Meth Labs Cooking Up Addiction - North Jersey Recovery Close up photo of crystal meth.

Meth Labs: Cooking Up Addiction

Cooking Meth

Methamphetamine or “meth” is a powerful central nervous system stimulant.

Abuse of this stimulant has increased exponentially over the years, leading to an increase in individuals cooking even making the drugs at home.

This fast-growing, illicit menace is addictive and labeled by the federal government as a Schedule II drug.

It has limited short-term medical uses, often through nonrefillable prescriptions and low doses, and a high potential for abuse.

Meth Labs

The addictive qualities of meth can be strong enough to compel an individual to suffer such intense drug cravings that they begin to cook it in home-based meth labs.

But cooking meth is not always done to satisfy one individual’s drug cravings.

Many of those cooking meth are doing so to create their own supply and sell it to support their habit.

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Methods for Cooking Methamphetamine

Some of the most common methods for cooking meth include using pots on the stove or in microwaves. One method, referred to as shake and bake, involves shaking bottles filled with the ingredients used to make meth.

This method is particularly dangerous. Its effects can be highly damaging, even fatal. And this is true for both the users and others in or near the meth lab. These makeshift labs are often built in secluded and remote areas like the forests found throughout the Midwestern states.

How Toxic is Meth Labs

Several household items can be used to make meth. One of the main ingredients, pseudoephedrine, is found in several previously over-the-counter medications in grocery stores and pharmacies.

Cooking meth requires large amounts of this ingredient. Noticing the alarmingly high quantities being purchased, pharmacies now limit the amounts any one individual can buy. Pseudoephedrine-based medications like Sudafed are now monitored and kept behind the counter instead.

Many of the other ingredients, including antifreeze, cat litter, and iodine, are easy to find and obtain, but they make meth highly toxic. Cooking meth creates exceedingly, hazardous effects. Many ingredients are highly flammable, with the potential of leaving strong odors lingering to cause damage in internal organs.

Producing it involves using hazardous, flammable, and corrosive substances. As such, the vapors produced can damage the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract of anyone in the vicinity. Meth labs have been known to catch fire or explode.

Side Effects of Exposure to Toxic Substances While Cooking Meth

The toxic ingredients involved in cooking meth are bad for both the human body and the environment. Some of the more common side effects include burns, dizziness, nausea, and skin and eye irritation.

The toxic runoff from meth production contains contaminants that are endangering the environment. Direct exposure to these contaminants can cause disfigurement or death.

This is one reason why we see meth lab workers wearing full-body or hazmat suits in the movies and on TV. Direct contact with the skin or inhalation into the lungs can be fatal.

The Effects of Secondhand Exposure

Dumping these pollutants into the ground through liquid waste and other damaging materials has exposed the earth and individuals in surrounding areas to radioactive chemicals.

The damage has spread as far as nature preserves and national parks. Meth labs remain dangerous for years even after someone shuts them down.

Some can be rigorously cleaned and repurposed, while others are determined to be permanently hazardous and marked for demolition. Even a short amount of time in one of these labs can be dangerous. Police officers responsible for meth drug busts have reported harsh headaches, nose bleeds, sores in their mouths, and trouble breathing.

Further, meth labs have been known to catch fire or explode, injure, and occasionally kill nearby individuals. Some who have survived meth lab explosions have sustained severe scarring and lost limbs.

Cooking Meth to Satisfy an Addiction

Many individuals who cook meth also use it. If you struggle to achieve feelings of pleasure or motivation on your own, the effects of meth may seem appealing. Many meth users do so to cope with the symptoms of undiagnosed or diagnosed mental health disorders.

With continued use, the original effects that meth produces will disappear quickly. This leads to many users increasing their intake either in amounts or in frequencies. Meth’s potent and addictive qualities make it easy to overdose.

And the intense withdrawal symptoms associated with meth make it easy to relapse. As of 2017, approximately 964,000 Americans had a methamphetamine disorder. If you are battling an addiction to meth, you are not alone, and help is available here.

Meth and Mental Health

Individuals who are long-term users of meth often experience side effects that impair their mental health. Anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behaviors are some of the most common.

Psychotic side effects are also possible, including paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. Both current and former meth users may experience these psychotic symptoms. It causes severe structural and functional changes in certain parts of the brain.

Seeking and committing to addiction and mental health treatments can help end the addiction before it does any more damage.

Meth Addiction Treatment Options

If you are looking for a safe, comfortable, and supportive place to begin your journey to recovery, you have found it. Our facility is full of incredible amenities, dedicated teams, and supportive individuals who are facing the same battles.

Away from the noise, distractions, and temptations of New Jersey and New York City, there is peace and comfort in working toward sobriety. We offer a wide range of drug addiction treatment options here to meet a wide variety of addictions and needs.

High-level, customizable, and research-based addiction care is available in the following settings:

  • Inpatient treatment programs
  • Outpatient treatment programs
  • Intensive outpatient treatment programs
  • Partial care programs
  • Dual diagnosis programs

Drug Addiction Treatment Methods

Our behavioral therapies, holistic remedies, and support groups are three of the most important and effective recovery methods. These will be part of most of these treatment programs.

We will provide the knowledge, care, tools, and support necessary for effective recovery. With your dedicated effort to achieve long-term sobriety and health, recovery is possible. Whether you choose to live in our facility or visit each week, our comprehensive care programs will help you understand and overcome your addiction.

You will build important life and communication skills and employ methods for relapse prevention and stress management. We will work with you to choose the right program to address your unique addiction, needs, and health.

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Insurance for Drug Addiction Treatments

Paying for drug addiction treatments is easier than it has ever been. If you have health insurance, your drug addiction treatments may be partially or fully covered. But it is not always easy to tell what is included in your coverage.

If you need assistance reviewing and verifying your insurance coverage, please call our addiction specialist. They will perform a free insurance verification to confirm your coverage. If you do not have insurance, they will also be happy to discuss alternative payment options.

North Jersey Recovery Center

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we believe in dedicated addiction care.

We believe in research-based, proven methods, customized programs, and a safe and comfortable space.

We understand that each person we meet is unique, and we treat you that way.

When you are ready to make a change, we are ready to help.

Call us today for more information.

Oxycodone Withdrawal and Detox- North Jersey Recovery A man sits on the street with his head down in his knees with a bunch of oxycodone pills next to him.

Oxycodone Withdrawal and Detox

The Impact of Oxycodone Withdrawals

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings can often lead many users to relapse.

But repeat relapses and continuing to abuse addictive drugs like this one can become increasingly dangerous.

Drug overdoses killed more than 63,000 Americans in 2016.

While some may be voluntary, most drug overdoses are accidental.

