lime or caustic soda. This will neutralize the sulfuric acid; the by-product of the chemical is a sticky yellow solid mixture. Again, this paste is dried then package and shipped to another location for additional handling and extraction.

Cocaine paste extraction using acid

Another procedure to make cocaine is using acid-based chemicals to extract the drug.  Makers pour the leaves of the coca plant in a container with dilutes sulfuric acid. Makers need to work exuberantly to soften the mixture which usually lasts for about 2 hours. The acid in the container will transform the leaves to cocaine sulfate. To remove unnecessary waxy deposit, makers will drain the chemical and then heated. The rest of the mixture will undergo filtration process to remove any remaining plant residues. Lime or carbonated chemicals are added to the mixture, makers stirred the ingredients vigorously. The result of the concoction is called coca paste. Makers will then add kerosene and re-filter the concoction for further sulfuric acid treatment.

From ‘paste’ to Street Cocaine

After the coca extraction process, it needs further processing to change the mixture from chemical concoction to an ingestible substance. The mixture will undergo purification process, in which it is dissolved in a small amount of diluted sulfuric acid. Next, an exact measurement of potassium permanganate is added to the mixture. As a potent oxidizing agent, it removes the impurities in the coca paste. It even changes the color of the paste from a brown-yellowish color to an almost translucent white color.  The translucent, acidic solution by-product is then filtered and treated with the chemical ammonia to neutralize the acid. Before it reaches the black market, the ‘raw’ cocaine is further dried to transform it into cocaine hydrochloride. The final result is the street product that circulated the black market with crystal-like properties that produce a numbing effect. In order for the users to inject cocaine, it must be water soluble. If not, the drug will just form in clumps and can lead to cardiac arrest. As a salt, users can both inject and snort cocaine which the body can easily absorb.

Changing Cocaine to Crack Cocaine

Considered as the most powerful form of cocaine, crack cocaine produces a very powerful high. With regular abuse, it is often associated with intense energy, hyperactivity, aggression, and even paranoia. Most people convert hydrochloride into a solid substance of freebase cocaine. To produced crack cocaine, makers will add sodium bicarbonate or ammonia. In this form, users commonly heat the drug and smoke it using glass pipe and inhaling the smoke or vapor. Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life. Get help from the nearest rehab and detox center in Okeechobee. Check out this playlist for more help.   [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="green" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Famous People who have Overcome Drug Addiction | Miami FL

Drug addiction can affect anybody, and almost everyone knows that Hollywood celebrities tend to do drugs. While some succumbed into the deadly habit, most recovered it all and gone to better days. Here are some of the Celebrities who battled addiction and successfully overcome it.

Drew Barrymore

Growing up in the Hollywood spotlight as a child actor exposes her to the same path that most child actors went through. She also had to deal with family problems while growing up. At a very young age, she was exposed to nightclubs, drug use, cigarettes, and alcohol. By the time she was 14 years old; Drew changed her lifestyle and remained sober to this day.

Britney Spears

One of the most popular and sensationalized addiction problems that the country saw was Britney Spears. She went into a total meltdown because of her drug and alcohol addiction. When she had enough, Britney check herself into a rehab facility and battled her addiction. Presently, she fully regains her celebrity status and continues to build her career in the music industry.

Robert Downey Jr.

Before he was cast as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., suffered from addiction. It was the most publicized and at the same time the most inspiring addiction recovery cases in Hollywood. Robert suffering from different kinds of addiction like heroin, cocaine and other illegal substance there is lost his career as an actor. During his addiction, Hollywood deliberately outcast the actor and lost many acting roles. He just simply had enough of his struggles and check into a rehab center. When he got off from the treatment program he was able to live a sober life. Robert Downey Jr. became one of the highest Hollywood A-list actors today.

Matt Damon

The movie industry knew Matt Damon as a longtime chain smoker, but it all changed when he saw a particular picture. Matt saw himself smoking and realized how terrible he looked. He then began his healthy living which resulted to quit his habit. He was so sure that quitting is the right choice that he even convinced his best friend, Ben Affleck to quit smoking as well.

Ben Affleck

Beating addiction actually skyrocketed his career even more. Ben’s problems with gambling and alcoholism almost ended his Hollywood career. In 2001, realizing that it is his addiction is causing damage to his health and career, he voluntarily went into rehab. After the program, he turned to some of his friends for support and was drug-free ever since.  Ben reportedly visited Lindsey Lohan when the Hollywood actress also went to rehab. He hoped that he can help the young actress in maintaining sobriety after the rehab program.

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie, the daughter of the famous singer, Lionel Richie also fell into the addiction trap. She was addicted to pills, marijuana, and heroin. In 20017, authorities arrested Nicole for illegal possession of heroin and for being under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin. After rehab therapy, Nicole gained her vitality and is now married with two kids.

Steven Tyler

The lead singer of the well-renowned rock band, Aerosmith battled addiction ever since he was in high school. In one of his interview, Steven admitted that his addiction led to poor relationships and difficulty following lessons in class. His band mates intervene with Steve’s addiction and finally convinced the singer to check into rehab in 1986.


Eminem publicly admitted that he once used drugs and other painkillers. His friends intervene with his addiction problem and he was convinced to go to rehab. During his treatment, Elton John befriended the rapper and convinced him to seek additional treatment to maintain a sober life.

Demi Lovato

Demi’s career was at its peak when the actress suffered alcohol and drug addiction. In 2010, she entered a rehab facility to get treatment. Until now the singer and actress maintain a drug-free lifestyle as well as building her successful career in the industry.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine never denied that she used to smoke as a teenager. However, she continued to light cigarettes until her adulthood. But one momentous event changed everything for her.  Paparazzi took a picture of her smoking while pregnant. The image disgusted the actress that she decided to end the habit for good. Also, not wanting her children to grow up smoking, she quit the habit for good.

