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How Long Does Ecstasy Stay In Your System, Blood and Urine?

Often described as a ‘party drug,’ ecstasy is a recreational drug used in a night club and dance settings. Ecstasy is the commonly used term for a substance known as MDMA. Other street names for the substance include Molly, Mandy, and E.

Ecstasy became popular in the 80s club scene, but recently it has been used by a broader range of people, including in medical settings. Despite recent research suggesting some effectiveness for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the substance brings a high risk for the user and has side effects that can be fatal.

The length of time the drug remains in the body varies depending on several factors: dose, frequency of use, body weight, and composition. We look at these factors in detail below and the options for addiction treatment if you or a loved one live with substance abuse problems.

What Is Ecstasy?

MDMA is a synthetic drug that typically produces a euphoric high for users. In some cases, it can have psychedelic effects; for this reason, it is sometimes associated with LSD.

Originally derived from amphetamines in the early 1900s, ecstasy was used for its appetite-suppressing properties and could be acquired on prescription. It was a rarely used substance until the 1970s when it began being used as an alternative psychotherapy method in individuals living with PTSD, addiction, and depression.

MDMA then made its way into the mainstream through club nights, music festivals, and raves, where it was and is commonly abused until this day. For this reason, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rescheduled MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance, categorizing it as a substance without any medical use.

What Are The Effects of Ecstasy?

Typically the effects of MDMA last between 2 and 6 hours. This substance has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties, and it works by stimulating serotonin activity in the brain, which affects the body and mind.

Users tend to report feelings of increased energy, joy, and empathy. They also may become more trusting and compassionate of others, friends, and strangers.

Ecstasy affects your need for sleep and food, with users typically reporting a decreased appetite and increased warmth and activity. Ecstasy users report many other associated side effects. Physical side effects include:

  • Tensed muscles
  • Jaw clenching
  • Gastrointestinal system issues
  • Nausea
  • Increased perspiration
  • Increased body temperature
  • Raised heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Impaired or blurred vision

Psychological effects include:

  • Increased senses
  • Feelings of joy and euphoria
  • Compassion for others
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

It is common for these effects to feel positive and enjoyable for the first few hours after use; however, less positive side effects tend to occur after the euphoria wears off. After the body has metabolized the MDMA, users will commonly experience difficult and distressing after effects, also known as a comedown.

Depending on how much the drug is used, the effects will vary. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that a standard dose of MDMA will see the user experience the most intense effects 15 to 30 minutes after the onset of symptoms.

The effects of the drug usually last between 3 and 6 hours. However, some symptoms have been known to last for days or weeks. After the initial dose, like many drugs, the user is likely to search for the same feelings from the first high. This can result in them taking increasing quantities of the drug. This affects the length of time that MDMA stays within the body and increases the risks of adverse side effects.

Can You Develop an Ecstasy Addiction?

It is common for users to become addicted to the effects of ecstasy. Individuals may begin to feel they cannot have a good time without the drug, and they spend a lot of time thinking about and acquiring the drug.

Signs of an ecstasy addiction could include:

  • Intense cravings for the positive effects of MDMA
  • Increasing dosage of use
  • Continuing to use the drug despite negative impacts

An individual’s tolerance to the substance will increase reasonably rapidly with regular use; despite taking the same dose or more, the drug will have fewer effects. This often leads users to take higher doses to feel the same euphoria. Over time, ecstasy use depletes serotonin levels in the brain, which gives you the ecstasy ‘high.’

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay In Your System?

When we talk about the body’s ability to metabolize drugs, we use the term ‘half life’; this refers to the amount of time taken for the initial concentration of the drug to reduce by half. After one half-life, 50% of the dose taken remains in the body.

Research has found that it can take approximately forty hours, or five half-lives, for 95% of ecstasy to go from the body.

The length of time MDMA stays within the system depends on several factors, including dosage, body composition, metabolism, and other drugs in the body. Furthermore, different tests have varying sensitivity and different detection windows. Although it is not possible to give a specific time frame, ecstasy is detectable for approximately:

  • Three days in blood tests
  • Three days in saliva tests
  • Five days in urine tests
  • For months after hair follicle tests

What Is an Ecstasy Drug Test?

The length of time MDMA stays within the system is variable. Furthermore, different tests have different sensitivity and detection times. Although it is not possible to give an exact time frame, an individual may test positive approximately:

  • Up to 3 days in blood tests – Ecstasy is typically ingested orally, which does not release the substance instantly; it releases slowly, resulting in prolonged highs compared to other drugs. Blood tests are an invasive procedure, so they are not usually used.
  • Up to 3 days in saliva tests – Saliva tests are a quick way of detecting MDMA. This type of test is not usually used in treatment centers; it is more likely to be used by the police to check for substances at the time of the arrest.
  • Up to 5 days in urine tests. This is the most typical way to test for MDMA. Ecstasy is excreted through the kidneys after it is metabolized and has a detection window of between two and five days.
  • Up to 4 months in hair follicle tests – This is not a standard testing method as it can’t accurately detect very recent drug use. However, hair tests help identify substance abuse history as they can show whether you used ecstasy in the three months before being tested. This drug test method is generally used in employment environments to screen potential employees for substance abuse.

MDMA Addiction Treatment

If you, or someone you know, wants to stop using ecstasy, help is available. The cycle of substance addiction is a complex condition, and medical supervision is strongly advised to keep you on the right track to recovery.

Every drug addiction is unique, and therefore, so is the recovery. A quality rehabilitation center should offer you treatment options, incorporating flexibility to suit your recovery goals and needs. Most recovery plans begin with detox, which flushes the body of substances and the associated toxins. Here we look at some of the elements you may find in an addiction treatment program:


Detoxification is the process of ridding the body of substances. This is a crucial first step in your journey, allowing you to focus on the psychological aspects of recovery. There are no FDA-approved medications for treating ecstasy addiction, but comprehensive drug detox programs can provide a secure environment with medical supervision to manage the distressing symptoms of withdrawal.

Ecstasy withdrawal is not usually harmful, but it can be uncomfortable. Individuals may experience exhaustion, brain fog, loss of appetite, anxiety, and depression. If you choose a holistic healing program, your medical supervision will treat any co-existing conditions, such as depression or anxiety, which may trigger your drug abuse.


Inpatient programs are recommended for individuals with a history of substance abuse or co-existing mental health conditions. If you choose this option, you will live in a safe, residential setting and determine several therapy modalities and 24/7 support.


Outpatient programs enable you to stay within your own home and fulfill necessary responsibilities while attending treatment. This can be an effective option for those with a supportive home environment or a milder form of addiction.

Talking therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are often used in ecstasy addiction treatment. These techniques can help people identify and alter the thoughts and behaviors contributing to their substance abuse and find healthier coping mechanisms. Talking therapies can be run in individual sessions or during group therapy. Finding a support group can be combined with CBT, as you find support from others who truly understand your challenges.

Getting Help for Drug Abuse

Suppose you are asking the question ‘how long does ecstasy stay in your system’ because you are anxious about testing positive for MDMA. In that case, it may indicate you need to seek advice from a qualified addiction treatment center.

Our team is ready to support you through the detox process, giving you the best chance at a complete and safe recovery. As you walk through our doors, we provide you with the utmost care and attention. Family therapy and various talking therapies are also offered to those trying to recover from a substance use disorder.

Our substance abuse treatment programs are tailored to your specific needs and goals, including medication-assisted treatment, mental health treatment, and specialized trauma treatment.

Asking for help and admitting you have a problem is difficult, but once you’ve stepped through that threshold, a life of sobriety can be yours.

How To Deal With a Drug Addict Daughter

Being a parent comes with a huge amount of responsibility, and the path is not always easy. There are going to be challenges when it comes to keeping your children safe and happy.

Discovering that your child is living with a drug addiction can be devastating, but there is hope for the future. Here we look at some of the most beneficial ways of supporting your child through their substance abuse and recovery process.

You may find it difficult to confront your child about their addiction, especially if they are at an age where they live independently from you. Finding the right approach takes some work so we have laid out some helpful techniques, along with some unhelpful behavior to avoid in this scenario.

Trust your instincts as a parent or parents; the stress may cloud your judgement but listen to your inner voice and remember that your love for your child is one of the most healing contributions to their recovery.

How To Support Your Adult Child’s Addiction Recovery

Everyone’s addiction is unique, as is their recovery. Although your son or daughter may always have to be mindful of their addictive behaviors, a fulfilled life of sobriety can be their future.