The Dangers of Addictive Drugs

The addictive qualities and brain-altering effects of potent drugs like oxycodone make them highly dangerous.

Illicit drugs are often laced with other substances.

Users are not always aware that this is happening, and when drugs are laced with other substances, the risks associated with the increase.

Laced drugs often come with a higher risk of overdose, as well as many other complications.

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Medical Uses for Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a strong prescription opiate. It is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pains. Oxycodone is the active ingredient in numerous prescription drugs, including Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan, and Tylox.

In patients with severe injuries, arthritis, or cancer, oxycodone can ease chronic pain and improve quality of life. However, this opiate is more commonly used in illicit settings and ways.

Oxycodone’s euphoric and pain-relieving effects can be addicting. When the drug is abused, addiction is even more likely. While oxycodone does have a limited number of approved medical uses, it also comes with a high risk of abuse and addiction.

That is why oxycodone was labeled a Schedule II drug by the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Agency. In the United States, misuse of prescription painkillers is the second most common form of illicit drug use.

Common Methods of Oxycodone Abuse

In traditional medical use, oxycodone pills are swallowed. In illicit settings, oxycodone pills are more often crushed and snorted. This is one of the most dangerous ways to misuse oxycodone.

When you snort a substance, it passes through your nasal lining and lands directly into your bloodstream. This way, most of the drug begins to circulate through your system almost instantly.

The risk of addiction and overdose are both heightened when drugs are abused this way. These risks are also heightened when you chew the pills to encourage them to start working faster or mix drugs with water to make them injectable.

Choosing Oxycodone Withdrawal

Choosing withdrawal symptoms over an addiction can be difficult. Drugs like oxycodone often alter your brain chemistry, tricking you into believing that you need more of the substance.

When dependence is formed, it may feel right to continue your drug use rather than battle cravings and withdrawals. But this is not a sustainable way to live. And continuing to abuse oxycodone puts you at risk of an overdose.

There were 46,802 opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States in 2018.

Facing your oxycodone withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be hard, but facing the alternatives is often much worse.

With the right level, length, and dedication to addiction care, substance abuse can be overcome before lasting damage occurs. And our medically-assisted detox program can help ease any withdrawal symptoms you experience to help set you up for success. With the right approach, there is hope.

Oxycodone Withdrawal – Day One

It can be difficult to commit to oxycodone withdrawal when you do not know how long it will take. Attempting to quit cold turkey at home can be challenging and scary.

Quitting under the care and supervision of a highly knowledgeable and compassionate team is the better way. Our safe and comfortable facility is the ideal place to get away from the noise, temptations, triggers, and distractions that you have faced in the past.

Whether you are from right here in New Jersey or looking to escape from the city, we are ready to help.

After eight to 12 hours after you stop using it, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms start. These early symptoms tend to peak within the first 72 hours. Early opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing and runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Sweats
  • Yawning

Second Stage Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

After the first few days, many of the early oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will begin to fade. In the later stages of withdrawal, you may experience discomforts like abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Dilated pupils and goosebumps are two other possibilities.

While these symptoms tend to be uncomfortable, they are not usually life-threatening. We will be by your side to monitor your progress, administer medications as needed, and work with you to enforce early sobriety. Increasing your strength and confidence with medical detox sets the tone for a strong start on the road to recovery.

Inpatient Programs for Oxycodone Addiction

If you have attempted to quit on your own in the past and oxycodone withdrawal symptoms or cravings led you to relapse, the chances are good that you will be eligible for our medical detox program. But what comes next?

We offer a wide variety of addiction treatment programs to meet a wide variety of unique addictions and needs. Two of the most common addiction treatment settings are inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient care is often ideal for severe addictions.

It is also ideal for those with multiple addictions, underlying mental health disorders, and other concerns that may require special attention.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Options

While inpatient care provides 24-hour access to support, care, and guidance, outpatient care helps you balance addiction care and flexibility if it is important to you to remain at home.

Outpatient care is typically better for those with milder, singular addictions and strong support systems or family obligations at home. This type of program typically requires a time commitment of a few hours per week.

During this time, you will attend behavioral therapy sessions, support group meetings, and other recovery methods in our facility. We also offer several mid-range addiction treatment options. Partial care programs and intensive outpatient programs land somewhere in the middle.

We will work with you to determine which program will best suit your unique addiction and other needs.

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Using Insurance for Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Paying for drug and alcohol addiction treatments is one of the most common barriers that addicts site as a reason to avoid them. But paying for addiction treatments is often easier than you might think.

Depending on your addiction, program, and needs, your health insurance provider may offer partial or full coverage of your addiction treatments.

If you are not sure what is covered under your plan, please call our addiction specialist. They will perform a free insurance review and verification for you. If you do not have health insurance, they can also tell you about alternative payment options.

Getting the addiction care that you need and deserve is infinitely worth the costs. It is time to choose a better way.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms should not stand between you and a sober, healthy life.

If you are ready to quit using oxycodone, we are ready to help you get there.

Our dedicated teams, safe and comfortable facility, incredible amenities, and proven treatment methods, offer a recovery setting, unlike any other.

Why waste another day wondering what your life could be without the grasp of oxycodone dragging you down?

Call us today to get started.

The Opioid Epidemic - North Jersey Recovery - Close up photo of the chest of a man in scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck as he holds out a bottle of opioids in his left hand and some white pills in his right hand.

The Opioid Epidemic: What Is It and What Can You Do?

The Opioid Epidemic

The most common drugs related to the opioid epidemic are fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Morphine, codeine, methadone, and tramadol are other common opioids.

Both natural and synthetic prescription and illicit drugs have driven the opioid epidemic.

Nearly 450,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids from 1999 to 2018.

Opioids vs. Opiates

Opiates are drugs naturally derived from the seeds of opium poppy plants.

Opioids are either fully synthetic or partially synthetic.

This means that they are created chemically or with both chemical and natural ingredients.

Opioids are classified as any drugs that produce opiate-like effects, encompassing both categories and driving what we call the opioid epidemic.

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Opioid Misuse Rates

Many opioids and opiates have valuable medical uses when they are taken appropriately, but they are rarely used the right way. And many of them are highly addictive and dangerous. Their potency and addictive qualities make them easy to abuse.

Their high rates of abuse and addiction have led to alarming numbers of fatal overdoses, medical conditions, and accidents. This is why it is known as the opioid epidemic.

Approximately 10.3 million individuals reported misusing opioids within the last year when surveyed in 2018. There were 9.9 million misused prescription painkillers, 808,000 used heroin, and about 506,000 used both.

In both prescription and illicit drug use, opioid abuse can be hard to monitor and control.

Causes of the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic has occurred in waves. And the causes of the opioid epidemic have changed accordingly. During the 90s, the opioid epidemic was driven by an increase in prescription opioids.