Daniel Radcliffe

Not many people knew that behind the success of the Harry Potter series, Daniel suffered alcoholism privately. He was addicted to alcohol during the filming of the popular wizard movie series. He then realized that his behavior was causing him his life and his successful career. The young actor went through alcohol treatment and has lived a sober life ever since.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah serves as one of the inspiration all over the globe. She was a role model for children who wants to be successful in life despite all challenges. However, she also battled one difficult ordeal of crack cocaine addiction during the 80s. Nobody knows exactly how long she suffered from addiction. Oprah gave up the habit ages ago and is now trying to help people overcome the same battle she won.

Kelly Osborne

Kelly Osborne journey to recovery was not an easy one. The daughter of Ozzy Osborne battled with addiction and numerous relapses along the way. In 2009, she went to rehab four times because of drugs and painkillers before learning the way of sobriety.


The Black Eyes Peas singer also suffered from drug abuse during her career. The addiction was so worse that it caused her to leave the group and get help from a rehab facility. After the treatment, she created several songs about the addiction and it was a hit. She was now married to Josh Duhamel. Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life. Check out the nearest drug and rehab center in Miami FL. Check out this Miami Detox playlist.   [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="blue" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Definition of Cocaine

Cocaine is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as a smoke, or as a solution injected into a vein. Historically speaking cocaine is being used as a topical anesthetic in eye and nasal surgery. Also as a result of improper use of the drug it can cause major health problems. Because of the vasoconstrictor activity, it can lead to cardiovascular toxicity. To control misuse of cocaine, the medical community replaced the drug. They now use synthetic local anesthetics, such as:

  • benzocaine
  • proparacaine
  • lidocaine
  • tetracaine
Apparently, it remains available for use if specified or prescribed by an authorized person. Cocaine contains properties known to reduce bleeding. If physicians need vasoconstriction effect for medical purposes they combined the drug with phenylephrine or epinephrine. For medical purposes, topical cocaine can be used as a local numbing agent to help with painful procedures in the mouth or nose. Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. The duration of its effects can last from fifteen or thirty minutes to an hour. Its effects depend on the amount taken and the route of administration. Cocaine can be seen in the form of fine white powder, bitter to the taste. When inhaled or injected in a person body, it can cause a numbing effect on the body. Cocaine also increases alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality of the person that intakes it. It has stimulant effects that are similar to that of amphetamine, however, these effects tend to be much shorter lasting and more prominent. Drug injection is by turning the drug or the cocaine into a solution that provides the highest blood levels of the drug in the shortest amount of time. Subjective effects not commonly shared with other methods of administration may include a ringing in the ears moments after injection usually when in excess of 120 milligrams that is lasting 2 to 5 minutes including tinnitus and audio distortion. This is colloquially referred to as a "bell ringer". It is said that the average time taken to reach peak subjective effects was 3.1 minutes in taking the drug. An injected mixture of cocaine and heroin, known as "speedball" is a particularly one of the most dangerous combination, as the converse effects of the drugs actually complement each other, but may also mask the symptoms of an overdose. It has been responsible for numerous deaths.

Cocaine's Adverse effects


With the excessive or prolonged use of the drug it can cause

  • itching
  • fast heart rate
  • hallucinations
  • paranoid delusions.

Overdoses may lead to the following effects:

  • hyperthermia
  • marked elevation of blood pressure,
  • arrhythmias
  • death

Same as with these effects:

  • anxiety
  • death
  • paranoia
  • restlessness can also occur, especially during the comedown.
  • With excessive dosage, tremors, convulsions and increased body temperature are observed.
Long term abuse of cocaine can provide detrimental physical and mental side effects.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

  • Recognizing an addiction is the first step to losing it.
  • Depending on the nature of the abuse of the drug, some patients who are seeking help will be advised to attend a residential rehabilitation program, or much better a structured day program.
  • Medications can treat the symptoms related to cocaine withdrawal, subsequently, there is no substitute or alternative drug that can effectively and efficiently help a patient recover from a cocaine dependency.
  • Individuals who will stop using the drug will have powerful cravings that can last for years.
  • Preferably counseling, social support, and some specialist medications may help.
In a study, it shows that 70 percent of people who decided to undergo treatment for powder cocaine problems are either to stop completely or significantly reduce their consumption. Users can stay drug-free not longer than 6 months. Anyone who is concerned about cocaine use should see a doctor or can look for a local support group that can motivate them for beating or stops the drug addiction. By the help of these motivational groups and Detox of South Florida, it can adversely turn the addiction to a meaningful way of living. There are two possible ways you can detox cocaine depending on the time frame of usage of the drug: 1 – Natural Way: This is done by drinking plenty of fluids that allows your system to naturally cleanse. This type of process will usually take longer. 2 – Detoxifying products: These are products that are usually in the form of drinks, powders, and pills. They can speed up the process of detoxification process or at least allow you to test clean of any drugs for a short period of time.   Check out this video from  for help and information.   [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="green" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

What is Drug Addiction? | Orlando

Drug addiction is defined as a chronic disorder. Users continue to consume their choice of drugs despite the harmful effects.  The behavior can produce damaging effects to the user as well as those around them. Addiction is also considered as a brain disease. It causes continuous behavior that results in the physical changes in the brain. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM did not exactly define the term ‘drug addiction’. Instead, the DSM uses the term ‘drug abuse’ and ‘drug dependence’. The medical community considered both terms as substance use disorders.  