Standing beside them through the process can be the necessary hand on their shoulder to get them through. We look at some of the best ways to offer emotional support, sustain strong family relationships, and maintain necessary self-care throughout the process.

Understand Addiction

In order to truly support your child through their drug use, you first need to fully understand addiction, and the symptoms and behaviors associated with it.

When reading about substance use disorders, choose reputable sources and only read medically reviewed information. There is still a lot of stigma around addictive behaviors and absorbing misinformation about the disorder could lead you and your child to feeling further isolated from one another.

Research suggests that there are a number of things which lead young people into addiction, including environment, genetics, and altered brain development. This is contrary to the previously held belief that those who engage in drug taking are morally corrupt or have poor self-control.

No matter what the catalyst for your daughter’s drug taking, there is help available and a drug-free future ahead is possible.

Joining support groups with other parents managing a child’s addiction can be a very effective and supportive way to learn about addiction. If your child is in the early days of recovery you can take advice and motivation from those further on in the journey; likewise, if you are further on in the process you can offer support and hope for those at the beginning.

Enlist Support for All Family Members

Choosing a treatment center which values a strong family unit can make a positive contribution to your child’s addiction recovery. Although your daughter is the person undergoing substance abuse treatment, the impact of her drug abuse is felt by the entire family.

Family therapy can help you find ways to communicate with each other in a constructive and supportive way, where everyone is able to talk about their feelings and feel heard. A family therapist can also help you to create and set boundaries, an important step we will discuss below.

Family involvement in the recovery process plays an important role in supporting your child and, crucially, yourself. Your own health and well being are not secondary in this scenario; if you neglect your own life and needs you will not be capable of supporting your daughter through this journey.

In addition to family therapy, there are resources and support groups available for the whole family of substance users. These groups can offer invaluable support and hope for healing together with your loved one.

Set Healthy Boundaries

One of the most important, but often challenging, steps you can take to support your child is to create and maintain healthy boundaries. These are rules and agreements which encourage respectful and supportive behavior for everyone experiencing the recovery process.

These boundaries may incorporate ideas around time commitments, personal space, possessions, honesty, respect, house rules, and many other things which are uniquely important to your family.

When establishing these boundaries, consider your child’s health, other family members, and crucially, your own needs. Despite the fact that your daughter is living with a severe mental health issue, there is not only one person to nurture and care for.

When you have put boundaries in place, ensure that you have communicated these clearly and that they have been understood. This way, even in particularly difficult moments you can work together as a unit to maintain these healthy boundaries.

What Not To Do As The Parent of a Drug User

It takes a lot of work from everyone around to stay on the recovery track. As a parent, the love and protection you have for your daughter may override other feelings. It’s important not to give in to certain instincts which at times will be very strong.

Here we look at some of the things you want to avoid if your son or daughter is struggling with alcohol abuse or a substance use disorder.

Don’t Enable The Drug Abuse

Enabling behavior is a very common trap to fall into. As a parent, it can be tempting to make excuses for your addicted child and their behavior. This often comes from a well-meaning position, as you may want to protect them from unkind judgement or criticism.

However, downplaying or denying that they are battling addiction can reinforce their own ideas that they do not need treatment and result in them rejecting a rehab program.

Drug and alcohol use can have negative consequences on your child’s physical and mental health, their relationships, career, studies, and crucially, their sense of self.

Even when you have your daughter’s best intentions at heart, it is possible to fall into a pattern of enabling. There is a spectrum of this behavior, from lending them money to smothering and controlling them. Being aware of all of these possibilities can keep you in the best position for you and your child.

Once you stop enabling your child’s behavior, you will find supportive ways of responding to her mental illness, from positive reinforcement, to honest discussion, to exemplary self care.

Don’t Blame Yourself or Her for Substance Abuse

Feelings of shame and guilt are typically very present for individuals who are abusing drugs. Adding to this by blaming or judging your child for their substance use is only going to contribute to her low self esteem and addiction triggers.

Abusing substances is a common way of dealing with difficult or traumatic life experiences. Attributing blame to your addicted daughter or son is likely to further isolate them.

In addition to this, blaming yourself or taking responsibility is not a constructive way to deal with a drug addiction in the family. Family members often carry guilt for their role in substance use disorders; however, it is almost always a combination of triggers which result in substance use, and the responsibility is not for one person to bear.

Focus on creating a support network for your child which can channel your energy into positive, healthy steps forward.

Don’t Take Away Her Capabilities

Treating your child as though they are incapable of anything alone can be detrimental to their overall progress.

Although your intentions are likely to ease some pressure and make their lives easier, there is a risk they will believe that they are powerless on their own. Allow your child to take control of their life and build up their self confidence again.

Remember that she is a person in her own right and her substance abuse does not define her.

Quality Treatment for Drug Abuse

If your daughter is in the grips of a drug addiction, it may be hard to imagine another reality. But there is hope: extensive scientific research has found a number of effective evidence-based treatment methods for recovery from substance abuse.

At Empowered Recovery, we take a multi-faceted approach. Our addiction recovery programs combine a range of treatment options tailored to our client’s needs. We don’t only treat the symptoms of addiction, but we also look at the underlying triggers and co-existing mental health disorders which contribute to substance use disorders. Some of the modalities we incorporate:

  • Talk therapy, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Group support sessions
  • Alternative therapies, such as yoga and meditation
  • Life skills development
  • Family therapy

A quality treatment program will include comprehensive aftercare to support clients at the end of their rehab program. At Empowered Recovery, this includes connecting you with local support groups and offering continued recovery coaching.

Contact Us Today

If you are worried about your daughters drug use, contact us at today to discuss the treatment options. We can offer confidential advice about supporting you and your family through this challenging time. One of our compassionate staff members will take your call and answer any questions you have about the journey to sobriety and health for your daughter.

Cocaine Abuse Symptoms

What Is Cocaine?

The DEA classifies cocaine as a Schedule II drug because of its potential for abuse and addictive properties. It acts as a powerful stimulant of the central nervous system and reward pathway in the brain by raising dopamine levels in the user. Cocaine users will feel increased energy, activeness, and alertness. People who abuse cocaine will display physical and behavioral symptoms.

Cocaine exists in two primary forms: powdered cocaine, often referred to as “blow” or “coke,” and a solid, rock form, crack cocaine, known as “crack” or “rock” on the streets. Powdered cocaine is most easily taken by snorting but can also be dissolved in water, whereas crack is smoked. Since cocaine is so addictive, using either may lead to drug addiction.

Effects of a Cocaine High

Cocaine creates exacerbated feelings of euphoria and well-being. It makes a person feel sharp and alert. They may become highly talkative, with significantly boosted confidence and courage. This experience, also known as cocaine intoxication, is why people take the drug.

The pleasurable cocaine-induced experience is usually intense but brief, one contributing factor to how addictive it is (the intensity is enjoyable, but its brevity means the user needs more cocaine quickly). How long it takes for cocaine to kick in, the duration and intensity of the high, and how quickly the effects wear off depending on various factors. One of these is how it is taken: smoking cocaine or injecting it will work faster and more powerfully than snorting it, but the drug acts rapidly in all cases. Cocaine intoxication generally wears off after 30 minutes to two hours.

However, the racing pulse, increased body temperature, and interference with brain chemistry caused each time cocaine is used mean the drug places considerable strain on the body and mind.

Signs and Symptoms Someone Is On Cocaine

While the user will experience the sensations and feelings described above, anyone around them may notice mixed signals – on the one hand, the person may seem positively upbeat, buzzing with energy, brimming with self-confidence, and highly friendly; on the other, they may become suddenly restless and irritable, sensitive to loud noises or touch, and their gaze may reveal dilated pupils.

Early Signs and Symptoms Someone Is Abusing Cocaine

What starts as an experiment with the drug, or occasional social use of cocaine, are risky behaviors that can quickly lead to a cocaine abuse habit. Since tolerance to cocaine is acquired rapidly, a person can soon need more and more often to achieve the same euphoric effects. One of the first warning signs a person is abusing cocaine is a marked change in behavior. The person may display mood swings, erratic sleep patterns, loss of focus on work or studies, commitment to responsibilities, neglect of personal hygiene, distraction, and depression. In short, they are not their usual self, be it their state of mind or their actions.

Aside from these behavioral symptoms, physically, a person may display suppressed appetite and loss of weight, a runny nose and nosebleeds, and bloodshot eyes.