Overdoses and patterns of physical and mental health problems led to shorter-term and fewer prescriptions. The next wave started in 2010 when we see an alarming and rapid increase in fatal heroin overdoses. Because there are no prescriptions or medical uses for heroin, its use became increasingly difficult to regulate.

The final wave started less than a decade ago in 2013. This wave was driven by synthetic opioids. With this wave, we saw a significant increase in fatal overdoses that involved the synthetic fentanyl. Traces of fentanyl are often found in heroin samples, illicit pills, and cocaine.

Drug dealers may slip fentanyl into their other drugs to keep their costs low and profit high. This practice can be deadly for unsuspecting drug users. There is no singular cause of the opioid epidemic. Each one presents unique dangers and concerns.

Prescription Opioids

Addictions to prescription opioids often start after an accident or injury occurs. These high-level painkillers are often prescribed for moderate to severe or unresponsive pains.

When used the right way, they can ease your pain and create euphoric feelings while you heal. But after a while, you may notice that they are not as effective as they were at the start. T

his usually means that your body is building a tolerance to its effects. As this happens, you will need to take more to achieve the same level of pain relief and other side effects.

You may be driven to take them in larger doses or take them more frequently. You may also begin to experience drug cravings. This is when addiction begins.

Drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for you to stop taking opioids. Increasing doses and graduating to stronger drugs are common. But these activities can compromise your health, altering your thoughts and behaviors along the way.

Our comprehensive addiction treatments can help you end the abusive cycle of addiction.

Side Effects of Opioid Addictions

Like many other drugs, there is a wide range of possible side effects from opioid addiction. These effects can be both physical and psychological.

Many remain the same, regardless of whether they are natural or synthetic, but other factors may alter them. Your method of ingestion, mental health, and the use of additional substances are a few important factors to consider. Some of the most common opioid-related side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Itchiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Mood swings, including depressive episodes
  • Respiratory depression or slowed breathing

You do not have to live with the side effects of your opioid addiction. Entering an addiction treatment program is the first step in building a healthy, sober life.

Opioids and Mental Illnesses

As is made clear by the side effects listed above, opioids can impair your mental health. Confusion, memory loss, and mood swings are commonly linked to opioid abuse.

Beyond these side effects, other mental health impairments are possible, as well. If you have diagnosed or undiagnosed depression, taking opioids can worsen it. But beginning with opioids can lead to depression because of the way that it alters your brain chemistry.

The link is strong and can connect opioids and mental illnesses in either direction. Dual diagnosis is the term we use for addiction and mental health disorders co-existing.

We offer a specialized program that addresses each of these unique concerns, as well as their connection. Breaking the connection and treating each disorder simultaneously can ensure that one does not remain and worsen the other in time.

Addiction Treatment Options

Each of our addiction treatment programs takes place in our comfortable, safe, and amenity-packed facility. We are conveniently located for those throughout New Jersey and others looking to distance themselves from Manhattan during their recovery.

Enjoy the highest levels of privacy during your treatment outside of New York City and away from all of the distractions and temptations it holds. For addictions as strong as those to opioids, inpatient care is often preferred.

This type of program often begins with medical detox to ease your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It then continues into 24-hour care.

Each day will be filled with healthy meals, proven therapeutic methods, meetings, support groups, down-time, and holistic remedies. But if you have family or work obligations that require you to stay at home, we offer several other incredible options, too.

Our partial care, outpatient, and extensive outpatient programs allow you to live at home while spending a set number of hours at our facility each week. We will work with you to determine the program that will best suit your addiction and needs before you begin.

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Insurance for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Most major health insurance providers offer some level of coverage for addiction care treatments. If you have health insurance, but are not sure what is covered under your plan, please call our admissions specialist. They will review and verify your insurance for you.

This service is free and will move you past this first step so you can focus on preparing for recovery. If you do not have health insurance, they can also provide you with alternative payment options. Today is the day to choose change.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Addiction is a powerful and chronic disease that builds over time.

You do not have to live this way.

The best way to overcome your opioid addiction is to accept the help, care, and guidance available to you.

Commit yourself to a dedicated long-term approach and put the pieces back together.

Call us today for more information.

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System? North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman is speaking with an addiction therapist and asking, "How long do opiates stay in your system?" while reviewing her options for treatment to break free from opioid addiction.

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?

How long do opiates stay in your system, and what affects this? These are common questions from many individuals struggling with opioid addiction.

The short answer is it depends.

Both opioids and opiates affect the brain and body similarly, but there are different types. For example, there are prescription opioids and illegal opioids.

The type of opioid or opiate and how it is used impacts how long it stays in your system.

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What are Opioids?

First, what are opioids? Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, which is illegal. This drug class also includes synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Pain medications available by prescription are also opioids. Prescription pain relievers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine.

Opioids and opiates are effective as short-term pain relievers, but they are very addictive. Opioid addiction has led to the so-called opioid epidemic. Tens of thousands of people die each year due to opioid overdoses.

While there are different types of opioids, all affect certain receptors in the brain and body.

Along with pain relief, opioids can cause drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.

They can also cause euphoria, known as being high.

When exploring the question of how long do opiates stay in your system, it’s best to break them down into categories. The general categories for reference are prescription opioids, fentanyl, and heroin.

What Factors Affect How Long Opiates Stay in Your System?

Most opiates have short half-lives. Relatively speaking, this means they leave the system quickly.

However, the effects can last for hours.

When answering, “How long do opiates stay in your system?” individual factors play a role.

Some factors that influence how long opiates stay in your system include:

  • Your body weight and mass
  • Your metabolism
  • How much body fat you have
  • Liver and kidney health
  • How you used the drug
  • How often you use opiates
  • Age
  • Drug quality
  • How much water you have in your body

How Long Do Pain Pills Stay in Your System?

Prescription opioids are used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. For years, they were very widely prescribed.

There have been efforts recently to curb how often they’re prescribed because of the opioid epidemic. Prescription pain pills are linked to addiction, dependence, and overdoses. Even if someone takes opioids as prescribed, there’s an abuse or addiction potential.

Hydrocodone is one example of a prescription opioid. If you were to take hydrocodone orally in the form of a pill, it must first pass through the digestive system. It takes longer to feel the effects of opioids used orally. It also takes longer for them to leave your system.

While hydrocodone or oxycodone’s effects might wear off in three or four hours, that doesn’t mean the substance is still not in your system. In some cases, the drug could show up in certain tests anywhere from one to four days.

For example, how long do opiates stay in urine? Opiates can show up in urine tests for up to four days after someone uses them, despite the effects that have long since worn off.

A saliva test may be able to detect prescription pills for up to 48 hours after use.

Hair tests can detect use for up to 90 days.

