how to do an intervention

The Relationship Between Codependency and Enabling Behavior

Although substance abuse affects relationships in very negative ways, it’s typical for spouses, partners, siblings, friends, or co-workers to develop enabling behaviors that help them cope with the stress.

Although enablers are well-intended, they create an unhealthy codependency, making matters worse and sometimes straining relationships to the point of no repair. Family members and friends want to help the addicted person, but instead, they end up feeling anger, fear, guilt, pity, or resentment. It becomes difficult to communicate, and solving problems becomes an uphill battle.

What’s the Difference Between Codependency and Enabling?

Codependency is sometimes known as a “relationship addiction” because neither person can function well without the other. Problems arise when one person takes advantage of another, and the relationship gradually becomes emotionally harmful.

Enabling is a sign of codependency, in which one person, who acts as a caretaker or rescuer, enables another person to continue their destructive behavior. Enablers continually try to fix the problem, or they ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. For instance, a wife may make excuses or call the boss when her husband is too hungover to come to work, a friend may bail a buddy out of jail, or a parent may pay the rent or buy groceries for a grown child with a substance abuse problem.

Codependent relationships are one-sided and often manipulative, with the enabler invariably doing more than his share. Enablers eventually become resentful and angry because they’ve sacrificed their own needs for the other person. However, they fear abandonment and go to great lengths to hold on to the crumbling relationship.

Problems with Codependency and Enabling Relationships

Enablers have good intentions, but they may stay in destructive relationships because helping another person boosts their own fragile self-esteem. Eventually, they may become so wrapped up in the other person’s problem that they lose their own identity. At the same time, they may be fearful of what will happen if they stop helping, and they may struggle with extreme guilt for their feelings of anger or resentment. Life becomes increasingly chaotic.

The problem is that enablers make it possible for the destructive behavior to continue. Why should a person stop using drugs or alcohol when the enabler steps in to take care of all the problems? Often, people seek treatment when the struggle becomes too difficult.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes you have to let natural consequences play out. By enabling your loved one, you prevent her from getting the help she needs to get well.

Are you Helping or Enabling?

Doing everything for a person with substance abuse issues doesn’t help because you may be standing in the way of recovery. You may think they can’t survive without you because they have dropped out of school, lost a job, can’t pay their bills, developed legal problems, or fallen behind on child support payments. 

Don’t be deceived that your friend or family member is completely helpless, and don’t feel guilty that you’re not helping enough. There’s a good chance that he can manage things on his own, but denial and manipulation go hand-in-hand with substance abuse. 

It isn’t easy to determine if you are enabling or helping. If you aren’t sure, stop and think for a moment. If you’re doing things for another person that he should be doing for himself, you are probably enabling. 

Although stepping in to rescue another person doesn’t help, you don’t want to turn your back on a person who is struggling. It’s fine to express your worry and concern. You can help by encouraging your loved one to seek treatment, and by supporting healthier choices. 

However, that doesn’t mean you look the other way if the person’s behavior is dangerous to himself or others, such as drunk driving or making threats of suicide. Call for help, and don’t try to solve life-threatening problems on your own.

How to Stop Being Codependent With an Addict

The addiction isn’t your fault. You didn’t cause it, even though the addicted person may try to blame you for their problems. Remember that by taking responsibility for another person’s problem, you are actually making things worse. Let go of the idea that you can fix the problem. Addiction is a disease, and you can’t control it any more than you can control another person’s heart disease or cancer.

Learn everything you can about the disease of addiction, and the effect of substances on the brain. This complicated illness affects everybody in the family, but knowledge will help you understand.

Establish healthy boundaries and clear rules about what you’re willing to accept. Learn to say no to unreasonable demands of your time and energy. Be consistent about enforcing those rules; otherwise, your rules will be merely empty threats, Don’t give in; this isn’t easy,and it takes practice.

Don’t protect a person with a substance abuse disorder from the natural consequences of his behavior. For instance, stop making excuses. Don’t smooth over embarrassing situations. Don’t intervene in legal or financial problems.

Consider therapy for yourself. If your family member decides to enter treatment, you can benefit tremendously from family therapy sessions or events often held in conjunction with treatment. If she isn’t ready to begin treatment, continue to be encouraging and supportive, but in the meantime, take steps to help yourself and change the way you react to the situation.

Monitor your behavior and your use of drugs and alcohol. Remove any substances that may be a source of temptation.

Don’t buy into the idea that a person with a substance abuse problem won’t seek treatment until he reaches rock bottom. When it comes to treatment, sooner is always better than later.

Seek Treatment at 1st Step

1st Step Behavioral Health is a licensed, long-term rehab center located in Pompano Beach, Florida. We are ready to help you and your family every step along your journey to recovery. Call us today at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information.

Social Isolation and Substance Abuse Issues: A Dangerous Combo

Social isolation is difficult for most of us, but those dealing with isolation and substance abuse issues can find it especially challenging.

During times of national crisis — like the Covid-19 pandemic — state or local officials may take steps to slow the spread of disease or “flatten the curve” so that medical facilities aren’t overwhelmed. They may request (or require) that businesses and schools close, and that people avoid crowds and limit travel away from home. Social isolation may continue for weeks or even months.

It’s Normal to Worry

It’s understandable to be concerned about how a crisis may affect you and the people you love. You may worry about finances, like how you’ll pay the rent and buy food or medicine. 

You may feel frustrated, bored, angry, anxious, or depressed. If you have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), you may experience mood changes or an increase in disturbing memories, flashbacks, or nightmares. You may have trouble sleeping, or you may sleep too much. The prospect of battling addiction alone, with limited access to support systems, only contributes to these feelings of stress.

Social Isolation and Substance Abuse Issues

We all have different ways of dealing with stress, and it may be tempting to fall back into old habits. Relapsing, and turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with isolation, worry, and fear may be what you’re used to. However, when we’re threatened by Covid-19 or other infections, we must stay as healthy as possible. Substance abuse weakens the immune system and even more so during full-blown addiction. If you become ill, your body will have a harder time fighting off the infection.

Using alcohol to cope with stress weakens the immune system and increases the risk of illness. However, according to the American Heart Association, alcohol sales in stores and online have risen substantially since the beginning of the pandemic. When 2,200 adults were queried about their drinking habits, 16 percent indicated they were drinking more they did before Covid-19. 