Other characterizations of drug addiction include:

  • Users developed drug tolerance. It is a condition in which they need to consume more drugs. Users also increase their dosage to get the same ‘high’ effect.
  • People will continue to abuse drug despite the harmful effects it gives to them and to their loved ones.
  • Once users stop using drugs, the will undergo extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Drug addiction remains as a serious condition in the United States.  An estimated 13% of Americans abuse alcohol while 25% of Americans smoke cigarettes. In 2010, the US Surgeon General prioritized solutions for drug abuse in a Healthy People publication.  

The Beginnings of Drug Addiction

The start of drug addiction usually occurs in adolescence. Experimentation with prescription drugs, alcohol and cigarettes remains as the main reason for teenagers to try using addictive substances. Most 12th graders admit taking illegal drugs during their lifetime. However, most of these people will outgrow the habit. Their consumption of illegal drugs never meets the level of drug abuse or drug addiction.  

Drugs that can create Drug Addiction

Drug addiction involves several substances such as tobacco and alcohol. Users can easily buy these two substances. Meanwhile, users get their supply other illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin through black markets. Presently, alcoholism problem is seen declining within the past years. But methamphetamine addiction appeared to be on the rise.  

Here are several types of drugs associated with drug abuse:

  • Alcohol - most commonly abused the drug. 20% of people who alcohol in some point in their lives becomes dependent.
  • Opiates - drugs derived from the opium poppy plant, the most common drug addiction.
  • Cocaine – at least 10% of people who the drug evolved to heavy drug users
  • Amphetamines
  • Hallucinogens - like PCP, LSD, and marijuana, users often combined hallucinogens with other drugs
  • Prescription medication
  • Other substances - like tobacco and steroids
Many view drug addiction as a lack of willpower. Addiction is more complex than that.  It is considered as a mental disorder and should be addressed as a medical condition. Drug addiction usually starts as a decision to consume drugs, it changes over time. Drugs alter the brain function that can result in poor judgment and ruin self-control abilities to make good decisions. This can result in a severe form of addiction cause compulsive behavior to consume more drugs.  

A ray of hope for Drug Addiction

Fortunately, Detox of South Florida and several treatments are available to help users overcoming their addiction. These treatments can help them regain their lives back to live a healthy lifestyle again. In a study, medication treatment and behavioral therapy is the most effective way to treat addiction. The combinations of these two ensure all sources of the addiction, whether physically or mentally are properly addressed. Relapses are a common event during treatment. It does not indicate that the users failed to quit their addiction. A relatively small adjustment or alternate treatment is needed to help users to continue their recovery process. Each user has its unique genetic make-up and drug abuse history. It is important to seek help from experts who can tailor fit the treatment program. Check out this playlist from Orlando Detox and Rehab.     [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="red" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]  

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Drugs used for Opiate Addiction | Fort Lauderdale

Treating opiate addiction is a crucial and sometimes painful experience. Many users failed to avoid drugs because they cannot handle withdrawal symptoms. Some drugs can help relieved withdrawal symptoms. It can aid users during detox. Some drugs can imitate the effect of addictive drugs. The result can eases both drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications can mimic opiates without the addictive properties. A medical practitioner can prescribe medications specified for addiction treatment. These treatments can take place in either inpatient or outpatient rehab program. These experts can adjust the medication dosages in the course of the treatment. This will ensure the care and safety of the users. In a proper medical supervision, users have a higher chance in recovering from addiction.  

The Detoxification Process

Detoxification process serves as the first step in treating addiction. This will eliminate all traces of the drug from the user’s body. The ultimate goal is to clean the body from the toxins of the drugs. However, during the detoxification, users may experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of the drug abuse, this experience can be painful for the user. Users who abuse drugs for an extended time in higher doses experience the worst symptoms. Medication plays a big role in helping users get through the detoxification process.  

The most common withdrawal symptoms of opiates include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chillls
  • Stomach pains
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
Doctors use specific medication to treat different withdrawal symptoms. Some of the medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms from opiates include:  


Drugs can alter the physical structure of the brain. Users may no longer produce enough natural dopamine and another chemical in the brain. These chemicals can produce feelings of pleasure and happiness. It is common for users undergoing detox to experience depression. Antidepressants such as Zoloft and Prozac can help with the depression. These drugs can help users handle depression. It helps the body until the brain is capable of producing enough dopamine and other pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain.  


Benzodiazepines or benzos can help to reduce irritability and anxiety. Opiates, cocaine, and heroin produce these symptoms. The drugs can assist users in the symptoms. However, doctors are still cautious in using benzos because they can also generate addiction.  


This is a combination of a new drug that helps with opiates withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine activates receptors that can suppressed cravings. It can also prevent intense withdrawal symptoms. The mixture of the drug with naloxone can prevent abusive behavior towards medication. Meanwhile, subutex commonly used for chronic opiate detox. To treat severe withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapses doctors use the drug Suboxone.  


Clonidine is a medication use to blood pressure that works on the brain. This drug can reduce cramps, sweating, anxiety and muscle aches. Clonidine can also stop tremors and seizures. It also reduces the effects of the “fight or flight” reaction. Drugs usually over stimulate this reaction in the brain during opiate withdrawals. Unfortunately, clonidine does not help in reducing the drug cravings. The drug is also less effective when used alone.  


This drug can eliminate withdrawal symptoms. It activates the same opioid receptors in the brain as what other narcotics do. Doctors give the correct dosages of methadone to prevent opiate withdrawal symptoms. It can also ease the user’s experience of drug cravings. Methadone does not produce any feelings of euphoria. Doctors can slowly reduce methadone in the user’s body. This can result to opiate treatment management. It can also lessen physical dependence and without withdrawal symptoms. Presently, methadone is a proven treatment for opiate addiction.  

