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prescription painkillers to heroin

From Prescription Painkillers to Heroin

The rate at which people are going from prescription painkillers to heroin is alarming. This trend has become more common as the years have passed. The opioid epidemic in the United States has claimed the lives of countless people of all age groups, and it is only getting worse. Knowing the facts about this trend can help to identify the risks in loved ones, and help those who are struggling to make the decision to get help. There is a better life outside of addiction, and it is attainable with detox and addiction treatment, especially in the early stages. 

What are Painkillers?

Prescription painkillers are exactly as they sound. They are medications, only legally obtainable through a prescription from a doctor, used to treat mild to severe pain. These medications can be effective in helping to treat the pain, but can lead to devastating consequences in a person’s life. Even when taken as prescribed, a physical dependence can develop in those who take these medications. The fear of going into withdrawal often leads people to go from prescription painkillers to heroin when the prescriptions run out.

Common Painkillers

There are many of these medications that are in circulation across the country. Here are some of the more common ones available on the market. 

Hydrocodone: sold under names like Lortab, Lorcet, and Vicodin this codeine derived opioid is used for moderate to severe pain. 

Oxycodone: also used for moderate to severe pain, it is derived from thebaine and sold under names like Oxycontin, Percodan, and Percocet. 

Methadone: a synthetic opioid used for chronic, severe pain management, it is also used for the treatment of opioid dependence. Dolophine and Methadose are some examples.

Morphine: used in pain management before and after surgeries, this is an opium derived painkiller. Sold under names like MS Contin, Duramorph, and Roxanol it is chemically similar to heroin.

Buprenorphine: used for opioid dependence treatment, and sold under names like Subutex and Sixmo. 

All of these medications can lead to dependence, and have the potential to lead someone to going from prescription painkillers to heroin. Taking precaution before and during use of these medications can make all the difference.

What is Heroin?

Because going from prescription painkillers to heroin is so common, understanding exactly what heroin is can be vital to avoiding use of the drug. Heroin is an opioid derived from morphine, and can be found in a white or brown powder form or a sticky black form. It is often abused by snorting, smoking, or injecting it, and can lead to chemical dependence on the drug, also known as addiction. Heroin binds to opioid receptors in the brain attributed to feeling pain and pleasure. When this happens, the brain becomes accustomed to the level of pain management or pleasure produced by the heroin, and won’t be able to accept anything less than that. It can take an extended amount of time to return to a semblance of normalcy when this has been achieved. 

Why Go From Prescription Painkillers to Heroin?

There are many reasons why people transition from prescription painkillers to heroin. One of the main reasons is affordability. When the prescription and refills run out, the dependency remains. This leaves people struggling to live life as they normally would because the body is experiencing a systematic shock when the medications are removed. When legally obtained prescriptions are unattainable, turning to illicitly obtaining the drugs is the next option. However, this can prove to be financially inconvenient. Heroin is cheaper. 

Another reason people go from prescription painkillers to heroin is accessibility. The task of getting a new prescription for things like percocet or vicodin can be more difficult than getting the more easily obtained heroin. Turning to heroin can be a dangerous thing to do. If you find yourself struggling with heroin, or with leaving the prescription painkillers behind, seek professional help as soon as possible to avoid further disruption to your day to day life.

Effects of Heroin Addiction

There are many effects of heroin addiction. The most dangerous being overdose. When the body acclimates to a drug, it will require higher doses to feel normal. This can lead to both fatal and nonfatal overdose. Even nonfatal overdoses can have long lasting effects on the person who goes through it. Going from prescription painkillers to heroin is dangerous, and getting help for the addiction is extremely crucial to surviving it.

Treatment for Addiction in Marietta, GA

Opioid addiction, whether prescription painkillers or heroin, can be a life threatening disease. It can lead to fatal consequences, and cause irreparable damage in your life. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction to prescription painkillers or heroin, there is help available. With one phone call, you can begin the process of regaining control of your life. At Empowered Recovery Center we provide a safe and comfortable place to begin your path to recovery. Contact us today and start down the road to the life you deserve. 

dangerous fentanyl in a baggie

Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous? – Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but much more powerful. This is why fentanyl is so dangerous. It was originally developed as a painkiller for people undergoing surgery. It is currently commonly used to treat patients with chronic pain, suffering while recovering from a surgical procedure, or battling a serious and painful illness such as advanced cancer.

Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug, meaning it has a legitimate medical use, but is also recognized as having a high potential for abuse. Fentanyl overdoses are currently on the rise in the US, and it is one of many illicit drugs now in circulation on the streets being manufactured by clandestine laboratories. The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl comes in pills, or white powder form sometimes referred to as ‘China Girl’ (slang for fentanyl). Because fentanyl is a powerful drug, it can induce a rapid and intense high, particularly when crushed pills or powder are dissolved in water and injected. For this reason, many people abuse it intentionally.

However, many others ingest it unknowingly. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often added to heroin or other drugs, meaning users are unaware their drug dose contains it. Involuntary use of fentanyl is one of the main causes of a fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl also has a number of derivatives, such as ‘China White’, a particularly prized form of the drug due to its extreme potency.

Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl works by binding to the brain’s opioid receptors, located in the areas of the brain that govern pain and emotions. The sought-after pleasant effects of fentanyl are mainly a state of extreme happiness, intense relaxation, and rapid pain relief. Even in small doses, there are a host of other effects:

  • Drowsiness, even sedation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urinary retention
  • Respiratory depression.

Tolerance to fentanyl, physical and psychological dependence and addiction are other common effects of the drug with regular use.

Fentanyl Addiction

As with other opioid addictions, fentanyl addiction often begins with a drug habit that escalates into drug abuse. When a person’s use becomes habitual, compulsive, and beyond their control, it becomes a substance use disorder. Continued use in spite of highly negative consequences is the hallmark of addiction.

Like other prescription opioids, fentanyl can be abused even in the form it is sold legally. Transdermal fentanyl, in the form of a patch placed on the skin where it is absorbed, can be chewed, swallowed, or sniffed, and pills can be crushed and then snorted, smoked, or dissolved in water and injected. Fentanyl abuse rapidly leads to:

  • Tolerance: The user needs ever greater amounts of the drug, more and more frequently, to experience the desired effect.
  • Dependence: A person’s body and mind become accustomed to regular and continued use of fentanyl, to the extent they can no longer function without it.
  • Addiction: The person cannot stop using fentanyl without professional help despite the negative consequences, like legal problems, work issues, and disrupted relationships.

Generally speaking, some form of comprehensive addiction treatment or rehab is needed for a person to succeed in giving up fentanyl use.

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Addiction

Although not all of the following symptoms will be present in all fentanyl users, nor necessarily simultaneously in one individual, people addicted to fentanyl (or to any other opioid drug), display certain characteristic signs and behaviors:

  • The person takes more fentanyl, or for a longer period than they had initially intended (the beginning of the loss of control of their using habits).
  • The person has powerful cravings to use the drug and devotes considerable time and energy to obtaining it, using it, and recovering from its effects.
  • As a result of their fentanyl abuse, the person fails to uphold important obligations, such as work or family responsibilities.
  • The person becomes socially withdrawn and isolates more, in order to spend more time using drugs.
  • The person continues to abuse fentanyl, even though it puts them or others in dangerous situations (such as driving when on fentanyl), adversely affects their physical and mental health, causes problems with law enforcement, and so on.
  • The person is unable to stop using the drug, in spite of their best efforts and sincere intentions.
  • Because of the tolerance they have developed to fentanyl, they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they are without it for too long.

Doctors generally refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, to establish a diagnosis of substance use disorder. Should they believe a person is under the grip of fentanyl use in this way, they will most certainly recommend some form of fentanyl addiction treatment.

Fentanyl Overdose

Any drug use potentially carries with it the risk of overdose, but opioid overdoses are particularly common due to the popularity of these drugs for illegal, recreational use. It is clear that once the stage of addiction is reached, a person is far more at risk of unintentionally taking more of a drug than their body can process.

Fentanyl overdoses are currently among the most frequent- the drug enforcement administration states that, according to the CDC, over the 12-month span from the end of January 2020 to the end of January 2022, “overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl) rose 55.6 percent and appear to be the primary driver of the increase in total drug overdose deaths.”