When these signs of cocaine use are present, even if the person has not reached the stage of addiction proper, the risks to their health and possible actual damage are already considerable. If a person is able, perhaps with the help of friends or family members, to recognize their drug use as drug abuse, they are in an excellent space to seek treatment and avoid a descent into worse substance abuse problems.

Cocaine Addiction

Statistics from just before the Covid pandemic showed an increase in emergency room visits in the US for non-fatal cocaine overdoses across all age groups. Continued use of cocaine, or other drugs, despite harmful consequences, is generally an indicator a person is in active addiction. Ideally, a person will understand that this describes their condition from things like the cocaine withdrawal and drug cravings they will experience. Sadly, many people are unwilling or unable to recognize the symptoms of cocaine addiction and are therefore unlikely to seek the addiction treatment that could help them.

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Those in the inner circle of a person in active cocaine addiction will notice a whole range of effects and may become concerned for the person’s mental health. The signs of cocaine addiction are both physical and mental.

Although not all the following physical symptoms will be outwardly apparent, they all point to cocaine addiction:

  • Unusually high energy, restlessness, difficulty sleeping.
  • High blood pressure, increased or irregular heart rate, perspiration.
  • The effects of damage to the nasal tissues: runny nose and nosebleeds.
  • Using cocaine in ever-increasing quantities to compensate for acquired tolerance leads to frequent blackouts.

Psychologically, there may be:

  • Noticeable mood changes from one extreme to another: euphoria, surges in confidence, and enthusiasm, but also agitation, irritability, and restlessness.
  • Emotional states that could point to mental illness: include depression and psychosis.
  • Impairment of mental and cognitive abilities, such as concentration, decision-making, and performing duties.
  • Taking cocaine to self-medicate for any of the above, stress or pressure.

Long-term Effects of Cocaine Addiction

In the longer term, cocaine addiction adversely affects all areas of the user’s life – physical and mental health, work, livelihood and finances, social life, relationships, family dynamics, etc.

They will be at increased risk of:

  • Damage to the heart and liver, permanent damage to the brain
  • Redundancy, unemployment, financial difficulties
  • The trouble with legal authorities, social isolation
  • Co-occurring disorders (when a mental health condition and a substance abuse condition are diagnosed as being present simultaneously), suicidal tendencies
  • Overdose, stroke, heart attack, and death.

Causes and Risk Factors of Cocaine Addiction

Any addiction is generally the result of many diverse causes. Understanding cocaine addiction usually requires looking at the broader picture of a person’s life, circumstances, and history.

A more immediate cause can be risky behavior, such as dabbling in drugs occasionally or for recreational use. A casual drug habit like this can activate new reward mechanisms in the brain, creating a stronger desire and a need for drugs, especially heroin and cocaine. A few categories of risk factors are listed below:

  • Environmental: individuals in highly demanding and competitive environments, for their work, studies, sports training, and so on, are at risk of developing an addiction through using cocaine to perform better, work or study longer, or be sleepless. Also, unsurprisingly, people surrounded by, or often in contact with, users of cocaine or other drugs risk being more easily introduced to the drug through cocaine exposure.
  • Physiology: in particular brain chemistry, people have a greater or lesser capacity to experience well-being through pleasurable activities. They may seek drugs to compensate or find that cocaine has a potent effect on them.
  • Family; this applies to genetics – inherited genes may predispose a person to cocaine addiction – and the home, since a parent or sibling in active addiction may pass their habit on to other family members.
  • Psychological: some people may use cocaine either to reinforce a feeling (confidence, for example) or to avoid one (such as depression). They may also have a preexisting mental health condition making them more vulnerable to the temptation of drugs or impairing their judgment around acting and behaving in their best interests.
  • History: particularly medical, someone who has previously suffered from a substance use disorder, or had mental health concerns, may fall more easily under the sway of cocaine use and addiction.

Treatment Centers and Recovery

Whether you snort it, smoke it, or inject it, cocaine is such a powerful drug and so addictive that some would argue any illegal use of it constitutes abuse. Any cocaine addiction always starts with a single line of coke, with one first contact. Any self-respecting treatment center will take cocaine addiction very seriously. At Empowered Recovery Center, we want you to get well and live the life that is your birthright – complete and creative energy, a life of purpose. Whether you or a loved one is currently struggling, we are here to guide and support you along a path countless others have successfully trodden before – the way to freedom.

The Dangers of Snorting Adderall

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996. It is a combination of stimulants, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine, which increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. This results in enhanced concentration and focus and decreased impulsiveness. It is generally prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a chronic condition characterized by daytime drowsiness and overwhelming urges to sleep).

What Are The Effects of Adderall?

The increased mental alertness and energy Adderall delivers has made it popular among students, who use it to concentrate more and study longer. It activates the body’s fight-or-flight response and stimulates the brain, increasing dopamine production and inducing feelings of euphoria. Adderall also suppresses appetite.

How Do You Take Adderall?

When prescribed by a doctor, Adderall is taken in tablet form or as a time-release capsule, generally in the morning, to avoid disrupting sleep patterns.

When used outside of a medical context as a recreational drug, Adderall can be crushed, mixed with water and injected, mixed with tobacco and smoked, or snorted like cocaine. Currently, snorting Adderall seems to be one of the most popular ways of taking it among students, second only to oral administration.

What Class of Drug Is Adderall?

Adderall is classified as a schedule II controlled substance because of the risk it may cause potential addiction and physical dependence. It is only legally available with a legitimate prescription from a licensed medical professional.

Nonmedical use of Adderall to self-medicate may gradually lead to a drug abuse habit and the need for addiction treatment.

What Are The Reasons for Adderall Abuse?

Snorting Adderall produces a rapid, intense “high” due to the brain’s surge in the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. The drug reaches the brain more quickly via the digestive system, hence the enhanced effect. Used in this way, Adderall is comparable to illegal and addictive stimulants in potency, which has made its customary use more and more common, particularly among young adults.

Among students, starting as early as high school, Adderall is frequently used as a “study drug.” By increasing powers of concentration, the drug helps them study undistracted and for more extended periods. Their thinking is that the drug will help them achieve more academically. However, studies show that unless a person has a genuine attention deficit disorder, this is not the case, and, worse, the drug can even hinder mental agility.

Misusing Adderall as a “crash diet drug” for weight loss is also expected since people feel less hunger when on it. Other people take it as an aphrodisiac, others still as a party drug to prolong their reveling. It can banish sleepiness and make a person feel less sensitive to alcohol.

While the immediate effects of snorting Adderall may feel pleasant, there are many adverse effects.

Consequences of Sustained Use of Adderall

Although Adderall has several potentially harmful side effects even when taken under medical supervision, for this blog post, we will focus more on its misuse because this is when the results of snorting Adderall are the most powerful and potentially problematic.

  • Adderall addiction: snorting Adderall can easily lead to compulsive, addictive, and continued use.
  • Dependence: a person’s body becomes so accustomed to Adderall that it can no longer perform without it cognitively or physiologically.
  • Tolerance: a person’s body gets used to processing Adderall, so they need to use more and more to get the desired effect.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: abusing Adderall means stopping or even decreasing drug use becomes difficult because the person experiences numerous unpleasant symptoms without it.The above explains why it is not unusual for a person regularly snorting Adderall to need addiction treatment.

Snorting Adderall Side Effects

On a psychological level, snorting Adderall can cause:

  • Hostile emotions such as anger or aggression
  • Disturbed mental states such as paranoia or psychosis
  • Difficulty “switching off” the mind and reduced sleep.

Physical side-effects of Adderall abuse include:

  • Irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Poor appetite and stomach pain, leading to insufficient nutritional intake
  • Seizure or even stroke

Nasal Septum Damage

As the conduit by which Adderall is consumed, the nose suffers from snorting the drug as much as it does when snorting cocaine. Common symptoms are:

  • Runny nose and crusting in the nostrils
  • Congestion, chronic sinusitis, or sinus infections
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Actual damage to the nasal septum

Longer-Term Effects of Snorting Adderall

Adderall places a significant strain on the nervous system and heart. By interfering with the natural balance of the body and mind, it can cause health problems over time. Heavy use of Adderall over a prolonged period can produce some of the very problems it is prescribed to cure! Difficulty concentrating and finding the motivation to focus on and stick with tasks are examples.