Methamphetamine narrows the blood vessels, which can damage the heart and lungs. NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse), isn’t sure how meth compromises the immune system, but a person with respiratory difficulties may have a harder time healing from infections. 

Cocaine is a nervous system stimulant that can cause constriction in the veins and arteries. Smoking or snorting cocaine may lead to severe lung damage and increase the risk of Covid-19, or worsen illnesses such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. 

Opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers, can slow breathing to dangerous levels, thus increasing the chance of a fatal overdose. Naloxone can halt an overdose when administered quickly, but when a person is alone, there is nobody present to provide the life-saving medication. 

Smoking or vaping marijuana or tobacco damages the white blood cells and causes inflammation of the lungs, which increases your vulnerability to infections, including Covid-19. Massachusetts General Hospital also reports that people who smoke or vape are more likely to spread the virus by coughing, even if they show no symptoms.

Dealing With Addiction Alone: Practicing Self-Support

There’s no doubt that the risk of substance abuse and addiction increases after exposure to stress. For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that substance use disorders rose significantly after Hurricane Katrina, along with dramatic increases in hospitalization for substance abuse.

It’s good to stay up to date on current events, but take a break if you find that the news increases your anxiety. Try watching for only a few minutes every day. Turn the news off at bedtime if it keeps you awake. Be careful about conspiracy theories and bogus news sources.

Don’t hesitate to ask your local health experts or medical providers for information. Keeping the public informed is part of their job.

Mindfulness meditation or prayer may help with fear and stress. Try keeping a gratitude journal; start your day by writing down at least three things that made you smile.

It may seem like life has turned upside down, but do your best to stick to a regular daily routine, which will help you feel more in control. Get enough rest. Eat healthy food and avoid too much fatty or carb-laden comfort food. 

Try to get fresh air every day. Breath deeply. If you’re able, go for a socially distanced walk through your neighborhood. Make time for fun. Stay positive by enjoying humorous or inspirational movies and books.

Fighting Addiction Alone: Reach Out to Others

Staying in contact with other people will limit your feelings of isolation, and by reaching out, you’ll help others who are probably struggling with similar worries. Call your friends and family, or send them an email or a text message. Gather together on Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype. 

Don’t limit yourself to family and close friends. Call an elderly neighbor or relative and offer to help by picking up their medicine or groceries, but always protect yourself by social distancing, hand-washing, and other recommended methods.

Battling Addiction Alone May be Dangerous: What to do When you Feel Overwhelmed

If you’re using drugs or alcohol to cope and you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of control, seek treatment or rehab as soon as possible. If you’re unable to enter treatment right away, ask your medical provider if she can recommend a treatment provider with telehealth options. Consider online support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Smart Recovery.

If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or PTSD and your symptoms are difficult to manage, contact your doctor or counselor immediately. Let a family member know that you need support. If you’re in crisis, or if you’re thinking about harming yourself, call emergency services. 

If you’re taking meds for depression or anxiety, don’t stop. Your doctor may be able to increase the dosage or prescribe additional meds. If you’re unable to get to your local pharmacy, call and inquire about delivery options.

Similarly, if you’re concerned about yourself or a family member’s physical health, most physicians offer online appointments.  

Don’t Deal with Addiction Alone: Take the 1st Step

Life is stressful right now, but you don’t need to cope with depression, anxiety by yourself, or deal with addiction alone. We’re here for you, and we’re ready to help. Just give us a call today at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information.

Why Will Mixing Xanax and Alcohol Make You Black Out?

Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam, a medication prescribed mostly for anxiety and panic disorders. It’s a central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down activity in the brain.

Like Xanax, alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant that slows down brain activity. Using the two together is extremely risky and can be life-threatening. Although there are many, blackouts are one of the most dangerous side effects of mixing Xanax and alcohol.

Why Will Mixing Xanax and Alcohol Make you Black Out?

When you use Xanax and alcohol together, the effects of both central nervous system depressants are significantly amplified. The term for this effect is “potentiation,” which means that both substances become much more potent when combined than they would be if you used them alone. 

Side Effects of Combining Xanax and Alcohol

Mixing Xanax and alcohol together, it’s easy to drink more alcohol than you realize, and you can become intoxicated very quickly. An alcohol and Xanax combination will make you feel uncoordinated, and you may stumble and fall. If you drive, you are at risk of car accidents, which can be fatal.   

Using both substances together can also make you feel nauseous, tired, dizzy, or faint, and you may have severe headaches. If you use Xanax and alcohol over long periods, you may develop stomach problems, or serious issues with your heart, liver, or kidneys. You’ll be more likely to think about or commit suicide, especially if you previously struggled with depression or other mental health issues.

According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, studies indicate that long-term use of Xanax and other benzodiazepines are linked with a heightened risk of dementia, and alcohol may increase that risk. 

Symptoms of a Xanax and Alcohol Blackout

If you’re mixing Xanax and alcohol, blackout is always possible. If you blackout, you won’t lose consciousness, but your brain can’t form memories, and you’ll be in a state of temporary amnesia. In other words, you’ll be awake, but you won’t remember what happens during the time you are blacked out, or you may remember only fragments.  

During a blackout, you may act normal, and your friends may not realize you are in the middle of a blackout. You may carry on conversations, dance, or drive a car. Also, you may commit crimes, drive recklessly, or be date-raped. A blackout can be short, lasting only a few minutes, or for several hours. 

How Many Xanax Does it Take to Black Out?

It’s impossible to predict how many Xanax it takes to experience a blackout. However, Xanax alone usually doesn’t cause this effect if you’re a healthy adult, although it’s possible if you take very large doses. You can have a blackout from drinking alcohol on its own, without taking Xanax.

You’re much more likely to blackout if you use Xanax and alcohol together, even if you use relatively small amounts. You don’t have to be addicted to either one to experience a blackout. 

Xanax Overdose: Can You Die from Taking Xanax and Alcohol?

Don’t kid yourself; mixing Xanax and alcohol is a risky practice. You may only feel a little dizzy and sick, or you may stop breathing, choke on your own vomit, or have a heart attack. The effects depend on many factors, including your age, size, and general health.

It’s also possible to die from alcohol poisoning if you forget how much you’ve had to drink. You may have seizures, a heart attack, or you may fall into a coma. Never get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been using Xanax and alcohol. You may kill yourself or somebody else.