Living a sober life after detoxification

Detoxification reduces the physical dependence and tolerance of opiate addiction. However, addiction experts claimed that the social and psychological factors need to be addressed as well. This will ensure the success of the addiction treatment. Stress and other stimuli that trigger the brain to use drugs are a common event or a relapse. It is important to address the other reasons that user to take drugs, to maintain a sober life. It can also lessen relapse from happening. When users experience drug cravings it is difficult to resist. Most users may succumb to relapse, thus repeating the whole cycle of addiction again. According to studies, opiate addiction can enjoy long-term maintenance treatment. Methadone or buprenorphine combined with naloxone can help users maintaining a sober life. Doctors often prescribe these drugs as maintenance of treatment. Meanwhile, methadone remains as the most effective method of recovery. Studies around methadone use can testify with its beneficial effects. Even a newer drug, Suboxone already gained wide support as a maintenance opiate drug. Watch this video from Detox of South Florida for more information.     [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="purple" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

What Drug Addiction is Characterized by? | West Palm Beach

Drug addiction is considered as a mental disorder. In which it holds a physical and psychological need to consume the drug despite its detrimental effects on the body. One of the most terrifying feelings that you can experience is to watch your loved ones destroyed by drug addiction. However, confronting your loved ones about their addiction often leads to denial. Nevertheless, you know something is not right but you cannot get a straight answer so you can offer the proper treatment for them. Even if users hide their addictive behavior it can still manifest and scrape its way through. It is rare that families will not notice the abrupt changes in the user’s behaviors. Knowing the corresponding symptoms can help you understand the type of drugs the use. But there are situations that users use several drugs at a time which make the symptoms different and even more complicated. Some may take longer to manifest while others become apparent as soon as the user abuse the substance.  

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of drug addictions.

  •    Physical dependence

Long-term exposure to drugs can lead to physical dependence. The user’s body become so accustomed to the presence of drugs that it constantly need the drug to function ‘normally’.  One of the major side effects of drugs is that it alters some of the physical components of the body.  It also includes an awful feeling of the user when the drug is no longer present in their system.
  •    Tolerance

Also, once users continue their addictive behavior for a long period of time, the body builds a tolerance to the drug. This means that they need to take higher doses or consume more of the drug to get the same bodily high effect.
  •    Cravings

Users typically experience extreme urges or cravings for the drug. As their addiction progressive so does their compulsive behavior to consume the drug. They take drug whenever and wherever they can, often disregarding their own safety. For example, they consume drugs or drink excessively even when driving or swimming.
  •    Moderate to extreme withdrawal symptoms

Depending on how users take their drug of choice, they can experience moderate to extreme withdrawal symptoms once they stop. When users experience these withdrawal symptoms it also indicates that their body is already physically dependent on the drug. Withdrawal symptoms include shaking, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms often surface just hours from the last drug intake.
  •    Financial problem

Most often users spend a lot of money just to obtain drugs. If they use illicit drugs from black markets they may need to spend a little more because it is more expensive than alcohol. They go beyond their budget and depleting their savings just to finance their addictive behavior. Also, they may steal, lie or create stories just to obtain more money for their addiction.
  •    Disregards Responsibilities

Urges or cravings usually accompanied addiction. Users would rather take their choice of drugs rather than to attend commitments at work or school. In addition, they choose their addiction over their personal obligations. This is one of the red flags of addiction.
  •    Isolation

Since users hide their addiction from family and close friends, they often isolate themselves from these people. They may also show secretive behaviors that would otherwise contradict their previous selves. Several reasons come to play for these behaviors. This includes increased depression, anxiety even paranoia.
  •    Sudden change of friends

Users may start isolating themselves from their old friends to seek out people with the same habits. They also want to spend more time with this new group of people who urge them in their addictive behaviors. Furthermore, specific drugs also give out particular manifestation. Each drug has its own characteristics and provides different side effects. Here is a list for certain group of drugs and their most common characteristics.  


Opiates belong to a group of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant to treat pain. It has different kinds of drug which include prescription medications such as hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxycodone. Another famous drug that can fall under this category is heroin.  Symptoms of opiate abuse are often characterized by:
  • Sedation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Shortness of breath
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Slurred speech


In some states, marijuana is still illegal. Users can smoke, vaporize or ingest (cookies, brownies, and candies) this drug.

Symptoms of marijuana abuse are often characterized by:

  • Memory problems
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unusual hunger, excessive intake of food
  • Poor coordination
  • Hallucinations


Doctors commonly prescribed benzodiazepines to treat severe anxiety.  This usually comes in tablet form. However, users alter its form in preparation for injecting or snorting. Benzodiazepines affect the same receptors in the brain as alcohol. The symptoms for these drugs often show signs similar to alcohol abuse.

Benzodiazepines abuse are often characterized by:

  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness without the smell of alcohol
  • Amnesia or memory loss
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Clumsiness
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Aggression


Users commonly snort cocaine; some even inject or ingest the drug. Cocaine use are often characterized by
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Extreme confidence and exhilaration
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is an amphetamine drug referred to as speed. Users commonly misuse this drug to be snorted, smoked or injected. Crystal meth abuse are often characterized by
  • Poor oral health resulting to tooth decay
  • Skin picking, rashes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Crawling sensations in the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Extreme talkativeness
If your loved one shows several or most of the symptoms with these drugs, it is important to plan an intervention. Provide support for them to get a drug rehab program in order to end their devastating addiction. You can always make a difference in your loved one situation, all they need is a genuine conversation about a treatment program. Make sure you always assure them that you are coming from a place of love and you are not judging or reprimanding them. The main goal of this article is to identify whether they have an addictive behavior and get them treated immediately. Help is always available for those who want to change for the better. Detox of South Florida has the best source of materials to make this change possible. Check out the nearest detox and rehab centers in West Palm Beach Check out this playlist for more help.     [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="gold" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

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Monday, 12 June 2017

What was Written in the Scripture about Addiction?