States of mind are, of course, intimately linked to the state of the body. Some chronic physical symptoms that can arise are:

  • Headaches and tremors
  • Weight loss and constipation
  • General tiredness, lethargy
  • Sleeplessness, heart disease

Mental states and emotions can be affected as follows:

  • Mood swings, panic attacks
  • Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts
  • Paranoia, hallucinations

Overdoses From Snorting Adderall

Since if you snort Adderall, the drug’s effects are felt in just a few minutes, there is a genuine danger of overdose. “How much is a dangerous amount?” you may ask – as an indicator, bear in mind that the maximum recommended daily dose of both Adderall and Adderall XR (the extended-release form of the drug, a pill that dissolves more slowly) is 40 mg.

Risk factors for an overdose include ongoing substance addiction, a person’s medical history (for example, any past struggles with substance use disorder, mental health issues etc.), and tolerance to the drug built up by frequent use, meaning increasingly large quantities are needed to achieve intoxicating effects. Mixing Adderall with alcohol or other drugs also increases the risk of overdose.

Among the most noticeable symptoms of an Adderall overdose for the drug user are:

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Blurry vision, disorientation, hallucinations
  • Rapid pulse and breathing
  • Fever, upset stomach, diarrhea

Obvious signs that a third party can observe include:

  • Aggression
  • Tremors, seizures, shaking
  • Loss of consciousness

Quitting Adderall – The Withdrawal Process

From the above information, it should be clear that snorting Adderall is genuinely playing with fire. But as with most drugs, going “cold-turkey” (stopping wholly and abruptly), or even stopping relatively suddenly, can cause highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, of which drug cravings are only the most obvious.

A person misusing Adderall and then stopping will initially experience a “crash,” suddenly coming down from the default good feelings they have become accustomed to thanks to continued use. When their mind and body have come to rely on the chemical to function more or less comfortably, the subsequent “low” may feel almost intolerable. When people have developed a habit of snorting Adderall, it is not unusual for withdrawal symptoms to persist for several weeks.

Physically a person may experience:

  • Nausea, stomach ache, vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping and a sense of being drained of energy

Mentally, they may feel depressed, irritable, or experience changeable moods.

Dealing with Withdrawal

While a clinical professional or professional treatment provider can advise on navigating withdrawal, everyone has to face the discomfort for themselves. It is strongly suggested to discontinue Adderall use under the supervision of a doctor – if the urge to escape the symptoms becomes overwhelming, resuming the use of the drug is a genuine risk. Furthermore, in some people, withdrawal-induced feelings of depression can be so intense that they develop suicidal thoughts.

Adderall is a slippery drug. Many students undoubtedly begin using it genuinely believing it is only a temporary aid to their studies. A bit of a boost to help cope with the workload and succeed better academically. Unaware of the risks, they find a substance abuse habit develops.

At Empowered Recovery Center, we hold a compassionate space for all those needing help and support finding a way out of drugs. If you or a loved one fit this description, don’t hesitate to reach out. Whatever a person’s story or path to drugs, we hold no judgment. However, we offer a different way – the one to freedom from dependency on substances.

How Much Cocaine Does It Take to Overdose

Cocaine is one of the most infamous drugs known to date. Often glamorized by the rich and famous, cocaine gained popularity due to its euphoric high. However, cocaine use has many adverse side effects, including life-threatening consequences.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding cocaine use is the risk of overdose. In 2020, cocaine use was involved in around 20,000 overdose deaths. Whether you or a loved one is using cocaine, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of a cocaine overdose. Overdoses can be deadly, but you could potentially save a life if treated quickly.

Cocaine – What Is It?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug made from a coca plant native to South America. It is typically found in a white powder form that is snorted, injected, or smoked.

Cocaine has gained popularity due to its short-term effects of increased energy levels and euphoria. Because of this, cocaine is highly addictive. In the United States, around 5.5 million people use cocaine every year, and related deaths are slowly increasing.

Cocaine addiction is brought on by the drug’s effects on the brain. Cocaine use increases the levels of dopamine that your brain produces, a chemical associated with feelings of pleasure.

Repeated use of cocaine causes the brain to produce less dopamine and often leaves the user feeling like they can’t function without the drug. This deficiency most likely will lead to the development of cocaine dependence.

What Causes Cocaine Overdose

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that a cocaine overdose is caused by a person taking too much cocaine. This causes it to reach toxic levels in the system that induces a hazardous reaction in the body.

Cocaine toxicity can occur after repeated and progressive drug use, as the effects gradually build up over extended use. If you have a cocaine use disorder, you will likely take the drug in binges, meaning you take a significant amount in a short period. This increases the risk of a heart attack and causes problems to the gastrointestinal tract.

However, a cocaine overdose can occur even if it is your first time, as toxic levels are not purely dictated by the amount taken. Essentially, someone can overdose on cocaine after a few hundred milligrams, and someone could ingest a few grams and be fine.

The strength of cocaine is unknown as it can be mixed with other drugs and several different materials for dealers to increase profit. This often means that the strength of one gram can vary significantly from the strength of one gram from another source.

However, the increase in cocaine overdoses can be attributed to the rise of illicit drugs being laced with the opioid fentanyl. If you mix cocaine with any other drugs, you can overdose. Most cocaine overdoses are due to a mix of cocaine and synthetic opioids, and the number of people dying from this lethal mix of drugs has increased over the last few years.

If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing a cocaine overdose, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention.

What Happens If You Overdose Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that speeds up the central nervous system; however, if you experience cocaine toxicity, the effects brought on by this can potentially become life-threatening. Acute cocaine toxicity typically happens in a set of stages that are recognizable as specific symptoms. Signs of cocaine overdose are:

Stage 1

Physical symptoms that can be felt during stage 1 of acute cocaine toxicity include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing

Alongside physical effects, a person may also experience psychological symptoms such as paranoia and confusion or delirium; this can cause a person to become dangerous to others and themselves.

Stage 2

Short-term side effects of cocaine use include increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, these can lead to cardiac and respiratory issues. Other symptoms of this stage are:

  • Loss of bladder control
  • Hyperthermia
  • Seizures

Stage 3

This is the final and most serious stage of cocaine overdoses; people experience:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Loss of vital functions

The changes to your cardiovascular system can lead to a life-threatening cardiac arrest.

If a person reaches stage 3, their life is in danger, and immediate medical attention is needed before the body starts to shut down completely. The effects of cocaine can be felt immediately, and the stages of cocaine toxicity can quickly escalate. It is vital to respond fast as if the correct medical treatment is given; a person can survive.

If you partake in cocaine abuse, it is crucial to recognize cocaine overdose symptoms as time is of the essence. Help is just a phone call away.

Influencing Factors for Cocaine Overdose

Certain risk factors could contribute to the potential of an overdose. This makes it almost impossible to reduce the risk of or prevent an overdose. Factors include:

  • Bodyweight
  • Age when first using cocaine
  • History of substance abuse
  • Use of other substances
  • Method of ingestion, for example, if you snort, smoke, or inject cocaine

Long Term Consequences of Cocaine Use

The long-term adverse effects of cocaine are both physical and psychological. People with a substance abuse disorder, who use cocaine regularly, will increase their tolerance to the drug. This means more is needed for the same effects to be used.

The psychological effects of too much cocaine can range from irritability to psychosis. Cocaine can cause people to lose touch with reality and experience things not really there.

Those with substance use disorders often struggle in their day-to-day life. It makes it challenging to prioritize daily tasks such as maintaining social relationships or holding down a job.

Crack is another form of cocaine that is often smoked which causes problems with the lungs and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

The best way to prevent an overdose is to deal with the cocaine addiction at hand. Cocaine addiction is a substance abuse disorder, a disease that alters a person’s ability to stop taking the drug despite harmful consequences to their life. However, the condition is treatable through evidence-based treatment.

Long-term recovery is achievable through the help of a treatment center. This can offer support in managing withdrawal symptoms, dealing with the root of the addiction, and teaching tactics to deal with cravings.

If you or someone you know is struggling, then there are a range of treatment options that can help you take your first steps to recovery.

The first step of the treatment process is to undergo a detox. This is where the body gets rid of all toxins present from cocaine use. Medical detox is highly recommended as it enables you to experience withdrawal in a safe and comfortable environment.

After a detox, you will receive addiction treatment on an outpatient or inpatient basis. You will receive individual therapy, group therapy, stress management, and medication-assisted treatment here. These techniques have been proven to support clients in working toward a sober and healthy future.