If you suspect someone you know has overdosed on Xanax or alcohol, or if they have symptoms of alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. Never assume they will “sleep it off.”

The Dangers of Fake Xanax

Fake Xanax looks identical to the real thing and will be labeled “Xanax.” However, it may be cut with substances that weaken the drug, such as talc or baking powder. Illegal sellers do this to make more money. 

On the other hand, fake Xanax may be much stronger than pharmaceutical-grade Xanax, or it may be laced with Fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller that is about fifty times stronger than heroin.  When you buy Xanax on the street, it’s impossible to be sure what you’re getting. 

Xanax and Alcohol Detox

Xanax withdrawal symptoms are challenging, but they usually aren’t fatal unless you’ve used very large amounts. However, Xanax and alcohol detox can be life-threatening. You may experience heart palpitations, high blood pressure, headaches, fever, and sweating, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, dizziness, insomnia, confusion, exhaustion, numbness in your arms and legs, electric shock sensations, delirium, hallucinations, seizures, and coma. 

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will ease in a few days, but Xanax detox takes longer. You’ll feel better after a couple of weeks, but you may experience symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety for weeks, or even months. You may also experience rebound anxiety, which can be more severe than the original anxiety that prompted you to use Xanax in the first place. 

Typically, Xanax is tapered slowly, and a doctor can help you stop taking the drug gradually without major withdrawal symptoms. The safest way to stop using Xanax and alcohol is to enter a treatment center or medical detox facility, where you’ll be safe and as comfortable as possible. 

With medically-monitored detox, somebody will always be present to help, and your vital signs will be checked regularly. Medications can be prescribed to help with difficult symptoms. You may receive a safer short-term medication to help with severe anxiety.  

Treatment for Xanax and Alcohol Addiction at 1st Step

Seek treatment as soon as possible if you’re dependent on Xanax and alcohol; the longer you wait, the higher the risk that something bad will happen. Look for a treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis, which means they have the experience and knowledge to deal with both addictions at the same time. A good treatment center will also help with anxiety and will provide support and direction throughout the entire process. 

Don’t go through withdrawal and treatment for Xanax and alcohol addiction alone. Give 1st Step a call at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information. We’ll answer your questions and help you explore various options for withdrawing from Xanax and alcohol safely. 

The Benefits of Going to An Out of State Drug Rehab for Treatment

Attending a substance abuse treatment center close to home may sound like a smart, convenient choice. However, consider an out of state drug rehab before making a final decision. Explore all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of treatment at home versus rehab out of state.

Closer Isn’t Always Better for Substance Abuse Treatment

The best addiction treatment center may not be located in your neighborhood or city. Even if your local rehab offers high-quality treatment, it isn’t best for you if it doesn’t provide the care you need. For instance, if you’re struggling with a dependence on opiates or meth, a treatment center specializing in alcohol abuse won’t be the best solution. Or if you prefer a gender-specific program and the treatment center in your town offers co-ed treatment, it isn’t a good fit. Look at out of state drug rehabs in order to expand your treatment options. 

You’re Likely to Stay May Stay in Treatment Longer at an Out of State Rehab Center

Substance abuse treatment is challenging, and if you’re close to home, you may be tempted to drop out when things get rough, especially during the early days. Leaving on the spur of the moment is much harder when you’re attending an out of state rehab center. You can’t easily give into impulses; like hopping on a bus, or calling a friend for a ride. Things get smoother if you can hang in there through the rough patches. 

The longer you’re able to stay in treatment, the higher the chances of long-term recovery. According to NIDA (the National Institute of Drug Abuse), treatment of less than three months is of limited effectiveness, while longer time in treatment is recommended for a more positive outcome. NIDA also notes that most people who remain in treatment for an extended period are able to stop using drugs, improve their mental health, and move forward with life.

Out of State Rehabs May Offer Better Treatment Programs & Specialties

Treatment programs and specialties offered by out of state drug rehab centers vary substantially, so don’t limit yourself to only looking at what’s nearby You may prefer a rehab that focuses on a particular religion or one that centers treatment around a 12-Step program. Alternatively, you may be looking for a non-religious treatment center or one that offers 12-Step alternatives. You may benefit from a treatment facility that caters to business executives, adolescents, seniors, or LGBT individuals. 

If you have depression, bipolar disorder, or another mental health issue in addition to substance abuse problems, it’s essential to find an addiction treatment center where the staff is trained and experienced in dual diagnosis disorders. Treating two disorders at the same time is complex, and not all treatment centers provide the necessary mental health services on-site . 

In short, you may be more likely to get the care you need if you’re willing to travel.

Other Benefits of Seeking Addiction Treatment Out of State

Aside from increasing your chance of finishing treatment and expanding your program options, there are a few other benefits to exploring out of state rehabs.

Out Of State Rehabs May Have Shorter Wait Times for Admission

The decision to enter treatment is enormous and life-changing, and it’s best to get started as soon as possible. Even if you’re lucky enough to find the perfect treatment center close to home, it won’t do you much good if the waiting list is long. You’re much more likely to find a place with an opening if you look into out of state drug rehabs. 

It Puts Distance Between You and Distractions

Friends and family are wonderful, and they can be essential for your recovery. On the other hand, the people you love can also distract you from focusing entirely on treatment, especially if things aren’t going well on the home front. The distance of an out of state rehab allows you to direct your attention to recovery without stressing about constant anger, tension, and resentment at home. 

Sometimes, your loved ones mean well, but they may not understand how they’re enabling your addiction or neglecting your needs and personal boundaries. Recovery is especially difficult if somebody at home is still using drugs or alcohol. 

Although you may want to include your family in your substance abuse treatment plan, it may be beneficial to wait and begin family counseling after you return home. You may be hesitant to spend so much time away, but sometimes, a little time apart can help everybody see more clearly. This is something only you can decide. 

Traveling to an Out of State Addiction Center May Save You Money

If you live in a city with a high cost of living, addiction treatment is probably going to be substantially more expensive than in other areas of the country. Even after you factor in travel expenses, you may actually save money by traveling to an out of state drug rehab.

In some cities, most substance abuse treatment centers are resort-like facilities that cater to people with healthy bank accounts. A high-end treatment center is great if you can afford it, and it’s nice to have perks like a private room, daily massages, or a professional chef. A hefty price tag may buy many perks, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to better treatment. 