Let us remember that overdoses don’t normally happen overnight; there is generally a history of drug use, and often mental health issues, that precede them. It goes without saying that addiction or drug abuse put someone at risk every time they use their drug, or drugs, of choice.

Fentanyl and other opioids are so strong (30 to 50 times stronger than heroin in the case of fentanyl), that a person may inadvertently overdose the first time they take them. This is a particular risk with fentanyl because it is common practice for drug dealers to add small amounts of fentanyl to other drugs, like heroin, cocaine, or amphetamine. By substituting a little of these drugs with a small amount of the extremely potent, and cheaper, fentanyl, the user gets the same high, and the dealer makes more money.

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

The symptoms of a fentanyl overdose may not be immediately apparent to an onlooker, and some will be felt only by the drug user. The most common and most noticeable, however, are very slow or abnormally shallow breathing.

Unusually slow and ineffective breathing, known as respiratory depression, means less oxygen intake to the point where the brain may be starved of oxygen, leading to a state of hypoxia. This can lead to coma, irreversible brain damage, or even death. Therefore, if these abnormal breathing patterns persist, medical attention is advised, particularly if the person complains of other symptoms too.

Treatment for Overdose

The drug naloxone can treat fentanyl overdose. When administered immediately, naloxone can reverse the effects of fentanyl. However, because fentanyl is so strong, several doses of naloxone may be required. If you are concerned that you or someone near you may have taken too much fentanyl, you should call 911 at once. Once medical personnel arrives, they will decide if they are facing a case of opioid overdose, and administer naloxone as required.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Fentanyl

With any opioid overdose, severe withdrawal symptoms invariably follow, while the body struggles to rid itself of the drug. Any person who has developed a high tolerance to addictive drugs like fentanyl will also experience withdrawal symptoms if they go without it for too long. Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:

  • Pain in muscles and bones
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cold flashes accompanied by goosebumps
  • Severe cravings
  • Uncontrollable leg movements

The withdrawal process can be so unpleasant that many people find they are unable to stop taking fentanyl. There are currently medicines being developed to help alleviate this discomfort, but there is as yet no remedy that systematically works as well as naloxone does for overdoses.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a hugely powerful and dangerous synthetic opioid. In the majority of cases, a comprehensive addiction treatment program that combines various approaches – associating medication with therapy – is usually what it takes to help a person step out of their addiction and onto the road to a solid recovery.

The role of medication is to reduce the intensity of the cravings a person may experience and, particularly in the early stages of recovery, the discomfort from withdrawal. Naltrexone is one of these medications, as are methadone and buprenorphine. Counseling and behavioral therapy complement pharmaceutical treatment.

Fentanyl is one of the most powerful prescription opioid analgesics, and in the forms it is sold on the street, it is one of the most dangerous and at times lethal drugs in circulation. If the stage of full-blown addiction is reached, fentanyl can hold people in a vice-like grip from which it is almost impossible to escape unaided.

Get Help for Fentanyl Addiction Today

As a reputable holistic drug treatment center, we at Empowered Recovery know exactly the suffering opioid addiction causes – and we offer a compassionate solution. If you or a loved one are struggling, please reach out and let us help you on the road back to wellness and the fulfilling life you deserve.

Is Cyclobenzaprine Addictive?

Cyclobenzaprine is a skeletal muscle relaxant commonly prescribed for musculoskeletal problems among other uses. The drug is widely known by the brand name Flexeril, which contains the active ingredient. Cyclobenzaprine is not a controlled substance, however, it is only available by prescription. Despite being relatively easy to obtain, Flexeril does carry a risk for abuse, tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. This risk increases if the drug is combined with other drugs such as alcohol or opioids.

Here we look at the factors contributing to the addictive nature of cyclobenzaprine, common withdrawal symptoms, and how to access addiction treatment.

What is Cyclobenzaprine?

Cyclobenzaprine is an FDA-approved prescription muscle relaxer used to relieve muscle spasms and chronic pain associated with musculoskeletal problems such as strains, tears, and aches. It is also commonly used in the treatment of the condition fibromyalgia. The substance belongs to a group of drugs called ‘tricyclic antidepressants’. Used in a variety of settings, tricyclic antidepressants can be used to treat depression, migraines, insomnia, tinnitus, ADHD, and as described, musculoskeletal conditions.

Cyclobenzaprine belongs to a group of central nervous system (CNS) depressants that decrease muscle activity, resulting in the desired muscle relaxant outcome. The substance can only be legally acquired via prescription, and any use should be supervised by a medical clinician. Cyclobenzaprine is available as quick-acting and longer-acting oral tablets.

Common brand names for cyclobenzaprine include the following:

  • Flexeril
  • Amrix
  • Fexmid
  • FusePaq Tramadol

Street names for cyclobenzaprine include the following:

  • Flexies
  • Cyclone
  • Mellow yellow

In the treatment of muscular conditions, Flexeril – a commonly prescribed brand of Cyclobenzaprine – is usually used in combination with physical therapy, massage, or exercise. If used for other forms of treatment, it is likely to be used in conjunction with other therapies.

Using Flexeril Safely

Due to the nature of Flexeril, there are some important instructions on how to use it safely. As the substance can result in drowsiness, it is recommended to avoid driving or using heavy machinery until you are familiar with the effects. It is also possible to become dehydrated when using Flexeril, and for this reason, it is recommended to use it with caution in hot weather and to ensure adequate hydration. It is also strongly recommended to avoid using any other form of prescription medication with it unless a doctor has approved it.

The Addictive Nature of Cyclobenzaprine

Cyclobenzaprine is only available by prescription in the USA, meaning that it has some potential to be misused.

Prescription drug abuse, such as cyclobenzaprine, is common to see in young adults as these substances are relatively easy to obtain. Some individuals may steal or be given them by friends or family members, while others may buy them illicitly on the internet.

Some individuals who abuse cyclobenzaprine may have started using the substance with an authorized prescription; however, this can quickly turn into tolerance and abuse if higher quantities of the drug are used or it is used for an extended period of time. An increased tolerance increases the chances of experiencing a Flexeril overdose. Much like most prescription drugs, abusing Flexeril can quickly turn into a fully-fledged addiction.

What is the Flexeril High?

Flexeril abuse is commonly associated with the ‘high’ it can produce in high dosages. Although not as intense as many other commonly abused substances, cyclobenzaprine can produce a feeling of calm, drowsiness, and even a ‘floating sensation’.

This gentle feeling of euphoria is what leads individuals to continue using the substance despite the associated risks.

These effects are not usually associated with prescribed doses of the drug, and if they are it would only be possible in first-time users.

Signs of Flexeril Abuse

Although it does not carry the same reputation for addiction as other drugs such as methamphetamines or heroin, it is possible to develop a debilitating and dangerous problem with cyclobenzaprine. If you are concerned about your personal drug use, or that a loved one may be addicted to Flexeril, it is important to familiarize yourself with the common signs of abuse.

Signs and Symptoms of Flexeril Addiction

Some typical indicators of problematic substance use include:

  • Drug cravings for cyclobenzaprine
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Failing to fulfill responsibilities due to abusing Flexeril, could be in your relationship, job or school work.
  • A loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
  • Isolation or breakdown of relationships due to Flexeril dependency
  • Attempting to quit drug use but being unable
  • Continuing to use the substance despite negative consequences
  • Using the drug in risky scenarios
  • Increasing your Flexeril dose
  • Being preoccupied with using and obtaining the drug
  • Stealing money or prescriptions, or doing dangerous things in order to buy the drug
  • Mixing cyclobenzaprine with illicit drugs or alcohol
  • Feeling numb or empty
  • Asking for cyclobenzaprine prescriptions from multiple doctors
  • Flexeril overdose

If any of these indicators are familiar to you, it may mean you need to seek addiction treatment for your substance use. Get in touch with a medical provider today to find out your treatment options.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms of Cyclobenzaprine

If you experience withdrawal symptoms when not using cyclobenzaprine, or as the drug wears off, this could be a clear indication that you are addicted to Flexeril.