Blood test detection for prescription pain pills can appear for up to 12 hours after someone takes them.

It is important to note that these are just estimates. Some prescription opiates are longer-lasting and have a longer half-life. Similarly, some are shorter-lasting.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

When asking how long opioids stay in your system, you may be curious about heroin as well.

Heroin is typically injected instead of being ingested orally. Heroin has a much shorter half-life than other prescription opioids. The half-life is around 30 minutes. This means if you take a dose of heroin, it will take 30 minutes for your body to flush out half of the drug.

There have been studies showing the half-life could be as short as a few minutes. This can impact how it shows up on a drug test, but more advanced testing systems are being developed with increased sensitivity.

For most people, heroin might not show up in their urine after two days, but some tests will appear positive for up to seven days after heroin is used.

Due to the short half-life, it’s not common for blood or saliva tests to be used to screen for heroin.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

Fentanyl is one of the most powerful synthetic opioids. The potency makes it incredibly dangerous. Fentanyl is available as a prescription under brand names like Actiq and Duragesic.

It is also sold illegally on the black market. Fentanyl’s potency is estimated to be anywhere from 50 to 100 times that of morphine.

Depending on the type of fentanyl someone uses and how they use it, it can stay in the system or at least be detected for up to four days after use. A blood test might show fentanyl use anywhere from five to 48 hours after the last use. A urine test could show fentanyl for up to three days after it is used.

Treatment for Opiate or Opioid Addiction

Even when someone takes opiates or opioids as prescribed, there is a significant potential for addiction. Your doctor should go over this with you.

You have to be careful to follow the dosage and prescription instructions with opiates or opioids.

These drugs affect your brain by binding to opioid receptor sites. In doing so, they trigger feelings of euphoria. That euphoria, in turn, activates a reward response in your brain. The reward response is what leads to addiction.

If you are addicted to opioids, your use is out of your control. It’s compulsive use that characterizes addiction to any substance.

Addiction treatment is available.

Treatment options for opiate or opioid addiction include:

  • Medical Detox: When you use opioids regularly, you can become dependent on them. If you stop suddenly, withdrawal symptoms may occur. During medical detox, you receive supervision and clinical care while you go through withdrawal.
  • Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment is also known as residential rehab. You live onsite at a treatment facility for weeks or months based on your level of addiction and needs. The environment is safe and supportive. Triggers are eliminated so that you can focus on recovery.
  • Outpatient Treatment: This is a broad term. Outpatient treatment can be intensive and very similar to inpatient treatment, except you spend your nights at home. It can also be therapy or meeting with your counselor once a week.
  • Relapse Prevention: Your relapse prevention plan is what you enact after treatment. Relapse prevention plans might include participating in group or individual therapy. Recovery support groups are also often part of relapse prevention.

If you would like to learn more about opioid addiction treatment, please reach out to North Jersey Recovery Center today.

Our compassionate, clinically-trained team can verify your insurance and answer any questions you may have.

What are the Takeaways?

The question of how long do opiates stay in your system depends on your body and health, the type of opiate, and how you use it.

In general, they can stay in your system anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Even though you might not feel the effects of an opioid any longer, it can still show up in tests, such as blood or urine tests.

Lean (Purple Drank) Addiction and Abuse North Jersey Recovery Center - What is lean? Here is an image of cough syrup that many end up becoming addicted to because they mix many different elements that cause a euphoric feeling.

Lean (Purple Drank) Addiction and Abuse

What is Lean?

If you are unfamiliar with common illicit substance combinations, you may wonder: What is lean? What’s in lean? And why is it so dangerous?

Lean, sometimes known as “purple drank,” combines powerful cough medicines with other easy to find ingredients — like candy or soda.

The cough medicine is also sometimes mixed with alcohol.

Combining cough syrup and candy is a relatively new practice in the world of substance abuse.

With its powerful base of opiate cough medicine, lean can lead to many troubling consequences.

If you are addicted to lean, our rehab programs can help.

Lean as a Drug

Codeine, a powerful opiate, is the lean drug that makes it so dangerous.

Cough medicines containing opiates are potent and powerful.

Lean is made when certain cough medicines are mixed with hard, fruity candies or bubbly soft drinks.

The resulting recreational drug cocktail is addictive and dangerous.

One of the most troubling concerns is the presence of other active ingredients in the prescription cough medicine that may interfere with the codeine.

Other Active Ingredients in Codeine-Based Cough Medicines

Some prescription cough medications that contain codeine also contain antihistamines that act as sedatives.

When abused, taken in high doses, or mixed with other substances, this combination can impair your motor functions.

Other cough syrups may include narcotics that produce feelings of relaxation or high or psychoactive ingredients that alter your mind.

With strong ingredients like these, abuse is incredibly dangerous.

Ingredients that produce such potent effects are often addictive, leading to physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and drug cravings.

But your lean addiction is not something that you have to face alone.

Help is right around the corner.

Lean Drink

What is lean?

The buzz around lean drink and the attention it has received from prominent celebrities have only contributed to its dangerousness.

The codeine in lean drinks acts as a cough suppressant and a pain reliever.

This particular pain reliever should be taken under the care, recommendation, and instruction of a medical professional and an individualized prescription.

If you were given a prescription for codeine, it is likely because you have mild to moderate pains that are unresponsive to less potent or non-prescription pain relievers, like Advil.

But prescriptions are abused every day, and many prescription drugs can be purchased or traded illicitly.

And many individuals choose to abuse prescription-strength cough medications.

Side Effects of Abusing Lean

Because the cough medications used to make lean drink contain different opiates, narcotics, and strong antihistamines, this drink can cause a wide variety of unpleasant or dangerous side effects.

Over time, it can impair your mental and physical health.

This illicit concoction is popular among younger demographics, although it is not the most common addiction within this group.

The most common addictions among college students include alcohol, benzodiazepines, marijuana, stimulants, and ecstasy.

Still, many young people have suffered both short and long-term damage to their health after abusing lean.

The side effects that you experience may vary depending on several individual factors.

The amount you drink each time, how often, and the cough medicine you use can alter your side effects.

But some side effects are more common than others.

These include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Sedation
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Feelings of agitation or confusion
  • Fevers and sweats or shivering
  • Severe muscle stiffness and twitches
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Coordination problems
  • Rashes, hives, and itching
  • Vision changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

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The Dangers of Mixing Codeine and Other Substances

Codeine is habit-forming.

It has the potential to lead to life-threatening side effects.

When you mix it with other substances, it becomes increasingly dangerous.

Mixing a potent and addictive opiate with fillers like candy and soda may make it taste better, but it also makes it easier to forget how much you have ingested.

This can lead to dangerous levels of codeine, narcotics, or antihistamines traveling through your system.