Drug addiction affects almost all facets of life, this includes the physical, mental, and social well-being of the user. In most cases addiction also affects even the spiritual life of the users. On the other hand, the bible is not unaware of the disorder. The bible believes that addiction is a sin problem and not just an ordinary sickness. The scripture said, as what is written in I Corinthians 6:12, “Everything is permissible for me -- but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me -- but I will not be mastered by anything.” This verse tackles about all the sins of man, including addiction. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21) The bible also mentioned user as “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).    

Addiction as a sin

Also, the bible condemns all forms of sins. In Ephesians 5:18, it said “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. The bible also teaches us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Another one from I John 3:8, denounces addiction which is a sin of man. It reads as “He who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning”.  But there still hope for these people as the verse continues, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work”. Even people with severe or chronic addiction, they do not need to be judged or condemned. They have the very right to change their lives for the better.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17). There are many instances where Jesus Christ preached about addiction and healed users to reclaim their lives back. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the bible said, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.  

Can God help me?

God has created a way for you to know Him. He can do all impossible things. He knows and hears your heart. For it is written in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”.  

Reclaiming your lives back

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” as what is written in I John 1:9.   Everyone deserves a chance to turn away from addiction and get help. Do not get frustrated by your struggles as the bible said in Galatians 5:22 to 23. It said that “Jesus Christ has done something about your problem. He came to liberate you from such problems and enable you to gain self-control, a fruit of the Holy Spirit”. Believed in spiritual healing, as the bible said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him, and He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21 to 36). There are several treatments available for addiction. It is not too late to change your behaviors and it remains as a curable disease. Jesus was born to deal with the sins. The bible reminds us that “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people” (1 Corinthians 5:11).  

Believe and you are forgiven

The bible is faithful to God’s words, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Put your faith to in Jesus, that He may help you overcome addiction. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).   The scripture said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). Received the blessing of the Lord, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).  

The Lord’s promise

Bear in your heart the words of the Lord. For He has forgiven you that you may take control your lives back. One that is free from addiction. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). In Philippians 4:8,9, the bible proclaimed that “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”. Getting saved from drug addiction is possible and this is where Detox of South Florida can help. Check out this playlist from Fort Lauderdale Detox and Rehab.   [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="red" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

The above blog post What was Written in the Scripture about Addiction? {was first published to|


Friday, 9 June 2017

How to Help Someone with Drug Addiction | Okeechobee

Watching your loved ones ruined by drug addiction is far more heart breaking than anything else in the world. As they loss themselves in the addiction, you them as well, little by little. In situation like these, intervention plays a vital key to help them get into treatment. It not an easy task to talk to your loved one with addiction problem and intervention is a very delicate task. Here are some dos and don’ts to approach your loved one to start a drug rehabilitation treatment:  

The DO’S


DO arm yourself with research

For you to understand what your loved is going through do some research about drug addictions. In this way, you’ll have an idea about the disorder and know what exactly they feel. Another way to do this is to attend some seminars or meetings from one of your local addiction support groups. Members of the group may even share their experiences with you like how they start going to treatments, the reason for their addictions, etc.  This knowledge can help you foster empathy; a much needed skill in order for you to talk to you loved one suffering addiction. Your loved one will likely listen to what you are if it comes from a place of love, not as a reprimand. Educating yourself about addiction can help you foster these skills.

DO an intervention

Intervention remains an one of the most effective way to get someone start a drug rehab program. This method involves meeting your loved one with addiction and concerned family members or close friends in a neutral environment. This will show the users that they are not alone in their struggle, and their addictive behaviors affect those around them. You would want to start the conversation how their behaviors affect the real world. Also, don’t sound like you are forcing them to go into rehab.

DO think about getting a professional interventionist

If you are hesitant confronting your loved one with addiction, then consider getting help from an expert. Professional interventionist is a mental health expert that has all the skills to approach users. They can plan and manage the process of convincing someone to start addiction treatment. Another significant skill of an interventionist is the ability to act as a neutral person; users are more likely to open in such conditions. A neutral environment sometimes acts as a best setting to talk to users since they will not feel pressured or provoked.

DO start the treatment straight away

If everything goes well during your intervention, your loved one may choose to agree with you and start a rehab program. Once they agreed, start the treatment immediately and don’t allow any last drink or last hit. It is important to get the user directly to a facility as soon as you can.

DO support your loved one during and after the rehab program

Once your loved one starts a rehab treatment program, it’s important to show your support. Always be there, before, during and even after the treatment. You can help the user in providing them encouragement to focus on their recovery. However, there are instances where health care facilities implement a “no contact rule”. This means for a particular period you can talk or visit your loved one. During this time, do not try to contact the user. Also, do not give them travel money if they want to leave the program early or do not pick them up at the rehab center. In some cases, users may experience a relapse after a rehab treatment. When treatment is over, your loved one is once again exposed to factors that could trigger the addiction. It is important to show complement them about their accomplishment in finishing the program. Encourage them to avoid these triggers. People suffering from addiction need to fight the battle on their own and use the essential skills that they learned during rehab. If this fails, support them in getting additional treatment.  

The DON’Ts


DON’T randomly confront your loved one

With all the drama and commotion of addiction, emotions are running high. Confronting users with such emotions is always a bad idea. Do not get tempted to confront you loved one without a plan. This could do more harm than good. Users will feel more antagonized and more likely refuse any suggestion to go to rehab.  A good intervention requires meticulous planning and careful choices of words so that users will feel the concern is from a place of love.