Withdrawal from cyclobenzaprine is often assimilated with flu-like symptoms. This set of symptoms is often referred to as ‘Flexeril discontinuation syndrome’. It is not usually life-threatening, however, if Flexeril is being used in combination with other substances the danger increases and it could have fatal consequences.

Common symptoms of withdrawal

  • Aches and pains
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache or migraine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Chills
  • Fever

Dangers of Abusing Cyclobenzaprine

In some cases, Flexeril abuse can result in overdose. This is especially true if the substance is combined with other drugs such as alcohol. A Flexeril overdose can result in cardiac arrest, dangerously low blood pressure, central nervous system depression, or seizures. Flexeril overdose is a real and life-threatening possibility. Don’t delay seeking support if you suspect somebody has taken a large quantity of the drug.

A report by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2010, found that there were over 10,000 references of cyclobenzaprine in calls made to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Furthermore, The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported in 2011 that more than 11,000 individuals received care from emergency departments for misusing cyclobenzaprine.

According to data going back to the early 2000’s, the trajectory of emergency department visits at the hands of cyclobenzaprine is on the rise. In 2010, it was estimated that there were around 12,411 emergency room visits linked to cyclobenzaprine. This is an increase of around 101% from 6,183 visits in 2004.

Who Is At Risk of Cyclobenzaprine Abuse?

Anybody can develop a Flexeril addiction, but there are some factors that make certain individuals more susceptible to developing a problem.

Risk Factors for a Flexeril Addiction

  • Individuals with a personal history of substance or alcohol abuse
  • Individuals with a family history of substance or alcohol abuse
  • Those who spend time in drug-taking environments
  • Individuals with a history of mental illness
  • Somebody who has not been informed of the addictive nature of prescription drugs

The Role of Mental Health in Addiction Treatment

Going through substance addiction is an extremely difficult experience. In order to have a chance to fully recover, it’s imperative to understand the disease and how it manifests in you personally.

Substance abuse is frequently a symptom of untreated mental health problems; it is necessary to treat these simultaneously with the addiction. Substance abuse can occur at any time, for anyone, but recovery is possible with the right support.

Although not exclusively, cyclobenzaprine addiction commonly begins in the teenage years. This is often a difficult time, with many changes and developments occurring. Depression, anxiety, and stress are common and often substance abuse seems like the best escape to mental health issues.

Starting Your Recovery Journey

Substance abuse is a serious illness. Flexeril addiction treatment should always be sought from a qualified and reputable medical provider. Flexeril withdrawal symptoms are not usually dangerous, so it may not be necessary to take part in medical detox. However, the support and safety of an inpatient treatment center can increase your chances of sustained recovery and decrease the likelihood of relapse or medical emergency.

Tapering off cyclobenzaprine can be uncomfortable, so detoxing in a comfortable environment such as a residential setting is often preferable. If you use any other drugs it may be necessary to have a medically-assisted detox.

Being an unscheduled substance with a perceived ‘low potential for abuse’, cyclobenzaprine does not carry a high reputation for abuse, but this can give a false sense of security. It’s possible to develop a damaging cycle of using this prescription muscle relaxer, leading to severe consequences.

Receiving quality health care and compassionate support is the most important element to getting you on your journey to sobriety.

Treatment Options for Cyclobenzaprine Drug Abuse

At Empowered Recovery, we recognize the need for individualized drug addiction treatment. We tailor your treatment program to suit your specific needs and desires for recovery.

Therapy Modalities at Empowered Recovery:

  • Behavioral therapies
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
    • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Complementary therapy
  • Experiential therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Trauma-focused therapy
  • Group therapy

We focus on short and long-term goals to keep your motivation in the right place and ensure you remain on track. During your time with us, you will be able to take advantage of our treatment facilities while engaging in a range of skills-based sessions to complement your therapeutic work.

Empowered Recovery

If you are ready to seek addiction treatment, we are here to guide you through. At Empowered Recovery, we recognize the unique nature of your substance use disorder, and we reflect this in our treatment process.

Flexeril abuse has the capability to profoundly affect your physical and mental health. Whether you started using with a legitimate prescription, you fell into a cycle of recreational use, or you have been self-medicating, we can provide the help you need.

We believe in offering treatment programs that are sustainable and achievable for all our clients. We work together with you to find the right path to recovery. We have a variety of treatment plans which are tailored to your needs, getting you to a place of health and sobriety.

Our highly-committed and qualified team is here to support you through the early days of the treatment process and give you a foundation from which you can grow and develop. We use a range of therapeutic modalities and offer fully customized packages suited to all of your needs. Flexeril abuse may be part of your past, but it doesn’t have to be part of your future.

Get in touch with us today at +1 770-220-7466 to talk to one of our team members about our addiction treatment services and to get the ball rolling.

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone is a prescription medication used for pain relief. A branded version, OxyContin, was aggressively marketed by Purdue Pharma from 1996 with sales growing from $48m in 1996 to $1.1b in 2000. This has led to high availability and correlates with increased abuse and addiction.

In addition, there is a high risk of oxycodone abuse and dependence due to its potency and its euphoric effects.

We will talk about oxycodone addiction, signs and symptoms of it, risk factors, the process of quitting, and how you can seek support.

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain such as cancer and post-operation pain. It was first synthesized in Germany in 1916 from thebaine, a compound found in opium poppies, and was introduced to the US in 1939.

At first, oxycodone was used for battlefield surgeries as it is a strong analgesic that also causes tranquilizing effects and anterograde amnesia.

Oxycodone works by hyperpolarizing neurons. This means that more excitation is needed to activate them and therefore a depressant effect is produced.

The effects of oxycodone start after one hour and last for up to twelve hours. These include psychoactive effects, euphoric feelings, reduced anxiety, and increased confidence.

Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that while it has medical use, it also has a high risk for abuse and severe psychological or physical dependence.

The United States Department of Justice reported that more than 13m Americans abuse oxycodone annually.

Prescription drug abuse is defined as the taking of a prescription drug in a way that was not prescribed. This includes taking:

  • more frequent doses than prescribed
  • larger doses than prescribed
  • someone else’s prescription
  • in a different way than prescribed e.g., crushing and snorting rather than swallowing a pill

Addiction is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a chronic brain disease that is very difficult to control and is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use. This differs from drug abuse in that with abuse without addiction, your behavior will not be so strongly affected and you will have more control over how and when you take the drug. Abusing oxycodone can lead to addiction as oxycodone is a very potent drug.

Causes and Risk Factors for Addiction


The response of the brain to drugs varies from person to person. Some people may be able to take oxycodone occasionally for pleasure, while others will develop a substance use disorder quickly.

It is thought that up to half of your risk of developing an addiction is based on genetics.

Environmental Factors

  • Family history of addiction
  • Childhood neglect or trauma
  • Previous substance abuse problem
  • Exposure to drugs – people taking them in your environment

Mental Health

It is common to have co-occurring mental illness with addiction. Common co-occurring disorders include depression and bipolar disorder. This is because untreated mental illnesses are often self-medicated with drugs or alcohol.

Signs of Oxycodone Abuse

Even when used as prescribed, oxycodone can have side effects. With long-term use and higher doses, the effects become stronger. These effects can have both psychological and physical symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

Side effects of normal oxycodone use:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach problems
  • Itchiness
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness and vertigo

Signs and symptoms of oxycodone abuse:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Poor coordination
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Swelling of limbs
  • Increased pressure of spinal fluid
  • Coma

Psychological and Cognitive Symptoms

Side effects of normal oxycodone use:

  • Confusion

Signs and symptoms of oxycodone abuse:

  • Hallucinations
  • Abnormal thoughts
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired judgment
  • Outbursts of violence or anger
  • Anxiety and paranoia

Behavioral Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

As addiction is described as a compulsion to seek drugs despite negative effects. The behavioral symptoms of addiction may be a better indication of whether you or a loved one has an oxycodone addiction.

You might have an oxycodone addiction if you:

  • Are secretive
  • Perform poorly at work or school
  • Increase your dose to get the same effect as tolerance builds
  • Try to quit and fail to
  • Obsess about getting your next dose
  • Steal oxycodone
  • Lose interest in hobbies
  • Fail to meet personal responsibilities
  • Feel like oxycodone is taking over your life
  • Lose control over how much you take and how frequently
  • Withdraw from friends and family members
  • Neglect hygiene and self-care
  • Start risk-taking behavior e.g., drug driving, mixing oxycodone with other drugs, unprotected sex
  • Go to multiple doctors for prescriptions i.e., doctor shopping

Oxycodone Overdose

There is always the risk of overdose. However, the amount you need to take in order to overdose depends on different factors such as weight, tolerance, gender, and metabolism.