These high levels increase your chance of overdosing.

Mixing lean drink ingredients with alcohol takes it to another level.

This can cause respiratory depression, which reduces the amount of oxygen getting to your brain.

Liver damage, coma, and death are linked to respiratory depression.

There is some evidence that certain famous pop culture icons and rappers have suffered impairments due to their lean abuse.

These impairments include hospitalization for seizures, near-death experiences, and arrests.

High-profile athletes have also made the news after they were suspended or hospitalized for their lean abuse.

If you are struggling with lean abuse, do not wait for your addiction, side effects, or cravings to get worse.

Call us today.

Mental Health and Lean Addiction

What is lean, and what does it have to do with mental health?

The ingredients in lean slow your brain activities and create euphoric, relaxed feelings.

Drugs with mind-altering effects of this kind are capable of damaging your mental health.

Abusing lean can lead to brain lesions and memory loss, uncharacteristic changes in your behavior, and other troubling cognitive impairments with long-term use.

Permanent psychosis is also possible.

If you have a pre-existing mental health condition when you start drinking lean, it may become worse.

Dual diagnosis is the term for co-existing mental health disorders and addictions.

The best way to improve your addiction, mental and physical health when you have a dual diagnosis is to treat them simultaneously.

Our dual diagnosis program is comprehensive and highly specialized.

It provides a holistic, well-rounded approach to improving every aspect of your health.

Lean Drink Withdrawal Symptoms

Most codeine-based cough medicines contain multiple ingredients that alter your brain chemistry.

One way it does this is by tricking it into producing more dopamine, the feel-good chemical produced by your brain’s reward system.

Unnatural increases in this chemical can lead to addiction, drug cravings, and a loss of control.

One clear sign of addiction is that you see the damaging toll drugs are taking on your life but cannot stop using the drugs.

Drug cravings can be persistent and overwhelming.

Withdrawal symptoms can lead to relapse if you are not prepared for them.

Codeine withdrawal symptoms can range from nausea, vomiting, and insomnia to agitation, anxiety, and body pains.

Thankfully, an initial part of our addiction treatment programs includes a supervised medical detox.

This type of detox eases your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to set you up for success.

Addiction Treatment Options

We believe each treatment program should be customized according to the individual’s needs.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to addiction care.

We offer various addiction treatment options, from full-time inpatient care to part-time outpatient options to sober living and more.

Each program is uniquely designed to address your addiction, concerns, health, questions, and peace of mind.

From our first phone call to when you feel ready to step back into the real world, we work with you to determine the treatment options that best suit your needs.

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Paying for Addiction Treatments

When it comes to paying for addiction treatments, health insurance is a tremendous resource.

Your health insurance provider may offer full or partial coverage for your addiction treatments.

If you are unsure of what your coverage entails, please call our admissions department.

They will review and verify your insurance for you.

If you do not have insurance, they will also outline alternative payment options for you.

North Jersey Recovery Center

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we specialize in high-level, customized addiction care.

We meet you where you are in your recovery journey and help you get to where you need to be.

We are with you through every step of this process.

Here, you will build all of the resources, tools, knowledge, skills, and support systems you need to pursue a different life.

And you will do so while receiving ongoing care, support, and guidance.

Call us today to get started.

GHB Addiction and Abuse - North Jersey Recovery Center - A vile of GHB sits next to a small pile of white powder.

GHB Addiction and Abuse

What is GHB?

GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate) is a central nervous system depressant that is used for general anesthesia and treatment for alcohol dependency, narcolepsy, and cataplexy.

GHB Addiction and Abuse is a problem that everyone needs to be aware of.

It is an odorless white powder that has a taste described as soapy or salty.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has labeled GHB as a Schedule III drug.

GHB is also manufactured by the black market to be a hallucinogen and is sold illicitly for recreation and performance enhancement.

GHB or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate Uses

Some use GHB to gain muscle mass because of its ability to increase growth hormone production.

Small dosages produce euphoria, which is the primary reason people use the drug.

It can cause amnesia and blackouts in larger amounts, which is why it is commonly known as the “date rape” drug.

Sexual predators pour the drug into an unsuspecting victim’s drink, usually using enough to evoke the loss of consciousness.

Victims typically do not remember the details of the crime. GHB has effects similar to alcohol, without adverse repercussions, such as slurred speech, loss of motor skills, and hangover.

GHB can be dangerous, especially when it is taken in large amounts.

People who use GHB for recreational purposes attempt to achieve the desirable effects, but this can be difficult to do.

The effects of the drug can become addictive.

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Understanding GHB

GHB ignites activity in your GHB receptor and oxytocinergic neurons, which produces euphoria, reduced inhibitions, increased libido, and tranquility.

It is a depressant, which means that the central nervous system is slowed down. You may feel the effects of alcohol when you use GHB. If you take too much of it, you may not move much or lose consciousness.

These feelings may be addictive over time. GHB is commonly abused for its recreational and performance-enhancing effects and criminals to commit sex crimes.

GHB addiction is common among people of all ages, but teens and young adults tend to abuse it the most. Many people use GHB because of false information surrounding the “high” and the effects.

It can be easy to overdose when using GHB.

Some of the overdose symptoms include vomiting, sweating, incoherency, irregular breathing, inability to move, involuntary muscle contractions, and loss of consciousness.

Death can also occur. The long-term effects of extended use of GHB remain unclear. However, cognitive impairment and organ damage have been observed.

Effects of GHB Abuse and Dependency

The effects of GHB usually occur within 15 minutes after consumption and last for around three hours. The dosage you take will notably alter your experience.

Even a small amount more can significantly result in overdose instead of the desired recreational effects. GHB abuse may easily and quickly evolve into a dependency. This poses a risk to your immediate health.

Signs of GHB addiction include memory loss, hallucinations, loss of motor control, nausea, impulsivity, loss of inhibitions, incoherency, agitation, seizures, and loss of consciousness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have a dependency on GHB. The dependency may result in major disruptions in all aspects of your life.

Not only is it harmful to your mental and physical health, but it can also be lethal in some cases. The long-term effects of prolonged GHB use are still being studied. Withdrawal symptoms may arise two days after the last GHB use. Some of the symptoms of GHB withdrawal include depression, anxiety, confusion, paranoia, delirium, tremors, and muscle cramps.

Emotional symptoms tend to last longer than the physical symptoms of GHB withdrawal. Physical symptoms may linger for as long as three weeks. If the emotional symptoms of withdrawal are not addressed, it may result in further drug use or relapse.

Whether or not you have been using GHB for a long period of time, it is still essential to seek professional help when attempting to stop GHB addiction.

Mental Illness and GHB

Approximately 50% of people with mental illness will abuse drugs to cope with mental illness symptoms. This is only a palliative solution and brief respite from their distress.