DON’T judge the user

Your main goal should always be to get your loved ones to a treatment facility for their addiction. Stay on your goal as you talk to the user. It is always best to talk to the users when they are sober, so does everyone involved in the intervention. Do not judge them or bring out conversation about the things they did while under the influence. Avoid conversation like blaming their friends or partner regarding their addictive behavior.  Make them realize that you are willing to help them and focus on that alone.

DON’T make any hollow threats

The main goal is to convince your loved one to go to a drug rehab facility to get treated. In worst case scenario after the intervention ended, the user decided not to enter rehab. The consequences that you outlined before you intervene must take immediately. This is important that you are straight to words. Don’t make any threats that you cannot do or won’t follow. If you said that you will cut off any financial support, be strict about it. Do not provide any money, give groceries or any hand-out to your loved one. Do not get faint hearted, this in a way is showing your support. This is to ‘support’ them about teaching the right and proper way to live a life, one that is drug free. When your intervention concluded we do hope it ends well and that your loved one can immediately begin their treatment. If not, then do not give hope just yet, just let your loved one that you are willing to help. And that help is genuinely coming from a place of love. If you want change for yourself or someone you love, Detox of South Florida can be your best source of help. Find a rehab and detox center in this location. Check out this playlist for more info.     [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="blue" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

How to Help Someone with Drug Addiction | Okeechobee {was first published on| DetoxofSouthFlorida


Thursday, 8 June 2017

How to Get Help from Drug Addiction | Miami

The most difficult step to take in overcoming addiction is the first step – the desire to change for the better. Overcoming your drug addiction takes more than willpower. The drug may already alter some physical changes in your body. It is normal to feel hesitant at first, as long as the longing to quit the habit is there; chances are you can overcome addiction. The road to recovery takes time, effort, motivation, and support. It is ok to feel confused about giving up your drug of choice. Even though you feel it is causing you more harm than good, the fact that you want to change makes a big difference. That same reason can contribute a lot towards the success of your recovery.  Also, there are several factors in your life that you need to address. These include:

  • how you deal with your daily stressors
  • the people who trigger stress in your life
  • how you feel about yourself
  • what you most of the time
For the success of your recovery, you may want to focus on the change, even how small it may be.  Some of the situation you need to think about regarding your behavior:
  • Write down the advantages, disadvantages as well as the benefits you can get when you quit.  This will give you an idea on how much you can gain when you quit the habit.
  • Always think about the things you hold dear or even the things that are important to you. These may include your child, partner, career, and health. Ask yourself, how does your behavior affect them?
  • Think about your drug use, like how much you consume in a day or when do you usually consume your drug. This will give you an idea on how much addiction plays in your daily life. Also, try to consider what makes it hard for you to change? Look into the treatment options available near you.
Everyone is unique and this is especially true in addiction. Treatments are tailored fit to meet your need as a user. Several factors come into play for treating addiction, these include:
  • the severity of the addiction
  • the duration of the addiction
  • the frequency of the addiction
Fortunately, several rehabilitation centers can cater to your especial needs. They can adjust and modify their program to properly assist you in your recovery. However, you must keep in mind a few things in choosing your health care provider:  
  • Drug rehabilitation treatment varies for everyone

It is important that you can find a rehab program that can address your specific needs. There are no exact treatments that can work for everyone. You have your specific needs which require a particular type of treatments.
  • The treatment program should address more than your addictive behavior  

Addiction affects all aspects of your life including your health, personal relationships, and psychological well-being. Similarly, addiction starts in various ways. An effective long term treatment depends on how these issues are addressed. The success of your treatment should also tackle the psychological and physical aspects of your addiction. Make sure your health care provider can effectively address these issues.
  • You commitment plays a large role in your recovery

The treatment process for addiction is a long and crucial process. Also, depending on your substance abuse, it may take longer. Aftercare is as important as the treatment process. This will ensure you will get through your cravings and relapses. As you go through your treatment process there are several things to consider. These can effectively help you throughout the ups and downs of the treatment.  

Choose an encouraging support group

Always remember you are not alone in your battle. You may be suffering from addiction but your loved ones are there to support and help you. Choosing the right group of people with positive influences regarding you battle with addiction is important. These people can encourage, give positive perspective and will listen to you. Those factors can provide a higher chance for your recovery. You can do this in several ways.
  • Turn to your family and close friends

No matter what happened in the past, your family will always be there for you. They are willing to forgive you and give you another chance to regain your life back. Your close friends can give you sound advice in whatever you are going through. If in any case, you cannot confine with your family, these group of people can give you support.
  • Cut your negative connections

If you are friends with your drug dealer, this is the best time for you to remove all connections from them. These include people you know who are into drugs as well. Build a new sober network of friends. You can do this in joining some activities or recreational classes in your local community. Join a recovery support group and attend the sessions regularly. It would be very healing to spend time with people who share the same experience and undergoing the same ordeal as you do.
  • Consider moving into a new place

The environment where you lived in, (especially if it is near a drug prone area) plays a vital role in your recovery.  

Study how to cope with your daily stressors

Reflect on the instances where you start using drugs. Is when you are stressed, angry, frustrated or lonely? Studying these emotions can shed light on your behavior. Everyone encounter stress in a daily basis, however, there are healthier ways to deal with it.  Also, if these are the factors that made you turn to drugs, learn to find ways how you can effectively handle it.

Here are some things that you can do to help you control these emotions.