There is also a higher risk of overdose if you mix oxycodone with other substances. This is especially true of mixing with other depressants such as alcohol and benzodiazepines. Since these depress the nervous system, together they can cause slowing of breathing and heart rate to the point where they stop.

Overdose effects include

  • Stomach spasms
  • Weak pulse
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing, shallow breathing, or no breathing
  • Blueish fingernails and lips

Oxycodone Withdrawal

Quitting oxycodone can be very difficult as the first thing you must do is detox which causes you to experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Quitting abruptly is not recommended as withdrawal symptoms are not managed and the chance of overdose is very high. Instead, it is better to taper your drug use, reducing the dose you take until you are clean. While you will still experience symptoms, they may be less severe.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Dilated pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Shakes and seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings

Timeline of Withdrawal

The acute symptoms of withdrawal from oxycodone generally last for five to seven days. However, if you have been taking it for a long time, or you take it heavily, the withdrawal symptoms may last up to ten days.

Symptoms usually start within six to thirty hours after your last dose and peak at seventy-two hours. However, psychological symptoms and cravings can last for longer and it is therefore important to have support after detoxing to reduce your chances of relapse.

Addiction Treatment

When quitting drugs, it is recommended to seek professional treatment. Getting medical support makes the withdrawal process easier and also reduces your chances of relapsing both during detox and after.

Treatment Process

At a treatment center, you will receive twenty-four-hour support during the withdrawal process. This means that both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms can be managed which is important to prevent the risks of self-harm and relapse.

Following detox, you will continue to get support to help deal with cravings and your initial reasons for taking the drug. This is done through individual and group therapy.

Get in Touch

At Empowered Recovery center, we customize drug treatment to suit your needs. We know that it is difficult for those with substance abuse disorders to seek treatment. If you are ready to seek treatment or would like more information in order to make that decision, please feel free to visit our website and contact us.

Meth Addiction Symptoms

Meth is a strong and highly addictive drug that deeply affects both a user’s brain and body. It produces intense and euphoric feelings that many people chase after their first initial dose. This is what leads to addiction.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of meth addiction is important, as you can recognize whether you or a loved one are in need of meth addiction treatment. It is never too late to get help in order to regain control of your life and live a happy and healthy future understanding meth addiction.

Understanding Meth and Drug Abuse

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a powerful drug that works by affecting the central nervous system. The drug can be smoked, snorted, or injected, and is typically taken in the form of crystal meth, a manmade stimulant that causes an intense and euphoric high.

Methamphetamine abuse is increasing worldwide and is now considered to be one of the world’s most abused drugs. While the first feelings of euphoria are pleasurable, if a person continues to abuse meth, they are likely to develop a dependence where they are unable to stop taking the drug.

Crystal meth is the most potent and pure form of methamphetamine and is known as a ‘club drug’. It is often taken in a crash or binge manner that causes a person to abuse the drug over long periods to chase the initial high first experienced. Once the meth binge is over, the crashing feeling from the euphoric high, alongside withdrawal symptoms, will be experienced, therefore encouraging further meth use in an attempt to get rid of these feelings.

The euphoric rush experienced by those who abuse meth is caused by the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure. Meth use is regarded as being more dangerous than other known stimulants. Much of the drug remains in the body and brain after use. The meth that remains then destroys the brain cell synapses related to dopamine and in turn causes mood disturbances and dependence.

In addition, prolonged and chronic meth use comes with a range of risk factors. Methamphetamine can eventually alter the brain’s chemistry which affects the ability of a user to feel pleasure without meth use. When it comes to drug use, there are a variety of behavioral and physical symptoms. Signs of meth use can deeply affect a user’s body and brain. However, with the right help and support from a treatment center, you can work through this to begin your recovery journey.

Side Effects of Meth

After taking meth, the effects can be felt from 8 to 24 hours, a lot longer than many other substances. This is why if a person is partaking in a meth binge, they will usually stay awake for several days in a row. Alongside the euphoric high, during this period of time a person may also experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Flushed skin
  • Muscle twitching

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse

One of the first symptoms of meth addiction is key changes in a person’s life regarding their priorities. Meth deeply affects how a person thinks and addiction is categorized as a mental disorder and is recognized as the inability to control drug use despite negative consequences to a person’s life.

Meth soon becomes a major life priority and a person experiences a sudden loss of interest in things they once considered important. The longer someone partakes in drug abuse, the more important it becomes to their life, resulting in the neglect of other aspects of their life, whether this is relationships, work, or hobbies.

Unfortunately, substance abuse is often only recognized once it reaches the stage of addiction. This is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and warning signs of methamphetamine use in order to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect someone you know is abusing meth, then look out for the range of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that they may be presenting.

Physical Symptoms

The most obvious way to tell if someone is partaking in methamphetamine abuse is the drug’s ability to cause drastic changes in their physical appearance. These changes can happen even after a short period of time of the abuse. The physical signs include:

  • Rotting teeth
  • Inflamed gums (meth mouth)
  • Skin abrasions
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Hair thinning
  • Red eyes
  • Twitching
  • Convulsions
  • Intense scratching
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Organ failure

Other physical signs of meth use include increased libido, which exposes a person to a risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Meth has been recognized as stimulating sexual arousal within users and increasing the level of adrenaline. This combined with lower inhibitions could possibly result in people engaging in sexual encounters without using protection, therefore increasing the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases.

Psychological Symptoms

One of the most obvious signs of methamphetamine use is ‘tweaking’. This is an extreme change of mood where a person will experience extreme anxiety and/ or insomnia for around 3 – 15 days. Tweaking occurs when a person cannot reach a euphoric high after meth abuse, typically at the end of a binge. Tweaking can cause a person to experience intense mood swings, paranoia, and hallucinations which can, in turn, cause a person to partake in sometimes violent or criminal behavior.

Heightening and quick changes in mood are also signs of meth use. This includes:

  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Paranoia
  • Violent outbursts
  • Anxiety

As we have discussed, meth increases levels of dopamine found within the brain. Therefore, prolonged meth abuse can create imbalances in natural dopamine levels; long term this can affect a person’s memory and ability to learn new motor skills.

Behavioral Symptoms

If someone is partaking in meth abuse, then they will be sure to have meth paraphernalia. There is a range of ways that meth can be taken: snorted, smoked, or injected. Paraphernalia that may be found includes:

  • Needles
  • Glass pipes
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small plastic baggies
  • Empty ink pens, cut straws

Someone who is abusing meth will try and hide these items; however, if you do find any of the items listed above, then it is an indicator that it is time for the person using meth to receive treatment.

Addiction to any substance can cause many problems in an individual’s life. The level of self-involvement can cause relationship problems, issues with obligations, and overall negative consequences to a person’s life. These are the key behavioral signs of addiction.

It is important to always remember that there is a range of treatment options that can help someone no matter at what stage of addiction they are. The sooner treatment is received the better, as this can help someone get back on track with their lives, physically, psychologically, and socially.

Substance Abuse Treatment

There is a range of treatment centers that offer substance abuse treatment no matter what stage of addiction you are at. Recovery is possible even in the most severe cases of methamphetamine addiction.

The effects of meth on the body and brain can be life-changing, but treatment addresses the addiction at hand as well as co-occurring mental illnesses.

The treatment options for methamphetamine use vary depending on the severity of the addiction; however, it is recognized that a drug rehab that offers behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy alongside contingency management intervention has been the most effective.

The first step in substance abuse treatment is detox. This is where the body gets rid of any toxins left from the drugs and where withdrawal symptoms will typically be felt. The safest way to detox is a medical detox as it allows for an individual to receive support to aid in managing undesirable withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox is complete, it is likely you will undergo some form of therapy to help deal with the addiction.

Addiction Treatment at Empowered Recovery

Meth addiction can really take its toll on your life. We understand that the treatment process can seem daunting, but our experienced and compassionate team is ready to help you move forward and start your recovery journey.