Change is Good for the Soul

Traveling to a rehab out of state removes you from old friends, familiar neighborhoods, and favorite hang-outs that might tempt you, especially in the early days of recovery. At an out-of-state drug rehab in a new environment, you’ll meet different people and new friends that share your desire to get well. You may find it’s easier to discuss your experiences and feelings with people with similar experiences, or who don’t know anything about the difficulties in your past. 

If you’re entering treatment in the dead of winter, a warmer climate might be a very welcome change. If you live where summer heat is punishing, consider an escape to a treatment center in the refreshing coolness of the mountains. Addiction treatment offers an opportunity for a fresh start at recovery, and traveling may give you a whole new outlook.

Privacy Matters

There’s no reason to be ashamed if you have a problem with substance abuse; addiction is a chronic disease that can happen to anybody. You may feel okay about sharing your plans to enter addiction treatment, or you may prefer to keep it private, especially if there’s a possibility your job or reputation may be threatened if word gets out. 

Telling your friends or coworkers is totally up to you. The big problem, however, is that at local substance abuse centers it’s common to run into people you know, even in large urban areas. Traveling to an out of state drug rehab makes it much easier to protect your privacy and focus on recovery.

Get A Fresh Start at First Step Behavioral Health in Florida 

Traveling to an out of state drug rehab might be one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself. Located in beautiful Pompano Beach, South Florida, our substance abuse and dual diagnosis specialists can help you explore your addiction treatment options. Give us a call today at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information


What is Lean Syrup & What Are the Side Effects of Drinking Lean?

What kind of drug is lean? Also known by names such as purple drank, Texas tea, purple lean, sizzurp, purple jelly, and dirty sprite, lean isn’t a typical drug, but a sweet, syrupy beverage that may contain dangerous substances such as codeine or alcohol. Reportedly, the concoction is named “lean” because drinking it can make you lean or slump to one side. 

Lean is especially favored by underage kids looking for a cheap and easy way to get high, and it’s often a young person’s first experience with drugs and alcohol, Because the flavor is sweet and tangy, it’s easy to get carried away and drink too much. Although the side effects of lean aren’t usually deadly, it has been associated with several fatal overdoses in the last few years, especially among well-known singers and professional athletes. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, lean drink, which originated in the southern United States, has been around since the1960’s. In its early days, the drink was a combination of cough syrup and beer, and in recent years was adapted to its current form.

What is the Drug Lean Made of?

Although the mixture varies, lean typically consists of cough medicine, soda pop like Mountain Dew or Sprite, and hard candy such as Jolly Ranchers. Alcohol is often added to the mix. 

What Cough Syrup is used for Lean?

Usually, lean is made from cough syrup containing promethazine with codeine, a medicine prescribed by doctors to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and sneezing. Codeine is an opioid, and although it’s weaker than heroin or morphine, the effects on the body are similar. It’s safe when used properly, but like all opiates, codeine is habit-forming and shouldn’t be used in excess or for long periods. 

If prescription cough medicines with codeine aren’t available, lean is often made of over-the-counter cough syrups that contain dextromethorphan (DMX). Dextromethorphan has a mild stimulant effect that produces feelings of euphoria. It is safe when used as directed, but it can cause hallucinations or out-of-body experiences when used in large quantities.

How Addictive is Lean?

According to the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), prescription cough syrups containing a small amount of narcotics, such as promethazine with codeine, are classified as Schedule 5 drugs with a low potential for abuse when used as directed. However, the cough syrups are highly habit-forming if misused. 

Over-the-counter cough syrups containing dextromethorphan (DMX) aren’t habit-forming when used as recommended on the label, but large doses can lead to addiction. Abuse of DMX is so high in some states that pharmacists are required to keep the products behind the counter, for sale only to adults over age 18.

If you become addicted to lean, you’ll need to drink larger amounts to capture the good feelings, or even to feel normal. If lean isn’t available, you’ll feel sick and will experience powerful cravings.

What are the Side Effects of Drinking Lean?

People who drink a lot of lean cough syrup may experience several unpleasant side effects, including: 

  • Loss of coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Anger and irritability
  • Respiratory depression
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Loss of coordination
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Lean addiction is only one result of long-term use. If you drink large amounts of lean made with codeine cough syrup over long periods, you may also experience:

  • Weight gain
  • Tooth decay
  • Extreme agitation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lack of energy
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Brain damage
  • Sudden death

Other side effects of drinking lean can vary significantly depending on the contents of the drink. For instance, cramps, diarrhea, and loss of appetite are associated with cough syrups containing codeine.

Dextromethorphan (DXM) cough syrups may seem safe, especially since you can buy it over-the-counter in most states. However, drinking large quantities can trigger several dangerous and frightening side effects, including hallucinations, loss of contact with reality, loss of control, and momentary blindness. You may also experience severe anxiety, panic attacks, aggression, stomach pain, vomiting, slurred speech, lack of energy, memory loss, rapid breathing, and coma. 

Alcohol added to lean drinks significantly increases the risk of side effects, such as brain fog, delayed reaction, and problems with balance and coordination, mainly when the lean drink also contains codeine. The primary danger of lean drink containing alcohol, however, is respiratory depression. Car accidents are also a very real possibility. 

Side-Effects of Drinking Lean: Possible Overdose

It’s possible to overdose on lean or purple drank. If you think someone is overdosing, call for help immediately. Signs of overdose include:

  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Muscle twitches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing problems
  • Weak pulse

What to do if you are Addicted to Lean

Lean drink is easy to make, and most ingredients (except for cough syrups containing codeine) are readily available at any supermarket or convenience store. The problem is that too much can make you very sick, and a lean addiction can destroy your life. If you think you’re addicted to lean or purple drank, or if you’re worried about a friend or family member, it’s essential to seek help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the higher the chance that something bad happens, or that you become very ill.

Drug treatment or rehab will help you cope with withdrawal symptoms when you stop using lean. With counseling, you’ll learn safer ways of dealing with stress, and you’ll identify triggers that may lead to relapse. 

Take the First Step to Recovery

Call our addiction specialists at 1st Step Behavioral Health at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information. We provide hope and help that will get you through the rough withdrawal period, and on the road to a healthier, happier life free of dangerous chemicals. 

Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers in Texas: Why Florida is a Better Choice

If you’re a Texan and you’re ready to address your substance abuse issues, it’s good to check out various drug and alcohol rehabs in your home state, but don’t rule out treatment beyond your borders. Keep in mind that even the best inpatient drug rehab center in Texas may not be the right choice for you, simply because it’s too close to familiar surroundings 

As an alternate option, Florida is home to many highly regarded rehab centers. Regardless of your price range or your specific needs and goals, you’re likely to find a suitable Florida treatment center. Closer isn’t always better, and many people find that a change of scenery and getting away from the worries and stresses at home helps them focus on distraction-free recovery. 

Long-Term Drug Rehab in Texas: 28 Days Isn’t Always Enough

The common complaint that treatment doesn’t work is a myth, as many people in long-term recovery will attest. Often, the reason rehabs fail isn’t a problem with the quality of treatment, but simply that the standard treatment length of 28 to 30 days isn’t enough. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), treatment of fewer than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and many people require even more. Addiction is a chronic disease, and some people may need some form of support, such as medication or support groups, for years. There are no quick fixes for substance abuse and addiction. 

All too often, the result is a revolving door of expensive rehab stays followed by yet another heartbreaking relapse. The frustration, disappointment, and sense of failure are so great that many people give up on treatment altogether. If you are looking at inpatient drug rehab centers in Texas, make sure you find one that offers a variety of substance abuse program options.

Benefits of Traveling Out of State for Substance Abuse Treatment

A local drug and alcohol treatment center in Texas may be appealing because it is nearby , but staying close to all that is familiar may be a little too convenient. Unless you are mandated to spend a specific length of time in rehab, you can walk out the doors any time you feel frustrated or discouraged. When you’re close to home, you’re within shouting distance of familiar places and old friends, and the lure to fall back into your old ways are hard to resist. 

However, if you need to hassle over getting a plane ticket or bus pass, the idea of leaving treatment may not be quite so attractive. It’s normal to have ups and downs during treatment, and things typically get much better as time goes by, and you begin to feel more secure in your recovery program.

It can also be a tremendous help to put miles between yourself and unpleasant situations at home or work. If you can lay those stressful issues aside for a while, you can focus your energy on the difficult work of recovery.

Drug Addiction Treatment: Texas vs. Florida

Time is of the essence, and once you’ve made the all-important decision to enter treatment, you want to get started as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to be at the bottom of a long waiting list, but at the same time, don’t sign in to the first drug and alcohol treatment center that has an opening. 

The decision to enter treatment is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, so take time to think about your particular needs and wants, and then shop around. Here are a few things to consider

How About Those White Sand Beaches? 

Texas and Florida both have their share of sunshine, warm weather, and glorious coastline, but consider this: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that Florida is home to a whopping 8,436 miles of coastline — plenty of space for treatment centers and treatment communities. With only 3,359 miles of coastline, drug and alcohol treatment options along Texas beaches are more limited. 

With plenty of magnificent white sand beaches and crystal clear, turquoise water, Florida beaches are ideal for rest, recovery, and reconnecting with nature.

The Cost of Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers in Texas

High-quality, reputable drug and alcohol treatment is expensive, no matter where you go. However, if you’re looking for an inpatient drug rehab center in Texas that is low cost, you may be surprised that rehabs in Florida are reasonably priced.

Most Florida rehabs work with major insurance providers, so if you have insurance, call to be sure your treatment is covered. If you are uninsured, don’t be afraid to ask about payment plans and other cost-effective options.

Thinking About Travel Expenses

Flights from Texas to Florida are usually reasonable, and you can save money if you dig deep into travel websites. Traveling by bus is also an option, but may not work if you need to get to treatment quickly. MostFlorida  treatment centers will ensure you are safely transported from the airport or bus station if you let them know ahead of time.

Most Treatment Centers are Reliable and Conscientious

One word of warning: Beware of treatment centers that offer free airline tickets or other enticements. This type of underhanded tactic may be illegal if unscrupulous treatment facilities are paying middlemen (brokers) to bring in clients. Fortunately, most Florida substance abuse treatment providers are legitimate and will be open and above board about their programs and prices. 

Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions, including how long the center has been in business. Be wary if a your Texas treatment center is brand new, as a well-established rehab is likely to be more dependable. Also, ask if the center carries proper certification, and inquire about the level of education and training required for addiction counseling staff. An honest treatment center will take time to answer your questions, and will refer you elsewhere if their treatment isn’t suitable for you.

Are You Ready to Get Started in Treatment in Florida?

We’re here for you! If you’re ready to get on the road to recovery, give 1st Step a Call at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information  We’ll take time to answer all your questions and help you sort through your various treatment options. 

pompano beach sunset

Looking for Drug Rehabs in New York? Consider South Florida Instead

If you’re tired of struggling, and you’ve decided it’s time to seek help for your substance abuse issues, pat yourself on the back because this is a monumental decision — probably one of the most important choices you’ll make in your entire life. However, before you look at rehabs in New York State, consider the potential benefits of traveling to South Florida for treatment. 

Inpatient drug rehab centers in New York are indeed closer to home and more accessible, but convenience shouldn’t be the driving factor when it comes to choosing the best treatment center. You may find it tremendously helpful to put a healthy distance between you and the old friends and familiar places. For many people, getting away from the responsibilities of work and home allows them to rest and focus on recovery. 

Why Treatment in South Florida may be a Better Choice over Going to Rehabs in New York State

There are several good reasons for traveling to South Florida over New York substance abuse treatment centers. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:

The Weather in South Florida is Conducive to Healing

According to the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota, spending time outdoors is restorative. It can help with a variety of physical and mental issues, including depression, stress, muscle tension, and high blood pressure. Time spent in nature can also boost the immune system, bolster self-esteem, and improve impulse control. 

In other words, spending time outdoors is essential for our overall health and wellbeing, and sunny South Florida is the ideal place to reconnect with the natural world. It’s not surprising that South Florida rehabs attract people from across the nation, especially those who reside in dark, chilly northern climates. If you happen to be specifically looking at rehabs in New York city, adequate access to nature is going to be difficult to secure. 

Unlike New York, where the weather is less than perfect for much of the year, South Florida is warm and sunny year-round. The environment is ideal for rest and renewal, and most South Florida rehabs will ensure outdoor time is built into your days. Many offer outdoor recreation, swimming pools, and time for quiet meditation and peaceful walks on the beach.