  • Pamper yourself, go to a spa, shop or dine out
  • Exercise go for a brisk walk, bike or jog
  • Enjoy nature and bathe under the sun
  • Always think of a positive thought

Stay away from triggers

Your recovery does not end when you get sober or stop taking your drugs. Your brain and body still need time to recuperate from those drugs to regain its vitality. During this time, you may feel intense cravings because your body got so used to the drug. It is important for you to stay away from the triggers that may start your addiction. Avoiding such situation includes:
  • Avoid going to bars and clubs

You can easily get alcohol even drugs in these places. You do not want in a situation where temptation exists.
  • When getting medical prescription, be upfront with your substance abuse history

If you are suffering from any physical disorder, tell your doctor about your substance abuse. Some medication can generate addiction which will put you on dangerous ground. Painkillers, sleeping pills, and sedatives contain a big potential for addiction.
  • Get involved in recreational activities

Distract yourself with activities that can occupy your mind.  Immerse yourself with a new hobby that can spark your creativity and relax your mind. You can travel to places where you always wanted to go or just hike and exercise. Once you created a new hobby it can produce new health habits and you may find the cravings will just go away. Relapses are common during a treatment. While relapse is discouraging and frustrating, it can serve as a learning opportunity from your mistakes. It does not mean that you failed as an individual. Identify what are your triggers to turn to drugs again, and make some adjustment with your treatment. Detox of South Florida can also do the same, so talk to them and be open with your feelings and struggles. Get help from the nearest rehab and detox center in your area. You can also check out this playlist from Miami Detox and Rehab   [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="green" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]

The featured article How to Get Help from Drug Addiction | Miami {was originally published to| DetoxofSouthFlorida


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

What Causes Drug Addiction? | Orlando

Most medical practitioners would agree that addiction does not have one solitary cause. Addiction is a complex disorder that starts because of several factors. Mental health problems are one of the main factors for addiction. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50% of drug addicts suffer from one or more mental health disorders. Users turn to abuse drugs to help with the symptoms. When they take it regularly, addiction can develop.

Drug and alcohol addiction includes abuse to substances such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Methamphetamines
  • Opioids, including pain medication prescriptions
  • Stimulants
  • Tobacco
Habits are often mistaken for addiction. But there is a big difference, people take control of their habits and chooses their habits. Giving up their habit takes time but does not have any connection with the same neurological and psychological changes which controls addiction.  

The Physical Nature of Addiction

Substances that cause addiction can physically alter the parts of the brain which are associated with memory, motivation, and reward. Repetitive use behavior of these substances can develop into addiction.

Alcohol and drug addiction can affect these brain areas:

  • Amygdala
  • Anterior Cingulate Cortex
  • Basal Forebrain
  • Nucleus Accumbens
Almost most forms of addiction interfere with the interaction of neurotransmitters and the function of the brain chemical. This is especially true in the memory areas and reward system of the brain. Because of the physical nature of drug addiction, it takes time and continuing efforts to overcome the disorder. Discontinuing the use of the addictive substances can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms which include headaches, nausea, and vomiting.    

How addiction affect the brain

Addiction can also cause changes in several nerve cells in the brain like neurons. These neurons use natural chemicals referred to as neurotransmitters to communicate. Unfortunately, these changed in the brain can stay even after the users cease using the drug. The most common factors that can trigger addiction include:
  • Growing up in a household with substance abuse history
  • Elevated Stress Levels
  • Severe Trauma and/or Injury
  • Mental health conditions, particularly as mood disorders like chronic anxiety and depression
  • Psychological trauma, especially after loss of  a loved one or extreme loneliness
Like most mental health illnesses, there are several factors that can contribute to the development of drug addiction. Two of the main factors are environment and genetics.  

Environmental factors

The environmental factors include the behavior, attitudes, and belief of the one’s family. When parents do not educate their children about drug addiction, their children will think addiction is acceptable. This attitude often results in a higher risk of substance abuse. Peer pressure also plays an important role for drug use. This is especially true for teenagers. They will hang out with friends and will do anything to fit in. If some of the people in the group take drugs or drink alcohol, it is very probable that someone will fall into the habit. Also, peer pressure holds a very strong force to coerce someone to experiment things they would not do on their own.  


According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, genetics make up 50% of the development of addiction. Biological make-up of a person may delay or speed up the progression of the disorder. However, a person who has a family history of addiction does not ensure them of the same disorder.  

There are also underlying causes of addiction:

  • Mental disorders

Users who suffer from bipolar disorder, depression anxiety, and other mental disorder may turn to substance abuse to relieve their problems. Alcohol and other illicit drugs can temporary make them feel ‘normal’. It is difficult for users to go to a professional and seek help, more so if they confess their emotions to their loved ones. They turn to addiction as a way to solve forget and ‘solve’ their problem on their own.  
  • People turn to substance abuse to ‘get rid’ of stress

People think an occasional drink after a day’s hard work just to relax. However, over time this behavior can lead to tolerance, this means users need to drink more alcohol get the same ‘relaxing’ feeling. A seemingly innocent one glass of wine can easily balloon to one bottle of wine per serving. This condition will soon lead to dependency then turn into an addiction.  
  • People turn to drugs to escape from hurtful memories

Numerous people had experienced very traumatic events in their life like an abusive partner or a sexual assault experience. They turn to drugs to escape or temporarily forget these unpleasant memories.  Children are very susceptible to physical and emotional trauma. These horrible experiences can disturb them into their adulthood. Instead of going to a psychologist, they misuse addictive substance to go through their ‘normal’ life.  
  • Boredom often leads people into trying drugs

Boredom sometimes pushes people to try using drugs or drinking alcohol to get the feeling of ‘excitement’. However, their behavior will do more harm than good, as it can easily develop into addiction. Teens and young adults usually fall under this reason, since they do not carry responsibilities of paying bills, jobs and other daily stressors. They see substance abuse as a way to escape their world and enter their altered reality.  
  • People think that a legitimate prescription is acceptable to use