Treatment at Empowered Recovery

At Empowered Recovery, we understand that drug addiction differs for everyone. We offer a holistic healing experience delivered by our team of medical experts. Our treatment options include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Trauma-focused therapy
  • Complementary therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Aversion Therapy
  • Experiential therapy

Our programs focus on long-term recovery to help you get back to living a sober and happy lifestyle.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we are here to help. Contact us today to discuss treatment options for you.

The Dangers of Snorting Tramadol

Abusing tramadol is dangerous, putting you at risk of addiction, serotonin syndrome, and potentially fatal overdose. However, effective substance abuse treatment can support you to leave tramadol behind and reclaim a healthy, sober life.

What Is Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid painkiller that doctors prescribe to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Scientists first synthesized tramadol in 1962, and it went on sale in 1977. Doctors usually prescribe tramadol in pills or capsules.

Some people abuse tramadol to experience a euphoric high. It may also help improve performance in sports such as cycling. People abusing tramadol may crush pills into a powder and snort it to increase the intensity of the high.

Is Tramadol Illegal?

While tramadol is less potent than other opioids (such as heroin), it is still an addictive substance. The United States classifies tramadol as a schedule IV controlled substance, meaning that while it has medical uses, it is illegal to obtain without a prescription. Despite this, over 1.6 million people reported past-year misuse of tramadol from 2015 to 2017.

How Does Tramadol Affect the Brain?

Like other opioid drugs, tramadol works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body, blocking chemical pain messengers and relieving pain. It also inhibits the reuptake of the chemical messengers norepinephrine and serotonin – hormones that regulate mood, respiration, and other essential functions. These chemicals have anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties, producing feelings of relaxation and euphoria in the user.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Snorting Tramadol?

Snorting tramadol can cause a variety of short-term effects. It can make you feel:

  • calm
  • happy
  • more awake

However, it also comes with a collection of undesirable or dangerous side effects, such as:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness
  • lethargy
  • constipation
  • diahorrea
  • lack of appetite
  • confusion
  • sweating
  • irritable mood
  • itching

More severe side effects of snorting tramadol include:

  • dizziness or fainting
  • raised blood pressure
  • tight airways
  • muscle weakness
  • hallucinations
  • fits
  • blood disorders
  • depressed breathing

What Are the Dangers of Snorting Tramadol?

Snorting tramadol puts you at risk of several serious medical complications – tramadol overdose, serotonin syndrome, and tramadol addiction.

Tramadol Overdose

If you take more tramadol than your body can metabolize, you may experience tramadol overdose. Opioids like tramadol affect areas of the brain responsible for breathing and respiration. If you take too much, your breathing can slow to dangerous levels.

Mixing tramadol with alcohol increases the risk of overdose.

Tramadol overdose is a medical emergency and can be fatal without urgent medical attention. If you think someone may have overdosed on tramadol, call 911 immediately.

Symptoms of tramadol overdose include:

  • Contracted pupils
  • Extreme drowsiness.
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Weak muscles
  • Loss of consciousness

Serotonin Syndrome

Tramadol abuse has been linked to serotonin syndrome, a severe condition where serotonin receptors are overstimulated. Serotonin syndrome is potentially life-threatening without medical attention. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • high fever
  • rapid pulse
  • agitation
  • confusion
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • shivering

Tramadol Addiction

If you take tramadol in a way other than what your doctor prescribes, you risk developing tramadol addiction. Addiction is when you compulsively seek or use a substance despite adverse consequences. It is characterized by physical changes in the brain that can make it very difficult to stop using the substance.

Addiction is a severe condition that can have devesting effects on your health, work, and family life. Common signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • tramadol becoming the priority in your life
  • losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • lying and stealing to obtain tramadol
  • neglecting home and work responsibilities
  • secrecy and isolation
  • strained relationships with loved ones

While tramadol addiction can be scary, there is help available. Addiction treatment programs can support users to overcome their addiction and live a productive and fulfilling sober life.

Tramadol Dependence

If you repeatedly snort tramadol over some time, you may develop a physical dependence on tramadol. Physical dependence happens when your body gets used to the presence of the substance in your body and begins to adjust its functions in response. You start to rely on tramadol to feel normal.

If you suddenly stop taking tramadol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts. Tramadol withdrawal symptoms can be physical and psychological and may include:

  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Panic, paranoia, or panic attacks
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Confusion or delirium
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Fast breathing
  • Cravings

Because of the potential severity of withdrawal symptoms, you should seek professional medical advice before withdrawing from tramadol. Medical detox can support you to quit tramadol safely, treating withdrawal symptoms and helping to manage cravings.

Other Physical Health Risks

Tramadol comes with several other physical health risks for specific groups.

  • Pregnant women – Tramadol can be toxic to a developing fetus
  • Epilepsy- People with epilepsy should only take tramadol with clear medical advice due to established health risks
  • Asthma and lung disease – Tramadol can depress breathing and may be dangerous for people with respiratory conditions

Tramadol Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex disease – but it is treatable. With the proper support, you can overcome addiction and maintain long-term abstinence.

There are many different treatment approaches for substance addiction and treatment centers tend to offer various options. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effective substance abuse treatment should:

  • vary depending on the type of drug and characteristics of the individual
  • be immediately available so the individual can enter treatment as soon as they decide to
  • treat the multiple needs of each individual, not just their drug abuse – this includes any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal concerns
  • be an adequate length of time
  • be continually assessed, evaluated, and adapted according to the individual’s progress

After decades of scientific research, there is now a range of evidence-based treatment options available for addiction. Treatment programs may include:

  • Talk therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Medication
  • Group programming
  • Support groups
  • Complementary therapies such as art therapy
  • Yoga and mindfulness
  • Life-skills development

Remember that no single treatment works for everyone, and you may need to try various options before finding the right option for you.

Empowered Recovery

Empowered Recovery is an expert-led, family-orientated addiction treatment center in Georgia. We offer a safe environment for clients to heal mentally, physically, and emotionally. Our holistic approach empowers each client with the skills they need to overcome addiction, develop life skills, and reclaim their future.

We combine clinical excellence with integrity, honesty, and compassion to help clients reach their full potential. We continually pursue the highest caliber of medical staff, many of whom have first-hand experience in addiction recovery. Our programs treat the entire person – not just the addiction – addressing any underlying mental health issues driving substance abuse.

Alongside our clinical team, our case managers work with clients to develop life skills that prepare them for sober life and help rebuild their self-esteem. We encourage clients to have fun in early recovery and rediscover their hobbies and passions. We offer a year’s additional recovery coaching to support clients through any challenges and difficulties they may face.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact us today. We’re here for you.

Danger & Effects of Snorting, Injecting, or Smoking Xanax

Xanax is the brand name of the drug alprazolam, one of many benzodiazepine prescription drugs used to treat mood disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Benzodiazepine drugs are prescribed frequently by physicians. However, if they are taken against the specific guidelines of a healthcare professional, benzos like Xanax can be potentially dangerous. Although Xanax is a prescription drug, it has a high potential for abuse.

In this blog, we look at the dangers of snorting, smoking, and injecting Xanax.

What Is Xanax?

Like all benzodiazepine drugs, Xanax increases the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – a neurotransmitter that lowers nerve impulses throughout the body – in the brain. As a central nervous system depressant, Xanax slows down the nervous system, offering users a calm, relaxed feeling while providing effects such as sedation and relaxation.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists Xanax as one of the most popular types of prescription medications taken from the legal drug market and sold illicitly. Those who abuse the drug do so in many different ways, such as crushing a pill before injecting, smoking, or snorting Xanax to produce a high.

Can You Smoke Xanax?

There have been anecdotal reports of people smoking Xanax in recent years. However, smoking Xanax is never recommended.

Some people smoke Xanax by crushing Xanax pills before mixing the powder with tobacco or marijuana. This is extremely dangerous as Xanax should not be taken with any other substances.

Others have reported putting the powder on top of foil, similar to how individuals smoke heroin or fentanyl.

How Dangerous Is Smoking Xanax?

Smoking Xanax is not safe as doing so can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening side effects. In particular, Xanax shouldn’t be smoked with other substances, especially other central nervous system depressants like cannabis, due to the increased risk of side effects such as slowed breathing. Meanwhile, heating Xanax could potentially change how it works and its effects.