We offer customized treatment plans to ensure that clients and their family members are empowered to regain control of their lives. This ensures that we are working with each client’s unique needs to begin mental, physical, and emotional healing.

Addiction treatment at Empowered Recovery offers top-tier medical support to help you overcome addiction and maintain long-term abstinence. We offer a range of treatment options that deal with the addiction and any co-occurring disorders that may be present. Some forms of therapy that may be a part of your treatment include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapy
  • Experimental therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy

Contact us today to find out more.

Vyvanse Abuse and Addiction

Alongside drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, Vyvanse is one of the prescription drugs used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It helps ease ADHD symptoms by improving focus and concentration, but as with many stimulant medications, it also produces euphoric sensations and increased energy. This makes abusing Vyvanse common, particularly among students, party goers, and for weight loss.

Prescription drugs are not free from danger, and ADHD medications can be susceptible to abuse. Chronic Vyvanse use can lead to drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms can develop when a user stops taking Vyvanse suddenly. The good news, however, is that addiction treatment is available and it is entirely possible to recover from Vyvanse abuse and addiction. With the right support from drug addiction specialists and mental health professionals, you can overcome your addiction to ADHD medications and you can achieve a life free from stimulant drugs.

What Is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is the brand name for the stimulant medication lisdexamfetamine. It is a prescription drug used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children over 6 years old, teenagers, and adults. As a stimulant medication, Vyvanse increases neural activity by speeding up the central nervous system. This can help those with ADHD as it enhances attention and focus. It also leads to an increase in energy, euphoria, and a suppressed appetite, making it susceptible to abuse. It is therefore classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that they are legal but carries a high risk of abuse and addiction.

The FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) has approved its use for the treatment of ADHD as well as binge eating disorders in adults, however, it is not recommended for weight loss.

What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition that is commonly diagnosed at a young age, but it can also be diagnosed in adults. ADHD can cause high levels of impulsive behavior and hyperactivity. Other ADHD symptoms include trouble focusing their attention, trouble sitting still for long periods, being easily distracted, interrupting people while they are talking, and being forgetful about completing tasks.

What Is Vyvanse Abuse?

Vyvanse is prone to abuse due to the effects it produces. It is particularly popular among college students and high school students as it improves focus and concentration, allowing young adults to work effectively and efficiently for hours. It is therefore known as a study drug. Other study drugs include:

  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Modafinil

Due to the way that it suppresses appetite, it is also abused for the goal of weight loss. Some people also take it recreationally due to the euphoria and increased energy, such as at parties.

People take Vyvanse either by swallowing it as Vyvanse capsules, crushing it up and snorting it, or injecting it in a liquid form. The methods of administration carry their own risks.

Abusing Vyvanse is defined as using the drug in ways that are not intended by a doctor, such as:

  • Taking Vyvanse more frequently than intended by a physician
  • Taking a higher dose of Vyvanse than has been prescribed
  • Taking Vyvanse for longer than has been prescribed
  • Taking Vyvanse with other drugs
  • Taking Vyvanse with no prescription
  • Snorting Vyvanse
  • Injecting Vyvanse

What Are the Risks of Vyvanse Abuse and Addiction?

Vyvanse is different from other ADHD medications as it is activated in the body differently. Vyvanse is what is known as a prodrug stimulant. This is a substance that is chemically altered and needs to go through an enzymatic conversion in order to become an active drug. Due to this abuse-deterrent that has been incorporated into this stimulant medication, it is harder for people who use Vyvanse to get a rush of euphoria, making it harder to become addicted to Vyvanse. However, abusing Vyvanse and Vyvanse addiction is still possible.

Stimulant medications carry a risk of addiction and Vyvanse addiction can damage both your physical and mental health.

Abusing Vyvanse can lead to a number of health complications. The physical risks of Vyvanse abuse include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast heart rate
  • Change in libido

Some of the psychological side effects that Vyvanse abuse can lead to include:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Manic symptoms

Dangers of Snorting Vyvanse

When people abuse Vyvanse, some people choose to snort the drug as it leads to a more potent high because it hits the bloodstream faster than if it is swallowed as a pill. Snorting Vyvanse can lead to a more intense high, but with it, a host of unpleasant side effects. Some of these side effects can include:

  • Fainting
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Hives
  • Swollen tongue, face, lips, or mouth
  • Feeling numb
  • Blurred vision
  • Heart failure

Is Vyvanse Addictive?

Vyvanse abuse can lead to Vyvanse addiction. It can lead to you building up a tolerance, which is when you need more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to dependence, where withdrawal symptoms are experienced when there is a lack of the drug in your system.

Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms can include the following:

  • Excessive sleeping and fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Overeating
  • Cravings
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations, paranoia, delusions

Vyvanse overdose is possible. If you are worried that you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose on stimulant drugs, call 911 immediately.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Substance abuse problems can feel difficult to escape from, but know that you are not alone and help for abuse of stimulant medications is available. There are treatment options available in order to overcome Vyvanse abuse and substance addiction. Addiction treatment begins with detox, where you are supported by a medical professional to break your physical dependence and manage your withdrawal symptoms safely.

Once your physical dependence has been overcome, you will be able to begin working on your psychological dependence. This can be overcome through talk therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Behavioral therapy is a popular choice of substance abuse and substance addiction treatment as it helps to find positive ways of managing and overcoming your substance use disorder and understanding your patterns surrounding drug abuse.

For those with co-occurring mental disorders, these too can be treated as part of an inpatient or outpatient rehab program, and you will be given an individual treatment plan in order to give you the best possible treatment.

Empowered Recovery

Vyvanse is commonly abused among college and high school students, and those seeking weight loss, but it carries health risks and should only be taken by those who have been prescribed it for ADHD or severe binge eating disorder.

If you are struggling with Vyvanse abuse or Vyvanse addiction, you might feel alone, lost, and helpless. Know that you are not alone and your Vyvanse addiction can be overcome and your substance use disorder can be beaten. Here at Empowered Recovery, we believe that recovery is for life. This is why we offer a year of coaching at no extra cost, making sure that your sobriety is sustainable. We have a range of treatment plans to help with drug addiction and individually tailor for you a plan to ensure that recovery works for you. With our help, you can get over Vyvanse abuse safely and effectively.

We value confidentiality, compassion, and respect and put this at the heart of our treatment programs. We build up your self-esteem so that you feel confident and empowered to live a life free from drugs. Get in touch with our team of experts to begin your recovery journey today.

Why Is Fentanyl so Dangerous?

Why Is Fentanyl so Dangerous?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that doctors prescribe to treat severe pain, especially after surgery and for advanced cancer patients. Fentanyl is among the strongest prescription opioids – up to 50 times stronger than morphine and up to 100 times stronger than heroin. Due to its potency, fentanyl comes with a high risk of overdose and addiction and is a major contributor to overdose deaths in the United States.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a man-made substance produced from the seeds of the opium poppy plant. Medicinal medicine comes in tablets, while illicit fentanyl may be sold in powders, nasal sprays, or counterfeit pills. Fentanyl is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a controlled Schedule II substance.

How Does Fentanyl Affect the Brain?

Fentanyl works by affecting the body’s natural (endogenous) opioid system, a complex system that regulates many bodily functions including mood and pain. Fentanyl binds to the body’s opioid receptors in the brain, causing a variety of effects throughout the body. These may include:

  • extreme happiness
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • sedation
  • respiratory depression, unconsciousness, coma, and death

What Is Fentanyl Overdose?

Fentanyl overdose is when you take more fentanyl than your body can metabolize. Because fentanyl is so potent, the lethal dose can be lower than other drugs.

When someone overdoses on fentanyl, their breathing can slow or even stop. This can lead to ‘hypoxia’a lack of oxygen in the brain. Hypoxia may cause a coma, brain damage, and in some cases death.

Signs of overdose include:

  • pale face
  • limp body
  • vomiting
  • breathing and heart rate reduced
  • pinpoint pupils
  • unconsciousness

How Can You Treat Fentanyl Overdose?