Vitamin D and Health

Vitamin D helps keep our bones healthy, but that’s only the beginning. Studies suggest that vitamin D, also known as “the sunshine vitamin,” may help significantly with depression, respiratory illness, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. 

If you’re from New York, you may have a difficult time absorbing enough vitamin D. The Harvard Medical School says residents of northern climates, where the skin makes minimal vitamin D from the sun, are at relatively high risk for vitamin D deficiency. The experts at Harvard also advise that 10 to 15 minutes of sun a few times every week can generate sufficient levels of vitamin D. However, the ideal amount of sunlight can depend on several factors, including your age and skin color. 

According to Addictions: Indiana University, vitamin D deficiency is linked to negative emotions, increased pain, and addiction. Although more research is needed, there are indications that vitamin D supplementation may boost the effectiveness of addiction treatment. If you live where days are gloomy and sunlight is in short supply, a rehab in South Florida may be just the ticket. 

Why Getting into a Detox Center in New York State May Prove Difficult

Detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances from the body. Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms can be so miserable that some people are hesitant to begin treatment, and detox from some substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can lead to cardiac arrest or seizures. Consequently, when people finally do make the decision to get help, they often need to get into treatment right away.

Inpatient Detox Programs in New York are in High Demand

If you’re considering detox centers in New York State, keep in mind that inpatient detox is often more comfortable and safer than outpatient detox, and you’ll have support throughout the entire process. Unfortunately, getting into an inpatient drug treatment program in New York state can be difficult, since they are in high-demand. According to a WalletHub report, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut are tied as the states with the most people receiving substance abuse treatment per 1,000 drug users. Florida made the “best states” list for this category, as one of the five states ranking for the fewest people receiving treatment per 1,000 users.   

South Florida has many highly regarded detox centers. If your addiction is severe, your detox may take place in a medical detox facility or hospital, where your vital signs will be monitored around the clock. If you’re fearful, keep in mind that a medical detox facility can provide medications to help ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as pain, headaches, anxiety, depression, nausea, and vomiting. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment in South Florida

Like New York drug rehabs, ,many South Florida treatment centers offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which involves the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and other traditional treatment methods. The medicines are marketed by various brand names and are available in various forms, including tablets or pills, patches, liquids, injections, or implants. 

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are commonly used to treat addiction to opioid drugs. All have proven to be safe and effective. The drugs have various purposes but generally work by blocking the effects of other narcotics, or by staving off cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA), MAT for opioid addiction decreases transmission of infectious diseases, overdose deaths, and criminal activity. 

Disulfiram (Antabuse), introduced in 1948, is a useful medication for alcohol addiction. Drinking while taking disulfiram will trigger severe nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, blurred vision, headache, breathing difficulty, and other unpleasant symptoms. Newer drugs for alcohol addiction include Acamprosate, which reduces cravings; and naltrexone, which blocks the effects of alcohol while reducing cravings. 

Considerable research over the years has shown that medications can be highly beneficial for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that currently, medications are underused in the treatment of alcoholism.

Many people can engage in treatment longer with the help of medications, thus increasing the chance of long-term success. 

New York Drug Rehabs Aren’t Your Only Option 

If you’re exploring alternatives to entering a rehab center in New York, contact us if 1st Step Behavioral Health today.. We’re located in beautiful and tranquil Pompano Beach, and we welcome clients from across the United States. Take a virtual tour, or give us a call today at 855-425-4846 for additional information.

Asian guy sitting alone in corner of room, sadness, depressed, and life problems concept

Addicted to Angel Dust: Recognizing PCP Withdrawal Symptoms

Angel dust, also known as PCP,  is an illegal, mind-altering substance that poses a substantial risk to your physical and mental health. Addiction and dangerous PCP withdrawal effects are always a possibility, especially if you use large amounts, or if you take the drug for an extended period. Angel dust is an unpredictable drug, and it’s impossible to know precisely how it will affect you. Even first-time users can experience a variety of frightening and life threatening PCP side-effects. 

What is Angel Dust, Commonly Known as the Drug PCP? 

Angel dust is simply a street name for PCP (phencyclidine). Other names for PCP include wack, crystal, boat, hog, shermans, rocket fuel, DOA, peace pill, ozone, tic tac, supergrass, trank, kools, black dust, cliffhanger, and others.

History of PCP

PCP is a dissociative drug, which means it can make you feel detached from your body. The drug was discovered in the 1920s, introduced as an anesthetic for surgery in the 1950s, and was also used by veterinarians as an animal tranquilizer. Use of PCP was discontinued in 1965, after it became apparent that it triggered severe side effects, including agitation, psychosis, and irrational or violent behavior. 

Today, PCP is a popular, inexpensive street drug abused for its many mind-altering qualities. Currently, the most common way to use the drug is by smoking marijuana, tobacco, parsley, mint, oregano dusted with PCP, which is a white, crystalline powder. Alternatively, leafy substances may be soaked in a liquid consisting of PCP powder dissolved in water, alcohol, or some cases, formaldehyde or a flammable solvent. It can also be snorted or taken in tablet or capsule form, or more rarely, by injection.

Is PCP Addictive?

The Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) has classified PCP as a Schedule II drug, which means it is a dangerous substance with a high potential for abuse, and that it can lead to severe addiction and withdrawal when the drug is stopped. PCP withdrawal symptoms may include diarrhea, sweating, chills, headaches, and tremors. 

PCP is entirely synthetic (manmade), unlike heroin and other drugs that originate with plants. It is manufactured in clandestine labs, and unsuspecting buyers may purchase PCP laced with LSD, ketamine, mescaline, methamphetamine, or other substances without knowing it. Similarly, drugs sold as MDMA (molly) or ecstasy may contain PCP.  

Angel Dust Effects on the Body

Angel dust side effects kick in within a few minutes when PCP is smoked, and generally last four to six hours. Tablets or pills generally take effect in an hour or less and last between six and 24 hours. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, traces of PCP can remain in your body for up to eight days if you use the drug occasionally, or up to a month if you are a chronic user.  