The Risk and Effects of Smoking Xanax

The health risks of smoking Xanax can include:

  • Mouth burns
  • Respiratory issues
  • Cancer of the lungs
  • Lung damage

Smoking Xanax also contributes to the risk of overdose, especially if the quantity used exceeds the dose prescribed by a medical professional.

Can You Snort Xanax?

Among those who abuse Xanax, snorting the drug is a common ingestion method. When people snort Xanax, the pill is crushed to create a powder.

Although the effects of Xanax generally begin within 20 to 30 minutes, snorting the drug brings on a host of immediate side effects. This is because snorting Xanax causes it to become rapidly absorbed through the mucous membranes in the nasal passages and into the bloodstream and brain.

As it avoids the digestive system, the effects of the substance occur much faster in the central nervous system. However, a study on the effect of diazepam (another benzodiazepine) on animals showed nasal administration, or snorting the drug, did not help the benzodiazepine reach the brain any faster. The results still remain unclear surrounding how snorting Xanax changes the time it takes to experience effects.

How Dangerous Is Snorting Xanax?

Some studies have shown that snorting Xanax is linked with higher addiction and drug abuse rates. This particular method of ingestion is also associated with higher overdose rates as it is easier to misjudge how much of the drug has been taken.

Medical professionals have also expressed their concerns as snorting Xanax generates a suddenly increased depression of the central nervous system. This is particularly dangerous as it depresses heart rate and breathing. Often, a Xanax overdose can slow the breathing rate to a point at which a lack of oxygen is received by the brain, which risks permanent brain damage and even death.

Can You Inject Xanax?

In addition to smoking and snorting Xanax, individuals who abuse it may inject Xanax by crushing up pills and dissolving them into a solution before injecting it with a needle. This is also referred to as ‘shooting up’ or intravenous (IV) Xanax use.

Those who inject Xanax often do so to experience a faster, more intense, euphoric high. However, injecting Xanax increases the abuse potential compared to taking the drug orally.

Risk Effects of Injecting Xanax

IV drug use of any kind comes with the added risk of contracting bloodborne illnesses and diseases like HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C. Repeated use of needles at the same injection site can also cause infection and collapsed veins.

Xanax Overdose Signs

The best way to avoid overdosing on Xanax is to ingest it precisely as prescribed by a doctor. This is because a prescription is offered based on factors such as:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • History of drug use

By reviewing the above factors, medical professionals can determine a suitable dose of Xanax for each client.

Without medical advice, drug abuse can quickly arise. In fact, drug abuse is classified as when a person decides to take a drug without the instructions of a medical professional. People who abuse Xanax generally determine what dose is best for them based on the feeling they wish to experience instead of what the doctor prescribes.

Regardless of whether Xanax is prescribed or taken illicitly, the effects of the drug can decrease in as little as two weeks of regular use. A significant risk associated with the development of increased tolerance to Xanax is that individuals may feel compelled to increase their dose without consulting a doctor.

It is important to note that tolerance is not the same as physical dependence, but increased tolerance can lead to dependence and addiction if not addressed by a medical professional.

A Xanax overdose can include the following symptoms:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Weak pulse
  • Impaired coordination
  • Inability to breathe
  • Mood swings
  • Violent outbursts
  • Mental confusion and cloudiness
  • Slowed reaction time and reflexes
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

A Xanax overdose is a medical emergency and must be dealt with as soon as overdose symptoms occur.

How To Quit Xanax Addiction

Any form of Xanax abuse can lead to physical dependence and addiction, including oral alprazolam consumption. When an individual has become dependent on Xanax, stopping taking the drug abruptly or going cold turkey could cause severe side effects.

With this in mind, anyone who has become dependent on Xanax should seek help from a medical professional before beginning the withdrawal process. Under medical supervision, clients gradually taper off Xanax safely.

Those in recovery may be temporarily prescribed other medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, such as longer-acting benzodiazepines. This process of tapering off the drug can take up to six weeks.

After detox is complete, the treatment process can begin. At our rehab center, we specialize in treating dual diagnosis disorders. All of our treatments are carried out by skilled members of staff who have experience in mental health symptoms and medication management. We match each client with a counselor who best suits their needs and employ peer recovery support specialists, substance use counselors, and mental health professionals with expertise in trauma and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Contact Us Today

At Empowered Recovery, we offer holistic addiction treatment programs to support clients in quitting Xanax and addressing underlying reasons that may have caused them to abuse the drug.

If you struggle with Xanax addiction, call us today to speak to one of our compassionate experts. In doing so, you can take the first steps in your recovery journey.

Can an alcoholic ever drink again?

If you are recovering from an alcohol use disorder (AUD), congratulations! Alcohol addictions can be challenging to overcome, so well done for achieving everything you have so far in your journey.

If you are considering quitting alcohol and opting for alcohol treatment, you may be questioning whether you can ever drink again. You may also wonder if having one drink will be possible now and again or whether problem drinking will inevitably follow from social drinking.

Historically, abstinence has been the only option to follow for many addiction treatment programs and support groups. For many people, this is the safest option. However, due to more information and options, some people with mild AUDs are able to partake in controlled drinking.

Programs such as Moderation Management help people learn how to drink in moderation. However, it is important to speak to a therapist or doctor to determine the safest and best option for you. What works for one person may not always be suitable for another, so it is always advised that you seek expert guidance.

What Is Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction?

In the United States, alcohol is a legal drug, and its use is incredibly widespread. This can often make it difficult to discern whether someone is involved in social drinking or has an alcohol addiction. Although this is true, it is estimated that 15.7 million people over the age of 12 in the United States align with the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction come under the umbrella term alcohol use disorder. AUD is an illness split into mild, moderate, and severe divisions. At one end of the scale is a mild AUD. Mild AUDs generally arise when someone has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol but can stop drinking when they desire.

The difference between a mild and severe AUD is that those with a severe AUD cannot stop drinking due to physical and psychological dependence. Heavy drinkers will experience withdrawal symptoms without the presence of alcohol in their system, which can pose significant health risks.

It is incredibly dangerous for someone who is addicted to alcohol to quit on their own as alcohol is one of the riskiest substances to suddenly stop using. For this reason, if you are looking to recover from alcohol addiction, you should always undergo detox with the guidance of a medical professional who can design a personalized treatment plan to ensure you have the support you need for a successful recovery.

Can a recovering alcoholic ever drink again? Abstinence vs. Harm Reduction

Abstinence from alcohol means stopping drinking entirely. It is the traditional recovery approach advocated by 12-step recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Many treatment facilities and programs also promote an abstinence-based philosophy.

Abstinence used to be seen as the only way to recover from alcohol abuse, and for many people, it is a successful approach. However, each individual is unique, so it makes sense that total abstinence in early recovery will not work for everyone. This is where harm reduction comes in.

Harm reduction treatment aims to reduce the harm caused to the individual and other people but does not require total abstinence. Harm reduction focuses on education and recognizes people’s situations are complex and that it is very difficult for some people to abstain from alcohol entirely.

Harm reduction widens access to care because some people are discouraged from seeking treatment due to the abstinence approach. In contrast, many people are prepared to adhere to a harm reduction approach for treatment. This ultimately enables more people to seek treatment and provides support structures for a wider community.

Can Someone With an AUD Ever Drink Again? Why can’t alcoholics have one drink?

For some, it is recommended to never drink again. Brain chemistry alters when alcohol is abused, meaning the part of the brain responsible for controlled drinking can be affected. This damage means that controlled drinking is physically not possible for some. Furthermore, the intensity of someone’s addiction can correlate to whether or not they will be able to drink in moderation if abstinence is recommended.

However, for some people with a mild AUD, drinking in moderation is a possibility. Before you decide whether you should quit drinking entirely or take a controlled or moderate drinking approach, you must talk to a registered medical professional if you are recovering from AUD, as the risk of relapse is always present.

Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for healthy women and one or two drinks a day for healthy men. For some people, Moderation Management can help them uncover how to engage with alcohol consumption safely.

During a Moderation Management program, a participant is not allowed to drink for 30 days. During this time, they learn tips to identify triggers and find healthy behaviors to replace them, and come to understand past drinking patterns, so they know how to avoid these moving forward. The program also asks those in attendance to consider the reasons behind their drinking problem and why they want to start drinking in moderation.

For people who either have an alcohol addiction or are in recovery, drinking in moderation is not recommended, as even one drink can lead to relapse.

What Are Some Positives of Stopping Drinking?