With immediate medical attention, fentanyl overdose can be reversed with a medicine called Naloxone. Naloxone works by binding to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of the drug. Because fentanyl is so strong, medics may need to use multiple doses of Naloxone.

In some states, it’s legal to purchase Naloxone from a pharmacy without a prescription. Family, friends, and others can use the nasal spray version of the drug to provide initial treatment before the arrival of medical professionals.

If you think someone may have overdosed on fentanyl or another opioid, seek immediate medical support so medics can provide life-saving treatment.

What Is the Scope of Fentanyl Overdose in the United States?

Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the United States. Over 150 people die each day from an overdose of synthetic opioids.

Most cases of fentanyl overdose result from illegally manufactured fentanyl, which drug dealers distribute in markets alongside other opioids like heroin. Analyses have found that a single pill can contain 2mg of fentanyl, a potentially lethal dose.

Opioid addiction and abuse have been a serious public health crisis in the United States in recent decades. In the past year, opioid overdose deaths have been increasing. Between January 2020 and January 2021:

  • opioid overdose deaths have increased by 38.1%
  • synthetic opioid overdose deaths have increased by 55.6%

In response to the ongoing crisis, national institutions continue to fund research lifesaving scientific solutions to prevent overdose deaths, including improved strategies for treating pain and opioid use disorders. There are also information and awareness campaigns to promulgate the facts and dangers of opioid use to both doctors and members of the public.

Mixing Fentanyl with Other Drugs

Producers of illicit drugs often mix other substances with fentanyl to increase their potency. Because a person cannot smell, see, or taste fentanyl, the user may not know it’s contained in the substance. These counterfeit pills can contain lethal doses of heroin, unknown to the user.

What Is Fentanyl Addiction?

Fentanyl addiction is when you compulsively seek or use fentanyl, despite any negative consequences. Because of its potency, fentanyl has a high potential for addiction. Fentanyl addiction is more likely to result from drug abuse and misuse; however, some people have developed fentanyl addiction as a result of harmful prescription practices.

Signs of addiction include:

  • Seeking and using fentanyl becomes a priority in your life
  • Neglecting other responsibilities due to fentanyl use
  • Continuing to take fentanyl despite physical or mental health problems
  • Hiding your drug use from others, and lying and stealing to support your drug use
  • Experiencing financial difficulties

Addiction is a severe kind of substance use disorder that can severely impact your work, home, and family life. However, effective addiction treatment programs can help you overcome addiction and reclaim a sober life.

What Is Fentanyl Dependence?

When you repeatedly take fentanyl, your body gets used to the presence of the substance and adjusts its opioid functions in response. Over time, you can become dependent on fentanyl to feel normal. If you stop taking fentanyl, you may experience a series of withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts. These symptoms may include:

  • dysphoria
  • insomnia
  • dilated pupils
  • yawning
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • fever
  • sweating
  • vomiting and diarrhea

While opioid withdrawal syndrome typically consists of flu-like symptoms, it can nevertheless be fatal. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, elevated blood-sodium levels, and death.

It’s essential to seek professional medical advice before you detox from fentanyl or other opioids. Medical detox programs offer expert guidance and supervision throughout the withdrawal process to ensure your safety at all times. While medical detox programs may be inpatient or outpatient, SAMSHA recommends 24-hour supervision for opioid withdrawal due to the potential severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a dangerous drug. If you or someone you know is addicted, you may feel scared or hopeless. However, with the right support, anyone can recover from addiction, leaving behind the risks of overdose and other dangers.

Effective addiction treatment programs are individualized, combining a variety of treatment options according to each client’s needs. Treatment options may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapies
  • Other talk therapies
  • Group programming
  • Support groups
  • Complementary therapies like yoga and mindfulness
  • Experiential therapies
  • Life skills development

Long-term recovery involves identifying and overcoming the underlying causes of addiction. Addiction treatment programs often involve ‘dual diagnosis’, where underlying mental health conditions are treated alongside substance abuse. Conditions like depression and anxiety can be driving factors behind drug use and should be addressed to prevent future relapse.

Empowered Recovery Center

Empowered Recovery rehabilitation center provides clients with the skills they need to overcome addiction and reclaim their futures. We believe that everyone has the potential to defeat substance abuse – we support clients to harness this power.

Empowered Recovery offers a holistic and compassionate approach to recovery, combining clinical knowledge and expertise with empathetic care. We pursue the highest caliber of medical and clinical staff to encourage long-lasting, meaningful healing. At the same time, we ensure we maintain a safe, supportive environment that provides clients with the space they need to grow.

We understand that overcoming addiction involves more than simply changing a few behaviors. We empower clients to rebuild a sober future where they can truly thrive. We emphasize fun in early recovery, supporting clients to rediscover the beauty of sober life.

Empowered Recovery focuses on long-lasting sobriety. We realize that recovery doesn’t end once clients leave the center, and offer a year’s free coaching to guide clients through the challenges of early recovery. We offer a supportive and active Alumni community to provide clients with ongoing support, inspiration, and a link to the place they got sober.

Contact Us

If you are struggling with fentanyl addiction, contact us today. We’re here to support you to reclaim a long and fulfilling future.

The Dangers of Snorting Vyvanse

Vyvanse is a prescription stimulant drug typically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a schedule II controlled substance and comes with risk of abuse and addiction. Vyvanse should only be used if it has been prescribed to you by a licensed medical professional.

Taking Vyvanse for any reason other than its intended purpose and with a legitimate prescription is considered drug abuse. Abusing prescription medication is just as dangerous as abusing any street drug and can cause adverse consequences to your health.

Prescription medications such as Vyvanse are typically abused to obtain a “rush” known as a euphoric high. Other common reasons for Vyvanse abuse include for its possible side effect of weight loss or because a person believes it will improve focus and enhance their studies. Whatever the reason, abusing Vyvanse is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided.

It is typical to take this drug orally in pill form. However, sometimes Vyvanse is crushed and snorted or injected because the user believes it will achieve a faster high. Injecting or snorting Vyvanse is dangerous and comes with many adverse side effects and health risks including addiction and overdose.

If you abuse Vyvanse or other prescription stimulants, it is important to seek help. At Empowered Recovery, we can help you with your drug abuse problems. Our personalized addiction treatment plans are designed with you in mind.

Call us for confidential advice and start your addiction treatment today.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a brand name for the drug lisdexamfetamine and comes from the amphetamine family. This prescription medication is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children over 6 years of age. It is also sometimes used to treat binge eating disorder.

Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant medication. This means it speeds up messages sent between the brain and body. Stimulant drugs also:

  • Speed up your heart rate
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Constrict blood vessels
  • Increase body temperature
  • Increase energy

In addition, stimulants generally make you feel more awake and alert. Caffeine, for example, is a legal and natural stimulant. Other stimulant medications include Adderall and Ritalin, which are also schedule ii controlled substances.

You should not take Vyvanse if it has not been prescribed to you by a licensed medical professional. Prescription drugs should be treated with caution like any other drug and can cause adverse effects, especially if you have not prescribed them. This could be incredibly dangerous.

If you are concerned about taking Vyvanse that has been prescribed to you, it is important that you talk to your healthcare provider.

What Does Vyvanse Abuse Look Like?

Vyvanse is categorized as a schedule ii controlled substance meaning it has a high potential for abuse.

You might not realize that you are abusing Vyvanse. This can look like:

  • Taking a higher doses than prescribed
  • Prolonging use longer than recommended by a medical doctor
  • Taking Vyvanse not prescribed to you even if you think you need it
  • Buying Vyvanse as a street drug for any reason
  • Taking Vyvanse for a reason other than its intended purpose such as for weight loss
  • Crushing and snorting Vyvanse for a euphoric high
  • Dissolving in water and injecting

Support for Vyvanse abuse is available, and you are not alone. Asking for help can seem daunting but it is the essential step to starting recovery. Your health is important and you deserve a drug-free future.

What are the Risks of Abusing Vyvanse?

Depending on the length and severity, abusing Vyvanse can cause short and long term effects including:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping and insomnia
  • Exacerbated existing mental health issues
  • Psychosis
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Mania
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Addiction

In extreme cases, Vyvanse abuse can result in overdose and even sudden death. This is why it is never worth the risk.