Using GHB to cope with mental illness will exacerbate your mental illness symptoms. It will also lead to dangerous physical and mental health problems. Staying away from illicit psychoactive substances is the safest thing to do, especially if you have a preexisting mental illness.

All psychoactive substances have different effects when used by people who have a mental illness. Those with mental illness are more susceptible to unwanted negative effects. GHB can exacerbate depression, anxiety, cognitive problems, auditory and visual hallucinations, and psychosis.

If you have any GHB abuse and dependency symptoms, you must know that help is available. You are not alone in this.

Treatment for GHB Abuse and Dependency

GHB addiction will be overwhelming to handle and make you feel trapped. But there is help available for you. You are not alone in this battle. The first step to recovery is admitting that GHB dependency has taken over your life and caused several problems. This is a major step to take, but it is the best thing you can do for your future.

Our highly trained and caring staff at North Jersey Recovery Center is committed to helping you in your recovery. You can break free from the grip of dependency with our addiction treatment. There are many methods for treating GHB dependency and abuse.

Every person is different, so every treatment is tailored to your needs because we place people first in our center. It is recommended that you receive inpatient care so that our experienced staff may facilitate safe medical detoxification.

Medical detox may not be a pleasant experience because of withdrawal symptoms, but our caring staff ensures that you will be safe and comfortable as possible. After the drug has been cleansed from your system, our treatment will consist of individual and group therapy, life-skills building exercises, social integration skills, art therapy, support systems, and relapse prevention.

You deserve to live your life free from dependency. If you are struggling with GHB addiction, please reach out today to us at North Jersey Recovery Center.

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Insurance for Treatment and Our Free Insurance Verification

It is brave to seek treatment for your dependency. It will help you secure a better future.

No matter your situation, please do not hesitate to contact us for further payment information.

We provide honest and accurate pricing information for all of our treatment options at our drug rehab center. We offer free insurance verification.

Call us today to see if you qualify.

Call Us Today

Today can be a new beginning for you.

It can lead to a future where you choose how to live your life without dependency interfering and taking over.

At North Jersey Recovery Center, you are always placed first.

The help and care you need is a phone call away.

Our staff is dedicated to providing you with the best addiction treatment available.

Our recovery center understands and respects privacy.

With our location just outside Manhattan, you can receive treatment outside of the city. We are a short drive away.

Contact North Jersey Recovery Center today and begin living your life again.

How Much Do Drugs Cost: The Steep Price of Addiction North Jersey Recovery Center - An individual is buying drugs off of the street from a drug dealer and realizing how much he is spending on drugs on a daily basis based on a street drug prices chart.

How Much Do Drugs Cost: The Steep Price of Addiction

Street Drug Prices

Street drug prices are a common area of interest in communities where illicit drugs are common.

However, the cost of street drugs is not only financial and does not just impact the individual.

The abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs costs over $740 billion annually.

This number includes costs related to criminal activities, lost work productivity, and addiction-related healthcare.

Drug abusers often face a multitude of costs, whether related to drug-seeking behaviors, crimes, lost wages, or out-of-pocket medical expenses.

But the physical and mental health costs may be the most troubling.

Our comprehensive rehab programs can help you combat these costs.

The Impact of Street Drug Costs

The financial burden for those struggling with drug addiction can be difficult to bear.

To get an idea of this financial burden, you can look at the street drug prices chart for commonly abused drugs.

This is particularly true for young adults who find themselves using drugs to cope with difficult home or family situations.

Recent studies have shown that anywhere from 40% to 70% of homeless youth abuse drugs or alcohol.

This percentage falls between two and three times higher than the rate among non-homeless individuals in the same age range.

For example, cocaine use is four to five times higher among the homeless than the non-homeless.

Similarly, amphetamine use is three to four times higher.

In this same survey, 71% of homeless youth participants met the criteria for substance abuse disorders, whether for alcohol or illicit drugs, or both.

Whether the homelessness or the addiction came first, the connection is there.

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How Much Does Heroin Cost?

Heroin is an illicit substance with no approved medical uses.

Because heroin is not available through prescription or on a drug store shelf, there is no set price or average price for heroin.

However, there are street drug prices charts you can research to give you an idea of the price range for the cost of heroin.

The form, quantity, location, and other factors can alter the cost of this illicit drug.

Heroin tends to be more affordable than many other illicit and prescription drugs.

But this affordability is only one factor of many to consider.

The costs it demands of your physical and mental health are much more significant than the financial costs.

Potent synthetic opioids like heroin and fentanyl are the most lethal category of illicit substances in the United States.

Drug overdoses, fatal and otherwise, occur at alarmingly high rates in this drug category. They outnumber deaths related to firearms, car accidents, suicides, and homicides each year.

But heroin and other synthetic opioids do not have to cost you your life.

We can help you regain control.

The Link Between Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Most heroin addicts did not start with heroin.

About 80% of heroin users report that they had abused prescription opioids first.

These two types of drugs offer many of the same side effects.

But heroin is stronger, more potent, and often more affordable.

When you abuse prescription opioids after receiving them following an injury, childbirth, or a dental procedure, they can quickly lose their effect.

After you have built a tolerance to prescription opioids, you may find yourself graduating to heroin to achieve the effects that have been lost over time with prescription painkillers.

The withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that come with long-term heroin abuse can be even more difficult to overcome.

You may feel lost, scared, or helpless.

But we can help.

If you are addicted to heroin or prescription opioids, our medical detox eases your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to set you up for success.

Common Street Drugs and Street Drug Prices Chart

Adderall and meth are two common street drugs because they are generally easy to find and affordable.

Many drug abusers take Adderall to increase their focus and concentration.

These side effects make it a popular drug among younger demographics.

It has been nicknamed “the study drug,” but there is no evidence that Adderall use improves test scores or grade point averages.

Heroin, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and central nervous system stimulants are high on the list, as well.

Cocaine, hallucinogens, LSD, and marijuana are common among different demographics.

Whichever illicit substances you find yourself abusing, it is important to consider each of the costs, not just the financial ones.

Street drugs are often more dangerous than prescription drugs, but this depends on the individual and several other factors.

Among many others, one reason for this is that street drugs are often mixed with other substances. The drug dealer often does this without the user’s knowledge.

Adding fentanyl to heroin is a common example of this. Combinations like this one instantly increase your risk of overdosing.

Physical and Mental Costs of Abusing Drugs

The costs to your brain, body, career, and relationships are more impactful than the money you will spend to obtain these drugs.

The physical and mental health tolls that they take over time should be your number one priority.

Depending on a wide range of individual factors, like substances abused, the frequency and dose, and your height, weight, and family history, your side effects may range from mild to severe.