Giving up drinking alcohol, seeking substance abuse treatment, and recovering from an alcohol use disorder have many health benefits. Reminding yourself of the positives of quitting alcohol can help you maintain your sobriety.

Some of the benefits can include:

  • Better sleep
  • Improved immune system
  • Enhanced mental health
  • Healthier weight
  • Better skin
  • Improved nutritional intake
  • Lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease
  • Better memory
  • Healthier personal relationships

In addition to the above, internal organs, such as the liver and heart, start recovering or regenerating when you quit drinking and maintain sobriety. This essentially improves your physical health and enables your body to recover from the physical side effects of alcohol use disorder.

What Are Some Ways for Me To Control My Urges?

In addition to seeking addiction treatment, there are a number of ways that you can control your urges. We have shared a few below.

  • Try to keep a list of the reasons for stopping drinking in the first place. If you have been sober for a while, it is easy to look back at drinking with rose-tinted glasses and forget all of the negative consequences that come with alcohol abuse.
  • Seek support from AA, a therapist, or a close friend. By talking to someone who can help you sustain your sobriety if you feel at risk of relapse, you can work through any issues and secure the support you need.
  • Fill your time with healthy alternatives. If you feel as though you want to drink again, try to take part in healthy alternatives. For example, starting a new hobby or completing an activity that you enjoy can help you feel part of a new community. Participating in activities will also offer you a sense of fulfillment. Doing yoga or getting out into nature can help focus your mind and feel calmer and in control.

Similarly, if you are concerned that you may be at risk of developing an AUD, there are measures you can implement. It can be helpful to track your alcohol intake to see how much alcohol you are drinking. You can also discuss treatment options with your doctor or contact a rehab center, such as our own.


To conclude, it is generally best for those recovering from an AUD to avoid ever drinking alcohol again. If you start to feel bored or experience cravings for alcohol, try to bear in mind the exhaustive list of adverse side effects and ensure that your reasons for wanting to drink outweigh the risks. Peer pressure might also tip you into drinking, so make sure you know how to refuse a drink and take care of yourself and your needs.

Although for a small number of people, Moderation Management programs are an option, abstinence presents the safest and best choice for most people. This may be disappointing news, but just remember that relapse is a real risk, and undoing all of your hard work is not worth it.

Always ask for support or help at any stage of your recovery journey if you are feeling conflicted and confused. A life of sobriety is entirely possible, and there are plenty of activities and hobbies you can do to feel fulfilled instead of drinking.

How To Help Someone Who Is Addicted to Cocaine

Speaking to a friend or loved one about cocaine addiction is a difficult bridge to cross, but doing so can make an enormous difference in their decision to seek help in the future. The unfortunate truth is that many people witness signs of cocaine abuse in someone they know but do nothing to help them access or succeed in substance abuse treatment.

Stigma and misinformation can threaten the most well-meant attempts to obtain help for someone you care about. With that in mind, we have put together this short guide to recognizing cocaine abuse, discussing addiction, and ultimately supporting a loved one through drug abuse treatment.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

Understanding the signs of addiction can help you assess the severity of your loved one’s cocaine use. Understanding the signs will also help you build the foundations to support them and encourage them to seek treatment.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that “substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.”

According to this, cocaine addiction may have reached a point where it is harmful, recognizable, and treatable regardless of whether it is affecting the individual’s physical, emotional, or social health. In many cases, particularly when considering more extreme addictions, cocaine addiction begins to permeate many aspects of the addicted person’s life, degrading personal health, sabotaging work and relationships, clouding emotional reactions, and hindering rational judgment.

If a person recognizes these impairments and negative consequences but fails to cut back or quit, the signs point clearly to cocaine use disorder.

Interpersonal and Emotional Signs

  • Secrecy. Lying about whereabouts, using in secret, and avoiding sharing the details of where, with whom, or where your loved one has been all raise red flags for many kinds of substance use disorders, cocaine addiction included.
  • Irritability. Changes in a person’s emotional norm and the development of a more irritable, erratic, or agitated personality may point to the development of cocaine dependence.
  • Extreme emotions. Mood swings that vary between high emotional highs and low lows are psychological symptoms that are easily recognizable to family members and loved ones.
  • Stealing. Borrowing beyond means, stealing, or lying about money are often associated with drug abuse.
  • Loss of interest. Cocaine alters the dopamine balance in an addicted user’s brain, dampening the nervous system’s ability to regulate focus and communicate emotions like happiness or interest. Former activities, people, or places that cocaine users may have enjoyed become hard to maintain interest in.

First Steps: Speaking About Cocaine Addiction

If you recognize any of the above signs and symptoms of addiction in a loved one or friend, the possibility that you are dealing with a cocaine use disorder needs to be taken seriously. In most cases, the next responsible step is to start talking.

Bringing up the subject of problematic drug use for the first time can be challenging, so it is important to feel grounded and secure in your observations before you begin. Once you’re ready, it’s time to start talking, but remember that stigmatization, blame games, and alienation are poisonous to recovery. Instead, we recommend the following:


  • Educate yourself in advance about the reality of cocaine addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Proper knowledge of this well-documented medical condition will help you support a loved one both now and later in their recovery.
  • Wait for a calm moment when the person is not under the influence of cocaine or any other substances. The sooner you can discuss treatment, the sooner your loved one will receive treatment; however, this conversation needs to happen at a time when they are available to listen.
  • Vocalize your concerns honestly. Sharing your observations in an open, forthright, and compassionate manner communicates to your loved one that you are a safe person to share this struggle with. Honesty and kindness should rule this conversation – while you should be truthful about your worries, it will not be a good time to air out other touchy arguments.
  • Maintain a positive outlook. The objective of these conversations is to help your friend or loved one seek and succeed in addiction treatment. Cocaine use disorders are highly treatable with medical detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, therapies, and support groups. The conversations you are starting now can be an act of self-fulfilling hope.
  • Offer help with the process. Addiction to cocaine taxes a person’s mental health and ability to organize effectively. The scope and gravity of the idea of seeking addiction treatment can overshadow the practical steps involved at a time when urgency is needed. If possible, you may want to offer a hand in researching rehab centers and treatment options, booking a substance abuse assessment with a treatment provider, organizing transport, or advocating for other loved ones.


  • Engage if you feel unsafe. It goes without saying that abusive or violent behavior, be it physical, verbal, or otherwise relational, should never be tolerated. If you have reason to believe that speaking to your loved one about their substance addiction will result in anything unsafe, contact an external professional immediately.
  • Enable. Caring for someone who lives with severe cocaine abuse is not always easy, and we know it can be hard not to protect your loved one when the adverse consequences of their actions get too real and intense. Remember, the only way this person can be protected is by obtaining addiction treatment for drug use and following through on the decision to quit cocaine. One of the most detrimental things you can do is hide or shield the person struggling from the reality of what they are doing to themselves. Making excuses for friends or work, calling in sick to bosses, and financing monetary losses can only delay the inevitable realization that help is needed.
  • Blame. With that in mind, do not forget that cocaine use disorder is a mental illness. Many of the occurrences and coincidences that lead to the development of addiction are external to the individual. Genes, background, childhood, and health are just some of the risk factors that play roles. Don’t try to trace the drug abuse back to pass a verdict on anyone’s original fault.
  • Sacrifice your own needs. No matter what your relationship with the person addicted to cocaine is, supporting their recovery should not cost you your own mental, emotional, or physical health. Set boundaries where you need to, get the sleep you require, and give yourself time to process your emotional state on your own. Many people who love those with drug addictions benefit greatly from speaking to a therapist of their own.

On Interventions

Many voices are stronger than one. Likewise, discussing drug abuse one-on-one may not be the best way to get your loved one’s potential addiction seen.

In an intervention, a meeting will be planned by the worried and affected friends and family members of the person who needs help from a treatment center. During the intervention, the various organizers will each share their own experiences of their loved one’s cocaine use, highlighting how it has affected their lives, changes they have observed in the central person’s behavior, and why they feel it is time to stop drug abuse.

Intervention does not need to wait until your friend or a family member has hit their lowest point. In fact, these essential social tools can work even in the early stages of cocaine addiction. The sooner a person checks into treatment facilities and starts receiving specialized care, the better the chances are that they can avoid the terrible health consequences of long-term drug abuse.

During Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Whether they continue living with or near to you or check-in for full-time medical supervision for an extended period, don’t think that because your loved one has signed up for substance use disorder treatment, you can’t do anything to help. There are many things you can do, some of which we have outlined below.