If you have misused or have any concerns regarding using Vyvanse, talk a medical professional. You can also contact us at Empowered Recovery for confidential advice. We offer treatment plans with you in mind.

What are the Dangers of Snorting Vyvanse?

Some people snort drugs for a more immediate rush or “high”, and this is also the case for snorting Vyvanse.

Vyvanse is a prodrug stimulant. This means it is inactive until metabolized in the bloodstream at which time it is then converted. Due to this process, studies have found that snorting Vyvanse does not particularly speed up the effects of the drug.

Snorting Vyvanse might not achieve its desired effect for a user, but it is still very harmful and can cause:

  • Damage to nasal passages
  • Nasal septum perforation
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Respiratory infections
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Swelling of face, mouth, and tongue
  • Blurred vision

Snorting drugs is always dangerous and can also lead to addiction and overdose.

What are the Signs of a Vyvanse Overdose?

If you take too much Vyvanse or misuse it such as by snorting, you may overdose. This is very serious and requires immediate treatment.

Signs and symptoms of a Vyvanse overdose include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Panic
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizure

There is also a risk of coma and even sudden death. This is why a Vyvanse overdose is always a medical emergency. If you experience overdose symptoms, always call 911 immediately.

How do I Know if I Have a Vyvanse Addiction?

You might have an addiction to Vyvanse if you continue to take the drug despite adverse effects to your health and wellbeing. Addictions take over people’s lives and leave you feeling out of control.

An addiction to drugs is known medically as a substance use disorder (SUD). This is a disease which is hard to overcome but possible with professional treatment and care.

Signs of substance addiction include:

  • Compulsive drug-seeking and obsession over next fix
  • Mood swings
  • Becoming secretive
  • Increased drug tolerance
  • Prioritizing drug use over other responsibilities and commitments
  • Losing interest in things that were once important
  • Poor performance at school and work
  • Poor hygiene and self care
  • Social withdrawal
  • Wanting to quit drugs but being unable to
  • Withdrawal symptoms

If you have been taking Vyvanse and notice signs of addiction, is it important that you seek addiction treatment from a medical professional.

What does Treatment for Vyvanse Addiction Look Like?

An addiction can only be diagnosed by a specialized medical professional. This is known medically as a substance use disorder (SUD). Addiction is hard to overcome, but possible with the right support.

If you have an addiction to Vyvanse, you will need to undergo a detox to overcome physical dependence. For your safety and peace of mind, this is best done at a treatment center. We do not recommend detoxing at home without professional supervision or quitting cold turkey.

Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Cravings

The detox process is only short term and Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms usually taper off after a few days, until you have also taken other substances. As part of your treatment process, you may also undergo therapy and other treatment programs. These steps will help you to achieve long term recovery. This takes time, but recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.

Get Help for Vyvanse Abuse Today

At Empowered Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to seek addiction treatment. That is why we offer treatment placement tailored to your specific needs, so you can focus on creating a brighter future.

How to Stay Sober: Tips for Getting and Staying Sober

“I Can’t Even Make It Sober One Day”- How to Stay Sober?

Getting and staying sober involves having a plan and some concerted effort. Your plan should involve:

Getting Support

If you have been drinking or taking drugs for a long time, you will be unlikely to be able to stay sober without some help. This might be from friends or family members, or it might be from new sober buddies. You will likely realize the importance of having healthy relationships on your recovery journey, and will naturally begin avoiding old drinking buddies.

Getting support for your substance abuse problems gets you these things:

  • Advice. If your car broke down, you wouldn’t expect to be able to fix it without some assistance. The same is true of getting sober. Trying to “wing it” will not produce results. If you have an addiction professional or someone with you who has been through, your chances of staying quit will be much higher.
  • Emotional support. There’s no two ways around it: getting sober is tough. During your drinking years, you don’t feel emotions fully and you will have been unlikely to build up the healthy coping mechanisms that people do while they are not drinking. When you stop, the floodgates of emotions open, and you have not yet learnt how to deal with them. Having people around you who can understand what you are going through in this challenging time goes a long way.

Going to Rehab

Addiction treatment for alcohol abuse is a one stop shop designed to help you get sober and remain sober. When you go to rehab, you will go through a medical detox, look at the reasons why you were drinking, be trained in how to maintain healthy relationships, and figure out how to change your life if you were living a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle.

In short, treatment facilities will teach you how to live a sober lifestyle and assist you in looking at past mistakes.

Avoid Having “Just One Drink”

You can’t get drunk if you don’t start drinking. While staying sober is not quite as simple as just avoiding drinking alcohol, this does play a key part. If you have an alcohol problem, remember that it is not possible for you to drink any amount of alcohol without risking relapse.

Stay Away From Old Drinking and Using Buddies

The adage in many recovery groups is that “if you stay in a barber shop long enough you will probably get a haircut”. This saying points to the belief that the chances of you getting drunk are pretty high if you hang around in places where people get drunk. The same could be said for hanging around with people who often get drunk.

While it might be comfortable to continue old habits and stay around people you used to drink with, this is not conducive to sober living. When you stop drinking, it is time to make new friends. These new friends should ideally also have a healthy lifestyle, so you can engage in wholesome pursuits together. A sober friend can be invaluable when you are thinking about drinking.

How to Get Sober and Stay Sober Longer

Short term sobriety and long term sobriety are two very different beasts. While in long term sobriety your cravings will be reduced, your state of mind will be a little more serene and you will have the support of other people to help you stay sober, it is not always a cake walk. Here are some tips that can help you to maintain lasting sobriety:

Go to Mutual Support Groups

Support groups are foundational for maintaining sobriety from drugs or alcohol, both short term and long term sobriety. Going to support groups means you have a ready-built network of sober friends who have been through similar experiences to you, and are able to offer you advice and emotional support.

Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous also encourage you to get a sponsor and work through the steps as a way of maintaining your sober life. Sponsors help support you, and doing the steps help you to clear the wreckage of the past and give you knowledge of self, something that is incredibly important in staying sober.

Get Rewarding Employment

Maintaining employment that nourishes your spirit will go a long way in your sober life. Many people find that a job that involves helping people helps them stay sober. You don’t have to work completely in the service of others – you can make a meaningful impact on the world.

Stay Financially Stable

If you have developed financial problems you will probably already know: being broke is not fun. In some ways it is more difficult when you are sober than when you were drinking. In the drinking days, your main concern is getting more alcohol, and there is usually a way of doing that. When you are sober, things are different. While you might choose to live a frugal life, having money is crucial to maintain your life.

Some people use spending money as a way of not experiencing difficult thoughts and feelings. The end result is that they are frequently in dire financial situations. In sobriety, it is better to face things head on. If you have a problem with spending money, look at why it might be and seek to address the root causes. If you continue to have difficulties, consider going to a support group like Debtors Anonymous, who can help you with your financial difficulties.

Maintain Robust Mental Health

Without looking after your mental health, you are at risk of relapse. Tips for maintaining mental health include:

Meditate regularly. There’s a reason why most religion and spiritual traditions and even many support groups include meditation as one of their elements: it works! Meditating frequently helps lower anxiety, reduces depression, and keeps neurotic thinking at bay.

Stay connected. As mentioned elsewhere in this article, maintaining relationships is integral to sobriety. If you have a tendency to isolate, make sure that you set aside time each day to connect.

Don’t take too much on. Working too hard or overexerting yourself in other ways can be detrimental to your mental health. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You may actually find that if you take it a bit easier that you will be work effective at what you are doing. It’s worth remembering that burnout can be a genuine relapse trigger.

Start an Exercise Program

Getting regular exercise plays an important part of staying sober. Looking after your body means you look healthy, and more importantly, you feel healthy. These healthy habits will be instrumental in your new sober life. You can:

  • Lift weights
  • Do yoga
  • Start running
  • Take up swimming

How to Stay Away From Drugs

In some ways, staying away from drugs is easier than staying away from alcohol. Alcohol is available on most streets in most places in the world and is legal. Drugs, on the other hand, usually involve having a drug dealer’s number, calling them up and then going to buy them illicitly.

This is not always the case though. You may bump into an old acquaintance who offers you drugs, or you might find a baggie of something in an old coat pocket. You should be well-prepared for these situations. If you think you might see someone you used to use with, have a line rehearsed about why you do not want to use anymore. If you think you might find drugs in your belongings, visualize throwing the drugs away.