PCP Side Effects

PCP/angel dust side effects vary from person to person, and like most mind-altering drugs, PCP may act as a depressant, stimulant, or painkiller, depending on how it was used and how much was taken. PCP is also a hallucinogenic drug, but the effects are different than the visual hallucinations typically experienced by LSD users. PCP may cause pleasant sensations, relaxation, and drowsiness, but it can also result in distorted, terrifying body images. 

Short-term angel dust side effects may include:

  • Euphoria
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Sweating and flushing
  • Numbness in fingers and toes
  • Sensations of weightlessness
  • Distorted sense of time and space
  • Obsession with small, trivial details
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Fear of immediate death
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Elevated temperature
  • Drop or rise in blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision, watery eyes
  • Staring into space
  • Slurred speech
  • Drooling
  • Dizziness
  • Severe muscle contractions
  • Feelings of incredible power and strength, 
  • Intense emotions and mood swings

Many long-term effects and PCP withdrawal symptoms may go away when you stop using the drug, but others can last several weeks or even longer. Effects of long-term PCP use may include:

  • Extended periods of sleeplessness, followed by long periods of deep, intense sleep
  • Rocking or other repetitive motions
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Speech difficulties
  • Hearing sounds and voices
  • Social withdrawal
  • Twitches
  • Eyes jitter back and forth
  • Flashbacks
  • Severe anxiety and depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Extreme agitation
  • Aggression, hostility, and violence
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • High fever
  • Respiratory failure
  • Strokes
  • Coma
  • Death (often due to suicide or accidents that occur while under the influence of PCP)

Angel Dust/PCP Overdoses 

The extreme effects caused by use of PCP and/or PCP withdrawal, including violent or aggressive behavior, often lead to emergency room visits and legal problems. An overdose can result in death from hyperthermia, breathing problems, and failure of the liver and kidneys. 

How to Treat PCP Addiction

If you’re ready to stop using angel dust/PCP, the first step is medically monitored detox. It’s essential to have professional support during the detox process because PCP withdrawal symptoms can be frightening and dangerous. Stopping PCP isn’t something you should attempt on your own. 

Although there are no specific medications for PCP withdrawal treatment, a doctor can prescribe meds to help with symptoms such as headaches, nausea, severe anxiety, or depression. You’ll be monitored around the clock to ensure detox is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Once the toxins safely leave your body, generally after a few days, you can begin addiction treatment, which will help you learn new life skills, change negative behaviors, and cope with stressful situations. If you struggle with depression or anxiety, inpatient treatment can be a tremendous source of help and support.

Are You Ready to Make Some Serious Lifestyle Changes?

If you’re ready to stop using angel dust/PCP, we encourage you to seek substance abuse treatment as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information. We can answer any questions or concerns you may have about addiction, PCP withdrawal treatment, and the effects of angel dust on your body and mind. 

Is MDMA Addictive? Signs of Molly Addiction

Molly, a form of the drug ecstasy, was created more than a century ago by a German chemical company in hopes of making a safe and effective diet pill. Although it didn’t work as intended, molly’s psychoactive qualities were soon uncovered, and recreational use of the drug has become wildly popular at parties, nightclubs, and raves since the 1980s.

The effects of a molly addiction typically aren’t deadly, but certain molly withdrawal symptoms, such as increased heart rate, a spike in body temperature, and seizures, can be dangerous.

What is the Difference Between Molly, MDMA, and Ecstasy?

Some people think molly, MDMA, and ecstasy are separate drugs, but there are no significant differences between them. “Molly,” (or “molecule”), is basically just a simple term for the drug, which has an unwieldy chemical name — 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine. 

The University of Buffalo’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions explains that molly is widely believed to be a newer, safer, purer form of ecstasy. However, both molly and ecstasy are frequently cut with fillers such as caffeine, or dangerous drugs like heroin, meth, cocaine, cough medicine, or ketamine (an animal tranquilizer). 

Most of the chemicals in molly originate in labs in China. Once it arrives in the United States, sellers often blend it with other substances to raise their profit margin. According to CCN Health, what is typically sold as molly may not contain any MDMA at all, but may be a toxic brew of other chemicals. Without a test, buyers can’t know what they’re getting.

Is Molly Addictive?

Can you become addicted to molly? Researchers aren’t sure about the addictive potential of molly, and studies have been inconsistent,  however, it appears that it can be habit-forming. 

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), classified molly as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Molly is substantially more dangerous when used with other substances like alcohol.

Many regular users report common signs of addiction, including using the drug despite negative consequences, problems at school or work, and loss of interest in activities customarily found enjoyable. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped are also signs of molly addiction.

How Molly Addiction Affects your Mind and Body

The side effects of molly are unique because the drug has stimulant properties similar to meth or cocaine, but also hallucinogenic effects similar to LSD. Molly pills and capsules are usually converted to powder for snorting or smoking, but injectable liquids are also available. 

Molly users report feeling giddiness and euphoria, heightened energy and alertness, increased sociability, pleasure, warmth, enhanced sexual desire, happiness, and a distorted sense of time. 

Other molly side effects that aren’t so pleasant may include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sensitivity to sound, light, and touch
  • A sharp increase in body temperature
  • Severe dehydration
  • Sweating or chills
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Restless legs
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Pain and stiffness in legs and lower back
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Coma

Side Effects of Long-Term Molly Use

Many regular or long-term molly users say they have experienced a hard letdown when the high wears off, including severe depression, anxiety, and irritability. Researchers aren’t yet sure if the effects are reversible when the drug leaves the body, or if some damage may be permanent.

Long-term side effects of prolonged molly may include: 

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Aggression
  • Severe panic attacks
  • Sleep problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Paranoia
  • Loss of motivation
  • Loss of sex drive

Although molly isn’t generally a deadly drug, users may experience an intense spike in body temperature, particularly at dance parties in hot rooms. There is considerable risk of heatstroke in such situations, with potential for heart, liver, kidney, or brain damage. Although it’s rare, death is possible.   

Signs of Molly Withdrawal

People who have a molly addiction may experience severe cravings for the drug when stopping or cutting back. Common molly withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired memory
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures

How Long do Molly Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

It’s impossible to say for sure how long the side effects of molly withdrawal will last because so many factors are involved. For instance, the length of molly withdrawal can depend on how long a person has used molly, the size of the doses, additives in the molly , whether it was used with alcohol or other drugs, and overall mental and physical health. 