You may experience various side effects — from headaches to hand tremors to hallucinations to seizures.

Higher dosages, increased frequencies, polysubstance addictions, and addictions with underlying mental health disorders may each come with more severe side effects.

Many side effects of drug abuse involve worsening or developing mental health disorders.

If you are experiencing adverse side effects, contact your doctor or another medical professional as soon as possible.

If you are interested in seeking professional and high-level care before your side effects become worse, contact our facility.

We walk you through the steps involved in attending a drug rehab program, enforcing early sobriety, overcoming withdrawals, and everything that comes next.

Rehab Treatment Options

Depending on the specifics of your addiction, mental health, and other needs, we work with you to build a program that will best suit your needs.

Your customized care program will be as unique as you are.

These care programs combine proven therapeutic methods with comprehensive techniques for care, support, and guidance that are genuinely patient-focused.

Some of these program options may include:

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Paying for Addiction Treatments

The cost of treatment is a factor that keeps many people in need of professional help from seeking the addiction care they deserve.

But paying for addiction treatment may be easier than you would think.

If you have health insurance, your treatment may be partially or fully covered.

Most major health insurance providers offer coverage for these types of treatments to some degree.

If you are unsure what is covered under your policy, please call our admissions department.

They will review and verify your insurance for you.

If you are coming to us without health insurance, they can also outline alternative payment options.

North Jersey Recovery Center

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we help you work toward lasting sobriety for a healthier and happier life.

Our goal is to provide each person we meet with individualized, high-quality, and comfortable care.

See the difference that a dedicated team and proven therapeutic techniques can make.

You do not have to face your addiction alone. It is time to try things a better way.

Call us today for more information.

Ecstasy Symptoms and Warning Signs

What is Ecstasy?


Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug with abuse potential, and it can be dangerous or deadly.

Ecstasy symptoms are frequently seen among young people, particularly in the festival or party scene.

What Happens if you use Ecstasy?

Also known as MDMA or molly, ecstasy changes perception and mood.

Perception includes the awareness of one’s environment and the objects around them.

Ecstasy has a chemical structure similar to hallucinogens and stimulants.

MDMA was popular in the rave scene, and it recently starting surging in popularity again.

Ecstasy can be taken as a tablet or pill. There are also powder and liquid forms.

The nickname molly, in particular, refers to the pure crystalline powder form of ecstasy.

Along with ecstasy risks, the drug is often combined with other substances that users are not aware of.

For example, when authorities seize molly, it often includes methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, and even bath salts.

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Ecstasy Symptoms and How to Tell If Someone is on Molly

When someone takes ecstasy, it will increase the activity of three brain chemicals, which are:

  • Dopamine: When someone takes ecstasy, it can increase their activity and energy levels due to dopamine. Dopamine also reinforces behaviors by activating the reward system, which is how ecstasy can be addictive or habit-forming.
  • Norepinephrine: When ecstasy affects this brain chemical, it increases blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin is the brain chemical responsible for appetite, sleep, mood, sexual arousal, and many other functions. There is a large amount of serotonin released by the brain when someone uses ecstasy. The result can be artificial feelings of emotional closeness and connection, empathy, and an elevated mood.

Ecstasy side effects start to appear relatively quickly, and these effects last three to six hours.

When it comes to how to tell if someone is on molly, outward signs and symptoms might include:

  • Nausea
  • Involuntary teeth clenching
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Attention and memory problems
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased extroversion

Ecstasy, since it is a stimulant, can lead to high amounts of physical activity.
When someone takes high doses, ecstasy can cause problems in how the body regulates temperature.

One of the most serious negative effects of ecstasy is called hyperthermia, which is a significant increase in body temperature. Even moderate amounts of ecstasy may interfere with your body’s ability to control its temperature.

Untreated hyperthermia can lead to muscle breakdown, electrolyte imbalances, kidney failure, and brain swelling.

Is Ecstasy Addictive?

Ecstasy is not addictive in the same way that something like opioids is, but that does not mean there is no abuse potential. Ecstasy affects the same neurotransmitters as other addictive substances and activates the brain’s reward cycle. That reward cycle is what triggers the development of an addiction.

Research indicates that regular ecstasy use can lead to changes in the dopamine and serotonin symptoms associated with substance use disorder.
People who regularly use ecstasy sometimes report symptoms of addiction, such use the drug despite negative consequences, tolerance, cravings and withdrawal.

Mental Illness and Ecstasy Symptoms

As with other substances, there is often a relationship between mental illness and ecstasy.

Someone with an existing mental illness may be more likely to use substances like ecstasy. This often occurs because of a desire to self-medicate and deal with mental health symptoms like anxiety or depression.

Since ecstasy symptoms impact brain chemicals, the substance can also make mental illnesses worse or even cause previously undetected symptoms to arise.

When someone seeks treatment for an addiction or substance abuse problem, their mental health needs to be addressed as well. This might include a treatment plan with certain medications and counseling.

Ecstasy Treatment

If someone feels their use of ecstasy is out of control, they might seek addiction treatment. An addiction treatment program aims to help someone deal with their addiction’s underlying components and then avoid relapse as they return to their daily life.

Addiction treatment should be customized to the individual’s needs, but there are some different types of programs available.

Medical Detox

First, when you stop using a substance your body is dependent on, you will likely experience withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be physical and psychological.

Sometimes withdrawal can be severe or even deadly. During medical detox, a person’s withdrawal symptoms are medically managed, and they receive clinical care as necessary.

Medical detox can be an important part of the treatment process because it reduces the risk of relapse and mitigates the medical side effects of withdrawal.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment for ecstasy or other substances involves living onsite and receiving comprehensive, around-the-clock care and treatment in a safe and supportive environment.

In inpatient treatment, you are solely focused on recovery. You do not have to think about outside influences or triggers. This type of drug rehab allows you to get a fresh start.

Your day will often include a combination of group and individual therapy, medication management, and supplemental therapies.

Partial-Care Programs

Uniquely, North Jersey Recovery Center offers partial-care programs with a low staff-to-client ratio and high-quality clinical care.

These programs are somewhere in the middle between inpatient and outpatient rehab. Someone participating in a partial-care program might receive treatment four to six hours a day, five times a week.

It is possible to begin your treatment journey with partial-care, but they might first complete residential inpatient rehab for others.

Intensive Outpatient Programs and Traditional Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment programs can vary in intensity and required time commitments, but you do not live onsite.

This means you can continue working and keeping up with your daily responsibilities, but you are also working to maintain your recovery. Outpatient treatment can be something you use to establish long-term recovery management plans.

No matter the specifics of your treatment program, therapy plays a central role. Therapy is a way to look beyond the surface of your addiction and uncover some of the causes and patterns in your life. Therapy also provides you with the tools you can utilize as you return to your daily life.