If you are in an area where there are many people around that you used to use with, you should consider moving. While this can be difficult, particularly if you have been in an area for a long time, sometimes the risks of relapsing simply are not worth it. Leaving harmful past relationships and forming healthy, supportive relationships always pays dividends.

How to Stay Sober From Alcohol Without AA

You don’t necessarily need AA to stay sober, but it is recommended that you attend an alternative support group for a while. Groups like SMART Recovery help people to stay sober in a similar way to AA.

While AA revolves around finding a higher power as part of the recovery process, the SMART Recovery process advocates science-based methods. SMART Recovery teaches health coping skills to help you overcome your alcohol addiction.

How to Stay Sober FAQ

Is It Really Possible to Stay Sober?

It is possible to stay sober. If you want proof, just ask someone who has gotten sober. People who have been through the worst kinds of alcohol and drug addiction have gotten clean and sober, and got on to live happy and successful lives.

Does Being Sober Make You Happier?

Initially, getting sober may not make you happier. Early recovery is difficult, and these difficulties may stifle your happiness. As you remain sober for longer, though, living the sober life gets better and better.

Is Life Better Without Alcohol?

Absolutely. Once you have got over the initial hurdles, life is far better without alcohol. Of course, staying sober is not always a bed of roses. You will encounter difficulties in life, no matter how long you have been sober for. Recovery is a lifelong process that will have challenging moments. It is all worth it though.

What Does Being Sober Really Mean?

To some people, getting sober just means stopping drinking. Other people talk about the idea of “emotional sobriety”. This kind of sobriety involves looking at yourself, how you interact with others, and what your thoughts and beliefs are. Some people believe that true sobriety only comes by working on yourself.


Being sober is difficult at first, but it is worth it. If you would like to find out more information on how you can stay sober, contact Empowered Recovery. We offer partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programming to help find the best version of you again.

Benadryl Addiction and Abuse

Diphenhydramine is an over-the-counter antihistamine medication commonly known under the brand name Benadryl. Benadryl can be bought without a prescription and is easy to obtain. However, it has some extremely dangerous side effects if the dose is not controlled. Misusing diphenhydramine can be intentional, whereby people mix it with other substances such as alcohol or take large quantities at once. In different scenarios, individuals can unintentionally use more than is medically advised. Whether purposeful or not, misusing this substance can bring extremely dangerous and even fatal side effects if an overdose occurs.

Even if the guidelines for use are followed, Benadryl can produce some uncomfortable symptoms. It is essential to understand the purpose of the substance, how to use it safely, and the signs of diphenhydramine addiction.

What Is Benadryl Used For?

Recommended doses for children and adults indicate that those over the age of 12 should take one to two 25 mg tablets every four to six hours to relieve symptoms or as otherwise directed by a certified medical expert. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 can take one tablet every four to six hours. It is not advised for children younger than this to take this medication.


Antihistamines are used to relieve symptoms of allergic reactions to things such as pollen, animal hair, or dust. Many people who suffer from hay fever rely on antihistamines, particularly in high pollen seasons. Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, counteract the body’s natural product, histamines. Histamines cause uncomfortable symptoms like itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, itchy nose or throat, runny nose, and breathing difficulties.

Motion Sickness

Antihistamines like Benadryl are used in treating motion sickness. They can help ease symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and hyperventilating. The drug interacts with neurotransmitters inhibiting the body’s response and, in turn, the distressing symptoms.

Sleep Aid

Sometimes Benadryl is prescribed as a short-term sleep aid. It works due to the drowsy side effects many people experience. It is recommended only to use it on occasion if you struggle to sleep because of itchy skin or a cold. It is not recommended to use this substance as a long-term insomnia treatment.

Common Cold

Benadryl is commonly used to relieve symptoms of a cold, such as coughing and throat itchiness. It is frequently found in the ingredients of night cold medicines.

Side Effects of Benadryl

Like most medications, Benadryl produces side effects even if taken in the recommended dose. These can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Digestive issues
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

The effects peak around two hours after ingestion when the recommended dose is taken. The effects have usually subsided around four hours after use. However, the are still diphenhydramine metabolites in the body, so taking a second dose of Benadryl before the effects have worn off can be risky for the user.

Abusing Over-The-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl are very accessible, including for minors, and some people intentionally abuse the drug. There are some mild sedative effects, and in high doses, it can produce euphoric effects or feelings similar to intoxication. However, an amount higher than 25 mg can be severely dangerous and likely cause the user harm rather than euphoria.

It is common for users to mix Benadryl with alcohol, inducing some extremely toxic side effects. Mixing this substance with alcohol can result in breathing difficulties and respiratory failure, heart rhythm problems, and a lack of coordination. Combining alcohol with any other over-the-counter medication can produce dangerous side effects, but this combination can be fatal. If you are concerned that you or someone you love is experiencing a Benadryl addiction or is abusing antihistamines, help is available. You can reach out to us to seek professional medical advice today.

Signs of Benadryl Abuse

By nature, substance abuse can be very deceptive. It can be challenging to identify when somebody is living with an addiction. Some symptoms of Benadryl abuse may include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Vivid or distressing dreams
  • Poor coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle lethargy
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Benadryl Addiction

Substance abuse always brings risks for the user. However, it does not necessarily indicate that the individual is addicted to a substance. They may feel they can stop using whenever they choose to. Unfortunately, this behavior can rapidly turn into a fully-fledged addiction.

When you are addicted to a substance such as Benadryl, you can’t stop using it even when you want to. There are many short and long-term implications for individuals living with a diphenhydramine addiction.

Short-Term Health Impacts

Some of the short-term effects of a Benadryl addiction include:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Flushed skin
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure
  • Blurred vision
  • Coordination issues
  • Problems urinating

Long-term Health Impacts

Without addiction treatment, side effects can increase. A long-standing or severe addiction to Benadryl can result in the following symptoms:

  • Deterioration of mental capacity
  • Heart function issues
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Sight problems
  • Shaking and twitching
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Increased risk of dementia
  • Overdose

Like with other substances, quitting the drug “cold turkey” brings risks for the user, and it is highly recommended to reduce your dosage with the support of a medical expert.

Overdose Risk

Substance abuse of any kind risks overdose; diphenhydramine addiction is no different. Understanding Benadryl overdose symptoms is critical if you or someone you know uses this substance regularly in high doses. Here are some typical indicators:

  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Ringing ears
  • Seizure
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to urinate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Delirium
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Loss of coordination or inability to walk
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Getting Help for Substance Abuse

Substance addiction of any kind is a very challenging experience. It’s essential to understand the disease and how it manifests to manage it. Often substance abuse is a symptom of underlying mental health issues; these need to be tackled simultaneously with the addiction. People use drugs and alcohol for many different reasons; everyone can get through it to a better place with the right help and support.

The best kind of treatment places the individual at the center. Recognizing the uniqueness of the person and their addiction can help create an expertly tailored plan to encompass their needs and desires.

Although not limited to, it is common for Benadryl addiction to start in the teenage years. These challenging years can cause young people to experience depression, anxiety, and stress at extreme levels. Often substances feel like the only way to cope. Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication and can be accessed by those under eighteen, so it is common to find young people abusing diphenhydramine.

Treatment Options

It is essential to seek professional medical advice before attempting to stop using any substance. The support offered by compassionate and knowledgeable medics will ease any withdrawal symptoms and decrease the chances of relapse. If you or someone in your life is struggling with addiction, a comprehensive rehab program is the best place to turn.

Start Your Sober Journey Today

At Empowered Recovery, we know that every person, and their drug addiction, is unique. We offer a range of treatment options to suit your specific needs and hopes for your recovery journey. Our treatment modalities include:

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

We incorporate short and long-term goals to keep you on the right track for a happy life of sobriety. Our treatment facilities allow you to recover in a comfortable and safe environment, so your entire focus is on regaining your health.

If you are ready to take a step forwards into health and seek treatment, we are here to guide you along the way. Get in touch with us to discuss addiction treatment options, and let us answer any questions you might have.

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  • Empowered Recovery Center
    3651 Canton Road,
    Marietta, GA 30066

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