Most people think that a prescription from a medical practitioner is safe to use. When they know someone who suffers ‘similar’ symptoms of their sickness, they often use the same drug. This is a very dangerous mentality as they can experience the adverse effect of the drug, or they might accidentally combine it with another drug. The latter can result in drug dependency or worst to a drug overdose.  
  • Prescription drug can generate drug dependency and lead to addiction

People who suffer from moderate to severe pain often see a doctor to get a prescription from the pain. These people may have pre-existing injuries while others get injured. Unfortunately, painkiller drugs can produce drug dependency. Over time, people need to get more of the drug to function normally. Most of the time, users take more of the drug get the same effect or continue to take the drug long after the prescription is over.  
  • People seek out the feelings of euphoria

Users get hooked on drugs and other illicit substances because of the ‘high’ feelings it generates. They continue to seek the experience and will create a continuous cycle. One of the challenges to treating addiction is because of this reason. Prolonged heavy use of addictive substances often requires a long period of medical treatment. It may seem difficult to break addiction but with proper treatment and support from loved ones it remains possible. As detox is one of the effective ways out there, it is best to have the best source of information and Detox of South Florida is committed to offer help. Check out this Orlando Detox playlist [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="orange" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]  

The featured blog post What Causes Drug Addiction? | Orlando {was first seen on|


Monday, 5 June 2017

Tackling the Debate about Drug Addiction | Miami

Over the years, many people debate about drug addiction being a disease. People think that those who suffer drug addiction usually lack the strong motivation to quit or users lack moral principles. Understanding drug addiction takes more than someone else’s’ opinion. The medical community considered drug addiction as a complex disease. Kicking the habit takes more than willpower. Over time these drugs alter the brain which makes it difficult for users to quit, even if they want to. Medical treatments for addiction are widely available. Many users recover from addiction to live a healthy and happy life. What happens when someone falls into the trap of addiction? To understand addiction, it is important to know what addiction is all about.   Drug Addiction The American Medical Association defines drug addiction as a disease. Environmental, biological, and behavioral factors can cause drug addiction. A condition similar to diseases like cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. Also, genetic contributes a lot in addiction. Addiction alters the physical characteristic of the body and the brain. It creates changes in the normal function of the brain. Drug addictions trigger these changes or users already have pre-existing medical conditions. The end result of drug addiction can cause further damage to the physical and mental health. Such conditions need serious and expensive medical care. Long term addiction will develop into a severe disorder. Users may end up with life-threatening health conditions.   How Drugs Abuse Changes the Brain Function Most drugs interrupt the normal function of the brain’s reward system. This reward system controls the pleasure activity in the brain, the same region where it motivates a person. These addictive substances can cause the brain to produce excessive dopamine levels. Also, these drugs flood the central nervous system with dopamine, a chemical messenger. Overstimulation of the reward system can cause a rush of intense ‘high’. This feeling triggers the person for repetitive behavior. When users continue to use illicit drugs, the brain adapt to the dopamine excess. Over time the build tolerance for the drug. This means that the brain will start reducing the natural dopamine production. It can also cut off the cell’s ability in the reward system to respond to pleasure. Users may need to take more of the drug or take higher doses to get the same effect. Furthermore, because of the reduction in the natural dopamine production, users may feel less motivated. They have decreased pleasure from activities or hobbies they once enjoyed in the past. Long term heavy drug abuse can cause other changes in the brain chemical systems. These functions may include:

  • Behavior
  • Decision-making
  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • Stress
  • Memory
Even if the users stop consuming the drugs, the changes in the brain can still linger for a period of time. These changes can also make the users vulnerable to the physical and environmental factors that caused them to turn into drugs. Once users restart the addiction, it is medically known as a relapse.   Can people blame users for their addictive actions? People should not blame users for suffering from addiction. Even though all people make choices whether to use substances, they do not choose how their body will respond to it. Each individual has unique physical characteristics and produces different reactions to drugs and alcohol. Some users may control their use while other cannot. Each person has the capability to stop using addictive substances. Users may find it more difficult to quit than those who do not have the disorder. Nevertheless, users cannot walk away without accountability. The only action users carry is the responsibility to seek treatment. They are responsible for maintaining a sober life. Most often they need help and support from loved ones and close friends. Having a strong support system increases the chance for effective recovery from addiction.   More than willpower Drug addiction usually starts with a decision and a conscious choice of the user. But, as time goes by, addiction changes the normal function of the brain and will power becomes damaged. The most significant symptoms of addiction are the uncontrollable behavior to consume the addictive substance.   Is drug addiction a disease? A disease is health conditions that can are manageable. Approximately 25 to 50% of people with substance abuse disorder also have a co-existing severe or chronic disorder. For users, addiction is a progressive disease which needs continuous treatments. Aftercare and strong support group are also important for users to regain their vitality. Fortunately, even is most severe cases of addiction, the disorder can still be treated and remains as reversible.   Drug Addiction a Disease or not Many people do not consider drug addiction as a disease based on the initial stages factor which is the user’s choice to use addictive substances. It may start a decision but over time, these substances alter the brain and body and users lose all control of their actions. Also, choices do not determine the end result such as the kind of disease it can trigger. Some forms of cancer and heart disease all result from poor diet and lack of exercise. A disease is something that happens as a result of those initial choices. Meanwhile, some people argue about drug addiction should not be considered as a disease because some people do get better without seeking medical help. Users with mild substance disorder can effectively recovery even without undergoing treatment. On the other hand, people with severe addiction commonly need treatment and sustained aftercare for life. This is to ensure abstinence and to take control of their lives without relapses.

The above blog post Tackling the Debate about Drug Addiction | Miami {was originally published to| DetoxofSouthFlorida