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Insurance for Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Too often, people let concerns about how they’ll pay for rehab prevent them from getting the treatment they deserve, and that could potentially save their life. Insurance can and often does cover the majority of addiction treatment costs.

Our admissions team at North Jersey Recovery Center can verify your insurance coverage and work with you on the details of paying for treatment. The costs of not going to treatment can be much higher.

Ecstasy Symptoms and Treatment

Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or molly, is a serious drug.

Ecstasy symptoms can range from being energetic and emotional to potentially deadly such as experiencing hyperthermia.

While ecstasy isn’t addictive in the traditional sense, it does affect the brain in the same ways as other addictive drugs.

If you are struggling with ecstasy or other substances, North Jersey Recovery Center can help.

We are close to New York City and give you seclusion and privacy as you are on a path to recovery.

What Causes Addiction North Jersey Recovery Center - A young man sits with a professional and experienced psychiatrist to determine what the cause of his addictions are and the best treatment plan for him based on his addiction needs and requirements

What Causes Addiction?

Like many people, you may wonder what causes addiction to drugs and alcohol.

The answer to this question is important for everyone to know.

However, they’re especially important to people facing serious drug or alcohol problems.

Why? By learning the causes of addiction, you can improve your understanding of what is happening to you or your loved one facing addiction issues.

This, in turn, may enable you to help yourself or your loved one find effective addiction treatment.

What Causes People to Use Drugs or Alcohol

There is no single reason why people start using drugs or alcohol.

Research shows that the most common motivations for substance use include:
 

  •         A desire to increase feelings of pleasure
  •         A desire to escape mental or physical pain
  •         Peer pressure or a desire to belong
  •         Curiosity about the effects of drugs or alcohol
  •         A desire to get better grades at school
  •         A desire to boost work performance[I]


It is important to note that most people start using drugs or alcohol on their own.

However, some people are forced into substance use.

In the beginning, almost no one expects that drinking or drug use will lead to addiction.

Instead, they end up losing control over their substance intake.

When this happens, substance use becomes involuntary.

Why People Become Addicted

 
One of the most important facts about addictive substances is that not everyone who uses them will develop an addiction.

No one can say for sure who will go on to develop serious drug or alcohol problems.

However, experts know that there are many possible underlying reasons for addiction.

These reasons include such things as:
 

  •         A genetic tendency toward addiction
  •         Getting involved in substance use before you’re an adult
  •         Having a significant mental illness
  •         Having an unstable or unhappy home life
  •         Having parents who don’t provide adequate supervision
  •         Having trouble fitting in socially
  •         Having friends or acquaintances who drink or use drugs
  •         Living in an environment where substance use is common
  •         Having problems at school
  •         Having problems in the workplace
  •         Living in a place where poverty is common

 
Not everyone affected by these risks will develop an addiction.

Still, their presence increases the odds of developing a problem.

In any one person, the potential causes of addiction can overlap.

For this reason, specialists view addiction as a complex condition, not a simple one.


What Causes Addiction in the Brain

 
Addiction affects both the brain and the body.

However, the actual causes of addiction are found in the brain. When thinking about addiction and the brain, it helps to understand a few things.

First, when you drink or take a drug or medication, that substance enters your bloodstream. Once it does, it travels to your brain.

After gaining access to your brain, drugs and alcohol have multiple effects. The most important effects occur in a brain area called the pleasure center when it comes to addiction.

The pleasure center gets its name because it’s where your brain creates pleasurable sensations.

These sensations occur whenever you do something that increases the production of a brain chemical called dopamine. Lots of everyday activities produce dopamine and cause you to feel pleasure.

Common examples include:

However, as a rule, none of these activities boost your dopamine levels as much as drugs or alcohol.

In fact, certain drugs can raise your dopamine output up to ten times beyond normal levels. 

This explains why people feel such a surge of pleasure when they first use these substances.

It also helps explain why some people develop a pattern of frequent substance use.

Physical Dependence (Addiction and the Body)

 
Unfortunately, if you repeatedly use an addictive substance, your brain starts to change.

Eventually, it will start treating the high levels of dopamine as a normal situation. When this happens, you develop something called physical dependence.

Physical dependence means that you now need a certain quantity of drugs or alcohol to satisfy your brain.

If you don’t get that amount, you can go into substance withdrawal. Withdrawal is your brain’s way of telling you that it expects you to take more of a given substance.

Psychological Dependence (Addiction and the Mind)

 
People addicted to drugs or alcohol are not just affected by physical dependence. They also suffer from something called psychological dependence. This form of dependence means that you experience emotional changes that support uncontrolled substance use.
 
One of the most important symptoms of psychological dependence is a strong urge to consume drugs or alcohol.

In addition, it produces a strong compulsion to seek out more substances to consume.

Physical and psychological dependence have a combined effect. This fact helps explain why it can be so hard to recover from addiction.

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What Chemicals Make Substances Addictive?

 
You may wonder what chemical makes drugs addictive.

You may also wonder what chemical makes alcohol addictive.

However, this is not quite the way to think about addiction.

The most important thing is not the specific chemicals in drugs or alcohol. (In fact, not all addictive substances contain similar active ingredients.)

Instead, what matters is how drugs and alcohol affect your system.

As long as a substance triggers major increases in your dopamine levels, its use can lead to addiction.

This is true, no matter how that substance produces a dopamine increase.

Learn More About What Causes Addiction

 
What is addiction? Doctors define this condition as a chronic disease triggered by excessive use of drugs, medications, or alcohol.

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Not everyone who uses too much of these substances will become addicted.

Still, a significant percentage of people will.

There is more than one reason for getting involved in substance use.

Similarly, there’s more than one underlying cause of addiction, and multiple causes often appear together in the same person.

The process of addiction begins when drugs or alcohol boost your brain’s levels of dopamine. Higher dopamine levels lead to increased pleasure.

The amount of dopamine produced by addictive substances is far greater than the amount produced by everyday pleasures, which explains why people repeatedly use these substances.

It also helps explain why some users get caught in a cycle of substance abuse and addiction.

There is no one chemical in drugs that leads to addiction.

The same fact holds true for alcohol. Instead, regardless of the specific chemicals they contain, all addictive substances trigger major dopamine increases.

Addicted people suffer from two problems: physical addiction to substances and mental addiction to substances.

Physical addiction leads to rising substance tolerance, while mental addiction leads to compulsive urges to use drugs or alcohol.

The two forms of addiction work together, not separately, and this is what makes treating addiction so difficult.

Still, it’s possible to treat even the worst effects of drug or alcohol addiction.

For more information on how to help someone with an addiction, just contact our experts at North Jersey Recovery Center today.