Treatment for Molly Addiction

Unfortunately, there are no medicines specifically for molly withdrawal treatment. However, a medical provider may prescribe medications to help with withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, headache, insomnia, anxiety, or depression.

If you are a heavy user of molly, or if you’ve used the drug regularly for a long time, a substance abuse treatment program is your best bet for recovery. Counseling, both one-on-one and group support, will help you understand why you used molly in the first place. Through treatment, you will also learn better ways of coping with stress.

You may be tempted to try stopping on your own, but you are more likely to be successful if you have professional support. The risk of relapse is substantially higher for people who try to stop using molly without help.

Seek Help Today for Molly Use

Although molly isn’t addictive in the same way as heroin or cocaine, it can still be habit-forming, and the side effects of molly withdrawal can be challenging. The detox process is easier with the support of qualified addiction professionals who can also help you manage any depression, anxiety, or stress. If you or a loved one is struggling with a molly addiction, please don’t hesitate to call us as soon as possible at 855-425-4846, or contact us here for more information

Recognizing Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms and How to Detox

Tramadol is the generic name for an opioid drug prescribed for mild to moderately severe pain. Brand names include Ultram, Ultracet, and Zytram, among others. Although tramadol isn’t as potent as most opiates and is generally safe when used properly, misuse presents a significant risk of abuse and addiction.

When it comes to the side effects of tramadol withdrawal symptoms, they are much like heroin, oxycodone, and other opiates — meaning unpleasant and potentially dangerous. However, with treatment, you can recover from a tramadol addiction and get on the road to a healthier, substance-free life.   

Tramadol Classification 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified most opiates, including oxycodone, methadone, and fentanyl, as Schedule II substances because they have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Tramadol is classified as a Schedule IV substance, defined by the DEA as having a lower risk of abuse and addiction. Many experts believe tramadol should be reclassified to Schedule II.

Since tramadol is less potent than most opiates, people tend to underestimate the risks. However, tolerance can develop when tramadol is used in large doses or for long periods, and you’ll need higher doses to feel the same results. Tolerance often leads to full-fledged addiction, including uncomfortable tramadol withdrawal symptoms when you stop.

Can Tramadol Get You High?

Everyone is different, but most people find that tramadol side effects make them feel drowsy, possibly with a mild sense of relaxation or well-being. To reach heroin-like euphoria, you would need to take a dangerously high dose which puts you at risk for a tramadol overdose. 

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in your System?

In general, tramadol usually leaves the body within about 72 hours. However, it’s impossible to know exactly how long the drug will remain in your system because it is affected by your age, metabolism, diet, body mass, overall health, genetics, and level of physical activity.

Retention time also depends on the type of tramadol, the size of the doses, and how long you used the drug. If you have kidney or liver disease, you have excess body fat, or if you’re over 75, tramadol will take longer to clear your body. 

What About Tramadol vs. Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid pain reliever sold by familiar brand names like Oxycontin or Roxicodone. Like tramadol, it is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is safe when used properly, but it is one of the most abused drugs in America. Even though tramadol is less potent than oxycodone, both are habit-forming, and withdrawal symptoms upon stopping are similar. 

Tramadol Side Effects

Common tramadol side effects, which often go away after a few days of proper use, may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache,
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting

Although they are less common, tramadol users may also experience:

  • Rash
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Joint pain

Consult your physician if you experience the following tramadol withdrawal symptoms. They’re uncommon and usually not life-threatening, but they should be treated. They may also be signs of tramadol addiction.

  • Sleep disorders
  • Bloody urine
  • Chills
  • Bruising
  • Agitation
  • Nightmares
  • Menstrual problems
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle pain
  • Yawning
  • Sore throat
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Hives
  • Fainting
  • Painful urination
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Inability to have or maintain an erection
  • Sores in the mouth

What are the Bad Side Effects of Tramadol?

Although serious tramadol side effects aren’t common, they can be dangerous or even fatal. If you experience any of the following side effects, call for medical attention right away:

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Blistering, peeling skin
  • Blood clots or fluid in the lungs
  • Inflammation or failure of the liver
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Anemia
  • Hearing loss
  • Low blood sugar
  • Trouble breathing
  • Seizures

What are Tramadol Addiction Symptoms?

Most side effects in the above list are also tramadol addiction symptoms. Other indications of tramadol addiction are missing work, serious financial problems, failure to keep up with responsibilities, loss of interest in activities typically found enjoyable, changes in friends, or neglect of personal hygiene. 

Most people who use painkillers don’t set out to become addicted, but occasional misuse can easily spiral out of control. 

Tramadol and Alcohol: A Dangerous Combination

Tramadol and alcohol are both central nervous system depressants, which means they work by slowing down activity in the brain and nerves. By using tramadol and alcohol together, you may intensify the effects to dangerous levels. 

Effects of combining tramadol and alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness, memory problems, and loss of consciousness. Severe repercussions may consist of life-threatening symptoms such as respiratory depression, liver damage, seizures, coma, and brain damage. Mixing tramadol and alcohol also increase the risk of a tramadol overdose.

Tramadol Overdose Symptoms

Although tramadol is weaker than most painkillers, using too much can still result in an accidental overdose, seizures, coma, and death. A person who is overdosing may be short of breath, or his breathing may be slow and shallow because the body isn’t getting sufficient oxygen.

In addition to severe respiratory problems, these are also common tramadol overdose symptoms:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy skin or sweating
  • Muscle weakness

If you feel like you may be having a tramadol overdose, or if somebody you love is showing symptoms, call for immediate help. 

Recognizing Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms are similar to the withdrawal symptoms of other opiates and include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Uncontrollable tremors 
  • Muscle spasms
  • Aching muscles
  • Cough
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating and chills
  • Anxiety
  • Sneezing
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Runny nose
  • Increased pain
  • Hallucinations or seizures (possible, but not common)

The Best Way to Detox off Tramadol: Recovery Begins With the First Step

The best way to detox from tramadol is to enter a quality drug treatment program. Tramadol withdrawal symptoms are challenging, but a treatment provider will ensure you detox safely, and that you have medications to ease the discomfort. Once tramadol detox is complete, counseling, education, and group support will help you understand the reasons for your addiction and triggers for relapse. 

If tramadol use has created problems for you or a loved one, reach out as soon as possible. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information, and we’ll help you explore options for recovery and safer ways of managing pain.