Understand the Treatment Model Your Loved One Has Chosen

Whether they select inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment, put some work into learning what your loved one can expect from the form of treatment they opt for. Check out what kind of therapies and treatment options are on offer for treating cocaine addiction, and do your best to learn about how they work.

Ask About Group Therapy Treatment Options

It can be hard to accept, but casting a therapeutic eye on yourself during your loved one’s addiction treatment can do wonders to help them stay sober. If the addicted person is a family member or spouse, the treatment facility may offer some form of family or couples therapy designed to help you uncover and manage the historic and present-day relationship dynamics that may be contributing to your loved one’s substance use disorder.

Family or couples therapy is a private and convenient solution to dealing with these dynamics and preventing relapse, helping you process the causes and outcomes of cocaine addiction with the expert guidance of a clinical professional.

Finally, Prepare To Welcome Them Back

Social support after treatment is one of the best predictors of success in sobriety. If the addicted person does not live with you or stays elsewhere during treatment, make preparations to adjust to their new needs before seeing them again.

This may include hiding reminders of cocaine use, creating a substance-free living environment, finding local Narcotics Anonymous (NA) chapters, or brainstorming sober activities to do together when you see them again.

Simple acts like this communicate your solidarity and care for the mental health of your loved one and ensure that recovery is sustainable, supportive, and connected.

Contact Us Today

If you are worried about a loved one or friend, contact us today. We can support you in helping them by providing you with a wealth of information surrounding our services.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Using cocaine for a prolonged period can alter your brain’s behavior and structure and cause severe health, emotional, and social problems to arise.

Determining how long cocaine stays in your system can be complex. Many variable factors, such as the severity of your addiction and the length of time you have been using cocaine, contribute to how long the drug takes to leave your body.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful Schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse. As a fast-acting central nervous system stimulant, cocaine produces rapid effects, making it dangerous, not to mention addictive.

Extracted from the coca plant, which originates in South America, cocaine use has ebbed and flowed since the original discovery of the fatigue-fighting properties of the plant. Although cocaine hydrochloride was used widely for medical and recreational use in the mid-1900s, restrictions were put in place surrounding the use of the drug when adverse side effects were noticed.

Today, cocaine is occasionally used in health care settings, but recreational cocaine use is illegal. Despite this, a 2016 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that nearly two million individuals over the age of 12 use cocaine almost every year.

In its pure form, cocaine is a fine, white powder. However, illegal use of cocaine often sees the drug mixed – or cut – with substances such as cornflour or talcum powder to increase the quantity. More dangerously, cocaine can sometimes be cut with other substances, such as amphetamine or fentanyl – two severely potent synthetic opioids.

This combination of synthetic opioids and cocaine is extremely risky, and recent increasing rates of overdose deaths are thought to be partly attributed to this practice.

The Effects of Cocaine

The immediate effects of cocaine are wide-ranging and can vary from person to person. However, most of the symptoms are emotional, behavioral, physical, and psychological.

Emotional side effects of cocaine include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Fear
  • Increased or extreme self-interest
  • Unease

Behavioral side effects of cocaine include:

  • Talking excessively
  • Increased energy
  • Dishonesty
  • Improved mental alertness
  • Lack of need for sleep while using
  • Increased demand for sleep after using
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Aggression
  • Financial or legal problems
  • Abandonment of once-pleasurable activities to get high
  • Continuing using cocaine despite recognizing the problems it causes
  • Neglecting work or school commitments

Physical side effects of cocaine include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • A runny nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Voice hoarseness
  • High body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased risk of HIV, Hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Strokes
  • Heart attack

Psychological side effects of cocaine include:

  • Dangerous behaviors
  • Difficulties in relationships
  • Intense paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Mood swings
  • Violence
  • Hallucinations
  • Urges to use cocaine
  • Unexplained changes in personality
  • Lack of motivation or drive

Cocaine Addiction on the Brain

Cocaine increases the amount of dopamine within the brain, which is naturally produced when we experience something that causes us pleasure. It helps motivate us to do things that keep us alive such as eating, moving, working, feeling emotions, and reproducing.

In a correctly functioning brain, dopamine neurons expel into gaps between themselves and other brain cells when pleasure is experienced. Dopamine then travels to receptors on nearby cells, triggering communication to induce specific feelings or sensations. From here, it is then reprocessed back into the cell that initially released it. In doing this, it shuts off signals between nerve cells.

However, when cocaine is present in the brain, it prevents dopamine from being reprocessed. In turn, dopamine gathers and collects in the spaces between nerve cells, inhibiting their communication.

The build-up of dopamine binds with other receptors, sending out repeated pleasure signals. This creates the intense high you may experience when using cocaine.

Your brain recognizes these pleasurable experiences and tries to repeat them, which explains why you may experience cravings when you are unable to use cocaine. Additionally, dopamine is responsible for the decrease in motivation, distress, and emptiness you may feel following high levels of cocaine use.

The brain’s reward system adapts to prolonged substance abuse, becoming more tolerant to the substance. Therefore, if you frequently use cocaine, you will gradually find yourself needing to increase the dosage to feel the same intense high as you initially did.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Some people believe that cocaine leaves the system quickly compared to other drugs with similar effects, which contributes to the high rates of cocaine use. However, this is not always the case.

Depending on how cocaine is used, it can remain in the body for weeks or longer.

However, it is almost impossible to accurately determine how long cocaine stays in the body as there are many variables to consider, such as the following:

  • Frequency of use and drug potency. The more cocaine is used, the longer metabolites remain in your system. The purity of the drug can also affect how long cocaine stays in your system.
  • Other substances. Alcohol and caffeine can bind with cocaine and slow down its eradication, meaning that cocaine stays in the system longer when mixed with other drugs.
  • Body fat. Cocaine metabolites collect in the fatty tissue of the body. If a user has a higher level of body fat, cocaine may stay in the system longer due to accumulating in tissue.
  • Hydration. Water can increase the rate at which cocaine metabolites leave the body. Drinking plenty of water can speed up cocaine metabolite excretion, and in turn, the withdrawal process during medical detox.
  • Physical activity. Your metabolic rate increases the rate at which cocaine exits the body. If you lead an active lifestyle and have a fast metabolism, you may find that cocaine withdrawal does not last as long.
  • Method of ingestion. How cocaine is used can also affect how long cocaine stays in your body. Typically, the quicker the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, the faster it leaves the body.

Cocaine Drug Tests

Screening tests for cocaine detect benzoylecgonine, a metabolite produced in the body. There are several common ways of testing for cocaine. Below, we look at the average timelines for the varying tests.

Urine Drug Tests

Cocaine’s metabolites can typically be detected in urine for up to three days after the last use. However, if you use cocaine regularly, it can be detected in your urine for up to two weeks.

Urine tests are the most common drug testing method because it proves to be the most sensitive and accurate when testing specifically for the presence of cocaine.

Hair Tests

Depending on how cocaine is used, metabolites can be detected in your hair follicles for up to three months after last use. Hair tests are not commonly considered, but they have the advantage of a long detection time.

Saliva Tests

In some situations, a saliva test may be used to detect cocaine. This test sees saliva extracted from the mouth before being tested in a tube. This particular drug test can detect cocaine for up to two days.

Blood Tests

Blood tests may be used to detect cocaine in a hospital setting. Here, cocaine can typically be detected up to 12 hours after it was last used.

Addiction Treatment for Cocaine Abuse

Determining how long cocaine stays in your system is complicated, especially as multiple factors must be considered. The good news is that support is available. With comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment, you can recover from your drug addiction and the severe psychological and physical effects of taking cocaine.

If you have a physical dependence on cocaine, seeking addiction treatment and professional medical advice is the most effective way to tackle the problem. At our rehab centers, our treatment facilities and experienced staff can help you take the first step in overcoming your addiction.

Typically, the first stage in treatment is detox. This removes all traces of cocaine from your body in a safe space, enabling you to begin to recover from your physical addiction. Following detox, additional treatments, such as therapy and counseling, will help you understand your addiction and develop coping strategies.

Contact Us Today

At Empowered Recovery, we treat every individual who walks through our doors with utmost respect and dignity. We know that everyone’s journey is different, and we have a treatment process that reflects that.

Contact us today if you require cocaine addiction treatment for drug abuse or any co-occurring disorders. Doing so will help you learn more about our treatment options and how we can guide you along your recovery journey, so you can live the life you deserve.

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